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Lee Nordness business records and papers

Creator:
Nordness, Lee  Search this
Names:
American Art Expositions (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Cooper-Hewitt Museum.  Search this
Forms and Objects (Firm)  Search this
Johnson Wax  Search this
Lee Nordness Galleries  Search this
Little Studio  Search this
Metromedia, Inc.  Search this
Nordness Gallery  Search this
Talent Discovery Company  Search this
Aronson, David, 1923-2015  Search this
Blaustein, Al H., 1924-2004  Search this
Collie, Alberto  Search this
Crawford, Ralston, 1906-1978  Search this
D'Arista, Robert, 1929-  Search this
Gibran, Kahlil, 1922-  Search this
Gikow, Ruth, 1915-1982  Search this
Grippe, Peter, 1912-  Search this
Guglielmi, Louis, 1906-1956  Search this
Hebald, Milton  Search this
Kachadoorian, Zubel, 1924-  Search this
Kearns, James  Search this
Lebrun, Rico, 1900-1964  Search this
Levi, Julian E. (Julian Edwin), 1900-1982  Search this
Meigs, Walter, 1918-1988  Search this
Prestopino, Gregorio  Search this
Williams, Hiram  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Extent:
117.5 Linear feet (Boxes 1-121)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Date:
circa 1931-1992
bulk 1954-1984
Summary:
The Lee Nordness business records and papers measure 117.5 linear feet and date from circa 1931 to 1992 with the bulk of materials dating from 1954 to 1984. The records document seven New York City art-related companies with which Nordness was involved: Talent Discovery Company, The Little Studio, Ltd., American Art Expositions, Inc., Nordness Gallery, Inc., Lee Nordness Galleries Art Advisory Section, Inc., Lee Nordness Galleries Exhibition Section, Inc., and Forms & Objects, Inc. Records include correspondence, artist's files, business and legal records, inventories, financial and sales records, printed materials, scrapbooks, and photographic materials. Also found is a small group of personal papers.
Scope and Contents:
The Lee Nordness business records and papers measure 117.5 linear feet and date from circa 1931 to 1992 with the bulk of materials dating from 1954 to 1984. The records document seven New York City art-related companies with which Nordness was involved: Talent Discovery Company, The Little Studio, Ltd., American Art Expositions, Inc., Nordness Gallery, Inc., Lee Nordness Galleries Art Advisory Section, Inc., Lee Nordness Galleries Exhibition Section, Inc., and Forms & Objects, Inc. Records include correspondence, artist's files, business and legal records, inventories, financial and sales records, printed materials, scrapbooks, and photographic materials. Also found is a small group of personal papers.

More than half of the collection documents Lee Nordness' primary businesses, Nordness Gallery, Inc. and Lee Nordness Galleries Art Advisory Section, Inc. Business correspondence, artist's files, extensive project files, business and legal records, financial and sales records, inventories, printed materials, scrapbooks, and photographic materials reveal Nordness' role as an art dealer of contemporary American artwork and art consultant to companies and organizations. The records document his ability to adapt to changing external markets as well as his own interests, from dealing primarily in paintings and sculpture to promoting American fine crafts. Artists from Nordness' permanent roster are represented, including David Aronson, Al Blaustein, Alberto Collie, Ralston Crawford, Robert D'Arista, Kahlil Gibran, Ruth Gikow, Peter Grippe, Louis Guglielmi, Milton Hebald, Zubel Kachadoorian, James Kearns, Rico Lebrun, Julian Levi, Walter Meigs, Gregorio Prestopino, Hiram Williams, and Karl Zerbe. Companies and organizations represented include S.C. Johnson & Son, Co., Metromedia, and Cooper-Hewitt, National Museum of Design. Because materials from Nordness Gallery, Inc. and Art Advisory Section were often interfiled and related, the records were not separated into different series.

The records of Lee Nordness Galleries Exhibition Section, Inc. document the exhibition and sale of artwork through correspondence, artist's files, business records, financial and sales records, and scrapbooks for artists and exhibition seasons. Forms & Objects, Inc. contains correspondence, lecture notes, public relations files, business records, financial and sales records, scrapbooks and photographic materials related to American fine crafts.

The organization and press surrounding the monumental exhibitions Art:USA:58 and Art:USA:59 are illustrated in the correspondence, banking records, founding documents, newspaper clippings, paid bill receipts, and sales invoices of the American Art Expositions, Inc. records. Photographs of the Art:USA:59 artists taken by Fred Darrah are also found here.

The bulk of the records of The Little Studio, Inc. are financial records and sales invoices. Lee Nordness' involvement in the gallery is also documented through correspondence and business records. The records of Talent Discovery Company are primarily financial, including banking records, receipts, and tax records. Also found are shipping records, correspondence, and inventory cards.

There are few personal papers of Lee Nordness, the bulk of which are related to his involvement with his tenant cooperative. Also found is scattered correspondence, a scrapbook, and travel documents.

Records for the various companies were co-mingled upon accession. AAA has attempted to place papers in Nordness' original order based on discussions with Nordness and evidence from the records. However, researchers should note there is significant interfiling of the companies' records throughout the collection, especially scrapbooks and photographs. Researchers are strongly encouraged to use dates and keywords to help discover related materials throughout all series.

Abbreviations were often written by the gallery in the upper left-hand corner of a document to indicate to which company the record should be filed. Abbreviations used include: Nordness Gallery, "NG" or "LN"; Art Advisory Section, "AA" or "LN"; Exhibition Section, "ES" or "E/S"; Forms & Objects, "F/O"; American Art Expositions, "AAE"; The Little Studio, "TLS"; and, Talent Discovery Company, "TDC."
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 7 series:

Series 1: Nordness Gallery, Inc. and Lee Nordness Galleries Art Advisory Section, Inc., circa 1938-1992, bulk 1958-1982 (67.8 linear feet; Boxes 1-67, 117-119)

Series 2: Lee Nordness Galleries Exhibition Section, Inc., 1938-1985 (25.5 linear feet; Boxes 68-93, 120, FC 122)

Series 3: Forms & Objects, Inc., circa 1931, circa 1959-1984 (13.5 linear feet; Boxes 93-106, 120)

Series 4: American Art Expositions, Inc., 1955-1968 (1.4 linear feet; Boxes 106-107)

Series 5: The Little Studio, Inc., 1947-1969 (7.7 linear feet; Boxes 108-115, 121)

Series 6: Talent Discovery Company, 1953-1957 (0.9 linear feet; Boxes 115-116, 121)

Series 7: Personal Papers of Lee Nordness, 1948-1976 (0.7 linear feet; Box 116)
Biographical / Historical:
New York City gallerist and entrepreneur Lee Nordness (1922-1995) was born in Olympia, Washington. He studied art in college and received a bachelor's degree from Uppsala University in Sweden. From 1954-1956, Nordness ran a small gallery, Talent Discovery Company, out of his apartment in New York City. Around 1955, Nordness became the director of The Little Studio, Ltd., a gallery started by Richard Kollmer in 1952 to showcase moderately priced artwork by young artists. Nordness took over the business in 1957; it closed in April 1963.

In 1958, Nordness incorporated American Art Expositions, Inc. to organize Art:USA:58, a large exposition of contemporary American art held at Madison Square Garden. The following year Art:USA:59 was held at the New York Coliseum.

Lee Nordness opened his own gallery, Nordness Gallery, Inc., in December 1957 on Madison Avenue. The gallery promoted a roster of contemporary painters and sculptors, including David Aronson, Al Blaustein, Alberto Collie, Ralston Crawford, Robert D'Arista, Kahlil Gibran, Ruth Gikow, Peter Grippe, Milton Hebald, Zubel Kachadoorian, James Kearns, Julian Levi, Walter Meigs, Gregorio Prestopino, Hiram Williams, Karl Zerbe, and the estates of Louis Guglielmi and Rico Lebrun. In 1966, Lee Nordness reorganized his businesses. He closed Nordness Gallery and opened Lee Nordness Art Advisory Section, an art consulting service to corporations, collectors, museums, and individuals, and Lee Nordness Galleries Exhibition Sections, Inc. to handle exhibitions and the sale of paintings and sculptures.

