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Agnes Pelton papers

Creator:
Pelton, Agnes, 1881-1961  Search this
Names:
Annixter, Jane  Search this
Extent:
2.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Sketches
Sketchbooks
Scrapbooks
Date:
1885-1989
Summary:
The papers of painter Agnes Pelton measure 2.1 linear feet and date from 1885-1989. Found within the papers are biographical materials; business and personal correspondence, many addressed to Jane Levington Comfort; writings; printed material; 3 mixed media scrapbooks; one studio guestbook, signed by visitors to Agnes Pelton's studio; artwork, including loose sketches and 9 sketchbooks; and photographs of Pelton, her family and friends, and her work.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter Agnes Pelton measure 2.1 linear feet and date from 1885-1989. Found within the papers are biographical materials; business and personal correspondence, many addressed to Jane Levington Comfort; writings; printed material; 3 mixed media scrapbooks; one studio guestbook signed by visitors to Agnes Pelton's studio; artwork, including loose sketches and 9 sketchbooks; and photographs of Pelton, her family and friends, and her work.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 7 series.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1898-1989 (2 folders; Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1930-1980 (0.4 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 3: Writings, 1913-1956 (8 folders; Box 1)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1913-1955 (6 folders; Box 1)

Series 5: Scrapbooks and Guestbook, 1911-1955 (0.7 linear feet; Boxes 1, 4)

Series 6: Artwork, 1885-1957 (0.5 linear feet; Boxes 2-3)

Series 7: Photographic Material, 1886-1955 (0.4 linear feet; Box 3)
Biographical / Historical:
Painter Agnes Pelton (1881-1961) lived and worked in Long Island, New York, and Cathedral City, California, and is known for her desert landscapes, portraits, and abstract paintings.

Born in Stuttgart, Germany to William and Florence Pelton, Pelton and her mother relocated to New York after her father's death in 1890. Her mother, who had studied music at the Stuttgart Conservatory, opened the Pelton School of Music in Brooklyn, which remained in operation for 30 years. Pelton began her art studies at the Pratt Institute in 1895 and continued working with one of her instructors, Arthur Dow, at his summer school in Ipswich, Massachusetts, after her graduation in 1900. She later worked with William Langson Lathrop and Hamilton Field, and traveled abroad to attend the British Academy in Rome in 1910 and 1911.

In 1912, after seeing her work in an exhibition in Hamilton Field's studio in Ogunquit, Maine, Walt Kuhn invited Pelton to participate in the 1913 Armory Show. During her early career, Pelton created works that were primarily influenced by Davies's philosophy on the effect of natural light, and which she termed "Imaginative Paintings." After a visit to New Mexico in 1919, Pelton began shifting to another style of painting, focusing on Southwestern landscapes and figurative portraits, which she continued from her studios in New York City and Long Island. In 1932, Pelton moved to Cathedral City, California and began painting abstract works in a new stylistic phase, which were visual explorations of her growing interest in spirituality and philosophy. In 1938, she became a founding member of the Transcendental Painting Group, which included Raymond Jonson and Emil Bisttram. Pelton died in Cathedral City in 1961.
Provenance:
The Agnes Pelton papers were assembled by Cornelia and Irving Sussman for a biography of Agnes Pelton. They were donated to the Archives by gallery director Jan Rindfleisch on behalf of the Sussmans, in 1984. In 1997, circa 162 letters from Agnes Pelton to Jane Levington Comfort, that are now part of this collection, were bequeathed to Cornelia and Irving Sussman by Jane Levington Comfort through Joan Crisci, the executor of Comfort's estate, and donated to the Archives. An additional studio guestbook was donated in 2021 by Kay Hillery, whose in-laws were neighbors and friends with Agnes Pelton. Both the letters from Agnes Pelton to Jane Levington Comfort and the studio guestbook donations were facilitated by Michael Kelley.
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:
Painters -- California  Search this
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sketches
Sketchbooks
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Agnes Pelton papers, 1885-1989. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.peltagne
See more items in:
Agnes Pelton papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9a289c7ce-c51e-4e37-86a3-724f74143e4a
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-peltagne
Online Media:

Otto and Gertrud Natzler letters to Hella Hammid, circa 1963-1973

Creator:
Hammid, Hella, 1921-  Search this
Natzler, Otto, 1908-2007  Search this
Hammid, Hella, 1921-  Search this
Subject:
Natzler, Otto  Search this
Natzler, Gertrud  Search this
Natzler, Gail Reynolds  Search this
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)22110
AAA_collcode_hammhell
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_22110

Oral history interview with Margaret Tomkins, 1984 June 6

Interviewee:
Tomkins, Margaret, 1916-2002  Search this
Tomkins, Margaret, 1916-2002  Search this
Interviewer:
Guenther, Bruce  Search this
Subject:
Fitzgerald, James  Search this
Artists Gallery (Seattle, Wash.)  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Artists -- Northwestern States -- Interviews  Search this
Art, Modern -- Northwestern States  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12308
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212455
AAA_collcode_tomkin84
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212455
Online Media:

National Aid to Visually Handicapped - National Gallery

Collection Creator:
Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries  Search this
Container:
Box 9
Reel 5861, Frame 532-652
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1940-1968
Scope and Contents note:
National Aid to Visually Handicapped

National Alliance of Art and Industry

National Art Week

National Association of Fine Arts Dealers, Inc.

National Association of Women Artists

National City Bank

National Collection of Fine Arts (See Smithsonian Institution)

National Conference of Christians and Jews

National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Patterson Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Westport Section

National Council of Women of the United States, Inc.

National Cystic Fibrosis Research Foundation

National Gallery
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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:
Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries records, 1858-1969 (bulk 1919-1968). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries records
Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries records / Series 1: Correspondence, A-Z
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw97e879d3b-1993-40f1-a1c9-c4920ea9cd3d
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-franrehg-ref318

Florence Allen papers

Creator:
Allen, Florence W. (Florence Wysinger), 1913-1997  Search this
Names:
Belafonte, Harry, 1927- -- Photographs  Search this
Newman, Paul, 1925- -- Photographs  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1920-1997
Summary:
The collection measures 0.5 linear feet, dates from 1920 to 1997, and documents the career of artist's model Florence Allen. Found within the papers are biographical material, letters, notes and writings, artwork, and printed material. Of particular interest are a wide variety of photographs, including 19th century photographs of Allen family members, photographs of Florence Allen posing for artists, socializing with famous friends such as Paul Robeson, Harry Belefonte, Paul Newman, Allen Ginsberg, and participating in protest marches. There is also an autographed photo of Bob Hope.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of artist's model Florence Allen measure 0.5 linear feet and date from 1920-1997. Found within the papers are biographical material, scattered letters that generally discuss some of Allen's activities, miscellaneous notes and writings, a drawing and a silhouette, and clippings. The primary value of this collection rests in its wide variety of photographs. As well as 19th century photographs of Allen family members, the collection contains photographs of Florence Allen posing for artists, socializing with famous friends such as Paul Robeson, Harry Belefonte, Paul Newman and Allen Ginsberg, and participating in protest marches. There is also an autographed photo of Bob Hope.
Biographical Note:
Florence Wysinger Allen was born in Oakland, California, in 1913, the granddaughter of early African-American settlers. Her mother, née Moore, was a concert pianist, and her father, Arthur, as a boy in 1892, was named in the case of Wysinger vs. Crookshank which led to the desegregation of schools in California.

Florence Allen was educated at Fremont High School and later became involved in the San Francisco literary and artistic community as a civil rights activist and newspaper columnist. She began modeling in 1933 and worked as an artist's model for most of the prominent figurative painters working in the Bay Area of San Francisco, including Diego Rivera, Mark Rothko, and Wayne Thiebaud. She also worked as a model in university art classes, including those at the San Francisco Art Institute, Mills College, University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, and the California College of Arts and Crafts.

In 1945, Ms. Allen founded the San Francisco Models' Guild. After injuries from a traffic accident limited her mobility in 1987, she became the Model Coordinator at the College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland where she also taught a Model Certification Workshop.

