The papers of painter, political activist, and educator Leon Golub are dated 1930s-2009 and measure 16.5 linear feet and 4.13 GB. His career as a painter and educator – and, to a far lesser extent, his personal interests and activities – are documented by correspondence, interviews, writings by Golub and other authors, subject files, printed and digital material, and audiovisual recordings. Also included are biographical materials, personal business records, and photographs of Leon Golub and wife Nancy Spero. Posthumously dated items are mostly condolence letters, obituaries, printed material, and inventories of his work.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter, political activist, and educator Leon Golub are dated 1930s-2009 and measure 16.5 linear feet and 4.13 GB. His career as a painter and educator – and, to a far lesser extent, his personal interests and activities – are documented by correspondence, interviews, writings, subject files, printed and digital material, and audiovisual recordings. Also included are biographical materials, personal business records, and photographs of Leon Golub and his art work. Posthumously dated items are mostly condolence letters, obituaries, printed material, and inventories of his work.
Biographical materials consist largely of video documentaries about Leon Golub and his work, obituaries, and information about his 2004 memorial service and a larger memorial tribute held later. Also found are educational records, passports, curricula vitae.
Correspondence is mostly of a professional nature, focusing on exhibitions, projects, collectors, articles submitted for publication, Golub's work, speaking engagements, awards, gifts of artwork, studio visits, and travel arrangements. Correspondents include dealers, curators, art historians, critics, collectors, writers, and editors. Scattered throughout are a small number of letters concerning personal business and politics.
Interviews with Leon Golub and joint interviews with Leon Golub and Nancy Spero were conducted for a variety of purposes. They are preserved as transcripts, video, and sound recordings. Writings by Golub include manuscripts and notes for articles, catalog essays, and miscellaneous writings. Notes and texts for talks, lectures, and panel discussions, include some transcripts and recordings. Among the writings by other authors are a dissertation, a thesis, academic papers, notes, texts of speeches, and a recording of a lecture by an unidentified speaker.
Subject files reflect Golub's professional and personal activities, interests and relationships. Of note are many files of "Images (source material)" used for a variety of artwork and projects. Personal business records documenting Golub's artistic output include many inventories and lists, and a comprehensive register of work, information about consignments, loans, photo permissions, and gifts or donations. Also found are extensive mailing lists.
Printed material includes clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, and a variety of miscellaneous printed items. Most material is about/mentions Golub, and/or includes reproductions of his work. Scattered throughout are items concerning topics of interest to Golub, and articles written by him.
The majority of the photographic materials are color digital prints of Golub's artwork. There are photographs of Leon Golub and Nancy Spero, family members, and friends and colleagues at exhibition events. Also found are a few photographs of Golub's plexibox sculptures.
The collection is arranged in 8 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1930s-2006 (Boxes 1-2; 1.4 linear feet, ER01-ER02; 3.82 GB)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1955-2004 (Boxes 2-3; 0.9 linear foot)
Series 3: Interviews, 1967-2004 (Boxes 3-4; 0.8 linear foot)
Series 4: Writings, 1948-2003 (Boxes 4-5, 21; 1.1 linear foot, ER03; 0.098 GB)
Series 5: Subject Files, 1959-2005 (Boxes 5-11, OV 18; 6.2 linear feet, ER04-ER06, 0.213 GB)
Series 6: Personal Business Records, 1965-2009 (Boxes 11-12; 1.4 linear feet)
Series 7: Printed Material, circa 1950s-2009 (Boxes 12-16, 21, OV 19; 3.9 linear feet)
Series 8: Photographs, 1940s-2004 (Boxes 16-17, OV 20; 0.6 linear foot)
Biographical / Historical:
Leon Golub (1922-2004) was a painter in New York City known for figurative work with political content, an anti-war activist, and professor of art at Rutgers University.
