Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers, 1891-1986

A Finding Aid to the Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle Papers, 1891-1986, in the Archives of American Art, by Wendy B. Bruton

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Biographical Information

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.

    Date
    Event
    1893
    Born June 8th in Poughkeepsie, New York.
    1912
    Graduated from Poughkeepsie High School.
    1914-1917
    Student at George Washington University, Corcoran School of Art and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
    1917
    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.
    1919
    Returned to Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Awarded Cresson traveling fellowship to Europe.
    1920
    Traveled in France, Spain, England, Belgium and Holland.
    1921
    Art student in Paris at Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Grand Chaumiere, and Academie Ranson.
    1922
    Lived and painted in Giverny, France.
    1923
    Returned to Paris.
    1924
    Married Bettina Bedwell, Paris fashion correspondent for the New York News-Chicago Tribune news syndicate. Exhibited at Salon d'Automne and Salon des Independants.
    1927
    Member of the Minotaure group in Paris.
    1931
    Illustrated article, "Fire," by John Dos Passos for Verve magazine.
    1935
    First one-person show at Galerie Bonjean, Paris. French government purchased Card Party for Museum of Impressionism, The Louvre.
    1936
    One-person show at Julien Levy Gallery, New York (also 1939, 1941); Arts Club of Chicago; Courvoisier Gallery, San Francisco (also 1941).
    1940
    Returned to the United States following Nazi invasion of France. Traveled with Henry Miller from New York to New Iberia, Louisiana.
    1941
    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.
    1945
    Awarded the Temple Gold Medal from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Wrote "An American in Paris" for Magazine of Art.
    1946
    Awarded second prize at the Pepsi-Cola Fourth Annual Art Competition.
    1947
    Death of Bettina Bedwell Rattner.
    1948
    Taught at the New School for Social Research, New York.
    1949
    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.
    1950
    Awarded the Purchase Prize at the University of Illinois Biennial Exhibition.
    1951
    Artist in residence at the American Academy in Rome.
    1952
    Artist in residence at the University of Illinois.
    1953
    Awarded first prize at the 23rd Corcoran Biennial Exhibition. Served as Vice-President of Artists' Equity.
    1954
    Taught at the Art Students League. Panelist at the Design Conference in Aspen, Colorado.
    1955
    Exhibited drawings at the Chicago Art Institute.
    1956
    Distinguished Visiting Professor at Michigan State University. Established an art school in East Hampton and Sag Harbor, Long Island.
    1957
    Designed mosaic columns and tapestries for the Fairmont Temple Anche Chesed in Cleveland. One-person show at Downtown Gallery, New York (also 1958-1967).
    1958
    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.
    1959
    Retrospective exhibition circulated by the American Federation of Arts. Exhibited at the Whitney Museum of Art.
    1964
    Exhibited at the Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland.
    1968
    Exhibited painting entitled Victory--Jerusalem the Golden at the celebration of Israel's 20th anniversary of independence.
    1969
    One-person shows: Kennedy Galleries, New York; Galerie Weil, Paris (Baghdad Hangings), Galerie Belgique, Brussels (Baghdad Hangings).
    1970
    Film commissioned by ABC-TV entitled "The Long Prayer of Abraham Rattner."
    1972
    Beggar's Opera lithographs exhibited at Circle Gallery, Chicago.
    1976
    Displayed stained-glass on religious themes with the National Collection of Fine Arts in Washington, D.C.
    1977
    "Our America" exhibition in England and the United States. Awarded Honorary Degree for Humanity from Michigan State University.
    1978
    Died on February 14th.

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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.

See index for list of correspondents from various series.

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.

Subjects and Names

This collection is indexed in the online catalog of the Archives of American Art under the following terms.

Subjects:

  • Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.)
  • Kennedy Galleries
  • Paul Rosenberg & Co.

Subjects-Topical:

  • Art -- Study and teaching -- France -- Paris
  • Painters -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Painters -- France -- Paris
  • Artist couples

Types of Materials:

  • Interviews
  • Diaries
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks
  • Sketches
  • Works of art

Names:

  • 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

Provenance

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.

Available Formats

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.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: 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.

Box Reel
1 5258 Birth certificate, 1893
1 5258 High School Yearbook, 1912
1 5258 Student records, 1913-1914
1 5258 French visas, 1937-1939
(3 folders)
1 5258 Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship Application, 1940
1 5258 Selective Service questionnaire, 1942
1 5258 Current Biography article, 1948
1 5258 Awards, 1947-1974
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, [1969]
1 5258 Who's Who In America, 1970
1 5258 Passport application, 1973
1 5258 Obituaries, 1978
1 5258 Biographical notes, undated

Series 2: 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.