Lee Nordness had an interest in American crafts and, beginning in 1968, he added a permanent roster of American craftmakers to exhibit alongside paintings and sculpture. He opened Forms & Objects, Inc. to handle the exhibition and sales of fine crafts such as ceramics, fiber, glass, metal and wood. With a need for additional exhibition space, the gallery moved a few blocks off Madison Avenue to 236-238 East 75th Street.

Nordness traveled the globe to assemble prominent collections for clients, such as Art:USA, a collection of contemporary works by 102 American artists for S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Art:USA traveled throughout the United States and Europe in the mid-late 1960s before being donated to the National Collection of Fine Arts (Smithsonian Institution). In the late 1960s, he assembled a collection of 300 American craft objects for S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. called Objects:USA, which toured throughout the United States and Europe. This collection was disassembled in the late 1970s, many of the works donated to the Museum of Arts and Design, formerly the Museum of Contemporary Craft.

Nordness closed his New York galleries in the mid-1980s. Soon after, he moved to Belfair, Washington and opened Lee Nordness Galleries, Inc. in 1986. He passed away in 1995 in Washington.
Separated Materials:
Three microfilm reels of material were loaned to the Archives of American Art by Lee Nordness in 1959 regarding American Art Exposition, Inc.'s Art:USA 58 and Art:USA:59. Microfilm includes correspondence, catalogs, visitor lists, press releases, lists of artwork, financial records, and advertising materials and is available on reels NAU1, NAU2 and NAU3.

Later, in 1964 and 1969, Lee Nordness loaned original materials for microfilming compiled by Nordness Gallery about the careers of Gregorio Prestopino, Julian E. Levi, and Lee Gatch, including correspondence, exhibition materials, biographical information, clippings, and photographs. Loaned material is available on reels N69-21 and D169. Original materials were returned to Nordness, but some may have been included in later donations and those originals have been integrated with the other donated records.

The contents of microfilm reels are not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Provenance:
The Lee Nordness business records and papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in several increments by Lee Nordness in 1976, 1986 and as a bequest in 1996. Original materials were also lent by Nordness in 1964 and 1969 for microfilming, some of which may have been included in subsequent donations.
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.
Topic:
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Citation:
Lee Nordness business records and papers, circa 1931-1992, bulk 1954-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.nordlee
See more items in:
Lee Nordness business records and papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-nordlee
Online Media:

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.

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
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-parsbett
Online Media:

S

Collection Creator:
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Extent:
(2 folders)
Container:
Box 22, Folder 53-54
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1947-1978
Scope and Contents note:
St. Lawrence University

Saint Paul Gallery

Salem State College

Samuel Adams Green, Inc.

San Antonio Art League

San Bernadino Valley College

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Santa Rose Junior College

Schuster and Wulf

Schwarz Galleria d'Arte

The Sculptor's Gallery

Seattle Art Museum

Sidney Janis Gallery

Skidmore College

Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture

The Skylight Gallery

Society for the Renewal of Christian Art

The Society of the Four Arts

South Bend Art Association

Southern Vermont Art Center

Spectrum Gallery

Springfield Art Museum

Stadtisches Museum Leverkusen

Stanford University

State College of Iowa

State University College at Potsdam, New York

State University of Iowa

State University of New York, State Teachers College

Stedelijk Museum

Stedelijk van Abbemuseum Eindhoven

Stout State University

Student Book Shop

Studio Gallery

Studio International

Studio Marconi

Suffolk Museum and Carriage House

Summit Art Center
Collection 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.
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.
Collection Citation:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers, 1916-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers / Series 3: Correspondence Files / 3.1: Institutions and Dealers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-parsbett-ref900
Online Media:

Maren Hassinger papers

Creator:
Hassinger, Maren  Search this
Names:
Maryland Institute, College of Art  Search this
Nengudi, Senga, 1943-  Search this
Extent:
11.3 Linear feet
4.55 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Diaries
Date:
1955-2018
Summary:
The papers of African American artist and educator Maren Hassinger measure 11.3 linear feet and 4.55 gigabytes, dating from 1955 to 2018. The collection contains biographical material; personal and professional correspondence; and writings; as well as project and exhibition files; material related to Hassinger's tenure at the Rinehart School of Graduate Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA); material related to other professional activities, including teaching files; photographic material; and artwork and artifacts.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of African American artist and educator Maren Hassinger measure 11.3 linear feet and 4.55 gigabytes, dating from 1955 to 2018. The collection contains biographical material including appointment and address books, education records, family and other home movie recordings, interview transcripts, and resumes; personal and professional correspondence; and writings including diaries, notebooks, notes, and writings by others. Also included are project and exhibition files, including accompanying audiovisual material and performance recordings; material related to Hassinger's tenure at the Rinehart School of Graduate Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA); material related to other professional activities, including other teaching files, panels, and grants; printed material; photographic material depicting Maren Hassinger, other individuals, and works of art, including student work; and artwork and artifacts.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as nine series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1959-2001, 2013-circa 2015 (Box 1; 0.5 linear feet, ER01; 0.001 GB)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1961-2018 (Boxes 1-2; 1 linear foot, ER02; 3.01 GB)

Series 3: Writings, 1955-2017 (Boxes 2-3; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 4: Project and Exhibition Files, 1966, 1982-2015 (Boxes 3-4, OV 12; 1.5 linear feet, ER03-ER04; 1.31 GB)

Series 5: Rinehart School of Graduate Sculpture/MICA Files, circa 1960s-2018 (Boxes 4-5; 1.4 linear feet)

Series 6: Professional Activities, circa 1969-2017 (Boxes 5-6; 0.8 linear feet, ER05; 0.006 GB)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1960-2018 (Boxes 6-9, OVs 12-15; 2.9 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographic Material, 1969-2010s (Boxes 9-10, OV 12, Box 16; 2.2 linear feet, ER06; 0.224 GB)

Series 9: Artwork and Artifacts, circa 1960s-2010s (Box 11; 0.3 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Maren Hassinger (1947- ) is an African American artist in New York known for sculpture, performance, and public art in which she uses natural and industrial materials. She was also an educator and is the director emeritus of the Rinehart School of Graduate Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD.

Born Maren Jenkins in Los Angeles, California in 1947, Hassinger studied dance and sculpture at Bennington College, earning a Bachelor of Arts in sculpture in 1969. In 1973 she completed a Master of Fine Arts in fiber structure at UCLA.

During her time in Los Angeles, Hassinger began to collaborate with Senga Nengudi — a collaborative relationship that has continued throughout their careers. She also participated in the Studio Z collective with Nengudi, Ulysses Jenkins, David Hammons, and Houston Conwill.

Hassinger taught at the State University of New York, Stony Brook from 1992 to 1997 and was the director of the Rinehart School of Graduate Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art from 1997 to 2018. Throughout her career, she has been awarded numerous residencies, awards, and grants. Her work is held in many collections including the Baltimore Museum of Art, the California African American Museum, the Hammer Museum, and the Studio Museum in Harlem.
Provenance:
The Maren Hassinger papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2018 by Maren Hassinger.
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 born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact Reference 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:
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Educators -- Maryland -- Baltimore  Search this
Performance artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
African American artists  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Diaries
Citation:
Maren Hassinger papers, 1955-2018. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.hassmare
See more items in:
Maren Hassinger papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-hassmare

Robert M. Cronbach papers

Creator:
Cronbach, Robt. (Robert M.), 1908-  Search this
Extent:
3.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1914-2004
Summary:
The papers of sculptor and educator Robert M. Cronbach date from 1914-2004 and measure 3.9 linear feet. The papers include biographical material, correspondence, writings, project and commission files, exhibition files, printed material, and photographic material relating to the life and career of Cronbach. The bulk of material is comprised of project and commission files pertaining to sculptures, fountains, and other proposals for public and private spaces.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of sculptor and educator Robert M. Cronbach date from 1914-2004 and measure 3.9 linear feet. The papers include biographical material, correspondence, writings, project and commission files, exhibition files, printed material, and photographic material relating to the life and career of Cronbach. The bulk of material is comprised of project and commission files pertaining to sculptures, fountains, and other proposals for public and private spaces.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as seven series

