Washington Gallery of Modern Art records, 1961-1989, (bulk 1961-1966)

Washington Gallery of Modern Art (Washington, D.C.)

Collection size: 1.5 linear ft.
1 sound tape reel ; 7 in. (partially transcribed on 11 p.)

Collection Summary: Administrative and business records, correspondence, printed material, press releases, interviews of artists, and other material regarding the Washington Gallery of Modern Art (WGMA). All but a small portion were kept by Board of Trustees president, Julian Eisenstein.

Included are a handwritten draft of a letter to the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery regarding plans to establish a museum of contemporary art in Washington, D.C.; by-laws and certificate of incorporation for the WGMA; remarks of August Heckscher, Special Consultant on the Arts to the President, at the Gallery's dedication, Oct. 30, 1962; minutes of meetings of the National Advisory Council of the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, October 26, 1963; minutes of meetings; annual reports; Julian Eisenstein's daily notes of actions and conversations concerning fundraising and adminstration, Nov. 7, 1961-Oct. 12, 1962; minutes of a meeting with Robert Richman, Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Jan. 7, 1962; insurance records; loan agreement forms; mission statements; publications; exhibition catalogs, announcements, brochures, press releases, and other publications of the gallery; an inventory of the permanent collection; financial statements; notes and minutes of board meetings; annual reports; newspaper and magazine clippings; and miscellany.

Letters from Adelyn Dohme Breeskin, director, 1962-64, assistant director Alice M. Denney, 1961, Gerald Norland, Director, 1964-1965, Charles E. Millard, Director, 1966, Carleton B. Swift, Jr., President of the Board of Trustees, 1966, James Brooks, John Canaday, Dorothy Goldberg, Katharine Graham, Thomas B. Hess, Sam Hunter, David Lloyd Kreeger, Daniel Millsaps, Lucy Moorhead, Sidney Simon, James McC. Truitt, Charles W. Millard, director, 1966, Carleton B. Swift, Jr., and others to Julianne Eisenstein; draft letters from Eisenstein to WGMA assistant director Alice M. Denney, July 4, 1961, and art critic Frank Getlein, July 20, 1961 and others, and correspondence, 1987- 1989, between Eisenstein and Judy Markley regarding her masters thesis about the WGMA for the University of Oklahoma. Also included are interviews of artists who participated in the "Popular Image Exhibition", 1963, at the Washington Gallery of Modern Art in Washington, D.C. Artists interviewed are George Brecht, James Dine, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, James Albert Rosenquist, Andy Warhol, Robert M. Watts, John Wesley and Tom Wesselmann. The interviewer is Billy Kluver. (Also available on phonograph record and compact disc.)

ADDITION: Letters, writings, press releases and other printed material kept by Linda Lichtenberg [Kaplan], Director of Public Affairs, 1965-1967; a catalog of the permanent collection, WGMA, 1966; "Washington Gallery of Modern Art Crisis Fact Sheet"; press releases and other printed material about WGMA events; a letter of appreciation from Carleton B. Swift, Jr. to Linda H. Lichtenberg, June 28, 1967 for her service as Director of Public Affairs; a letter concerning Lichtenbergs responsibilities at WGMA, June 28, 1967; Lichtenbergs letter of resignation from WGMA, June 28, 1967; and a letter from Leni Stern to Lichtenberg, undated.

Biographical/Historical Note: Art gallery and center; Washington, D.C. The Washington Gallery of Modern Art was a non-profit institution organized for the purpose of presenting significant exhibitions of contemporary American painting and sculpture. In conjuction with exhibitions, WGMA also sponsored lectures, concerts, films, tours, and an art rental service designed to encourage the understanding and appreciation of contemporary art. It was located at 1503 21st Street, NW, in Washington, D.C.

Donated 1965 by the Washington Gallery of Modern Art. and in 1996 and 2002 by the Washington Gallery of Modern Art via Dr. Julian Eisenstein, one of the founders of the Gallery and President of Washington Gallery of Modern Art Board of Trustees from 1961-1966 and in 2004 via Linda Lichtenberg Kaplan, director of public affairs from 1965-1967.

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Related Materials

Additional Washington Gallery of Modern Art records also located at: Corcoran Gallery of Art Archives