Gracie Mansion Gallery records, 1972-1991

A Finding Aid to the Gracie Mansion Gallery Records, 1972-1991, in the Archives of American Art, by Jessica Ondusko

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Table of Contents:



Historical Information

Painter and dealer Joanne Mayhew (b. circa 1947) changed her name to Gracie Mansion in 1982, and opened a gallery in the bathroom of her East Village apartment in March of that same year.

Gracie Mansion's first "Loo Division" exhibition was of her friend's photographs. The previous year, Gracie Mansion helped organize the "Limo Show", for which she rented a limousine and parked it on the corner of Spring and Broadway with fellow artists Buster Cleveland and Sur Rodney Sur. There, dressed as tourists, they served champagne and tried to sell their artwork to passersby.

This grassroots approach to the art market came to typify the emerging East Village art scene. Frustrated by the closed system of the SoHo and 57th Street galleries, in 1981-1982 several young artists and artists' groups began organizing shows and forming makeshift galleries of their own for fun and profit in the more affordable dilapidated East Village. The artwork they sold, predominately paintings, were also more affordable than those in SoHo.

The press quickly picked up on the East Village phenomenon and Mansion, who borrowed her name from the New York City mayor's official residence, had a charisma that made her and her gallery one of its favorite subjects. After three well-attended shows in her apartment, her landlord put a halt to her exhibitions and she moved her gallery to a larger space at 15 St. Mark's, then shortly after to 337 East Tenth Street between Avenues A and B. An integral part of the East Village art scene by the mid-80's, the Gracie Mansion Gallery, ran with the assistance of Sur Rodney Sur from 1983-1989, was one of the best known in the East Village during this boon.

Mansion specialized in large group exhibitions, theme shows that dramatically restyled the gallery, and the creative marketing of small affordable art. She represented a synthesis of painting and sculpture, art and environments, as opposed to single isolated objects. Among the artists she represented were Claudia DeMonte, Rodney Alan Greenblat, Ed McGowin , David Sandlin, Hope Sandrow, David Wojnarowicz, and Rhonda Zwillinger.

Eventually, Mansion relocated the gallery to SoHo and then Chelsea before closing in 2002 to focus on private dealing and the secondary market.

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Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

The records of the New York City contemporary Gracie Mansion Gallery measure 5.3 linear feet and date from 1972-1991. Most of the records date from the gallery's opening in 1982 and later. The bulk of the collection consists of printed material and exhibition loan files that document the activities of the gallery and the East Village art scene. Loan and consignment files are found for numerous artists including Michael Bidlo, Buster Cleveland, Claudia DeMonte, Rodney Alan Greenblat, Stephen Lack, Ed McGowin, David Sandlin, Hope Sandrow, David Wojnarowicz, and Rhonda Zwillinger, among others. Also found are scattered business records.

Extensive printed material includes newspaper and magazine clippings, exhibition catalogs, and artists' files. Exhibition loan files are found for artists, exhibitions, and art fairs. These files contain consignment and loan agreement forms, correspondence, exhibition announcements, newspaper and magazine clippings, negatives and slides of artwork and exhibition installations, and a handful of color photographs of artwork or exhibition locales.

Scattered business records include correspondence, returned consignment forms from 1982-1987, donation records and materials related to art auctions, artist commissions, various lists, materials related to the Gracie Mansion Museum Store, notes, and a variety of other documents related to gallery operations.

Arrangement and Series Description

The collection is arranged as 3 series:

Subjects and Names

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

Subjects:

  • Bidlo, Mike
  • Cleveland, Buster, d. 1998
  • DeMonte, Claudia, 1947-
  • Greenblat, Rodney Alan, 1960-
  • Lack, Stephen
  • McGowin, Ed, 1938-
  • Sandrow, Hope, 1951-
  • Wojnarowicz, David
  • Zwillinger, Rhonda

Subjects-Topical:

  • Art galleries, Commercial -- East Village (New York, N.Y.)
  • Art, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) New York
  • Artists -- United States
  • Art dealers

Types of Materials:

  • Photographs

Names:

  • Mansion, Gracie

Provenance

The Gracie Mansion Gallery records were donated in 1991 by Gracie Mansion, founder of the Gracie Mansion Gallery.

