Skip to main content

Barbara Rose papers, 1962-circa 1969

Barbara Rose papers, 1962-circa 1969

Rose, Barbara, 1938-

Art historian, Author

Collection Information

Size: 1.4 linear feet

Summary: The Barbara Rose papers date from 1962 to circa 1969 and measure 1.4 linear feet. Papers include letters, interviews with artists, panel discussions, lectures, writings, and printed material relating to Barbara Rose's work as an art historian and critic.

Letters consist of responses to queries and questionnaires Rose and Irving Sandler sent to contemporary artists as research for writing projects. Questionnaires were sent in preparation for an article in "Art in America" on artists' sensibility of the 1960s, with responses from Robert Motherwell, Robert Craig Kauffman, Len Lye, Robert Morris, George Segal, David Hare, and others. A separate query asked sculptors for their assessment of contemporary sculptor's needs and the potential for patronage, and responses are found from Carl Andre, Charles Frazier, Robert Murray, Anthony Padovano, Ron Bladen, Roy Lichtenstein, Len Lye, Sol LeWitt, Heinz Mack, Otto Piene, Dan Flavin, and Donald Judd.

Interviews conducted by Rose between 1965 and circa 1969 are found with Richard Bellamy, Leo Castelli, James E. Davis, Henry Geldzahler, Ivan Karp, Lee Krasner, John Lefebre, John Myers, Donald Judd with Frank Stella, and Tom Wesselmann. All interviews include original sound recordings, and the Judd and Stella, Krasner, and Myers interviews include transcripts. Panel discussions and lectures include sound recordings and transcripts of seven events on a variety of contemporary art and architecture subjects held between 1962 and 1968. Sound recordings are present for five of the events on 10 sound tape reels, and transcripts are present for all events. Participants in the panel discussions and lectures include Barbara Rose, Ronald Davis, Dan Flavin, Robert Kauffman, John Harvey McCracken, Friedel Dzubas, Ansel Adams, Arthur Bierman, Kenneth Rexroth, Edward Taylor, Ernst Karl Mundt, John Bowles, Roy Dean De Forest, Seymour Locks, Walter Hopps, Mark Di Suvero, Donald Judd, Robert Morris, Kynaston McShine, Walter Darby Bannard, Larry Poons, Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Meier, Paul Rudolph, Claes Oldenburg, and Robert Murray.

Writings include photocopied typescripts of "Myth, Symbol, or Me," by Emily Wasserman and "Excerpts from a Work Journal on Flying Sculpture," by Charles Frazier. Printed material consists of two copies of the premiere issue of the "57th Street Review," from November 15, 1966.

Biographical/Historical Note

Barbara Rose (1937- ) is an art historian in New York, New York.


Donated 1971-1977 by Barbara Rose.

Related Materials

Location of Originals

  • Location of symposium sound recording unknown.

A Finding Aid to the Barbara Rose Papers, 1962-circa 1969, at the Archives of American Art
Biographical/Historical note
Barbara Rose is an American art historian and critic who has published widely in the field of modern American art. Born in 1938 in Washington, DC, Rose studied at the Sorbonne, Smith College, Barnard, and finally, Columbia University under Meyer Shapiro. Rose became immersed in the New York-based circle of modernist artists and curators in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and made her substantial contribution to the discourse on contemporary art with the insider’s perspective this afforded her. In 1962, she married the painter Frank Stella and they had two children before their divorce in 1969.
Rose taught at Yale University, Sarah Lawrence, University of California at Irvine and San Diego, and the American University Art in Italy program, and was senior curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, from 1981-1985. A prolific writer, Rose is the author of
American Art Since 1900
The Golden Age of Dutch Painting
American Painting: The 20th Century
(Skira, 1969), and monographs on the artists Magdalena Abankawicz, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Rauschenberg, Alexander Liberman, Larry Rivers, and others, as well as dozens of exhibition catalog essays. She held editorial positions at
Art in America
Partisan Review
, and
Journal of Art
, and her writing has also appeared in
Art International
Studio International
Arts Magazine
, and
, among many others.
Arrangement note
This collection is arranged as 4 series.
Series 1: Letters (0.2 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 2: Interviews (0.6 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 3: Panel Discussions and Lectures (0.5 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)
Series 4: Writings and Printed Material (0.1 linear feet; Box 2)
Donated 1971-1977 by Barbara Rose.
Location of Originals
  • Location of symposium sound recording unknown.
Processing Information note
This collection was processed in 2016 by Megan McShea.

Additional Forms Available

All of the sound recordings in this collection were digitized for research access in 2013 and are available at the Archives of American Art offices.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Barbara Rose papers, 1962-circa 1969. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

  • No downloads available