A Finding Aid to the Louise Nevelson Papers,
circa 1903-1979, in the Archives of American Art, by Jennifer Meehan
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Table of Contents:
- Biographical Information
- Overview of the Collection
- How to Use the Collection
- Detailed Description and Container Inventory
Louise Nevelson was born in 1899 in Kiev, Russia. Her parents, Isaac and Minna Berliawsky, and their children emigrated to America in 1905 and settled in Rockland, Maine, where the young Louise grew up as a bit of an outsider in local society. She decided upon a career in art at an early age and took some drawing classes in high school, before graduating in 1918. Two years later, she married Charles Nevelson, a wealthy businessman, and moved to New York. She proceeded to study painting, drawing, singing, acting, and eventually dancing. In 1922, Nevelson gave birth to a son, Myron (later called Mike). She eventually separated from her husband in the winter of 1932-1933; and they divorced officially in 1941.
Beginning in 1929, Nevelson began to study art full-time at the Art Students League, where she took classes with Kenneth Hayes Miller and Kimon Nicolaides. In 1931, she went to Europe and studied with Hans Hofmann in Munich before traveling to Italy and France. She returned to New York in 1932 and again studied for a time with Hofmann, who was by now a guest instructor at the Art Students League. In 1933, she met Diego Rivera while he was in New York working on his mural for Rockefeller Center and casually worked as his assistant for a short period. Shortly thereafter, she began to work in sculpture and joined a sculpture class taught by Chaim Gross at the Educational Alliance. She continued to draw and paint, and even took up etching, lithography, and other techniques at different points in her career, but from this time on, she concentrated on sculpture. Her early sculptures were primarily in plaster, clay, and tattistone.
During the thirties, Nevelson exhibited in a number of group shows (both non-juried and competitive ones), garnering some recognition for her work. In 1935, she taught mural painting at the Flatbush Boys Club in Brooklyn, as part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), then went on to work in the fine-arts division as an easel painter and sculptor until 1939. In 1941, Nevelson had her first solo exhibition at the Nierendorf Gallery, run by Karl Nierendorf who represented her until his death in 1947. Both this and a one-woman show the following year received favorable reviews. It was around this time that she discovered the decorated shoeshine box of Joe Milone, a local tradesman, and arranged to have it exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, an occasion which received much notice in the press.
In the 1940s, Nevelson produced a great many works in stone, bronze, terra cotta, and wood, most of them being cubist studies of the figure. In 1943, she had a show titled "The Clown as the Center of his World" at the Norlyst Gallery, which featured works on a circus theme constructed from discarded pieces of wood and other material. This new work was not very well received at the time, and it wasn't until the mid-1950s that she began to work with discarded and found objects on a regular basis.
During the early-1950s, Nevelson attempted to exhibit her work as often as possible, eventually receiving various prizes and notices for her work in the press. She continued to struggle financially though and began to teach sculpture classes in the adult education program of the Great Neck, Long Island public schools in order to make ends meet. In 1955, she joined he Grand Central Moderns Gallery, which was run by Colette Roberts, and had several one-woman shows there. These included: "Ancient Games and Ancient Places" in 1955, featuring Bride of the Black Moon, "The Forest" in 1957, featuring First Personage, and "Moon Garden + One" in 1958, featuring her first wall, Sky Cathedral. During this period, she was painting her wood black and putting together entirely black exhibits; she went on to create works in white and gold in the early-1960s. Around this time, she also began to enclose her small sculptures within wooden boxes.
Nevelson joined the Martha Jackson Gallery in 1958, where she received a guaranteed income and finally achieved a certain degree of financial security. Her first show at the gallery, "Sky Columns Presence," took place in the fall of 1959. In 1960, she had her first one-woman exhibition in Europe at the Galerie Daniel Cordier in Paris. Later that year, her work, grouped together as "Dawn's Wedding Feast," was included in the group show, "Sixteen Americans," at the Museum of Modern Art, alongside the work of Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenburg, and other younger artists. She made her first museum sale in 1962 when the Whitney Museum of American Art purchased the black wall, Young Shadows. That same year, Nevelson's work was selected for the thirty-first Biennale in Venice.
Over the years, Nevelson took on several assistants, including Teddy Haseltine, Tom Kendall, and Diana Mackown, to help in the studio and with daily affairs. She also participated in various artists' groups, and served as President of the New York Chapter of Artists' Equity from 1957 to 1958, and as President of the national organization from 1962 to 1964. She left the Martha Jackson Gallery in 1962, and after a brief, unhappy stint with the Sidney Janis Gallery, she joined the Pace Gallery, which was run by Arnold Glimcher, in the fall of 1963. She proceeded to have shows of new work there about every two years for the remainder of her career. She had her first museum retrospective at the Whitney Museum in 1967, which featured over a hundred of her works from her drawings from the 1930s to her latest constructions. And in 1968, she was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters. By this time, Nevelson had achieved both critical and commercial success as an artist.
Nevelson always experimented with new materials; she continued to construct her black wood walls, but also went on make constructions from aluminium, plastic, and metal. In the fall of 1969, she was commissioned by Princeton University to do a monumental outdoor sculpture in Cor-ten steel (her first), and went on to do commissioned works for the Philadelphia Federal Courthouse, and Chase Manhattan Bank in New York, among others. In 1973, the Walker Art Center organized a major exhibition of Nevelson work which traveled around the country over the next two years. In 1975, she designed the chapel for St. Peter's Lutheran Church in midtown Manhattan.
Nevelson was widely honored for her work during her lifetime. Over the years, she received honorary degrees from Rutgers University and Harvard University, among other schools, as well as numerous awards, including the Brandeis University Creative Arts Award in Sculpture and the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture in 1971, the gold medal for sculpture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1983, and the National Medal of the Arts in 1985. By the time of her death on April 17, 1988, Nevelson was considered by and large one of the most important American sculptors of the twentieth century.
Sources consulted for this biographical note include Louise Nevelson: A Passionate Life by Laurie Lisle and Louise Nevelson by Arnold Glimcher.
