Lois Dodd papers, 1945-2013

A Finding Aid to the Lois Dodd Papers, 1945-2013, in the Archives of American Art, by Jayna M. Hanson

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

Table of Contents:



Biographical Information

Lois Dodd (1927- ) is an observational painter, educator, activist, and co-founder of the Tanager Gallery. She is active in New York City and Maine.

Lois Dodd was born in 1927 in Montclair, New Jersey. Beginning in 1945, Dodd commuted from Montclair to New York City to attend The Cooper Union, from which she graduated in 1948. She married fellow student and sculptor William King with whom she had one child, Eli. King and Dodd, among others, established the Tanager Gallery in 1952.

Dodd worked for various organizations in New York City promoting affordable housing for artists, especially the renewal of Cooper Square. She continues to exhibit her paintings at both individual and group exhibitions.

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Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

The papers of New York City painter, educator, gallery owner, and activist Lois Dodd date from 1945 to 2013 and measure 6.8 linear feet. The papers focus on Dodd's personal work and contain little documentation of her involvement with Tanager Gallery. Found are biographical materials, including an interview conducted by Pat Mainardi in 1973; personal business records; professional correspondence; project and teaching files for Artist Housing Projects and various teaching positions; scattered writings and notes; printed materials including exhibition catalogs and announcements; and photographs.

The 2014 and 2015 additions date from 1945-2013 and provide additional material related to Dodd's career as a painter and educator. Found here are biographical material; correspondence with friends and artists; writings by others; project and teaching files; personal business records; printed material; photographical material of artwork and Dodd; eleven travel sketchbooks; and a few pieces of artwork by George Schneeman.

Notable correspondents in the collection include Charles Cajori, Dave and Kathy Dewey, Lucien Day, Rackstraw Downes, William King, James L. Lentz, James McGarrell, Zalmar Perlin, Sidney Simon, Paul Smith, and Tom Wesselman.

Arrangement and Series Description

The collection is arranged as 7 series:

Subjects and Names

This collection is indexed in the online catalog of the Archives of American Art under the following index terms:

  • Mainardi, Patricia
  • Art teachers--New York (State)--New York
  • Art--Study and teaching
  • Artists' studios--Photographs
  • Artists--Housing--New York (State)--New York
  • Gallery owners--New York (State)--New York
  • Interviews
  • Painters--New York (State)--New York
  • Photographs
  • Political activists--New York (State)--New York
  • Women artists--New York (State)--New York

Provenance

Lois Dodd donated her papers to the Archives of American Art in several increments between 1981-2007. Dodd donated an additional 4.8 linear feet of material in 2014 and 2015.

Separated and Related Materials

Among the collections of the Archives of American Art are the Tanager Gallery records, 1952-1972 and an oral history interview with Lois Dodd by Barbara Shikler conducted in 1988.

How the Collection was Processed

The Lois Dodd papers were minimally arranged upon receipt. In 2012, all accretions were merged, processed, and described by Jayna Hanson with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art. The 2014 and 2015 additions of 4.8 linear feet were minimally processed by Hilary Price 2016.


How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

Use of original papers requires an appointment.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The Lois Dodd papers papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.

How to Cite this Collection

The Lois Dodd papers, 1945-2013. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Biographical Information, 1949-1989
9 Folders; Box 1

Found are records concerning awards, memberships, and certificates; biographical sketches and resumes; and personal materials including a driver's license from Maine, travel papers concerning Dodd's trip to Italy, and a transcript of a 1973 interview of Dodd by Pat Mainardi.

Box Folder
1 1 Awards, 1987
1 2 Biographical Sketches, 1958-1960
1 3 Certificates, 1949
1 4 Drivers License, Maine, before 1971
1 5 Membership Records, 1987-1989
(includes ribbon)
1 6 Resumes, 1960s-1970s
1 7-8 Travel Papers, 1949-1960
2 Folders
1 9 Interview Transcript, 1973

Series 2: Personal Business Records, 1959-1990
0.1 Linear feet; Box 1

Found are Lois Dodd's loan and exhibition agreements, contracts, donation records, gallery plans, lists, purchase orders, receipts, sales records, and shipping records. Also found is a file of correspondence and agreements for the publishing of Dodd's print Laundry.

