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Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970

Collection Creator:
Rosenblum, Walter, 1919-2006  Search this
Extent:
16 Photographs
Container:
Binder 42
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Photographs
Collection Restrictions:
Researcher may use study prints on file in the Photograph Archives, Smithsonian American Art Museum. Advance appointments are required. Original negatives are stored off-site in cold storage and are not accessible to the public.
Collection Rights:
Copyright to photographs from the Walter Rosenblum Collection is held by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Requests for permission to reproduce photographs from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Photograph Archives. Certain works of art, as well as photographs of those works of art, may be protected by copyright, trademark, privacy or publicity rights, or other interests not owned by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. It is the applicant's responsibility to ascertain whether any such rights exist, and to obtain any other permission necessary to reproduce and publish the image.
Collection Citation:
Walter Rosenblum Collection, Photograph Archives, Smithsonian American Art Museum
See more items in:
Walter Rosenblum photographs
Walter Rosenblum photographs / Series 1: Photographs of artists' works
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ih733916282-d5db-4eb2-8e37-16cf935fca9c
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-saam-photo-ros-ref541

Mark Rothko letter to Lee Krasner

Creator:
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Krasner, Lee, 1908-1984  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Subject:
Pollock, Jackson  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1956 Aug. 16
Topic:
Condolence notes  Search this
Death  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)13546
See more items in:
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers, circa 1914-1984, bulk 1942-1984
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_13546
Online Media:

Tribute to Milton Avery

Creator:
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Subject:
Avery, Milton  Search this
Type:
Writings
Date:
1965
Topic:
Death  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)13579
See more items in:
Milton Avery papers, 1926-1982, bulk 1950-1982
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_13579
Online Media:

Mark Rothko papers, [undated] and 1943

Creator:
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Subject:
Jewell, Edward Alden  Search this
Theme:
Art Movements and Schools  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7321
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209474
AAA_collcode_rothmark
Theme:
Art Movements and Schools
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209474

Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers

Creator:
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Names:
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Congdon, William, 1912-1998  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Extent:
61.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketchbooks
Interviews
Video recordings
Drawings
Date:
1916-1991
bulk 1946-1983
Summary:
The Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers measure 61.1 linear feet and date from 1916 to 1991, with the bulk of the material dating from 1946-1983. Records provide extensive documentation of the gallery's operations from its inception in 1946 to its closing in 1983 and of the activities of Betty Parsons as one the leading art dealers of contemporary American Art in the latter half of the twentieth century, particularly the work of the Abstract Expressionists. Over one third of the of the collection is comprised of artists files containing correspondence, price lists, and printed materials. Additional correspondence is with galleries, dealers, art institutions, private collectors, and the media. Also found are exhibition files, exhibition catalogs and announcements, sales records, stock inventories, personal financial records, and photographs. Betty Parsons's personal papers consist of early curatorial files, pocket diaries, personal correspondence, and evidence of her own artwork, including sketchbooks, and files documenting her personal art collection.
Scope and Content Note:
The Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers measure 61.1 linear feet and date from 1916 to 1991, with the bulk of the material dating from 1946-1983. Records provide extensive documentation of the gallery's operations from its inception in 1946 to its closing in 1983 and of the activities of Betty Parsons as one the leading art dealers of contemporary American Art in the latter half of the twentieth century, particularly the work of the Abstract Expressionists. Over one third of the of the collection is comprised of artists files containing correspondence, price lists, and printed materials. Additional correspondence is with galleries, dealers, art institutions, private collectors, and the media. Also found are exhibition files, exhibition catalogs and announcements, sales records, stock inventories, personal financial records, and photographs. Betty Parsons's personal papers consist of early curatorial files, pocket diaries, personal correspondence, and evidence of her own artwork, including sketchbooks, and files documenting her personal art collection. Personal papers also include personal photographs.

Artists files, the largest and most extensive series, consist of a wide variety of documents, including biographical materials, correspondence with or related to the artist, exhibition catalogs and announcements, sales and expense invoices, clippings, price lists, and photographs of the artist, exhibitions, and artwork. The files reflect Parsons's close personal relationships with certain artists, particularly Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, and Barnett Newman. Extensive documentation is also found for Forrest Bess, William Congdon, Paul Feeley, Thomas George, Alexander Liberman, Seymour Lipton, Richard Pousette-Dart, Jesse Reichek, and Jack Youngerman. Historians and researchers will find these files to be an invaluable resource both in tracing Betty Parsons's role in promoting Abstract Expressionism and researching individual artists.

Exhibition files primarily document the gallery's infrequent group or themed exhibitions. Of particular note are the files on The Ideographic Picture, which was organized by Barnett Newman and included his work, as well as that of Pietro Lazzari, Boris Margo, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, Theodoros Stamos, and Clyfford Still. Price lists, artist biographies and exhibition schedules are housed in the general exhibition files. Loan exhibition files provide documentation of artwork borrowed by other galleries or institutions for exhibitions, as well as shows outside of the gallery that were organized by Betty Parsons. Also found are gallery exhibition guest books, and announcements and catalogs.

Gallery correspondence is primarily with galleries and dealers, museums, arts organizations, and collectors. Scattered letters from artists are also found, although the bulk of the artists' correspondence is filed in the Artists Files. Also found here are memoranda and letters between Betty Parsons and her staff that contain detailed information concerning Parsons's schedule and gallery activities. Similar correspondence is found amongst the correspondence files within the series Betty Parsons papers.

Appraisal and conservation files include correspondence, appraisal invoices, forms, and appraisal requests and other information from the Art Dealers Association of America, and conservation invoices and reports. The majority of the appraisal records contain information about the specific works of art, including artist, title, date, current owner and the estimated value at the time of the request. Conservation records document conservation treatments undertaken by outside conservators to gallery stock.

Sales, purchases, stock and inventory are well documented in the sales and inventory records. The records provide detailed information about individual sales, prices of individual pieces of artwork, consignments, and loans. Most sales records also include detailed information about the buyer and are a valuable resource for provenance research. Files documenting the general administration, routine business operations, and financial transactions (not individual sales) of the gallery are housed in the general business and financial records. These records include ledgers, receipts, tax records, and banking records. There is some limited information about works of art scattered amongst the receipts and in the "in/out slips" files. Legal records house general legal documents and those concerning specific lawsuits. Of particular note is the file detailing the lawsuit between Betty Parsons and Sidney Janis over the fifth floor of 24 West 57th Street.

The remainder of the collection consists of Betty Parsons's personal papers which document her career prior to opening her own gallery, her work as an artist, and her personal art collection.

Some information about Parsons's work prior to opening her own gallery is found in the early curatorial files she retained from her curatorial and administrative work at the Wakefield Gallery and the Mortimer Brandt Gallery. Clippings, correspondence, announcements, exhibition lists and exhibition files are found. For both positions, she kept only the exhibition files for a small group of exhibitions organized around a specific theme, the most notable being the exhibition of Pre-Columbian Sculpture at the Wakefield Gallery.

Biographical materials include copies of her biography, family genealogies, photographs of Parsons, interviews with Colette Roberts and WYNC radio, memberships, photographs, and ephemera, including a collection of programs and invitations from events that she attended. Throughout her life Parsons gave generously of her time to various cultural and charitable institutions and was awarded for her contributions. There are also a number of files that document her speaking engagements, her participation as a juror in numerous juried exhibitions, charitable work, and awards that she received.

Parsons's personal correspondence files reflect how deeply Parsons's life was intertwined with the gallery. There are letters from museum directors, dealers, artists seeking representation, and personal letters from artists with whom she had close personal relationships, most notably Larry Bigelow, Alexander Calder, William Condon, and Ad Reinhardt. There are also letters from the English artist Adge Baker, with whom Parsons was romantically involved. Correspondence also includes several files of postcards and Christmas cards.

Pocket diaries and engagement calendars, spanning from 1933-1981, record social engagements, meetings, vacations, and telephone numbers. Also found are circa two linear feet of notebooks and sketchbooks, many of which are annotated with addresses, poetry, journal entries, and other observations of people, places, and travels. Writings by others include writings about Betty Parsons or the Betty Parsons Gallery, such as Lawrence Alloway's unpublished typescript titled "An American Gallery" and other topics.

Printed material consists of exhibition announcements and catalogs, art magazines, and newspaper and magazine clippings about Betty Parsons, her family and acquaintances, artists, and other art related topics, coupled with a miscellaneous selection of clippings, and a video recording, on topics that presumably captured Parsons's attention.

Personal art work records document Betty Parsons's career as an artist through inventories, group and solo exhibitions files, price lists, appraisals, sales and consignment invoices. Photographs are primarily reproductions of her works of art, although there are scattered photographs of exhibition installations.

Betty Parsons's private art collection files document her extensive personal collection of art that included works by Jackson Pollock, Agnes Martin, Romare Bearden, Barnett Newman, and Mark Rothko, in addition to Amlash sculpture from ancient Persia and primitive sculpture from New Hebrides. These files include inventories, lists, exhibition records, sales and purchase invoices, and photographs. There are also files for donations and loans from Parsons's personal collection to museums and fund raising auctions for several non-profit institutions.

Finally, the personal financial records provide information about the Parsons's family finances and her personal financial success as an art dealer. In addition to her own investments, Parsons inherited shares in family investments through the estates of her parents, J. Fred Pierson, Jr. and Suzanne Miles Pierson, and younger sister, Emily Rayner. Real estate files include correspondence, utility bills, receipts, area maps, and land plots for houses in Sheepscot, Maine and St. Maartens, Netherlands Antilles. Tax returns, ledger worksheets, receipts, banking statements, deposit slips, and cancelled checks are among the other financial records.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as seven series. Many of the series are further divided into subseries.

