Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Search Results

Collections Search Center
1,384 documents - page 1 of 70

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
Vietnamese Conflict, 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:

Northrop N-1M

Manufacturer:
Northrop Aircraft Inc.  Search this
Materials:
Overall: Plywood
Dimensions:
Wingspan: 11.6 m (38 ft)
Length: 5.2 m (17 ft)
Height: 1.5 m (5 ft)
Weight, gross: 1,814 kg (4,000 lb)
Top speed: 322 km/h (200 mph)
Engine: 2 Franklin 6AC264F2, 120 hp
Overall: 72in. (182.9cm)
Other: 72 x 204 x 456in. (182.9 x 518.2 x 1158.2cm)
Type:
CRAFT-Aircraft
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Date:
1940
Credit Line:
Transferred from the US Air Force
Inventory Number:
A19600302000
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Location:
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA
Exhibit Station:
World War II Aviation (UHC)
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/nv9a72ed9da-eb30-48b4-bcbd-2814512de232
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19600302000
Online Media:

Robert Richenburg papers

Creator:
Richenburg, Robert  Search this
Names:
Club (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Ozenfant School of Fine Arts -- Students  Search this
Pratt Institute  Search this
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum  Search this
Tibor de Nagy Gallery  Search this
United States. Veterans Administration  Search this
Amgott, Madeline  Search this
Ashton, Dore  Search this
Cavallon, Giorgio, 1904-1989  Search this
Cherry, Herman  Search this
Geist, Sidney  Search this
Grad, Bonnie Lee, 1949-  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Lassaw, Ernestine  Search this
Lassaw, Ibram, 1913-2003  Search this
Matter, Mercedes  Search this
Moulton, Lynne  Search this
Ortiz, Rafael Montanez  Search this
Pavia, Philip, 1915-2005  Search this
Rebay, Hilla, 1890-1967  Search this
Slivka, David, 1913-  Search this
Extent:
5.3 Linear feet
4.32 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Illustrated letters
Sound recordings
Greeting cards
Video recordings
Photographs
Interviews
Date:
circa 1910s-2008
Summary:
The Robert Richenburg papers, circa 1910s-2008, measure 5.3 linear feet and 4.32 GB. Biographical material, correspondence, subject files, writings, sound and video recordings, printed material, and photographs document the professional career and personal life of the educator and New York School painter and sculptor best known for his Abstract Expressionist paintings.
Scope and Content Note:
The Robert Richenburg papers, circa 1910s-2008, measure 5.3 linear feet and 4.32 GB. Biographical material, correspondence, subject files, writings, audio/visual recordings, printed material, and photographs document the professional career and personal life of the educator and New York School painter and sculptor best known for his Abstract Expressionist paintings.

Biographical material includes educational records from high school through his studies at the Ozenfant School of Fine Arts using G.I. benefits. Birth, marriage,and death certificates are also found, along with Richenburg family memorabilia. There is a digital video recording of Robert Richenburg's memorial service.

Correspondence consists mostly of family letters, including some illustrated letters and many handmade cards featuring original artwork. Condolence letters addressed to Marggy Kerr are from friends, relatives, colleagues, neighbors, and acquaintances.

Subject files contain various combinations of correspondence, printed material, photographs, writings and notes relating to Richenburg's professional career and personal life. They document exhibitions, gallery representation, gifts of art work to museums and individuals, memberships, teaching activities, former students, friendships, and other aspects of his life. Files of significant interest are: The Club, Tina Dicky and Madeline Amgott, Former Students (particularly Raphael Montanez Ortiz), Bonnie L. Grad and Lynne Moulton, Hans Hofmann, Ibram Lassaw, Philip Pavia, Pratt Institute, Hilla Rebay and the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, Tibor De Nagy Gallery, and Veterans Administration.

Writings by Richenburg consist of notes, reviews, artist's statements, and the text of a speech. Also included are quotations compiled over the years by Marggy Kerr of Richenburg's comments on art and life. Among the writings by others are student papers, reviews, and poems.

Sound and visual recordings include interviews with Robert Richenburg, often conducted as research for exhibitions. Videocassettes document events such as panel discussions, and artist gatherings; a few were produced in conjunction with museum exhibitions. Also found are videotapes by video artist Raphael Montanez Ortiz, Richenburg's friend and former student.