Box Reel
1 5258 Kellog Center for Continuing Education, 1957
1 5258 Marc Saporta, in French, 1965
1 5258 Henry Kraus, 1973
1 5258 Chevalier, 1973
1 5258 Theodore Enron, 1975
1 5258 Allen Leepa, undated
1 5258 Gene Fenn, undated

Series 3: 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.

Box Reel
1 5258 Notebook record of correspondence, 1947-1950
(2 folders)
1 5258 Chronological correspondence, 1933-1942
(12 folders)
1 5259 Chronological correspondence, 1943-1945, undated
(3 folders)
Box Reel
2 5259 Chronological correspondence, 1945-1949
(10 folders)
2 5260 Chronological correspondence, 1949-1963
(15 folders)
Box Reel
3 5260 Chronological correspondence, 1963-1965
(3 folders)
3 5261 Chronological Correspondence, 1965-1978
(16 folders)
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
3 5262 Artists Equity Association, 1947-1975, undated
(4 folders)
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
3 5262 Beckett, Samuel, 1973
(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 Brussels, 1970
3 5262 Burlin, Paul, 1945-1947
Box Reel
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 Israel-Mambush, 1971-1973
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 5262-5263 Miller, Henry, 1937-1979, undated
(9 folders)
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., [1954]
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
Box Reel
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, [1955]
5 5263 Poor, Henry Varnum and Anne, 1939-1940, undated
5 5263 Raynal, Maurice, [1951]
5 5263 Requests, 1948-1950
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 5263 UNESCO, [1952]
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

Series 4: 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.

Box Reel
5 5264 "The Artist Looks at Science," Life Magazine article illustrations, sketches, 1940
5 5264 U.S.A. trip, notebook 1, [1940]
5 5264 U.S.A. trip, notebook 2, [1941]
5 5264 U.S.A. trip, notebook 3, [1941]
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, [1972]
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
5 5264 U.S.A. trip, photostats and proofs of Rattner's drawings (see ov 34 for drawing proofs for portfolio), undated
(3 folders)
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,
5 5264 Stained glass notes, 1953-1955, 1972, undated
(4 folders)
5 5264 Notebook, American Federation of Arts: New Work in Stained Glass, 1952-1953
5 5264 Stained glass, DeWaters Art Center, Flint Michigan, 1957-1958
(see also ov 35; includes unfilmed blueprint)
5 5264-5265 Stained glass, Loop Synagogue, Chicago, Illinois, 1957-1966, 1976, undated
(4 folders; includes unfilmed designs, architectural plans)
Box Reel
6 5265 Stained glass, Loop Synagogue, Chicago, Illinois, 1957-1966, 1976, undated
(9 folders)
6 5265 Mosaic project for House of Theology, Centerville, Ohio, 1957-1958
6 5265 Beggar's Opera, lithographs, 1959-1960, 1970-1972
(includes contract with publisher)
6 5265 Tapestry design projects, Cleveland and Dallas, 1957, 1962
6 5265 Chanukah book illustrations 1965
(includes a sketch)
6 5265 The Gallows of Baghdad painting, 1966-1979, undated
(3 folders; includes studio notebook)
6 5265 Mosaic columns and and tapestries for Fairmont Temple of Anshe Chesed, 1966
(includes designs)
6 5265 Victory--Jerusalem the Golden painting, 1968
6 5265-5266 Abraham Rattner, book by Allen Leepa, 1968-1971, undated
(28 folders)
6 5266 In The Beginning lithographs, 1971-1973

Series 5: 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.

Box Reel
7 5266 Purchase Receipt, 1925
7 5266 Correspondence, 1926-1965
(2 folders)
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 Notes, undated
7 5266 Draft of narrative for Rattner's fresco book, undated
7 unfilmed Business receipts
7 unfilmed Photostats, undated

Series 6: 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.

Box Reel
7 5266 Rosenberg Gallery, 1942-1957
(13 folders)
7 5266-5267 Downtown Gallery, 1956-1968
(14 folders)
7 5267 Kennedy Galleries, 1968-1975
(2 folders)
7 5267 Circle Gallery, Ltd., 1971-1975
7 5267 Krannert Art Museum, 1963
Box Reel
8 (hol) 5267 Downtown Gallery Inventory Cards for Artwork, 1943-1967, undated

Series 7: 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.

Box Reel
7 5267 Krannert Art Museum, 1963
7 5267 Edinburgh International Festival, 1964
7 5267 Coard Gallery, 1964-1965, 1968-1969
Box Reel
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

Series 8: 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.