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1925-1996 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1934-2004 (0.7 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 3: Writings, 1929-1970 (4 folders; Box 1)

Series 4: Project and Commission Files, 1932-1990 (1.6 linear feet; Box 1-2, 4, OV 5-10)

Series 5: Exhibition Files, circa 1960-2000 (0.2 linear feet; Box 2)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1914-2001 (1.1 linear feet; Box 2-3)

Series 7: Photographic Material, circa 1930-1995 (2 folders; Box 3)
Biographical / Historical:
Robert M. Cronbach (1908-2001) was a sculptor and teacher in New York, New York. Born in St. Louis, Cronbach studied sculpture at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts before heading east to continue his studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. His sculpture and fountain commissions for many public and private spaces include Temples, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and the United Nations. He also created work as part of the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project program. Cronbach taught at Adelphi College in Garden City, New York from 1947-1961 and was an instructor at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, where he also served as chairman of the school's board of governors from 1975-1982.
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives of American Art by Robert M. Cronbach in 1992 and in 2016 by Cronbach's daughter, Paula Maria Espinosa. Portions of the collection were lent for microfilming in 1966 by Cronbach and subsequently donated.
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.
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 teachers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Robert M. Cronbach papers, 1914-2004. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.cronrobe
See more items in:
Robert M. Cronbach papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cronrobe

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
Illustrated letters
Christmas cards
Slides (photographs)
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.

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.
Topic:
Poets -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Illustrated letters
Christmas cards
Slides (photographs)
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
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-asheelis

Oral history interview with John W. Rhoden, 1968 July 21

Interviewee:
Rhoden, John, 1918-  Search this
Rhoden, John, 1918-  Search this
Interviewer:
Ghent, Henri, 1926-  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century -- History -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
African American artists  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Theme:
African American  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11469
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213047
AAA_collcode_rhoden68
Theme:
African American
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_213047

Oral history interview with Robert Richenburg, 1968 August 27

Interviewee:
Richenburg, Robert, 1917-2006  Search this
Richenburg, Robert, 1917-2006  Search this
Interviewer:
Seckler, Dorothy Gees, 1910-1994  Search this
Subject:
Cornell University.  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Art -- Political aspects  Search this
Art -- Technique  Search this
Minimal art  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Ithaca -- Interviews  Search this
Pop art  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- Ithaca -- Interviews  Search this
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12559
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)214131
AAA_collcode_richen68
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_214131
Online Media:

Anton Refregier papers

Creator:
Refregier, Anton, 1905-  Search this
Names:
ACA Galleries  Search this
Bard College -- Faculty  Search this
Gosudarstvennyĭ Ėrmitazh (Russia)  Search this
National Council of American-Soviet Friendship (U.S.)  Search this
New York World's Fair (1939-1940 : New York, N.Y.)  Search this
United States. Works Progress Administration  Search this
Woodstock Artists Association (Woodstock, N.Y.)  Search this
World Peace Council  Search this
De Diego, Julio, 1900-  Search this
Dreyfuss, Henry, 1904-  Search this
Elisofon, Eliot  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Fast, Howard, 1914-  Search this
Geddes, Norman Bel, 1893-1958  Search this
Greenwood, Marion, 1909-1970  Search this
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971  Search this
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953  Search this
Morley, Eugene, 1909-1953  Search this
O'Higgins, Pablo, 1904-  Search this
Packard, Emmy Lou, 1914-1998  Search this
Randall, Byron, 1918-1999  Search this
Refregier, Lila  Search this
Siqueiros, David Alfaro  Search this
Yavno, Max  Search this
Extent:
35.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Travel diaries
Greeting cards
Interviews
Cartoons (working drawings)
Scrapbooks
Transcripts
Photographs
Diaries
Sketches
Place:
Chile
Soviet Union
Guatemala
Mexico
Date:
circa 1900-circa 1990
Summary:
The papers of Woodstock area painter, muralist, and designer, Anton Refregier (1905-1979) date from circa 1900 to circa 1990 and measure 35.9 linear feet. The collection records Refregier's early commercial work and murals for the Works Progress Adminstration (WPA) and documents his career through to the 1970s with records of commissions for many public and private buildings, exhibitions in the United States and abroad, teaching positions, essays and publications, and extensive travel, particularly to the Soviet Union and Mexico. The collection contains scattered biographical material, personal and business correspondence, notes and writings, 15 diaries and journals, mural and tapestry files, exhibition files, personal business records, printed material, 10 scrapbooks, artwork including sketches and cartoons for murals, and photographs of Refregier, his friends, family and travels.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Woodstock area painter, muralist, and designer, Anton Refregier (1905-1979) date from circa 1900 to circa 1990 and measure 35.9 linear feet. The collection records Refregier's early commercial work and murals for the Works Progress Adminstration (WPA) and documents his career through to the 1970s with records of commissions for many public and private buildings, exhibitions in the United States and abroad, teaching positions, essays and publications, and extensive travel, particularly to the Soviet Union and Mexico. The collection contains scattered biographical material, personal and business correspondence, notes and writings, diaries and journals, mural and tapestry files, exhibition files, personal business records, printed material, scrapbooks, artwork including sketches and cartoons for murals, and photographs of Refregier, his friends, family and travels.

Biographical material contains legal records such as Refregier's will and marriage and death records, passports, resume material and 2 interview transcripts.

Correspondence, both chronological and alphabetical, constitutes almost a third of the collection and documents all aspects of Refregier's career including his work for the WPA, private commissions, representation by ACA Galleries, his involvement with groups such as the Woodstock Artists Association and his teaching work for institutions such as Bard College. Also documented are his involvement with local political groups and international organizations such as the National Council of American-Soviet Friendship and the World Peace Council, and travels including visits to the Soviet Union. Notable correspondents include Henry Dreyfuss, Philip Evergood, Rockwell Kent, Emmy-Lou Packard, and Byron Randall. Correspondence also includes family letters written primarily by Refregier to Lila Refregier, in addition to greeting cards received by the Refregier family, many of which contain original arwork.

Writings are primarily by Refregier and include drafts of many essays and autobiographical writings, in addition to copies of published works including Natural Figure Drawing, An Artists Journey and Sketches of the Soviet Union.

The collection contains diaries and journals from 12 years in various formats including published and handmade day planners and typed and handwritten journal entries. They include sketches and primarily record travel and daily activities including specific projects such as the New York World's Fair mural (1938-1939).

Mural and Tapestry files document individual commissions bid on and/or completed by Refregier. The creation of the Rincon Annex Post Office mural and subsequent controversies over its subject matter are well-documented here, as are many of Refregier's commissions for banks, hospitals, hotels, shopping centers, and schools.

Exhibition files document at least 15 of Refregier's exhibitions, including his first one-man show at ACA Galleries (1942) and his exhibition of paintings at the Hermitage Museum (1967) in what was then Leningrad.

Personal business records contain addresses of contacts. Scattered records referencing market values for Refregier's work can be found throughout the series in records such as bills and receipts, financial notes and tax records.

Printed material provides extensive coverage of Refregier's entire career through announcements, invitations, catalogs, and news clippings. His interests in art, literature, music, theater and politics are also well-represented in these files.

The collection contains 10 scrapbooks, mostly in fragmented condition, which contain a mixture of photographs, sketches and other artwork, notes and fragments of writings, and printed material. The scrapbooks document a variety of subjects including Refregier's family life, travels to Guatemala and the Soviet Union, and the artist at work.

Artwork consists primarily of artwork by Refregier in the form of mural design sketches and cartoons in various media, including pencil, ink and pastel, in addition to 21 sketchbooks, many of which also contain journal entries and notes. Also found here are prints and reproductions of Refregier's "Peace card" block engravings for every year from 1950-1973, with the exception of 1970.

