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Contents and Arrangement | A Finding Aid to the Ad Reinhardt papers, 1927-1968 | Digitized Collection

Ad Reinhardt papers, 1927-1968

Contents and Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 6 series.

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1928-1967
(Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)

Biographical material documents Reinhardt's personal life, as well as his career and his participation in the art community. This series contains several drafts of an artist's chronology written by Reinhardt that places his life and career in the context of the larger modern art movement and illuminates many important moments in his life. Also included are numerous identification documents, such as his passports, membership cards to various art, political, and social organizations, and a fellowship application form containing an artist statement and other biographical information. Also found are materials documenting Reinhardt's service in the military, his work for the WPA, and his professorship at Brooklyn College. This series contains Reinhardt's high school yearbook, business cards and event ephemera collected by him, his address book and lists, as well as exhibition labels from exhibits at Betty Parsons Gallery and the Jewish Museum.
Folders are arranged alphabetically and items are arranged chronologically within each folder.
This series has been partially scanned.
Items not scanned include those containing sensitive personal information.

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1930-1967
(Boxes 1-2; 1.1 linear feet)

This series contains correspondence documenting Reinhardt's career as an artist and art professor, with the bulk of the material dating from 1946 to 1966. Most of the letters are incoming, and there are only a few draft copies of outgoing letters written by Reinhardt. Found in this series are several letters from artists, including Abe Ajay, cartoonist Dave Crockett Johnson, Helen Frankenthaler, George Rickey, and May Wilson, as well as letters from art critics and writers, including Lucy Lippard, and Ned O'Gorman. Reinhardt also received a large number of letters from art galleries and art dealers, including Betty Parsons Gallery, Iris Clert, Dwan Gallery, and Jock Truman, and art museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, Jewish Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, regarding the exhibition, loan, or sale of his artwork. Numerous letters in this series concern his participation as a guest lecturer, visiting artist, or symposium participant at colleges and universities throughout the country, as well as his professorship at Brooklyn College.
Reinhardt was a member of many art, political, and social organizations and his involvement is documented here in letters from groups such as the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, and the Foundation for the Arts, Religion, and Culture. Also included are letters from magazines and other publications to which he contributed articles and artwork, including
PM
newspaper and
Artforum
. There is also a large amount of fan mail sent to
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and to Reinhardt in praise of his series of drawings of the history of modern art for that newspaper. Miscellaneous folders include letters of the same type mentioned above which only consist of one or two letters from a correspondent. Notable correspondents within the miscellaneous folders include Josef Albers, John Ashbery, John Cage, Columbia Pictures Corporation, Mathias Goeritz, Peggy Guggenheim, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Ray Johnson, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Kennedy, Robert Motherwell, Claes Oldenburg, Barbara Rose, Meyer Schapiro, and Russel Wright.
Letters are arranged alphabetically by correspondent.
This series has been scanned been in its entirety.

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1953-1966
(Box 2; 7 folders)

Scattered writings include annotated calendars compiled by Reinhardt, drafts of published writings, such as the essay "Who is Responsible for Ugliness," drafts of letters, and other notes and lists on topics including modern art, aesthetics, and his career as an artist. Also found are lists of Chinese words and phrases written by Reinhardt during his study of Chinese art, a small number of photocopies from microfilm of other writings on art, and select pages from Reinhardt's notebooks. The only item in this series that wasn't written by Reinhardt is a progress report submitted to Reinhardt by a student in one of his classes.
Researchers should note that many of Reinhardt's notebooks and other extensive writings were loaned for microfilming and returned to the donor and are only available on reels N69-99 and N69-103. These writings are not listed in this finding aid.
Items are arranged by type of material and chronologically within each folder.
This series has been partially scanned. Items not scanned include those that are prints of the microfilm.

Series 4: Printed Material, circa 1927-1968
(Boxes 2-4; 1.7 linear feet)

This series contains published material that Reinhardt collected to document his career as an artist and his research on various topics. Included are numerous newspaper and magazine clippings of articles about his artwork and modern art in general, including articles written by Reinhardt. Also found are clippings that Reinhardt collected on other topics such as Asian art, architecture, Christian art, and aesthetics, and book reviews on many of these topics. Many of these clippings are annotated by Reinhardt with handwritten comments and underlined segments. Also in this series are announcements, invitations, catalogs, and posters for exhibitions of Reinhardt's art and the artwork of others, as well as other event announcements, calendars, and press releases for lectures, workshops, and benefits. Other items found here are brochures, conference programs, journals and newsletters from organizations, publications from his time as a student, and examples of his published artwork, including covers of
Listen
magazine and clippings of his numerous published cartoons.
Items are arranged by type of material and chronologically within each folder.
This series has been partially scanned. Items not scanned include clippings and other items not related to Ad Reinhardt.

Series 5: Scrapbooks, circa 1928-1959
(Boxes 4-5; 0.5 linear feet)

Scrapbooks compiled by Reinhardt document his high school and college days, as well as his early career as a professional artist. Included in his scrapbook from Newtown High school and his scrapbook from his time at Columbia University are clippings of his published comic strips, covers of magazines and other school publications that he designed, as well as clippings of articles about his role in school events and awards that he won. Also found here are loose scrapbook pages spanning twenty years of his career as an artist which contain newspaper and magazine articles about Reinhardt, published cartoons, pages from exhibition catalogs, and reproductions of his artwork.
Items are arranged chronologically.
This series has been scanned in its entirety.

Series 6: Artwork, circa 1946, 1950, 1961
(Box 4; 4 folders)

This series contains artwork by Reinhardt including homemade Christmas cards, drawings of international architectural styles, primarily churches and temples, a sketch of a leaflet for an artist strike, and various other small sketches.
This series has been scanned in its entirety.

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.