Florence Allen died June 1, 1997 in El Sobrante, California.
Provenance:
The Florence Allen papers were donated in 1995 and 1999 by Florence Allen via Austin Conkey, an informal executor, who maintained Allen's papers.
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:
Artists' models -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Florence Allen papers, 1920-1997. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.alleflor
See more items in:
Florence Allen papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9fa8c56ea-88a3-4431-be78-b4d987a6e925
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-alleflor
Online Media:

Otto and Gertrud Natzler letters to Hella Hammid

Creator:
Hammid, Hella, 1921-  Search this
Names:
Natzler, Gail Reynolds  Search this
Natzler, Gertrud  Search this
Natzler, Otto  Search this
Extent:
0.01 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1963-1973
Summary:
Twenty-nine letters from Otto and Gertrud Natzler to Hella Hammid and three postcards from Otto and Gail Reynolds Natzler to Hammid, 1963-1973 and undated.
Scope and Contents:
Twenty-nine letters from ceramicists Otto and Gertrud Natzler to Hella Hammid and three postcards from Otto and Gail Reynolds Natzler to Hammid, 1963-1973 and undated.
Arrangement:
Due to its small size the collection is arranged in one series.
Biographical / Historical:
Hella Hammid (1921-1992) was a German American photographer in Los Angles, California. Hammid was friends with ceramicists Otto and Gertrud Natzler. After Gertrud's death in 1971, Otto married Gail Reynolds.
Related Materials:
Theh Archives of American Art also holds the papers of Otto and Gertrud Natzler.
Provenance:
Donated in 2022 by Julia Hammid, Hella Hammid's daughter.
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:
Photographers -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Ceramicists -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Citation:
Otto and Gertrud Natzler Letters to Hella Hammid, circa 1963-1973. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.hammhell
See more items in:
Otto and Gertrud Natzler letters to Hella Hammid
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw903d726ec-2f9a-41e1-83ec-57e3839d4930
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-hammhell

Imogen Cunningham letters to Hella Hammid, 1956-1972

Creator:
Hammid, Hella, 1921-  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Hammid, Hella, 1921-  Search this
Subject:
Lavenson, Alma  Search this
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Women photographers  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)22111
AAA_collcode_hammihel
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_22111

Bruria Finkel papers, 1953-2020

Creator:
Finkel, Bruria, 1932-  Search this
Finkel, Bruria, 1932-  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Political activists  Search this
Feminism and art  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Women sculptors  Search this
Women photographers  Search this
Women educators  Search this
Theme:
Women  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)16218
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)368476
AAA_collcode_finkbrur
Theme:
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_368476
Online Media:

Joyce Scott papers, 1914-2019, bulk 1970s-2000s

Creator:
Scott, Joyce J. (Joyce Jane), 1948-  Search this
Scott, Joyce J. (Joyce Jane), 1948-  Search this
Subject:
Scott, Elizabeth Talford  Search this
Type:
Performances (creative events)
Sketchbooks
Interviews
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Photograph albums
Topic:
African American artists  Search this
Women artists  Search this
African American quiltmakers  Search this
Women performance artists  Search this
Women sculptors  Search this
Women jewelers  Search this
Theme:
African American  Search this
Women  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)21713
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)398529
AAA_collcode_scotjoyc
Theme:
African American
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_398529
Online Media:

Flower sketch

Creator:
Momiyama, Nanae, 1924-2002  Search this
Momiyama, Nanae, 1924-2002  Search this
Type:
Artworks
Date:
19--
Topic:
Asian American artists  Search this
Flowers (plants)  Search this
Japanese American artists  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)20797
See more items in:
Nanae Momiyama papers, 1928-circa 2000, bulk 1948-2000
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_20797

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney papers

Creator:
Whitney, Gertrude Vanderbilt, 1875-1942  Search this
Names:
American Ambulance Field Hospital (Juilly, France)  Search this
Greenwich House (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
Whitney Studio Club  Search this
Cushing, Howard Gardiner, 1869-1916  Search this
De Meyer, Adolf, Baron, 1868-1949  Search this
Miller, Flora Whitney  Search this
Strelecki, Jean de, count  Search this
Watson, Forbes, 1880-1960  Search this
Whitney, Harry Payne, 1872-1930  Search this
Extent:
36.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Lithographs
Photographs
Interviews
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Blueprints
Sketches
Date:
1851-1975
bulk 1888-1942
Summary:
The Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney papers measure approximately 36.1 linear feet and date from 1851 to 1975, with the bulk of the material dating from 1888 to 1942. The collection documents the life and work of the art patron and sculptor, especially her promotion of American art and artists, her philanthropy and war relief work, her commissions for memorial sculpture, and her creative writing. Papers include correspondence, journals, writings, project files, scrapbooks, photographs, artwork, printed material, two sound recordings, and miscellaneous personal papers.
Scope and Content Note:
The Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney papers measure approximately 36.1 linear feet and date from 1851 to 1975, with the bulk of the material dating from 1888 to 1942. The collection documents the life and work of the art patron and sculptor, especially her promotion of American art and artists, her philanthropy and war relief work, her commissions for memorial sculpture, and her creative writing. Papers include correspondence, journals, writings, project files, scrapbooks, photographs, artwork, printed material, two sound recordings, and miscellaneous personal papers.

Material relating to more personal aspects of Whitney's life include school papers, a paper doll book dating from her childhood, financial material, interviews, awards and honorary degrees, address and telephone books, committee files, and other items. Correspondence consists of incoming and outgoing letters concerning both personal and professional matters, including her patronage of the arts and sponsorship of artists, her sculpture commissions and exhibitions, and her war relief work and other philantrophic activities. Also found are family correspondence and correspondence received by the Flora Whitney Miller and the Whitney Museum of American Art after Whitney's death. Journals include personal ones that she kept periodically from the time she was a child to near the end of her life, in which she recorded her travels, her impressions of people, her experiences with friends, and her thoughts on art, among other topics; and social ones, in which she recorded dinners and dances attended, and people invited to different social gatherings, and in which she collected invitations received and accepted.

Scattered files can be found that relate to the Whitney Studio Club and the Whitney Museum of American Art, consisting of notebooks, catalogs, a financial report, and other material. Files relating to Whitney's own sculpture projects are more extensive and consist of correspondence, contracts, printed material, notes, financial material for proposed and completed commissions for fountains, memorials, and monuments. The Whitney Museum of American Art, rather than Whitney herself, seems to have kept these files. Files relating to Whitney's philanthropic activities span from the time just before to just after the First World War and consist of correspondence, minutes, reports, and printed material stemming from her contributions to charities and war relief organizations, her sponsorship of the war hospital in Juilly, France, and her support of the Greenwich House Social Settlement.

Whitney's writings include extensive drafts, and handwritten and typed manuscripts and copies of novels, plays, and stories, as well as some autobiographical and early writings, notes and writings on art, and clippings of published writings, documenting her principle means of creative expression towards the end of her life. Also found are some writings by others. Scrapbooks consist of clippings, photographs, letters and other material, compiled by Whitney, Flora Whitney Miller, and possibly others, documenting Whitney's public life, her sculpture commissions and exhibitions, exhibitions at the Whitney Studio, the war hospital in Juilly, France, the death of Harry Payne Whitney in 1930, and the sickness and death of Whitney in 1942.

