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Stanley and Elyse Grinstein papers

Creator:
Grinstein, Stanley, 1927-2014  Search this
Grinstein, Elyse, 1929-2016  Search this
Names:
Gemini G.E.L. (Firm)  Search this
Gehry, Frank O., 1929-  Search this
Glass, Philip  Search this
Hockney, David  Search this
Extent:
15.5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1937-2020
Summary:
The papers of Stanley and Elyse Grinstein date from circa 1937-2020 and measure 15.5 linear feet. The collection documents the role the Grinsteins played in nurturing and promoting the Los Angeles art scene from circa 1960-2010s through personal friendships with area artists, through the co-founding of artist editions publishing business Gemini G.E.L., and in their art collecting activities. Records include biographical material, artist files including substantive letters and postcards from notable artists, musicians, writers and architects, a small amount of documentation relating to Gemini G.E.L. and Elyse Grinstein's architectural work, printed material, and a few photographs.

There is a 14.2 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated in 2022 that includes biographical material; files on artists; personal photographs and slides of artists and events including Daniel Buren, Carl Andre, Claes Oldenburg, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Serra, Judy Chicago, Lloyd Hamrol, Vija Celmins, Larry Bell, Doug Wheeler, James Lee Byars, Guy Dill, Laddie Dill, John Altoon, Charles Arnoldi, Billy Al Bengston, John Coplans, DeWain Valentine, and many more; personal correspondence with James Lee Byars and other artists; audiovisual material regarding William Wegman, Lynda Benglis, and many more; published material including magazines and magazine clippings regardingn artists and the Grinsteins; documentation regarding the Grinstein's art collection; and project plans and blueprints related to Elyse's career as an architect. Materials date from circa 1937-2020.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Stanley and Elyse Grinstein date from circa 1937-2020 and measure 15.5 linear feet. The collection documents the role the Grinsteins played in nurturing and promoting the Los Angeles art scene from circa 1960-2010s through personal friendships with area artists, through the co-founding of artist editions publishing business Gemini G.E.L., and in their art collecting activities. Records include biographical material, artist files including substantive letters and postcards from notable artists, musicians, writers and architects, a small amount of documentation relating to Gemini G.E.L. and Elyse Grinstein's architectural work, printed material, and a few photographs.

Biographical material and letters includes records of Elyse Grinstein's education in architecture, records of parties and events at the Grinstein home from the 1980s on, and letters demonstrating the family's involvement in philanthropic and political causes. Artist files include at least one or two items, and often more, from artists, writers, composers, and performers such as letters, illustrated letters and cards, printed material, and photos indicative of the extent to which the Grinsteins were at the heart of the West Coast art scene from the 1960s on, and the warmth of the friendships the Grinsteins enjoyed with many of the artists represented in the files.

Records related to professional activities highlight some of Elyse Grinstein's other work and include a few items from Gemini G.E.L. Printed material documents exhibitions of artists including Joseph Cornell, Robert Rauschenberg, Man Ray, and others, the collecting activities of the Grinsteins, and their connections to art and performance groups such as improvisational dance group Grand Union, and the Los Angeles Fine Arts Squad. A few photographs picture artists including Lloyd Hamrol, George Herms, and choreographer Steve Paxton.

There is a 14.2 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated in 2022 that includes biographical material; files on artists; personal photographs and slides of artists and events including Daniel Buren, Carl Andre, Claes Oldenburg, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Serra, Judy Chicago, Lloyd Hamrol, Vija Celmins, Larry Bell, Doug Wheeler, James Lee Byars, Guy Dill, Laddie Dill, John Altoon, Charles Arnoldi, Billy Al Bengston, John Coplans, DeWain Valentine, and many more; personal correspondence with James Lee Byars and other artists; audiovisual material regarding William Wegman, Lynda Benglis, and many more; published material including magazines and magazine clippings regardingn artists and the Grinsteins; documentation regarding the Grinstein's art collection; and project plans and blueprints related to Elyse's career as an architect. Materials date from circa 1937-2020.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 6 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material and Letters, 1937-2008 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 2: Artist Files, circa 1961-2010 (Box 1, OV 3; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 3: Professional Activities, 1937-1990s (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 4: Printed Material, circa 1964-circa 1988 (Boxes 1-2, OV 3; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 5: Photographs, circa 1960s-circa 1970s (Box 2; 8 folders)

Series 6: Unprocessed Addition, circa 1937-2020 (Boxes 4-20, OV 21-24; 14.2 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Los Angeles art collectors and philanthropists Stanley and Elyse Grinstein were known for their patronage of West Coast artists for over forty years and were important catalysts of the nascent Los Angeles art scene.

