Avis Berman research material on art and artists

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.bermavis
Creators:
Berman, Avis
Dates:
1976-1988
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
0.6 Linear feet
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Avis Berman research material on art and artists consists of interviews conducted by Berman and scattered correspondence in preparation for various books, articles and exhibitions. Subjects include Romare Bearden, Adelyn Breeskin, Chaim Gross, Jacob Lawrence, Reuben Nakian, and Helen Farr Sloan regarding John Sloan.
Scope and Contents
Material on art historian and museum director Adelyn Breeskin (microfilm reel 2786) includes an interview conducted by Berman September 8 and November 2, 1976. Breeskin speaks of her educational background; working at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Metropolitan Museum; her early interest in reading and illustrated books; her role as Curator of Prints and Director of the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Sadie May, Claghorn, Garrett, and Cone Collections; the financial management of the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Venice Biennale, 1960; and her research concerning Mary Cassatt and Romaine Brooks. She recalls Katherine B. Child, Claribel and Etta Cone, William Ivins, Jr., Gertrude Stein, Alicie B. Toklas and others. Also included are transcripts of interviews with Gertrude Rosenthal, January 14, 1977, and James Foster, December 10, 1976, in which they discuss working with Breeskin, and a copy of Berman's article "Adelyn Breeskin: 50 Years of Excellence, Part I," which appeared in the Feminist Art Journal, Summer 1977; and a manuscript draft and photocopied pages of "Profile of Adelyn Breeskin, Part 2" by Berman. (An abbreviated version of this article appeared in The Baltimore Sun, Oct. 30, 1977).
Scope and Contents
Berman's interview of painter Romare Bearden (2 cassettes, 45 page transcript) was conducted 1980 July 31 in Bearden's studio, Long Island City, New York. Bearden discusses his mural commissions; his youth; his time in Paris; working out of the blues tradition; the influence of the South; and changes in his work. He recalls Constantin Brancusi, Jacob Lawrence, Henri Matisse, Duke Ellington, Stuart Davis, and others.
Scope and Contents
The interview with painter Jacob Lawrence was conducted 1982 July 20-August 4th (3 sound cassettes, 81 page transcript). Also present is Gwendolyn Knight.
Scope and Contents
The interview with Helen Farr Sloan, widow of painter John Sloan, was conducted by Berman on 1988 July 17 for an audience at the Delaware Art Museum. The interview primarily concerns her husband, painter John Sloan including their marriage and life together as well as his life and work before they married, Farr Sloan's education including being a student of John Sloan's, as well as her own experience as a teacher. She briefly discusses art collecting.
Scope and Contents
The interview of sculptor Reuben Nakian was conducted 1981 April 1 (1 sound cassette, untranscribed).
Scope and Contents
The interview of sculptor Chaim Gross and Renee Gross was conducted 1981 March 7 (2 sound cassettes, untranscribed).
Scope and Contents
The collection also includes 13 letters to Berman from art historians and critics, and copies of 2 letters sent, in response to her query about what books they find indispensable to their work. Berman used the information in an article in ARTnews (Nov. 1983). Correspondents include John Szarkowski, Milton Brown, John Canaday, Robert Rosenblum, Julius Held, Theodore Reff, Linda Nochlin, Albert Elsen, James R. Mellow, Lewis Mumford, Dore Ashton, John Walker, and Robert Rosenblum. This material is on microfilm reel 4909.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Avis Berman (1949- ) is an art historian, writer, and curator from New York, N.Y.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
35mm microfilm reels 2786 and 4909 are available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
Author
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated incrementally by Avis Berman 1981-1993.

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
Interviews with Gross, Lawrence, and Nakian: Authorization to quote or reproduce for purposes of publication requires written permission from Avis Berman. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Terms of Use
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.

Related Materials
Also in the Archives are the Avis Berman research material on Katharine Kuh, 1939-2006 and an interview of Reuben Nakian conducted by Berman for the Archives Oral History Program, June 1981.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art historians -- United States -- Interviews Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art historians -- Interviews Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museum directors -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Breeskin, Adelyn Dohme, 1896-1986 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brooks, Romaine Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cassatt, Mary, 1844-1926 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Child, Katherine B. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cone, Claribel Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cone, Etta Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ivins, William Mills, 1881-1961 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Toklas, Alice B. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rosenthal, Gertrude, 1903- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Foster, James W., 1920- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bearden, Romare, 1911-1988 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lawrence, Jacob, 1917-2000 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Knight, Gwendolyn Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gross, Chaim, 1904-1991 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nakian, Reuben, 1897-1986 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sloan, Helen Farr, 1911-2005 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sloan, John, 1871-1951 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
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https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
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