A Finding Aid to the Joan Kron Papers,
1959-1971
, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.kronjoan
Creators:
Kron, Joan
Dates:
1959-1971
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1.4 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of New York City art entrepreneur, curator, and journalist Joan Kron date from 1959 to 1971 and measure 1.4 linear feet. The papers include correspondence, scattered financial records, notes and writings, printed material, photographs, a sound and video recording, and project/exhibition files concerning Kron's involvement in the 1960s with the exhibtions of the Arts Council of the Young Men's/Women's Hebrew Association (YM/WHA)of Philadelphia and her business, the Beautiful Bag and Box Co.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The papers of New York City art entrepreneur, curator, and journalist Joan Kron date from 1959 to 1971 and measure 1.4 linear feet. The papers include correspondence, scattered financial records, notes and writings, printed material, photographs, a sound and video recording, and project/exhibition files concerning Kron's involvement in the 1960s with the exhibtions of the Arts Council of the Young Men's/Women's Hebrew Association (YM/WHA)of Philadelphia and her business, the Beautiful Bag and Box Co.
Papers relating to Kron's volunteer chairmanship of the Arts Council of the Young Men's/Women's Hebrew Association (YM/WHA)of Philadelphia include general files concerning the administration and operation of the organization, as well as exhibition files for Art 1963/ A New Vocabulary (1962) and Museum of Merchandise 1967.) Files generally consist of correspondence, clippings and other printed materials, notes and writings, photographs, and financial documents. The exhibition files for Art 1963/ A New Vocabulary include a typescript "Dictionary Suggestions" by Billy Klüver which contains slang terms with creative definitions, and photographs of Claes Oldenburg, Billy Klüver, Joan Kron, Sam Maitin, Niki de Saint-Phalle, Audrey Sabol, George Segal, Jean Tinguely, and Robert Watts. The files for Museum of Merchandise contain a painting on paper by Geoffrey Hendricks, a drawing by Ray Johnson, a photograph of fabric designer Karl Rosenberg, a photograph of a wedding dress design by Christo, and a 1/2" open reel videotape made by Nam Jun Paik of Kron's appearance on The Tonight Show.
The records of the Beautiful Bag and Box Co., an art entrepreneurial business created by Kron and her colleague Audrey Sabol, include correspondence, a ledger of sales and deposits, income tax records, miscellaneous invoices, notes and writings, clippings, miscellaneous printed material, and photographs. Also found are project/product files for Art Museum Store, Temporary Tattoos, Durable Dishes designed by Roy Lichtenstein, Eat Pin likely designed by Robert Indiana, Art on Billboards, and Stunning Stationery. The file for project Art on Billboards contains postcards from Allan Kaprow and Jim Dine expressing interest in the project, and a photograph of Edwin and Audrey Sabol on a motorcycle posing in front of a billboard designed by Roy Lichtenstein. There is also a 7" audio reel tape recording of a radio program Hey, Look at That containing comments about billboards from Kron, Roy Lichtenstein, architect Robert Venturi, and Evan H. Turner, Director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 2 series:
  • Series 1: Arts Council of the YM/YWHA of Philadelphia, 1959-1971 (Box 1-2, OV 3; 0.6 linear feet)
  • Series 2: Beautiful Bag and Box Co., 1963-1969 (Box 1-2; 0.8 linear feet)

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Joan Kron (circa 1928-) is a fashion and style journalist in New York City, but began her career in Philadelphia as an advocate of avante-garde artists and co-founder of The Beautiful Bag Co. which worked with artists to produce commercial household and fashion art products. Kron worked on projects with Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Robert Indiana, among others.
Joan Kron was born circa 1928 in New York. She studied at the Yale University School of Drama from 1946-1948, graduating with a degree in costume design. She married surgeon Dr. Samuel Kron and lived in Philadelphia during the 1960s. For almost a decade, Kron volunteered as chairman of the Arts Council of the Young Men's/Young Women's Hebrew Association of Philadelphia (YM/YWHA.) The YM/YMA Arts Council focused on promoting and hosting new and avant-garde programs in dance, theatre, poetry, crafts, and the visual arts. Under Kron's leadership, the YM/YWHA Arts Council curated Arts1963/A New Vocabulary (1962) and Museum of Merchandise (1967.)
Kron's work with the Arts Council allowed her to build business partnerships with several artists. She partnered with Andy Warhol to produce a line of perfume, "You're In," packaged in silver Coca-Cola bottles, with Robert Indiana for a Love Ring, and other products and projects associated with the exhibitions of the Arts Council. Then, around 1964, she partnered with colleague Audrey Sabol to form The Beautiful Bag and Box Co. and continued to explore commercial products created or designed by artists, including a line of dinnerware "Durable Dishes" designed by Roy Lichtenstein, a series of billboards displaying art work and the Eat Pin, most likely designed by Robert Indiana.
Kron began her career in journalism in the late 1960s by contributing an article about a cannabis harvest in an upscale neighborhood to the Philadelphia magazine in 1969. She continued to write for the magazine until after her divorce. She moved to New York City in 1971 and was hired by New York magazine. She researched and wrote a special issue about the blossoming SoHo art district. Kron then focused the remainder of her career primarily on writing, and worked for a number of magazines and newspapers, and published several books. As of 2010, she was living in New York City and working as contributing editor at large for Condé Nast's Allure magazine, primarily covering the subject of cosmetic surgery.

Administration
Alternative Forms Available
The collection is available on 35 mm microfilm reels 4224-4225 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. Additionally, a reel-to-reel audio tape recording "Hey Look at That" was transferred to CD in 2003.
Processing Information
The collection was minimally processed and microfilmed shortly after receipt and a finding aid prepared by Jean Fitzgerald in 2010.
Author
Jean Fitzgerald
Provenance
Joan Kron donated her papers in 1987.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Joan Kron papers, 1959-1971. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Restrictions on Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Joan Kron 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 Materials
Additional copies of microfilm reels 4224-4225 are available at the Free Library of Philadelphia.
Also found in the Archives are selected papers of the Young Men's/Women's Hebrew Association Arts Council that were loaned by Judith Golden for microfilming, and are now available only on microfilm reels 3898. Another small collection of printed material from the YM/WHA records was donated by Acey Wolgin and microfilmed on reel 4340, and transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum Library's vertical files.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Video recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Curators -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Arts administrators Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pop art United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wearable art United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tonight Show (Television Program) Title Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Design, Industrial -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Paintings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ledgers (account books) Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Works of art Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Association of Philadelphia. Arts Council Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Beautiful Bag Co. (Philadelphia,Pa.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Watts, Robert M., 1923-1988 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Venturi, Robert Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dine, Jim, 1935- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Christo, 1935- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Segal, George, 1924-2000 -- Photographs Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Paik, Nam June, 1932- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923-1997 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sabol, Audrey, 1922- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rosenberg, Karl Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Saint-Phalle, Niki de, 1930- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Turner, Evan H. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tinguely, Jean, 1925- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indiana, Robert, 1928- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hendricks, Geoffrey Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kaprow, Allan Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929- -- Photographs Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Johnson, Ray, 1927- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Klüver, Billy, 1927-2004 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Maitin, Sam Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
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Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/