A Finding Aid to the Michael Brenner Papers, 1886-1976, in the Archives of American Art.

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.brenmich
Creators:
Brenner, Michael, 1885-1969
Dates:
1888-1976
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
0.4 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of the sculptor Michael Brenner measure 0.4 linear feet and date from 1888 to 1976. The collection includes letters, scrapbooks, drawings, photographs and other materials documenting Michael Brenner's career, the activities of members of the Brenner family, and the colony of expatriate American artists flourishing in Paris in the early twentieth century.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of the sculptor Michael Brenner measure 0.4 linear feet and date from 1888 to 1976. The collection includes letters, scrapbooks, drawings, photographs and other materials documenting Michael Brenner's career, the activities of members of the Brenner family and the colony of expatriate American artists flourishing in Paris in the early twentieth century.
Letters are written to family members and associates and include exchanges between Brenner's sister Miriam (Fanny) and her brothers Michael, Morris, Samuel, and Victor (Dave) Brenner concerning their health, family business, work, and other art-related activities. Several of Michael Brenner's letters mention his dissatisfaction with Robert Coady's handling of consignments, dealings with Mr. Kahnweiler, and exhibitions of colleagues Michel Kikoine and Pinchus Kremegne. Other correspondents include Alexandre Charpentier and (Louis) Oscar Roty.
Scrapbooks are comprised of material related to the life and career of Michael Brenner. The first scrapbook contains a photocopy of a letter written to Michael Brenner from Gertrude Stein where she describes her travels with Alice B. Toklas and mentions the bust Brenner made of her likeness. Other materials include a 1953 exhibition catalog for Chaim Soutine at Perls Galleries, letters written to Mrs. Michael Brenner concerning the sale of her husband's artwork, and photographs of Michael Brenner, Miriam Brenner, other family members, and works of art.
Photographs are of artwork and show Brenner family members, Victor Brenner and his studio, Michael Brenner with Chaim Soutine and pictures of Brenner's close friend, I. C. Rubin and Albert Einstein.
Art work is comprised of twenty-seven figure drawings.
Printed materials consists of clippings about Abraham Lincoln, reproductions of works of art, a bookplate for Marion Kean Lopez, and an essay entitled "Instead of an Introduction" by Sadakichi Hartmann praising the American landscape artist, Leon Dabo. Also found is an 1899 announcement for a "Seance Publique Annuelle," a photocopy of an article about Brenner by Cathy Turrill, a list of objects borrowed and photographed by Turrill in 1974, a photocopy of a photograph of Robert Coady, and the cover of an Avant-Garde catalog.
Other materials includes notes and a subject file on a life-long friend and physician, I. C. Rubin (1922-1975). There are letters from Rubin about his travels and photographs of Brenner and Rubin as young men, Brenner with his son, and Brenner with painter Isaac Pailes.

Arrangement
Arrangement
Due to the small size of this collection the papers are arranged as one series.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Michael Brenner (1885-1969) was a sculptor who emigrated from Lithuania to New York with his family in 1890. In 1900, Brenner moved to Paris, France, entering the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Academie Julian. He studied under his brother, Victor Brenner, and Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Brenner established a studio in Paris and was included in Gertrude Stein's circle of friends. He was associated with a small artist colony of Russian Jews which included Chaim Soutine, Michel Kikoine, Pinchus Kremegne, and Isaac Pailes. In 1914, with his American friend, Robert Coady, Brenner established the Washington Square Gallery in New York for which he acted as European agent.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
The collection is available on 35mm microfilm reel 4078 at the Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of material described in the container inventory may not reflect the arrangement of the collection on microfilm.
Processing Information
The collection was processed by Jean Fitzgerald in 1988. A finding aid was written by Caroline Donadio in 2018.
Author
Caroline Donadio
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers of Michael Brenner were donated by his widow in 1976.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Preferred Citation
Michael Brenner papers, 1888-1976. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Expatriate painters -- France -- Paris Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Coady, Robert J., 1881-1921 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Washington Square Gallery 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/