How the Collection was Processed

The records were processed by Jessica Ondusko in 2011.


How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

Use of original papers requires an appointment.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The Gracie Mansion Gallery records 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

Gracie Mansion Gallery records, 1972-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Printed Material, 1972-1991
(Boxes 1-2, 6; 0.8 linear feet)

This series contains primarily newspaper and magazine clippings concerning the East Village art scene, the gallery's exhibitions, and the artists it represented, such as Claudia DeMonte, Rodney Alan Greenblat, Ed McGowin, and David Sandlin; and the East Village Art Scene in the 1980s. Only two press clippings date from the 1970s and the rest from 1982-1991. Found also are artist resumes and a handful of exhibition catalogs from shows that the gallery lent artwork to, such as the 1985 International Contemporary Art Fair in London.

The series is arranged as 2 subseries:

Subseries 1.1: General, 1982-1989

This subseries is arranged in chronological order.

Box Folder
1 1 1982 April
1 2 1982 June
1 3 1982 July
1 4 1982 September
1 5 1982 November
1 6 1982 December
1 7 1983 January
1 8 1983 March
1 9 1983 April
1 10 1983 May
1 11 1983 June
1 12 1983 July-August
1 13-14 1983 September
(2 folders)
1 15 1983 October
(Oversized material housed in Box 6, Folder 1)
1 16-17 1983 November
(2 folders; Oversized material housed in Box 6, Folder 2)
1 18 circa 1983
1 19 1984 January
1 20 1984 February
1 21 1984 March
(Oversized material housed in Box 6, Folder 3)
1 22 1984 April
(Oversized material housed in Box 6, Folder 4)
1 23-24 1984 May
(2 folders)
1 25 1984 June
(Oversized material housed in Box 6, Folder 5)
1 26 1984 July
(Oversized material housed in Box 6, Folder 6)
1 27 1984 August
1 28 1984 Summer
1 29 1984 September
1 30 1984 October
(Oversized material housed in Box 6, Folder 7)
1 31 1984 November
(Oversized material housed in Box 6, Folder 8)
1 32 1984 December
1 33-34 circa 1984
(2 folders; Oversized material housed in Box 6, Folder 9)
Box Folder
2 1-2 1985 January
(2 folders; Oversized material housed in Box 6, Folder 10)
2 3 1985 February
2 4 1985 March
2 5 1985 April
2 6 1985 May
2 7 1985 June
2 8 1985 July
2 9 1985 August
2 10 1985 Summer
2 11 1985 September
2 12 1985 October
2 13 1985 November
2 14 1985-1986 Fall/Winter
2 15 circa 1985
2 16 1986 Summer
2 17 1986 August-October
2 18 1986-1987 Fall/Winter
2 19 1987-1988
2 20 1989

Subseries 1.2: Artist, 1972-1991

This subseries is arranged alphabetically by artist.

Box Folder
2 21 Mac Adams, 1987-1990
2 22 Buster Cleveland, 1981-1990
2 23 Claudia DeMonte, 1979-1990
2 24 Rodney Alan Greenblat, 1983-1990
2 25 Jean Lowe, 1988-1991
2 26 Kathleen McCarthy, 1986-1990
2 27 Ed McGowin, 1972-1990
2 28 Gary Panter, 1986-1991
2 29 David Sandlin, 1984-1991
2 30 Louis Sciullo, 1989-1990
2 31 Fred Wilson, 1987-1991
2 32 May Wilson, 1990-1991

Series 2: Exhibition Loans, 1982-1991
(Boxes 2-4, 2.25 linear feet)

This series contains documents relating to exhibition loans including consignment and loan agreement forms, correspondence,exhibition announcements, newspaper and magazine clippings, negatives and slides of artwork and exhibition installations, and a handful of color photographs of artwork or exhibition locales.

