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Siskind, Aaron

Collection Creator:
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 45
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1951
1972
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Use of the original papers requires an appointment.
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:
Joseph Cornell papers, 1804-1986, bulk 1939-1972. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Joseph Cornell papers
Joseph Cornell papers / Series 2: Correspondence / 2.1: General Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9f34bd6f0-6b56-453e-8ffd-57c29429f83c
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-cornjose-ref168

Untitled, from the project The Most Crowded Block

Artist:
Aaron Siskind, born New York City 1903-died Providence, RI 1991  Search this
Medium:
gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
sheet: 14 x 10 7/8 in. (35.5 x 27.6 cm.)
Type:
Photography-Photoprint
Date:
1940, printed later
Topic:
Figure male  Search this
African American  Search this
Architecture\domestic\bedroom  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Tennyson and Fern Schad, courtesy of Light Gallery
Copyright:
© 1940, Aaron Siskind Foundation
Object number:
1991.111.10
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk767867dac-9a1f-4267-8c46-fe697f8369ef
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1991.111.10

Arnold Crane interviews of photographers

Creator:
Crane, Arnold H.  Search this
Names:
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Blatas, Arbit  Search this
Brassaï, 1899-  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Evans, Walker, 1903-1975  Search this
Jammes, André  Search this
Kertész, André  Search this
Ray, Man, 1890-1976  Search this
Rothstein, Arthur, 1915-1985  Search this
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Smith, W. Eugene, 1918-  Search this
Strand, Paul, 1890-1976  Search this
White, Minor  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Date:
[ca. 1968-1971]
Scope and Contents:
Transcripts of interviews conducted by Arnold Crane. Interviewees include Ansel Adams, Berenice Abbott, Gyula Brassai, Imogen Cunningham, Walker Evans, Andre Jammes, Andre Kertesz, Man Ray, Arthur Rothstein, Aaron Siskind, W. Eugene Smith, Paul Strand and Minor White.
Biographical / Historical:
Photographer, and photograph collector; Chicago, Illinois.
Provenance:
Donated by Arnold Crane.
Restrictions:
All interviews are ACCESS RESTRICTED; written permission required of Cynthia Crane.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Occupation:
Photographers  Search this
Topic:
Photographers -- Interviews  Search this
Photography -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.cranarno
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw97a4f4d5a-7606-49e7-b6e5-a87d5a0bf9a3
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cranarno

Nina Howell Starr papers

Creator:
Starr, Nina Howell, 1903-2000  Search this
Names:
International Women's Art Festival  Search this
Museum of American Folk Art  Search this
Photographic Historical Society of New York  Search this
Professional Women's Photographers, Inc.  Search this
Sharon Arts Center  Search this
Southern Regional Council  Search this
Brandt, Helene, 1936-  Search this
Cohen, Stephenie  Search this
Coke, Van Deren, 1921-  Search this
Connor, Linda  Search this
Daitz, Evelyne Z.  Search this
DiSpirito, Henry, 1898-1995  Search this
Evans, Minnie, 1892-  Search this
Evans, Walker, 1903-1975  Search this
Ghent, Henri, 1926-  Search this
Kanaga, Consuelo, 1894-  Search this
Kernan, Margo, 1927-  Search this
Kruger, Louise, 1924-  Search this
Lippard, Lucy R.  Search this
Macdonald-Wright, Stanton, 1890-1973  Search this
Mainardi, Patricia  Search this
Morgan, Barbara Brooks, 1900-1992  Search this
Putnam, Wallace, 1899-1989  Search this
Ringgold, Faith  Search this
Rose, Ruth Starr, 1887-1965  Search this
Savage, Naomi, 1927-2005  Search this
Sherwood, Maggie, 1922-1984  Search this
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Strand, Paul, 1890-1976  Search this
Szarwarski, John  Search this
Uelsmann, Jerry, 1934-  Search this
Extent:
21.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Interviews
Drawings
Sketches
Transcripts
Sound recordings
Prints
Date:
circa 1933-1996
Summary:
The papers of photographer and art historian Nina Howell Starr measure 21.2 linear feet and date from circa 1933 to 1996. The papers contain research files about various art historical topics, museums and galleries, photography, and artists. There are extensive files documenting Starr's relationship as researcher, dealer, and friend of folk painter Minnie Evans. Additionally, the papers include biographical materials, writings, speeches, project files, printed material collected or authored by Starr, and hundreds of artistic and documentary photographs and negatives created by Starr depicting her travels, Minnie Evans' paintings, roadside folk art, and other topics.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of photographer and art historian Nina Howell Starr measure 21.2 linear feet and date from circa 1933 to 1996. The papers contain research files about various art historical topics, museums and galleries, photography, and artists. There are extensive files documenting Starr's relationship as researcher, dealer, and friend of folk painter Minnie Evans. Additionally, the papers include biographical materials, writings, speeches, project files, printed material collected or authored by Starr, and hundreds of artistic and documentary photographs and negatives created by Starr depicting her travels, Minnie Evans' paintings, roadside folk art, and other topics.

Biographical materials are scattered and include grant and publication applications, curriculum vitae, lists of artwork, and miscellany.

