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Oral history interview with Jacob Kainen

Topic:
Art front
Interviewee:
Kainen, Jacob  Search this
Interviewer:
Berman, Avis  Search this
Creator:
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
ACA Galleries  Search this
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Pratt Institute  Search this
Davis, Gene, 1920-1985  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Graham, John, 1887-1961  Search this
Hayter, Stanley William, 1901-1988  Search this
Lazzari, Pietro, 1898-1979  Search this
Margo, Boris, 1902-1995  Search this
McNeil, George, 1908-1995  Search this
Noland, Kenneth, 1924-2010  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Schnitzler, Max, 1903-  Search this
Solman, Joseph, 1909-2008  Search this
Thomas, Alma  Search this
Extent:
6 Cassettes (Sound recording, analog.)
108 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Cassettes
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1982 Aug. 10-Sept. 22
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Jacob Kainen conducted 1982 Aug. 10-1982 Sept. 22, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.
Kainen speaks about his family and educational background; early interest in art; his studies at the Art Students League and Pratt Institute; showing at the ACA Gallery; the community of artists in New York in the late 1930s; writing for ART FRONT; his employment by the graphic arts division of the WPA-FAP in New York; his move to Washington, D.C., in 1942, to work for the Smithsonian Institution; his first marriage to Bertha Friedman and their children; his career in Washinton, D.C. as a curator, painter, printmaker, writer, and teacher; the FBI investigation of his background; and the art scene in Washington, D.C. Kainen also recalls artists he has known including Stuart Davis, Joseph Solman, John Graham, Mark Rothko, Pietro Lazzari, Willem de Kooning, Max Schnitzler, Arshile Gorky, Gene Davis, Alma Thomas, George McNeil, Kenneth Noland, Boris Margo, Stanley Hayter, and Ad Reinhardt. He discusses Mark Rothko's influences, how he "hated the art industry" and was secretive about his art materials. Kainen also recalls encountering Rothko in Provincetown in 1968 and comments on his art and his suicide. Jacob Kainen's wife, Ruth, was also present and contributed her recollections.
Biographical / Historical:
Jacob Kainen (1909-2001) was a painter, printmaker, and curator from Washington, D.C. Studied at the Art Students League and Pratt Institute; died at age 91.
Provenance:
This interview was conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and his Times oral history project, with funding provided by the Mark Rothko Foundation.
Others interviewed on the project (by various interviewers) include: Sonia Allen, Sally Avery, Ben-Zion, Bernard Braddon, Ernest Briggs, Rhys Caparn, Elaine de Kooning, Herbert Ferber, Esther Gottlieb, Juliette Hays, Sidney Janis, Buffie Johnson, Louis Kaufman, Jack Kufeld, Katharine Kuh, Stanley Kunitz, Joseph Liss, Dorothy Miller, Betty Parsons, Wallace Putnam, Rebecca Reis, Maurice Roth, Sidney Schectman, Aaron Siskind, Joseph Solman, Hedda Sterne, Jack Tworkov, Esteban Vicente and Ed Weinstein. Each has been cataloged separately.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Painters -- Washington (D.C.) -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Printmakers -- Washington (D.C.) -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.kainen82
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9b3fdd057-20aa-4e92-aaae-8b8e30d39212
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kainen82
Online Media:

Robert Jay Wolff papers

Creator:
Wolff, Robert Jay, 1905-  Search this
Names:
Artists' Union (Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum  Search this
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Chermayeff, Serge, 1900-  Search this
Crawford, M. D. C. (Morris De Camp), 1882-1949  Search this
Ernst, Jimmy, 1920-1984  Search this
Giedion, S. (Sigfried), 1888-1968  Search this
Gropius, Walter, 1883-1969  Search this
Holty, Carl, 1900-1973  Search this
Holtzman, Harry  Search this
Hustvedt, Stephen R.  Search this
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Miller, Dorothy Canning, 1904-2003  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László, 1895-1946  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, Sibyl, 1905-  Search this
Osborn, Robert Chesley, 1904-1994  Search this
Pearlstein, Philip, 1924-  Search this
Rebay, Hilla, 1890-1967  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Robinson, Increase, 1890-1981  Search this
Seligmann, Kurt, 1900-1962  Search this
Extent:
0.4 Linear feet ((on 4 microfilm reels))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1926-1969
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence; exhibition catalogs; notes; photographs; notebooks; scrapbook; clippings; and miscellany.
REELS N69-72-N69-74: Correspondence, 1929-1968 with Alexander Calder, Serge Chermayeff, Jimmy Ernst, Sigfried Giedion, Walter Gropius, Guggenheim Museum, Carl Holty, Katharine Kuh, L. and Sybil Moholy-Nagy, Museum of Non-Objective Painting and Hilla Rebay, Harry Holtzman, Stephen R. Hustvedt, Bob Osborn, Philip Pearlstein, Ad Reinhardt, and Kurt Seligmann; exhibition catalogs; price lists; clippings; articles; talks and notes; photographs of paintings and sculpture, 1929-1958; notebooks, 1929-1965; and a scrapbook, 1934-1938.
REEL N69-98: Nine letters from Morris D. C. Crawford and his wife, 1926-1932, and a carbon copy of a letter to Dorothy Miller Cahill, May 27, 1969, in which Wolff mentions his efforts, as president of the Artists' Union of Chicago, ca. 1936, to unseat Increase Robinson. Wolff also explains how he became Holger Cahill's "bitter enemy."
Biographical / Historical:
Designer and painter; New Preston, Connecticut. Died in 1978.
Provenance:
Lent for microfilming 1969 by Robert Jay Wolff.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Designers -- Connecticut -- New Preston  Search this
Painters -- Connecticut -- New Preston  Search this
Topic:
Painting, American  Search this
Design  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.wolfrobe
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9a1dc8ca4-1cb4-4ce7-8263-d011339f3ddf
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-wolfrobe

Oral history interview with Lucy Lippard

Interviewee:
Lippard, Lucy R.  Search this
Interviewer:
Heinemann, Sue  Search this
Creator:
Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project  Search this
Names:
Art Workers Coalition  Search this
Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project  Search this
Guerilla Art Action Group  Search this
Heresies Collective, Inc.  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.) -- Employees  Search this
Political Art Documentation/Distribution (Organization)  Search this
Smith College -- Students  Search this
Ashton, Dore  Search this
Chicago, Judy, 1939-  Search this
Hammond, Harmony  Search this
Judd, Donald, 1928-1994  Search this
LeWitt, Sol, 1928-2007  Search this
Miss, Mary, 1944-  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Ryman, Robert, 1930-2019  Search this
Schneemann, Carolee, 1939-  Search this
Sholette, Gregory  Search this
Stevens, May  Search this
Extent:
4 Items (memory cards (4 hr., 29 min.), secure digital, wav, 1.25 in.)
97 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2011 Mar. 15
Scope and Contents:
An interview with Lucy Lippard conducted 2011 Mar. 15, by Sue Heinemann, for the Archives of American Art's Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts project, at Lippard's home, in Galisteo, N.M.
Lippard discusses her childhood summers in Maine; growing up in New Orleans, La., and Charlottesville, Va.; attending the Abbot Academy and Smith College; her junior year in Paris; working in the Museum of Modern Art Library; living on Avenue D; meeting Bob Ryman and Sol Lewitt; birth of her son Ethan; Dore Ashton as a role model; involvement with various groups and political causes including the Angry Arts movement, the Art Workers' Coalition, Women Artists' Committee, Guerilla Art Action Group, Womanhouse, Political Art Documentation and Distribution (PAD/D), the Ad Hoc Women Artists Committee, and others; the development of Heresies Collective; her publications including, "From the Center: Feminist Essays on Women's Art," (1976), "On the Beaten Track: Tourism, Art and Place," (1999), "Mixed Blessings: New Art in a Multicultural America," (1990, 2000), "The Lure of the Local: Sense of Place in a Multicentered Society," (1997), and "Overlay: Contemporary Art and the Art of Prehistory," (1983) ; curating exhibitions; travels to Argentina and Mexico; moving to Galisteo, N.M.; interest in the Galisteo Basin; teaching; and other topics. She recalls Ad Reinhardt, Donald Judd, Harmony Hammond, Judy Chicago, Gregory Sholette, Carolee Schneemann, Max Koszloff, Joyce Koszloff, May Stevens, Betsy Hess, Mary Miss, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Lucy R. Lippard (1937- ) is a writer and art critic in New York, N.Y. and Galisteo, N.M.
General:
Originally recorded on Edirol R-09HR on 4 secure digital memory cards. Duration is 4 hr., 29 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
This transcript is open for research. Access to the entire recording is restricted. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art criticism  Search this
Feminism and art  Search this
Women authors  Search this
Women art critics  Search this
Women museum curators  Search this
Women educators  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.lippar11
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9b83cc211-01df-48fa-bb27-fb6ea7cd8d42
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-lippar11
Online Media:

Romare Bearden papers

Creator:
Bearden, Romare, 1911-1988  Search this
Names:
Alston, Charles Henry, 1907-1977  Search this
Holty, Carl, 1900-1973  Search this
Lawrence, Jacob, 1917-2000  Search this
Middleton, Samuel M., 1927-  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Extent:
2.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Sketches
Exhibition catalogs
Maps
Photographs
Date:
1937-1982
Summary:
The papers of Romare Bearden measure 2.1 linear feet and date from 1937 to 1982. The collection includes biographical information, correspondence, writings by and about Bearden, miscellaneous legal and financial material, photographs, drawings, and printed material. Found are numerous letters referring to African-American arts movements of the 1960s and 1970s, including exhibitions, publications, associations, and scattered letters of a more personal nature.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Romare Bearden measure 2.1 linear feet and date from 1937 to 1982. The collection includes biographical information, correspondence, writings by and about Bearden, miscellaneous legal and financial material, photographs, drawings, and printed material.