Photographs document all phases of Refregier's career and include family photographs dating from circa 1900, photos of Refregier in the studio including work for the WPA, Refregier and other artists and individuals at events and parties from the 1940s-1970s, travel snapshots probably taken in Chile, Guatemala, Mexico, and the Soviet Union, and photographs of artwork and installations. Individuals pictured include Julio de Diego, Marion Greenwood, Rockwell Kent, Pablo O'Higgins and David Siqueiros; also, a series of press photographs by Albert A. Freeman pictures Refregier with Howard Fast, Norman Bel Geddes, Marion Greenwood, John Kingsbury, Yasuo Kuniyoshi and Harry Stockwell. One photograph by Eliot Elisofon, 2 by Eugene Morley and 4 by Max Yavno can also be found here.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 11 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1925-1980 (Box 1; 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1912-circa 1990s (Boxes 1-11, 36, OVs 38, 45; 10.2 linear ft.)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1930s-circa 1970s (Boxes 11-14, OV 45; 3.3 linear ft.)

Series 4: Diaries and Journals, 1923-1979 (Box 15; 0.6 linear ft.)

Series 5: Mural and Tapestry Files, circa 1930s-circa 1970s (Boxes 15-18, 36, OVs 38, 45, 46, RD 42; 3.65 linear ft.)

Series 6: Exhibition Files, 1942-1981 (Boxes 18-19; 0.6 linear ft.)

Series 7: Personal Business Records, 1920s-1980s (Boxes 19-20; 1.8 linear ft.)

Series 8: Printed Material, circa 1920s-1980s (Boxes 21-28, 36; 7.4 linear ft.)

Series 9: Scrapbooks, 1930s-1960s (Boxes 28, 37, BV 47; 1.1 linear ft.)

Series 10: Artwork, circa 1930s-circa 1970s (Boxes 28-30, 36, OVs 40, 41, RDs 42-44; 3.5 linear ft.)

Series 11: Photographic Material, ca. 1900-1980s (Boxes 31-35, 39; 4.5 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Russian-born Woodstock painter Anton Refregier (1905-1979) immigrated to the United States in 1920. Refregier was well-known for his sometimes controversial social realist murals for the WPA.

After an apprenticeship to the sculptor, Vasilief, in Paris, Anton Refregier attended the Rhode Island School of Design from 1920-1925 and studied with Hans Hofmann in Germany in 1927. He had his first one-man show at ACA Galleries in New York City in 1942 and settled in Woodstock, New York, with his wife, Lila, and three children Anton, Jr., Brigit and Aleksandre, where he became a prominent member of the artist community.

Refregier completed several social realist murals for the federal Works Progress Adminstration (WPA) program, including one at the New York Worlds Fair in 1939 and the controversial Rincon Annex Post Office mural in San Francisco begun in 1941. He also completed interior design installations for businesses such as the nightclub, Cafe Society Uptown, and the restaurant, The Cookery, in New York City. In addition to being an easel and mural painter Refregier worked in tapestry, mosaic, ceramic, and collage, and completed many commissions for hotels, banks, hospitals, restaurants, synagogues, supermarkets and deparment stores throughout the country.

Refregier taught at various institutions including Stanford University, the University of Arkansas, and Bard College and his publications inlcude Natural Figure Drawing (1948), An Artist's Journey (1965), and Sketches of the Soviet Union (1978). He traveled regularly to the Soviet Union to explore and exchange ideas about art and culture and as a representative of the World Peace Council.

Anton Refregier died in Moscow in October 1979 while visiting the Soviet Union. His work can be found in many museums including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art are an oral history interview with Anton Refregier, 1964, Nov. 5 by Joseph Trovato; and Papers regarding Anton Refregier mural controversy, 1953.
Provenance:
Donated 1983 by Lila Refregier, widow of Anton Refregier, and in 1992 by Brigit R. Sutton, Refregier's daughter.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
Authorization to quote or reproduce for purposes of publication requires written permission from Bridget R. Sutton via Bridget's son, Tim Sutton. 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.
Topic:
Tapestry  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Political clubs  Search this
Muralists -- New York -- Woodstock  Search this
Art -- Commissioning  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Woodstock  Search this
Mural painting and decoration -- Archival resources -- 20th century  Search this
Designers -- New York (State)  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Genre/Form:
Travel diaries
Greeting cards
Interviews
Cartoons (working drawings)
Scrapbooks
Transcripts
Photographs
Diaries
Sketches
Citation:
Anton Refregier papers, circa 1900-circa 1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.refranto
See more items in:
Anton Refregier papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-refranto

John Gregory papers

Creator:
Gregory, John, 1879-1958  Search this
Names:
New York World's Fair (1939-1940 : New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Linear feet ((55 items))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1924-1966
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence, legal agreements, financial statements, and photographs of works related to several of Gregory's sculpture commissions, including the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C., the Federal Reserve, Washington, D.C., the 1939 New York World's Fair, the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution, and Fairmont Park, Pennsylvania.
Biographical / Historical:
Sculptor, lecturer; New York, N.Y. Born in London, England; studied at the American Academy in Rome, and Ecole des Beaux-Arts.
Provenance:
Transferred 1979 by the National Collection of Fine Arts to the Archives of American Art.
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.
Topic:
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.gregjohn
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-gregjohn

Michael Loew papers

Creator:
Loew, Michael, 1907-1985  Search this
Names:
Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors  Search this
Holland-Goldowsky Gallery  Search this
Landmark Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Marilyn Pearl Gallery  Search this
New York World's Fair (1939-1940 : New York, N.Y.)  Search this
United States. Work Projects Administration  Search this
University of California, Berkeley  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
De Kooning, Elaine  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997 -- Photographs  Search this
Dehner, Dorothy, 1901-1994  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Hasen, Burt  Search this
Jensen, Alfred, 1903-1981  Search this
Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005  Search this
Kahn, Louis I., 1901-1974  Search this
Kaprow, Allan  Search this
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971  Search this
Lahey, Richard, b. 1893  Search this
McDarrah, Fred W., 1926-2007  Search this
McNeil, George, 1908-1995  Search this
McPherson, Sarah Freedman, 1895-1978  Search this
Morris, George L. K., 1905-1975  Search this
Odets, Clifford, 1906-1963  Search this
Schempp, Theodore  Search this
Schnitzler, Max, 1903-  Search this
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Slivka, Rose  Search this
Extent:
1.8 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 2 reels))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1930-1997
Scope and Contents:
Biographical material, correspondence, notes, writings, photographs, business and financial records, works of art, and printed material document the career of painter and educator Michael Loew.
REEL N68-94: Biographical material, 1957-1967, includes 5 biographical sketches, a bibliography of Loew's publications, and an artist's statement. Correspondence, 1935-1968, is with colleagues, galleries, and educational institutions. There are one or two letters each from colleagues Josef Albers, Willem de Kooning, Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Johnson, Richard Lahey, George L.K. Morris, and Clifford Odets. Nine letters relate to Loew's work for the U.S. Works Progress Administration and the New York World's Fair. Writings, 1966, consist of several drafts for essay "Is It the Function of the Artist to Communicate with his Audience." A contract, 1938, is between Loew and Willem de Kooning and the New York World's Fair 1939 Inc. Printed material, 1944-1968, consists of exhibition announcements and catalogs. Photographs, 1960-1964, are of Loew and his art works. Notes consist of 2 undated notebooks and a typescript concerning Josef Albers. A scrapbook, 1938-1965, contains 4 photographs of art works, clippings, and exhibition announcements and catalogs.
REEL 5053: Correspondence, 1944-1990, is with galleries, including the Holland-Goldowsky Gallery, educational institutions, including the University of California at Berkeley, and colleagues including Dorothy Dehner, Burt Hasen, and Aaron Siskind. Correspondence, 1956-1957, with Rockwell Kent concerns the rental of Kent's Monhegan Island cabin. One letter, 1959, includes 3 photographs of Loew, Louis Kahn, Allan Kaprow, and George McNeil. Lecture notes are for an Artists Equity symposium, 1956, and a panel discussion on painting, 1968. Writings, 1968-1979, consist of 3 essays by Loew and tributes written to Sarah Freedman McPherson by Loew and others. Printed material, 1932-1992, consists of clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and a book "The Artist's World" by Fred W. McDarrah. Photographs, 1930-1979, are of Loew, his friends, and his art works. One photograph is of Alfred Jensen, Theodore Schempp, Max Schnitzler, and Loew in Tunis, 1930.
UNMICROFILMED Biographical material incudes curriculum vita, obituaries, and birth announcements of Jonathan Loew, Michael Loew's son. Correspondence is with Willem and Elaine de Kooning. Writings include notes and a transcription of Loew's 1966 MoMA talk Must the Artist Communicate with his Audience, drafts of an article by Loew regarding Joseph Albers NEA and Guggenheim grant applications. Photographs are of Loew, his artwork, and his travels in Mexico as well as a color photograph of Loew and Willem de Kooning in de Kooning's studio taken by Rose Slivka. Artwork includes original off-prints for book covers. Business files relate to the 1939 World's Fair mural commission and include information about gifts of artwork to museums. Financial material includes a sales record book and records of sales with the Marilyn Pearl and Landmark galleries. Also included are literature and directories from the Federation of Modern Painters & Sculptors, exhibition announcements,and newspaper clippings.
Biographical / Historical:
Born in New York City, Michael Loew (1907-1985) studied at the Art Students League from 1926-1929, Academie Scandinave in Paris from 1929-1930, the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Art from 1947-1949, and at the Atelier Fernand Leger from 1949-1950. Loew worked as a stained glass artist from 1926 to 1929, and painted murals with Willem de Kooning for the New York World's Fair of 1939. Between 1956 and 1966, he taught painting at the Portland (Oregon) Art Museum, University of California at Berkeley, and at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
Provenance:
Material on reel N68-94 lent for microfilming 1968 by Michael Loew; approximately 50 letters and an artists' statement were later received in subsequent donations. Additional papers were donated in 1981-1982 by Loew, and in 1994 and 2008 by his widow, Mildred C. Loew, a portion of which was microfilmed on reel 5053. The photograph of Loew and de Kooning taken by Rose Slivka was donated by Loew's niece, Jackie Cohen, in 2007.
Restrictions:
Microfilmed portion must be accessed on film. Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Occupation:
Painters  Search this
Art teachers  Search this
Topic:
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.loewmich
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-loewmich