Starr's lectures, writings, and project files are arranged into one series. They include Starr's student writings, a notebook about Civil Rights, files documenting her work on a Florida public housing project, the Southern Regional Council, and the League of Women Voters. A few files of general writings and lectures mostly concern folk artist Minnie Evans and the exhibition Women Photograph Men, held at the International Women's Arts Festival in 1976.

Subject files on artists, art history topics, photographers and photography (including Starr's work), and on folk artist and friend Minne Evans comprise the bulk of the collection. The files are a mix of collated materials and primary sources created by Starr and others and many contain correspondence, notes, photographs, and a few sketches and orginal prints. Also included are materials related to professional and organizational groups in which Starr was involved, including the Professional Women's Photographers, Inc., the Photographic Historical Society of New York, and the Museum of American Folk Art; files on several of Starr's exhibitions; and files on artists that contain printed materials, correspondence, and photographs. The file on Ruth Starr Rose contains prints and drawings. There are also photographs taken by Stephanie Cohen. Particularly rich files are found for Stephanie Cohen; Van Deren Coke, Director of the George Eastman Company; Evelyn Daitz, Director of the Witkin Gallery; Henry DiSpirito; Walker Evans; the Fotofolio printing company; curator Henri Ghent; photographer Consuelo Kanaga and husband Wallace Putnam; Margot Starr Kernan; Lucy Lippard; Stanton Mac-Donald Wright; Sharon Arts Center; photographer Paul Strand; curator John Szarwarski; and photographer Jerry Uelsman.

The collection also documents the friendship between painter Minnie Evans and Starr, and Starr's business dealings on Evans' behalf. There is correspondence about and with Evans, several sound recordings of interviews conducted by Starr and others with Evans, many with transcripts, financial documents, publications about Evans including exhibition catalogs, clippings, journal articles and monographs, two posters, a scrapbook, and one sketch by Evans.

Printed material includes published articles, exhibition catalogs and announcements, and clippings about Starr.

Photographic materials are extensive and include photographs and slides taken by Starr of friends, family, artwork by Minnie Evans, events, exhibition openings, world travels, and folk art, especially roadside. Prominent artists and art historians photographed include: photographers Maggie Sherwood, Naomi Savage, Barbara Morgan, Linda Connor, Aaron Siskind, Consuelo Kanaga, Faith Ringgold, and Walker Evans; sculptors Louise Kruger and Helene Brandt; feminist and art historian Pat Mainardi; and curators Henri Ghent and John Szarkowski. Starr's artistic photographic work is also represented, and includes two silver gelatin prints of Minnie Evans, and subject studies on hands, people, and nature, among others.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 6 series.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical material, 1954-circa 1990 (8 folders; Box 1)

Series 2: Writings, Speeches and Projects, 1933-1995 (1.1 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)

Series 3: Subject Files, circa 1939-1996 (8.3 linear feet; Boxes 2-10)

Series 4: Minnie Evans, 1962-1996 (3.7 linear feet; Boxes 10-13, 23, OV 24)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1936-1995 (2.7 linear feet; Boxes 13-16, 23)

Series 6: Photographic Material, circa 1939-1993 (5.4 linear feet; Boxes 16-23, OV 24)
Biographical / Historical:
Nina Howell Starr (1903-2000) was a photographer, art dealer, and art historian who worked primarily in New York City. Born in Newark, New Jersey in 1903 as Cornelia Margaret Howell, Starr attended Wellesley College and graduated from Barnard in 1926. Also in 1926, she married Nathan Comfort Starr, an English professor, and, over the years the couple lived in Massachusetts, Maryland, Florida, and New York City.

In 1963, at the age of 60, Starr received the first M.F.A. in photography granted by the University of Florida. Starr exhibited widely in both solo and group exhibitions, including Magic Lantern (Photographer's Gallery, London, 1976), and the Strength of Women (Witken Gallery, 1991), and numerous shows featuring photographs of outsider art. Her "New Yorker" project became an exhibition in 2016. Her work is owned by several prominent museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography.

As art historian, self-proclaimed critic, and civil rights and feminist advocate, Starr lectured widely, wrote articles and letters to editors, and corresponded with many notable art world figures. She became especially interested in outsider and folk art. Starr met outsider artist Minnie Evans in 1962 and became Evans' lifelong friend, advocate, and representative dealer. She wrote about Evans and introduced Evans' works to galleries and other exhibition spaces in New York, including the Whitney Museum, where she guest-curated an exhibition of Evans' work in 1975.

Starr was an active member of professional organizations including the Photographic Historical Society of New York, Professional Women's Photographers, Inc., and the Museum of American Folk Art where she served on the Advisory Committee.

