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American Abstract Artists records, 1936-1983

American Abstract Artists

Collection Information

Size: 1.6 linear feet

Summary: The records of the American Abstract Artists measure 1.6 linear feet and date from 1936 through 1983. The records document the founding of the organization in 1936, membership activities, general administration, and exhibitions via correspondence, member writings, financial and legal records, printed materials, and photographs.
Correspondence mainly relates to the exhibitions and member activities of the American Abstract Artists. There are letters from Josef Albers, Alexander Archipenko, Alexander Calder, Lyonel Feininger, Harry Holtzman, Piet Mondrian, and Irene Rousseau, President Emeritus of the American Abstract Artists. Official bulletins sent to members are also found among the correspondence.
Administrative records include founding prospectus, meeting minutes, lists of members, and drafts and amendments to the American Abstract Artists constitution.
Member writings are by Saburo Hasegawa, Henry Billings, Leo Rabkin, and Ruth Gurin. Financial and legal records include ledger books, insurance documents, and other financial material. Printed materials include announcements for the American Abstract Artists' annual exhibitions, as well as exhibition posters. Finally, there are two photographs of collage paintings by members.

Biographical/Historical Note

Organized in 1936 by a group of artists interested in abstract painting and sculpture. Its chief function is the holding of exhibitions. Former presidents include Alice Trumbull Mason, Leo Rabkin, and Irene Rousseau.


Leo Rabkin donated records in 1969. Alice Trumball Mason loaned records for microfilming in 1959 and in 1969 donated most of those same materials. Irene Rousseau donated additional records in 1983. All three donors are Presidents Emeriti of the American Abstract Artists.

Related Materials

Language Note

Most of the collection is in English. Some materials are in Danish, French, and German.