Chicago native Leon Golub studied art history at the University of Chicago (BA 1942) before serving as a cartographer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Europe during World War II. Upon returning home, Golub became identified with Monster Roster, a group of Chicago artists who believed art must be grounded in real events in order to be relevant to the viewer and society, an idea he held throughout his life. At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Golub pursued his interest in painting (BFA 1949, MFA 1950) and met fellow student Nancy Spero whom he married in 1951. After graduation he began teaching at local colleges, exhibited in Chicago and New York, and served as chair of "Exhibition Momentum" (1950). The couple and their two sons lived in Italy from 1956-1957. In 1959 they moved to Paris and, while there, a third son was born. Upon returning to New York City in 1964, Golub became actively involved with the Artists and Writers Protest Against the War in Vietnam, other anti-war groups, and civil liberties organizations. While his painting style changed with time, Golub continued to explore power, violence and conflict, often working in series with titles such as Combats, Napalm, Mercenaries, Interrogation, and Riot.
He first participated in a group show with other veterans at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1947, and soon was included in group and solo exhibitions throughout the United States and in Europe, including the Guggenheim Museum's influential national traveling exhibition "Younger American Painters" (1954-1956). Golub and Spero exhibited their work in tandem and collaborated on installations. He continued to participate in group shows including "Documenta IX" (2002). Golub's work is included in the permanent collections of museums throughout the world.
Golub began his teaching career soon after graduation, first at a junior college in Chicago. In the later 1950s he served briefly on the faculties of Illinois Institute of Technology School of Design and Indiana University; in the 1960s at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, and Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. He began a long tenure at Rutgers University, School of Visual Arts in 1970 and retired in 1991. In the early 1990s, both Golub and Spero were affiliated with Sommerakademie in Salzburg. Golub wrote and spoke on art, politics, and social issues; he also published many articles, statements, and book reviews, as well as contributing introductions and essays for exhibition catalogs.
Awards and honors included the Skowhegan Medal for Painting (1988), Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights Award (1989), Dickinson College Arts Award (1992), National Foundation of Jewish Culture Visual Arts Award (1995), and Hiroshima Art Prize shared with Nancy Spero (1996). Golub was awarded honorary doctorates of Fine Arts by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1982), Swarthmore College (1985), College of St. Rose (1995), Trinity College (1999), and Pratt Institute (2000). He was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2002).
Leon Golub died in New York City August 8, 2004 from complications following surgery.
Also among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are oral history interviews with Leon Golub conducted for the Archives of American Art by Bruce Hooten 1965 and Irving Sandler 1968 October 28-November 18. The Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009, bulk 1970-2009, include documentation of many of the couple's collaborative projects, joint exhibitions, their family, and shared interests.
The Leon Golub papers were donated by Leon Golub in 1978; the majority of the papers were given in 2013 by The Nancy Spero and Leon Golub Foundation for the Arts via their sons Stephen, Philip and Paul Golub. Material loaned for microfilming in 1969 is included with the 2013 donation.
Use of original materials requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
The Leon Golub papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
This microfilm collection of the papers of African American painter and educator Paul F. Keene consists of correspondence regarding Keene's application for the Whitney Fellowship, Mr. Whitney's purchase of a painting, and a letter from Humbert Howard regarding an award and exhibition of Keene's painting at the Pyramid Club; diplomas; and painting inventories. Also included is a scrapbook containing portraits of Keene as a student, his time in Paris, and of his exhibitions, as well as a letter from the Whitney regarding an exhibition. Photographs and printed material are also included in the collection. Photographs depict Keene's paintings; family; students at Tyler; Keene and fellow artists in front of Galerie Huit in Paris; Keene's apartment; friends in Paris and Haiti; and Keene teaching at Philadelphia College of Art.
Biographical / Historical:
Paul F. Keene, Jr. (1902-2009) was an African American painter and educator in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A Tuskegee Airman in WWII, Keene used his G.I. Bill to study at Academie Julian in Paris. While in Paris, he was a founding member of Galerie Huit, a collective gallery for American artists. Keene received a John J. Whitney fellowhip and studied and taught in Haiti from 1952-1954. He also exhibited his work while there. Upon his return to the United States, Keene taught at the Philadelphia College of Art, the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, and at Bucks County Community College.
