A Finding Aid to the Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle Papers,
1891-1986, in the Archives of American Art, by Wendy B. Bruton
Table of Contents:
- Biographical Information
- Overview of the Collection
- How to Use the Collection
- Detailed Description and Container Inventory
Abraham Rattner was born in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1895. His parents immigrated to the United States to escape antisemitism in Czarist Russia. He was the second of six children, including his eldest brother Louis, younger brothers Manuel (Manny) and Harry, and his younger sisters Rose and Jennie.
Rattner's parents encouraged him to paint at a young age, and as he grew up, painting became a part of his daily life. He graduated from Poughkeepsie High School in 1912 and left to study architecture at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. At night, he took art courses at the Corcoran School of Art. He soon became a full-time art student, and applied for a scholarship to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. He was accepted in 1919 and supported himself by doing illustrations for Philadelphia newspapers.
In 1917, World War I interrupted his studies. Rattner entered the United States Army in France where he became Sergeant of camouflage section, 40th Engineers. Camouflage, reflecting aspects of modern art in its form and pattern, made use of Rattner's artistic skills. During the second battle of the Marne, Rattner injured his back and returned to the States with an ailment that would affect him for the rest of his life.
Rattner returned to the Pennsylvania Academy and was awarded the Cresson scholarship to study art in Europe. He traveled for one year, then settled in Paris for the next twenty years. Those twenty years in Paris became the most formative for Rattner because he was able to study and experiment with Futurism, Cubism, and Expressionism. Post World War I Paris was the center of modern culture for Americans disillusioned by the destruction of the war. Expatriate writers, poets, and artists were searching for a culture that shunned the traditions of the past and exchanged ideas with one another at the lively Paris cafes and salons.
In 1924, Abraham Rattner married Bettina Bedwell, an American art student and fashion illustrator. Bettina became the Paris fashion correspondent for the New York News-Chicago Tribune Syndicate. In 1927, Rattner was a member of the Minotaure group, along with Picasso, Miro, Giacometti, Le Corbusier, Braque, Dali, and Reverdy. He also illustrated an article for Jon Dos Passos in Verve magazine in 1931.
Rattner's first one-man show was in 1935 at the Galerie Bonjean in Paris, which was followed by one-man shows at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York, the Arts Club of Chicago, and the Courvoisier Gallery in San Francisco.
The threat of Hitler and Nazism forced Rattner and his wife to flee Paris in 1939. Arriving in New York in early 1940, Rattner agreed to take a trip by car with the writer Henry Miller. Their route took them from New York to New Iberia, Louisiana via the East coast and Southern states. Their mission was to rediscover America, with Henry Miller writing about their experiences and Rattner sketching the scenery. Rattner's friendship with Henry Miller was an important one that lasted throughout his life.
During the 1940s, Rattner's art was widely exhibited. In 1941, he joined the Rosenberg Gallery in New York, and remained with the gallery for fourteen years. He won awards for his work such as the Temple Gold Medal in 1945 and second prize in the Pepsi-Cola Fourth Annual Art Competition in 1946. In 1947, Bettina Bedwell suddenly died due to a kidney infection, sending Rattner into a spiral of grief and depression. To escape depression, from 1947-1949, he taught at the New School for Social Research in New York.
In 1949, Rattner married Esther Gentle, an artist and business woman who ran an art reproductions business. In 1951, the Rattners moved to Rome where he worked as Artist in Residence at the American Academy. The next year, they moved to Illinois where he was the Artist in Residence at the University of Illinois. Ratter was awarded first prize in 1953 at the 23rd Corcoran Biennial Exhibition and also served as Vice-President of Artists' Equity. In 1956, Rattner was the Distinguished Visiting Professor at Michigan State University, and along with his stepson, Allen Leepa, established an art school on Long Island. In 1957, Rattner left the Rosenberg Gallery to join the Downtown Gallery. He felt he would professionally profit from representation by the well-known Edith Halpert; however, the next twelve years reflected a tumultuous relationship between the artist and the gallery owner.
In 1957, Rattner reached out to other forms of art and design. He experimented with mosaic, tapestry and stained-glass. He designed mosaic columns and tapestries for the Fairmont Temple Anche Chesed in Cleveland and a mosaic for a friary and college in Centerville, Ohio. His stained-glass designs were highly celebrated and respected. His most famous stained-glass piece was the window for the Chicago Loop Synagogue. For this piece, Rattner spent two years traveling to Paris to design and supervise every process involved in the design and installation of the window.
Rattner felt that while his paintings during the 1940s and 1950s were romantic and self-reflective, the 1960s marked a new inspirational period in his work. His painting reflected religious comment, bringing Rattner back in touch with his Jewish heritage, as well as reflecting a sense of social protest. In 1968, Rattner exhibited his painting Victory--Jerusalem the Golden to honor the celebration of Israel's twentieth anniversary of independence. It was also in 1968 that Rattner left the Downtown Gallery for the Kennedy Gallery. In 1969, he painted The Gallows of Baghdad series as a protest to the hanging of nine Jews by Iraqi authorities.
The 1970s marked a time of many exhibitions. In 1976, the National Collection of Fine Arts in Washington, D.C. sponsored an exhibition of his designs for stained-glass entitled "...and let there be light". Also, from 1976 through 1977, "Our America" exhibited Rattner's drawings from his 1940 U.S.A. trip with Henry Miller in England and in the United States. In 1977, Michigan State University bestowed upon him the Honorary Degree for Humanity. On February 14, 1978, Abraham Rattner died due to heart failure.
- Born June 8th in Poughkeepsie, New York.
- Graduated from Poughkeepsie High School.
- Student at George Washington University, Corcoran School of Art and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
- Enlisted in the United States Army in France as Sergeant, camouflage section, 40th Engineers. Fought at Seicheprey, second battle of the Marne, and Chateau-Thierry.
- Returned to Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Awarded Cresson traveling fellowship to Europe.
- Traveled in France, Spain, England, Belgium and Holland.
- Art student in Paris at Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Grand Chaumiere, and Academie Ranson.
- Lived and painted in Giverny, France.
- Returned to Paris.
- Married Bettina Bedwell, Paris fashion correspondent for the New York News-Chicago Tribune news syndicate. Exhibited at Salon d'Automne and Salon des Independants.
- Member of the Minotaure group in Paris.
- Illustrated article, "Fire," by John Dos Passos for Verve magazine.
- First one-person show at Galerie Bonjean, Paris. French government purchased Card Party for Museum of Impressionism, The Louvre.
- One-person show at Julien Levy Gallery, New York (also 1939, 1941); Arts Club of Chicago; Courvoisier Gallery, San Francisco (also 1941).
- Returned to the United States following Nazi invasion of France. Traveled with Henry Miller from New York to New Iberia, Louisiana.
- One-person shows: Stendahl Gallery, Los Angeles; Faulkner Memorial Art Gallery, Santa Barbara (also 1943); Paul Rosenberg Gallery, New York (also 1942, 1944, 1946, 1948-1950, 1952, 1956); Studio, New York.
- Awarded the Temple Gold Medal from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Wrote "An American in Paris" for Magazine of Art.
- Awarded second prize at the Pepsi-Cola Fourth Annual Art Competition.
- Death of Bettina Bedwell Rattner.
- Taught at the New School for Social Research, New York.
- Married Esther Gentle. Visiting artist at Yale University and at the Brooklyn Museum School. Awarded honorable mention at the Carnegie Institute Exhibition of American Painting.
- Awarded the Purchase Prize at the University of Illinois Biennial Exhibition.
- Artist in residence at the American Academy in Rome.
- Artist in residence at the University of Illinois.
- Awarded first prize at the 23rd Corcoran Biennial Exhibition. Served as Vice-President of Artists' Equity.
- Taught at the Art Students League. Panelist at the Design Conference in Aspen, Colorado.
- Exhibited drawings at the Chicago Art Institute.
- Distinguished Visiting Professor at Michigan State University. Established an art school in East Hampton and Sag Harbor, Long Island.
- Designed mosaic columns and tapestries for the Fairmont Temple Anche Chesed in Cleveland. One-person show at Downtown Gallery, New York (also 1958-1967).
- Designed mosaic wall for St. Leonard's Friary and College in Centerville, Ohio. Designed stained-glass windows for the Flint Institute of Arts, Michigan. Began designs for stained-glass window for the Chicago Loop Synagogue. Exhibited with Alexander Calder at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Elected member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Awarded the Butler Memorial Prize at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
- Retrospective exhibition circulated by the American Federation of Arts. Exhibited at the Whitney Museum of Art.
- Exhibited at the Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland.
- Exhibited painting entitled Victory--Jerusalem the Golden at the celebration of Israel's 20th anniversary of independence.
- One-person shows: Kennedy Galleries, New York; Galerie Weil, Paris (Baghdad Hangings), Galerie Belgique, Brussels (Baghdad Hangings).
