Chaim Gross papers, 1920-1983

Gross, Chaim, b. 1904 d. 1991
Sculptor, Art teacher
Active in New York, N.Y.; Provincetown, Mass.

Collection size: 10.4 linear feet

Collection Summary: Biographical material, correspondence, business records, notes, writings, art work, printed material, and photographs.

Circa 900 letters and greeting cards, 1939-1963, to Gross from collectors, museums, art organizations, and colleagues; contracts and receipts, 1941-1959; a drawing of African sculptures; 4 sketches drawn on envelopes and letters received; minutes of an exhibit committee meeting, 1962; and printed material, mainly exhibition announcements and catalogs, 1942-1962, and invitations to art-related events, 1948-1959. Correspondents include: John I. H. Baur, Isabel Bishop, Cornelia Van Auken Chapin, Henry Di Spirito, Eliot Elisofon, Juliana Force, Hy Freilicher, Al Hise, Edward Hopper, Mervin Jules, Benjamin Kopman, Leon Kroll, Paul Manship, Frances M. Morgan, Arnold Newman, Elias Newman, Abbo Ostrowsky, Ann Cole Phillips, Edna Reindel, Hugo Robus, Edward Rowan, Charles Salerno, Paul Sample, Mitchell Siporin, Henry Strater, Isaac Stern, Egon Weiner, Anita Weschler, Warren F. Wheelock, Harry H. Wickey, Carl Zigrosser, and William Zorach.

Ten record books of Gross' sculpture, 1926-1975, containing rough drawings of works, dimensions, titles, dates, materials, production locations, and information regarding owners.

Eighty sketchbooks, 1920-1968.

Letters, 1942-1969, from universities, museums, galleries, and colleagues including Ben-Zion, George Biddle, Peter Blume, Federico Castellon, Joseph Floch, Jo Hopper, Karl Knaths, Arnold Newman, Elliot Offner, Paul Suttman, Stuyvesant Van Veen, and William Zorach; miscellaneous writings by Gross and others; 3 lists of works; and printed material.

Letters and postcards, 1934-1974, many illustrated, from Mimi Gross and her husband, Red Grooms; eight illustrated letters and two envelopes from Mimi Gross to her parents Renee and Chaim Gross, written while she was traveling in Italy, Macedonia, Greece, and Yugoslavia in 1961 and 1968; 3 sketches; 2 clippings; and an exhibition announcement for Red Grooms, undated.

Thirteen postcards, 1951-1954, from friends who were traveling.

Primarily correspondence (7.2 linear feet), 1926-1983, with galleries, philanthropic organizations, and colleagues, including Isabel Bishop, Peter Blume, Jose De Creeft, Allen Ginsberg, John Graham, Joseph Hirsch, Joseph and Olga Hirshhorn, Jacob Kainen, Leon Kroll, Arnold Newman, Elias Newman, Abraham Rattner, Warren Robbins, Edward Rowan, Isaac Singer, Moses Soyer, Raphael Soyer, Isaac Stern, William Zorach, and an undated letter containing a photograph of Merce Cunningham.

Photographs, 1935-1982, are of Gross, his children, art-related events, gallery receptions, gatherings at Gross' home, exhibition installations, of art work executed between 1920 and 1979, and colleagues, including Sam Adler, George Constant, José De Creeft, Alexander Dobkin, Philip Evergood, Ernest Fiene, Joseph Floch, Eugenie Gershoy, Vincent Glinsky, Aaron Goodelman, Adolph Gottlieb, Lena Gurr, Cleo Hartwig, Joseph Hirshhorn, Leon Kroll, Jack Levine, Louise Nevelson, Arnold Newman, Warren Robbins, Nelson Rockefeller, Isaac Soyer, Raphael Soyer, Stuyvesant Van Veen, Karl Knaths posing for Gross, and Joseph Stella posing for Moses Soyer.

Other material includes contracts, loan agreements, receipts; minutes of meetings; lists of art work and people; writings by Gross and others; 2 drawings; clippings; exhibition announcements and catalogs, 1935-1982; a catalog, 1977, for "The Sculptor's Eye," an exhibition of African art from Gross' collection; press releases; programs; brochures; 2 books, "Chaim Gross: The Jewish Holdiays" (1972) and "The Sculpture Reliefs of the Ten Commandments by Chaim Gross" (1973); and reproductions of art works.

Biographical/Historical Note: Chaim Gross (1904-1991) was a sculptor and instructor from New York, N.Y. Born in a small village in Austria-Hungary, Gross studied at the National Academy of Fine Arts (Budapest) in 1919, and at the Kunstgewerbeschule (Vienna) in 1920. Immigrating to New York City in 1921, he attended classes at the Educational Alliance Art School from 1921-1926 and befriended Raphael and Moses Soyer. He also studied at the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design, and with Robert Laurent at the Art Students League. Gross taught at the Educational Alliance Art School from 1927-1990, and at the New School of Social Research from 1950-1990. A renowned collector of African sculpture, Gross was active in many art-related and philanthropic organizations. His daughter, Mimi, was married to Red Grooms in 1964.

Material on reels D115, N69-35, N69-36, and 4913-4923 donated by Gross from 1963-1983. (Missing originals filmed on D115: fr. 81, 873, and 1296-1303). Sketchbooks and record books lent for microfilming 1966-1975 by Gross. His daughter, Mimi, lent material on reels 2320-2321 in 1981 and donated letters, some of shich are filmed on 2320-2321 in 2005. Postcards on reel 2813 were donated by Mrs. Irving Marantz in 1975.
Funding for microfilming provided by the Henry and Lucy Moses Fund, the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, Inc., the Samuel Bronfman Foundation, and the Louis and Anne Abrons Foundation.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reels D115-D115a, N69/7-8, N69/19-20, N69/28-29, N69/34-36, N69-52, 924-925, 2813, 2320-2321, and 4913-4923 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
  • Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
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Also in the Archives

Related Materials

Chaim Gross papers also at Syracuse University.