Calvert Coggeshall papers, 1920-1999, bulk, 1965-1989

A Finding Aid to the Calvert Coggeshall Papers, 1920-1999, bulk 1965-1989, in the Archives of American Art, by Judy Ng

Download PDF Version of this page [Download PDF Version]

Table of Contents:



Biographical Information

Calvert Coggeshall (1907-1990) worked as an abstract painter and interior designer primarily in Maine and New York City. From 1951 to 1978, he exhibited regularly with the Betty Parsons Gallery.

Born in Whitesboro, New York, Coggeshall started his career as an interior designer, working on commissions for clients in the New York City area. He later consulted on the interior designs for Henry Dreyfuss' line of cruise/cargo ships called American Export, popular from the 1940s through the 1960s. In the 1940s, he also worked with inventor Arthur Young to design interiors for the first full-sized scale of Bell helicopter models. By the 1950s, Coggeshall began splitting his time between painting and design work, though he continued to regularly consult and work on several architectural and interior design projects throughout the 1980s.

As a painter, his early monochromatic abstracts were influenced by his friend and abstract expressionist, Bradley Walker Tomlin. An early member of Betty Parson's stable of painters, Coggeshall was friends with other artists, including Jack Tworkov, Grace Hartigan, Katherine Kuh, Nora Sayre, Hedda Sterne, and Richard Tuttle. After summering and eventually moving to Newcastle, Maine in the 1960s, he began introducing color into his abstract paintings. and A major retrospective of his work was held at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Maine in 1977. In 1978, he received a Guggenheim fellowship in recognition of his work. Working out of his studios in Newcastle and Manhattan, Coggeshall continued producing abstract paintings into the late 1980s. Coggeshall died in 1990.

Return to top


Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

The papers of Maine abstract painter and designer Calvert Coggeshall measure 1.75 linear feet and date from 1920-1999, with the bulk of the material dating from 1965-1989. They consist of biographical material, personal and business correspondence, personal writings, exhibition and business files, printed material, and photographs. The bulk of the material documents Coggeshall's professional work and his friendships with other artists.

Biographical material includes Coggeshall's personal address books and day planning notes, oral history transcripts, including an interview discussing his friendship with Walker Evans, a copy of his Guggenheim application and acceptance letters, and miscellaneous records.

Correspondence is predominantly in the form of cards, postcards, and short letters received from family and friends. These include correspondence from Coggeshall's father, children, his older grandchildren, and his mother-in-law, Frances Coralie Perkins. Other frequent correspondents include family friend Daphne Cox, artists Michael Lekakis, Loren McIver, Jack Tworkov, and museum director Gordon Washburn.

Personal writings consist of poetry notes and drafts and a short essay on church design.

Exhibition files concern Coggeshall's one man shows at the Betty Parsons Gallery during the 1970s and early 1980s, his retrospective at Bowdoin College in 1977, and his inclusion in shows at Artists Space, the Farnsworth Museum, and Jack Tilton Gallery.

Business files related to Coggeshall's interior design work consist of architectural renderings and blueprints, work proposals, invoices, and receipts. Some of the more significant projects include work done for Lisa de Kooning, Priscilla Morgan, Arthur Penn, and Shoji Sadao.

Printed material includes newspaper clippings, exhibition announcements from other artists, and a booklet showcasing abstract artists titled, "Artfully Taught."

Photographs are color and black and white prints of Coggeshall and his friends in his studio and outside his Newcastle, Maine residence. There are also black and white photographs of Coggeshall's early design work in furniture and fabric, as well as documentation of his gallery design work for the Albright Art Gallery.

