Milton and Edith Lowenthal papers, 1940-1989

Lowenthal, Milton
Collector, Lawyer
Active in New York, N.Y.

Lowenthal, Edith
Collector
Active in New York,N.Y.

Collection size: 4.5 linear ft. (on 5 microfilm reels)

Collection Summary: Biographical material; correspondence and greeting cards; writings; business records; printed material about the Lowenthal collection, exhibitions, and artists, photographs; scrapbooks; and sound recordings.

REEL 4904, frames 1-114: Thirty-nine greeting cards from artists, illustrated with original prints, drawings, and off-set reproductions. Included are 20 from Jose de Creeft and Lorrie Goulet, 8 from Abraham and Esther Rattner, 4 each from Chaim Gross and Milton and Sally Avery, 2 from Max Weber, and 1 from Jacob Lawrence.

REELS 4904 (fr. 126-end) - 4908: Biographical material includes a resume and transcripts for Edith Lowenthal, an obituary of Isadore Lowenthal, M.D., Milton's father, and clippings related to the Lowenthals. General correspondence, 1947-1991, is primarily with museums, university galleries, and publishers regarding loans and gifts of art work, contributions, lectures, travel, and permissions to reproduce for publication. In addition, there are a correspondence file, 1963-1990, with the Brooklyn Museum, regarding loans, contributions, and conservation work, and correspondence from artists, including letters, greeting cards, and announcements from Stuart Davis, Jacob Lawrence, Josef Presser, Abraham Rattner, Charles Sheeler, Max Weber, and others.

Writings and notes by Milton Lowenthal are about the role of the art collector, his thoughts on works of art and artists, and drafts of letters. Writings by others include Henry Miller's "The Rattner Portfolio" and Elizabeth McCausland's proposal for a Marsden Hartley catalog raisonne. Material relating specifically to the Lowenthal Collection includes lists, valuations, collection exhibition records, documentation of gifts, financial records, receipts, clippings, catalogs, and a 2 v. index of acquisitions. A file containing memorabilia relating to Stuart Davis includes clippings, an address book, printed materials, and notes.

Printed materials include clippings about artists, collectors, and other art related issues and exhibitions, exhibition announcements, and catalogs. Photographs are of artists and works of art. Files relating to the "Friends of the Whitney", ca. 1956-1961, include correspondence, by-laws, annual and other reports, statements, and catalogs of loan exhibitions. Scrapbooks (4 v.), 1942-1953, contain letters and greeting cards (many illustrated) from friends, artists and associates, clippings, exhibition announcements, and catalogs about artists, museums, and exhibitions.

Unmicrofilmed material consists of negatives, slides, and transparencies of works of art and 3 phonograph albums (78 r.p.m) of a radio interview with art collectors and a recording of a school performance by Stuart Davis' son.

Biographical/Historical Note: Art collectors, benefactors of the Brooklyn Museum; New York, N.Y. Mr. Lowenthal was a lawyer whose clients included Stuart Davis.

Donated 1993 by Louis M. Bernstein, Mrs. Lowenthal's nephew, except for illustrated greeting cards on reel 4904, frames 1-114, which were received as a loan for microfilming.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reels 4904-4908 available at Archives of American Art offices, through interlibrary loan. Additional copies made for the Brooklyn Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art which currently house the Lowenthal's bequest of American art.
  • Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
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