A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

January 25 to June 2, 2008, and January 29 to March 27, 2009
Exhibited in the Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery in Washington, D.C. and at the Archives’ New York Research Center

With Love: Artists’ Letters and Illustrated Notes
Buy With Love: Artists’ Letters and Illustrated Notes

Love letters bring out the voyeur in most of us. These deeply personal communications have the power to make us blush or, at the very least, to let us observe a tender moment in the complex lives of others.

This selection of affectionate communiqués to and from American artists gives us insight into the lives of painters, sculptors, illustrators, and others—their relationships, perceptions, and creative energies—from the mid-19th century to the late 20th. They also allow us to empathize with artists through the most universal of human emotions: love in all its permutations.

Drawn from the collections of the Archives of American Art, the letters presented here cover a range of intensity, from sexual passion to the devotion of a parent, and from the durable bonds of friendship to the enthusiasm of fans.

Many of the exhibited letters also appear in the book With Love: Artists' Letters and Illustrated Notes by Liza Kirwin and Joan Lord.

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Frida Kahlo, Paris, France letter to Nickolas Muray, New York, N.Y.

Frida Kahlo, Paris, France letter to Nickolas Muray, New York, N.Y., 1939 Feb. 27

Creator: Frida Kahlo

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Rockwell Kent to Frances Kent

Rockwell Kent to Frances Kent, 1929

Creator: Rockwell Kent

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Italo Scanga to Dale Chihuly

Italo Scanga to Dale Chihuly, 1997 Sept. 19

Creator: Italo Scanga

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner

Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner, ca. 1946

Creator: Ronald Stein

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Lee Krasner letter to Jackson Pollock

Lee Krasner letter to Jackson Pollock, 1956 July 22

Creator: Lee Krasner

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Paul and Grace Bransom

Paul and Grace Bransom, ca. 1915

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time..., ca. 1958

Creator: Cynthia Hart

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Florence Ballin Cramer letter to Konrad Cramer

Florence Ballin Cramer letter to Konrad Cramer, 1911 Apr.

Creator: Florence Ballin Cramer

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Konrad and Florence Cramer

Konrad and Florence Cramer, ca. 1930

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Patti Warashina Valentine to Robert Sperry

Patti Warashina Valentine to Robert Sperry, 1996 Feb. 14

Creator: Patti Warashina

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Moses Soyer letter to David Soyer

Moses Soyer letter to David Soyer, 1940

Creator: Moses Soyer

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Moses Soyer letter to David Soyer

Moses Soyer letter to David Soyer, ca. 1940

Creator: Moses Soyer

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Italo Scanga and Dale Chihuly

Italo Scanga and Dale Chihuly, 1998 Dec.

Creator: Jim Arkatov

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

I LOVE MRS BUBBY

I LOVE MRS BUBBY, 1943

Creator: Waldo Peirce

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Joan Mitchell letter to Michael Goldberg

Joan Mitchell letter to Michael Goldberg, ca. 1950

Creator: Joan Mitchell

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Joan Mitchell and Michael Goldberg

Joan Mitchell and Michael Goldberg, ca. 1950

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Moses and David Soyer

Moses and David Soyer, ca. 1938

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Albert Sterner letter to Marie Sterner

Albert Sterner letter to Marie Sterner, 1899 May 6

Creator: Albert Sterner

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Harold and Marie Sterner

Harold and Marie Sterner, ca. 1899

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Xavier Gonzalez and Ethel Edwards

Xavier Gonzalez and Ethel Edwards, 1962

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

To gorgeous Ethel on her saints day

To gorgeous Ethel on her saints day, between 1935 and 1970

Creator: Xavier Gonzalez

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

I went to buy the Sunday Times

I went to buy the Sunday Times, between 1935 and 1970

Creator: Xavier Gonzalez

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

I am in a hurry, back in 10 m.

I am in a hurry, back in 10 m., between 1935 and 1970

Creator: Xavier Gonzalez

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Max Bohm letter to Zella Newcomb Bohm

Max Bohm letter to Zella Newcomb Bohm, 1912 Apr. 23

Creator: Max Bohm

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Abbott Handerson Thayer letter to Emma Beach

Abbott Handerson Thayer letter to Emma Beach, 1891 Aug. 28

Creator: Abbott Handerson Thayer

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Paul Bransom letter to Grace Bond

Paul Bransom letter to Grace Bond, 1905

Creator: Paul Bransom

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Rockwell Kent letter to Frances Kent

Rockwell Kent letter to Frances Kent, 1926 Mar.

Creator: Rockwell Kent

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

To My Ana

To My Ana, between 1920 and 1974

Creator: Alberto Vargas

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Alberto Vargas with his pinup girls

Alberto Vargas with his pinup girls, ca. 1978

Creator: Steye Raviez

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

To Louise

To Louise, 1892

Creator: Kenyon Cox

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Alfred Joseph Frueh letter to Giuliette Fanciulli

Alfred Joseph Frueh letter to Giuliette Fanciulli, 1912 Nov. 26

Creator: Alfred Joseph Frueh

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Alfred J. Frueh

Alfred J. Frueh, 191-?

Creator: Nickolas Muray

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Olin Levi Warner's mother to Olin Levi Warner

Olin Levi Warner's mother to Olin Levi Warner, 1859 June 25

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Nancy Douglas Brush letter to William Robert Pearmain

Nancy Douglas Brush letter to William Robert Pearmain, 1909 Aug. 17

Creator: Nancy Douglas Bowditch

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Nancy Douglas Brush and Robert Pearmain on their wedding day with Gerome and George de Forest Brush

Nancy Douglas Brush and Robert Pearmain on their wedding day with Gerome and George de Forest Brush, 1909 Sept. 11

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Isamu Noguchi, Paris, France letter to Andrée Ruellan, New York, N.Y.

Isamu Noguchi, Paris, France letter to Andrée Ruellan, New York, N.Y., 1927 Nov. 30

Creator: Isamu Noguchi

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A Thousand Kisses: Love Letters from the Archives of American Art

Gathering at the Riveras’ San Angel home

Gathering at the Riveras’ San Angel home, 1938

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