Correspondence is with family, friends, artists, galleries, museums, publishers, universities, arts associations, and colleagues, primarily concerning gallery space, exhibitions, sales of artwork, publishing, and arts events. Also found are numerous letters referring to African-American art movements of the 1960s and 1970s, including exhibitions, publications, associations, and scattered letters of a more personal nature. Many of the letters are illustrated with Bearden's doodlings and drawings. Although most of the letters are from galleries, museums, publishers, and arts associations, scattered letters from Charles Alston, Jacob Lawrence, Ad Reinhardt, Carl Holty, and Sam Middleton are found. In addition, there are letters from the Black Academy of Arts and Letters, and letters concerning its founding.

Writings by Bearden include lectures, speeches, talks, essays, and prose. Many are handwritten, annotated, and edited in Bearden's hand and several are illustrated with Bearden's doodlings and sketches. Included are a memorial delivered upon artist Carl Holty's death, a tribute to Zell Ingram, autobiographical essays, essays on art, and African-American art, artists, and cultural life. Also found are several handwritten examples of Bearden's prose and poetry. There are also writings by others and one folder of fragments and notes assumed to be by Bearden.

The collection houses two folders of photographs and snapshots of Bearden, family members, other unidentified artists or friends, classes and/or lectures, and works of art. Also found are several undated ink drawings, sketches in pencil and ink, and a hand-drawn and colored map with overlay of Paris. Printed material includes examples of Bearden's commissioned artwork for publications, press releases, exhibition catalogs and announcements, invitations, newspaper and magazine clippings, and miscellaneous printed materials. Although much of the printed material concerns Bearden's work, a fair portion concerns African-American art, artists, and cultural movements.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into seven series based on type of materials. Documents within each of the seven series have been arranged in chronological order, except for the writings which have been further subdivided by creator and are undated. Printed materials have been arranged primarily according to form of material and are in rough chronological order.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical, 1977, undated (Box 1; 1 folder)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1944-1981, undated (Box 1-2; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings By and About Bearden, circa 1950s-1980s (Box 3; 6 folders)

Series 4: Legal and Financial Material, 1970-1977 (Box 3; 3 folders)

Series 5: Photographs, undated (Box 3; 2 folders)

Series 6: Drawings, undated (Box 3, OV 6; 4 folders)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1937-1982 (Box 3-5; 1 linear foot)
Biographical / Historical:
Born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, in 1914, Bearden's family relocated to New York City when Bearden was a toddler. Living in Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, Bearden was exposed to such luminaries as writer Langston Hughes, painter Aaron Douglas, and musician Duke Ellington. While attending New York University, Bearden became interested in cartooning and became the art editor of the NYU Medley in his senior year. He received his B.S. in mathematics in 1935, initially planning to pursue medical school. Realizing that he had little interest in the other sciences however, Bearden began attending classes at the Art Students League in the evenings, studying under George Grosz.

In the mid-1930s Bearden published numerous political cartoons in journals and newspapers, including the Afro-American, but by the end of the decade, he shifted his emphasis to painting. Bearden's first paintings, on large sheets of brown paper, recalled his early memories of the South. After serving in the Army, Bearden began exhibiting more frequently, particularly in Washington, D.C. at the G Street Gallery and in New York with Samuel Kootz.

During a career lasting almost half a century, Bearden produced approximately two thousand works. Although best known for the collages of urban and southern scenes that he first experimented with in the mid-1960s, Bearden also completed paintings, drawings, monotypes, edition prints, public murals, record album jackets, magazine and book illustrations, and costume and set designs for theater and ballet. His work focused on religious subjects, African-American culture, jazz clubs and brothels, and history and literature. Not confining his abilities to the visual arts, Bearden also devoted attention to writing and song writing. Several of his collaborations were published as sheet music, among the most famous of which is "Seabreeze," recorded by Billy Eckstine. In addition, Bearden coauthored three full-length books: The Painter's Mind: A Study of the Relations of Structure and Space in Painting (1969) with painter Carl Holty; Six Black Masters of American Art (1972); and A History of African-American Artists: From 1792 to the Present (posthumously, 1993), the latter two with journalist Harry Henderson.

Bearden was also active in the African-American arts movement of the period, serving as art director of the Harlem Cultural Council, a founding member of the Black Academy of Arts and Letters, and organizer of exhibitions, such as the Metropolitan Museum's "Harlem on My Mind" (1968). Romare Bearden died in 1988.
Related Materials:
Within the Archives holdings are two oral history interviews with Romare Bearden. One was conducted in 1968 by Henri Ghent and another in 1980 by Avis Berman.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reel N68-87) including correspondence, a scrapbook, photographs, catalogs, clippings, and writings. Except for the correspondence, loaned materials were returned to the donor and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Romare Bearden lent material for microfilming to the Archives of American Art in 1968, donating the correspondence. Bearden also gave additional papers between 1977 and 1983.
Restrictions:
The bulk of the collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website. Use of material not digitized requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Collagists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
African American artists  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Painting  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Sketches
Exhibition catalogs
Maps -- Paris (France)
Photographs
Citation:
Romare Bearden papers, 1937-1982. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.bearroma
See more items in:
Romare Bearden papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9ed3f5b60-2e93-4f30-af75-dbd95d060a90
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bearroma
Online Media:

Ad Reinhardt papers, 1927-1968

Creator:
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Subject:
Brooklyn College  Search this
United States. Works Progress Administration  Search this
Type:
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Ad Reinhardt papers, 1927-1968. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Works of art  Search this
Art, Modern  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Theme:
Diaries  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)5659
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)208493
AAA_collcode_reinad
Theme:
Diaries
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_208493
Online Media:

Marjorie Grimm printed material and letters received from Ad Reinhardt, 1962-1967

Creator:
Grimm, Marjorie  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Citation:
Marjorie Grimm printed material and letters received from Ad Reinhardt, 1962-1967. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)8272
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)210443
AAA_collcode_grimmarj
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_210443

Ad Reinhardt postcards to Katherine Scrivener, 1951 Apr. 16

Creator:
Scrivener, Katherine  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Citation:
Ad Reinhardt postcards to Katherine Scrivener, 1951 Apr. 16. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Painting, American -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10093
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212974
AAA_collcode_reinadpc
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_212974

Ad Reinhardt postcards to Barbara Mason, 1951-1957 and undated

Creator:
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Subject:
Mason, Barbara  Search this
Citation:
Ad Reinhardt postcards to Barbara Mason, 1951-1957 and undated. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10437
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213838
AAA_collcode_reinadlt
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_213838

Ad Reinhardt lecture, 1966 Jan

Creator:
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Subject:
Washington Gallery of Modern Art (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Citation:
Ad Reinhardt lecture, 1966 Jan. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Art, Islamic  Search this
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10715
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)214317
AAA_collcode_reinadlc
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_214317

Abe Ajay correspondence with Ad Reinhardt, 1963-1967

Creator:
Ajay, Abe, 1919-1998  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Subject:
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Citation:
Abe Ajay correspondence with Ad Reinhardt, 1963-1967. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Art -- Awards  Search this
Theme:
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10976
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)214794
AAA_collcode_ajayabe
Theme:
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_214794

Painting, 1955 [graphic]/ Ad Reinhardt, undated

Creator:
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Type:
Oil paintings
Citation:
Painting, 1955 [graphic]/ Ad Reinhardt, undated. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6576
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215873
AAA_collcode_reinadpt
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_215873

Dorothy C. Miller papers

Creator:
Miller, Dorothy Canning, 1904-2003  Search this
Names:
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Chase Manhattan Bank -- Art collections  Search this
Federal Art Project  Search this
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden  Search this
Mark Rothko Foundation  Search this
Municipal Art Exhibition (1st : 1934 : New York, N.Y.)  Search this
PepsiCo, Inc.  Search this
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey -- Art collections  Search this
Rockefeller University  Search this
Smith College -- Students  Search this
Smith College. Museum of Art  Search this
World Trade Center (New York, N.Y.) -- Art collections  Search this
Asher, Elise, 1914-  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Bontecou, Lee, 1931-  Search this
Byars, James Lee  Search this
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Canady, John  Search this
Charlton, Maryette  Search this
Christo, 1935-  Search this
Chryssa, 1933-  Search this
Coggeshall, Calvert, 1907-1990  Search this
Copley, Alfred L.  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Feininger, Lyonel, 1871-1956  Search this
Feitelson, Lorser, 1898-1978  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898-1979  Search this
Hartigan, Grace  Search this
Hicks, Edward, 1780-1849  Search this
Horwitt, Will  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Karpel, Bernard, 1911-1986  Search this
Levy, Julien  Search this
Mather, Eleanore Price, 1910-  Search this
Matisse, Pierre, 1900-1989  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia, 1887-1986  Search this
Pereira, I. Rice (Irene Rice), 1902-1971  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich), 1908-1979 -- Art collections  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Sage, Kay  Search this
Scharf, William, 1927-  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Sterne, Hedda, 1910-2011  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Extent:
34.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Sketches
Christmas cards
Drawings
Date:
1853-2013
bulk 1920-1996
Summary:
The papers of contemporary and folk art curator, historian, and consultant Dorothy C. Miller measure 34.6 linear feet and date from 1853-2013, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920 to 1996. The papers primarily concern Miller's private art consulting work outside of her curatorial work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Found are scattered biographical materials, extensive correspondence and subject files, and project files for her art consulting work for the Rockefeller family, Rockefeller University, Chase Manhattan Bank, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the World Trade Center, and other miscellaneous corporate and private clients. Miller's work as a trustee and committee member of various public and private boards and commissions is also represented here. Additionally, the papers contain Miller's research files on Edward Hicks and folk art, and a small number of files of her husband Holger Cahill about his work as Director of the Federal Art Project. There is a scattered documentation of Miller's early curatorial work with Holger Cahill on the First Municipal Art Exhibition (1934) held at the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center. Also found is Dorothy Miller's collection of artists' Christmas cards and photographs of Miller and others. An addition to the papers includes biographical material; family papers; correspondence; professional files; art collection and client files; printed material; and photographic material. While a small number professional files are included, the majority of the addition relates to her personal life, including correspondence with her husband Holger Cahill, and files pertaining to her personal art collection.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of contemporary and folk art curator, historian, and consultant Dorothy C. Miller measure 34.6 linear feet and date from 1853-2013, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920 to 1996. The papers primarily concern Miller's art consulting work outside of her curatorial work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York city. Found are scattered biographical materials, extensive correspondence and subject files, and project files for her art consulting work for the Rockefeller family, Rockefeller University, Chase Manhattan Bank, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and other miscellaneous corporate and private clients. Her work as a trustee and committee member of various public and private boards and commissions is also represented here. Additionally, the papers contain Miller's research files on Edward Hicks and folk art, and a small number of files related to Miller's husband Holger Cahill and his work as Director of the Federal Art Project. There is important documentation of Miller's early curatorial work with Holger Cahill on the First Municipal Art Exhibition (1934) held at the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center. Artwork includes scattered sketches and drawings enclosed with correspondence and original Christmas cards sent to Miller by various artists. Photographs of Miller date from 1926 - circa 1950.

