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Stanley Twardowicz papers

Creator:
Twardowicz, Stanley, 1917-  Search this
Names:
Contemporary Arts (Gallery)  Search this
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Ohio State Fair  Search this
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
Dodson, Lillian  Search this
Kerouac, Jack, 1922-1969  Search this
Lichtenstein, Dorothy  Search this
Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923-1997 -- Photographs  Search this
Nicosi, Gerald  Search this
Olitski, Jules, 1922-2007  Search this
Parker, Raymond, 1922- -- Photographs  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965 -- Photographs  Search this
Verzyl, Kim Greer  Search this
Extent:
1.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Video recordings
Resumes
Drawings
Photographs
Sound recordings
Scrapbooks
Awards
Memoirs
Theses
Date:
1942-2009
Summary:
The papers of painter and photographer Stanley Twardowicz measure 1.1 linear feet and date from 1942-2009, with the bulk of the papers dating from 1942-1981. The papers contain biographical material, scrapbooks, letters, printed material, photographs, and audio and video recordings regarding the career of Stanley Twardowicz as a painter and photographer.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter and photographer Stanley Twardowicz measure 1.1 linear feet and date from 1942-2009, with the bulk of the papers dating from 1942-1981. The papers contain biographical material, scrapbooks, letters, writings, printed material, photographs, and audio and video recordings regarding the career of Stanley Twardowicz as a painter and photographer.

Biographical material consists of various curriculum vitae, a list of exhibitions and awards from 1942-1954, and typed excerpts from reviews of Twardowicz's one-man shows at Contemporary Arts Gallery during 1951.

Writings include an unpublished hand-written 70 page memoir by Twardowicz entitled "A Life with No Tears" covering the artist's early life through 1970, a master's thesis "Stanley Twardowicz, Tracing the Roots of an American Modernist" by Kim Greer Verzyl written in 1978, and a 2008 writing by Gerald Nicoisa which describes his relationship with Twardowicz.

Scrapbooks are two disbound volumes organized by years. They contain the artist's collection of exhibition announcements, catalogs, and lists; press clippings; letters advising of awards and fellowships; and Ohio State Fair ribbons for excellence in fine art.

Printed materials and related items consist of chronological files that retain their original order. Found are printed materials relating to exhibitions, letters, and audio visual materials. Of particular interest is the 1956 letter advising Twardowicz that he has been awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in creative painting.

Photographs include pictures of the artist and ones taken by Twardowicz. Twardowicz's photographs are of Roy Lichtenstein, David Smith, Jules Olitski, Roy Parker, Mike Kanemitsu, Betty Parsons, Lillian Dodson (the artist's wife), and Jack Kerouac. There also is a photograph by Dorothy Lichtenstein of Twardowicz, Parker, Dodson and Roy Lichtenstein and casual snapshots of the artist and friends and family.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 5 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1951-2008 (Box 1; 1 folder)

Series 2: Writings, 1951-2008 (Box 1; 0.1 linear ft.)

Series 3: Scrapbooks, 1942-1951 (Box 1; 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 4: Printed Material and Related Items, 1946-2009 (Box 1; 0V 2; 0.6 linear ft.)

Series 5: Photographs, circa 1960-1979 (Box 1; 3 folders)
Biographical Note:
Stanley Twardowicz (1917-2008) was a painter, photographer and teacher. He is associated with the 1950's Abstract Expressionists of the Cedar Tavern in Greenwich Village, New York and with Beat Generation poet Jack Kerouac.

Twardowicz was born Stanley Jon Leginsky in July, 1917, but took his godfather's surname at age 20 when he married. After working at various jobs, in 1940 Twardowicz enrolled in Detroit's Meinzinger's Art School.

In 1946 Twardowicz was awarded a scholarship to the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, his first exposure to a creative arts community. There he met Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Jack Levine and Philip Guston. Through his associations at Skowhegan, Twardowicz obtained a teaching position at Ohio State University. He taught there until 1951, becoming friends with fellow instructor, Roy Lichtenstein. Twardowicz married (Ruth) Ann Mandel in 1949 and they lived in an artists' community near Guadalajara, Mexico. Twardowicz then travelled in Europe, his work edging towards an expressionist technique and mood. By 1953 Twardowicz painted in a fully abstract manner.

Upon his return to the States, Twardowicz frequented the Cedar Tavern in Greenwich Village, New York, where he met and was deeply influenced by Abstract Expressionists such as Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline and Jackson Pollock. During this time he had one-man shows and participated in group shows at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He was represented in the Museum of Modern Art's travelling exhibition "Young American Painters."

In 1956 Twardowicz received a Guggenheim Fellowship in creative painting and moved to Northport, Long Island, where he befriended area artists Jules Olitski and George Grosz. Between 1958 and 1970 the Peridot Gallery in New York presented annual one-man shows of Twardowicz's work. Twardowicz also participated in numerous major group shows at institutions such as the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Twardowicz began his long teaching career at Hofstra University in 1964, where he met his third wife, Lillian Dodson, a fellow artist. Twardowicz's career as a photographer also prospered. Edward Streichen, then Director of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, selected six of Twardowicz's photographs for the Museum's permanent collection. In June, 1967 Tardowicz took photographs of Jack Kerouac in his Lowell, Massachusetts home, which became the subject of an art book portfolio called Stashou and Yasho.

During the 1990's there was renewed interest in Twardowicz's work with a show at Mitchell Algus' Gallery in Soho, New York City. In 2001, the Phoenix Art Museum celebrated Twardowicz's contributions as a Color Field painter with a retrospective exhibition "Moving Color."

Twardowicz died on June 12, 2008 in Northport, Long Island.
Provenance:
The papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2010 by Lillian Dodson, widow of Stanley Twardowicz.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
Material created by Twardowicz: The donor has retained all intellectual property rights, including copyright, that they may own.
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Topic:
Photographers -- New York (State)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Video recordings
Resumes
Drawings
Photographs
Sound recordings
Scrapbooks
Awards
Memoirs
Theses
Citation:
Stanley Twardowicz papers, 1942-2009, bulk 1942-1981. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.twarstan
See more items in:
Stanley Twardowicz papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9041731d9-8f44-4bf3-93e4-e3191a0777ea
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-twarstan

Oral history interview with Katharine Kuh

Topic:
Saturday review
Interviewee:
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Interviewer:
Berman, Avis  Search this
Creator:
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, N.C.)  Search this
First National Bank of Chicago -- Art collections  Search this
Katharine Kuh Gallery (Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project  Search this
Vassar College  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Albright, Ivan, 1897-1983  Search this
Archipenko, Alexander, 1887-1964  Search this
Arensberg, Louise S. (Louise Stevenson), 1879-1953  Search this
Arensberg, Walter, 1878-1954  Search this
Avery, Milton, 1885-1965  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Berenson, Bernard, 1865-1959  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Ernst, Max, 1891-1976  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
Klee, Paul, 1879-1940  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, 1886-1969  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László, 1895-1946  Search this
Mérida, Carlos, 1891-1984  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Paepcke, Walter Paul, 1896-1960  Search this
Porter, Eliot, 1901-1990  Search this
Ray, Man, 1890-1976  Search this
Rich, Daniel Catton, 1904-1976  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Stamos, Theodoros, 1922-1997  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Tamayo, Rufino, 1899-  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Weston, Edward, 1886-1958  Search this
Extent:
313 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1982 Mar. 18-1983 Mar. 24
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Katharine Kuh conducted 1982 Mar. 18-1983 Mar. 24, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.
Kuh speaks of her invalid childhood in Chicago, the development of her interest in art, classes in art history at Vassar College, and her career as curator of modern art at the Art Institute of Chicago. She recalls in particular the "Sanity in Art" movement against modern art in Chicago. Kuh describes her relationship with Mark Rothko and Rothko's relationships with Mark Tobey, Clyfford Still, Kate Rothko, Theodoros Stamos, Milton Avery, Stanley Kunitz, and Hans Hofmann.
Kuh discusses her parents, the family silk business, travelling in Europe as a child, life in Chicago, the effects of polio and other illnesses on her interests, and her student years at Vassar College. She remembers visiting Bernard Berenson in Italy with her family and again with Daniel Catton Rich, with whom she worked very closely at the Art Institute of Chicago. She speaks of the Katharine Kuh Gallery, which she started in the mid-1930s and its place in the vanguard of the Chicago art scene.
Kuh remembers the effects of the stock market crash on her personal situation, her marriage to businessman George Kuh, distaste for life in the suburbs, and her divorce. She discusses the Katharine Kuh Gallery and the actions taken against her business by members of the reactionary "Sanity in Art" movement (including a very funny anecdote concerning Carlos Merida). She speaks of the classes in modern art that she taught at her gallery and of some of the artists she exhibited there, including the photographers Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward Weston.
Kuh remembers the McCarthy era and the political conservatism in Chicago, including her testimony on behalf of Bill Zimmerman, Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs. She criticizes blockbuster exhibitions and the changes in the role of a museum curator. She reminisces about building the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago and the art education program she ran there, and recalls Stuart Davis, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Gyorgy Kepes, and Ivan Albright.
Kuh remembers Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Marcel Duchamp, as well as the collectors Walter Paepcke and Walter and Louise Arensberg (whose collection she surveyed in their home for an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago).
Kuh focuses on her memories of Mark Rothko, recalling when they met, their friendship, his manner of working, his feelings about his work, and his worries towards the end of his life. She talks about Clyfford Still, Barnett Newman, and Mark Tobey. Some parts of this tape repeat what she said earlier.
Kuh continues discussing Rothko, particularly his Houston chapel murals and the retrospective exhibition at MOMA in 1961. She remembers visiting Rothko's studio and describes his working methods. She relates Rothko's views on other artists, including Milton Avery, Clyfford Still, Turner, Robert Motherwell, and Adolf Gottlieb; parts repeat things said before. Kuh also discusses Rothko's wife and daughter.
Kuh recounts building the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago and speaks of the museum staff, trustees, and donors. She remembers Alfred Barr at MOMA.
Kuh continues speaking about the Art Institute of Chicago, describing the circumstances of her resignation and subsequent move to New York. She talks of knowing Peggy Guggenheim, Max Ernst, and Fernand Leger.
Kuh describes her work as a consultant to college museums and her writings. She discusses the field of art criticism and her career as art editor at Saturday Review. She recalls Clyfford Still's retrospective exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and his death.
Kuh describes her work as a collector for the First National Bank of Chicago.
Kuh recounts more about her work at Saturday Review and her resignation. She goes into great detail about her travels in Alaska and British Columbia surveying Northwest Indian art for a government report. She speaks again about the McCarthy era.
Kuh speaks again about the Katharine Kuh Gallery and the artists she exhibited there, including Josef Albers (and his Black Mountain College), Alexander Archipenko, Stuart Davis, Paul Klee, Alexander Calder, and Man Ray.
Kuh continues her discussion of artists she exhibited at the Katharine Kuh Gallery, including Mark Tobey, Paul Klee, and Isamu Noguchi.
Kuh continues talking about artists she exhibited at the Katharine Kuh Gallery, including David Smith, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Eliot Porter, Rufino Tamayo, and Jack Tworkov.
Biographical / Historical:
Katharine Kuh (1904-1994) was an art consultant, curator, and critic from Chicago and New York City.
General:
Originally recorded on 16 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 31 digital wav files. Duration is 21 hrs., 52 min.
Provenance:
This interview was conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and his Times oral history project, with funding provided by the Mark Rothko Foundation.
Others interviewed on the project (by various interviewers) include: Sonia Allen, Sally Avery, Ben-Zion, Bernard Braddon, Ernest Briggs, Rhys Caparn, Elaine de Kooning, Herbert Ferber, Esther Gottlieb, Juliette Hays, Sidney Janis, Buffie Johnson, Jacob Kainen, Louis Kaufman, Jack Kufeld, Stanley Kunitz, Joseph Liss, Dorothy Miller, Betty Parsons, Wallace Putnam, Rebecca Reis, Maurice Roth, Sidney Schectman, Aaron Siskind, Joseph Solman, Hedda Sterne, Jack Tworkov, Esteban Vicente and Ed Weinstein. Each has been cataloged separately.
Restrictions:
Transcript: Patrons must use microfilm copy.
Rights:
Authorization to quote or reproduce for the purposes of publication requires written permission from Avis Berman. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Art critics -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art museum curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art museum curators -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.kuh82
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw941cbbacd-01e0-402c-828e-c3909d220c9b
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kuh82
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Kenneth Noland