Box Folder
1 10 Agreements, Exhibitions, 1987
1 11 Agreements, Loans, 1982-1983
1 12 Concerning Laundry, 1984, 1990
1 13 Contracts, 1989
1 14 Donations, Works of Art, 1987
1 15 Donations, Monetary, 1990
1 16 Gallery Plans, circa 1974
1 17-18 Price Lists, 1987-1990
2 Folders
1 19 List of Artists Exhibiting, 1968-circa 1980s
1 20 Purchase Order, 1961
1 21 Shipping Receipts, 1969-1990
1 22 Receipts, 1959-1960
1 23 Delivery Confirmation Receipts, 1976-1987
1 24-25 Sales Records, 1974-1990
1 26 Shipping Notes, 1972

Series 3: Correspondence, 1952-1990
0.7 Linear feet; Box 1

Found are incoming and drafts of outgoing correspondence, the majority of which focuses on Dodd's painting career. Some personal correspondence may also be found. Notable correspondents include Lucien Day, Rackstraw Downes, James McGarrell, James Lentz, and Sidney Simon. Invitations to serve as art juror and to exhibit are found at the end of the series. Correspondence is also found in the project and teaching files.

Correspondence is arranged chronologically.

Box Folder
1 27 Correspondence, 1952
1 28 Correspondence, 1958
1 29 Correspondence, 1959
1 30 Correspondence, 1960
1 31 Correspondence, 1961
1 32 Correspondence, 1962
1 33 Correspondence, 1964
1 34 Correspondence, 1965
1 35 Correspondence, 1966
1 36 Correspondence, 1967
1 37 Correspondence, 1968
1 38 Correspondence, 1969
1 39 Correspondence, 1970
1 40 Correspondence, 1971
1 41 Correspondence, 1972
1 42 Correspondence, 1973
1 43 Correspondence, 1974
1 44 Correspondence, 1975
1 45 Correspondence, 1976
1 46 Correspondence, 1977
1 47 Correspondence, 1978
1 48 Correspondence, 1979
1 49 Correspondence, 1980
1 50 Correspondence, 1981
1 51 Correspondence, 1982
1 52 Correspondence, 1983
1 53 Correspondence, 1984
1 54 Correspondence, 1985
1 55 Correspondence, 1986
1 56 Correspondence, 1987
1 57-58 Correspondence, 1988
2 Folders
1 59 Correspondence, 1989
1 60 Correspondence, 1990
1 61 Correspondence, 1991
1 62 Correspondence, circa 1950s-1980s
1 63 Invitations, Art Juror, 1979-1990
1 64 Invitations, to Exhibit, 1979-1989
1 65 Postcards, 1988-1990

Series 4: Project and Teaching Files, 1969-1983
0.2 Linear feet; Box 1-2

Project files concern Dodd's work with the five Artist Housing Projects, including the Cooper Square Renewal and one file concerning a mural at Citibank. Files contain corresondence, publicity materials, clippings, and drafts of writings. Teaching files include materials from Dodd's positions at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, the Cleveland Institute of Art, Colby College, Louisiana State Univeristy, the Skowhegan School of Painting, and the Vermont Studio School, and may include correspondence and financial materials.

Box Folder
1 Artist Housing Projects
1 66 Cooper Square Renewal, 1969-1972
1 67 Cooper Square Renewal, Wyoming Building, 1972-1973
1 68 "Museum,," 1969
1 69 Soho Lofts, 1969-1983
1 70 Westbeth, 1970
1 Other Projects
1 71 Citibank Mural, 1983
Box Folder
2 Teaching Positions
2 1 Brooklyn College, 1973-1990
2 2 City University of New York, 1984
2 3 Cleveland Institute of Art, 1980
2 4 Colby College, 1976
2 5 Louisiana State University, 1983-1984
2 6-7 Skowhegan School of Painting, 1979-1988
2 Folders
2 8 Vermont Studio School, 1984-1989

Series 5: Writings and Notes, circa 1970-1990
5 Folders; Box 2

Scattered writings include a statement of plans by Dodd and a draft of a speech by Joe Fiori.