Oral history interview with Sue Fuller

Interviewee:
Fuller, Sue, 1914-  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Names:
Carnegie Institute of Technology -- Students  Search this
Columbia University. Teachers College -- Students  Search this
Society of American Etchers  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Arms, John Taylor, 1887-1953  Search this
D'Amico, Victor, 1904-1987  Search this
Dewey, John, 1859-1952  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Lejwa, Madeleine Chalette, 1913-1996  Search this
Matta, 1912-2002  Search this
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Schaefer, Bertha, 1895-1971  Search this
Schanker, Louis, 1903-1981  Search this
Thurn, Ernest  Search this
Extent:
6 Items (Sound recording: 6 sound files, digital, wav file)
94 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Europe -- description and travel
Japan -- Description and Travel
Date:
1975 April 24-May 8
Scope and Contents:
Interview of Sue Fuller, conducted on April 24, 1975, April 30, 1975, and May 8, 1975, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, at the home of Sue Fuller, in Southampton, New York.
Fuller speaks of her family and childhood in Pittsburgh, including art teachers and friends; her childhood painting lessons; her education in prep school, at Carnegie Tech, and at Columbia Teachers' College; her travels to Europe and Japan; her use of plastics; her work as a teacher, commercial artist, and assistant in Bill Hayter's studio; the influence of John Dewey's philosophy on her teaching style; training with Ernest Thurn, Hans Hofmann, Josef Albers; learning printmaking and calligraphy; the Society of American Etchers; the influence of science and mathematics on her work; and her thoughts on contemporary computer art. Fuller also recalls Bertha Schaefer, Victor D'Amico, Madeleine Lejwa, John Taylor Arms, Abraham Rattner, Louis Schanker, Roberto Matta, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Sue Fuller (1914-2006) was a sculptor and printmaker from Southampton, New York.
Provenance:
These interviews are 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.
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Calligraphy -- Study and teaching  Search this
Computer Art  Search this
Painting -- Study and teaching  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Prints -- Technique -- Study and teaching  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.fuller75
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-fuller75

Oral history interview with Robert Longo

Interviewee:
Longo, Robert  Search this
Interviewer:
Richards, Judith Olch  Search this
Names:
Hallwalls (Museum)  Search this
Los Angeles County Museum of Art  Search this
Metro Pictures (Gallery)  Search this
Nassau Community College -- Students  Search this
State University of New York at Buffalo -- Students  Search this
University of North Texas -- Students  Search this
Acconci, Vito, 1940-  Search this
Alexander, Brooke  Search this
Bender, Gretchen, 1951-2004  Search this
Brauntuch, Troy, 1954-  Search this
Clough, Charles, 1951-  Search this
Fink, Leonara  Search this
Fischer, Konrad  Search this
Gibson, William  Search this
Goldstein, Jack, 1945-2003  Search this
Heiss, Alanna  Search this
Irwin, Robert, 1928-  Search this
Krims, Leslie  Search this
König, Kasper  Search this
LeWitt, Sol, 1928-2007  Search this
Malkin, Phil  Search this
Mazzoli, Emilio  Search this
McMann, Paul  Search this
Mullican, Matt, 1951-  Search this
Ranieri, Dominic  Search this
Reeves, Keanu  Search this
Reiring, Janelle  Search this
Salle, David, 1952-  Search this
Shea, Diane  Search this
Sherman, Cindy  Search this
Sukowa, Barbara, 1950-  Search this
Winer, Helene, 1946-  Search this
Zwack, Michael, 1949-  Search this
Extent:
4 Items (sound discs (4 hr., 54 min.) Sound recording, digital)
91 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
France -- Paris -- Description and Travel
Italy -- description and travel
Date:
2009 January 30-31
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Robert Longo conducted 2009 January 30-31, by Judith Olch Richards, for the Archives of American Art, at Longo's studio, in New York.
Longo speaks of his Italian heritage, his family and growing up in Long Island, New York; the role magazines, television, and movies played in artistic inspiration; his dyslexia; his interest in sports and music in high school; moving to Denton, Texas to attend the University of North Texas before being expelled; moving back to New York and enrolling in Nassau Community College; traveling to Italy to study art history, where he discovered his desire to become an artist; attending Buffalo State University where he met Charlie Clough, Michael Zwack, and Cindy Sherman, with whom he created Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center; Robert Irwin, Sol LeWitt and Vito Acconci's involvement with Hallwalls; moving to New York City with Cindy Sherman to begin their careers as artists; working at The Kitchen and his performance pieces of the period; the child-like, punk, and corporate influences and the process of creating his "archetypical" Men in the Cities series; his relationship with Gretchen Bender; the formations of Metro Pictures gallery by Helene Winer and Janelle Reiring; the Combines, sculptures, music videos, and short films created in the 1980's and their mixed reception and mixed success in the difficult art market; his works cast in aluminum and metal; his first retrospective held at the LA County Museum of Art in 1989 and feeling lost in his own work; creating "bad art" in the process of attempting sobriety; black flag imagery and his success in Europe, which served as inspiration to move to Paris for several years; meeting his wife, Barbara Sukowa, a German actress; how having children changed his perspective and how they act as antennae to the world; his directorial role of the 1992 film, "Johnny Mnemonic"; and the slow progression, and continuity, of imagery in different bodies of work from the mid-1990's through the present, including the Magellan series (drawings of 366 different images), Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud's offices, and series of waves, bombs, roses, planets, sleeping babies, and sharks. Longo also recalls Leonora Fink, Phil Malkin, Rick Zucker, Les Krims, Troy Brauntuch, Jack Goldstein, Paul McMann, David Salle, Matt Mullican, Diane Shea, Alanna Heiss, Kasper Konig, Konrad Fischer, Brooke Alexander, Dominic Ranieri, William Gibson, Keanu Reeves, Emilio Mazzoli and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Longo (1953- ) is a painter and sculptor in New York, New York. Judith Olch Richards (1947- ) is former executive director of iCI in New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 54 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Topic:
Dyslexia  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.longo09
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-longo09