Box Reel
9 5268 Poems, 1940, undated
9 5268 "An American From Paris," for Magazine of Art, [1945]
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
9 5268 "The Artist and Our Society," 1949
(2 folders)
9 5268 "The Artist Makes His Statement," Woodstock paper, 1950
9 5268 Miscellaneous, 1958
9 5268 "Out of the Darkness Came the Light," [1959]
9 5268 "Notes to Myself," 1960s-1970s
9 5268 "As A Day Ends," 1971-1972
9 5268 Fragments,
(2 folders)
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,"
9 5268 Thoughts on painting and art,
(2 folders)
9 5268-5269 "The Super Sensible Nature of Man,"
(11 folders)
9 5269 Notebooks of various writings, annotated typescript, undated
(3 folders)
9 5269 Miscellaneous writings, 1949, 1960, undated
(4 folders)

Series 9: 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

Box Reel
10 5269 Record of work I, 1942-1946
(3 folders)
10 5269 Record of work II, 1947-1949
10 5269 Record of work III, 1950-1952
(2 folders)
10 5269-5270 Record of work IV, 1954-1956
(3 folders)
10 5270 Record of work V, 1955-1960
(2 folders)
10 5270 Record of work VI, 1961-1962
(2 folders)
10 5270 Record of work VII, 1963-1964
(2 folders)
10 5270 Record of work VIII, 1965-1966
(2 folders)
10 5270 Record of work IX, 1967-1968
(3 folders)

9.2: Studio Notebooks Chronologically Arranged, 1935-1975, undated

Box Reel
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]
10 5270 Notebook, 1954
(2 folders)
10 5270 Notebook, 1955-1957
10 5270 Notebook, 1956-1958
Box Reel
11 5270 Notebook, 1957
(2 folders)
11 5271 Notebook, circa 1960s
(2 folders)
11 5271 Notebook, 1961-1962
(2 folders)
11 5271 Lithographs, prints, artist proofs, 1961-1975
(2 folders)
11 5271 Watercolor index, 1962-1963
11 5271 Sag Harbor, [1965, 1967-1968]
11 5271 Israel, [1967-1968]
(2 folders)
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, [1970]
11 5271 Notebook, 1970-1975
11 5271 Notebook, [1975]
(2 folders)
11 5271 Notebooks, undated
(10 folders)

Series 10: 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.

Box Reel
11 5271-5272 Art expenses, 1939-1950s
(5 folders)
Box Reel
12 (hol) 5272 Art expenses, 1945-1946
(ledger book)
Box Reel
13 5272 Art expenses, 1957-1970s
(4 folders)

Series 11: 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.

Box Reel
13 unfilmed Household files, 1940-1970
(39 folders)

Series 12: 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.

Box Reel
13 unfilmed Financial records, 1933-1963
(12 folders)
Box Reel
14 unfilmed Financial records, 1933-1963
(22 folders)

Series 13: 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.

Box Reel
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
14 5272 Miscellaneous notes and lists, 1950s-1970s, undated
(5 folders)
14 5272 Notes about camouflage, undated
14 5272 Miscellaneous notes, undated
(5 folders)
14 5272 Technical notes about lithograph, undated
14 5272 Notes about Allen Leepa, undated
14 5272 Notes referencing Leepa's book, Abraham Rattner, undated

Series 14: Address Books, 1939-1977, undated
(box 15; 1.0 linear ft.)

The series contains address books belonging to Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle Rattner.

Box Reel
15 unfilmed Address books, 1939-1973, undated
(20 folders)

Series 15: 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

Box Reel
16 5272 Date book/diary, 1937
16 5272 Date book/diary, 1939 [1940]
16 5272 Date books/diaries, 1947-1949
(4 folders)
16 5272 Date books/diaries, 1954-1955
16 5273 Date book/diary, 1955
16 5273 Date books/diaries, 1958, 1959
16 5273 Date books/diaries, 1962, 1966, 1967, 1974
(4 folders)
16 5273 Date book/diary, 1976
16 5273 Date book/diary, undated

15.2: Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle, 1955-1973, undated

Box Reel
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

Box Reel
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

Series 16: Scrapbooks, 1938-1952
(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.

Box Reel
18 (sol) 5274 Scrapbook, 1938
18 (sol) 5274 Scrapbook, 1939
18 (sol) 5274 Scrapbook, 1941
Box Reel
19 (sol) 5274 Scrapbook, 1943-1945
19 (sol) 5274 Scrapbook, 1946
Box Reel
20 (sol) 5274 Scrapbook, 1947
20 (sol) 5274 Scrapbook, 1948
Box Reel
21 (sol) 5274 Scrapbook, 1949
Box Reel
22 (sol) 5274 Scrapbook, 1950
22 (sol) 5274 Scrapbook, 1952

Series 17: 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.

