Colette Roberts papers and interviews with artists, 1918-1971

A Finding Aid to the Colette Roberts Papers and Interviews with Artists, 1918-1971, in the Archives of American Art, by Megan McShea

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Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by The Brown Foundation, Inc.

Table of Contents:



Biographical Information

Colette Roberts was a French artist, curator, gallery director, and scholar who emigrated to the United States after World War II, settling in New York City and remaining there until her death in 1971.

Roberts was born in Paris, France in 1910. She studied art with Roger Bissière at the Académie Ranson and with Henry Focillon at the Ecole du Louvre, and she later attended the Institut d'Art et Archeologie at the Sorbonne. Roberts came to the United States in 1939, settling in New York City, and became an American citizen three years later. In her early years in the United States, Roberts lectured and wrote on art and literature, and was active in various war-relief organizations, raising money and organizing benefits for organizations such as the American Red Cross and UNICEF. She was the gallery director for the National Association of Women Artists' Argent Galleries from 1947 to 1949, secretary to the curator of Far Eastern Art at New York's Metropolitan Museum from 1950 to 1951, and art editor for "France Amérique," the French-language newspaper in New York, beginning in 1953.

Roberts became gallery director of the Grand Central Moderns Gallery (New York, NY) in 1952 and remained in that position until 1968, when the gallery closed. The gallery was opened in 1946 by Erwin S. Barrie of the Grand Central Galleries for the promotion of living American artists. Among the artists represented there were Jennett Lam and Seong Moy. During this period she was also an instructor at New York University and Queens College, teaching art history and contemporary art. In 1957, she began a course at New York University called "Meet the Artist," for which she took her classes to the studios of working artists to see and discuss their work. In the early 1960s, she began to tape record her interviews of artists for this course, a practice which continued until her death in 1971. In 1968, Roberts worked briefly as Gallery Director for the A.M. Sachs Gallery (New York, NY), and as an oral history interviewer for the Archives of American Art.

Roberts wrote extensively on contempoary art, including articles and monographs on Mark Tobey (1960, Grove Press), Louise Nevelson (1964, The Pocket Museum), and Marcel Duchamp. She was a regular contributor to Aujourd'hui and Art and Architecture magazines.

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Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

The papers of New York City and Paris art historian, educator, and gallerist Colette Roberts measure 10.2 linear feet and date from 1918 to 1971. Papers include correspondence, writings, teaching records, project proposals, gallery records from Grand Central Moderns Gallery, clippings, Roberts' printed articles, press releases, exhibition catalogs, posters, photographs, and a few works of art on paper. Also found are 124 interviews with contemporary artists conducted by Roberts.

Significant correspondents include Sam Adler, Erwin Barrie, Hubert Damisch, George Deem, Mesdames de Harting and de Tinan, Lamar Dodd, Hélène Drude (Le Point Cardinal gallery), Arne Ekstrom, Albert M. Fine (Fluxus artist), Iqbal Geoffrey, R.G. Gilllet, Adolph Gottlieb, Cleve Gray, Leon Hartl, Jennett Lam, Alberto Cifolelli Lamb, Mike Nevelson, Norman Norotzky, Jacqueline Pavlowsky, Abe Rattner, Ad Reinhardt, H. Sandberg, Philippe Stern, Russell Twiggs, and Zuka.

Writings by Roberts include manuscripts and articles about artists, writings about her own art, personal writings, working notes from interviews and classes, reviews, and translations between English and French.

Among the personal records are Robert's files relating to teaching, charitable activities, and exhibitions. Also found are gallery records from Grand Central Moderns Gallery, including artist résumés, a card file of artworks with provenance information, exhibition catalogs and announcements, membership records, posters, publicity, and sales records.

Printed materials in the collection include clippings, Roberts' printed articles, press releases, and other exhibition catalogs and announcements. Photographs are of Roberts, artists, including Ad Reinhardt, classes, art spaces, and works of art. A small number of artworks on paper are also found, including Fluxus art stamps and a printed picture of Ray Johnson stamped "DOUGHNUT FESTIVAL."

Documentation of interviews with artists conducted by Roberts includes a card index file, a few transcripts, and the original sound recordings. Most of the recordings are interviews with artists that Roberts created during a class she taught at New York University between 1957 and 1971 called "Meet the Artist," including Mary Bauermeister, Romare Bearden, Dorothy Dehner, John Ferren, Ray Johnson, Ivan Karp, Thérèse Le Prat, Richard Lindner, Marisol, Seong Moy, Brian O'Doherty, Man Ray, Ethel Schwabacher, Hedda Sterne, Marie Helena Vieira da Silva, and many others. In preparation for magazine articles, Roberts conducted more extensive interviews with Chryssa, Marcel Duchamp, Adolph Gottlieb, and Louise Nevelson. A few of the recordings of Marcel Duchamp were not created by Roberts. In all, over 100 artists are represented in Roberts' interviews. Other recordings found include lectures and interviews conducted by people other than Roberts.

