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.