Nina Howell Starr died in 2000 in Connecticut at the age of 97.
Provenance:
The Nina Howell Starr papers were donated by Nina Howell Starr in 1996.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice. 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 historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Folk art  Search this
Civil rights  Search this
African American art  Search this
Folk art -- Photographs  Search this
Women photographers  Search this
Photography  Search this
African American artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Interviews
Drawings
Sketches
Transcripts
Sound recordings
Prints
Citation:
Nina Howell Starr papers, circa 1933-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.starnina
See more items in:
Nina Howell Starr papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9dccd352c-b391-49d6-ae20-8b00e1e280d3
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-starnina
Online Media:

Arnold Crane portfolio of photographs, "Portraits of the Photographers,"

Creator:
Crane, Arnold H.  Search this
Names:
Alvarez Bravo, Manuel, 1902-  Search this
Blatas, Arbit  Search this
Brandt, Bill  Search this
Brassaï, 1899-  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Doisneau, Robert  Search this
Evans, Walker, 1903-1975  Search this
Kertész, André  Search this
Ray, Man, 1890-1976  Search this
Rothstein, Arthur, 1915-1985  Search this
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Smith, W. Eugene, 1918-  Search this
Steichen, Edward, 1879-1973  Search this
Strand, Paul, 1890-1976  Search this
White, Minor  Search this
Extent:
50 Items ((on partial microfilm reel))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1968-1969
Scope and Contents:
Fifty silver gelatin print photographs which Arnold Crane took of other photographers. Among the subjects are Berenice Abbott, Bill Brandt, Gyula Halász Brassei, Harry Callahan, Imogen Cunningham, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Robert Doisneau, Walker Evans, André Kertész, Man Ray, Arthur Rothstein, Aaron Siskind, W. Eugene Smith, Edward Steichen, Paul Strand, Minor White.
Biographical / Historical:
Photographer, and photograph collector; Chicago, Illinois.
Provenance:
Donated 1978 by Herbert Molner, a photograph collector.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm.
Occupation:
Photographers  Search this
Photographers -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.cranarnh
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw99003b09c-50b5-4cfb-aa6f-81926f8b0f7a
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cranarnh

Eileen Cowin papers, circa 1900-2020

Creator:
Cowin, Eileen, 1947-  Search this
Subject:
Heinecken, Robert  Search this
Korsower, Ellen  Search this
Larson, William  Search this
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Chiarenza, Carl  Search this
Curran, Darryl  Search this
Gonzalez, Maria  Search this
California State University, Fullerton  Search this
Franconia College  Search this
Type:
Sketchbooks
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Interviews
Drawings
Citation:
Eileen Cowin papers, circa 1900-2020. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Theme:
Women  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)16271
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)371328
AAA_collcode_cowieile
Theme:
Women
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_371328
Online Media:

Aaron Siskind letter to Eileen Cowin

Creator:
Siskind, Aaron, 1903-1991  Search this
Cowin, Eileen, 1947-  Search this
Subject:
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1975
Citation:
Aaron Siskind. Aaron Siskind letter to Eileen Cowin, 1975. Eileen Cowin papers, circa 1900-2020. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)18156
See more items in:
Eileen Cowin papers, circa 1900-2020
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_18156

Eileen Cowin papers

Creator:
Cowin, Eileen  Search this
Names:
California State University, Fullerton -- Faculty  Search this
Franconia College -- Faculty  Search this
Chiarenza, Carl  Search this
Curran, Darryl, 1935-  Search this
Gonzalez, Maria  Search this
Heinecken, Robert, 1931-  Search this
Korsower, Ellen  Search this
Larson, William  Search this
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Extent:
20.1 Linear feet
29.56 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Sketchbooks
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Interviews
Drawings
Date:
circa 1900-2020
Summary:
The papers of Los Angeles photo and video artist Eileen Cowin measure 20.1 linear feet and 29.56 GB and date from circa 1900 to 2020. The papers include biographical materials consisting of school records, identification cards, an interview transcript, and other personal files; personal and professional correspondence; writings for essays, video art pieces, panels, and lectures; teaching files; project files containing grant and fellowship records, files for Cowin's Los Angeles Metro Public Art Project, and other commission files; exhibition files documenting Cowin's group and solo exhibitions including Still (and all): Eileen Cowin, 1971-1998, a retrospective of Cowin's work; printed material; video artwork including laserdiscs of ...and Their Daughter Married a Prince, "Speaking Woman," and "Scarcely Had They Uttered," as well as sketches and and etching of family; photographic material of Cowin, family, friends and colleagues, proofs and prints of works; and personal business records consisting of artwork donation records, business records with galleries, and insurance and inventory lists.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Los Angeles photo and video artist Eileen Cowin measure 20.1 linear feet and 29.56 GB and date from circa 1900 to 2020. The papers include biographical materials, correspondence, writings, teaching files, project files, exhibition files, printed and digital material, artwork and sketchbooks, sound and video recordings, and photographic material.

Biographical material consists of diplomas, passports, rolodexes, faculty identification cards, legal papers, interview transcripts, and miscellaneous documents in hard copy and digital formats.

Personal and professional correspondence is with family, friends, artists, collectors, gallery owners, museums, and universities. Notable correspondents include Carl Chiarenza, Darryl Curran, Maria Gonzalez, Robert Heinecken, Ellen Korsower, William Larson, and Aaron Siskind.

Writings include notebooks, annotated appointment calendars and wall calendars, lectures, essays, drafts and notes, artists statements, guest registers, and some writings by others. A few lectures and one essay are on sound and digital video recordings.

Teaching files are mostly related to material from California State University, Fullerton. There are a few documents from Franconia College and other universities where Eileen Cowin taught workshops or had faculty appointments. The files include student evaluations, promotion notifications, and limited correspondence.

