A Finding Aid to the Washburn Gallery Records, 1906-2017, bulk 1971-2010, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.washbgall
Creators:
Washburn Gallery (New York, N.Y.)
Dates:
1906-2017
bulk 1971-2010
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
47.9 Linear feet
4.805 Gigabytes
Repository:
The Washburn Gallery records measure 47.9 linear feet and 4.805 gigabytes. The collection dates from 1906-2017, with the bulk of material dating from 1971-2010. Founded in 1971 by Joan Washburn, the New York gallery specializes in the work of 19th and 20th American artists, and has mounted hundreds of exhibitions in its four decade history. The collection documents the gallery's activities through administrative records, correspondence and subject files, artist files, exhibition files, art fair files, printed material, photographic material, and records from the Peridot Gallery, purchased by Washburn in 1971.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The Washburn Gallery records measure 47.9 linear feet and 4.805 gigabytes. The collection dates from 1906-2017, with the bulk of material dating from 1971-2010. Founded in 1971 by Joan Washburn, the New York gallery specializes in the work of 19th and 20th American artists, and has mounted hundreds of exhibitions in its four decade history. The collection documents the gallery's activities through administrative records, correspondence and subject files, artist files, exhibition files, art fair files, printed material, photographic material, and records from the Peridot Gallery, purchased by Washburn in 1971.
Administrative records document the administrative and business operations of the gallery including building rentals, audits, insurance, and fraud and theft claims. Services sought by the gallery are also documented here and include advertising, conservation, framing, photography, and printing.
Correspondence and subject files pertain to the gallery's operation, promotion of its artists, research related to artworks, exhibitions, loans, sales, acquisitions, consignments, and publication requests and is with collectors, dealers, consultants, authors, journalists, curators, auction houses, as well as other colleagues.
Artist files comprise a significant bulk of the collection at 31.5 linear feet, and contain correspondence, appraisals, financial statements, sales records, inventories, loan agreements, consignments forms, photographic material, printed material, writings, and a few interview transcripts related to Washburn Gallery's stable of artists and those they exhibited. Frequent topics include sales, exhibitions at other institutions, special projects and commissions, conservation, and estate matters. With the exception of Ronald Bladen and Bruce Kurland, correspondence with the artists is rare.
Exhibition files document the gallery's four decade exhibition history and contain correspondence, price lists, floor plans, loan agreements, shipping receipts, invoices, sales records, photographic material of artworks and installations, digital images, and printed material including press releases, reviews and exhibition brochures. The exhibition files reflect the Washburn Gallery's history of mounting both solo exhibitions for their stable of artists as well as group exhibitions highlighting significant movements and themes in art history.
Art fair files document the Washburn Gallery's participation in the ACRO Art Fair, the Armory Show, Art Basel, Art Basel Miami Beach, Art Chicago, Art Miami, The Art Show, the San Francisco International Art Expo, VIP (Viewing in Private), and Works on Paper.
The printed material series primarily documents the activities of Washburn Gallery and its artists. Included is a comprehensive selection of brochures and announcements that the Washburn Gallery produced for each of its exhibitions. The photographic material series is small, and includes Joan Washburn and the gallery, artworks by various artists not included in the Art Files series, and slides for lectures given by Washburn. The bulk of the printed and photographic material is organized by artist and arranged in the Artist Files series.
Peridot Gallery records date from 1948-1971 and include printed material, photographs, and five scrapbooks. The scrapbooks contain clippings of reviews, as well as exhibition announcements and brochures from the gallery.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as eight series.
  • Series 1: Administrative Records, 1965-2011 (1.4 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)
  • Series 2: Correspondence and Subject Files, 1919-2016, bulk 1971-2005 (4 linear feet; Boxes 2-6)
  • Series 3: Artist Files, 1906-2017, bulk 1971-2011 (31.5 linear feet, Boxes 6-37, 48; 4.081 gigabytes, ER01-04)
  • Series 4: Exhibition Files, 1921-2014, bulk 1972-2014 (7.4 linear feet, Boxes 37-45; 0.724 gigabytes, ER05-07)
  • Series 5: Art Fair Files, 1988-2011 (1.4 linear feet; Boxes 45-46)
  • Series 6: Printed Material, 1970-2016 (0.7 linear feet; Boxes 46-47)
  • Series 7: Photographic Material, 1970-2010 (0.2 linear feet; Box 47)
  • Series 8: Peridot Gallery Records, 1948-1971 (1.3 linear feet: Boxes 47-50)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
The Washburn Gallery (1971- ) is a gallery in New York, New York, founded by Joan Washburn and specializing in the work of 19th and 20th American artists. Prior to Washburn's ownership in 1971, the gallery was know as Peridot Gallery.
In its inaugural year, the gallery exhibited watercolors and paintings by Jean Xceron from the 1930s, portraits by Joshua Johnson (Johnston) from the early 1800s, and bronze figurative sculptures by Richard Miller. Over the years, Washburn Gallery has represented artists working in a range of styles including abstract expressionism, surrealism, folk art, and contemporary painting and sculpture. Their stable has included James Abbe, Richard Baker, Richard Benson, Ronald Bladen, Norman Bluhm, James Brooks, Byron Browne, Arthur B. Carles, Nicolas Carone, Stuart Davis, Elaine de Kooning, Burgoyne Diller, Arshile Gorky, Marsden Hartley, Martin J. Heade, John William and John Henry Hill, Harry Holtzman, Bill Jensen, Joshua Johnson (Johnston), Gerome Kamrowski, Alice Trumbull Mason, Gwynn Murrill, Ray Parker, Ammi Phillips, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Anne Ryan, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Rolph Scarlett, Charles Shaw, David Smith, Leon Polk Smith, George Sugarman, Jack Youngerman, among many others.
Joan Washburn graduated from Middlebury College in 1951 and worked at the Kraushaar Galleries, the Wadsworth Atheneum, the Museum of Modern Art, Graham Gallery, and Sotheby's Parke-Bernet before founding Washburn Gallery. Washburn purchased Peridot Gallery in January 1971 and formally changed the name to Washburn Gallery in September of 1972. The gallery has had a number of locations on the Upper East Side of Manhattan since opening its doors, including operating an additional downtown location at 113 Greene Street from 1980-1986. Before relocating to the Chelsea neighborhood in 2017, Washburn Gallery was located at 20 West 57th Street since 1992.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Hilary Price in 2017.
Author
Hilary Price
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated to the Archives of American Art in 2017 by Joan Washburn, gallery founder and director.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is ACCESS RESTRICTED; use requires written permission. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Access to original papers, with permission, requires an appointment.
Preferred Citation
Washburn Gallery records, 1906-2017, bulk 1971-2010. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Joan Washburn conducted by James Wechsler in 2007 and letters from Washburn in response to Lee Hall's book, Elaine and Bill: Portrait of a Marriage.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York Function Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Abstract expressionism Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Washburn, Joan T., 1929- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Peridot Gallery (New York, N.Y.) Corporate 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/