A Finding Aid to the David Berger Papers,
circa 1939-1986
, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.bergdavi
Creators:
Berger, David, 1920-1966
Dates:
circa 1939-1986
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
3.8 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of Massachusetts painter, sculptor, and educator David Berger measure 3.8 linear feet and date from circa 1939 to 1986. His career as an artist and professor are documented through biographical material, personal business records, scattered correspondence, gallery files, exhibition catalogs, news clippings, and other printed material, as well as nine sketchbooks and photographs depicting Berger, his family, and artwork.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The papers of Massachusetts painter, sculptor, and educator David Berger measure 3.8 linear feet and date from circa 1939 to 1986. His career as an artist and professor are documented through biographical material, personal business records, scattered correspondence, gallery files, exhibition catalogs, news clippings, and other printed material, as well as nine sketchbooks and photographs depicting Berger, his family, and artwork.
Biographical material consists of Veterans Administration records, interview transcripts, student records, diplomas, and documents from the memorial service held for Berger in 1966. Personal business records include of his employment records, scattered financial documents, and files documenting his submissions for juried art exhibitions. Also found here are inventory and sales records for Berger's artwork and documentation on the construction of Berger's house and studio in the late 1950s, designed by architect Marvin E. Goody.
Correspondence is with art galleries, professional organizations, publishers, Cranbrook Academy of Art, and individuals who purchased works by Berger. These letters primarily concern the sale and exhibition of David Berger's artwork as well as his education and teaching career. Gallery files include correspondence, price lists, artwork sales and loan records, exhibition planning documents, notes, and gallery publications.
Printed material consists of news clippings documenting David Berger's career, catalogs and announcements for exhibitions of works by Berger and others, as well as publications from Massachusetts College of Art and Cranbrook Academy of Art. One children's book includes illustrations by David Berger. Photographs depict Berger at art exhibitions and with his wife and daughters at home and in his studio. Also found are numerous photographs of his artwork. Nine sketchbooks contain various figure studies in pencil, ink, pastel, and charcoal.
Many of these files in this collection were maintained by Berger's wife, Ruth, after his death in 1966 and include her correspondence and notes.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 7 series:
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1939-1966 (Box 1, 5; 0.3 linear feet)
  • Series 2: Personal Business Records, 1941-1981 (Box 1, OV 6; 0.6 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Correspondence, 1945-1986 (Box 1-2; 0.3 linear feet)
  • Series 4: Gallery Files, 1953-1985 (Box 2; 0.6 linear feet)
  • Series 5: Printed Material, 1943-1975 (Box 2-3, 5; 1.1 linear feet)
  • Series 6: Photographs, circa 1949-1960s (Box 3-5; 0.6 linear feet)
  • Series 7: Sketchbooks, circa 1956-1960s (Box 4-5; 0.3 linear feet)

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
David Berger (1920-1966) was a painter, sculptor, and educator in Boston, Massachusetts. Berger was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and earned a B.S. in education from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1946. In 1950 he received a master of fine arts degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He was a professor of art at Framingham State College from 1946 to 1957, and a professor of painting and illustration at Massachusetts College of Art from 1957 until his death on November 15, 1966.
Berger had numerous gallery exhibitions and won several awards in juried shows. He was represented in New York by the Cober Gallery, and in 1967 DeCordova Museum held a memorial exhibition of his work. In 1956 he was selected as on of the "100 Outstanding New Talents in U.S.A." by Art in America.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed in 2012 by Erin Kinhart.
Author
Erin Kinhart
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
The collection was donated in 2010 by Ellen Berger Rainville, David Berger's daughter.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
David Berger papers, circa 1939-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Restrictions on Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The David Berger 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.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Sculptors -- Massachusetts -- Boston Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Boston Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Transcripts Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Educators -- Massachusetts -- Boston Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists' studios -- Massachusetts -- Boston Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cranbrook Academy of Art Corporate 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/