David Herbert papers, 1950-1995

Herbert, David, b. 1920 d. 1995
Gallery owner
Active in New York, N.Y.

Collection size: 7.0 linear ft.

Collection Summary: The papers of David Herbert consist of scattered records emanating from his work at various art galleries, as well as personal documents such as photographs of occupied Japan, where he served after World War II, and many letters to and from his mother, Sarah Schmerer.

Gallery records include appointment calendars; sales books; receipts; list of commissions from the Sidney Janis, David Herbert, and Graham Galleries; and various announcements and catalogs. Also found are correspondence between Herbert and Richard Feigen; files on artists, dealers, and galleries, among them Ellsworth Kelly (whom Herbert discovered and recommended to Betty Parsons, triggering his New York career), Ferus Gallery (containing detailed letters from Irving Blum and Walter Hopps, 1958-1962, relating to its founding), Jeanne Reynal, Anthony Padovano, Sven Lukens, Martha Jackson Gallery, and the Arthur Tooth Gallery; and extensive newspaper clippings on art and the art world (mainly obituaries). Of special interest are two transcripts of radio interviews with Betty Parsons from 1951 and 1952, in which Parsons defends the new and controverial art she showed.

Biographical/Historical Note: Art gallery owner and employee; New York, N.Y. Herbert worked for a number of important contemporary galleries, namely the Betty Parsons Gallery (1951-1953), Sidney Janis Gallery (1953-1959), and the Graham Gallery (1969-1975). In addition, he had his own eponymous gallery (1959-1962), was a private dealer (1964-1969; 1975-1995) and was in partnership with dealer Richard Feigen (1962-1964).

Donated 1999 by Jaime Andradre, Herbert's companion.

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.