Scattered biographical material mostly concerns Miller's education at Smith College and awards and honorary degrees that she received. Extensive correspondence and subject files document her professional and personal relationships with family, friends, colleagues, museums, art dealers and artists, as well as her research interests. Individual files may contain a mix of correspondence with, as well as about, the person or subject, compiled research documents, printed materials, and scattered photographs. Files are found for Lewin Alcopley, Alfred Barr, Betty Parsons Gallery, Cahill family members, Lee Bontecou, James Byars, Holger Cahill, Alexander Calder, Christo, Chryssa, Calvert Coggeshall, John Canaday, Maryette Charlton, Stuart Davis, Jay DeFeo, Lorser Feitelson, Arshile Gorky, Peggy Guggenheim, Grace Hartigan, Will Horwitt, Jasper Johns, Julien Levy, Pierre Matisse, Louise Nevelson, Barnett Newman, Isamu Nauchi, Georgia O'Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, Ad Reinhardt, Kay Sage, Charles Sheeler, Hedda Sterne, travel, Clyfford Still, William Scharf, among many others.

Detailed records of Miller's art consulting and advisory work for the Rockefeller family include correspondence with Nelson A. Rockefeller and David Rockefeller about building their personal collections of contemporary and folk art, meeting notes and minutes, research notes and writings, and printed materials. The largest group of records concerns the writing and publication of The Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection: Masterpieces of Modern Art. Miller's curatorial work for David Rockefeller and the Rockefeller University's Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Hall art collection is documented in Series 4 through curatorial files, correspondence, printed materials, photographs and slides, artists files, and design records.

Series 5 contains files relating to Miller's work as the first art consutant to the Chase Manhattan Bank and the building of the corporation's extensive collection of contemporary art. There is a draft of Miller's text for the bank's published catalog, Art At Work: Chase Manhattan Bank Collection. A smaller set of records is found in Series 6 documenting Miller's work on the Art Committee of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, including files about selecting artwork for the World Trade Center during the early 1970s. Files concerning Miller's advisory work with additional public and private clients, boards, and commissions are arranged in Series 7 and 8 and concern the Amstar Corporation, Fidelity International Bank, First National Bank of Tampa, First National City Bank, Inmont Corporation, Pepsico, United Mutual Savings Bank, the Empire State Plaza Art Commission, the Hancock Shaker Village, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Mark Rothko Foundation, the Museum of American Folk Art, and the Smith College Museum of Art.

Miller's papers include a small group of files relating to the WPA Federal Art Project (FAP)created by her husband Holger Cahill when he was director of the FAP, Holger Cahill. A small series is devoted to Miller's work with Eleanore Price Mather researching and writing Edward Hicks: His Peaceable Kingdom and Other Paintings. A series of general research files contain miscellaneous research notes and photographs related to Miller's interests in early American art and folk art. Series 12 contains important documentation of Miller's early curatorial work with Holger Cahill on the First Municipal Art Exhibition (1934) held at the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center.

Works of art are primarily in the form of Christmas cards sent to Miller by various artists including Elise Asher, Lyonel Feininger, Bernard Karpel, and Irene Rice Pereira. A small group of photographs includes photographs of Miller from 1926-circa 1950 and a few photographs of others.

The addition includes biographical material; family papers; correspondence; professional files; art collection and client files; printed material; and photographic material. While a small number of professional files are found here, the majority of material relates to Miller's personal life, including correspondence with her husband Holger Cahill, and files pertaining to her personal art collection. Scattered correspondence, inventories, research, and notes created by curator and donor of the papers, Wendy Jeffers, are found throughout the collection. These materials date from the 1980s-2000s.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 15 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1917-1986 (Box 1; 0.3 linear ft.)

Series 2: Correspondence and Subject Files, circa 1912-1992 (Boxes 1-8, OV 27; 7.2 linear ft.)

Series 3: Rockefeller Family Art Collections, circa 1949-1985 (Boxes 8-12, 25; 3.9 linear ft.)

Series 4: Rockefeller University Collection, 1923-1984 (Boxes 12-13, OV 27; 1.0 linear ft.)

Series 5: Chase Manhattan Bank Collection, 1959-circa 1985 (Boxes 13-14, 26; 1.4 linear ft.)

Series 6: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Art Committee, circa 1965-1987 (Boxes 14-15, OV 27; 0.8 linear ft.)

Series 7: Other Corporate and Private Clients, 1968-1984 (Boxes 15-16; 1.3 linear ft.)

Series 8: Other Boards, Committees and Commissions, 1925, 1949-1985 (Boxes 16-20; 3.6 linear ft.)

Series 9: Works Project Administration Federal Art Project Files, 1935-1979 (Box 20, OV 27; 0.5 linear ft.)

Series 10: Edward Hicks Catalog, 1934-1984 (Boxes 20-22; 1.5 linear ft.)

Series 11: Research Files, 1930s-1980 (Boxes 22-23; 0.8 linear ft.)

Series 12: Exhibition Files, 1932-1986 (Box 23; 0.6 linear ft.)

Series 13: Works of Art, circa 1924-circa 1982 (Boxes 23-25; 1.5 linear ft.)

Series 14: Photographs, 1926-circa 1970s (Boxes 24-25; 0.3 linear ft.)

Series 15: Addition to the Dorothy C. Miller Papers, 1853-2003, bulk 1920-1996 (Boxes 28-38, OVs 39-41; 9.9 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Dorothy Canning Miller (1904-2003) worked in New York City as a highly influential curator of contemporary and folk art at the Museum of Modern Art and as the first curator of the museum. Later, she was the primary art consultant for Nelson A. Rockefeller, the Rockefeller family, Rockefeller University, Chase Manhattan Bank, and the Port Authority of and New Jersey. Dorothy Miller was also married to Holger Cahill, director of the WPA Federal Art Project.

Dorothy C. Miller was born in Hopedale, Massachusetts in 1904 and received her Bachelor of Arts from Smith College in 1925. She was first introduced to modern art through classes at the Newark Museum taught by John Cotton Dana and Holger Cahill. Miller joined the curatorial staff of the Newark Museum in 1926. The museum was one of the first to organize exhibitions of American folk art, American Primitives (1930-1931) and American Folk Sculpture (1931-1932). Miller worked with Cahill and others on the exhibition and developed a life-long interest in folk art.

After four years at the Newark Museum, Miller moved to New York city, hoping to get involved with the newly opened Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and, likely, to be with Holger Cahill, with whom she lived with on 8th Street prior to their marriage in 1938. Between 1930 and 1932 she took odd jobs and worked with Mrs. Henry Lang cataloging, researching and installing Lang's collection of Native American art Lang donated to the Montclair Art Museum. At the same time, Holger Cahill was serving as Acting Director of the Museum of Modern Art during an absence of Director Alfred H. Barr. In 1932, Cahill asked Miller to assist him with curating the American Painting and Sculpture, 1862-1932 exhibition at MoMA, and together they also curated the First Municipal Art Exhibition, 1934 at the Rockefeller Center.

In 1934, Barr hired Miller as his assistant and one year later appointed her as MoMA's first curator. Miller spent the next 35 years organizing many of this country's most important exhibitions of contemporary art and building personal relationships with new artists and photographers, as well as the collections of MoMA. Miller retired from MOMA in 1969 and focused more on her art consulting work begun in the late 1950s.

Dorothy Miller's most notable client was Nelson A. Rockefeller. She assisted and advised Rockefeller as he acquired a vast personal collection of modern art - some of which was later donated to MoMA. Just prior to her retirement, Miller organized a large exhibition of Rockefeller's collection. The exhibition catalog written by Miller was the basis for the book she worked on with Rockefeller up until and following his death in 1979, ultimately published as The Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection: Masterpieces of Modern Art. In the preface, Rockefeller credited Miller with being one of the four people to whom he was indebted "for the understanding and endless joy I have found in the collecting of modern art in all forms."