Overview of the Collection
Scope and Contents
The papers of Louise Nevelson measure approximately 16.8 linear feet and date from circa 1903 to 1979. The collection documents aspects of the life and work of the sculptor, focusing especially on her later career. Papers include correspondence, personal business records, writings, scrapbooks, early art work, photographs, interviews, awards and honorary degrees, books, and an extensive amount of printed material.
Interviews, awards, and honorary degrees comprise a series of biographical material, along with scattered personal papers such as a graduation program, wedding announcement, teaching certificate, invitations, miscellaneous notes, and material relating to Nevelson's family. Correspondence consists of letters and enclosures from a wide range of professional contacts, including museums and art centers, universities, art associations, women's and charitable organizations, artists, and philanthropists, among others, concerning the exhibition, sale, and donation of Nevelson's art work, and her various arts-related activities, as well as some letters from friends and family. Correspondence can also be found amongst the subject files, which also include clippings, notes, printed and other material organized according to subject and relating to certain exhibitions, and various artistic and professional activities. Whether this organization originates with Nevelson, one of her assistants, or Archives staff is unknown.
Found amongst Nevelson's business records are consignment receipts, statements, correspondence, inventories, disposition cards, notebooks, and lists, stemming from her business dealings with the Martha Jackson Gallery and related matters, usually carried out by her assistant at the time. Business records relate in particular to the large and complex project of inventorying Nevelson's art work undertaken sometime in the early-1960s. Nevelson's writings consist mostly of poems and poem fragments, as well as a short-lived dream journal and scattered writings on art, and reflect some of her ideas about art in general and her work in particular. Also found are a large number of scrapbooks and an extensive amount of printed material, which likely stem in large part from Nevelson's concern to document and keep a record of her accomplishments. Scrapbooks contain clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and other material documenting Nevelson's early career from roughly the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s. Also included are loose items comprising a scrapbook of sorts on son Mike Nevelson and various scrapbooks compiled by others as mementos of particular events. Printed material includes an extensive amount of clippings and publications, exhibition catalogs and announcements, and a variety of other printed material relating or referring to Nevelson or merely featuring her name in print. Also included are several books, some of which are about or feature segments on Nevelson. This material documents both her critical and commercial success, and her role as personality and minor celebrity in the mass media later in her career, especially during the 1960s and 1970s.
Art work consists of early drawings and watercolors made by Nevelson as a child and adolescent and while studying art in high school and New York, which document her artistic tendencies as youth and her early development as an artist and which provide an interesting contrast to her later work in sculpture. Photographs include ones of the Berliawsky family and Nevelson as a child, adolescent, and young woman in the 1920s and 1930s before she became known as an artist; ones of Nevelson from the mid-1950s to the late-1970s, once she had become known, and began to be honored, as an artist; and ones of Nevelson's art work, as well as of various exibitions and installations of her work. Also included are a number of slides of the artist and her art work, including photographs taken by Dorothy Dehner in the mid-1950s at Louise Nevelson's house on Thirtieth Street.
Arrangement and Series Description
The Louise Nevelson papers are arranged into nine series:
- Series 1: Biographical Material, 1918-1975 (Boxes 1, 17, OV 21; 0.8 linear feet)
- Series 2: Correspondence, 1931-1979 (Boxes 1-2; 1.5 linear feet)
- Series 3: Subject Files, 1955-1971, 1977-1978 (Box 3; 0.7 linear feet)
- Series 4: Business Records, 1946-1954, 1958-1962 (Boxes 3-5; 1.8 linear feet)
- Series 5: Writings, 1936-1970s (Box 5; 0.1 linear feet)
- Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1935-1970 (Boxes 5, 18-19, OV 22-27; 1.3 linear feet)
- Series 7: Printed Material, 1916, 1930s-1979 (Boxes 6-13, 19, OV 28; 8 linear feet)
- Series 8: Art Work, 1905-1929 (Boxes 13, 20; 0.3 linear feet)
- Series 9: Photographs, circa 1903-1979 (Boxes 14-15, 20, OV 29; 2.3 linear feet)
Subjects and Names
This collection is indexed in the online catalog of the Archives of American Art under the following index terms. People, families and organizations are listed under "Subjects" when they are the topic of collection contents and under "Names" when they are creators or contributors.
- Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York
- Sculpture -- Exhibitions
- Women sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York
- Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews
- Types of Materials:
- Works of art
Louise Nevelson donated her papers in several installments from 1966 to 1979; they were microfilmed upon receipt.
Separated and Related Materials
Other resources relating to Louise Nevelson in the Archives include oral history interviews with Nevelson conducted by Dorothy Seckler, June 1964-January 14, 1964, and Arnold Glimcher, January 30, 1972. Also related are a 4 part untranscribed audio recording of an interview with Nevelson by Barbaralee Diamonstein, an audio recording of an interview with Nevelson conducted by Barbara Braun in 1983, and a video recording of Nevelson's 1958 exhibition installation at Grand Central Moderns gallery. Other material relating to Louise Nevelson, which was collected by her brother Nathan Berliawsky and her son Mike Nevelson, can be found at the Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine.
How the Collection was Processed
Early donations of the Louise Nevelson papers received a preliminary level of processing and were microfilmed on reels D296, D296A-D296E, 440 and 1817. Previously microfilmed and unmicrofilmed portions were fully merged, re-processed and described by Jennifer Meehan in 2005, and the bulk of the collection was scanned, with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
How to Use the Collection
Restrictions on Use
The bulk of this collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website. Use of material not digitized requires an appointment. Mike Nevelson letters are sealed.
Ownership & Literary Rights
The Louise Nevelson 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.
The bulk of this collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.. Only the covers and title pages of widely available exhibition catalogs have been scanned. Additional items typically not scanned include photographs of artwork, slides, clippings, publications, and other printed material.
