Roko Gallery records, 1929-1982, bulk 1970-1978

A Finding Aid to the Roko Gallery Records, 1929-1982, bulk 1970-1978, in the Archives of American Art, by Sarah Haug

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Table of Contents:



Historical Information

Michael Leon Freilich (1912-1975) established the Roko Gallery in 1946 at 51 Greenwich Avenue where it remained until the mid-1950s. Over its 32 year history, the gallery featured the paintings and sculptures of young, new artists, most living in New York City, through solo exhibitions, group shows, and sales. The gallery then made a series of moves, first to 925 Madison Avenue, then to 867 Madison Avenue, and finally back to Greenwich Village at 90 East 10st Street in 1970. In 1974, Michael Freilich became ill and the daily gallery operations were taken over by artist Lloyd Lózes Goff. Freilich passed away in February 1975; Cynthia Bernardi and Manu Sassoonian bought the gallery and became co-directors in the spring of 1975. The gallery closed in 1978, leaving open an annex on 816 Broadway.

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Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

The Roko Gallery records measure six linear feet and date from 1929-1982, with the bulk of the records from 1970-1978. Founded by Michael Leon Freilich in 1946, the records of this New York gallery consist primarily of artists' files. Also found are scattered correspondence, business and financial records, a subject file, exhibition files, disassembled scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs.

The bulk of the correspondence is from the early to mid-1970s and concerns general gallery operations, sales of artwork, artists interested in exhibiting at the gallery, letters to Ann Freilich Schutz regarding Michael Freilich's death, and a handful of personal postcards from Freilich to his niece, 1952-1955. Scattered correspondence from artists Lambro Ahlas, Mike Cook, Hermann Dahl, Salvatore Del Deo, Raymond Dowden, Charles Kaiman, Peggy Muray (Mrs. Nicholas Muray), Raphael Soyer, George Sugarman, Anne Parker, Jan Wunderman, and Hank Virgona is also found. General business and financial records include calendars, address books, mailing lists, visitors' registers, receipt books, consignment agreements, invoices and receipts.

Measuring 3.5 linear feet, Artists Files comprise the bulk of the collection and contain correspondence, exhibition catalogs, clippings, original artwork, receipts, price lists, photographs, and slides of work. Among the nearly 200 artists are Murat Brierre, Faith Bromberg, Clare Burch, Lawrence Calcagno, Victor Candell, Arthur Cohen, Giuseppe Di Lieto, Edward Eichel, Ann Freilich, Dennis Fritz, Mary Heisig, Herbert Kallem, Doris Klein, Elizabeth Korn, Randall Morgan, Anne Parker, Dorothy Robbins, May Stevens, Hank Virgona, Walter Williams, and Jan Wunderman.

There is one subject file containing a proposal by the Rainbow Art Foundation. Exhibitions and Event files date from 1956-1978 and contain printed material, press releases, notes, correspondence, agreements, and a disassembled notebook containing prices and lists of works exhibited at the Roko Gallery from 1967-1978. Also found is typed and signed poetry by poet John Tagliabue. Disassembled scrapbooks contain additional printed materials regarding the gallery's solo and group exhibitions from 1947-1966. Among the many artists represented in the scrapbooks are Claude Clark, Beauford Delaney, Paul England, Peter Heinemann, Herbert Kallem, Herschel Levit, Si Lewen, Howard Mandel, Rose Piper, Sadie Rosenblum, Herbert Scheffel, Erika Weihs, Walter Williams, and Jan Wunderman.

Additional printed material includes mostly newspaper clippings, exhibition announcements, and catalogs. Material found in the collection that pre-dates the founding of the gallery consists primarily of printed material collected by Freilich.

Photographs, slides, and negatives date mostly from the 1970s and depict gallery directors Michael Leon Freilich, Cynthia Bernadini and Manu Sassoonian, and artwork.