Printed material includes items that are specifically about Robert Richenburg as well as items that incidentally mention him. The majority consist of exhibition catalogs and announcements.

Photographs show art work by Richenburg, exhibition openings and other events, and a variety of people and places. Among the events recorded is the "Artists Roundtable on Art of the '50s." Moderated by Dore Ashton, the panel included Herman Cherry, Sidney Geist, Ibram Lassaw, Mercedes Matter, and David Slivka. There are photographs of Richenburg's boyhood home in Roslindale, MA, and his house in Ithaca, NY. He is pictured with others including family members, dealers, and curators. Of particular interest are photographs of Richenburg in Provincetown, MA, 1952-1953, with friends, including: Giorgio Cavallon, Franz Kline, Ibram and Ernestine Lassaw, and Philip and Marcia Pavia. World War II photographs consist of images of art work (not by Richenburg), Richenburg and other individuals taken in France and England; a number include views of Shrivenham American University.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 7 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1910s-2006 (Box 1; 0.1 linear ft., ER01; 1.66 GB)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1940-2007 (Box 1; 0.4 linear ft.)

Series 3: Subject Files, 1942-2008 (Boxes 1-3, OV 7; 2.25 linear ft.)

Series 4: Writings, circa 1950-2006 (Box 3; 0.1 linear ft.)

Series 5: Sound and Video Recordings, 1996-2006 (Boxes 3-4; 0.75 linear ft., ER02; 2.66 GB)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1947-2008 (Boxes 4-5; 1.25 linear ft.)

Series 7: Photographs, circa 1923-2006 (Boxes 5-6; 0.45 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Robert Bartlett Richenburg (1917-2006) was a painter and educator in New York City, Ithaca, New York, and East Hampton, New York.

At age 13, Bob Richenburg's artistic talent earned him a place in a daily class for Boston Public School students at the Museum of Fine Arts. Most classes focused on copying; of far greater benefit to the young art student was the opportunity to wander through the museum and look at art nearly every day of his high school career.

Richenburg's father was an architect who also ran a stained glass lampshade business; neither endeavor was profitable, so the family endured very hard times during the Depression. To help support the family, after school and on weekends, Bob delivered ice and coal with an older brother, a job he continued while attending night school courses in liberal arts at Boston University. He studied at George Washington University in Washington, DC, 1937-1939, often working as many as four part-time jobs to cover tuition and living expenses; during summers and school vacations, he returned to Boston to work with his brother. Due to his difficult financial situation, Richenburg's college career ended before he earned a degree.

After learning that the Corcoran School of Art charged no tuition, Richenburg returned to Washington in 1940 to study painting and sculpture. Although uninformed about the art world, he realized that New York was a better place for an aspiring artist. In 1941, he began studying with George Grosz and Reginald Marsh at the Art Students League. On his own, he studied materials and techniques and copied paintings at the Metropolitan Museum Art.

With war looming and the near certainty of being drafted, Robert Richenburg and Libby Chic Peltyn (always called Chic) married in November 1942; two weeks later, he entered the army. Richenburg spent three years in England and France as a combat engineer, transporting explosives and instructing troops in the demolition of mines and booby traps. In England, he managed a photo lab and taught drawing in the fine arts section of Shrivenham American University, a school run by the U. S. Army.

Once discharged, Richenburg returned to New York and took advantage of the G.I. Bill to continue studying painting (and for the subsistence allowance that provided modest support for his family - son Ronald was born in 1947). Richenburg studied at the Ozenfant School, 1947-1949, where he developed a life-long friendship with fellow student Ibram Lassaw.

He continued his art education with Hans Hofmann in New York and Provincetown, 1949-1951. During this period, Richenburg taught drawing, painting, and art history classes sponsored by the Extension Division of City College of New York and held at venues such as Brooklyn's Central YMCA, and branches of the New York Public Library. Richenburg quickly discovered that he liked teaching and enjoyed the students.

