A Finding Aid to the J. B. Neumann papers, 1905-1967, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.neumjsra
Creators:
Neumann, J. B. (Jsrael Ber)
Dates:
1905-1967
Languages:
Multiple languages
The collection is in English and German.
English; German
Physical Description:
2.1 linear feet
4 boxes
Repository:
The papers of gallery director, art dealer and publisher Jsrael Ber Neumann (1887-1961) measure 2.1 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1967. The papers document Neumann's career as the director of galleries in Berlin and Munich, Germany (1910-1924) as well as the New Art Circle gallery in New York City (1924-1952). Neumann was a respected art dealer, publisher of Artlover periodical, founder of Gehenna Press, and frequent lecturer. Found within his papers are correspondence with artists and museums, writings, printed materials mostly comprised of exhibition catalogues, artwork, and photographic materials.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of gallery director, art dealer and publisher Jsrael Ber Neumann (1887-1961) measure 2.1 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1967. The papers document Neumann's career as the director of galleries in Berlin and Munich, Germany (1910-1924) as well as the New Art Circle gallery in New York City (1924-1952). Neumann was a respected art dealer, publisher of Artlover periodical, founder of Gehenna Press, and frequent lecturer. Found within his papers are correspondence with artists and museums, writings, printed materials mostly comprised of exhibition catalogues, artwork, and photographic materials.
Correspondence is between Neumann and friends, colleagues, and museums. There is also correspondence with notable artists, including Josef Albers, Leonard Baskin, Max Beckmann, Wassily Kandinsky, and Abraham Rattner, among others. There are also condolence letters from friends and colleagues to Elsa Schmid, Neumann's wife.
Scattered writings consist of typescript drafts of Neumann's speeches and one article on expressionism. There is also one speech written by curator Richard Klein.
Printed materials comprise the bulk of the collection and include a bound gallery guest register, a disbound scrapbook, exhibition catalogs and announcements, brochures, magazines, posters, and news clippings. There are many exhibition catalogs from Neumann's galleries in Berlin and Munich as well as from the New Art Circle gallery in New York. Artwork consists of two etchings and one drawing by an unknown artist or artists.
Photographic materials include black and white photographs and negatives, including notable portraits of Neumann by photographers Helen Balfour Morrison, Clarence White, and Hans Namuth.

Arrangement
Arrangement
This collection is arranged as 5 series.
Series 1: Correspondence, 1925-1961 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 2: Writings, 1919, 1954-circa 1960 (5 folders; Box 1)
Series 3: Printed Materials, 1910-1967 (1.7 linear feet; Box 1-4)
Series 4: Artwork, 1919-circa 1960 (3 folders; Box 3-4)
Series 5: Photographic Materials, 1905-circa 1950 (0.2 linear feet; Box 3-4)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
J. B. (Jsrael Ber) Neumann (1887-1961) was a gallery director, art dealer and publisher. After immigrating to the U.S., Neumann founded the New Art Circle Gallery in New York City. Before then, he had art galleries in Berlin, Munich, Dusseldorf and Bremen, Germany.
J. B. Neumann was born in Austria in 1887. His father was an oil and lumber dealer. Neumann initially studied business but later apprenticed to a book and picture dealer when he was nineteen. While working as a clerk in a large bookstore in London, Neumann had the opportunity to work at the rare book dealer's table in the British Museum. The job allowed him to assess and handle fine and rare books, starting a lifelong passion, and Neumann went on to amass a substantial personal library.
In 1910, Neumann returned to Berlin, Germany and in 1911 opened a book and art shop where he exhibited the work of Edvard Munch and others. Neumann had many friends who were artists and in 1915-1916 he was secretary to the Berlin Secession, a prominent German artist association. By 1922 Neumann had branch offices in Bremen, Dusseldorf and Munich.
Neumann immigrated to America in 1923 and left the Berlin gallery to the directorship of Karl Nierendorf and the Munich gallery to Günther Franke. Neumann settled in New York City and one year later he opened a 57th Street gallery and bookshop, first called J.B. Neumann's Print Room and later the New Art Circle gallery. He supported numerous artists, including Wassily Kandinsky, Max Beckmann, Paul Klee, and Georges Rouault. Elsa Schmid, Neumann's wife, was an artist who worked in mosaics.
Neumann also worked as a publisher. He created the printing company Gehenna Press and published a series of periodicals including Bilderhefte (Berlin, 1920-1922) and Artlover (New York, 1926-1945, 1959). The New Art Circle gallery closed circa 1952 and, after working as its director for nearly three decades, Neumann became a consultant for museums and collectors. He was also a lecturer and he frequently spoke about art at universities, museums and galleries.
Neumann died in Rye, New York on April 28, 1961. He is survived by his widow, Elsa Schmid (d. 1970); two sons, Peter and Albrecht; and a daughter, Mrs. Johanna Lam.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
Portions of the collection are also available on 35 mm microfilm reels NJBN 1; N69/93-94; 3533; and 3947. While the microfilm is available for consultation at Archives of American Art offices, affliate centers, and through interlibrary loan, researchers are advised that the microfilm does not reflect the current order of the papers as described in this finding aid and may not be complete.
Processing Information
Several increments of gifts were microfilmed separately on reels N69/93-94, 3533, 3947, NJBN 1. All filmed and unfilmed gifts were integrated and fully processed by Rihoko Ueno in March 2013 with funding provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.
Separated Materials
Also found in the Archives are papers that were lent for microfilming on Reels NJBN 1-4, most of which were not included in subsequent donations, except for papers relating Wassily Kandisky and correspondence with Leonard Baskin. These papers are not described in the container list of the finding aid and are available only on microfilm available in Archives of American Art offices, affliate centers, and for interlibrary loan. These papers include correspondence with numerous artists, art critics, museum directors, and many others. A list of correspondents is available in Archives of American Art offices by request.
Author
Rihoko Ueno
Sponsor
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The J.B. Neumann papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in several installments between 1973-2007 by Eva Lee (family friend), Joy Weber, Max Weber's daughter, Neil Richmond, and Hellie Neumann, J.B. Neumann's granddaughter. Additional materials were loaned for microfilming in 1966-1967 by Neumann's wife Elsa Schmid.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Conditions Governing Use
The J. B. Neumann 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.
Preferred Citation
J. B. Neumann papers, 1905-1967. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds a collection of Josef Albers letters to J. B. Neumann, 1934-1947 on microfilm reel 911.
Additional J.B. Neumann papers are also located at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The museum microfilmed a portion of these papers and donated a copy of that film to the Archives. This material may be viewed on reel NJBN5 at Archives of American Art offices, affliate centers, and via interlibrary loan.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Drawings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gallery directors -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States -- History Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Etchings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Periodicals Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New Art Circle (New York, N.Y.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artlover Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Beckmann, Max, 1884-1950 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Baskin, Leonard, 1922-2000 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Albers, Josef Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gehenna Press Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rattner, Abraham Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Namuth, Hans Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Morrison, Helen Balfour Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kandinsky, Wassily, 1866-1944 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
White, Clarence H., 1871-1925 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Schmid, Elsa, 1897- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/