Arrangement and Series Description

The Roko Gallery records are arranged into eight series:

Subjects and Names

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

Subjects:

  • Brierre, Murat, 1938-
  • Bromberg, Faith,, 1919-
  • Burch, Claire
  • Calcagno, Lawrence, 1913-
  • Candell, Victor, 1903-1977
  • Cohen, Arthur Allen, 1928-
  • Clark, Claude, 1915-
  • Di Lieto, Giuseppe
  • Eichel, Edward V., 1932-
  • England, Paul
  • Freilich, Ann
  • Freilich, Michael Leon, 1912-1975
  • Fritz, Dennis, 1937-
  • Heinemann, Peter, 1931-
  • Heisig, Mary, 1913-
  • Kallem, Herbert, 1909-1994
  • Klein, Doris, 1918-
  • Korn, Elizabeth P.
  • Levit, Herschel
  • Lewen, Si
  • Mandel, Howard, 1917-1999
  • Morgan, Randall, 1920-
  • Parker, Anne Eaton, 1920-
  • Piper, Rose
  • Robbins, Dorothy
  • Rosenblum, Sadie
  • Sassoonian, Manu
  • Scheffel, Herbert
  • Stevens, May
  • Virgona, Hank
  • Weihs, Erika
  • Williams, Walter, 1920-
  • Wunderman, Jan, 1921

Subjects-Topical:

  • Art galleries, Commercial-- New York (State)-- New York
  • Art, Modern--20th century--New York (State)--New York
  • Artists--New York (State)
  • Gallery directors

Provenance

The Roko Gallery records were donated to the Archives of American Art in 1975-1988 by Ann Freilich, sister of Michael Freilich, and Cynthia Bernardi, former director of the gallery.

How the Collection was Processed

The collection was received in several increments, merged and processed to a preliminary level in 1994 by Jill Lundin. It was further processed, arranged, and described in a finding aid by Sarah Haug in 2009.


How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

Use of originals requires an appointment.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The Roko Gallery records 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

Roko Gallery records, 1929-1982, bulk 1970-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Correspondence, 1936, 1952-circa late 1970s
(Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Correspondence is with gallery directors Michael Freilich and Cynthia Bernadini, and to a lesser degree, Manu Sassoonian and Lloyd Lózes Goff. Topics cover general gallery operations, sales of artwork, artists interested in exhibiting at the gallery, and letters to Ann Freilich Schutz regarding Michael Freilich's death. In addition, there is a small group of personal postcards from Freilich to his niece, 1952-1955. Scattered correspondence with artists includes Lambro Ahlas, Mike Cook, Hermann Dahl, Salvatore Del Deo, Raymond Dowden, Charles Kaiman, Peggy Muray (Mrs. Nicholas Muray), Raphael Soyer, George Sugarman, Anne Parker Wigglesworth, Jan Wunderman, and Hank Virgona. Additional correspondence with artists is also found in Artist Files, circa 1946-1979.

Folders are arranged chronologically.

Box
1 Correspondence, 1936, 1952-circa late 1970s
Correspondence, 1969-1972
Correspondence, 1973-1974
Correspondence, circa 1975
Correspondence, 1975 January - June
Correspondence, 1975 July
Correspondence, 1975 August - December
Correspondence, 1976-1978

Series 2: Business and Financial Records, circa 1956-1980
(Box 1; 0.8 linear feet)

Business and financial records include calendars, address books, mailing lists, visitors' registers, receipt books, consignment agreements mostly from 1975-1977, invoices and receipts, and materials for tax returns. The bulk of the records are from the mid-1970s.

Folders are arranged alphabetically by type of material.

Box
1 Address Book and Loose Names/Addresses, undated
Calendar, 1973
Calendars, 1975-1976
Calendars, 1977-1978
Consignment Agreements, Artists A-G, 1975-1977
Consignment Agreements, Artists H-Q, 1975-1977
Consignment Agreements, Artists R-Z, 1975-1977
Consignment Agreements, Miscellaneous, 1963, 1974, undated
Engagement Books, 1975-1977
Invoices/Receipts, 1970-1980, undated
Legal Forms, 1975-1976, undated
Mailing Labels, undated
Mailing Lists, 1974, undated
Notes, circa 1960s-1970s
Notes, 1970-1978, undated
Press Notices, Mailing Lists, circa 1956-1971
Receipt Books, 1964-1965, 1973
Receipt Books, 1975 February - 1978 June
Receipt Books, 1977 October - 1978 February
Tax Materials, 1959, 1969-1979
Visitors Register, 1970 January 31 - 1972 October 31
Visitors Register, 1972 November - 1975 June
Visitors Register, 1975 June 21 - 1978 June 3