Following their marriage in 1952, the Grinsteins began collecting art as a way to pursue a shared hobby. Stanley Grinstein (1927-2014) was the proprietor of a forklift business and Elyse Grinstein (1929-2016) had been an elementary school teacher. The couple co-founded Gemini G.E.L., which published artist editions, with Rosamund and Sidney B. Felsen in 1966. Through celebrated collaborations with Josef Albers, David Hockney, Ellsworth Kelly, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Serra, and many others, the studio quickly became the West Coast destination for innovative printmaking.

In addition to having a passion for art, Elyse Grinstein was also an architect who earned her master's degree in architecture from the University of California Los Angeles in the 1970s, graduating at the age of 50. She interned with close friend Frank O. Gehry before forming her own company, Grinstein/Daniels, Inc., with Jeffrey Daniels. Her subsequent work included remodeling David Hockney's Hollywood Hills home, remodeling areas of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) campus after the 1994 earthquake, and designing the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant with partner Jeff Daniels in L.A.'s Koreatown. Elyse Grinstein was also a philanthropist who raised money relentlessly for art and medical institutions, and devoted time to political campaigns and other causes.

In 1965 the Grinsteins bought a house in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles and moved with their three daughters to the Rockingham Avenue home. In the ensuing years they hosted legendary parties and receptions for their friends in the art world, providing an environment that fostered the relationships and emerging ideas of the burgeoning West coast art scene and helped introduce Los Angeles artists to a wide network of East Coast and international artists. The couple also offered invaluable practical support, that often enabled artists to keep working, buying work they loved for their home, providing other occasional financial assistance, and offering free accommodation and a place to work for their out-of-town artist, writer, and musician friends.
Related Materials:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is the William Burroughs and Brion Gysin writings collection donated in 2017 by the Grinstein family, via Ayn Grinstein, Ellen Grinstein Perliter, and Nancy Grinstein, executors.
Provenance:
The collection was donated in 2017 and 2022 by the Grinstein family, via Ayn Grinstein, Ellen Grinstein Perliter, and Nancy Grinstein, executors.
Restrictions:
This collection is temporarily closed to researchers due to archival processing. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Architects -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Philanthropists -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Collectors -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Printers -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Women architects  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.grinstan
See more items in:
Stanley and Elyse Grinstein papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9d3a01d24-889e-4baf-94b1-b1bad1707a9b
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-grinstan
Online Media:

Stanley and Elyse Grinstein papers, circa 1937-2020

Creator:
Grinstein, Stanley, 1927-2014  Search this
Grinstein, Elyse, 1929-2016  Search this
Subject:
Gehry, Frank O.  Search this
Glass, Philip  Search this
Hockney, David  Search this
Gemini G.E.L. (Firm)  Search this
Citation:
Stanley and Elyse Grinstein papers, circa 1937-2020. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Women architects  Search this
Theme:
Architecture & Design  Search this
Art Collectors  Search this
Patronage  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)17445
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)386714
AAA_collcode_grinstan
Theme:
Architecture & Design
Art Collectors
Patronage
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_386714
Online Media:

Patricia Johanson papers, 1964-1998

Creator:
Johanson, Patricia, 1940-  Search this
Type:
Articles
Interviews
Photographs
Transcripts
Citation:
Patricia Johanson papers, 1964-1998. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Women sculptors  Search this
Women architects  Search this
Theme:
Women  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6794
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)208921
AAA_collcode_johapatr
Theme:
Women
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_208921
Online Media:

Alice Frye Leach papers, circa 1900-circa 1950

Creator:
Leach, Alice Frye, 1857-1943  Search this
Citation:
Alice Frye Leach papers, circa 1900-circa 1950. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Women architects  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Theme:
Women  Search this
Architecture & Design  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7874
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)210041
AAA_collcode_leacalic
Theme:
Women
Architecture & Design
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_210041

