Lillian and Frederick Kiesler papers, [circa 1910]-2003, bulk 1958-2000

Kiesler, Lillian Olinsey, b. 1911 d. 2001
Active in New York, N.Y.

Kiesler, Frederick, b. 1890 d. 1965
Educator, Sculptor, Architect
Active in New York,N.Y.

Collection size: 48.2 linear ft.

Collection Summary: The papers of artist, performer, and arts educator Lillian Kiesler and sculptor, architect, set designer, educator, and writer Frederick Kiesler measure 48.2 linear feet and date from circa 1910s-2003, with the bulk of the material from 1958-2000. The collection documents their personal and professional lives and the legacy of Frederick Kiesler's work through biographical material, correspondence, legal, financial and business records, teaching files, exhibition and performance files, artwork, subject files, printed material, writings and interviews, monographs, photographic material, and sound recordings and motion picture film. Also found are papers related to Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hofmann and the papers of artist Alice Hodges.

Biographical/Historical Note: Lillian Kiesler (1910?-2001) was a painter from New York, N.Y. Married to Frederick Kiesler (1890-1965), who was an architect, sculptor, scenic & exhibition designer, educator. Lillian Kiesler was also a close friend and former student of Hans Hofmann, often called the "Dean of Abstract Expressionism" and monitor of his classes at the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts.

Lillian Kiesler donated her papers and papers related to Frederick Kiesler in several increments between 1980-2000. Earlier she had loaned materials for microfilming, most of which was included in later donations. She also donated papers related to Hans Hofmann in 1981. In 2002, circa 42 linear feet of material was donated from Lillian Kiesler's estate via Maryette Charlton executrix. Lillian Kiesler also lent material related to Frederick Kiesler for microfilming in 1971, which was included in later donations.

How to Use this Collection

  • Read the Finding Aid for this collection
  • Loaned material is available on reels 58 and 127-128 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. Contact Reference Services for more information.
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Also in the Archives

Related Materials

Also in the Archives is material that Lillian Kiesler lent for microfilming in 1971 (reels 58, 127-128, and 2399) relating to Frederick Kiesler. After microfilming, the originals were returned to her. Much of this material was included in later gifts from Kiesler. The loaned material dates from 1923-1993 and includes articles written by and about Frederick Kiesler, biographical material, exhibition catalogs and other related printed materials, clippings, and the "Bibliography of Writings By or About Frederick Kiesler" compiled by Lillian Kiesler.
Also in the Archives are the Hans Hofmann Papers, 1904-1978 and the Maryette Charlton Papers, 1929-1998.
Additional Frederick Kiesler papers are available at the Museum of Modern Art, the Harvard Theater Collection, and the Yale School of Art and Architecture.
Additional Hofmann School of Fine Arts records are in the Hans Hofmann papers.