The Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries records measure 21.8 linear feet and are dated 1858-1969 (bulk 1919-1968). The records consist mainly of business correspondence with collectors, artists, museums and arts organizations, colleagues, and others. A small amount of Frank K. M. Rehns personal correspondence and a few stray personal papers of individual artists are interfiled. Also included are financial records, scrapbooks, printed matter, miscellaneous records, and photographs documenting most of the history of a highly regarded New York City art gallery devoted to American painting.
Scope and Content Note:
The Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries records measure 21.8 linear feet and are dated 1858-1969 (bulk 1919-1968). The records consist mainly of business correspondence with collectors, artists, museums and arts organizations, colleagues, and others. A small amount of Frank K. M. Rehn's personal correspondence and a few stray personal papers of individual artists are interfiled. Also included are financial records, scrapbooks, printed matter, miscellaneous records, and photographs documenting most of the history of a highly regarded New York art gallery devoted to American painting.
Series 1: Correspondence contains correspondence with artists, museums and arts organizations, collectors, colleagues, and others documents the workings of Rehn Galleries from its earliest days through 1968. A small amount of Frank K. M. Rehn's personal correspondence and a few scattered personal papers of individual artists are interfiled with the business correspondence.
Series 2: Financial Records includes banking, insurance, and investment records, tax returns and related documentation, miscellaneous financial records and paid bills. Among the insurance records are detailed monthly schedules listing paintings with titles, artists, and insurance values. Miscellaneous financial records include inventories of gallery stock, notes regarding business expenses and income, and receipt books recording incoming paintings. Also included are a small number of items concerning the personal business of Frank Rehn and John Clancy.
Five volumes of Scrapbooks (Series 3) contain clippings and a small number of exhibition catalogs documenting the activities of Rehn Galleries and many of its associated artists. Additional Printed Matter in Series 4 includes material relating to Rehn Galleries and its artists, as well as publications produced by Rehn Galleries. General, art-related printed matter consists of articles, auction catalogs, advertisements, and publications of various museums, arts organizations, and schools. There is also material about artists not affiliated with Rehn Galleries. Additional printed items concern miscellaneous subjects that are not art-related.
Series 5: Miscellaneous Records, includes artwork, lists and notes, and writings. Photographs in Series 6 are of people including artists represented by Rehn as well as several not affiliated with the gallery. Noticeably absent are likenesses of Frank Rehn and John Clancy. Photographs of works of art are by Rehn Galleries' artists and others. Reginald Marsh's photographs consist of family and personal photographs that were either given to Rehn Galleries or perhaps loaned for research use, and include views of Marsh from early childhood through later life, photographs of family and friends, and a small family album. Also included are photographs are of Marsh's childhood drawings.
Series 1: Correspondence is arranged alphabetically and Series 3: Scrapbooks is in rough chronological order. Series 2, and 4-6 are arranged in categories, as indicated in the Series Descriptions/Container Listing. Unless otherwise noted, items within each folder are arranged chronologically.
The collection is arranged into 6 series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1858-1969, undated (Boxes 1-15; 14.4 linear ft.; Reels 5849-5869)
Series 2: Financial Records, 1919-1968, undated (Boxes 15-17; 2.6 linear ft; Reel 5869)
Series 3: Scrapbooks, 1919-1940 (Boxes 23-24; 0.6 linear ft.; Reels 5869-5870)
Series 4: Printed Matter, 1882-1969, undated (Boxes 18-20; 2.4 linear ft.; Reels 5870-5872)
Series 5: Miscellaneous Records, circa 1920-1968 (Boxes 20-21; 0.7 linear ft; Reel 5872)
Series 6: Photographs, 1871-1966, undated (Boxes 22, 24, OV 25; 1.0 linear ft.; Reel 5872)
Frank K. M. Rehn (1886-1956), son of the marine painter Frank Knox Morton Rehn, after several years' experience as an employee of the Milch Galleries and as exhibition manager for the Salmagundi Club, opened his own art gallery in 1918. In its earliest years, the gallery operated as the Galleries of Frank K. M. Rehn. From the mid 1920s through the mid 1940s, the name used was Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries. As early as 1946, the gallery was referred to simply as Rehn Galleries. The gallery closed in 1981.