Richard Artschwager papers

Creator:
Artschwager, Richard, 1923-  Search this
Names:
Adair Margo Gallery  Search this
Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts  Search this
Cornell University.  Search this
Gagosian Gallery  Search this
Galerie Franck + Schulte  Search this
Harvard University  Search this
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art  Search this
Leo Castelli Gallery  Search this
Lorence-Monk Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Museum Ludwig  Search this
Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture  Search this
University of Wisconsin  Search this
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
Alloway, Lawrence, 1926-1990  Search this
Castelli, Leo  Search this
Copley, William Nelson, 1919-1996  Search this
Fischl, Eric, 1948-  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-  Search this
Karp, Ivan C., 1926-2012  Search this
Katz, Alex, 1927-  Search this
Kimmelman, Michael  Search this
Lawler, Louise  Search this
LeWitt, Sol, 1928-2007  Search this
Murray, Elizabeth, 1940-  Search this
Namuth, Hans  Search this
Neuendorf, Hans  Search this
Ruscha, Edward  Search this
Schaffner, Ingrid  Search this
Schjeldahl, Peter  Search this
Waters, John, 1946-  Search this
Woodman, Betty, 1930-  Search this
Extent:
5.6 Linear feet
9.33 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Illustrated letters
Transcripts
Sketches
Photographs
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Date:
1959-2013
Summary:
The papers of New York painter and sculptor Richard Artschwager measure 5.6 linear feet and 9.33 GB and date from 1959-2013. The papers include extensive correspondence, recorded talks and a lecture, exhibition files, printed and digital material, and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York painter and sculptor Richard Artschwager measure 5.6 linear feet and 9.33 GB and date from 1959-2013. The papers include extensive correspondence, recorded talks and a lecture, exhibition files, printed and digital material, and photographs.

Artschwager's correspondence is with museums, galleries, artists, art historians, academic institutions, and publishers and concerns exhibitions, speaking engagements, and teaching. Frequent correspondents include Lawrence Alloway, Leo Castelli Gallery, Gagosian Gallery, Galerie Franck + Schulte, Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Ivan Karp, Museum Ludwig, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Ingrid Schaffner, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Also found are letters from fellow artists, including William Copley, Eric Fischl, Ray Johnson, Louise Lawler, Sol Lewitt, Ed Ruscha, John Waters, and Betty Woodman. Some letters are annotated or illustrated with sketches by Artschwager.

The collection includes a lecture and recorded talks by Richard Artschwager held at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, and the Carpenter Center of the Visual Arts, Harvard University, and other venues. One of the recordings is from the "Conversations with Contemporary Artists" series of the Museum of Modern Art. Also included in this series is a recorded discussion with artists Alex Katz and Elizabeth Murray and art critics Michael Kimmelman and Peter Schjeldahl.

Exhibition files are found for exhibitions held at Adair Margo Gallery, Lorence Monk Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Cornell University, and numerous others, including many in Europe. Files typically contain correspondence, price lists, announcements, printed material, photographs, and a few sound and video recordings.

Printed material includes invitations and announcements as well as posters, reproductions, and brochures, mostly related to Richard Artschwager's exhibitions. Newspaper and magazine clippings document exhibition openings and the critical reception of his work.

There are also a few photographs including images of Leo Castelli by Hans Namuth used by Artschwager in preparing for his portrait of Castelli.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 5 series.

Series 1: Correspondence, circa 1970-2013 (Boxes 1-3; 3.0 linear feet, ER01-ER02; 0.555 GB)

Series 2: Talks and Lecture, 1985-2009 (Box 4; 0.8 linear feet, ER03-ER10; 8.77 GB)

Series 3: Exhibition Files, 1973-2007 (Boxes 4-5; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1959-2012 (Boxes 5-6, OV 7; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 5: Photographs, circa 1973, 2007 (Box 6, OV 8; 0.1 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Richard Artschwager (1923-2013) lived and worked in New York City and Hudson, New York and was known primarily for his paintings and sculptures. Artschwager was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in New Mexico. As a youth, Artschwager showed a talent for drawing. He studied chemistry and mathematics at Cornell University. In 1944, Artschwager interrupted his studies to enlist in the U.S. Army. After the war, he returned to Cornell to complete his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1948. Encouraged by his first wife, Elfriede Wejmelka to develop his interest in art, Artschwager moved to New York to study at the Studio School of Amédée Ozenfant. His paintings and drawings from this period were featured in two group shows at the Terrain Gallery in 1957 and at the Art Directions Gallery on Madison Avenue in 1959, where they were recognized by Donald Judd.

In the 1950s, in order to support his family, Artschwager turned to designing and manufacturing modern furniture. His woodworking skills inspired him to create sculptures from utilitarian objects such as tables, chairs, and mirrors. He is best known for the use of building materials Celotex and Formica in his work and for inventing an abstract form he called "blps" reliefs, stencils or decals that were installed randomly in museum, gallery and public spaces. From the mid-1980s to late 1990s, Artschwager designed large scale projects, though he continued to incorporate everyday domestic objects in his sculptures and paintings.

In 1965, Artschwager was given his first one-man exhibition at the Castelli Gallery and he remained with the Gallery for thirty years. He was also represented by Mary Boone, David Nolan, and the Gagosian Gallery. In the 1980s, Artschwager served on the Visual Arts Policy Committee at the National Endowment of the Arts. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts in 1992. He was a visiting artist at New Mexico State University, Soka University, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the University of Arizona. Artschwager's work was the subject of a major surveys, including the Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Neues Museum, and Serpentine Gallery. He participated in numerous international group shows including the Venice Biennale and Documenta in Kassel, Germany. The Whitney Museum of American Art honored Artschwager with two travelling retrospective exhibitions in 1988 and 2012. In late 2012, Artschwager had one-man shows at the Gagosian Gallery and David Nolan Gallery.

Richard Artschwager died at the age of 89 years in 2013. He is survived by his wife, Ann Sebring Artschwager and three children from previous marriages.
Related Materials:
Also found among the resources at the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Artschwager, March 3-28, 1972, conducted by Paul Cummings.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Richard Artschwager and his wife Ann Artschwager in 2013.
Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference 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:
Art critics  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Illustrated letters
Transcripts
Sketches
Photographs
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Citation:
Richard Artschwager papers, 1959-2013. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.artsrich
See more items in:
Richard Artschwager papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-artsrich
Online Media:

Charles Ramsburg papers

Creator:
Ramsburg, Charles  Search this
Extent:
0.8 Linear feet
6.04 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Video recordings
Date:
1959-2020
Summary:
The papers of artist Charles Ramsburg (1942- ) measure 0.8 linear feet and 6.04 GB, and date from 1959-2020. The collection documents Ramsburg's career and art practice through biographical material, correspondence, exhibition files, printed material, and photographic material. Some email correspondence, three video recordings and the bulk of the photographs are in digital form.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of artist Charles Ramsburg (1942- ) measure 0.8 linear feet and 6.04 GB, and date from 1959-2020. The collection documents Ramsburg's career and art practice through biographical material, correspondence, exhibition files, printed material, and photographic material. Some email correspondence, three video recordings and the bulk of the photographs are in digital form.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as five series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1959-circa 1993 (Box 1, 1 folder; ER06, ER09, 0.162 GB)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1961-2019 (Box 1, 2 folders; ER07-ER08, 0.054 GB)

Series 3: Exhibition Files, 1989-2005 (Box 1, 0.3 linear feet; ER01, 3.86 GB)

