A Finding Aid to the Ethel Schwabacher Papers, 1939-1975, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.schwethe
Creators:
Schwabacher, Ethel, 1903-1984
Dates:
1939-1975
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
2.3 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of art historian and painter Ethel Schwabacher date from 1939 to 1975 and measure 2.3 linear feet. Found are biographical materials, including motion picture films, correspondence, research and writing files including sound recordings, printed material, and photographs. The papers document Schwabacher's research and writings on her former teacher Arshile Gorky and her colleague John Ford, and her own painting career.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of art historian and painter Ethel Schwabacher date from 1939 to 1975 and measure 2.3 linear feet. Found are biographical materials, including motion picture films, correspondence, research and writing files including sound recordings, printed material, and photographs. The papers document Schwabacher's research and writings on her former teacher Arshile Gorky and her colleague John Ford, and her own painting career.
Biographical materials include two interview transcripts from the 1960s and three home movies. Largely professional in nature, Schwabacher's correspondence is with artists, art historians, and instititions including Giorgio Cavallon, Clement Greenberg, Barnett Newman, Richard Pousette-Dart, and Oscar Williams. Research and writing files form the bulk of the collection and consist of materials compiled and written by Schwabacher on various artists and general art subjects, including John Ford and Arshile Gorky, and an unpublished manuscript titled "1948." Material on John Ford also includes sound recordings.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 5 series.
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1963-1967 (Box 1, FCs 3-5; 0.3 linear feet)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1956-1975 (Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Research and Writing Files, 1939-1974 (Boxes 1-2; 1.5 linear feet)
  • Series 4: Printed Material, 1947-1974 (Box 2; 0.3 linear feet)
  • Series 5: Photographs, circa 1950-circa 1970 (Box 2; 0.1 linear feet)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Ethel Schwabacher (1903-1984) was a painter and art historian from New York, New York.
Schwabacher studied at the National Academy of Design, the Art Students League, and in Europe before studying with Arshile Gorky in New York from 1934-1936. Schwabacher wrote Arshile Gorky (1957), with a preface by Lloyd Goodrich and introduction by Meyer Schapiro, and a biography, John Ford, Conquistador, about her painting colleague and friend.

Administration
Author
Jayna M. Josefson
Sponsor
Processing of this collection received federal support from the Collections Care Initiative Fund, administered by the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative and the National Collections Program
Existence and Location of Copies
Portions of the collection are available on 35mm microfilm reels N69-64-N69-65, 3975, and 4986-4987 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of material described in the container inventory does not reflect the arrangement of the collection on microfilm.
Separated Materials
After microfilming onto reels N69-64-N69-65, the papers were returned to Ethel Schwabacher. The majority of the material was later donated in 1974-1975.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Ethel Schwabacher lent her papers for microfilming in 1966 and subsequently donated all but a few items in 1974-1975. Additional material was donated in 1984 by Syracuse University, which had received it from Schwabacher.
Processing Information
The collection received a preliminary level of arrangement after donation and was microfilmed onto reels N69-64-N69-65, 3975, and 4986-4987. The collection was processed, and a finding aid prepared by Janya Josefson in 2020.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Conditions Governing Use
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information
Preferred Citation
Ethel Schwabacher papers, 1939-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Motion pictures Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women art historians Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women artists Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ford, John Charles, 1929- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948 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/