Project files include professional files, such as grant applications, artist residencies, and symposiums. Also found are art project proposals, publication agreements for art projects, and commissions,. Files contain correspondence, printed and digital material, application forms, research notes, and photographic material.

Exhibition files include announcements, catalogs, reviews, correspondence, price lists of artwork, and assorted material for Eileen Cowin's group and solo shows.

Printed material consists primarily of clippings, exhibition catalogs, announcements, books, periodicals, and clippings.

Artwork includes 26 videocassettes of Cowin's artwork, 1 sketchbook, drawings, 4 digital audio recordings, and a few college art projects.

Photographic material includes press prints, digital photographs, proofs, contact sheets, slides, negatives, transparencies, and test shots. There are photographs of installations and artwork as well as images for exhibition mock-ups. There are also batches of "research photographs" which were used for reference. Also included are portraits and snapshots of Cowin, photographs of Cowin with friends and colleagues, and photographs of family.

Personal business records consisting of equipment lists for insurance, gallery files, addresses and contacts, and artwork donation files.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 10 series.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1927-2015 (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 1, 24, ER01; 0.016 GB)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1969-2018 (3.9 linear feet; Boxes 1-4, 24, 28, ER02-ER03; 0.199 GB)

Series 3: Writings, 1963-2014 (2.4 linear feet; Boxes 4-6, 24-25, ER04-ER06; 11.88 GB)

Series 4: Teaching Files, 1974-2008 (0.3 linear feet, Boxes 6, 25, ER07; 0.171 GB)

Series 5: Project Files, 1979-2019 (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 6-7, 25-26, OV 30, ER08; 9.35 GB)

Series 6: Exhibition Files, 1979-2012 (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 7-8, 26, ER09; 0.001 GB)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1966-2014 (2.6 linear feet; Boxes 8-10, 17, 26, OV 20, ER10; 0.011 GB)

Series 8: Artwork and Sketchbooks, 1964-2014 (3.2 linear feet; Boxes 10-13, 17, 26, 28, ER11; 0.076 GB)

Series 9: Photographic Material, circa 1900-2020 (3.2 linear feet; Boxes 13-16, 18-19, 26-28, OVs 21, 31-32, ER12-ER13; 7.86 GB)

Series 10: Personal Business Records, 1972-2017 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 27-28)
Biographical / Historical:
Eileen Cowin (1947-) is a photographer and video artist who lives in Los Angeles, California.

Eileen Cowin was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1947. She graduated from the State University of New York, New Paltz in 1968 and received her master's degree in photography from the Institute of Design at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago in 1970. At IIT, she studied with Aaron Siskind and Arthur Siegel.

Cowin was involved in the L.A. experimental photography scene that began in the mid-1970s led by Robert Heinecken and Darryl Curran. In the early 1980s, Cowin gained initial prominence with staged photographs of family and friends in various roles, work in keeping with The Pictures Generation emerging at the same time on the East Coast.

From 1971-1975, Cowin taught photography at Franconia College in New Hampshire, and later became a professor at California State University, Fullerton, where she continued to teach until retiring in 2008.

Cowin's artwork has been featured in over 40 solo exhibitions and over 165 group exhibitions in the United States and abroad. She has received numerous awards for her art and worked on many public art projects.
Provenance:
The Eileen Cowin papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Eileen Cowin in 2015 and 2021.
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. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.

One box of correspondence with Michael Dorris and Louise Erdrich and one box of correspondence with Robert Fichter are ACCESS RESTRICTED; use requires written permission.
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:
Video artists -- California  Search this
Photographers -- California  Search this
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Interviews
Drawings
Citation:
Eileen Cowin papers, circa 1900-2020. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.cowieile
See more items in:
Eileen Cowin papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw94268d668-090e-4f26-9621-4e5d875f9d26
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cowieile

Siskind, Aaron

Collection Creator:
Cowin, Eileen  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 3
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1975
Series Restrictions:
Correspondence with Michael Dorris and Louise Erdrich, and correspondence with Robert Fichter are access restricted; written permission is required. Contact Reference Services for more information. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
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:
Eileen Cowin papers, circa 1900-2020. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Eileen Cowin papers
Eileen Cowin papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw94ab225cf-ae62-43bc-bc71-771b5309e5f7
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-cowieile-ref78

Siskind, Aaron

Collection Creator:
Cowin, Eileen  Search this
Container:
Box 24, Folder 17
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1971-circa 1982
Series Restrictions:
Correspondence with Michael Dorris and Louise Erdrich, and correspondence with Robert Fichter are access restricted; written permission is required. Contact Reference Services for more information. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
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:
Eileen Cowin papers, circa 1900-2020. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Eileen Cowin papers
Eileen Cowin papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9d5b721e0-9b10-4819-9771-d2b91e76465d
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-cowieile-ref907