Throughout its existence, Rehn Galleries specialized in representing American painters. During the first five years Rehn's operation was a private gallery at 6 West 50th Street, New York City. Among the artists he first represented were older, established men such as J. Alden Weir, George Inness, Alexander Wyant, Theodore Robinson, Thomas Dewing, and John H. Twachtman. Occasionally, Rehn handled works by such luminaries of the period as Robert Henri, George Luks, and John Singer Sargent. Among the living artists affiliated with the gallery in its first years were Daniel Garber, Walter Griffin, Dodge MacKnight, and Robert Spencer. Rehn's most popular artist during this time was Childe Hassam, who sued for recovery of a painting that, although acquired by Rehn through a reputable dealer, had been stolen from Hassam's studio many years earlier.
Despite the newspaper publicity surrounding Hassam's lawsuit, the business was a successful venture almost immediately. Very early, a number of important collectors including Duncan Phillips, John Gellatly, John T. Spaulding, Albert McVitty, E. W. Root, and C. Vanderbilt Barton displayed confidence in Rehn's judgment and integrity, which enhanced his gallery's reputation and stature among both collectors and artists. In 1923, the gallery moved to 693 Fifth Avenue and began operating as Rehn Galleries, a commercial gallery in the same building that housed in a building that housed Kennedy and Company and the Bourgeois Galleries. At this time, Rehn hired an assistant, John C. Clancy (1897-1981), who had formerly been with Henry Reinhardt and Son and M. Knoedler.
The Rehn Galleries soon enjoyed a regular following among museum curators and collectors visiting from out of town. The gallery's roster of artists grew along with its reputation. Rehn focused almost exclusively on American painters, occasionally showing drawings and prints by artists who were primarily painters; notable exceptions were sculptor Mahonri Young and Henry Varnum Poor who, in addition to being a painter, was known for his work in ceramics. Among the painters eventually represented were: Peggy Bacon, George Bellows, Alexander Brook, Charles Burchfield, John F. Carlson, John Carroll, Howard Cook, Jon Corbino, Virginia Cuthbert, Andrew Dasberg, Sidney Gross, Edward Hopper, Alexander James, Irving Kaufmann, Yeffe Kimball, Leon Kroll, Peppino Mangravite, Reginald and Felicia Meyer Marsh, Henry Mattson, Henry Lee McFee, Kenneth Hayes Miller, Charles Rosen, Robert Riggs, Alexander Russo, Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones, Eugene Speicher, Henry Strater, Richard Derby Tucker, Franklin C. Watkins, and Denny Winters.
In 1930, Rehn Galleries moved one block south to the Air France Building at 683 Fifth Avenue, and remained there for thirty years. John C. Clancy, Rehn's long-time assistant, became Gallery Director in 1953 after a stroke prevented Rehn from continuing to run his business in an active capacity. Eventually, Rehn's widow sold Clancy the gallery, which he continued to operate under varying names, including Rehn Gallery, Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries, Frank Rehn Gallery, and Rehn Galleries. From 1960 until 1966, The Rehn Galleries were at 36 East 61st Street from 1960 until 1966, when the gallery moved to a space formerly occupied by Kootz Gallery at 855 Madison Avenue, where it remained in business for another fifteen years.
John Clancy interview by Paul Cummings, July 10, 1970. Oral History Program, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Samuel Adler Papers, 1902-1979. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Contains a recording (1 cassette; untranscribed) of Beverly Chesler interviewing John Clancy about the history of Rehn Galleries, 1973; Samuel Adler is present and participates briefly in the interview.
The Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries records were loaned by John Clancy for microfilming in 1959; in 1966, this same material was donated to the Archives. Mr. Clancy made subsequent gifts of additional gallery records in 1978 and 1981. In 1985, the Whitney Museum of American Art donated to the Archives correspondence with Edward Hopper that John Clancy had loaned the museum many years earlier. A death mask of George Luks received with the collection is on extended loan to the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Correspondence, primarily with family; several essays and speeches about art; a list of Winters's paintings; photographs of her and others, including Karl Fortess, Carroll Berry, Howard Jones, Francis Merritt, William Zorach, William Kienbusch, and William Thon; photographs of her art work; invitations, awards, and membership cards; exhibition catalogs, announcements, and publicity and printed matter.
An interview with Denny Winters conducted 1980 February 7-October 28, by Robert Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Winters speaks of her training at the Art Institute of Chicago; WPA projects; the development of Maine Coast Artists, a cooperative gallery, during the 1950s-1970s; and her work.
Biographical / Historical:
Denny Winters (1907-1985) was a painter from Rockport, Maine.
Originally recorded on 2 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 41 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.
The records of the New York Artists Equity Association (NYAEA) measure 26.8 linear feet and 2.99 Gb and date from 1920-2012. The records include history and founding documents, presidents' files, board of directors' files that include monthly board meeting minutes, committee files and annual membership meeting minutes, general administrative and correspondence files, financial and legal files, event and program files, artists and subject files, extensive individual membership files, art project and exhibition files, Broome Street Gallery files, NYAEA publications that include issues of The Artists Proof, printed and digital materials, four scrapbooks, sketches created by artists attending a party in honor of Yasuo Kuniyoshi, and photographs of member artists and events.
Scope and Contents:
The records of the New York Artists Equity Association (NYAEA) measure 26.8 linear feet and 2.99 GB and date from 1920-2012. The records include history and founding documents, presidents' files, board of directors' files that include monthly board meeting minutes, committee files and annual membership meeting minutes, general administrative and correspondence files, financial and legal files, event and program files, artists and subject files, extensive individual membership files, art project and exhibition files, Broome Street Gallery files, NYAEA publications that include issues of The Artists Proof, printed and digital materials, four scrapbooks, sketches created by artists attending a party in honor of Yasuo Kuniyoshi, and photographs of member artists and events.
The President's files appear to be complete and include files for presidents Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Louise Nevelson, Harry Waterson, Roy Gussow, Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence, Karl Zerbe, Ernst Fiene, Sidney Laufman, Carolyn deLisser, Burt Hasen, and Bert Diener, among others. Committee files and meeting minutes are found, as well as general administrative and correspondence files which include information pertaining to the national level Association.
Event files include documentation of the Association's Art Thursday series, where they hosted talks and panels by artists. Artists referenced in these files include Jean Cohen, Charles Searles, Leon Golub, Doug Ashford, Bruno Palmer-Poroner, Dom Facci, Susan Teller, Eleanor Lipsky, Ted Berger, Hilton Kramer, Bernice Steinbaum, Laura Stirton, Jean Zaleski, Renee Philips, Denise Bibro, Dan Concholar, Irving Sandler, Angela Babin, Dorothy Gillespe, Donna Marxer, Nan Hall, Ivan Karp, Alan Gussow, Mary Carswell, Bill Smart, Charlotte Kotik, Klaus Kertess, Elaine Marinoff, and Judith Brodski. Additional events covered in this series include the annual awards dinner, masquerade balls, lectures, the Association's 55th Anniversary event, which includes recollections by Helen Frankenthaler, Sidney Simon, and Lorrie Goulet, as well as other events and programs. Videocassette and sound recordings of many of the events are found here.
Artists' and subject files contain mostly printed materials about a few artists and subjects or issues in which the Association was interested.
There are extensive files on individual members that include card files, applications, biographies, and clippings.