The series is arranged as 3 subseries:

Subseries 2.1: Artist, 1983-1991

Box Folder
2 33 Mac Adams: Sable/Castelli Gallery, 1990
2 Guy Augeri
2 34 Consignment Forms, 1984-1986
2 35 J. Barrett Gallery, 1986-1987
2 Buster Cleveland
2 36 Consignment Forms, 1985-1987
2 37 Kenneth Bernstein Gallery, 1989
2 38 "Summer Pop Invitational," Sensory Evolution Gallery, 1986-1987
2 39 Weatherspoon Art Gallery, 1990
2 Claudia DeMonte
2 40 Consignment Forms, 1984-1986
2 41 "Homage to Hopper," Baruch College Gallery, 1988-1991
2 42 Brentwood Gallery, 1986-1987
2 43 Decordova Museum, 1986-1987
2 44 Evanston Art Center, 1988
2 45 Goddard-Riverside Community Center, 1990
2 46 Hudson River Museum, 1988
2 47 Islip Art Museum, 1989
2 48 Jamaica Art Center, 1986-1987
2 49 Nabisco Brands Gallery, 1989
2 50 Maryland Faculty Show, National Academy of Sciences, 1989
2 51 New Mexico State University 1990
2 52 Nina Freudenheim Gallery, 1987-1988
2 53 "Mermaids and Myths," San Francisco International Airport, 1988-1990
2 54 "American Art, American Woman," Stamford Museum and Nature Center, 1985
2 55 Steven Scott Gallery, 1988
2 56 University of Albany, 1989
2 57 University of Maryland, 1986-1987
2 58 Maryland Faculty Show, University of Maryland, 1989-1990
2 59 The Museum of Modern Art, 1989-1990
2 60 "Commuting," Whitney Museum of American Art, 1989
Box Folder
3 Jonathan Ellis
3 1 "Figurative Sculpture," Everson Museum, 1986-1988
3 2 Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, 1987
3 3 Michael Kohn Gallery, circa 1986
3 4 Michael Ensminger: "Viral Infection: The Body and Its Discontents," Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, 1990
3 Rodney Alan Greenblat
3 5 Consignment Forms, 1983-1986
3 6 Loan Agreements, 1983-1985
3 7 Greenville County Museum, 1985-1986
3 8 Haggerty Museum, 1989
3 9 Hickory Museum, 1985-1987
3 10 John Berggruen Gallery, 1988-1989
3 11 "Mechanized Art," John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 1987
3 12 Margulies Gallery, 1990
3 13 Ron Bernstein, 1991
3 14 School of Visual Arts, 1988
3 15 Whitney Museum of Art, 1986-1987
3 16 Al Hansen: Salvatore Ala Gallery, 1990
3 Mike Howard
3 17 Consignment Forms, 1987
3 18 Eliat Gordin Gallery, 1986-1987
3 19 New Museum,1988
3 20 Union County College, New Jersey, 1986
3 21 Weatherspoon Art Gallery, 1986
3 Christof Kohlhofer/Marilyn Minter
3 22 Consignment Forms, 1985-1986
3 23 Boca Museum, 1987
3 24 Galerie Charles Cartwright, 1986
3 Stephen Lack
3 25 Consignment Forms, 1984-1987
3 26 Australian National Gallery, 1984
3 27 Fay Gold Gallery, 1987
3 28 Franklin Mint, Franklin Center, 1990
3 29 Gallery Association of New York State, 1985-1990