- Film commissioned by ABC-TV entitled "The Long Prayer of Abraham Rattner."
- Beggar's Opera lithographs exhibited at Circle Gallery, Chicago.
- Displayed stained-glass on religious themes with the National Collection of Fine Arts in Washington, D.C.
- "Our America" exhibition in England and the United States. Awarded Honorary Degree for Humanity from Michigan State University.
- Died on February 14th.
Overview of the Collection
Scope and Contents
Abraham Rattner's papers provide insight into an important time for twentieth century American art and culture. By studying Rattner's papers, the researcher may view the beginnings of Modernism, the cultural change that pushed the boundaries of artistic and literary traditions and provided new ways in which to express ourselves.
The Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers measure 24.8 linear feet and date from 1891 through the 1980s. The collection documents Rattner's life and career as an artist through interviews, extensive correspondence, gallery files, studio notebooks, writings, notes, date books and diaries, photographs, and works of art.
The biographical files contain documents such as Rattner's birth certificate, travel visas, his senior yearbook from 1912 which shows some of his early art work, and some of his awards. His birth certificate is of particular interest since it shows Rattner's birth date to be 1893 instead of the recognized 1895.
The correspondence offers great insight into the thoughts of many American and European artists and writers during the 1930s and 1940s. Rattner, a prolific writer, expressed many of his own thoughts and concerns through his letters, many of which are included in this collection. The vast amount of correspondence include letters from notable figures such as George Biddle, Kay Boyle, Paul Burlin, Norman Carton, Robert Coates, Stuart Davis, Adolph Dehn, Richard de Rochemont, John Dos Passos, Xavier Gonzales, John Howard Griffin, Ramon Guthrie, Robert Gwathmey, Weeks Hall, Stanley W. Hayter, Jean Helion, Hilaire Hiler, Joseph Hirsch, Stefan Hirsch, Carl Holty, Louis Kronberg, Rico Lebrun, Jacques Lipchitz, Earle Ludgin, Thalia Wescott Malcolm, Henry Miller, Joan Miro, Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt, Channing Peake, Henry Varnum Poor, Felix Ruvolo, Waverly Root, Jack Gage Stark, Frank C. Watkins, and Allen Weller, among others.
Rattner was engaged in a wide range of special art projects, and he kept detailed files on these projects. The projects spanned from 1940 through 1973 and included endeavors such as illustrations for Life magazine, stained-glass designs, mosaic and tapestry projects, as well as special paintings such as Victory--Jerusalem the Golden and The Gallows of Baghdad. Rattner's papers also detail the history of a fresco painted by Paul Gauguin entitled Joan d'Arcwhich Rattner purchased in France in 1925.
Rattner's forty year friendship with the writer Henry Miller is chronicled throughout the collection in the forms of correspondence, writings, printed material, phototographs and artwork. Their correspondence ranges from 1938 through 1978 and offers great insight into their relationship. Rattner and Miller's road trip from New York to New Orleans in 1940-1941 is documented in the series entitled Special Projects. Also included in the collection are printed material, such as biographical material on Miller, Miller's writings, literary announcements and reviews; Miller's writings on Rattner; and photographs of Miller.
The gallery files contain correspondence, receipts, and notes regarding the galleries which represented Rattner. Those galleries included the Rosenberg Gallery, the Downtown Gallery, and the Kennedy Gallery. A small series of exhibition files contain material about exhibitions held outside of Rattner's representative galleries.
Rattner's writings proved to be an outlet for his thoughts on painting, his inspirations, frustrations, and sadness. In addition to painting, Rattner was able to express his creativity through writing poetry. Writing also helped him work through his depression over the death of his first wife Bettina Bedwell.
He also kept finely detailed studio notebooks. The original order has been maintained, and they trace the history of almost each painting, drawing, and study attempted by Rattner. The notebooks often provide information regarding whether the work was sent to a gallery or given as a gift. Sometimes they contain correspondence or writings that reveal the inspiration for a work. They have been arranged in chronological order, according to Rattner's own filing system.
Rattner retained receipts for most of his art expenses. Arranged by decade, these receipts show the type of paint, colors, types of paper and brushes that he used.
Rattner also kept many household files and personal financial records. Household files contain insurance records, warranties and rental agreements, while the financial records contain returned checks and bank statements. Some bank statements from Esther Gentle Reproductions are also included. The household files and financial records are not filmed.
The date books and diaries reveal the aspects of daily life and the personal thoughts of Rattner and Esther Gentle. In many cases, Rattner shared his date books and diaries with Gentle. The early diaries are fascinating, especially the 1939 diary that discloses the Rattners' last days in France before escaping Nazism and returning to the United States.
Rettner's scrapbooks span from 1938 to 1952 and contain newspaper and magazine clippings that mention the artist or his work.
The printed material covers a period from 1930s through the 1980s and includes exhibition catalogs, exhibition announcements, clippings, and miscellaneous material such as an autograph book from 1969 and a map of Israel that shows Rattner's travel route. There is a large amount of unfilmed printed material that is listed in the series description.
Writings by others consists of writings on Rattner and other topics.
The collection contains many photographs taken of Rattner and taken by him, as well as photos of family, friends, his studio, travels, and photographs of Rattner's art. Photographs of notable people include Henry Miller, Joan Miro, John Dos Passos, Archibald MacLeish, and Malcolm Cowley, among others.
The amount of Rattner's art work included in the collection is small, but it is significant because it provides examples of his very early work, dating from 1912-1914. Some later studies are also present, as well as a number of random sketches. Color was very important to Rattner, and some of his color studies from the 1940s are also included. Art work by other artists is comprised of some small paintings by Max Weber, a water color by Henry Miller, a painting by Ken Buryd, as well as some work by unknown artists.
In addition to tracing Rattner's life and career, the collection also documents the lives of Rattner's two wives, Bettina Bedwell and Esther Gentle. Both women had profound effects on Rattner's work. Among Bettina Bedwell's papers are her diary, fashion sketches, and correspondence. Esther Gentle's papers include correspondence, writings, as well as papers documenting her business Esther Gentle Reproductions. There are a small amount of papers relating to Allen Leepa, Rattner's stepson with Esther Gentle.
Arrangement and Series Description
The collection is arranged into twenty-four series based primarily on type of document or special project. Though concentrated in its own series, additional correspondence is scattered throughout the collection and may be found in special project files, gallery files, exhibition files, studio notebooks, and scrapbooks. The correspondence has been divided into two subseries, one chronological and the other according to Rattner's subject-oriented filing system. Special art projects have been organized by project, and placed in chronological order. The studio notebooks have also been divided into subseries, and all notebook pages maintain Rattner's original order. The first subseries of notebooks reflects Rattner's numbering system, while the second subseries is arranged chronologically. The vast amount of printed material has been divided into subseries, and all of the unfilmed printed material has been organized chronologically at the end of the series.
Within each series, material is arranged either in chronological order, or in some cases, according to Abraham Rattner's own organizational system.
Oversized materials from various series are housed in oversized folders 33-45 and are noted in the Series Description/Container Listing with see also/see references or in the container columns.
- Series 1: Biographical Files, 1893-1978, undated (box 1; 0.2 linear ft.)
- Series 2: Interviews, 1957-1975, undated (box 1; 7 folders)
- Series 3: Correspondence Files, 1933-1978, undated (boxes 1-5; 4.3 linear ft.)
- Series 4: Special Projects, 1940-1987, undated (boxes 5-6, ovs 33-35; 1.5 linear ft.)
- Series 5: Joan d'Arc Fresco painted by Paul Gaugin, 1925-1963, undated (box 7, ov 36; 11 folders)
- Series 6: Gallery Files, 1942-1975 (boxes 7-8; 1.5 linear ft.)
- Series 7: Exhibition Files, 1963-1978 (boxes 7, 9; 9 folders)
- Series 8: Writings, 1940-1972, undated (box 9; 0.9 linear ft.)
- Series 9: Studio Notebooks, 1935-1975, undated (boxes 10-11; 1.9 linear ft.)
- Series 10: Art Expenses, circa 1940-1970 (boxes 11-13; 0.7 linear ft.)
- Series 11: Household Files, 1940-1970, undated (box 13; 0.8 linear ft.)
- Series 12: Financial Records, 1933-1963 (boxes 13-14; 0.7 linear ft.)
- Series 13: Notes and Lists, 1936-1972, undated (box 14; 0.5 linear ft.)
- Series 14: Address Books, 1939-1977, undated (box 15; 1.0 linear ft.)
- Series 15: Date Books/Diaries, 1937-1977, undated (boxes 16-17; 1.6 linear ft.)
- Series 16: Scrapbooks, 1938-1952 (boxes 18-22; 1.5 linear ft.)
- Series 17: Printed Material, 1920s-1980s, undated (boxes 23-26; 3.6 linear ft.)
- Series 18: Writings by Others, 1945-circa 1980, undated (box 26; 20 folders)
- Series 19: Photographs, 1891-1970s, undated (boxes 27-29; 1.6 linear ft.)