Aurelia Henry Reinhardt letters, 1917-1929

Creator:
Reinhardt, Aurelia Henry, 1877-1948  Search this
Subject:
Morgan, Julia, 1872-1957  Search this
Citation:
Aurelia Henry Reinhardt letters, 1917-1929. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Women architects  Search this
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9891
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212393
AAA_collcode_reinaure
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_212393

Emily and William Muir papers, [ca. 1930]-1996

Creator:
Muir, Emily Lansingh, 1904-2003  Search this
Muir, William H. (William Horace), 1902-1964  Search this
Citation:
Emily and William Muir papers, [ca. 1930]-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Sculpture, American  Search this
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Women architects  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women sculptors  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Theme:
Women  Search this
Architecture & Design  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6414
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215433
AAA_collcode_muiremil
Theme:
Women
Architecture & Design
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_215433

Lilian Bridgman papers, circa 1860-circa 1983, bulk circa 1885-circa 1940s

Creator:
Bridgman, Lilian, 1866-1948  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Glass negatives
Citation:
Lilian Bridgman papers, circa 1860-circa 1983, bulk circa 1885-circa 1940s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Women architects  Search this
Women designers  Search this
Theme:
Architecture & Design  Search this
Women  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6456
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215608
AAA_collcode_bridlili
Theme:
Architecture & Design
Women
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_215608
Online Media:

Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000

Creator:
Bassett, Florence Knoll, 1917-2019  Search this
Subject:
Miller, R. Craig  Search this
Knoll, Walter C.  Search this
Johnson, Philip  Search this
Helm, John  Search this
Graham, Katharine  Search this
Gandhi, Indira  Search this
Eames, Charles  Search this
Cheek, Leslie  Search this
Raseman, Rachel de Wolfe  Search this
Milles, Carl  Search this
Saarinen, Eero  Search this
Reagan, Nancy  Search this
Slavin, Maeve  Search this
Saarinen, Eliel  Search this
Knoll International, inc.  Search this
Knoll Associates, inc.  Search this
Hans G. Knoll Furniture Company  Search this
Cranbrook Kingswood School (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.)  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Type:
Sketches
Drawings
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Interior decoration firms  Search this
Interior decoration  Search this
Industrial design  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women architects  Search this
Women designers  Search this
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks  Search this
Women  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6312
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)224053
AAA_collcode_knolflor
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Women
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_224053
Online Media:

Six Wonders Built by Pioneering Women Architects

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Tue, 09 Mar 2021 19:20:45 +0000
Topic:
Custom RSS  Search this
See more posts:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_af3040f4481589c33a20d757041c635c

Alice Frye Leach papers

Creator:
Leach, Alice Frye, 1857-1943  Search this
Extent:
0.7 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1900-circa 1950
Summary:
The scattered papers of Alice Frye Leach measure 0.7 linear feet and date from circa 1900-circa 1950. Found are artworks including an unfinished portrait and watercolor and pencil sketches, biographical material, photographs, and printed material.
Scope and Contents:
The scattered papers of Alice Frye Leach measure 0.7 linear feet and date from circa 1900-circa 1950. Found are artworks including an unfinished portrait and watercolor and pencil sketches, biographical material, photographs, and printed material.
Arrangement:
Due to the small size of this collection the papers are arranged as one series.
Biographical / Historical:
Alice Frye Leach (1857-1943) was a painter and architect in Boston, Massachusetts. She studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School and was a founder and member of the Copley Society.
Provenance:
Catherine and Elizabeth Leach, daughters of Alice Frye Leach, donated the papers to the Archives of American Art in 1978.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Architects -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Women architects  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Citation:
Alice Frye Leach papers, circa 1900-circa 1950. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.leacalic
See more items in:
Alice Frye Leach papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9e61df907-a543-4b3e-9418-020786051136
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-leacalic

Oral history interview with Denise Scott Brown, 1990 October 25-1991 November 9

Interviewee:
Scott Brown, Denise, 1931-  Search this
Interviewer:
Reed, Peter  Search this
Subject:
Kahn, Louis I.  Search this
Korn, Arthur  Search this
Scott Brown, Robert  Search this
Venturi, Robert  Search this
Architectural Association (Great Britain)  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston  Search this
National Gallery (Great Britain)  Search this
University of Pennsylvania  Search this
Venturi Scott Brown and Associates  Search this
Venturi, Rauch, and Scott Brown  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Denise Scott Brown, 1990 October 25-1991 November 9. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Architecture -- Study and teaching  Search this
Architecture, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Architecture, Postmodern -- United States  Search this
City planning  Search this
Women architects  Search this
Architects -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- Interviews  Search this
Theme:
Architecture & Design  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13059
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215692
AAA_collcode_scottb90
Theme:
Architecture & Design
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_215692
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Denise Scott Brown

