A Finding Aid to the Belle Krasne Ribicoff Papers,
1942-circa 2010
,
bulk 1945-2004
, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.krasbell2
Creators:
Ribicoff, Belle Krasne, 1924-
Dates:
1942-circa 2010
bulk 1945-2004
Languages:
Multiple languages
Some records are in French and Italian.
French; Italian
Physical Description:
1.6 Linear Feet
Repository:
The papers of Belle Krasne Ribicoff measure 1.6 linear feet and date from 1942-circa 2010, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1945-2004. Papers include biographical materials; correspondence with artists, art historians, writers, museum directors, and others; individual files relating to Belle and Irving Ribicoff's art collection and the Friends of Abe Ribicoff's campaign for the United States Senate; artwork; printed material, e.g., clippings, announcements, exhibition catalogues, brochures; and photographs. The collection documents Ribicoff's career as an arts editor, critic, and her involvement in civic and arts organizations for the State of Connecticut.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The papers of Belle Krasne Ribicoff measure 1.6 linear feet and date from 1942-circa 2010, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1945-2004. Papers include biographical materials; correspondence with artists, art historians, writers, museum directors, and others; individual files relating to Belle and Irving Ribicoff's art collection and the Friends of Abe Ribicoff's campaign for the United States Senate; artwork; printed material, e.g., clippings, announcements, exhibition catalogues, brochures; and photographs. The collection documents Ribicoff's career as an arts editor, critic, and her involvement in civic and arts organizations for the State of Connecticut.
Biographical materials include documentation of the Buttenweiser Prize awarded to Belle Krasne by the Art History Departmental Honors at Vassar College in 1945 and curriculum vitae.
Correspondence, primarily incoming letters consists of letters, postcards, draft versions, and copies of e-mails. Belle Krasne Ribicoff was friends with many artists; their letters focus on daily activities, work, and the art world. Among the correspondents are Oscar and Eleanor Chelminsky, Joseph Cornell, Piero and Virginia Dorazio, John and Rae Ferren, Helen Frankenthaler, James Fitzsimmons, Adolph Gottlieb, John Graham, Ellsworth Kelly, Frank Modell, George L.K. Morris, Philip Pearlstein, Eero Saarinen, David Smith, and Adja Yunkers. There is substantial correspondence from Ben Benn, Sidney Geist, Leon Hartley, Ralph Rosenborg, and Theodore Roszak. Also found are love letters to Belle Krasne Ribicoff from Jean Bazaine. Many of the artists' letters are illustrated. Of note, are a letter from Carl Holty to J.B. Neumann and an artist's statement written by Adolph Gottlieb.
Ribicoff had a professional and personal relationship with a number of prominent writers, actors, and other individuals known for their work in the arts, such as Edward Albee, Claire Bloom, Peter DeVries, Horton Foote, Elia Kazan, Mark Lamos, Estelle Parsons, Karl Shapiro, Cornelia Otis Skinner, and P.L. Travers. There are letters from museum directors, art historians, and other well-known cultural figures, such as Dore Ashton, Clement Greenberg, Balcomb Greene, Rene d'Harnoncourt, Pierre Matisse, E. P. Richardson, Andrew C. Ritchie, Harry Salpeter, Curt Valentin, and Mark Van Doren. Also found are files of holiday cards, many original artwork; letters to Ribicoff upon her departure from Art Digest; letters from representatives at Storm King Art Center Museum and the Wadsworth Atheneum; and letters from unidentified correspondents.
The Ribicoff collection relates to the personal art collection of Belle and Irving Ribicoff; materials document the purchase and sale of artwork and the lending of artwork for exhibitions. There is a file of petition letters sponsored by the Friends of Abe Ribicoff campaign for the United States Senate.
Original artwork includes prints by Jean Arp and Adja Yunkers and pencil sketches of Sarai Ribicoff by William Bailey. Printed material consists of news clippings; a periodical; exhibition announcements; brochures; an offprint of an article by Cleve Gray; and miscellaneous printed material.
Photographs contain black and white photographs of Belle Krasne Ribicoff, Ben and Velida Benn, Richard Krautheimer, and of the jurors attending the Carnegie International exhibition (circa 1954), including Jean Bazaine, Rico Lebrun, Eric Newton, and James Thrall Soby.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into 7 series:
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1945, circa 2010 (Box 1; 1 folder)
  • Series 2: Belle Krasne Ribicoff Correspondence, 1942-2007 (Boxes 1, 3; 1.0 linear feet)
  • Series 3: The Ribicoff Collection, 1949-1988 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)
  • Series 4: Friends of Abe Ribicoff Campaign, 1968 (Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)
  • Series 5: Artwork, circa 1950s-1978 (Box 1, OV 4; 0.1 linear feet)
  • Series 6: Printed Material, 1948-2000 (Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)
  • Series 7: Photographs, 1945-circa 2007 (Boxes 1-2; 0.1 linear feet)

