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Mildred Constantine Papers

Creator:
Constantine, Mildred  Search this
Names:
Cleveland Museum of Art  Search this
Getty Conservation Institute  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.) -- Employees  Search this
Museum of New Mexico  Search this
Ohio State University  Search this
Philadelphia Museum of Art  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design  Search this
Abakanowicz, Magdalena  Search this
Albers, Anni  Search this
Barr, Alfred Hamilton, 1902-  Search this
Barragán, Luis, 1902-  Search this
Block, Lou, 1895-1969  Search this
Bourgeois, Louise, 1911-2010  Search this
Buic, Jagoda, 1930-  Search this
Burle Marx, Roberto, 1909-1994  Search this
Cohen, Elaine Lustig, 1927-  Search this
Coiner, Charles T., 1897-  Search this
Corzo, Miguel Angel  Search this
D'Harnoncourt, Anne, 1943-2008  Search this
Danto, Arthur Coleman, 1924-  Search this
Dehner, Dorothy, 1901-1994  Search this
Fitch, James Marston  Search this
Goeritz, Mathias, 1915-  Search this
Hart, Allen M., 1925-  Search this
Hicks, Sheila, 1934-  Search this
Koch, Richard H., d. 2009  Search this
Larsen, Jack Lenor, 1927-2020  Search this
Lionni, Leo, 1910-  Search this
Reeves, Ruth, 1892-1966  Search this
Reuter, Laurel  Search this
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969 -- Photographs  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Ten Haeff, Ingeborg, 1915-  Search this
Vignelli, Massimo  Search this
Weisman, Donald M.  Search this
Wilder, Elizabeth, 1908-  Search this
Wilke, Ulfert, 1907-1987  Search this
Zeisler, Claire, 1903-1991  Search this
Extent:
5.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Illustrated letters
Transcripts
Video recordings
Interviews
Date:
1945-2008
Summary:
The papers of Mildred Constantine measure 5.3 linear feet and are dated 1945-2009. Subject files, writings, photographs, and a scrapbook provide an overview of her curatorial work in the Architecture and Design department of the Museum of Modern Art, and subsequent activities as an independent curator, and art consultant. Especially well documented is Whole Cloth, a book written with Laurel Reuter that presents an historical overview of how artists have used cloth in their work.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Mildred Constantine measure 5.3 linear feet and are dated 1945-2008. Subject files, writings, photographs, and a scrapbook provide an overview of her curatorial work in the Architecture and Design department of the Museum of Modern Art, and subsequent activities as an independent curator, and art consultant. Especially well documented is the book Whole Cloth that she wrote with Laurel Reuter.

Correspondence, though mostly business related, often touches on personal matters since many of the artists and art world figures with whom she corresponded were also friends. Correspondents include Miguel Angel Corzo, Arthur C. Danto, Dorothy Dehner, Allen Hart (who sent more than 40 illustrated letters), Elizabeth Wilder and Donald L. Weisman. She also corresponded with many art institutions and organizations, among them the Cleveland Museum of Art, Independent International Design Conference, El Museo del Barrio, Museum of New Mexico, Ohio State University, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Estate of David Smith.

Subject files reflect Constantine's activities and interests. A large portion of this series concerns Whole Cloth, a book written with Laurel Reuter that presents an historical look at how artists have used cloth in their work. Correspondence between the two authors, with artists, institutions, and others concerns researching and writing the volume. Also documented are the successes and failures of Constantine's decade long pursuit to publish the book. Other substantive files relate to the Cleveland Museum of Art, Getty Conservation Institute, Sheila Hicks, Jack Lenor Larsen, Rhode Island School of Design, and Soviet Film Posters. Files concerning the University of the Arts' 2003 Commencement include a videocassette.

Writings by Constantine are lecture material and notes. Also found are transcripts of interviews with Constantine and writings by others. Printed material includes newspaper and magazine articles about Constantine and her career. A scrapbook of printed material and photographs documents an exhibition of Latin American posters at the Library of Congress organized by Constantine.