Photographs include ones of the Whitney and Vanderbilt families, ones of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (including portraits taken by Baron Adolf de Meyer and Count Jean de Strelecki), ones of various Vanderbilt and Whitney residences and of Whitney's studios, ones of Whitney's sculpture exhibitions as well as exhibitions at her studio, and ones of her sculptures, as well as some miscellaneous and unidentified ones. Artwork consists of sketchbooks and sketches by Whitney (including sketches for sculptures) and artwork by others (including a sketchbook of Howard Cushing's containing a sketch of her and albums of World War I lithographs) collected by Whitney. Also found amongst the collection are printed material (clippings, exhibition catalogs, programs, and publications) and blueprints (including drawings for Whitney's studio on MacDougal Alley and various of her sculptures).
Arrangement:
The Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney papers are arranged into twelve series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Miscellaneous Personal Papers, 1888-1947, 1975 (Boxes 1-3, 33-34, OV 42; 2.5 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1889-1949, 1959 (Boxes 3-9; 6 linear feet)

Series 3: Journals, circa 1886-1939 (Boxes 9-12, 33; 2.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Whitney Studio Club and Whitney Museum of American Art Files, 1921-1943 (Box 12; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 5: Sculpture Files, 1900-1960 (bulk 1909-1942) (Boxes 12-15; 3 linear feet)

Series 6: Philanthropy Files, 1902-1923 (bulk 1915-1920) (Boxes 15-17; 2 linear feet)

Series 7: Writings, 1889-1942, 1974 (Boxes 17-26; 10 linear feet)

Series 8: Scrapbooks, 1893-1942 (Boxes 26-27, 33, 35; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 9: Printed Material, 1859-1942 (Boxes 27-28, 36; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 10: Photographs, 1862-1942 (Boxes 28-32, 36-41, OV 43-51; 6.4 linear feet)

Series 11: Artwork, 1871-1930s (Boxes 32, 41, OV 52-54; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 12: Blueprints, 1913-1945 (OV 55; 0.1 linear feet)
Biographical/Historical note:
New York art patron and sculptor, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875-1942), was the eldest daughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt II and Alice Gwynne Vanderbilt, and founder of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Whitney was born January 9, 1875 in New York City, the. She was educated by private tutors and attended Brearley School in New York. From the time she was a young girl, she kept journals of her travels and impressions of the people she met, and engaged in creative pursuits such as sketching and writing stories. In 1896, she was married to Harry Payne Whitney. They had three children, Flora, Cornelius, and Barbara.

In 1900, Whitney began to study sculpture under Hendrik Christian Anderson, and then under James Fraser. Later, she studied with Andrew O'Connor in Paris. From the time she started studying sculpture, her interest in art grew, as did her particular concern for American art and artists. In 1907, she organized an art exhibition at the Colony Club, which included several contemporary American paintings. She also opened a studio on MacDougal Alley, which became known as the Whitney Studio and was a place where shows and prize competitions were held. (She also had other studios in Westbury, Long Island and Paris, France.) Over the years, her patronage of art included buying work, commissioning it, sponsoring it, exhibiting it, and financially supporting artists in America and abroad. From 1911 on, she was aided in her work by Juliana Force, who started out as Whitney's secretary, was responsible for art exhibitions at the Whitney Studio, and became the first director of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The first recognition Whitney received for her sculpture came in 1908 when a project on which she had collaborated (with Grosvenor Atterbury and Hugo Ballin) won a prize for best design from the Architectural League of New York. The following year she received a commission to do a fountain sculpture for the Pan-American Building in Washington, D. C. She went on to do numerous other commissioned works over the next several decades, including: a fountain for the New Arlington Hotel in Washington D.C. (the design of which was reproduced in various sizes and materials, one cast being submitted to the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition where it won a bronze medal and a later cast being installed on the campus of McGill University, Montreal, Canada in 1930); the Titanic Memorial (designed in 1913 and erected in 1930); the Buffalo Bill Memorial (1924) in Cody, Wyoming; the Columbus Memorial (1929) in Port of Palos, Spain; the Peter Stuyvesant statue in Stuyvesant Square (1939); and The Spirit of Flight (1939) for the New York World's Fair. In 1916, she had her first one-man show at the Whitney Studio, another at the Newport Art Association, and a retrospective at the San Francisco Art Association Palace of Fine Arts. A traveling exhibition in the Midwest followed in 1918.

During the First World War, Whitney was involved with numerous war relief activities, most notably establishing and supporting a hospital in Juilly, France. She made several trips to France during the war, keeping a journal and eventually publishing a piece on the hospital in several newspapers. Her sculpture during this period was largely focused on war themes. In 1919, she exhibited some of these works at the Whitney Studio in a show called "Impressions of War." In the years after the war, she was also commissioned to do several war memorials, including the Washington Heights War Memorial (1922) and the St. Nazaire Memorial (1926) commemmorating the landing of the American Expeditionary Force in France in 1917.

In 1918, Whitney opened the Whitney Studio Club, which served as pioneering organization for American art, putting on exhibition programs and offering social space and recreational amenities to its members (one point numbering over four hundred artists living in New York). She planned an "Overseas Exhibition" of American art, which traveled to Paris and other European cities in 1920-1921, and had her own shows in Paris and London in 1921. In 1928, the Whitney Studio Club was transformed into an art gallery, known as the Whitney Studio Galleries and directed by Juliana Force, which eventually became the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1931.

Whitney pursued creative writing throughout her life, but beginning in the 1930s writing became her principle means of creative expression. Over the years, she produced numerous manuscripts for stories, novels, and play. One novel, Walking the Dusk, was published in 1932 under the pseudonym L. J. Webb. Beginning in 1940, Whitney took a "Professional Writing" course at Columbia University with Helen Hull, which resulted in the production of numerous short stories. In 1941, she collaborated with Ronald Bodley to adapt one of her stories as a play and attempted to get it produced, although unsuccessfully.

In 1934, Whitney was involved in a custody battle for her niece, Gloria Vanderbilt (daughter of her late brother, Reginald Vanderbilt and his wife, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt). In an agreement reached by the court, custody was awarded to Whitney and visitation rights to Gloria's mother. Litigation continued in the ensuing years.

In 1935, Whitney established the World's Fair Five Organization, with Juliana Force and four architects, to work on preparing a plan for the site of the 1939 New York World's Fair at Flushing Meadow, although the fair's own Board of Design ended up coming up with its own plan.

Whitney continued her work in sculpture, writing, art patronage, and philanthropy throughout the remaining years of her life. She died on April 18, 1942.
Related Archival Materials note:
Related material found in the Archives includes Research Material on Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney compiled by Flora Miller Irving and the Whitney Museum of American Art artists' files and records, available on microfilm only (originals are located in the Whitney Museum of American Art). Also found in the Archives of American Art's Miscellaneous Exhibition Catalog Collection are a bundle of Whitney Studio Club and Mrs. H. P. Whitney's Studio catalogs and announcements.
Provenance:
The Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney papers were donated in 1981 and 1991 by Whitney's granddaughter, Flora Miller Irving.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice. 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:
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Philanthropists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art patrons -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women sculptors  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Genre/Form:
Lithographs
Photographs
Interviews
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Blueprints
Sketches
Citation:
Whitney Museum of American Art, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney Papers, 1851-1975 (bulk 1888-1942). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.whitgert
See more items in:
Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9db113d72-cc31-4974-85fe-3e99c53dd62e
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-whitgert
Online Media:

Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers

Creator:
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Krasner, Lee, 1908-1984  Search this
Names:
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Martha Jackson Gallery  Search this
Benton, Thomas Hart, 1889-1975  Search this
Brooks, James, 1906-1992  Search this
Burkhardt, Rudy  Search this
Cavaliere, Barbara  Search this
Davis, Bill  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Dehner, Dorothy, 1901-1994  Search this
Eames, Ray  Search this
Forge, Andrew  Search this
Friedman, B. H. (Bernard Harper), 1926-  Search this
Glaser, Jane R.  Search this
Gray, Cleve  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Gruen, John  Search this
Holmes, Doloris  Search this
Isaacs, Reginald R., 1911-  Search this
Janis, Sidney, 1896-1989  Search this
Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005  Search this
Kadish, Reuben, 1913-1992  Search this
Maddox, Charles  Search this
Matter, Mercedes  Search this
McCoy, Sanford, Mrs.  Search this
Miller, Daniel  Search this
Miller, Robert, 1932 Apr. 17-  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Namuth, Hans  Search this
Ossorio, Alfonso, 1916-1990  Search this
Pollock, Charles C.  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956 -- Photographs  Search this
Rose, Barbara  Search this
Rouche, Burton  Search this
Smith, Tony, 1912-  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-  Search this
Valliere, James  Search this
Wasserman, Tamara E.  Search this
Wright, William  Search this
Zogbaum, Wilfrid, 1915-1965  Search this
Extent:
16.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Motion pictures (visual works)
Video recordings
Photographs
Interviews
Sound recordings
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Transcripts
Date:
circa 1914-1984
bulk 1942-1984
Summary:
The papers of abstract expressionist painters Jackson Pollock and wife Lee Krasner measure 16.1 linear feet and date from circa 1914 to 1984, with the bulk of the material dating from 1942 to 1984. The collection documents their personal and professional lives, as well as the legacy of Jackson Pollock's work after his death. Found are biographical material, correspondence, writings by Krasner and others, research material, business and financial records, printed material, scrapbooks, artwork by others, photographs, interview transcripts, audio and video recordings, and motion picture film.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of abstract expressionist painters Jackson Pollock and wife Lee Krasner measure 16.1 linear feet and date from circa 1914 to 1984, with the bulk of the material dating from 1942 to 1984. The collection documents their personal and professional lives, as well as the legacy of Jackson Pollock's work after his death. Found are biographical material, correspondence, writings by Krasner and others, research material, business and financial records, printed material, scrapbooks, artwork by others, photographs, interview transcripts, audio and video recordings, and motion picture film.

