Skip to main content

Albert Edward Elsen papers, 1942-ca. 1995

Elsen, Albert Edward, 1927-1995

Art historian


Collection Information

Size: 11.8 Linear feet, (partially microfilmed on 1 reel)

Summary: Personal and professional files, the bulk consisting of research material used in publications and his teaching career at Stanford University. Included are correspondence, writings, notes, artists' files, photographs and printed material. A portion of Elsen's files on Seymour Lipton have been microfilmed.
REEL 4047 (0.6 linear ft.): Correspondence between Elsen and Lipton, 1955-1984, including an autobiographical letter written April 1960 by Lipton; draft manuscripts by Elsen, "The Sculpture of Seymour Lipton," with comments by Lipton and his family on Elsen's manuscript, 1965 and 1967, "The Sculpture of Seymour Lipton as a Portrait of the Artist," 1963, and "The Inclusive Sculpture of Seymour Lipton," 1969; writings and notes by Lipton, including his reflections on aesthetics, 1942, and an autobiographical note, 1960; ca. 70 photographs of Lipton's works executed between 1936 and 1968, and nine of exhibition installations at Betty Parsons Gallery, 1958, and the Marlborough-Gerson Gallery, 1965; a few clippings; and exhibition catalogs, 1960-1967.
UNMICROFILMED (11.2 ft.): Personal documents, including draft card, army papers, certificates and awards, and a school yearbook; correspondence with art historians, artists, publishers and others; research files for publications on Auguste Rodin, including Elsen's catalog for the 1981 exhibition "Rodin Rediscovered" at the National Gallery of Art, Paul Jenkins (1973), Law, Ethics and the Visual Artists (1979), and others; transcripts of interviews with Leon Golub, Oct. 12, 1986 (20 p.) and Miriam Schapiro, Nov. 9, 1986 (40 p.), both regarding artistic freedom; teaching files; artists' files; and files on various other art topics.

Biographical/Historical Note

Art historian and educator; Stanford, California. Died 1995. Author of several publications on Auguste Rodin, and on sculptors Seymour Lipton, Paul Jenkins, James Rosati, and other general works on sculpture and art appreciation, including Purposes of Art: Introduction to the History of Appreciation of Art.


Lipton related material on reel 4047 donated 1987 by Elsen. He donated an additional 0.2 ft. on Lipton in 1991. The remainder donated 1995 by his widow, Sharon Elsen.

Related Materials

Papers of Albert Edward Elsen, 1965-1994, are also located at Stanford University's University Archives.

Language Note

English .

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reel 4047 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

How to Cite This Collection

Albert Edward Elsen papers, 1942-ca. 1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.