In 1951, Richenburg joined the Pratt Institute faculty and taught studio courses at night; soon, he was teaching full time during the day. Richenburg began to achieve recognition as the youngest of the Abstract Expressionists and by the early 1960s his career was well established. Tibor De Nagy Gallery in New York and Dwan Gallery in California represented Richenburg, and a number of paintings were sold to museums and private collectors. As Richenburg experimented with new ideas and materials, his work began changing. He was a popular instructor at Pratt with several promising students who also began experimenting. In 1964, when the unorthodox work of one student in particular caught the attention of Pratt administrators, Richenburg was asked to change his approach to teaching. This roused student protests, and press coverage focused on the specific situation and academic freedom in general. He chose to resign rather than alter his teaching philosophy.

Richenburg secured a position at Cornell University. The confluence of his absence from New York City and the ascendance of Pop Art were damaging, and his career was derailed when De Nagy and Dwan dropped him from their rosters a few years later. After it was clear that he would not secure tenure at Cornell, Richenburg returned to New York in 1967 and began teaching at Hunter College. Daily life in New York was harder than he remembered and, for him, the City had lost its allure.

When offered the chairmanship of the Ithaca College art department, the Richenburgs were delighted to return to tranquil Ithaca, New York. Chic died in 1977, and Bob remained at Ithaca College until retiring in 1983. In addition full-time teaching and handling administrative activities as department chairman, Richenburg made time to work in his studio practically every day. He created a large body of work in a wide variety of media and styles, moving on to new ideas and experiments after exhausting his possibilities or interest.

Beginning in 1949 with a loan exhibition organized by The Museum of Non-Objective Art, Richenburg participated in a wide range of group shows. His first solo exhibition was held in 1953 at the Hendler Gallery, Philadelphia. Over the years, he enjoyed other solo exhibitions at venues such as: David Findlay Jr. Fine Art, Dwan Gallery, Hansa Gallery, Ithaca College Museum of Art, McCormick Gallery, Rose Art Museum (Brandeis University), Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Sidney Mishkin Gallery (Baruch College), and Tibor De Nagy Gallery. In the 1960s and 1970s, Richenburg's work was seldom shown, but from the mid-1980s onward there has been renewed interest.

Richenburg's work is represented in the permanent collections of many museums including Hirshhorn Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art. In addition, his work was acquired by many highly regarded private collectors including Larry Aldrich, Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., Joseph H. Hirshhorn, J. Patrick Lannon, and James A. Michener.

Robert Richenburg and Margaret (Marggy) Kerr, a painter and sculptor living in Ithaca, were married in 1980. Ms. Kerr is known for "brick rugs" made from cut bricks forming designs for site specific sculpture and garden walks. Richenburg became close to his stepfamily of three children, Marggy's grandchildren and her mother. After he retired from Ithaca College, Bob and Marggy moved to Springs in East Hampton, New York.

Although Richenburg suffered from Parkinson's disease during the last six years of his life, he continued to work in his home studio until physically unable to produce art. He died on October 10, 2006.
Related Material:
An oral history interview of Robert Richenburg was conducted by Dorothy Seckler for the Archives of American Art, circa 1968.
Provenance:
Donated in 2008 by Margaret Kerr, widow of Robert Richenburg, on behalf of herself and his son Ronald Richenburg.
Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of audiovisual material 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.
Topic:
Educators -- New York (State) -- East Hampton  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- East Hampton  Search this
New York school of art  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- East Hampton  Search this
Genre/Form:
Illustrated letters
Sound recordings
Greeting cards
Video recordings
Photographs
Interviews
Citation:
Robert Richenburg papers, circa 1910s-2008. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.richrobe
See more items in:
Robert Richenburg papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw93e889f0b-1cd4-42d6-906f-68bace36808d
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-richrobe
Online Media:

Carlisle Jaycees Project Jim Thorpe: Correspondence and Additional Information

Collection Creator:
Thorpe, Grace F.  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 20
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1969
Collection Restrictions:
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).
Collection Rights:
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiphotos@si.edu. For personal or classroom use, users are invited users to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not changed, the Smithsonian Institution copyright notice (where applicable) is included, and the source of the image is identified as the National Museum of the American Indian.
Collection Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Grace F. Thorpe Collection, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Grace F. Thorpe Collection
Grace F. Thorpe Collection / Series 5: Jim Thorpe and His Legacy
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sv498bdc151-c63d-44bc-9dfb-26a25dd98c64
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmai-ac-085-ref143
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Carlisle Jaycees Project Jim Thorpe: Correspondence and Additional Information digital asset number 1