Box Reel
23 5275 Exhibition catalogs for Rattner exhibitions, 1936-1986
(3 folders)
23 5275 Exhibition catalogs for group exhibitions with Rattner, 1944-1976, undated
(8 folders)
23 5275 Exhibition announcements, Abraham Rattner, 1930s-1970s, undated
(6 folders)
23 5275 Exhibition announcements, Esther Gentle, 1964-1965, undated
23 5275 Clippings, Abraham Rattner, 1930s-1950s, undated
(4 folders)
Box Reel
24 5275 Clippings, Abraham Rattner, 1950s-1980s, undated
(5 folders)
24 5275 Clippings, Abraham Rattner briefly mentioned, 1930s-1980s, undated
(9 folders)
24 5275 Clippings, Henry Miller, biographical material, 1930s-1980s, undated
(6 folders)
24 5275 Clippings, Henry Miller, writings, 1942, 1960s-1970s
24 5275 Clippings, Henry Miller, literary announcements and reviews, 1940s-1960s, undated
(4 folders)
24 5275 Clippings, advertisements for Rattner's exhibitions, 1940s-1970s
24 5275 Clippings, Abraham Rattner's art work, 1951-1978, undated
(2 folders)
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
24 unfilmed Exhibition catalogs not mentioning Rattner, 1944-1969
(3 folders)
Box Reel
25 unfilmed Exhibition catalogs not mentioning Rattner, 1971-1977, undated
(2 folders)
25 unfilmed Exhibition invitations and announcements not mentioning Rattner, 1920s-1980s, undated
(8 folders)
25 unfilmed Clippings about art and other artists, 1940s-1980s, undated
(9 folders)
25 unfilmed Paul Gauguin, 1921-1964, undated
(3 folders)
25 unfilmed Bettina Bedwell, 1928, 1938, undated
(4 folders)
25 unfilmed U.S.A. trip with Henry Miller, 1937-1940
(4 folders)
25 unfilmed Art schools, 1940s-1970s, undated
1 folder
25 unfilmed Religious material, 1940s-1980s
(1 folder)
25 unfilmed Camouflage, 1942
(1 folder)
Box Reel
26 unfilmed Advertisements for Esther Gentle Reproductions, 1949, 1960, 1981, undated
(1 folder)
26 unfilmed Art competitions, 1950s
(1 folder)
26 unfilmed Israel and Judaism, 1950s-1970s
(3 folders)
26 unfilmed Gallery guides, 1950s-1960s
(1 folder)
26 unfilmed Art associations and societies, 1950s-1980s
(1 folder)
26 unfilmed Allen Leepa, 1950, 1964, 1966, undated
(1 folder)
26 unfilmed John Howard Griffin, 1957
(1 folder)
26 unfilmed South Africa/Vietnam, 1965-1967
(1 folder)
26 unfilmed Royal Hunt of the Sun, 1965
(1 folder)
26 unfilmed Stained glass, 1967-1968
(1 folder)
26 unfilmed Bernard Zipkin, 1968
(1 folder)
26 unfilmed Art auction material, 1970s
(1 folder)
26 unfilmed Museums, 1976, 1981
(1 folder)
26 unfilmed Printed art work, various artists, undated
(4 folders)
26 unfilmed Instructional art books, undated
(1 folder)
26 unfilmed Postcards, undated
(1 folder)
26 unfilmed Information on various art media, undated
(2 folders)

Series 18: 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.

Box Reel
26 5276 "A Bodhisattva Artist" by Henry Miller, 1945
26 5276 "The Rattner Portfolio or For God So Loved the World" by Henry Miller, 1957
(2 folders)
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 [1965]
26 unfilmed "Israel: An Echo of Eternity" by Abraham Joshua Heschel undated
(3 folders)

Series 19: 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, 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.

Box Reel
27 5276 Rattner, 1917-circa 1920s
27 5276 Rattner, Paris studio, 1930s
27 5276 Rattner and Bettina Bedwell, circa 1930s-circa 1940s
(2 folders)
27 5276 Rattner, including photographs by Alfredo Valente, circa 1940s
(2 folders)
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, 1969
27 5276 Rattner portraits, circa 1970s
27 5276 Rattner attending exhibitions, circa 1970s
27 5276 Rattner with works of art, undated
27 5276 Rattner, 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.