Arrangement and Series Description

The collection is arranged as 8 series:

Subjects and Names

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

Subjects:

  • Johnson, Ray, 1927-
  • Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967 --Photographs
  • Grand Central Moderns (Gallery)
  • Le Point Cardinal (Gallery)
  • New York University--Faculty

Subjects-Topical:

  • Artists--New York (State)--New York --Interviews
  • Art galleries, Commercial--New York (State)--New York
  • Art historians--New York (State)--New York
  • Art, Modern--20th century--New York (State)--New York
  • Art--Study and teaching
  • Fluxus (Group of artists)
  • Painting, Modern--20th century--New York (State)--New York
  • Painters--New York (State)--New York --Interviews
  • Sculpture, Modern--20th century--New York (State)--New York
  • Sculptors--New York (State)--New York --Interviews

Types of Materials:

  • Articles
  • Interviews
  • Manuscripts
  • Notes
  • Photographs
  • Reviews (documents)
  • Sound recordings
  • Transcripts

Names:

  • Bauermeister, Mary, 1934-
  • Bearden, Romare, 1911-1988
  • Chryssa, 1933-
  • Dehner, Dorothy, 1901-
  • Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968
  • Ferren, John, 1905-1970
  • Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974
  • Johnson, Ray, 1927-
  • Karp, Ivan C., 1926-
  • Le Prat, Thérèse
  • Lindner, Richard, 1901-
  • Marisol, 1930-
  • Moy, Seong
  • Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988
  • O'Doherty, Brian
  • Ray, Man, 1890-1976
  • Schwabacher, Ethel, 1903-1984
  • Sterne, Hedda, 1910-
  • Vieira da Silva, Maria Helena, 1908-1992
  • British Broadcasting Corporation

Provenance

The sound recordings and transcripts of interviews with artists, were donated by Colette Roberts in 1970. The remaining papers were donated by her son, Richard B. Roberts, in 1973.

Separated and Related Materials

A copy of a 1967 oral history with Adolf Gottlieb conducted by Dorothy Seckler for the Archives of American Art oral history program, which was found in Roberts' papers, has been returned to the Archives' oral history collection.

Additional papers and recordings of Colette Roberts are held by Syracuse University Library Special Collections Research Center.

How the Collection was Processed

Interviews and papers were initially maintained as two separate collections, and Colette Roberts papers were loosely arranged and microfilmed upon accession on reels 2743-2745 and 3471; the microfilm is no longer in circulation. The recordings were digitized for preservation and access in 2009 and 2010. Papers were integrated with the recordings, and the entire collection was re-processed by Megan McShea in 2010.


How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The Colette Roberts papers and interviews with artists 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.

Available Formats

All of the sound recordings in this collection were digitized for research access in 2009-2010 and are available at the Archives of American Art offices. Researchers may view the original sound tape reels for the archival notations on them, but original reels are not available for playback due to fragility.

How to Cite this Collection

Colette Roberts papers and interviews with artists, circa 1930-1971. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Correspondence, 1918-1971
(Box 1; 0.5 linear feet)

This series contains mainly correspondence received by Colette Roberts. It also contains letters received by Jennett Lam, an artist represented by Roberts' gallery, and letters received by Roberts' son, Richard Roberts. Included is correspondence with academic administrators, students, gallery contacts, artists, and charitable organizations for which Roberts worked. Most is of a professional nature, but scattered correspondence with family and friends is also found. Some of the letters are in French.

Letters are filed alphabetically by their authors, with outgoing correspondence filed under Roberts, Colette, and corporate correspondence filed by individual author's name. Therefore, letters related to ongoing business with corporate entities such as New York University, Quakers, Red Cross Committee, etc. tends to be scattered in the series.

Box Folder
1 1 A, 1955-1968
1 2 Barrie, Erwin S., 1959-1970
1 3 B, 1952-1971
1 4 C, 1943-1971
1 5 de Harting, Madame, 1957-1971
1 6 Drude, Hélène (Le Point Cardinal Gallery, Paris), 1964-1966
1 7 D, 1948-1970
1 8 E, 1965-1971
1 9 Fine, Albert M., 1967-1968
1 10 F, 1951-1971
1 11 G, 1962-1971
1 12 Haldenstein, Mrs. Herbert W. (Child Study Association of America), 1963-1968
1 13 H, 1953-1969
1 14 J, 1949-1970
1 15 K, 1948-1969
1 16 Lam, Jennett, 1964-1970
1 17 Lauck, Rev. Anthony J. (University of Notre Dame Art Gallery), 1968
1 18 L, 1935-1970
1 19 Morot-Sir, Edouard (Ambassade de France), 1957-1969
1 20 M, 1945-1970
1 21 N, 1960-1970
1 22 O, 1960-1971
1 23 P, 1949-1969
1 24-28 Roberts, Colette, 1947-1971
(5 folders)
1 29 R, 1947-1969
1 30 Stern, Philippe, 1969-1970
1 31 Sachs-Sewall, 1951-1971
1 32 Shumah-Swenson, 1939-1970
1 33 T-U, 1949-1971
1 34 V, 1918, 1949-1969
1 35 W-Z, 1959-1971
1 36-37 Signed first names only or unsigned, 1949-1971
(2 folders)

Series 2: Notes and Writings, 1936-1970
(Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)

Colette Roberts' writings include book-length manuscripts and articles about artists, writings about her own art, personal writings, working notes from interviews and classes, reviews, and translations between English and French. Writings about artists include book manuscripts on Louise Nevelson and Mark Tobey, as well as articles, essays, notes, lectures, reviews, chronologies, and bibliographies. Reviews are mostly in French, probably written for France-Amérique, an American French-language newspaper. Writings by others include articles about artists, a questionnaire about working methods filled out by John Hultberg, a lecture by Chryssa, a play by Allan Kaprow, and a film treatment by Gianfranco Baruchello. Writings are in French and English.

