A Finding Aid to the Franz Bader Gallery Records, 1925-1995, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.franbade
Creators:
Franz Bader Gallery
Dates:
1925-1995
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
13 Linear feet
Repository:
The records of the Washington, D.C. located Franz Bader Gallery measure 13.0 linear feet and date from 1925 to 1995. The materials document the gallery's history and administrative activities, the artists represented by the gallery, the exhibitions held at the space, and the life of Franz Bader. The collection comprises the personal papers of Franz Bader including files regarding his photography career; artist's files for Paul Arlt, David Becker, William Calfee, Un'ichi Hiratsuka, Robert Marx, Wang Ming, Naúl Ojeda, Prentiss Taylor, Alma Thomas, Lee Weiss, and others; and gallery files containing correspondence, exhibition records, client invoices and other administrative records, files on Inuit art and bark paintings, and a file for Whyte Bookshop and Gallery. Also found are inventory and sales records consisting of two card files, ledgers, stock and inventory lists, and a sales binder; printed and broadcast materials relating to exhibitions, Bader and his photography, events, and includes a video recording featuring the gallery on the show Around Town; guestbooks which hold signatures and notes from gallery patrons; scrapbooks that include printed material related to the gallery's exhibitions, D.C.-based artists the gallery represented, and other gallery events; and photographs of Bader and others, the gallery space, works of art, and candid photographs from exhibition openings.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The records of the Washington, D.C. located Franz Bader Gallery measure 13.0 linear feet and date from 1925 to 1995. The materials document the gallery's history and administrative activities, the artists represented by the gallery, the exhibitions held at the space, and the life of Franz Bader. The collection comprises the personal papers of Franz Bader including files regarding his photography career; artist's files for Paul Arlt, David Becker, William Calfee, Un'ichi Hiratsuka, Robert Marx, Wang Ming, Naúl Ojeda, Prentiss Taylor, Alma Thomas, Lee Weiss, and others; and gallery files containing correspondence, exhibition records, client invoices and other administrative records, files on Inuit art and bark paintings, and a file for Whyte Bookshop and Gallery. Also found are inventory and sales records consisting of two card files, ledgers, stock and inventory lists, and a sales binder; printed and broadcast materials relating to exhibitions, Bader and his photography, events, and includes a video recording featuring the gallery on the show Around Town; guestbooks which hold signatures and notes from gallery patrons; scrapbooks that include printed material related to the gallery's exhibitions, D.C.-based artists the gallery represented, and other gallery events; and photographs of Bader and others, the gallery space, works of art, and candid photographs from exhibition openings.

Arrangement
Arrangement
This collection is arranged as eight series.
  • Series 1: Franz Bader Papers, 1928-1993, (Boxes 1, 5, OV 17; 0.5 linear feet)
  • Series 2: Artist's Files, 1938-1995, (Boxes 5-12, OV 17; 7.0 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Gallery Files, 1953-1993, (Boxes 1, 12-13; 1.6 linear feet)
  • Series 4: Inventory and Sales Records, 1960-1989, (Boxes 13-14, 16; 1.0 linear feet)
  • Series 5: Printed and Broadcast Materials, 1952-1994, (Boxes 1-2, 14-15; 0.5 linear feet)
  • Series 6: Guestbooks, 1975-1980, (Boxes 1-3; 0.5 linear feet)
  • Series 7: Scrapbooks, 1950s-1980s, (Boxes 1-2, 4, 15, BV 18; 0.9 linear feet)
  • Series 8: Photographs, 1925-circa 1990, (Boxes 2, 15, OV 17; 0.5 linear feet)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
The Franz Bader Gallery was an art gallery and bookshop in Washington D.C. operated by Franz Bader (1903-1994) under various names including Franz Bader Gallery, Franz Bader Inc., and Franz Bader Gallery and Bookshop. In 1953, Bader established the gallery at 1705 G Street Northwest, where he showed local and/or upcoming artists, as well as contemporary prints. The gallery moved in September 1964 to 2124 Pennsylvania Avenue and in October 1979 to 2001 I Street, where Bader remained until his retirement in 1985. The gallery continued on after his retirement, and moved location to 1701 Pennsylvania Avenue in 1987, and to 1500 K Street in 1990. The final show held by the gallery was in 1995. Among the artists represented by the gallery and included in this collection are Alice Acheson, Anita Bucherer, Frank Bunts, Bernice Cross, Harry Irving Gates, Peter Milton, Michael Platt, Alma Thomas, Leonard Maurer, and others.
Franz Bader was born in Vienna, Austria in 1903. By 1937, Vienna had succumbed to Nazi occupation, and in 1939 Bader and his wife Virginia fled, moving to America where he found employment at the Whyte Bookshop and Gallery in Washington D.C. He was inspired to create a gallery different than those typically found in the conservative atmosphere of Washington D.C., and he made it his mission to represent contemporary artists living and working in the city. His work with modern art set him apart, eventually earning him the moniker of "Dean of the Washington Gallery Dealers". He passed away in 1994.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection received a preliminary level of processing in 1996. The a portion of the collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by intern Ashley Boykins, supervised by Rayna Andrews in 2018, with funding from the Henry Luce Foundation. An additional accession was merged and processed into the collection by Sarah Mundy in 2021 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.
Author
Ashley Boykins and Sarah Mundy
Sponsor
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Henry Luce Foundation and the Smithsonian Women's Committee.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The scrapbooks, guestbooks, a small amount of printed material and correspondence, photographs of the Franz Bader Gallery, and honors for Bader were donated to the Archives of American Art by Virginia F. Bader, Franz Bader's wife, in 1995. The other material was donated by John Benjamin Dunn, lawyer for the gallery, in 2002.

Using the Collection
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.
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 Reference Services for more information.
Preferred Citation
Franz Bader Gallery records, 1925-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Franz Bader conducted by Julie Link Haifley in 1978.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art galleries, Commercial -- Washington (D.C.) Function Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Video recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bader, Franz, 1903-1994 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Thomas, Alma Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ojeda, Naúl, 1939-2002 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Calfee, William H. (William Howard), 1909-1995 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Marx, Robert 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
https://www.aaa.si.edu/