Donald H. Karshan papers relating to Alexander Archipenko, 1920-1973

A Finding Aid to the Donald H. Karshan Papers Relating to Alexander Archipenko, 1920-1973, in the Archives of American Art, by Catherine S. Gaines

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Table of Contents:



Biographical Information

Donald H. Karshan (b. 1929) is a print expert and collector who in 1964 established the Museum of Graphic Art, New York City. He was Curator of the Archipenko Collection and Director of the Archipenko Archive from circa 1966 until circa 1973. During this time, Karshan cataloged the estate collection and organized the archives. He was closely involved with the Archipenko memorial exhibition organized by UCLA in 1967 that traveled widely in the United States and an expanded version of the same show that was circulated Europe by the International Art Program of the Smithsonian Institution. Karshan wrote extensively on Archipenko and his oeuvre, including a catalogue raisonné of Archipenko's prints. His book, Alexander Archipenko: International Visionary, was published by the Smithsonian Institution to accompany the European tour of the memorial exhibition, 1969-1970.

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Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

The Donald H. Karshan papers relating to Alexander Achipenko measure 1.8 linear feet and date from 1960 to 1973, (bulk dates 1966-1970). Exhibition files consist of records concerning UCLA's Alexander Archipenko Memorial Exhibition, 1967-1969, that traveled throughout the United States; an expanded version of the show that circulated in Europe by the Smithsonian Institution. The collection also contains general correspondence relating to the administration of the Archipenko Collection and Archipenko Archive, and writings on Archipenko's work and life by Karshan with related correspondence. Records pre-dating 1960 are printed matter and photocopies of Archipenko's correspondence with Leopold Survage gathered for reference purposes.

Exhibition files, 1960-1972, include correspondence, photographs, and printed matter relating to UCLA's Alexander Archipenko Memorial Exhibition, 1967-1969 at its various venues in the United States and its European tour sponsored by International Art Program of the Smithsonian Institution. There are similar records for Archipenko: The Parisian Years, an exhibition organized by the Museum of Modern Art.

General Correspondence, 1966-1973, relates to the Archipenko Collection and the Archipenko Archive, administered by Karshan and includes loan and reference requests, publication permissions, and sales information. Of particular interest is a file on Leopold Survage compiled in 1969 and documenting an attempt to purchase a Survage painting for Mrs. Arhcipenko to donate to the Museum of Modern Art; included is reference material consisting of photocopies of Archipenko's letters to Survage and a letter from Theodore Doesburg, printed matter, and photographs.

Writings by Donald H. Karshan, 1966-1968, consist of research notes and correspondence concerning his catalogue raisonné of Archipenko prints (1974). Also included are manuscripts of published articles and correspondence with editors.

Arrangement and Series Description

The collection is arranged into three series:

Subjects and Names

This collection is indexed in the online catalog of the Archives of American Art under the following index terms. People, families and organizations are listed under "Subjects" when they are the topic of collection contents and under "Names" when they are creators or contributors.

Subjects:

  • Archipenko, Alexander, 1887-1964
  • Survage, Leopold

Subjects-Topical:

  • Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Cubism

Provenance

Gift of Frances Archipenko Gray, widow of Alexander Archipenko, 1982. Karshan's files were among the Alexander Archipenko Papers, and have been separated and arranged as a distinct collection.

How the Collection was Processed

The collection was processed by Catherine S. Gaines in 2002.


How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. research facility.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The Donald H. Karshan papers relating to Alexander Archipenko 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

The Donald H. Karshan papers relating to Alexander Archipenko, 1920-1973. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Exhibition Files, 1960-1972
(Boxes 1-2; 1.5 linear feet)

Records regarding Alexander Archipenko: A Memorial Exhibition, 1967-1969 consist of general administrative records and correspondence concerning the exhibition organized by UCLA, Dickson Art Center Galleries and production of its accompanying catalog, and includes a manuscript and reviews of the catalog. The exhibition's 1967-1969 tour to nine other cities in the United State is documented with correspondence, printed matter, and photographs arranged by venue. In Washington, UCLA exhibition was shown at the Smithsonian Institution's National Collection of Fine Arts, which issued its own catalog, Archipenko: International Visionary. Of particular interest is a file titled "Terra Cottas" containing correspondence regarding an exhibition of Archipenko's terra cottas planned to supplement the UCLA retrospective at NCFA but not implemented; catalog text is included. In addition, there are sound recordings of interviews w ith Frances Archipenko at NCFA, July 11, 1968 (1 reel) and an interview broadcast by Voice of America, July 14, 1968 (1 reel); and an interview with Donald H. Karshan about the NCFA exhibition broadcast by Voice of America in two parts, July 20 and 21, 1968 (2 reels).

