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Alfred Victor Frankenstein papers, 1875-1985

Contents and Arrangement

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Series 1: Biographical Material , 1875-1978
5 Folders
Box 1, 21

Found are awards, passes for various museums and institutions, an alumni directory from the Francis W. Parker school, and a mixed media scrapbook which concerns Frankenstein's career with the San Francisco Chronicle. Also found is his father, Victor Frankenstein's diploma from medical school.
Description Container Select
Awards, 1963-1976
1
1
Museum Passes, 1970s
1
2
School Records, 1978
1
3
Victor Frankenstein, Diploma, 1875
21
1
Scrapbook, 1950s
21
2

Series 2: Correspondence , 1946-1980
0.8 Linear feet
Box 1

Correspondence primarily concerns professional activities, research, and general inquiries. Letters are from the Downtown Gallery (Edith Halpert) and other galleries, institutions, museums, colleges and universities. Correspondents include Paul Jenkins, Stanton McDonald-Wright, Thomas E. Ripley, and numerous art historians and museum curators. A letter to Frankenstein from Stanton Macdonald-Wright dated January 8, 1972, discusses Synchromism, Orphism, and the difference between the two groups, making reference to the work of Robert Delaunay and Morgan Russell.
Description Container Select
Downtown Gallery (Halpert, Edith), 1948-1961
1
4
General, First Names Only, 1946-1980
1
5
General, 1946-1947
1
6
General, 1952-1959
1
7
General, 1960-1965
1
8
General, 1967-1969
1
9
General, 1970-1971
1
10
General, 1971
1
11
General, 1972-1973
1
12
General, 1974
1
13-14
General, 1975-1976
1
15
General, 1977-1978
1
16
General, 1979-1980
1
17

Series 3: Writings and Notes , 1940-1978
1.1 Linear feet
Box 1-2

General writings include three notebooks, writings and recorded lectures by Frankenstein about music, art, or both, California, and the Ronald P. Murdock art collection. There are written entries to the Dictionary of American Biography, drafts of articles (likely for the San Francisco Chronicle), and copies of published articles. Works by others include eight lectures concerning early Northern California art recorded on three cassettes, and a cassette tape of an interview by C. Hoover.
General writings do not include manuscripts for Frankenstein's books or exhibition catalogs. These are found in Series 4, Research Files and Series 5, Exhibition Files, reflecting the original order of the papers.
Description Container Select
Notebooks, circa 1960s
1
18-20
General, by Alfred Victor Frankenstein, 1940-circa 1970
2
1-15
Lectures, by Alfred Victor Frankenstein, 1970s
3 cassette tapes
2
16
Lectures, by Others, 1976
1 cassette tape
2
17
Interview, C. Hoover, 1978
1 cassette tape
2
18
General, by Others, 1940s-1970s
2
19-24

Series 4: Research and Project Files , circa 1880s-1977
10 Linear feet
Boxes 2-12