- Series 20: Works of Art by Rattner, 1912-1914, 1940-1967, undated (box 30, ovs 37-44; 2.4 linear ft.)
- Series 21: Works of Art by Others, undated (box 30, ov 45; 6 folders)
- Series 22: Bettina Bedwell Papers, 1932-1947, undated (box 31; 0.4 linear ft.)
- Series 23: Esther Gentle Papers, 1921-1984, undated (boxes 31-32; 1.3 linear ft.)
- Series 24: Allen Leepa Papers, 1952-1969, undated (box 32; 8 folders)
Subjects and Names
This collection is indexed in the online catalog of the Archives of American Art under the following terms.
- Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.)
- Kennedy Galleries
- Paul Rosenberg & Co.
- Art -- Study and teaching -- France -- Paris
- Painters -- New York (State) -- New York
- Painters -- France -- Paris
- Artist couples
Types of Materials:
- Works of art
- Bedwell, Bettina, 1889-1947
- Biddle, George, 1885-
- Boyle, Kay, 1902
- Burlin, Paul, 1886-1969
- Carton, Norman, 1908-1980
- Coates, Robert M. (Robert Myron), 1897-1973
- Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964
- Dehn, Adolf, 1895-1968
- De Rochemont, Richard
- Dos Passos, John, 1896-1970
- Gentle, Esther, 1900-
- Gonzalez, Xavier, 1898-1993
- Griffin, John Howard, 1920-
- Guthrie, Ramon, 1896-
- Gwathmey, Robert, 1903-1988
- Hall, William Weeks, 1894-1958
- Hayter, Stanley William, 1901-
- Hélion, Jean, 1904-1987
- Hiler, Hilaire, 1898-1966
- Hirsch, Joseph, 1910-
- Hirsch, Stefan, 1899-1964
- Holty, Carl, 1900-1973
- Kronberg, Louis, 1872-1965
- Lebrun, Rico, 1900-1964
- Lipchitz, Jacques, 1891-
- Ludgin, Earle, 1898-1981
- Miller, Henry, 1891-
- Miró, Joan, 1893
- Nordfeldt, Bror Julius Olsson, 1878-1955
- Peake, Channing, 1910-
- Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970
- Ruvolo, Feliz
- Stark, Jack Gage, 1882-1950
- Malcolm, Thalia Westcott, b. 1878
- Weller, Allen Stuart, 1907-
- Watkins, Franklin Chenault, 1894-1972
- Leepa, Allen, 1919-
- Esther Gentle Reproductions
The collection was given to the Archives of American Art in stages by Abraham Rattner 1972-1983, by Esther Gentle 1986-1987, and by Gene Allen in 1992. The donated material that was previously filmed has been integrated and refilmed includes reels D203 and D205C-D205D. The material found on reels D205A-D205B was loaned by Rattner and the material found on reel 1212 was loaned by his sister, Jennie Allen.
Separated and Related Materials
Previous loans and gifts of Rattner material may be found on microfilm reels D203-D205, D205A-D205B, D205C-D205D, and reel 1212. The materials on these reels include notebooks, journals, correspondence, clippings, exhibition announcements, writings, and photographs of art work. The previously donated material has been integrated and arranged; therefore, researchers may find duplicate films. Reels D205A-D205B and 1212 contain loaned material only and should be consulted by the researcher.
How the Collection was Processed
The collection was processed by Wendy B. Bruton. Processing and microfilming were made possible by a grant from the Judith Rothschild Foundation
How to Use the Collection
Restrictions on Use
The collection is open for research. Use of unmicrofilmed portion requires an appointment.
Ownership & Literary Rights
The Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle 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.
The bulk of the collection is available on microfilm reels 5258-5279. The microfilm is available for interlibrary loan.
How to Cite this Collection
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers, 1891-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Detailed Description and Container Inventory
Biographical Files, 1893-1978, undated
(box 1; 0.2 linear ft.)
This series contains official documentation such as birth certificates, visas, and passport applications, in addition to other biographical material such as awards, curriculum vitae, and obituaries.
|1||5258||Birth certificate, 1893|
|1||5258||High School Yearbook, 1912|
|1||5258||Student records, 1913-1914|
|1||5258||Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship Application, 1940|
|1||5258||Selective Service questionnaire, 1942|
|1||5258||Current Biography article, 1948|
|1||5258||Honorary Doctorate, Pratt Institute, commencement program, 1969|
|1||5258||Honorary Doctorate, Michigan State University, certificate, 1977|
|1||5258||Draft of Will, 1948|
|1||5258||Drafts of Will, 1965|
|1||5258||Driving permits, 1950-1951|
|1||5258||Marquis National Biographie notes, 1953|
|1||5258||Religion and Man in Contemporary Art exhibition application, 1957|
|1||unfilmed||Electro Cardiogram, 1958|
|1||5258||Curriculum vitae, 1965|
|1||5258||Chronology 1895-1969, |
|1||5258||Who's Who In America, 1970|
|1||5258||Passport application, 1973|
|1||5258||Biographical notes, undated|
Interviews with Abraham Rattner, 1957-1975, undated
(box 1; 7 folders)
This series contains transcripts of seven interviews with Rattner which are arranged chronologically and listed by name of interviewer.
|1||5258||Kellog Center for Continuing Education, 1957|
|1||5258||Marc Saporta, in French, 1965|
|1||5258||Henry Kraus, 1973|
|1||5258||Theodore Enron, 1975|
|1||5258||Allen Leepa, undated|
|1||5258||Gene Fenn, undated|
Correspondence Files, 1933-1978, undated
(boxes 1-5; 4.3 linear ft.)
Chronological correspondence contains letters from family, friends, artists, writers, and gallery owners, as well as a notebook that records correspondents and dates. Many of Rattner's own letters are also included in this series. Major correspondents found in this subseries include: Ramon Guthrie, Richard De Rochemont, Stuart Davis, Robert Gwathmey, Franklin C. Watkins, Carl Holty, Hilaire Hiler, John Dos Passos, Channing Peake, George Biddle, Kay Boyle, Norman Carton, Xavier Gonzalez, Robert Coates, Thalia Wescott Malcolm, Shelden Rodman, and Joseph Hirsch among others.
Alphabetical correspondence contains letters from friends, associations, colleges and universities soliciting Rattner for teaching positions, as well as a folder entitled "Requests". Rattner's long friendship with the writer Henry Miller is chronicled in this subseries. Additional major correspondents found in this subseries include Artists Equity Association, Kay Boyle, Paul Burlin, Emily Genauer, Weeks Hall, Bill Hayter, Rico LeBrun, Bill Ney, Anais Nin, Henry Varnum Poor, Waverly Root, and Jack Gage Stark. Rattner's letters also may be found here.
Correspondence that is alphabetical by subject is arranged according to Rattner's filing system.