Missing Title

Series 1: Artists Files, 1935-1983 (19.4 linear feet; Boxes 1-18, 51, 55-56, OVs 53, 65)

Series 2: Exhibition Files, 1941-1983 (2.9 linear feet; Boxes 18-21, 51, 55, OVs 54, 66)

Series 3: Correspondence Files, 1941-1983 (3.9 linear feet; Boxes 21-24, 52, 56)

Series 4: Appraisal Files, 1954-1983 (0.7 linear feet; Box 24)

Series 5: Sales and Inventory Records, 1946-1983 (3.9 linear feet; Boxes 25-28, 51)

Series 6: General Business and Financial Records, 1946-1983 (9.3 linear feet; Boxes 28-38, 51, 56)

Series 7: Betty Parsons Personal Papers, 1916-1991 (21 linear feet; Boxes 38-51, 55-64, OVs 65-67)
Historical Note:
Betty Parsons (1900-1982) was one of the leading art dealers in New York City specializing in modern art, particularly the work of the Abstract Expressionists, and an abstract painter and sculptor in her own right. She opened Betty Parsons Gallery in 1946 at 15 E. 57th St., later moving to 24 W. 57th St.

The history of the Betty Parsons Gallery is inextricably bound to the life and experiences of its founder. Betty Parsons was born Betty Bierne Pierson on January 31, 1900 in New York City. She enjoyed a privileged childhood, which included vacation homes in Newport and Palm Beach. Her only formal education was a five-year stint at the prestigious Chapin School from 1910-1915, where she met many of the women who would become life-long friends and supporters. In the spring of 1920, she married Schuyler Livingston Parsons from one of New York's oldest families. The marriage ended after only three years and the couple traveled to Paris where they could obtain a divorce on the grounds of incompatibility. She retained her married surname and purchased a house on the rue Boulard in Paris, where she remained for ten years, pursuing studies in painting and sculpture.

Financial constraints forced Parsons to return to the United States in 1933. She first traveled west to California, but it was her return to New York in 1935 that marked the start of her career as an art dealer. Her first opportunity to connect with the New York art world came after a successful exhibition of her watercolors at the Midtown Galleries where the owner, Alan Gruskin, noted Parson's faithful and wealthy group of supporters and offered her work installing exhibitions and selling paintings on commission. Her work for the Midtown Galleries led to a second position in the Park Avenue gallery of Mary Sullivan, one of the founders of the Museum of Modern Art. Here, Parsons learned the business of running a gallery. By 1940 Parsons was ready to take on more independent responsibility and agreed to manage a gallery within the Wakefield Bookshop. In this job, she exercised full curatorial control by selecting artists and organizing exhibitions. She championed then unknown contemporary American artists and the gallery's roster soon included Saul Steinberg, Hedda Sterne, Alfonso Ossorio, Joseph Cornell, Walter Murch, and Theodore Stamos. Although the majority of the exhibitions were solo shows, there were a few group shows and themed exhibitions, such as Love in Art (1941) and Ballet in Art (1942). Under Parson's direction, the gallery hosted an important exhibition of Pre-Columbian sculpture, curated by Barnett Newman.

When the owners of the Wakefield Bookshop decided to close the gallery late in 1944, Mortimer Brandt, a dealer who specialized in Old Master paintings and drawings, offered her a position as head of the newly created contemporary section of his gallery. Many of the artists who had shown with Parsons at the Wakefield Gallery followed her to her new gallery, where they were joined by Ad Reinhardt, Boris Mango, and Hans Hofmann. While the exhibitions garnered attention from the press and the interest of contemporary artists, the contemporary section was not a financial success and Brandt opted to close his gallery in 1946.

Using $1000 of her own money and an additional borrowed $4000, Parsons sublet the space that previously housed Mortimer Brandt's contemporary section, on the fifth floor of 15 East 57th Street, and opened the Betty Parsons Gallery.

In many respects the early years of the Betty Parsons Gallery were the most vital, as it was during the period of 1947-1951 that the gallery became linked with the Abstract Expressionists and the history of post-WWII American Art. In an unpublished history of the gallery, noted art critic Lawrence Alloway stated that the significance of the gallery's early exhibitions ranks with Durand-Ruel's Impressionists exhibitions or Kahnweiler's shows of the Cubists. Betty Parsons Gallery quickly became one of the most prestigious galleries in New York City associated with new American Art of all styles. Her close friend Barnett Newman organized the gallery's inaugural exhibition of Northwest Coast Indian Art and he soon began to exhibit his own work at the gallery. When Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century Gallery closed, Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, and Mark Rothko joined Parsons' growing stable of artists. Although Parsons continued to promote and exhibit many of the artists whom she had previously discovered, these four artists dominated this period. Newman, Pollock, Still, and Rothko worked closely together, holding themselves apart from the other artists somewhat. They were actively involved in the curatorial process and often hung their own shows. For these artists, the exhibition itself was an artistic act of creation.

Parsons provided a supportive environment and allowed her artists enormous freedom in planning and designing their exhibitions. She was not, however, an aggressive salesperson. During this early period the gallery ledgers document sales to an impressive array of museums including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as important collectors such as Edward Root and Duncan Phillips. Nevertheless, the art that the gallery promoted was not yet widely accepted. Sales were few, prices were low and the business would not turn a profit for several years. Meanwhile, there was mounting pressure from Pollock, Newman, Still, and Rothko to drop some of the other artists from Parsons' stable and focus all resources on them. They wanted to be promoted to a larger audience and have their work sold at higher prices, but Parsons enjoyed discovering new artists and did not want to be restricted in this endeavor. The year 1951 marks the last time that Pollock's drip paintings or the monumental works of Newman, Rothko or Still were shown at the Betty Parsons Gallery.

In the following years the Betty Parsons Gallery continued to attract a diverse group of talented artists. Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Tuttle, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jack Youngerman had their first New York exhibitions at the Betty Parsons Gallery. Parsons opened Section Eleven in 1958, a short-lived annex to the main gallery, so that she could promote younger, less well-known artists. It closed in 1960 due to the administrative difficulties in running two essentially separate galleries.

In 1962, Sidney Janis, another prominent art dealer, started proceedings to evict Parsons from the floor that they shared on 15 East 57th Street. The Betty Parsons Gallery moved to 24 West 57th Street in 1963, where it remained until it closed in 1983, following Parsons' death the preceding year. Throughout the gallery's history, Parsons continued to promote faithful artists such as Hedda Sterne and Saul Steinberg, who had been with her from the beginning and to seek out new talent, both for her main gallery and for other venues, such as the short-lived Parsons-Truman Gallery, which she opened in 1974 with former Parsons Gallery director Jock Truman to show works on paper by emerging artists.

In addition to being an art dealer, Betty Parsons was a respected artist and collector. With her connoisseur's eye and connections, Parsons amassed an impressive private collection of art. She bought her first piece while an art student in Paris in the 1920s, a small gouache by Zadkine, but did not begin acquiring works in earnest until she was established as an art dealer. Partial inventories of her personal collection show that the majority of her collection contained works by artists associated with the gallery. Mark Rothko, Hans Hofmann, Ad Reinhardt, Agnes Martin, and Kenzo Okada were among the artists represented. Many were gifts from the artists, such as an ink drawing by Jackson Pollock, inscribed "For Betty." Selections from her collection appeared in small museums across the United States, including a traveling exhibition organized by Fitch College, New York, in 1968. In her role as a promoter of contemporary American art, Parsons lent generously from her collection, particularly to the federal Art in the Embassies Program. Throughout her life she also donated works to a variety of museums, most notably, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark.

Parsons frequently claimed that her desire to pursue a career as an artist stemmed from a visit to the Armory Show when she was thirteen. In her late teens, after pressuring her father for art lessons, she studied with the sculptor Gutzon Burglum of Mount Rushmore fame. In Paris, she continued her studies first with Antoine Bourdelle, whose sculptures she had admired at the Armory Show, and later with Ossip Zadkine. The first exhibition of her work, figurative watercolors and sculptures, took place in Paris in 1927. As she matured as an artist, her art became more abstract. Her late works were painted wood sculptures that she pieced together from wood that she found near her studio in Long Island. Parsons's work was exhibited in more than thirty solo exhibitions, including, Betty Parsons; Paintings, Gouaches and Sculpture, 1955-1968, at the Whitechapel Gallery in London. During her lifetime, she would not allow her works to be shown in her own gallery. Shortly after she died of a stroke in 1982, In Memoriam, Betty Parsons: Late Sculptures, opened at the Betty Parsons Gallery.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art are oral history interviews with Betty Parsons, June 4-9, 1969, by Paul Cummings, and June 11, 1981 by Gerald Silk.
Separated Material:
Some of the material originally loaned for microfilming in 1968 and 1969 was not included in later donations and can be viewed on microfilm reels N68/62-N68/74 and N69/105-N69/106. Loaned materials are not described in the container listing in this finding aid.
Provenance:
The gallery donated some records in 1974, many of which had been loaned earlier for microfilming. The bulk of the collection was donated in 1984 and 1986 by William Rayner and Christopher Schwabacher, executors of the Estate of Betty Parsons. Additional material was donated by William Rayner in 1998 and Christopher Schwabacher in 2017. Additional material was donated in 2018 by the Lee Hall estate via Carolyn Crozier and Deborah Jacobson, co-executors. Hall was Parsons's biographer and had the material in her possession at the time of Parsons's death. An additional photograph of Parons and Marie Carr Taylor by Henri Cartier-Bresson was donated in 2021 by Mary Carpenter, who inherited the photograph from her mother, Nan Thorton Jones, who received it as a gift from Taylor.
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.

Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
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:
Gallery owners -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Women art dealers  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Abstract expressionist  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Interviews
Video recordings
Drawings
Citation:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers, 1916-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.parsbett
See more items in:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw956c1036f-b673-4dc1-8c1b-cde0bd641c60
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-parsbett
Online Media:

Alice Yamin papers

Creator:
Yamin, Alice  Search this
Names:
Landmark Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Aach, Herbert, 1923-1985  Search this
Aziz, Barbara Nimri  Search this
Bernard, Frank S.  Search this
Bolotowsky, Ilya, 1907-  Search this
Briggs, Ernest, 1923-  Search this
Brody, Lily  Search this
Bultman, Fritz, 1919-1985  Search this
De Kooning, Elaine  Search this
Fromboluti, Sideo, 1921-  Search this
Ginsberg, Henry  Search this
Glarner, Fritz, 1899-1972  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Grillo, John, 1917-  Search this
Johnson, Buffie  Search this
Katz, Alex, 1927-  Search this
Lipkind, Bill  Search this
Lipkind, Maria  Search this
Littlefield, William Horace, 1902-1969  Search this
Mason, Alice Trumbull, 1904-1971  Search this
McFadden, Elizabeth  Search this
Mumford, Daphne, 1934  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Oeri, Georgine  Search this
Oeri-Sarasin, Gertrude  Search this
Pavia, Philip, 1915-2005  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Schmid, Elsa, 1897-  Search this
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Teller, Jane  Search this
Yamin, Leo  Search this
Extent:
2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1927-1998
Summary:
The papers of painter, draftsperson, and art consultant Alice Yamin date from 1927-1998, and measure 2.0 linear feet. Found within the papers are letters from artists, writers, galleries, and CIGY-GEIGY Corporation for whom Yamin worked as an art consultant. The collection also contains exhibition files, printed material, and photographs of Yamin, family members, and colleagues.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter, draftsperson, and art consultant Alice Yamin date from 1927-1998, and measure 2.0 linear feet. Found within the papers are letters from artists, writers, galleries, and CIGY-GEIGY Corporation for whom Yamin worked as an art consultant. The collection also contains exhibition files, printed material, and photographs of Yamin, family members, and colleagues.

The most significant series consists of letter files, which also contain scattered printed material and photographs collected by Yamin, concerning specific individuals and organizations. Represented within the files are artists Herb Aach, Ilya Bolotowsky, Ernest Briggs, Lily Brody, Fritz Bultman, Elaine DeKooning, Sideo Fromboluti, Fritz Glarner, Adolph Gottlieb, John Grillo, Buffie Johnson, Alex Katz, William H. Littlefield, Alice Trumbull Mason, Elizabeth McFadden, Daphne Mumford, Barnett Newman, Philip Pavia, Mark Rothko, Elsa Schmid, and Jane Teller; curator Henry Ginsburg; writers Barbara Nimri Aziz, Georgine Oeri, Gertrud Oeri-Sarasin, and Leo Yamin; and galleries including the Ingber Gallery and the Landmark Gallery. There are also letter files concerning the CIGY-GEIGY Corporation; for Alice Yamin's brother, businessman Frank S. Bernard, and the town of Chilmark, Massachusetts, where the Yamins spent their summers. Even though Yamin's responses to the letters are not included in the collection, this series illustrates the wide range of her friendships and associates in the art business.

Also found are exhibition files containing letters, prospectuses, business records such as loan agreements, clippings, and exhibition announcements and catalogs concerning the inclusion of Yamin's art work primarily in group exhibitions. Printed material consists of miscellaneous clippings, and exhibition announcements and catalogs that do not relate to the exhibition files, as well as miscellaneous booklets, brochures, and a copy of the book American Drawings, Watercolors, Pastels, and Collages published by the Corcoran Gallery of Art which contains a reproduction of Yamin's work. Photographs are of Yamin, family members, and colleagues including Bill and Maria Lipkind, and Aaron Siskind.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 4 series. Letter files pertaining to specific individuals and organizations are arranged alphabetically; miscellaneous letters, exhibition files, printed material, and photographs are arranged chronologically.

Missing Title

Series 1: Letter Files, 1927-1998 (Boxes 1-2; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 2: Exhibition Files, 1956-1982 (Box 2; 18 folders)

Series 3: Printed Material, 1949-1992 (Box 2; 22 folders)

Series 4: Photographs, 1923-1978 (Box 2; 2 folders)
Biographical Note:
Alice Bernard was born on April 8, 1905 in Paris, France. She was brought to the United States as a child and spent most of her life in New York City. She married writer Leo Yamin who died on January 20, 1999.

Alice Yamin was a painter and draftsperson influenced by Abstract Expressionism. Beginning in 1950, she worked with a carbon medium, primarily producing dramatic black and white works on paper. She was also an art consultant for the international chemical firm CIBA-GEIGY Corporation that began collecting contemporary art in 1959 when it moved its headquarters from Manhattan to Ardsley, New York, a suburb of New York City.

Alice Yamin died on April 4, 2002.
Provenance:
The Alice Yamin papers were donated in 1981 by the artist and in 2002 by Harry Smith, her nephew.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use 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.
Topic:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Consultants -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Draftsman -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Alice Yamin papers, 1927-1998. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.yamialic
See more items in:
Alice Yamin papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9450adfab-29f0-4402-900d-5c3676da8b95
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-yamialic
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Dorothy C. Miller

Interviewee:
Miller, Dorothy Canning, 1904-2003  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Names:
Federal Art Project  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
D'Harnoncourt, Rene, 1901-1968  Search this
Dickinson, Edwin Walter, 1891-1978  Search this
Evans, Walker, 1903-1975  Search this
Feininger, Lyonel, 1871-1956  Search this
Graves, Morris, 1910-  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich), 1908-1979  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Warburg, Edward M. M.  Search this
Extent:
260 Pages (Transcript)
18 Items (sound files (20 hrs., 42 min.), digital, wav)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1970 May 26-1971 Sept. 28
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Dorothy Miller conducted 1970 May 26-1971 Sept. 28, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.
Miller speaks of her childhood and family background; the beginning of her career in museums; her first trip to Europe; the Depression and its effect on the art world; the establishment of the WPA Federal Art Project; the scandal over the Diego Rivera mural in Rockefeller Center; getting started with the Museum of Modern Art in its early years; working with Alfred Barr; early exhibitions at the MOMA; meeting Mark Tobey and Morris Graves; meeting Holger Cahill; Cahill's background; Cahill's involvement with the WPA Federal Art Project, and the Project's early years; post-war changes in American art and the post-war years at the MOMA; Shaker design; some of her colleagues at the MOMA.
She recalls Duncan Phillips, Rene D'Harnoncourt, Jackson Pollock, Edward M.M. Warburg, Nelson Rockefeller, Mark Rothko, Louise Nevelson, Alexander Calder, Lyonel Feininger, Walker Evans, and Edwin Dickinson.
Biographical / Historical:
Dorothy C. Miller (1904-2003) was an art museum curator from New York, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 10 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 18 digital wav files. Duration is 20 hrs., 42 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are 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: Available on microfilm.
Topic:
Art museum curators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Function:
Art museums -- New York (State) -- New York
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.miller70
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw940c85ded-d241-4018-8248-4f24388f12e3
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-miller70

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-  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:
Artists -- United States  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Exhibitions  Search this
Art museum curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Corporations -- Private collections  Search this
Art -- Private collections  Search this
Folk art  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:

