A Finding Aid to the Elise Asher Papers,
1923-1994
, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.asheelis
Creators:
Asher, Elise, 1914-
Dates:
1923-1994
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1.6 Linear feet
Repository:
The Elise Asher papers measure 1.6 linear feet and date from 1923 to 1994. The collection includes biographical material, letters, writings, works of art, business records, printed material, and photographs reflecting Asher's career as a poet, painter, and sculptor, and her friendships with many prominent artists of the mid-twentieth century.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The Elise Asher papers, 1923-1994, measure 1.6 linear feet and reflect Asher's career as a poet, painter, and sculptor, and her friendships with many of the more prominent artists of the mid-twentieth century. The collection contains biographical material, letters, writings, works of art, business records, printed material, and photographs.
Notable correspondents found in the collection include Fritz Bultman, Helen Frankenthaler, Philip Guston, Hans Hofmann, Norman Mailer, Robert Motherwell, Louise Nevelson, Mark Rothko, Theodoros Stamos, Jack Tworkov, and Kurt Vonnegut.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into seven series according to material type. The contents of each folder have been arranged chronologically.
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1923-1976 (box 1, 1 folder)
  • Series 2: Letters, 1941-1988, undated (box 1, 2 folders)
  • Series 3: Business Records, 1955-1988, undated (box 1, 43 folders)
  • Series 4: Writings, 1973-1979, undated (box 1, 4 folders)
  • Series 5: Artwork, undated (box 1, 2 folders)
  • Series 6: Printed Material, 1929-1994, undated (boxes 1-3, 30 folders)
  • Series 7: Photographs, 1951-1973, undated (box 2, 5 folders)

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1914, Elise Asher studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, Bradford Junior College, Boston College, and at Simmons College.
She began her career as a poet, culminating in a volume of her poetry entitled The Meandering Absolute. Upon her 1947 arrival in New York City, her attention turned to painting and sculpture. The Tanager Gallery mounted her first solo exhibition in 1953.
Asher was married to painter Nanno de Groot from 1949 to 1957. A year later she married poet Stanley Kunitz, whose work she often illustrated.

Administration
Alternative Forms Available
Portions of this collection are available on 35 mm microfilm reels 4938-4939 at the 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.
Processing Information
The bulk of the collection was processed by Jean Fitzgerald in 1994. The 1995 donation (in box 3) was integrated into the collection during conversion to in 2002. Partial microfilming of the Elise Asher papers was completed with funds provided by the Helena Rubinstein Foundation.
Author
Jean Fitzgerald
Provenance
The Elise Asher papers were donated in 1975, 1976, 1989, 1990 and 1995 by the artist.

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
The collection is open for research. Microfilmed portion must be consulted on microfilm. Use of unmicrofilmed material requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington D.C. research facility.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Elise Asher 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
The Elise Asher papers, 1923-1994. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Illustrated letters Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Christmas cards Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Poets -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Slides (photographs) Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women painters -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Works of art Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
De Groot, Nanno, 1913-1964 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mailer, Norman Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Motherwell, Robert Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kunitz, Stanley, 1905-2006 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tworkov, Jack Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stamos, Theodoros, 1922-1997 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Vonnegut, Kurt Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bultman, Fritz, 1919-1985 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/