A Finding Aid to the Zorach Family Papers,
1900-1987
, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.zorazora
Creators:
Zorach Family
Dates:
1900-1987
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
4.4 Linear feet
Repository:
The Zorach Family papers measure 4.4 linear feet and consist of materials relating to the lives and careers of sculptor and painter William Zorach, his wife painter and weaver Marguerite, and their children, painter and multi-media artist Dahlov Ipcar and collector and art dealer Tessim Zorach. The bulk of the papers consists of letters to Tessim regarding his parent's artwork. Additional materials include scattered letters to William Zorach; writings and notes by William, Marguerite, and Tessim; a sketchbook and drawings by William; prints by Marguerite; Marguerite's scrapbook; printed materials; and photographs of the Zorach family and of William Zorach in his studio and at work.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The Zorach Family papers measure 4.4 linear feet and consist of materials relating to the lives and careers of sculptor and painter William Zorach, his wife painter and weaver Marguerite, and their children, painter and multi-media artist Dahlov Ipcar and collector and art dealer Tessim Zorach. The bulk of the papers consists of letters to Tessim regarding his parent's artwork. Additional materials include scattered letters to William Zorach; writings and notes by William, Marguerite, and Tessim; a sketchbook and drawings by William; prints by Marguerite; Marguerite's scrapbook; printed materials; and photographs of the Zorach family and of William Zorach in his studio and at work.
The majority of correspondence is between Tessim Zorach and various museums and galleries concerning exhibitions and donations of his parents' works of art. There are scattered letters to William Zorach among the correspondence. Business records consist of materials relating to the Collection of the Zorach Children, including lists of works of art by the Zorach's, a file relating to an exhibition of Zorach artwork at the Brooklyn Museum, and photographs of works of art considered for donation.
Writings and Notes include a typescript of an article written by Marguerite Zorach, writings by William Zorach, a typescript of Young Poems by William and Marguerite, as well as articles written by others about the Zorachs. Artwork by Marguerite Zorach includes two prints and a tracing. Also found is one sketchbook, and additional drawings by William Zorach. There is one unsigned lithograph.
The majority of exhibition announcements, catalogs, and clippings concern William and Marguerite Zorach although there are two announcements for Dahlov Ipcar. There is one scrapbook of clippings about Marguerite.
The papers include photographs of Marguerite and William Zorach, their parents, baby photos of Tessim and Dahlov, family pictures of the Zorachs, and of Marguerite and William in their studios. There are several folders of William Zorach working in his studios and additional photos of him carving a relief sculpture and a sculpture for the Southwest Bank. Most of these photographs contain detailed annotations written by William Zorach about the work. There is one folder of photographs of William in France in 1910-1911, including one of Zorach in Roi Partridge's studio. There is one photograph of Zorach taken by Ansel Adams in Yosemite, a photo of Zorach working by Arnold Newman, and several taken by Imogen Cunnigham.
Other photographs are of works of art, most of which depict William's works.
Artifacts include Marguerite's batik tools and approximately fifty commercially made printing blocks.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into 9 series:
  • Series 1: Biographical Information, circa 1907-1969 (Box 1, 6; 3 folders)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1922-1982 (Box 1-2; 1.75 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Business Records, 1967-1971, circa 1960s-1970s (Box 2-3; 0.3 linear feet)
  • Series 4: Writings and Notes, circa 1930s-1973, 1987 (Box 3; 8 folders)
  • Series 5: Artworks, 1900-circa 1920s (Box 3, 6; 12 folders)
  • Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1922-1953 (Box 3; 1 folder)
  • Series 7: Printed Material, 1912-1982 (Box 3; 0.25 linear feet)
  • Series 8: Photographs, 1908-1966 (Box 3-5; 1.0 linear feet)
  • Series 9: Artifacts, circa 1910s, circa 1950s (Box 4; 0.5 linear feet)