Box Folder
2 9 Statement of Plans, circa 1970s
2 10 Notes, Concerning Italian Grant, circa 1970
2 11 Speech Notes, Joe Fiori, circa 1980
2 12 Writings, circa 1970s-1980
2 13 Notes, circa 1990

Series 6: Printed Material, circa 1970-2001
0.6 Linear feet; Box 2

Printed materials include invitations, announcements, and catalogs for exhibitions of Dodd's work, including solo and group shows, as well as exhibitions of other artists. Also found are clippings, flyers, newsletters, and press releases. Of note are two publications featuring articles about and an interview with Dodd.

Box Folder
2 14-15 Invitations, 1977-1990
2 Folders
2 16-21 Exhibition Announcements, circa 1970-1994
6 Folders
2 22-24 Exhibition Catalogs, 1981-2001
3 Folders
2 25 Auction Catalog, 1989
2 26 Business Cards, circa 1990
2 27 Blank Stationery, circa 1980
2 28-29 Clippings, 1969-1988
2 Folders
2 30 Flyers and Info Sheets, circa 1970-1980
2 31 Magazine Articles About Dodd, circa 1980
2 32 Newsletters, 1979-1989
2 33 Programs, 1974
2 34-35 Press Releases, 1968-1990s
2 Folders
2 36 Italian Materials, circa 1960
(Includes a blueprint of a ship and a pamphlet)
2 37 American Artist, 1991
(Includes article on Lois Dodd by Laurie Hurwitz)
2 38 Bench Press Series on Art, 1985
(Interviews with Bernadette Mayer and Lois Dodd)

Series 7: Photographs, 1952-circa 1990
0.3 Linear feet; Box 2

There are personal snapshots and professional portraits of Lois Dodd and of Dodd with Bill and Eli King, Ann Arnold, Lee Bontecon, Angelo Ippolito, and others. Also found are photos of Dodd with her artwork and in her studio, and of works of art by Dodd and others.

Box Folder
2 39 Lois Dodd, Portraits, 1965-1975
(Includes potraits in her studio)
2 40 Lois Dodd, Portraits, circa 1980
(Includes potraits in her studio with works of art. Photos by Bob Brooks)
2 41 Lois Dodd and Bill King, circa 1950
2 42-43 Lois Dodd and Eli King, 1952-circa 1954
2 Folders
2 44 Lois Dodd, Lee Bontecon, Ann Arnold, by Mozette Tawil, circa 1990
2 45 Lois Dodd and Angelo Ippolito, 1952
2 46 Lois Dodd and Others, 1957-1969
2 47 Angelo Ippolito and Anita (no last name), 1952
2 48 Interior of Summer Studio, Cushing, Maine, 1969
2 49 Auction, Cushing, Maine, 1969
2 50-52 Works of Art, by Lois Dodd, circa 1960-1979
3 Folders
2 53 Works of Art, by Others, circa 1960

Series 8: Addition to the Lois Dodd Papers, 1945-2013
4.8 Linear feet; Box 3-8

The 2014 and 2015 additions date from 1945-2013 and provide additional material related to Dodd's career as a painter and educator. Found here are biographical material; correspondence with friends and artists; writings by others; project and teaching files; personal business records; printed material; photographical material of artwork and Dodd; eleven travel sketchbooks; and a few pieces of artwork by George Schneeman.

The series is arranged as 9 subseries

8.1: Biographical Material, 1949-2004
4 Folders; Box 3

Biographical material dates from 1949-2004 and is a certificate Dodd was awarded in weaving, an interview transcript, one notebook relating to a trip to Nova Scotia, and a resume.

Box Folder
3 1 Certificate in Weaving, 1949
3 2 Lois Dodd Interview by Pat Mainardi, Transcript, 1973
3 3 Notebook, "Trip to Cape Breton," 1988 June
3 4 Resume, 2004

8.2: Correspondence, 1949-2000s
3 Linear feet; Box 3-5

Correspondence dates from 1949-2000s and is primarily letters written to Dodd, both personal and professional in nature. Occasional drafts of Dodd?s replies are also found here. Notable correspondents include Charles Cajori, Dave and Kathy Dewey, Lucien Day, William King, Zalmar Perlin, Paul Smith, and Tom Wesselman. Personal letters are from friends and family and include holiday and greeting cards, postcards, and some photographs. Professional letters are from museums, galleries, and other arts organizations and institutions, including some relating to Tanager gallery. Mixed in are personal business records including loan agreements, shipping receipts, and payments records. Other professional letters relate to Dodd?s environmental activism and housing advocacy for artists. Printed materials including exhibition announcements, newsletters, and flyers are found dispersed through the subseries.