See also printed materials for published articles Roberts wrote for France-Amérique, and see Personal Records and Grand Central Moderns Gallery Records for writings related to teaching and gallery activities.

Box Folder
1 Notes and Writings by Colette Roberts
1 38 About Louise Nevelson, "Louise Nevelson: Sculptor", circa 1960
1 39 About Louise Nevelson, Miscellaneous, 1958-1970
1 40 About Marcel Duchamp, circa 1969
1 About Mark Tobey
1 41 Drafts, circa 1960
1 42 Citations, circa 1960-1962
1 43 Galley Proofs, circa 1959
1 44 About Other Artists, circa 1957-1970
1 45 Artist's Statements, circa 1962
1 46 "My Trip to the US Aboard the Haïs", 1942-1944
1 47 Notes from Interviews, circa 1959-1968
1 48 Notes from Research, circa 1957-1969
1 49 Notes from University Class, 1936
1 50 Reviews, circa 1961-1970
1 Translations
1 51 Acoustiguide for the National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), circa 1960-1969
1 52 "Claude Debussy: French Musician", by Germaine Ingelbrecht circa 1960
1 53 "Louise Nevelson," a Poem by Jean Arp, circa 1960
1 54 "Towards a New Incarnation of Symbols" by George Matieu, 1956
1 Notes and Writings by Others
1 55 About Jennett Lam, 1965
1 56 "Epitaph for an Avant-Garde" by John Ferren, 1958
1 57 John Hultberg Questionnaire, circa 1950-1959
1 58 Lecture by Chryssa, 1968
1 59 "Push and Pull" by Allan Kaprow, 1963
1 60 "The Uncertain Verification" by Gianfranco Baruchello, 1964
1 61 Miscellaneous Poems, Reviews, and Artist Statements, circa 1961-1968

Series 3: Personal Records, 1944-1971
(Box 1-2, 11; 0.7 linear feet)

This series contains personal documents and records of Colette Roberts' work activities. Records include applications for employment and funding, résumés and references, projects and proposals, lists of slides and artwork, contact information and business cards, financial records, a date book, and flyers related to her public appearances. Records of Roberts' charity work include donor lists, draft correspondence, programs for benefits, solicitations of artwork for benefit exhibitions, pamphlets, minutes, newsletters, and other organizational business records. Records of her gallery work for the National Association of Women Artists and the A.M. Sachs gallery are mostly related to exhibitions. Teaching-related records include class rosters, employment agreements, course descriptions, student work, reports, teaching notes, and a staff handbook related to Art History lectures Roberts gave on board the transatlantic ships the Aurelia and the Neptunia.

See Series 4: Grand Central Moderns Gallery Records for professional papers related to her work as that gallery's director.

Box Folder
1 61 Applications, 1949-1969
1 62 Astrological Chart, circa 1968
1 63 Certificates and Identification Cards, circa 1959-1963
(Oversized item housed in OV 11)
1 Charitable Activities
1 64-67 American Red Cross, 1948-1971
(4 folders)
1 68 L'Association Nationale des Ancienne Déportées, circa 1944-1960
1 69-70 Child Study Association, 1964-1971
(2 folders)
1 71 France Forever, 1944-1947
1 72 New York Council on Narcotics Addiction, 1967-1969
Box Folder
2 1-2 Quaker Committee on Social Rehabilitation, 1962-1971
(2 folders)
2 3 Miscellaneous Organizations, 1945-1968
2 4-5 Contacts, circa 1960-1970
(2 folders)
2 6 Date Book and Calendar, 1970
2 7-8 Financial Notes and Receipts, 1957-1971
(2 folders)
2 Gallery Work
2 9 A.M. Sachs Gallery, circa 1968-1969
2 10 National Association of Women Artists and Argent Gallery, circa 1948-1950
2 11 Lists of Artworks, circa 1965
2 12 Lists of Slides for Lectures, circa 1957-1970
2 13 Miscellaneous Business Records, circa 1951-1965
2 14 Projects and Proposals, 1966, 1968
2 15 Publicity, circa 1960-1969
2 16 Résumés and References, 1952-1969
2 Teaching
2 17 Course Descriptions, Notes, Staff Memoranda, circa 1958-1969
2 18 New York University, 1958-1971
2 19-20 Shipboard Lecture Series Records, 1956-1969
(2 folders)
2 21 Student Papers, 1963
2 22 United States Foreign Agent Registration Form, circa 1943
2 23 Will of Jennett Lam, 1960
Box
11 (OV) Oversized Certificate
(Oversized material from Box 1, folder 63)

Series 4: Grand Central Moderns Gallery Records, 1952-1970
(Box 2-3, 11; 0.7 linear feet)