Series 4: Printed Material, circa 1980-2018 (Box 2; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 5: Photographic Material, 1990-2017 (Box 2, 0.2 linear feet; ER02-ER05, 1.94 GB)
Biographical / Historical:
Charles Ramsburg (1942- ) is an artist in New York City who creates sculptures and drawings related to the minutiae of nature. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ramsburg studied at the San Francisco Art Institute, University of Arizona, and University of California at Santa Barbara. He moved to New Mexico in 1970, and after several decades returned to the east coast. Ramsburg's work has been featured in exhibitions internationally, and he has been represented by Carter Burden Gallery in New York and Horwitch LewAllen Gallery in New Mexico.
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives of American Art by Charles Ramsburg in 2017, 2019 and 2020.
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 born-digital records 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:
Artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Video recordings
Citation:
Charles Ramsburg papers, 1959-2020. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.ramschar
See more items in:
Charles Ramsburg papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-ramschar

Oral history interview with Leo Rabkin, 1968 Dec. 4

Interviewee:
Rabkin, Leo, 1919-2015  Search this
Rabkin, Leo, 1919-2015  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul, 1933-1997  Search this
Subject:
Baziotes, William  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad  Search this
American Abstract Artists  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Sculptors -- United States -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13120
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212462
AAA_collcode_rabkin68
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212462

Oral history interview with Anton Refregier, 1964 Nov. 5

Interviewee:
Refregier, Anton, 1905-1979  Search this
Refregier, Anton, 1905-1979  Search this
Interviewer:
Trovato, Joseph S., 1912-1983  Search this
Subject:
Federal Art Project (N.Y.)  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Mural painting and decoration -- New York (State)  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Woodstock -- Interviews  Search this
Theme:
New Deal  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12689
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213745
AAA_collcode_refreg64
Theme:
New Deal
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_213745
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Raquel Rabinovich, 2012 September 25 and October 9

Interviewee:
Rabinovich, Raquel, 1929-  Search this
Rabinovich, Raquel, 1929-  Search this
Interviewer:
McElhinney, James, 1952-  Search this
Subject:
Beethoven, Ludwig van  Search this
Borges, Jorge Luis  Search this
Braque, Georges  Search this
Cézanne, Paul  Search this
Del Giocondo, Lisa  Search this
Denes, Agnes  Search this
Farina, Ernesto  Search this
Herzberg, Julia P.  Search this
Johns, Jasper  Search this
Kelly, Robert  Search this
Lenin, Vladimir Ilʹich  Search this
Lhote, André  Search this
Maggi, Marco  Search this
Martin, Agnes  Search this
Mondolfo, Rodolfo  Search this
Mondrian, Piet  Search this
Pavia, Philip  Search this
Perón, Juan Domingo  Search this
Picasso, Pablo  Search this
Quasha, George  Search this
Rockburne, Dorothea  Search this
Schwabsky, Barry  Search this
Stein, Charles  Search this
Strauss, David Levi  Search this
Velázquez, Diego  Search this
Weintraub, Linda  Search this
Zimmer, William  Search this
Hispanic American Arts Center (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Station Hill Press  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Argentina -- Description and travel
Denmark -- Copenhagen -- Description and travel
Egypt -- description and travel
France -- Paris -- description and travel
India -- description and travel
Machu Picchu Site (Peru)
Nepal -- description and travel
New York (N.Y.) -- Description and travel
Thailand -- description and travel
Topic:
Buddhism  Search this
Minimal art  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)16067
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)338396
AAA_collcode_rabino12
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_338396
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Fong Chow

Interviewee:
Chow, Fong  Search this
Interviewer:
Carney, Margaret, 1949-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Alfred University -- Students  Search this
Glidden Pottery (Alfred, N.Y.)  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.) -- Employees  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Parker, Glidden, 1913-1980  Search this
Extent:
27 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2002 February 6
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Fong Chow conducted February 6, 2002, by Margaret Carney, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Chow's home, in New York, N.Y.
Chow speaks of his family, specifically, his grandfather who was sent to Hartford, Connecticutt, in 1874, for schooling, then studied at Columbia University and returned to China, working as general manager of one of the earliest railroads in north China; the schools Chow attended in Hong Kong; working in different media, including painting and photography; attending the Boston Museum School and then Alfred University; his relationship with Charles Harder, the head of the ceramic design department at Alfred; the "wonderful" teachers at Alfred in the early 1950s, including Katharine Nelson in painting, Marion Fosdick in sculpture, Daniel Rhodes and Ted Randall; learning production methods, as well as "studio potters work"; developing forms, new glazes, and decorations at Glidden Pottery; his "famous" pieces for Glidden Pottery, such as "New Equations" and "Charcoal and Rice"; how he became involved with the Metropolitan Museum of Art and his relationship with Alan Priest, curator of Far Eastern art; working at the Met as a curator for more than 20 years; changes at the Met during his tenure there; and his hiatus from making ceramics while working at the Met. He discusses his return to clay in 1983 and his studio near Cooper Union; he describes visiting his best friend from childhood, Pan He, a sculptor in China. He also discusses his health; his wife Chao-Ling and how they met; his current focus on photography. Chow also recalls Glidden Parker, James Romer, Bo Gyllensvard, Sergio Dello Strologo, Theodore Hobby, Paul Bollardo, Norman Arsenault, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Fong Chow (1923- ) is a Chinese American ceramicist, curator, and photographer from New York, N.Y. Margaret Carney (1949- ) is the director of the Schein Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art in Alfred, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 41 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Ceramicists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Ceramics -- Chinese  Search this
Art -- Technique  Search this
Asian American art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Chinese American art  Search this
Chinese American artists  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Asian American photographers  Search this
Asian American ceramicists  Search this
Asian American curators  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.chow02
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-chow02

Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt papers

Creator:
Smithson, Robert  Search this
Names:
Dwan Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art  Search this
Andre, Carl, 1935-  Search this
Atkinson, Terry, 1939-  Search this
Dibbets, Jan, 1941-  Search this
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Flavin, Dan, 1933-  Search this
Graham, Dan, 1942-  Search this
Haacke, Hans, 1936-  Search this
Heizer, Michael, 1944-  Search this
Holt, Nancy, 1938-  Search this
Insley, Will, 1929-2011  Search this
Jenney, Neil, 1945-  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
LeWitt, Sol, 1928-2007  Search this
Lippard, Lucy R.  Search this
Long, Richard, 1945-  Search this
Oppenheim, Dennis, 1938-2011  Search this
Valledor, Leo, 1936-1989  Search this
Wheeler, Dennis  Search this
Extent:
15.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Greeting cards
Photographs
Transcripts
Motion pictures (visual works)
Date:
1905-1987
bulk 1952-1987
Summary:
The papers of sculptor, writer, and earthworks artist Robert Smithson and his wife, sculptor, filmmaker, and earthworks artist Nancy Holt measure 15.1 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1987, with the bulk of the material dating from 1952 to 1987. The papers consist of Smithson's biographical material; business and personal correspondence, much of it with artists; interview transcripts; extensive writings and project files; financial records; printed material; a scrapbook of clippings; holiday cards with original prints and sketches; photographic material; and artifacts. Also found are project files related to Nancy Holt's motion picture film Pine Barrens and her seminal environmental work of art Sun Tunnels, including a video documentary about Sun Tunnels.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of sculptor, writer, and earthworks artist Robert Smithson and his wife, sculptor, filmmaker, and earthworks artist Nancy Holt measure 15.1 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1987, with the bulk of the material dating from 1952 to 1987. The papers consist of Smithson's biographical material; business and personal correspondence, much of it with artists; interview transcripts; extensive writings and project files; financial records; printed material; a scrapbook of clippings; holiday cards with original prints and sketches; photographic material; and artifacts. Also found are project files related to Nancy Holt's film Pine Barrens and her seminal environmental work of art Sun Tunnels, including a video documentary about Sun Tunnels.

Biographical material includes Robert Smithson's curriculum vitae, personal identification and medical documents, eight engagement/day planners Smithson and Holt maintained from 1966 to 1973, and Smithson's funeral register.