The collection is divided into two series, the first of which focuses on Pollock and includes his scattered papers dating from circa 1914 to his death in 1956, as well as Krasner's papers dating from his death to 1984 about managing Pollock's legacy. This series includes biographical materials, including transcripts and audio recordings of an interview with William Wright in 1949; Pollock's and Krasner's correspondence with Thomas Hart Benton, Betty Parsons Gallery, Bill Davis, B. H. Friedman, Reginald Isaacs, Sidney Janis, Violet De Lazlo, Martha Jackson Gallery, Alfonso Ossorio, Tony Smith, and Clyfford Still, and with one another; Krasner's correspondence concerning Pollock's estate and artwork after his death; numerous writings about Pollock, including an original draft of Bryan Robertson's biography and an essay by Clement Greenberg.

James Valliere extensive research files on Pollock for a never-published biography were given to Krasner and filed in Series 1. These include scattered correspondence with Lee Krasner, and Pollock's family and friends, including Charles Pollock, Thomas Hart Benton, and Robert Motherwell. There are also transcripts of interviews Valliere conducted with Pollock's friends and colleagues, including James Brooks, Dorothy Dehner, Clement Greenberg, Reuben Kadish, Lee Krasner, Charles Maddox, Mrs. Sanford McCoy, Daniel T. Miller, Robert Miller, and Tony Smith. The original audio reels and duplicates exist for many and are filed here. Additional interviews were conducted with Willem de Kooning, Alfonso Ossorio, and Burton Rouche, but not transcribed - these are filed in Series 1.10, Audio Recordings and Motion Picture Film.

Also found in Series 1 are scattered business records documenting Krasner's handling of Pollock's estate and legacy; printed materials relating to Pollock, including published biographies, exhibition catalogs, and clippings; two scrapbooks; and a sketchbook by an unidentified artist. Numerous photographs of Pollock include childhood and family photographs, photographs of Pollock in his studio by Hans Namuth, Rudy Burckhardt, and Herbert Matter, photographs of Pollock with Lee Krasner, and exhibition photographs. Audio recordings and motion film in Series 1 include a 1964 16mm film about Pollock (VHS copies are available) and reel-to-reel recordings of untranscribed interviews of Pollock's friends and colleagues by James Valliere, including interviews with Willem de Kooning and Alfonso Ossorio. Additional transcribed interviews are filed in subseries 1.4.

Lee Krasner's papers documenting her own career are arranged in Series 2 and date from 1927-1984. Biographical materials include resumes and awards, school documents, family documentation, and exhibition lists. Her correspondence with artist friends and art colleagues is extensive and includes many letters from artists such as Philip Johnson, Ray Eames, Cleve Gray, and Hans Namuth. She also maintained correspondence with many art historians and critics, curators, gallery owners, collectors, arts-related and social organizations, admirers, and family members.

There are thirteen transcripts of interviews with Krasner by Bruce Glaser, Barbara Cavaliere, Andrew Forge, Emily Wasserman, Barbara Rose, and others. The original audio recordings for these transcripts are filed in series 2.10, along with other audio recordings for which there are no transcripts, including interviews by John Gruen, Delores Holmes, Mercedes Matter, the Martha Dean Radio Show, NBC Today Show, and WQXR radio. There are also audio recordings of Krasner's lectures in series 2.10.

Krasner's papers also include writings and reminiscences by Krasner; writings about Krasner; printed materials such as exhibition catalogs and clippings; and one scrapbook containing clippings and photographs. Numerous photographs are of Krasner, including portrait photographs taken by Hans Namuth; of Krasner with Jackson Pollock and family and friends, and of her exhibitions and artwork.

Users should note that Pollock's and Krasner's papers contain similar types of material that often overlap in subject matter, especially among the correspondence and photographs.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 2 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Jackson Pollock papers and Lee Krasner papers about Jackson Pollock, circa 1914-1984 (Box 1-7, 16, OV 18, FC 19-22; 7.4 linear feet)

Series 2: Lee Krasner papers, circa 1927-1984 (Box 7-15, 17; 8.6 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Jackson Pollock was born in 1912, in Cody, Wyoming, the youngest of five sons. His family moved several times during his childhood, finally settling in Los Angeles. In 1930 he joined his older brother, Charles, in New York City, and studied with Regionalist painter Thomas Hart Benton at the Art Students League of New York. Pollock worked during the 1930s for the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project. During 1936 he worked in artist David Alfaro Siqueiros's Experimental Workshop. In 1938 he began psychiatric treatment for alcoholism, and his artwork was greatly influenced by Jungian analysis and the exploration of unconscious symbolism.

In 1943 Pollock had his first one-man exhibition at Peggy Guggenheim's New York gallery, Art of this Century, and continued to exhibit there over the next several years. A major turning point in Pollock's life and art was in 1945 when he married fellow artist Lee Krasner and moved to East Hampton, Long Island. There he developed his mature painting style, and became famous for his abstract pouring technique on large canvases. The height of his creativity spanned from 1947 to 1952, and his work was promoted by art critic Clement Greenberg. Along with other abstract expressionists including Hans Hofmann, Alfonso Ossorio, and Barnett Newman, he joined the Betty Parsons Gallery in 1947. He had his most successful one-man show in 1950 which was widely publicized and praised. This exhibition, combined with a 1949 feature article in LIFE magazine, made Pollock an American celebrity.

In 1952 Pollock moved his work to Sidney Janis Gallery and returned to earlier motifs in a search for new breakthroughs. The last few years of his life he suffered from mental and physical health problems, and in August, 1956 he died in a car accident. His wife, Lee Krasner, oversaw his estate and worked with many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, on Pollock retrospective exhibitions.

Lee Krasner was born Lenore Krassner in 1908 in Brooklyn, New York to Russian immigrant parents. In 1926 she was admitted to the Women's Art School of The Cooper Union, and in 1928 she attended the Art Students League. After graduating from The Cooper Union in 1929, she attended the National Academy of Design until 1932. After briefly attending City College and Greenwich House, she worked for the Public Works of Art Project and the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration, and finally became an assistant in 1935 on the WPA Federal Art Project, Mural Division. From 1937 to 1940 she studied at the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts and began exhibiting with the American Abstract Artists group.

In 1942 Krasner met Pollock as they were both preparing to exhibit work in the same show. Although they married and she became immersed in his career, she continued to exhibit her own work with other abstract artists and from 1946 to 1949 worked on the Little Image painting series. In 1953 she began working on collages, a medium she would come back to again later in her career. After Pollock's death her work was greatly influence by her sadness and anger, creating a visible evolution of her style.