The bulk of the papers consist of Frankenstein's research and project files. For the most part, the files retain the original folder titles and reflect either artist's name or the names of dealers, collectors, general subjects, and a few named project files. There is extensive research material on artists Karel Appel, Christo, John F. Francis, Richard LaBarre Goodwin, John Haberle, William Michael Harnett, William Sidney Mount, and John Frederick Peto, among others. Research material concerning Frankenstein's book After the Hunt (1953) is found within the folders for William Henry Harnett. And manuscript drafts of The World of Copley: 1738-1815 (1970) are found within the research files for William Singleton Copley. There are also files containing research materials and drafts for the exhibition and published catalog, The Reality of Appearance (1970).
There are three project files on Hawaiian painted churches, a panorama of American painting, and the tapestries of Villanueva, New Mexico.
Content of the files vary but often contain contain correspondence between Frankenstein and collectors, dealers, or museums; photographs and slides of works of art; notebooks, notes and drafts of manuscripts, articles, and books; provenance research information; annotated printed material; and original and xeroxed primary source research material. A few files also contain sketches (notably by John Haberle).
Users should note that there is some overlap between the Research Files in Series 4 and Exhibition Files in Series 5.
Description Container Select
Multiple Artists, General, 1940s-1960s
2
25
Multiple Artists, General, 1927-1970s
Oversized material housed in Box 21, Folder 3
3
1-11
Alexander, Henry, 1949-1969
3
12
Appel, Karel, 1970s
3
13-17
Atkinson, Jacob, 1949
3
18
Baker, Harry H., 1953
3
19
Bement, Williams B., 1950s
3
20
Berry-Hill Galleries Inc., 1960s
3
21
Blanchi, A., 1960s
3
22
Blemly, Scrapbook, 1940s
3
23
Brawn, A.D., 1960
3
24
Brookes, Samuel Marsden, 1948
3
25
Brooks, Nicholas A., 1940s
3
26
Browere, Alburtis, circa 1950
3
27
Chalfont, J.D., 1940-1970s
3
29
Chalfont, J.D., 1947
4
1
Christo, 1970-1976
4
2-3
Colyer, Edward, 1950s
4
4
Combes, Voltaire, 1969
4
5
Cooper, Astley, 1967
4
6
Copley, William Singleton, 1969
4
7-13
Counterfeiting , 1950
4
14
Danton, F., 1970
4
15
Davies, Kenneth, 1950s
4
16
Davis, William M., 1968
4
17
Decker, Joseph, 1948
4
18
Dubrevil, V., 1948-1964
4
19
Dunlap, William, circa 1960
4
20
Elmer, Edwin Romanzo, 1953-1969
4
21
Fakes, 1960s
4
22
Francis, John F., 1940-1970
4
23-26
Friedlander, Camila, circa 1950
4
27
"Get 'Em" (Research Leads), 1969
4
28
Goodwin, Richard LaBarre, 1910-1948
4
29-30
Gouy, 1949
4
31
Grier, 1966-1967
4
32
Haberle, John, 1880s-1960s
4
33-35
Haberle, John, 1939-1960s
5
1-3
Harnett, B.J., 1931-1969
5
4-6
Harnett, William Michael, 1880s-1967
5
7-29
Harnett, William Michael, 1880s-1967
6
1-23
Heade, Martin Johnson, 1950s
7
1
Hirst, Claude R., 1893-1950s
7
2
Keane, William, 1952-1969
7
3
King, C.B., 1950s
7
4
Lee Mansion, Marblehead, Massachusetts , circa 1968
7
5
Lemon, Daniel, 1957
7
6
McLaughlin, Vincent, 1950
7
7
Martin, Silas, 1949-1950
7
8
Mason, 1940s-1960s
7
9-10
Meissonier, J. LE, 1950s
7
11
Meurer, C.A., 1948-1949
7
12
Minor Artists, 1947-1953
7
13-14
Mount, William Sidney, circa 1923-1971
7
15-33
Mount, William Sidney, circa 1923-1971
8
1-14
Mount, William Sidney, circa 1923-1971
9
1-25
Mount, William Sidney, circa 1917-1968
10
1-16
Muncy, Milton A., 1962-1963
10
17
Peale, James and Margaretta, 1955
10
18
Peale, Raphael, 1950s
10
19
Peale, Rubens, 1950s
10
20
Peto, John Frederick, 1940s-1969
10
21-24
Peto, John Frederick, 1900-1950s
Correspondence, Writings, and Printed Material, 1949-1950
11
1
Photographs of John Frederick Peto, Studio, and Works of Art, 1900, 1940s-1950s
11
2
Photographs of Works of Art, 1940s-1950s
11
3
Photographs of Works of Art, 1940s-1950s
11
4
Photographs of Works of Art, 1940s-1950s
11
5
Photographs and Negatives of Works of Art, 1940s-1950s
11
6
Negatives of Works of Art, 1940s-1950s
11
7
Negatives of Works of Art, 1940s-1950s
11
8
Pfleger, 1947
11
9
Platt, George W., 1948
11
10
Platt, George W. , circa 1940s
11
11
Platt, George W. , 1900s-1940s
11
12
Pollock, Jackson, circa 1970
11
13
Pope, Alexander, 1967
11
14-15
Radio Programs, 1948
11
16
Roesen, R., 1951-1953
11
18
Shinn, John Marion, 1948-1949
11
19
Stereoscopic Photographs, 1954
11
20
Stewart, Theodore, circa 1890-1960s
11
21-22
Still-Life, 1940s-1950s
11
23-25
Stralen, Donald, circa 1960
12
1
Vanderlyn, John, 1943-1957
12
2
Vellut, 1950s
12
3
Waas, Martin, 1949
12
4
Walton, Richard Guy, circa 1950
12
5
Yates, Y. H., 1969
12
6
Yuel, Claude, 1960s
12
7
Oversized Multiple Artists, General Material, from Box 3, F11, circa 1950s
21
3
Projects
Hawaiian Painted Churches
12
8-12
Panorama of American Painting, 1969-1970
12
13-14
Villanueva Tapestry Project, 1974-1977
12
15-16