Arrangement reflects Dodd's original order. Correspondence was arranged chronologically in the 2014 addition and alphabetically by name in the 2015 addition.

Box Folder
3 By Name
3 5 Lennart Anderson, 1961
3 6 Tom Boutis, 1950-1955
3 7 Charles Cajori, 1950-1962
3 8 Jean Cohen, 1955-1960, 2010
3 9 Sally Hazelet Drummond, 1955-1961
3 10 Perle Fine, 1958
3 11 Angelo Ippolito, 1950-1951, 1962
3 12 Alex Katz, 1954-1960
3 13 William King, 1949-1964
3 14 K, Miscellaneous, 1950s-1960s
3 15 Arthur McTaggart, 1960s-1970s
3 16 Tom O'Donnell, 1959-1960
3 17 Bob and Terry Sowers, 1950s
3 18 Shirley Zimmerman, 1960
3 19 Chronological Correspondence, 1950s-1960s
3 20 Chronological Correspondence, 1970-1971
3 21 Chronological Correspondence, 1972-1973
3 22 Chronological Correspondence, 1974
3 23 Chronological Correspondence, 1975-1976
3 24 Chronological Correspondence, 1976-1977
3 25 Chronological Correspondence, 1978
3 26 Chronological Correspondence, 1979
3 27 Chronological Correspondence, 1980
3 28 Chronological Correspondence, 1981
3 29 Chronological Correspondence, 1982
3 30 Chronological Correspondence, 1983
3 31-32 Chronological Correspondence, 1984
Box Folder
4 1 Chronological Correspondence, 1985
4 2 Chronological Correspondence, 1986
4 3 Chronological Correspondence, 1987
4 4-5 Chronological Correspondence, 1988
4 6 Chronological Correspondence, 1989
4 7-8 Chronological Correspondence, 1990
4 9-10 Chronological Correspondence, 1991
4 11-12 Chronological Correspondence, 1992
4 13-14 Chronological Correspondence, 1993
4 15 Chronological Correspondence, 1994
Box Folder
5 1-2 Chronological Correspondence, 1994
5 3-4 Chronological Correspondence, 1995
5 5-7 Chronological Correspondence, 1996
5 8-9 Chronological Correspondence, 1997
5 10-11 Chronological Correspondence, 1998
5 12-13 Chronological Correspondence, 1999
5 14 Chronological Correspondence, 2000s
5 15 Postcards, 1950s-1960s

8.3: Writing by Others, 1974-1980s
2 Folders; Box 6

Writings by others date from 1974-1980s and are artist statements by George Sugarman, Al Held, and Edith Schloss. Also found here is one student paper.

Box Folder
6 1 Artists' Statements, 1974, 1987
6 2 Student Paper, 1980s

8.4: Project and Teaching Files, 1965-2002
0.4 Linear feet; Box 6

Project and teaching files date from 1965-2002 and relate to the Cooper Square housing renewal project, exhibitions Dodd curated and participated in, National Academy activities, and teaching appointments. Exhibitions include three that Dodd held in her Blairstown, New Jersey home (304 High Street). Items found here are price lists, press releases, notes, printed material, and correspondence. National Academy files reflect Dodd?s service as council member, and are reports, minutes, memos, mailings lists, and printed material. Teaching files are from appointments at Queens College and Brooklyn College and include correspondence, memos, class schedules, handouts, curriculum vitae, and grant applications for exhibitions on campus.

