A Finding Aid to the Roko Gallery Records,
1929-1982
,
bulk 1970-1978
, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.rokogall
Creators:
Roko Gallery
Dates:
1929-1982
bulk 1970-1978
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
6 Linear feet
Repository:
The Roko Gallery records measure six linear feet and date from 1929-1982, with the bulk of the records dating from 1970-1978. Founded by Michael Leon Freilich in 1946, the records of this New York contemporary art gallery consist primarily of artists files. Also found are scattered correspondence, business and financial records, a subject file, exhibition files, seven scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs of Frielich, friends, and of artwork.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The Roko Gallery records measure six linear feet and date from 1929-1982, with the bulk of the records from 1970-1978. Founded by Michael Leon Freilich in 1946, the records of this New York gallery consist primarily of artists' files. Also found are scattered correspondence, business and financial records, a subject file, exhibition files, disassembled scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs.
The bulk of the correspondence is from the early to mid-1970s and concerns general gallery operations, sales of artwork, artists interested in exhibiting at the gallery, letters to Ann Freilich Schutz regarding Michael Freilich's death, and a handful of personal postcards from Freilich to his niece, 1952-1955. Scattered correspondence from artists Lambro Ahlas, Mike Cook, Hermann Dahl, Salvatore Del Deo, Raymond Dowden, Charles Kaiman, Peggy Muray (Mrs. Nicholas Muray), Raphael Soyer, George Sugarman, Anne Parker, Jan Wunderman, and Hank Virgona is also found. General business and financial records include calendars, address books, mailing lists, visitors' registers, receipt books, consignment agreements, invoices and receipts.
Measuring 3.5 linear feet, Artists Files comprise the bulk of the collection and contain correspondence, exhibition catalogs, clippings, original artwork, receipts, price lists, photographs, and slides of work. Among the nearly 200 artists are Murat Brierre, Faith Bromberg, Clare Burch, Lawrence Calcagno, Victor Candell, Arthur Cohen, Giuseppe Di Lieto, Edward Eichel, Ann Freilich, Dennis Fritz, Mary Heisig, Herbert Kallem, Doris Klein, Elizabeth Korn, Randall Morgan, Anne Parker, Dorothy Robbins, May Stevens, Hank Virgona, Walter Williams, and Jan Wunderman.
There is one subject file containing a proposal by the Rainbow Art Foundation. Exhibitions and Event files date from 1956-1978 and contain printed material, press releases, notes, correspondence, agreements, and a disassembled notebook containing prices and lists of works exhibited at the Roko Gallery from 1967-1978. Also found is typed and signed poetry by poet John Tagliabue. Disassembled scrapbooks contain additional printed materials regarding the gallery's solo and group exhibitions from 1947-1966. Among the many artists represented in the scrapbooks are Claude Clark, Beauford Delaney, Paul England, Peter Heinemann, Herbert Kallem, Herschel Levit, Si Lewen, Howard Mandel, Rose Piper, Sadie Rosenblum, Herbert Scheffel, Erika Weihs, Walter Williams, and Jan Wunderman.
Additional printed material includes mostly newspaper clippings, exhibition announcements, and catalogs. Material found in the collection that pre-dates the founding of the gallery consists primarily of printed material collected by Freilich.
Photographs, slides, and negatives date mostly from the 1970s and depict gallery directors Michael Leon Freilich, Cynthia Bernadini and Manu Sassoonian, and artwork.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The Roko Gallery records are arranged into eight series:
  • Series 1: Correspondence, 1936, 1952-circa late 1970s (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)
  • Series 2: Business and Financial Records, circa 1956-1980 (Box 1; 0.8 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Artist Files, circa 1948-1979 (Box 2-5; 3.5 linear feet)
  • Series 4: Subject Files, undated (Box 5; 1 folder)
  • Series 5: Exhibition and Event Files, circa 1956-1978 (Box 5; 0.3 linear feet)
  • Series 6: Scrapbook, circa 1947-1966 (Box 5-6; 0.5 linear feet)
  • Series 7: Printed Material, 1929-1982 (Box 6; 0.4 linear feet)
  • Series 8: Photographic Material, 1946-circa 1970s (Box 6; 0.3 linear feet)

Historical Note
Historical Note
Michael Leon Freilich (1912-1975) established the Roko Gallery in 1946 at 51 Greenwich Avenue where it remained until the mid-1950s. Over its 32 year history, the gallery featured the paintings and sculptures of young, new artists, most living in New York City, through solo exhibitions, group shows, and sales. The gallery then made a series of moves, first to 925 Madison Avenue, then to 867 Madison Avenue, and finally back to Greenwich Village at 90 East 10st Street in 1970. In 1974, Michael Freilich became ill and the daily gallery operations were taken over by artist Lloyd Lózes Goff. Freilich passed away in February 1975; Cynthia Bernardi and Manu Sassoonian bought the gallery and became co-directors in the spring of 1975. The gallery closed in 1978, leaving open an annex on 816 Broadway.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was received in several increments, merged and processed to a preliminary level in 1994 by Jill Lundin. It was further processed, arranged, and described in a finding aid by Sarah Haug in 2009.
Author
Sarah Haug
Provenance
The Roko Gallery records were donated to the Archives of American Art in 1975-1988 by Ann Freilich, sister of Michael Freilich, and Cynthia Bernardi, former director of the gallery.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Roko Gallery records, 1929-1982, bulk 1970-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Restrictions on Access
Use of originals requires an appointment.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Roko Gallery records 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.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Address books Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gallery records Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists -- New York (State) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gallery directors Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Exhibition catalogs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Visitors' books Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Calendars Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Poems Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Financial records Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Works of art Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scheffel, Herbert Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sassoonian, Manu Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rosenblum, Sadie Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Robbins, Dorothy Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rainbow Art Foundation Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Piper, Rose Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Parker, Anne Eaton, 1919- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Muray, Peggy Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Morgan, Randall, 1920- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mandel, Howard, 1917-1999 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lewen, Si Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Levit, Herschel Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Korn, Elizabeth P. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Klein, Doris, 1918- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kallem, Herbert, 1909-1994 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Heisig, Mary, 1913- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kaiman, Charles, 1947- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fritz, Dennis, 1937- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Heinemann, Peter, 1931- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Freilich, Ann Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Freilich, Michael Leon, 1912-1975 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Eichel, Edward V., 1932- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
England, Paul Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Di Lieto, Giuseppe Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dowden, Raymond Baxter, 1905-1982 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dahl, Hermann Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Del Deo, Salvatore, 1928- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cohen, Arthur Allen, 1928-1986 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cook, Mike Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Candell, Victor, 1903-1977 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clark, Claude, 1915- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bernardi, Cynthia Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ahlas, Lambro Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bromberg, Faith, 1919- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brierre, Murat, 1938- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Calcagno, Lawrence, 1913- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Burch, Claire Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wunderman, Jan, 1921 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Virgona, Hank Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Weihs, Erika Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Williams, Walter, 1920- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wunderman, Jan Darcourt, 1921- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Soyer, Raphael, 1899-1987 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stevens, May Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sugarman, George, 1912-1999 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tagliabue, John, 1923- 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/