Interviewee:
Scott Brown, Denise, 1931-  Search this
Interviewer:
Reed, Peter  Search this
Names:
Architectural Association (Great Britain) -- Students  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston  Search this
National Gallery (Great Britain)  Search this
University of Pennsylvania -- Faculty  Search this
University of Pennsylvania -- Students  Search this
Venturi Scott Brown and Associates  Search this
Venturi, Rauch, and Scott Brown  Search this
Kahn, Louis I., 1901-1974  Search this
Korn, Arthur, 1891-  Search this
Scott Brown, Robert  Search this
Venturi, Robert  Search this
Extent:
188 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1990 October 25-1991 November 9
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Denise Scott Brown conducted 1990 October 25-1991 November 9, by Peter Reed, for the Archives of American Art.
Scott Brown discusses her family background and growing up in South Africa; her education at the University of Witwatersrand, the Architectural Association, London, a summer school in Venice, sponsored by Congres Internationale d'Architecture Moderne, and the University of Pennsylvania, recalling some of her teachers (including Arthur Korn and Louis Kahn); her first husband, Robert Scott Brown, and their travels throughout Europe and experiences in Pennsylvania; her teaching philosophy and experiences at the University of Pennsylvania, Yale, Harvard, UCLA, and Berkeley; the architecture program at Penn from her perspective as a student and as a member of the faculty; meeting Robert Venturi, their work together, the firm and the difficulties encountered in the 1970s and 1980s, some of their projects such as the National Gallery, London, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and planning work; publications such as "Complexity and Contradiction," "Urban concepts," "Worm's Eye View," and "Learning from Las Vegas;" postmodern architecture; critics; and her experiences as a woman in the field.
Biographical / Historical:
Denise Scott Brown (1931- ) is an architect of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
General:
Originally recorded on 10 sound cassette. Reformatted in 2010 as 19 digital wav files. Duration is 13 hr., 45 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Topic:
Architecture -- Study and teaching  Search this
Architecture, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Architecture, Postmodern -- United States  Search this
City planning  Search this
Women architects  Search this
Architects -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- Interviews  Search this
Function:
Architectural firms -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.scottb90
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw99f626da7-523f-443a-8493-096e9242adaa
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-scottb90
Online Media:

Poster for dearsure: "Women Comprise 9.1% of All "Regular" AIA Membership"

Medium:
Offset lithograph on vellum
Dimensions:
37.5 x 28.3 cm (14 3/4 x 11 1/8 in. )
Type:
graphic design
Poster
Object Name:
Poster
Date:
1993
Credit Line:
Gift of Unknown Donor
Accession Number:
1994-114-9
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/kq41f6edf5b-0bb6-4608-b2fe-5315a7d05262
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_1994-114-9

Double Portrait of the Artists

Artist:
Misch Kohn, born Kokomo, IN 1916-died Castro Valley, CA 2003  Search this
Publisher:
Lakeside Studio Editions  Search this
Printer:
Lakeside Studio Editions  Search this
Harry Westlund  Search this
Sitter:
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe  Search this
Janice Joplin  Search this
Medium:
lithograph on paper
Dimensions:
sheet: 16 x 21 5/8 in. (40.7 x 54.8 cm)
Type:
Graphic Arts-Print
Date:
1971
Topic:
Performing arts\music\voice  Search this
Dress\accessory\eye wear  Search this
Occupation\art\architect  Search this
Portrait male\bust  Search this
Portrait female\bust  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Dr. Christopher A. Graf and Janet Graf
Object number:
1972.105.7
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk79417692b-82e3-4db2-a3ae-b725ec8f75b4
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1972.105.7

The finishing touch / text, Tracy Lynn Chemaly ; photographs, Karl Rogers and David Ross

Author:
Chemaly, Tracy Lynn  Search this
Rogers, Karl (Photographer)  Search this
Ross, David  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Subject:
Van der Meulen, Phia  Search this
Type:
Articles
Place:
South Africa
Date:
2013
Topic:
Women architects  Search this
Call number:
NA7100 .C663
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1030822