Interviewee:
Noland, Kenneth, 1924-2010  Search this
Interviewer:
Berman, Avis  Search this
Names:
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Kainen, Jacob  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Extent:
39 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1987 July 1-16
Scope and Contents:
An Interview of Kenneth Noland conducted 1987 July 1-16, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art.
Noland speaks of his interest in working in series, as influenced by David Smith; the influence of other artists and art movements, and the problems caused by this influence; the Washington art scene in the 1950s; self criticism; his philosophy of drawing; subject matter and content; abstract expressionism and its development; painting and its relationship to architecture; collectors; his work in sculpture; the relationship of sculpture to his painting. He recalls David Smith, Jacob Kainen, and Clement Greenberg.
Biographical / Historical:
Kenneth Noland (1924-2010) was a painter and educator in South Salem, N.Y., and friend of David Smith.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hrs., 27 min.
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.
Restrictions:
This transcript is open for research. Access to the entire recording is restricted. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Painting -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.noland87
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9acab9115-9396-410a-8cad-2c66de66a4af
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-noland87
Online Media:

Whitney Museum of American Art artists' files and records

Creator:
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
Names:
Whitney Studio Club  Search this
Whitney Studio Galleries  Search this
Baziotes, William, 1912-1963  Search this
Bellows, George, 1882-1925  Search this
Benton, Thomas Hart, 1889-1975  Search this
Bloom, Hyman, 1913-  Search this
Burchfield, Charles Ephraim, 1893-1967  Search this
Burlin, Paul, 1886-1969  Search this
Cadmus, Paul, 1904-1999  Search this
Cassatt, Mary, 1844-1926  Search this
Curry, John Steuart, 1897-1946  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
De Creeft, José, 1884-1982  Search this
Dickinson, Edwin Walter, 1891-1978  Search this
Eilshemius, Louis M. (Louis Michel), 1864-1941  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Feininger, Lyonel, 1871-1956  Search this
Gatch, Lee, 1902-1968  Search this
Glackens, William J., 1870-1938  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Graves, Morris, 1910-  Search this
Gross, Chaim, 1904-1991  Search this
Grosz, George, 1893-1959  Search this
Harnett, William Michael, 1848-1892  Search this
Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943  Search this
Henri, Robert, 1865-1929  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Hopper, Edward, 1882-1967  Search this
Inness, George, 1825-1894  Search this
Karfiol, Bernard, 1886-1952  Search this
Kuhn, Walt, 1877-1949  Search this
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953  Search this
Lachaise, Gaston, 1882-1935  Search this
Lawson, Ernest, 1873-1939  Search this
MacIver, Loren, 1909-1998  Search this
Marin, John, 1870-1953  Search this
Marsh, Reginald, 1898-1954  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Mount, William Sidney, 1807-1868  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia, 1887-1986  Search this
Pereira, I. Rice (Irene Rice), 1902-1971  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Prendergast, Maurice Brazil, 1858-1924  Search this
Pène Du Bois, Guy, 1884-1958  Search this
Reder, Bernard, 1897-1963  Search this
Rimmer, William, 1816-1879  Search this
Rivers, Larry, 1925-2002  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Ryder, Albert Pinkham, 1847-1917  Search this
Schnakenberg, H. E. (Henry Ernest), 1892-1970  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Sloan, John, 1871-1951  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Stella, Joseph, 1877-1946  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Twachtman, John Henry, 1853-1902  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Walkowitz, Abraham, 1880-1965  Search this
Weber, Max, 1881-1961  Search this
Wyant, A. H. (Alexander Helwig), 1836-1892  Search this
Young, Mahonri Mackintosh, 1877-1957  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
78 Microfilm reels
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Microfilm reels
Date:
1914-1966
Scope and Contents:
REELS N591-N597: Photographs of the Museum, Juliana Force, Herman Moore; scrapbooks on the Whitney Studio Club, Whitney Studio Galleries and the Museum, 1927-1965.
REELS N599-N604: Notebooks of Edwin W. Dickinson; photographs and provenance information for works by Philip Evergood; a catalog of information and some photographs of Chinese ink drawings and other works by Reginald Marsh; and photographs and information on Bernard Reder, Jack Tworkov, Max Weber (portions also microfilmed on reel NY59-8 (fr. 497-658), reel NY59-9 (fr. 1-51), and William Zorach.
REELS N604-N609: Exhibition catalogs, 1946-1966, for artists and groups shows at the Museum, including Robert Feke, William Rimmer, Ralph Blakelock, Albert Maurer, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Thomas Cole, Max Weber, Arshile Gorky, Mark Tobey, John Sloan, Loren MacIver, I. Rice Pereira, George Grosz, Reginald Marsh, Charles Burchfield, Morris Graves, Theodore Roszak, John Marin, Hans Hofmann, Bradley Tomlin, Stuart Davis, Milton Avery, Lee Gatch, Jose De Creeft, Maurice Prendergast, Edward Hopper, Hyman Bloom, Robert E. Jones, Balcomb Greene, Karl Zerbe, Arthur G. Dove, William Zorach, Philip Evergood, Bernard Reder, Herbert Feber, Oliver O'Connor Barrett,Arthur B. Davies, Jose De Rivera, Paul Burlin, Joseph Stella, Jack Tworkov, Ivan Albright, Stuart Davis, Edwin Dickinson, John Quidor, and Niles Spencer.
REELS N646-N694: Artists' files on: Oliver O'Connor Barrett,William Baziotes, George Bellows, Thomas Hart Benton, Peter Blume, James Brooks, Patrick Henry Bruce, Charles Burchfield, Paul Burlin, David Burliuk, Paul Cadmus, Mary Cassatt, Thomas Cole, Glenn Coleman, Jon Corbino, John Steuart Curry, Jo Davidson, Arthur B. Davies, Jose DeCreeft, Charles Demuth, Jose De Rivera, Arthur Dove, Guy Pène du Bois, Stuart Davis, Frank Duveneck, Ralph Earl, Eastman Johnson, The Eight, Philip Evergood, Robert Feke, Lyonel Feininger, Ernest Fiene, George Fuller, Lee Gatch, William Glackens, Arshile Gorky, Balcomb Greene, Chaim Gross, George Grosz, William Harnett, Marsden Hartley, Childe Hassam, John Heliker, Robert Henri, Hans Hofmann, George Inness, Leon Kelly, Franz Kline, Karl Knaths, Leon Kroll, Walt Kuhn, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Gaston Lachaise, Robert Laurent, Ernest Lawson, Jack Levine, Seymour Lipton, George B. Luks,
Stanton Macdonald-Wright, Loren MacIver, John Marin, Reginald Marsh, Alfred Maurer, K. H. Miller, Robert Motherwell, William Mount, Jerome Myers, Louise Nevelson, Georgia O'Keeffe (portions also microfilmed on reels NY59-13 (fr. 98-115, 406-424, 586-685), reel NY59-14 (entire), and reel NY59-15 (fr. 1-140, 145-153), I. Rice Pereira, Bernard Perlin, Joseph Pollett, Jackson Pollock, Reginald Pollack, Henry V. Poor, Richard Pousette-Dart, Maurice Prendergast, Abraham Rattner, Bernard Reder, Ad Reinhardt, William Rimmer, Larry Rivers, Hugo Robus, Theodore Roszak, Mark Rothko, Concetta Scarvaglione, Henry Schnakenberg, Ben Shahn, John Sloan, David Smith, Eugene Speicher, Theodoros Stamos, Joseph Stella, Maurice Sterne, Mark Tobey, Bradley Tomlin,Trajan, Allen Tucker, John Twachtman, Jack Tworkov, Abraham Walkowitz (also on reel NY/59-15) , Max Weber, James M. Whistler, Gertrude Whitney, Grant Wood, Alexander Wyant, Mahonri Young, and William Zorach.
REELS NWH 1-NWH 7: Artist files on Charles Sheeler, Bernard Karfiol, Louis Eilshemius; scatterred records of the Whitney Studio Club and Museum, 1914-1945, including minutes, Oct. 15, 1930, and Whitney Studio ledgers, 1928-1931; catalogs of one-man shows, 1932-1945; catalogs of annual painting exhibitions, 1932-1940, sculpture, watercolor and drawing exhibitions, 1933-1945, and group exhibitions, 1932-1945; and clippings, Oct. 1935-1936.
REELS NY59/8 (fr. 256-end)-NY59/10: Files on Max Weber, including biographical material, lists of work, and miscellany. Also found (NY59/8 frames 354-383) are ca.20 letters from Weber to Abraham Walkowitz, 1907-1924.
Biographical / Historical:
Whitney Museum of American Art is an American art museum in New York, New York. Founded by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and formally opened in 1931. Previous to its opening as a museum it was known as the Whitney Studio Club (1914-28) and Whitney Studio Galleries (1928-30).
Provenance:
The Weber files on reels NY59/8-10 were lent for microfilming 1959 by the Whitney Museum of American Art; the remainder was lent 1964-1967; additional material from the Museum was lent at the same time, and subsequently donated, including the papers of Lloyd Goodrich, Juliana Force, Thomas B. Clarke, the American Art Research Council, and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney; these have each been cataloged separately. Portions of Weber, and O'Keeffe material that was microfilmed in 1959 were refilmed in 1967.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Artists -- Exhibitions -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Function:
Art museums -- New York (State)
Identifier:
AAA.whitmuse
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw990da7b91-a3b8-4ace-b8ba-b5c08cfe3284
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-whitmuse

Cleve Gray papers

Creator:
Gray, Cleve  Search this
Names:
Berry-Hill Galleries  Search this
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Connecticut. Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film  Search this
Jacques Seligmann & Co  Search this
Neuberger Museum of Art  Search this
Pratt Institute  Search this
Princeton University  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design  Search this
Barzun, Jacques, 1907-  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Davis, Jim, 1901-1974  Search this
Dillenberger, Jane  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Ernst, Jimmy, 1920-1984  Search this
Gabo, Naum, 1890-1977  Search this
Grace, Louise N.  Search this
Gray, Francine du Plessix  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques, 1891-1973  Search this
Marin, John, 1870-1953  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Richter, Hans, 1888-1976  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Villon, Jacques, 1875-1963  Search this
Weber, Nicholas Fox, 1947-  Search this
Extent:
9.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Poems
Articles
Photographs
Reviews (documents)
Notes
Illustrations
Notebooks
Sketches
Drafts (documents)
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Interviews
Manuscripts
Paintings
Prints
Watercolors
Drawings
Lectures
Date:
1933-2005
Summary:
The Cleve Gray papers, 1933-2005, measure 9.2 linear feet. Papers include biographical material, alphabetical files, writings, artwork, audio/visual records, artifacts, printed material, and photographs. Extensive alphabetical files contain personal and professional correspondence as well as subject files relating to projects and interests. Especially well-documented are: Gray's involvement with the Vietnam protest movement; and Threnody, his best-known work composed of fourteen large panels lamenting the dead of both sides sides in Vietnam, commissioned by the Neuberger Museum of Art.
Scope and Content Note:
The Cleve Gray papers, 1933-2005, measure 9.2 linear feet. Papers include biographical material, alphabetical files, writings, artwork, audio/visual records, artifacts, printed material, and photographs. Extensive alphabetical files contain personal and professional correspondence as well as subject files relating to projects and interests. Especially well-documented are: Gray's involvement with the Vietnam movement; and Threnody, his best-known work composed of fourteen large panels lamenting the dead of both sides sides in Vietnam, commissioned by the Neuberger Museum of Art.