Arrangement and Series Description

The collection is arranged into 7 series:

Subjects and Names

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

Subjects:

  • Evans, Walker, 1903-1975
  • Morgan, Priscilla
  • Penn, Arthur, 1922-
  • Shoji, Sadao, 1937-
  • Artists Space (Gallery)
  • Betty Parsons Gallery
  • Bowdoin College, Museum of Art
  • Jack Tilton Gallery
  • William A. Farnsworth Library and Art Museum

Subjects-Topical:

  • Artists' studios -- Photographs
  • Designers -- Maine
  • Interior decorators -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Painters -- Maine
  • Painters -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Poets -- New York (State) -- New York

Types of Materials:

  • Architectural drawings
  • Blueprints
  • Drafts (documents)
  • Essays
  • Notes
  • Oral histories (document genres)
  • Photographs
  • Poems
  • Transcripts

Names:

  • Lekakis, Michael, 1907-
  • Perkins, Frances
  • Tworkov, Jack
  • Washburn, Gordon B. (Gordon Bailey), 1904-

Provenance

The papers of Calvert Coggeshall were donated in 2006 by his son Tomlin Coggeshall.

How the Collection was Processed

The collection was fully processed by Judy Ng in January 2011.


How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

Use of original papers requires an appointment.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The Calvert Coggeshall 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.

How to Cite this Collection

Calvert Coggeshall Papers, 1920-1999, bulk 1965-1989. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Return to top

Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1960-1990
(Box 1, OV 3; 8 folders)

Biographical material includes Coggeshall's personal address books and day planning notes, his birth certificate and obituary, and a copy of his Guggenheim application and acceptance letters. There are also two oral history transcripts, the first concerning Coggeshall's life and dual career as a painter and designer, the second concerning his friendship with Walker Evans. The interviewers for each oral history are identified as W.B. and N.S. respectively, and may have been conducted by close friends Wally Barker and Nora Sayers. Also included are the records of his Manhattan home renovation project from 1975-1981.

Box Folder
1 1 Address Book, circa 1960-1989
1 2 Birth Certificate, 1972
1 3 Guggenheim Fellowship, 1978-1979
1 4 Home Renovation, Notes and Receipts, 1975-1981
(Oversized material housed in OV 3)
1 5 Interview Transcript, Coggeshall Oral History, circa 1973-1974
1 6 Interview Transcript, Coggeshall re. Walker Evans, 1989
1 7 Obituary, 1990
Box
OV 3 Home Renovation Blueprints and Renderings, 1975-1981
(Oversized material from Box 1, F4)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1920-1993
(Box 1, OV 3; 28 folders)

Correspondence is predominantly in the form of cards, postcards, and short letters received from family and friends. These include informal letters and cards from Coggeshall's father, children, his older grandchildren, and his mother-in-law, Frances Coralie Perkins. Other frequent correspondents include family friend Daphne Cox, artists Michael Lekakis, Loren McIver, Jack Tworkov, and museum director Gordon Washburn. Additional correspondents include Walter Barker, Mrs. Alfred J. Barr (Marga), Chouteau Chapin, Nancy Grove, Grace Hartigan, Katherine Kuh, Nora Sayre, Hedda Sterne, Jack Tilton, Richard Tuttle, and Catherine Viviano. A handful of business letters related to Coggeshall's paintings and representation in galleries are also included in the series.

Correspondence is arranged into 3 subseries:

Subseries 2.1: Business, 1967-1993

Box Folder
1 8 Letters Received, Fine Arts Related, 1967-1993

Subseries 2.2: Family, 1920-1989

Box Folder
1 9 Coggeshall, Howard W., circa 1920-1930, 1935, 1939
(Oversized material housed in OV 3)
1 10 Coggeshall, John, Kate, Pleasance, and Tomlin, 1969-1989
1 11 Daniel, Kirstin, and Zoe, 1988-1989
1 12 Perkins, Frances, circa 1960-1969
Box
OV 3 Oversized Clipping, 1946
(Oversized material from Box 1, F9)