Woman's Building records

Creator:
Woman's Building (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Names:
Feminist Studio Workshop  Search this
Women's Graphic Center (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Chicago, Judy, 1939-  Search this
De Bretteville, Sheila Levrant  Search this
Raven, Arlene  Search this
Extent:
33.5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Slides
Artists' books
Date:
1970-1992
Summary:
The records of the Woman's Building feminist arts organization in Los Angeles measure 33.5 linear feet and date from 1970-1992. Originally founded by artist Judy Chicago, graphic designer Sheila Levant de Bretteville, and art historian Arlene Raven in 1973, the Woman's Building served as an education center and public gallery space for women artists in southern California. The records document both the educational and exhibition activities and consist of administrative records, financial and legal records, publications, curriculum files, exhibition files, grant funding records and artist's works of arts and prints. A significant portion of the collection documents the Women's Graphic Center, a typesetting, design, and printing service operated by The Woman's Building.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of the Woman's Building measure 33.5 linear feet and date from 1970 to 1992. The organization played a key role as an alternative space for women artists energized by the feminist movement in the 1970s. The records document the ways in which feminist theory shaped the Building's founding core mission and goals. During its eighteen year history, the Building served as an education center and a public gallery space for women artists in Los Angeles and southern California; the records reflect both functions of the Building's activities.

The Administrative Files series documents the daily operations of the Building, with particular emphasis on management policies, budget planning, history, cooperative relationships with outside art organizations and galleries, special building-wide programs, and relocation planning. Included in this series are the complete minutes from most Building committees from 1974 through closing, including the Board of Directors and the Advisory Council. The General Publicity and Outreach series is particularly complete, containing publicity notices from most events, exhibits, and programs held at the Woman's Building, including brochures, announcements, programs, invitations, press releases, newspaper clippings, and magazine articles.

The Woman's Building's educational programs centered on courses offered by the Feminist Studio Workshop and the Extension Program. While the Workshop provided a two-year program for women interested in fully developing their artistic talent, the Extension Program offered a broad range of classes, specifically oriented to working women interested in art and art vocations. The records fully document both programs, focusing on the course development and descriptions, teacher contracts, class evaluations, budget planning, and scholarship programs. Although the Archives does not have the entire slide library, there are files concerning the establishment and administration of the library, as well as a few folders of slides.

The Gallery Programs series houses the records of the visual, performing, literary and video arts events held at the Woman's Building. Administrative files detail the daily operation of the gallery spaces. The files in the remaining subseries are primarily arranged by event and contain proposals, announcements, publicity, and artist biographies.

The Women's Graphic Center became a profit-making arm of the Woman's Building in 1981 but the typesetting and design equipment had been used by staff and students since 1975. The records in this series focus on the work produced at the Center, including general projects and artist designs and art prints. Many of the design and printing examples were produced for Woman's Building events and programs.

The Artist's Works of Art series includes artist books, resumes, correspondence, postcards, and samples of art in the form of sketches, drawings, and prints. There is also material related to Woman's Building projects. Especially noteworthy is the "What is Feminist Art?" project where artists gave their responses in various formats and mediums from text to pieces of artwork.

The Printed Materials series contains feminist and art publications not produced by or for the Woman's Building.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 7 series.

Series 1: Administrative Files, circa 1970-1991 (Box 1-9, 32; 9 linear feet)

Series 2: Educational Programs, 1971-1991 (Box 10-14; 4.9 linear feet)

Series 3: Gallery Programs, 1973-1991 (Box 14-20, OV 54; 5.7 linear feet)

Series 4: Women's Graphic Center, circa 1976-1989 (Box 20-23, 32, OV 33-50; 5.6 linear feet)

Series 5: Artists' Works of Art, circa 1972-1990 (Box 24-25, OV 51-53; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 6: Grants, 1974-1992 (Box 25-30; 5.3 linear feet)

Series 7: Printed Material (Not Woman's Building), 1970-1983 (Box 30-31; 1.3 linear feet)
Historical Note:
In 1973, artist Judy Chicago, graphic designer Sheila Levant de Bretteville, and art historian Arlene Raven founded the Feminist Studio Workshop (FSW), one of the first independent schools for women artists. The founders established the workshop as a non-profit alternative education center committed to developing art based on women's experiences. The FSW focused not only on the development of art skills, but also on the development of women's experiences and the incorporation of those experiences into their artwork. Central to this vision was the idea that art should not be separated from other activities related to the developing women's movement. In November of 1973 the founders rented workshop space in a vacated building in downtown Los Angeles and called it The Woman's Building, taking the name from the structure created for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The FSW shared space with other organizations and enterprises including several performance groups, Womanspace Gallery, Sisterhood Bookstore, the National Organization of Women, and the Women's Liberation Union.