Among the biographical material are award and membership certificates, biographical notes, and personal documentation.

The alphabetical files contain Cleve Gray's personal and professional correspondence, as well as subject files relating to projects and interests. Correspondence is with friends and family, colleagues, publishers, museum curators and directors, art dealers, collectors, and fans. Among the correspondents of note are: Jacques Barzun, James E. Davis, Naum Gabo, Louise N. Grace, Hans and Fridel Richter, and Jacques and Gaby Villon. Other substantial correspondence includes: Berry-Hill Galleries, Betty Parsons Gallery, Connecticut Commission on the Arts, Jacques Seligmann and Co., Neuberger Museum of Art, Pratt Institute, Princeton University, and Rhode Island School of Design. Subject files mostly consist of correspondence, but include printed material and some photographs. Among the subject files are: Art Collection of Cleve and Francine Gray, Artist-Dealer Consignments and Visual Artists' Rights Act of 1989, Artists' Tax Equity Act of 1979, Promised Gifts to Museums, Threnody, Vestments, and Vietnam Protest. Of particular interest are files relating to the Estate of Hans Richter (Cleve Gray, executor), and Gray's research correspondence and illustrations for his Cosmopolitan article "Women-Leaders of Modern Art."

Writings are manuscripts and drafts, research materials, notes, and miscellaneous writings by Cleve Gray and other authors. Those by Gray include articles and catalog introductions on a wide range of art-related topics, as well as book and exhibition reviews. Also found are a book proposal, texts and notes for lectures and talks, miscellaneous notes, poems, political statements, and student papers. Of particular interest are autobiographical notes in the form of a chronology that his biographer, Nicholas Fox Weber, cited as an "autochronology."

Among the writings by other authors are pieces about Cleve Gray including Nicholas Fox Weber's manuscript Cleve Gray. A significant amount of material relates to three books edited by Gray: David Smith by David Smith: Sculpture and Writings, Hans Richter, and John Marin. Research material survives for an unpublished volume, Naum Gabo. Also included are notes relating to his translation of A l'Infinitif by Marcel Duchamp. Jane Daggett Dillenberger is represented by a lecture, "The Resurrection in Art." The remaining items by other authors are unsigned; of particular interest is a small notebook of reminiscences and notes about Jackson Pollock.

Artwork by Cleve Gray consists mostly drawings and sketches, and a small number of paintings, prints, and watercolors. Works by other artists consist are an unsigned mobile of paper cut-outs, possibly by Alexander Calder, and a pencil drawing signed Dick (probably Richard Avedon).

Audio recordings are a radio broadcast featuring Cleve Gray, several lectures by Gray on John Marin, and a lecture titled "Meaning in the Visual Arts." Other recordings are of Hans Richter and an interview with Jimmy Ernst conducted by Francine du Plessix Gray. Also found is a videocassette of "Glenville School Students at SUNY (Lincoln Center Activity)."

Artifacts are a Chinese scroll representative of those that hung in Cleve Gray's studio, two of his paintbrushes, Aberdeen-Angus Breeders' Association blue ribbon, and Neuberger Museum of Art Lifetime Achievement Award.

The vast majority of printed material - articles, clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, reproductions of art work, etc. - are about or by Cleve Gray. Miscellaneous items and publications mentioning Gray consist of annual reports, brochures, calendars, newsletters, programs, etc. Clippings about Vietnam and Vietnam protest memorabilia reflect his passionate involvement in the anti-war movement; a small number of these items mention Gray or were written by him.

Photographs are of artwork, events, people, places, and miscellaneous subjects. Most of the art work appearing in the photographs is by Cleve Gray and includes images of destroyed paintings. Also found is an original print of Photo Abstraction by Gray, circa 1934. Of particular note are photographs of Threnody, among them preparatory drawings and views of the work in progress. Photographs of artwork by other artists include Louise N. Grace, Jacques Lipchitz, John Marin, Hans Richter, and Jacques Villon.

Photographs of people are mainly portraits of Gray, and views of him with his wife and sons. Other individuals appearing in photographs are Hans Richter and some of Richter's descendants. Pictures of places consist of Gray's studio.

Events are an unidentified exhibition opening. Miscellaneous subjects are mostly exhibition installations. Illustrations consist of photographs published in David Smith by David Smith: Sculpture and Writings. Also found are small number of negatives and color transparencies.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into 8 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1943-circa 2001 (Box 1; 0.1 linear ft.)

Series 2: Alphabetical Files, 1936-2005 (Boxes 1-5, 9; 4.3 linear ft.)

Series 3: Writings, 1935-2000 (Boxes 5-6; 0.85 linear ft.)

Series 4: Artwork, circa 1933-1987 (Boxes 6, 9, OV 12; 0.45 linear ft.)

Series 5: Audio/Visual Records, 1971-1989 (Box 6; 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 6: Artifacts, 1957-1999 (Box 6, RD 11; 0.45 linear ft.)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1933-2005 (Boxes 7-8; 1.25 linear ft.)

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1934-2002 (Boxes 8-10; 1.15 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Abstract Expressionist painter, sculptor, and writer Cleve Gray (1918-2004) lived and worked in Connecticut where he was politically active in the Vietnam protest movement and other liberal causes.

Born Cleve Ginsberg in New York City (the family changed its name to Gray in 1936), he attended the Ethical Culture School and at a young age developed a fascination with color and paint. At the urging of friends, Cleve's parents allowed him to accompany a school friend for lessons with George Bellows' student Antonia Nell. She encouraged and inspired the young artist, and a still life he painted in her class was shown at the National Academy of Design's 1932 annual exhibition. Miss Nell also introduced him to Louise N. Grace, an artist who became a good friend and had a lasting influence on him. While a student at Phillips Academy, Cleve studied painting with Bartlett Hayes and aspired to paint in France. Upon his graduation in 1936, he was awarded the Samuel F. B. Morse Prize for most promising art student.

Gray's mother was always supportive of his career choice. His businessman father, who didn't understand his son's desire to be an artist, insisted on a college education. Cleve chose Princeton, where he majored in art and archaeology, and studied painting with James E. Davis. His senior thesis was on Chinese landscape painting; both Eastern philosophy and art were long-term influences on Gray's work and outlook. He graduated summa cum laude in 1940, and then spent several months painting while living at the farm of a family friend in Mendham, New Jersey.

When a doctor suggeted that a dry climate might relieve sinus and asthma problems, Gray moved to Tucson, Arizona. Once settled in the desert, he contacted Louise N. Grace, whom he had met as a young teenager through his art instructor. Miss Grace, an artist and daughter of the founder of W. R. Grace and Co., was a highly cultured and independent woman older than his parents. The summer before Gray entered Phillips Academy, she had hired him to brush ground color onto canvases for murals she was painting for "Eleven Arches," her home in Tuscon then under construction. Miss Grace invited Gray to visit "Eleven Arches" to see the completed murals, and despite the substantial age difference, their friendship deepened; Gray found in her intellectual and spiritual guidance that was lacking in his own family. He remained in Tucson until enlisting in the U. S. Army in 1942, and they corresponded frequently during the the war. When a stroke in 1948 prevented Miss Grace from participating in the extensive tour of Europe she was arranging for a small group of friends, including Gray, she provided sufficient funds and insisted he make the trip on his own. Another stroke, suffered while Gray was traveling, left her in a coma; he was not permitted to see her again. Upon her death in 1954, Gray inherited "Eleven Arches."

Between 1943 and 1946, Gray was stationed in England, France, and Germany, serving in Army Signal Intelligence. Most of his work was performed at night, and he spent his free time drawing. While in London, Gray produced many colored pencil drawings of buildings that had been bombed. In France, a Red Cross volunteered to introduce him to Jacques Villon; although unfamiliar with the artist, Gray knew of Villon's brother, Marcel Duchamp, and accepted the invitation. Jacques and Gaby Villon lived near Gray's billet and he became a frequent visitor. Their friendship was important to his development as an artist. After being discharged from the Army in 1946, Gray remained in France to work with Villon who introduced him to the study of color and the concept of intellectual quality in painting. Gray also studied informally with André Lhote, Villon's former teacher. "American Painters in Paris," an exhibition presented in 1946 at Galerie Durand-Ruel, included work by Cleve Gray.

He returned to New York City in 1946. In the tight post-war rental market Gray managed to find a small room upstairs from a grocery store on East 106th Street for use as a studio. He commenced painting the London Ruins series based on drawings he had made during the war, and began thinking about exhibiting in New York. Gray secured introductions to Pierre Matisse, Curt Valentin, and Dorothy Miller. They encouraged him, but no opportunities came his way until Germain Seligmann, whose gallery was expanding its scope to include contemporary art, followed the advice of Curt Valentin and looked at Gray's work. Gary's first solo exhibition, held at Jacques Seligmann and Co., included selections from the London Ruins series, paintings done in Maine and Arizona, and a few portraits. The New York Times called it "an auspicious first," and one of the London Ruins series was selected by Edward Alden Jewell for the "Critic's Exhibition" at Grand Central Gallery.

Gray found New York City too frenetic. In 1949 he bought a large, old house in Warren, Connecticut, and lived and worked at "Graystones" for the remainder of his life. Half of a 6-car garage was converted to a studio; many years later, his studio moved to a barn, its renovation and design planned by sculptor and architect Tony Smith.

He married Francine du Plessix in 1957. Always interested in literature and philosophy, in the 1960s Francine du Plessix Gray began contributing articles to The New Yorker and is still affiliated with the magazine. Her reviews and articles appeared in prominent publications, and she wrote several award-winning novels and biographies. Their sons, Thaddeus and Luke (now a painter), were born in 1959 and 1961. Francine's mother, Tatiana du Plessix (the hat designer Tatiana of Saks), and step-father, the sculptor Alexander Liberman (also former art director of Vogue and later editorial director of Condé Nast publications) became Cleve Gray's closest friends.

The paintings and drawings of Cleve Gray - first consisting of figures and portraits, and then abstract compositions - were often produced in series. The earliest series, London Ruins, grew from the colored pencil drawings made while stationed in London during World War II. Travels to France, Italy, Greece, Morocco, Hawaii, Spain, Egypt, Japan, and Czechoslovakia, inspired many series, among them: Etruscan, Augury, Ceres, Demeter Landscape, Hera, Morocco, Hawaii, Ramses, Perne, Hatshepsut, Roman Walls, Zen, and Prague. His hometown, the Holocaust, and musicians inspired other series: Warren, Sleepers Awake!, Bela Bartok, and Four Heads of Anton Bruckner. Some series were works on paper, others were collage canvases, and a few series later spawned prints. Gray began using acrylics in the 1940s. Although the medium offered many benefits, he did not always like its appearance and frequently returned to oils. Around 1966 Gray was painting almost exclusively with acrylic, and eventually developed a technique of thinning the paint and applying successive layers of color (sometimes by pouring or with a sponge) on cotton duck rather than traditional canvas.