An expanded version of the UCLA memorial exhibition was circulated in Europe between 1969 and 1970 by the Smithsonian's International Art Program. General administrative records regard the production of Karshan's book and its translation, and correspondence concerning the exhibition and arrangements for its showing in five European countries, insurance records, and detailed condition reports. Files specifically relating to each venue include correspondence, photographs, and printed matter, and are arranged by country. French and German editions of Archipenko: International Visionary by Donald H. Karshan were issued to accompany the exhibition's tour of Europe. In Paris, the venue included Museé Rodin, Paris, des Beaux-Arts, Lyon, RJennes, Nantes; in Brussels at the Palais des Beaux-Arts; in Germany at the Museum Folkwang, Essen; Neuen Staatsgalerie, Munich; Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn; Mannheimer Kunstverein, Mannheim; in Geneva at the Museé Rath; and in Ireland at the Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin.

Correspondence, printed matter, and photographs document Archipenko: The Parisian Years organized by the Museum of Modern Art. Loans to smaller exhibitions are documented in Series 2: General Correspondence.

This series is arranged into 2 subseries:

1.1: UCLA -- American Tour of Alexander Archipenko, A Memorial Exhibition, 1967-1969, 1960-1971

Box
1 Archipenko Bibliography, 1969, undated
1 Archipenko Biography, 1960-1969, undated
1 Catalog, 1966-1967
(4 folders)
1 Correspondence, 1966-1968
(2 folders)
1 Crating and Transport, 1965-1968
1 Insurance, 1966-1969
1 Notes and Lists, 1966-1967, undated
1 Photographs, 1967
1 Printed Matter, 1967
1 Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Correspondence, 1966-1967
1 Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Photographs, 1967
1 Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Printed Matter, 1967
1 Fine Arts Center of San Diego, Correspondence, 1967
1 Fine Arts Center of San Diego, Minneapolis, Photographs, 1967
1 Fine Arts Center of San Diego, Minneapolis, Printed Matter, 1967
1 Phoenix Art Museum, Correspondence, 1967
1 Phoenix Art Museum, Photographs, 1967
1 Phoenix Art Museum, Printed Matter, 1966-1967
1 Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Correspondence, 1967-1968
1 Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Printed Matter, 1967
1 Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Correspondence, 1968
1 Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Photographs, 1968
1 Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Printed Matter, 1968
1 Washington University, Steinberg Gallery, St. Louis, Correspondence, 1968
1 Washington University, Steinberg Gallery, St. Louis, Photographs, 1968
1 Washington University, Steinberg Gallery, St. Louis, Printed Matter, 1968
1 Cincinnati Art Museum, Correspondence, 1968
1 Cincinnati Art Museum, Printed Matter, 1968
1 Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica, N.Y., Correspondence, 1968
1 Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica, N.Y., Photographs, 1968
1 Smithsonian Institution, National Collection of Fine Arts, Correspondence, 1966-1969
1 Smithsonian Institution, National Collection of Fine Arts, Photographs, 1968
1 Smithsonian Institution, National Collection of Fine Arts, Printed Matter, 1968-1969
1 Smithsonian Institution, National Collection of Fine Arts, Frances Archipenko interviews, 1968
(2 reels)
1 Smithsonian Institution, National Collection of Fine Arts, Donald H. Karshan interviews, 1968
(2 reels)
1 Terra Cottas, 1969-1971

1.2: Smithsonian Institution, International Art Program -- European Tour of Alexander Archipenko, A Memorial Exhibition, 1967-1969, 1969-1971