Notebook record of correspondence,
|3||5261||Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1970-1975|
|3||5261||Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, 1952-1953|
|3||5261||American Academy in Rome, 1950-1951|
|3||5261||American Federation of Arts, 1954|
|3||5261||Anti-Defamation League, 1975-1976|
|3||5261||Archives of American Art, 1965-1973|
|3||5261||Art Association of Indianapolis, Indiana, 1954|
|3||5262||Art Director's Club, 1956|
|3||5262||Art Institute of Chicago, 1955-1956|
Artists Equity Association,
|3||5262||Artists Gallery, 1955|
|3||5262||Art Students League, 1950, 1954|
|3||5262||Associated American Artists, 1968-1971|
|3||5262||Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, 1950-1951|
|3||5262||Atlanta Art Association, 1954-1955|
|3||5262||N. W. Ayer & Son, Inc., 1950-1956|
|3||5262||Baal-Teshuva, Jacob, undated|
|3||5262||Ball State Teachers College, 1954|
|3||5262||Barone Gallery, 1955|
(negative from photograph of a letter)
|3||5262||Beiber, Carl, 1971|
|3||5262||Belmont, George, 1970-1971|
|3||5262||Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin, 1954|
|3||5262||Bergamo Exhibition International, 1950|
|3||5262||Berkeley Health Club, undated|
|3||5262||Birmingham Museum of Art, 1953-1954|
|3||5262||Black Mountain College, North Carolina, 1949|
|3||5262||Boston School of the Museum of Fine Arts, 1950|
|3||5262||Boston Art Festival, 1955|
|3||5262||Boston Public Library, 1954-1955|
|3||5262||Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, 1954|
|3||5262||Boxer, Leslie, 1968-1969|
|3||5262||Boyle, Kay, 1973|
|3||5262||Brooklyn Museum, 1954|
|3||5262||Brooklyn Museum Art School, 1948-1949|
|3||5262||Brooklyn Public Library, 1954|
|3||5262||Burlin, Paul, 1945-1947|
|4||5262||Carnegie Institute, 1946-1949|
|4||5262||Carl, Maurice, 1969-1970|
|4||5262||Christ-Janer, Albert, 1967|
|4||5262||Church of Ascension, 1954|
|4||5262||Church Studio, 1956|
|4||5262||Cleveland Museum of Art, 1956|
|4||5262||College Art Association, 1949-1954|
|4||5262||Columbia University, 1951-1955|
|4||5262||Columus Art League, 1956|
|4||5262||Committee of Religion and Art in America, Inc., 1975|
|4||5262||Contemporary Arts Association, 1953-1954|
|4||5262||Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1949, 1953|
|4||5262||Corcoran School of Art, 1951, 1953|
|4||5262||Das, Elsie, 1948-1949|
|4||5262||Des Moines Art Center, 1953-1954|
|4||5262||Detroit Institute of Arts, 1954|
|4||5262||Diomaiuto, Gino, 1971|
|4||5262||Dos Passos, John, 1947|
|4||5262||Drake University, 1953-1954|
|4||5262||Dundee Designs, 1955|
|4||5262||East Hampton Art School, 1955-1956|
|4||5262||Albert Einstein School of Medicine, 1953|
|4||5262||Exhibition of Contemporary Engraving International Show, 1950|
|4||5262||Farina, Father Michael, 1975-1976|
|4||5262||Faro, R. Vale, 1946-1947, undated|
|4||5262||Fleischman, Lawrence, 1970, 1974|
|4||5262||Florida State University, 1954, 1956|
|4||5262||Fort Worth Art Center, 1955-1956|
|4||5262||Foundation of Jewish Philanthropies, 1974, 1976|
|4||5262||Frasier, Morris & Co., 1947-1949|
|4||5262||Friends of Ben Shahn, Inc., 1971|
|4||5262||Frothingham, Elizabeth, 1975|
|4||5262||Fulbright International, 1949-1952|
|4||5262||Genauer, Emily, 1965-1974|
|4||unfilmed||Gentle, Esther, 1948-1949|
|4||5262||Guild Hall, 1972-1974|
|4||5262||Gwalhney, Robert, undated|
|4||5262||Gwilt-Jolley, Veronica, 1955|
|4||5262||Hall, Weeks, 1941-1948, undated|
|4||5262||Hallmark International Competition, undated|
|4||5262||Harris, Roy, undated|
|4||5262||Hayter, Bill, 1943, 1947, undated|
|4||5262||Herald Tribune, 1969|
|4||5262||Heschel, Abraham, 1969|
|4||5262||Heydenryk, Henri (framer), 1948-1949|
|4||5262||Hiler, Hilaire, 1936-1943|
|4||5262||Holty, Carl Robert, 1939|
|4||5262||Honolulu Art School, 1948-1954|
|4||5262||Huntington Hartford Foundation, 1954|
|4||5262||Income Tax Information, 1945-1947|
|4||5262||International Design Conference, 1953-1955|
|4||5262||Iowa State Teachers College, 1954|
|4||5262||Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1967-1968|
|4||5262||King, David, 1971|
|4||5262||Kootz, Samuel, 1943, undated|
|4||5262||Krannert Art Museum, 1964, 1975|
|4||5262||LeBrun, Rico, 1941-1942, 1952, undated|
|4||5262||Loebl, Schlossman, Bennet & Dart, 1965-1972, undated|
|4||5262||Lost Generation, 1974|
|4||5262||Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, 1951|
|4||5262||Louisiana State University, 1949|
|4||5262||Love, Paul, 1972|
|4||5262||Ludgin, Earle, 1952-1978|
|4||5262||MacDowell Colony, 1953-1954, 1969|
|4||5262||Mayne, Margot, 1969-1970|
|4||5262||McAhnon, Bob, 1939|
|4||5262||Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1950|
|4||5262||Michigan State University, 1956, 1958, undated|
|4||5262||Midwest College Art Conference, 1960|
|4||5263||Miller, Lepska, 1946-1947|
|4||5263||Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina, 1951|
|4||5263||Museum of Modern Art, 1944, 1954-1955|
|4||5263||National Academy of Design, 1950, 1954|
|4||5263||National Council on Aging, 1975|
|4||5263||National Institute of Arts and Letters, 1956-1971|
|4||5263||National Council for U.S. Art, 1955|
|4||5263||Neuberger, Mrs. Roy R., |
|4||5263||New Directions, 1945-1977, undated|
|4||5263||New School for Social Research, 1947-1949|
|4||5263||New York City Center, 1954|
|4||5263||News Syndicate Co., Inc., 1947|
|4||5263||Ney, Bill, 1940, undated|
|4||5263||Nin, Anais, 1975|
|4||5263||Nolan, Sidney, 1958-1960|
|4||5263||Northlight Foundation, 1954|
|5||5263||Pearson, Ralph M., 1954|
|5||5263||Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Fellowship, 1955, 1969|
|5||5263||Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts School, 1956-1956|
|5||5263||Pepsi-Cola Annual Art Competition, 1946-1948|
|5||5263||Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1950|
|5||5263||Piper, Dr. Raymond F., 1947, 1956|
|5||5263||Polymer Medium, |
|5||5263||Poor, Henry Varnum and Anne, 1939-1940, undated|
|5||5263||Raynal, Maurice, |
|5||5263||Rochester Memorial Art Gallery, 1956|
|5||5263||Romeike, Henry, Inc., 1946, 1950|
|5||5263||Root, Waverley, 1973-1975|
|5||5263||Rosoff, Noah, 1971-1974|
|5||5263||Rothblatt, Ben, 1956-1957|
|5||5263||Rothenberg, Samuel, 1968|
|5||5263||Royal Society of the Arts, 1971|
|5||5263||Ruvolo, Felix, 1947|
|5||5263||Sachs, William, 1968-1969|
|5||unfilmed||Sag Harbor School, undated|
|5||5263||St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnestota, 1955-1956|
|5||5263||Salinas, Marcel and Sue, 1971|
|5||5263||Salko, S[amuel], 1955|
|5||5263||Schuster, M. (Simon and Schuster), 1962|
|5||5263||Schwartz, Barry, 1970-1971|
|5||5263||Schwartz, Leonard, 1970|
|5||5263||Sclar, Samuel, 1947-1950|
|5||5263||Sedlak, Frank (copies), undated|
|5||5263||See, Ingram, 1971|
|5||5263||Septimus, Louis J. & Co., 1951|
|5||5263||Sheets, Millard, 1956|
|5||5263||Shenker, Israel, 1968, 1974|
|5||5263||Silverberg, Nathan, 1970-1975, undated|
|5||5263||Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, 1949-1954|
|5||5263||Smithsonian Institution, 1967-1977|
|5||5263||Smithsonian Institution, James Smisthson Society, 1968, 1976-1977|
|5||5263||Society for Contemporary American Art, Chicago, Illinois, 1948, 1956|
|5||5263||Stark, Jack Gage, 1939-1950, undated|
|5||5263||Stein, Carolyn, 1949|
|5||5263||Strype, Fred C., 1950|
|5||5263||Tel Aviv Museum, 1969-1972, undated|
|5||5263||Temple University, 1953-1954|
|5||5263||Tepper, Ruth, 1975|
|5||5263||Terkel, Studs, 1976|
|5||5263||Townley, Updike and Carter, 1947-1948|
|5||5263||Transworld Art Corporation, 1974|
|5||5263||Traverse Festival Exhibition of International Contemporary Art, Edinburgh, 1964-1965|
|5||5264||University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, 1948-1949|
|5||5264||University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, 1950|
|5||5264||University of Illinois, Urbana, 1949-1954, undated|
|5||5264||University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, 1948|
|5||5264||University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, 1953|
|5||5264||University of Texas, Austin, Texas, 1950|
|5||5264||University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 1946-1950|
|5||5264||University of Wisconsin/Madison Art Association, 1954|
|5||5264||University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, 1949-1952|
|5||5264||Utah State Agricultural College, Logan, Utah, 1956|
|5||5264||Vassar College, 1948-1949|
|5||5264||Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, 1949, 1955|
|5||5264||Watkins, Franklin C., 1945, undated|
|5||5264||Weller, Allen, 1955-1971|
|5||5264||Whitney Museum of American Art, 1954|
|5||5264||Woman's College of the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, 1954|
|5||5264||Women's Campaign for United Jewish Appeal, 1975-1976|
|5||5264||Woodstock Art Conference, 1950|
|5||5264||Woodstock Artists Association, 1949|
|5||5264||Yale University, 1954-1955|
Special Projects, 1940-1987
(boxes 5-6, ovs 33-35; 1.5 linear ft.)
These files concentrate on artistic projects that Rattner paid a considerable amount of attention to. The documents are arranged according to project and are in chronological order. They contain correspondence, designs, writings, and notes. Stained-glass is further divided by specific project. Rattner was very involved in the production of Allen Leepa's book entitled Abraham Rattner. Rattner wrote explanations for most illustrations in the book, providing insight for the researcher.
