Karl Knaths papers, 1890-1971

Knaths, Karl, b. 1891 d. 1971
Painter, Educator, Printmaker
Active in Chicago, Ill.; Provincetown, Mass.; Cape Cod, Mass.

Collection size: 8.9 linear ft. (partially microfilmed on 10 reels)

Collection Summary: Correspondence; notebooks and sketchbooks; writings and notes; a diary; sketches and drawings; financial receipts; exhibition catalogs and announcements; clippings; and miscellaneous material.

REEL D81: Sketchbooks and notes, ca. 1947-1962. [All but one of the above sketchbooks have been refilmed along with additional material given to the Archives. Reels 433-437.]

REELS 433-437: 159 letters and postcards, several from Duncan Phillips. They relate to personal and family matters, lecture and teaching engagements, "causes," routine art and business matters. Also included are 102 notebooks and sketchbooks, 1922-23, 1944-70, and undated; 15 Hans Hofmann lectures, 1938-39 and undated; translations of works by Piet Mondrian, Carl Einstein, and Kasimir Malevitch; writings by Knaths and unidentified persons; loose sketches, drawings, studies; catalogs; and clippings.

REEL 535: Manuscript entitled "Ornament and Glory," 57 p.

REELS 2336-2339: Personal correspondence, 1923-1948, including letters from Joe Meierhans; business correspondence, 1942-1971, including a draft of a letter to Duncan Phillips, and consignment lists and sales records, many from Knaths's dealer, Paul Rosenberg and Company; miscellaneous financial receipts; two volumes of a diary, 1916-1919; writings and notes concerning Knaths's theories of art; five exhibition catalogs and announcements; printed matter; 139 sketches, drawings, and diagrams; 43 sketchbooks/notebooks, undated, and 1922-1947; and miscellany, including a 1890 memoir by F. A. Mehler, in German.

REEL 3090: A copy of a letter to Robert P. Johnston, Associate Professor of Art at Western Michigan University, April 14, 1968, about his teaching methods. Also included are loan agreement forms for Knaths's WET LANDS and FISH WHARF exhibited at the Audubon Artists' Annual Exhibitions, 1964 and 1966.

UNMICROFILMED: 32 sketches and prints, undated; uncollated writings, ca. 140 sketches, and a Latin prose composition notebook, undated.

Biographical/Historical Note: Painter, printmaker, educator; Cape Cod, Mass. Died in 1971.

Sketchbooks and notebooks lent for microfilming 1962 by Knaths, and subsquently donated along with material on reels 433-437 in 1972. The estate donated unfilmed material and material on reels 2336-2339 in 1980. The material on reels 535 & 3090 donor is unspecified.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reels D81, 433-437, 535, 2336-2339 & 3090 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
  • Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
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