How to Cite this Collection
Louise Nevelson papers, circa 1903-1979. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Detailed Description and Container Inventory
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1918-1975 (Boxes 1, 17, OV 21; 0.8 linear feet)
Series consists of scattered material shedding light on different aspects of Nevelson's life and work. Included are the program of her graduation from Rockland High School, the announcement of her wedding to Charles Nevelson, and a draft of last her will and testament; and some additional family papers concerning her son Mike Nevelson, such as his high school diploma and certificate of service as a seaman, an autograph book (containing signatures of artists, Louis Eilshemius, Hans Hoffmann, and Kenneth Hayes Miller, among others), a short story, and various exhibition announcements and catalogs; numerous awards and honorary degrees received Nevelson; her teaching certificate, dating from the time she taught in the adult education program of the Great Neck, Long Island public schools; material from various interviews with Nevelson, including transcribed interviews with Louise Elliot Rago and Tal Streeter and an untranscribed interview with Molly Haskell; writings about Nevelson, including a typescript of an article by Robert Rosenblum and a paper by Katherine Rouse; and other miscellaneous papers.
Biographical material is arranged in rough chronological order. The bulk of this series has been scanned. Some printed materials have not been scanned. In some cases, only the cover and title pages of publications were scanned.
|1||1||Graduation Program and Wedding Announcement, 1918, 1920|
|1||Mike Nevelson Papers|
|1||2||Childhood Drawings [?], undated|
|1||3||Papers and Official Documents, 1920s, 1940-1944|
|1||4||Autograph Book, 1933|
|1||6||Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, undated|
|1||7||Miscellaneous, 1921, undated|
|1||8||Awards and Honorary Degrees, 1954-1973 (See also Box 17 and OV 21)|
|1||9-14||Material Pertaining to Awards and Honorary Degrees, 1966-1978 (6 folders)|
|1||15||Teaching Certificate, 1955|
|1||16||Financial Records, Check Stubs, 1957-1962|
|1||17-19||Interviews with Nevelson, 1958-1975 (3 folders; not scanned in entirety)|
|1||20||Miscellaneous Notes, 1959|
|1||21||Invitations, Programs, and Menus, 1959-1978|
|1||22||Writings about Nevelson, 1960-1966|
|1||23||Biography and Notes, 1960s|
|1||24||Draft of Last Will and Testament, 1970|
|1||25||Name Tags, 1970, undated|
|17 (sol)||Oversize, Awards and Honorary Degrees, 1954-1973 (See Box 1, F8)|
|OV 21||Oversize, Awards and Honorary Degrees, 1954-1973 (See Box 1, F8)|
Series 2: Correspondence, 1931-1979 (Boxes 1-2; 1.5 linear feet)
Series consists primarily of Nevelson's professional correspondence, as well as some personal and family correspondence. Files are typically made up of letters, invitations, greeting cards, and telegrams received by Nevelson, copies of letters sent on her behalf (by lawyers and assistants) or shared with her by others, and photographs, press releases, clippings, and other printed material enclosed with correspondence. Correspondents include artists, dealers, museums, universities, art critics, collectors, arts-related and social organizations, admirers, along with some friends, colleagues, and family members in addition to her son. (See appendix for a select list of notable correspondents.)
General correspondence details the exhibition of Nevelson's work in various group and one-man shows; the consignment, sale, and disposition of her work, especially her dealings with the Martha Jackson Gallery and Daniel Cordier (in Europe); her donations of art work to museums and universities, and for auction by charitable organizations; and the various honors and awards received by her later in her career (including the Creative Arts Medal in Sculpture from Brandeis University and honorary degrees from the Philadelphia College of Art and Bowdoin College, among others). General correspondence also concerns Nevelson's various art-related activities, including her participation on various panels, and in workshops, conferences, and lecture series on art; her involvement in professional organizations, such as the Sculptor's Guild; and her service on various award juries and arts committees (such as the Arts and Entertainment Committee for the Rockefeller Team).
Correspondence is arranged chronologically. This series has been scanned in its entirety, except for Louise Nevelson's correspondence with her son Mike, which is sealed.
|1||36-37||1961 (2 folders)|
|1||38-40||1962 (3 folders)|
|1||41-42||1963 (2 folders)|
|1||43-44||1964 (2 folders)|
|1||45-46||1965 (2 folders)|
|1||47-48||1966 (2 folders)|
|2||1-2||1967 (2 folders)|
|2||3-4||1968 (2 folders)|
|2||7-11||1971 (5 folders)|
|2||13-14||1973 (2 folders)|
|2||15-16||1974 (2 folders)|
|2||22-23||undated (2 folders)|
|2||Mike Nevelson Letters (ALL ARE SEALED; NOT SCANNED)|
|2||24-26||1931-1939 (3 folders; SEALED)|
|2||43||1962-1965, 1972 (SEALED)|
Series 3: Subject Files, 1955-1971, 1977-1978 (Box 3; 0.7 linear feet)
Series consists of files of clippings, newsletters, correspondence, notes, announcements, programs, receipts, loan agreements and receipts, and other material, organized according to subject (name of organization or person, place, activity, format). Files relate to Nevelson's activities with various professional and arts-related organizations (such as Artists Equity Association); her participation in various workshops, panels, and conferences (including Meet the Artists course at New York University and the Tamarind Lithography Workshop); the exhibition of her work in other countries, and in museums and galleries, such as The Museum of Modern Art and Wadsworth Atheneum; the handling of certain business matters (including dealings with the gallery owner, Daniel Cordier, restoration of the Nevelson sculpture owned by Nelson Rockefeller that was damaged by fire, and various photograph orders), usually conducted by Nevelson's assistant, Tom Kendall, on her behalf. Files of biographical information and notes also relate to some of Nevelson's activities in publicizing her art work.
It is not clear whether the subject organization of the files originates with Nevelson (or one her associates) or with Archives staff. The existing organization has for the most part been maintained. Files are arranged alphabetically. Related material can be found amongst the business records and printed material. While most of this material has been scanned, duplicates and some printed material has not.
Series 4: Business Records, 1946-1954, 1958-1962 (Boxes 3-5; 1.8 linear feet)
Series consists of files stemming from Nevelson's business dealings with the Martha Jackson Gallery (her primary representative from 1958 to 1962) and other business matters, usually carried out by her assistant, Tom Kendall, on her behalf. Files include consignment receipts, statements, memos, correspondence, notes, inventories, disposition cards, notebooks, lists, and dummy pages for a Nevelson book (compiled from the text of an interview by Tal Streeter and photographs of Nevelson) that was never completed. Also included are scattered note cards and drawings kept by Nevelson, documenting certain early works and their disposition.