Box
1 Archipenko: International Visionary Exhibition Catalog, English Edition, circa 1968-1970
(3 folders)
1 Archipenko: International Visionary Exhibition Catalog, French Edition, 1968-1969
(2 folders)
1 Archipenko: International Visionary Exhibition Catalog, German Edition, 1968-1969
(2 folders)
1 General Correspondence, 1966-1970, undated
(3 folders)
1 General Insurance, 1968-1971
(2 folders)
1 General Travel Expense Receipts, 1969-1970
Box
2 (hol) France, Correspondence, 1969
(2 folders)
2 (hol) France, Photographs, 1969
(3 folders)
2 (hol) France, Printed Matter, 1960-1970
(2 folders)
2 (hol) Brussels, Correspondence, 1969-1970
2 (hol) Brussels, Printed Matter, 1969
2 (hol) Germany, Correspondence, 1969-1970
2 (hol) Germany, Photographs, 1970
(3 folders)
2 (hol) Germany, Printed Matter, 1970
(4 folders)
2 (hol) Geneva, Photographs, 1970
2 (hol) Geneva, Printed Matter, 1970
2 (hol) Ireland, Printed Matter, 1970

1.3: Museum of Modern Art, Archipenko: The Parisian Years, 1966-1972

Box
2 (hol) Correspondence, 1966-1972
2 (hol) Photographs, 1970
2 (hol) Printed Matter, 1970-1971

Series 2: General Correspondence, 1920-1973
(Box 3; 0.25 linear feet)

Although many of these letters are addressed to Frances Archipenko, they were answered by Donald Karshan who, in his capacity as Curator of the Archipenko Estate Collection and Director of the Archipenko Archive, handled all art-related business matters. Correspondence concerns loans to exhibitions and museums. "Sculpture Correspondence" consists of reference requests, general information and inquiries regarding exhibitions.

Of particular interest is a file about painter Leopold Survage containing photocopies of a letter from Theodore Doesburg and Archipenko's letters to Survage, printed matter, and photographs compiled by Karshan for reference purposes when attempting to purchase a Survage for Frances Archipenko to donate to the Museum of Modern Art in 1969. The Archives of American Art file which includes transcripts of unidentified lectures-possibly by Karshan-about Archipenko's work. Other correspondence of note is with the Whitney Museum of American Art consists of a telegram from Frances Archipenko objecting to Floating Torso being omitted from the museum's opening exhibition, and letters about the Whitney as a possible venue for the UCLA traveling exhibition; plans of the Ukrainian Institute of America, Inc. to open a memorial room to Archipenko and Dzus; Karshan's donation of Queen of Sheba by Archipenko to UCLA's Sculpture Co urt; and attempts to locate a copy of the Folkwang Museum's catalog of its 1912 Archipenko exhibition.

The files are arranged in alphabetical order according to name and/or subject.

Box
3 (hol) Archives of American Art, 1966
3 (hol) Arts Council of Great Britain, 1973
3 (hol) Folkwang Museum, 1966-1971
3 (hol) Loans to Museums, A-Z, 1966-1968
3 (hol) Publication Permissions, A-Z, 1966-1970
3 (hol) Sales Pending, A-Z, 1967-1968
3 (hol) Sculpture Correspondence, A-Z, 1966-1970
3 (hol) Survage, Leopold, 1920-1969, undated
3 (hol) Taylor, Dorothy, 1969-1970
3 (hol) Ukrainian Institute of America, Inc., 1966
3 (hol) Whitney Museum of American Art, 1966-1970

Series 3: Writings by Donald H. Karshan, 1962-1971
(Box 3; 0.25 linear feet)

Research notes and correspondence relating to Karshan's catalogue raisonné of Archipenko prints published in 1974. Also included are manuscripts of published articles and correspondence with editors; these folders also contain related correspondence, notes, and receipts.

Box
3 (hol) Catalogue Raisonné, Correspondence, A-Z, 1965-1971
3 (hol) Catalogue Raisonné, Notes, 1962-1968, undated
3 (hol) Catalogue Raisonné, Photo and Printing Orders, 1966, undated
3 (hol) Catalogue Raisonné, Publicity, 1966
3 (hol) Art In America, "Alexander Arhcipenko-In Retrospect," 1966-1967
3 (hol) Artist's Proof, Footnotes for article on Archipenko's Graphics, 1967
3 (hol) Arts Magazine, "Archipenko-A Modern Master Rediscovered," 1967-1968