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Ben Shahn papers, 1879-1990, bulk 1933-1970

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Series 5: Notes and Writings , circa 1933-1988
1.62 Linear feet
Boxes 27-28

This series contains notes and writings by Shahn and others, in addition to lists of artwork, addresses and engagement calendars.
The series is arranged as 3 subseries:
  • 5.1: Notes and Writings by Shahn, circa 1933-1986
  • 5.2: Writings by Others, About Shahn, circa 1950s-1988
  • 5.3: Writings by Others, Not Shahn-Related, 1935-1966
5.1: Notes and Writings by Shahn, circa 1933-1986
This series contains addresses, calendars, and lists of artwork, many of which are annotated with prices, in addition to miscellaneous notes written by and to Shahn which include scattered sketches and doodles. The bulk of the series consists of drafts and transcripts of lectures and statements given by Shahn over the course of his career. The writings found here include material used in some of Shahn's most well-known lectures such as those he gave as Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University from 1956-1957 (collected and published by Harvard University Press as The Shape of Content in 1957), on subjects such as artists in colleges, the biography of a painting, nonconformity, and the education of an artist.
Description Container
Address Book, circa 1960s
27
8
Addresses, Handwritten and Business Cards, circa 1940s-1986
27
9
Engagement Calendar, 1966 January-June
27
10
Engagement Calendar, 1966 July-December
27
11
Fragments, circa 1940s-1960s
27
12
Lists of Artwork, circa 1950s-1960s
27
13
Lists of Artwork, circa 1956-1975
27
14
Miscellaneous Notes, To and By Shahn, circa 1933-circa 1972
27
15
Miscellaneous Notes, To and By Shahn, circa 1940s-circa 1960s
4 Folders
Partially scanned
Folder 19 not scanned
27
16-19
Notebooks, circa 1950s-circa 1960s
2 notebooks, 1 in Italian
27
20
Travel Diary Fragments, London, circa 1950s
27
21
"A Credo," Woodstock, NY, 1948
27
22
"If I Had to Begin My Art Career Today," at Andover, 1949
27
23
"The Place of the Artist in Modern Society/Some Questions," Smith College, 1949
27
24
"The Question: Who Cares?" University of Wisconsin, 1949
27
25
"Prints,", circa 1950s
27
26
Re: Maccari, circa 1950s
27
27
Re: Museum of Modern Art, circa 1950s
27
28
"Just What is Realism in Art?" State University of Iowa, 1950
27
29
"Paul Klee," Museum of Modern Art Symposium, 1950
27
30
"Education of an Artist," Jamesine Franklin School of Professional Arts, Inc., 1950
27
31
"Some Revaluations of Commercial and Fine Arts," Jamesine Franklin School of Professional Arts, 1950
27
32
"American Paintings for the Past Twenty-five Years: An Unorthodox View," Harvard University, 1951
27
33
"Art, as a Positive Value,", 1951
27
34
"Aspects of Realism," Black Mountain College, 1951
27
35
"Education of a Professional Artist," at Providence, 1951
27
36
"How Art Can Contribute to an Industrial and Scientific Age," Ohio State University, 1951
27
37
"How to Combine Art, Architecture, Sculpture," Museum of Modern Art Symposium, 1951
27
38
"The Future of Creative Arts," University of New York, Buffalo, 1951
27
39
"Modern Art and Modern Civilization," Dartmouth College Great Issues Course, 1952
27
40
Presentation of American Institute of Graphic Arts Award to Joe Blumenthal, 1952
27
41
"Question: Why Does the Artist Paint," in Philadelphia, 1952
27
42
"The Relationship Between Art and Aesthetics," at Woodstock, New York, 1952
27
43
"How an Artist Looks at Aesthetics," American Society for Aesthetics, 1953
27
44
"The Problem of Artistic Creation in America Today," in Philadelphia, 1953
27
45
"This is About Values," Smith College, 1953
27
46
"The Liberal of Today," and Material Related to Venice Biennale, circa 1953-1954
27
47
Letter to Editor of New York Times re. Aline Saarinen Review of Edward Steichen Exhibition, 1955
27
48
"Modern American Painting," Barnard College American Arts Festival, 1955
27
49
"Nuove Considerazioni sul Realismo,", circa 1956
27
50
"Realism Reconsidered," Drafts, circa 1956
27
51
"Realism Reconsidered," Press Release, circa 1956
27
52
"Riconsiderando il Realismo in Arte,", circa 1956
27
53
Statements on William E. Grady Vocational High School Mural, New York, NY, circa 1956
