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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

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:

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 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:

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

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:

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:

Clement Greenberg papers

Creator:
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Names:
American Committee for Cultural Freedom  Search this
Avedisian, Edward, 1936-2007  Search this
Bannard, Walter Darby, 1934-  Search this
Baziotes, Ethel  Search this
Bush, Jack, 1909-  Search this
Caro, Anthony, 1924-  Search this
Connolly, Cyril, 1903-1974  Search this
Davis, Gene, 1920-1985  Search this
Diebenkorn, Richard, 1922-1993  Search this
Dorazio, Piero, 1927-  Search this
Dzubas, Friedel, 1915-  Search this
Emmerich, André  Search this
Feeley, Paul, 1910-1966  Search this
Francis, Sam, 1923-1994  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Fuller, Peter, 1947-1990  Search this
Goodnough, Robert, 1917-  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Hosaisson, Philippe  Search this
Kainen, Jacob  Search this
Krauss, Rosalind E.  Search this
Moffett, Kenworth  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Noland, Kenneth, 1924-  Search this
O'Faolin, Nuala  Search this
Olitski, Jules, 1922-2007  Search this
Pepper, Beverly  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Sander, Ludwig, 1906-  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Smith, Kimber, 1922-1981  Search this
Solomon, Deborah  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-  Search this
Truitt, Anne, 1921-2004  Search this
Waddington, Leslie  Search this
Wisenski, Kurt  Search this
Extent:
8.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Transcripts
Interviews
Etchings
Photographs
Reports
Date:
1937-1983
Summary:
The papers of art critic, author, and lecturer Clement Greenberg measure 8.6 linear feet and date from 1937 to 1983. The bulk of the collection consists of letters from art critics, artists, family, friends, galleries, and museums. Notable correspondents include Jack Bush, Anthony Caro, Richard Diebenkorn, Friedel Dzubas, Helen Frankenthaler, Adolph Gottlieb, Hans Hofmann, Morris Louis, Robert Motherwell, Charles Pollock, Jules Olitski, David Smith, and Anne Truitt among others. Also found are biograpical materials, personal business and financial records, an etching by Kurt Wisneski, printed materials, and two reports by Greenberg concerning his travels.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of influential New York art critic Clement Greenberg measure 8.6 linear feet and date from 1937 to 1983. The bulk of the papers (7 feet) consists of letters from art critics, artists, family, friends, galleries, and museums, with some letters from Greenberg. Correspondents include Edward Avedisian, Darby Bannard, Ethel Baziotes, Jack Bush, Anthony Caro, Gene Davis, Richard Diebenkorn, Piero Dorazio, Friedel Dzubas, Andre Emmerich, Paul Feeley, Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Goodnough, Adolf Gottleib, Hans Hofmann, Philippe Hosiasson, Jacob Kainen, Rosalind Krauss, Robert Motherwell, Ken Moffett, Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Beverly Pepper, Ludwig Sander, David Smith, Kimber Smith, Clyfford Still, Anne Truitt, and Leslie Waddington.

Biographical materials include a transcript of an interview with Greenberg conducted by Deborah Solomon in 1983. Greenberg's personal business and financial records include correspondence regarding his lectures and seminars, requests for his writings, student queries, documents regarding his television and radio appearances, royalty statements, and receipts for gifts of works of art. Also found within business records are documents relating to Greenberg's testimony at the Mark Rothko Trial in 1974.

Artwork consists of one etching by Kurt Wisenski entitled "Spring." The papers contain very few of Greenberg's writings about art. Found are lists of artists, and reports written by Greenberg on the state of art in Japan and India in 1967, likely related to his membership in the American Committee for Cultural Freedom. Printed material includes scattered clippings concerning art and exhibition announcements.

One series of ACCESS RESTRICTED papers contains documents relating to Greenberg's role as a trustee in the David Smith estate; correspondence between Greenberg with Andre Emmerich and Peter Fuller, Nuala O'Faolain, and the Greenberg family; and some financial materials regarding the sale and loan of Greenberg's art collection.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 7 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Information, circa 1950s-1983 (Box 1; 2 folders)

Series 2: Business and Financial Records, 1940-1983 (Box 1; 12 folders)

Series 3: Correspondence, 1937-1983 (Boxes 1-8; 7 linear feet)

Series 4: Artwork, 1973 (Box 8; 1 folder)

Series 5: Writings and Notes, 1967-1983 (Box 8; 3 folders)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1950-1982 (Box 8; 2 folders)

Series 7: David Smith Estate Materials (Boxes 9-11; 1.2 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Clement Greenberg was a highly influential art critic working in New York City from the 1940s through the 1960s. He was an advocate of modern art, particulary the abstract expressionist movement, and one of the first critics to recognize the significance of Jackson Pollock's work.