3 30 Graham Modern Gallery, 1989
3 31 G.W. Einstein Gallery, 1989
3 32 Jan Baum Gallery, 1986
3 33 "The Arts of Drawing," Staempfli Gallery, 1989-1990
3 Ed McGowin
3 34 Consignment Forms, 1985-1986
3 35 Barbara Fendrick Gallery, 1990
3 36 Center for the Arts, 1986-1987
3 37 Franz Bader Gallery, 1989-1990
3 38 Mississippi Museum, 1987-1989
3 39 Sherry French Gallery, 1988-1990
3 Gary Panter
3 40 Future Perfect Gallery, 1990
3 41 Mambo Graphics, 1989-1990
3 42 Ted Rosenthal: Salvatore Ala Gallery, 1984-1990
3 43 Alison Saar: "Artists Against Racial Prejudice," The Clocktower Gallery, 1990
3 David Sandlin
3 44 Consignment Forms, 1986-1988
3 45 Art Awareness Inc., 1990
3 46 Grace Borgenicht Gallery, 1987
3 47 "New York at Night," Helander Gallery, 1989-1990
3 48 James Madison University, 1989
3 49 La Luz de Jesus Gallery, 1989-1990
3 50 National Museum of American Art, 1987-1989
3 51 "Art of the Madonna," Old St. Patrick's Church, 1988
3 52 State University of New York, 1988
3 53 "Space III," University of Alabama, 1989
3 Hope Sandrow
3 54 Alternative Museum, 1990
3 55 Baltimore Museum of Art, 1986-1987
3 56 "Bad Girls," Center for Contemporary Art, 1989-1990
3 57 G.H. Dalsheimer Gallery, 1988
3 58 "Photography on the Edge," Haggerty Museum, 1987-1988
3 59 Solo Show, Haggerty Museum, 1986
3 60 Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, 1985-1986
3 61 "Large as Life: Contemporary Photography," Jamaica Arts Center, 1986-1987
3 62 Les Rencontres D'Arles International Photography Festival, 1986
3 63 Marian Locks Gallery, 1989
3 64 Museum of Modern Art, circa 1980s
3 65 "Photography of Invention," National Museum of American Art, 1988-1991
3 66 San Francisco Camerawork, 1986-1987
3 67 SUNY at Binghamton, 1986-1987
3 68 Tavelli Gallery, 1990
3 69 David West: Galerie Vivant, 1986-1987
3 David Wojnarowicz
3 70 Consignment Forms, 1984-1985
3 71 Loan Agreements, 1985-1987
3 72 "Street Art," Boca Raton Museum, circa 1980s
3 73 Holly Solomon Gallery, 1987-1988
3 74 University Art Galleries, Illinois State University, 1988-1989
3 75 Laurence Miller Gallery, 1987
3 76 Rosenberg Era Art Project, Long Island University, 1987-1988
3 77 Milford Gallery, 1988
3 78 Norton Gallery of Art, 1986
3 79 Phenix City Gallery, 1985-1986
3 80 University of Pennsylvania, 1985
3 Rhonda Zwillinger
3 81 Consignment Forms, 1984-1987
3 82 Loan Agreements, 1985-1986
3 83 David Brown Gallery, 1987
3 84 Exit Art, 1986
3 85 "Century '87," Foundation of Independent Arthistorical Investigation, 1987
3 86 Gallery 10 Ltd., 1983
3 87 Rhonda's Japan Tour, Laforet Museum, 1984-1986
3 88 Newport Harbor Art Museum, 1987-1988