27
54
"Artists in Colleges," Harvard University, circa 1957
27
55
"Nonconformity,", circa 1957
27
56
"The Biography of a Painting,", circa 1957
27
57
"Statement of Ben Shahn" Re: House Un-American Activities Committee, circa 1959
27
58
"A Reply to Mr. Porter,", 1959
27
59
"Art and Art Theory,", circa 1950s-circa 1960s
27
60
"My Life as a Painter,", circa 1950s-circa 1960s
27
61
Re: Art Critics, circa 1950s-circa 1960s
27
62
Re: Artist's Role in Society, circa 1950s-circa 1960s
27
63
Re: Horizons for Art, Jewish Theological Seminary, circa 1950s-circa 1960s
27
64
Re: Modern Photography, circa 1950s-circa 1960s
27
65
Re: Painting by a Student Named Udell, circa 1950s-circa 1960s
27
66
"Responsibility for Standards of Taste in a Democratic Society," Museum of Modern Art Symposium, circa 1950s-circa 1960s
27
67
Statements on Art and Artists, circa 1950s-circa 1960s
27
68
"The Threefold Search for Understanding,", circa 1950s-circa 1960s
27
69
Statement to The New Republic, circa 1960s
27
70
Re: Relationship of an Artist's Thoughts and Emotions to his Work, 1961
27
71
Re: Abraham Abulafia, circa 1963
27
72
Re: Corcoran Gallery of Art Awards System, circa 1963
27
73
"Bread and Butter Letter to the Aspen Conference on Design,", 1967
27
74
5.2: Writings by Others, About Shahn, circa 1950s-1988
Description Container
Braunstein or Pieri, Diane (author unclear), "Ben Shahn's Social Commentary,", circa 1960s
27
75
Friendly, Fred W., Remarks for Art Directors Club Hall of Fame Dinner, 1988
27
76
MacLeish, Archibald, "Ben Shahn,", circa 1969
27
77
O'Neal, Hank, "A Vision Shared,", circa 1976
27
78
Shahn, Bernarda Bryson, Book Manuscript, circa 1972
4 Folders
28
1-4
Shahn, Bernarda Bryson, Essays and Fragments, circa 1960s-circa 1980s
28
5
Soby, James Thrall, Re: The Graphic Art of Ben Shahn, circa 1957
28
6
Volpo, Marisa? "Gli Artisti nelle Universita,", circa 1950s-circa 1960s
28
7
Unidentified Authors
Alleged Associations with Communism, circa 1965
28
8
"Ben Shahn and Joyce,", 1960
28
9
"Ben Shahn and People,", 1950
28
10
"Four American Graphic Designers", circa 1960s
28
11
"Mr. Ben Shahn,", circa 1950-1960
28
12
"Through Ben Shahn's Eyes,", circa 1950s-1960s
28
13
"With Cut-Away Eyelids,", circa 1960s
28
14
Untitled and Fragments, circa 1950s-circa 1960s
28
15
5.3: Writings by Others, Not Shahn-Related, 1935-1966
Writings found here, primarily in the form of transcripts, are on subjects of interest to Shahn many of which were presumably used as source material for his artwork, sparked his interest in a particular commission such as those by John Barlow Martin, or were given to him as possible commissions for illustrations.
See Appendix for a list of writings from Series 5.3.
Description Container
Amherst Junior High School Special Class, circa 1950s
28
16
B: Barr - Brennan, circa 1943-circa 1960
28
17
Conklin, Groff, Translation of "The Dolorous Chatelaine,", 1953
translation has not been scanned
28
18
D: Dugan - Dye, circa 1950s-1960s
28
19
E: Endore - Engel, 1956, 1962
28
20
Ferry, W. Hawkins, 1962-1964
28
21
F: Fielder - Fuller, circa 1960s
28
22
G: Goldburg - Gusten, circa 1950s-1960s
28
23
J: Johnson - Joyce, 1961-1965
28
24
K: Kacmarak - Kennedy, circa 1939-1963
28
25
L: Lamont - Lewis, circa 1953-circa 1965
28
26
Martin, John Bartlow, circa 1948
28
27
P: Piel - Pollack, circa 1958-1963
28
28
R: Reid - Roth, 1942-1965
28
29
Shahn, Abigail, Notebook, circa 1950s
28
30
S: W.H.S. - Shyre, circa 1960s
28
31
T: Taylor - Tyler, 1935-1966
text of "The Child Buyer" has not been scanned
28
32
Wilder, Thornton, circa 1950s-1960s
28
33
Yeats, W. B., Playscript: Calvary, with Production Notes from Theatre Intime Producction, 1962
28
34
Unidentified Authors, circa 1930s-circa 1960s
4 Folders
28
35-38
Unidentified Authors, Fragments and Untitled, circa 1940s-circa 1960s
28
39
Unidentified Authors, Poems, circa 1950s-circa 1960s
28
40
Various Authors, Poems, circa 1950s-circa 1960s
28
41
Various Authors, Poems About Sports ("Field Day" compilation), circa 1950s-circa 1960s
28
42
Various Authors, Unidentified Panel Abstracts by S. V. Martorana, Brenda Sexton and Herbert Goldstein, circa 1960s
28
43

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.