Project and exhibition files include material pertaining to the Artists Welfare Fund, the Art Bank artwork donation, and a few scattered exhibitions. Additional exhibition and event files are found in the series containing the Broome Street Gallery files.
Association publications consist of what appears to be a full run of Association newsletters and reports. The NYAEA newsletter changed its name to The Artists Proof in 1986. Additional printed materials include exhibition catalogs and announcements, programs, clippings, posters, and newsletters of other arts organizations. There are four scrapbooks (two unbound) that contain printed materials, and a few items of correspondence. One of the scrapbooks documents the annual "Bal Fantastique".
Artwork consists mostly of sketches and drawings by artists attending a 1948 dinner in honor of Yasuo Kuniyoshi. Photographs are of members and events. Photographers include Arnold Newman, Marvin Bolotsky, and Frances Avery, among others. Numerous notable artists are depicted in the images.
The collection is arranged into sixteen series.
Series 1: History and Founding Documents, 1933-2000 (0.3 linear feet; Box 1, 27
Series 2: Presidents' Files, 1927-2007 (2.8 linear feet; Boxes 1-4)
Series 3: Board of Directors' Files, 1947-2003 (1.4 linear feet; Boxes 4-5)
Series 4: Committee and Meeting Files, 1950-2009 (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 5-6)
Series 5: General Administrative and Correspondence Files, circa 1930-2008 (2 linear feet; Boxes 7-8, 0.284 GB; ER01)
Series 6: Financial and Legal Files, 1947-2000 (1 linear foot; Box 9)
Series 7: Events and Programs, 1930-2010 (4.2 linear feet; Boxes 10-14, 27, 0.446 GB; ER02)
Series 8: Artists and Subject Files, 1930-1998 (0.4 linear feet; Box 14)
Series 9: Membership Files, 1920-2009 (4.4 linear feet; Boxes 14-18, 27, 2.26 GB; ER03)
Series 10: Project and Exhibition Files, 1934-2010 (2 linear feet; Boxes 19-20)
Series 11: Broome Street Gallery Files, 1990-2011 (2.7 linear feet; Boxes 21-23, 31)
Series 12: Association Publications, 1947-2012 (1 linear foot; Boxes 23-24)
Series 13: Printed Materials, 1930-2008 (1.6 linear feet; Boxes 24-25, 27, 31, OV 28, OV 29)
Series 14: Scrapbooks, 1947-1969 (0.3 linear feet; Box 25, OV 30)
Series 15: Artwork, 1947-2000 (0.1 linear foot; Box 26, 27)
Series 16: Photographs, 1930s-2004 (0.9 linear feet; Box 26, 27)
Biographical / Historical:
The New York Artists Equity Association (originally the Artists Equity Association) was created in 1947 to promote and support living American artists. Nine prominent New York artists founded the organization and elected Yasuo Kuniyoshi as the organization's first president. The original membership included 160 well-known American artists, but by the end of its first year, membership had grown to over one thousand. By the 1950s, the organization had grown into an influential national organization. Past and present members have included Milton Avery, Will Barnet, Romare Bearden, George Biddle, Isabel Bishop, Robert Blackburn, Paul Cadmus, Charles Burchfield, Stuart Davis, Jose de Creeft, Elaine and Willem de Kooning, Leon Golub, Chaim Gross, Rockwell Kent, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Motherwell, Alice Neel, Isamu Noguchi, Jules Olitski, Philip Pearlstein, Henry Varnum Poor, Charles Scheeler, Ben Shahn, David Smith, Frank Stella, Andrew Wyeth, and many others.
In 1959, the New York Chapter, with more members than all of the other states combined, re-organized into the New York Artists Equity Association. The Association maintained it own gallery, Broome Street Gallery, from 1991-2011. The organization remains active today and is located in SoHo.
The records were donated to the Archives of American Art by the New York Artists Equity Association in several increments between 1980-2016.
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.