A Finding Aid to the Alexander Stoller Papers, 1860-1996, bulk 1920s-1996, in the Archives of American Art

Collection ID:
Stoller, Alexander, 1902-1994
bulk 1920s-1996
Physical Description:
1.8 Linear feet
The papers of sculptor Alexander Stoller measure 1.8 linear feet and date from 1860-1996, with the bulk of the records dating from 1920s-1996. The records document Stoller's career through biographical material, professional files, printed material, photographs, artwork, and several VHS video recordings.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of sculptor Alexander Stoller (1902-1994) measure 1.8 linear feet and date from 1860-1996, with the bulk of the records dating from 1920s-1996. The records document Stoller's career through biographical material, professional files, printed material, photographs, artwork, and several VHS video recordings.
Biographical materials include biographical writings and resumes, certificates from various organizations, a guest list from his ninetieth birthday party, and three VHS tapes. The VHS tapes include footage of an interview with Stoller's wife, Brier Stoller (Lily Paget) and of Stoller's artwork. Also found in this series are papers related to Brier Stoller such as newspaper clippings, scripts, certificates, and performance ephemera. Professional files include some papers surrounding exhibitions, galleries, museums and other institutions, project files, financial material, and sales records. Printed material contains articles and newspaper clippings about Stoller, his artwork, and several of his exhibitions; materials from a commune and museum in France, Blerancourt, as well as from other museums, galleries, and organizations.
The photographs series contains snapshots and portraits of Stoller with his artwork (one taken by Man Ray) and of his wife, Brier Stoller, aka Lily Paget, during performances and dedication events; slides (many by Don Victor), snapshots, prints, negatives, and transparencies of Stollers artwork and exhibitions; and two photograph scrapbooks. Artwork consists of 10 sketchbooks and several loose sketches; as well as a newspaper from 1860 and two prints which were uncovered together during processing in a folder originally titled "prints and rubbings."

This collection is arranged as 5 series.
  • Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1941-1990s (Box 1; 11 folders)
  • Series 2: Professional Files, 1920s-1994 (Box 1; 9 folders)
  • Series 3: Printed Material, 1937-1996 (Box 1; 7 folders)
  • Series 4: Photographs, circa 1920s-1990s (Box 1-3; 0.5 linear feet)
  • Series 5: Artwork, 1860-1980s, bulk 1930s-1980s (Box 2-3, OV 4; 0.5 linear feet)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Alexander Stoller (1902-1994) was a sculptor in Massachusetts. He began his career in New York, outlining photographs for the art department of Dry Goods Economist at 15 years old. By this time he had left school and never graduated. He then worked in the art departments of several other firms including Jay Francis Press, Metro Pictures, and J. Walter Thompson. During this time, 1917-1926, he began taking night classes in painting and drawing. It was not until January 1927 when Stoller was in Italy that he began sculpting for the first time. When he arrived in Italy, Stoller made his way to the commune, Anticoli Corrado, in search of American sculptor Maurice Sterne. Unable to find Sterne and looking to begin sculpting, Stoller enrolled in the British Academy of Art in Rome and learned from Antonio Sciortino for six months.
Within a year after his trip to Italy, Stoller had several patrons and his work was featured in solo and group shows at Salon Panton, Salon Versailles, Rue Seine, and Galerie Zak in Paris. Stoller had developed friendships with Charles Despiau and Joseph Maillol, and spent a majority of his time from the late-1920s to 1930s in France. At this time Stoller was primarily carving and working with clay and plaster to produce representational pieces. Stoller and his wife, Brier Stoller (Lily Paget), came back from Europe to live in New York before World War II. He produced work infrequently until the 1950s, ultimately starting his own gallery along with his wife. In the 1950s the Stollers moved to Massachusetts.
Stoller's public works may be found at the Atkins Museum of Fine Arts, Kansas, Longview Gardens, Louisiana, Saratoga Springs Race Track and Museum, New York, and the Blenrencourt National Museum, France.

Christopher DeMairo
The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund, administered by the National Collections Program and the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The bulk of the collection was donated in 2003 by Linda Wesselman Jackson, manager of collections at the Chesterwood National Trust for Historic Preservation. Members of the Stoller family gave works of art along with these papers to Chesterwood with the understanding that these papers would be forwarded to the Archives of American Art. Stoller lent 29 items in 1976, which were microfilmed on reel 1182; included in the 2003 estate donation are approximately half of the documents previously lent for microfilming.
Existence and Location of Copies
Portions of the collection are available on 35mm microfilm reel 1182 at the Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan. Materials found on the reel include 29 items, most of which are photographs and newspaper clippings. Researchers should note that the arrangement of material described in the container inventory does not reflect the arrangement of the collection on microfilm.
Existence and Location of Originals
Reel 1182: Originals returned to lender after microfilming, and approximately half were later returned to the Archives of American Art with papers donated in 2003.
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Christopher DeMairo in 2021.

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 audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Preferred Citation
Alexander Stoller papers, 1860-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Sculptors -- Massachusetts Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Video recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stoller, Brier Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Victor, Donald 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