Letters, scrapbooks, and printed material documenting the development of the Shapiro's art collection. Correspondence, primarily from dealers, museums, art organizations and artists, includes letters from Enrico Baj, Aaron Bohrod (recommending Ben Shahn as a muralist), George Buehr, Jose Luis Cuevas, Leon Golub, Margo Hoff, Miyoko Ito, Sidney Janis, Ellen Lanyon, Pierre Matisse, Ida Meyer-Chagall (discussing her father's work), Abbott Pattison, Irving Petlin, Abraham Rattner, and Kay Sage Tanguy (discussing her husband's work). Printed material consists of 11 exhibition announcements and catalogs (1952-1984), and clippings (1965-1985).
Four scrapbooks (1943-1955) contain clippings, some dealing with the "Art to Live With" program, exhibition catalogs, a letter from Richard Daley (1958), a 3-page typescript "Surrealism Then and Now" by Doris Lane Butler (1958), press releases (1959), and a letter from R. J. Nedved of the Illinois Society of Architects (1967).
Biographical / Historical:
Born 1904. Died 1996. Joseph Shapiro began collecting in 1942 and was drawn to works in the Surrealist tradition. While establishing one of the most important art collections in Chicago, Shapiro and his wife Jory enjoyed personal friendships with artists and used their collection to educate and increase public appreciation of modern art in Chicago. Shapiro was a founder of the Museum of Contemporary Art and served on its board as President from 1967 until 1974.
Material on reel 3759 (fr. 1-320) donated 1986; and material on fr. 323-569 lent for microfilming 1986 all by Joseph R. Shapiro.
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.
Interview of Karl Schrag conducted 1970 October 14-20, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art. Schrag speaks of his childhood in Germany; how his parents were nervous about him becoming an artist; going to various art schools; studying with Bissiere; his first exhibition in Brussels; moving to America because of the political situation in Europe; enrolling in the Art Students League; getting involved with Atelier 17; how the mid-1940s were crucial in his development; American artists he found interesting; his thoughts on the Abstract Expressionists; how he started teaching; joining Tamarind workshop; his first retrospective, the Ford Foundation-A.F.A Show; being on the Fulbright jury; how his pictures relate to each other; his technique; and becoming the Director of Atelier 17. He recalls Andre L'Hote, Roger Bissiere, Harry Sternberg, Anton Refregier, William Kienbusch, Fred Farr, Carroll Cloar, John Sloan, Maurice Becker, Stanley William Hayter, Yves Tanguy, Bohuslav Horak, Robert Broner, Margaret Lowenbraun, and many others.
Biographical / Historical:
Karl Schrag (1912-1995) was a painter and printmaker from New York, N.Y.
Tape 2 is mostly blank.
Originally recorded on 3 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 8 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 25 min.
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.
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.