Archives of American Art

A Finding Aid to the June Schwarcz Papers, 1932-2014, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.schwjune
Creators:
Schwarcz, June, 1918-2015
Dates:
1932-2014
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
7.6 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of enameler June Schwarcz measure 7.6 linear feet and date from 1932 to 2014. The collection comprises biographical material including an interview, correspondence, gallery files, professional files documenting Schwarcz's activities outside of her work with galleries including files for her exhibition June Schwarcz: Forty Years/Forty Pieces, project and travel notebooks, personal business records, and printed materials. Also found are photographic materials including photographs, slides, and digital photographs of Schwarcz, works of art, exhibitions, events, and friends including Merry Renk, Kay Sekimachi, and Dominic di Mare.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of enameler June Schwarcz measure 7.6 linear feet and date from 1932 to 2014. The collection comprises biographical material including an interview, correspondence, gallery files, professional files documenting Schwarcz's activities outside of her work with galleries including files for her exhibition June Schwarcz: Forty Years/Forty Pieces, project and travel notebooks, personal business records, and printed materials. Also found are photographic materials including photographs, slides, and digital photographs of Schwarcz, works of art, exhibitions, events, and friends.
Biographical materials include datebooks, resumes, a transcript of an interview with Nancy Sarvis and "Visit with June" digital recordings, a photograph album and handmade book commemorating Schwarcz's 90th birthday, and a book of poems written by Schwarcz as a teenager. Correspondence is with Carole Austin, Dominic and Margaret di Mare, Bob Ebendorf, Deborah Krupenia, Forrest Merrill, Hal Nelson and Bernard Jazzar, Sarah Perkins, Brigitte Peterhans, Kay Sekimachi, Kiff Slemmons, Ramona Solberg, Paul Soldner, and others. Gallery files consist of correspondence, exhibition forms and related material, and a digital recording of an interview with Schwarz and images of works of art. Professional files document Schwarcz's activities outside of her work with galleries including files for her exhibition June Schwarcz: Forty Years/Forty Pieces, memberships, notebooks for projects and travel, and supply and procedure files. Also found are personal business records consisting of financial and legal records including several ledgers and record books with pricing and inventory information; printed materials that include catalogs and announcements for Schwarcz's exhibitions, clippings, and other material related to the craft community; and photographic materials containing photographs, slides, and born-digital material of Schwarcz, works of art, exhibitions, and snapshots of events and friends including Merry Renk, Kay Sekimachi, and Dominic di Mare.
Throughout the collection, but particularly in correspondence and photographic materials, researchers may find notes that were handwritten onto items by Schwarcz describing events depicted and relationships to people who appear in the collection. Schwarcz also developed an inventory numbering system for her artworks. Inventory numbers are referenced throughout the collection. Information on which works of art correspond to each inventory number can be found in the ledgers and record books in Series 5.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as seven series.
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1932-2012 (0.5 linear feet; Box 1)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1956-2014 (2.0 linear feet; Boxes 1-3)
  • Series 3: Gallery Files, 1964-2012 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 3-4)
  • Series 4: Professional Files, 1953-2013 (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 4-5)
  • Series 5: Personal Business Records, 1956-2013 (1.0 linear feet; Boxes 5-6)
  • Series 6: Printed Materials, 1956-2011 (1.0 linear feet; Boxes 6-7)
  • Series 7: Photographic Materials, circa 1935-2013 (1.0 linear feet; Boxes 7-9)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
June Schwarcz (1918-2015), a long-time resident of Sausalito, California, was one of the preeminent contemporary enamelers in the United States.
Schwarcz was born in Denver, Colorado to Percy and Mary Morris. From 1939 to 1941, she studied industrial design at Pratt Institute. Soon after graduating she married Leroy Schwarcz, an engineer, and the couple moved to Baltimore, Maryland and had two children, Carl and Kim. The family lived in Brazil in the early 1950s before returning to Denver in 1954 for a brief period. While in Denver, Schwarcz learned about enameling through the books of Kenneth Bates. She acquired her first kiln and began creating enamels. Looking to nature for inspiration, she began enameling readymade copper vessels and soon began hammering her own bowls. Eventually she developed a signature method of drawing paper patterns and creating pieces from a lightweight, flexible copper foil that was amenable to folding and sewing like textiles. The work was then immersed into an electroforming bath for several days. The resulting enameled or oxidized vessels represented a unique development in enamel-on-metal technique, one that distinguished her among her fellow American craft artists.
Schwarcz died in 2015 in Sausalito, California.

Administration
Author
Sarah Mundy
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The June Schwarcz papers were donated in 2001 and 2013 by June Schwarcz.
Processing Information
The collection was processed, and a finding aid prepared by Sarah Mundy in 2022.

Using the Collection
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.
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 in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Preferred Citation
June Schwarcz papers, 1932-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview of June Schwarcz conducted January 21, 2001 by Arline M. Fisch, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Schwarcz's home and studio, Sausalito, California.

More Information

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Women artists Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Enamelers -- California Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
American studio craft movement Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stocksdale, Kay Sekimachi Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Di Mare, Dominic, 1932- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Austin, Carole Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Slemmons, Kiff Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Solberg, Ramona 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