This series contains records related to Roberts' work as the Gallery Director of the Grand Central Moderns Gallery, which represented and exhibited contemporary artists in New York City 1952 and 1968, when the gallery was closed. Records in this series include reference files such as curricula vitae, biographies, and résumés of artists and a card file for artworks noting loan, sale, price, exhibition, and sometimes creation date and dimensions of artworks. This series also contains exhibition catalogs and announcements, published exhibition listings, and press releases for Grand Central Moderns Exhibitions. Exhibition checklists are mainly annotated typescript lists of artworks for a few of the exhibitions of 1967 and 1968. Other business records in this series include loan agreements for both French and American artists involved in the 1953 exhibition exchange held by Grand Central Moderns Gallery and Galerie Jeanne Bucher in Paris. Also found are receipts for loans, membership lists, price quotes, and sales records. An open letter of support for the Gallery, written when it closed and signed by ten artists, is also found.

Announcements, catalogs, and press releases for exhibitions at other galleries are found in Series 5: Printed Materials. For correspondence with artists and Grand Central Galleries Manager Erwin Barrie, see Series 1: Correspondence. See Series 4: Personal Records for records from Roberts' work with A.M. Sachs Gallery and the Argent Gallery of the National Association of Women Artists.

Box Folder
2 Artist Biographies and Résumés
2 24 Adler - Ray Johnson, circa 1960-1970
2 25 Kortlander - Murch, circa 1960-1970
2 26 Nevelson - Yunkers, circa 1960-1970
2 Card File of Artworks
2 27 Banks - Caldwell, 1953-1968
2 28 Conway - Durfee, 1953-1968
2 29 Elliott - Lam, 1953-1968
2 30 Madrigal - Moy, 1953-1968
2 31 Niewald - Shahly, 1953-1968
2 32 Taplitz - Zuka, 1953-1968
2 Exhibition Announcements
2 33 1952-1958
2 34 1960-1963
2 35 1964-1966
2 36 1967-1968
2 37 circa 1952-1968
2 Exhibition Catalogs
2 38 1955-1959
2 39 1960-1964
2 40 1965-1966
2 41 1967-1968
2 42 Exhibition Listings, circa 1952-1967
Box Folder
3 1 Letter of Support, circa 1968
3 2 Loan Agreements, 1953
3 3 Loan and Shipping Receipts, 1962-1968
3 4 Membership Lists, 1962-1965
3 5 Posters, 1960-1968
(Oversized material housed in OV 11)
3 6 Press Releases, 1953-1968
3 7 Publicity, 1963-1967
3 8 Price Quotations for Artwork, 1962-1970
3 9-10 Receipts from Sales of Artwork, 1958-1969
(2 folders)
3 11 Sales Lists, 1958-1959
Box
11 (OV) Oversized Posters
(Oversized material from Box 3, folder 5)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1938-1971
(Box 3-5, 11-12; 2.0 linear feet)

This series contains published articles by Roberts and other authors, newspaper and magazine clippings, newsletters of organizations with which Roberts was involved, pamphlets, publicity materials, exhibition announcements, catalogs, posters, and press releases. Articles by Colette Roberts are in French and English, clipped and copied from a variety of publications. Roberts' France-Amérique articles are mostly reviews of current exhibitions in New York in French. Articles by others are generally longer writings on art and literature published in journals and magazines by authors including Henry Miller, Philippe Stern, Richard Wright, Dore Ashton, and Dick Higgins, among others. Clippings include reviews of Grand Central Moderns exhibitions, and other happenings in the art world, particularly in New York City and the contemporary art scene of the 1950s and 1960s. Also found are clippings about artists of interest to Roberts such as Jennett Lam, Mark Tobey, George Mattieu, and Louise Nevelson.

Newsletters are from the MacDowell Colony, the Peridot Gallery, the Art Students League, and places where Roberts taught. Press releases are mostly for exhibitions of contemporary artists in New York City, at both museums and galleries. Tamarind Lithograph Workshop publications include paper samples, drystamps, and biographies of printmakers. Art-related pamphlets include brochures, publicity, and mailings from cultural organizations in the arts. Non-art-related pamphlets relate to travel, financial, manuals, and other miscellany.

For printed materials related to the Grand Central Moderns Gallery, see Series 4: Grand Central Moderns Gallery Records.

