The papers of writer, art critic and collector Bernard Harper Friedman, 1926-2011, bulk 1943-2010, measure 30.6 linear feet. Extensive professional and personal correspondence, 41 diaries, a large number of his published and unpublished writings, and subject files document Friedman's career as a writer, relationships with cultural institutions and art world figures, and his personal life. Also included are biographical materials, interviews, printed material, 5 scrapbooks and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of writer, art critic and collector Bernard Harper Friedman, 1926-2011, bulk 1943-2010, measure 30.6 linear feet. Extensive professional and personal correspondence, 41 diaries, a large number of his published and unpublished writings, and subject files document Friedman's career as a writer, relationships with cultural institutions and art world figures, and his personal life. Also included are biographical materials, interviews, 5 scrapbooks, and photographs.
Biographical materials include educational records, documentation of Friedman's World War II service in the U.S. Navy, and birth, marriage, and death certificates.
Correspondence is with friends, family, artists, art world figures and institutions, writers, publishers, and literary agents. Among the correspondents are: John I. H. Baur, Harry Bertoia, Flora Biddle, Norman Bluhm, James Brooks, Fritz Bultman, Leo Castelli, William N. Copley, Jim Dine, Helen Frankenthaler, Brendan Gill, Robert Goodnough, Cleve and Francine Gray, Howard Kanovitz, Grace Knowlton, Stanley Kunitz, Conrad Marca-Relli, Mercedes Matter, Fred W. McDarrah, Rory McEwen, Robert Motherwell, Arnold Newman, Barnett Newman, Dorothy Norman, Alfonso Ossorio, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Robert Richenburg, Barney Rosset, Philip Roth, Judith Rothschild, Irving Sandler, Salvatore Scarpitta, Jon Schueler, Sidney Simon, David Slivka, Clyfford Still, Myron Stout, Calvin Tompkins, and David Windham.
There are transcripts of interviews with B. H. Friedman, his daughter and wife conducted by the Yale University School of Medicine's "Adult Development Study," and 2 recordings of interviews with Friedman for radio broadcast.
Writings by Friedman include manuscripts of novels, short stories, plays, articles, monographs, and art criticism, some published versions of his work, and a variety of notes. Also found are recordings of lectures by B. H. Friedman and panel discussions in which he participated. Other authors represented are John Cage, W. B. Henry, and Jon Schueler. Friedman's diaries, 1948-1993 (41 volumes) record activities, thoughts, and events.
Subject files compiled by Friedman reflect professional and personal interests, activities, and projects. Many concern publicity for published writings or efforts to find publishers. Especially well documented is his interest in Jackson Pollock, Timothy Leary, and Alfonso Ossorio, and his affiliation with the Whitney Museum of American Art.
The majority of printed material is about or mentions Friedman. Five scrapbooks consist mainly of printed material.
Most photographs are of B. H. and Abby Friedman, their family, and friends. Among the individuals pictured are: Elise Asher, Cary and Norman Bluhm, Sandy Friedman, Joellen Hall, Doug Huebler, Howard Kanowitz, Stanley Kunitz, Lee Krasner, Sheridan Lloyd, Barnett and Annalee Newman, Alfonso Ossorio, Magda Salvesen, Salvatore Scarpitta, John Schueler, and Myron Stout. A photograph album records scenes from a 1979 performance of Whispers, a stage adaptation by Alan Wynroth from Friedman's novel of the same title.
This collection is arranged as 9 series:
Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1926-2011 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1946-2011 (Boxes 1-15; 14.7 linear feet)
Series 3: Interviews, 1969-2001 (Box 15; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 4: Writings, 1940s-2010 (Boxes 16-23; 8 linear feet)
Series 5: Diaries, 1948-1993 (Boxes 24-25; 1.75 linear feet)
Series 6: Subject Files, 1940-2010 (Boxes 25-30; 4.45 linear feet)
Series 7: Printed Material, 1954-2010 (Box 30-31; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 8: Scrapbooks, 1960-2006 (Boxes 30-32; 0.8 lilnear feet)
Series 9: Photographs, circa 1950s-2008 (Box 30; 0.4 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Bernard Harper Friedman (1926-2011), a writer best known as the author of the first biography of Jackson Pollock, was also an art critic and art collector involved in the cultural life of New York City.