The bulk of the files seem to relate to the large project of inventorying Nevelson's art work, including black wood constructions, white works, bronzes, etchings, and drawings, which was most likely carried out by Nevelson's assistant and gallery staff sometime in the early-1960s. Some inventories provide basic information about art works (including title, dates, dimensions, and so on). More detailed inventories, along with the lists, disposition cards, and notebooks which seem to have been used in compiling them, provide further information about the previous and/or current location, ownership, and disposition of art works. Some photographs and sketches of art work can be found on the disposition cards. Other files relate to the pricing, sale, and exhibition of Nevelson's art work.
Files are arranged by format in rough chronological order. Related material can be found amongst the subject files. This series has been scanned in its entirety.
|3||53||Note Cards on Disposition of Certain Works (kept by Nevelson), 1946-1950|
|3||54||Drawings of Terra Cotta Sculptures, 1948-1954|
|3||55-58||Martha Jackson Gallery, 1958-1962 (4 folders)|
|3||59||Inventory of Works, 1958-1960|
|3||60-62||Nevelson Inventory (Inventory of Nevelson Works in Martha Jackson Gallery), 1958-1960 (3 folders)|
|3||63-64||Detailed Inventory of Works, 1960s (2 folders)|
|4||1-9||Detailed Inventory of Works, Lists and Disposition Cards, 1960s (9 folders)|
|4||10-21||Disposition Cards, 1960s (12 folders)|
|5||1-2||Disposition Cards, 1960s (2 folders)|
|5||3-9||Notebook, 1959-1960 (7 folders)|
|5||10-11||Notebook, Etchings and Drawings, 1959-1961 (2 folders)|
|5||12||Notebook, Location or Ownership of Nevelson Sculptures as known to Tom Kendall, 1961|
|5||13-15||Work File of Tom Kendall, 1959-1961 (3 folders)|
|5||16-17||Unfinished Nevelson Book, 1960 (2 folders)|
|5||18-19||Prices, 1960-1961 (2 folders)|
|5||21||Itemized List for Martha Jackson Gallery Re: Extra Work on Bronze Sculptures, 1962|
|5||22||Exhibition List and Notes, 1960s|
|5||24||Blank Consignment Receipts (Martha Jackson Gallery), undated (Not scanned)|
Series 5: Writings, 1936-1970s (Box 5; 0.1 linear feet)
Series consists of writings by Nevelson, which shed light on different aspects of her creativity and on her ideas about art in general and her work in particular. Included are a journal of sorts in which she recorded her dreams for a two-month time period (from April 21 to June 21) in 1936; various poems and fragments of writings; various writings on art, including titled pieces, such as "The Birth of Painting (Picture Happy)" and "The Winged City," drafts of speeches on the artist Rose Newman-Wolinska and on sculpture, an article on sculpture for the Christian Science Monitor; statements which seem to have been written for The Whitney Review (1961-1962); and salutes to others, including a poem for Dorothy Dehner which appeared in an exhibition catalog for one of her shows and the draft of a short piece (possibly a speech) in honor of Merce Cunningham.
Writings are arranged in rough chronological order. This series has been scanned in its entirety.
|5||25||Dream Journal, 1936|
|5||26-28||Poems and Fragments, 1950s-1973 (3 folders)|
|5||29||Writings on Art, 1953-1957|
|5||30||Artist Statements, circa 1961|
|5||31||Salutes to Others, 1970s|
Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1935-1970 (Boxes 5, 18-19, OV 22-27; 1.3 linear feet)
Series consists of scrapbooks kept by Nevelson (or by someone on her behalf), documenting her early career roughly spanning from the 1930s to the mid-1950s. Also included are a scrapbook of sorts on Mike Nevelson, as well as various scrapbooks compiled by others and then presented to Nevelson as a memento of a particular event involving the artist, such as being awarded the Distinguished Service Award from State University College at Buffalo and an exhibition at the Galerie Jeanne Bucher in Paris.
A lot of the material is duplicated in the different scrapbooks kept by Nevelson. Much of the same and related material can be found amongst printed material.
Scrapbooks are arranged in rough chronological order. Many were removed from their original bindings at some previous time. Loose clippings and photographs of art work that were originally in scrapbooks, and were likewise removed at some previous time, are arranged in files at the end of the series. More detailed descriptions for certain scrapbooks are provided below. The bulk of this series has been scanned, except for duplicates, photographs of works of art, and some newsclippings. In some cases, only the cover and title pages have been scanned for published items.
Scrapbook, Loose Items and Pages, 1918, 1935-1955 (See Box 18)
Includes Nevelson's high school diploma, a drawing of Nevelson by William Zorach, drawings by Nevelson (reproductions of old masters, which she signed "Berliawsky"), and scrapbook pages of clippings and exhibition catalogs. Note attached reads "Scrapbook, original collation. Acquisition date April 1966."
Scrapbook, 1935-1952 (See Box 18)
Includes clippings (one is an article by Nevelson about her work at the Flatbush Boy's Club, the rest are mostly reviews and listings of exhibitions); announcements and catalogs for various exhibitions (including, notably, her first solo show at the Nierendorf Gallery); and a program and clippings on Mike Nevelson's performance in the play, Our Town.
Scrapbook, Loose Pages, 1936-1966 (bulk 1952-1956) (See OV 22-26)
Includes primarily clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs from the time period 1952-1956 (much of this material is duplicated in this and other scrapbooks), as well as an exhibition catalog for the American Artists Congress show in 1936, an educational bulletin (listing a class taught by Nevelson in 1938-1939), a book of poems (in Spanish) by Alfredo Chaco, and correspondence and clippings relating to an honorary degree received in 1966.