Subseries 2.3: Friends, 1954-1991

Box Folder
1 13 A, Miscellaneous, 1970-1989
  • Alain
  • Alice
  • Alison
  • Alison and George
  • Anna
  • Ardis
1 14 B, Miscellaneous, 1975-1990
  • Barker, Walter W.
  • Barnes, Kate
  • Barr, Mrs. Alfred J. (Marga)
  • Batine
  • Berry, Joyce
  • Bewin, Bruce and Naomi
  • Bill
  • Binnings, Robin
  • Breit, Alice Morris
  • Brown, Amelia
1 15 Cox, Daphne, 1970-1989
1 16 C, Miscellaneous, 1979-1989
  • Chapin, Chouteau
  • Chris
  • Clara and Bill
  • Claude
  • Coolidge, Helen
1 17 D, Miscellaneous, 1954-1988
  • Dache, Lilly
  • De Kooning, Lisa
  • De Menil, J.
  • Dennie
  • Diddy
  • Donald
1 18 E-G, Miscellaneous, 1955-1988
  • Emory
  • Flora
  • Frencher, Peter
  • Gifford, Pete and Marie
  • Glidden, Arthur B.
  • Grove, Nancy
  • Gwyn
1 19 H, Miscellaneous, 1970-1991
  • H
  • Haggin, Bernard
  • Hal
  • Hall, Lee
  • Hartigan, Grace
  • Holme, Frida
  • Holt, John and Elizabeth
  • Houghton, Betty
1 20 I-K, Miscellaneous, 1980-1989
  • Itami, Michi
  • Izumi, Mihoko
  • Jane
  • Kramer, Roz
  • Kuh, Katherine
1 21 Lekakis, Michael, 1948-1980
1 22 L, Miscellaneous, 1966-1989
  • LaF.O., W.
  • Lenore
  • Leslie, Anne, Seaver, and Genevieve
  • Lily
  • Lindlay, Frances
  • Lippard, Peg
  • Lise
1 23 MacIver, Loren, 1978-1989
1 24 M, Miscellaneous, 1966-1982
  • M
  • M, Dorothy
  • Marian and Louis
  • Matisse, Pierre
  • McRise, Paul
  • Mellen, Constance
1 25 N-O, Miscellaneous, 1985-1990
  • Nancy and Bob
  • Natasha
  • Nicholson, Bettina
  • Noguchi, Isamu
  • Oliver, Harriet
1 26 P, Miscellaneous, 1978-1989
  • P., E.
  • Pelletur, Brenda
  • Peterson, Dorothy
  • Potter, Alice
  • Priscilla
1 27 R, Miscellaneous, 1954-1988
  • Rankin, V.
  • Reichek, Jessie
  • Rikur
  • Ritcha, Jane
  • Rossie
  • Russell
1 28 S, Miscellaneous, 1975-1991
  • S., Jane
  • Sadao, Tsuneko
  • Sayre, Nora
  • Shemi, Y.
  • Silberman, John
  • Sims, Henry
  • Stehli, Annabelle
  • Sterne, Hedda
1 29 Tworkov, Jack and Wally, 1967-1982
1 30 T, Miscellaneous, 1966-1990
  • T.
  • Taylor, Emily
  • Tilton, Jack
  • Tuttle, Richard
1 32 U-V, Miscellaneous, 1987-1989
  • U., J.B.
  • Valerie
  • Viviano, Catherine
1 31 Washburn, Gordon, 1978-1981
1 33 Y, Miscellaneous, 1988
  • Yvonne
1 34 Unidentified Correspondents, circa 1965-1989

Series 3: Writings, 1965-1989
(Box 1; 5 folders)

Personal writings consist of a short essay, "A Christmas Church" and numerous poetry drafts and notes. One series of seven poems, "Seven" is typewritten.

Box Folder
1 35 Essay, "A Christmas Church," circa 1965-1985
1 36 Notes, circa 1965-1989
1 37 Poetry, "Seven," 1976
1 38 Poetry, Drafts, circa 1965-1989
1 39 Poetry, Notebook, circa 1965-1989

Series 4: Exhibition Files, 1970-1992
(Box 1, OV 3; 12 folders)

Exhibition files include photographs, correspondence, announcements, and lists related to Coggeshall's one man shows at the Betty Parsons Gallery during the 1970s and early 1980s and his retrospective at Bowdoin College in 1977. The Bowdoin retrospective also include blueprints of the gallery space and Coggeshall's notations on the planned layout of his works. Additional correspondence regarding his inclusion in shows at Artists Space, the Farnsworth Museum, and Jack Tilton Gallery are also included in the series.

