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Agnes Rindge Claflin papers concerning Alexander Calder, 1936-circa 1970s

Biographical Note

Agnes Rindge Claflin (1900-1977) was an arts administrator, collector, and educator who spent the majority of her career at Vassar College as a professor and serving as director of its art gallery for 28 years.
Claflin was born Agnes Millicent Rindge in Grand Rapids, Michigan on May 19, 1900. She graduated from the Madeira School in 1917, attended Mount Holyoke College for two years, and graduated magna cum laude from Radcliffe College. Afterwards, Claflin briefly taught at Vassar College before returning to Radcliffe and earning her M.A. and Ph.D. She rejoined the Vassar College faculty in 1928 and served as the director of the Vassar Art Gallery from 1934-1962. Claflin published Sculpture in 1929 and in the 1930s she began writing articles for several different publications. At the request of Alfred Barr, she joined the Advisory Committee for the Museum of Modern Art in 1941 and became the Assistant Executive Vice President from 1943-1944. Claflin held a number of other positions in art organizations such as the Commission on Arts of the American Association of Colleges (1939), Art in America (1940-1943), Art Division of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs (1941-1942), American Federation of Arts (1944-1945), and Committee on Fellowships of the College Art Association (1945-1948). She married Philip W. Claflin, a captain in the U.S. Army, in 1945. Throughout her career, Claflin lectured at organizations and universities across the United States, including the Chicago Art Institute, Columbia University, New York University, Yale University, and many others. Agnes Claflin died on June 12, 1977.
Claflin and Calder were colleagues and friends. In 1942, the Vassar Art Gallery hosted a Calder exhibition installation. The following year, Claflin wrote and narrated a short film, "Alexander Calder: Sculpture and Constructions," which was presented with the Museum of Modern Art's Calder exhibition of the same year.