Archives of American Art

A Finding Aid to the Tirca Karlis Gallery Records, circa 1920-1980, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.tirckarl
Creators:
Tirca Karlis Gallery (Provincetown, Mass.)
Dates:
circa 1920-1980
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
4.7 Linear feet
Repository:
The records of Provincetown, Massachusetts art gallery Tirca Karlis Gallery measure 4.7 linear feet and date from circa 1920 to 1980. The collection comprises Tirca Karlis's personal papers documenting her dance career, her death, and including photos of family and friends; correspondence with galleries, museums, clients, and artists; artist's files consisting mostly of printed material on George Grosz, David Burliuk, Hugo Robus, Milton Avery, Robert Goodnough, and others; administrative and business records detailing the gallery's activities through sales and inventory records, receipts and invoices, guestbooks, tax ledgers, and consignment records; and printed materials such as exhibition announcements and catalogs for the Tirca Karlis Gallery and other galleries, clippings, press releases, and exhibition schedules.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The records of Provincetown, Massachusetts art gallery Tirca Karlis Gallery measure 4.7 linear feet and date from circa 1920 to 1980. The collection comprises Tirca Karlis's personal papers documenting her dance career, her death, and including photos of family and friends; correspondence with galleries, museums, clients, and artists; artist's files consisting mostly of printed material on George Grosz, David Burliuk, Hugo Robus, Milton Avery, Robert Goodnough, and others; administrative and business records detailing the gallery's activities through sales and inventory records, receipts and invoices, guestbooks, tax ledgers, and consignment records; and printed materials such as exhibition announcements and catalogs for the Tirca Karlis Gallery and other galleries, clippings, press releases, and exhibition schedules.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as five series.
  • Series 1: Tirca Karlis Personal Papers, circa 1920-circa 1975 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1, OV 7)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1929-1980 (0.8 linear feet; Box 1)
  • Series 3: Artist's Files, 1947-1980 (1.2 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)
  • Series 4: Administrative and Business Records, 1954-1980 (2.2 linear feet; Boxes 2-5)
  • Series 5: Printed Materials, 1937-1980 (0.3 linear feet; Boxes 5-6, OV 7)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
The Tirca Karlis Gallery (est. 1958) was a commercial art gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Tirca Karlis (b. early 1900s-1974) was born in Russia and immigrated to New York in 1930 with her husband Karlis (Charles) Cohen. Having studied dance at the Palucca School of Dance in Dresden, Germany, Karlis began her life in New York teaching dance and holding dance recitals. Her involvement in the arts community allowed Karlis to become acquainted with artists in New York whose art she began collecting. In 1953, Karlis opened her first small gallery in New York. She subsequently opened a summer gallery in Westport, Connecticut, before opening the Provincetown gallery in 1958.
Karlis maintained close relationships with many of the artists the gallery represented including Milton Avery, Raphael Soyer, Robert Goodnough, Leo Manso, George Grosz, David Burliuk, Hugo Robus, and Edward Giobbi.
Karlis died in 1974. Her husband and son, Aaron Cohen, operated the gallery into the early 1980s.

Administration
Author
Sarah Mundy
Sponsor
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Tirca Karlis Gallery records were donated from 1981 to 1982 by Aaron Cohen, son of Tirca Karlis Cohen, and current owner of the Tirca Karlis Gallery. Five additional items were donated in 2014 by Matthew Weseley.

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.
Citation
Tirca Karlis Gallery records, circa 1920-1980. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

More Information

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art galleries, Commercial -- Massachusetts Function Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women art dealers Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Robus, Hugo, 1885- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cohen, Tirca Karlis Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Burliuk, David, 1882-1967 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Grosz, George, 1893-1959 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Avery, Milton, 1885-1965 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