Commission, Lt. Col., Auxiliary, 1934

Associated Name:
Redman, Fred Eli  Search this
Physical Description:
paper (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 12 in x 8 1/2 in; 30.48 cm x 21.59 cm
Object Name:
Sheet of Paper
Other Terms:
Sheet of Paper; Documents; Army
Date made:
1934
Associated date:
1934 08 17
Subject:
U. S. Army  Search this
ID Number:
ZZ.RSN83629A39
Catalog number:
76757M
Accession number:
303733
See more items in:
Political and Military History: Armed Forces History, Military
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a2-7a8e-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_443669

Appointment Certificate, Major, Medical Section, 1919

Referenced:
Redman, Fred Eli  Search this
Physical Description:
paper (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 10 1/2 in x 8 in; 26.67 cm x 20.32 cm
Object Name:
Sheet of Paper
Other Terms:
Sheet of Paper; Documents; Army
Date made:
1919
Associated date:
1943 06 17
Subject:
World War I  Search this
U. S. Army  Search this
Related event:
World War I  Search this
ID Number:
ZZ.RSN83629A43
Accession number:
303733
Catalog number:
76759M
See more items in:
Political and Military History: Armed Forces History, Military
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a2-7a91-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_443673

sheet of paper

Referenced:
Redman, Fred Eli  Search this
Physical Description:
paper (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 15 3/4 in x 19 1/2 in; 40.005 cm x 49.53 cm
Object Name:
Sheet of Paper
Other Terms:
Sheet of Paper; Documents
Date made:
1917
Associated date:
1917 06 05
Subject:
U. S. Army  Search this
Related event:
World War I  Search this
Credit Line:
Eleanor R. Welch
ID Number:
AF.303733.52
Accession number:
303733
Catalog number:
76761M
See more items in:
Political and Military History: Armed Forces History, Military
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a2-7a43-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_443665

Gelonium sp.

Biogeographical Region:
41 - Indo-China  Search this
Collector:
E. E. Addor  Search this
Min. Elevation:
10  Search this
Place:
U. S. Army Camp Cu Chi, Cu Chi Province UMG Coords. 6416, AMS Sheet L7014 6330 IV Georg., Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, Asia-Tropical
Collection Date:
9 Mar 1967
Crowdsourcing:
Transcribed by digital volunteers
Taxonomy:
Plantae Dicotyledonae Euphorbiales Euphorbiaceae
Published Name:
Gelonium sp.
Barcode:
01294710
USNM Number:
2640001
See more items in:
Botany
Flowering plants and ferns
Crowdsourcing Project
Data Source:
NMNH - Botany Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/3d3e3dfc6-64b4-4dfc-9f2e-3bba1eee8bd9
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhbotany_11739421
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Gelonium sp. digital asset number 1
Online Media:

Ramalina dendroidella

Biogeographical Region:
38 - Eastern Asia  Search this
Collector:
W. D. Field  Search this
O. G. Loew  Search this
Place:
The Liu Kiu Islands. Koza. (U. S. Army, 222d Malaria Survey Detachment)., Okinawa, Japan, Asia-Temperate
Collection Date:
28 Sep 1945
Taxonomy:
Fungi Ascomycota Lecanoromycetes Lecanorales Parmeliaceae
Published Name:
Ramalina dendroidella
Barcode:
04547401
See more items in:
Botany
Bryophytes and Lichens
Data Source:
NMNH - Botany Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/3ac7ab9df-1e02-44af-ae00-f075a06a058d
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhbotany_16692609

Artabotrys sp.

