Keith Warner papers, 1935-1975

Warner, Keith, b. 1895 d. 1959
Collector
Active in N.Y.

Collection size: 0.6 linear ft. (microfilmed on one reel)

Collection Summary: Primarily letters received by Warner from artists Alexander Calder, Roland Dorcely, Stanton Macdonald-Wright, Piet Mondrian, Alfred Stieglitz, and Max Weber. Also included are notes by Warner, and writings by Dorcely and Macdonald-Wright.

Letters from Calder, 1944-1951, include several illustrated postcards, letters illustrated with jewelry designs commissioned by Mrs. Warner, and letters concerning proposals for mobiles with drawings and notations regarding material, scale and cost. Typed notes taken from Warner's journal on Calder are also included.

Material on Haitian painter Roland Dorcely includes small sketches, letters about art and Warner's support in launching Dorcely's career, and the economic hardships of Haitian artists; writings by Dorcely on art, and his work.

An extensive group of letters from Macdonald-Wright, mostly undated, refers to Stieglitz's career and his relationship with Georgia O'Keeffe, the 291 group artists, Morgan Russell, Lorser Feitelson, and Samuel Kootz. Also included are printed and biographical material and published articles by Macdonald-Wright that appeared in Script magazine, 1945-1946.

Two letters from Piet Mondrian, 1943-1944, acknowledge payment for a purchase.

Stieglitz's letters, 1940-1947, relate to his gallery "An American Place," John Marin, whose work Warner actively collected, and 2 letters rom O'Keeffe written on behalf of Stieglitz. Warner's notes on Stieglitz recount a visit with him on May 3, 1944, where Stieglitz explained his early relationship with O'Keeffe.

Max Weber letters, 1944-1949, refer to Stieglitz and Marin, and includes comments on his painting and sculpting, his retrospective show at the Whitney, the art press, and national politics.

Biographical/Historical Note: Art collector; New York. Warner began collecting Chinese porcelains after World War I, and a few years later his interest shifted to American abstract painting. The collection was sold gradually, after his death, mostly to private collectors, though some works are in museums in the U.S. and Japan.

Donated 1992 by Edna K. Allen, widow of Keith Warner.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reel 4995 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
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