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A Finding Aid to the Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers, circa 1920-1991, bulk 1946-1983 | Digitized Collection

Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers, circa 1920-1991, bulk 1946-1983

Parsons, Betty, 1900-1982

Gallery owner, Painter, Dealer

The Betty Parsons Gallery records and Betty Parsons papers in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2009. The bulk of the papers have been scanned and total 61,421 images.

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Collection Information

Size: 49.6 linear ft.

Summary: The Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers measure 49.6 linear feet and date from 1920 to 1991, with the bulk of the material dating from 1946-1983. Records provide extensive documentation of the gallery's operations from its inception in 1946 to its closing in 1983 and provide a comprehensive overview of the activities of an art dealer at the forefront of promoting contemporary American Art in the latter half of the twentieth century. Included is extensive correspondence with artists, galleries, dealers, art institutions, private collectors, and the media. Also found are exhibition files, exhibition catalogs and announcements, sales records, stock inventories, personal financial records, and photographs. Additionally, Betty Parsons' personal papers consist of pocket diaries, personal correspondence, and evidence of her own artwork, including sketchbooks, and files documenting her personal art collection.

Biographical/Historical Note

Betty Parsons (1900-1982) was an art dealer in New York, N.Y. Parsons was director of the Wakefield Bookshop Gallery, 1940-1944, and director of the contemporary section of the Mortimer Brandt Gallery, 1944-1946. She opened Betty Parsons Gallery in 1946 at 11 E. 57th St., later moving to 24 W. 57th St. Artists represented included many abstract expressionists. For many years Jock Truman was director. The gallery closed in 1983.

Provenance

The bulk of the collection was donated in 1984 and 1986 by William Rayner and Chrisopher Schwabacher, executors of the Estate of Betty Parsons. The gallery donated some records in 1974, most of which had been loaned earlier for microfilming. Additional material was donated by William Rayner in 1998.

Related Materials

Also found in the Archives of American Art are oral history interviews with Betty Parsons, June 4-9, 1969 and June 11, 1981.

Funding

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.