A Finding Aid to the William Kienbusch Papers,
1915-2001,
bulk 1936-1980
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.kienwill

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.kienwill
Creators:
Kienbusch, William, 1914-1980
Dates:
1915-2001
bulk 1936-1980
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
5 linear feet
Repository:
Archives of American Art
The papers of landscape painter and art instructor William Kienbusch measure 5.0 linear feet and date from 1915 to 2001, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1936 to 1980. The collection documents Kienbusch's life as an artist in New York City and Cranberry Island, Maine. Files include biographical material; correspondence with family, friends, and colleagues; writings and notes; scattered printed material; photographs; and artwork, including 17 sketchbooks.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The papers of landscape painter and art instructor William Kienbusch measure 5.0 linear feet and date from 1915 to 2001, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1936 to 1980. The collection documents Kienbusch's life as an artist in New York City and Cranberry Island, Maine. Files include biographical material; correspondence with family, friends, and colleagues; writings and notes; scattered printed material; photographs; and artwork, including 17 sketchbooks.
Biographical materials include military records, identification and membership documents, guestbooks, and an album entitled "Book of Friendship" containing short notes written by friends for Kienbusch on the occasion of his 60th Birthday. Also of note is copy of the "In Memoriam" written for Kienbusch by Karl Schrag.
The bulk of the papers consist of family and general correspondence. Family correspondence includes letters from Kienbusch to his parents regarding school, summer camps, travel, and the army. General correspondence includes many letters he sent to his close friend, Stanley Clifford, as well as letters from friends and associates, such as Stuart Davis, Antionette Kraushaar, Walter Maitland, Henry Varnum Poor, Abraham Rattner, Karl Schrag, Reuben Tam, and others.
Writings and notes include scattered notes, lists, and draft writings, as well as three notebooks, including one on casein technique. Printed material includes several armed forces publications and maps from World War II, clippings, and press releases. Photographs are of William Kienbusch, including two snapshots of Kienbusch with friends Dorothy Andrews and Reuben Tam. Also found are numerous travel and nature photographs. Artwork includes drawings created by Kienbusch while on his military tour in Guam and seventeen sketchbooks containting drawings in pencil, ink, and pastel.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 6 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1915-1980 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1920-2001 (Box 1-3; 2.3 linear feet)
Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1940s-1970s (Box 3; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 4: Printed Material, circa 1937-1980 (Box 3; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 5: Photographs, circa 1920-1980s (Box 3-5; 1.3 linear feet)
Series 6: Artwork, circa 1930s-1970s (Box 5; 0.8 linear feet)

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
William Kienbusch (1914-1980) was a painter and art instructor in New York, NY, and Cranberry Island, Maine.
Kienbusch was born in New York City and attended boarding school at Hotchkiss Preparatory school, where he was taught painting by Robert Osborn. During the summers of 1934 and 1935, while attending Princeton University, he studied watercolor with Eliot O'Hara at Goose Rocks Beach, Maine. After graduating from Princeton in 1936, he attended the Art Students League, studied with Henry Varnum Poor at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, and spent a year in Paris, studying at the Academie Colarossi. During this time he also had the opportunity to travel throughout Europe before the outbreak of World War II. He returned to New York City in the winter of 1938 and settled in Greenwich Village, at one point living above artist Stuart Davis.
Kienbusch spent the summers of 1940 and 1941 in Stonington, Maine. Here he found his true identity as an abstract expressionist landscape painter. During World War II he served in the Army, teaching camouflage design and making maps in Guam. When he returned to New York in 1946, he began painting in casein rather than oils or watercolor. In 1947 he joined Kraushaar Galleries, which would continue to be his dealer for the remainder of his career. From 1948 to 1969 he taught at the Brooklyn Museum of Art School and spent summers in Maine. Kienbusch lost much of his artwork and personal papers in a 1969 fire at his New York studio apartment. His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art among many others. After several years of poor health, Kienbusch died in 1980.

Administration
Separated Material
William Kienbusch loaned materials for microfiliming in 1970. Originals of loaned material, including a scrapbook of clippings, exhibition catalogs, photographs of Kienbusch, letters, writings, and two journals describing his travels in Europe and the Orient were returned to Kienbusch after microfilming and were not subsequently donated by his estate. Loaned material is available on reel N70-22 but is not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Erin Kinhart in 2011.
Author
Finding aid prepared by Erin Kinhart
Provenance
The William Kienbusch papers were donated by his sisters, Millicent Kelly and Juliana Little, and his friend Stanley Clifford as co-executives of the Kienbusch estate from 1985-1991. Additional papers were donated by Stanley Clifford in 2008 and 2010.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
William Kienbusch papers, 1915-2001, bulk 1936-1980. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Restrictions on Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The William Kienbusch papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.

Related Material
Also found in the Archives of American Art is the Walter Maitland correspondence with and about William Kienbusch, 1969-1981; the William Kienbusch letters to Francis and Sydney Hamabe, 1958-1977; the Thomas Barrett and Leni Mancuso papers relating to William Kienbusch, 1950-1980; and an oral history interview with William Kienbusch conducted by Forrest Selvig, November 1-7, 1968.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Clifford, Stanley Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kraushaar, Antoinette M., 1902-1992 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Maitland, Walter McClymonds, 1912-1989 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rattner, Abraham Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Schrag, Karl Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tam, Reuben Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art teachers--New York (State)--New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drafts (documents) Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Landscape painters--New York (State)--New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Notebooks Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Notes Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters--New York (State)--New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painting, Abstract--United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painting, American Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painting--Technique Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Visitors' books Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
World War, 1939-1945 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C., 20001
Phone: 202-633-7950
http://www.aaa.si.edu/askus