Photographs of people include Mildred Constantine with family, friends, artists and others at public and private events around the world. Notable photographs include: Magdalena Abakanowicz, Anni Albers, Alfred Barr, Luis Barragan, Lou Block, Louise Bourgeois, Jagoda Buic, Elaine Lustig Cohen, Charles Coiner, James Marston Fitch, Mathias Goeritz, Ingeborg Ten Haeff, Ann d'Harnoncourt, Sheila Hicks, Richard Koch, Nancy Koenigsberg, Jack Lenor Larsen, Leo Lionni, Roberto Burle Marx, Ruth Reeves, Laurel Reuter, Eleanor Roosevelt, Ben Shahn, Massimo Vignelli, Ulfert Wilke, and Claire Zeisler. Also, there are photographs of artwork by a wide range of artists.
Arrangement:
The Mildred Constantine papers are organized into 8 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1947-1997 (Boxes 1, 6; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1964-2008 (Boxes 1, 6; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 3: Subject Files, 1964-2008 (Boxes 2-5; 3.3 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings, 1991-2008 (Box 5; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1961-2006 (Box 5; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographs, 1993 (Box 5; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 7: Artwork, 1945 (Box 5; 1 folder)

Series 8: Scrapbook, circa 1940s (Box 6; 0.1 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Curator and writer Mildred Constantine (1913-2008) was associated with the Museum of Modern Art's Department of Architecture and Design from 1943 to 1971. She then became an art consultant and independent curator, and wrote on fiber and textiles, decorative arts, photography, caricature and cartoons.

Mildred Constantine (known as "Connie") began her career at College Art Association. Hired as a stenographer in 1930, she soon was promoted to editorial assistant for Parnassus, the forerunner of Art Journal.

Constantine left the College Art Association in 1937 to study at New York University and earned BA and MA degrees. She then continued her education at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. In 1940, Constantine worked in the Office of Inter-American Affairs at the Library of Congress; it was there that she met René d'Harnoncourt.

Influenced by her 1936 travels in Mexico, Constantine's first curatorial effort was an exhibition of Latin American posters. Drawn from the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, the exhibition was held at the Library of Congress.

At the urging of René d'Harnoncourt, The Museum of Modern Art's Architecture and Design Department hired Constantine in 1943. The majority of her 28 year tenure at the museum was spent working with the department's founder, architect Philip Johnson. As a curator during the 1950s and 1960s, Constantine's innovative exhibitions brought lesser known portions of the museum's collection to public attention. Among her exhibtions were: "Words and Images," that focused on graphic design and posters; "Polio Posters," the first Museum of Modern Art show dedicated to social issues; "Olivetti: Design in Industry;" "Signs in the Street;" and "Lettering by Hand." She also published books on Art Nouveau, contemporary package design, and other subjects.

In 1971, Constantine left the Museum of Modern Art to become an independent curator and art consultant. Exhibitions included "Frontiers in Fiber: The Americans," and "Small Works in Fiber" with Jack Lenor Larsen. Tina Modotti: A Fragile Life, Constantine's book on the photographer, actress, model, and political activist, appeared in 1974. That same year, she and Alan Fern produced Revolutionary Soviet Film Posters that focused on works from the 1920s. Her last published work, Whole Cloth, was written with Laurel Reuter and published in 1997. Constantine continued to research and write, and at the time of her death was working on a large, international survey of the study of thread.

Mildred Constantine and Ralph W. Bettelheim (1909-1993) were married for 50 years. They had two daughters, Judith and Vicki.

Mildred Constantine died from heart failure on December 10, 2008, at home in Nyack, New York.
Related Material:
Oral history interviews with Mildred Constantine were conducted for the Archives of American Art by Harlan Phillips, 1965 October 15, and by Paul Cummings, 1976 May 3-1976 August 26.
Provenance:
The papers were donated to the Archives in 2009 by Mildred Constantine's daughters, Judith Bettelheim and Vicki McDaniel.
Restrictions:
Use of origininal material 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.
Topic:
Film posters, Russian  Search this
Textile fabrics in art  Search this
Curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Illustrated letters
Transcripts
Video recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Mildred Constantine papers, 1945-2008. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.consmild
See more items in:
Mildred Constantine Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-consmild
Online Media:

Mildred Constantine Papers, 1945-2008

Creator:
Constantine, Mildred, 1913-2008  Search this
Subject:
Weisman, Donald M.  Search this
Wilder, Elizabeth  Search this
Wilke, Ulfert  Search this
Zeisler, Claire  Search this
Dehner, Dorothy  Search this
Smith, David  Search this
Ten Haeff, Ingeborg  Search this
Vignelli, Massimo  Search this
Reuter, Laurel  Search this
Reeves, Ruth  Search this
Koch, Richard H.  Search this
Shahn, Ben  Search this
Hicks, Sheila  Search this
Lionni, Leo  Search this
Larsen, Jack Lenor  Search this
Fitch, James Marston  Search this
Hart, Allen M.  Search this
Goeritz, Mathias  Search this
Danto, Arthur Coleman  Search this
Corzo, Miguel Angel  Search this
D'Harnoncourt, Anne  Search this
Coiner, Charles T.  Search this
Cohen, Elaine Lustig  Search this
Buic, Jagoda  Search this
Burle Marx, Roberto  Search this
Block, Lou  Search this
Bourgeois, Louise  Search this
Barr, Alfred Hamilton  Search this
Barragán, Luis  Search this
Abakanowicz, Magdalena  Search this
Albers, Anni  Search this
Roosevelt, Eleanor  Search this
Cleveland Museum of Art  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Museum of New Mexico  Search this
Philadelphia Museum of Art  Search this
Ohio State University  Search this
Getty Conservation Institute  Search this
Type:
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Illustrated letters
Transcripts
Video recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Film posters, Russian  Search this
Textile fabrics in art  Search this
Curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)15687
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)282795
AAA_collcode_consmild
Theme:
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_282795
Online Media:

Autobiography / Stephen Andrews, C. Graham Asmundson aka Kal Asmundson aka Aaron Adrian, Caroline Dukes ; edited by Laurel Reuter

Author:
Reuter, Laurel Autobiography : words and images from life  Search this
Andrews, Stephen Facsimile  Search this
Asmundson, Kal  Search this
Dukes, Caroline  Search this
North Dakota Museum of Art  Search this
Autobiography: words and images from life (1995 : Grand Forks, N.D.)  Search this
Subject:
Andrews, Stephen  Search this
Asmundson, Kal  Search this
Dukes, Caroline  Search this
Physical description:
[46] p. : ill. (some col.) ; 31 cm
Type:
Biography
Place:
Canada
Date:
1996
C1996
Topic:
Artists  Search this
Call number:
NX513.Z8 A98 1996
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_697552

Chika Ohgi / [essay by Keiko Kawashima]

Author:
Ōgi, Chika 1960-  Search this
Kawashima, Keiko  Search this
Reuter, Laurel  Search this
Subject:
Ōgi, Chika 1960-  Search this
Physical description:
48 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 22 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Japan
Date:
2001
Topic:
Paper art  Search this
Installations (Art)  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1098727

Machiko Agano / [Laurel Reuter]

Title:
Agano Machiko
Author:
Agano, Machiko 1953-  Search this
Reuter, Laurel  Search this
Subject:
Agano, Machiko 1953-  Search this
Physical description:
46, [2] pages : color illustrations ; 23 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Japan
Date:
2003
©2003
Topic:
Soft sculpture  Search this
Textile artists  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1098728

Los desaparecidos = The disappeared / [curator / curadora] Laurel Reuter ; preface by / prólogo de Lawrence Weschler

Title:
Disappeared
Author:
Reuter, Laurel  Search this
Weschler, Lawrence  Search this
North Dakota Museum of Art  Search this
Physical description:
111 p. : ill. (some col.), ports. (some col.) ; 24 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
2006
C2006
20th century
Topic:
Politics in art  Search this
Disappeared persons in art  Search this
Art, Latin American  Search this
Call number:
N8217.D672 D47 2006
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_895016

