A Finding Aid to the Allan Frumkin Gallery Records, 1880, 1944-2016, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.allafrum
Creators:
Allan Frumkin Gallery
Dates:
1880
1944-2016
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
25.6 Linear feet
Repository:
The records of the Allan Frumkin Gallery, a Chicago and New York City gallery, measure 25.6 linear feet and date from 1944-2016 with one letter pertaining to artwork documentation dating from 1880. The collection documents the gallery's activities through administrative files, dealer and client correspondence, artist files, financial records, gallery newsletters, printed material, and photographic material. Artist files represent over one-third of the collection and provide insight into the close relationship between Frumkin and many of the gallery's major artists including Robert Arneson, Luis Cruz Azaceta, Jack Beal, Joan Brown, Colin Lanceley, Maryan, Roberto Matta, Philip Pearlstein, Peter Saul, H.C. Westermann, and William T. Wiley. Also included in the collection are the Frumkin Family papers, consisting of writings by Allan and wife Jean Martin Frumkin, editorial copy of Art Book Review, personal papers, and material relating to the Frumkin personal art collection and estate.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The records of the Allan Frumkin Gallery, a Chicago and New York City gallery, measure 25.6 linear feet and date from 1944-2016 with one letter pertaining to artwork documentation dating from 1880. The collection documents the gallery's activities through administrative files, dealer and client correspondence, artist files, financial records, gallery newsletters, printed material, and photographic material. Also included in the collection are the Frumkin Family papers.
The administrative files reflect the daily operations and business activities of the gallery. Included are address books, appointment books, art fair records, artwork documentation, auction records, gallery logs, maintenance records, leases, loan agreements, shipping receipts, mailing lists, provenance research, and documentation pertaining to the incorporation and administration of several iterations and branches of the gallery, including Frumkin & Struve Gallery, Frumkin/Adams Gallery, and Allan Frumkin Gallery Photographs.
Correspondence is primarily with dealers, clients, and institutions pertaining to sales, purchases, consignments, provenance, and shipping of artworks. The majority of the correspondence dates from the gallery's first decade, 1952-1962.
Artist files represent over one-third of the collection and provide insight into the close relationship between Frumkin and many of the gallery's major artists including Robert Arneson, Luis Cruz Azaceta, Jack Beal, Joan Brown, Colin Lanceley, Maryan, Roberto Matta, Philip Pearlstein, Peter Saul, H.C. Westermann, and William T. Wiley.
Financial records include check balance books, expenses, financial statements, inventories, invoices, price lists, and sales ledgers. Financial transactions are also found amongst the dealer and client correspondence.
Among the newsletters and related files is a full set of the published newsletters, as well as editorial copy and drafts for nearly every issue. Published from 1976-1995, the newsletters detailed gallery activities and highlighted gallery artists in profiles which included interviews and photographs.
Printed material includes articles and clippings, exhibition announcements, catalogs, newsletters, bulletins, press releases, and assortment of other material pertaining to the Allan Frumkin Gallery and others.
While not extensive, the photographic material is rich, depicting Allan Frumkin, gallery director George Adams, gallery artists, studios, exhibition installations, and artworks, in a variety of formats.
Also included in the records are the Frumkin family papers, which include writings by Allan Frumkin and Jean Martin Frumkin, Art Book Review editorial files, personal papers, and detailed material relating to the Frumkin personal art collection and estate. The writings by Allan Frumkin are particularly insightful in the context of the gallery records, and include essays on art dealing and the gallery, a talk on the artist, Matta, memoir drafts, and an interview transcript.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as eight series.
  • Series 1: Administrative Files, 1880, 1950-2002 (2 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1948-2010 (5.4 linear feet; Boxes 3-8)
  • Series 3: Artist Files, 1944-2015 (9.3 linear feet; Boxes 8-17, OVs 27-28)
  • Series 4: Financial Records, 1950-2002 (0.9 linear feet; Boxes 17-18)
  • Series 5: Newsletters, 1970-2000 (1.1 linear feet; Boxes 18-19)
  • Series 6: Printed Material, 1949-2009 (0.7 linear feet; Boxes 19-20)
  • Series 7: Photographic Material, 1950-2000 (0.7 linear feet; Box 20)
  • Series 8: Frumkin Family Papers, 1950-2016 (5.5 linear feet; Boxes 21-26)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Allan Frumkin Gallery (est. 1952; closed 1995) was a gallery owned and operated by art dealer Allan Frumkin with locations in Chicago (1952-1980; 1979-1980 as Frumkin & Struve) and New York City (1959-1995; 1988-1995 as Frumkin/Adams). Frumkin began his career exhibiting the drawings, paintings, and prints of European artists he met and developed relationships with while traveling abroad, including Roberto Matta, Alberto Burri, Alberto Giacometti, and Esteban Vicente. He soon began representing artists from across the United States, including Chicago artists Leon Golub, Jack Beal, Robert Barnes, June Leaf, and H.C. Westermann; West Coast artists Robert Arneson, Roy de Forest, and Joan Brown; and New York realist painters including Philip Pearlstein, Paul Georges, Alfred Leslie, Luis Cruz Azaceta, and Peter Saul. In the early years, the geography and aesthetic of the artists Frumkin championed--surrealist, realist, figurative, offbeat--contrasted with the prevailing trend toward New York abstraction. Frumkin retired as a gallery director in 1995, and Frumkin/Adams Gallery became the George Adams Gallery. Frumkin continued to work as a private dealer as Allan Frumkin Incorporated until his death in 2002.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Hilary Price and Caroline Donadio in 2018.
Author
Hilary Price and Caroline Donadio
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated to the Archives of American Art in 2017 by Peter Frumkin, Allan Frumkin's son.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Conditions Governing Use
The Allan Frumkin Gallery records 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
Allan Frumkin Gallery records, 1880, 1944-2016. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Allan Frumkin conducted by Paul Cummings in 1970.

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/