Greenberg was born in 1909 to Russian immigrants in Bronx, New York. After graduating from Syracuse University in 1930, he married and had a child, David. He settled in New York City while working at the United States Customs Department as an appraiser.

In the late 1930s, Clement Greenberg attended a meeting of the U.S. Works Progress Administration and heard Hans Hofmann speak of avant-garde art. In 1939, he wrote one of his first important critical pieces "Avant-Garde and Kitsch" for the Partisan Review. Greenberg argued that the avant-garde art movement rose out of the need to defend and maintain high art standards against the decline in taste brought about by America's consumerism and capitalist culture.

In 1940, Greenberg joined Partisan Review as an editor. He became art critic for the Nation in 1942, and was associate editor of Commentary from 1945 until 1957. In December 1950, he joined the CIA-fronted American Committee for Cultural Freedom.

Throughout the 1940s through the 1960s Greenberg continued to write and, in his essays and articles, he promoted the work of Abstract Expressionists, among them Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Hans Hofmann, Barnett Newman, and Clyfford Still. He particularly championed Jackson Pollock. Greenberg wrote several seminal essays that defined his views on art history in the 20th century. "Greenberg on Collage" was one one of his most important.

Greenberg's views on pop art were mixed. He also became less enamored with Abstract Impressionism, particularly the second generation. However, he became very interested in the Color-Field and Hard-Edge painters.

Through the 1960s Greenberg's views informed a younger generation of art critics including Michael Fried and Rosalind E. Krauss. Some writers maintain that Greenberg's views were so well-respected that he had too much of an influence on the world of art. In time, Greenberg's antagonism to Postmodernist theories and other modern art movements caused him to lose much of his credibility among both artists and art critics.

Greenberg died at the age of eighty-five in 1994.

Since his death, letters edited by his widow, Janice Van Horne and a re-evaluation of his writings have helped to restore his reputation within the art world.
Related Material:
The Portland Art Museum holds Clement Greenberg's private art collection as well as a library of exhibition catalogs.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reels N69-91, N70-7, and N737). Most, but not all, of these papers were later donated by Greenberg. Loaned materials not donated at a later date remain with the lender and are not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Provenance:
Clement Greenberg initally lent material for microfilming in 1968-1969. He donated most of this material with additional papers in several accretions between 1984 to 1991.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Some of the collection is ACCESS RESTRICTED: documents relating to the estate of David Smith; some correspondence with Peter Fuller, Nuala O'Faolain, and the Greenberg family; and sale and loan agreements (Boxes 9, 10, and 11). Contact the reference staff for more information about permission to use this portion of the collection.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art criticism -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Japan  Search this
Art -- India  Search this
Modernism (Art)  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Genre/Form:
Transcripts
Interviews
Etchings
Photographs
Reports
Citation:
The Clement Greenberg papers, 1937-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.greeclep
See more items in:
Clement Greenberg papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9583b0d2a-ad31-4fa9-a3b5-eacce3cb0313
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-greeclep
Online Media:

Thomas Hess papers

Creator:
Hess, Thomas B.  Search this
Names:
Mark Rothko Foundation  Search this
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Campbell, Lawrence  Search this
De Kooning, Elaine  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Milles, Carl, 1875-1955  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Rivers, Larry, 1925-2002  Search this
Rosenberg, Harold, 1906-1978  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Schapiro, Meyer, 1904-  Search this
Schuyler, James  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Extent:
10 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Drawings
Greeting cards
Illustrated letters
Paintings
Cartoons (humorous images)
Photographs
Collages
Date:
1939-1978
Summary:
The papers of New York editor and art critic Thomas Hess measure 10.0 linear feet and date from 1939 to 1978. The collection includes biographical materials, correspondence, extensive writings and notes, artists and subject files that also include recorded conversations with artists and others, printed materials, photographic materials, and artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York editor and art critic Thomas Hess measure 10.0 linear feet and date from 1939 to 1978. The collection includes biographical materials, correspondence, extensive writings and notes, artists and subject files that also include recorded conversations with artists and others, printed materials, photographic materials, and artwork.

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

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

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

Printed materials include brochures and flyers, clippings, magazines and newspapers, press releases, travel memorabilia, and a printed scarf. Photographs are of of Hess, his wife Audrey, other family members, works of art, travel, Larry Rivers and Ad Reinhardt, and other artists and colleagues. Artwork includes drawings, paintings, collages, cartoons, and holiday cards made by Hess and his children, along with artwork by others including Audrey and Lawrence Campbell, Ad Reinhardt, and unidentified artists.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 7 series.

