A Finding Aid to the Ida Kohlmeyer Papers, circa 1890-circa 1990s, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.kohlida
Creators:
Kohlmeyer, Ida, 1912-1997
Dates:
circa 1890-circa 1990s
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
13.7 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of sculptor, painter, and educator Ida Kohlmeyer date from circa 1890 to circa 1990s and measure 13.7 linear feet. The papers document Kohlmeyer's many exhibitions and commissioned works, and her teaching career. Found are biographical material, correspondence, writings and notes, personal business records, professional files, printed material, and photographs.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of sculptor, painter, and educator Ida Kohlmeyer date from circa 1890 to circa 1990s and measure 13.7 linear feet. The papers document Kohlmeyer's many exhibitions and commissioned works, and her teaching career. Found are biographical material, correspondence, writings and notes, personal business records, professional files, printed material, and photographs.
Biographical materials include the items taken from Kohlmeyer's memorial wall in her studio which consist of mementos, printed material and photographs. Writings and notes are by Kohlmeyer on art as well as lectures and talks. Writings on Kohlmeyer by others include writings by Jan Butterfield, Whitney Engeran, and Ellen Tibbets. There is also a copy of Hugh Kohlmeyer's memoirs.
Professional files contain letters, printed material, photographs, financial records, and other scattered items relating to Kohlmeyer's career as a painter, sculptor, and educator. Files may be found for specific exhibitions, galleries, and commissions, and may also document Kohlmeyer's professional relationships with art consultants and others.
Photographs depict Ida Kohlmeyer, her family, friends, artworks, and personal art collection. Also found are photos documenting the original placement of items on the memorial wall.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 7 series.
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1927-circa 1990s (1.2 linear feet; Box 1, 14)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1950s-1980s (0.5 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)
  • Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1940-1987 (0.9 linear feet; Boxes 2-3)
  • Series 4: Personal Business Records, 1946-circa 1990s (0.6 linear feet; Box 3)
  • Series 5: Professional Files, 1956-1995 (4.0 linear feet; Boxes 4-7)
  • Series 6: Printed Material, 1932-1990s (5.3 linear feet; Boxes 8-12, 15-16)
  • Series 7: Photographs, circa 1890-1997 (1.2 linear feet; Boxes 12-13)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Ida Kohlmeyer (1912-1997) was a painter, sculptor, and educator active in Louisiana. She was known for her brightly colored abstract expressionist paintings and sculpture.
Born Ida Rittenberg, to Polish immigrants, Ida spent her childhood in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was educated at Newcomb College, Tulane University, where she initially studied English, and returned in her mid-30s to study art. Inspired by the Abstract Expressionist movement, Kohlmeyer went on to study with Hans Hoffman and became acquainted with Mark Rothko and other notable New York City artists. She exhibited her works around Louisiana and elsewhere in the United States. A large retrospective of Kohlmeyer's work was held at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina in the mid-1980s.
Ida married Hugh Kohlmeyer and they had two daughters. She died in 1997 in Metairie, Louisiana.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
Material lent for microfilming is available on 35mm microfilm reels 5280-5281 at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
Separated Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming on reels 5280-5281. Included are miscellaneous scattered letters from Hans Hofmann, Mark Rothko, and James Johnson Sweeney, 1956-1959 and undated; letters from Lynda Benglis, 1976-1983; draft writings and lectures by Kohlmeyer, undated; and an extensive card catalog of works of art by Kohlmeyer which includes information on the title, dimensions, media, date, name and address of the owner, and sale price. Many cards have thumbnail sketches. The catalog is arranged alphabetically by title. There is also one miscellaneous card file. Loaned materials were returned to the donor and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Processing Information
The collection was processed, and a finding aid prepared by Jayna Josefson in 2021.
Author
Jayna M. Josefson
Sponsor
Processing of this collection received federal support from the Collections Care Initiative Fund, administered by the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative and the National Collections Program
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated in 1998 by Jane K. Lowentritt, Kohlmeyer's daughter and former studio manager, except for material on reels 5280-5281 which Lowentritt lent for microfilming.

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
Ida Kohlmeyer papers, circa 1890-circa 1990s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds an oral history interview of Ida Kohlmeyer conducted 1989 May 17-20, by Avis Berman.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Painters -- Louisiana -- New Orleans Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculptors -- Louisiana -- New Orleans Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Educators -- Louisiana -- New Orleans Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women artists Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women painters Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women sculptors Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women educators Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Newcomb College. Art Dept Corporate 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/