The papers of social realist painter, photographer, illustrator, printmaker, and teacher Ben Shahn (1898-1969) measure 25.0 linear feet and date from 1879-1990, with the bulk of the material dating from 1933-1970. The bulk of the collection consists of over 14 linear feet of incoming letters from artists, writers, colleagues, publishers, art organizations, galleries, and universities and colleges. Also found are biographical materials, project and source files, printed material, artwork by Shahn and others, photographs taken of and by Shahn, interview transcripts, sound recordings of interviews and a motion picture film.
The papers of Belle Krasne Ribicoff measure 1.6 linear feet and date from 1942-circa 2010, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1945-2004. Papers include biographical materials; correspondence with artists, art historians, writers, museum directors, and others; individual files relating to Belle and Irving Ribicoff's art collection and the Friends of Abe Ribicoff's campaign for the United States Senate; artwork; printed material, e.g., clippings, announcements, exhibition catalogues, brochures; and photographs. The collection documents Ribicoff's career as an arts editor, critic, and her involvement in civic and arts organizations for the State of Connecticut.
The papers of architectural historian, author, critic, teacher, and museum director, Henry-Russell Hitchcock, date from 1919-1987 and measure 24.8 linear feet. Almost all of the collection is comprised of Hitchcock's correspondence files relating to academic research, teaching, curatorial interests, and professional associations. Letters are from prominent architectural historians, architects, artists, preservationists, museum directors and curators, and family and friends. Also found are two feet of writings by Hitchcock and others, scattered biographical information, printed material, and photographs of Hitchcock and architecture.
The papers of art critic, writer, and historian Elizabeth McCausland measure 45 linear feet and date from 1838 to 1995, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920 to 1960. The collection provides a vast accumulation of research data on various artists and aspects of American art, especially the early American modernists and the Federal Arts Projects. Papers include McCausland's extensive research and writing files, particularly on Marsden Hartley, E. L. Henry, Lewis Hine, George Inness, and Alfred H. Maurer. McCausland's correspondence with artists includes a substantial amount with Arthur Dove and Alfred Stieglitz. Her collaborative work with Berenice Abbott on the Changing New York book and series of photographs is well-documented within the collection. Also found are general writings, subject files, files relating to exhibitions, teaching, and committees, photographs, art work, personal papers, and printed material. Additional McCausland material donated later from the estate of Berenice Abbott include biographical materials, project files, writings, and printed materials.
The records of the American Federation of Arts (AFA) provide researchers with a complete set of documentation focusing on the founding and history of the organization from its inception through the 1960s. The collection measures 78.6 linear feet, and dates from 1895 through 1993, although the bulk of the material falls between 1909 and 1969. Valuable for its coverage of twentieth-century American art history, the collection also provides researchers with fairly comprehensive documentation of the many exhibitions and programs supported and implemented by the AFA to promote and study contemporary American art, both nationally and abroad.
The records of the Downtown Gallery date from 1824 to 1974 (bulk 1926-1969) and measure 109.5 linear feet. The records present a comprehensive portrait of a significant commercial gallery that operated as a successful business for more than forty years, representing major contemporary American artists and engendering appreciation for early American folk art. There is an unprocessed addition to this collection dating circa 1970 of a single financial/legal document.
The papers of art historian E. P. Richardson measure 28.7 linear feet and date from 1814-1996, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1921-1996. Within the papers are scattered biographical materials; acquisition files for Richardson's personal art collection; professional and personal correspondence with colleagues, art historians and critics, artists, museums, galleries, and dealers; numerous writings, including manuscripts and research files for his published books, articles, and lectures; general research notebooks and files compiled by Richardson on a wide variety of art-related topics and artists; professional and committee files; as well as a smaller amount of Constance C. Richardson's papers.
The records of the Associated American Artists measure 55 linear feet and date from circa 1934 through 1983. The organization was founded in 1934 to stimulate interest in prints throughout the United States by promoting the sale of prints through department stores and other venues. Later, other genres of works of art were added and the department store abandoned in favor of a New York headquarters. The records contain voluminous files on artists; dealers, galleries, and museums; and clients. Also found is business correspondence, financial records, sales and exhibition catalogs, thirteen dismantled scrapbooks, and posters.
The papers of painter, illustrator, muralist, and political activist William Gropper measure 3.3 linear feet and date from 1916-1983. Almost one-half of the collection consists of printed materials, including full issues of New Masses, Liberator, and Der Hammer, all featuring illustrations by Gropper. Circa 600 letters include those written to Gropper by Frank Crowninshield, Robert Henri, Louis Lozowick, Raphael Soyer, and others. Also found are photographs of Gropper, his family, colleagues, and friends, as well as scattered writings and notes, business records, biographical information, three drawings, and a fabric sample designed by Gropper.
The Macbeth Gallery records provide almost complete coverage of the gallery's operations from its inception in 1892 to its closing in 1953. Through extensive correspondence files, financial and inventory records, printed material, scrapbooks, reference and research material, and photographs of artists and works of art, the records document all aspects of the gallery's activities, charting William Macbeth's initial intention to lease his store "for the permanent exhibition and sale of American pictures" through over sixty years of success as a major New York firm devoted to American art. The collection measures 132.2 linear feet and dates from 1838 to 1968 with the bulk of the material dating from 1892 to 1953.