Scope and Contents
The papers of painter Alexander Brook measure 4.3 linear feet and date from 1900-1982. Found within the papers are biographical material; personal and professional correspondence; writings; personal business records; printed material; scrapbooks; artwork; and photographs of Brook, his family and friends, and his work.
Biographical materials include an address book, award certificates, curriculum vitae, marriage and divorce documents, passports, biographical information on Brook's wife, Gina Knee Brook, and 4 interview transcripts.
Correspondence is primarily with Brook's family, friends, fellow artists, and business associates discussing personal relationships, teaching opportunities, art sales, and exhibitions. Included in this series are letters to Brook's second wife, Gina Knee Brook. Additional correspondents include Brook's children, Belinda and Sandy (Alexander) Brook, Peggy Bacon, artists Niles Spencer and George Biddle, and writer Haniel Long.
Writings by Brook consist of reminiscences, 6 essays, a lecture, a memorium to Catherine Brett, 6 short stories, 2 notebooks, and miscellaneous notes. Writings by others consist of a notebook by Mrs. Beeton containing humorous recipes, an essay, 2 memoirs, poetry, and a short story from unknown authors.
Personal business records include sales invoices, tax returns noting income from sales of artwork, and receipts for various art supplies.
Printed material includes brochures, chapbooks, clippings, city guides, exhibition announcements and catalogs, periodicals, and miscellaneous printed material.
There are two scrapbooks, a clippings scrapbook titled Unstruggling Artist, and an untitled scrapbook containing clippings and interspersed with correspondence, catalogs, and photographs.
Artwork consists of ink, pencil, and pen sketches; etchings and 2 etching plates; mixed media illustrations; and watercolors by unknown artists. There are also 9 sketchbooks, most likely by Alexander Brook, and a drawing by Miguel Covarrubius.
Photographs are of people, exhibition installations, and works of art. These include childhood photos of Alexander Brook and Gina Knee Brook, photos of the Brooks together in Savannah, Georgia and Sag Harbor, Long Island, as well as photos of Alexander Brook with friends, an artist model, at home, and in various studios. There are also photos of Peggy Bacon, Louis Bouché, Niles Spencer, and Jackson Pollock. Exhibition installations include a show at the Carnegie Institution and unidentified one man shows.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The bulk of the papers were donated in several accretions by his Brook's wife, Gina Knee Brook, from 1981 to 1982. In 1982, she loaned a scrapbook for microfilming, which was later donated to the archives by Brook's son, Sandy Brook, in 1994. In 1985 and 1986, the Whitney Museum and Eloise Spaeth each donated a copy of Brook's typescript "Myself and Others."
The photocopied typescript, "Myself and Others," was microfilmed upon receipt and is available on reel 3928.
The Archives of American Art holds an oral history interview with Alexander Brook conducted by Paul Cummings, July 7-8, 1977. There is also substantial correspondence from Alexander Brook in the Peggy Bacon papers.
Processing of this collection was funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art
The collection received a preliminary level of processing upon receipt of material, at which time extraneous periodicals were disposed of. The scrapbook originally loaned and later gifted to the archives was microfilmed onto reel 2435. The photocopy of the unpublished typescript, "Myself and Others," was microfilmed onto reel 3928 and disposed of. The collection was fully processed and described by Judy Ng in 2013 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.