Missing Title

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

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

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

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

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

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

Series 7: Artwork, 1939-1978 (0.4 linear feet; Box 10, OV 11)
Biographical / Historical:
Thomas B. Hess (1920-1978) was an editor, art critic, and curator who worked in New York City. He was on the staff at Art News for 26 years (1946-72). Starting as an editorial associate, he was named managing editor in 1948, then executive editor in 1954; he assumed the top editorial post in 1965 upon the death of long-time editor Alfred Frankfurter. In his critical writing from the late 1940s on, he was an influential supporter of the Abstract Expressionists. He wrote widely on other topics as well. In 1972 he left Art News after an ownership change. He then became the art critic for New York magazine (1972-78), a large-circulation weekly reaching a much larger public. (He was also, in the late '60s, a correspondent for the French daily newspaper Le Monde.)

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

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

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

Oral history interview with Aaron Siskind

Interviewee:
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Interviewer:
Shikler, Barbara  Search this
Creator:
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Solomon, Joe  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Strand, Paul, 1890-1976  Search this
Extent:
45 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1982 September 28-October 2
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Aaron Siskind conducted 1982 September 28-October 2, by Barbara Shikler, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.
Siskind recalls his childhood in New York and his early interest in poetry and later photography. He describes the evolution of his own work, the role of various influences upon his work, and the meanings that can be assigned to his work. He discusses the abstract expressionist elements of his photographs and recalls his involvement with painters, including Mark Rothko. He speaks of photographing Rothko's paintings, and describes Rothko's personality. He recalls Barney Newman, Adolph Gottlieb, Paul Strand, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Joe Solomon, Robert Motherwell, Clyfford Still, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Aaron Siskind (1903-1991) was a photographer from New York, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 7 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, Katharine Kuh, Stanley Kunitz, Joseph Liss, Dorothy Miller, Betty Parsons, Wallace Putnam, Rebecca Reis, Maurice Roth, Sidney Schectman, 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:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.siskin82
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw93b4bbb41-b11b-467e-93b5-df9352eb486d
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-siskin82
Online Media:

Wallace Putnam papers

Creator:
Putnam, Wallace, 1899-1989  Search this
Names:
Avery, Milton, 1885-1965  Search this
Birnbaum, Abe, 1899-1966  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Extent:
1.5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1914-1983
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence is primarily between Putnam and his family and friends, including one letter from Clyfford Still. Photographs are of Putnam, his family and friends (mostly from his high school years), and of miscellaneous subjects.
Writings include 3 journals in which Putnam recorded his dreams and his interpretations of them; an autobiography formed from his letters and essays; an undated and unfinished autobiography; essays and poetry on art and other subjects (many of them incomplete); a manuscript for Putnam's book Manhattan Manners with a note by Alfred Stieglitz; and a transcript of an unpublished manuscript entitled "Three Heroes I Have Known" which include comments about Mark Rothko, Milton Avery, and Abe Birnbaum.
Also found are several drawings, in ink and in pencil, undated; exhibition catalogs and announcements; programs for Putnam's graduations and other school events; clippings, mostly regarding Putnam's high school athletic activities; miscellaneous printed materials; and Putnam's William H. Lincoln medal, Brookline High School, 1918.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, writer, lithographer, and draftsman; Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
Provenance:
Donated 1983 by Wallace Putnam.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Painters  Search this
Topic:
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State)  Search this
Citation:
Wallace Putnam papers, 1914-1983. Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Art.
Identifier:
AAA.putnwall
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9cde11f79-9ce2-42cd-ba98-36ef663adaed
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-putnwall

Barnett Newman papers

Creator:
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Names:
Kootz Gallery (N.Y.)  Search this
Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898- -- Photographs  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Tomlin, Bradley Walker, 1899-1953  Search this
Zarnower, Teresa -- Photographs  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 1 reel))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1943-1971
Scope and Contents:
REEL 3481: Six letters from Bradley Walker Tomlin, 1948-1952, and 15 from Mark Rothko, 1945-1950; catalogs with introductions by Newman, and other writings; catalogs, announcements and clippings on Newman, 1943-1971; a photograph of Newman at the opening of "The Intrasubjectives" at Kootz Gallery, 1949; and a photograph of Peggy Guggenheim with Polish artist Teresa Zarnower, ca. 1950.
UNMICROFILMED: Thirty letters from Clyfford Still, 1946-1956, addressed to Barnett and Annalee Newman. The letters were written during the period Still was teaching at the California School of Fine Art in San Francisco. He writes of his alienation from the New York and California art world, Clement Greenberg, the Bauhaus aesthetic, and his CSFA colleagues, including Ad Reinhardt, and his rift with Mark Rothko.
Biographical / Historical:
Barnett Newman (1905-1970) was a painter and writer in New York.
Provenance:
Donated by Mrs. Barnett Newman, 1976-1994.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm.
Occupation:
Painters -- United States  Search this
Painters  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.newmbarn
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9a271ad29-77fb-4e53-be1f-50453a98a8d3
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-newmbarn

