The papers, 1878-1964 (20.5 linear feet) of museum curator, director, and art scholar William Mills Ivins (1881-1961) consist of correspondence, writings, notes, photographs, and Ivins family papers. Ivins was Curator of Prints, 1916-1946, Assistant Director, 1933-1938, and Acting Director, 1938-1940 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The collection contains professional and personal correspondence with art historians, art dealers, museum curators, print and book collectors, and artists concerning the history of print making, book design and illustration, print collectors and collecting, exhibitions, and museum administration. Also found are Ivins' published and unpublished writings and lectures, and notes. The collection contains some Ivins' family papers including family correspondence, genealogies, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers, 1878-1964 (20.5 linear feet) of museum curator, director, and art scholar William Mills Ivins (1881-1961) consist of personal and professional correspondence, writings, notes, photographs, and Ivins family papers. Ivins was Curator of Prints, 1916-1946, Assistant Director, 1933-1938, and Acting Director, 1938-1940 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The collection contains professional and personal correspondence with art historians, art dealers, museum curators, print and book collectors, and artists concerning the history of print making, book design and illustration, print collectors and collecting, exhibitions, and museum administration. Correspondence files appear to be complete, and correspondence is of substantive content. Also found are Ivins' published and unpublished writings and lectures, and notes. Of particular interest are the letters from Bernard Berenson, Paul J. Sachs, and Theodore Sizer, each of whom corresponded with Ivins freqently over extended periods about both personal and professional and matters.
Ivins' family papers include family correspondence, genealogies, and photographs. The papers of Ivin's wife, illustrator Florence Wyman Ivins (1881-1948), and the correspondence of several other relatives, can be found here augmented by family photographs.
The collection has been arranged into 7 series. The contents and organization are noted in the individual series descriptions.
Series 1: Professional and Personal Papers, circa 1908-1961 (Boxes 1-8; 6.5 linear ft.)
Series 2: Writings, circa 1910-1960 (Boxes 8-12; 4.9 linear ft.)
Series 3: Publications, 1896-1958 (Boxes 13-14; 2.0 linear ft.)
Series 4: Miscellaneous, 1915, undated (Box 15; 1.0 linear ft.)
Series 5: Ivins Family Papers, 1878-1964, undated (Boxes 16-20; 4.5 linear ft.)
Series 6: Photographs, circa 1890-1940 (Boxes 20-21; 1.5 linear ft.)
Series 7: Oversized Material, 1897-1950 (1 OV folder)
William Mills Ivins, Jr. (1881-1961), a lawyer, first became interested in collecting prints and illustrated books while an undergraduate at Harvard. He studied the history of printmaking through self-directed reading, by looking at prints in the major European libraries and museums, and tried his hand at many of the printmaking processes. While practicing law, he wrote articles and organized some small exhibitions of prints as early as 1908. In 1916, the Metropolitan Museum of Art appointed its first Curator of Prints to organize a Department of Prints and Drawings and to develop its small existing collection. Upon the recommendation of Paul J. Sachs who was unable to accept the position, Ivins was selected. He held the post until his retirement some thirty years later.
During his tenure as Curator of Prints, Ivins became one of the most highly-respected individuals in the profession. Under Ivins the collection grew in scope, size, and quality; he acquired materials by cultivating potential donors, and through systematic purchase of pieces not likely to come into the collection by bequest. The department's active exhibition schedule included some especially noteworthy shows, such as The Arts of the Book in 1924.
Ivins was knowledgeable and shared information by writing several books on prints and the history of printmaking, and by writing large numbers of articles for the educated layman. His articles often highlighted items in the permanent collection, and frequently appeared in the museum's Bulletin. He was interested in perspective, psychology of perception, aesthetics, mathematics and modern philosophy, and wrote on these topics, as well.
He was an accomplished speaker and was in much demand as a lecturer. Of particular note were his series on Illustrated Books of the Renaissance at the Morgan Library in 1936, and the 1950 Lowell Lectures (subsequently published under the title Prints and Visual Communication).
In addition to his curatorial duties, Ivins served as Assistant Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art between 1933 and 1938, and was its Acting Director from 1938 until 1940. Francis Henry Taylor was appointed Director in 1940, and Ivins was named to the newly created post of Counselor; failure to attain the directorship was a bitter disappointment, which many attributed to his lack of tact and generally difficult disposition.