Katharine Kuh papers

Creator:
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Names:
Albright-Knox Art Gallery  Search this
Art Institute of Chicago -- Faculty  Search this
Biennale di Venezia  Search this
Katharine Kuh Gallery (Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Albright, Ivan, 1897-1983  Search this
Archipenko, Alexander, 1887-1964  Search this
Arensberg, Louise S. (Louise Stevenson), 1879-1953  Search this
Arensberg, Walter, 1878-1954  Search this
Arp, Jean, 1887-1966  Search this
Barnet, Will, 1911-  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Biddle, George, 1885-1973  Search this
Breuer, Marcel, 1902-  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Campoli, Cosmo  Search this
Chagall, Marc, 1887-1985  Search this
Chavez Morado, José, 1909-2002  Search this
Chermayeff, Serge, 1900-  Search this
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Cox, Richard  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
Day, Worden, 1916-1986  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Dickinson, Edwin Walter, 1891-1978  Search this
Dubuffet, Jean, 1901-  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Elizabeth, Queen of Great Britain, II, 1926-  Search this
Ernst, Jimmy, 1920-1984  Search this
Falkenstein, Claire, 1908-1997  Search this
Feitelson, Lorser, 1898-1978  Search this
Friendly, Fred W.  Search this
Giacometti, Alberto, 1901-1966  Search this
Golub, Leon, 1922-2004  Search this
Goto, Joseph, 1920-  Search this
Grabe, Klaus  Search this
Graves, Robert, 1895-1985  Search this
Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898-  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Hare, David, 1917-  Search this
Hare, Denise Browne  Search this
Hayter, Stanley William, 1901-1988  Search this
Hirshhorn, Joseph  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Hélion, Jean, 1904-1987  Search this
Inverarity, Robert Bruce, 1909-1999  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-  Search this
Kandinsky, Wassily, 1866-1944  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
Kepes, Juliet  Search this
Klee, Paul, 1879-1940  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Knox, Seymour H., 1898-1990  Search this
Le Corbusier, 1887-1965  Search this
Lundeberg, Helen, 1908-1999  Search this
Lye, Len, 1901-1980  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, 1886-1969  Search this
Millier, Arthur, 1893-  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László, 1895-1946  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Mérida, Carlos, 1891-1984  Search this
Nutting, Muriel Leone Tyler, b. 1892  Search this
Nutting, Myron Chester, 1890-1972  Search this
O'Higgins, Pablo, 1904-  Search this
Orozco, José Clemente, 1883-1949  Search this
Ozbekhan, Hasan, 1921-2007  Search this
Perkins, Frances  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Putnam, Wallace, 1899-1989  Search this
Ray, Man, 1890-1976  Search this
Rich, Daniel Catton, 1904-1976  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Sandberg, Carl  Search this
Seligmann, Kurt, 1900-1962  Search this
Shackelford, Shelby  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Spaeth, Otto, d. 1966  Search this
Sterne, Hedda, 1916-  Search this
Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-  Search this
Tanning, Dorothea, 1910-2012  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Winston, Harry Lewis  Search this
Woolf, Olga  Search this
Young, Victor  Search this
Photographer:
Pollack, Peter, 1909-1978  Search this
Extent:
12 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Illustrated letters
Resumes
Travel diaries
Minutes
Calendars
Visitors' books
Photographs
Paintings
Awards
Drawings
Sound recordings
Collages
Scrapbooks
Lithographs
Prints
Wills
Watercolors
Poetry
Lecture notes
Lectures
Sales records
Date:
1875-1994
bulk 1930-1994
Summary:
The papers of art historian, dealer, critic, and curator Katharine Kuh measure 12 linear feet and date from 1875-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930-1994. The collection documents Kuh's career as a pioneer modernist art historian and as the first woman curator of European Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with family, friends and colleagues; personal business records; artwork by various artists; a travel journal; writings by Kuh and others; scrapbooks; printed material; photographs of Kuh and others; and audio recordings of Kuh's lectures and of Daniel Catton Rich reading poetry.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of art historian, dealer, critic, and curator Katharine Kuh measure 12 linear feet and date from 1875-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930-1994. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with family, friends and colleagues; personal business records; artwork by various artists; a travel journal; writings by Kuh and others; scrapbooks; printed material; photographs of Kuh and others; and audio recordings of Kuh's lectures and of Daniel Catton Rich reading poetry.

Biographical material consists of copies of Kuh's birth certificate, resumés, passports, award certificates, honorary diplomas, and address books listing information about several prominent artists and colleagues.

Four linear feet of correspondence offers excellent documentation of Kuh's interest in art history, her travels, her career at the Art Institute of Chicago, her work as a corporate art advisor, and as an author. There are letters from her mother Olga Woolf, friends, and colleagues. There is extensive correspondence with various staff members of the Art Institute of Chicago, the First National Bank of Chicago, and The Saturday Review. Also of interest are letters from artists and collectors, several of whom became life-long friends including Walter and Louise Arensberg, Cosmo Campoli, Serge Chermayeff, Richard Cox, Worden Day, Claire Falkenstein, Fred Friendly, Leon Golub, Joseph Goto, David Hare, Denise Brown Hare, Jean Hélion, Ray Johnson, Gyorgy and Juliet Kepes, Len Lye, Wallace Putnam, Kurt Seligmann, Shelby Shackelford, Hedda Sterne, and Clyfford Still. Many letters are illustrated with original artwork in various media.

There are also scattered letters from various artists and other prominent individuals including Josef Albers, George Biddle, Marcel Breuer, Joseph Cornell, Stuart Davis, Edwin Dickinson, Joseph Hirshhorn, Daniel Catton Rich, and Dorothea Tanning.

Personal business records include a list of artwork, Olga Woolf's will, inventories of Kuh's personal art collection, miscellaneous contracts and deeds of gift, receipts for the sale of artwork, files concerning business-related travel, and miscellaneous receipts.

Artwork in the collection represents a wide range of artist friends and media, such as drawings, watercolors, paintings, collages, and prints. Included are works by various artists including lithographs by David Hare and a watercolor set, Technics and Creativity, designed and autographed by Jasper Johns for the Museum of Modern Art, 1970.

Notes and writings include annotated engagement calendars, travel journals for Germany, a guest book for the Kuh Memorial gathering, and many writings and notes by Kuh for lectures and articles concerning art history topics. Of interest are minutes/notes from meetings for art festivals, conferences, and the "Conversations with Artists Program (1961). Also found are writings by others about Kuh and other art history topics.

Six scrapbooks contain clippings that document the height of Kuh's career as a gallery director and museum curator. Scrapbook 6 contains clippings about Fernand Léger, the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1953.

Additional printed material includes clippings about Kuh and her interests, a comprehensive collection of clippings of Kuh's articles for The Saturday Review, exhibition announcements and catalogs, calendars of events, programs, brochures, books including Poems by Kuh as a child, and reproductions of artwork. Of particular interest are the early and exhibition catalogs from the Katharine Kuh Gallery, and rare catalogs for artists including Jean Arp, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Jean Dubuffet, Marcel Duchamp, Stanley William Hayter, Hans Hofmann, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Franz Kline, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Pablo Picasso.

Photographs provide important documentation of the life and career of Katharine Kuh and are of Kuh, family members, friends, colleagues, events, residences, and artwork. Several of the photographs of Kuh were taken by Will Barnet and Marcel Breuer and there is a notable pair of photo booth portraits of Kuh and a young Ansel Adams. There are also group photographs showing Angelica Archipenko with Kuh; designer Klaus Grabe; painters José Chavez Morado and Pablo O'Higgins in San Miguel, Mexico; Kuh at the Venice Biennale with friends and colleagues including Peggy Guggenheim, Frances Perkins, Daniel Catton Rich, and Harry Winston; and "The Pre-Depressionists" including Lorser Feitelson, Robert Inverarity, Helen Lundeberg, Arthur Millier, Myron Chester Nutting, and Muriel Tyler Nutting.

Photographs of exhibition installations and openings include views of the Katharine Kuh Gallery; Fernand Léger, Man Ray, and László Moholy-Nagy at the Art Institute of Chicago; and Philip Guston, Jimmy Ernst, Seymour H. Knox, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Rothko at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. There are also photographs depicting three men posing as Léger's "Three Musicians" and the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the Art Institute of Chicago. There is a photograph by Peter Pollack of an elk skull used as a model by Georgia O'Keeffe.

Additional photographs of friends and colleagues include Ivan Albright, Alfred Barr, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Willem De Kooning, Edwin Dickinson, Marcel Duchamp, Claire Falkenstein, Alberto Giacometti, poet Robert Graves with Len Lye, Philip Johnson, Gyorgy and Juliet Kepes, Carlos Mérida, José Orozco, Hasan Ozbekhan, Pablo Picasso, Carl Sandberg, Ben Shahn, Otto Spaeth, Hedda Sterne, Adlai Stevenson, Clyfford Still, Mark Tobey, and composer Victor Young.

Photographs of artwork include totem poles in Alaska; work by various artists including Claire Falkenstein, Paul Klee, and Hedda Sterne; and work donated to the Guggenheim Museum.

Four audio recordings on cassette are of Katharine Kuh's lectures, including one about assembling corporate collections, and of Daniel Catton Rich reading his own poetry. There is also a recording of the Second Annual Dialogue between Broadcasters and Museum Educators.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series. Undated correspondence, artwork, and photographs of individual artists are arranged alphabetically. Otherwise, each series is arranged chronologically.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1945-1992 (Box 1; 16 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1908-1994 (Boxes 1-5, 13-14, OV 15; 4.0 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1941-1989 (Box 5; 19 folders)

Series 4: Artwork, 1931-1986 (Boxes 5, 13-14, OVs 15-23; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 5: Notes and Writings, 1914-1994 (Boxes 5-7; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1935-1953 (Box 7; 8 folders)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1916-1992 (Boxes 7-10, 13, OV 22; 3.0 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, 1875-1993 (Boxes 10-13; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 9: Audio Recordings, 1977 (Box 12; 1 folder)
Biographical Note:
Katharine Kuh (1904-1994) worked primarily in the Chicago area as an modern art historian, dealer, critic, curator, writer, and consultant. She operated the Katharine Kuh Gallery from 1935-1943 and was the first woman curator of European and Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Katharine Kuh (née Woolf) was born on July 15, 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri, the youngest of the three daughters of Olga Weiner and Morris Woolf, a silk importer. In 1909, the family moved to Chicago, Illinois. While traveling with her family in Europe in 1914, Katharine contracted polio, causing her to spend the next decade in a body brace. During this time of restricted movement, she developed an interest in art history through the collecting of old master prints.

After her recovery, Katharine Woolf attended Vassar College where one of her professors, Alfred Barr, encouraged her to study modern art. She graduated from Vassar in 1925 and received a master's degree in art history from the University of Chicago in 1929. Later that year, she moved to New York to pursue a Ph.D. in Renaissance and medieval art at New York University.

In 1930, Katharine Woolf returned to Chicago and married businessman George Kuh and began to teach art history courses in the suburbs of Chicago. After divorcing George Kuh in 1935, she opened the Katharine Kuh Gallery, the first gallery devoted to avant-garde art in Chicago. It was also the first gallery to exhibit photography and typographical design as art forms, and featured the work of Ansel Adams, Josef Albers, Alexander Calder, Wassily Kandinsky, Fernand Léger, and Man Ray, among others. From 1938 to1940, Kuh was the Visiting Professor of Art at the University School of Fine Arts, San Miguel, Mexico.