Emily Nathan papers

Creator:
Nathan, Emily  Search this
De Creeft, José, 1884-1982  Search this
Lerner, Abram  Search this
Goldberg, Rube, 1883-1970  Search this
Names:
Smithsonian Institution -- Public relations.  Search this
Towle Mfg. Company -- Public relations  Search this
De Creeft, José, 1884-1982  Search this
Hirshhorn, Joseph H.  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
McLanathan, Richard B. K.  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Smith, Tony, 1912-1980  Search this
Spyropoulous, Jannis, 1912-  Search this
Woolfenden, William E. (William Edward), 1918-1995  Search this
Photographer:
Namuth, Hans  Search this
Extent:
6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
circa 1943-1985
Scope and Contents:
The papers of public relations consultant and journalist Emily Nathan measure 5.0 linear feet and date from circa 1943-1985. Included are files on clients, among them Towle Manufacturing and its gallery; the Smithsonian Institution, including the Archives of American Art, Radio Smithsonian and the National Portrait Gallery.
Interviews conducted by Nathan for Radio Smithsonian include New York, N.Y. cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg (1883-1970), 1970; art historian and writer Richard B. K. McLanathan, 1970; Director of the Archives of American Art William E. Woolfenden, 1970, Abram Lerner, Director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, and art collector Joseph Hirshhorn, 1969. Also found is an interview of William Woolfenden May 6, 1983 upon his retirement as Director of the Archives of American Art.
Among the correspondence are letters to Georgia O'Keeffe regarding a pending oral history with the sculptors Dorothy Dehner and David Smith and a letter from museum administrator and lecturer Daniel Catton Rich expressing his pleasure at having met Jannis and Zoe Spyropoulous in Athens, Greece and describes the painting by Jannis that he purchased for the Worcester Art Museum. The majority of the photographs are of personalities long associated with the Archives of American Art. There are two photographs of Jasper Johns, and one each of Mark Rothko and Tony Smith, all taken by Hans Namuth, 1960.
Also found is a folder of material assembled by Nathan regarding Jose de Creeft's story, as told to Nathan, of his pet rooster, intended by Nathan to be submitted for publication under the title "Roosty Was My Friend." Included are an introduction by Nathan, providing biographical information on de Creeft; sample text for the story (2 pages) and an outline for the remainder (3 pages), 24 drawings by de Creeft illustrating the story; and a photograph of de Creeft with a wire sculpture of Roosty, 1957, taken by Budd studio.
Biographical / Historical:
Emily Nathan (1907-1999) was a journalist and public relations consultant specializing in arts and cultural heritage institutions.
Provenance:
Donated 1973-1988 by Emily Nathan and in 2000 by the Emily Nathan estate, via Edgar S. Nathan, III, executor. The letter to Nathan from Daniel Catton Rich was donated by Rich, 1977.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Cartoonists -- Interviews  Search this
Public relations consultants  Search this
Topic:
Roosters -- Pictorial works  Search this
Roosters -- Anecdotes  Search this
Caricatures and cartoons  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Inventors -- Interviews  Search this
Archives -- Public relations  Search this
Museums -- Public relations  Search this
Arts administrators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Art and industry  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.nathemil2
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9630e4aee-2164-448c-a093-eae54416f3df
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-nathemil2