Correspondence is primarily with Smithson's family, friends, fellow artists, and business associates discussing personal relationships, proposed art projects, and exhibitions. Correspondents of note include Carl Andre, the Dwan Gallery (Virginia Dwan), Dan Graham, Will Insley, Ray Johnson, Gyorgy Kepes, Sol Lewitt, Lucy Lippard, and Dennis Wheeler. There is also substantial correspondence received by Holt upon Smithson's death in 1973, and between Holt and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art regarding Smithson's retrospective exhibition in 1982.

There are nine interview transcripts with Smithson discussing his works and his general philosophy on art, and one transcript of the Andrew Dickson White Museum's Earth Art Symposium (1969) featuring the following artists: Mike Hiezer, Dennis Oppenheim, Robert Smithson, Neil Jenney, Gunther Uecker, Jan Dibbets, Richard Long, and Hans Haacke.

Writings are substantial and include 73 drafts of published and unpublished essays by Smithson on art, artists, and works in progress. The series also includes poems by Smithson, six notebooks containing notes and sketches by Smithson, and drafts of writings sent to Smithson and Holt by friends and colleagues, including Carl Andre, Terry Atkinson, Dan Flavin, Dan Graham, and Jack Thibeau.

Project files contain correspondence, project instructions, diagrams and sketches, research materials, photographic material, and maps related to over 50 of Smithson's artworks. These include concepts, proposed projects, sculptures, non-sites, and earthwork projects, including Spiral Jetty, Broken Circle, and Spiral Hill.

Personal business records include gallery related loan arrangements and receipts for miscellaneous art supplies. Financial records include tax forms and preparation documents, including cancelled checks, receipts, statements, and related correspondence.

Printed materials include books, clippings, and periodicals related to Smithson, either containing writings or sketches by him, or containing articles reviewing his work. There are also exhibition announcements and catalogs of Smithson's group and solo shows from 1959 to 1985.

The scrapbook contains clippings of Smithson's published articles from 1966 to 1973 with annotated shorthand notes.

Artwork consists of Christmas cards collaged by Smithson, and sketches by Smithson and Leo Valledor.

Photographic materials include prints and negatives of Smithson with friends, promotional Hollywood movie stills, and original prints and copyprints of other artists' artwork.

Artifacts consist of a paper bag silkscreened with a Campbell's soup can (Warhol), promotional buttons (N.E. Thing Co.), various organic materials, and two art kits.

Nancy Holt's papers consist of correspondence, a grant application, printed materials, and project files and audio visual material related to her motion picture film Pine Barrens (1975) and her seminal environmental work of art Sun Tunnels (1975).
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 13 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1905-1974 (Box 1; 14 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1959-1987 (Boxes 1-2, OV 21; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 3: Interview Transcripts, 1966-1973 (Box 2; 11 folders)

Series 4: Writings, 1959-1975 (Boxes 2-3; 1.1 linear feet)

Series 5: Project Files, circa 1950s-1982 (Boxes 4-5, Boxes 17-18, OV 20, OV 22-26, OV 36, RD 28-30, RD 32-35; 6.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Personal Business Records, circa 1967-1970s (Box 5; 4 folders)

Series 7: Financial Records, 1962-1972 (Box 6; 1 linear foot)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1955-1985 (Boxes 7-11, Box 18, RD 31; 5.6 linear feet)

Series 9: Scrapbook, 1966-1973 (Box 11, Box 16; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 10: Artwork, circa 1950s-1970s (Box 11; 4 folders)

Series 11: Photographs, circa 1950s-1970s (Box 11, Box 18; 5 folders)

Series 12: Artifacts, circa 1950s-1970s (Box 11, Box 14, OV 19; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 13: Nancy Holt Papers, circa 1960s-1980s (Box 12-13, 15, OV 27, FC 37-38; 1.9 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Robert Smithson (1938-1973) was the pioneer of land and earthworks art. He was also a noted sculptor, painter, writer, and lecturer working primarily in New York City. Smithson's wife, Nancy Holt (1938-) was a noted sculptor and filmmaker and also worked as an earthworks artist.

Born in Passaic, New Jersey, Smithson expressed an early interest in art, enrolling in classes at the Brooklyn Museum School and the Art Student's League in New York while still attending high school. Smithson's early works were primarily paintings, drawings, and collages. In 1959, he exhibited his first solo show of paintings at the Artists' Gallery in New York and had his first solo international show in Rome with the Galleria George Lester in 1961.

During the early to mid-1960s, Smithson was perhaps better known as a writer and art critic, writing numerous essays and reviews for Arts Magazine and Artforum. He became affiliated with artists who were identified with the minimalist movement, such as Carl Andre, Donald Judd, Nancy Holt, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris and others. In 1963, Smithson married sculptor and filmmaker Nancy Holt and a year later started to create his first sculptural works. In 1966, Smithson joined the Dwan Gallery, whose owner Virginia Dwan was an enthusiastic supporter of his work.

Smithson's interest in land art began in the late 1960s while exploring industrial and quarry sites and observing the movement of earth and rocks. This resulted in a series of sculptures called "non-sites" consisting of earth and rocks collected from a specific site and installed in gallery space, often combined with photographs, maps, mirrors, or found materials. In September 1968, Smithson published the essay "A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects" in Artforum that promoted the work of the first wave of land art artists. Soon thereafter, he began creating his own large scale land art and earthworks.

From 1967 to 1973, Smithson's productivity was constant as he wrote, lectured, and participated in several solo and group shows a year, both at home and abroad. He explored narrative art as essay in "The Monuments of Passaic" and fully committed to his idea of visiting sites and using them as the basis for creating non-sites, Non-Site, Pine Barrens, (1968); incorporated and documented the use of mirrors at sites in Mirror Displacement, Cayuga Salt Mine Project (1968-1969); and created his first site-specific works through liquid pours of mud, asphalt, and concrete, including Asphalt Rundown (1969). In 1969, he also completed his first earth pour at Kent State University with his project Partially Buried Woodshed. Later that year, he created the sculptural artwork for which he is best known, Spiral Jetty (1969) on the Great Salt Lake in Utah. This was the first of his pieces to require the acquisition of land rights and earthmoving equipment, and would be followed two years later by Broken Circle and Spiral Hill in 1971.

On July 20, 1973, while surveying sites in Texas for the proposed Amarillo Ramp, Smithson died in a plane crash at the age of 35. Despite his early death, Smithson's writings and artwork had a major impact on many contemporary artists.

Nancy Holt began her career as a photographer and video artist. Today, Holt is most widely known for her large-scale environmental works, Sun Tunnels and Dark Star Park. Holt has also made a number of films and videos since the late 1960s, including Mono Lake (1968), East Coast, West Coast (1969), and Swamp (1971) in collaboration with her late husband Robert Smithson. Points of View: Clocktower (1974) features conversations between Lucy Lippard and Richard Serra, Liza Bear and Klaus Kertess, Carl Andre and Ruth Kligman and Bruce Brice and Tina Girouard. In 1978, she produced a film about her seminal work Sun Tunnels.
Related Material:
The Archives also holds several collections related to Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt, including an oral history interview with Robert Smithson conducted by Paul Cummings in 1972; an interview with Robert Smithson conducted by Tony Robbin in 1968; Robert Smithson letters to George B. Lester, 1960-1963; and oral history interviews with Nancy Holt conducted by Scott Gutterman in 1992 and Joyce Pomeroy Schwartz in 1993.
Provenance:
The papers of Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt were donated by Nancy Holt in several accretions between 1986 and 2011.
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.

Periodicals, and phonographs from Robert Smithson's personal library are currently stored offsite. 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.
The donor has retained all intellectual property rights, including copyright, that they may own in the following material: two holiday cards found in box 11, folders 23-24.
Topic:
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Earthworks (Art)  Search this
Filmmakers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Greeting cards
Photographs
Transcripts
Motion pictures (visual works)
Citation:
Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt papers, 1905-1987, bulk 1952-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.smitrobe
See more items in:
Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-smitrobe
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