Helen L. Kohen papers, 1978-1996

A Finding Aid to the Helen L. Kohen Papers, 1978-1996, in the Archives of American Art, by Rosa M. Fernández

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Table of Contents:

Biographical Information

Art historian and critic Helen L. Kohen has authored numerous articles on contemporary art focusing on the formation of the art culture in Miami since the early 1980s. Helen L. Kohen is art critic emeritus for the The Miami Herald newspaper in Miami, Florida.

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Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

The papers of art historian and critic Helen L. Kohen measure one linear foot and date from 1976 through 1996. They consist primarily of letters, postcards, exhibition announcements and invitations from artists in the Miami area. Also found are eighty-two mini cassette tapes of seventy-four interviews Kohen conducted with art dealers, collectors, contemporary artists, and others in the Miami area as research and background for her newspaper column and other articles

Arrangement and Series Description

The collection is arranged into five 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 "Names" when they are creators or contributors and under "Subjects" when they are the topic of collection contents.


  • Cuban American artists -- Interviews
  • Cuban American artists -- Florida -- Miami
  • Cuban American artists
  • Artists -- Haiti
  • Hispanic American artists
  • Art critics -- Florida -- Miami
  • Women art critics -- Florida -- Miami
  • Artists -- Florida -- Miami
  • Artists -- Florida -- Miami -- Interviews
  • Art -- Florida -- Miami

Types of Materials:

  • Interviews
  • Sound recordings


  • Alfonzo, Carlos, 1950-1991
  • Alexander, Jane
  • Algaze, Mario Arturo, 1947-
  • Anthony, Carol
  • Bedia, José, 1959-
  • Blaine, Michael
  • Blazer, Wendy
  • Brito, Maria, 1947-
  • Cano, Margarita, 1932-
  • Cano, Pablo
  • Carulla, Ramón, 1938-
  • Castagliola, Maria E., 1946-
  • Corone, Matthew
  • Couper, James M., 1937-
  • Cubiles, Miguel
  • Delehanty, Suzanne, 1944-
  • Demi, 1955-
  • De Monte, Claudia, 1947-
  • Duval-Carrié, Edouard, 1954-
  • Eisenstaedt, Alfred
  • Fernández, Agustin, 1928-
  • Frohnmayer, John
  • García, Fernando A., 1945-
  • Gelfman, Lynn Golub
  • Gillman, Barbara Seitlin, 1937-
  • González, Juan, 1942-1993
  • Gottlieb-Roberts, Marilyn Patricia, 1939-
  • Gutierrez, M. (Marta)
  • Henderson, Shirley
  • Jones, Pat
  • Juarez, Roberto, 1952-
  • Kardin, Janet
  • Kuitca, Guillermo, 1961-
  • Lanza, Bianca
  • Leibovitz, Annie, 1949-
  • Marisol, 1930-
  • Morgan, Andrew Wesley, 1922-
  • Munoz, Celia Alvarez, 1937-
  • Orr-Cahall, Christina, 1947-
  • Paik, Nam June, 1932-
  • Paparelli, Janet
  • Pellon, Gina
  • Riverón, Enrique
  • Riverón, Noella
  • Rodríguez, Arturo, 1956-
  • Rodriguez, Vivian
  • Rojo, Damian
  • Rubell, Jason
  • Rubio, Lydia, 1946-
  • Salinas, Baruj
  • Sanchez, Emilio, 1921-
  • Schaaf, William
  • Scharf, Kenny
  • Scull, Haydée
  • Scull, Sahara
  • Shapiro, Joel
  • Slobodkina, Esphyr, 1908-
  • Spitzer, David D.
  • Strasser, Barbara
  • Sullivan, G. L.
  • Trasobares, César
  • Valdez-Fauli, Dora


Helen L. Kohen donated her papers to the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution in 1997.

How the Collection was Processed

Processing of the collection was completed by Rosa M. Fernández in 1997. The finding aid was written in 2001. This collection, along with numerous other Latino collections, was acquired through the Archives of American Art's 1996 "Latino Art Documentation Project" in South Florida with funding from the Smithsonian Institution's Center for Latino Initiatives.