Miller also served as the primary art consultant for projects to furnish federal spaces, including Henry Kissinger's State Department office suite, and the official Vice-Presidential residence at the Admiral's House in Washington D.C.

In 1959 Miller was invited to join the art collection committee of the Chase Manhattan Bank and served on the committee until the mid-1980s, contributing her expertise to the development of one of this country's oldest and largest corporate collections of modern and contemporary art.

Miller was also an advisor to other members of the Rockefeller family, including David Rockefeller, and assisted with developing the art collections of Rockefeller Institute/University. From 1960 through the late 1980s Miller was a member of the art committee for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANJY) and was responsible for selecting much of the artwork for the World Trade Center in the 1970s. She served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Hancock Shaker Village, the Smithsonian Institution's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Empire State Plaza in Albany, Smith College Museum of Art, and the Museum of American Folk Art. She also became a member of the Mark Rothko Foundation Board of Directors after the litigation following Rothko's death between Rothko's executors and his daughter.

In the mid-1970s Miller assisted the Whitney Museum of American with planning an exhibition and supporting catalog of the work of folk artist Edward Hicks. Although the exhibition and catalog were only partially realized in 1980, Miller and Eleanore Price Mather compiled and published a book on Hicks, Edward Hicks: His Peaceable Kingdoms and Other Paintings, published in 1983.

In 1982-1983 Miller received the Art Dealers Association Special Award, an honorary degree from Williams College, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture governor's award. In 1984 she was named honorary trustee of the Museum of Modern Art. In 1985 the Smith College Museum of Art honored her important contributions to museum connoisseurship with the exhibition Dorothy C. Miller: With An Eye to American Art.

Dorothy Miller died in 2003 at the age of 99 at her home in Greenwich, New York.
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art holds two oral history interviews with Dorothy C. Miller. The first was conducted by Paul Cummings between May 26, 1970 and September 28, 1971, and details Miller's life from childhood up to, and including, her years at the Museum of Modern Art. The second was conducted by Avis Berman on May 14, 1981 and covers Miller's relationships with Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still. Also found among the holdings of the Archives are the papers of Holger Cahill, Dorothy Miller's husband and colleague.

The Museum of Modern Art Achives holds Dorothy Miller's papers related to her curatorial work at the museum.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Dorothy C. Miller via Wendy Jeffers between 1986 and 1997, and Reid White, Executor of Miller's estate, in 2004. Two subsequent additions were donated by Wendy Jeffers in 2014 and 2015.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art museum curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Corporations -- Private collections  Search this
Art -- Private collections  Search this
Folk art  Search this
Women museum curators  Search this
Women art historians  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sketches
Christmas cards
Drawings
Citation:
Dorothy C. Miller papers, 1853-2013, bulk 1920-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.milldoro
See more items in:
Dorothy C. Miller papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9f1ed6cb6-f194-4b76-a8dd-fce3352c09b8
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-milldoro
Online Media:

Oral history interview with George McNeil

Interviewee:
McNeil, George, 1908-1995  Search this
Interviewer:
Seckler, Dorothy Gees, 1910-1994  Search this
Names:
American Abstract Artists  Search this
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.) -- Students  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Pratt Institute. Art School -- Students  Search this
United States. Work Projects Administration  Search this
Cavallon, Giorgio, 1904-1989  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Dehner, Dorothy, 1901-1994  Search this
Diller, Burgoyne, 1906-1965  Search this
Dlugoszewski, Lucia, 1931-2000  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Hopper, Jo N. (Josephine Nivison), 1883-1968  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Levy, Edgar  Search this
Manso, Leo  Search this
Matulka, Jan, 1890-1972  Search this
Pereira, I. Rice (Irene Rice), 1902-1971  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Vytlacil, Vaclav, 1892-1984  Search this
Extent:
18 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1965 June 3
Scope and Contents:
An interview of George McNeil conducted by Dorothy Seckler for the Archives of American Art. McNeil speaks of his childhood and his family; becoming interested in art during high school; attending Pratt Institute, and not being satisfied there; deciding to drop out of Pratt after attending a lecture from Vaclav Vytlacil; going to the Metropolitan Museum every day drawing and analyzing paintings; meeting Arshile Gorky while at the Metropolitan Museum; attending the Art Students League; studying with Hans Hofmann; the start of the American Abstract Artists; his involvement in the WPA's mural project; attending Teachers College at Columbia before joining the Navy; re-entering the New York art scene during the forties and liking it very much; meeting and being influenced by Pollock; his views on the state of painting; how his work has evolved; the various stages in the way a painting developed for him; how The Club and the Eighth Street Club has influenced him; the ideas discussed at The Club, and how he feels surrealism was not a big influence on them; Jackson Pollock's influence on abstract expressionism; artists he admires or has admired; and his thoughts on the contemporary art scene. He recalls Vaclav Vytlacil, Arshile Gorky, Jan Matulka, David Smith, Dorothy Dehner, Edgar Levy, Leo Manso, Burgoyne Diller, Irene Rice Pereira, Hans Hofmann, Jo Hopper, Giorgio Cavallon, Linda Lindaberg (Cavallon), Mercedes Kahls, George Byron Brown, Albert Swinden, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollack, Franz Kline, Jack Tworkov, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, and many others.
Biographical / Historical:
George McNeil (1908-1995) was a painter and a printmaker in Brooklyn, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound tapes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 49 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Restrictions:
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Painting  Search this
Surrealism  Search this
Mural painting and decoration  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.mcneil65
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw94b6fc63b-c3c0-47b0-b1df-174fd019ac4e
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mcneil65
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Peter Agostini

Interviewee:
Agostini, Peter  Search this
Interviewer:
Roberts, Colette, 1910-  Search this
Names:
Columbia University -- Faculty  Search this
United States. Works Progress Administration  Search this
Bontecou, Lee, 1931-  Search this
Chamberlain, John, 1927-2011  Search this
Chryssa, 1933-2013  Search this
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Cézanne, Paul, 1839-1906  Search this
De Chirico, Giorgio, 1888-  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Demuth, Charles, 1883-1935  Search this
Di Suvero, Mark, 1933-  Search this
Dove, Arthur Garfield, 1880-1946  Search this
Dubuffet, Jean, 1901-1985  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Ferber, Herbert, 1906-1991  Search this
Flannagan, John Bernard, 1895?-1942  Search this
Giacometti, Alberto, 1901-1966  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Hague, Raoul, 1905-1993  Search this
Hare, David, 1917-1992  Search this
Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943  Search this
Hopper, Edward, 1882-1967  Search this
Judd, Donald, 1928-1994  Search this
Kaprow, Allan  Search this
Kienholz, Edward, 1927-  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Kohn, Gabriel, 1910-1975  Search this
Kolbe, Georg, 1877-1947  Search this
La Tour, Onya, 1896-1976  Search this
Lachaise, Gaston, 1882-1935  Search this
Lassaw, Ibram, 1913-2003  Search this
Lippold, Richard, 1915-2002  Search this
Lipton, Seymour, 1903-1986  Search this
Macdonald-Wright, Stanton, 1890-1973  Search this
Maillol, Aristide, 1861-1944  Search this
Manship, Paul, 1885-1966  Search this
Marca-Relli, Conrad, 1913-2000  Search this
Marin, John, 1870-1953  Search this
Marisol, 1930-2016  Search this
Matisse, Henri, 1869-1954  Search this
Melville, Herman, 1819-1891  Search this
Mondrian, Piet, 1872-1944  Search this
Morris, Robert, 1931-2018  Search this
Nakian, Reuben, 1897-1986  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia, 1887-1986  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Pompon, François, 1855-1933  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Roszak, Theodore, 1907-1981  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Samaras, Lucas, 1936-  Search this
Scarpitta, Salvatore, 1919-2007  Search this
Segal, George, 1924-2000  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Smith, Tony, 1912-1980  Search this
Spaventa, George, 1918-  Search this
Stankiewicz, Richard, 1922-1983  Search this
Sugarman, George, 1912-1999  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
99 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
1968
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Peter Agostini conducted in 1968, by Colette Roberts, for the Archives of American Art at 151 Avenue B, New York, New York.
Mr. Agostini speaks of his childhood spent living throughout the five boroughs of New York; his interactions with clients of his father's acting employment agency; his early education in Catholic school and the creative freedom allotted by the nuns; his first feelings of isolation as an artist at the age of seven; the development of a sense of communication as the result of the loss of his mother at the age of three and time spent at a school for orphans; his early realization and vision of artistic destiny; his religious interests which lead to mysticism in his earlier work; his time spent working freely in the DaVinci Studio with Spaventa; the discovery by Hess of his works in Gallerie Grimaud; his attainment of the Longview Grant; his working experience throughout the Depression as part of the WPA casting plaster mannequins while working indirectly with Pollack as well as Marca Relli; his subsequent move to designing department store windows (use of Mondrian-like forms and lines); his feelings of his position as an observer; the importance of communication through art (communication without words); his rejection of the Abstract Expressionist group and choice of independence; the influence of the sculpture of Kolbe and Bache in the thirties; Clement Greenberg's distaste for his work; his feelings about the relative failure to sell his work due its unusual edginess and mystery; his role in the introduction of the work of contemporary European artists (Chausserian, Gauthier, Modrian) to the American group; his description of his own work as "traditionless"; his feelings of self-importance as one of the most original sculptors in the art world; his influence on the younger generation, particularly Marisol; the enslavement to originality that the younger generation faces; his attitudes towards American Art forms and their lack of rebellious spirit; the virtues of the American writers, such as Poe, Whitman, and Melville as American "knapsack" writers; his personal technique which places an emphasis on the "skin" or volume of something; his attempt to create quiet art, or art that merely indicates features; his frustration with teaching and the problems of regurgitated knowledge; the role of Meyer Shapiro in his teaching career at Columbia; the formation of the Club and its similarity to the Cubist's café scene; his opinions on the relationship of sex and sensuality in American art; his personal struggles, including the loss of his second wife and two of his brothers, in addition to the estrangement of his only daughter by his first wife; his feelings on the role of psycho analysis and personal history in a work of art; his present works which feature the "swell." For the majority of the second half of the interview Ms. Roberts asks Mr. Agostini to express his opinions on the work of: Kline; DeKooning; Duchamp; Oldenburg; La Tour; DeChirico; Maillol; Pompon; Rothko; Chardin; Cezanne; Giacometti; Reinhardt; Chryssa; Tony Smith; Segal; Lachaise; Zorach; Manship; Flannagan; Kelly; Lassaw; David Smith; Hare; Lipton; Ferber; Lippold; Roszak; Nakian; Noguchi; Hague; Kohn; di Suvero; Chamberlain; Kaprow; Sugarman; Stankiewicz; Bontecou; Scarpitta; Cornell; Keinholz; Rivera; Judd; Robert Morris; O'Keeffe; Samaras; Mark Tobey; Marin; Pollock; Hartley; Dove; Macdonald-Wright; Demuth; Sheeler; Hopper; Mirot; Matisse; DuBuffet.
Biographical / Historical:
Peter Agostini (1913-1993) was a sculptor from New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 28 digital wav files. Duration is 10 hrs., 37 min.
Transferred from 4 3" reels.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics, and administrators.
Topic:
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.agosti68
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw94f33a1ab-e475-4a6f-8b0b-f9822b288239
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-agosti68
Online Media:

