Alexander Liberman papers, circa 1885-1999

Liberman, Alexander Semeonovitch, b. 1912 d. 1999
Painter, Photographer, Sculptor, Graphic designer, Publisher
Active in Paris, France; New York, N.Y.

Collection size: 103.2 linear feet

Collection Summary: Biographical material, correspondence, writings, photographs, subject files, works of art, interview transcripts, audio-visual material and printed material, relating to Alexander Liberman's personal life and his career as a painter, sculptor, photographer, and publishing executive.

Material relating to Libermans personal life comprises approximately half of the collection, and concerns family and friends. Biographical material includes awards, statements, and calendars. Personal correspondence is between Liberman and his mother, Henriette Pascar. Also included are letters to family members from Marlene Dietrich, Roger Martin du Gard, and Charles Vildrac. Other personal letters are from Barnett and Annalee Newman, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Motherwell, Marie Laurencin, Cecil Beaton, Elliot Erwitt, Philip Guston, Diana Vreeland, Ethel Woodward Croisset, Vera Chagall, Frantisek and Eugénie Kupka, Jean Cocteau, Roger Joisson, Jean Bazaine, Hans Hofmann, Louis Carré, Robert Hughes, Arnold Newman, Hans Namuth, Patricia Johanson, Alexander Calder, William Klein, Jasper Johns, John Russell, J. H. Lartigue, Pierre Henry Roché, and Gala Dali.

Writings include drafts of plays, poems, and short stories by Liberman, and creative writing by Pascar. Photographs are of works of art owned by Liberman and include records of their dispersal. Additional photographs are of residences, extended family and friends and Libermans wives Hildegarde Sturm, Tatiana Yacovleff du Plessix, and Melinda Pechangco, as well as step-daughter Francine du Plessix Gray, many taken by Irving Penn. Works of art include drawings of Liberman by unidentified artists. Also included is a scrapbook,1945, pertaining to Libermans father, Simon Liberman.

The remaining material pertains to Libermans career as a painter, sculptor, photographer, and publishing executive. Professional correspondence is with museums, collectors, and charitable organizations. Transcripts of interviews are with Liberman. Works of art include a sketchbook and loose sketches, as well as blueprints. Photographs include mock-ups for proposed public sculptures and slides, prints, negatives, contact sheets, and Polaroids of works of art, taken primarily by Liberman, but also by Irving Penn, Ugo Mulas, and others. Additional photographs are of exhibition installations with documentation of the fabrication and installation of sculptures. Photographs are also of Liberman, many signed and inscribed, by Herb Ritts, Cecil Beaton, Annie Liebowitz, Irving Penn, Henri Cartier-Bresson, William Klein, Inge Morath, Henri Lartigue, Helmut Newton, Gordon Parks, Lord Snowdon, Hans Namuth, Ugo Mulas, André Emmerich, Jill Krementz, Baro, Renate Ponsold-Motherwell, and Timothy Greenfiled-Sanders. Additional subjects, many pictured with Liberman, include Alfred Barr, Salvador Dalí, Willem de Kooning, André Emmerich, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Motherwell, Clement Greenberg, Alexandre Iacovleff, Franz Kline, Jerzy Kosinski, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Barnett Newman, Bette Parsons, Pablo Picasso, Edward Steichen, Marlene Dietrich, Christian Dior, Grace Mirabella, Lucien Vogel and Diana Vreeland. Subject files concern Libermans book, "The Artist in His Studio," and include correspondence, contracts and other documentation. Also included are index cards and lists of titles of works of art by Liberman.

Audio-visual material includes phonographic recordings of Liberman; reel-to-reel and audio cassette recordings, including an undated interview with Walter Hopps; VHS and other video format versions of "Alexander Liberman: A Lifetime Burning"; VHS recordings of television interviews with Liberman; and audio cassette recordings and transcriptions of 1978 interview with Barbara Rose in preparation for her book, "Alexander Liberman." Printed material includes exhibition catalogs, announcements, press releases, and clippings, much of it organized into chronological press binders.

Business records include commission and fabrication documentation, and invoices. Additional business-related materials, much of it pertaining to senior positions held at Condé Nast Publications, includes correspondence with Cecil Beaton, Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon, and Horst P. Horst; correspondence between Diana Vreeland and Cecil Beaton; assorted single issues, original pages and photographs of published graphic layouts designed by Liberman for VU and Vogue magazines; and bound volumes of VU magazine: July 1932 June 1933; January 1934 June 1934; January 1935 June 1935; Jan 1936 December 1936.

Biographical/Historical Note: Alexander Semeonovitch Liberman (1912-1999) was a sculptor, painter, photographer, graphic designer, and publishing executive working in Paris and New York.

Donated 2010 by Liberman Art Partners via executive Dodie Kazanjian.

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