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
William Zorach (1887-1966) was a modernist painter and sculptor working primarily in New York city, along with his wife Marguerite (1887-1968) who worked as a fauvist painter, printmaker, and textile artist. Their children were painter Dahlov Ipcar (1917-) and art collector Tessim Zorach (1915-1995.)
Born in Lithuania, William Zorach immigrated to the United States where his family settled in Cleveland, Ohio. An early interest in art led to a printmaking apprenticeship. He then moved to New York City and enrolled in the National Academy of Design where he studied painting and drawing. In 1910, Zorach traveled to Paris to study and where he met his wife Marguerite Thompson at the La Palette art school. Marguerite grew up in Fresno, California and studied art at Stanford University. Both artists were heavily influenced by the fauvist and cubist art movements.
Returning to America, Marguerite and William married and both continued to create and experiment with varied media. Their paintings were featured in the 1913 New York City Armory Show and they are credited with being among the first artists to introduce European modernist styles to American modernism. The Zorachs were very close both as a couple and as working active artists.
In the 1920s, Marguerite began to experiment with textiles and created large, fine art tapestries and hooked rugs. Also, she used batik dying techniques on fabrics. William also expanded his genre by creating direct sculpture in 1918, which would become his primary medium.
In 1915, William and Marguerite started a family with their son, Tessim. Two years later, their daughter Dahlov was born. The Zorachs divided the year and lived in New York City, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. In 1923, the family bought a farm on Georgetown Island, Maine where they lived, worked, and entertained friends.
Dahlov and Tessim were exposed to art from an early age. Dahlov showed artistic promise as a child and her parents supported her creativity by allowing her to express herself without formal training. Dahlov pursued painting and later became an illustrator for children's books. Additionally, she wrote fantasy novels and short stories. Dahlov married Adolf Ipcar in 1936. Like the rest of his family, Tessim Zorach developed an interest of art and along with his wife Peggy, he amassed a large private collection of ancient to modern art.
William and Marguerite continued to sculpt and paint until their deaths in 1966 and 1968, respectively.
Together, Dahlov and Tessim established the Collection of the Zorach Children which coordinated donations of their parents' art to many museums throughout the United States and the world. The artwork of both artists is found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Delaware Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Farnsworth Art Museum, Portland Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Philips Collection, and educational institutions such as Colby College, University of Vermont, Williams College, Bowdoin College, and the University of Virginia. In addition William has works associated with many public buildings, among them: Radio City Music Hall, New York City Municipal Court, the U.S. Post Office in Washington D.C. as well as Farleigh Dickinson University.

Administration
Separated Material
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming on reels NY59-1-NY59-4 and NY59-19. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and are now held by the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division. This material is not described in the collection container inventory or finding aid.
Location of Originals
The originals of the materials loaned for microfilming are most likely part of William Zorach's papers at the Library of Congress.
Alternative Forms Available
Portions of the collection and material lent for microfilming are available on 35mm microfilm reels NY59-1-NY59-4, NY59-19, and 4957-4961 at the 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.
Processing Information
The Zorach Family papers were arranged and microfilmed in 1994. They were reprocessed by Jayna Hanson in October 2008 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Author
Jayna M. Hanson
Sponsor
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art
Provenance
William Zorach lent papers for microfilming to the Archives of American Art in 1959. Tessim Zorach donated materials between 1976-1987.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
The Zorach Family papers, 1900-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Restrictions on Access
Use of originals requires an appointment.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Zorach Family papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.

Related Material
The Archives of American Art holds the Dahlov Ipcar papers, 1906-1997. Also found is one oral history interview with William Zorach conducted by by John D. Morse on April 2, 1959 and an oral history interview with Dahlov Ipcar conducted by Robert F. Brown on November 13, 1979.
The bulk of William Zorach's papers are held by the Library of Congress.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, American Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Prints Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artist couples Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Articles Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Notes Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women painters -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Writings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists' studios -- Photographs Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Weavers Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Works of art Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Zorach, Tessim Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brooklyn Museum Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ipcar, Dahlov Zorach, 1917- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Zorach, Marguerite, 1887-1968 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Zorach, William, 1887-1966 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Partridge, Roi, 1888-1984 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Newman, Arnold, 1918-2006 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/