Series 5: Exhibition Files , 1940s-1970s
1 Linear foot
Boxes 12-13

Files are found for a few exhibitions curated by Frankenstein including American Self-Portraits (1974) at the National Portrait Gallery and the 1974 World's Fair Exposition exhibition, Our Land, Our Sky Our Water: an Exhibition of American and Canadian Art. (1974). There are also files for an exhibition at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, and an American Still Life exhibition in the 1940s.
Files for the exhibition of artist's self-portraits also contain reserach materials on numerous artists, such as Evan Albright, Audubon, Will Barnet, Alexander Calder, John Gadsby Chapman, Chuck Close, Frank Duveneck, Philip Evergood, Robert Fulton, Ignaz Gaugengigl, Paul Georges, Arshile Gorky, Ann Hall, Morris Hirschfield, Edward Hopper, Daniel Huntington, Peter Hurd, David Claypoole Johnston, Olaf Krans, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Alfred Leslie, Helen Lundeberg, Reginald Marsh, Elizabeth Metcalf, Samuel Morse, John Sloan, Saul Steinberg, Samuel Lovett Waldo, and Tom Wesselmann.
There is a letter from Romare Bearden in the file on the exhibition for the World's Fair Exposition of 1974.
Files generally contain loan agreements, shipping records, photographs, slides, and transparencies of works of art, writings, correspondence between collectors, museums, and dealers and Frankenstein, and printed exhibition catalogs and announcements.
Users should note that some of the research files found in Series 4 also contain materials concerning these exhibitions and others.
Description Container Select
American Still-Life, 1950
12
17
Artist Self-Portraits , 1960s-1970s
12
18-27
Artist Self-Portraits , 1960s-1970s
13
1-3
California Palace of the Legion of Honor Exhibition, 1940s
13
4
Expo '74, World's Fair, 1970s
13
5-11
Our Land, Our Sky, Our Water: an Exhibition of American and Canadian Art (1974), 1970s
13
12-13

Series 6: Professional Activities Files , 1926-1977
1.4 Linear feet
Boxes 13-14

Professional activities' files document Frankenstein's membership in the American Arts Alliance and the San Francisco Arts Commission. Also found here is material documenting his role as a music critc. Teaching files for his tenure at University of California, Berkeley are arranged in this series.
Description Container Select
American Arts Alliance, 1967
13
14
Conference Material, 1974
13
15
Museum of Modern Art, 1973
13
16
Music Critic Material, circa 1940s-1960s
13
17-21
Music Critic Material, 1926-1970s
14
1-3
San Francisco Arts Commission, 1970-1976
14
4-11
Teaching Files, 1958-1977
14
12-21

