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Ben Benn papers, 1905-1993

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Series 2: Correspondence , 1906-1993, undated
4 Linear feet
Boxes 1-4

This series contains the personal and professional correspondence of Ben Benn and personal correspondence of Velida Benn (neé Gertrude Lopez). Found are several letters from Willard Huntington Wright (the Forum Exhibition Committee) and Juliana Force (Whitney Museum of Art). Also included is correspondence from additional museums and galleries, including the Artists' Gallery, Brooklyn Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others. Personal correspondence includes numerous letters, postcards, and greeting cards from colleagues and friends who formed a part of the Benns' social circle, including those from Oscar Bluemner, Sidney Geist, and Kaj Klitgaard, William Baziotes, and a postcard from Marsden Hartley.
The Correspondence series is arranged into five subseries:
  • 2.1: Ben Benn correspondence, 1915-1993, undated
  • 2.2: Ben and Velida Benn correspondence, 1911-1953, undated
  • 2.3: Velida Benn correspondence, 1906-1963, undated
  • 2.4: Postcards, 1910-1969, undated
  • 2.5: Greeting cards, 1918-1967, undated
2.1: Ben Benn Correspondence, 1915-1993, undated
Chronological professional and personal letters received by Ben Benn relating to exhibitions, affiliations with various artists' groups, and relationships with other artists and friends. Found are letters from Alfred Barr, Holger Cahill, Juliana Force, Sidney Geist, Kaj Klitgaard, Rowan and Irene LeCompte, Audrey McMahon, Elie and Viola Nadelman, Samuel Rosenblum, Harry Salpeter, and Hugh Stix, and various art galleries and museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Newark Museum, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Walker Art Center Also found is correspondence from containing letters from Hudson Walker and others, relating to Benn's one-man exhibition; included are price lists of Benn's paintings.
See Appendix for list of notable correspondents from Series 2.1. and 2.3.
Description Container
Correspondence, 1915-1953
1
3-43
Correspondence, 1954-1993
2
1-15
Undated Correspondence, undated
2
16-17
Loose Envelopes, 1916-1972, undated
2
18
2.2: Ben Benn and Velida Benn Correspondence, 1911-1953, undated
Correspondence exchanged between Ben and Velida when Benn traveled to Woodstock, N.Y., Gloucester, Ma., and St. Augustine, Fla., as well as from Benn's studio in New York. Benn's letters focus on personal matters, various activities, and projects, and include references to colleagues and to the paintings he sold to various individuals. Many of the letters are illustrated. Velida Benn's letters relate to her activities and the New York art scene.
Description Container
Correspondence, 1911-1934
2
19-42
Correspondence, 1935-1937, undated
3
1-3
Undated Correspondence, undated
3
4-6
Loose Envelopes, 1923, 1953
3
7
2.3: Velida Benn (Gertrude Lopez) Correspondence, 1906-1963, undated
This subseries, arranged chronologically, consists of letters received by Velida Benn from family, friends, and colleagues. Included are letters from Bessie Beatty, Rita Benton, William M. Fisher, Sidney Geist, Bernard Lopez, and Julio Osma. Also found are brief notes from Joseph Stella, Max Weber, and Marsden Hartley. Letters from Juliana Haskell relate to a Ben Benn one-man exhibition at Columbia University in 1928-1929. Included are numerous letters from publishers, theatrical agents, and producers to whom Velida Benn submitted her plays and poems.
Please see Appendix B for list of notable correspondents.
Description Container
Bernard Lopez Letters, 1906-1912, undated
3
8
William M. Fisher Letters, 1912-1917, undated
3
9-13
Bessie Beatty Letters, 1942-1947, undated
3
14
Correspondence, 1909-1963, undated
3
15-45
Undated Correspondence, undated
3
46-47
Loose Envelopes, 1923-1944
3
48
2.4: Postcards, 1910-1969, undated
This subseries is arranged chronologically and includes postcards to Ben and Velida Benn and Velida Benn from friends and colleagues. Postcards are from Hilton Kramer, Belle Krasne, Harry Salpeter, and others.
Description Container
Postcards, 1910-1969
3
49-53
Undated Postcards, undated
3
54
2.5: Greeting Cards, 1918-1967, undated
This subseries is arranged chronologically and includes holiday greeting cards received by Ben and Velida Benn from friends and colleagues.
Description Container
Greeting Cards, 1918-1967, undated
4
1-17

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.