Box Reel
27 5276 Studio, Sag Harbor, [1956]
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."

Box Reel
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
27 5276 Unidentified exhibition, undated
(2 folders)
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.

Box Reel
27 5276 Family photographs, 1941-1946
(4 folders)
27 5276 Index to photographs taken by Rattner, 1946
27 5276 Rattner and Bettina Bedwell's trip, 1946
(2 folders)
27 5276 Family, 1946
(3 folders)
27 5276 Family, 1956, 1964-1965, undated
(3 folders)
27 5276 Family, undated
(4 folders)

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.

Box Reel
27 5276 Friends, 1929
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 [1941]
27 5276 Friends, 1930s
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
27 5276 Unidentified friends, undated
(3 folders)
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.

Box Reel
27 5276 Rattner and Bettina Bedwell trip to London, circa 1939-1940
27 5276 Rattner and Bettina Bedwell trip to western United States, 1946, undated
(2 folders)
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.

Box Reel
27 5276 Bettina Bedwell with family and friends, 1891, circa 1920s-1947
(11 folders)

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.

Box Reel
27 5276 Esther Gentle, 1928, 1963, circa 1970s, undated
(4 folders)

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.

Box Reel
27 5276-5277 Photographs of artwork, 1922-1970s
(13 folders)
Box Reel
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

Box Reel
28 (hol) unfilmed Works of art by others, undated
(4 folders)

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.

Box Reel
28 (hol) unfilmed Miscellaneous, undated
(7 folders)
Box Reel
29 (sol) unfilmed Scenes from Beggar's Opera, undated

Series 20: 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.

Box Reel
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 Sketches, undated
(4 folders)
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
30 (hol) 5277 Le Boef, E'corchés (Studies in the Meat Market), undated
(3 folders)
30 (hol) 5277 Watercolor studies The Boxing Match, undated
30 (hol) 5277 Color palates, 1940s, undated
Box Reel
42 (ov) 5277 Studies of clowns, [1958]
Box Reel
43 (ov) 5277 Studies for old shoes, [1967]
Box Reel
44 (ov) 5277 Charts of color changes and comparative color reliabilities, 1943-1944, 1950-1951

Series 21: 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.

Box Reel
30 (hol) 5277 Ken Buryd, undated
Box Reel
45 (ov) 5277 Henry Miller, undated
Box Reel
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

Series 22: 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.

Box Reel
31 5277 Biographical notes, undated
31 5277 Passport, identity card, French visa, 1932-1939
31 5277 Diary, 1944
31 5277 United Press Club membership card, 1945
31 5277 Writings, poem "Abe," 1936
31 5277 Writings, fashion articles, 1940
31 5277 Writings, Paris Correspondent typescripts for chapters 1-4, undated
(8 folders)
31 5277 Paris Correspondent drafts and notes, undated
31 5277 Color fashion drawings, undated
31 5277 Fashion sketches, 1940s, undated
(6 folders)
31 5277 Correspondence, 1928-1947, undated
31 5277 Notes, undated
31 5277 Itemized expense reports, 1939-1940
31 5277 Syndicate paychecks, 1947
31 5277 Reviews of book Yellow Dusk, 1937
31 5277 Funeral, 1947
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

Series 23: 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.

Box Reel
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 Résumé, 1965
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
31 5277-5278 Correspondence, 1948-1984, undated
(10 folders)
31 unfilmed Correspondence, 1963-1983, undated
31 5278 Notes, 1965, 1974, 1981
(3 folders)
31 5278 Notebooks, miscellaneous notes and sketches (6), undated
(2 folders)
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,
Box Reel
32 5278 Notebooks, undated
(2 folders)
32 5278 Brooklyn Hebrew Home and Hospital for the Aged, notes, 1942
32 5278 Brooklyn Hebrew Home and Hospital for the Aged, drawings, 1942
(2 folders)
32 5278 Brooklyn Hebrew Home and Hospital for the Aged, photographs, 1943
32 5278 List of Gentle's sculpture, undated
32 unfilmed Artwork, sketches, undated
(3 folders)
32 unfilmed Art expenses, 1945, 1957
(2 folders)
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
32 5279 Esther Gentle Reproductions inventories,
(2 folders)
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
32 5279 Esther Gentle Reproductions correspondence, 1946-1969, undated
(10 folders)
32 5279 Esther Gentle Reproductions order books, [1951-1952]
(2 folders)
32 5279 Esther Gentle Reproductions invoices, 1951-1954
(4 folders)

Series 24: 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.

Box Reel
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, [1969]
32 5279 Correspondence, 1959-1960
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-

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