Colette Roberts Papers and Interviews with Artists

Creator:
Roberts, Colette, 1910-  Search this
Names:
British Broadcasting Corporation  Search this
Grand Central Moderns (Gallery)  Search this
Le Point Cardinal (Gallery)  Search this
New York University -- Faculty  Search this
Bauermeister, Mary, 1934-  Search this
Bearden, Romare, 1911-1988  Search this
Chryssa, 1933-  Search this
Dehner, Dorothy, 1901-1994  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Ferren, John, 1905-1970  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-  Search this
Karp, Ivan C., 1926-2012  Search this
Le Prat, Thérèse  Search this
Lindner, Richard, 1901-1978  Search this
Marisol, 1930-2016  Search this
Moy, Seong  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
O'Doherty, Brian  Search this
Ray, Man, 1890-1976  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967 -- Photographs  Search this
Schwabacher, Ethel, 1903-1984  Search this
Sterne, Hedda, 1910-  Search this
Vieira da Silva, Maria Helena, 1908-1992  Search this
Extent:
10.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Transcripts
Reviews (documents)
Interviews
Articles
Notes
Manuscripts
Photographs
Sound recordings
Date:
1918-1971
Summary:
The papers of New York City and Paris art historian, educator, and gallerist Colette Roberts measure 10.2 linear feet and date from 1918 to 1971. Papers include correspondence, writings, teaching records, project proposals, gallery records from Grand Central Moderns Gallery, clippings, Roberts' printed articles, press releases, exhibition catalogs, posters, photographs, and a few works of art on paper. Also found are 124 interviews with contemporary artists conducted by Roberts.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of New York City and Paris art historian, educator, and gallerist Colette Roberts measure 10.2 linear feet and date from 1918 to 1971. Papers include correspondence, writings, teaching records, project proposals, gallery records from Grand Central Moderns Gallery, clippings, Roberts' printed articles, press releases, exhibition catalogs, posters, photographs, and a few works of art on paper. Also found are 124 interviews with contemporary artists conducted by Roberts.

Significant correspondents include Sam Adler, Erwin Barrie, Hubert Damisch, George Deem, Mesdames de Harting and de Tinan, Lamar Dodd, Hélène Drude (Le Point Cardinal gallery), Arne Ekstrom, Albert M. Fine (Fluxus artist), Iqbal Geoffrey, R.G. Gilllet, Adolph Gottlieb, Cleve Gray, Leon Hartl, Jennett Lam, Alberto Cifolelli Lamb, Mike Nevelson, Norman Norotzky, Jacqueline Pavlowsky, Abe Rattner, Ad Reinhardt, H. Sandberg, Philippe Stern, Russell Twiggs, and Zuka.

Writings by Roberts include manuscripts and articles about artists, writings about her own art, personal writings, working notes from interviews and classes, reviews, and translations between English and French.

Among the personal records are Robert's files relating to teaching, charitable activities, and exhibitions. Also found are gallery records from Grand Central Moderns Gallery, including artist résumés, a card file of artworks with provenance information, exhibition catalogs and announcements, membership records, posters, publicity, and sales records.

Printed materials in the collection include clippings, Roberts' printed articles, press releases, and other exhibition catalogs and announcements. Photographs are of Roberts, artists, including Ad Reinhardt, classes, art spaces, and works of art. A small number of artworks on paper are also found, including Fluxus art stamps and a printed picture of Ray Johnson stamped "DOUGHNUT FESTIVAL."

Documentation of interviews with artists conducted by Roberts includes a card index file, a few transcripts, and the original sound recordings. Most of the recordings are interviews with artists that Roberts created during a class she taught at New York University between 1957 and 1971 called "Meet the Artist," including Mary Bauermeister, Romare Bearden, Dorothy Dehner, John Ferren, Ray Johnson, Ivan Karp, Thérèse Le Prat, Richard Lindner, Marisol, Seong Moy, Brian O'Doherty, Man Ray, Ethel Schwabacher, Hedda Sterne, Marie Helena Vieira da Silva, and many others. In preparation for magazine articles, Roberts conducted more extensive interviews with Chryssa, Marcel Duchamp, Adolph Gottlieb, and Louise Nevelson. A few of the recordings of Marcel Duchamp were not created by Roberts. In all, over 100 artists are represented in Roberts' interviews. Other recordings found include lectures and interviews conducted by people other than Roberts.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 8 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Correspondence, 1918-1971 (Box 1, 0.5 linear feet)

Series 2: Notes and Writings, 1936-1970 (Box 1, 0.3 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Records, 1944-1971 (Box 1-2, 11; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 4: Grand Central Moderns Gallery Records, 1952-1970 (Box 2-3, 11; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1938-1971 (Box 3-5, 11-12; 2.0 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographs, 1930-1971 (Box 5; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 7: Artwork, 1940-1969 (Box 5; 4 folders)

Series 8: Interviews with Artists, 1959-1971 (Box 5-10; 5.5 lienar feet)
Biographical Note:
Colette Roberts was a French artist, curator, gallery director, and scholar who emigrated to the United States in 1939, settling in New York City and remaining there until her death in 1971.

Roberts was born in Paris, France in 1910. She studied art with Roger Bissière at the Académie Ranson and with Henry Focillon at the Ecole du Louvre, and she later attended the Institut d'Art et Archeologie at the Sorbonne. Roberts came to the United States in 1939, settling in New York City, and became an American citizen three years later. In her early years in the United States, Roberts lectured and wrote on art and literature, and was active in various war-relief organizations, raising money and organizing benefits for organizations such as the American Red Cross and UNICEF. She was the gallery director for the National Association of Women Artists' Argent Galleries from 1947 to 1949, secretary to the curator of Far Eastern Art at New York's Metropolitan Museum from 1950 to 1951, and art editor for "France Amérique," the French-language newspaper in New York, beginning in 1953.

Roberts became gallery director of the Grand Central Moderns Gallery (New York, NY) in 1952 and remained in that position until 1968, when the gallery closed. The gallery was opened in 1946 by Erwin S. Barrie of the Grand Central Galleries for the promotion of living American artists. Among the artists represented there were Jennett Lam and Seong Moy. During this period she was also an instructor at New York University and Queens College, teaching art history and contemporary art. In 1957, she began a course at New York University called "Meet the Artist," for which she took her classes to the studios of working artists to see and discuss their work. In the early 1960s, she began to tape record her interviews of artists for this course, a practice which continued until her death in 1971. In 1968, Roberts worked briefly as Gallery Director for the A.M. Sachs Gallery (New York, NY), and as an oral history interviewer for the Archives of American Art.

