A Finding Aid to the Lena Gurr Papers,
1908-1979
, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.gurrlena
Creators:
Gurr, Lena, 1897-1992
Dates:
1908-1979
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
7 Linear feet
Repository:
The Lena Gurr (1897-1992) papers date from 1908 to 1979 and measure 7.0 linear feet. Gurr was a painter and printmaker who studied under John sloan and Maurice Sterne at the Art Students League between 1920-1922. She also studied in France and married painter and photographer Joseph Biel in 1931. The papers document both Gurr and Biel's careers through correspondence, notes, art work, printed material, scrapbooks, and photographs. The collection offers researchers a valuable resource for studying the New York art community of the pre-war era.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The Lena Gurr papers date from 1908 to 1979 and measure 7.0 linear feet. The collection presents a good overview of Gurr's career as a painter and printmaker, and her relationship with her husband, painter Joseph Biel. Through biographical material, correspondence, notes, an interview with Lena Gurr, original artwork by Gurr and others, scrapbooks, printed material, photographs of Gurr, family, and friends, and photographs of artwork by Gurr and others, the collection offers researchers a valuable resource for studying the New York art community of the pre-war era.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into eight series. Material within each series is arranged chronologically.
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1968, undated (box 1; 1 folder)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1921-1979, undated (boxes 1-4; 3.1 linear ft.)
  • Series 3: Notes, 1926-1972 (box 4; 4 folders)
  • Series 4: Interview, 1950 (box 4; 1 folder)
  • Series 5: Artwork, circa 1908-1951 (box 4; 36 folders)
  • Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1912-1948 (boxes 4-5, 8-11; 1.45 linear ft.)
  • Series 7: Printed Material, 1926-1978 (box 5; 21 folders)
  • Series 8: Photographs, 1912-1978 (boxes 5-7; 1.05 linear ft.)

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Born October 27, 1897, in Brooklyn, New York, Lena Gurr was the daughter of Hyman and Ida (Gorodnick) Gurr. She attended the Maxwell Training School for Teachers from 1915 to 1917, then turned her energies toward art. She studied painting and printmaking at the Educational Alliance Art School in 1919, and at the Art Students League (1920-1922), where she was a student of John Sloan and Maurice Stern. She also studied art in Paris, Nice, and Mentone, France. Her first solo exhibition was in 1932 at the Brooklyn Museum.
On November 24, 1931, Gurr married painter and photographer Joseph Biel. He was born October 27, 1891 in Russia, studied at the Russian Academy in Paris, and at the Workman's College, Melbourne, Australia. He also established the first Jewish Library in Melbourne. Upon his arrival in the United States, he studied under George Grosz at the Art Students League. Biel died in April 1943 of a heart ailment.

Administration
Alternative Forms Available
The collection is available on 35 mm microfilm reels 4940-4948 at the Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of the material described in the container inventory does not reflect the arrangement of the collection on microfilm.
Processing Information
The collection was processed and the finding aid written by Jean Fitzgerald in 1994. The finding aid was modified during conversion to EAD by Stephanie Ashley in 2002.
Author
Jean Fitzgerald
Provenance
The Lena Gurr papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Lena Gurr from 1966 to 1979.

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
The collection is open for research. Patrons must use microfilm copy.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Lena Gurr papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Preferred Citation
Lena Gurr papers, 1908-1979. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Works of art Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographers Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Prints Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Christmas cards Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists' studios -- France -- Paris -- Photographs Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women artists -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painting, American -- Massachusetts -- Provincetown Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Phonograph records Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Printmakers Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New York (N.Y.) -- Pictorial works Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Model, Elisabeth D. (Elisabeth Dittmann), 1897-1993 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lozowick, Louis, 1892-1973 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lawrence, Jacob, 1917-2000 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jones, Joe, 1909-1963 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
John Reed Club Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ward, Lynd, 1905-1985 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Von Wicht, John, 1888-1970 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Soyer, Raphael, 1899-1987 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Norman, Maria Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New York World's Fair (1939-1940) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ehrenreich, Emma, 1906- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Block, Dorothy, 1904-1984 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Biel, Joseph, 1891-1943 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Baron, Herman, 1892-1961 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Harkavy, Minna, b. 1895 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Grosz, George, 1893-1959 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Force, Juliana, 1876-1948 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fabri, Ralph, 1894- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ascher, Mary G. (Mary Goldman), b. 1900 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Allen, Mary Cecil, 1893-1962 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
ACA Galleries Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Knaths, Karl, 1891-1971 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/