Scrapbook, Loose Items and Pages, 1941-1944, 1952, circa 1960s (See OV 27)
Includes, along with the more typical clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, photographs (stats?) of models posing in front of Nevelson art work (presumably taken sometime during the 1960s), extensive clippings on Joe Milone and his shoeshine box (discovered by Nevelson in 1942 and exhibited that same year at MOMA), and proofs of the artist photograph (where Nevelson is made up to look like a witch) which appeared in Life magazine sometime in the 1950s.
|5||36||Scrapbook, Loose Clippings on Mike Nevelson, 1953-1956 (See Box 19)|
|5||37||Scrapbook, Distinguised Service Award from State University College at Buffalo, 1968-1969|
|5||38||Scrapbook, Exhibition at Galerie Jeanne Bucher, 1969|
|5||39||Scrapbook Pages (compiled by Zachary Gitlin), 1969-1970 (See Box 19)|
|5||40-44||Loose Clippings Originally in Scrapbooks, 1936-1958 (5 folders; not scanned)|
|5||45-52||Loose Photographs of Art Work Originally in Scrapbooks, circa 1940s-1950s (8 folders; not scanned)|
|18 (sol)||Oversize, Scrapbook, Loose Items and Pages, 1918, 1935-1955 (See Box 5, F32)|
|18 (sol)||Oversize, Scrapbook, 1935-1952 (See Box 5, F33)|
|OV 22-26||Oversize, Scrapbook, Loose Pages, 1936-1966 (bulk 1952-1956) (See Box 5, F34)|
|OV 27||Oversize, Scrapbook, Loose Items and Pages, 1941-1944, 1952, circa 1960s (See Box 5, F35)|
|19 (sol)||Oversize, Scrapbook, Loose Clippings on Mike Nevelson, 1953-1956 (See Box 5, F36)|
|19 (sol)||Oversize, Scrapbook Pages (compiled by Zachary Gitlin), 1969-1970 (See Box 5, F39)|
Series 7: Books and Printed Material, 1916, 1930s-1979 (Boxes 6-13, 19, OV 28; 8 linear feet)
Series consists of books and printed material collected by Nevelson and/or her assistants, documenting her various professional and artistic achievements throughout her career, her critical and commercial success, and her role as a personality and minor celebrity in the mass media late in her career. Books include ones given as gifts to Nevelson by friends or admirers and ones about or featuring segments on Nevelson. Printed material includes clippings from magazines and newspapers of reviews, articles, and routine listings of Nevelson's exhibits, as well as some publications featuring the same; exhibition catalogs, announcements, and invitations for Nevelson's group and solo shows, as well as some for the shows of others; and press releases, newsletters, bulletins, announcements, calendars of events, catalogs, programs and other printed material relating or referring to Nevelson or merely featuring her name in print. The extent of this material is suggestive of Nevelson's concern and effort to document and keep a record of her accomplishments.
Printed material is arranged in rough chronological order according to type. Some material is arranged in files according to subject at the end of the series. Books, clippings, and other voluminous amounts of printed materials were not scanned. Nevelson's exhibition catalogs were scanned.
Books, 1961-1977 (11 books; not scanned)
|6||Clippings (Not scanned)|
|6||3-4||1940s (2 folders)|
|6||11-12||1957 (2 folders)|
|6||13-14||1958 (2 folders)|
|6||15-17||1959 (3 folders)|
|6||18-20||1960 (3 folders)|
|6||21-24||1961 (4 folders)|
|6||25-27||1962 (3 folders)|
|6||28-30||1963 (3 folders)|
|6||31-33||1964 (3 folders)|
|7||1-4||1965 (4 folders)|
|7||5-7||1966 (3 folders)|
|7||8-11||1967 (4 folders)|
|7||12-14||1968 (3 folders)|
|7||15-17||1969 (3 folders)|
|7||18-19||1970 (2 folders)|
|7||20-22||1971 (3 folders)|
|7||23-25||1972 (3 folders)|
|7||26-28||1973 (3 folders)|
|7||29-33||1974 (5 folders)|
|7||34-36||1975 (3 folders)|
|7||37-42||1976 (6 folders)|
|8||1-7||1977 (7 folders)|
|8||8-11||1978 (4 folders)|
|8||13-18||undated (6 folders)|
|8||Publications (Not scanned)|
|8||28-30||1967 (3 folders)|
|9||5-7||1973 (3 folders)|
|9||8-10||1974 (3 folders)|
|9||11-13||1975 (3 folders)|
|9||16-17||1978 (2 folders)|
|10||2-4||1959 (3 folders)|
|10||5-7||1960 (3 folders)|
|10||8-9||1961 (2 folders)|
|10||12||1964 (See also Box 19)|
|10||15-16||1967 (2 folders)|
|10||18-19||1969 (2 folders)|
|10||21-23||1971 (3 folders)|
|10||24-25||1972 (2 folders)|
|11||1-2||1973 (2 folders)|
|11||3-6||1974 (4 folders)|
|11||7-10||1975 (4 folders)|
|11||11||1976 (See also Box 19)|
|11||12-13||1977 (2 folders)|
|11||Exhibition Announcements and Invitations|
|11||19-23||1960s (5 folders)|
|12||1-3||1970s (3 folders)|
|12||5-6||Press Releases, 1944-1977 (2 folders; not scanned)|
|12||7-12||Newsletters and Bulletins, 1947-1979 (6 folders; see also Box 19; not scanned)|
|12||13-14||Exhibition Catalogs and Announcements for Others, 1951-1970 (2 folders; not scanned)|
|12||15-18||Exhibition Announcements, Posters, 1954-1977 (4 folders; see also OV 28; not scanned)|
|12||19-20||Course Catalogs for Adult Program, Great Neck Public Schools, 1955-1959 (2 folders; not scanned)|
|12||21-22||Announcements and Calendars of Events, 1958-1978 (2 folders; not scanned)|
|12||23-24||Auction Catalogs, 1961-1979 (2 folders; not scanned)|
|12||25||Transcript of Panel Discussion Featuring Nevelson, 1961 (Not scanned)|
|12||26||Prospectuses, 1962 (Not scanned)|
|12||27-31||Programs, 1963-1978 (5 folders; see also Box 19; not scanned)|
|12||32||Gallery and Exhibition Guides, 1964-1977 (Not scanned)|
|12||33||Reports, 1964-1977 (Not scanned)|
