Jacob Kainen papers, 1905-2008, bulk, 1940-2001

Kainen, Jacob, b. 1909 d. 2001
Curator, Painter, Printmaker
Active in Washington, D.C.; New York, N.Y.

Collection size: 27.8 linear feet

Collection Summary: Primarily personal correspondence to and from friends and family members and professional correspondence concerning Kainen's activities as an artist, curator, teacher and art collector. The collection also contains biographical material, writings, diaries, inventories, transcripts, photographs, works of art by other artists, video and audio recordings, and printed material. Three additions (11.8 linear feet) received 2007 and 2009 include diaries written by Jacob and Ruth Kainen, scrapbooks, photographs, sketches, and printed material.

Biographical/Historical Note: Jacob Kainen (1909-2001) was a painter, printmaker, and curator from Washington, D.C. Studied at the Art Students League and Pratt Institute.

Correspondence, writings, and printed materials were lent to the Archives of American Art from 1973 to 1981 by Jacob and Ruth Kainen to be microfilmed and then returned after microfilming. Additional papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Jacob and Ruth Kainen in several accessions from 1981 to 2000. Much of the original loaned materials were subsequently donated. Mrs. Ruth Kainen donated additional materials in 2003. On March 6, 2003 eight photographs of Jacob and Ruth Kainen were transferred from the National Portrait Gallery to the Archives of American Art. Additional material was donated in 2007 by Ruth Kainen and in 2009 by Ruth Kainen estate via, Teresa Covacevich Grana, executor.

How to Use this Collection

  • Read the Finding Aid for this collection
  • The loaned materials, much of which were subsequently donated, are available on microfilm reels 565, 2147-2149, and 2200. The microfilm is available for interlibrary loan.
  • 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.

Also in the Archives

Related Materials

Materials loaned by Jacob and Ruth Kainen from 1973 to 1981 are available on microfilm reels 565, 2147-2149, and 2200, but are not described in the Series Descriptions/Container Listing.
The Archives of American Art contains a sound recording and microfilmed transcript of Avis Berman's interview with Jacob Kainen for the Archives of American Art's "Mark Rothko and His Times" oral history project (reel 4937). Microfilm copies of Bertha Kainen's correspondence from 1993 to 1994 regarding Avis Berman's essay about Jacob Kainen are also available at the Archives of American Art (reel 5030).