When the building they were renting was sold in 1975, the FSW and a few other tenants moved to a three-story brick structure, originally designed to be the administrative offices of the Standard Oil Company in the 1920s. In the 1940s, it had been converted into a warehouse and consisted of three floors of open space, conducive to publically available extension classes and exhibitions offered by the Woman's Building staff and students. By 1977, the majority of the outside tenants had left the Woman's Building, primarily because they were unable to sustain business in the new location. The new building was more expensive to maintain and the FSW staff decided to hire an administrator and to create a board structure to assume the financial, legal, and administrative responsibility for the Building. The funds to operate came from FSW tuition, memberships, fund-raising events, and grant monies.

In 1981, the Feminist Studio Workshop closed, as the demand for alternative education diminished. The education programs of the Building were restructured to better accommodate the needs of working women. The Woman's Building also began to generate its own artistic programming with outside artists, including visual arts exhibits, performance art, readings, and video productions. That same year, the Woman's Building founded the Women's Graphic Center Typesetting and Design, a profit-making enterprises designed to strengthen its financial base. Income generated from the phototypesetting, design, production, and printing services was used to support the educational and art making activities of the Building.

When the graphics business closed in 1988, the Woman's Building suffered a financial crisis from which it never fully recovered. The Building closed its gallery and performance space in 1991.
Related Material:
Among the other resources relating to the Woman's Building in the Archives of American Art is an oral history with Suzanne Lacy on March 16, 1990, March 24, 1990, and September 24, 1990. While not credited as a founding member, Lacy was among the first group of staff of the Woman's Building which she discusses in her interview.

The Getty Research Institute also holds a large collection on the Woman's Building which includes a wide range of material relating to its exhibitions, activities, and projects.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art donated 5 boxes of video tape from the collection to the Long Beach Museum of Art, Video Annex in 1994. According to documentation, this was the desire of Sandra Golvin and the Board of Directors of the Woman's Building.
Provenance:
The Woman's Building records were donated to the Archives of American Art in 1991 by Sandra Golvin, President of the Board of Directors. An small addition of a set of "Cross Pollination" posters was donated in 2019 by by ONE Archives at University of Southern California Libraries via Loni Shibuyama, Archives Librarian.
Topic:
Works of art  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Feminism and art  Search this
Function:
Nonprofit organizations -- California
Arts organizations -- California
Genre/Form:
Slides
Artists' books
Citation:
Woman's Building records, 1970-1992. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.womabuil
See more items in:
Woman's Building records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw938796dfe-5dbf-49e9-96e7-5a8745391f13
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-womabuil
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Online Media:

Conference, "Women in Design: The Next Decade,"

Collection Creator:
Woman's Building (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Container:
Box 10, Folder 11
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1975
Collection Citation:
Woman's Building records, 1970-1992. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Woman's Building records
Woman's Building records / Series 2: Education Programs / 2.1: Administrative Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw97bc04f94-0659-434a-bdd0-07ec0835ab7c
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-womabuil-ref446
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Outreach

Collection Creator:
Woman's Building (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Container:
Box 12, Folder 15
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1975-1978
Collection Citation:
Woman's Building records, 1970-1992. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Woman's Building records
Woman's Building records / Series 2: Education Programs / 2.2: Feminist Studio Workshop
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9b945bc60-acec-44c6-af3f-5be3372d4740
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-womabuil-ref557
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  • View Outreach digital asset number 1