Bernard Harper Friedman, known professionally as B. H. Friedman, was called Bob by family and friends. After interrupting his studies at Cornell University to serve in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he graduated in 1948 with a degree in English. Friedman and his new bride, fellow student Abby G. Noselson (1926-2003), returned home to New York City and he began a real estate career in his uncles' firm, Uris Buildings Corporation. While a businessman, Friedman spent much of his spare time writing. He produced fiction, plays, and criticism; Friedman's articles on art, literature and music appeared in a wide variety of periodicals. During this period, Friedman also pursued his interests in jazz, collecting abstract art, and psychedelic drug experiences with Timothy Leary.
His first published novel, Circles, about the Abstract Expressionist milieu, appeared in 1962. A year later, B. H. Friedman became a full-time writer. For nearly 20 years, he divided his time between New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts, where he was affiliated with the Fine Arts Work Center as a director and consultant. During this period, he published several novels and two biographies: Jackson Pollock: Energy Made Visible and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, written with Flora Biddle. More novels and short story collections were published, and staged readings of seven plays were presented between 1987 and 2007. Tripping, a memoir of using psychedlics with Timothy Leary, appeared in 2006.
A founding member of Fiction Collective, a nonprofit publishing group run by and for writers, Friedman was also a member of several national writers' organizations. He served as a trustee of the Whitney Musuem of American Art, 1961-1968, and then as honorary trustee. B. H. Friedman died from complications of pneumonia on January 4, 2011 in New York City.
Also available is an oral history interview with Bernard Harper Friedman, 1972 November 10, conducted by Paul Cummings for the Archives of American Art.
The Bernard Harper Friedman papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2012 by his daughter, Daisy Friedman.
The collection is ACCESS RESTRICTED; written permission is required. Use of original materials requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Resumes; price lists for paintings, 1973, 1977, 1979-1981; a catalog of Schueler's paintings and corresponding slides; 30 notebooks; 11 appointment calendars; 8 telephone message books; 5 address books; 5 exhibition catalogs; a published article by Schueler, "Death and the Margaret Ann"; personal and business correspondence; biographical sketches; a will; a passport; legal and financial documents; unpublished writings; diaries; journals; mailing lists; files concerning galleries, art supplies, travel exhibitions, and teaching positions; and clippings and printed materials.
ADDITION: 121 color slides of oil paintings, and an unpublished manuscript, ca. 1,000 p., "The Sound of Sleat," written by Schueler ca. 1955-1979, and edited by Magda Salvesen.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter; New York City. Died 1992.
Donated 1981-1986 by Schueler. The manuscript "Sound of Sleat" was donated 1993 by Magda Salvesen, Schueler's widow.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
The Mary Fuller McChesney papers measure 44.1 linear feet and date from 1949-2011. Included are biographical material, correspondence, writings, artists' files, financial records, photographs, artwork, printed material, and reel-to reel sound recordings documenting the career of sculptor, art historian, and author, Mary Fuller McChesney. A small portion of the papers includes material on painter, Edward Corbett.
Among the sound recordings are interviews conducted by McChesney between 1965 and 1966, and used as the primary research for her book. Interviewees include Jeremy Anderson, Dorr Bothwell, Ernest Briggs, Joan Brown (2), Lawrence Calcagno (2), Edward Corbett (2), James Budd Dixon, Edward Dugmore, Jorge Goya, Dimitri Grachis, John Grillo (1966, 1972), John Hultberg, Jack Jefferson, James Kelly, Walter Kuhlman, Seymour Locks, Douglas MacAgy, Madeleine Martin, William Morehouse, Raymond Parker, Leonard Pollakoff, Ad Reinhardt, Deborah Remington, Phil Roeber, John Saccaro, Jon Schueler, Peter Shoemaker, Hassel Smith, Clay Spohn, Jean Varda, and James Weeks.
Biographical / Historical:
Mary Fuller McChesney (1922-2022) was a sculptor, art historian, and author in San Francisco and Petaluma, California.