Series 3: Artist Files, circa 1948-1979
(Box 2-5; 3.5 linear feet)

Artist files contain correspondence, exhibition catalogs, clippings, original artwork, receipts and lists, photographs, and slides of work. Among the nearly 200 artists are Murat Brierre, Faith Bromberg, Claire Burch, Lawrence Calcagno, Victor Candell, Arthur Cohen, Giuseppe Di Lieto, Edward Eichel, Ann Freilich, Dennis Fritz, Mary Heisig, Herbert Kallem, Doris Klein, Elizabeth Korn, Stefan Martin, Randall Morgan, Anne Parker, Dorothy Robbins, May Stevens, Hank Virgona, Walter Williams, and Jan Wunderman.

Folders are arranged alphabetically by the artist's last name.

Box
2 Rosters of Artists, 1972, undated
Abrams, Ruth, 1959, undated
Ahlas, Lambro, 1972-1977, undated
(2 folders)
Aiken, Mary Hoover, 1964, undated
Allen, Abe, 1975-1976
Amantea, Christopher, 1975
Atkins, Jerry, 1977-1978, undated
(2 folders)
Bageris, John, 1956, undated
Baranik, Rudolf, 1958-1964, 1971, undated
Bayor, Andrew, undated
Bek-Gran, Robert, 1956
Ben-Zion, 1959
Bennett, Gale, 1966, undated
Black, Harold, 1957
Block, Dorothy, 1955, 1958, undated
Brierre, Murat, 1967-1973, undated
(2 folders)
Brigadier, Anne, undated
Brodsky, Stan, 1973-1976, undated
Bromberg, Faith, 1974-1977, undated
(2 folders)
Brown, Carol, 1970-1973, undated
Burch, Claire, 1962-1971, undated
(4 folders)
Burr, Steven, undated
Calcagno, Lawrence, 1962-1978, undated
(3 folders)
Cameron, Polly, undated
Candell, Victor, 1972-1978, undated
(2 folders)
Case, Malcom Edgar, 1951, undated
Case, Reginald, 1977
Cassanelli, Victor, 1971, 1975, undated
Chapman, Robert, 1963-1966, undated
Christopher, William, undated
Cohen, Adele, 1974
Cohen, Arthur, 1970-1973, undated
(2 folders)
Comins, Jeremy, 1962, 1965, undated
Craig, Martin, 1956
Crampton, Nancy, 1976, undated
Currie, Bruce, 1960-1962, undated
Davis, Esther, 1967, undated
Delaney, Beauford, 1961, 1964-1978
DeMauro, Don, 1964, undated
Detweiler, Russell, undated
Di Lieto, Giuseppe (Peppino), 1962, 1967-1969, undated
(2 folders)
Dimondstein, Morton, 1969-1976
Diska, Pat, undated
Dobbs, John, 1975
Dorcely, Roland, 1975
DuBack, Charles, 1955, undated
Efrem, Myrl, 1955, undated
Egris, Ruth, Ted and Charles, 1947
Eichel, Edward, 1962, undated
(2 folders)
Box
3 Elmaleh, Victor, 1977
Ely, Richard, 1973
Esman, Betty, undated
Ettinger, Stephen, undated
Evans, Minnie, 1975-1978, undated
Farrugio, Remo, undated
Feder, Jack, 1976, undated
Fejes, Claire, 1961-1962, undated
Finkelstein, Louis, 1956, 1960, undated
Flack, Audrey, undated
Flynn, Charles, 1972, 1974
Frank, Trudi, 1975, undated
Frei, Linae, 1976-1977, undated
Freilich, Ann, 1949-1978, undated
(4 folders)
Freund, Marjorie, 1975, undated
Fritz, Dennis, 1967-1975, undated
(2 folders)
Gambini, William, 1953
Garner, Joan, undated
Giorgi, Fiorenzo, 1961, undated
Giron, Xavier, 1970-1975, undated
Goff, Lloyd Lózes, 1960-1974, undated
Golbin, Andrée, 1964, undated
Gold, Fay, 1964, undated
Gourevitch, Jacqueline, 1966, undated
Goyri, Roberto González, 1952, undated
Gregory, Bruce, 1974, undated
Gromberg, Jacob, 1962, undated
Heinemann, Peter, 1954-1956, 1959, undated
Heisig, Mary, 1949-1966, undated
(3 folders)
Helsy, Kate, 1963, 1968, 1976, undated
Hirschberg, Phyllis, 1966, undated
Homitzky, Peter, 1974, undated
Huff, Linda, 1975
Interian, Luis, undated
Jackson, Clifford, 1958, 1961
Jagel, John, 1962, 1964, undated
Jones, Amy, undated