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 Helen L. Kohen papers 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

Helen L. Kohen papers, 1978-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Correspondence, 1954, 1984-1993, undated
(box 1, 10 folders)

This series houses one file of correspondence with American abstract artists and author, Esphyr Slobodkina, 1954, 1984-1933 and undated, and nine folders of letters received (1978-1996) from artists concerning exhibitions, art openings, and Kohen's reviews. Letters are from artist Carol Anthony, Miguel Cubiles, performance artist Marilyn Gottlieb-Robers, Arturo Rodriguez, Emilio Sanchez, Bill Schaaf, and others. Three of the nine folders include general letters received from other artists and art institutions. Attachments include postcards, birthday and anniversary cards and exhibition announcements.

1 Esphyr Slobodkina, 1954, 1984-1993, undated
1 Carol Anthony, 1980-1991, undated
1 Miguel Cubiles, 1986, 1988
1 Marilyn Gottlieb-Roberts, 1983-1991
1 Arturo Rodriguez, 1993, undated
1 Emilio Sanchez, 1985, 1994, undated
1 Bill Schaaf, 1984-1989, undated
1 General, 1978-1996, undated
(3 folders)

Series 2: Printed Material, 1979-1996, undated
(box 1, 3 folders)

Printed Material, 1979-1996, includes exhibition announcements, invitations and catalogs Kohen gathered about artists during the course of her career as art critic for the newspaper The Miami Herald. Photographs,1969,1974, and 1980-1994, are of artwork by several artists. Also found are color photocopies of the same.

1 Exhibition catalogs, 1980-1994, undated
1 Exhibition invitations, 1979-1996, undated
(2 folders)

Series 3: Photographs, 1969, 1974, 1980-1994
(box 1, 1 folder)

1 Photographs of artists' work, 1969, 1974, 1980-1994

Series 4: Miscellany, 1983-1992, undated
(box 1, 1 folder)

This series contains a 1983 gallery guide, a copy of art journal Artifacts, information on the death of Renate Hofmann, widow of abstract expressionist artist Hans Hofmann, and other material.

1 Miscellaneous material, 1983-1992, undated

Series 5: Taped Interviews, 1986-1996, undated
(box 1, 1 folder and 82 micro-cassettes)

This series includes seventy-four untranscribed interviews (on eighty-two mini cassettes) with artists, arts administrators, art dealers, collectors and others. Interviews are with Jane Alexander, Carlos Alfonso, Mario Algaze, José Bedia, Margarita Cano, Matthew Corone, Wendy Blazer, Maria Brito, Eduoard Duval Carrie, Ramon Carulla, Dora Valdez-Fauli, Agustin Fernández, Lynn Golob Gelfman, Barbara Gillman, Marta Gutierrez, Pat Jones, Roberto Juarez, Guillermo Kuitca, Bianca Lanza, Annie Leibovitz, Marisol, Celia Muñoz, Nam June Paik, Janet Paparelli, Gina Pellon, Demi and Arturo Rodriguez, Vivian Rodriguez, Lydia Rubio, Jason Rubell, Baruj Salinas, Kenny Scharf, the Scull sisters, Joel Shapiro, David Spitzer, Barbara Strasser, and others.

All interviews in slide box 4 are recorded on the same audio cassette.