Series 7: Personal Business Records , 1956-1977
6 Folders
Box 14

Found is an appraisal for a work by Joseph Decker, although it is unclear whether Frankenstein owned the painting; estate records of Sylvia Frankenstein; scattered receipts for everyday purchases and shipping records; and records regarding the purchase and registration of a vehicle.
Description Container Select
Appraisal, 1977
14
22
Employment Records, 1957-1969
14
23
Estate Records, 1972
14
24
Receipts, 1970s
14
25-26
Vehicle Records, 1956
14
27

Series 8: Printed Material and Commercial Sound Recordings , 1889-1985
2.5 Linear feet
Boxes 14-17, 21

Printed materials include clippings, copies of congressional resolutions, exhibition announcements and catalogs, issues of magazines and periodicals, museum bulletins, and blank postcards. Also found are eight commercial audio recordings, likely of music, however, a cassette entitled Heritage of American Art may be related to the exhibition of the same name at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1975. Medical conference materials may have belonged to Frankenstein's father.
Description Container Select
Clippings, 1940s-1985
14
28
Clippings, 1892-1985
15
1-4
Congressional Materials, 1978
15
5-6
Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1900-1980s
15
7-14
Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1950s-1980s
16
1-9
Heritage of American Art, 1970s
1 cassette tape
16
10
Magazines and Periodicals, circa 1900-1980s
16
11-18
Magazines and Periodicals, circa 1900-1980s
Oversized material housed in Box 21, Folder 4-5
17
1-2
Medical Conference Materials, 1897-1964
17
3
Museum Bulletins and Guides, 1930s-1970s
17
4
Phonograph Records, circa 1950
6 sound recordings
17
5
Postcards, 1970s
17
6
Audio Recording, Charles Ives, 2nd Piano Sonata, 1968
1 sound recording
1.5ml Acetate Reel
21
6
Oversized Magazines and Periodicals, from Box 17, F2, 1889-1976
21
4-5

Series 9: Photographs , circa 1940-circa 1970
2.5 Linear feet
Boxes 17-21

Photographic material includes black and white and color photographs, copy prints, contact sheets, negatives, slides, and transparencies. There are snapshots and portraits of Alfred Victor Frankenstein and his family, and photocopies of a family photograph album. A majority of the photographs are of artwork by nineteenth and twentieth century artists and were compiled by Frankenstein as part of his research. Additional photographs of works of art may be found in Series 4.
Description Container Select
Family Photo Album, Photocopy, circa 1950s
17
7
Alfred Victor Frankenstein and Family, circa 1940-circa 1960
17
8
Photographs of Works of Art
Architecture, circa 1950s-1970s
17
9
Cartoon, circa 1950-circa 1970
17
10
Drawings and Sketches, by Viktor Aleksandrovich Gartman, circa 1950-circa 1970
17
11
Iconography, circa 1950-circa 1970
17
12
Illustrations, circa 1950-circa 1970
17
13
Landscapes, circa 1950-circa 1970
17
14
Modern and Post-Modern Art, circa 1950-circa 1970
17
16-17
Paintings, circa 1950-circa 1970
17
18-21
Portraits, circa 1950-circa 1970
17
22-23
Photographs of Works of Art
Portraits, circa 1950-circa 1970
18
1-8
Scenes, circa 1950-circa 1970
18
9-11
Sculpture, circa 1950-circa 1970
18
12
Still-Life and Trompe l'Oeil, circa 1950-circa 1970
18
13-17
Photographs of Works of Art
Unidentified, circa 1950-circa 1970
19
1-6
Photographs of Works of Art
Negatives, Slides, and Transparencies, circa 1950-circa 1970
20
1-4
Photographs of Works of Art, Oversized, circa 1950-circa 1970
21
7

Series 10: Unidentified Sound Recordings , circa 1960-circa 1970
2 Folders
Box 20

Found are six cassettes and one sound reel, without additional contextual information to further describe the material.
Description Container Select
Audio Recording, Reel, circa 1960
1 sound tape reel
20
5
Audio Recording, Cassettes, circa 1970s
6 cassette tapes
20
6

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.