Chaim and Dorothy Koppelman papers, circa 1930s-2006, bulk 1942-2005

Koppelman, Chaim, b. 1920 d. 2009
Educator, Printmaker
Active in New York, N.Y.

Koppelman, Dorothy, b. 1920
Active in New York,N.Y.

Collection size: 4.0 linear feet

Collection Summary: The papers of Chaim and Dorothy Koppelman measure 3.4 linear feet and date from circa 1930s-2006, bulk 1942-2005. The collection documents the activities of Chaim Koppelman and his wife, Dorothy, as artists and educators, and to a lesser extent their affiliation with the Terrain Gallery. Materials include biographical material, correspondence, writings and notes, subject files, teaching files, exhibition files, personal business records, scrapbooks, printed material, sketches, sketchbooks, and photographs.

Scatttered biographical material includes resumes, an artist's statement, copies of entries in, "Who Is Who" directories, and miscellaneous items.

Correspondence includes personal correspondence and general correspondence. Personal correspondence mostly consists of Chaim Koppelman's letters written to Dorothy while he was serving in the U.S. Army during World War II. He describes his daily activities, observations on army life, and his travels while stationed in England, France, and Germany. Of interest is Chaim Koppelman's letter to Dorothy describing his meeting Picasso and visiting the artist's studio. Personal correspondence also contains Chaim and Dorothy Koppelman's letters with family and friends. Notable correspondents include Sari Dienes, Nat Herz, Sheldon Kranz, Amédée Ozenfant, Hilla Rebay, and Theodoros Stamos. Hilla Rebay's letters to Chaim Koppelman discuss museum-related activities at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, including the Guggenheim's memorial exhibition for Wassily Kandinsky. There is also a file of letters from Eli Siegel to Chaim Koppelman.

General correspondence includes mostly incoming letters to Chaim Koppelman from collectors, colleagues, students, and arts institutions. Frequent correspondents include: Associated American Artists, American Federation of the Arts, Audubon Artists, DeCordova and Dana Museum and Park, Pratt Graphics Center, and Print Council of America.

Writings and notes contain annotated typescripts and handwritten drafts by Chaim and Dorothy Koppelman. Chaim Koppelman's writings include essays on art, artists, and printmaking; also found are some poems. Dorothy Koppelman's writings consist of artist's statements and essay-length pieces that were prepared for talks held at the Terrain Gallery and other venues. Also found is a sound recording of Chaim Koppelman's 1968 conversation with Richard Anuszkiewicz, Roy Lichtenstein, and Clayton Pond; the artists discuss the influence of Eli Siegel's, "Theory of Opposites" on their work.

Subject files document the activities, projects, and professional affiliations of Chaim and Dorothy Koppelman. Materials on exhibitions, applications for fellowships and grants, awards, drafts of writings, donations and acquisitions of artwork by museums. Teaching files provide an overview of the faculty positions held by Chaim and Dorothy Koppelman over the course of their careers. Found are extensive files on Chaim Koppelman's tenure at the School of Visual Arts. Exhibition files chronicle the Koppelmans' solo and group shows at the Terrain and other venues; substantive files contain Chaim Koppelman's correspondence with museums and arts institutions and sales information.

Two scrapbooks consist of exhibition-related materials: artist's statements, press releases, awards, printed material, and photographs of artwork. Artwork includes sketches and illustrated letters by Chaim Koppelman. Also included are twenty annotated sketchbooks by Chaim Koppelman and a sketchbook by Dorothy Koppelman.

Photographs and snapshots are of Chaim and Dorothy Koppelman; many of the snapshots of Chaim Koppelman and others document his army service while stationed in the United States and Europe. Four photograph albums include black and white photographs of Chaim and Dorothy Koppelman in their studio; included are snapshots of the Koppelmans' with family and friends at exhibition openings, gatherings, and on their travels. There are photographs of Regina Dienes, Gerson Lieber, Bernard Olshan, Joseph Solman, and Theodoros Stamos.

Biographical/Historical Note: Chaim Koppelman (1920-2009) lived and worked in New York as a printmaker and educator. Painter and educator Dorothy Koppelman (1920- ) resides and works in New York City.

The collection was donated by Chaim and Dorothy Koppelman in 2006.

How to Use this Collection

  • Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
  • For more information on using the Archives’ resources, see the FAQ or Ask Us.

Related Materials

AAA also holds the Terrain Gallery records of which Dorothy Koppelman is the director.