Lawrence Calcagno papers

Creator:
Calcagno, Lawrence, 1913-  Search this
Names:
Gallery of Modern Art (Scottsdale, Ariz.)  Search this
Martha Jackson Gallery  Search this
McRoberts and Tunnard Limited  Search this
Museo de Arte Moderno  Search this
New Arts (Art gallery)  Search this
Tirca Karlis Gallery (Provincetown, Mass.)  Search this
Yaddo (Artist's colony)  Search this
Zuni Gallery (Buffalo, N.Y.)  Search this
Boggs, Charles  Search this
Brewer, Richard J.  Search this
Cohen, Adele  Search this
Delaney, Beauford, 1901-  Search this
Einhorn, Marilyn  Search this
Foshee, Rufus  Search this
Gutierrez, Alberto, 1935-  Search this
Jackson, Martha Kellogg  Search this
Obermer, Nesta  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Solomon, Hyde, 1911-  Search this
Spohn, Clay Edgar, 1898-1977  Search this
Extent:
2.4 Linear feet (ca. 4500 items (partially microfilmed on 7 reels))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1934-1980
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence; biographical data; photographs; sketches; notes and writings; calendars; teaching materials; exhibition catalogs and announcements; and clippings.
REELS N70-3-N70-4: Biographical data; a photograph of Calcagno; notes and writings; sketches; writings about Calcagno; a list of his paintings; correspondence with galleries, museums, universities, art organizations, friends and colleagues; teaching material; exhibition catalogs and announcements; and clippings.
REELS N70-43-N70-45: Letters to Calcagno's family, written from Madrid, Florence, Rome and Paris; correspondence with galleries, museums, art organizations, friends, artists, and buyers, including Charles Boggs, Richard Brewer, Adele Cohen, Beauford Delaney, Marilyn Einhorn, Rufus Foshee, Calcagno's sister Virginia Gibson, Alberto Gutierrez, Martha Jackson, Nesta Obermer, Mark Rothko (one letter), Clay Spohn, Hyde Solomon, Yaddo and others; an annotated calendar, 1969; and financial material.
REELS N69-120-N69-121: Correspondence with galleries, museums, artists, art organizations and friends, including: The Gallery of Modern Art, Scottsdale, Arizona, Martha Jackson Gallery, Tirca Karlis Gallery, McRoberts and Tunnard, Ltd, London, Museo de Arte Moderno, Bogata, Columbia, The New Arts Gallery, Houston, Texas, Zuni Gallery, Buffalo, New York, and others; exhibition catalogs and correspondence regarding their publication.
UNMICROFILMED: Biographical data; correspondence with galleries, universities, museums, friends and others; writings and notes; annotated calendars; teaching notebooks; exhibition catalogs, announcements; press releases and invitations; price lists; photographs of Calcagno, his family, studios, and paintings, some which are now destroyed; and slides of paintings.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter; New York, N.Y. Died 1993.
Provenance:
Material on reels N70-43-N70-45 and unfilmed material donated 1970-1980 by Lawrence Calcagno. Material on reels N70-3-N70-4 and N69-120-N69-121 lent 1969 for microfilming by Lawrence Calcagno.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Painters  Search this
Function:
Art museums -- United States
Identifier:
AAA.calclawr
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw98906bfcd-4cec-4b31-95a1-0541bb3b3498
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-calclawr

Jack Tworkov papers

Creator:
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Names:
Egan Gallery  Search this
Leo Castelli Gallery  Search this
Nancy Hoffman Gallery  Search this
Poindexter Gallery  Search this
Stable Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Zabriskie Gallery  Search this
Ashbury, John  Search this
Ashton, Dore  Search this
Bartlett, Jennifer, 1941-  Search this
Blinken, Donald M., 1925-  Search this
Calfee, William H. (William Howard), 1909-1995  Search this
Cavallon, Giorgio, 1904-1989  Search this
Cézanne, Paul, 1839-1906  Search this
Demarco, Ricky  Search this
Dickinson, Edwin Walter, 1891-1978  Search this
Forge, Andrew  Search this
Hartigan, Grace  Search this
Herzbrun, Helene  Search this
Katz, Paul  Search this
Knaths, Karl, 1891-1971  Search this
Lindeberg, Linda, 1915-1973  Search this
Matter, Herbert, 1907-1984  Search this
Newman, Arnold, 1918-2006  Search this
Newman, Michael  Search this
Osborn, Robert Chesley, 1904-1994  Search this
Ponsold, Renate  Search this
Praeger, David A.  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Summerford, Joe  Search this
Thorne, Joan, 1943-  Search this
Westenberger, Theo  Search this
Wheeler, Dennis  Search this
Wise, Howard  Search this
Yunkers, Adja, 1900-1983  Search this
Extent:
9.7 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Video recordings
Interviews
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sound recordings
Sketches
Diaries
Date:
1926-1993
Summary:
The Jack Tworkov papers measure 9.7 linear feet and are dated 1926-1993. Tworkov's work as a painter and influential teacher, as well as his personal life, are documented by extensive journals and substantive correspondence that record his ideas about art and teaching, and illuminate his relationships with friends, colleagues, and students. Many sketchbooks, writings, interviews, photographs, and moving images are also included.
Scope and Content Note:
The Jack Tworkov papers measure 9.7 linear feet and are dated 1926-1993, with the bulk from the period 1931-1982. Tworkov's work as a painter and influential teacher, as well as his personal life, are documented by extensive journals and substantive correspondence that record his ideas about art and teaching, and illuminate his relationships with friends, colleagues, and students. Many sketchbooks, writings, interviews, photographs, and moving images are also included.

Biographical material includes Tworkov's citizenship certificate, awards, diplomas, a copy of Jack Tworkov: Video Portrait, produced by Electronic Arts Intermix, and a motion picture film, USA Artists: Jack Tworkov, produced by National Education Television.

Correspondence consists largely of incoming letters. It is both professional and personal in nature and often combines both spheres. Correspondents include artists Jennifer Bartlett, William H. Calfee, Giorgio Cavallon and Linda Lindeberg, Grace Hartigan, Helene Herzbrun (also named Helene McKinsey), Karl Knaths, Joe Summerford, Joan Thorne, and Adja Yunkers; cartoonist Robert C. Osborn; collectors Donald M. Blinken and David A. Praeger (who was also Tworkov's lawyer); illustrator Roger Dovoisin; critics Dore Ashton and Andrew Forge; critic and poet John Ashbury; galleries that represented Tworkov: Egan Gallery, Leo Castelli, Nancy Hoffman Gallery, Poindexter Gallery, Stable Gallery and Zabriskie Gallery; and many museums, arts organizations, colleges and universities.