|13||1-3||Invitations, 1965-1979 (3 folders; not scanned)|
|13||4||Lists, 1967-1977 (Not scanned)|
|13||5||Sample of Nevelson's Portfolio of Original Serigraphs, circa 1968 (Not scanned)|
|13||6-7||Art Catalogs, 1969-1978 (2 folders; not scanned)|
|13||8-9||Skowhegan Award Dinner Programs, 1971-1979 (2 folders; not scanned)|
|13||10||Agendas, 1973, 1977 (Not scanned)|
|13||11||Clippings, Personal, 1975-1977, undated (Not scanned)|
|13||12||Book Catalog, 1978-1979 (Not scanned)|
|13||13||Greeting Cards, Post Cards, and Drawing Pad Featuring Nevelson's Work, undated (Not scanned)|
|13||14||Photocopied Reproductions of Nevelson Art Work, undated (Not scanned)|
|13||15-17||Miscellaneous Printed Material Referring to Nevelson, 1959-1979, undated (3 folders; not scanned)|
|13||18||Miscellaneous, 1916, 1957-circa 1973, undated (Not scanned)|
|13||By Subject (Not scanned)|
|13||19||New York Society of Ceramic Arts Exhibition, 1952|
|13||20||Grand Central Moderns, 1957-1963|
|13||21-23||Mike Nevelson, 1961-1978 (3 folders)|
|13||24||Venice Biennale, 1962|
|13||25||Artists Equity Convention, 1964|
|13||26||New York Council on the Arts, 1969|
|13||27||"Plu Kifekler," 1969|
|13||28||Pace Gallery, 1970s|
|13||29||Arnold Scaasi Collections, 1971|
|13||30||Walker Art Center Exhibition, 1973|
|13||31||Public Arts Council, 1974, 1978|
|13||32||Sarah Scaife Gallery (Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute), 1974 (See also Box 19)|
|13||33||Rockefeller Sculpture, 1976-1978|
|13||34||Art in Architecture Program, 1977-1979|
|13||35||Embarcadero Center, 1977|
|13||36||Art and Community Institute Advisory Board, 1978|
|13||37||Little Italy Restoration Association, 1978|
|13||38||New York Feminist Art Institute, 1979|
|19 (sol)||Oversize, Exhibition Catalogs, 1964 (See Box 10, F12)|
|19 (sol)||Oversize, Exhibition Catalogs, 1976 (See Box 11, F11)|
|19 (sol)||Oversize, Newsletters and Bulletins, 1947-1979 (Not scanned)|
|19 (sol)||Oversize, Programs, 1963-1978 (Not scanned)|
|19 (sol)||Oversize, By Subject, Sarah Scaife Gallery (Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute), 1974 (Not scanned)|
|OV 28||Oversize, Exhibition Announcements, Posters, 1954-1977 (Not scanned)|
Series 8: Art Work, 1905-1929 (Boxes 13, 20; 0.3 linear feet)
Series consists of some of Nevelson's early art work. Included are drawings she made as a child and adolescent; watercolor copies of Old Master paintings (including a slightly changed version of the Mona Lisa), watercolor landscapes, and drawings of period furniture created while she was taking art classes in high school; and various watercolors created while she was studying art in the 1920s. Art work found here documents Nevelson's artistic tendencies as a youth and her early development as an artist, and provides an interesting contrast to the later work for which she became famous. Also included are four printing plates mounted on wood blocks, presumably used in making relief prints of certain Nevelson sculptures.
Art work is arranged in chronological order according to type. This series has been scanned in its entirety, except for printing plates.
|13||39||Childhood Drawings, 1905-1916|
|13||40||Watercolors and Drawings, Old Masters, 1916 (See also Box 20)|
|13||41||Watercolors, Landscapes, 1916-1918|
Drawings, Period Furniture, 1918
Includes negatives and copy prints made by AAA for some.
Watercolors, Miscellaneous, 1922-1929
Includes a 1922 watercolor on board that may or may not be a self-portrait.
|13||44||Watercolors, Still Life of Eggs in a Bowl, 1926|
|13||45||Watercolors, Flowers, 1929?|
|13||46||Drawings, [Scenes of Europe?], undated|
|13||47||Printing Plates, undated (Not scanned)|
|20 (sol)||Oversize, Watercolors and Drawings, Old Masters, 1916 (See Box 13, F40)|
Series 9: Photographs, circa 1903-1979 (Boxes 14-15, 20, OV 29; 2.3 linear feet)
Series consists of photographs of Nevelson, her family, and her art work.
The Photographs series is arranged into five subseries:
- 9.1: Family and Personal, circa 1903-1930s
- 9.2: Artist, circa 1955-1979
- 9.3: Exhibitions and Installations, 1959-1979
- 9.4: Art Work, 1940s-1970s
- 9.5: Slides, 1950s-1970s
This series has been scanned in its entirety, except for negatives, photographs of art work, and slides.
9.1: Family and Personal, circa 1903-1930s
Subseries consists of photographs of the Berliawsky family, including what seems to be a portrait of Nevelson's grandparents and their sons presumably dating from the late 1800s, a portrait of her father, Isaac Berliawsky circa 1903-1904, a portrait of the Berliawsky family after their arrival in America (including Nevelson and her siblings) circa 1907, and a portrait of Nevelson's sister, Anita Berliawsky, as a young woman; Nevelson's class and team photographs, including class photographs from 1913 and 1918 (the year in which she graduated) and a photograph of Nevelson on the basketball team; portraits of Nevelson as a young girl; photographs of the Nevelson family, including a portrait of her husband, Charles, a photograph of Nevelson with her husband and his brothers, and photographs of Nevelson with her husband and son; photographs of her son, Mike, as a baby and young man; and photographs of Nevelson in New York circa 1922, in Munich circa 1931, on board a ship to Paris in 1932, and sometime during the 1930s, before she became known as an artist.