Jane Teller papers

Creator:
Teller, Jane  Search this
Names:
Albright-Knox Art Gallery  Search this
Montclair Art Museum  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
National Council on the Aging  Search this
Newark Museum  Search this
Noyes Museum  Search this
Parma Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Princeton Gallery of Fine Art  Search this
Squibb Gallery (Princeton, N.J.)  Search this
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
Brodsky, Judith K.  Search this
Caparn, Rhys, 1909-1997  Search this
Dehner, Dorothy, 1901-1994  Search this
Fuller, Sue, 1914-  Search this
Gatch, Lee, 1902-1968  Search this
Johnson, Margaret K. (Margaret Kennard)  Search this
Kadish, Reuben, 1913-1992  Search this
Lamis, Leroy, 1925-  Search this
Lassaw, Ibram, 1913-2003  Search this
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Extent:
8.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Video recordings
Interviews
Prints
Sketchbooks
Slides (photographs)
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Sound recordings
Date:
1911-1991
Summary:
The papers of printmaker and sculptor Jane Teller measure 8.6 linear feet and date from 1911 to 1991. The papers include biographical materials, correspondence, business records, notes, writings, three sketchbooks, sketches and prints, five scrapbooks, printed material, subject files, photographs, sound and video recordings, and motion picture film.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of printmaker and sculptor Jane Teller measure 8.6 linear feet and date from 1911 to 1991. The papers include biographical materials, correspondence, business records, notes, writings, three sketchbooks, sketches and prints, five scrapbooks, printed material, subject files, photographs, sound and video recordings, and motion picture film.

Biographical material includes a birth certificate, school work, and passports. General correspondence includes letters from several artists including Rhys Caparn, Sue Fuller and Lee Gatch, and from art galleries, including the Museum of Modern Art, Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Additional correspondence is found in the Subject Files.

Business records include an account book, lists of expenses and prices of art works, and sales records. Notes and writings include Teller's notes about art and travel, artists' statements, autobiographical writings, and a compilation of many artists' statements regarding "The Nine Bean Question."

Artwork includes three sketchbooks, 30 sketches and three prints primarily depicting nature and sculpture designs.

Five scrapbooks contain clippings, exbition announcements and catalogs. Additional printed material includes magazines, exhibition announcements and catalogs, a booklet by Teller entitled Art, Age and the River, published posthumously by her husband, and a manuscript of Poems or Poetic Expressions of Sculptors, collected by L. Lamis.

Subject files are arranged by name or subject and may contain letters, photographs, and printed material. Many of the files focus on galleries and museums, including the Montclair Art Museum, the Newark Museum, Noyes Museum, Parma Gallery, the Princeton Gallery of Fine Art and the Squibb Gallery. There are also subject files for associations, travel, projects, and colleagues including Margaret K. Johnson, Reuben Kadish, Ibram Lassaw, Aaron Siskind and Dorothy Dehner.

Photographs and slides depict Teller, her friends, works, gallery installations, and travels. Also included are photographs of trees, bark, and other natural formations used by Teller in her work.

The audio-visual materials include several sound recordings, videocassettes and 16 mm motion picture films. The videocassettes include television programs in which Teller, printmaker Judith Brodsky and actor Harry Hamlin are interviewed, a retrospective at Skidmore College and a film featuring Teller speaking for the National Council on Aging. Sound recordings include two interviews and a "Talk on Malta" by Teller and Joan Needham. The 16 mm films are black and white footage of Teller's first Parma Gallery show.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 11 series. Records are generally arranged by material type and chronologically thereafter.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1911-1985 (Box 1; 4 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1956-1991 (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 3: Business Records, 1961-1990 (Box 1; 5 folders)

Series 4: Notes, 1960-1987 (Box 1; 13 folders)

Series 5: Writings, 1960-1989 (Boxes 1 and 9; 5 folders)

Series 6: Artwork, circa 1950s (Boxes 1 and 9; 6 folders)

Series 7: Scrapbooks, 1948-1990 (Boxes 1-2; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1957-1991 (Boxes 2-3 and 9; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 9: Subject Files, 1951-1990 (Boxes 3-5; 2.5 linear feet)

Series 10: Photographs, 1934-1985 (Boxes 5-9; 2.5 linear feet)

Series 11: Audio-Visual Materials, 1961-1989 (Box 8, FC 10-12; 0.6 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Jane Teller (1911-1990) worked as a printmaker and sculptor primarily in New Jersey. She specialized in working with wood and studied at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Skidmore College, and Barnard College. She also attended Federal Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) classes in New York City, studying sculpture with Aaron J. Goodelman and wood carving with Karl Nielson. She later studied welding in the studio of Ibram Lassaw. She was also a lifelong friend of photographer Aaron Siskind. In 1960, she was awarded the Mary and Gustave Kellner Prize at the National Association of Women Artists Annual Exhibition at the National Academy of Design in New York, and in 1966 the Sculpture Prize at the Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition, Philadelphia Art Alliance in Philadelphia. She exhibited mainly in New York and New Jersey and was married to author and editor Walter Teller.
Provenance:
The Jane Teller papers were donated by Jane Teller in 1990 and in 1991 by Walter Teller, widower of Jane Teller.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Printmakers -- New Jersey  Search this
Sculptors -- New Jersey  Search this
Topic:
Printmakers -- New Jersey  Search this
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women sculptors  Search this
Women printmakers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Video recordings
Interviews
Prints
Sketchbooks
Slides (photographs)
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Sound recordings
Citation:
Jane Teller papers, 1911-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.telljane
See more items in:
Jane Teller papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw95c6d3902-ef80-4ea1-ba58-b2abe402072c
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-telljane

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
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9e3d9b795-510f-41a5-8709-a30f19d5425a
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-loewmich