A majority of the collection donated 2015 by Mary Fuller McChesney. Photographs on reel 1329 donated 1973 and sound recordings donated 1994 by McChesney. Material on reel NDA 1 (fr. 728-741) lent for microfilming 1964 by Lewis Ferbrache; material on NDA 1 (fr. 930-943) lent 1964 by Mary F. McChesney.
This collection is temporarily closed. Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
5.4 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 2 reels))
0.2 Linear feet (Addition)
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence, printed material, photographs; and "birthday books" containing drawings and writings by artists sent to Neuberger on his 50th and 75th birthdays.
REEL NSM 1: A "Birthday Book," 1953, for Neuberger containing drawings, sketches and written birthday greetings from 38 artists, compiled by Mrs. Neuberger. Contributors include Alexander Calder, Byron Browne, George Constant, Adolph Gottlieb, Jack Levine, Lyonel Feininger, Lee Gatch, Benjamin Kopman, Jonah Kinigstein, Karl Knaths, William Baziotes, Peter Hurd, Walter Quirt, Milton Avery, Ben Shahn, George L. K. Morris, Hans Moller, Guy Maccoy, Irene Rice Pereira, Max Weber, Stuart Davis, Charles Sheeler, Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Darrel Austin, Philip Evergood, Saul Steinberg, Elliot Orr, and John Marin.
REEL 4588: A scrapbook containing illustrated birthday cards from artists sent to Neuberger on the occasion of his 75th birthday (1978). Included are cards from Nicolas Africano, Abe Ajay, John Baldessari, Romare Bearden, James Brooks, Les Levine, Judith Rothschild, Joan Snyder, and Alan Sonfist, and others.
UNMICROFILMED: Material relating to Neuberger's activities as an art collector, patron, and trustee consisting of: clippings, exhibiton catalogs and announcements; photographs; and correspondence with Leroy Lamis, Sidney Laufman, Paul David Magriel, Larry Rivers, Frank Roth, Jon Rudolf Schueler, Hudson Walker and Frederick Stallknecht Wight.
ADDITION: Correspondence with artists and other prominent people including: Edward Albee, Alexander Calder, Merce Cunningham, Lyonel Feininger, Henry Geldzahler, Henry Moore, Gerald Ford, Robert F. Kennedy, John V. Lindsay, George McGovern and Nelson Rockefeller. Also included are a letter from Mr. and Mrs. John Walker relating to their trip to Europe to return the "Mona Lisa" to the Louvre in 1963; printed material relating to Nelson Rockefeller; and four lists of art related papers remaining with Neuberger.
Biographical / Historical:
Art collector, patron; New York, N.Y. Born 1903. A collector of primarily American art. President of the American Federation of the Arts, 1958-1968; a trustee and member of Friends of the Whitney Museum of American Art; honorary trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; member of the executive committee of the Council of Friends, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University; and many other positions and memberships. A large part of his private art collection was donated to the Roy R. Neuberger Museum of the State University of New York College at Purchase.
"Birthday books" on reels NSM 1 and 4588 lent for microfilming 1963 and 1992 by Neuberger. He donated the unmicrofilmed material in 1975 and 1993.
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 patrons -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Art patronage -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Artists and patrons -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Interview of Brice Marden conducted 1972 Oct. 3, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art. Marden speaks of his early family life and schools in Briarcliff, N.Y.; the development of his interest in art; his art and theater activities at Florida State Southern College; Boston University and the Boston art scene in the 1950s.
He comments on the impact of a summer in California on his painting style, living in Paris and New York, and changes in his work, including rectangles, one-color panels, paintings over silk-screen proofs, oil and wax. Marden also speaks of his first one-man exhibition, working as Robert Rauschenberg's assistant, his exhibit in Paris, teaching at the School of Visual Arts, his drawings, lithographs and grid drawings, his use of color, paintings as statements and influences on his work. He recalls Henry Geldzahler, Reed Kay, Bernard Chaet, Jon Schueler, Reginald Pollack, Alex Katz, Esteban Vicente, Carl Andre and Klaus Kertess.
Biographical / Historical:
Brice Marden (1938) is a painter from New York, N.Y.
Originally recorded on 2 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hrs., 47 min.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.