Most files contain copy prints and negatives of the photographs made by AAA. Files are arranged in chronological order.
|14||1||Berliawsky Family, circa 1903-1907, and undated|
|14||2||Class and Team Photographs, 1913-1919|
|14||3||Portraits of Louise Nevelson as a Young Girl, circa 1915-1920|
|14||4||Nevelson Family, 1920s|
|14||5||Mike Nevelson, 1920s-1930s|
|14||6||Louise Nevelson, circa 1922-1930s (See also Box 20)|
|20 (sol)||Oversize, Louise Nevelson, circa 1922-1930s (See Box 14, F6)|
9.2: Artist, circa 1955-1979, undated
Subseries consists of photographs of Nevelson once she had become known, and began to be honored, as an artist. The majority are either portraits of the artist or photographs of the artist at work, at home, and in different settings taken by various individuals. Most notable among these are the portraits of Nevelson and photographs of her house and studio on Thirtieth Street taken by Jeremiah Russell and the photographs of Nevelson at home and in her studio, at work with her assistant Diana Mackown, and with her art work taken by Ugo Mulas, the Italian photographer known for documenting the life and work of artists. Others, including the portraits taken by Renate Ponsold and Jack Mitchell, may have been used in various art works and/or exhibitions; still others, such as the photographs taken by Basil Langton, may have been intended for publication. Also found are photographs of Nevelson at various exhibitions and openings (including the opening of her show at Studio Marconi in Milan, Italy), at various social gatherings (including a reception at her brother's hotel, the Thorndike Hotel, where she was photographed with Andrew Wyeth), and receiving various awards and honors (including honorary degrees from Columbia University and Smith College, and the first Women's Caucus for Art Award). Also included are photographs from the artist, Robert Indiana, featuring himself in front of his and Nevelson's sculptures, and at gatherings with Nevelson, and some photographs that were featured in Look magazine.
Photographs are arranged into files according to photographer, type, or subject. Files are arranged in rough chronological order.
|20 (sol)||Oversize, Photographs of Louise Nevelson, 1964-1975, undated (See Box 14, F10-12)|
|20 (sol)||Oversize, Photographs of Louise Nevelson by Ugo Mulas, circa 1965 (See Box 14, F13-15)|
|20 (sol)||Oversize, Portraits, 1960s-1970s (See Box 14, F20)|
|OV 29||Oversize, Portrait by Jeremiah Russell, circa 1955 (See Box 14, F7)|
|OV 29||Oversize, Photographs of Louise Nevelson, 1964-1975, undated (See Box 14, F10-12)|
9.3: Exhibitions and Installations, 1959-1979
Subseries consists of photographs of Nevelson's art work in various exhibitions and on display in various locations. Included are photographs of an exhibition at the Martha Jackson Gallery (October-November, 1959) and of a retrospective at the Whitney Museum in 1979, as well as of a Nevelson work on display at the Tate Gallery; and a photograph album of her one-man show at the Minami Gallery, Tokyo, Japan in 1975. Other photographs include ones of Nevelson's work displayed in the Thorndike Hotel (owned by her brother) and the Queens College library; and ones of Nevelson's outdoor (metal) sculptures installed at Wichita State University, Yale University, and in Italy, as well as ones of a Nevelson wood sculpture in an outdoor setting (not necessarily an outdoor sculpture).
Files are arranged in chronological order.
|14||33||Exhibition at Martha Jackson Gallery, 1959|
|14||34||Nevelson Work in the Tate Gallery, 1965|
|14||35||Various and Unidentified Exhibitions, 1960s|
|14||36||Indoor Installations and Displays, circa 1960s-1970s|
|14||37||Outdoor Installation and Displays, 1970s (See also Box 20)|
|14||38||Photograph Album, Exhibition at Minami Gallery (Tokyo, Japan), 1975 (See Box 20)|
|14||39||Retrospective at the Whitney Museum, 1979|
|20 (sol)||Oversize, Outdoor Installations and Displays, circa 1970s (See Box 14, F37)|
|20 (sol)||Oversize, Photograph Album, Exhibition at Minami Gallery (Tokyo, Japan), 1975 (See Box 14, F38)|
9.4: Art Work, 1940s-1970s
Subseries consists of photographs of Nevelson's art work (primarily works in terra cotta, tattistone, and wood, as well as some drawings and paintings). Also included are scattered photographs of paintings by Louis Eilshemius (amongst the ones taken by John Schiff and Jeremiah Russell) and Ralph Rosenborg that Nevelson owned. At least some of the photographs by Schiff seem to have been created for the Nierendorf Gallery; photographs by Russell were likely created for Nevelson; photographs by Buckley Semley, Oliver Baker, and Rudy Burckhardt seem to have been created for the Martha Jackson Gallery (some of these, especially the ones by Semley, may have been used in the inventory of Nevelson's art work carried out by her assistants and gallery staff). Photographs of Nevelson's art work are typically undated, most lack any identifying information, and many are duplicates. Numbers on the verso of some seem to correspond to the art work pictured, however there is no further information about what exactly the number is meant to reference or signify.
Photographs are arranged in files according to photographer. Photographs of various works, art work by Ralph Rosenborg, and unidentified art work are arranged in separate files at the end of the series. Even though most photographs are undated, dates provided represent the decade in which the photographs were most likely created. Files are arranged in rough chronological order.
|14||40-42||Photographs by John Schiff, 1940s (3 folders; not scanned)|
|14||43-50||Photographs by Jeremiah Russell, 1950s (8 folders; not scanned)|
|14||51-53||Photographs by Jeremiah Russell, Negatives, 1950s (3 folders; not scanned)|
|15||1-4||Photographs by Jeremiah Russell, Negatives, 1950s (4 folders; not scanned)|
|15||5-11||Photographs by Buckley Semley, 1950s (7 folders; not scanned)|
|15||12-13||Photographs by Oliver Baker, late 1950s (2 folders; not scanned)|
|15||14-17||Photographs by Rudy Burckhardt, late 1950s (4 folders; not scanned)|
|15||18||Photographs by Tom Kendall, late 1950s (Not scanned)|
|15||19-20||Various Nevelson Works of Art, 1950s-1970s (2 folders; not scanned)|
|15||21||Various Nevelson Works of Art (negatives), undated (Not scanned)|
|15||22||Works of Art by Ralph Rosenborg, undated (Not scanned)|
|15||23||Unidentified Art Work, undated (Not scanned)|
9.5: Slides, 1950s-1970s
Subseries consists of glass slides and transparencies of Nevelson and her art work. The photographs on these slides typically do not duplicate those found amongst the artist and art work photographs above. Included are glass slides of photographs taken by Dorothy Dehner, primarily documenting the works of art in the rooms, studio, and garden of Nevelson's house on Thirtieth Street. Dehner's photographs also feature Nevelson at work and posed in front of certain works, outside views of the house, and the Eilshemius paintings and pre-Columbian sculptures owned by Nevelson. Dehner took the photographs on successive trips to Nevelson's house. The slides appear to be numbered in various sequences, perhaps corresponding to each trip. However, at this point, all the slides have been mixed together and it is difficult to reconstruct any meaningful order from the numbers.
