Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art



Buy the Lists book
Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery
Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, Washington, DC
February 5 to September 27, 2010

The Morgan Library and Museum
225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street, New York, NY
June 3 to October 2, 2011

Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design
224 Benefit Street, Providence, RI
March 15 to June 16, 2013

This exhibition celebrates a common document–the list–as a key to the lives of some of the most celebrated artists of the last two centuries.

There are hundreds of thousands of lists in the Archives of American Art. This exhibition includes more than 70 examples from Leo Castelli’s to-do lists to Oscar Bluemner’s illustrated list of works of art.

Whether dashed off as a quick reminder or carefully constructed as a comprehensive inventory, this humble form of documentation provides insight into its maker’s personal habits and decision-making processes. Pablo Picasso itemized his recommendations for the 1913 Armory Show and Alexander Calder’s address book reveals the who’s who of the Parisian avant-garde in the early 20th century. In the hands of their creators, these artifacts sometimes become works of art in and of themselves.

A companion book to the exhibition, published by Princeton Architectural Press, includes an introduction by John W. Smith and an essay by Liza Kirwin.

View Items from This Exhibition

Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Margaret De Patta list of orders

Margaret De Patta list of orders, circa 1946

Creator: Margaret De Patta

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Alphabetical list of animals

Alphabetical list of animals, ca. 1911

Creator: Paul Bransom

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

The bohemian dinner

The bohemian dinner, 19--

Creator: Charles Green Shaw

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Costume list

Costume list, 1948 Nov. 6

Creator: Leo Van Witsen

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Juta Savage letter to Dorothy Weiss

Juta Savage letter to Dorothy Weiss, 1984 Oct. 6

Creator: Juta Savage

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

List of paintings and drawings destroyed by fire of Bob Thompson

List of paintings and drawings destroyed by fire of Bob Thompson, 1977

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Adolf Ferdinand Konrad sketchbook of travels to Rome and Egypt

Adolf Ferdinand Konrad sketchbook of travels to Rome and Egypt, 1962-1963

Creator: Adolf Ferdinand Konrad

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

A list written by Pablo Picasso of European artists to be included in the 1913 Armory Show

A list written by Pablo Picasso of European artists to be included in the 1913 Armory Show, 1912

Creator: Pablo Picasso

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Janice Lowry journal 98

Janice Lowry journal 98, 2002-2003

Creator: Janice Ann Lowry

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Notes and sketches

Notes and sketches, between 1900 and 1935

Creator: Henry Ossawa Tanner

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Catlin's notebook #6

Catlin's notebook #6, 183-

Creator: George Catlin

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

13 demands

13 demands, 1969 Jan. 28

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Everett Shinn account book

Everett Shinn account book, 1908

Creator: Everett Shinn

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Reginald Marsh, New York, N.Y. letter to Lawrence Arthur Fleischman

Reginald Marsh, New York, N.Y. letter to Lawrence Arthur Fleischman, 1953 June 10

Creator: Reginald Marsh

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Mel Bochner, New York, N.Y. letter to Ellen H. Johnson

Mel Bochner, New York, N.Y. letter to Ellen H. Johnson, 1972 Apr. 21

Creator: Mel Bochner

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Janice Lowry journal 102

Janice Lowry journal 102, 2003-2004

Creator: Janice Ann Lowry

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Address list

Address list, ca. 1926-38

Creator: Alexander Calder

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

List of items at a Madison Square Garden antiques fair

List of items at a Madison Square Garden antiques fair, ca. 1957

Creator: Joseph Cornell

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Eero Saarinen letter to Aline B. (Aline Bernstein) Saarinen

Eero Saarinen letter to Aline B. (Aline Bernstein) Saarinen, 1954

Creator: Eero Saarinen

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Exhibition checklist

Exhibition checklist, 1951 May 14

Creator: Robert Rauschenberg

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Frederick Hammersley notes on

Frederick Hammersley notes on "An idea", between 1948 and 1971

Creator: Frederick Hammersley

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Frederick Hammersley collage An idea

Frederick Hammersley collage An idea, between 1948 and 1971

Creator: Frederick Hammersley

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Marvin B. Lipofsky, Berkeley, Calif. letter to State University of New York at Binghamton

Marvin B. Lipofsky, Berkeley, Calif. letter to State University of New York at Binghamton, 1971 Oct. 15

Creator: Marvin B. (Marvin Bentley) Lipofsky

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

James Penney's New York Sketchbook

James Penney's New York Sketchbook, 1932

Creator: James Penney

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Enumerated sketches of ducks

Enumerated sketches of ducks, 19--

Creator: Benson Bond Moore

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Illustrated list of works of art

Illustrated list of works of art, 1932 May 18

Creator: Oscar Bluemner

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Janice Lowry journal 101

Janice Lowry journal 101, 2003 June 11-September 1

Creator: Janice Ann Lowry

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Artist's chronology

Artist's chronology, circa 1966

Creator: Ad Reinhardt

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Robert Morris, New York, N.Y. postcard to Samuel J. Wagstaff, Hartford, Conn.

Robert Morris, New York, N.Y. postcard to Samuel J. Wagstaff, Hartford, Conn., 1967 Feb. 13

Creator: Robert Morris

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

Gordon Newton note to Samuel J. Wagstaff

Gordon Newton note to Samuel J. Wagstaff, 19--

Creator: Gordon Newton

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

A few of Summer's curses

A few of Summer's curses, 19--

Creator: Charles Green Shaw

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Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art

A few of those things we never do

A few of those things we never do, 19--

Creator: Charles Green Shaw

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