Ivins retired in 1946, and continued to write and publish until the mid-1950's. During this period he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Yale University (1946), made an honorary fellow of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1946), named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1950), and invited to deliver the annual lectures at the Lowell Institute (1950). He died at the age of eighty in 1961, after several years of declining health.
Ivins' private collection of prints and illustrated books, which he had continued to amass through the 1930's, was partially dispersed during his lifetime through gifts to the Metropolitan Museum and to a number of university and special libraries. The portion remaining in his estate was sold at auction by Parke Bernet between 1962 and 1964.
1881 -- born to William Mills Ivins and Emma Yard Ivins, Flatbush, N.Y.
1897 -- graduation from St. Paul's School, Concord, N.H.
1901 -- graduation from Harvard (A.B.)
1901-1902 -- travelled in Europe with Paul Haviland, and studied economics at University of Munich
1902-1904 -- employed by The World's Work, writing articles on economic and artistic subjects
1907 -- graduation from Columbia School of Law
1907-1916 -- practiced law in New York City: Ivins, Wolff and Houget for New York Public Service Commission, 1907-1908; Strong and Cadwallader, 1908-1909; Cravath, Henderson, and der Gersdorff, 1909-1916
1908 -- arranged first exhibition of prints, Keppel & Co,
1910 -- marriage to Florence Wyman, an illustrator
1916 -- appointed first Curator of Prints, Metropolitan Museum of Art
c. 1927-1935 -- served on editorial board of Metropolitan Museum Studies
1933-1938 -- Assistant Director, Metropolitan Museum of Art
1937 -- Morgan Library Lectures
1938 -- Honorary Curator of Prints and Drawings, Morgan Library
1938-1940 -- Acting Director, Metropolitan Museum of Art (Note: Mr. Ivins continued to act as Curator of Prints during periods when he was assigned other major administrative responsibilities at the museum)
1940 -- Counselor, Metropolitan Museum of Art
1946 -- Honorary Fellow, Metropolitan Museum of Art; retirement from Metropolitan Museum of Art; Honorary Doctorate, Yale University
1950 -- Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Lowell Lectures (published in 1953 under the title Prints and Visual Communication)
1961 -- death
1962-1964 -- Ivins Collection of Prints and Illustrated Books sold at auction by Parke Bernet
1977-1983 -- William M. Ivins, Jr. Papers donated to the Archives of American Art by his daughter, Barbara Ivins
The William Mills Ivins, Jr., papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by his daughter, Barbara Ivins, in several installments between 1977 and 1983.
Use of unmicrofilmed material in the holdings of the Archives of American Art requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C., facility.
Correspondence, photographs, clippings, biographical data on artists, press notices, Christmas cards, and publications documenting the organization's attempt to provide a market for artists affected by the Depression by using original work for greeting cards.
REELS NAGI-NAG12: Correspondence is between Samuel Golden, director, and artists whose work was sought. Among the correspondents are George Ahgupuk, C.W. Anderson, Ralph Avery, R. Fayerweather Babcock, Merrill A. Bailey, Jozef Bakos, Ken Barker, Nile Jurgen Behncke, Ludwig Bemelmans, Thomas H. Benton, Aaron Bohrod, Clarence Bolton, Cornelius Botke, Jessie Arms Botke, Fiske Boyd, Conrad Buff, Charles E. Burchfield, Ranulph Bye, Howard N. Cook, John O'Hara Cosgrave, John Steuart Curry, Gladys R. Davis, Harold Thomas Denison, Frederick K. Detwiller, Olin Dows, Yvonne Pène Dubois, Roger Antoine Duvoisin, Mabel Dwight, Kerr Eby, Louis M. Eilshemius, W.J. Enright, Daniel R. Fitzpatrick, Don Freeman, Tom Funk, Richard Gaige, Emil Ganso, Joseph Webster Golinkin, Witold Gordon, Gordon Grant, Vernon Grant, Jim Harmon, Dalzell Hatfield, Peter Helik, Edward Hopper, Peter Hunt,
