Arthur B. Carles papers, 1912-1983

Carles, Arthur B., b. 1882 d. 1952
Painter, Educator
Active in Philadelphia, Pa.

Collection size: Gift: 0.8 linear feet (on 2 microfilm reels)
Loan: 5 microfilm reels.

Collection Summary: Letters, writings, notes, business and financial records, sketches and drawings, photographs, and printed material.

REEL 1052: Letters, including family correspondence; writings and notes; miscellaneous business material; two sketches; and one photograph.

REEL 3667: Biographical materials including the marriage certificate and wedding announcement of Carles and Carolina Robinson; correspondence, including letters from Sarah Baker, R. Sturgis Ingersoll, Henry McCarter, John Marin, Leopold Seyffert, Maurice Speiser, Carroll and Henry Tyson, and Franklin Watkins, and also correspondence of Carolina Robinson Carles; writings by Carles including two small notebooks, one containing telephone numbers and brief, irregular entries; receipts for medical services and art supplies; and exhibition catalogues and announcements. Also, clippings and other printed miscellany; and over 70 photographs, and seven glass plates, of Carles, his family and friends (including one of Carles and his daughter Mercedes and Hans Hofmann), and of works of art.

REEL 4076: Photographs of writings by Carles, including "The Decency in Teaching" and "Why I Became an Alcoholic," epigrams and a statement by Carles in French; and writings by Perry Ottenberg, including "Arthur B. Carles: the Transformation of a Vision," presented at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and "When I Have Come to a Blankness..." published in ARTS EXHCHANGE, 1977.

REELS 4270-4273: Correspondence, including letters from Carroll Tyson, Albert Barnes, Alfred Stieglitz, Hugh Breckenridge, Earl Horter, Thomas Craven, Hans Hofmann, Edward Steichen, Henry McCarter, and between Carles and his two wives, Mercedes de Cordoba Carles and Caroline Robinson Carles. Subjects of correspondence includes Carles' trips to Europe, experimentation with color and abstraction, exhibitions of Carles' work, relationships with other artists, his efforts to champion modern art, and personal matters. Also, financial records, including an account book, tax forms, receipts for supplies and shipping, rent, utilities, travel, and miscellany, and banking records from the United States and France; printed material, including exhibition announcements; photographs of Carles' paintings; medical records; writings; lists of paintings; and miscellaneous clippings.

Biographical/Historical Note: Painter, art instructor; Philadelphia, Pa.

Carles had papers both in his home and studio. Those in his home (material on reel 3667) was inherited by Dr. and Mrs. Carl Fisher from Caroline Robinson Carles, and was passed on to their daughter Sara F. Swanson, who donated it to AAA. The contents of Carles' studio were placed in storage. When the storage fees went unpaid, the contents were auctioned. Genaro Casamassima purchased the lot and began to sell some of the etchings and sketchbooks. Upon Mr. Casamassima's death, two of his relatvies continued to sell correspondence and artworks. In 1976, Steven Casamassima lent a portion of the collection for microfilming (reel 1052). In 1985, the remaining papers were sold to Perry Ottenberg, who donated a portion in 1985 (reel 4076) and lent the rest in 1989 (reels 4270-4273).

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reels 1052, 3667, 4076, 4270-4273 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
  • Use of original papers requires an appointment.
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