Gray was attracted to sculpture, too, working in that medium at different points in his career. His first sculpture, in plaster, was completed in 1959. In the early 1960s he visited a commercial sand-casting foundry and became excited about learning to cast in bronze. He made about a dozen sculptures to cast in sand, but due to too much undercutting, their casting became too difficult a problem. Lava flows seen while in Hawaii during 1970 and 1971 inspired a return to sculpture. This time, he used wood, papier maché, and metal. Gray then decided these pieces should be cast in bronze, and he was determined to do it himself. Friends taught him the lost wax process and he began working at the Tallix Foundry in Peekskill, New York where, over the next year, he cast about forty bronzes.

Gray's best known work is Threnody, a lament for the dead of both sides in Vietnam. In 1972, Gray received a commission to fill a very large gallery of the soon-to-open Neuberger Museum of Art (State University of New York, College at Purchase) designed by Philip Johnson. Friends of the Neuberger Museum paid his expenses and Gray, who was enormously excited about the project he considered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, donated his time. Developing plans for the execution of Threnody consumed most of his time during 1972 and 1973. Composed of a series of fourteen panels, each approximately twenty feet square, the piece presented a number of technical challenges. It was constructed and painted in situ during the summer and early fall of 1973. Since then, Threnody has been reinstalled at the Neuberger Museum of Art on several occasions.

Gray was commissioned to design liturgical vestments for two Episcopal churches in Connecticut in the 1970s. A chasuble, stoles, and a mitre were commissioned by the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut in 1984.

He won the "Outdoor Art at the Station Competition," for Union Station, Hartford, Connecticut. His very large porcelain enamel tile mural, Movement in Space, was installed on the façade of the transportation center in 1988.

Gray began writing occasional articles and exhibition reviews in the late 1940s. His concern with rational structure in art led him to question Abstract Expressionism and write "Narcissus in Chaos." This article, published in 1959 by The American Scholar, drew considerable attention. In 1960, Cosmopolitan published "Women - Leaders of Modern Art" that featured Nell Blaine, Joan Brown, Elaine de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Sonia Gretchoff, Grace Hartigan, Ethel Magafan, Louise Nevelson, and Georgia O'Keeffe. Between 1960 and 1970, Gray was a contributing editor of Art In America, producing numerous articles (a few co-authored with Francine) and reviews for the periodical. He edited three books, David Smith by David Smith: Scupture and Writings, Hans Richter, and John Marin, all published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, and translated Marcel Duchamp's A l'Infinitif.

During the early 1960s, Gray became intensely focused on the situation in Vietnam. His first artistic response came in 1963 with Reverend Quan Duc, painted to commemorate a Buddhist monk who had immolated himself. Francine, too, felt strongly about the issue and over time the couple became increasingly active in the anti-war movement. They joined a number of organizations and helped to found a local chapter of Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam. The years 1968 and 1969 were an especially intense and active period for the Grays. They protested, wrote and spoke out against the war, raised funds to support anti-war political candidates, and on a few occasions were arrested and jailed. Writing for Art in America, editing the book series, and anti-war activities left little time for his art. In 1970 Gray refocused his attention on painting.

Beginning in 1947, Gray was always represented by a New York Gallery: Jacques Seligmann and Co. (1947-1959), Staempfli Gallery (1960-1965), Saidenberg Gallery (1965-1968), Betty Parsons Gallery (1968-1983), Armstrong Gallery (1984-1987), and Berry-Hill Galleries (1988-2003). He was represented by galleries in other cities, as well, but not as consistently or for such long periods.

He exhibited extensively in group and solo exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally. In addition to numerous solo exhibitions presented by the dealers who represented Gray, there were retrospective exhibitions at: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Brooklyn Museum, Columbus Museum of Art, Krannert Art Museum (University of Illinois, Champaign), Princeton University Art Museum, Rhode Island School of Design, and Wadsworth Atheneum.

Many museums' permanent collections include the work of Cleve Gray, among them: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Butler Institute of American Art, Columbus Museum of Art, Neuberger Museum of Art (SUNY, College at Purchase), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Newark Museum, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Phillips Collection, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery (University of Nebraska, Lincoln), Smithsonian Institution, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Yale University Art Gallery.

Cleve Gray served as artist-in-residence at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art in 1963 and at the Honolulu Academy of Arts in 1970, both sponsored by Ford Foundation programs. In 1980, he was appointed an artist-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome, where Francine concurrently served as a writer-in-residence; they returned for shorter periods during each of the subsequent seven years. Cleve Gray was presented the Connecticut Arts Award in 1987, and the Neuberger Museum of Art Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999. He was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Hartford in 1992, and was elected a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1998. In addition, he was a trustee of the Neuberger Museum of Art, New York Studio School, Rhode Island School of Design, and Wadsworth Atheneum.

Cleve Gray hit his head and suffered a massive subdural hematoma after falling on ice outside of his home. He died the following day, December 8, 2004.
Separated Material:
Exhibition catalogs and announcements and two scrapbooks donated to the Archives in 1967 and 1968 were microfilmed on reels D314-D315. Items on reel D315, transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum Library in 1975, are not described in this finding aid.
Provenance:
The Cleve Gray papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Mr. Gray in 1967 and 1968. The bulk of the collection was given by his widow, Francine du Plessix Gray, in 2007 and 2008.
Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordigs 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:
Sculptors -- Connecticut  Search this
Painters -- Connecticut  Search this
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Protest Movements -- United States  Search this
Designers  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Women sculptors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Poems
Articles
Photographs
Reviews (documents)
Notes
Illustrations
Notebooks
Sketches
Drafts (documents)
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Interviews
Manuscripts
Paintings
Prints
Watercolors
Drawings
Lectures
Citation:
Cleve Gray papers, 1933-2005. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.grayclev
See more items in:
Cleve Gray papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw92d3d47d0-baa3-4085-80f2-9b5d1730c052
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-grayclev
Online Media:

Henry Varnum Poor papers

Creator:
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Names:
Montross Gallery  Search this
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Benton, William, 1900-1973  Search this
Biddle, George, 1885-1973  Search this
Billing, Jules  Search this
Burchfield, Charles Ephraim, 1893-1967  Search this
Caniff, Milton Arthur, 1907-1988  Search this
Ciardi, John, 1916-  Search this
Czebotar, Theodore  Search this
Deming, MacDonald  Search this
Dickson, Harold E., 1900-  Search this
Dorn, Marion, 1896-1964  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Esherick, Wharton  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Garrett, Alice Warder  Search this
Houseman, John, 1902-1988  Search this
Marston, Muktuk  Search this
Meredith, Burgess, 1907-1997  Search this
Mumford, Lewis, 1895-1990  Search this
Padro, Isabel  Search this
Poor, Anne, 1918-  Search this
Poor, Bessie Breuer  Search this
Poor, Eva  Search this
Poor, Josephine Graham  Search this
Poor, Josephine Lydia  Search this
Poor, Peter  Search this
Sargent, Elizabeth S.  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968  Search this
Watson, Ernest William, 1884-1969  Search this
Extent:
12.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Motion pictures (visual works)
Diaries
Drawings
Sketchbooks
Date:
1873-2001
bulk 1904-1970
Summary:
The papers of Henry Varnum Poor measure 12.9 linear feet and date from 1873-2001, with the bulk from the period 1904-1970. Correspondence, writings, artwork, printed material and photographs document Poor's work as a painter, muralist, ceramic artist and potter, architect, designer, writer, war artist, educator and a co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Also found is extensive information about the design and construction of Crow House, his home in New City, New York, commissions for other architectural projects, and his personal life.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Henry Varnum Poor measure 12.9 linear feet and date from 1873-2001, with the bulk from the period 1904-1970. Correspondence, writings, artwork, printed material and photographs document Poor's work as a painter, muralist, ceramic artist and potter, architect, designer, writer, war artist, educator and a co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Also found is extensive information about the design and construction of Crow House, his home in New City, New York, commissions for other architectural projects, and his personal life.

Henry Varnum Poor's correspondence documents his personal, family, and professional life. Correspondents include family and friends, among them George Biddle, Charles Burchfield, John Ciardi, Marion V. Dorn (who became his second wife), Philip Evergood, Lewis Mumford, John Steinbeck, David Smith, and Mrs. John Work (Alice) Garrett. Among other correspondents are galleries, museums, schools, organizations, fans, former students, and acquaintances from his military service and travels. Family correspondence consists of Henry's letters to his parents, letters to his parents written by his wife, and letters among other family members.

Among the writings by Henry Varnum Poor are manuscripts of his two published books, An Artist Sees Alaska and A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality. as well as the text of "Painting is Being Talked to Death," published in the first issue of Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions, April 1953, and manuscripts of other articles. There are also film scripts, two journals, notes and notebooks, lists, speeches, and writings by others, including M. R. ("Muktuk") Marston's account of Poor rescuing an Eskimo, and Bessie Breuer Poor's recollections of The Montross Gallery.

Subject files include those on the Advisory Committee on Art, American Designers' Gallery, Inc., William Benton, Harold Dickson, Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions Sales, and War Posters. There are numerous administrative files for the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Artwork by Henry Varnum Poor consists mainly of loose drawings and sketches and 45 sketchbooks of studies for paintings, murals, and pottery. There is work done in France, 1918-1919, and while working as a war correspondent in Alaska in 1943. There are commissioned illustrations and some intended for his monograph, A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality. Also found are a small number of watercolors and prints. Work by other artists consist of Anne Poor's drawings of her father's hands used for the Lincoln figure in The Land Grant Frescoes and interior views of Crow House by Ernest Watson.

Documentation of Poor's architectural projects consists of drawings and prints relating to houses designed and built for Jules Billing, MacDonald Deming, John Houseman, Burgess Meredith, Isabel Padro, and Elizabeth S. Sargent. Also found is similar material for the new studio Poor built in 1957 on the grounds of Crow House.

Miscellaneous records include family memorabilia and two motion picture films, Painting a True Fresco, and The Land Grant Murals at Pennsylvania State College.

Printed material includes articles about or mentioning Poor, some of his pottery reference books, family history, a catalog of kilns, and the program of a 1949 Pennsylvania State College theater production titled Poor Mr. Varnum. Exhibition catalogs and announcements survive for some of Poor's shows; catalogs of other artists' shows include one for Theodore Czebotar containing an introductory statement by Henry Varnum Poor. Also found is a copy of The Army at War: A Graphic Record by American Artists, for which Poor served as an advisor. There are reproductions of illustrations for An Artist Sees Alaska and Ethan Frome, and two Associated American Artists greeting cards reproducing work by Poor.

