- Collection ID:
- Physical Description:
The Dodie Kazanjian and Calvin Tomkins research materials on Alexander Liberman measures 7.8 linear feet and date from 1927-1999. The collection contains sound recordings of interviews, interview transcripts, correspondence, biographical material, clippings, and some photographs. The papers and recordings were predominantly compiled during Kazanjian and Tomkin's preparation for their book, Alex: The Life of Alexander Liberman (1993).
Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The Dodie Kazanjian and Calvin Tomkins research materials on Alexander Liberman measures 7.8 linear feet and contains sound recordings of interviews, interview transcripts, correspondence, biographical material, clippings, and some photographs.
The interviews include cassette tapes and transcripts documenting Alexander Liberman's professional and personal life. A portion of the interviews are with Liberman himself, but a majority of the interviewees are Liberman's contemporaries and peers including artists, publishers, personal friends, and art collectors. The collection's research files contain school records, articles and clippings, legal documents, and correspondence. Kazanjian's and Tomkins's notes and annotations are found dispersed throughout the research files. This collection also contains drafts and an edited manuscript of the book, Alex: The Life of Alexander Liberman.
This collection is arranged as 3 series
- Series 1: Interviews and Transcripts, 1987-1994 (5.1 linear feet; Boxes 1-15)
- Series 2: Research Files, 1927-1999 (1.2 linear feet; Boxes 15-16)
- Series 3: Alex: The Life of Alexander Liberman, circa 1988-1992 (7 folders; Boxes 16-17)
Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Alex: The Life of Alexander Liberman (Knopf, 1993) was written by Dodie Kazanjian and her husband Calvin Tomkins. Kazanjian and Tomkins are both authors and art critics in New York, New York. Alexander Liberman (1912-1999) was Editorial Director for Conde Nast for 51 years as well as an accomplished artist.
Kazanjian was born in Newport, Rhode Island in 1952. She received her undergraduate degree from Salve Regina College in 1974, and subsequently worked a number of writing and editing jobs with the Washington Post, Washington Starr, House and Garden, Vogue, and The New Yorker. She has authored five books, held the position of communications director for the National Endowment for the Arts, and is currently the Director of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera. Tomkins is a writer and art critic who was born in Orange, New Jersey in 1925. He graduated from Princeton University in 1948, and went on to work as a journalist for Radio Free Europe and then Newsweek. Tomkins joined the staff of The New Yorker in 1960.
Alexander Liberman (1912-1999) was a Russian-American magazine executive, writer, painter, photographer, and sculptor. Liberman was born in 1912 in Kiev Russia. He was educated in London and the École des Beaux Art in Paris. While in France he was introduction to a career in publication working at Vu magazine owned by Lucien Vogel. After emigrating to New York in 1941, Liberman began working at Conde Nast Publications. For the next twenty years Liberman held multiple positions with Conde Nast's publication Vogue. Liberman was named Conde Nast's editorial director in 1964, a position he held until 1992. In addition to Liberman's career as an editor with Conde Nast, he wrote The Artist in His Studio (1960) and Marlene: An Intimate Photographic Memoir (1992), and has paintings and sculptures featured in museums and public sites worldwide.
The collection was processed and a finding aid was written by Christopher DeMairo in 2019.
The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund, administered by the National Collections Program and the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated in 1999 by Dodie Kazanjian and Calvin Tomkins.
Using the Collection
Dodie Kazanjian and Calvin Tomkins research materials on Alexander Liberman, circa 1927-1999. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Use
Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce requires written permission from Dodie Kazanjian and Calvin Tomkins.
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is access restricted; written permission is required. Contact Reference Services for more information. Access, with permission, to original papers and audiovisual material requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
The Archives of American Art houses two other collections that may be of use to researchers interested in either Alexander Liberman or Dodie Kazanjian. The collections are the Alexander Liberman papers, 1912-2003, and the Dodie Kazanjian papers, 1949-2017, bulk 1980-2017.
Archives of American Art
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Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001