For the rest of her career, Krasner consistently exhibited her work in both group and solo exhibitions. She had her first retrospective at Whitechapel Gallery, London, in 1965, and in 1966, she joined Marlborough Gallery, New York which represented Pollock's work as well. In the 1970s and early 1980s Krasner won many awards for her achievement in the visual arts, including the Augustus St. Gaudens Medal and the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. She returned to the medium of collage, and in 1976 joined the Pace Gallery, New York. In 1981 she joined the Robert Miller Gallery, New York. Lee Krasner continued creating art until her death in 1984.
Related Material:
Found in the Archives of American Art are the Charles Pollock Papers, 1902-1990, which includes correspondence, photographs, and other files relating to his brother, Jackson Pollock. Other resources in the Archives are oral history interviews with Lee Krasner, including a series of interviews conducted by Dorothy Seckler between 1964 and 1968, and interviews conducted by Barbara Rose in 1966 and Doloris Holmes in 1972.
Provenance:
The papers of Jackson Pollock were donated in 1983 by Lee Krasner through Eugene V. Thaw shortly before her death. Additional material about Pollock and the papers of Lee Krasner were donated in 1985 by Eugene V. Thaw, executor of Lee Krasner's estate.
Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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:
Painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Genre/Form:
Motion pictures (visual works)
Video recordings
Photographs
Interviews
Sound recordings
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Transcripts
Citation:
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers, circa 1914-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.polljack
See more items in:
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9ac60d2fa-adb8-4919-9ebb-ddef5dfaa3f8
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-polljack
Online Media:

Biographical Data and Chronologies

Collection Creator:
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Krasner, Lee, 1908-1984  Search this
Container:
Box 7, Folder 14
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1964-1983, undated
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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:
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers, circa 1914-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers / Series 2: Lee Krasner Papers / 2.1: Biographical Material
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw94b0d8ec7-f1fe-4d08-b41c-2ba3d8d636e1
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-polljack-ref235
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Exhibition Lists

Collection Creator:
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Krasner, Lee, 1908-1984  Search this
Container:
Box 7, Folder 15
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1965-1977
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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:
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers, circa 1914-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers / Series 2: Lee Krasner Papers / 2.1: Biographical Material
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9ea96fa69-501a-4dbf-ae60-6120c76ff06d
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-polljack-ref236
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  • View Exhibition Lists digital asset number 1
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Eleanor Munro, untitled manuscript

Collection Creator:
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Krasner, Lee, 1908-1984  Search this
Container:
Box 10, Folder 8
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1977
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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:
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers, circa 1914-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers / Series 2: Lee Krasner Papers / 2.4: Writings by Others
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw99022fa92-9ade-4e19-a8ac-fe7288a894e7
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-polljack-ref275
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For United America / Division for Foreign Born Women

Issuing body:
Y.W.C.A.  Search this
Collection Creator:
Princeton University  Search this
Extent:
1 Poster (Full size; Multi-color, 102 x 71 cm)
Container:
Map-folder 358
Type:
Archival materials
Posters
Place:
United States
Image:
Main Image: Woman wearing Victory cap holding two standards with the flags of the Allied Power countries on them
Local numbers:
Princeton Poster# 2883
General:
Issued by: Y.W.C.A.

Issued for: Division for Foreign Born Women

Artist(s): C. Howard Walker
Printing Info:
Printer: Carey Print Litho., New York, 1/1919
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Copyright status of items varies. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Reconstruction  Search this
Relief and volunteer organizations  Search this
Genre/Form:
Posters
Collection Citation:
Princeton University Posters Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Princeton University Poster Collection
Princeton University Poster Collection / Series 3: Between Wars / United States
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8dd0d513e-c5c7-454d-94c1-52239d733142
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0433-ref10026

Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers

Creator:
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Names:
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Bess, Forrest, 1911-1977  Search this
Congdon, William, 1912-1998  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Extent:
61.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketchbooks
Interviews
Video recordings
Drawings
Date:
1916-1991
bulk 1946-1983
Summary:
The Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers measure 61.1 linear feet and date from 1916 to 1991, with the bulk of the material dating from 1946-1983. Records provide extensive documentation of the gallery's operations from its inception in 1946 to its closing in 1983 and of the activities of Betty Parsons as one the leading art dealers of contemporary American Art in the latter half of the twentieth century, particularly the work of the Abstract Expressionists. Over one third of the of the collection is comprised of artists files containing correspondence, price lists, and printed materials. Additional correspondence is with galleries, dealers, art institutions, private collectors, and the media. Also found are exhibition files, exhibition catalogs and announcements, sales records, stock inventories, personal financial records, and photographs. Betty Parsons's personal papers consist of early curatorial files, pocket diaries, personal correspondence, and evidence of her own artwork, including sketchbooks, and files documenting her personal art collection.
Scope and Content Note:
The Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers measure 61.1 linear feet and date from 1916 to 1991, with the bulk of the material dating from 1946-1983. Records provide extensive documentation of the gallery's operations from its inception in 1946 to its closing in 1983 and of the activities of Betty Parsons as one the leading art dealers of contemporary American Art in the latter half of the twentieth century, particularly the work of the Abstract Expressionists. Over one third of the of the collection is comprised of artists files containing correspondence, price lists, and printed materials. Additional correspondence is with galleries, dealers, art institutions, private collectors, and the media. Also found are exhibition files, exhibition catalogs and announcements, sales records, stock inventories, personal financial records, and photographs. Betty Parsons's personal papers consist of early curatorial files, pocket diaries, personal correspondence, and evidence of her own artwork, including sketchbooks, and files documenting her personal art collection. Personal papers also include personal photographs.

Artists files, the largest and most extensive series, consist of a wide variety of documents, including biographical materials, correspondence with or related to the artist, exhibition catalogs and announcements, sales and expense invoices, clippings, price lists, and photographs of the artist, exhibitions, and artwork. The files reflect Parsons's close personal relationships with certain artists, particularly Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, and Barnett Newman. Extensive documentation is also found for Forrest Bess, William Congdon, Paul Feeley, Thomas George, Alexander Liberman, Seymour Lipton, Richard Pousette-Dart, Jesse Reichek, and Jack Youngerman. Historians and researchers will find these files to be an invaluable resource both in tracing Betty Parsons's role in promoting Abstract Expressionism and researching individual artists.

Exhibition files primarily document the gallery's infrequent group or themed exhibitions. Of particular note are the files on The Ideographic Picture, which was organized by Barnett Newman and included his work, as well as that of Pietro Lazzari, Boris Margo, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, Theodoros Stamos, and Clyfford Still. Price lists, artist biographies and exhibition schedules are housed in the general exhibition files. Loan exhibition files provide documentation of artwork borrowed by other galleries or institutions for exhibitions, as well as shows outside of the gallery that were organized by Betty Parsons. Also found are gallery exhibition guest books, and announcements and catalogs.

Gallery correspondence is primarily with galleries and dealers, museums, arts organizations, and collectors. Scattered letters from artists are also found, although the bulk of the artists' correspondence is filed in the Artists Files. Also found here are memoranda and letters between Betty Parsons and her staff that contain detailed information concerning Parsons's schedule and gallery activities. Similar correspondence is found amongst the correspondence files within the series Betty Parsons papers.

Appraisal and conservation files include correspondence, appraisal invoices, forms, and appraisal requests and other information from the Art Dealers Association of America, and conservation invoices and reports. The majority of the appraisal records contain information about the specific works of art, including artist, title, date, current owner and the estimated value at the time of the request. Conservation records document conservation treatments undertaken by outside conservators to gallery stock.

Sales, purchases, stock and inventory are well documented in the sales and inventory records. The records provide detailed information about individual sales, prices of individual pieces of artwork, consignments, and loans. Most sales records also include detailed information about the buyer and are a valuable resource for provenance research. Files documenting the general administration, routine business operations, and financial transactions (not individual sales) of the gallery are housed in the general business and financial records. These records include ledgers, receipts, tax records, and banking records. There is some limited information about works of art scattered amongst the receipts and in the "in/out slips" files. Legal records house general legal documents and those concerning specific lawsuits. Of particular note is the file detailing the lawsuit between Betty Parsons and Sidney Janis over the fifth floor of 24 West 57th Street.

The remainder of the collection consists of Betty Parsons's personal papers which document her career prior to opening her own gallery, her work as an artist, and her personal art collection.

Some information about Parsons's work prior to opening her own gallery is found in the early curatorial files she retained from her curatorial and administrative work at the Wakefield Gallery and the Mortimer Brandt Gallery. Clippings, correspondence, announcements, exhibition lists and exhibition files are found. For both positions, she kept only the exhibition files for a small group of exhibitions organized around a specific theme, the most notable being the exhibition of Pre-Columbian Sculpture at the Wakefield Gallery.

Biographical materials include copies of her biography, family genealogies, photographs of Parsons, interviews with Colette Roberts and WYNC radio, memberships, photographs, and ephemera, including a collection of programs and invitations from events that she attended. Throughout her life Parsons gave generously of her time to various cultural and charitable institutions and was awarded for her contributions. There are also a number of files that document her speaking engagements, her participation as a juror in numerous juried exhibitions, charitable work, and awards that she received.