Photographs are of Henry Varnum Poor's architectural work, artwork, people, places, and miscellaneous subjects. This series also contains negatives, slides, and transparencies. Images of architectural work include exterior and interior views of many projects; Poor's home, Crow House, predominates. Photographs of artwork by Poor are of drawings, fresco and ceramic tile murals, paintings, pottery and ceramic art. People appearing in photographs include Henry Varnum Poor, family members, friends, clients, juries, students, and various groups. Among the individuals portrayed are Milton Caniff, Marcel Duchamp, Wharton Esherick, M. R. ("Muktuk") Marston, and Burgess Meredith. Among the family members are Bessie Breuer Poor, Marion Dorn Poor, Anne Poor, Eva Poor, Josephine Graham Poor, Josephine Lydia Poor, Peter Poor, and unidentified relatives. Photographs of places include many illustrating village life in Alaska that were taken by Poor during World War II. Other places recorded are French and California landscapes, and family homes in Kansas. Miscellaneous subjects are exhibition installation views, scenes of Kentucky farms, and a photograph of Poor's notes on glazes.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1919-1987 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1, OV 18)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1873-1985 (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1944-1974 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 2-3)

Series 4: Subject Files, 1928-1975 (0.8 linear feet; Box 3, OV 23)

Series 5: Artwork, circa 1890s-circa 1961 (3.5 linear feet; Boxes 4-6, 9-10, OV 19-22)

Series 6: Architectural Projects, circa 1940-1966 (0.7 linear feet; Box 6, OV 24-26, RD 14-17)

Series 7: Miscellaneous Records, 1882-1967 (Boxes 6, 11, FC 30-31; 0.5 linear ft.)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1881-2001 (1.2 linear feet; Boxes 6-7, 11, OV 27-29)

Series 9: Photographs, 1893-1984 (2.3 linear feet; Boxes 7-8, 12-13)
Biographical Note:
Henry Varnum Poor (1888-1970), best known as a potter, ceramic artist, and a co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, was also an architect, painter, muralist, designer, educator, and writer who lived and worked in New City, New York.

A native of Chapman, Kansas, Henry Varnum Poor moved with his family to Kansas City when his grain merchant father became a member of the Kansas Board of Trade. From a young age he showed artistic talent and spent as much time as possible - including school hours - drawing. When a school supervisor suggested that Henry leave school to study at the Art Institute of Chicago, the family disagreed. Instead, he enrolled in the Kansas City Manual Training High School where he delighted in learning skills such as carpentry, forge work, and mechanical drawing. In 1905, he moved with his older brother and sister to Palo Alto, California and completed high school there. Because Poor was expected to join the family business, he enrolled at Stanford University as an economics major, but much to his father's disappointment and displeasure, soon left the economics department and became an art major.

Immediately after graduation in 1910, Poor and his major professor at Stanford, Arthur B. Clark, took a summer bicycling tour to look at art in London, France, Italy, and Holland. As Poor had saved enough money to remain in London after the summer was over, he enrolled in the Slade School of Art and also studied under Walter Sickert at the London County Council Night School. After seeing an exhibition of Post-Impressionism at the Grafton Galleries in London, Poor was so impressed that he went to Paris and enrolled in the Académie Julian. While in Paris, Poor met Clifford Addams, a former apprentice of Whistler; soon he was working in Addams' studio learning Whistler's palette and techniques.

In the fall of 1911, Poor returned to Stanford University's art department on a one-year teaching assignment. During that academic year, his first one-man show was held at the university's Old Studio gallery. He married Lena Wiltz and moved back to Kansas to manage the family farm and prepare for another exhibition. Their daughter, Josephine Lydia Poor, was born the following year. Poor returned to Stanford in September 1913 as assistant professor of graphic arts, remaining until the department closed three years later. During this period, Poor began to exhibit more frequently in group shows in other areas of the country, and had his first solo exhibition at a commercial gallery (Helgesen Gallery, San Francisco). In 1916, Poor joined the faculty of the San Francisco Art Association. He and his wife separated in 1917 and were divorced the following year. Poor began sharing his San Francisco studio with Marion Dorn.

During World War I, Poor was drafted into the U. S. Army, and in 1918 went to France with the 115th Regiment of Engineers. He spent his spare time drawing; soon officers were commissioning portraits, and Poor was appointed the regimental artist. He also served as an interpreter for his company. Discharged from the Army in early 1919, Poor spent the spring painting in Paris. He then returned to San Francisco and married Marion Dorn.

Once Poor realized that earning a living as a painter would be extremely difficult in California, he and his new wife moved to New York in the autumn of 1919. They were looking for a place to live when influential book and art dealer Mary Mowbray-Clarke of the Sunwise Turn Bookshop in Manhattan suggested New City in Rockland County, New York as good place for artists. In January of 1920, the Poors purchased property on South Mountain Road in New City. The skills he acquired at the Kansas City Manual Training High School were of immediate use as Poor designed and constructed "Crow House" with the assistance of a local teenager. Influenced by the farmhouses he had seen in France, it was made of local sandstone and featured steep gables, rough plaster, chestnut beams and floors, and incorporated many hand-crafted details. Poor designed and built most of their furniture, too. Before the end of the year, he and Marion were able to move into the house, though it remained a work in progress for many years. Additions were constructed. Over time, gardens were designed and planted, and outbuildings - a kiln and pottery, work room, garage, and new studio - appeared on the property.

In 1925, two years after his divorce from Marion Dorn, Poor married Bessie Freedman Breuer (1893-1975), an editor, short story writer, and novelist. Soon after, he adopted her young daughter, Anne (1918-2002), an artist who served as his assistant on many important mural commissions. Their son, Peter (b. 1926) became a television producer. Crow House remained in the family until its sale in 2006. In order to prevent its demolition, Crow House was then purchased by the neighboring town of Ramapo, New York in 2007.

Between 1935 and 1966 Poor designed and oversaw construction of a number of houses, several of them situated not far from Crow House on South Mountain Road. Poor's designs, noted for their simplicity, featured modern materials and incorporated his ceramic tiles. Among his important commissions were houses for Maxwell Anderson, Jules Billig, Milton Caniff, MacDonald Deming, and John Houseman.

Poor's first exhibition of paintings in New York City was at Kevorkian Galleries in 1920, and sales were so disappointing that he turned his attention to ceramics. His first pottery show, held at Bel Maison Gallery in Wanamaker's department store in 1921, was very successful. He quickly developed a wide reputation, participated in shows throughout the country, and won awards. He was a founder of the short-lived American Designers' Gallery, and the tile bathroom he showed at the group's first exposition was critically acclaimed. Poor was represented by Montross Gallery as both a painter and potter. When Montross Gallery closed upon its owner's death in 1932, Poor moved to the Frank K. M. Rehn Gallery.

Even though Poor's pottery and ceramic work was in the forefront, he continued to paint. His work was acquired by a number of museums, and the Limited Editions Club commissioned him to illustrate their republications of Ethan Frome, The Scarlet Letter, and The Call of the Wild.

Poor's first work in true fresco was shown in a 1932 mural exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. Between 1935 and 1949 he was commissioned to produce several murals in fresco for Section of Fine Arts projects at the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior, The Land Grant Frescoes at Pennsylvania State College, and a mural for the Louisville Courier-Journal. Ceramic tile mural commissions included: the Klingenstein Pavilion, Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York City; Travelers Insurance Co., Boston; the Fresno Post Office, California; and Hillson Memorial Gallery, Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, Mass.

As a member of the War Artists' Unit, Poor was a "war correspondent" with the rank of major in World War II, and for several months in 1943 was stationed in Alaska. An Artist Sees Alaska, drawing on Poor's observations and experiences, was published in 1945. A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality, his second book, was published in 1958. It remains a standard text on the subject. While on the faculty of Columbia University in the 1950s, Poor and other artists opposed to the growing influence of Abstract Expressionism formed the Reality Group with Poor the head of its editorial committee. Their magazine, Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions, first appeared in 1953 featuring "Painting is Being Talked to Death" by Poor as its lead article. Two more issues were published in 1954 and 1955.

Along with Willard Cummings, Sidney Simon, and Charles Cuttler, in 1946 Henry Varnum Poor helped to establish the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine. He served as its first president. Poor and his daughter, Anne, were active members of the Board of Trustees and were instructors for many years. The summer of 1961 was Henry Varnum Poor's last as a full-time teacher, though he continued to spend summers at Skowhegan.

Henry Varnum Poor exhibited widely and received many awards, among them prizes at the Carnegie Institute, Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Architectural League of New York. Poor was appointed to the United States Commission of Fine Arts by President Roosevelt in 1941 and served a five year term. He was elected a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1943. The National Academy of Design named him an Associate Artist in 1954 and an Academician in 1963. He became a trustee of the American Craftsman's Council in 1956. The work of Henry Vernum Poor is represented in the permanent collections of many American museums including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Addison Gallery of American Art, and Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts.

Henry Varnum Poor died at home in New City, New York, December 8, 1970.
Related Material:
An oral history interview with Henry Varnum Poor was conducted by Harlan Phillips for the Archives of American Art in 1964.
Provenance:
Gift of Henry Varnum Poor's son, Peter V. Poor, in 2007. A smaller portion was loaned to the Archives in 1973 by Anne Poor for microfilming and returned to the lender; this material was included in the 2007 gift.
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 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:
War artists  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Ceramicists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Designers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Architects -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Pottery -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Motion pictures (visual works)
Diaries
Drawings
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Henry Varnum Poor papers, 1873-2001, bulk 1904-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.poorhenr
See more items in:
Henry Varnum Poor papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw96265d653-098f-4ccc-abed-0bc649c50516
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-poorhenr
Online Media:

Ralph and Bena Frank Mayer papers

Creator:
Mayer, Ralph, 1895-1979  Search this
Mayer, Bena Frank, 1898-1991  Search this
Names:
Biddle, George, 1885-1973  Search this
Bishop, Isabel, 1902-1988  Search this
Brook, Alexander, 1898-1980  Search this
Burchfield, Charles Ephraim, 1893-1967  Search this
Florsheim, Richard A., 1916-1979  Search this
Hammer, Victor Karl, 1882-  Search this
Hirsch, Stefan, 1899-1964  Search this
Hurd, Peter, 1904-1984  Search this
MacKendrick, Lilian  Search this
Miller, Kenneth Hayes, 1876-1952  Search this
Pach, Walter, 1883-1958  Search this
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Sloan, John, 1871-1951  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Extent:
4.5 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 3 reels))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
[ca. 1920]-1964
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence, writings, photographs, art work, subject files, scrapbooks, and printed material.
REELS D211-D213: Ralph Mayer's correspondence is with artists, conservators, museum directors, publishers, art organizations, and others. Notebooks contain data on 19th century canvas makers and dealers of artists' materials. Also included are correspondence and a ledger regarding restoration and conservation of paintings, 1929-1963; files on Columbia University, the National Academy of Design, the Newark Museum, The New York State Department of Commerce, the Whitney Museum of Art, subway murals, and other subjects; and correspondence with the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding standards for paints and pigments. Photographs are of Ralph Mayer's paintings. Correspondents include: George Biddle, Isabel Bishop, Alexander Brook, Charles Burchfield, Richard A. Florsheim, Victor Hammer, Stefan Hirsch, Peter Hurd, Lilian MacKendrick, Kenneth H. Miller, Walter Pach, Abraham Rattner, John Sloan, and David Smith.
Bena Frank Mayer's papers consist of biographical material, clippings, correspondence, exhibition catalogs and announcements, and photographs of her paintings. Two scrapbooks contain printed material, letters, and photographs regarding the Mayers' careers.
UNMICROFILMED: Correspondence includes Ralph Mayer's, 1930-1964, mainly concerning the use of artists' materials, Bena Frank correspondence, 1910-1977, and letters concerning Mayer's book, The Painter's Craft, 1948. Among his correspondents are Josef Albers, Thomas Hart Benton, Isabel Bishop, Georgia O'Keeffe, Walter Pach, Paul Sample, John Sloan, and Frederic Taubes. Subject files are on the Artists' Laboratory, the Art Students League, Gustav Berger, Huntington Hartford, the MacDowell Colony, the National Academy of Design, Diego Rivera murals, subway murals, and other subjects. Writings consist of papers on commercial standards of paint, a typescript of The Painter's Craft, and lecture notes from classes Mayer taught at the Art Students League and Columbia University.
Art work consists of sketchbooks and sketches. Photographs are of the Mayers, their studios, family, friends, and paintings. Printed material includes exhibition catalogs and announcements, brochures, clippings, and posters. There are also six scrapbooks, ca. 1930-1940, containing clippings, photographs, letters received, and printed material.
Biographical / Historical:
Ralph Mayer: conservator, restorer, painter. Died 1979. Bena Frank Mayer: painter. They lived in New York. Ralph Mayer was educated as a chemical engineer, and spent several years working in the manufacture of paints and varnishes. He also studied painting at the Art Students League. His work in conservation and artists' materials led him to found the Artists Technical Research Institute in 1959. Author of The Artists Handbook of Materials and Techniques (1940) and The Painter's Craft (1948), and numerous articles. Taught at Columbia University.
Provenance:
Material on reels D211-D213 was lent for microfilming in 1965 by Ralph Mayer. Portions were subsequently donated along with unmicrofilmed material, 1972-1979, by Ralph and Bena Frank Mayer.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Art restorers  Search this
Conservators  Search this
Restorers  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Artists' materials  Search this
Art -- Conservation and restoration  Search this
Art -- Technique  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.mayeralp
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9dd9999e2-6a80-4d08-9531-d0f9c0ecb497
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mayeralp