Subseries 2.2: Group, 1982-1989

Box Folder
3 Art Fairs
3 89 ARCO, Spain, 1990
3 90 Forum Art Fair, 1985-1987
3 91 International Art Fair Kunstrai, 1988
3 92 International Gallery Invitational, 1987-1988
3 93 The Second International Contemporary Art Fair, 1984-1986
3 94 Zurich Art Fair, 1984-1986
3 95 Betsy Rosenfeld Gallery, Inc., 1987-1988
3 96 Brent Gallery, 1988
3 97 Brentwood Gallery, 1985-1986
3 98 Brooklyn Museum, 1985-1987
3 99 Colombia Show, Centro Colombo Americano, 1986-1987
Box Folder
4 1 Charles D. Irwin, 1987
4 2 "Fresh," Dilaurenti Gallery Ltd., 1986
4 3 "A Brave New World, A New Generation," Exhibition Hall of Copenhagen, 1985-1986
4 4 Fashion Moda Organization, 1986-1988
4 5 Fondation Cartier, 1985-1986
4 6 Galerie Barbara Farber, 1983-1985
4 7 Galerie Specht, 1988
4 8 Gallery Stolkholm Mobile, 1986-1988
4 9 Gloria Luria Gallery, 1986-1987
4 10 "Gone Fishing," Graham Modern, 1987
4 11 "Innocence and Experience," Greenville County Museum of Art, 1985-1986
4 12 Hartwick College, 1987
4 13 Indianapolis Museum, 1985-1986
4 14 "New, Used, and Improved Art for the '80s," Karl Bornstein Gallery, 1987-1988
4 15 La Collection Francaise, 1986-1987
4 16 Limbo Gallery, 1985-1986
4 17 Livet Reichard Co., 1987-1988
4 18 Moosart Gallery, 1985-1987
4 19 Park Avenue Synagogue, 1988
4 20 AIDS Benefit, Sotheby's, 1986-1987
4 21 "Slaves of New York," The Gallery, 1988-1989
4 22 "Arf Art," Trabia-MacAfee Gallery, 1987-1988
4 23 University of Pennsylvania, 1984-1985
4 24 Wessell O'Connor Gallery, 1985
4 25 Whitney Museum of American Art, Fairfield County, 1982-1987
4 26 Wilson Arts Center, 1987-1988

Subseries 2.3: Organization, 1982-1991

Box Folder
4 27 "Art What Thou Eat," Blum Art Institute, Bard College, 1986-1991
4 28 "Sequence (Con)sequence," Blum Art Institute, Bard College, 1987-1989
4 29 "Drive!" BMW Gallery, 1987-1989
4 30 "Toys Art Us," Bronx Council on the Arts, 1986
4 31 "Reagan: American Icon," Bucknell University, 1988-1989
4 32 Columbus Museum, 1989
4 33 Everson Museum of Art, 1985
4 34 Gallery 91, 1989
4 35 Galerie Eric Fabre Paris, 1984-1985
4 36 "Psycho Pueblo," Galerie Fernando Vijande, 1985-1986
4 37 Galerie Marie-Louise Wirth, 1987-1989
4 38 "Freedom of Painting," Galerie Paradis, 1986-1987
4 39 "Images of Death in Contemporary Art," Haggerty Museum, 1988-1989
4 40 "New Work, New York," Helander Gallery, 1989-1990
4 41 "Serious Fun," Helander Gallery, 1988-1989
4 42 Hudson and Shiell Fine Art, 1989
4 43 Hudson River Museum, 1988
4 44 "The Road Show: The Automobile in Contemporary Art," John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 1989
4 45 Krasdale Foods Art Gallery, 1990
4 46 "Five London Women," La Mama Gallery, 1984-1987
4 47 Littlejohn-Smith Gallery, 1988
4 48 "Re: Framing Cartoons," Loughelton Gallery, 1990
4 49 "Romanticism and Cynicism," Marquette University, 1986
4 50 MIT List Visual Arts Center, 1990
4 51 Women's Caucus for Art, Moore College of Art, 1989-1990
4 52 "Contemporary American Beadwork," National Museum of American Art, 1988-1990
4 53 New Gallery, 1987
4 54 Park Avenue Synagogue, 1989
4 55 Pyramid Arts Center, 1987
4 56 Queens Museum, 1986
4 57 "Mythic Moderns," Real Art Ways Art Space, 1989-1990
4 58 "Lost/Found," Rosemont College, 1986-1987
4 59 Sally Hawkins Gallery, 1989
4 60 Salon des Artistes, 1988
4 61 "Products and Promotion," San Francisco Camerawork, 1986-1988
4 62 San Francisco International Airport, 1982-1988
4 63 Ted Gallery, 1989
4 64 "New York Now," The Gothenberg Art Gallery, 1986-1990
4 65 "AIDS: The Artists' Response," The Ohio State University, 1988
4 66 "Post Alabama Contemporary Artists," University of Alabama, 1986
4 67 Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 1990
4 68 Weatherspoon Art Gallery, 1989
4 69 "Art and the Law," West Publishing Company, 1985-1988
4 70 "Suburban Homelife," Whitney Museum of American Art, 1989

