A Finding Aid to the Mary Frank papers, 1884-2017, bulk 1957-1990, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.franmary
Creators:
Frank, Mary, 1933-
Dates:
1884-2017
bulk 1957-1990
Languages:
Multiple languages
Materials are primarily in English, with some materials in French and Spanish.
Physical Description:
4.2 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of sculptor and painter Mary Frank measure 4.2 linear feet and date from 1884-2017. Included are correspondence, writings, photographs, artwork and printed material documenting Frank's career. Correspondence is both personal and professional. Writings include dreams recounted in detail, poems, and ideas for works of art, some illustrated. Black and white photographs are of Frank, her sculptures, friends and family, and source material. Artwork includes drawings and sketches in dry point, pencil and watercolor. Printed material includes exhibition catalogs, announcements, brochures and clippings.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of sculptor and painter Mary Frank measure 4.2 linear feet and date from 1884-2017. Included are correspondence, writings, photographs, artwork and printed material documenting Frank's career. Correspondence is both personal and professional. Writings include dreams recounted in detail, poems, and ideas for works of art, some illustrated. Black and white photographs are of Frank, her sculptures, friends and family, and source material. Artwork includes drawings and sketches in dry point, pencil and watercolor. Printed material includes exhibition catalogs, announcements, brochures and clippings.
Materials in this collection document Mary Frank's career as an artist in New York through correspondence with family, friends, and artists; original drawings and watercolors; writings about ideas for her artwork; photographs of Frank in her studio and artwork; clippings reviewing her work and documenting her interest and support in the solar cooker movement; and exhibition catalogs and announcements. Also included are photographs from Frank's travels with Red Grooms and other artists in Italy in the 1960s, which was a formative experience in Frank's artistic development. The collection provides an illuminating context for Frank's artwork of the 1970s and 1980s, present in the collection as photographed sculpture but also as original drawings and watercolors.
The collection also offers a glimpse of her family life and early childhood documented through photographs of Robert Frank, and their children; photographs taken by Robert Frank and other known photographers; photographs that belonged to her parents and aunt; drawings by her son, Pablo, and aunt, Sylvia Weinstein; writings by her maternal grandfather; and writings that document personal struggles she experienced throughout her life. The collection provides a penetrating glimpse into the emotional turmoil of the years before Frank's divorce from Robert Frank, and documents through letters and writings Frank's struggles with her daughter's early death in 1974 and her son's illness that began in 1975 and ended in his death in 1994.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged in five series.
  • Series 1: Correspondence, 1943-2001 (0.4 linear feet; Box 1)
  • Series 2: Writings, 1936-circa 1990 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1)
  • Series 3: Printed Material, circa 1960-2013 (0.6 linear feet; Box 1-2)
  • Series 4: Artwork, circa 1930-circa 1990s (0.6 linear feet; Box 2, 4; OV 5)
  • Series 5: Photographic Material, 1884-circa 2006 (2.4 linear feet; Box 2-3; OV 6-12)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Mary Frank (1933-) is a sculptor, ceramicist, and painter in New York, New York. She was born in London, England in 1933 to writer, Edward Lockspeiser, and artist, Eleanore Weinstein. In 1940, she and her mother moved to Brooklyn, New York and moved in with her mother's parents, Gregory and Eugenie Weinstein. Eventually Frank and her mother moved to the Village in Manhattan. Frank studied modern dance with Martha Graham and attended the High School of Music and Art, the Professional Children's School, and studied under artists Hans Hofmann and Max Beckmann. While still in high school, she met photographer, Robert Frank, whom she eventually married in 1950. They had two children, Pablo and Andrea, and divorced in 1969. Frank first exhibited her artwork at Poindexter Gallery in 1958 and traveled with Red Grooms across Italy in the 1960s, which had a significant impact on her artistic development. Her work is also influenced by her daughter's untimely death in 1974 and her son's illness that began in 1975 and ended in his death in 1994.
Mostly self-taught, Frank works across multiple disciplines including sculpture, painting, ceramics, and drawing. Reflected in her work are themes of grief, loss, love and sorrow. He career has spanned over five decades where she has exhibited works at numerous galleries and museums around the country. She has been the recipient of many awards and honors, including two Guggenheim Foundation Fellowships, and taught classes at Bard College. Mary Frank's works are included in the permanent collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum, National Museum of American Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, and many others. She has also been a longtime advocate of solar cooking.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed, and a finding aid prepared by Jennifer E. Neal in 2019.
Author
Jennifer E. Neal
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated in 2014 and 2019 by Mary Frank.

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.
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
Mary Frank Papers, 1884-2017. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Mary Frank conducted by Judith Olch Richards on January 10, 11, and February 3, 2010.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Ceramicists -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women artists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Frank, Robert, 1924- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gibson, Ralph, 1939- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lockspeiser, Eleanore, 1900-1986 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Meyerowitz, Joel, 1938- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Steichen, Edward, 1879-1973 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/