Herman Cherry letters from David Smith, 1950-1964

Creator:
Cherry, Herman, 1909-1992  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Citation:
Herman Cherry letters from David Smith, 1950-1964. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Theme:
Craft  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7405
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209562
AAA_collcode_cherherm
Theme:
Craft
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209562

David Smith papers, 1926-1965

Creator:
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Subject:
Calder, Alexander  Search this
Cherry, Herman  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Greenberg, Clement  Search this
Noland, Kenneth  Search this
Rickey, George  Search this
Willard, Marian  Search this
Citation:
David Smith papers, 1926-1965. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Sculpture, American  Search this
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9424
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211622
AAA_collcode_smitdavp
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211622

David Smith miscellaneous papers, [ca. 1940]-1964

Creator:
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Subject:
Blake, William J. (William James)  Search this
Stead, Christina  Search this
O'Connor, Francis V.  Search this
Dehner, Dorothy  Search this
Citation:
David Smith miscellaneous papers, [ca. 1940]-1964. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Sculpture, Modern -- New York (State)  Search this
Medals -- United States  Search this
Metal-work  Search this
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10463
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213874
AAA_collcode_smithdav
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_213874

David Smith interview, 1964 Oct. 25

Creator:
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Horosko, Marian  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Citation:
David Smith interview, 1964 Oct. 25. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Sculpture, American  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- Bolton Landing -- Interviews  Search this
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10478
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213890
AAA_collcode_smitdavi
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_213890

David Smith sketchbook, 1954-1969

Creator:
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Type:
Sketchbooks
Citation:
David Smith sketchbook, 1954-1969. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Sculpture, American  Search this
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11508
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)256346
AAA_collcode_smithdavid
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_256346

Otto and Ilse Gerson papers

Creator:
Gerson, Otto  Search this
Gerson, Ilse, 1901-1980  Search this
Names:
Fine Arts Associates  Search this
Galerie Dina Vierny  Search this
Marlborough-Gerson Gallery  Search this
Otto Gerson Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques, 1891-1973  Search this
Marcks, Gerhard  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Turner, J. M. W. (Joseph Mallord William), 1775-1851  Search this
Valentin, Curt, 1902-1954  Search this
Wotruba, Fritz, 1907-1975  Search this
Extent:
3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1933-1980
Summary:
The papers of New York art dealers and gallery owners Otto and Ilse Gerson measure 3 linear feet and date from 1933 to 1980. This collection includes biographical materials, correspondence, exhibition files, artists' files, collectors' files, business records, inventory and stock records, printed materials, and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York art dealers and gallery owners Otto and Ilse Gerson measure 3 linear feet and date from 1933 to 1980. This collection includes biographical materials, correspondence, exhibition files, artists' files, collectors' files, business records, inventory and stock records, printed materials, and photographs.

Biographical material consists of Otto and Ilse Gerson's naturalization certificates and Ilse Gerson's will.

Correspondence includes a mixture of personal and professional letters. There are a few scattered letters between Otto and Ilse Gerson as well as correspondence with clients, museums, dealers, and artists. Notable correspondents include art dealer Curt Valentin and the artist Gerhard Marcks. There is also correspondence with the Dina Vierny Gallery in Paris, France.

There is a small number of files on the Joseph Mallord William Turner exhibition at Gerson Gallery in 1960 which include correspondence, loan forms, and printed material.

Artists' files contain correspondence, estimates, inventories, sales records, and printed material for art work by five different artists such as Jacques Lipchitz, David Smith, and Fritz Wotruba.

Collectors' files include correspondence, invoices, photographs, and other material related to purchases by various art collectors.

Business records consist of purchase and sales records, audit reports, balance sheets, certificates of authenticity, a sales ledger, and legal documents regarding the business conducted by Fine Arts Associates and Otto Gerson Gallery, and legal agreements and contracts related to the Marlborough-Gerson Gallery merger.

Inventory and stock records include assorted art inventories, a stock book, and stock cards for artists.

Printed material includes a few Gerson Gallery exhibition catalogs and clippings of exhibition reviews.

Photographs consists of a few snapshots of Otto and Ilse Gerson and images of gallery installations.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1933-1973 (0.1 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1937-1980 (0.5 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 3: Turner Exhibition Files, 1960-1961 (0.1 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 4: Artists' Files, 1950-1966 (0.3 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)

Series 5: Collectors' Files, 1956-1966 (0.3 linear feet; Box 2)

Series 6: Business Records, circa 1945-1964 (0.3 linear feet; Box 2)

Series 7: Inventory and Stock Records, 1946-1965 (1.3 linear feet; Boxes 2-3)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1951-1962 (0.1 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 9: Photographs, circa 1945-circa 1960 (2 folders; Box 3)
Biographical / Historical:
Otto Gerson was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States, where he met and married Ilse Goehler in 1939. They both became U.S. citizens and together they rose to prominence as art dealers in New York City, circa 1940-1962, bringing works by noted post-war European (and some American) artists to the American market.

The Gersons also owned and operated galleries in New York, including Fine Arts Associates and Gerson Gallery. The Gerson Gallery was located at 41 East 57th Street in New York City and later merged with another gallery to form the Marlborough-Gerson Gallery around 1963, shortly after Otto Gerson's death.
Provenance:
The Otto and Ilse Gerson papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 1984 by Indian Head Bank North on behalf of Otto and Ilse Gerson.
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 dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Gallery owners -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Otto and Ilse Gerson papers, 1933-1980. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.gersotto
See more items in:
Otto and Ilse Gerson papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9cbc935ee-c361-4837-a3d5-de249250bb2a
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-gersotto
Online Media:

Robert Laurent papers

Creator:
Laurent, Robert, 1890-1970  Search this
Names:
Avery, Milton, 1885-1965  Search this
Barnes, Albert C. (Albert Coombs), 1872-1951  Search this
Bellows, George, 1882-1925  Search this
Berenson, Bernard, 1865-1959  Search this
Bluemner, Oscar, 1867-1938  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Careas, Jean  Search this
Courtois, Gustave, 1852-1923  Search this
Dasburg, Andrew, 1887-1979  Search this
Davies, Arthur B. (Arthur Bowen), 1862-1928  Search this
Field, Hamilton Easter  Search this
Fiene, Ernest, 1894-  Search this
Goodrich, Lloyd, 1897-1987  Search this
Gross, Chaim, 1904-1991  Search this
Halpert, Edith Gregor, 1900-1970  Search this
Hart, George Overbury, 1868-1933  Search this
Hassam, Childe, 1859-1935  Search this
Henri, Robert, 1865-1929  Search this
Hope, Henry R. (Henry Radford), 1905-  Search this
Kuhn, Walt, 1877-1949  Search this
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953  Search this
Lachaise, Gaston, 1882-1935  Search this
Laurent, John, 1921-  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques, 1891-1973  Search this
McBride, Henry, 1867-1962  Search this
McFee, William  Search this
Nadelman, Elie, 1882-1946  Search this
Pascin, Jules, 1885-1930  Search this
Prendergast, Maurice Brazil, 1858-1924  Search this
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Ryder, Albert Pinkham, 1847-1917  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Soyer, Raphael, 1899-1987  Search this
Speicher, Eugene Edward, 1883-1962  Search this
Stella, Joseph, 1877-1946  Search this
Sterne, Maurice, 1878-1957  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Strater, Henry, 1896-  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
3.7 Linear feet ((on 8 microfilmed reels + 1 photograph not microfilmed))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1869-1973
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence; manuscripts and writings; lists of works of art; photographs; biographical material; gallery and foundry files; notes and speeches; financial material; scrapbook; guest book; magazines; exhibition catalogs; clippings; and printed material.
REEL N68-2: Letters from George Bellows, Bernard Berenson, Elliott Daingerfield, Arthur B. Davies, Roger Fry, John Marin, Joseph Pennell, Man Ray, John Sloan, Max Weber, J. Alden Weir, and others. Two highly detailed letters from Maurice Sterne in 1913 describe that artist's life in Bali. Also included are signatures of American artists from a guest book, and a 1966 catalog of the Hamilton Easter Field Art Foundation Collection.
REEL N68-3 Letters from Childe Hassam, Walt Kuhn, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Gaston Lachaise, Elie Nadelman, David Smith, Alfred Stieglitz, William Zorach, Oscar Bluemner, Albert C. Barnes, Andrew Dasburg, Ernest Fiene, Pop Hart, Robert Henri, Joseph Stella, Maurice Sterne, and others. Also included are manuscripts, lists of works of art, and photographs of Laurent with Hamiltion Easter Field, Bernard Kariol and others.
REEL 2: Personal data sheet, exhibition catalogs and magazines containing articles by or about Laurent, ca. 1920-1965.
REEL 497: John Laurent's collection of 34 letters, 1902-1960, to Robert Laurent and Hamiltion Easter Field. The 6 letters to Field are from Bernhard Berenson, George Bellows, Maurice Prendergast, Pop Hart, Gustov Courtois, and John Carpenter. The 28 letters to Robert Laurent are from Albert P. Ryder, Gaston Lachaise, Raphael Soyer, Walt Kuhn, Robert Henri, Alfred Stieglitz, Arthur B. Davies, Milton Avery, Alexander Calder, Henry McBride, William McFee, Jules Pascin, Jean Careas, and two unidentified artists.
REEL 2063: Photographs, ca. 1930-1962, of Laurent, his studio, exhibitions, and works of art.
REELS 2065-2067: Biographical material; correspondence from Maurice Sterne, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Edith Halpert, Henry Hope, Henry Strater, Lloyd Goodrich, David Smith, Walt Kuhn, William Zorach, Ernest Fiene, and Samuel Wood Gaylor; gallery and foundry files; notes, writings, and speeches; financial material; lists of works of art; blueprints; exhibition and printed material, clippings, and a scrapbook; photos of source material and works of art owned by Laurent; and material concerning Hamilton Easter Field, Laurent's teacher and friend, including correspondence, guest book signatures, financial and legal papers and Field Foundation material.
REEL 2155: Photographs of Laurent's works of art with catalog sheets listing the title, date, medium, size, ownership, and exhibition information for each work, ca. 1920-1967. Also included are photographs of Laurent in his studio and with others, including Gaston Lachaise and David Smith; a photo of Chaim Gross; and photos of the Ogunquit Museum in Maine.
UNMICROFILMED: A black and white photograph of the Field Foundation Dinner Auction-Dinner-Dance, Ogunquit, Maine. Depicted are Lloyd Goodrich, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, William Zorach, Robert Laurent, Emil Ganso and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, sculptor, teacher, etcher, and writer; Brooklyn, New York & Ogunquit, Maine. Laurent studied under Hamilton Easter Field, and both were from Brooklyn, N.Y. and were involved in the summer art colony in Oguniquit, Maine.
Provenance:
Material on reels N68-2-N68-3 was lent for microfilming 1968 by Robert Laurent; he donated material on reel 2 1966; material on reel 497 was lent for microfilming 1973 by John Laurent, son of Robert Laurent; material on reels 2063, 2065-2067 was donated 1978 by John Laurent; He donated additional material on reel 2155 and not filmed with his brother Paul in 1981.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Etchers  Search this
Painters  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Topic:
Painting, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Etching, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.laurrobe
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw96ee96a38-5fa2-4e34-805b-8a013225135a
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-laurrobe