Box Folder
1 40 Announcement Lists, circa 1970-1989
1 41 Artists Space, 1987
1 42-46 Betty Parsons Gallery, 1970-1982
(5 folders)
1 47-48 Bowdoin College, 1977
(2 folders; Oversized material housed in OV 3)
1 49 Farnsworth Museum, 1990-1992
1 50 Jack Tilton Gallery, 1985
Box
OV 3 Oversize Blueprints and Renderings, 1977
(Oversized material from Box 1, F48)

Series 5: Business Files, 1973-1989
(Boxes 1-2, OV 4-5; 27 folders)

Business files related to Coggeshall's interior design work consist of his client and contractor address book, architectural renderings and blueprints, work proposals, lists, invoices, and receipts. Some of the more significant projects include apartment design renovations for Lisa de Kooning, Priscilla Morgan, Arthur Penn, Shoji Sadao, Richard Lombard, and John Silberman.

Projects are generally in the following order: blueprints, estimates, payment, notes, receipts, and invoices.

Box Folder
1 51 Address Book, circa 1973-1989
1 52 Client Blueprints, Miscellaneous, circa 1973-1985
(Oversized material housed in OV 4)
1 53 Client Invoices, 1973-1988
1 54 Day Planning Notes, circa 1973-1985
1 55 Brown, Kate, circa 1980-1989
1 56 Davidson, Joan, 1986-1988
1 57-58 de Kooning, Lisa, 1983-1989
(2 folders; Oversized material housed in OV 4)
1 59 Gunther, Jane, 1988
1 60 Hall, Naomi, 1984-1985
1 61-63 Lombard, Richard, 1983-1986
(3 folders; Oversized material housed in OV 4)
Box Folder
2 1-4 Lombard, Richard, 1983-1984
(4 folders)
2 5 Lurie, Jerome, 1984-1985
(Oversized material housed in OV 4)
2 6 Morgan, Priscilla, 1982-1984
(Oversized material housed in OV 4)
2 7 Penn, Arthur, 1984
(Oversized material housed in OV 5)
2 8 Rockefeller University, 1973-1974
(Oversized material housed in OV 5)
2 9 Sadao, Shoji, 1983-1988
(Oversized material housed in OV 5)
2 10-12 Silberman, John, 1986-1988
(3 folders; Oversized material housed in OV 5)
Box
OV 4 Oversize Blueprints and Renderings 1983-1989
(Oversized material from Box 1, F52, F57-58, F61 and Box 2, F5-6)
Box
OV 5 Oversize Blueprints and Renderings 1973-1988
(Oversized material from Box 2, F7-9, F11)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1950-1999
(Box 2, OV 3; 6 folders)

Printed material includes newspaper clippings reviewing Coggeshall's work, exhibition announcements from other artists, including Lyonel Feininger, Moy Glidden, Ken Greenleaf, David Plowden, and Jack Tworkov. A booklet showcasing abstract artists sponsored by the New York Governor's office titled, "Artfully Taught" is also included in the series.

Box Folder
2 13 Exhibition Announcements, Other Artists, 1950-1992
2 14 Booklet, "Artfully Taught," 1999
2 15 Clippings, Coggeshall Art, 1968-1992
(Oversized material housed in OV 3)
2 16 Clippings, Coggeshall Design, 1944, 1948
2 17 Clippings, Miscellaneous, circa 1980-1989
Box
OV 3 Oversize Clippings, 1967, 1969, 1977
(Oversized material from Box 2, F15)

Series 7: Photographs, 1940-1985
(Box 2; 6 folders)

Photographs include color and black and white prints of Coggeshall and his friends in his studio and outside his Newcastle, Maine residence. There are also black and white photographs of Coggeshall's early design work in furniture and fabric, as well as documentation of his gallery design work for the Albright Art Gallery.

A list of additional photographs in the collection can be found in Folder 18.

Box Folder
2 18 Coggeshall, Artwork and Studio, 1964-1977
2 19 Coggeshall, Friends of, circa 1960-1985
2 20 Coggeshall, Maine Residence, 1986
2 21 Design, Albright Art Gallery, circa 1940-1949
2 22 Design, Fabric, 1951
2 23 Design, Tables, Chairs, and Lamps, circa 1940-1949