After the Katharine Kuh Gallery closed in 1943, Kuh was hired by museum director Daniel Catton Rich to fill a position in public relations at the Art Institute of Chicago. During the following years, Kuh edited the museum's Quarterly publication, took charge of the museum's Gallery of Interpretive Art, and began a long term relationship with Rich. In 1946, Kuh was sent on a special mission for the U. S. Office of Indian Affairs to make a detailed study of Native American totemic carvings in Alaska.

In 1949, Kuh persuaded Mr. and Mrs. Walter Arensberg of Los Angeles to exhibit their collection of modern art, creating the first post-war exhibition of modern art in Chicago. She published her first book Art Has Many Faces in 1951, and in the following year, she began writing art criticism for The Saturday Review. In 1954, Kuh was appointed the first woman curator of European Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute. She assembled the American contribution for the Venice Biennale in 1956 and during these years, Kuh helped acquire many of the works of modern art currently in the museum's collection.

A year following Daniel Catton Rich's 1958 resignation from the Art Institute of Chicago, Kuh also resigned and pursued a career in New York as an art collection advisor, most notably for the First National Bank of Chicago. In 1959, Kuh was made art critic for The Saturday Review, and she continued to publish books, including The Artist's Voice in 1962, Break-Up: The Core of Modern Art in 1965, and The Open Eye: In Pursuit of Art in 1971.

Katharine Kuh died on January 10, 1994 in New York City.
Provenance:
The Katharine Kuh papers were donated in several installments from 1971 to 1989 by Katharine Kuh and in 1994 by her estate. Artwork was donated in 1995 by Kuh's former employer, the Art Institute of Chicago.
Restrictions:
Authorization to quote, publish or reproduce requires written permission until 2019. Contact the Archives of American Art Reference Services department for additional information.
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 -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art historians -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art dealers -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Topic:
Art, Abstract -- United States  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Women art dealers  Search this
Women art historians  Search this
Women museum curators  Search this
Women authors  Search this
Women art critics  Search this
Function:
Art festivals
Genre/Form:
Illustrated letters
Resumes
Travel diaries
Minutes
Calendars
Visitors' books
Photographs
Paintings
Awards
Drawings
Sound recordings
Collages
Scrapbooks
Lithographs
Prints
Wills
Watercolors
Poetry
Lecture notes
Lectures
Sales records
Citation:
Katharine Kuh papers, 1875-1994, bulk 1930-1994. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kuhkath
See more items in:
Katharine Kuh papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw987a0763e-de6c-4f9e-b143-4875b3a2244a
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kuhkath
Online Media:

Oral history interview with George McNeil

Interviewee:
McNeil, George, 1908-1995  Search this
Interviewer:
Sandler, Irving, 1925-  Search this
Creator:
Diller, Burgoyne, 1906-1965  Search this
Names:
American Abstract Artists  Search this
United States. Work Projects Administration  Search this
Bolotowsky, Ilya, 1907-1981  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Dlugoszewski, Lucia, 1931-2000  Search this
Gallatin, A. E. (Albert Eugene), 1881-1952  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Graham, John, 1887-1961  Search this
Harari, Hananiah, 1912-2000  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Hélion, Jean, 1904-1987  Search this
Kandinsky, Wassily, 1866-1944  Search this
Levy, Edgar  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Manso, Leo  Search this
Marin, John, 1870-1953  Search this
Matter, Mercedes  Search this
Matulka, Jan, 1890-1972  Search this
Miró, Joan, 1893-  Search this
Morris, George L. K., 1905-1975  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Pereira, I. Rice (Irene Rice), 1902-1971  Search this
Rosenborg, Ralph M., 1913-1992  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Shaw, Charles Green, 1892-1974  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Vytlacil, Vaclav, 1892-1984  Search this
Extent:
82 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1968 Jan. 9-May 21
Scope and Contents:
An interview of George McNeil conducted 1968 Jan. 9-May 21, by Irving Sandler, for the Archives of American Art. McNeil speaks of why he became interested in art; his early influences; becoming interested in modern art after attending lectures by Vaclav Vytlacil; meeting Arshile Gorky; the leading figures in modern art during the 1930s; his interest in Cézanne; studying with Jan Matulka and Hans Hofmann; his experiences with the WPA; the modern artists within the WPA; the American Abstract Artists (A.A.A.); a group of painters oriented to Paris called The Ten; how there was an anti-surrealism attitude, and a surrealist would not have been permitted in A.A.A; what the A.A.A. constituted as abstract art; a grouping within the A.A.A. called the Concretionists; his memories of Léger; how he assesses the period of the 1930s; the importance of Cubism; what he thinks caused the decline of A.A.A.; how he assesses the period of the 1940s; his stance on form and the plastic values in art; his thoughts on various artists; the importance of The Club; the antipathy to the School of Paris after the war; how Impressionism was considered in the 40s and 50s; slides of his paintings from 1937 to 1962, and shows how he developed as an artist; the problems of abstract expressionism; organic and geometric form; the schisms in different art groups due to politics; his teaching techniques; why he feels modern painting declined after 1912; the quality of A.A.A. works; stretching his canvases, and the sizes he uses; his recent works, and his approaches to painting. He recalls Vaclav Vytlacil, Hans Hofmann; Arshile Gorky, John Graham, Jan Matulka, John Marin, Wassily Kandinsky, Mercedes Carles Matter, Albert Swinden, Fernand Léger, Stuart Davis, Burgoyne Diller, David Smith, Edgar Levy, Leo Manso, Irene Rice Pereira, Willem de Kooning, Ilya Bolotowsky, Mark Rothko, Adolph Gottlieb, Joan Miró, Robert Motherwell, George L.K. Morris, Albert Gallatin, Charles Shaw, John Ferrin, Ralph Rosenborg, Hananiah Harari, Agnes Lyall, Jean Helion, and many others.
Biographical / Historical:
George McNeil (1908-1995) was a painter and printmaker from New York, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hrs., 14 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are 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
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Painting  Search this
Cubism  Search this
Impressionism (Art)  Search this
Surrealism  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.mcneil68
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9b3ee2e56-003f-4186-96f2-7f57e7bcd411
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mcneil68
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Katharine Kuh

Topic:
Saturday review
Interviewee:
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Interviewer:
Berman, Avis  Search this
Creator:
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, N.C.)  Search this
First National Bank of Chicago -- Art collections  Search this
Katharine Kuh Gallery (Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Vassar College  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Albright, Ivan, 1897-1983  Search this
Archipenko, Alexander, 1887-1964  Search this
Arensberg, Louise S. (Louise Stevenson), 1879-1953  Search this
Arensberg, Walter, 1878-1954  Search this
Avery, Milton, 1885-1965  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Berenson, Bernard, 1865-1959  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Ernst, Max, 1891-1976  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
Klee, Paul, 1879-1940  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, 1886-1969  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László, 1895-1946  Search this
Mérida, Carlos, 1891-1984  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Paepcke, Walter Paul, 1896-1960  Search this
Porter, Eliot, 1901-1990  Search this
Ray, Man, 1890-1976  Search this
Rich, Daniel Catton, 1904-1976  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Stamos, Theodoros, 1922-1997  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Tamayo, Rufino, 1899-  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Weston, Edward, 1886-1958  Search this
Extent:
313 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1982 Mar. 18-1983 Mar. 24
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Katharine Kuh conducted 1982 Mar. 18-1983 Mar. 24, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.
Kuh speaks of her invalid childhood in Chicago, the development of her interest in art, classes in art history at Vassar College, and her career as curator of modern art at the Art Institute of Chicago. She recalls in particular the "Sanity in Art" movement against modern art in Chicago. Kuh describes her relationship with Mark Rothko and Rothko's relationships with Mark Tobey, Clyfford Still, Kate Rothko, Theodoros Stamos, Milton Avery, Stanley Kunitz, and Hans Hofmann.
Kuh discusses her parents, the family silk business, travelling in Europe as a child, life in Chicago, the effects of polio and other illnesses on her interests, and her student years at Vassar College. She remembers visiting Bernard Berenson in Italy with her family and again with Daniel Catton Rich, with whom she worked very closely at the Art Institute of Chicago. She speaks of the Katharine Kuh Gallery, which she started in the mid-1930s and its place in the vanguard of the Chicago art scene.
Kuh remembers the effects of the stock market crash on her personal situation, her marriage to businessman George Kuh, distaste for life in the suburbs, and her divorce. She discusses the Katharine Kuh Gallery and the actions taken against her business by members of the reactionary "Sanity in Art" movement (including a very funny anecdote concerning Carlos Merida). She speaks of the classes in modern art that she taught at her gallery and of some of the artists she exhibited there, including the photographers Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward Weston.
Kuh remembers the McCarthy era and the political conservatism in Chicago, including her testimony on behalf of Bill Zimmerman, Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs. She criticizes blockbuster exhibitions and the changes in the role of a museum curator. She reminisces about building the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago and the art education program she ran there, and recalls Stuart Davis, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Gyorgy Kepes, and Ivan Albright.
Kuh remembers Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Marcel Duchamp, as well as the collectors Walter Paepcke and Walter and Louise Arensberg (whose collection she surveyed in their home for an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago).
Kuh focuses on her memories of Mark Rothko, recalling when they met, their friendship, his manner of working, his feelings about his work, and his worries towards the end of his life. She talks about Clyfford Still, Barnett Newman, and Mark Tobey. Some parts of this tape repeat what she said earlier.
Kuh continues discussing Rothko, particularly his Houston chapel murals and the retrospective exhibition at MOMA in 1961. She remembers visiting Rothko's studio and describes his working methods. She relates Rothko's views on other artists, including Milton Avery, Clyfford Still, Turner, Robert Motherwell, and Adolf Gottlieb; parts repeat things said before. Kuh also discusses Rothko's wife and daughter.
Kuh recounts building the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago and speaks of the museum staff, trustees, and donors. She remembers Alfred Barr at MOMA.
Kuh continues speaking about the Art Institute of Chicago, describing the circumstances of her resignation and subsequent move to New York. She talks of knowing Peggy Guggenheim, Max Ernst, and Fernand Leger.
Kuh describes her work as a consultant to college museums and her writings. She discusses the field of art criticism and her career as art editor at Saturday Review. She recalls Clyfford Still's retrospective exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and his death.
Kuh describes her work as a collector for the First National Bank of Chicago.
Kuh recounts more about her work at Saturday Review and her resignation. She goes into great detail about her travels in Alaska and British Columbia surveying Northwest Indian art for a government report. She speaks again about the McCarthy era.
Kuh speaks again about the Katharine Kuh Gallery and the artists she exhibited there, including Josef Albers (and his Black Mountain College), Alexander Archipenko, Stuart Davis, Paul Klee, Alexander Calder, and Man Ray.
Kuh continues her discussion of artists she exhibited at the Katharine Kuh Gallery, including Mark Tobey, Paul Klee, and Isamu Noguchi.
Kuh continues talking about artists she exhibited at the Katharine Kuh Gallery, including David Smith, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Eliot Porter, Rufino Tamayo, and Jack Tworkov.
Biographical / Historical:
Katharine Kuh (1904-1994) was an art consultant, curator, and critic from Chicago and New York City.
General:
Originally recorded on 16 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 31 digital wav files. Duration is 21 hrs., 52 min.
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, Jacob Kainen, Louis Kaufman, Jack Kufeld, 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: Patrons must use microfilm copy.
Rights:
Authorization to quote or reproduce for the purposes of publication requires written permission from Avis Berman. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Art critics -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art museum curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art museum curators -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.kuh82
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw941cbbacd-01e0-402c-828e-c3909d220c9b
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kuh82
Online Media:

Oral history interview with George McNeil

Interviewee:
McNeil, George, 1908-1995  Search this
Interviewer:
Seckler, Dorothy Gees, 1910-1994  Search this
Creator:
Diller, Burgoyne, 1906-1965  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
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:

Whitney Museum of American Art artists' files and records

Creator:
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
Names:
Whitney Studio Club  Search this
Whitney Studio Galleries  Search this
Baziotes, William, 1912-1963  Search this
Bellows, George, 1882-1925  Search this
Benton, Thomas Hart, 1889-1975  Search this
Bloom, Hyman, 1913-  Search this
Burchfield, Charles Ephraim, 1893-1967  Search this
Burlin, Paul, 1886-1969  Search this
Cadmus, Paul, 1904-1999  Search this
Cassatt, Mary, 1844-1926  Search this
Curry, John Steuart, 1897-1946  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
De Creeft, José, 1884-1982  Search this
Dickinson, Edwin Walter, 1891-1978  Search this
Eilshemius, Louis M. (Louis Michel), 1864-1941  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Feininger, Lyonel, 1871-1956  Search this
Gatch, Lee, 1902-1968  Search this
Glackens, William J., 1870-1938  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Graves, Morris, 1910-  Search this
Gross, Chaim, 1904-1991  Search this
Grosz, George, 1893-1959  Search this
Harnett, William Michael, 1848-1892  Search this
Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943  Search this
Henri, Robert, 1865-1929  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Hopper, Edward, 1882-1967  Search this
Inness, George, 1825-1894  Search this
Karfiol, Bernard, 1886-1952  Search this
Kuhn, Walt, 1877-1949  Search this
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953  Search this
Lachaise, Gaston, 1882-1935  Search this
Lawson, Ernest, 1873-1939  Search this
MacIver, Loren, 1909-1998  Search this
Marin, John, 1870-1953  Search this
Marsh, Reginald, 1898-1954  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Mount, William Sidney, 1807-1868  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia , 1887-1986  Search this
Pereira, I. Rice (Irene Rice), 1902-1971  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Prendergast, Maurice Brazil, 1858-1924  Search this
Pène Du Bois, Guy, 1884-1958  Search this
Reder, Bernard, 1897-1963  Search this
Rimmer, William, 1816-1879  Search this
Rivers, Larry, 1925-2002  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Ryder, Albert Pinkham, 1847-1917  Search this
Schnakenberg, H. E. (Henry Ernest), 1892-1970  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Sloan, John, 1871-1951  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Stella, Joseph, 1877-1946  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Twachtman, John Henry, 1853-1902  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Walkowitz, Abraham, 1880-1965  Search this
Weber, Max, 1881-1961  Search this
Wyant, A. H. (Alexander Helwig), 1836-1892  Search this
Young, Mahonri Mackintosh, 1877-1957  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
78 Microfilm reels
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Microfilm reels
Date:
1914-1966
Scope and Contents:
REELS N591-N597: Photographs of the Museum, Juliana Force, Herman Moore; scrapbooks on the Whitney Studio Club, Whitney Studio Galleries and the Museum, 1927-1965.
REELS N599-N604: Notebooks of Edwin W. Dickinson; photographs and provenance information for works by Philip Evergood; a catalog of information and some photographs of Chinese ink drawings and other works by Reginald Marsh; and photographs and information on Bernard Reder, Jack Tworkov, Max Weber (portions also microfilmed on reel NY59-8 (fr. 497-658), reel NY59-9 (fr. 1-51), and William Zorach.
REELS N604-N609: Exhibition catalogs, 1946-1966, for artists and groups shows at the Museum, including Robert Feke, William Rimmer, Ralph Blakelock, Albert Maurer, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Thomas Cole, Max Weber, Arshile Gorky, Mark Tobey, John Sloan, Loren MacIver, I. Rice Pereira, George Grosz, Reginald Marsh, Charles Burchfield, Morris Graves, Theodore Roszak, John Marin, Hans Hofmann, Bradley Tomlin, Stuart Davis, Milton Avery, Lee Gatch, Jose De Creeft, Maurice Prendergast, Edward Hopper, Hyman Bloom, Robert E. Jones, Balcomb Greene, Karl Zerbe, Arthur G. Dove, William Zorach, Philip Evergood, Bernard Reder, Herbert Feber, Oliver O'Connor Barrett,Arthur B. Davies, Jose De Rivera, Paul Burlin, Joseph Stella, Jack Tworkov, Ivan Albright, Stuart Davis, Edwin Dickinson, John Quidor, and Niles Spencer.
REELS N646-N694: Artists' files on: Oliver O'Connor Barrett,William Baziotes, George Bellows, Thomas Hart Benton, Peter Blume, James Brooks, Patrick Henry Bruce, Charles Burchfield, Paul Burlin, David Burliuk, Paul Cadmus, Mary Cassatt, Thomas Cole, Glenn Coleman, Jon Corbino, John Steuart Curry, Jo Davidson, Arthur B. Davies, Jose DeCreeft, Charles Demuth, Jose De Rivera, Arthur Dove, Guy Pène du Bois, Stuart Davis, Frank Duveneck, Ralph Earl, Eastman Johnson, The Eight, Philip Evergood, Robert Feke, Lyonel Feininger, Ernest Fiene, George Fuller, Lee Gatch, William Glackens, Arshile Gorky, Balcomb Greene, Chaim Gross, George Grosz, William Harnett, Marsden Hartley, Childe Hassam, John Heliker, Robert Henri, Hans Hofmann, George Inness, Leon Kelly, Franz Kline, Karl Knaths, Leon Kroll, Walt Kuhn, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Gaston Lachaise, Robert Laurent, Ernest Lawson, Jack Levine, Seymour Lipton, George B. Luks,
Stanton Macdonald-Wright, Loren MacIver, John Marin, Reginald Marsh, Alfred Maurer, K. H. Miller, Robert Motherwell, William Mount, Jerome Myers, Louise Nevelson, Georgia O'Keeffe (portions also microfilmed on reels NY59-13 (fr. 98-115, 406-424, 586-685), reel NY59-14 (entire), and reel NY59-15 (fr. 1-140, 145-153), I. Rice Pereira, Bernard Perlin, Joseph Pollett, Jackson Pollock, Reginald Pollack, Henry V. Poor, Richard Pousette-Dart, Maurice Prendergast, Abraham Rattner, Bernard Reder, Ad Reinhardt, William Rimmer, Larry Rivers, Hugo Robus, Theodore Roszak, Mark Rothko, Concetta Scarvaglione, Henry Schnakenberg, Ben Shahn, John Sloan, David Smith, Eugene Speicher, Theodoros Stamos, Joseph Stella, Maurice Sterne, Mark Tobey, Bradley Tomlin,Trajan, Allen Tucker, John Twachtman, Jack Tworkov, Abraham Walkowitz (also on reel NY/59-15) , Max Weber, James M. Whistler, Gertrude Whitney, Grant Wood, Alexander Wyant, Mahonri Young, and William Zorach.
REELS NWH 1-NWH 7: Artist files on Charles Sheeler, Bernard Karfiol, Louis Eilshemius; scatterred records of the Whitney Studio Club and Museum, 1914-1945, including minutes, Oct. 15, 1930, and Whitney Studio ledgers, 1928-1931; catalogs of one-man shows, 1932-1945; catalogs of annual painting exhibitions, 1932-1940, sculpture, watercolor and drawing exhibitions, 1933-1945, and group exhibitions, 1932-1945; and clippings, Oct. 1935-1936.
REELS NY59/8 (fr. 256-end)-NY59/10: Files on Max Weber, including biographical material, lists of work, and miscellany. Also found (NY59/8 frames 354-383) are ca.20 letters from Weber to Abraham Walkowitz, 1907-1924.
Biographical / Historical:
Whitney Museum of American Art is an American art museum in New York, New York. Founded by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and formally opened in 1931. Previous to its opening as a museum it was known as the Whitney Studio Club (1914-28) and Whitney Studio Galleries (1928-30).
Provenance:
The Weber files on reels NY59/8-10 were lent for microfilming 1959 by the Whitney Museum of American Art; the remainder was lent 1964-1967; additional material from the Museum was lent at the same time, and subsequently donated, including the papers of Lloyd Goodrich, Juliana Force, Thomas B. Clarke, the American Art Research Council, and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney; these have each been cataloged separately. Portions of Weber, and O'Keeffe material that was microfilmed in 1959 were refilmed in 1967.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Artists -- Exhibitions -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Function:
Art museums -- New York (State)
Identifier:
AAA.whitmuse
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw990da7b91-a3b8-4ace-b8ba-b5c08cfe3284
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-whitmuse