Also included are various slides of Nevelson and her art work dating from the 1950s; slides of art work dating from circa 1961, three of which seem to have been used by Tom Kendall in a lecture; slides of Nevelson and her assistant in front of her house, and ones of Nevelson alone in her house and studio dating from the mid-1960s; slides featuring Nevelson posing in front of her art work, at home and in her studio, in her neighborhood, and at a foundry, and slides featuring different views of various outdoor installations of her metal sculptures, all of which date from the 1970s; and glass slides of Nevelson art work, along with some negatives.
Slides are undated; however the dates provided represent the decade in which they were most likely created. Slides are arranged according to type and photographer or subject of photograph.
|15||24||Glass Slides of Photographs by Dorothy Dehner, circa 1956 (See also Box 16; not scanned)|
|15||25||Slides of Artist and Art Work Photographs, 1950s (Not scanned)|
|15||26||Slides of Art Work Photographs, circa 1961 (Not scanned)|
|15||27||Slides of Artist Photographs, 1964 (Not scanned)|
|15||28||Slides of Artist and Installation Photographs, 1970s (Not scanned)|
|15||29-30||Miscellaneous Glass Slides of Art Work Photographs, undated (2 folders; see also Box 16; not scanned)|
|15||31-32||Copy Prints and Negatives Made by AAA, undated (2 folders; not scanned)|
|16 (hol)||Glass Slides of Photographs by Dorothy Dehner, circa 1956 (See Box 15, F24; not scanned)|
|16 (hol)||Miscellaneous Glass Slides of Art Work Photographs, undated (Not scanned)|
Index to Notable Correspondents from Series 2: Correspondence
List represents only a selection of correspondents and does not include names of family.
- Albright-Knox Art Gallery: 1971
- American Federation of Arts: 1961, 1964
- American Women in Radio and Television: 1959
- Art in America: 1963, 1965
- Art Institute of Chicago: 1962
- The Artists' Gallery: 1955
- Bloch, Ernest: 1933
- Bourgeois, Louise: undated
- Bowdoin College: 1971
- Brandeis University: 1971
- Brooklyn Museum: 1956
- Brooklyn Society of Artists: 1957
- Buffalo Fine Arts Academy: 1962
- Calder, Sandy: 1955
- Chatham College: 1971
- City of Scottsdale, Arizona: 1973
- Cleveland Museum of Art: 1977
- Colby College: 1957, 1973
- Contemporary Arts Association of Houston: 1953
- Cordier, Daniel: 1961
- Dallas Museum of Fine Arts: 1974
- Dehner, Dorothy: 1960
- Detroit Institute of the Arts: 1966
- Dord Fitz School and Gallery: 1960
- Feininger, Lyonel: 1955
- Galerie Jeanne-Bucher: 1961
- Genauer, Emily: 1955
- Grand Central Art Galleries: 1959
- Guggenheim, Peggy: 1946
- Hamline University: 1970, 1971
- Harry Salpeter Gallery: 1961
- Hirschhorn, Joseph: 1968
- Hobart and William Smith Colleges: 1971
- Indiana, Robert: 1966
- Jackson, Martha (See Martha Jackson Gallery)
- Jacobi, Lotte: 1960, 1963, 1965
- Kendall, Tom: 1959, 1961, undated
- Knox, Seymour: 1968
- Kramer, Hilton: 1957
- Lipman, Howard: 1962
- Lipton, Seymour: 1955
- Mademoiselle: 1961, 1962
- Martha Jackson Gallery: 1956, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1967, 1968, undated
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Advanced Visual Studies: 1971
- Miller, Kenneth Hayes: 1931, 1933
- Milone, Joe: 1941
- Minneapolios College of Art and Design: 1971
- Mount Holyoke College: 1962, 1964
- Museum of Art, Carnegie Institution: 1967, 1971, 1974
- Museum of Fine Arts of Houston: 1954
- Museum of Modern Art: 1943, 1953, 1955, 1964, 1967, 1968
- National Association of Women Artists: 1953, 1954
- National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities: 1966
- Neumann, Hans: 1962
- Neumann, J. B.: 1954
- New School for Social Research: 1961
- The New York Times: 1968
- New York State Council on the Arts: 1968
- The New Yorker: 1967
- Newsweek: 1967
- Nierenforf, Karl: 1941, 1943, 1946
- Nordjyllands Kunstmuseum: 1973
- Ono, Yoko: 1971
- Pace Gallery: 1976
- Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts: 1952, 1970
- Philadelphia College of Art: 1961, 1968
- Philadelphia Museum of Art: 1965
- Princeton University: 1962
- Queens College: 1958
- Rhode Island School of Design: 1971
- Riverside Museum: 1964
- Rockefeller, Nelson: 1960, 1962, 1966, 1968
- Roberts, Collette: 1952, 1953
- Robus, Hugo: 1958
- Rosenblum, Robert: 1958
- Sewall, Mrs. Sumner: 1943
- Silvermine Guild of Artists: 1953, 1954, 1955
- Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture: 1970, 1971
- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: 1964, 1966
- Tamarind Lithography Work Shop: 1971
- Tate Gallery: 1963, 1966, 1967, 1968
- Teachers College, Columbia University: 1964
- Trenton State College: 1961
- Tyler, Parker: 1958
- United States Committee of the International Association of Art: 1971
- University of Alabama, Department of Art: 1964
- University of Bridgeport: 1971
- University of Nebraska Art Galleries: 1951
- Vogue: 1964
- Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art: 1962
- Walker Art Center: 1971, 1973
- Weber, Max: 1947, 1948, 1950, 1951
- Western College for Women: 1964
- The White House: 1974
- Whitney Museum of American Art: 1950, 1956, 1957, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1967
- Wichita State University: 1974
- The Woman's College of The University of North Carolina: 1951
- Women's Interart Center: 1973
- Yale University, Department of Art: 1961