Series 3: Business Records, 1982-1991
(Box 5, 1 linear foot)

Scattered business records include correspondence; returned consignment forms from 1982-1987; donation records and materials related to art auctions; artist commissions; various lists, including a list of selected group shows and a list of artist lectures; materials related to the closure of the Gracie Mansion Museum Store, including final sales records; a folder of notes relating to possible shows; and a variety of other documents related to gallery operations.

This series is arranged alphabetically by subject.

Box Folder
5 1 Art Now Gallery Guide, 1989-1991
5 Artist
5 2 Claudia DeMonte: Meyers Commission, 1988
5 3 Claudia DeMonte: Fine Arts Resources Presentation, 1989
5 4 Claudia DeMonte: Jennifer Muller Art Sale, 1989
5 5 Claudia DeMonte: Marcia Yerman Request, 1990-1991
5 6 Rodney Alan Greenblat: Nunotani Company of America, Inc., 1989
5 7 Mike Howard: 225 Fifth Avenue Commission, 1986-1988
5 8 Stephen Lack: Modern Art Consultants, 1986-1988
5 9 Gary Panter: Majima Design Calendar, 1990-1991
5 10 Hope Sandrow: Dakis Joannou Commission, 1986
5 Auction
5 11 "A Bid of Love" AIDS Auction, 1989-1992
5 12 Artists' Lofts Benefit Auction, 1986
5 13 Contemporary Art Auction, 1985
5 14 Houston Auction, 1987
5 15 Joe Mittleman Auction, 1989
5 16 National Abortion Rights Action League Benefit Auction, 1986
5 17 New Museum Benefit Auction, 1989-1990
5 18 Save the Children's Programs Silent Auction, 1986
5 19 Barneys New York, 1990
5 Correspondence
5 20 Art Unlimited, 1986-1991
5 21 Galerie Barbara Ferber, 1985-1989
5 22 Karl Bornstein Gallery, 1986-1989
5 23 Fine Art Packers, Inc., 1987-1990
5 24 Viart Corporation, 1986-1987
5 25 Walls Art and Design, 1989-1990
5 26 Prentice Hall, 1988
5 27 E.B. Harrington and Company, 1986-1987
5 28 Gracie Mansion Museum Store, 1985-1988
5 29 Graphics, 1989-1991
5 Lists
5 30 Artist Lectures (1985-1989), circa 1989
5 31 Catalogs and Publications (1982-1990), circa 1990
5 32 International Press and Publications (1982-1989), circa 1989
5 33 Selected Group Exhibitions (1985-1990), circa 1990
5 34 Logos, circa 1989
5 35 Michael C. Burrows Letter, 1989
5 36 New, Used and Improved: Art in the '80's Book, circa 1980s
5 37 Portfolio Lithography, 1989-1991
5 38 Possible Shows, 1986-1988
5 Returned Consignment Forms
5 39 1982-1983
5 40 1984
5 41-42 1985
(2 folders)
5 43 1985-1987
5 44 Trapp Associates, 1989
5 45 Unknown Photograph, circa 1980s