The series contains a group of files relating to Rattner's trip across the United States with Henry Miller. These include notebooks and notes, writings by Rattner and Miller, correspondence, material relating to exhibitions resulting from the trip, and text for a Rattner/Miller portfolio.
The file on Allen Leepa's book on Rattner includes notes, lists, drafts of chapters with Rattner's annotations, Rattner's quotes for illustrations, photocopies of illustrations, proofs (incomplete), correspondence, book review.
|5||5264||"The Artist Looks at Science," Life Magazine article illustrations, sketches, 1940|
|5||5264||U.S.A. trip, notebook 1, |
|5||5264||U.S.A. trip, notebook 2, |
|5||5264||U.S.A. trip, notebook 3, |
|5||5264||U.S.A. trip, explanation of project, undated|
|5||5264||U.S.A. trip, "When We Were Together," by Rattner, 1944|
|5||5264||U.S.A. trip, typescripts of impressions for The Air-Conditioned Nightmare by Miller, 1956, undated|
|5||5264||U.S.A. trip, Miller's foreword for Rattner's portfolio, 1957|
|5||5264||U.S.A. trip, Rattner's notes on portfolio publications, |
|5||5264||U.S.A. trip, correspondence for Our America exhibition, 1975-1978|
|5||5264||U.S.A. trip, script for panels for Our America exhibition, circa 1975-1978|
|5||5264||U.S.A. trip, photocopy of Our America exhibition catalog (see also ov 33 for exhibition poster), 1987|
|5||5264||U.S.A. trip, photocopy of Our America exhibition catalog, 1987|
|5||5264||U.S.A. trip, Kennedy Gallery exhibition, 1979|
U.S.A. trip, photostats and proofs of Rattner's drawings (see ov 34 for drawing proofs for portfolio),
|5||5264||U.S.A. trip, photostats of portfolio text, undated|
|5||5264||U.S.A. trip, "The Other Part" text, 1941, undated|
|5||5264||Designs for the interior of a Cleveland synagogue, correspondence and notes, 1950|
|5||5264||Stained glass, general,|
Stained glass notes, 1953-1955, 1972, undated
|5||5264||Notebook, American Federation of Arts: New Work in Stained Glass, 1952-1953|
Stained glass, DeWaters Art Center, Flint Michigan, 1957-1958
(see also ov 35; includes unfilmed blueprint)
Stained glass, Loop Synagogue, Chicago, Illinois, 1957-1966, 1976, undated
(4 folders; includes unfilmed designs, architectural plans)
Stained glass, Loop Synagogue, Chicago, Illinois, 1957-1966, 1976, undated
|6||5265||Mosaic project for House of Theology, Centerville, Ohio, 1957-1958|
Beggar's Opera, lithographs, 1959-1960, 1970-1972
(includes contract with publisher)
|6||5265||Tapestry design projects, Cleveland and Dallas, 1957, 1962|
Chanukah book illustrations
(includes a sketch)
The Gallows of Baghdad painting,
(3 folders; includes studio notebook)
Mosaic columns and and tapestries for Fairmont Temple of Anshe Chesed, 1966
|6||5265||Victory--Jerusalem the Golden painting, 1968|
Abraham Rattner, book by
Allen Leepa, 1968-1971, undated
|6||5266||In The Beginning lithographs, 1971-1973|
Joan d'Arc Fresco painted by Paul Gaugin, 1925-1963, undated
(box 7, ov 36; 11 folders)
These files document the discovery, purchase, conservation, and selling process of a fresco painted by Gauguin in 1889. Rattner discovered this fresco in a auberage in 1924 and bought it from the owner. Materials include a dis-mantled book written and illustrated by Rattner, along with photographs that explain the discovery and purchase of the Joan d'Arc fresco, correspondence, certificate of authentication, legal documents, the conservation technical record and notes.
|7||5266||Purchase Receipt, 1925|
|7||5266||Statement of authenticity, 1928|
|7||5266||Legal and other documents (see also ov 36), 1928, 1930, 1949|
|7||5266||Press release on sale, [1950s]|
|7||5266||Conservation technical record, 1956|
|7||5266||Draft of narrative for Rattner's fresco book, undated|
Gallery Files, 1942-1975
(boxes 7-8; 1.5 linear ft.)
These files relay Rattner's relationships with the galleries that represented his art work. The papers include correspondence, inventories, purchase slips, and Rattner's records and notes regarding the Rosenberg Gallery, the Downtown Gallery, the Kennedy Galleries and the Circle Gallery.
Rosenberg Gallery, 1942-1957
Downtown Gallery, 1956-1968
Kennedy Galleries, 1968-1975
|7||5267||Circle Gallery, Ltd., 1971-1975|
|7||5267||Krannert Art Museum, 1963|
|8 (hol)||5267||Downtown Gallery Inventory Cards for Artwork, 1943-1967, undated|
Exhibition Files, 1963-1978
(boxes 7, 9; 9 folders)
This series contains files that represent exhibitions at galleries that did not represent Rattner, and special exhibitions at museums or festivals.
|7||5267||Krannert Art Museum, 1963|
|7||5267||Edinburgh International Festival, 1964|
|7||5267||Coard Gallery, 1964-1965, 1968-1969|
|9||5267||Numa Gallery, 1974|
|9||5267-5268||Camhi Galleries, 1974|
|9||5268||Lowe Art Museum, 1974|
|9||5268||Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1974|
|9||5268||The Jewish Museum, 1974-1975|
|9||5268||John R. and Eleanor R. Mitchell Foundation, 1978|
Writings, 1940-1972, undated
(box 9; 0.9 linear ft.)
This series contains some of Rattner's writings. A prolific writer, Rattner often wrote down his thoughts and his concerns. He wrote poetry, articles for publication, but primarily he wrote about art.
|9||5268||Poems, 1940, undated|
|9||5268||"An American From Paris," for Magazine of Art, |
|9||5268||Miscellaneous, 1946, undated|
|9||5268||"Science of Mind," 1947, undated|
|9||5268||Personal memories, 1947|
|9||5268||"We Remember Bettina Stories," 1947|
|9||5268||Writings on Bettina Bedwell, 1948|
|9||5268||Lecture notes, 1948-1949, undated|
"The Artist and Our Society,"
|9||5268||"The Artist Makes His Statement," Woodstock paper, 1950|
|9||5268||"Out of the Darkness Came the Light," |
|9||5268||"Notes to Myself," 1960s-1970s|
|9||5268||"As A Day Ends," 1971-1972|
|9||5268||Thoughts on painting used for the Allen Leepa book,|
|9||5268||Text for a Henry Miller portfolio,|
|9||5268||Poem, The Invisible City,|
|9||5268||"The Schism Between the Artist and Society,"|
|9||5268||"Technical Problems in Painting,"|
Thoughts on painting and art,
"The Super Sensible Nature of Man,"
Notebooks of various writings, annotated typescript,
1949, 1960, undated
Studio Notebooks, 1935-1975, undated
(boxes 10-11; 1.9 linear ft.)
This series has been divided into notebooks numbered by Rattner and those arranged chronologically. All of the notebooks remain in their original order. Rattner used these notebooks to keep track of his paintings, their titles, when they were painted, what gallery he sent them to and when, where and when they were exhibited, what medium he used, or what person he gave them to as gifts.
- 9.1: Studio Notebooks Numbered by Rattner, 1942-1968
- 9.2: Studio Notebooks Chronologically Arranged, 1935-1975, undated
9.1: Studio Notebooks Numbered by Rattner, 1942-1968
Record of work I,
|10||5269||Record of work II, 1947-1949|
Record of work III,
Record of work IV,
Record of work V,
Record of work VI,
Record of work VII,
Record of work VIII,
Record of work IX,
9.2: Studio Notebooks Chronologically Arranged, 1935-1975, undated
|10||5270||Notebook, 1935, 1938-1939|
|10||5270||Arts and Crafts Club, New Orleans, 1942|
|10||5270||Pigment techniques, 1947|
|10||5270||List of works delivered, 1947-1949|
|10||5270||Woodstock panel, 1949|
|10||5270||Various notes, [circa 1950s]|
|10||5270||Paris, [circa 1950s]|
Lithographs, prints, artist proofs,
|11||5271||Watercolor index, 1962-1963|
|11||5271||Sag Harbor, [1965, 1967-1968]|
|11||5271||Outgoing artwork: gifts, exhibitions, 1967-1970|
|11||5271||Outgoing artwork: Kennedy Gallery exhibition, 1968|
|11||5271||Outgoing artwork: Heschels book Israel: An Echo of Eternity, |
Art Expenses, circa 1940-1970
(boxes 11-13; 0.7 linear ft.)
These files contain receipts for Rattner's art supplies. Some ledgers from the 1940s are included.
Records are arranged chronologically by decade.
Household Files, 1940-1970, undated
(box 13; 0.8 linear ft.)