Oral history interview with Jack Kufeld

Interviewee:
Kufeld, Jack, 1907-1990  Search this
Interviewer:
Berman, Avis  Search this
Creator:
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
Design Laboratory (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Gallery Secession (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Avery, Milton, 1885-1965  Search this
Godsoe, Robert  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Gross, Chaim, 1904-1991  Search this
Harris, Louis, 1902-1970  Search this
Jaffe, Vladimir  Search this
Kufeld, Jack, 1907-1990  Search this
Neumann, J. B. (Jsrael Ber)  Search this
Pereira, I. Rice (Irene Rice), 1902-1971  Search this
Rothko, Edith  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Weber, Max, 1881-1961  Search this
Yavno, Max  Search this
Extent:
28 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1981 Oct. 5
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Jack Kufeld conducted 1981 Oct. 5, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.
Kufeld discusses his acquaintance with Mark Rothko and the artists of The Ten. He speaks briefly about Gallery Secession and its owner, Robert Godsoe, and the Gallery's role in the formation of The Ten. Kufeld and Rothko lived together for a short time after Rothko's separation from his first wife, Edith. Kufeld remembers Edith, with whom he remained friends for many years even though he stopped associating with painters when he abruptly stopped painting in the late 1930s. He talks about the Design Laboratory, where he was a teacher. Kufeld recalls Robert Godsoe, Milton Avery, Max Yavno, J.B. Neumann, Adolf Gottlieb, Lou Harris, Max Weber, I. Rice Pereira, Chaim Gross, Vladimir Jaffe, and many others.
Biographical / Historical:
Jack Kufeld (1907-1990) was a painter from New York, N.Y. Member of the painters' group The Ten which included Mark Rothko, Ilya Bolotowsky, Joseph Solman, Adolph Gottlieb and others.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hrs., 44 min.
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, Jacob Kainen, Louis Kaufman, 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 is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Topic:
Philadelphia Ten (Group of artists)  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.kufeld81
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9e5997e78-31e8-45a8-bbb3-5acd522fa3f9
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kufeld81
Online Media:

Theodoros Stamos papers

Creator:
Stamos, Theodoros, 1922-1997  Search this
Names:
Leen, Nina, 1909-  Search this
Meisel, Louis K.  Search this
Namuth, Hans  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Savas, Georgianna  Search this
Extent:
3.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Transcripts
Photographs
Interviews
Date:
circa 1922-2008
Summary:
The papers of Theodoros Stamos measure 3.1 linear feet and date from circa 1922-2008. Stamos was a painter primarily associated with the first generation of Abstract Expressionists. Biographical materials, correspondence, writings, business and legal records, printed materials, and photographs document Stamos' career as a painter. Also included are materials relating to the Rothko estate controversy compiled by Stamos' sister, Georgianna Savas, as well as her papers concerning arrangements for Stamos' funeral and posthumous exhibition plans.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Theodoros Stamos measure 3.1 linear feet and date from circa 1922-2008. Stamos was a painter primarily associated with the first generation of Abstract Expressionists. Biographical materials, correspondence, writings, business and legal records, printed materials, and photographs document Stamos' career as a painter. Also included are materials relating to the Rothko estate controversy compiled by Stamos' sister, Georgianna Savas, as well as her papers concerning arrangements for Stamos' funeral and posthumous exhibition plans.

Biographical material includes birth and death certificates and interview transcripts. Personal correspondence is with friends and family; professional correspondence pertains to gallery transactions, including a falling out with gallery owner Louis K. Meisel. Among the printed materials are exhibition announcements and clippings of articles in English and Greek concerning his career and personal life. Photographs include views of family and friends, portraits of Stamos by Hans Namuth, Nina Leen and other photographers, as well as images of artwork by Stamos and other artists.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1922-2006 (Box 1; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 2: Financial Records, 1979-circa 1990s (Box 1; 2 folders)

Series 3: Correspondence, circa 1940s-1997 (Boxes 1, 5; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Business and Legal, 1974-2008 (Box 1; 2 folders)

Series 5: Writings, circa 1944-2002 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 6: Artwork, circa 1940s-1980 (Box 1, OV 6-7; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 7: Printed Materials, 1945-2007 (Box 2, OV 7; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, 1943-1999 (Boxes 2-3, 5; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 9: Georgianna Savas Papers on Theodoros Stamos, 1985-2005 (Boxes 3-4; 0.3 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Painter Theodoros Stamos (1922-1997) worked in New York and spent considerable time in Lefkada, Greece. A first generation Abstract Expressionist, Stamos developed as a color field painter, and had a long teaching career. His later years were encumbered by his role in the Mark Rothko Estate controversy.

Born to Greek immigrant parents in New York City, Stamos attended the prestigious Stuyvesant High School, leaving just three months before graduation to pursue a career in art. From 1941 to 1948 he operated a frame shop where he framed hundreds of Paul Klee paintings for Nierendorf Gallery and encountered customers such as Arshile Gorky and Fernand Léger, experiences that influenced the young artist.

Stamos' first solo exhibition, presented by Betty Parsons in 1943, brought the 20 year old painter to the attention of museums and private collectors. Throughout the 1940s Stamos painted and traveled extensively. By the end of the decade he had had three solo exhibitions and participated in group shows such as the 1945 Whitney Museum Biennial and "The Ideographic Picture," an important early Abstract Expressionist exhibition curated by Barnett Newman.

Through connections made at the American Artists' School Stamos became a notable artist among the New York avant garde during the early years of Abstract Expressionism. He was the youngest of the "Irascibles," a group of American artists who broke from the School of Paris to create a new approach to abstract painting.

In 1951, Stamos built a house in East Marion, New York on Long Island where he lived and worked. Here, he began to develop his color field technique and, influenced by his Greek heritage, continued to express interest in spiritualism and ancient Greek myths and philosophy. In 1958, Stamos' work was shown in a retrospective exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and in "The New American Painting," the Museum of Modern Art's traveling exhibition that introduced European audiences to Abstract Expressionism.

Stamos began his career as an educator in 1950 at Black Mountain College. Later, he taught at Columbia University and Brandeis University, and for more than 20 years was on the faculty of the Art Students League.

Following the death of his friend Mark Rothko, Stamos was involved in a highly publicized lawsuit involving his role as an executor of the estate. The trial ended unsuccessfully for Stamos and its adverse consequences impacted the late part of his career. In 1966, the Rothko children obtained permission to disinter their father's remains from the Stamos burial plot in East Marion, New York; with the assistance of Stamos' sister, Georgianna Savas, arrangements were made to bury Rothko at a cemetery in Valhalla, New York.

Traveling between homes in New York and Lefkada, Greece, Stamos continued to paint and teach late into his life. He died in Greece in 1997.
Related Material:
Among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are oral history interveiws conducted by John Jones and Bruce Hooten, February 19, 1965, and by Irving Sandler, April 23, 1968. Also found are Theodoros Stamos letters to Diran Deckmejian, 1977-1995, and Theodoros Stamos letters to James DiMartino, 1977-1988.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds materials lent for microfilming (reels N70-66 and N70-67) including correspondence, poems, printed material and membership cards. Lent material was returned to the lender and is not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Theodoros Stamos loaned the Archives of American Art material for microfilming in 1970. Stamos' sister, Georgianna Savas, donated papers in 2008 and 2011.
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.
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting, American  Search this
Painting -- Technique  Search this
Genre/Form:
Transcripts
Photographs
Interviews
Citation:
Theodoros Stamos papers, circa 1922-2008. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.stamtheo
See more items in:
Theodoros Stamos papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9d3faf8b2-068c-469c-8527-3840f6cc81e3
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-stamtheo
Online Media:

Elise Asher papers

Creator:
Asher, Elise, 1914-  Search this
Names:
Bultman, Fritz, 1919-1985  Search this
De Groot, Nanno, 1913-1964  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Kunitz, Stanley, 1905-2006  Search this
Mailer, Norman  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Stamos, Theodoros, 1922-1997  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Vonnegut, Kurt  Search this
Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963  Search this
Extent:
1.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Christmas cards
Illustrated letters
Photographs
Slides (photographs)
Date:
1923-1994
Summary:
The Elise Asher papers measure 1.6 linear feet and date from 1923 to 1994. The collection includes biographical material, letters, writings, works of art, business records, printed material, and photographs reflecting Asher's career as a poet, painter, and sculptor, and her friendships with many prominent artists of the mid-twentieth century.
Scope and Content Note:
The Elise Asher papers, 1923-1994, measure 1.6 linear feet and reflect Asher's career as a poet, painter, and sculptor, and her friendships with many of the more prominent artists of the mid-twentieth century. The collection contains biographical material, letters, writings, works of art, business records, printed material, and photographs.

