A Finding Aid to the Raymond Saroff papers, 1953-2009, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.saroraym
Creators:
Saroff, Raymond
Dates:
1953-2009
Languages:
English
The collection is in English.
Physical Description:
1.2 Linear Feet
Repository:
The Raymond Saroff papers are dated 1953-2009 and comprise 1.2 linear feet. Letters, printed material and photographs compiled by Saroff document his interest in Claes Oldenburg and "Happenings." Also included are a videotape of Saroff's film Claes Oldenburg's "Ray Gun Theater – 1962" and receipts for artwork purchased for his modern art collection. The 2014 addition includes a catalog essay by curator and collector Howard Rose, Saroff's partner, for an exhibition of their folk art collection at Bard College (1991). Also found are financial records regarding his collections, related printed material, and photographs of artwork.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The Raymond Saroff papers are dated 1953-2009 and comprise 1.2 linear feet. Letters, printed material and photographs compiled by Saroff document his interest in Claes Oldenburg and "Happenings." Also included are a videotape of Saroff's film Claes Oldenburg's "Ray Gun Theater – 1962" and receipts for artwork purchased for his modern art collection. The 2014 addition includes a catalog essay by curator and collector Howard Rose, Saroff's partner, for an exhibition of their folk art collection at Bard College (1991). Also found are financial records regarding his collections, related printed material, and photographs of artwork.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged in 2 series:
  • Series 1: Raymond Saroff papers concerning Claes Oldenburg, 1953-2009 (Box 1; 0.5 linear feet)
  • Series 2: Addition to the Raymond Saroff papers, 1960-2009 (Boxes 1-2; 0.7 linear feet)

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Raymond Saroff (b. 1922), a resident of New York City, is a filmmaker and collector of both modern and folk art. Saroff pursued his interest in American folk art with his partner, Howard Rose, a scholar and art collector. In 1960, Saroff purchased Leg, a paper maché sculpture by Claes Oldenburg. Around the same time, he became interested in "Happenings." Using borrowed equipment, Saroff filmed a series of 1962 "Happenings" known as "Ray Gun Theater" that Oldenburg presented to small audiences in a storefront on East Second Street, New York City.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid prepared by Margot Chandler in 2011. The 2014 addition was processed to a minimal level and the finding aid updated by Rachel Salzmann in 2015.
Author
Margot Chandler and Rachel Salzmann
Provenance
Gift of Raymond Saroff, 2011 and 2014.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Raymond Saroff papers, 1953-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Restrictions on Access
Use of original material requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Raymond Saroff 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.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Video recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York Topic 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/