Painted worlds : Argentina : Eduardo Esquivel, Ana Fabry, Mario Perez

Author:
Shaw, Edward  Search this
Reuter, Laurel  Search this
Museum of Latin American Art  Search this
Subject:
Esquivel, Eduardo 1955-  Search this
Fabry, Ana 1963-  Search this
Pérez, Mario Segundo 1960-  Search this
Physical description:
32 p. : col. ill. ; 30 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
2001
[2001]
20th century
21st century
Topic:
Painting, Argentine  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_703576

Under the whelming tide : the 1997 flood of the Red River of the North / edited by Eric Hylden and Laurel Reuter ; writings by Madelyn Camrud, Chuck Haga and Laurel Reuter

Author:
Hylden, Eric  Search this
Reuter, Laurel  Search this
Camrud, Madelyn Roeder  Search this
Haga, Chuck  Search this
North Dakota Museum of Art  Search this
Physical description:
[194] p. : mostly ill. ; 24 x 30 cm
Type:
Pictorial works
Place:
Red River Valley (Minn. and N.D.-Man.)
Date:
1998
20th century
Topic:
Floods--History  Search this
Flood damage--History  Search this
History  Search this
Call number:
F642.R3 H95 1998
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_626384

Georgie Papageorge / Laurel Reuter

Author:
Papageorge, Georgie 1941-  Search this
Reuter, Laurel  Search this
North Dakota Museum of Art  Search this
Subject:
Papageorge, Georgie 1941-  Search this
Physical description:
1 v. (unpaged), [2] folded p. : col. ill. ; 22 x 27 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1995
[1995?]
20th century
Topic:
Art, South African  Search this
Call number:
N7396.P213 A35 1995
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_501284

Frontiers in fiber : the Americans / organized by the North Dakota Museum of Art ; curated and with an essay by Mildred Constantine and Laurel Reuter

Author:
Constantine, Mildred  Search this
Reuter, Laurel  Search this
North Dakota Museum of Art  Search this
Physical description:
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 26 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
United States
Date:
1988
C1988
20th century
Topic:
Fiberwork  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Call number:
N6512.5.F48 N86 1988
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_543668

Faibāāto no shinryōiki--Amerika = Frontiers in fiber : the Americans / organized by the North Dakota Museum of Art ; curated and with an essay by Mildred Constantine and Laurel Reuter

Title:
Faibāāto no furontia--Amerika
Frontiers in fiber : the Americans
Author:
Reuter, Laurel  Search this
Kyōto Kokuritsu Kindai Bijutsukan  Search this
Ishikawa Jiba Sangyō Shinkō Sentā  Search this
North Dakota Museum of Art  Search this
Physical description:
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 26 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
United States
Date:
1988
C1988
20th century
Topic:
Fiberwork  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Call number:
N6512.5.F48 N86 J1988
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_556272

Judyland : the art of Judy Onofrio / essay by Laurel Reuter

Title:
Judy land
Author:
Onofrio, Judy 1939-  Search this
Reuter, Laurel  Search this
North Dakota Museum of Art  Search this
Minneapolis Institute of Arts  Search this
Laumeier Sculpture Park  Search this
Subject:
Onofrio, Judy 1939-  Search this
Physical description:
1 v. (unpaged) : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 26 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Place:
Minnesota
Rochester
Date:
1993
C1993
Topic:
Environment (Art)--Exhibitions  Search this
Installations (Art)--Exhibitions  Search this
Primitivism in art--Exhibitions  Search this
Call number:
N40.1.O5844 R4 1993
NB237.O56 A4 1993
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_564883

Whole cloth / Mildred Constantine and Laurel Reuter

Author:
Constantine, Mildred  Search this
Reuter, Laurel  Search this
Physical description:
256 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 29 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1997
20th century
Topic:
Textile fabrics in art  Search this
Art, Modern  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_595749

Signe Stuart

Author:
Stuart, Signe 1937-  Search this
Reuter, Laurel  Search this
Civic Fine Arts Center (Sioux Falls, S.D.)  Search this
Subject:
Stuart, Signe 1937-  Search this
Physical description:
[13] p. : ill. (some col.) ; 22 x 28 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
1989
C1989
Call number:
N6537.S778 A4 1989
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_919600

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