Box Folder
3 12 Articles by Colette Roberts, circa 1952-1968
3 Articles by Colette Roberts in France-Amérique
3 13-15 1953-1959
(3 folders)
3 16-20 1960-1969
(5 folders)
3 21 1970-1971
3 22-31 circa 1953-1971
(10 folders)
3 32 Articles by Others, 1944-1969
3 33 Catalogs for Art Slides, circa 1957-1970
3 34 Catalogs and Ads for Books, circa 1955-1965
3 Clippings
3 35 1940-1949
3 36-39 1950-1959
(4 folders)
3 40-48 1960-1969
(9 folders)
Box Folder
4 1 1970
4 2 Clippings about Colette Roberts, 1947-1970
4 Exhibition Announcements
4 3 1950-1957
(OV item housed in OV 11)
4 4 1960-1962
(OV item housed in OV 11)
4 5 1963-1964
4 6 1965-1966
4 7 1967-1969
4 8 1970-1971
4 9-10 circa 1950-1971
(2 folders)
4 Exhibition Catalogs
4 11 1938-1959
4 12 1960-1962
4 13 1963
4 14 1964-1965
4 15 1966-1967
4 16 1968-1969
4 17 circa 1938-1971
4 18-19 Exhibition Checklists and Acquisition Lists, circa 1958-1970
(2 folders)
4 20 Miscellaneous Newsletters, 1950-1970
4 21-22 Newsletters from the Aurelia, 1958-1968
(2 folders)
4 23 Newsletters from L'Association des Membres de L'Ordre des Palmes Academiques, 1965-1966
4 24-25 Pamphlets, Art-Related, circa 1952-1970
(2 folders)
4 26-27 Pamphlets, Other, circa 1948-1970
4 Periodicals
4 28 Miscellaenous Periodicals, 1945, 1964-1970
4 29 57th Street Review, 1966-1967
4 30 Art Digest Newsletter, 1968-1970
4 31 Iris Time Unlimited, 1965-1967
4 32 Postcards, circa 1920-1960
4 33 Posters, circa 1960-1970
(OV item housed in OV 12)
4 Press Releases for Exhibitions
4 34 circa 1954-1959
4 35 1960-1962
4 36 1964-1965
4 37 1966-1967
Box Folder
5 1 1968-1969
5 2 1970
5 3 Programs for Cultural Events, circa 1957-1970
5 4 Tamarind Lithography Workshop Publications, circa 1966-1967
Box
11 (OV) Oversized Exhibition Announcements (Oversized material from Box 4, folders 3-4)
Box
12 (OV) Oversized Posters (Oversized materials from Box 4, folder 33)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1930-1971
(Box 5; 0.2 linear feet)

This series contains photographs of Colette Roberts, artists and other unidentified people, art spaces, and works of art. Most of the photographs of people are unidentified, but those that are identified have been filed by name. The photograph of Ad Reinhardt with Roberts' class was taken for her "Meet the Artist" course at New York University, during which she produced many of the interviews in Series 8: Interviews with Artists. The Tamarind Lithography Workshop photographs show fellows at the workshop in the studio in 1962, including Richard Diebenkorn, John Hultberg, Joyce Trieman, Adja Yunkers, among others. Exhibition photographs include a 1965 show at Grand Central Moderns of work by Jennett Lam.

Box Folder
5 5 Colette Roberts, circa 1956-1970
5 6 Ad Reinhardt with Colette Roberts and Class, circa 1958
5 7 Thérèse Le Prat, circa 1930-1950
5 8 Mike Nevelson, Betty Parsons, circa 1970
5 9 Tamarind Lithography Workshop Artists, 1962
5 10 Unidentified people, 1960-1963
5 11 Exhibitions and Installations, 1964-1967
5 12 Museum Architecture, 1968-1971
5 13-15 Works of Art, 1954-1971
(3 folders)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1940-1969,
(Box 5; 4 folders)

This series contains Fluxus art stamps, a printed picture of Ray Johnson stamped "DOUGHNUT FESTIVAL," sketches of Aaron Copeland made by Jennett Lam, other unattributed sketches, and a pressed tin figure.

Box Folder
5 16 Fluxpost 17-cent Stamps, circa 1960-1969
5 17 Ray Johnson Piece, circa 1960-1969
5 18 Sketches of Copeland by Jennett Lam, circa 1960-1969
5 19 Miscellaneous Sketches and Pressed Tin Figure, circa 1940-1966

Series 8: Interviews with Artists, 1959-1971
(Box 5-10; 5.5 linear feet)

This series contains taped interviews with artists, a card index of the interview series, and a few notes and transcripts related to the interviews.

Most of the recordings in this series are interviews with artists that Roberts created during a class she taught at New York University between 1957 and 1971 called "Meet the Artist." In this class, she brought her students to the studios of working artists to interview them about their work, and in the early 1960s, Roberts began recording these interviews on audio reels. Also found is a tape in which Roberts describes her intentions with the "Meet the Artist" program. Other recordings in this series include interviews with Chryssa, Adolph Gottlieb, and Louise Nevelson for a series Roberts called "The Presence of the Artist," for which interviews were transcribed and edited by their subjects. A few of the recordings of Marcel Duchamp were not created by Roberts, including three interviews and various lectures and performances by Duchamp. Miscellaneous recordings of Roberts' own classes and lectures are also found, mostly scattered on the second sides of some of the tapes with artist interviews. Some of the interviews are in French.

The series is arranged as 3 subseries:

8.1: Card Index and Notes, 1964-1970

The card index provides useful confirmation of the date and sometimes location of Roberts' interviews with artists. However, it is not comprehensive; it contains references to interviews not held in the collection, and there are interviews in the present collection that are not represented in card index. Several interviews documented in the index appear to have been donated to Syracuse University. Notes include appointment slips, Roberts' lists of subjects, and a transcript of an interview of Roberts for an unspecified Radio program about her "Meet the Artist" series.

Cards are arranged in loose alphabetical order.

Box Folder
5 Card Index
5 20 A-G, 1964-1970
5 21 H-N, 1964-1970
5 22 O-Z, 1966-1970
5 23 Notes, circa 1964-1967

8.2: Transcripts, 1963-1970

Transcripts for nine interviews are found. Dates on the transcripts refer to the date of the interview, and not the transcript. The actual transcripts are undated. Some of the transcripts are annotated and edited, presumably by their subject. Sound recordings to which the transcripts correspond are noted in Series 8.3.