Interviews with Tworkov include one with Ricky Demarco videotaped in 1979 and two conducted on video by Twokov's daughter Helen in 1975. The remaining interviews are sound recordings, one conducted by Grace Alexander for the show Artists in New York in 1967, one conducted by Michael Newman in 1980, and the remainder by unidentified interviewers. None have transcripts.

All writings are by Tworkov and include poems, an artist's statement, and documentation for two children's books by Tworkov illustrated by Roger Duvoisin. Two additional notebooks contain miscellaneous notes, teaching notes, and some specific to identified courses. Lectures exist as untranscribed sound recordings.

Tworkov's journals (33 volumes) span a period of 35 years, from 1947 until 1982, with the final entry dated a few weeks before his death. They record his reflections on painting, his challenges as a painter, aesthetics, the role of the artist in society, Jewish identity, painters he admired (especially Cézanne and Edwin Dickinson), politics, and teaching. They also recount everyday life: the comings and goings of friends and family members, social engagements, professional activities, illness, and travel.

The lone subject file concerns Mark Rothko and includes a photograph of Rothko and the guest list for the dedication of the Rothko Chapel in Houston.

Artwork consists of a small number of sketches by Tworkov in pencil and ink. Tworkov's sketchbooks (28 volumes) contain sketches and some finished drawings. Most are in pencil, but scattered throughout are a few pencil sketches embellished with colored marker or pastel, and a small number in ink.

Photographs are of people, places and events. Most photographs are of Tworkov alone and with others including Giogio Cavallon, though most friends and students are unidentified. Of note are views of Tworkov producing a series of prints at Tamarind Institute. Also found is an informal portrait of Wally Tworkov. Events recorded include the jurying of "Exhibition Momentum" in Chicago, 1956. Among the places shown are Tworkov's studios at Black Mountain College and in Provincetown. When known, photographers are noted; among them are Paul Katz, Herbert Matter, Arnold Newman, Renate Ponsold, Theo Westenberger, Dennis Wheeler, and Howard Wise.

A separate series of audiovisual recordings was established for those recordings that could not be readily identified to be arranged in other series. They consist of three videocassettes (2 VHS and 1 miniDV).
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 11 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1933-1981 (Boxes 1, 9, 11, FC 13; 0.7 linear ft.)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1926-1993 (Boxes 1-5; 3.8 linear ft.)

Series 3: Interviews, 1978-1982 (Boxes 5, 9-10; 1 linear ft.)

Series 4: Writings, Notes, and Lectures, 1955-1982 (Boxes 5, 9; 0.5 linear ft.)

Series 5: Journals, 1947-1982 (Boxes 5-7; 2.0 linear ft.)

Series 6: Subject File, 1961-1977 (Box 7; 1 folder)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1952-1981 (Box 7, OV 12; 0.1 linear ft.)

Series 8: Artwork, circa 1950s-1960s (Box 7: 3 folders)

Series 9: Sketchbooks, circa 1950s-1960s (Boxes 7-8, 11; 1.0 linear ft.)

Series 10: Photographic Materials, 1941-1981 (Boxes 8-9; 0.5 linear ft.)

Series 11: Audiovisual Recordings, 1961-1975 (Box 9; 0.1 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
New York School painter Jack Tworkov (1900-1982), best known for his Abstract Expressionist paintings and as a highly regarded teacher, lived and worked in New York City and Provincetown, MA.

At age 13, Tworkov (born Yakov Tworkovsky) emigrated from Poland with his mother and sister to join his father already in the United States. In America, they chose to use the name of distant relatives, the Bernsteins, who were their sponsors. Eventually, Jack and his sister, Janice, reclaimed and shortened their name to Tworkov; later, she adopted the name of their hometown in Poland and became the painter Janice Biala.

As a high school student in New York City, Tworkov attended drawing classes. After graduating from Columbia University, where he had been an English major and considered becoming a writer, Tworkov instead turned to art. He studied with Ivan Olinsky at the National Academy of Design between 1923 and 1925, and from 1925 to 1926 attended painting classes taught by Guy Péne Du Bois and Boardman Robinson at the Art Students League. During his college years, Tworkov began visiting museums and became a great admirer of Cézanne. Tworkov's early paintings - still life, landscapes, and portraits - showed the influence of European modernism and Cézanne.

Tworkov spent his first summer in Provincetown while still a student and subsequently returned to study with Ross Moffet. In Provincetown he met and was greatly influenced by Karl Knaths and developed a lifelong friendship with Edwin Dickinson. By 1929, Tworkov was painting there year round. Over the years, Tworkov and his family continued to return for long stretches, and in 1958 he purchased a house in Provincetown.