Aaron Siskind

Artist:
Morris Engel, 1918 - 5 Mar 2005  Search this
Sitter:
Aaron Siskind, 4 Dec 1903 - 8 Feb 1991  Search this
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
image: 18.8cm x 23.9cm (7 3/8" x 9 7/16"), Accurate
sheet: 20.2cm x 25.3cm (7 15/16" x 9 15/16"), Accurate
Type:
Photograph
Date:
c. 1947
Topic:
Costume\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses  Search this
Artwork\Painting  Search this
Equipment\Smoking Implements\Cigarette  Search this
Aaron Siskind: Male  Search this
Aaron Siskind: Visual Arts\Artist\Photographer  Search this
Aaron Siskind: Education and Scholarship\Educator\Teacher\English  Search this
Aaron Siskind: Education and Scholarship\Educator\Professor\Photography  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.93.7
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
Copyright:
© Morris Engel
See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm4638349e0-6c35-44f9-b51c-c8f8f5837828
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_NPG.93.7

Feet 119

Artist:
Aaron Siskind, American, b. New York City, 1903–1991  Search this
Medium:
Gelatin silver photograph
Dimensions:
sheet: 11 × 13 15/16 in. (27.9 × 35.4 cm) image: 10 3/16 × 12 1/2 in. (25.9 × 31.8 cm)
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1957
Credit Line:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Gift of Herbert Lust, 2021
Accession Number:
2021.098
See more items in:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection
Data Source:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/py2d76e4683-d50b-4dd0-a99a-ea239e7bcb2f
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hmsg_2021.098

Terracotta

Artist:
Aaron Siskind, American, b. New York City, 1903–1991  Search this
Medium:
Gelatin silver photograph
Dimensions:
sheet: 13 3/8 × 10 7/16 in. (34 × 26.5 cm) mount: 18 7/8 × 15 1/16 in. (47.9 × 38.3 cm) mat: 20 × 16 in. (50.8 × 40.6 cm)
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1960
Credit Line:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Gift of Herbert Lust, 2021
Accession Number:
2021.100
See more items in:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection
Data Source:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/py2a03e65f4-e29d-46b8-902e-e23749406d62
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hmsg_2021.100

Chicago

Artist:
Aaron Siskind, American, b. New York City, 1903–1991  Search this
Medium:
Gelatin silver photograph
Dimensions:
sheet: 13 3/8 × 10 1/2 in. (34 × 26.7 cm) mount: 18 7/8 × 15 in. (47.9 × 38.1 cm) mat: 20 × 16 in. (50.8 × 40.6 cm)
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1960
Credit Line:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Gift of Herbert Lust, 2021
Accession Number:
2021.101
See more items in:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection
Data Source:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/py2a4b67f9c-a6b3-436b-9641-3f75b8863b57
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hmsg_2021.101

Oral history interview with Aaron Siskind

Interviewee:
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Interviewer:
Shikler, Barbara  Search this
Creator:
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Solomon, Joe  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Strand, Paul, 1890-1976  Search this
Extent:
45 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1982 September 28-October 2
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Aaron Siskind conducted 1982 September 28-October 2, by Barbara Shikler, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.
Siskind recalls his childhood in New York and his early interest in poetry and later photography. He describes the evolution of his own work, the role of various influences upon his work, and the meanings that can be assigned to his work. He discusses the abstract expressionist elements of his photographs and recalls his involvement with painters, including Mark Rothko. He speaks of photographing Rothko's paintings, and describes Rothko's personality. He recalls Barney Newman, Adolph Gottlieb, Paul Strand, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Joe Solomon, Robert Motherwell, Clyfford Still, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Aaron Siskind (1903-1991) was a photographer from New York, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 7 min.
Provenance:
This interview was conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and his Times oral history project, with funding provided by the Mark Rothko Foundation.
Others interviewed on the project (by various interviewers) include: Sonia Allen, Sally Avery, Ben-Zion, Bernard Braddon, Ernest Briggs, Rhys Caparn, Elaine de Kooning, Herbert Ferber, Esther Gottlieb, Juliette Hays, Sidney Janis, Buffie Johnson, Jacob Kainen, Louis Kaufman, Jack Kufeld, Katharine Kuh, Stanley Kunitz, Joseph Liss, Dorothy Miller, Betty Parsons, Wallace Putnam, Rebecca Reis, Maurice Roth, Sidney Schectman, Joseph Solman, Hedda Sterne, Jack Tworkov, Esteban Vicente and Ed Weinstein. Each has been cataloged separately.
Restrictions:
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.siskin82
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw93b4bbb41-b11b-467e-93b5-df9352eb486d
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-siskin82
Online Media:

Siskind, Aaron

Collection Creator:
Sandra Berler Gallery  Search this
Berler, Sandra  Search this
Container:
Box 5, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1990-2004
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 born-digital records or 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:
Sandra Berler Gallery records, 1970s-2013. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Sandra Berler Gallery records
Sandra Berler Gallery records / Series 2: Artist Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9bdbbe647-187f-4437-99a8-b6455a66d483
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-sandberl-ref90