Biogeographical Region:
41 - Indo-China  Search this
Collector:
E. E. Addor  Search this
Min. Elevation:
10  Search this
Place:
South Viet nam. U. S. Army Camp Cu Chi, Cu Chi Province. UMG Coords. 6416, AMS Sheet L7014 6330 IV., Vietnam, Asia-Tropical
Collection Date:
12 Mar 1967
Taxonomy:
Plantae Dicotyledonae (basal) Magnoliales Annonaceae Annonoideae
Published Name:
Artabotrys sp.
Barcode:
04135439
USNM Number:
2623983
See more items in:
Botany
Flowering plants and ferns
Data Source:
NMNH - Botany Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/3d6efa580-0093-46f1-b23b-e15021d28923
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhbotany_16753390

Albumen print of U. S. Army 25th Infantry Company A

Photograph by:
John C. H. Grabill, American, 1849 - 1903  Search this
Subject of:
25th Infantry Regiment, American, 1866 - 1946  Search this
United States Army, American, founded 1775  Search this
Medium:
albumen and silver nitrocellulose on paper (fiber product) cardboard
Dimensions:
H x W (Image): 3 15/16 x 7 11/16 in. (10 x 19.6 cm)
H x W (Sheet): 4 1/2 x 7 11/16 in. (11.5 x 19.6 cm)
H x W (Mount): 5 1/4 x 8 7/16 in. (13.3 x 21.5 cm)
Type:
cabinet photographs
albumen prints
Place captured:
Sturgis, Meade County, South Dakota, United States, North and Central America
Date:
ca. 1885
Topic:
African American  Search this
American West  Search this
Buffalo Soldiers  Search this
Military  Search this
Photography  Search this
U.S. History, 1865-1921  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Object number:
2013.244.12
Restrictions & Rights:
Public Domain
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Media Arts-Photography
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd561210b6c-c7bb-434e-9f4f-3020d0efeb66
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2013.244.12
Online Media:

Albumen print of Buffalo Soldier Charles Sumner Sr.

Photograph by:
J. G. Wilkes, American  Search this
Subject of:
Charles Sumner Sr., American  Search this
United States Army, American, founded 1775  Search this
24th Infantry Regiment, American, 1869 - 1951  Search this
Medium:
albumen and silver nitrocellulose on paper (fiber product) cardboard
Dimensions:
H x W (Image and Sheet): 5 3/4 x 4 in. (14.6 x 10.1 cm)
H x W (Mount): 6 1/4 x 4 3/16 in. (15.9 x 10.7 cm)
Type:
cabinet photographs
albumen prints
portraits
Place captured:
Fort Sill, Comanche County, Oklahoma, United States, North and Central America
Date:
ca. 1885
Topic:
African American  Search this
American West  Search this
Buffalo Soldiers  Search this
Military  Search this
Photography  Search this
U.S. History, 1865-1921  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Object number:
2013.244.13
Restrictions & Rights:
Public Domain
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Media Arts-Photography
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd547035ad3-caab-4434-ac9b-4d4ed0820a8f
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2013.244.13
Online Media:

Tintype of a Buffalo Soldier

Photograph by:
Unidentified  Search this
Subject of:
Unidentified Man or Men  Search this
United States Army, American, founded 1775  Search this
Medium:
collodion and silver on iron with lacquer
Dimensions:
H x W (Image and Sheet): 3 7/8 x 2 9/16 in. (9.8 x 6.5 cm)
Type:
tintypes
portraits
Place captured:
United States, North and Central America
Date:
ca. 1886
Topic:
African American  Search this
American West  Search this
Buffalo Soldiers  Search this
Military  Search this
Photography  Search this
U.S. History, 1865-1921  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Object number:
2013.244.17
Restrictions & Rights:
Public Domain
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Media Arts-Photography
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd59a3dd8cc-6858-4c24-ae08-3b27e70ec314
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2013.244.17
Online Media:

Cabinet card portrait of Corporal John McDonald

Photograph by:
McCormick, American, active 1870s  Search this
Subject of:
Colonel John McDonald, American  Search this
9th Cavalry Regiment, American, founded 1866  Search this
Medium:
albumen and silver nitrocellulose on paper cardboard
Dimensions:
H x W (Image and Sheet): 5 7/8 x 4 1/16 in. (15 x 10.3 cm)
H x W (Mount): 6 7/16 x 4 3/16 in. (16.3 x 10.6 cm)
Type:
cabinet photographs
albumen prints
portraits
Place captured:
Arkansas City, Cowley County, Kansas, United States, North and Central America
Date:
ca. 1875
Topic:
African American  Search this
American South  Search this
Buffalo Soldiers  Search this
Military  Search this
Photography  Search this
U.S. History, 1865-1921  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Object number:
2013.244.4
Restrictions & Rights:
Public Domain
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Media Arts-Photography
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd574d2a2ac-7919-492b-8a4a-c016c99ee3f7
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2013.244.4
Online Media:

Stereograph of troops with marching band

Photograph by:
William Richard Cross, American, born 1843  Search this
Subject of:
United States Army, American, founded 1775  Search this
Unidentified Man or Men  Search this
Medium:
ink on cardboard
Dimensions:
H x W (Image, Sheet, and Mount): 3 11/16 x 6 11/16 in. (9.3 x 17 cm)
Type:
stereographs
Place captured:
Niobrara, Knox County, Nebraska, United States, North and Central America
Date:
ca. 1875
Topic:
African American  Search this
American West  Search this
Band (Music)  Search this
Buffalo Soldiers  Search this
Military  Search this
Musicians  Search this
Photography  Search this
U.S. History, 1865-1921  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Object number:
2013.244.5
Restrictions & Rights:
Public Domain
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Media Arts-Photography
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd525a5ffb7-462b-4e01-80e5-636c8eddc662
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2013.244.5
Online Media:

Carte-de-viste of officer's quarters at Fort Brown

Photograph by:
Unidentified  Search this
Subject of:
United States Army, American, founded 1775  Search this
Unidentified Woman or Women  Search this
Unidentified Child or Children  Search this
Medium:
albumen and silver nitrocellulose on paper (fiber product) and cardboard
Dimensions:
H x W (Image and Sheet): 2 1/8 x 3 11/16 in. (5.4 x 9.3 cm)
H x W (Mount): 2 3/8 x 3 15/16 in. (6.1 x 10 cm)
Type:
cartes-de-visite
Place captured:
Fort Brown, Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas, United States, North and Central America
Date:
ca. 1875
Topic:
African American  Search this
American West  Search this
Buffalo Soldiers  Search this
Children  Search this
Domestic life  Search this
Military  Search this
Photography  Search this
U.S. History, 1865-1921  Search this
Women  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Object number:
2013.244.6
Restrictions & Rights:
Public Domain
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Media Arts-Photography
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd53f73cdb1-5634-4ce9-b795-c1cc1a96b41b
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2013.244.6
Online Media:

Dirinaria picta (Sw.) Schaer. & Clem.

Biogeographical Region:
38 - Eastern Asia  Search this
Collector:
W. D. Field  Search this
O. G. Loew  Search this
Place:
The Liu Kiu Islands. Miyazato. (U. S. Army, 222d Malaria Survey Detachment)., Okinawa, Japan, Asia-Temperate
Collection Date:
18 Oct 1945
Taxonomy:
Fungi Ascomycota Lecanoromycetes Caliciales Caliciaceae
Published Name:
Dirinaria picta (Sw.) Schaer. & Clem.
Barcode:
04538098
See more items in:
Botany
Bryophytes and Lichens
Data Source:
NMNH - Botany Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/3821e8d5a-a77c-4d25-af0f-4f23656bd22b
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhbotany_16678265

Leptogium sp.

Biogeographical Region:
38 - Eastern Asia  Search this
Collector:
W. D. Field  Search this
O. G. Lowe  Search this
Place:
The Liu Kiu Islands. Mts. above Nago. (U. S. Army, 222d Malaria Survey Detachment)., Okinawa, Japan, Asia-Temperate
Collection Date:
13 Nov 1945
Taxonomy:
Fungi Ascomycota Lecanoromycetes Peltigerales Collemataceae
Published Name:
Leptogium sp.
Barcode:
04524159
See more items in:
Botany
Bryophytes and Lichens
Data Source:
NMNH - Botany Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/36360241f-845e-4b92-aa32-98d7124cd716
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhbotany_16686406

Earthenware Vessel From A Burial Crypt

Donor Name:
U. S. Army  Search this
Object Type:
Vessel
Place:
Campania, Italy, Europe
Accession Date:
28 Jan 1949
Topic:
Archaeology  Search this
Accession Number:
181608
USNM Number:
A392010-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/30ce29933-2955-465a-9e32-315454691024
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8137707

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:

Modify Your Search







or


Narrow By