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Jean Crotti papers

Crotti, Jean, 1878-1958  Search this
Blancpain, Paul  Search this
Braque, Georges, 1882-1963  Search this
Christian, 1895-1969  Search this
Cocteau, Jean, 1889-1963  Search this
Coudour, Henri  Search this
Crotti, Andre  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Duchamp, Suzanne, 1889-1963  Search this
Dufy, Raoul, 1877-1953  Search this
Everling, Germaine  Search this
Gleizes, Albert, 1881-1953  Search this
Guillaume, Paul, 1891-1934  Search this
Matisse, Henri, 1869-1954  Search this
Nokache, Armand  Search this
Ozenfant, Amédée, 1886-1966  Search this
Pach, Walter, 1883-1958  Search this
Picabia, Francis, 1879-1953  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973 -- Photographs  Search this
Renoir, Pierre, 1885-1952  Search this
Reynolds, Mary, 1891-1950  Search this
Salmon, André, 1881-1969  Search this
Seuphor, Michel, 1901-1999  Search this
Severini, Gino, 1883-1966  Search this
Varese, Louise  Search this
Varèse, Edgard, 1883-1965  Search this
Villon, Jacques, 1875-1963  Search this
Waldemar George, 1893-  Search this
1.7 Linear feet
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
bulk 1913-1961
The scattered papers of French Dada painter Jean Crotti measure 1.7 linear feet and date from 1913-1973, with the bulk of the material dated 1913-1961. Found within the papers are autobiographical notes and essays; correspondence with family and colleagues, among them Jean Cocteau, Andre Crotti, Suzanne Duchamp, Marcel Duchamp, Albert Gleizes, Christian a.k.a. Georges Herbiet, Henri Matisse, Francis Picabia, and Jacques Villon; notes and writings by Crotti and others; art work by Crotti and Paul Guillaume; a scrapbook; and additional printed material. Photographs are of Crotti, Suzanne Duchamp, Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, and other family and friends; and of Crotti's art work. There are audio recordings on phonograph records of three interviews with Crotti and one with Mr. and Mrs. Paul Blancpain.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of French Dada painter Jean Crotti measure 1.7 linear feet and date from 1913 to 1973, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1913-1961. Among the papers are autobiographical essays, correspondence with friends and family, including many letters from Marcel Duchamp, notes and writings by and about Crotti, printed materials, one scrapbook, drawings by Crotti and others, photographs of Crotti and his family and friends, photographs of artwork, and three audio recordings of interviews with Crotti.

Biographical material consists of autobiographical notes and an autobiographical manuscript Ma Vie.

Correspondence is with family members and colleagues. Correspondents include his brother Andr?©, wife Suzanne Duchamp, and other family members. There are eleven folders of correspondence between Suzanne's brother Marcel Duchamp and the Crotti family. A 1918 letter from Duchamp to Crotti is illustrated by Duchamp. Additional letters to Jean Crotti are from Jean Cocteau, Albert Gleizes, Georges Herbiet a.k.a. "Christian", Henri Matisse, Francis Picabia, and Jacques Villon. Three folders of letters from Georges Herbiet a.k.a. "Christian" include references to Francis Picabia and Germaine Everling and discussions of art criticism and Picabia's role in avant-garde art movements. Herbiet also describes a new painting procedure that he claims to have invented using a product that is impervious to acids, water, oil, or alcohol. There is a single letter from Jean Crotti to Pablo Picasso following their meeting in Cannes in which Crotti discusses a design with spheres and includes a sketch of his idea. There are also single letters to Crotti from Raoul Dufy, Walter Pach, and actor Pierre Renoir.

Notes and writings include poems, a script, and miscellaneous writings by Crotti concerning his art theories including "Tabu" and gemmail. Writings about Crotti are by miscellaneous authors including writers Waldemar George, Andr?© Salmon, and artists Armand Nakache, Am?©d?© Ozenfant, and Michel Seuphor.

Art work includes seven folders of drawings and an etching plate by Crotti, 83 drawings by Paul Guillaume, and portrait drawings of Crotti by Henri Coudour and Francis Picabia.

A scrapbook contains clippings, a letter from Paul Guillaume and a letter to Elizabeth Crotti from a friend describing a 1932 Jean Crotti exhibition in the Balzac Galleries in New York City, and a typescript "Una Collezione a Parigi" by Gino Severini.

Additional printed material includes clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs for Crotti and others, reproductions of art work, and books Jean Crotti (1930) and Jean Crotti et la Primaut?© du Spirituel (1959) by Waldemar George.

Photographs are of Crotti, his family, friends, colleagues, and art work by Crotti and by Suzanne Duchamp. Of particular interest are photographs of composer Edgard Var?¨se and his wife Louise with Suzanne Duchamp, Jean Crotti, and art advocate Mary Reynolds in 1924, photographs of Crotti and Georges Braque examining a gemmail art work, and photographs of Crotti and Suzanne Duchamp talking with Pablo Picasso at Cannes and at the home of Bertrande Blancpain in 1957.

