Scope and Contents
The Sylvan Cole Gallery records and Sylvan Cole papers measure 29.4 linear feeet and date from 1959 to 2004, with one item, A Modern Pilgrim's Print Book, from 1935. The records shed light on the gallery's operations through administrative records, artist files, exhibition and event files, institution and museum files, gallery and dealer files, client and collector files, financial records, and appraisal and legal records. The collection also includes papers of Sylvan Cole, including material generated during his career as president and director of Associated American Artists Gallery; an appraiser of fine-art prints; and an authority on twentieth-century American prints. Some personal material is present as well.
Gallery administrative records consist of correspondence files, organization and membership records, daily planners, files on art conservation and restoration, and an essay by Sylvan Cole titled "Some Observations" about buyers in the commercial print industry. Artist files shed light on the gallery's dealings with artists Raphael Soyer, Martha Bloom, Stuart Davis, Clare Leighton, Ben Shahn, and others through correspondence, biographical summaries and resumes, clippings, price lists, exhibition catalogs and announcements, financial papers, and scattered photos.
Exhibition and event files consist of price lists, announcements, catalogs, press releases, newspaper clippings, and more related to solo and group exhibitions held at Sylvan Cole Gallery and elsewhere that involved either artwork from the Cole Gallery or Sylvan Cole himself. The series also includes materials from art auctions and fairs.
Both institution and museum files as well as gallery and dealer files contain correspondence, printed material, shipping records, exhibition announcements and catalogs, consignment records, invoices, inventories, price lists, and some appraisal records. Galleries and dealer files shed light on the book companies, galleries, and print-dealers that Sylvan Cole and his gallery conducted business with. Client and collector files consist of correspondence, sales records, receipts and invoices, inventories, price lists, and some appraisal records.
Financial records are comprised of sales and consignment records, remittances, paid bills, receipts, and invoices. The collection's appraisal and legal records consist of material documenting laws in New York and at the federal level relevant to fine-art prints and multiples; one file containing the Sylvan Cole Gallery's incorporation records; and records of appraisals performed by Sylvan Cole.
The papers of Sylvan Cole shed light on his career as president and director of Associated American Artists Gallery, a well-known appraiser and authority of fine-art prints, and art lecturer. The papers include correspondence, memos, price lists, and other administrative records from AAAG. Of particular note in this series are letters between Sylvan Cole and lithographer, painter, and sculptor Richard Florsheim as well as material related to the Richard Florsheim Art Fund. Some family and biographical material, membership records, photographs, and clippings are also present.