Oral history interview with George McNeil

Interviewee:
McNeil, George, 1908-1995  Search this
Interviewer:
Seckler, Dorothy Gees, 1910-1994  Search this
Names:
American Abstract Artists  Search this
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.) -- Students  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Pratt Institute. Art School -- Students  Search this
United States. Work Projects Administration  Search this
Cavallon, Giorgio, 1904-1989  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Dehner, Dorothy, 1901-1994  Search this
Diller, Burgoyne, 1906-1965  Search this
Dlugoszewski, Lucia, 1931-2000  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Hopper, Jo N. (Josephine Nivison), 1883-1968  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Levy, Edgar  Search this
Manso, Leo  Search this
Matulka, Jan, 1890-1972  Search this
Pereira, I. Rice (Irene Rice), 1902-1971  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Vytlacil, Vaclav, 1892-1984  Search this
Extent:
18 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1965 June 3
Scope and Contents:
An interview of George McNeil conducted by Dorothy Seckler for the Archives of American Art. McNeil speaks of his childhood and his family; becoming interested in art during high school; attending Pratt Institute, and not being satisfied there; deciding to drop out of Pratt after attending a lecture from Vaclav Vytlacil; going to the Metropolitan Museum every day drawing and analyzing paintings; meeting Arshile Gorky while at the Metropolitan Museum; attending the Art Students League; studying with Hans Hofmann; the start of the American Abstract Artists; his involvement in the WPA's mural project; attending Teachers College at Columbia before joining the Navy; re-entering the New York art scene during the forties and liking it very much; meeting and being influenced by Pollock; his views on the state of painting; how his work has evolved; the various stages in the way a painting developed for him; how The Club and the Eighth Street Club has influenced him; the ideas discussed at The Club, and how he feels surrealism was not a big influence on them; Jackson Pollock's influence on abstract expressionism; artists he admires or has admired; and his thoughts on the contemporary art scene. He recalls Vaclav Vytlacil, Arshile Gorky, Jan Matulka, David Smith, Dorothy Dehner, Edgar Levy, Leo Manso, Burgoyne Diller, Irene Rice Pereira, Hans Hofmann, Jo Hopper, Giorgio Cavallon, Linda Lindaberg (Cavallon), Mercedes Kahls, George Byron Brown, Albert Swinden, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollack, Franz Kline, Jack Tworkov, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, and many others.
Biographical / Historical:
George McNeil (1908-1995) was a painter and a printmaker in Brooklyn, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound tapes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 49 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives' 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.
Restrictions:
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Painting  Search this
Surrealism  Search this
Mural painting and decoration  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.mcneil65
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw94b6fc63b-c3c0-47b0-b1df-174fd019ac4e
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mcneil65
Online Media:

Photographs of artwork

Photographer:
Katz, Michael  Search this
Names:
Ault, Lee  Search this
Boltt, Robert  Search this
Lindeberg, Linda, 1915-1973  Search this
Marcus, Marcia, 1928-  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Extent:
400 Items (photographic negatives)
154 Items (photographic prints)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1960-1969
Scope and Contents:
Black and white photographs by Michael Katz of works by Linda Lindeberg, Marcia Marcus, David Smith, and others. Also works from the collections of Lee Ault, Robert Boltt, Tishman, and photography done for the Museum of Modern Art and several commercial galleries.
Biographical / Historical:
Michael Katz is a photographer from New York, N.Y. Specialized in art photography.
Provenance:
Donated 1995 by Michael Katz.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art, American -- Photographs  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.katzmich
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9cac3ae74-1233-43d3-9745-e97e641b3a55
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-katzmich

Oral history interview with Peter Agostini

Interviewee:
Agostini, Peter  Search this
Interviewer:
Roberts, Colette, 1910-  Search this
Names:
Columbia University -- Faculty  Search this
United States. Works Progress Administration  Search this
Bontecou, Lee, 1931-  Search this
Chamberlain, John, 1927-2011  Search this
Chryssa, 1933-2013  Search this
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Cézanne, Paul, 1839-1906  Search this
De Chirico, Giorgio, 1888-  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Demuth, Charles, 1883-1935  Search this
Di Suvero, Mark, 1933-  Search this
Dove, Arthur Garfield, 1880-1946  Search this
Dubuffet, Jean, 1901-1985  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Ferber, Herbert, 1906-1991  Search this
Flannagan, John Bernard, 1895?-1942  Search this
Giacometti, Alberto, 1901-1966  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Hague, Raoul, 1905-1993  Search this
Hare, David, 1917-1992  Search this
Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943  Search this
Hopper, Edward, 1882-1967  Search this
Judd, Donald, 1928-1994  Search this
Kaprow, Allan  Search this
Kienholz, Edward, 1927-  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Kohn, Gabriel, 1910-1975  Search this
Kolbe, Georg, 1877-1947  Search this
La Tour, Onya, 1896-1976  Search this
Lachaise, Gaston, 1882-1935  Search this
Lassaw, Ibram, 1913-2003  Search this
Lippold, Richard, 1915-2002  Search this
Lipton, Seymour, 1903-1986  Search this
Macdonald-Wright, Stanton, 1890-1973  Search this
Maillol, Aristide, 1861-1944  Search this
Manship, Paul, 1885-1966  Search this
Marca-Relli, Conrad, 1913-2000  Search this
Marin, John, 1870-1953  Search this
Marisol, 1930-2016  Search this
Matisse, Henri, 1869-1954  Search this
Melville, Herman, 1819-1891  Search this
Mondrian, Piet, 1872-1944  Search this
Morris, Robert, 1931-2018  Search this
Nakian, Reuben, 1897-1986  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia, 1887-1986  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Pompon, François, 1855-1933  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Roszak, Theodore, 1907-1981  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Samaras, Lucas, 1936-  Search this
Scarpitta, Salvatore, 1919-2007  Search this
Segal, George, 1924-2000  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Smith, Tony, 1912-1980  Search this
Spaventa, George, 1918-  Search this
Stankiewicz, Richard, 1922-1983  Search this
Sugarman, George, 1912-1999  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
99 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
1968
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Peter Agostini conducted in 1968, by Colette Roberts, for the Archives of American Art at 151 Avenue B, New York, New York.
Mr. Agostini speaks of his childhood spent living throughout the five boroughs of New York; his interactions with clients of his father's acting employment agency; his early education in Catholic school and the creative freedom allotted by the nuns; his first feelings of isolation as an artist at the age of seven; the development of a sense of communication as the result of the loss of his mother at the age of three and time spent at a school for orphans; his early realization and vision of artistic destiny; his religious interests which lead to mysticism in his earlier work; his time spent working freely in the DaVinci Studio with Spaventa; the discovery by Hess of his works in Gallerie Grimaud; his attainment of the Longview Grant; his working experience throughout the Depression as part of the WPA casting plaster mannequins while working indirectly with Pollack as well as Marca Relli; his subsequent move to designing department store windows (use of Mondrian-like forms and lines); his feelings of his position as an observer; the importance of communication through art (communication without words); his rejection of the Abstract Expressionist group and choice of independence; the influence of the sculpture of Kolbe and Bache in the thirties; Clement Greenberg's distaste for his work; his feelings about the relative failure to sell his work due its unusual edginess and mystery; his role in the introduction of the work of contemporary European artists (Chausserian, Gauthier, Modrian) to the American group; his description of his own work as "traditionless"; his feelings of self-importance as one of the most original sculptors in the art world; his influence on the younger generation, particularly Marisol; the enslavement to originality that the younger generation faces; his attitudes towards American Art forms and their lack of rebellious spirit; the virtues of the American writers, such as Poe, Whitman, and Melville as American "knapsack" writers; his personal technique which places an emphasis on the "skin" or volume of something; his attempt to create quiet art, or art that merely indicates features; his frustration with teaching and the problems of regurgitated knowledge; the role of Meyer Shapiro in his teaching career at Columbia; the formation of the Club and its similarity to the Cubist's café scene; his opinions on the relationship of sex and sensuality in American art; his personal struggles, including the loss of his second wife and two of his brothers, in addition to the estrangement of his only daughter by his first wife; his feelings on the role of psycho analysis and personal history in a work of art; his present works which feature the "swell." For the majority of the second half of the interview Ms. Roberts asks Mr. Agostini to express his opinions on the work of: Kline; DeKooning; Duchamp; Oldenburg; La Tour; DeChirico; Maillol; Pompon; Rothko; Chardin; Cezanne; Giacometti; Reinhardt; Chryssa; Tony Smith; Segal; Lachaise; Zorach; Manship; Flannagan; Kelly; Lassaw; David Smith; Hare; Lipton; Ferber; Lippold; Roszak; Nakian; Noguchi; Hague; Kohn; di Suvero; Chamberlain; Kaprow; Sugarman; Stankiewicz; Bontecou; Scarpitta; Cornell; Keinholz; Rivera; Judd; Robert Morris; O'Keeffe; Samaras; Mark Tobey; Marin; Pollock; Hartley; Dove; Macdonald-Wright; Demuth; Sheeler; Hopper; Mirot; Matisse; DuBuffet.
Biographical / Historical:
Peter Agostini (1913-1993) was a sculptor from New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 28 digital wav files. Duration is 10 hrs., 37 min.
Transferred from 4 3" reels.
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:
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.agosti68
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw94f33a1ab-e475-4a6f-8b0b-f9822b288239
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-agosti68
Online Media:

Thomas Hess papers

Creator:
Hess, Thomas B.  Search this
Names:
Mark Rothko Foundation  Search this
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Campbell, Lawrence  Search this
De Kooning, Elaine  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Milles, Carl, 1875-1955  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Rivers, Larry, 1925-2002  Search this
Rosenberg, Harold, 1906-1978  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Schapiro, Meyer, 1904-  Search this
Schuyler, James  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Extent:
10.01 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Drawings
Greeting cards
Illustrated letters
Paintings
Cartoons (humorous images)
Photographs
Collages
Date:
1939-1978
Summary:
The papers of New York editor and art critic Thomas Hess measure 10.01 linear feet and date from 1939 to 1978. The collection includes biographical materials, correspondence, extensive writings and notes, artists and subject files that also include recorded conversations with artists and others, printed materials, photographic materials, and artwork.

There is a .01 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated in 2022 that includes a six page typed manuscript, "Think, American Painting," undated, by Thomas Hess and the book American Realists and Magic Realists, The Museum of Modern Art, 1943, signed by Hess.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York editor and art critic Thomas Hess measure 10.01 linear feet and date from 1939 to 1978. The collection includes biographical materials, correspondence, extensive writings and notes, artists and subject files that also include recorded conversations with artists and others, printed materials, photographic materials, and artwork.

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

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

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

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

There is a .01 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated in 2022 that includes a six page typed manuscript, "Think, American Painting," undated, by Thomas Hess and the book American Realists and Magic Realists, The Museum of Modern Art, 1943, signed by Hess.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 8 series.

