Lawrence and Barbara Fleischman papers, 1837-1984, bulk 1935-1979

Fleischman, Lawrence Arthur, b. 1925 d. 1997
Collector, Dealer
Active in Detroit, Mich.

Fleischman, Barbara G.
Collector, Philanthropist
Active in New York,N.Y.

Collection size: 4.9 linear feet

Collection Summary: The papers of art collectors, art patrons, and philanthropists Lawrence and Barbara Fleischman measure 4.9 linear feet and date from 1837 to 1984, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1935-1979. The papers are comprised mostly of correspondence with artists, museums, and arts organizations. Also found are scattered biographical materials, artists' autograph letters purchased by the Fleischmans, exhibition files, notes and writings, printed material, and photographs.

One folder of biographical material includes a biographical account and a certificate of appreciation from the Common Council for the City of Detroit.

The bulk of the collection is comprised of correspondence documenting the Fleischman's art related activities and interests primarily during the 1950s and 1960s. Individual correspondents include Aaron Bohrod, Charles E. Burchfield, Charles B. Culver, Philip Evergood, Earl Krentzin, John Marin, Jr., Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentile, Peter Pollack, Edgar P. and Constance Richardson, Charles Coleman Sellers, and Franklin Watkins. One letter from Charles E. Burchfield includes four etching plates used to create the color print of "Hot September Wind."

Arts organizations and galleries represented in the correspondence include the American Federation of Arts, the Archives of American Art, the Arts Commission of the City of Detroit, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Detroit Institute of Art, Kennedy Galleries, M. Knoedler and Co., Inc., Kraushaar Galleries, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Midtown Galleries, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the School of the Society of Arts and Crafts, the United States Information Agency, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Winterthur Museum.

Three folders of notes and writings include "Introduction to Earl Krentzin Catalog" by Lawrence Fleischman and "Selection of Excerpts from the Soviet Press and Radio Attacking U. S. Culture" by unidentified authors. Scattered printed material includes miscellaneous clippings and catalogs not connected with the Exhibition Files series. There is also a book, "John Marin: The Man and his Work," by E. M. Benson, that was autographed by Marin to the Fleischmans in 1953.

Photographs include portrait photographs of Lawrence Fleischman, photographs of Lawrence and Barbara Fleischman with colleagues, of artwork from the Fleischman Collection, of Truman and Grace Bailey in their studio, and a copy photograph of Thomas Eakins as a boy.

Biographical/Historical Note: Lawrence Fleischman (1925-1997) of New York City was an American art collector, patron, philanthropist, and benefactor. His wife, Barbara, is also an art collector.

The collection was microfilmed in accretions on reels D8-D10 and 3646; the film is no longer in circulation. Letters that were loaned for microfilming in 1965 were subsequently donated, except for five letters which are filmed on reel D197. All accretions were merged and arranged, and a finding aid prepared by Jean Fitzgerald in 2010. The collection was prepared for scanning in 2011 by Stephanie Ashley and fully scanned in 2011 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

How to Use this Collection

  • The bulk of the collection was digitized in 2011 and is available on the Archives of American Art's website. Material not scanned includes duplicates, two published books, photographs of works of art, and writings not authored by the Fleischmans. In some cases, only the covers and title pages have been scanned.
  • 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

Five letters that were originally loaned for microfilming on reel D197 were not included in later donations. These include one postcard from Constance Richardson, 1956; one letter from Constance Richardson, 1957; one letter from Franklin Watkins, 1955; one letter from Lawrence Fleischman to Wilbur H. Hunter, 1960; and one letter from Richard D. Tucker, 1960.
Among the Archives holdings are two oral history interviews with Lawrence A. Fleischman. The first was conducted by Paul Cummings in 1970 and the second conducted by Gail Stavitsky in 1994. Both interviews have transcripts available.

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