Roberts wrote extensively on contempoary art, including articles and monographs on Mark Tobey (1960, Grove Press), Louise Nevelson (1964, The Pocket Museum), and Marcel Duchamp. She was a regular contributor to Aujourd'hui and Art and Architecture magazines.
Related Material:
Additional papers and recordings of Colette Roberts are held by Syracuse University Library Special Collections Research Center.
Separated Material:
A copy of a 1967 oral history with Adolf Gottlieb conducted by Dorothy Seckler for the Archives of American Art oral history program, which was found in Roberts' papers, has been returned to the Archives' oral history collection.
Provenance:
The sound recordings and transcripts of interviews with artists, were donated by Colette Roberts in 1970. The remaining papers were donated by her son, Richard B. Roberts, in 1973.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Fluxus (Group of artists)  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Transcripts
Reviews (documents)
Interviews
Articles
Notes
Manuscripts
Photographs
Sound recordings
Citation:
Colette Roberts papers and interviews with artists, circa 1930-1971. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.robecoli
See more items in:
Colette Roberts Papers and Interviews with Artists
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9bb878da1-c929-41fc-aa11-e3a678ffd3f1
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-robecoli
Online Media:

Brooklyn Museum interviews of artists

Creator:
Brooklyn Museum  Search this
Names:
Listening to pictures (1968-1973: Brooklyn Museum)  Search this
Anderson, Lennart, 1928-2015  Search this
Antonakos, Stephen, 1926-2013  Search this
Arisman, Marshall  Search this
Barker, Walter  Search this
Baskin, Leonard, 1922-2000  Search this
Bauermeister, Mary, 1934-  Search this
Benton, Thomas Hart, 1889-1975  Search this
Bishop, Isabel, 1902-1988  Search this
Brackman, Robert, 1898-  Search this
Butchkes, Sydney, 1922-  Search this
Casarella, Edmond, 1920-1996  Search this
Constant, George  Search this
Dash, Robert  Search this
De Creeft, José, 1884-1982  Search this
Dombek, Blanche, 1914-  Search this
Doyle, Tom, 1928-  Search this
Ernst, Jimmy, 1920-1984  Search this
Estern, Neil, 1926-  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Freilicher, Jane, 1924-2014  Search this
Goldin, Leon, 1923-  Search this
Goodman, Sidney  Search this
Graziani, Sante, 1920-  Search this
Greene, Balcomb, 1904-1990  Search this
Grillo, John, 1917-  Search this
Gropper, William, 1897-1977  Search this
Gross, Chaim, 1904-1991  Search this
Gussow, Roy, 1918-2011  Search this
Gwathmey, Robert, 1903-1988  Search this
Hartigan, Grace  Search this
Hopper, Edward, 1882-1967  Search this
Jaffe, Nora  Search this
Jenkins, Paul, 1923-2012  Search this
Kawabata, Minoru, 1911-  Search this
Kienbusch, William, 1914-1980  Search this
Knaths, Karl, 1891-1971  Search this
Koch, John, 1909-1978  Search this
Kosama, Yayoi  Search this
Lam, Jennett, 1911-  Search this
Lang, Steven, 1944-1971  Search this
Laurent, Robert, 1890-1970  Search this
Lawrence, Jacob, 1917-2000  Search this
Levine, Jack, 1915-2010  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques, 1891-1973  Search this
Lipton, Seymour, 1903-1986  Search this
Margo, Boris, 1902-1995  Search this
Meyer, Ursula, 1915-  Search this
Moller, Hans, 1905-  Search this
Murch, Walter  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Odate, Toshio  Search this
Offner, Elliot  Search this
Ohlson, Douglas Dean, 1936-  Search this
Okada, Kenzo, 1902-1982  Search this
Palmer, Amanda, 1931-  Search this
Pereira, I. Rice (Irene Rice), 1902-1971  Search this
Peterdi, Gabor  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Richards, Bill, 1936-  Search this
Rivers, Larry, 1925-2002  Search this
Sanchez, Emilio, 1921-1999  Search this
Schrag, Karl  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Sopher, Aaron, 1905-1972  Search this
Soyer, Moses, 1899-1974  Search this
Soyer, Raphael, 1899-1987  Search this
Thon, William, 1906-2000  Search this
Weinberg, Albert  Search this
Zorach, Marguerite, 1887-1968  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Interviewer:
Jacobowitz, Arlene  Search this
Extent:
7 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Transcripts
Interviews
Date:
1965-1968
Summary:
Interviews of 72 artists, and transcripts for all but five, conducted by Arlene Jacobowitz, the Associate Curator for the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Brooklyn Museum, between 1965 and 1968. The artists discuss their work in the museum collection. Also included are 38 edited excerpts of the interviews, approximately 2-3 min. in length, used as "audio-labels" in the 1968 "Listening to Pictures" installation at the museum.
Scope and Content Note:
Interviews of 72 artists, and transcripts for all but five, conducted by Arlene Jacobowitz, the Associate Curator for the Department of Painting and Sculpture, between 1965 and 1968. The artists discuss their work in the museum collection. Also included are 38 edited excerpts of the interviews, approximately 2-3 min. in length, used as "audio-labels" in the 1968 "Listening to Pictures" installation.

The artists interviewed are: Lennart Anderson, Stephen B. Antonakos, Marshall Arisman, Walter Barker, Leonard Baskin, Mary Bauermeister, Thomas Hart Benton, Isabel Bishop, Robert Brackman, Sydney Butchkes, Edmund Casarella, George Constant, Robert Warren Dash, Jose DeCreeft, Blanche Dombek, Tom Doyle, Jimmy Ernst, Neil Estern, Philip Evergood, Helen Frankenthaler, Jane Freilicher, Leon Goldin, Sidney Goodman, Sante Graziani, Balcomb Greene, John Grillo, William Gropper, Chaim Gross, Roy Gussow, Robert Gwathmey, Grace Hartigan, Edward Hopper, Nora Jaffe, Paul Jenkins, Minoru Kawabata, William Kienbusch, Karl Knaths, John Koch, Yayoi Kosama, Jennett Lam, Steven Lang, Robert Laurent, Jacob Lawrence, Jack Levine, Jacques Lipchitz, Seymour Lipton, Boris Margo, Ursula Meyer, Hans Moller, Walter Murch, Louise Nevelson, Toshio Odate, Elliot Offner, Douglas Ohlson, Kenzo Okada, Amanda Palmer, Irene Rice Pereira, Gabor Peterdi, Ad Reinhardt, Bill Richards, Larry Rivers, Emilio Sanchez, Karl Schrag, Ben Shahn, Charles Sheeler, Aaron Sopher, Moses Soyer, Raphael Soyer, William Thon, Albert Weinberg, and William and Marguerite Zorach.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as a single series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Interviews, 1965-1968 (Box 1-7; 7 lin. ft.)
Historical Note:
The interview program at the Brooklyn Museum was begun by Arlene Jacobowitz in the spring of 1965 with artists whose works were on exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. In 1968, excerpts from the interviews were incorporated into an exhibition entitled "Listening to Pictures," in which visitors could access the sound recordings using headphones while standing before the painting being discussed. The exhibition opened April 28, 1968, and was gradually disassembled, 1971-1973.
Related Material:
The Brooklyn Museum Archives houses the records of the Departments of European Painting and Sculpture, American Painting and Sculpture, Contemporary Art (1897-2005), which contain records relating to the work of Arlene Jacobowitz.
Provenance:
This collection was donated to the Archives of American Art by Dierdre Lawrence of the Brooklyn Museum in 1989.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Researchers may view the original reels for the archival notations on them, but original reels are not available for playback due to fragility.
Rights:
Authorization to quote or reproduce for purposes of publication requires written permission from the interviewee. Citations must read:"Interview between [artist's name] and [interviewer's name] from the "Listening to Pictures" program of the Brooklyn Museum. Archives of American Art. Gift of the Brooklyn Museum." Contact Reference Services for more information.
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Artists -- United States -- Interviews  Search this
Art, American -- Exhibitions  Search this
Genre/Form:
Transcripts
Interviews
Citation:
Interview between [artist's name] and [interviewer's name] from the "Listening to Pictures" program of the Brooklyn Museum. Gift of the Brooklyn Museum. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.broomuse
See more items in:
Brooklyn Museum interviews of artists
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9bdcd26e1-568c-4c81-8ba1-e07f5afbdfad
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-broomuse

Thomas Hess papers

Creator:
Hess, Thomas B.  Search this
Names:
Mark Rothko Foundation  Search this
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Campbell, Lawrence  Search this
De Kooning, Elaine  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Milles, Carl, 1875-1955  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Rivers, Larry, 1925-2002  Search this
Rosenberg, Harold, 1906-1978  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Schapiro, Meyer, 1904-  Search this
Schuyler, James  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Extent:
10.01 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Drawings
Greeting cards
Illustrated letters
Paintings
Cartoons (humorous images)
Photographs
Collages
Date:
1939-1978
Summary:
The papers of New York editor and art critic Thomas Hess measure 10.01 linear feet and date from 1939 to 1978. The collection includes biographical materials, correspondence, extensive writings and notes, artists and subject files that also include recorded conversations with artists and others, printed materials, photographic materials, and artwork.

There is a .01 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated in 2022 that includes a six page typed manuscript, "Think, American Painting," undated, by Thomas Hess and the book American Realists and Magic Realists, The Museum of Modern Art, 1943, signed by Hess.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York editor and art critic Thomas Hess measure 10.01 linear feet and date from 1939 to 1978. The collection includes biographical materials, correspondence, extensive writings and notes, artists and subject files that also include recorded conversations with artists and others, printed materials, photographic materials, and artwork.

Biographical material includes a certificate, architectural plans, investment information, invoices, publisher and loan agreements, will for Paul Stamm, and resumes. Correspondence is with members of Hess' family including his wife and children, Philip Guston, Meyer Schapiro, David Smith, James Schuyler, Forrest Bess, Elaine de Kooning, Barnett Newman, Larry Rivers, Clyfford Still, Ad Reinhardt, and others.

Writings and notes consist of manuscripts and drafts by Hess for Art News, Le Monde, Vogue, New York magazine, and other publications; Hess' senior essay and class notes; notes on Ingres, Italian artists, and travels abroad; notebooks on art and literature; and scattered writings by others.

Artists and subject files contain primarily photographs of artwork, artists, and colleaguesare mostly photographs of artwork, artists, and colleagues. Some of the files also contain printed materials, writings, notes, and other documentation. The file on Willem de Kooning includes a sound recording of a conversation between Hess, de Kooning, and Harold Rosenberg. There are also significant files on Elaine de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Adolph Gottlieb, Franz Kline, Carl Milles, Barnett Newman, Isamu Noguchi, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko and the Mark Rothko Foundation Inc.