Focus Gallery records

Creator:
Focus Gallery  Search this
Names:
George Eastman House  Search this
Torren Gallery  Search this
Abbott, Berenice, 1898-1991  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Brandt, Bill  Search this
Bullock, Wynn  Search this
Caponigro, Paul, 1932-  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Dater, Judy  Search this
Heinecken, Robert, 1931-  Search this
Hosoe, Eikō, 1933  Search this
Johnston, Helen, 1916-1989  Search this
Leibovitz, Annie, 1949-  Search this
Porter, Eliot, 1901-  Search this
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Uelsmann, Jerry, 1934-  Search this
Weston, Brett  Search this
Extent:
11.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1963-1987
Summary:
The records of San Francisco Focus Gallery measure 11.8 linear feet and date from 1963-1987. The bulk of the collection consists of exhibition files. There are also artists files, sales information, correspondence, and scattered records of the gallery's companion bookshop.
Scope and Contents:
The records of San Francisco's Focus Gallery measure 11.8 linear feet and date from 1963-1987. The bulk of the collection consists of exhibition files. There are also artists files, sales information, correspondence, and scattered records of the gallery's companion bookshop.

Exhibition files comprise the bulk of the collection and generally contain a wide range of materials including correspondence, short biographies, forms requesting artists' background information, flyers, booklets, brochures, checklists, loan agreements, sales records, news releases, and photographs and negatives. Among the many photographers exhibited were Ansel Adams, Berenice Abbott, Bill Brandt, Wynn Bullock, Paul Caponigro, Imogen Cunningham, Judy Dater, Robert Heinecken, Eikoh Hosoe, Annie Leibovitz, Eliot Porter, Aaron Siskind, Jerry Uelsmann, and Brett Weston.

A relatively small amount of general business correspondence includes orders and payments for photographic prints, books, and magazine subscriptions, some personal notes, and requests for information about how to submit for exhibitions and for exhibition schedules. Correspondents include customers, photographers, publishers, law firms, museum, and colleges and universities. Correspondence from the founding year contains Johnston's letters to various venues prominent in art photography, such as George Eastman House. There is also a letter to Ansel Adams requesting prints to sell or for a small opening exhibit.

Additional records include artists' files; sales and inventory records containing print and bookshop inventories, general pricing information and receipts for photographs; and printed materials including flyers and brochures, bookshop catalogs and news releases. There are also scattered administrative records, including gallery history, a file on the Toren Gallery and five owner's notebooks, as well as The Imogen Cunningham Trust files documenting Focus Gallery's interactions with the trust before and after Cunningham's death regarding photographs printed and signed by her; financial and legal files; and guest books.

Documents in the collection that pre-date the founding of the gallery are found in the Toren Gallery file and a few of the exhibition files.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 8 series.

Series 1: Administrative Records, 1963-1985 (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1966-1987 (Boxes 1-2; 1 linear foot)

Series 3: Exhibition Files, 1966-1985 (Boxes 2-10; 8.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Artists Files, 1966-1978 (Boxes 10-11; 0 .5 linear feet)

Series 5: Financial and Legal Files, 1966-1987 (Box 11; 0 .2 linear feet)

Series 6: Sales and Inventories, 1966-1987 (Box 11; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 7: Printed Materials, 1966-1987 (Boxes 11-12; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 8: Guest Books, 1966-1970, 1978-1985 (Boxes 12-13; 0.6 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Focus Gallery was founded by Helen Head Johnson (1916-1989) in 1966 on Union Street in San Francisco. The gallery exhibited and sold primarily art photographs and other contemporary art.

Helen Head Johnston believed that photography deserved its own exhibition space. As stated in the gallery's first press release, "in seeking to encourage print collecting it (the gallery) offers not only a show place but also a market place for photographers." While retaining an emphasis on Bay Area photographers, the gallery's exhibitions soon became international in scope, featuring little known and well-established photographers through both solo and group exhibitions. With few exceptions, the gallery's policy was to feature an artist only once. To help keep the gallery going in its early days, Johnston started a bookshop mail-order business. At the time of its closing in August 1985, Focus Gallery was the longest continuously operating photography gallery in the country. The bookshop continued in another location for an additional two years.

The collection is arranged as 8 series

Missing Title

Series 1: Administrative records, 1963-1985, (Box 1 8 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1966-1987, undated (Box 1-2 1 linear foot)

Series 3: Exhibition files, 1966-1985 (Box 2-10 8.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Artists files, 1966-1978, undated (Box 10-11, 9 folders)

Series 5: Financial and Legal files, 1966-1987 (Box 11 6 folders)

Series 6: Sales and Inventories, 1966-1987, undated (Box 11 11 folders)

Series 7: Printed Materials, 1966-1987, undated (Box 11 and Hol 12 7 folders)

Series 8: Guest Books, 1966-1985 (Hol 12-13 6 folders)
Related Materials:
Among the holding of the Archives of American Art is an untranscribed interview of Helen Johnston by Louise Katzman or Irene Borger in the collection Interviews of California Photographers 1981 Jun.-Nov.20.