This series is unfilmed. It includes apartment leases, stock certificates, insurance policies, and mortgage papers.
Financial Records, 1933-1963
(boxes 13-14; 0.7 linear ft.)
This series is unfilmed. It contains bank statements and canceled checks for accounts belonging to Abraham Rattner, Bettina Bedwell Rattner, and Esther Gentle Rattner. In addition, there are some bank statements from Esther Gentle Reproductions. The documents in this series are filed chronologically.
Notes and Lists, 1936-1972, undated
(box 14; 0.5 linear ft.)
When possible, material in this series is filed chronologically, though most of the material is undated.
|14||5272||Lists of Rattner's paintings, 1936, undated|
|14||5272||Notes regarding Bettina Bedwell's sickness, 1947, undated|
|14||5272||Notes for Bettina Bedwell's funeral, 1947|
|14||5272||Notes for New Modern Art Magazine, 1948|
Miscellaneous notes and lists, 1950s-1970s, undated
|14||5272||Notes about camouflage, undated|
Miscellaneous notes, undated
|14||5272||Technical notes about lithograph, undated|
|14||5272||Notes about Allen Leepa, undated|
|14||5272||Notes referencing Leepa's book, Abraham Rattner, undated|
Address Books, 1939-1977, undated
(box 15; 1.0 linear ft.)
The series contains address books belonging to Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle Rattner.
Address books, 1939-1973, undated
Date Books and Diaries, 1937-1977, undated
(boxes 16-17; 1.6 linear ft.)
The date books and diaries record the Rattners' daily lives, business appointments, and their personal thoughts. Most notable is Abraham Rattner's diary from 1939 recounting his departure from Paris to escape Nazism.
This series has been divided into three subseries and filed chronologically:
- 15.1: Abraham Rattner, 1937-1976, undated
- 15.2: Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle, 1955-1973, undated
- 15.3: Esther Gentle, 1954-1977, undated
15.1: Abraham Rattner, 1937-1976, undated
|16||5272||Date book/diary, 1937|
|16||5272||Date book/diary, 1939 |
Date books/diaries, 1947-1949
|16||5272||Date books/diaries, 1954-1955|
|16||5273||Date book/diary, 1955|
|16||5273||Date books/diaries, 1958, 1959|
Date books/diaries, 1962, 1966, 1967, 1974
|16||5273||Date book/diary, 1976|
|16||5273||Date book/diary, undated|
15.2: Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle, 1955-1973, undated
|16||5273||Date books/diaries, 1955, 1956|
|16||5273||Date book/diary, 1958|
|16||5273||Date book/diary, 1964-1973|
|16||5273||Date books/diaries, 1965-1960|
|16||unfilmed||Date books/diaries, undated|
15.3: Esther Gentle, 1954-1977, undated
|17 (hol)||5273||Date book/diary, 1954|
|17 (hol)||5273||Date book/diary, 1965, undated|
|17 (hol)||5274||Date book/diary, 1972, undated|
|17 (hol)||5274||Date book/diary, 1973|
|17 (hol)||5274||Date book/diary, 1977|
(boxes 18-22; 1.5 linear ft.)
The disbound scrapbooks in this series record Rattner's professional life as an artist. Primarily, they contain clippings recording his exhibitions and professional achievements. The early scrapbooks also contain some correspondence, exhibition catalogs and announcements.
|18 (sol)||5274||Scrapbook, 1938|
|18 (sol)||5274||Scrapbook, 1939|
|18 (sol)||5274||Scrapbook, 1941|
|19 (sol)||5274||Scrapbook, 1943-1945|
|19 (sol)||5274||Scrapbook, 1946|
|20 (sol)||5274||Scrapbook, 1947|
|20 (sol)||5274||Scrapbook, 1948|
|21 (sol)||5274||Scrapbook, 1949|
|22 (sol)||5274||Scrapbook, 1950|
|22 (sol)||5274||Scrapbook, 1952|
Printed Material, 1920s-1980s, undated
(boxes 23-26; 3.6 linear ft.)
This series contains exhibition catalogs, exhibition announcements for both Rattner and Gentle, clippings, and miscellaneous printed material that relates to Rattner. There is a large amount of unfilmed printed material that was collected by Rattner, but does not mention him. For a detailed list, see the Series Outline on page 10.
Exhibition catalogs for Rattner exhibitions,
Exhibition catalogs for group exhibitions with Rattner,
Exhibition announcements, Abraham Rattner,
|23||5275||Exhibition announcements, Esther Gentle, 1964-1965, undated|
Clippings, Abraham Rattner, 1930s-1950s, undated
Clippings, Abraham Rattner, 1950s-1980s, undated
Clippings, Abraham Rattner briefly mentioned, 1930s-1980s, undated
Clippings, Henry Miller, biographical material, 1930s-1980s, undated
|24||5275||Clippings, Henry Miller, writings, 1942, 1960s-1970s|
Clippings, Henry Miller, literary announcements and reviews, 1940s-1960s, undated
|24||5275||Clippings, advertisements for Rattner's exhibitions, 1940s-1970s|
Clippings, Abraham Rattner's art work, 1951-1978, undated
|24||5276||Clippings, Baghdad hangings, 1969-1970|
|24||5276||Miscellaneous, pamphlets from Rattner's U.S.A. trip with Henry Miller, 1940|
|24||5276||Miscellaneous, press releases, 1960s-1970s|
|24||5276||Miscellaneous, map of Israel showing Rattner's travel route, 1967|
|24||5276||Miscellaneous, autograph book, 1969|
|24||5276||Miscellaneous, art schools in which Rattner taught, undated|
|24||5276||Miscellaneous, catalogs about a film on Abraham Rattner, undated|
Exhibition catalogs not mentioning Rattner, 1944-1969
Exhibition catalogs not mentioning Rattner, 1971-1977, undated
Exhibition invitations and announcements not mentioning Rattner, 1920s-1980s, undated
Clippings about art and other artists, 1940s-1980s, undated
Paul Gauguin, 1921-1964, undated
Bettina Bedwell, 1928, 1938, undated
U.S.A. trip with Henry Miller, 1937-1940
Art schools, 1940s-1970s, undated
Religious material, 1940s-1980s
Advertisements for Esther Gentle Reproductions, 1949, 1960, 1981, undated
Art competitions, 1950s
Israel and Judaism, 1950s-1970s
Gallery guides, 1950s-1960s
Art associations and societies, 1950s-1980s
Allen Leepa, 1950, 1964, 1966, undated
John Howard Griffin, 1957
South Africa/Vietnam, 1965-1967
Royal Hunt of the Sun,
Stained glass, 1967-1968
Bernard Zipkin, 1968
Art auction material, 1970s
Museums, 1976, 1981
Printed art work, various artists, undated
Instructional art books, undated
Information on various art media, undated
Writings by Others, 1945-circa 1980, undated
(box 26; 20 folders)
The series primarily contains writings on Abraham Rattner, although there are three additional unfilmed writings on other topics at the end of the series.
|26||5276||"A Bodhisattva Artist" by Henry Miller, 1945|
"The Rattner Portfolio or For God So Loved the World" by Henry Miller, 1957
|26||5276||"A Word About Abraham Rattner" by Henry Miller, 1965|
|26||5276||"Abraham Rattner" by Allen Leepa, 1969|
|26||5276||"Rattner Rebuttal" by Allen Leepa, 1979|
|26||5276||"The Spirituality of Abraham Rattner" by Robert Henkes, circa 1980s|
|26||5276||Untitled, by unknown author, undated|
|26||5276||"Rattner" by Henry Miller, undated|
|26||5276||"Abraham Rattner" by Henry Miller, undated|
|26||5276||"A Painting If It Is Achieved At All, Is Done With The Help of God" by Henry Miller, undated|
|26||5276||"Abraham Rattner" by Henry Miller, undated|
|26||5276||"Abraham Rattner" by Allen Leepa, undated|
|26||5276||"On Rattner" by Henry Miller, undated|
|26||5276||"On Rattner" by Maurice Raynal, undated|
|26||unfilmed||"Les Coulisses de la Jeuve Penture," 1960|
|26||unfilmed||"The Group in Depth" by Helen Durken |
"Israel: An Echo of Eternity" by Abraham Joshua Heschel undated
Photographs, 1891-1970s, undated
(boxes 27-29; 1.6 linear ft.)
The majority of the photographs are of Abraham Rattner alone or with family and friends. In addition, there are photographs of Rattner's travels, his first wife Bettina Bedwell and his second wife Esther Gentle, as well as works of art.