Printed materials include brochures and flyers, clippings, magazines and newspapers, press releases, travel memorabilia, and a printed scarf. Photographs are of of Hess, his wife Audrey, other family members, works of art, travel, Larry Rivers and Ad Reinhardt, and other artists and colleagues. Artwork includes drawings, paintings, collages, cartoons, and holiday cards made by Hess and his children, along with artwork by others including Audrey and Lawrence Campbell, Ad Reinhardt, and unidentified artists.

There is a .01 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated in 2022 that includes a six page typed manuscript, "Think, American Painting," undated, by Thomas Hess and the book American Realists and Magic Realists, The Museum of Modern Art, 1943, signed by Hess.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 8 series.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1945-1977 (0.3 linear feet; Box 1, OV 15)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1945-1978 (1.0 linear feet; Box 1-2, OV 11)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1940-1978 (2.5 linear feet; Box 2-5, OV 12)

Series 4: Artists and Subject Files, circa 1946-1978 (4.5 linear feet; Box 5-9, OVs 13, 15-16)

Series 5: Printed Materials, 1943-1978 (0.5 linear feet; Box 9, OV 11)

Series 6: Photographic Materials, 1949-circa 1960s (0.8 linear feet; Box 9-10, OV14)

Series 7: Artwork, 1939-1978 (0.4 linear feet; Box 10, OV 11)

Series 8: Unprocessed Addition, 1943 and undated (0.01 linear feet; Folder 17)
Biographical / Historical:
Thomas B. Hess (1920-1978) was an editor, art critic, and curator who worked in New York City. He was on the staff at Art News for 26 years (1946-72). Starting as an editorial associate, he was named managing editor in 1948, then executive editor in 1954; he assumed the top editorial post in 1965 upon the death of long-time editor Alfred Frankfurter. In his critical writing from the late 1940s on, he was an influential supporter of the Abstract Expressionists. He wrote widely on other topics as well. In 1972 he left Art News after an ownership change. He then became the art critic for New York magazine (1972-78), a large-circulation weekly reaching a much larger public. (He was also, in the late '60s, a correspondent for the French daily newspaper Le Monde.)

Over the years he undertook several major curatorial projects including traveling retrospectives for Willem de Kooning (1968-69) and Barnett Newman (1971), which he organized for the Museum of Modern Art. His "New York School Painting and Sculpture" appeared at the New York State Museum in Albany in 1977. Both MoMA exhibitions were accompanied by comprehensive monograph/catalogues: Willem de Kooning (1968) and Barnett Newman (1971). Hess's other books include Abstract Painting: Background and American Phase (1951, Viking); Willem de Kooning (1959, Braziller); De Kooning, Recent Paintings (1967, Walker & Co.); Barnett Newman (1969, Walker & Co.); De Kooning: Drawings (1972, New York Graphic); and The Art Comics and Satires of Ad Reinhardt (1975, De Luca Editore, Rome).

Hess became consultative chairman of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Department of 20th-Century Art a few months before his death from a heart attack in July 1978, age 57. Already under way were a Clyfford Still retrospective and a smaller show of recent paintings and sculptures by Ellsworth Kelly. Both exhibitions, completed by Philippe de Montebello (the Met's then new director) and Lowery S. Sims (the Met's then acting 20th-century curator) respectively, took place the year after Hess's death.

Thomas Hess was born in Rye, New York, to Gabriel Lorie Hess, a lawyer, and Helen Baer. He attended school in the United States and Switzerland. He continued his education at Yale University majoring in French 17th-century art history and literature. After graduating in 1942, Hess worked for a short period at the Museum of Modern Art under Alfred H. Barr and Dorothy Miller, before entering World War II as a pilot. In 1944 he married Audrey Stern with whom he had three children, William, Philip, and Anne Helen.
Separated Materials:
Materials on legacy microfilm reel 5028 related to Barnett Newman are photocopies. The originals are located at the Barnett New Foundation in New York City.
Provenance:
The Thomas Hess papers were donated in multiple increments from 1985 to 1987 by Hess' children, Anne Helen, William, and Philip Hess, except for a file on Barnett Newman donated by Newman's widow, who presumably had borrowed it from Hess. In 2014, additional correspondence, writings, photographs, printed material, and cartoons, including some by Ad Reinhardt, were donated by Elizabeth Wolff, Hess' sister. A small addition was donated in 2022 by Anne Hess, Thomas Hess' daughter.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists -- Italy  Search this
Editors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Drawings
Greeting cards
Illustrated letters
Paintings
Cartoons (humorous images)
Photographs
Collages
Citation:
Thomas Hess papers, 1939-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.hessthom
See more items in:
Thomas Hess papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9cfd2536a-b35e-4030-9768-bfa094d6db9e
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-hessthom
Online Media:

Peter Howard Selz papers

Creator:
Selz, Peter Howard, 1919-2019  Search this
Names:
College Art Association of America  Search this
Institute of Design (Chicago, Ill.) (Faculty)  Search this
Marlborough Gallery  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Pomona College (Claremont, Calif.)  Search this
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (Calif.)  Search this
University of California, Berkeley. University Art Museum  Search this
Baykam, Bedri, 1957-  Search this
Beckmann, Max, 1884-1950  Search this
Benton, Fletcher, 1931-  Search this
Bergman, Ciel, 1938-  Search this
Bury, Pol, 1922-2005  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Chase-Riboud, Barbara  Search this
Christo, 1935-  Search this
Conner, Bruce, 1933-2008  Search this
Dubuffet, Jean, 1901-  Search this
Feininger, Lyonel, 1871-1956  Search this
Giacometti, Alberto, 1901-1966  Search this
Golub, Leon, 1922-2004  Search this
Graves, Morris, 1910-  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Hadzi, Dimitri, 1921-2006  Search this
Lebrun, Rico, 1900-1964  Search this
Lindner, Richard, 1901-1978  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques, 1891-1973  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia, 1887-1986  Search this
Onslow-Ford, Gordon  Search this
Paris, Harold, 1925-1979  Search this
Petlin, Irving, 1934-  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Tinguely, Jean, 1925-  Search this
Extent:
31.5 Linear feet
0.696 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Place:
San Francisco Bay Area (Calif.)
Date:
1929-2014
bulk 1950-2005
Summary:
The papers of art historian and writer Peter Howard Selz measure 31.5 linear feet and 0.696 GB and date from 1929 to 2018, with the bulk of the materials from 1950 to 2005. The papers document Selz's long career via correspondence, writings, professional files, project files, membership and association records, artists' research files, exhibition files, personal business records, printed and digital materials, and nine scrapbooks.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of art historian and writer Peter Howard Selz measure 31.5 linear feet and 0.696 GB and date from 1929 to 2018, with the bulk of the materials from 1950 to 2005. The papers document Selz's long career via correspondence, writings, professional files, project files, membership and association records, artists' research files, exhibition files, personal business records, printed and digital materials, and scrapbooks.

Correspondence is with colleagues, artists, museums, and galleries concerning a wide variety of topics, including exhibitions and publications. The bulk of the correspondence consists of alphabetical files (two linear feet) that includes correspondence with artists. Notable correspondents include Pol Bury, Alexander Calder, Gordon Onslow Ford, Alberto Giacometti, Morris Graves, Philip Guston, Dimitri Hadzi, Jacques Lipchitz, Georgia O'Keeffe, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, Jean Tinguely, and others. Eight additional files of chronological correspondence is with curators, arts organizations, and publishers. Additional correspondence is found in the professional files, project files, membership files, artists' research files, and exhibition files.

The bulk of the writings series is comprised of files related to Selz's books and includes typescript drafts and galleys, printed and digital material, correspondence, and publishing contracts. Files are found for Art in Our Times, Art of Engagement, Beyond the Mainstream, and Theories of Modern Art. Other writings consist of drafts of articles, essays, notes, and lectures by Selz. Also included are writings by others, including materials related to Paul Karlstrom's biography of Selz.

Professional files document curatorial and teaching positions at the Chicago Institute of Design, Pomona College, University of California, Berkeley, and the Museum of Modern Art. The series includes contracts, recommendations, syllabi, and correspondence.

Project files document Selz's professional work on specific art projects, panels, and symposiums. There is extensive documentation of Selz's work as project director of Christo's Running Fence, as well as other environmental art work projects by Christo, the Berkeley Art Project, Disney Art Project, "Funk Art" symposium, and the "Art and Politics in the 20th Century" symposium. Project files contain a wide variety of materials, such as correspondence, printed material, financial records, reports, photographs, and other documents. There are 2 tape reels, 1 VHS, and 1 sound cassette.

Membership and association records document Selz's involvement with or membership in various art councils, trustee boards, such as the College Art Association, Art in Chicago Advisory Committee, Bay Area Rapid Transit (B.A.R.T.) Art Council, and the San Francisco Crafts and Folk Art Museum Advisory Board, among others. Materials include meeting minutes, bulletins, correspondence, and memoranda.

Artists' Research Files consist of a wide variety of research materials Selz compiled about artists for lectures, writings, projects, exhibitions, etc. Files vary and may include original and photocopied correspondence, photographic material, resumes, printed and digital material, and writings. There is also 1 sound cassette. Files are found for Bedri Baykam, Max Beckmann, Fletcher Benton, Ciel Bergman, Barbara Chase-Riboud, Bruce Conner, Jean Dubuffet, Lyonel Feininger, Leon Golub, Dimitri Hadzi, Rico Lebrun, Harold Paris, Irving Petlin, among many others.