Microfilmed in 1988 as part of AAA's Philadelphia Arts Documentation Project.
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
The papers of painter, photographer and sculptor Lowell Nesbitt measure 50.2 linear feet and 0.001 GB and date from circa 1903-1993 (bulk 1950-1993). The collection documents Nesbitt's career through biographical material, correspondence, subject files, business and financial records, source material, artwork, photographs and audiovisual records, printed material and scrapbooks.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of painter, photographer and sculptor Lowell Nesbitt measure 50.2 linear feet and 0.001 GB and date from circa 1903-1993 (bulk 1950-1993). The collection documents Nesbitt's career through biographical material, correspondence, subject files, business and financial records, source material, artwork, printed and digital matter, photographs and audiovisual records and scrapbooks.
Biographical Material includes documentation of Nesbitt's education and other personal documents. Plans and designs for Nesbitt's properties on West Twelfth Street, New York City and Kent, New York are arranged in the series for architectural records for homes and studios
Correspondence and Subject Files are voluminous and record Nesbitt's interaction with individuals, businesses and organizations and includes personal and family correspondence in addition to correspondence relating to galleries, exhibitions, commissions he undertook and committees on which he served.
Artwork by Nesbitt includes a small collection of collages, drawings, paintings, prints and sketchbooks. Source material comprises approximately 11 linear feet of material, primarily newspaper and magazine clippings and photographs, relating to a large variety of subjects that inspired Nesbitt, such as flowers, fruits and vegetables, dogs and other animals and the studios of other artists including Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol.
Photographs are of Nesbitt, his friends, family, colleagues and his pets, as well as subjects of interest to him in his work. Also of note are twenty-seven folders of photographs taken by photographer Jack Mitchell of Nesbitt and others.
Printed Material contains publicity material and documents exhibitions of Nesbitt's work. Additional photographs and printed material are found in the Scrapbooks.
The collection is arranged as 11 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1932-1988 (Boxes 1, 40, OV 58; 1.0 linear ft.)
Series 2: Architectural Records for Homes and Studios, 1977-1992 (Boxes 1-2, 40; 1.0 linear ft.)
Series 3: Notes and Writings, 1981-1990 (Boxes 2-3; 1.0 linear ft.)
Series 4: Calendars and Addressess, 1973-1993 (Boxes 3-5; 1.25 linear ft.)
Series 5: Correspondence and Subject Files, 1940-circa 1990s (Boxes 5-12, 40, OV 51; 8.0 linear feet, ER01; 0.001 GB)
Series 6: Business and Financial Records, circa 1910-1993 (Boxes 12-14; 2.0 linear ft.)
Series 7: Artwork, circa 1948-1989 (Boxes 15-16, 41-42, OVs 52, 55; 2.0 linear ft.)
Series 8: Source Material, 1965-circa 1990s (Boxes 16-26, 43-45, OV 53; 12.0 linear ft.)
Series 9: Photographs and Audiovisual Records, 1965-circa 1990s (Boxes 16-26, 43-46, OV 53, FC 76-78; 12.3 linear ft.)
Series 10: Printed Material, circa 1960s-circa 1990s (Boxes 37-39, 45, OVs 48-50, 54, 56, 60; 3.05 linear feet
Series 11: Scrapbooks, 1964-1992 (Boxes 61-75; 6.6 linear feet)
Painter, photographer, and sculptor Lowell Nesbitt worked primarily in New York City.
Lowell Nesbitt was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1933. In college he studied stained glass and printmaking, graduating from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia in 1955 and attending the Royal College of Art in London from 1955 to 1956.