Victoria Hutson Huntley, Elmer Jacobs, Ralph Johnstone, Ilonka Karasz, Norman Kent, Rockwell Kent, Nettie King, Hans Kleiber, Georgina Klitgaard, Gene Kloss, Manuel Komroff, Jo Kotula, Leon Kroll, Adolf Kronengold, Max Kuehne, Richard Lahey, Paul Hambleton Landacre, Edward Landon, Barbara Latham, Margaret Laughlin, Wolfgang Lederer, Lois Lenski, James Lewicki, Gisella Loeffler, C. A. Luce, Omer Luneau, Kyra Markham, Reginald Marsh, Maxwell Mays, Dudley Morris, Thomas F. Naegele, Thomas W. Nason, Alexander Nesbitt, Vera Neville, Woldemar Neufeld, Warren Newcombe, Edith Newton, Dale Nichols, Hobart Nichols, Frank L. Nicolet, Olle Nordmark, Jose Clemente Orozco,
William E. Pajaud, Virginia Plummer, Grace Paull, John C. Pellew, A. Sheldon Pennoyer, Leon Pescheret, Gilmer Petroff, John Pike, Henry C. Pitz, Stan Poray, Tina Prentiss, Gregorio Prestopino, Rosalie Rees, Grant Reynard, John Rogers,Conrad Roland, Arnold Ronnebeck, Ruth Starr Rose, James N. Rosenberg, Doris Rosenthal, Sanford Ross, Andree Ruellan, Rudolph Ruzicka, Martha Ryther,Paul Sample, Patsy Santo, Helen Sawyer, William J. Schaldach, Georges Schreiber,Frederick Shane, John Sharp, Charles Sheeler, Millard Sheets, Alphonse Shelton, Dwight Shepler, William Shevis, Harry Shokler, Gerrit V. Sinclair, Mortimer Slotnick, Bissell Phelps Smith, Yngve Edward Soderberg, Harry Sternberg, Anthony Thieme, Nura Ulreich, Joseph P. Vorst, Maynard Walker, Heinz Warneke,Stow Wengenroth, John Whorf, Warren F. Wheelock, Harry H. Wickey, Guy Wiggins, Myra A. Wiggins, Edward A. Wilson, Ronau W. Woiceske, Stanley W. Woodward, and others.
UNMICROFILMED: A portfolio of 106 Christmas cards, with the evelopes and original packing materials, printed and distributed by the American Artists Group in 1935. This is a nearly complete set (missing only two cards) and the first set published by the group. Also included are three publications: "Handbook of the American Artists Group," 1935, "Original Etchings, Lithographs, and Woodcuts Published by the American Artists Group," 1937, and "Ten Years, A Christmas Card Adventure," ca. 1944
Biographical / Historical:
Greeting card company. Founded 1934; New York, N.Y. One of its aims was to popularize contemporary American art by publishing fine reproductions of original etchings, lithographs, drawings and paintings on greeting cards.
Materials on reels NAG1-12 lent for microfilming by the American Artists Group, 1966-1968. Unmicrofilmed material donated 1994 by Allen P. Golden, son of Samuel Golden who founded the American Artists Group.
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.
Art -- Marketing -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Letters to Radin from painters, etchers, mezzotinters, wood engravers, lithographers and book-plate designers, primarily from England, but also from Wales, Germany, Austria, Belgium and the U.S.
Correspondents include: Walter M. Aikman, Timothy Cole, Ralph A. Cram, Mallette Dean, William F. Hopson, Dard Hunter, Kathe Kollwitz, Julius J. Lankes, Clare Leighton, Allen Lewis, Warren Mack, Thomas Nason, Christopher Nevinson, Ralph Pearson, Lucien and Esther Pissarro, George Plank, Ernest D. Roth, Rudolph Ruzicka, J. André Smith, Sidney L. Smith, Wilbur Stone, Ernest Watson, William G. Watt, Frederick Weber, and Henry Wolf.
Biographical / Historical:
Physician, print collector; New York City.
Microfilmed 1956 by the Archives of American Art with other art-related papers in the Manuscript Division of the New York Public Library. Included in the microfilming project were selected papers of the Art Division and the Prints Division.
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
A grammar of color : arrangements of Strathmore papers in a variety of printed color combinations according to the Munsell color system / with an introduction by Professor A.H. Munsell and explanatory text with diagrams illustrating the application of the system to work in the graphic arts, by T.M. Cleland
Arrangements of Strathmore papers in a variety of printed color combinations