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Subseries 7.3 | 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

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7.3: Correspondence, circa 1932-1983

Series consists of Parsons' incoming and outgoing correspondence originally maintained within her personal papers, although it appears to be a mixture of personal and professional correspondence. It includes not only letters from friends and family, but also from museum directors, art dealers, researchers, gallery artists, and artists seeking representation from the Betty Parsons Gallery.
Correspondence is arranged into two sub-subseries:
7.3.1: General Correspondence, circa 1932-1982
7.3.2: Chronological Correspondence, circa 1938-1983
General correspondence primarily consists of personal letters from friends, while chronological correspondence includes primarily business-related letters. No attempt was made to reconcile the two systems since this arrangement may have originated with the creator. This subseries has been scanned in its entirety.
7.3.1:General Correspondence, circa 1932-1982
Files mostly consist of correspondence with friends and artists with whom Parsons had a personal relationship, although letters touching upon gallery business are scattered throughout. As close friends, many of the artists shared details about their personal and family life, travels, work, and careers. Gallery artist correspondents include Larry Bigelow, Alexander Calder, and William Condon. Of particular note are letters from Ad Reinhardt discussing his work in relation to the gallery and exhorting Parsons to fight for her (and his) rightful place in history. Another significant and prolific correspondent is the English artist Adge Baker, with whom Parsons had a romantic relationship. The two lived together for several years in the house that Parson purchased shortly after she arrived in Paris in 1923. Although they separated in 1932, they remained life long friends.
Notable friends and other correspondents include heiress and world-class speed boat racer Joe Carstairs, the Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava (Lindy Guinness), art critic Rosalind Constable, and art and literary critic Dale McConathy, who briefly worked for Parsons as a gallery assistant. Personal correspondence also includes Christmas cards, postcards, telegrams, and third party correspondence to gallery employees and Lee Hall, Parsons' biographer and gallery artist. Letter files are arranged alphabetically, postcards are arranged by decade, but Christmas cards are not in any order since it was difficult to determine dates or the full names of the correspondents.
DescriptionContainer
A, circa 1951-1977
Alper, Natalie
Andre, Carl
Arlasez, Nuri
Avery, Milton
Auerbach, Ellen
39
46
Alloway, Lawrence, circa 1959-1975
39
47
B, 1944-1982
Barcley, Jo
Barker, Margaret
Bakwa, C?©lestin,
Beal, John
Bedell, Eleanor
Bess, Forrest
Biero, Ellen
Blume, Mary
Bochoo, Jac[kki]
Bove, Louise
Box, Eden (Eden Fleming)
Braddock, Barrie
Bradley, Harvey
Breckenridge, Edith (Mrs. Gerald)
Brett, D.E.
Brotherton, Joe
Buchanan, Beverly
Budd, [David]
Burnhome, Clement M.
39
48
Baker, Adge, circa 1932-1982
(2 folders)
39
49-50
Baker, Adge, circa 1932-1982
(17 folders)
40
1-17
Barker, Walter, 1963-1979
40
18
Bigelow, Larry, 1954-1960
40
19
Bonge, Dusti, circa 1954-1982
40
20
Bulla, Jean, circa 1932-1935
40
21
C, 1948-1972
C., Bill
Calder, Alexander
Chryssa
Coggeshall, Calvert
Copley, Al
Cummings, Harry
40
22
Carstairs, Joe, 1942-1963
40
23
Clarke, Billie, circa 1970-1980
40
24
Cloos, Consuelo, circa 1952-1982
40
25
Congdon, William, 1977-1981
40
26
Constable, Rosalind, 1943-1982
40
27
Crosby, Caresse, 1925, 1965-1967
40
28
D, 1952-1982
Daniels, Alfred
Danziger, Sonia
Davidson, Carol Kreeger
Davis, Mary
Day, Blanche
De Lamar, Alice
Denn, Gene
Dickinson, Dennis
Dienes, Sari
Dlugoszewski, Lucia
Donaldson, James R.
Donati, Enrico
Dora, Una
Dubuffet, Jean
Dunbar, J. H.
40
29
DeMeyer, Evelyn, 1977-1980
40
30
Dufferin and Ava, The Marchioness of (Lindy Guinness), circa 1964-1981
40
31
Durant, Nancy, circa 1950-1972
40
32
E, circa 1950-1982
Eastman, Thomas
Eberhart, Betty
Edelstein, Paul
Egan, Charles
Elliott, Ronnie
Englesmith, Tejas
40
33
F, circa 1940-1982
Fairweather, Sally
Falkenstein, Claire
Feeley, Paul and Helen
Fenno, Pauline
Fine, Albert
Fini, Jan Luigi
Fischel, Marguerite
Fish, Seena
Fitch, Susan
Flaherty, Frances Moore
Flaherty, Frances Rohr
Francisco, Marjorie
Francisco, Richard
Frankel, Anita
Fraser, C. E.