Kaiman, Charles, undated
Kainen, Jacob, 1961-1964, undated
Kallem, Herbert, 1948-1977, undated
(2 folders)
Katz, Alex, 1957, undated
Klein, Doris, 1967-1972, undated
(3 folders)
Klein, Ruth, undated
Klement, Vera, 1950, 1958, 1960, 1976, undated
(2 folders)
Koppelman, Chaim, 1973, undated
Korn, Elizabeth, 1967-1975, undated
(5 folders)
Kotuk-Krauss, Maggie, 1975-1978, undated
Box
4 Kovacevic, Boža, 1966, undated
Kuh, Howard, 1957, undated
Ladenson, Sam, 1971-1973
Laks, Sylvia, undated
Langlais, Bernard, 1955-1958
Lasky, Stephen J., undated
La Verdiere, Bruno, undated
Leaf, Ruth, 1967
Leiber, Gerson A., 1963-1973, undated
Levine, Marion Lerner, 1975
Levit, Herschel, 1958, 1962
Lewen, Si, 1948-1959, 1978, undated
Licht, Evelyn, undated
Li-Fa, Shaih, undated
Long, Hubert, undated
Lubalin, Sylvia, 1973, undated
Lubner, Lorraine, 1969-1974, undated
Lubner, Martin, 1975-1976, undated
Mandel, Howard, 1956-1957, undated
Martin, Stefan, 1961-1974, undated
Martin, Stefan, 1970, undated
Martin, Stefan, undated
(2 folders)
McCartin, Jan, 1966, undated
Melnicoff, Mitzi, 1964-1973, undated
(2 folders)
Metz, Frank, 1961-1968, undated
Miller, Shirley U., 1969-1974, undated
Mitchell, Fred, 1970, 1973, undated
Morgan, Maud, 1975, undated
Morgan, Randall, 1957-1969, undated
(2 folders)
Moscan, Hannah, 1957, 1964
Moss, Milton, undated
Muller, Marion, 1972-1973, undated
Myerson, Margery Deckinger, 1966
Nagase, Yoshiro, 1963
Nappi, Nicholas, 1963-1974, undated
Neel, Alice, undated
Nelson, Don, 1975-1976, undated
Nelson, Robert A., 1955, undated
Nodjoumi, Nickzad, 1977-1978, undated
Orkin, Ruth, 1974-1976, undated
Ossaye, Roberto, undated
Parker, Anne, 1968-1978, undated
(2 folders)
Parker, Robert Andrew, 1950-1966, undated
(2 folders)
Perigord, J., undated
Perret, Nell, 1976, undated
Phillips, Blanche, 1957, 1959, undated
Pierucci, Massimo, 1970, 1973, undated
Piper, Rose, undated
Polakov, Lester, 1957, undated
(2 folders)
Powell, Leslie, undated
Powers, Elizabeth, undated
Regensburg, Sophy, 1962-1963
Reid, Charles, 1972-1975, undated
Revi, Leo, 1973-1974, undated
Richards, Ken, 1971, undated
Robbins, Dorothy, 1964, 1968, undated
(3 folders)
Roeburt, undated
Rohowsky, Meyers, undated
Rosenblum, Sadie, 1959-1964, undated
(2 folders)
Rosenquit, Bernard, 1955-1966, undated
Rutledge, James, 1975, undated
Schnurr-Colflesh, E., 1977
Schreyer, Greta, 1978-1979, undated
Schuller, Grete, 1965-1966
Seidler, Doris, 1964, undated
Selden, Ellen, 1967-1969, undated
(2 folders)
Seley, Clara, 1964
Seley, Jason, undated
Shahn, Ben, undated
Shiffrin, Roy, undated
Simon, Sidney, undated
Smith, Robert L., 1975, undated
Sonenberg, Jack, 1962, undated
Soshana, 1957-1965
Spitz, Sherie, 1967-1968, undated
Box
5 Stavropoulos, Theo, 1965-1970, undated
(2 folders)
Steig, Arthur, 1948
Stevens, May, 1962-1970, undated
(2 folders)
Storm, Nikolaj, undated
Suhl, Yuri, 1976
Sweat, Lynn, 1973, undated
Tabachnick, Anne, 1971-1976, undated
Tarlow, Lois, 1975-1978, undated
Tasch, Frederick, undated
Thompson, Brian M., undated
Tytell, Louis, 1962-1969, undated
Velay, undated
Vennekamp, Johannes, 1977, undated
Vevers, Tony, undated
Virgona, Hank, circa 1970-1978
(3 folders)
Waldenfels, C.V., undated
Wasserman, Helene, undated
Weihs, Erika, 1961-1976, undated
(2 folders)
Weymouth, Fleur, 1981
Williams, Walter, 1957-1969, undated
(3 folders)
Wunderman, Jan, 1963-1977, undated
(2 folders)

