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André Emmerich Gallery records and André Emmerich papers, 1929-2008

André Emmerich Gallery records and André Emmerich papers, 1929-2008

André Emmerich Gallery

Collection Information

Size: 311.2 linear feet

Biographical/Historical Note

André Emmerich Gallery (founded 1954; closed 1998) was an art gallery in New York, N.Y. and Zurich, Switzerland Born in Germany in 1924 and raised in Holland, André Emmerich emigrated to the United States in 1940. After graduating from Oberlin College and working as a writer, he opened his gallery at 18 E. 77th St. in 1954, moving in 1956 to accommodate bigger works of art to 17 E. 64th St. During its early years, the firm specialized in classical antiquities and Pre-Columbian art, but by the 1960s Emmerich began concentrating on the artists who defined Color-Field painting. Emmerich opened a branch in Zurich and in 1971 took space in 420 W. Broadway. A strong advocate of abstract sculpture, Emmerich featured it in his gallery and at Top Gallant Farm, his 140-acre estate in upstate New York where he installed monumentally scaled works. André Emmerich died September 25, 2007.


The André Emmerich Gallery records and André Emmerich papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by André Emmerich in eight accretions between 1999 and 2002. Two additional accretions were donated by Emmerich's wife Susanne in 2008 and 2009, and another by James Yohe, Emmerich's former business partner, in 2009.

Related Materials


Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by Leon Levy Foundation.

Scope and Contents

The André Emmerich Gallery records and André Emmerich papers measure 309.1 linear feet and date from 1929 to 2008. The collection documents the business of the André Emmerich Gallery as well as André Emmerich's life and activities related to the business of selling art. Gallery records include correspondence; appointment books; administrative and subject files; exhibition files; artist files and accounts; inventory, sales, purchase, and consignment records; chronological files; financial and legal records; printed materials; original artwork; photographic and audiovisual materials. Also found are personal papers and records relating to André Emmerich.

The records document the gallery's daily business operations, exhibitions, and relationships with artists, dealers, clients, galleries, and museums. Artists particularly well-represented throughout the collection include Anthony Caro, Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler, David Hockney, Hans Hofmann, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, and Beverly Pepper.

Records pre-dating the gallery's establishment in 1954 are primarily newspaper and magazine clippings related to artists, personal photographs and photographs of artists, an original etching, and some of André Emmerich's personal records including biographical materials, correspondence, writings, and legal and financial records. Records post-dating the gallery's closure in 1998 are primarily residual business records related to the final disposition of artwork, clippings, photographs of André Emmerich and gallery staff, biographical materials, personal correspondence, writings, legal and financial records, and condolences received by Emmerich's wife upon his death in 2007.

Correspondence is primarily with galleries, museums and clients about business matters. Correspondence files also cover topics such as appraisals, authentications, offers of sale, artists seeking representation, image requests, job applications and recommendations. Also included are the New York gallery's copies of correspondence between the New York staff and the Zurich staff.

André Emmerich's appointment books document appointments, notes, and reminders about Emmerich's business and personal activities. Four appointment books relating to the birth of Emmerich's three sons and second marriage were kept by the family. The appointment books are access restricted and require written permission to use.

Administrative files include corporate records establishing the André Emmerich gallery's structure, records documenting the gallery's daily operations, advertising and publicity material, and records about the Sotheby's acquisition. There are also materials related to Top Gallant Farm, from its establishment to its closure. Travel records relate to André Emmerich's business trips and vacations along with some files on the travels of a several staff members at the gallery. Files about the operations of the Galerie André Emmerich in Zurich, Switzerland are included in the series as well.

Subject files relate to Emmerich's gallery business as well as personal and political interests, such as antiquities, art fairs and exhibitions, lecture research, art associations, and sculpture parks. There are several files on the art critic Clement Greenberg and former president of Gay Men's Health Crisis, Nathan Kolodner, who was also an art dealer and director of the André Emmerich Gallery.

Exhibition files contain numerous exhibition catalogs and printed materials related to exhibitions held or organized by the André Emmerich Gallery in Manhattan and Galerie André Emmerich in Zurich. The files contain materials ranging such as exhibition invitations, posters, printed materials, press releases, and guest books. Photographs of exhibitions can be found in the Photographic Materials series.

Artist files include biographical materials, clippings, correspondence, mailing lists, price lists, printed materials, and occasionally lectures, writings, and audiovisual materials for many of the artists represented or shown by André Emmerich Gallery. The General Correspondence files might contain duplicates or expanded versions of some of the correspondence. Photographs of artists can be found in the Photographic Materials series.

Artist accounts comprise account statements prepared periodically by the gallery documenting each artist's expenses and sales. Ledgers and general accounting files can be found in the Other Financial and Legal Records series.

Inventory records include inventory cards describing artwork entering and leaving the gallery and files containing various gallery inventories. Artist inventory cards, representing artists from both the New York and Zurich galleries, list the artist, title, date, media and measurements of an artwork. The cards also indicate whether the work was ultimately sold, returned to the artist, consigned, etc., and divided into categories accordingly. Inventory files show various gallery inventories.

Sales records document gallery sales and include paid invoices, records relating to Zurich sales, general sales records such as price lists and canceled sales, and Sotheby's Parke-Bernet auction reports. There are gaps in sales invoices in 1961-1964 and 1969-1971.

Purchase records include correspondence and invoices related to purchases and offers; annotated invoices for works of art bought by the gallery; André Emmerich, Inc. related purchase records; "Non-Modern" art related purchase records.

Consignment records include correspondence and consignment agreements documenting consignments to and from the André Emmerich Gallery; consignments from other galleries to André Emmerich, Inc.; and general consignment records.

Chronological files include copies of invoices or cover letters documenting the movement of artwork into and out of the gallery through sales, consignments, loans, and approvals. Records dating January through August 1968, January through March 1969, and September 1969 through July 1971 are missing.

Financial and legal records include client and partner account statements, resale and exempt organization certificates, accounting ledgers, and legal files related to disputes involving or of interest to the gallery.

Printed materials include auction catalogs and reports, books, and clippings describing André Emmerich, the galleries in New York and Zurich, Top Gallant Farm, and the art world. Also included is a large scrapbook created by the gallery containing clippings and gallery announcements dated 1955-1958. Clippings relating to particular artists can be found in the Artists Files series.

There are two pieces of original artwork in the collection. One is a 1974 print of a 1933 composite etching by Esther Dick Gottlieb, Adolphe Gottlieb, Edgar Levy, Lucille Corcos Levy, David Smith, and Dorothy Dehner Smith. The second is a 1998 lithograph by Louise Bourgeoise, called, "The Face of the Critic." The artist gave the lithograph as a gift in honor of Robert Hughes and the Archives of American Art and is numbered 61 out of a series of 300.

Photographic materials include prints, slides, negatives, and transparencies. Subjects include artists, André Emmerich, gallery installations, Top Gallant Farm, events, artists' studios, gallery staff, gallery space, and artwork. Photographs which show André Emmerich are indicated as such in the finding aid.

Audiovisual materials includes videocassettes and one audiocassette related to the art world. Videocassettes related to specific artists can be found in the Artists Files series. Videocassettes related to André Emmerich can be found in the André Emmerich Personal Papers and Records series. Videocassettes related to Top Gallant Farm and Sotheby's can be found in the Administrative Files series.

Personal papers and records relating to André Emmerich include biographical materials, personal correspondence, writings and lectures, and legal and financi

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.

Personal diaries and appointment books: ACCESS RESTRICTED; use requires written permission.

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