Parsons's personal correspondence files reflect how deeply Parsons's life was intertwined with the gallery. There are letters from museum directors, dealers, artists seeking representation, and personal letters from artists with whom she had close personal relationships, most notably Larry Bigelow, Alexander Calder, William Condon, and Ad Reinhardt. There are also letters from the English artist Adge Baker, with whom Parsons was romantically involved. Correspondence also includes several files of postcards and Christmas cards.

Pocket diaries and engagement calendars, spanning from 1933-1981, record social engagements, meetings, vacations, and telephone numbers. Also found are circa two linear feet of notebooks and sketchbooks, many of which are annotated with addresses, poetry, journal entries, and other observations of people, places, and travels. Writings by others include writings about Betty Parsons or the Betty Parsons Gallery, such as Lawrence Alloway's unpublished typescript titled "An American Gallery" and other topics.

Printed material consists of exhibition announcements and catalogs, art magazines, and newspaper and magazine clippings about Betty Parsons, her family and acquaintances, artists, and other art related topics, coupled with a miscellaneous selection of clippings, and a video recording, on topics that presumably captured Parsons's attention.

Personal art work records document Betty Parsons's career as an artist through inventories, group and solo exhibitions files, price lists, appraisals, sales and consignment invoices. Photographs are primarily reproductions of her works of art, although there are scattered photographs of exhibition installations.

Betty Parsons's private art collection files document her extensive personal collection of art that included works by Jackson Pollock, Agnes Martin, Romare Bearden, Barnett Newman, and Mark Rothko, in addition to Amlash sculpture from ancient Persia and primitive sculpture from New Hebrides. These files include inventories, lists, exhibition records, sales and purchase invoices, and photographs. There are also files for donations and loans from Parsons's personal collection to museums and fund raising auctions for several non-profit institutions.

Finally, the personal financial records provide information about the Parsons's family finances and her personal financial success as an art dealer. In addition to her own investments, Parsons inherited shares in family investments through the estates of her parents, J. Fred Pierson, Jr. and Suzanne Miles Pierson, and younger sister, Emily Rayner. Real estate files include correspondence, utility bills, receipts, area maps, and land plots for houses in Sheepscot, Maine and St. Maartens, Netherlands Antilles. Tax returns, ledger worksheets, receipts, banking statements, deposit slips, and cancelled checks are among the other financial records.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as seven series. Many of the series are further divided into subseries.

Missing Title

Series 1: Artists Files, 1935-1983 (19.4 linear feet; Boxes 1-18, 51, 55-56, OVs 53, 65)

Series 2: Exhibition Files, 1941-1983 (2.9 linear feet; Boxes 18-21, 51, 55, OVs 54, 66)

Series 3: Correspondence Files, 1941-1983 (3.9 linear feet; Boxes 21-24, 52, 56)

Series 4: Appraisal Files, 1954-1983 (0.7 linear feet; Box 24)

Series 5: Sales and Inventory Records, 1946-1983 (3.9 linear feet; Boxes 25-28, 51)

Series 6: General Business and Financial Records, 1946-1983 (9.3 linear feet; Boxes 28-38, 51, 56)

Series 7: Betty Parsons Personal Papers, 1916-1991 (21 linear feet; Boxes 38-51, 55-64, OVs 65-67)
Historical Note:
Betty Parsons (1900-1982) was one of the leading art dealers in New York City specializing in modern art, particularly the work of the Abstract Expressionists, and an abstract painter and sculptor in her own right. She opened Betty Parsons Gallery in 1946 at 15 E. 57th St., later moving to 24 W. 57th St.

The history of the Betty Parsons Gallery is inextricably bound to the life and experiences of its founder. Betty Parsons was born Betty Bierne Pierson on January 31, 1900 in New York City. She enjoyed a privileged childhood, which included vacation homes in Newport and Palm Beach. Her only formal education was a five-year stint at the prestigious Chapin School from 1910-1915, where she met many of the women who would become life-long friends and supporters. In the spring of 1920, she married Schuyler Livingston Parsons from one of New York's oldest families. The marriage ended after only three years and the couple traveled to Paris where they could obtain a divorce on the grounds of incompatibility. She retained her married surname and purchased a house on the rue Boulard in Paris, where she remained for ten years, pursuing studies in painting and sculpture.

Financial constraints forced Parsons to return to the United States in 1933. She first traveled west to California, but it was her return to New York in 1935 that marked the start of her career as an art dealer. Her first opportunity to connect with the New York art world came after a successful exhibition of her watercolors at the Midtown Galleries where the owner, Alan Gruskin, noted Parson's faithful and wealthy group of supporters and offered her work installing exhibitions and selling paintings on commission. Her work for the Midtown Galleries led to a second position in the Park Avenue gallery of Mary Sullivan, one of the founders of the Museum of Modern Art. Here, Parsons learned the business of running a gallery. By 1940 Parsons was ready to take on more independent responsibility and agreed to manage a gallery within the Wakefield Bookshop. In this job, she exercised full curatorial control by selecting artists and organizing exhibitions. She championed then unknown contemporary American artists and the gallery's roster soon included Saul Steinberg, Hedda Sterne, Alfonso Ossorio, Joseph Cornell, Walter Murch, and Theodore Stamos. Although the majority of the exhibitions were solo shows, there were a few group shows and themed exhibitions, such as Love in Art (1941) and Ballet in Art (1942). Under Parson's direction, the gallery hosted an important exhibition of Pre-Columbian sculpture, curated by Barnett Newman.

When the owners of the Wakefield Bookshop decided to close the gallery late in 1944, Mortimer Brandt, a dealer who specialized in Old Master paintings and drawings, offered her a position as head of the newly created contemporary section of his gallery. Many of the artists who had shown with Parsons at the Wakefield Gallery followed her to her new gallery, where they were joined by Ad Reinhardt, Boris Mango, and Hans Hofmann. While the exhibitions garnered attention from the press and the interest of contemporary artists, the contemporary section was not a financial success and Brandt opted to close his gallery in 1946.

Using $1000 of her own money and an additional borrowed $4000, Parsons sublet the space that previously housed Mortimer Brandt's contemporary section, on the fifth floor of 15 East 57th Street, and opened the Betty Parsons Gallery.

In many respects the early years of the Betty Parsons Gallery were the most vital, as it was during the period of 1947-1951 that the gallery became linked with the Abstract Expressionists and the history of post-WWII American Art. In an unpublished history of the gallery, noted art critic Lawrence Alloway stated that the significance of the gallery's early exhibitions ranks with Durand-Ruel's Impressionists exhibitions or Kahnweiler's shows of the Cubists. Betty Parsons Gallery quickly became one of the most prestigious galleries in New York City associated with new American Art of all styles. Her close friend Barnett Newman organized the gallery's inaugural exhibition of Northwest Coast Indian Art and he soon began to exhibit his own work at the gallery. When Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century Gallery closed, Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, and Mark Rothko joined Parsons' growing stable of artists. Although Parsons continued to promote and exhibit many of the artists whom she had previously discovered, these four artists dominated this period. Newman, Pollock, Still, and Rothko worked closely together, holding themselves apart from the other artists somewhat. They were actively involved in the curatorial process and often hung their own shows. For these artists, the exhibition itself was an artistic act of creation.

Parsons provided a supportive environment and allowed her artists enormous freedom in planning and designing their exhibitions. She was not, however, an aggressive salesperson. During this early period the gallery ledgers document sales to an impressive array of museums including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as important collectors such as Edward Root and Duncan Phillips. Nevertheless, the art that the gallery promoted was not yet widely accepted. Sales were few, prices were low and the business would not turn a profit for several years. Meanwhile, there was mounting pressure from Pollock, Newman, Still, and Rothko to drop some of the other artists from Parsons' stable and focus all resources on them. They wanted to be promoted to a larger audience and have their work sold at higher prices, but Parsons enjoyed discovering new artists and did not want to be restricted in this endeavor. The year 1951 marks the last time that Pollock's drip paintings or the monumental works of Newman, Rothko or Still were shown at the Betty Parsons Gallery.

