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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

Summary: 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

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.

A Finding Aid to the André Emmerich Gallery Records and André Emmerich Papers, 1929-2009, in the Archives of American Art
Historical Note
André Emmerich (1924-2007) was one of America's most noted contemporary art dealers and opened the André Emmerich Gallery in New York in 1954. The gallery showcased contemporary art, particularly Color Field painting and monumental sculpture.
André Emmerich was born on October 11, 1924 in Frankfurt, Germany. From age 7 he was raised in Amsterdam before emigrating with his family to New York City in 1940. He studied at Oberlin College and developed an interest in pre-Columbian art and antiquities. After graduation, he spent ten years in Paris working as a writer and editor before returning to New York. He married Constance Emmerich and the couple had three sons, Adam, Noah, and Toby.
In 1954 Emmerich opened the André Emmerich Gallery at 18 East 77th Street and initially specialized in contemporary American and European art and pre-Columbian antiquities. In 1956, the gallery moved to 17 East 64th Street, and in 1959 to the Fuller Building at 41 East 57th Street. Emmerich wrote two books about pre-Columbian art,
Art Before Columbus
in 1963 and
Sweat of the Sun, Tears of the Moon: Gold and Silver in Pre-Columbian Art
in 1965.
In 1961, Emmerich learned that French and Company, a gallery advised by art critic Clement Greenberg, was closing its department of contemporary art. French and Company had represented Color Field painters Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, and Jules Olitski. Emmerich immediately invited Louis and Noland to be represented by his gallery. In 1966 he extended the invitation to Olitski as well, and Helen Frankenthaler joined soon after. The gallery's reputation as one of the earliest and most important promoters of Color Field painters was launched.
In addition to Color Field painters, the gallery represented, among others, Pierre Alechinsky, Karel Appel, Milton Avery, Herbert Ferber, Sam Francis, John Graham, Al Held, David Hockney, Hans Hofmann, John Hoyland, Judy Pfaff, Miriam Schapiro, and Anne Truitt.
Until January 1983, sales of pre-Columbian art primarily went through an entity called André Emmerich Inc. (AE Inc.), while sales of contemporary went through the André Emmerich Gallery Inc. (AEG). In 1983, the two entities were merged and operated under the name André Emmerich Gallery Inc.
In 1971, Emmerich began operating a downtown gallery at 420 West Broadway, in SoHo, in space shared with Leo Castelli, Virginia Dwan, and Ileana Sonnabend. In 1972, Emmerich opened a branch of his gallery in Zurich. He incorporated the Galerie André Emmerich Gmbh primarily for the purpose of leasing gallery space in Zurich. Until February 1974, sales of Pre-Columbian art in Zurich were made by an entity called André Emmerich Gallery Inc., New York Filiale Zurich. The Galerie André Emmerich Gmbh was officially liquidated in May 1982. The Filiale was formally closed in October 1996. Galerie André Emmerich also enjoyed a short-lived joint venture with Gimpel & Hanover.
André Emmerich served as president of the Art Dealers Association of America from 1972-1974 and again from 1991-1994.
Emmerich opened a private 150 acre sculpture park, Top Gallant Farm, on his estate in Pawling, New York, in 1982, where he stored and exhibited monumental sculptures by artists his gallery represented including Anthony Caro, Beverly Pepper, Alexander Liberman, Alexander Calder, Mark di Suvero, George Rickey, and Keith Haring. David Hockney painted waves onto floor of the property's swimming pool in 1986. Emmerich operated the sculpture park until 1996.
Emmerich sold his gallery to Sotheby's in 1996. He continued to be affiliated with the gallery until Sotheby's closed the gallery in 1998. Emmerich then began work on his memoir,
My Life With Art
, excerpts of which have been published in
Art News
, the
Wall Street Journal
, and
The New Criterion
Andre Emmerich died in New York 2007 and is survived by his second wife, Susanne Emmerich.
The collection is arranged as 19 series:
Series 1: General Correspondence Files, 1958-2006 (boxes 1-18, OV 314-315; 18.2 linear feet)
Series 2: André Emmerich Appointment Books, 1954-2007 (boxes 19, 325, 326; 1.7 linear feet)
Series 3: Administrative Files, 1954-2003 (boxes 20-31, 306, OV 314, OV 316-319; 11 linear feet)
Series 4: Subject Files, 1958-1967, 1971-2000 (boxes 31-32, 306, OV 318, OV 320; 2 linear feet)
Series 5: Exhibition Files, circa 1954-1998 (boxes 32-40, 306, 307, OV 318-322; 8.5 linear feet)
Series 6: Artists Files, 1929-1932, 1938-2007 (boxes 40-68, 307, 308, OV 320-323; 28 linear feet)
Series 7: Artist Accounts, 1958-1998 (boxes 68-81; 13.5 linear feet)
Series 8: Inventory Records, circa 1954-2000(boxes 82-128; 46.5 linear feet)
Series 9: Sales Records, 1959-1998 (boxes 128-168; 40 linear feet)
Series 10: Purchase Records, 1961-1966, 1972-1994 (boxes 168-170; 2 linear feet)
Series 11: Consignment Records, 1961-2002 (boxes 170-177; 7.7 linear feet)
Series 12: Chronological File of Incoming and Outgoing Artwork, 1968-1998 (boxes 178-185; 8 linear feet)
Series 13: Other Financial and Legal Records, 1956-1999 (boxes 186-202; 16.5 linear feet)
Series 14: Printed Materials, 1955-1960, 1965-2008 (boxes 202-204, 308, 309; 3 linear feet)
Series 15: Original Artwork, 1933, 1974, 1998 (box 205, 310; 0.7 linear feet (2 folders))
Series 16: Photographic Materials, circa 1930-1935, 1941-1998, circa 2005 (Boxes 205-296, 311-313, OV 324; 92.8 linear feet)
Series 17: General Audio and Video Recordings, 1985, 1990-1995 (Boxes 297-298; 1.3 linear feet)
Series 18: André Emmerich Personal Papers and Records, 1937-1940, 1946-2008 (Boxes 298-305, OV 321, OV 323; 7.7 linear feet)
Series 19: Addition to the The André Emmerich Gallery records and André Emmerich papers, 1956-2009 (Boxes 328-329, OV 330; 2.1 linear feet)
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.
Processing Information
This collection was processed by Julie Schweitzer and Rihoko Ueno between 2009 and 2011, with funding provided by the Leon Levy Foundation. Materials with Social Security numbers were redacted with copies left in the collection. The original documents are maintained separately.
An addition received in 2014 was processed to a minimal level and the finding aid updated by Harriet E. Shapiro in 2015. Minimal processing included arrangement to the series and folder levels. Items within folders were simply verified with folder title, but not arranged further. Material is housed in archival containers and folders, but not all staples and clips were removed.

Restrictions on Access

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.

How to Cite This Collection

André Emmerich Gallery records and André Emmerich papers, 1929-2008. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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