Educator, Architectural historian
New York, N.Y.
Collection size: 13.2 linear feet (partially microfilmed on 10 reels)
Collection Summary: Biographical material, correspondence, financial material, art work, notes, subject files, writings, printed material, and photographs documenting the career of art critic and author Dore Ashton.
Biographical material, 1963, consists of the Mather Award certificate for distinction in art and architectural criticism. Correspondence, 1952-1983, primarily concerns Ashton's publications and is with friends and artists including Philip Guston, Fred Licht, Louise Nevelson, Isamu Noguchi, Philip Pearlstein, David Smith, Mark Tobey, and Adja Yunkers. Financial records, 1958-1977, consist of miscellaneous receipts. Art work, undated and 1949-1952, consists of drawings by unidentified artists and a print by Lichtenstein.
Subject files are on artists and art critics, exhibitions, Ashton's books, and miscellaneous topics, and include letters, typescripts, and printed material. Among the files on individuals are Allan Kaprow, Richard Lindner, Miriam Schapiro, Mark Tobey, Jack Tworkov, Adja Yunkers; topics "Angry Arts", "Black Art", "Film", "Printmaking", "Symbolism"; and books, A Joseph Cornell Album, Poets and the Past, Yes, But...A Critical Study of Philip Guston, The Unknown Shore, Robert Rauschenberg's Drawings for "Dante's Inferno", and a biography of Rosa Bonheur. The file for A Joseph Cornell Album contains a letter with an illegible signature dated 1849.
Writings, 1952-1977, consist of miscellaneous typescripts and typescripts for specific publications including Arts and Architecture, Das Kunstwerk, London Studio, Studio International, and XXieme Siecle. The typescripts are primarily about exhibitions, including Willem de Kooning, Arshile Gorky, Hans Hofmann, Robert Motherwell, and George Segal. Printed material, 1931-1981, includes clippings, galley proofs, group exhibition announcements and catalogs, press releases, and booklets. Photographs (b&w, 8x10) of works of art, ordered from various dealers or repositories by Ashton. The photographs are alphabetically arranged by artist and represent modern, old master, American and European artists, among them Pierre Bonnard, Paul Cézanne, Jean Dubuffet, Arshile Gorky, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Theodore Stamos, and Clyfford Still, among many others (only portions of the photographs are on microfilm).
Approximately seven linear feet of the collection was received subsequent to microfilming. This additional material comprises significant letters and writings spanning decades to Ashton from her friends and artists, among them Pat Adams, Edward Albee,Josef Albers, Anni Albers, Alcoply, Pierre Alechinsky, Rudolf Arnheim, Richard Avedon, Alfred Barr, Donald Barthelme, Roland Barthes, Jake Berthot, Elizabeth Bishop, James Brooks, Rudy Burckhart, Paul Burlin, Anthony Caro, Olga and Louis Carré, Robertson Davies, Stephen De Staebler, Richard Diebenkorn, Jim Dine, Piero Dorazio, David Driskell, Morton Feldman, S. Lane Faison, Helen Frankenthaler, Carlos Fuentes, Adolph Gottlieb, Robert Graves, Serge Guilbaut, Lillian Hellman, Alger Hiss, Clement Greenberg, Philip Guston, David Hare, Barbara Hepworth, Dick Higgins, Hans Hofmann, Carl Holty, Pontus Hulten, Sam Hunter, Alfredo Jaar, Ray Johnson, Ellsworth Kelly, Kitaj, Vitaly Komar, Ed Koren, Stanley Kunitz, Katherine Kuh, Jack Lenore Larsen, Richard Lindner, Bernard Malamud, W.S. Merwin, Juan Punyet Miro, Robert Motherwell, László Moholy-Nagy, Nathan Oliveira, Claes Oldenburg, Daniel Ortega, Octavio Paz, Walter Quirt, Archie Rand, Ad Reinhardt, Theodore Roethke, Carl Sandburg, Karl Schrag, Peter Selz, Roger Shattuck, Seymour Slive, Joan Snyder, Pierre Soulages, Hedda Stern, Saul Steinberg, Harold Tovish, Mark Tansey, M. Vassilis Vassilikos, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Betty Woodman, Christopher Wilmarth, William Robert Penn Warren, Richard Wilbur, James Wright and Jack Youngerman. Of note are letters and poems from William Carlos Williams and other well known poets pertaining to the publication and exhibition Poets and the Past: An Anthology of Poems, and Objects of Art of the Pre-Colombian Past, published by Ashton and exhibited at the Andre Emmerich Gallery, 1959. Also included is a small amount of miscellaneous printed material pertaining to Adja Yunkers.
Approximately half of the collection (accessions received 1982-2011) is available on 35mm microfilm reels 5143-5152 at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
Biographical/Historical Note: Dore Ashton (1928- ) is an art critic and author in New York, N.Y. Born in Newark, N.J., Ashton received an MA in art history from Harvard University. She married Adja Yunkers in 1950. Ashton was associate editor at Art Digest from 1952-1954, critic for Arts and Architecture, and at the New York Times, 1955-1960, and correspondent for several foreign publications. In 1969, she was head of the Department of Art and Architecture at Cooper Union. Among Ashton's books are Abstract Art Before Columbus, 1956, Poets and the Past, 1959, A Joseph Cornell Album, 1974, and Yes, But... A Critical Study of Philip Guston, 1976.
Donated 1982-2011 by Dore Ashton. Additions are expected.
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