In the following years the Betty Parsons Gallery continued to attract a diverse group of talented artists. Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Tuttle, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jack Youngerman had their first New York exhibitions at the Betty Parsons Gallery. Parsons opened Section Eleven in 1958, a short-lived annex to the main gallery, so that she could promote younger, less well-known artists. It closed in 1960 due to the administrative difficulties in running two essentially separate galleries.

In 1962, Sidney Janis, another prominent art dealer, started proceedings to evict Parsons from the floor that they shared on 15 East 57th Street. The Betty Parsons Gallery moved to 24 West 57th Street in 1963, where it remained until it closed in 1983, following Parsons' death the preceding year. Throughout the gallery's history, Parsons continued to promote faithful artists such as Hedda Sterne and Saul Steinberg, who had been with her from the beginning and to seek out new talent, both for her main gallery and for other venues, such as the short-lived Parsons-Truman Gallery, which she opened in 1974 with former Parsons Gallery director Jock Truman to show works on paper by emerging artists.

In addition to being an art dealer, Betty Parsons was a respected artist and collector. With her connoisseur's eye and connections, Parsons amassed an impressive private collection of art. She bought her first piece while an art student in Paris in the 1920s, a small gouache by Zadkine, but did not begin acquiring works in earnest until she was established as an art dealer. Partial inventories of her personal collection show that the majority of her collection contained works by artists associated with the gallery. Mark Rothko, Hans Hofmann, Ad Reinhardt, Agnes Martin, and Kenzo Okada were among the artists represented. Many were gifts from the artists, such as an ink drawing by Jackson Pollock, inscribed "For Betty." Selections from her collection appeared in small museums across the United States, including a traveling exhibition organized by Fitch College, New York, in 1968. In her role as a promoter of contemporary American art, Parsons lent generously from her collection, particularly to the federal Art in the Embassies Program. Throughout her life she also donated works to a variety of museums, most notably, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark.

Parsons frequently claimed that her desire to pursue a career as an artist stemmed from a visit to the Armory Show when she was thirteen. In her late teens, after pressuring her father for art lessons, she studied with the sculptor Gutzon Burglum of Mount Rushmore fame. In Paris, she continued her studies first with Antoine Bourdelle, whose sculptures she had admired at the Armory Show, and later with Ossip Zadkine. The first exhibition of her work, figurative watercolors and sculptures, took place in Paris in 1927. As she matured as an artist, her art became more abstract. Her late works were painted wood sculptures that she pieced together from wood that she found near her studio in Long Island. Parsons's work was exhibited in more than thirty solo exhibitions, including, Betty Parsons; Paintings, Gouaches and Sculpture, 1955-1968, at the Whitechapel Gallery in London. During her lifetime, she would not allow her works to be shown in her own gallery. Shortly after she died of a stroke in 1982, In Memoriam, Betty Parsons: Late Sculptures, opened at the Betty Parsons Gallery.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art are oral history interviews with Betty Parsons, June 4-9, 1969, by Paul Cummings, and June 11, 1981 by Gerald Silk.
Separated Material:
Some of the material originally loaned for microfilming in 1968 and 1969 was not included in later donations and can be viewed on microfilm reels N68/62-N68/74 and N69/105-N69/106. Loaned materials are not described in the container listing in this finding aid.
Provenance:
The gallery donated some records in 1974, many of which had been loaned earlier for microfilming. The bulk of the collection was donated in 1984 and 1986 by William Rayner and Christopher Schwabacher, executors of the Estate of Betty Parsons. Additional material was donated by William Rayner in 1998 and Christopher Schwabacher in 2017. Additional material was donated in 2018 by the Lee Hall estate via Carolyn Crozier and Deborah Jacobson, co-executors. Hall was Parsons's biographer and had the material in her possession at the time of Parsons's death. An additional photograph of Parons and Marie Carr Taylor by Henri Cartier-Bresson was donated in 2021 by Mary Carpenter, who inherited the photograph from her mother, Nan Thorton Jones, who received it as a gift from Taylor.
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.

Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References 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:
Gallery owners -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Women art dealers  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Abstract expressionist  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Interviews
Video recordings
Drawings
Citation:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers, 1916-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.parsbett
See more items in:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw956c1036f-b673-4dc1-8c1b-cde0bd641c60
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-parsbett
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  • View Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers digital asset number 1
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Online Media:

Women Artists of Eastern New York, Guild Hall (1979: East Hampton, N.Y.)

Collection Creator:
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Container:
Box 44, Folder 24
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1979
Series Restrictions:
Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
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:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers, 1916-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers
Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers / Series 7: Betty Parsons Personal Papers / 7.8: Records About Betty Parsons's Art Work / Exhibition files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw94bbbfe95-43aa-4146-b8eb-bed1c7060dc7
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-parsbett-ref1706

Louise Nevelson papers

Creator:
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Extent:
30.5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Interviews
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Date:
circa 1903-1982
Summary:
The papers of Louise Nevelson measure 30.5 linear feet and date from circa 1903 to 1988. The collection documents aspects of the life and work of the sculptor, focusing especially on her later career. Papers include correspondence, personal business records, writings, scrapbooks, early art work, photographs, interviews, awards and honorary degrees, books, and an extensive amount of printed material.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Louise Nevelson measure 30.5 linear feet and date from circa 1903 to 1988. The collection documents aspects of the life and work of the sculptor, focusing especially on her later career. Papers include correspondence, personal business records, writings, scrapbooks, some of Nevelson's early art work, photographs, interviews, awards and honorary degrees, books, and an extensive amount of printed material.

Interviews, awards, and honorary degrees comprise a series of biographical material, along with scattered personal papers such as a graduation program, wedding announcement, teaching certificate, invitations, miscellaneous notes, and material relating to Nevelson's family. Correspondence consists of letters and enclosures from a wide range of professional contacts, including museums and art centers, universities, art associations, women's and charitable organizations, artists, and philanthropists, among others, concerning the exhibition, sale, and donation of Nevelson's art work, and her various arts-related activities, as well as some letters from friends and family. Correspondence can also be found amongst the subject files, which also include clippings, notes, printed and other material organized according to subject and relating to certain exhibitions, and various artistic and professional activities. Whether this organization originates with Nevelson, one of her assistants, or Archives staff is unknown.

Found amongst Nevelson's business records are consignment receipts, statements, correspondence, inventories, disposition cards, notebooks, and lists, stemming from her business dealings with the Martha Jackson Gallery and related matters, usually carried out by her assistant at the time. Business records relate in particular to the large and complex project of inventorying Nevelson's art work undertaken sometime in the early-1960s. Nevelson's writings consist of poems and poem fragments, a short-lived dream journal, scattered writings on art, and drafts from Dawns and Dusks: Taped Conversations with Diana MacKown by Louise Nevelson and Diana MacKown. Also found are a large number of scrapbooks and an extensive amount of printed material, which likely stem in large part from Nevelson's concern to document and keep a record of her accomplishments. Scrapbooks contain clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and other material documenting Nevelson's early career from roughly the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s. Also included are loose items comprising a scrapbook of sorts on son Mike Nevelson and various scrapbooks compiled by others as mementos of particular events. Printed material includes an extensive amount of clippings and publications, exhibition catalogs and announcements, and a variety of other printed material relating or referring to Nevelson or merely featuring her name in print. Also included are several books, some of which are about or feature segments on Nevelson. This material documents both her critical and commercial success, and her role as personality and minor celebrity in the mass media later in her career, especially during the 1960s and 1970s.