After serving for several years in the United States Army in the mid 1950s, Nesbitt received his first exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1958. By 1963 he had moved to New York City and by the 1970s had emerged as one of the most well known artists in the United States. Nesbitt was frequently grouped with the photo realists and was best known for more than four hundred works he created with the flower as his central theme. In addition to flowers, Nesbitt's subjects included studio interiors, dogs, fruits and vegetables, bridges and buildings in New York, and male nudes. He began experimenting with printmaking in the 1960s and produced more than a hundred original prints in the course of his lifetime, primarily in the medium of dry point engraving. In 1963 he began a series of x-ray inspired paintings and was credited with being the first artist to produce a body of work of this kind. During the same period he began a long-standing relationship with the Howard Wise Gallery in New York, a space known for it's devotion to art and new technology.
In 1969 and 1970 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration named Nesbitt the official artist of the Apollo 9 and Apollo 13 missions. In 1980 the United States Postal Service released a series of four postage stamps based on his floral paintings.
Following a major one-man show at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC in 1964, Nesbitt's work was exhibitied widely in Europe and the United States. In New York City he was represented by the Stable Gallery, the Robert Stefanotti Gallery and the Andrew Crispo Gallery. In the late 1960s and early 1970s Nesbitt taught at Towson State and Morgan State Colleges in Maryland, and the School of Visual Arts in New York.
Nesbitt was active in the National Multiple Sclerosis Society from the early 1980s until his death, serving as co-chairman on the Society's annual juried Project Rembrandt exhibition for artists with multiple sclerosis. He was also actively involved in fundraising for artists with HIV/AIDS.
Nesbitt's work is represented in many major museum collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, Baltimore Museum of Art, Bibliotheque Nationale (Paris), Corcoran Gallery, Detroit Institute of Art, Hirshhorn Museum, Museum of Modern Art, and the National Gallery.
Lowell Nesbitt died in 1993 at the age of 59.
A portion of the papers were donated by Lowell Nesbitt in 1984 and the bulk of the papers were a bequest from Nesbitt's estate in 1994.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
The Lowell Nesbitt papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Search this
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
An interview of Robert Winokur conducted 2011 July 23 and 24, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Winokur's home and studio, in Horsham, Pennsylvania.
Robert speaks of his mother earning an award for her artwork; his father and other family members being Communists and having to distance himself in being identified with them; his mother making ceramic jewelry while his father was working as a welder at Cramps Shipyard in Philadelphia during World War II; feeling like he had an attention deficit disorder of some kind, which prevented him from doing well in school, so he took ceramics classes in high school to bring his grades up; starting in painting at the Tyler School of Art, finishing in sculpture, clay, and ceramics; appreciating the Abstract Expressionist work of Franz Kline; of the opinion that one learns art by doing and that the teachers are there to direct you only; feeling that he did not have the freedom to experiment with clay as he wished at Alfred University, School of Art and Design for fear of being compared to Peter Voulkos; his first job teaching at North Texas State University in Denton, Texas; teaching in Peoria, Illinois for a year; beginning Cape Street Pottery in Ashfield, Massachusetts; when he began salt firing and working more in sculptural forms; his work influenced by Abstract Expressionism, Paul Klee, Willem de Kooning, Ignazio Giacometti, Zen master calligraphers, Peter Voulkos, and others; feeling that the computer cannot, as of yet, produce the quality of art that humans can through repetition; that the process of creating is more important than the subject; starting his 30-year teaching career at Tyler School of Art in 1966; that students today are approaching ceramics conceptually and academically rather than through a relationship with the material; the beginning of NCECA [National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts]; and how he enjoys making what he wants to, now that he is retired. Robert also recalls Rudolf Staffel, John Wood, Ted Randall, Daniel Rhodes, Shoji Hamada, Marguerite Wildenhain, Ken Ferguson, Norm Schulman, Victor Babu, Myrna Minter, Don Reitz, Helen Drutt English, Richard Notkin, Dick Hay, Marge Levy, and Ken Vavrek.
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Winokur (1933- ) is a ceramist in Horsham, Pennsylvania. Mija Riedel (1958- ) is an independent scholar in San Francisco, California.
Originally recorded as 7 sound files. Duration is 5 hr., 35 min.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.