Transcripts are arranged alphabetically by interviewee.

Box Folder
5 24 Mary Bauermeister, 1967
5 25 Kathleen Cooke, 1970
5 26 Marcel Duchamp, 1963
5 27 Adolph Gottlieb, 1964
5 28 John Hultberg, 1966
5 29 Jennett Lam interviewed by Arlene Jacobowitz, 1966
(Transcript is incomplete)
5 30-32 Jennett Lam, 1968
(3 folders)
5 33 Richard Lindner, 1965
5 34 Louise Nevelson, 1968

8.3: Sound Recordings, 1959-1971

This series contains 124 interviews with artists conducted by Colette Roberts, as well as scattered lectures, broadcast recordings, and other miscellaneous sound recordings created and collected by Roberts. Recordings are on 149 sound tape reels (1/4 in. tape). Interviews are listed by individual recording below.

Sound recordings are arranged in rough alphabetical order by interviewee. Where different subjects were taped on the same reel, they are listed together in order to reflect the physical arrangement of the interviews on the reels. Cross-references are provided for subjects occurring out of order.

Roberts often made duplicate copies or excerpts of interviews she had conducted, and where duplicates and excerpts exist among her reels they are listed with what is thought to be the original or earliest generation recording in the collection. All of the sound recordings have been digitized for research access.

