- Collection ID:
- Physical Description:
Primarily exhibition catalogs for modernist art exhibitions held in New York City during the first two decades of the twentieth century. Also included are catalogs for Boston exhibitions, mainly pre-1900, and a few other locales; exhibition announcements; gallery publications; and other printed material.
Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The collection comprises circa 770 items, dating from 1813-1953, the bulk of which are exhibition catalogs from New York City art galleries for the first two decades of the twentieth century, representing exhibitions of mainly modernist art. Catalogs for exhibitions held in Boston (mainly pre-1900) and a few other cities are also present. Included are several rare catalogs, notably one for the "Eight" held at Macbeth Gallery in 1908. Besides catalogs, the collection also contains exhibition announcements, gallery publications, and other printed material. The collection is especially relevant for the study of early American modernism, and is useful in understanding the role of art galleries, exhibitions, the art market, and the exhibition catalog itself, in American art.
The collection is arranged as 8 series representing alphabetical groups. Catalogs are arranged within these groups according to name of the sponsoring gallery, or if no gallery is listed, by the name of the club or organization. Catalogs are arranged chronologically thereafter, with undated material first. Many catalogs are undated, list only a year, or are annotated with a date. No attempt has been made to date or verify these at this time. Catalogs which are annotated with a date are filed chronologically, and are indicated with brackets around the date.
- Series 1: Art Exhibition Catalogs, A-C
- Series 2: Art Exhibition Catalogs, D-F
- Series 3: Art Exhibition Catalogs, G-I
- Series 4: Art Exhibition Catalogs, J-L
- Series 5: Art Exhibition Catalogs, M-O
- Series 6: Art Exhibition Catalogs, P-R
- Series 7: Art Exhibition Catalogs, S-T
- Series 8: Art Exhibition Catalogs, U-Z
In 1979, the American Antiquarian Society donated several hundred exhibition catalogs and art-related printed material to the Archives of American Art (AAA). The Society had received most of them over a long period of time, many of them addressed to the director, Charles Brigham. For several years subsequent to the donation, AAA sporadically added exhibition catalogs to the collection from various sources. Some of these additions are annotated in the hand of Walt Kuhn and are presumed to have been part of his papers in the Archives.
Christina Lehman and Lee Anne Tuason
The bulk of the collection was donated 1979 by the American Antiquarian Society, who presumably assembled them from various sources. Others were received individually, while many are annotated in the hand of Walt Kuhn and are presumed to have originally been part of his papers in the Archives. In 2005, additional catalogs were integrated, some of which are presumed to have been removed from various collections over the years.
Alternative Forms Available
Portions of this collection are available on 35 mm microfilm reels 4858-4859 at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of the material described in the container inventory does not reflect the arrangement of the collection on microfilm.
The Archives created this artificial collection of art exhibition catalogs over a number of years, beginning in the late 1970s. A finding aid to the collection was created some time after microfilming and then encoded according to the EAD (Encoded Archival Description) format in 2005 by Christina Lehman. Additional updates to the collection were made in 2011 by Erin Kinhart.
Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
for additional information.
Miscellaneous art exhibition catalog collection, 1813-1953, bulk 1915-1925. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Researchers may find duplicate or related items in galleries' records held at the Archives of American Art. Additional or duplicate catalogs may appear in AAA's Catalog of Exhibition Catalogs (1979).
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001