Archives of American Art

A Finding Aid to the Charles Cajori Papers, 1928-2018, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.cajochar
Creators:
Cajori, Charles, 1921-2013
Dates:
1928-2018
Languages:
Some records are in Italian and Spanish.
Physical Description:
7.4 Linear feet
0.07 Gigabytes
Repository:
The papers of New York painter, Charles Cajori measure 7.4 linear feet and 0.070 GB and date from 1928-2018. The collection documents Cajori's activities as a painter, educator, and co-founder of the Tanager Gallery, located on the Lower East Side in New York, through biographical material; correspondence; writings and notes; interviews, talks, and panel discussions on art and artists; printed materials; and photographic materials.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The papers of New York painter, Charles Cajori measure 7.4 linear feet and 0.070 GB and date from 1928-2018. The collection documents Cajori's activities as a painter, educator, and co-founder of the Tanager Gallery, located on the Lower East Side in New York, through biographical material; correspondence; writings and notes; interviews, talks, and panel discussions on art and artists; printed materials; and photographic materials.
Biographical material consists of Charles Cajori's high school records, air force records, passports and other travel documents, material related to his 90th birthday celebration, resumes, exhibition lists, a few drawings, obituaries, memorial service information, conservation reports on paintings, and other material.
Correspondence is personal and professional and consists of mostly incoming letters to Cajori from artists, friends, family, art historians, and academic institutions. There are a few letters from Charles Cajori, including draft of his letters. Among the correspondents are Pat Adams, Leland Bell, Bernard Chaet, Cooper Union, Cleve Gray, Barbara Grossman, Louis Finkelstein, Philip Pearlstein, Sidney Simon, Norman Turner, and the University of California at Berkeley. Of interest, are letters from the founders of the Tanager Gallery, such as Lois Dodd, Angelo Ippolito, and William King. Correspondence also documents Cajori's dealings with galleries and museums as well as his involvement in arts organizations; included are letters from American University, Watkins Gallery; Bertha Schaffer Gallery; Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center; Gallery Association of New York; Museum of Modern Art; Roko Gallery; Stable Gallery; and the Whitney Museum of American Art. There are also condolences to Barbara regarding Cajori's death.
Cajori's writings include drafts on painting and drawing that Cajori prepared for classroom lectures and panel discussions; essays on Paul C├ęzanne and Chaim Soutine; and his account of the founding of the Tanager Gallery. Cajori's writings also include a biographical account and an artist's statement. There are writings by Louis Finkelstein, Andrew Forge, and Mercedes Matter about Cajori's work. Included are several guest registers for Cajori's exhibitions at the David Findlay Gallery, Lohin Geduld Gallery, and the New York Studio School. There are also some class notes and essays that are probably from Cajori's college days, as well as some undated writings that include notes on art and artist statements.
Interviews, talks, and panel discussions include a transcript of an interview with Charles Cajori, audiotaped and videotaped as well as born digital interviews with Charles Cajori, and panel discussions with Cajori and others. Panel discussions with Cajori and others cover such topics as the New York school artists and Chaim Soutine. Many of recordings focus on Cajori's association with the Tanager Gallery, the art scene in New York during the 1950s, and his reflections on art. Also included are miscellaneous videotaped recordings. One panel discussion is digitized.
Printed material contains exhibition catalogs, checklists, announcements, invitations, press releases, clippings, reviews, brochures, and miscellaneous printed material. There are files of printed materials on the New York Studio School as well as Tanager Gallery that include exhibition catalogs and clippings.
Photographic material includes photographs, slides, and negatives of Charles Cajori, his studio, family and friends, black and white and color photographs of works of art, events and exhibition installations.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 6 series:
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1928-2018 (Box 5; 0.4 linear feet)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1929-2015 (Boxes 1-2, 5-6; 1.8 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1940-2012 (Boxes 2, 6, 8; 0.4 linear feet)
  • Series 4: Interviews, Talks, and Panel Discussions, 1983-2012 (Boxes 2-3, 6; 1.3 linear feet, ER01; 0.070 GB)
  • Series 5: Printed Material, 1943-2018 (Boxes 3-4, 6, 8, OV 9; 2 linear feet)
  • Series 6: Photographic Material, circa 1928-2015 (Boxes 6-8; 1.6 linear feet)

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Painter and teacher Charles Cajori (1921-2013) worked in New York City and Connecticut.
Born in Palo Alto, California in 1921, Charles Cajori studied painting at Colorado College and the Cleveland Art School. Cajori served in the United States Air Force during World War II. Upon his return, he attended Columbia University and then spent two years at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, where he became acquainted with Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, and other Abstract Expressionist artists.
Charles Cajori was one of the founding members of the Tanager Gallery, an early artists' cooperative gallery, originally located at 90 East Tenth Street in New York, which provided a venue for contemporary artists to exhibit their work. In 1956, Charles Cajori had his first solo exhibition at the Tanager Gallery and since then, he continuously showed his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the United States and abroad including American University, Bertha Schaeffer Gallery, David Findlay Jr. Gallery, El Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, Ingber Gallery, Lohin Geduld Gallery, Mattatuck Museum, New Arts Gallery, Paesaggio Gallery, Sala di Esposizione della Biblioteca Americana, Stable Gallery, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Charles Cajori's work is represented in a number of public and private collections including the Ciba-Geigy Corporation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Academy of Design, Walker Art Center, and the Weatherspoon Museum.
In conjunction with his activities as an artist, Charles Cajori taught painting and drawing at major academic institutions and art schools: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Cooper Union, Cornell University, and the University of California at Berkeley. Cajori was a co-founder of the New York Studio School, where he continues to serve on the faculty.
Charles Cajori received many honors for his work including the 1959 Distinction in the Arts, Yale University; Benjamin Altman, Figure Prize at the National Academy, 1983, 1987; the Childe Hassam Purchase Award by the Institute of Art and Letters Award, 1975-1976, 1980; and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, 1979. Also, Cajori was awarded a Fulbright grant to Italy, 1952-1953 and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1981.
Charles Cajori was married to the painter Barbara Grossman and they lived in Watertown, Connecticut.

Administration
Author
Joy Weiner and Rihoko Ueno
Provenance
The Charles Cajori papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Charles Cajori in 2011 and by Barbara Grossman in 2015 and 2021.
Processing Information
The papers were processed to a minimal level by Joy Weiner in 2011. The 2015 and 2021 additions were processed and merged into the collection, and the finding aid was updated by Rihoko Ueno in 2022.

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointments and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. 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.
Preferred Citation
Charles Cajori papers, 1928-2018. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Photographs Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Video recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Transcripts Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tanager Gallery (New York, N.Y.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Finkelstein, Louis Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dodd, Lois, 1927- 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