Box Folder (Item)
5 35 (1) Sam Adler, 1967
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
5 35 (2) George Ortman, 1967
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
5 35 (3) Sam Adler, 1970
(1 sound tape reel)
5 Peter Agostini
(see Box 6, item 10)
5 36 (4) Joseph Albers, 1967
(1 sound tape reel)
5 36 (5) Arman, 1969
(1 sound tape reel)
5 37 (6) Alice Baber, 1969
(1 sound tape reel)
5 37 (7) Paul Jenkins, 1965
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
5 37 (8) Erwin S. Barrie, 1966
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
5 38-39 (9) Mary Bauermeister, 1967
(1 side of 1 original sound tape reel, and 2 duplicate sound tape reels; transcript available in Box 5, folder 24)
5 38-41 (10) Adolph Gottlieb, 1967
(1 side of 1 original sound tape reel, and 5 sound tape reels containing duplicates and excerpts)
(original interview is on side B of reel with original Mary Bauermeister interview, in folder 38)
Box Item
6 1 Romare Bearden, 1971
(1 sound tape reel)
6 2 Isabel Bishop, 1970
(1 sound tape reel)
6 3 Roger Bissière, circa 1961-1971
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
6 4 Unidentified Artist, First Name François, circa 1961-1971
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
6 5 Ilya Bolotowsky, 1968
(1 sound tape reel)
6 6 Henry Botkin, circa 1961-1971
(1 sound tape reel)
6 7 Stanley Boxer, 1969
(1 sound tape reel)
6 8 James Brooks, 1968
(2 sound tape reels)
6 9 James Brooks, 1971
(1 sound tape reel)
6 10 Peter Agostini, circa 1968
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
6 11 Kenneth Campbell, before 1969
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
6 12 Kenneth Campbell, 1969
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
6 13 Tad Miyashita,
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
6 14 Victor Candell, 1969 February 20
(1 sound tape reel)
6 15 Victor Candell, 1969 December
(1 sound tape reel)
6 16 Giorgio Cavallon, 1968
(1 sound tape reel)
6 17 Giorgio Cavallon, 1970
(1 sound tape reel)
6 18 Chryssa, 1966
(1 sound tape reel)
6 19 Chryssa, "Presence of the Artist" Interview, 1970
(6 original sound tape reels, 3 duplicate sound tape reels)
6 20 Kathleen Cooke, 1970
(1 sound tape reel; transcript available in box 5, folder 25)
6 21 Ben Cunningham, 1968
(1 original and 1 duplicate sound tape reel)
6 22 Ben Cunningham, 1969
(1 sound tape reel)
6 23 Hubert Damisch, 1966
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
6 24 Hubert Damisch Lecture about Honoré de Balzac, 1966
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
6 25 John Day, 1968
(1 sound tape reel)
6 26 George Deem, 1968
(2 sound tape reels)
Box Item
7 1 Dorothy Dehner, 1968
(1 sound tape reel)
7 2 Dorothy Dehner, 1969
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
7 3 Colette Roberts Teaching a French Class, circa 1969
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
7 4 Dorothy Dehner, 1971
(1 sound tape reel)
7 François Dicko
(see Box 8, item 3)
7 Marcel Duchamp, Interviews by Colette Roberts
7 5 Marcel Duchamp, 1963
(2 sound tape reels; transcript available in Box 5, folder 26)
7 6 Marcel Duchamp, 1964
(2 sound tape reels)
(In French)
7 7 Marcel Duchamp, 1964 or 1965
(1 sound tape reel)
(In French)
7 8 Marcel Duchamp Interviewed at Knoedler Gallery, 1967
(1 sound tape reel)
7 9 Marcel Duchamp, 1968
(2 original and 1 duplicate sound tape reels)
7 10 Marcel Duchamp, circa 1961-1968
(1 sound tape reel)
(In French)
7 11 Marcel Duchamp, circa 1961-1968
(1 sound tape reel)
(In English)
7 12 Colette Roberts Lecture on French Art History, circa 1961-1971
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
7 13 Marcel Duchamp, circa 1968-1968
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
(Fragment, in English)
7 Excerpts of Marcel Duchamp Interviews by Colette Roberts
7 14 Excerpt from Duchamp Interview about Ready-mades, circa 1964
(1 sound tape reel)
7 15 Excerpt from Duchamp Interview about Pop Art, circa 1965
(1 sound tape reel)
7 16 Excerpts from Duchamp Interview, 1968
(6 sound tape reels)
7 17 Leo Manso, 1968 October
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
7 Marcel Duchamp, Interviews by Others
7 18 "Art, Anti-Art: Marcel Duchamp Speaks," 1959
(4 sound tape reels)
(Interview for the BBC conducted by George Heard Hamilton and Richard Hamilton)
7 19 Interview by Two Unidentified Men, circa 1968
(2 original sound tape reels and 1 duplicate sound tape reel)
(Tape is labeled "Eagle," and may be Arnold Eagle and Lewis Jacobs)
7 20 Unidentified Broadcast Interview, circa 1958-1968
(1 sound tape reel)
7 Marcel Duchamp, Lectures and Performances
7 21 Dictionary, circa 1959
(1 sound tape reel)
7 22 MoMA Lecture on Ready-Mades, 1961
(1 sound tape reel)
7 23 Marcel Duchamp at Ekstrom Gallery, circa 1965
(1 sound tape reel)
7 Frédérique Duran
(See Box 10, item 13)
7 24 Jimmy Ernst, 1970
(1 sound tape reel)
Box Folder
8 1 John Ferren, 1969
(1 sound tape reel)
8 Mark Gabor
(see box 8, item 17)
8 2 Adolph Gottlieb, Interview Excerpts, 1964
(2 sound tape reels; transcript of entire interview available in box 5, folder 27)
(Complete original recording of interview not extant)
8 3 François Dicko, 1964
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel; found on reel 1 of 1964 Gottlieb Interview Excerpts)
8 4 Adolph Gottlieb, 1965
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
8 5 John Hultberg, 1966
(1 original sound tape reel, found on side B of 1965 Gottlieb interview; and 1 duplicate sound tape reel; transcript available in box 5, folder 28)
8 Adolph Gottlieb, 1967
(see box 5, folder 38)
8 6 Adolph Gottlieb, "Presence of the Artist" Interview, 1970
(1 original and 3 duplicate sound tape reels)
8 7 Jose Guerrero, 1971
(1 sound tape reel)
8 8 David Hare, 1970
(1 sound tape reel)
8 9 Leon Hartl, 1968
(1 sound tape reel)
8 10 Leon Hartl, 1970
(1 sound tape reel)
8 11 Colette Roberts Lecture on Louise Nevelson at MoMA, 1969
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
8 12 William Stanley Hayter, 1969
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
8 13 Carl Holty, 1968
(1 sound tape reel)
8 14 Budd Hopkins, 1970
(1 sound tape reel)
8 John Hultberg, 1966
(See box 8, item 5)
8 15 John Hultberg, 1967