Florence Knoll Bassett papers

Creator:
Knoll, Florence, 1917-2019  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Cranbrook Kingswood School (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.)  Search this
Hans G. Knoll Furniture Company  Search this
Knoll Associates, inc.  Search this
Knoll International, inc.  Search this
Cheek, Leslie, 1908-  Search this
Eames, Charles  Search this
Gandhi, Indira, 1917-1984  Search this
Graham, Katharine, 1917-  Search this
Helm, John  Search this
Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005  Search this
Knoll, Walter C.  Search this
Miller, R. Craig  Search this
Milles, Carl, 1875-1955  Search this
Raseman, Rachel de Wolfe  Search this
Reagan, Nancy, 1923-  Search this
Saarinen, Eero, 1910-1961  Search this
Saarinen, Eliel, 1873-1950  Search this
Slavin, Maeve  Search this
Extent:
2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketches
Drawings
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Date:
1932-2000
Summary:
The papers of architect and designer Florence Knoll Bassett, measure approximately 2 linear feet dating from 1932 to 2000. Through correspondence, sketches, drawings, designs, subject files, photographs, and printed material, the collection selectively documents Knoll Bassett's education, her work with Knoll Associates from the 1940s until her resignation in 1965, and projects undertaken since her retirement. It is an important source of information on the development of interior architecture and design from the 1940s to the 1970s.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of architect, and interior designer and planner Florence Knoll Bassett, measure approximately 2 linear feet dating from 1932 to 2000. The collection selectively documents Knoll Bassett's education and her career at Knoll Associates, Inc. from the 1940s until her resignation in 1965, in addition to personal design projects and other activities after leaving the company. It is an important source of information on the development of interior architecture and design from the 1940s to the 1970s, chronicling the Knoll mission to synthesize space, furniture, and design by creating interiors based on practical use, comfort, and aesthetics.

The collection documents the growth of Knoll's international reputation for its modern furnishings and interiors and the impact of a business philosophy that encompassed design excellence, technological innovation, and mass production. The material includes a chronology of Knoll Bassett's career; a portfolio of sketches, drawings and designs; photographs of Knoll Bassett and others; subject files containing sketches and photographic material; letters from friends, colleagues, clients and others; awards received by Knoll Bassett throughout her career; and printed material.

Much of the material is annotated with historical and biographical notes written by Knoll Bassett which provide invaluable contextual information for the materials found therein. The notes are dated 1999 in the Container Listing, under the assumption that they were written by Florence Knoll Bassett as she was arranging her archival papers.
Arrangement:
Before donating her papers to the Archives of American Art, Knoll Bassett organized the material in portfolios and color-coded files and designed four containers for them. Because the method of arrangement in itself provides insight into Knoll Bassett's style and creativity the collection has been minimally processed with the addition of acid-free materials for preservation reasons and the transcription of labels which may, over time, become detached. The original order of the collection has been retained throughout.

The collection was organized into what Bassett termed "storage units," the first container being divided into three units and the collection as a whole being divided into six units. Knoll Bassett supplied a detailed inventory of the contents of each container and the subjects represented in each porfolio or folder. Subject headings from this inventory have been used in the Series Description/Container Listing. Knoll Bassett also supplied a vita summarizing her career and copies of this, and her original container inventory are enclosed with the collection and can be consulted at AAA's research center in Washington D.C.

The collection is arranged as seven series. These series represent the categories into which Knoll Bassett organized the material, with the exception that Letters and Awards are presented as two series in the finding aid. Most of the items in Series 1 to 4 are presented as portfolios in spiral-bound notebooks and the remainder of the collection is organized in folders.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1932-1999 (Box 1; 1 portfolio)

Series 2: Selected Publications, 1946-1990, 1999 (Box 1; 1 portfolio)

Series 3: Drawings, Sketches, and Designs, 1932-1984, 1999 (Boxes 1-2; 2 portfolios)

Series 4: Photographs and Printed Material, 1956-1997, 1999 (Box 2; 1 portfolio)

Series 5: Subject Files, circa 1930s-1999 (Box 3; 1.0 linear ft.)

Series 6: Letters, circa 1930s-2000 (Box 4; 7 folders)

Series 7: Awards, 1954-1999 (Box 4; 6 folders)
Biographical Note:
Florence Knoll Bassett (1917-2019) was born Florence Schust and was affectionately known as Shu by her colleagues and friends. She was orphaned at age 12 and then cared for by Emile Tessin, a friend of the family whom her mother had appointed as Florence's legal guardian in the event of her death. When arrangements were being made for Florence to attend boarding school she was given the opportunity to make the selection. Kingswood School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, held a strong aesthetic appeal for her and she "made an immediate decision that it was the right place for me," beginning her architectural studies under the school's art director, Rachel de Wolfe Raseman.