Art work consists of early drawings and watercolors made by Nevelson as a child and adolescent and while studying art in high school and New York, which document her artistic tendencies as youth and her early development as an artist and which provide an interesting contrast to her later work in sculpture. Photographs include ones of the Berliawsky family and Nevelson as a child, adolescent, and young woman in the 1920s and 1930s before she became known as an artist; ones of Nevelson from the mid-1950s to the 1980s, once she had become known, and began to be honored, as an artist; and ones of Nevelson's art work, as well as of various exibitions and installations of her work. Also included are a number of slides of the artist and her art work, including photographs taken by Dorothy Dehner in the mid-1950s at Louise Nevelson's house on Thirtieth Street.
Arrangement:
The Louise Nevelson papers are arranged into nine series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1918-1985 (Boxes 1, 17, OV 21, 30, 31, Sol 42; 2.3 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1931-1984 (Boxes 1-2, 31-35, Sol 42; 6 linear feet)

Series 3: Subject Files, 1955-1988 (Box 3, 35-36; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 4: Business Records, 1946-1981 (Boxes 3-5, 36-38, Sol 42; 3.8 linear feet)

Series 5: Writings, 1936-1980 (Box 5, 38, Sol 42; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1935-1983 (Boxes 5, 18-19, OV 22-27, 38, Sol 42; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 7:Books and Printed Material, 1904-1985 (Boxes 6-13, 19, OV 28, 38-40, Sol 43; 9.5 linear feet)

Series 8: Art Work, 1905-1982 (Boxes 13, 20, 40, Sol 43; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 9: Photographs, circa 1903-1980s (Boxes 14-15, 20, OV 29, 40-41, Sol 43; 3.5 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Louise Nevelson was born in 1899 in Kiev, Russia. Her parents, Isaac and Minna Berliawsky, and their children emigrated to America in 1905 and settled in Rockland, Maine, where the young Louise grew up as a bit of an outsider in local society. She decided upon a career in art at an early age and took some drawing classes in high school, before graduating in 1918. Two years later, she married Charles Nevelson, a wealthy businessman, and moved to New York. She proceeded to study painting, drawing, singing, acting, and eventually dancing. In 1922, Nevelson gave birth to a son, Myron (later called Mike). She eventually separated from her husband in the winter of 1932-1933; and they divorced officially in 1941.

Beginning in 1929, Nevelson began to study art full-time at the Art Students League, where she took classes with Kenneth Hayes Miller and Kimon Nicolaides. In 1931, she went to Europe and studied with Hans Hofmann in Munich before traveling to Italy and France. She returned to New York in 1932 and again studied for a time with Hofmann, who was by now a guest instructor at the Art Students League. In 1933, she met Diego Rivera while he was in New York working on his mural for Rockefeller Center and casually worked as his assistant for a short period. Shortly thereafter, she began to work in sculpture and joined a sculpture class taught by Chaim Gross at the Educational Alliance. She continued to draw and paint, and even took up etching, lithography, and other techniques at different points in her career, but from this time on, she concentrated on sculpture. Her early sculptures were primarily in plaster, clay, and tattistone.

During the thirties, Nevelson exhibited in a number of group shows (both non-juried and competitive ones), garnering some recognition for her work. In 1935, she taught mural painting at the Flatbush Boys Club in Brooklyn, as part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), then went on to work in the fine-arts division as an easel painter and sculptor until 1939. In 1941, Nevelson had her first solo exhibition at the Nierendorf Gallery, run by Karl Nierendorf who represented her until his death in 1947. Both this and a one-woman show the following year received favorable reviews. It was around this time that she discovered the decorated shoeshine box of Joe Milone, a local tradesman, and arranged to have it exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, an occasion which received much notice in the press.

In the 1940s, Nevelson produced a great many works in stone, bronze, terra cotta, and wood, most of them being cubist studies of the figure. In 1943, she had a show titled "The Clown as the Center of his World" at the Norlyst Gallery, which featured works on a circus theme constructed from discarded pieces of wood and other material. This new work was not very well received at the time, and it wasn't until the mid-1950s that she began to work with discarded and found objects on a regular basis.

During the early-1950s, Nevelson attempted to exhibit her work as often as possible, eventually receiving various prizes and notices for her work in the press. She continued to struggle financially though and began to teach sculpture classes in the adult education program of the Great Neck, Long Island public schools in order to make ends meet. In 1955, she joined he Grand Central Moderns Gallery, which was run by Colette Roberts, and had several one-woman shows there. These included: "Ancient Games and Ancient Places" in 1955, featuring Bride of the Black Moon, "The Forest" in 1957, featuring First Personage, and "Moon Garden + One" in 1958, featuring her first wall, Sky Cathedral. During this period, she was painting her wood black and putting together entirely black exhibits; she went on to create works in white and gold in the early-1960s. Around this time, she also began to enclose her small sculptures within wooden boxes.

Nevelson joined the Martha Jackson Gallery in 1958, where she received a guaranteed income and finally achieved a certain degree of financial security. Her first show at the gallery, "Sky Columns Presence," took place in the fall of 1959. In 1960, she had her first one-woman exhibition in Europe at the Galerie Daniel Cordier in Paris. Later that year, her work, grouped together as "Dawn's Wedding Feast," was included in the group show, "Sixteen Americans," at the Museum of Modern Art, alongside the work of Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenburg, and other younger artists. She made her first museum sale in 1962 when the Whitney Museum of American Art purchased the black wall, Young Shadows. That same year, Nevelson's work was selected for the thirty-first Biennale in Venice.

Over the years, Nevelson took on several assistants, including Teddy Haseltine, Tom Kendall, and Diana Mackown, to help in the studio and with daily affairs. She also participated in various artists' groups, and served as President of the New York Chapter of Artists' Equity from 1957 to 1958, and as President of the national organization from 1962 to 1964. She left the Martha Jackson Gallery in 1962, and after a brief, unhappy stint with the Sidney Janis Gallery, she joined the Pace Gallery, which was run by Arnold Glimcher, in the fall of 1963. She proceeded to have shows of new work there about every two years for the remainder of her career. She had her first museum retrospective at the Whitney Museum in 1967, which featured over a hundred of her works from her drawings from the 1930s to her latest constructions. And in 1968, she was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters. By this time, Nevelson had achieved both critical and commercial success as an artist.

Nevelson always experimented with new materials; she continued to construct her black wood walls, but also went on make constructions from aluminium, plastic, and metal. In the fall of 1969, she was commissioned by Princeton University to do a monumental outdoor sculpture in Cor-ten steel (her first), and went on to do commissioned works for the Philadelphia Federal Courthouse, and Chase Manhattan Bank in New York, among others. In 1973, the Walker Art Center organized a major exhibition of Nevelson work which traveled around the country over the next two years. In 1975, she designed the chapel for St. Peter's Lutheran Church in midtown Manhattan.

Nevelson was widely honored for her work during her lifetime. Over the years, she received honorary degrees from Rutgers University and Harvard University, among other schools, as well as numerous awards, including the Brandeis University Creative Arts Award in Sculpture and the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture in 1971, the gold medal for sculpture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1983, and the National Medal of the Arts in 1985. By the time of her death on April 17, 1988, Nevelson was considered by and large one of the most important American sculptors of the twentieth century.

Sources consulted for this biographical note include Louise Nevelson: A Passionate Life by Laurie Lisle and Louise Nevelson by Arnold Glimcher.
Related Material:
Other resources relating to Louise Nevelson in the Archives include oral history interviews with Nevelson conducted by Dorothy Seckler, June 1964-January 14, 1964, and Arnold Glimcher, January 30, 1972. Also related are a 4 part untranscribed audio recording of an interview with Nevelson by Barbaralee Diamonstein, an audio recording of an interview with Nevelson conducted by Barbara Braun in 1983, and a video recording of Nevelson's 1958 exhibition installation at Grand Central Moderns gallery.
Provenance:
Donated 1966-1979 by Louise Nevelson and in 2018 by the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine via Michael Komanecky, Chief Curator. The Farnsworth Art Museum received the materials from Louise Nevelson, her son Mike Nevelson, brother Nathan Berliawksy, and others that were close to the artist.
Restrictions:
The bulk of this collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website, with the exception of the 2017 addition. Use of material not digitized 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:
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Works of art  Search this
Sculpture -- Exhibitions  Search this
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women sculptors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Interviews
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Louise Nevelson papers, circa 1903-1982. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.neveloui
See more items in:
Louise Nevelson papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw99c8dde75-538a-43a6-a68e-fa1db8e7d535
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-neveloui
Online Media:

National Association of Women Artists

Collection Creator:
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 34
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1959-1965
Collection Restrictions:
The bulk of this collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website, with the exception of the 2017 addition. Use of material not digitized 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:
Louise Nevelson papers, circa 1903-1982. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Louise Nevelson papers
Louise Nevelson papers / Series 3: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9aa9c3514-acae-444d-9662-b8cdfef1810a
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-neveloui-ref118
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