Missing Title

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

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

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

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

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

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

Series 7: Artwork, 1939-1978 (0.4 linear feet; Box 10, OV 11)

Series 8: Unprocessed Addition, 1943 and undated (0.01 linear feet; Folder 17)
Biographical / Historical:
Thomas B. Hess (1920-1978) was an editor, art critic, and curator who worked in New York City. He was on the staff at Art News for 26 years (1946-72). Starting as an editorial associate, he was named managing editor in 1948, then executive editor in 1954; he assumed the top editorial post in 1965 upon the death of long-time editor Alfred Frankfurter. In his critical writing from the late 1940s on, he was an influential supporter of the Abstract Expressionists. He wrote widely on other topics as well. In 1972 he left Art News after an ownership change. He then became the art critic for New York magazine (1972-78), a large-circulation weekly reaching a much larger public. (He was also, in the late '60s, a correspondent for the French daily newspaper Le Monde.)

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

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

Thomas Hess was born in Rye, New York, to Gabriel Lorie Hess, a lawyer, and Helen Baer. He attended school in the United States and Switzerland. He continued his education at Yale University majoring in French 17th-century art history and literature. After graduating in 1942, Hess worked for a short period at the Museum of Modern Art under Alfred H. Barr and Dorothy Miller, before entering World War II as a pilot. In 1944 he married Audrey Stern with whom he had three children, William, Philip, and Anne Helen.
Separated Materials:
Materials on legacy microfilm reel 5028 related to Barnett Newman are photocopies. The originals are located at the Barnett New Foundation in New York City.
Provenance:
The Thomas Hess papers were donated in multiple increments from 1985 to 1987 by Hess' children, Anne Helen, William, and Philip Hess, except for a file on Barnett Newman donated by Newman's widow, who presumably had borrowed it from Hess. In 2014, additional correspondence, writings, photographs, printed material, and cartoons, including some by Ad Reinhardt, were donated by Elizabeth Wolff, Hess' sister. A small addition was donated in 2022 by Anne Hess, Thomas Hess' daughter.
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.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists -- Italy  Search this
Editors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Drawings
Greeting cards
Illustrated letters
Paintings
Cartoons (humorous images)
Photographs
Collages
Citation:
Thomas Hess papers, 1939-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.hessthom
See more items in:
Thomas Hess papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9cfd2536a-b35e-4030-9768-bfa094d6db9e
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-hessthom
Online Media:

Nathan Halper business records

Creator:
Halper, Nathan  Search this
Names:
H.C. Gallery (Provincetown, Mass.)  Search this
H.C.E. Gallery (Provincetown, Mass.)  Search this
Kootz Gallery (N.Y.)  Search this
National Association of Women Artists (U.S.)  Search this
Sun Gallery (Provincetown, Mass.)  Search this
Avery, Milton, 1885-1965  Search this
Botkin, Henry, 1896-1983  Search this
Brodie, Gandy, 1925-1975  Search this
Caro, Anthony, 1924-  Search this
Cuddihy, John Murray  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Kootz, Samuel Melvin, 1898-1982  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Stankiewicz, Richard, 1922-1983  Search this
Extent:
4.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Gallery records
Visitors' books
Date:
1952-1979
Summary:
Records of four of Nathan Halper's Provincetown galleries measure 4.2 linear feet and date from 1952-1979. The records relate to Kootz Gallery, H-C Gallery, HCE Gallery, and Sun Gallery - all based in Provincetown. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence with artists, estate executors, collectors, galleries, and museums. There are also scattered business and financial records documenting operations and sales, photographs and slides, printed materials, and one poem. Correspondents include Milton Avery, Anthony Caro, John Murray Cuddihy, Marsden Hartley, Hans Hoffman, Samuel Kootz, Robert Motherwell, David Smith, Richard Stankeiwicz, and many others.
Scope and Contents note:
Records of four of Nathan Halper's Provincetown galleries measure 4.2 linear feet and date from 1952-1979. The records relate to Kootz Gallery, H-C Gallery, HCE Gallery, and Sun Gallery - all based in Provincetown. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence with artists, estate executors, collectors, galleries, and museums. There are also scattered business and financial records documenting operations and sales, photographs and slides, printed materials, and one poem. Correspondents include Milton Avery, Anthony Caro, John Murray Cuddihy, Marsden Hartley, Hans Hoffman, Samuel Kootz, Robert Motherwell, David Smith, Richard Stankeiwicz, and many others.

Biographical material consists of one literary poem.

The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence with many artists, estate executors, gallery partners, collectors, galleries, and museums regarding works of art, sales, account balances, requests for information, and general updates.

Scattered business records are found for all four galleries and include a Kootz Gallery guest register, address books, corporation and partnership agreements for the Kootz, H-C, HCE, and Sun galleries, insurance policies, and a Kootz Gallery employee file. Both the guest register and address books were also used as general business related notebooks.

Financial material consists of inventory stock books, price lists and sales, checkbook registers, and general expense invoices/receipts for the four galleries. The undated stock books list artists' names, general artwork identification information, and prices. Additional sales information is found in price lists, correspondence, sales notebooks, and checkbook registers. Invoices and receipts also document general operating expenses.

Printed material includes newspaper clippings on the Provincetown art scene and major artists represented by Halper, three exhibition catalogs, and an event calendar from the National Association of Women Artists.

Photographic material consists of prints and slides of the Kootz, H-C, and HCE galleries; black and white and color prints of exhibitions by Harry Botkin, Adolph Gottlieb, Robert Motherwell, and Hans Hofmann; and black and white prints, color slides, and transparencies of select works of art shown at the galleries.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged as 6 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1953-1970 (Box 1; 1 folder)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1952-1979 (Boxes 1-2; 1.3 linear feet)

Series 3: Business Records, 1953-1970 (Box 2; .7 linear feet)

Series 4: Financial Material, 1953-1970 (Boxes 3-4; 2 linear feet)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1952-1976 (Box 5; 3 folders)

Series 6: Photographic Material, 1953-1969 (Box 5; 11 folders)
Biographical/Historical note:
Nathan Halper (1907-1983) worked in Provincetown, Massachusetts as a contemporary American art dealer, writer, and James Joyce scholar.

Nathan Halper first moved to Provincetown, Massachusetts in 1936 where he met and eventually married his wife, Helen Marjorie Windust Halper. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, their circle of friends included artists, writers, and academics drawn to the Provincetown art colony. Through friendships with Adolph Gottlieb and Fritz Bultman, Halper was introduced to Hans Hofmann, his students, and other abstract expressionist artists.

In 1949, Halper was invited to give a talk on James Joyce at Forum 49, a Provincetown summer lecture series on the future of art organized by Weldon Kees and held in a gallery at 200 Commercial Street. Speakers ranged from Jackson Pollock to poet laureate Howard Nemerov, and the series also presented one of the first major exhibitions of abstract expressionism in America. In 1952, Halper became the treasurer of the Provincetown Art Association (est. 1914), an influential social nexus that connected artists, galleries, patrons, and the public through memberships and annual events.

In 1953, he entered into a partnership with New York art dealer Sam Kootz and helped establish the Kootz Gallery in Provincetown. Their stable initially consisted of abstract expressionists Kootz represented in New York: Robert Motherwell, Hans Hofmann, Adolph Gottlieb, Fritz Bultman, and William Baziotes. Halper and Kootz mutually agreed to dissolve their partnership in 1954 and Halper opened the H-C Gallery with John Murray Cuddihy in 1955. After Cuddihy's departure at the end of the 1956 season, Halper opened the HCE Gallery (1957-1967), a name inspired by Joyce's Finnegan's Wake. In 1962, Halper entered into a one year partnership with Noah Goldowsky to help finance and run the Sun Gallery.

After the dissolution of the Kootz Gallery, Halper continued to represent Motherwell and, for a short time, Gottlieb in the Provincetown area, but quickly added other artists to the HCE stable. Through its relationship with New York dealers, such as Martha Jackson Gallery, Andre Emmerich Gallery, and Waddington Galleries, HCE was able to exhibit and sell works by Milton Avery, Gandy Brodie, Anthony Caro, Edwin Dickinson, Marsden Hartley, Hans Hoffman, Wolf Kahn, William King, Jan Muller, Elie Nadelman, David Smith, Richard Stankiewicz, Tal Streeter, and Anthony Vevers, among others.
Related Archival Materials note:
Also found in the Archives of American Art are the Kootz Gallery records and oral history interviews with Nathan Halper conducted by Dorothy Seckler, July 17, 1963 and by Robert Brown, July 8-August 14, 1980. Columbia University also holds Nathan Halper's papers concerning his literary scholarly work.
Provenance:
The Nathan Halper business records were donated by Nathan Halper in 1979. Additional materials were donated in 1983 and 1984 by his wife Helen Marjorie Windust Halper.
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 dealers  Search this
Gallery directors -- Massachusetts -- Provincetown  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Massachusetts -- Provincetown  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- Massachusetts
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Gallery records
Visitors' books
Citation:
Nathan Halper business records, 1952-1979. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.halpnath
See more items in:
Nathan Halper business records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw95a6a9a4b-cbbf-47a1-9f4e-54b3415e3840
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-halpnath
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Harold Rosenberg

Interviewee:
Rosenberg, Harold, 1906-1978  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Names:
Club (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Office of War Information. Washington, D.C.  Search this
United States. Work Projects Administration  Search this
Baumbach, Harold, 1903-  Search this
Blume, Peter, 1906-1992  Search this
Breton, André, 1896-1966  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Inverarity, Robert Bruce, 1909-1999  Search this
Krasner, Lee, 1908-1984  Search this
Lundeberg, Helen, 1908-1999  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Matta, 1912-2002  Search this
Miró, Joan, 1893-  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Prestopino, Gregorio  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Extent:
244 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1970 December 17-1973 January 28
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Harold Rosenberg conducted 1970 December 17-1973 January 28, by Paul Cummings for the Archives of American Art over nine sessions.
Rosenberg speaks on a wide variety of topics including Marxism and Communism; art criticism; teaching and the philosopy of art; how his interest in art developed over the years; getting his writings published and starting a magazine; what intrigues him about the avant-garde; when and why he started painting; action painting; the inaccuracies in art history about Avant-gardism and Surrealism; working as a mural painter for the College Art Association; moving from the WPA's art project to the writer's project, and becoming an art editor; what happened to the works of art done under the WPA after it ended; and moving to the Hamptons.
He speaks in detail on the New York art scene during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s; The Club; writing about art; politics and art; Shakespeare and literature's influence on art and vice versa; the various economic aspects of art; how the Depression affected him and the people he knew; the projects he worked on in the WPA; and working for the OWI after the WPA disbanded.
He recalls Mark Rothko, Harold Baumbach, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Peter Blume, Helen Lundberg, André Breton, Arshile Gorky, Roberto Matta, Jackson Pollock, David Smith, Lee Krasner, Fernand Léger, Joan Miró, Jim Leshay, Stuart Davis, Bruce Inverarity, Barney Newman, Mark Tobey, Gregorio Prestopino, and many others.
Biographical / Historical:
Harold Rosenberg (1906-1978) was a writer and educator from New York, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 5 sound tapes. Reformatted in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 10 hr., 4 min.
Interview transcript is not in chronological order; arrangement designated by the interviewer Paul Cummings.
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.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Art -- Political aspects  Search this
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Avant-garde (Aesthetics) -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.rosenb70
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw973c587b6-e4b1-453e-9790-0420db435320
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-rosenb70
Online Media:

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