Sound recordings include two phonograph records of interviews with Jean Crotti, including topics "Assignment Switzerland" and "Assignment World." A third phonograph record contains an instantatneous disk recording of correspondence between Mr. and Mrs. Paul Blancpain as well as an additional interview with Crotti.
The collection is arranged as 8 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1954-1955 (Box 1; 3 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1916-1961 (Box 1; 43 folders)

Series 3: Notes and Writings, 1924-1958 (Box 1; 27 folders)

Series 4: Art Work, 1913-1925 (Box 1, 3; 12 folders)

Series 5: Scrapbook, 1931-1935 (Box 1; 1 folder)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1921-1973 (Box 1, 2, 3; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 7: Photographs, 1920-1957 (Box 2; 25 folders)

Series 8: Sound Recordings, 1955 (Box 3; 1 folder)
Biographical Note:
Jean Crotti (1870-1958) was a Dadist painter who worked primarily in Paris, France and New York. He was married to Suzanne Duchamp, Marcel Duchamp's sister, and friends with notable avant-garde and Dada European and American painters of the period. He is also known for creating the "Gemmail" technique of layering colored glass that produced unique color combinations when illuminated.

Jean Crotti was born April 24, 1878 in Bulle, near Fribourg, Switzerland, the son of a painting contractor. The family moved to Fribourg in 1887.

Beginning in 1898, Crotti struggled with questions of a religious and spiritual nature while at the School of Decorative Arts in Munich. Dissatisfied there, he moved to Paris in 1901, where he spent a year studying at the Acad?©mie Julian under Tony-Robert Fleury and Jules Lefebvre. Still dissatisfied in 1902, he established a small independent studio in the Rue Fontaine.

Crotti exhibited a canvas at the Salon des Ind?©pendants in 1907, and was accepted as a member of the Salon d'Automne in 1909. From 1910 to 1912, he was influenced by Cubism and its offshoot, Orphism.

To escape from wartime Paris in 1914, Crotti and his first wife, Yvonne Chastel, moved to New York City where Crotti had his first solo exhibition at the Bourgeois Gallery. In 1915, Crotti met Francis Picabia and also shared a studio with Marcel Duchamp who was a major influence. Crotti began his Dada period and was included in an exhibition of French paintings at the Montross Gallery in New York, with Duchamp, Albert Gleizes, and Jean Metzinger.

Crotti separated from his first wife, Yvonne Chastel, in 1916 and returned to Paris alone. By 1917, Crotti's marriage had dissolved and he married Suzanne Duchamp in 1919. Crotti met Suzanne Duchamp, also a painter, through his friendship with her brother Marcel Duchamp. During this time, Crotti completed and exhibited paintings associated with the Dada movement. One of his more notable works was entitled Explacatif, bearing the word "Tabu" that expressed Crotti's concepts of mystery and infinity with spiritual overtones.

In 1935 Crotti began to research a new technique using layers of colored glass, referred to as "gemmail." The term is a contraction of "gem" referring to the colored glass and "enamel" referring to the method of affixing the pieces of glass to each other. After much experimentation, an "enamel" fixative was found that would permanently hold the glass pieces in place while still allowing light to shine through all the layers. Several prominent artists including Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso became interested in using this medium. Crotti had the process patented, but in 1955 ceded the rights to Roger Malherbe who adapted it to commercial uses.

Jean Crotti died on January 30, 1958 in Paris, France.
Separated Material:
Two sketches and a print were also lent by Andr?© Buckles in 1981 for microfilming on reels 2394-2395 and returned. This material is not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
The Jean Crotti papers were donated in two installments in 1981 by Andr?© Buckles and Alice Buckles Brown, Crotti's great-nephew and great-niece.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
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.
Painters -- France -- Paris -- Interviews  Search this
Painting -- Technique  Search this
Art criticism  Search this
Dadaism  Search this
Avant-garde (Aesthetics)  Search this
Painters -- France -- Paris  Search this
Sound recordings
Jean Crotti papers, 1913-1973, bulk 1913-1961. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
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Jean Crotti papers
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Archives of American Art
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Mirobolus Macadam & Cie : hautespates / par J. Dubuffet

Dubuffet, Jean 1901-1985  Search this
Galerie René Drouin  Search this
Dubuffet, Jean 1901-1985  Search this
Reynolds, Mary 1891-1950 Art collections  Search this
Physical description:
[11] p. : ill. ; 21 cm
Call number:
ND553.D772 A4 1940 sp. coll
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries

Mary Reynolds and the spirit of surrealism / [guest editor, Terry Ann R. Neff]

Mary Louise Reynolds Collection
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Reynolds, Mary 1891-1950  Search this
Neff, Terry Ann R  Search this
Reynolds, Mary 1891-1950  Search this
Reynolds, Mary 1891-1950 Library  Search this
Bellmer, Hans 1902-1975  Search this
Carrington, Leonora 1917-2011  Search this
Hopper, Edward 1882-1967  Search this
Physical description:
200 p. : ill. ; 26 cm
20th century
Surrealism  Search this
Bookbinding--History  Search this
Surrealism--Periodicals--Bibliography  Search this
Dadaism--Periodicals--Bibliography  Search this
Call number:
NX600.S9 A78 1996
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries

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