Box Folder
6 3 Artists' Housing, Cooper Square Committee, 1972-1973
6 Exhibitions
6 4 304 High Street, Jean Cohen, 1979
6 5 304 High Street, William White and Artists for Environment, circa 1981
6 6 Delaware Water Gap Project, Artists for Environment, 1975
6 7 "Six Figurative Sculptors," Curated by Dodd at Maine Coast Artists Gallery, 1987
6 8-10 National Academy of Design, 1993-2002
6 Teaching Files
6 11-13 Brooklyn College, 1965-1990s
6 14 Brooklyn College MFA Program, Deputy Chair, 1990-1991
6 15 Queens College, 1970-1971

8.5: Personal Business Records, 1966-2000s
0.3 Linear feet; Box 6

Personal business records date from 1966-2000s and are sales receipts, price lists, and correspondence with several galleries that represented Dodd over the years. Some printed material and photographic prints of artwork are found here as well.

Box Folder
6 16 Cape Split Place Inc., 1970s-1980s
6 17-18 Fischbach Gallery, 1980s-2000s
6 19 Green Mountain Gallery, 1969-1978
6 20 Mobile Art Gallery Ltd. and Two Gallery, 1966-1968, 1976

8.6: Printed Material, 1945-2013
0.3 Linear feet; Box 6

Printed material dates from 1945-2012 and documents Dodd?s life and career and the careers of her friends. Found here are announcements, brochures, clippings, exhibition catalogs, newsletters, periodicals, and various other printed material. The issue of ARTnews features an interview with Dodd. The other periodical is an issue of the magazine of Museum: A Project of Living Artists. A few files of printed material are arranged by subject, primarily by artist name.

Box Folder
6 21 Announcements, 1952-1993
6 22 Brochures, 1945-2013
6 23 Clipping, John Canaday, 1960
6 24 Exhibition Catalogs, 1960-1982
6 25 Newsletters, 1977-1981
6 26 Periodicals, 1969, 1975
6 27 Various Printed Material, 1967-1992
6 By Subject
6 28 Artists for Environment Foundation, 1970s-1980s
6 29 Charles Cajori, 1960s-2000s
6 30 Jean Cohen, 1977-2010
6 31 Lucien Day, 1980s-2000
6 32 Tanager Gallery, 2002
6 33 Tom Wesselman, 1987-2012

8.7: Photographic Material, 1950s-2000s
0.2 Linear feet; Box 7

Photographic material dates from 1950s-2000s and is of artwork, Dodd, friends, family, and a few exhibition views. Dodd?s artwork is captured on slides. All other material is black and white and color photographic prints. Found here are many shots of Dodd throughout her life, many of her painting in her studio.

Box Folder
7 1-2 Artwork, 1950s-2000s
7 3 Lois Dodd, Friends, and Family, 1950s-2000s
7 4 Exhibition Installation, 1990s

8.8: Sketchbooks, 1986-1998
0.6 Linear feet; Box 7-8

Eleven sketchbooks date from 1986-1998 and were used by Dodd on various trip to sketch landscapes and architecture. Media used include pencil, pen, and watercolor. Many sketches are labeled with the date and name of site.

Box Folder
7 5 Sketchbook, "Trip to Arizona and New Mexico," 1986 April
7 6 Sketchbook, "Hanover, NH, and Vermont," 1990
7 7 Sketchbook, "Delaware Water Gap, Vermont Studio Center," 1990
7 8 Sketchbook, "Water Gap and Maine Night Walks," 1991
Box Folder
8 1 Sketchbook, "Trip to Texas with Anne Arnold and Bob Brooks," 1991
8 2 Sketchbook, "New Orleans and Texas with Bob and Anne," 1991
8 3 Sketchbook, "Maine," 1991
8 4 Sketchbook, "Trip to Ucross with Elizabeth," 1994 March
8 5 Sketchbook, "Maine, Vermont, 1995; Trip West, 1996," 1995-1996
8 6 Sketchbook, "Turkey, 1995; Louisiana, 1998," 1995, 1998
8 7 Sketchbook, "Harrisville, New Hampshire; Owls Head, Maine," 1998

8.9: Artwork by Other Artist, 1981-1984
1 Folder; Box 8

The artworks in this series are four prints by the artist George Schneeman, which were incorporated into a calendar for the years 1981-1984.

Box Folder
8 8 Calendar Prints, George Schneeman, 1981-1984