Series 4: Subject Files, undated
(Box 5; 1 folder)

Subject files contains one folder of a proposal by the Rainbow Art Foundation.

Box
5 Rainbow Art Foundation, undated

Series 5: Exhibition and Event Files, circa 1956-1978
(Box 5; 0.3 linear feet)

Anniversary and group exhibitions, a memorial exhibition to Michael Freilich, and events held at the Roko Gallery are documented through printed material, press releases, notes, price lists of works, correspondence, and agreements. Material regarding solo and group exhibitions from 1967-1978 is found in a disassembled notebook containing prices and lists of works exhibited at the Roko Gallery between 1967-1978. Also found in the event files is typed and signed poetry by poet John Tagliabue. Additional material regarding exhibitions from 1947-1966 may be found in Scrapbooks, circa 1947-1966.

Exhibitions are filed before events. Among the exhibition files, exhibition schedules and a disassembled notebook are filed first, followed by exhibition folders arranged chronologically. Event files are arranged chronologically.

Box
5 Exhibitions,
Exhibition Schedules, 1962-1965, 1975-1976, undated
Notebook of Exhibition Lists/Prices, Artists A-G, 1967-1977
Notebook of Exhibition Lists/Prices, Artists H-Z 1967-1977
Notebook of Exhibition Lists/Prices, Group Shows 1971-1978
10th Anniversary Exhibition (November 17 - December 7, 1956), 1956
Artists Critics (October 3-26, 1962), 1962
Group Exhibition (January 1966), 1966
20th Anniversary Exhibition (December 10, 1966 - January 4, 1967), 1966
Group Exhibition (June 1-23, 1967), circa 1967
American Graphic Art Exhibition (May 11-31, 1968), 1968
Group Exhibition (June 4-28, 1968), 1968
Group Exhibition (June 3-24, 1970), 1970-1971
24th Anniversary Exhibition (1970), circa 1970
Group Exhibition (June 2-30, 1971), circa 1971
25th Anniversary Exhibition - Homage to the Tanager (December 4-31, 1971), circa 1971-1972
Group Exhibition (June 2-23, 1972), circa 1972-1973
Group Exhibition (June 5-29, 1973), circa 1968-1973
Group Exhibition, circa 1974-1975
"Line, Form, Vision" (Sept. 27-Oct. 18, 1975), 1975
Memorial to Michael (February 3-28, 1976), circa 1975-1976
Miniatures Exhibition (November 22-January 4, 1976), circa 1975
Ten American Collagists Exhibition (February 1-27, 1977), circa 1977
31st Annual Group Exhibition (April 1-27, 1977), circa 1977
Group Exhibition (June 1-30, 1977), circa 1976-1977
The Tenth Street Exhibition (December 10, 1977 - January 8, 1978), circa 1977-1978
Group Drawing Exhibition, "Retreat from Reality" (January 1-28, 1978), circa 1978
32nd Annual Group Exhibition (April 1-29, 1978), circa 1978
Roko Gallery, Miscellaneous, 1956, 1975, undated
Events,
Meet the Composer Program, circa 1974-1976
Poetry Readings Program, circa 1975-1977
Poetry Readings Program - Biographical Materials, circa 1975-1977
Poetry Readings Program - Correspondence, 1975-1977

