Ralph and Bena Frank Mayer papers

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.mayeralp
Creators:
Mayer, Ralph, 1895-1979
Dates:
[ca. 1920]-1964
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
4.5 Linear feet
(partially microfilmed on 3 reels)
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Correspondence, writings, photographs, art work, subject files, scrapbooks, and printed material.
Scope and Contents
REELS D211-D213: Ralph Mayer's correspondence is with artists, conservators, museum directors, publishers, art organizations, and others. Notebooks contain data on 19th century canvas makers and dealers of artists' materials. Also included are correspondence and a ledger regarding restoration and conservation of paintings, 1929-1963; files on Columbia University, the National Academy of Design, the Newark Museum, The New York State Department of Commerce, the Whitney Museum of Art, subway murals, and other subjects; and correspondence with the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding standards for paints and pigments. Photographs are of Ralph Mayer's paintings. Correspondents include: George Biddle, Isabel Bishop, Alexander Brook, Charles Burchfield, Richard A. Florsheim, Victor Hammer, Stefan Hirsch, Peter Hurd, Lilian MacKendrick, Kenneth H. Miller, Walter Pach, Abraham Rattner, John Sloan, and David Smith.
Scope and Contents
Bena Frank Mayer's papers consist of biographical material, clippings, correspondence, exhibition catalogs and announcements, and photographs of her paintings. Two scrapbooks contain printed material, letters, and photographs regarding the Mayers' careers.
Scope and Contents
UNMICROFILMED: Correspondence includes Ralph Mayer's, 1930-1964, mainly concerning the use of artists' materials, Bena Frank correspondence, 1910-1977, and letters concerning Mayer's book, The Painter's Craft, 1948. Among his correspondents are Josef Albers, Thomas Hart Benton, Isabel Bishop, Georgia O'Keeffe, Walter Pach, Paul Sample, John Sloan, and Frederic Taubes. Subject files are on the Artists' Laboratory, the Art Students League, Gustav Berger, Huntington Hartford, the MacDowell Colony, the National Academy of Design, Diego Rivera murals, subway murals, and other subjects. Writings consist of papers on commercial standards of paint, a typescript of The Painter's Craft, and lecture notes from classes Mayer taught at the Art Students League and Columbia University.
Scope and Contents
Art work consists of sketchbooks and sketches. Photographs are of the Mayers, their studios, family, friends, and paintings. Printed material includes exhibition catalogs and announcements, brochures, clippings, and posters. There are also six scrapbooks, ca. 1930-1940, containing clippings, photographs, letters received, and printed material.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Ralph Mayer: conservator, restorer, painter. Died 1979. Bena Frank Mayer: painter. They lived in New York. Ralph Mayer was educated as a chemical engineer, and spent several years working in the manufacture of paints and varnishes. He also studied painting at the Art Students League. His work in conservation and artists' materials led him to found the Artists Technical Research Institute in 1959. Author of The Artists Handbook of Materials and Techniques (1940) and The Painter's Craft (1948), and numerous articles. Taught at Columbia University.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
35mm microfilm reel D211-D213 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
Author
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Material on reels D211-D213 was lent for microfilming in 1965 by Ralph Mayer. Portions were subsequently donated along with unmicrofilmed material, 1972-1979, by Ralph and Bena Frank Mayer.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Artists' materials Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Conservation and restoration Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Technique Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art restorers Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Conservators Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Restorers Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Biddle, George, 1885-1973 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bishop, Isabel, 1902-1988 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brook, Alexander, 1898-1980 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Burchfield, Charles Ephraim, 1893-1967 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Florsheim, Richard A., 1916-1979 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hammer, Victor Karl, 1882- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hirsch, Stefan, 1899-1964 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hurd, Peter, 1904-1984 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
MacKendrick, Lilian Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Miller, Kenneth Hayes, 1876-1952 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pach, Walter, 1883-1958 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rattner, Abraham Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sloan, John, 1871-1951 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smith, David, 1906-1965 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mayer, Bena Frank, 1898-1991 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/