The series is organized into eleven subseries:
- 19.1: Abraham Rattner, 1918-1970s
- 19.2: Studios, 1956, undated
- 19.3: Exhibitions, 1950-1970s, undated
- 19.4: Family, 1940s, undated
- 19.5: Friends, 1929-1968, undated
- 19.6: Travel, 1939-1947
- 19.7: Bettina Bedwell, 1891-1947, undated
- 19.8: Esther Gentle, 1928-1970s, undated
- 19.9: Works of Art by Rattner, 1922-1970, undated
- 19.10: Works of Art by Others, undated
- 19.11: Miscellaneous, undated
19.1: Abraham Rattner, 1917-1970s, undated
Included in this series are photographs of Rattner as a young man, as as soldier in World War I, as a young art student, as well as in middle age and an older man. A few photographs show Rattner in his early Paris studio. There are many photographs of Rattner with Bettina Bedwell. Some photos show Rattner at work or with his works of art. There are also photographs of Rattner at exhibitions and in his studio. The photographs are arranged roughly in chronological order.
|27||5276||Rattner, 1917-circa 1920s|
|27||5276||Rattner, Paris studio, 1930s|
Rattner and Bettina Bedwell, circa 1930s-circa 1940s
Rattner, including photographs by Alfredo Valente, circa 1940s
|27||5276||Rattner and Bettina Bedwell, vacation, 1946|
|27||5276||Rattner studio, Urbana, Illinois, [1953-1954]|
|27||5276||Rattner at Temple University Citation ceremony, 1954|
|27||5276||Rattner at Aspen, Colorado Conference of Design, 1954|
|27||5276||Rattner signing Illinois Portfolio, 1956|
|27||5276||Rettner designing Chicago Loop Synagogue stained glass, 1958|
|27||5276||Rattner, circa 1960s-circa 1970s|
|27||5276||Rattner in Paris, circa 1965|
|27||unfilmed||Rattner with Gaugin fresco, 1965|
|27||5276||Rattner with Victory painting, 1967|
|27||5276||Rattner portraits, circa 1970s|
|27||5276||Rattner attending exhibitions, circa 1970s|
|27||5276||Rattner with works of art, undated|
|27||5276||Rattner in Paris studio, undated|
|27||5276||Rattner in his studio, 1975, undated|
|27||5276||Rattner and Bettina Bedwell dinner, undated|
|27||5276||Rattner and Esther Gentle, 1952, undated|
19.2: Studio Photographs, 1956, undated
This subseries include photos of Rattner's Sag Harbor studio and his studio in France during the 1950s and 1960s.
|27||5276||Studio, Sag Harbor, |
|27||5276||Studio, Paris, undated|
19.3: Exhibition Photographs, 1950s-1970s, undated
Photographs of Rattner and others attending exhibitions of his work are found here. Exhibitions included are the Carnegie Institute; the Downtown Gallery; Corcoran Gallery of Art; the Kennedy Gallery; "...and there was light," an exhibition of Rattner's stainedglass designs for the Chicago Loop Synagogue; and photographs from the exhibition "Our America."
|27||5276||Carnegie Institute Painting in the United States, 1950|
|27||5276||Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh International, 1950|
|27||5276||Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Water Colors, Drawings and Prints, 1952|
|27||5276||Downtown Gallery, 1960|
Unidentified exhibition, undated
|27||5276||Corcoran Gallery of Art, Alexander Calder and Abraham Rattner exhibition, undated|
|27||5276||Kennedy Gallery exhibition, undated|
|27||5276||And There Was Light, studies for the Chicago Loop Synagogue, circa 1970s|
|27||5276||UNESCO and UN, World on View, undated|
|27||5276||Our America, undated|
19.4: Family, 1940s, undated
An index of photographs taken by Rattner in 1946 is included here. Many of the photos mentioned in this index were taken during Rattner and Bedwell's trip to California in 1946. This subseries also contains photos of Rattner's family, including an undated photograph of his father, his brothers and sisters and their families, and photographs of the families of Bettina Bedwell and Esther Gentle.
Family photographs, 1941-1946
|27||5276||Index to photographs taken by Rattner, 1946|
Rattner and Bettina Bedwell's trip, 1946
Family, 1956, 1964-1965, undated
19.5: Photographs of Friends, 1929-1968, undated
This subseries includes photographs of Henry Miller, Joan Miro, Richard de Rochemont, Weeks Hall, John Dos Passos, and Kay Boyle.
|27||5276||Henry Miller, 1940-1943, undated|
|27||5276||Rattner, Dick de Rochemont, Bettina Bedwell, 1930, undated|
|27||5276||Joan Mirot, Juan Mirot, and daughter, 1936|
|27||5276||Weeks Hall, 1921 |
|27||5276||John Dos Passos, 1930s, 1941|
|27||5276||Friends, 1940, undated|
|27||5276||U.S.A. trip, Anais Nin, 1941|
|27||5276||U.S.A. trip, Rattner, Weeks Hall, Henry Miller, circa 1941|
|27||5276||René Lefebore Foinet and Bettina Bedwell, 1946|
Unidentified friends, undated
|27||5276||Jim Stinybooch and Judith, undated|
|27||5276||Rattner and Esther Gentle with unidentified couple, undated|
|27||5276||Jack Lawrence with Louis Rattner, 1968|
|27||5276||Rattner, Bettina Bedwell, Kay Boyle, undated|
|27||5276||Rattner, Esther Gentle, Russel Cowles, James T. Sweeney at de Crieft birthday party, undated|
|27||5276||Rattner and Bettina Bedwell with unidentified people, undated|
|27||5276||William Kienbusch, undated|
19.6: Travel Photographs, 1939-1947
This small subseries of photographs include photos of Rattner and Bedwell during their trip to London in 1939-1940, scenery from Rattner and Bedwell's trip to California via train in 1946, and photographs from Rattner's trip from Nevada City, California to New York with Armand and Suzie d'Usseau in 1947.
|27||5276||Rattner and Bettina Bedwell trip to London, circa 1939-1940|
Rattner and Bettina Bedwell trip to western United States, 1946, undated
|27||5276||Vacation scenery, 1946|
|27||5276||Cross-country trip with Armand and Suzie d'Usseau, 1947|
19.7: Bettina Bedwell, 1891-1947, undated
Rattner kept many photographs of his first wife, such as a photograph of Bedwell when she was two years old, photos entitled "When We First Met," as well as formal portraits and snapshots from the 1930s and 1940s.
Bettina Bedwell with family and friends, 1891, circa 1920s-1947
19.8: Esther Gentle, 1928-1970s, undated
Photographs of Rattner's second wife of almost 30 years include an early photograph of Gentle and her three young sons dated 1928 and photographs of Gentle and Rattner in her studio.
Esther Gentle, 1928, 1963, circa 1970s, undated
19.9: Works of Art by Rattner, 1922-1970, undated
Most of Rattner's work is represented in this group of black and white photographs. They were used for documentation purposes, to keep track of which paintings were sent to galleries and exhibitions.
Photographs of artwork, 1922-1970s
|28 (hol)||5277||Photographs of artwork, undated|
|28 (hol)||5277||Sketches from U.S.A. trip with Henry Miller, undated|
|28 (hol)||5277||Photographs of paintings, undated|
|28 (hol)||unfilmed||Negative of Chicago Loop Synagogue stained glass window, undated|
19.10: Works of Art by Others, undated
A few photographs of works of art by others are included in the collection. This subseries is unfilmed
Works of art by others, undated
19.11: Miscellaneous, undated
This subseries is unfilmed and includes fashion photographs that once belonged to Bettina Bedwell, scenes from Beggar's Opera, and photographs of the Joan d'Arc fresco painted by Paul Gaugin.
|29 (sol)||unfilmed||Scenes from Beggar's Opera, undated|
Works of Art by Rattner, 1912-1914, 1940-1967, undated
(box 30, ovs 37-44; 2.4 linear ft.)
The works of art by Abraham Rattner represent a cross-section of his career. His very early work includes water color studies, sketches, and caricatures drawn for his high school yearbook. In addition, studies for some of his paintings, miscellaneous sketches, a sketchbook with studies for his series Le Boef, E'corchés, watercolor studies for The Boxing Match as well as color studies are present here.
|30 (hol)||5277||Early sketches and studies (see also ov 37 for senior yearbook drawings and ov 38 for watercolor studies), 1912, undated|
|30 (hol)||5277||Sketch from U.S.A. trip with Henry Miller, 1940|
|30 (hol)||5277||Ink/watercolor drawings and studies (see also ovs 39, 40 and 41), undated|
|30 (hol)||5277||Miscellaneous sketches, undated|
|30 (hol)||5277||Portrait studies of Percival Goodman, M. Solz, Rabbi Bricher, 1956|
|30 (hol)||5277||Small paintings, undated|
|30 (hol)||5277||Drawing for A. Leepa's book The Challenge of Modern Art, undated|
|30 (hol)||5277||Sketches of Esther Gentle, 1956|
|30 (hol)||5277||Sketchbook, undated|
Le Boef, E'corchés (Studies in the Meat Market), undated
|30 (hol)||5277||Watercolor studies The Boxing Match, undated|
|30 (hol)||5277||Color palates, 1940s, undated|
|42 (ov)||5277||Studies of clowns, |
|43 (ov)||5277||Studies for old shoes, |
|44 (ov)||5277||Charts of color changes and comparative color reliabilities, 1943-1944, 1950-1951|
Works of Art by Others, undated
(box 30, ov 45; 6 folders)
Art work by Max Weber, Ken Buryd, and unknown artists are represented in this subseries in addition to a painting of Virginia by Henry Miller. Genres include paintings, prints, and drawings.
|30 (hol)||5277||Ken Buryd, undated|
|45 (ov)||5277||Henry Miller, undated|
|30 (hol)||5277||Max Weber, undated|
|30 (hol)||5277||Unknown artist, undated|
|30 (hol)||5277||Air-Conditioned Nightmare frontice piece by unknown artist, undated|
|30 (hol)||5277||Rodin prints (2), undated|
|30 (hol)||5277||The Bee Tree by C.I. Sprout, Brother David, undated|
Bettina Bedwell Papers, 1932-1947, undated
(box 31; 0.4 linear ft.)