Helen Johnston left her private photography collection to the de Saisset Museum, the Oakland Museum of California, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Provenance:
The Focus Gallery records were donated by the estate of owner Helen Johnston, care of Gerald O'Conner, executor.
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:
Visitors' books  Search this
Women photographers  Search this
Photography -- Exhibitions  Search this
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Photographers -- United States  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- California
Photographic art galleries -- California
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Focus Gallery records, 1963-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.focugall
See more items in:
Focus Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9178293b1-99d9-4622-b545-08525eff1a89
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-focugall
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Rosanne Somerson

Topic:
Fine woodworking
Interviewee:
Somerson, Rosanne, 1954-  Search this
Interviewer:
Michie, Thomas S.  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Peters Valley (Craft center)  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design -- Faculty  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design -- Students  Search this
Richard Kagan Gallery  Search this
Snyderman Gallery  Search this
Abramson, Ron  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Capanigro, Paul  Search this
Cooke, Ned  Search this
Dunnigan, John, 1950-  Search this
Fairbanks, Jonathan L.  Search this
Follen, Eck  Search this
Frid, Tage  Search this
Jackson, Dan  Search this
Joseph, Peter T. (Peter Thomas), 1950-1998  Search this
Kagan, Richard  Search this
Keck, Hardu  Search this
Kranov, James  Search this
Maruyama, Wendy, 1952-  Search this
Mattia, Alphonse  Search this
Melanson, Gracie  Search this
Osgood, Jere, 1936-  Search this
Sfirri, Mark  Search this
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Swanson, Charlie  Search this
Szasz, Merlin  Search this
White, Leroy  Search this
Wolf, Hans  Search this
Extent:
61 Pages (Transcripts)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2006 August 7 and 2007 June 22
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Rosanne Somerson conducted 2006 August 7-2007 June 22, by Thomas Michie, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the Rhode Island School of Design, in Providence, Rhode Island. In part one of this interview, Somerson speaks of growing up outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; attending RISD beginning in 1971; being asked to teach there nine years later; creating a new department of furniture design; tailoring that furniture design program to encompass the development from design to manufacture; introducing materials other than wood into the program; garnering international attention through worldwide exhibits; her first show at the Richard Kagan Gallery in Philadelphia; participating in a group show in New York City for female woodworkers; making connections through the Snyderman Gallery and Pritam and Eames Gallery; working directly with clients on commissioned pieces; the financial stability of teaching; designing a piece for the headquarters of Khon, Peterson Fox, and Conway in New York; the sculptural elements present in many of her works; moving from a small studio in Boston, Massachusetts, to a larger studio in Westport, Connecticut, and finally to a shared studio in Fall River, Massachusetts; the supportive and proud reaction of her children to her work; creating a production company with colleagues and designing furniture for the RISD dormitories; attempting to make these designs both flexible and environmentally-friendly; putting aside teaching for an administrative position in the department; recent travel to Japan, Australia, England, Israel, and France; enrolling in summer programs with art schools like Haystack Mountain School of Craft in Maine and others; and excitement for her upcoming sabbatical.
In the second portion of the interview, she discusses living in a house built by her father in Wyncote, Pennsylvania; enjoying the location of the house on a former cherry orchard and consequently being drawn cherry wood as a medium; the feeling of her parents that anything could be accomplished with a certain amount of study; her mother's interest in weaving and spinning later in life; the creative pursuits of her older brothers, including creative writing and photography; verbally communicating the outside world to her blind grandfather and gaining an aptitude for interpreting visual imagery; being more academically than artistically focused in her youth; visiting art museums and having other cultural experiences with her family; being fascinated with photography by seeing her brother's work; deciding to put off college in order to spend a year in Denmark studying photography; enrolling in RISD and feeling overwhelmed at first by her inexperience; taking a winter course in wood-working and preferring it to photography; being advised by her teacher Tage Frid to gain a wood-working education by pursuing sculpture at RISD; transferring into industrial design later; learning a great deal from and being extraordinarily influenced by Tage Frid as a furniture designer and teacher; taking a semester off to attend Peters Valley Craftsmen in New Jersey; spending a few years after graduation assisting Frid with the writing and publication of his articles; working as an assistant editor for Fine Woodworking magazine; being offered a job at RISD in the furniture department; creating the furniture design program; using RISD's collection as inspiration for her work and as a teaching tool; moving towards using more local woods in her designs; her recent lecture and travel in China; and looking forward to focusing on her work in the new studio.
Somerson recalls John Dunnigan, Dick Kagan, Ned Cooke, Jonathan Fairbanks, Wendy Maruyama, James Krenov, Dan Jackson, Jere Osgood, Alphonse Mattia, Peter Joseph, Ron Abramson, Charlie Swanson, Eck Follen, Peter Walker, and others. In the second part, Somerson recalls Merlin Szasz, LeRoy White, Hardu Keck, Gracia Melanson, Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, Paul Crot, Paul Capanigro, Tage Frid, Hans Wolfe, Mark Sfirri, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Rosanne Somerson (1954- ) is a professor of furniture design and furniture designer and maker in Westport, Massachusetts. Thomas Michie is a curator of decorative arts, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 5 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 3 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.
Occupation:
Furniture designers -- Rhode Island  Search this
Topic:
Decorative arts  Search this
Educators -- Rhode Island -- Interviews  Search this
Photography  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women designers  Search this
Women educators  Search this
Furniture design  Search this
Function:
Artists' studios
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.somers06
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9db2e506b-fd9b-42d1-b6a2-f24d806027dc
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-somers06
Online Media:

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