A Finding Aid to the Nan Rosenthal Papers, circa 1940-2013, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.rosenan
Creators:
Rosenthal, Nan
Dates:
circa 1940-2013
Languages:
English
Collection is in English
Physical Description:
17.1 Gigabytes
26.6 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of curator Nan Rosenthal measure 26.6 linear feet and 17.1 gigabytes and date from circa 1940-2013. There is a small amount of biographical material; correspondence, mostly letters from her first husband Otto Piene; project and research files encompassing her work as a curator and historian; as well as teaching files; and thousands of slides organized by subject. Among Rosenthal's research and project files are sound recordings and transcripts from dozens of interviews Rosenthal conducted with artists including Howard Hodgkin, Anselm Kiefer, friends and family of Yves Klein, Robert Rauschenberg and friends, George Rickey, Claus Oldenburg, and Sangbin Im. In addition to paper records, the collection also includes a large number of sound recordings, video recordings, and born digital material.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of curator Nan Rosenthal measure 26.6 linear feet and 17.1 gigabytes and date from circa 1940-2013. There is a small amount of biographical material; correspondence, mostly letters from her first husband Otto Piene; project and research files encompassing her work as a curator and historian; as well as teaching files; and thousands of slides organized by subject. Among Rosenthal's research and project files are sound recordings and transcripts from dozens of interviews Rosenthal conducted with artists including Howard Hodgkin, Anselm Kiefer, friends and family of Yves Klein, Robert Rauschenberg and friends, George Rickey, Claus Oldenburg, and Sangbin Im. In addition to paper records, the collection also includes a large number of sound recordings, video recordings, and born digital material.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as five series.
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1950-2010 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1965-2012 (0.7 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Project and Research Files, circa 1940-2013 (20 linear feet; Box 1-21; 17.1 gigabytes; ER01-ER14)
  • Series 4: Teaching Files, 1973-2002 (2.2 linear feet; Box 21-24)
  • Series 5: Slides, 1970s-1990s (3.3 linear feet; Box 24-27)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Nan Rosenthal (1927-2014) was a curator and art historian in New York City and Washington, D.C. who specialized in twentieth-century modern and contemporary art. Born in New York, Rosenthal attended Smith College before earning her bachelor's degree from Sarah Lawrence College in 1959. After college, she worked as a journalist for a number of publications including Art in America and the New York Post.
Rosenthal received her PhD from Harvard University in 1976, completing her dissertation titled, "The Blue World of Yves Klein." After her graduate studies, Rosenthal taught at Princeton University, New York University, and University of California, Santa Cruz.
In 1985, Rosenthal became the curator of twentieth-century art at the National Gallery of Art. She organized several important exhibitions including The Drawings of Jasper Johns (1990), acquired works by Alberto Giacometti and Barnett Newman, and began the lecture series "Conversations with Artists."
Rosenthal then joined the staff of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1993 as senior consultant of modern and contemporary art, where she organized a number of other important exhibitions including Anselm Kiefer: Works on Paper 1969-1993 (1998), Robert Rauschenberg: Combines (2005), Jasper Johns: Gray (2008), and others featuring Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollack, and Judith Rothschild. She retired from the Metropolitan Museum in 2008.
In addition to her curatorial activities, Rosenthal authored several books and catalogs including George Rickey (1977), Robert Rauschenberg (1990), and Terry Winters: Printed Works (2001).
Rosenthal was married to the German artist Otto Piene from 1965-1973 and went by Nan R. Piene or Nan Rosenthal Piene. She remarried in 1990 to her second husband, Henry Benning Cortesi.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Hilary Price in 2017.
Author
Hilary Price
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collections was donated to the Archives of American Art in 2016 by the Nan Rosenthal and Henry B. Cortesi Estate via executor Katherine C. Armstrong.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Use archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Conditions Governing Use
The Nan Rosenthal 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.
Preferred Citation
Nan Rosenthal papers, circa 1940-2013. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Nan Rosenthal conducted by Judith Olch Richards in 2010.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Slides (photographs) Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Video recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Curators -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Transcripts Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, Modern Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Klein, Yves, 1928-1962 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rickey, George Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kiefer, Anselm, 1945- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hodgkin, Howard, 1932-2017 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Im, Sangbin Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Piene, Otto, 1928- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929- 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/