The papers of Burt Chernow measure 21.8 linear feet and consist mainly of research materials gathered and produced in the course of writing Christo and Jeanne-Claude: A Biography over an extensive period of close contact with the subjects, from the early 1980s until Chernow's death in 1997. Research materials for the biography include photocopies of personal documents of the Christos, hundreds of recorded interviews with Christo, Jeanne-Claude, their family members, and their associates, transcripts of interviews and research on interview subjects, other collected research material compiled chronologically, drafts of the biography written by Chernow, drafts of the biography and its epilogue produced after Chernow's death, and business records related to the book's production, which include significant correspondence with the Christos. Also found are the published German and U.S. editions of the biography, printed materials and photographs related to the book's subject matter, and fabric samples from five of the Christos' projects undertaken during Chernow's association with them. Chernow's career as an art critic, writer, educator, and arts advocate, primarily in Southern Connecticut, is documented in Chernow's other writings, organizational records, printed materials, and photographs.
This collection contains over 37,000 35mm slides, 3,000 glass lantern slides and garden files that may include descriptive information, photocopied articles (from journals, newspapers, or books), planting lists, correspondence, brochures, landscape plans and drawings. Garden files were compiled by Garden Club of America (GCA) members for most of the gardens included in the collection. Some gardens have been photographed over the course of several decades; others only have images from a single point in time. In addition to images of American gardens, there are glass lantern slides of the New York Flower Show (1941-1951) and trips that GCA members took to other countries, including Mexico (1937), Italy, Spain, Japan (1935), France (1936), England (1929), and Scotland. A number of the slides are copies of historic images from outside repositories including horticultural and historical societies or from horticultural books and publications. The GCA made a concerted effort in the mid-1980s to acquire these images in order to increase its documentation of American garden history. Because of copyright considerations, use of these particular images may be restricted.
The materials document the orders placed by the clients of the Scurlock Studio. The photographs primarily depict individual portrait sittings but there are also portraits of children, groups, and other subjects.