A Finding Aid to the Irena Brynner Papers, 1914-2003, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.bryniren
Creators:
Brynner, Irena
Dates:
1914-2003
Languages:
Multiple languages
The collection is in English, French, Russian, and German.
Physical Description:
14.2 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of jeweler Irena Brynner measure 14.2 linear feet and date from circa 1914 to 2003. The papers document Brynner's career as a jeweler in California and New York through biographical material including sound recordings of her diary; correspondence with family, friends, and art organizations; diaries, notebooks, and other writings; exhibition announcements, news clippings, and other printed material; photographs and slides; artwork including eight sketchbooks; and eleven scrapbooks.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of jeweler Irena Brynner measure 14.2 linear feet and date from circa 1914 to 2003. The papers document Brynner's career as a jeweler in California and New York through biographical material including sound recordings of her diary; correspondence with family, friends, and art organizations; diaries, notebooks, and other writings; exhibition announcements, news clippings, and other printed material; photographs and slides; artwork including eight sketchbooks; and eleven scrapbooks.
Biographical material includes family records and certificates, consular papers, and address books. Also included are 30 sound cassettes primarily of Brynner reading her diary in Russian and a radio interview with Brynner.
Correspondence is with family, friends, artists and art organizations and galleries. Much of the correspondence is in English, French and Russian. Included are correspondence between Brynner and her cousin, actor Yul Brynner.
Writings primarily consist of diaries and notebooks, lectures, and pieces from writing classes Brynner attended in the 1990s.
Personal business records consist primarily of inventories and price lists of the various jewelry pieces Brynner created. There are also shipping receipts and loan agreements with various art organizations.
Printed materials consist primarily of exhibition announcements and press releases. There are also news clippings and magazine articles related to Brynner's jewelry.
Artwork primarily consists of sketches and sketchbooks of jewelry designs and sculture designs.
Scrapbooks include various materials such as newspaper clippings, photographs, and exhibition announcements.
Photographic material includes personal photographs, photographs of jewelry, negatives of both personal photographs and photographs of jewelry, and slides of jewelry.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 8 series
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1930-2002 (1.6 linear feet; Boxes 1-2, 14-15)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1930-2003 ( 2.3 linear feet; Boxes 2-4)
  • Series 3: Writings, circa 1930-2003 (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 4-5)
  • Series 4: Personal Business Records, 1942-2003 (1.0 linear feet; Boxes 5-6)
  • Series 5: Printed Material, 1932-2000 ( 0.9 linear feet; Boxes 6, 16, OV 18)
  • Series 6: Artwork, circa 1949-1998 (1.0 linear feet; Boxes 6-7, 17)
  • Series 7: Scrapbooks, 1948-1997 (1.4 linear feet; Boxes 7-8, 16)
  • Series 8: Photographs, circa 1914-2002 (5.2 linear feet; Boxes 8-13, 17)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Irena Brynner (1917-2003) was jeweler, sculptor, and opera singer who worked primarily in New York City. Brynner was born in Vladivostok, Russia. Her father was a member of the Swiss diplomatic corp, and she spent her youth living in China, Japan, and France. Brynner immigrated to the United States prior to World War II where she began her career as jeweler. Brynner was the cousin of actor, Yul Brynner, and worked in the San Francisco Bay area through the 1950s before moving to New York City. Brynner held exhbitions across the United States, throughout Europe, and in Japan.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Ricky Gomez in 2019.
Author
Ricky Gomez
Sponsor
The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund, administered by the National Collections Program and the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Irena Brynner papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Ragnar D. Ness, executor of the Irena Brynner Estate, in 2004.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Conditions Governing 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.
Preferred Citation
Irena Brynner papers, circa 1914-2003. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Irena Brynner conducted by Arline M. Fisch, 2001 April 26-27.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Sketchbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women artists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jewelers -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diaries Type 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/