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
8 16 Colette Roberts, Lecture on Contemporary Art, Fragment, circa 1967
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
8 17 René Huyghe, 1965
(1 sound tape reel)
8 Paul Jenkins, 1965
(See box 5, folder 37)
8 18 Paul Jenkins and Mark Gabor, 1970
(1 sound tape reel)
(Gabor interview is the last five minutes of side 2 of this reel)
8 19 Ray Johnson, circa 1961-1971
(1 sound tape reel)
8 20 Howard Kanovitz, 1967 or later
(1 sound tape reel)
8 21 Howard Kanovitz, 1969
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
8 22 Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, Fragment of Unidentified Radio Program, circa 1969
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
(Recorded off the air)
8 23 Ivan Karp with Bernar Venet, 1970
(1 sound tape reel)
8 25 Robert John Kaupelis, 1970
(2 sound tape reels)
8 26 Jennett Lam, 1966
(1 sound tape reel)
8 27 Jennett Lam, 1966
(4 sound tape reels)
(This is a separate interview from item 26)
8 28 Jennett Lam, 1968
(3 sound tape reels; transcript available in box 5, folders 30-32)
Box Item
9 1 Jennett Lam, 1971
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
9 2 Colette Roberts, Radio Interview by Eden Gray, circa 1959
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
9 3 Jennett Lam, Interview by Arlene Jacobowitz of the Brooklyn Museum, 1966
(2 sound tape reels; partial transcript available in box 5, folder 29)
9 4 Stanley Lansman, 1968
(1 sound tape reel)
9 5 Thérèse Le Prat, 1966
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
9 6 Unidentified Male Artist, circa 1966
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
(In French)
9 7 John Levee, 1967
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
9 8 Miriam Schapiro, 1967
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
9 9 Roy Lichtenstein, 1968
(1 sound tape reel)
9 10 Richard Lindner, 1965
(2 original sound tape reels, 1 duplicate sound tape reel; transcript available in box 5, folder 33)
9 11 David Lund, 1970
(1 sound tape reel)
9 12 Leo Manso, 1970
(1 sound tape reel)
9 Leo Manso, 1968
(See box 7, item 17)
9 13 Leo Manso, 1970
(1 sound tape reel)
(This is a separate interview from item 12)
9 14 Marisol, circa 1968
(1 sound tape reel)
9 15 Jeanne Patterson Miles, 1968
(1 sound tape reel)
9 Tad Miyashita
(See box 6, item 13)
9 Sibyl Moholy-Nagy
(See box 8, item 23)
9 16 Seong Moy, 1969
(1 sound tape reel)
9 17 Robert Natkin, 1968
(2 sound tape reels)
9 18 Lowell Nesbitt, 1968
(1 sound tape reel)
9 19 Mark Nesbitt, 1968
(1 sound tape reel)
9 20 Louise Nevelson, 1964 May 5
(1 sound tape reel)
9 21 Louise Nevelson, 1968 May 13
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
9 22 Louise Nevelson, Excerpt, 1968 Fall
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel; excerpt of item 23)
9 23 Louise Nevelson, 1968 Fall
(1 sound tape reel; transcript available in box 5, folder 34)
9 24 Louise Nevelson, "Presence of the Artist" Interview, 1970
(1 original sound tape reel, 1 duplicate sound tape reel, and 2 reels with excerpts)
9 25 Louise Nevelson, Colette Roberts Lecture, Notes, and Excerpts from Interviews, 1969
(2 sound tape reels; see box 8, item 12 for complete lecture, and box 9, item 30 for another excerpt used in the lecture)
9 26 Mike Nevelson, 1967
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
9 27 Raphael Soyer, 1967
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
9 28 Giora Novak, 1970
(1 sound tape reel)
9 29 Giora Novak, circa 1970
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
9 30 Colette Roberts, Lecture on Louise Nevelson, Excerpt, 1969
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
9 31 Brian O'Doherty, 1970
(1 sound tape reel)
9 Ortman, Samuel (See box 5, folder 35, item 2)
9 32 Betty Parsons, 1967
(1 sound tape reel)
9 33 Bernard Pfriem, 1970
(1 sound tape reel)
Box Item
10 1 Abraham Rattner, 1968
(3 original sound tape reels, 3 duplicate sound tape reels)
10 2 Unidentified Musical Performance, circa 1968
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel; side B of reel 3 of Rattner 1968 interview)
10 3 Man Ray, 1966
(1 sound tape reel)
10 4 Robert Reid, 1970
(2 sound tape reels)
10 5 Colette Roberts, Comments on the "Meet the Artist" Course at NYU, 1967
(1 sound tape reel)
10 Colette Roberts, Lecture on Contemporary Art, Fragment
(See box 8, item 17)
10 Colette Roberts, Lecture on French Art History
(See box 7, item 12)
10 Colette Roberts, Lecture on Louise Nevelson at the Museum of Modern Art
(See box 8, folder 12)
10 Colette Roberts, Lecture on Louise Nevelson, Notes and Excerpts from Interviews
(See box 9, items 25 and 30)
10 Colette Roberts, Radio Interview by Eden Gray
(See box 9, item 2)
10 Colette Roberts, Teaching French Language Classes
(See box 7, item 3 and box 10, item 19)
10 Miriam Schapiro
(See box 9, item 8)
10 6 Ethel Schwabacher, 1970
(1 sound tape reel)
10 7 Leon Polk Smith, 1966
(1 sound tape reel)
10 8 Kenneth Snelson, 1968
(1 sound tape reel)
10 9 Pierre Soulages, circa 1965
(1 original sound tape reel, and 1 sound tape reel of excerpts)
10 Raphael Soyer
(See box 9, item 27)
10 10 Hedda Sterne, 1967
(1 sound tape reel)
10 11 Hedda Sterne, 1971
(1 sound tape reel)
10 12 Richard Tuttle, 1970
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
10 13 Frédérique Duran, 1970
(1 side of 1 sound tape reel)
10 14 Bernar Venet, 1969
(3 sound tape reels; see also box 8, item 24, in which Venet is interviewed with Ivan Karp)
10 15 Marie Helena Vieira da Silva, 1966
(1 sound tape reel)
10 16 Marie Helena Vieira da Silva, 1967
(1 sound tape reel)
10 17 Ruth Vollmer, 1970
(1 sound tape reel)
10 18 Robert Watts, between 1961 and 1971
(1 sound tape reel)
10 19 Colette Roberts, French Lesson on Marcel Duchamp, between 1961 and 1971
(1 sound tape reel)
10 20 Jane Wilson, 1971
(1 sound tape reel)
10 21 Jack Youngerman, 1971
(1 sound tape reel)
10 22 Jack Youngerman, between 1961 and 1971
(3 sound tape reels)
10 23 Adja Yunkers, 1971
(1 sound tape reel)
10 Blank Tapes
10 24 Unrecorded reels labelled "François Baschet", 1971
(2 sound tape reels)
10 25 Unrecorded reel labelled "Gabrielle Picabia", between 1961 and 1971
(1 sound tape reel)