During the Great Depression, Tworkov participated in the Treasury Department's Public Works of Art Project until 1934, and then moved to the easel division of the WPA Federal Art Project. He felt uncomfortable with the growing ideological and political influences on art and found it depressing to paint for the WPA rather than for himself, so he left the WPA in 1941. Tworkov, who had studied mechanical drawing while in high school, spent most of the War years employed as a tool designer and draftsman at an engineering firm with government contracts.

By the 1940s, Tworkov was painting in the Abstract Expressionist style. Between 1948 and 1953, he leased a studio on Fourth Avenue that adjoined that of his friend Willem de Kooning. During this time, they mutually influenced each other as they developed into mature Abstract Expressionists. At Yale in the 1960s, Tworkov became close friends with fellow student Josef Albers. Alber's influence on Tworkov resulted in a turn to geometric compositions of small, systematic, and repetitive strokes defined by a grid. He experimented with diagonal compositions, and later geometric work that featured large areas of color and soft texture.

Tworkov's first teaching experience was during 1930-1931 when he served as a part-time painting instructor at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. His teaching career began in earnest when he joined the faculties of Queens College, 1948-1955, and Pratt Institute, 1955-1958. During the summers he taught at various schools, most notably Black Mountain College's 1952 summer session. Tworkov was a visiting artist at the Yale University School of Art and Architecture, 1961-1963, and became chairman of its Art Department from 1963 until his retirement in 1969. In retirement he lived in Provincetown and was a visiting artist for both short and extended periods at various universities and art schools.

An avid reader of literature and poetry, Tworkov also wrote poems and essays. He published essays in It Is, Art Digest, and Art In America; his most notable piece, "The Wandering Soutine," appeared in Art News, November 1950. Tworkov also kept a journal for 35 years (1947-1982) that recorded his thoughts on a wide range of subjects concerning professional, personal, and philosophical issues, as well as details of everyday life.

Tworkov was among the founders of the Artists' Club or The Club in 1949, and for a decade actively participated in the stimulating discussions for which the group was known. In 1968 he helped to establish the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Its residency program enabled younger artists and writers to advance their careers and kept Provincetown's historic artists' colony active year round.

He was the recipient of the William A. Clark Award and Corcoran Gold Medal from the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1963; Skowhegan School of Art's Painter of the Year Award, 1974; and Distinguished Teaching of Art Award from College Art Association, 1976. Tworkov was appointed to serve on the Massachusetts Art Commission, 1970-1971, and in 1981 was named a Fellow of The Cleveland Museum of Art and of the Rhode Island School of Design.

Following his second divorce in 1935, Rachel (Wally) Wolodarsky became Tworkov's third wife and their marriage endured. They had two daughters. Hermine Ford (b. 1939) is an artist married to fellow painter Robert Moskowitz. Helen Tworkov (b. 1943) is the founder of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review and the author of a book about yoga.

Tworkov remained physically and intellectually active after a diagnosis of bone cancer around 1980, and continued to paint until shortly before his death in Provincetown on September 4, 1982.
Related Material:
Among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are two oral history interviews with Jack Tworkov, one conducted by Dorothy Seckler, Aug. 17, 1962, and another by Gerald Silk, May 22, 1981. There is also a small collection of three letters written by Jack Tworkov to friend Troy-Jjohn Bramberger.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reel N70-38 and 62) including writings by Tworkov, notebooks, notes for teaching and talks, notes on art and miscellaneous subjects, poems, artist's statements, biographical data, the transcript of a 1970 interview with Tworkov conducted by Phyllis Tuchman, and a few letters and drafts of letters, 1950-1963. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Jack Tworkov lent the Archives of American Art papers for microfilming in 1970-1971. Jack Tworkov's daughters, Hermine Ford and Helen Tworkov, donated the rest of the collection in 2009, which included some of the material from the original loan.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
Reels N70-38 and 62: Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce requires written permission from Helen Tworkov or Hermine Ford. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- Massachusetts  Search this
Topic:
Painting -- New York (State)  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Video recordings
Interviews
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sound recordings
Sketches
Diaries
Citation:
Jack Tworkov papers, 1926-1993. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.tworjack2
See more items in:
Jack Tworkov papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9345f5838-057f-4572-8063-0df7b8d00ad0
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-tworjack2
Online Media:

Clay Spohn papers

Creator:
Spohn, Clay Edgar, 1898-1977  Search this
Names:
School of Visual Arts (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
University of California, San Francisco. School of Fine Arts  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Corbett, Edward, 1919-  Search this
Corbett, Rosamond Walling Tirana, 1910-1999  Search this
Fryworth, Teressa, 1906-1981  Search this
McChesney, Mary Fuller  Search this
Neininger, Urban  Search this
Reynal, Jeanne, 1903-  Search this
Ribak, Louis, 1902-1979  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Sievan, Maurice  Search this
Sihvonen, Oli, 1921-  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-  Search this
Extent:
20.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Sketchbooks
Account books
Ambrotypes
Photographs
Date:
circa 1862-1985
bulk 1890-1985
Summary:
The Clay Spohn papers measure 20.4 linear feet and date from circa 1862 to 1985 with the bulk of the material dating from 1890 to 1985. The collection consists of biographical material, correspondence, business records, notes and writings, art work, printed material, and photographs which reflect the life and career of painter and educator Clay Spohn.
Scope and Content Note:
The Clay Spohn papers measure 20.4 linear feet and date from circa 1862 to 1985 with the bulk of the material dating from 1890 to 1985. The collection consists of biographical material, correspondence, business records, notes and writings, artwork, printed material, and photographs reflecting the life and career of painter and educator Clay Spohn.

Part 1 includes sketchbooks with annotated drawings by Spohn, writings including reminiscensces by Spohn, letters, clippings, and photographs of Spohn's artwork.

Part 2 includes biographical material; correspondence between Spohn and his colleagues; business records such as Spohn's general accounting records; Spohn's notes and writings on a variety of subjects; drawings and sketchbooks; printed material such as exhibition announcements and catalogs; and photographs of subjects such as Spohn, his family and colleagues, his house, and his artwork.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into three parts. Part 1 was lent to the Archives of American Art in 1964 by Clay Spohn, and was microfilmed and returned to Spohn. Part 2 was donated to the Archives of American Art by Urban Neininger in 1978 and was partially microfilmed. Because material from part 2 was not processed until over three decades after filming Part 1, the overall organization is inconsistent. In general, material within folders is arranged chronologically.

Missing Title

Part 1: Clay Spohn Papers, 1926-1963

Part 2: Clay Spohn Papers, circa 1862-1985 (boxes 1-22, OV 23, 19.9 linear ft.)

Part 3: Addition to the Clay Spohn Papers, 1958-1977 (box 24; 0.4 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Clay Edgar Spohn was born November 24, 1898, in San Francisco, to Lena (Schaefer) and John Henry Spohn. From 1919 to 1921, Spohn studied at the University of California at Berkeley, and from 1922 to 1924, he studied at the Art Students League in New York under Kenneth Hayes Miller, Boardman Robinson, George Luks and Guy Pene Du Bois. He also became acquainted with Alexander Calder at the Art Students League. In 1924, Spohn was employed as an assitant designer to muralist Ezra Winter. From 1926 to 1927 he studied in Paris at the Academie Modern, a school run by Fernand Leger and Orthon Fireze.

Returning to San Francisco in 1927, Spohn became an active member in the Bay Area art scene. The Treasury Department commissioned him, in 1938, to execute a mural for the Montebello, California post office, and in 1939, he completed another mural under the sponsorship of the WPA for Los Gatos Union High School in Los Gatos, California.

In 1942, the San Francisco Museum of Art mounted Spohn's solo exhibition "Fantastic War Machines and Guerragraphs", consisting of a series of drawings inspired by dreams of World War II. From 1945 until his resignation in 1950, Spohn was employed as instructor of drawing and painting at the California School of Fine Arts, where he befriended Clyfford Still and Mark Rothko. In 1949, at the California School, he organized a group exhibition entitled "The Museum of Unknown and Little Known Objects", in which Spohn's extraordinarily-constructed objects were a focal point.

Spohn moved to Taos, New Mexico in 1952, and participated in several national exhibitions. He was Visiting Lecturer at Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, in 1958, after which he moved to New York City where he executed a series of paintings under the sponsorship of the collector J. Patrick Lannan. From 1964 to 1969, he taught at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

After a two year move to Taos, Spohn returned to New York in 1971. In 1974, the Oakland Museum sponsored a retrospective of Spohn's work.

Clay Spohn died in New York City on December 19, 1977.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (D169) including sketchbooks, writings, correspondence, and related material. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are described in the first series of the finding aid.
Provenance:
The material on reel D169 was lent for filming by Clay Spohn in 1964. The material on reel 5461-5474 was donated by Spohn's friend and the executor of his estate, Urban Neininger, in 1978. An additional 0.4 linear feet of papers were donated by Spohn's biographer, David Beasley, in 2008.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use of unfilmed material 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:
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting, Abstract -- France -- Paris  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Sketchbooks
Account books
Ambrotypes
Photographs
Citation:
Clay Spohn Papers, circa 1862-1985, bulk 1890-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.spohclay
See more items in:
Clay Spohn papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw989dc0985-c251-4480-9ed7-d84755d301bb
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-spohclay

Peter Howard Selz papers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Missing Title

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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