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Belle Krasne Ribicoff (b. 1924) lives in Hartford, Connecticut and has served as an arts editor, critic, and university administrator.
Ribicoff was born and raised in New York City. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in art history from Vassar College in 1945. After a brief stint with an advertising agency in New York, Ribicoff became Assistant Editor at Magazine of Art (1946-1947), where she developed an interest in contemporary art. She served as editor for such publications as Art News (1948-1949), Art Digest (1949-1954), and Craft Horizons (1954-1955).
In 1955, she married Irving S. Ribicoff (1915-1994), an attorney and moved to Hartford, Connecticut. The Ribicoffs' had two daughters, Dara (b. 1956) and Sarai (1957-1980).
Ribicoff has held various positions at the University of Hartford: Development Director at the Hartford School of Art (1980-1981), Development Liaison to the Office of President (1982-1988), and Associate Vice President for Public Affairs (1980-1983). Belle Krasne Ribicoff has served as a professional volunteer for educational and cultural organizations in Connecticut; she has been involved in efforts to make the arts a part of the school curriculum. She was Vice-President of the Hartford Board of Education (1961-1967; 1965-1971) and was Chairman of the State of Connecticut's Commission on the Arts (1965-1971). Ribicoff is a Life Director at the Hartford Stage Company and a Life Regent at the University of Hartford. She is a Sterling Fellows at Yale University and sits on the President's Advisory Committee at Vassar College.
Belle Krasne Ribicoff has received recognition for her professional and public service contributions by a number of institutions. In 1954, she received the Frank Jewett Mather Award for critical writing from the College Art Association. Other honors have included: Charter Oak Leadership Medal for Distinguished Service (1968), the University of Hartford Medal for Distinguished Service (1995), and the Spirit of Vassar award for outstanding commitment and service to Vassar or another community (2005).

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed by Joy Weiner in 2011.
Author
Joy Weiner
Provenance
The collection was donated by Belle Krasne Ribicoff to the Archives of American Art in 2008.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Belle Krasne Ribicoff papers, 1942-circa 2010 bulk 1945-2004. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Restrictions on Access
Use of original material requires an appointment.
Letters from Jean Bazaine to Belle Krasne Ribicoff and sketches of Sarai Ribicoff by William Bailey are access restricted. Their use requires written permission.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Belle Krasne Ribicoff 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.

Related Material
Also found at the Archives of American Art is Belle Krasne's letter to Philip Pavia, May 14, 1954 on microfilm reel 3470.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Editors Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art critics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketches Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Collectors and collecting Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, American Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drafts (documents) Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Prints Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Illustrated letters Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Postcards Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Christmas cards Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Albee, Edward, 1928- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Benn, Ben, 1884- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bloom, Claire, 1931- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chelimsky, Oscar Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cornell, Joseph Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Arp, Jean, 1887-1966 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ashton, Dore Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bailey, William, 1930- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bazaine, Jean, 1904-2001 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Parsons, Estelle Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pearlstein, Philip, 1924- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lamos, Mark Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lebrun, Rico, 1900-1964 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Krautheimer, Richard, 1897- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Salpeter, Harry Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shapiro, Karl Jay, 1913- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Roszak, Theodore, 1907-1981 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Saarinen, Eero, 1910-1961 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ritchie, Andrew Carnduff Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rosenborg, Ralph M., 1913-1992 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ribicoff, Abraham, 1910-1998 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Richardson, Edgar Preston, 1902-1985 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Foote, Horton Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fitzsimmons, James, 1919-1985 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ferren, John, 1905-1970 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dorazio, Virginia Dortch Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dorazio, Piero, 1927- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
De Vries, Peter, 1910-1993 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
D'Harnoncourt, Rene, 1901-1968 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kelly, Ellsworth, 1923- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kazan, Elia Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Holty, Carl, 1900-1973 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Greene, Balcomb, 1904-1990 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Graham, John, 1887-1961 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Geist, Sidney Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yunkers, Adja, 1900-1983 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Van Doren, Mark, 1894-1972 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wadsworth Atheneum Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Travers, P. L.(Pamela Lyndon), 1899-1996 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Valentin, Curt, 1902-1954 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Soby, James Thrall, 1906-1979 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Storm King Art Center Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Skinner, Cornelia Otis, 1901- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smith, David, 1906-1965 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Morris, George L. K., 1905-1975 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Matisse, Pierre, 1900-1989 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/