At Kingswood Knoll Bassett met the Saarinen family, studying under Eliel Saarinen and developing her interest in texture and color through her friendship with Loja Saarinen who supervised the school's weaving studio. Following Florence's graduation from Kingswood in 1934, Eliel Saarinen encouraged her to spend some time at Cranbrook Academy of Art before attending an accredited architecture school. She spent the next two years at Cranbrook working closely with advanced students and artists such as the Saarinens and Carl Milles, and gaining experience in all aspects of design.

Knoll Bassett then studied for two years at the Architectural Association in London, spending summers with the Saarinens in Europe. She completed her formal training at the Illinois Institute of Technology where she studied under Mies van der Rohe, whom she credits with having "a profound effect on my design approach and the clarification of design."

After graduation Knoll Bassett worked for architecture firms in Boston and New York where she met Hans Knoll who was then in the process of establishing a furniture business. In 1943 she began working for him in her spare time as an interior space planner and designer. In 1946 the two were married and formed Knoll Associates, Inc.

As director of the Knoll Planning Unit, Knoll Bassett established herself as one of the most important and influential interior planners and designers of the second half of the twentieth century. Believing that intelligent design "strikes at the root of living requirements and changing habits," she established the practice of working closely with the corporate sector to determine the needs of the people who would actually use the spaces that her company designed. Her connections with leading contemporary architects and designers, and the company's commitment to crediting designers by name and paying them royalties, laid the foundations for the strong working relationships upon which the commercial success of Knoll Associates was built. Drawing on a pool of top architects and designers, many of whom were personal friends, Knoll Bassett directed the company's Bauhaus approach, incorporating design excellence, technological innovation, and mass production in a seamless package of "total design."

While Knoll Bassett oversaw the creative process of the Planning Unit's operations in its entirety, she was also directly responsible for many of the individual elements used in the Unit's projects. During the war years, she worked with her designers to overcome the scarcity of materials, establishing Knoll Textiles in response to the dearth of available fabrics and textile colors, and developing the company's hallmark style of spare clean lines and vibrant colors in a functional, comfortable, and aesthetically appealing space. Finding that much of the "fill-in" furniture, primarily cabinetry, that she envisaged in many of her plans was not available, Knoll Bassett designed the pieces herself. She used the Knoll showrooms as "experimental laboratories" to convince clients to use modern ideas and materials, showcasing and putting into production the classic designs of people such as Eero Saarinen, Mies van der Rohe, Jens Risom, Harry Bertoia, Isamu Noguchi, and Marcel Breuer.

After the war Knoll Associates expanded to Europe through a series of government contracts which resulted ultimately in the formation of Knoll International. When Hans Knoll died suddenly in an automobile accident in 1955 Florence became president of the company. She married Harry Hood Bassett in 1958 and began to divide her time between New York and Florida. In 1959 she sold her interest in Knoll Associates to Art Metal and retired as President of the company the following year, while continuing to work as a consultant and serving as Design Director. In 1961 she became the first woman to be awarded the Gold Medal for Industrial Design by the American Institute of Architects, one of many awards received over the course of her career. In 1965 she resigned from Knoll Associates entirely after completing the interior design for the CBS headquarters in New York.

Following her retirement Knoll Bassett devoted more time to private commissions and other interests such as her campaign against billboards in Miami in the mid 1980s. She spent summers in Vermont and winters in Florida with her husband, until his death in 1991. In July 2001, Metropolis magazine published a rare interview with Knoll Bassett in which she reflects upon the life she so skillfully documented in the extraordinary gift of her archival papers to the Archives of American Art.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art by Florence Knoll Bassett in 2000.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
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:
Architects -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Designers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Furniture designers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Interior decoration firms  Search this
Interior decoration  Search this
Industrial design  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women architects  Search this
Women designers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketches
Drawings
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.knolflor
See more items in:
Florence Knoll Bassett papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw92a5be5e6-2fa4-4ce3-ae1d-b36626e44ddc
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-knolflor
Online Media:

Letters (1960s)

Collection Creator:
Knoll, Florence, 1917-2019  Search this
Container:
Box 4, Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1961-1968
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Florence Knoll Bassett papers, 1932-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Florence Knoll Bassett papers
Florence Knoll Bassett papers / Series 6: Letters
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw95f7fd80a-cb4b-443c-839c-af04b2ef7e46
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-knolflor-ref59

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