Exhibition files include catalogs, reviews, clippings, writings, correspondence, and other material documenting exhibitions organized by Selz. Limited materials are found for the MOMA Art Nouveau exhibition. More extensive documentation is found for Seven Decades of Modern Art, 1895-1965, The Joint Show (1967), The American Presidency in Political Cartoons (1976), American Modern Art Between the Two World Wars (1979), German Realism in the Twenties: Artist As Social Critic (1980), Twelve Artists from the German Democratic Republic (1989), a Richard Lindner Retrospective (1996), Spaces of Nature (1999), Color and Fire: Defining Moments in Studio Ceramics, 1950-2000 (2000), and a Nathan Oliviera Retrospective (2002), among others. Some of the materials are in digital format.

Personal business records are related to the Mark Rothko estate and Kate Rothko's legal case against Marlborough Gallery, Inc. Also included in this series are Peter Selz's school transcripts, bequests, royalty statements, house designs, and other material.

Printed materials include clippings, prints of articles written by Peter Selz, exhibition announcements and invitations, and photocopies of artwork images.

There are nine disbound scrapbooks dating from the 1940s up through 2012 containing clippings, exhibition announcements, and photographs of art events, Selz, and artists. This series also includes materials from the 2018 addition that may have previously been compiled in binders.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as 10 series. When possible the original order of Peter Selz was maintained. However, multiple accessions were merged and integrated.

Missing Title

Series 1: Correspondence, 1942-2013 (2.3 linear feet; Box 1-3, Box 37)

Series 2: Writings, 1942- circa 2014 (8.3 linear feet; Box 3-10, OV 32, Box 37, 0.035 GB; ER01, ER12)

Series 3: Professional Files, 1949-2012 (1 linear feet; Box 11, Box 37)

Series 4: Project Files, 1962-2015 (2.8 linear feet; Box 12-14, OV 33, Box 37)

Series 5: Membership and Association Records, 1958-2014 (1.1 linear feet; Box 14-15, Box 37)

Series 6: Artists' Research Files, 1955-2014 (7.9 linear feet; Box 15-22, OV 34-35, 0.520 GB; ER02-ER08)

Series 7: Exhibition Files, 1959-2014 (5.2 linear feet; Box 23-27, Box 38, 0.093 GB; ER09-ER11)

Series 8: Personal Business Records, 1929-2014 (1.2 linear feet; Box 28-29, OV 36, Box 38)

Series 9: Printed Material, 1957-2014 (0.3 linear feet; Box 29, Box 38)

Series 10: Scrapbooks, 1947-2018 (1.4 linear feet, Box 29-31, Box 38)
Biographical / Historical:
Peter Howard Selz (1919-2019) was a pioneering historian of modern art, professor, and writer who taught at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1965-1988 and founded and directed the Berkeley Art Museum from 1965-1973.

Selz was born in 1919 in Munich, Germany to Eugene Selz and Edith Drey Selz. In 1936, the family fled Nazi Germany and immigrated to the United States. Selz attended Columbia University from 1937 to 1938 and became a naturalized citizen in 1942. During World War II, Selz served in the U.S. Army in the Office of Strategic Services. He married writer Thalia Cheronis in 1948 but they later divorced in 1965; he married several times afterwards.

After the war, Selz attended and taught at the University of Chicago where he received a Ph. D. in German Expressionism. He spent a year in Paris, 1949-1950, at the Sorbonne and École du Louvre on a Fulbright grant. He received a second Fulbright grant in 1953 to study at the Royal Museums of Art and History in Belgium. From 1953-1955, Selz also taught at the Chicago Institute of Design.

In 1955 Peter Selz accepted a position to chair the art history department at Pomona College in Claremont and relocated to California for a few years. He also became director of the college's art gallery.

In 1958 Selz moved to New York City to become curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art and was there through the transformative mid-1960s. While at MOMA, he organized several significant exhibitions of modern art, including the 1960 Jean Tinguely "Homage to New York," a sculpture that destroyed itself (and started a fire) in the sculpture garden of the museum; New Images of Man (1959), the Art Nouveau show (1960), and the Art of Assemblage (1961). He also launched important retrospectives, including the first Rodin retrospective in the United States and a comprehensive exhibition of Alberto Giacometti's work in 1965.

In 1965, Peter Selz returned to California to become the founding director of the Berkeley Art Museum at the University of California, Berkeley, a position he held until 1973. He organized exhibitions of Funk, film, and ceramicists like Peter Voulkos and Robert Arneson. Peter Selz later became project director for Christo's "Running Fence", the 24.5-mile long fabric fence over the Marin County hills in 1976. He also served concurrently as a professor of art history at UC until retiring in 1988.

Peter Selz was a member of the College Art Association's board of directors for two terms, 1958-1964 and 1966-1971. Selz is a prolific writer, and the author or co-author of numerous books, exhibition catalogs, and articles. Notable books include German Expressionist Painting (1957), Art in a Turbulent Era (1965), Art in Our Times (1981), and Sam Francis (1975).

In 1988 Peter Selz was named emeritus professor at University of California, Berkeley. In 1993 he was on the acquisitions committee of the Museums of Fine Arts, San Francisco. In 2012, Selz curated The Painted Word exhibition. Selz died in 2019 in Albany, California.
Related Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds oral history interviews of Peter Selz conducted by Paul J. Karlstrom on July 28, 1982, October 12, 1982, and November 3, 1999.
Provenance:
The Peter Howard Selz papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Peter Selz in multiple installments from 1976 through 2014. Additional papers were donated in 2018 by Gabrielle Selz, Peter Selz's daughter.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Authors -- California -- Berkeley  Search this
Art historians -- California -- Berkeley  Search this
Topic:
Realism  Search this
Political cartoons  Search this
Pop art  Search this
Environment (Art)  Search this
Painting, Abstract  Search this
Ceramics  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- California  Search this
Art -- Political aspects  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Exhibitions  Search this
Art -- Germany  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Citation:
Peter Howard Selz papers, 1929-2018, bulk 1950-2005. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.selzpete
See more items in:
Peter Howard Selz papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9ce9d9d14-7599-455d-828d-57077e76ef17
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-selzpete
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Herbert Ferber

Interviewee:
Ferber, Herbert, 1906-1991  Search this
Interviewer:
Tuchman, Phyllis  Search this
Creator:
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Marlborough Gallery  Search this
Rothko Chapel (Houston, Tex.)  Search this
Baziotes, William, 1912-1963  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Extent:
1 Cassette (Sound recording, analog)
12 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Cassettes
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1981 June 2
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Herbert Ferber conducted 1981 June 2, by Phyllis Tuchman, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.
Ferber talks about the development of his friendship with Rothko through the Betty Parsons Gallery and Rothko's personality and habits. He speaks of Rothko's work, particularly the Houston chapel, and his feelings for other artists. He briefly mentions his involvement in the lawsuit against the Marlborough Galleries. He recalls Adolph Gottlieb, Clyfford Still, Barney Newman, Robert Motherwell, William Baziotes, Arshile Gorky, Ad Reinhardt, and many others.
Biographical / Historical:
Herbert Ferber (1906-1991) was a sculptor and painter from New York, N.Y.
Provenance:
This interview was conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and his Times oral history project, with funding provided by the Mark Rothko Foundation.
Others interviewed on the project (by various interviewers) include: Sonia Allen, Sally Avery, Ben-Zion, Ernest Briggs, Rhys Caparn, Elaine de Kooning, Esther Gottlieb, Juliette Hays, Sidney Janis, Buffie Johnson, Jacob Kainen, Louis Kaufman, Jack Kufeld, Katharine Kuh, Stanley Kunitz, Joseph Liss, Dorothy Miller, Betty Parsons, Wallace Putnam, Rebecca Reis, Maurice Roth, Aaron Siskind, Joseph Solman, Hedda Sterne, Jack Tworkov, Esteban Vicente and Ed Weinstein. Each has been cataloged separately.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.ferber81
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw932ecbd0f-f533-437c-88bd-4110b2d62f6d
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-ferber81
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Robert Rauschenberg

Interviewee:
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Interviewer:
Seckler, Dorothy Gees, 1910-1994  Search this
Names:
Amsterdam (Netherlands). Stedelijk Museum  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Extent:
31 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1965 Dec. 21
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Robert Rauschenberg conducted 1965 Dec. 21, by Dorothy Seckler, for the Archives of American Art.
In this interview Rauschenberg speaks of his role as a bridge from the Abstract Expressionists to the Pop artists; the relationship of affluence and art; his admiration for de Kooning, Jack Tworkov, and Franz Kline; the support he received from musicians Morton Feldman, John Cage, and Earl Brown; his goal to create work which serves as unbiased documentation of his observations; the irrational juxtaposition that makes up a city, and the importance of that element in his work; the facsimile quality of painting and consequent limitations; the influence of Albers' teaching and his resulting inability to do work focusing on pain, struggle, or torture; the 'lifetime' of painting and the problems of time relative symbolism; his feelings on the possibility of truly simulating chance in his work; his use of intervals, and its possible relation to the influence of Cage; his attempt to show as much drama on the edges of a piece as in the dead center; his belief in the importance of being stylistically flexible throughout a career; his involvement with the Stadtlijk Museum; his loss of interest in sculpture; his belief in the mixing of technology and aesthetics; his interest in moving to the country and the prospect of working with water, wind, sun, rain, and flowers; Ad Reinhardt's remarks on his Egan Show; his discontinuation of silk screens; his illustrations for Life Magazine; his role as a non-political artist; his struggles with abstraction; his recent theater work "Map Room Two;" his white paintings; and his disapproval of value hierarchy in art.
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) was a painter and photographer from New York, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound tapes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 58 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Restrictions:
This transcript is open for research. Access to the entire recording is restricted. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Pop art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.rausch65
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw95f23dcb7-0cff-4a08-b63a-c1e37ba05c7d
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-rausch65
Online Media:

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