Notable correspondents found in the collection include Fritz Bultman, Helen Frankenthaler, Philip Guston, Hans Hofmann, Norman Mailer, Robert Motherwell, Louise Nevelson, Mark Rothko, Theodoros Stamos, Jack Tworkov, and Kurt Vonnegut.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into seven series according to material type. The contents of each folder have been arranged chronologically.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1923-1976 (box 1, 1 folder)

Series 2: Letters, 1941-1988, undated (box 1, 2 folders)

Series 3: Business Records, 1955-1988, undated (box 1, 43 folders)

Series 4: Writings, 1973-1979, undated (box 1, 4 folders)

Series 5: Artwork, undated (box 1, 2 folders)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1929-1994, undated (boxes 1-3, 30 folders)

Series 7: Photographs, 1951-1973, undated (box 2, 5 folders)
Biographical Note:
Born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1914, Elise Asher studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, Bradford Junior College, Boston College, and at Simmons College.

She began her career as a poet, culminating in a volume of her poetry entitled The Meandering Absolute. Upon her 1947 arrival in New York City, her attention turned to painting and sculpture. The Tanager Gallery mounted her first solo exhibition in 1953.

Asher was married to painter Nanno de Groot from 1949 to 1957. A year later she married poet Stanley Kunitz, whose work she often illustrated.
Provenance:
The Elise Asher papers were donated in 1975, 1976, 1989, 1990 and 1995 by the artist.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Microfilmed portion must be consulted on microfilm. Use of unmicrofilmed material requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington D.C. research facility.
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
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Poets -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Women sculptors  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Christmas cards
Illustrated letters
Photographs
Slides (photographs)
Citation:
The Elise Asher papers, 1923-1994. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.asheelis
See more items in:
Elise Asher papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw99a5d878c-4baa-45be-be3d-56ae368dc221
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-asheelis
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Louis Kaufman

Interviewee:
Kaufman, Louis, 1905-1994  Search this
Creator:
Cloudman, Ruth Howard, 1948-  Search this
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Avery, Milton, 1885-1965  Search this
Avery, Sally  Search this
Berkman, Aaron  Search this
Burliuk, David, 1882-1967  Search this
Eilshemius, Louis M. (Louis Michel), 1864-1941  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Graham, John, 1887-1961  Search this
Kumpt, Mary  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Zborowski, Mark  Search this
Extent:
3 Cassettes (Sound recording, analog.)
20 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Cassettes
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1985 Feb. 15
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Louis Kaufman conducted 1985 Feb. 15, by Ruth Howard Cloudman, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.
Kaufman, a great friend and patron of Milton Avery, recalls introducing Mark Rothko to Avery. He describes his memories of Rothko, including a discussion of Rothko's knowledge of art history and his interest in the French avant-garde. Much of the interview concerns Milton Avery, including Kaufman's interest in his work as a collector, the group of artists surrounding Avery, and Avery's influence upon Kaufman as a musician. He also recalls visits to Louis Eilshemius. Kaufman recalls Mary Kumpt, Aaron Berkman, Sally Avery, David Burliuk, John Graham, Zborowski, Adolf Gottlieb, Louis Elishemius, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Louis Kaufman (1905-1994) was an art collector and musician.
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, Jacob Kainen, 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 is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.kaufma85
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw951bba5eb-84ac-49b3-9edf-e48351e80c0d
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kaufma85
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Sally Avery

Interviewee:
Avery, Sally  Search this
Interviewer:
Wolf, Tom  Search this
Names:
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Opportunity Club (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Avery, Milton, 1885-1965  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Extent:
66 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1982 February 19
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Sally Avery conducted 1982 February 19, by Tom Wolf, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.
Avery discusses the friendship between Mark Rothko and the Averys, noting especially Rothko's admiration for Milton Avery's work. She describes Avery's influence on Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb, recalling several summers spent together and their close association in New York. She mentions Rothko's and Avery's involvement with the Opportunity Gallery, and the activities of the Club and the Ten. Avery speaks of Rothko's "myth paintings" and the origination of the idea with Barnett Newman and Adolph Gottlieb. The second half of the interview focuses on Milton Avery and his manner of working. She mentions an Avery portrait of Marsden Hartley and remembers his visits with them.
Biographical / Historical:
Sally Michel Avery (1902-2003) was a painter and widow of Milton Avery. Sally Avery lived in New York and Long Island.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 32 min.
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, Ben-Zion, Bernard Braddon, Ernest Briggs, Rhys Caparn, Elaine de Kooning, Herbert Ferber, 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, 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 -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.avery82
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9ffb07038-14e6-4516-8328-9edfc3008a24
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-avery82
Online Media:

Milton Avery papers

Creator:
Avery, Milton, 1885-1965  Search this
Names:
Avery, Sally  Search this
Duthuit, Georges, 1891-  Search this
Eilshemius, Louis M. (Louis Michel), 1864-1941  Search this
Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943  Search this
Putnam, Wallace, 1899-1989  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Extent:
2.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1926-1982
bulk 1950-1982
Summary:
The papers of abstract painter Milton Avery measure 2.8 linear feet and date from 1926 to 1982, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1950 to 1982. Almost the entire collection consists of records of the Milton Avery Trust (2.4 linear feet) maintained by Avery's wife Sally, who served as a trustee. Milton Avery's business and personal correspondence (five folders) contains letters from friends and fellow artists, including a few from George Duthuit, Louis Eilshemius, Marsden Hartley, Wallace Putnam, and Mark Rothko. Also found are scattered writings about Avery, price lists, estate records, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and news clippings.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of abstract painter Milton Avery measure 2.8 linear feet and date from 1926 to 1982, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1950 to 1982. Almost the entire collection consists of business files maintained by Milton Avery's wife Sally as a trustee for the Milton Avery Trust (2.4 linear feet). Milton Avery's business and personal correspondence (five folders) contains letters from friends and fellow artists, including a few from George Duthuit, Louis Eilshemius, Marsden Hartley, Wallace Putnam, and Mark Rothko. Also found are scattered writings about Avery, price lists, estate records, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and news clippings.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 7 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1964, 1975 (Box 1; 1 folder)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1935-1981 (Box 1; 10 folders)

Series 3: Subject Files, 1950-1981 (Box 1-4; 2.4 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings, circa 1951-1979 (Box 4; 5 folders)

Series 5: Financial & Legal Records, 1943-1982 (Box 4; 6 folders)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1926, 1962-1977 (Box 4; 4 folders)

Series 7: Photographs, circa 1970 (Box 4; 1 folder)
Biographical Note:
Milton Avery (1885-1965) was born in Altmar, New York and grew up in Hartford, Connecticut. Around 1905 he began attending the Connecticut League of Art Students in Hartford where he studied life drawing while also working full-time as a factory worker and file clerk. In 1915 he had his first public exhibition and, in 1918, transferred to the School of Art Society in Hartford. In 1924 he met Sally Michel (1905-2003), a student at the Art Students League in New York, and moved to New York City to be closer to her. They married one year later. Around this time Avery also altered his year of birth to 1893, perhaps due to the age difference between him and Sally. After their marriage Sally worked as an illustrator so that Avery could paint full time.

During the early 1920s, Avery's works were traditional figurative and genre subjects, influenced by American Impressionism. By the mid 1920s, with his move to New York, Avery began to simplify his forms and use broader expanses of flat color. Although his paintings became increasingly abstract, he never fully abandoned representational subject matter, painting figure groups, still lifes, landscapes, and seascapes. By the mid-1940s, Avery's work was characterized by a reduction of elements and elimination of detail, filled with an emphasis on arbitrary color.

Avery exhibited in a group show at The Opportunity Gallery in 1928 which also featured Mark Rothko and the two became close friends. He became friends with many other artists including Adolph Gottlieb, Barnett Newman, and Marsden Hartley. Avery's color work was an important influence on many younger artists, particularly Mark Rothko, Adolph Gottlieb, Barnett Newman, Helen Frankenthaler, and other Color Field painters. The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. was the first museum to purchase one of his paintings in 1929 and to give him his first solo museum exhibition in 1944.

In 1949 Milton Avery suffered a major heart attack and began making monotypes during his recovery. He returned to painting despite periods of ill-health, and his reputation grew rapidly over the next ten years, culminating in a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in 1960. He also exhibited along with his wife Sally Avery and their daughter, March Avery Cavanaugh (born in 1932), both of whom were also painters. Avery died in 1965 and left behind an oeuvre of paintings that numbers in the thousands. His wife Sally managed his estate and the sale of his works to many major museums, and served as a trustee for the Milton Avery Trust until her death in 2003.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming on reels N68-95, N68-115, N69-63, and 2535 including six scrapbooks, a sketchbook, Christmas cards, exhibition catalogs, and photographs. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
The Milton Avery papers were donated in 1968, 1969, and 1982 by his widow Sally Avery, including a few letters previously loaned for microfilming.
Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art's website.
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:
Painting, Abstract  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Citation:
Milton Avery papers, 1926-1982. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.avermilt
See more items in:
Milton Avery papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw962db9fe5-4a80-451f-a614-95e126345f06
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-avermilt
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:

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