Scope and Contents
The Paul Singer papers measure 23 linear feet and date from circa 1880s to 1997. Materials include biographical documents, correspondence, writings and notes, exhibition and symposium files, travel files, personal art collection records, personal business records, printed material, artwork, artifacts, and photographs.
Biographical materials document Paul Singer's life in Vienna, Austria and in the United States. Scattered biographical documentation concerning Singer's wife, Eva Geyer, is also included. Correspondence files show the many relationships Singer maintained with art auctions and art dealers, Asian art colleagues, and various museums and universities in an effort to continuously expand and exhibit his collection. Topics also include requests for loans and viewings of Singer's art collection; consultations about other art objects; auction and sales offers; and his unpublished collection catalog project. Writings and notes include drafts of articles, essays, Singer's memoirs, and Singer's unpublished collection catalog drafts. As reflected within exhibition and symposium files, items from Singer's collection were included in several exhibitions over the years, many at the Asia House Gallery and China Institute of America, and a symposium held in his honor at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in 1990, "New Perspectives on Chu Culture during the Eastern Zhou Period." The papers also include various materials documenting Singer's international travels, especially to China from 1979 onward.
Personal art collection records document various Singer collection purchases and sales and include invoices, receipts, shipping documents, appraisal and laboratory testing results, scattered loan agreements, and Arthur M. Sackler Foundation and Purchase Fund documentation. Personal business records include Singer's personal financial files, legal files, and estate papers. Also found within the papers are printed materials, a sketchbook and sketches by others, two picture frames, and a bronze bust of Paul Singer by David Cregeen. Personal photographs depict Paul Singer and his friends and family through snapshots, portraits, vintage photographs, and one album, and primarily document Singer's life in Austria. Also included are images of Singer's apartment showing his collection as a whole, as well as various social events. Photographs of works of art, both within Singer's collection and from other sources, constitute the bulk of the photographs found within the papers and include four photograph albums. However, researchers should note that prints, slides, and negatives of works of art are as yet largely unsorted.