The papers of painter Dorothy Varian date from circa 1902 to 1984 and measure 2.3 linear feet. This collection documents Varian's life primarily through scattered biographical material; correspondence with family, friends, artists and art galleries; personal business records; a few writings; exhibition catalogs, news clippings, and other printed material; photographs of Varian, her friends, and artwork; and original sketches by Varian and fellow artist Peggy Bacon.
The papers of printmaker, illustrator, caricaturist, and writer Peggy Bacon measure 3.6 linear feet and date from 1893 to 1973, with the bulk of materials dating from 1900 to 1936. Much of the collection consists of family correspondence, although writings, photographs, artwork, and personal business records from Bacon's late career are also found.
The papers of artist and silent film actress Wilna Hervey and her lifelong companion painter Nan Mason date from 1883 through 1985 and measure 4.9 linear feet. The collection is comprised mostly of letters to Hervey and Mason from friends, colleagues, and Mason's father, Dan Mason, also a silent film actor. Also found are personal photographs and snapshots, Hervey's handwritten memoirs, as well as twelve folders of Dan Mason's papers.
The papers of Holger Cahill (1887-1960) date from 1910 to 1993, with the bulk of the material dating from 1910-1960, and measure 15.8 linear feet. The collection offers researchers fairly comprehensive documentation of Cahill's directorship of the Works Progress/Projects Administration's (WPA) Federal Art Project (FAP) in addition to series documenting his work as a writer and art critic. Material includes correspondence, reports, artist files, scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs.
The records of the Downtown Gallery date from 1824 to 1974 (bulk 1926-1969) and measure 109.56 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 records of Milch Gallery measure 42.5 linear feet and date from 1911-1995. Edward Milch (1865-1953) opened the Edward Milch Gallery in New York City. In 1916, he formed a partnership with his brother Albert Milch (1881-1951), a gilder and framer, creating E. & A. Milch, Inc., a gallery specializing in American art. Harold C. Milch (1904-1981), Albert's son, was appointed a partner in 1944 and continued the business until his death. Business records of Milch Gallery, 1911-1968, include correspondence, sales records, inventories, financial records, printed matter, photographs, and legal documents. Later additions to the records date from 1922-1995 and include correspondence; artists' files; financial, sales, and stock records; printed material; and photographs.
The Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection dates from circa 1920-1965, with the bulk of the records spanning the active years of the Federal Art Project (FAP), 1935-1942. The collection comprises 12.4 linear feet of mostly photographic prints and negatives that document primarily artwork produced by artists employed by the FAP. A smaller number of photographs also document other programs of the FAP, such as art classes and community centers, exhibitions by children and adults, artwork installed in public buildings, project divisions, and demonstrations of art processes by FAP artists.