1 List of interviews, undated
1 (slide box) Abel, artist, 1994
1 (slide box) Jane Alexander, 1994
1 (slide box) Carlos Alfonso, Cuban artist, 1988
(two tapes)
1 (slide box) Mario Algaze, photographer, 1991
1 (slide box) Greg Amenoff, Palm Beach, 1993
1 (slide box) Karel Appel, Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale (in large cassette box), 1986
1 (slide box) José Bedia, Cuban artist, 1994
1 (slide box) Dorothy Blau, art dealer, 1992
1 (slide box) Wendy Blazer, Art and Culture Center, 1994
1 (slide box) Maria Brito, Cuban artist, 1991
1 (slide box) Steven Brooke, Bass Museum of Art, 1994
1 (slide box) Margarita Cano at the Gallery of the Eccentric, 1994
1 (slide box) Ramon Carulla at the Barbara Scott Gallery, 1992
1 (slide box) Bonnie Clearwater, Center for Contemporary Art, 1994
1 (slide box) Lou Ann Colodeny, Center of Contemporary Art, 1994
1 (slide box) Matthew Corone, art dealer, 1992
1 (slide box) James Couper, professor at Florida International University, 1993
1 (slide box) Suzanne Delehanty, Center for the Fine Arts, 1994
(3 tapes)
1 (slide box) Eduoard Duval Carité, Haitian artist, 1993
1 (slide box) Alfred Eisenstaedt, Life photographer, 1992
2 (slide box) Agustin Fernández, Cuban artist, 1996
2 (slide box) John Frohnmeyer, National Endowment for the Arts, 1992
2 (slide box) Lynn Golob Gelfman, collector and artist, 1993, 1994
(2 tapes)
2 (slide box) Barbara Gillman, art dealer, 1992
2 (slide box) Lynn Golob Gelfman, artist and collector, 1994
2 (slide box) Juan Gonzalez, Cuban artist, 1988
(2 tapes in large cassette box)
2 (slide box) Louis Grachos, Center for the Fine Arts, 1994
2 (slide box) Jean Greer, undated
2 (slide box) Allen Harowitz, 1994
2 (slide box) Ann Jaffe, 1992
2 (slide box) Pat Jones, South Florida Art Center, 1992-1994
(3 tapes)
2 (slide box) Roberto Juárez, at the Center for the Fine Arts, 1995
2 (slide box) Janet Kardin, Craft Museum, 1990
2 (slide box) Clive King, artist and chair of Florida International University, 1994
2 (slide box) Guillermo Kuitca, Argentinian artist, 1995
2 (slide box) Bianca Lanza, art dealer, 1993
2 (slide box) Annie Liebovitz, photographer, 1992
(3 tapes)
2 (slide box) Gloria Luria, art dealer, 1992
2 (slide box) Marisol, Venezuelan artist, 1988
3 (slide box) Tomás Messer, 1990
3 (slide box) Virginia Miller, art dealer, 1992
3 (slide box) Joy Moos, art dealer, 1992
3 (slide box) Celia Muñoz, 1992
3 (slide box) Cristina Orr-Cahall, director of the Norton Gallery, 1990, 1992
(2 tapes)
3 (slide box) Paddock Family, collectors, 1994
3 (slide box) Nam June Paik, video artist, 1990
(2 tapes)
3 (slide box) Janet Paparelli, artist, 1994
3 (slide box) Demi and Arturo Rodriguez, Cuban artists, 1991
3 (slide box) Arturo Rodriguez, Cuban artist, 1993
3 (slide box) Vivian Rodriguez, Art in Public Places, 1993-1994
(2 tapes)
3 (slide box) Jason Rubell, collector, 1992
3 (slide box) Baruj Salinas, Cuban artist, 1993
3 (slide box) Fr. Jorge Sardinas, Catholic priest and artist, 1993
3 (slide box) Kenny Scharf, 1995
3 (slide box) Scull Sisters, Cuban artists, 1992
3 (slide box) Joel Shapiro, Center for Fine Arts, 1991
3 (slide box) Michael Spring, director, Dade Cultural Affairs Council, 1994
3 (slide box) Barbara Strasser, Inter-American Art Gallery, 1992
3 (slide box) Dora Valdez-Fauli, art dealer, 1992
4 (slide box) Estelle and Paul Berg, collectors, 1994
4 (slide box) Louis Grachos, director Center for the Fine Arts, and Phillip Taffe, artist, 1993
4 (slide box) Louise Fisherman and Bianca Lanza, 1994
4 (slide box) Gina Pellon and David Spitzer, artists, 1989-1990
4 (slide box) Barbara Neijna and Ned Smyth, Art in Public Places, 1994
4 (slide box) Carol Clever and Selden Rodman, Haitian art collectors, 1993
4 (slide box) Pablo Cano, Marta Gutíerrez, and Lydia Rúbio, 1993
4 (slide box) Suzanne Martinson, José Rodriguez, and Rafael Salazar, artist and collectors, 1995
4 (slide box) Mel Edwards and Lowry Sims, 1994
4 (slide box) South Florida Art Center, 1994