Rattner kept Bedwell's diary, passport, her writings such as a poem that she wrote to him entitled Abe , her fashion articles, a typescript for a book that she was writing entitled Fashion Correspondent , her fashion sketches, correspondence, death certificate and plans for her funeral.
|31||5277||Biographical notes, undated|
|31||5277||Passport, identity card, French visa, 1932-1939|
|31||5277||United Press Club membership card, 1945|
|31||5277||Writings, poem "Abe," 1936|
|31||5277||Writings, fashion articles, 1940|
Writings, Paris Correspondent typescripts for chapters 1-4, undated
|31||5277||Paris Correspondent drafts and notes, undated|
|31||5277||Color fashion drawings, undated|
Fashion sketches, 1940s, undated
|31||5277||Correspondence, 1928-1947, undated|
|31||5277||Itemized expense reports, 1939-1940|
|31||5277||Syndicate paychecks, 1947|
|31||5277||Reviews of book Yellow Dusk, 1937|
|31||5277||Death certificate, 1947|
|31||5277||Obituary notices, 1947|
|31||unfilmed||Funeral flower cards, 1947|
|31||unfilmed||Flower and get well soon cards, 1947|
Esther Gentle Papers, 1921-1984, undated
(boxes 31-32; 1.3 linear ft.)
Though Esther Gentle is represented throughout the collection, papers belonging solely to her are found in this series. Materials include: the birth certificate for her son Bernard Mozen, her marital history, a draft of her will, her application for the Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, her resume, correspondence, notes, art work, art expenses, as well as papers regarding her business Esther Gentle Reproductions such as order books, sales records, inventories, catalog mock-ups, correspondence, and invoices. Diary entries, notes and writings contain detailed journal-type recollections and expressions of very personal psychological and emotional issues that Gentle dealt with, including the process of grieving and coming to terms with Rattner's death.
|31||5277||Birth certificate of Bernard Mozon, 1921|
|31||5277||Marital history, notes and certificate, 1930, 1938, 1949|
|31||unfilmed||U.S. Government grant application, 1949|
|31||5277||French drivers license, 1951|
|31||5277||Draft of will, 1964|
|31||5277||French visa, 1965|
|31||5277||Passport application, 1966|
|31||5277||Guggenheim fellowship application, undated|
|31||5277||Partial transcipt of newspaper interview, undated|
|31||unfilmed||Inventory of art work, undated|
|31||unfilmed||Photographs of Esther Gentle, undated|
|31||unfilmed||Printed material, 1965-1967, 1981, undated|
Correspondence, 1948-1984, undated
|31||unfilmed||Correspondence, 1963-1983, undated|
Notes, 1965, 1974, 1981
Notebooks, miscellaneous notes and sketches (6), undated
|31||5278||Notes and writings, undated|
|31||unfilmed||Notes and writings, 1961-1983, undated|
|31||5278||Diary entries, 1950, 1929-1980|
|31||5278||Death of Gentle's brother,|
|32||5278||Brooklyn Hebrew Home and Hospital for the Aged, notes, 1942|
Brooklyn Hebrew Home and Hospital for the Aged, drawings, 1942
|32||5278||Brooklyn Hebrew Home and Hospital for the Aged, photographs, 1943|
|32||5278||List of Gentle's sculpture, undated|
Artwork, sketches, undated
Art expenses, 1945, 1957
|32||5278||Esther Gentle Reproductions exhibition materials, undated|
|32||5278||Esther Gentle Reproductions order books, 1947-1948|
|32||5278||Esther Gentle Reproductions sales records, 1951, undated|
Esther Gentle Reproductions inventories,
|32||5279||Esther Gentle Reproductions, photographs of store, undated|
|32||5279||Esther Gentle Reproductions catalog mock-up, undated|
|32||5279||Esther Gentle Reproductions catalog designs, undated|
Esther Gentle Reproductions correspondence, 1946-1969, undated
Esther Gentle Reproductions order books, [1951-1952]
Esther Gentle Reproductions invoices, 1951-1954
Allen Leepa Papers, 1952-1969, undated
(box 32; 8 folders)
This small series contains writings, correspondence, legal documents and Leepa's curriculum vitae from 1969.
|32||5279||Excerpt from The American Way, 1952|
|32||5279||Memo to request additional research time, 1958|
|32||5279||Proposal for film project, undated|
|32||5279||Curriculum vitae, |
|32||5279||Illustrations for The Challenge of Modern Art, undated|
|32||5279||Contract for book Understanding Modern Art (later called The Challenge of Modern Art), 1947|
|32||5279||Legal agreement regarding film Genesis of an Idea: Abraham Rattner, 1965|
Index: List of Major Correspondents in Various Series
These correspondents will be found in the following series: Correspondence, Special Projects, Gallery Files, Studio Notebooks, and Scrapbooks:
- Edward Albee, 1928-
- John Anderson, 1904-
- Bettina Bedwell, 1889-1947
- Carl Beiber
- George Belmont
- George Biddle, 1885-1973
- Kay Boyle, 1902-1992
- Brassai, 1899-
- Paul Burlin, 1886-1969
- McClure Capps "Mac"
- Norman Carton, 1908-1980
- Jack Chapman
- G. Alan Chidsey
- Frederick Childs
- Robert Coates, "Bob" 1897-1973
- Malcolm Cowley, 1898-1989
- Salvador Dali 1904-1989
- Paul Damaz
- Bernard Davis
- Stuart Davis, 1894-1964
- Adolph Dehn, 1895-1968
- Richard de Rochemont
- John Dos Passos, 1896-1970
- Armand and Suzi D'usseau
- Rene Lefebore Foinet
- Gisele Freund, 1912-
- Emily Genauer, 1911-
- Esther Gentle, 1905-1984
- Alberto Giacometti, 1901-1966
- Xavier Gonzales, 1898-1993
- John Howard Griffin
- Ramon Guthrie, 1896-1973
- Robert Gwathmey 1903-1988
- Weeks Hall
- Edith Gregor Halpert, 1900-1970
- Stanley W. Hayter, 1901-1988
- Nathan Hecht
- Jean Helion, 1904-1987
- William H. Henrick
- Henry Herschkvitz
- Hilaire Hiler, 1898-1966
- Joseph Hirsch "Joe," 1910-1981
- Stefan Hirsch, 1889-1964
- Carl Holty, 1900-1973
- Etienne Hubert
- Arno Hummucher
- Frederick I. Kann "Fred," 1886-
- L.J. Konigsberg "Leib"
- Louis Kronberg, 1872-1965
- Alexandra Laks
- Rico Lebrun (Fredrico), 1900-1964
- Allen Leepa, 1919-
- Isadore Levy
- Julian Levy, 1906-1981
- Jacques Lipchitz, 1891-1973
- Ward Lockwood, 1894-1963
- Jean Louste
- Earle Ludgin, 1898-1981
- Thalia Wescott Malcolm, 1888-
- Reginald Marsh, 1898-1954
- Archibald McLeish, 1892-
- Henry Miller, 1891-1980
- Joan Miro, 1893-1983
- Gloria Nardin
- Anais Nin, 1903-1977
- Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt "B.J.O.," 1878-1955
- Hugh O'Neill
- Channing Peake, 1910-1989
- Gabor Peferdi
- Irving Penn
- Peter Pollack, 1911-1978
- Henry Varnum Poor 1888-1970
- Andre Raizorkacs
- Robert Rey
- Maurice Reynal
- Raymond Reynal
- Hans Richter, 1888-1976
- Edward Roditi
- Shelden Rodman, 1909-
- Waverly Root, 1903-1982
- Felix Emmanuele Ruvolo, 1912-
- Frank Sedlak
- Paul Shapiro
- Jack Gage Stark, 1882-1950
- Barrie Stavis
- Ike Stoeffle
- Benjamin Ellis Tepper
- David Turnbull
- Alfredo Valente
- Siegfried Wang
- Frank C. Watkins (Franklin Chenault), 1894-1972
- Allen Weller, 1907-