Series 6: Scrapbooks, circa 1947-1966
(Box 5-6; 0.5 linear feet)

This series includes disassembled scrapbooks in their original order of printed material and clippings about solo and group exhibitions held at the Roko Gallery from 1947-1966. Among the many artists represented are Claude Clark, Beauford Delaney, Paul England, Peter Heinemann, Herbert Kallem, Herschel Levit, Si Lewen, Howard Mandel, Rose Piper, Sadie Rosenblum, Herbert Scheffel, Erika Weihs, Walter Williams, and Jan Wunderman.

Folders are arranged chronologically according to the original order.

Box
5 Scrapbook, circa 1947-1951
(2 folders)
Scrapbook, circa 1948-1952
Box
6 Scrapbook, circa 1948-1957
Scrapbook, circa 1957-1959
Scrapbook, circa 1958-1964
Scrapbook, circa 1961-1964
Scrapbook, 1964-1966

Series 7: Printed Material, 1929-1982
(Box 6; 0.4 linear feet)

Printed material includes newspaper clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, newsletters, pamphlets, brochures, reproductions of artwork, and miscellaneous notes. Among the exhibition catalogs, galleries represented include Buchholz Gallery, Marie Harriman Gallery, C.W. Kraushaar Art Galleries, Julian Levy Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art, Reinhardt Galleries, Valentine Gallery, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Printed material that pre-dates the founding of the gallery was collected by Michael Freilich.

Folders are arranged alphabetically by type of material.

Box
6 Clippings, 1939-1959, undated
Clippings, 1960-1978
Exhibition Announcements/Catalogs, 1929-1930
Exhibition Announcements/Catalogs, 1931
Exhibition Announcements/Catalogs, 1932-1937
Exhibition Announcements/Catalogs, 1938-1955
Exhibition Announcements/Catalogs, 1957-1960
Exhibition Announcements/Catalogs, 1962-1979
Exhibition Announcements/Catalogs - Group Exhibitions, circa 1930s-1960s
Exhibition Announcements/Catalogs - One Man Exhibitions, circa 1930s-1970s
Newsletters, 1975-1979
Newsletters, Primitive Art Newsletters, 1978-1982
Newsletters, Sotheby Parke Bernet, 1979
Pamphlets and Brochures, circa 1957-1980
Pamphlets and Brochures, Business Committee for the Arts, circa 1978
Reproductions of Artwork, undated
Miscellaneous, 1962, 1977, undated

Series 8: Photographic Material, 1946-circa 1970s
(Box 6; 0.3 linear feet)

Found are black and white photographs, a handful of color snapshots, slides, and negatives of artwork. Photographs of gallery directors Michael Leon Freilich, Cynthia Bernadini, and Manu Sassoonian, and other unidentified people are found in this series.

Folders are arranged alphabetically by type of material, then alphabetically by subject.

Box
6 Photographs,
Artwork by Unidentified Artists, 1975, undated
Cynthia Bernadini and Friends, circa 1975-1977
Michael Leon Freilich and Friends, circa 1950s-1970s
Michael Leon Freilich and Friends, circa 1960s-1970s
Manu Sassoonian, undated
Miscellaneous, 1946, undated
Negatives and Color Transparencies, Artwork, undated
Slides, Artwork Unidentified, undated
Slides and Negatives, Michael Leon Freilich and Friends, undated