Freedberg, Priscilla
Fremantle, Chloe
Frickner, Lawrence
40
34
Frasetto, Monica Flaherty, circa 1951-1974
40
35
Fritzius, Harry, circa 1953-1978
40
36
G, 1948-1982
Garston, Gerald D.
Gladstone, Doria and Mike
George, Thomas
Goff, Lloyd
Gordon, Martha
Grant-Govar, Enid
Gray, Cleve
Greenfield, Sophia
Groth, Jan
Guiness, Alec
40
37
Gooding, Maria, 1977-1982
40
38
Groves, Chris, 1966-1968
40
39
H, circa 1940-1981
Haberman, Daniel
Hamblett, Theora
Hamilton, C.
Hamilton, George Heard
Harman, E. Terry
Harper, Lindsay
Harwood, Nina Conan Doyle
Hawkins, Erick
Hayashi, Kaname
Herbert, David
Hero, Mrs. Alvin (Martha)
Herzel, Eileen
Hillis, Sue
Hirshhorn, Joseph and Olga
Hock, Robert
Hoff, Margo
Hood, Dorothy Gregory
Hooker, R. Wolcott
Hopkins, Harry L.
Humphrey, Ralph
Huyck, Laura Talmage
40
40
Hall, Lee, circa 1981-1982
40
41
Hennessy, Timothy, 1961-1974
40
42
I and J, 1942-1982
Irving, Flora W.
Jablow, Evelyn
Jackson, Kay
Jaeger, Blanche
Jenkins, R.A.
Johnson, Ray
40
43
K, circa 1940-1982
Kardamatis, Yiannis Wolfgang
Katz, Bill
Kealy, Hinman L.P.
Kelleher, M. Landreth
Kelly, Ellsworth
Kent, Alice
Klyne, Maurice
Koch, Ed
Koteen, Shirley
40
44
L, circa 1942-1981
Leake, Paul M.
Liebman, Marjorie
40
45
M and N, circa 1950-1976
Macy, Gert
Mallory, Margaret
Marshall, George
Mason, Susanne
McCloud, Lillard
McPeck, Eleanor
Metz, Gwyn
Miles, Jeanne
Miller, B.
Mon, Bascha
Morgan, Joseph P.
Mueller, Leo
Muelanzambi, Bawka
Murphy, Alice Harold
Negulesco, Jean
Nuala (Elsa de Brun)
40
46
McConathy, Dale, circa 1963-1969
40
47
Newcomb, Mary (Mrs. Alexander Higginson), circa 1932-1961
40
48
O and P, circa 1950-1982
Oliver, Alex
Okada, Kenzo and Kimi
Passante, Anne
Perreault, John
Perkins, Helvetia
Porter, Aline
Porter, Pat
Pousette-Dart, Richard
Putnam, Wallace
40
49
Pierson, James Rhodes, 1956-1959
40
50
R and S, 1943-1981
Ret, Etienne
Russell, Ethel Bordon
Santiago, Ed
Shepley, Mrs. P. R. (Lili)
Sikelianos, Eva
Smith, Tony
Sottsass, Ettore
Steindecker, Oliver
Steiner, Lisl
Sterne, Hedda
Stevens, Peter Jellen
Storey, Ala
Swartz, Clementa M.
40
51
Reinhardt, Ad, circa 1949-1965
40
52
Seid, Dui, circa 1974-1975
40
53
T, circa 1961-1975
Taylor, Benjamin de Brie
Taylor, Marie Carr
Thompson, Lynne
Toland, Mrs. Owen Jones
Tryggvadottir, Nina
Tumarkin, Igael
40
54
V, W, and Z, circa 1956-1982
Valente, Barbara
Valmarsus, Pablo and Rene
Vanruska, Frank
Van Scriver, Strelsa
W., Jack
Warner, Sylvia Townsend
West, Saul and Peggy
Weyschmid, Rita
Zito, Abby
41
1
Unidentified, circa 1932-1981
41
2
Third Party, circa 1937-1983
41
3
Christmas Cards, circa 1960-1977
(5 folders)
41
4-8
Postcards, circa 1930-1959
41
9
Postcards, circa 1960-1969
41
10
Postcards, circa 1970-1979
41
11
Postcards, 1980-1982
41
12
Postcards, undated
41
13
Telegrams, 1929-1971
41
14
7.3.2:Chronological Correspondence, circa 1938-1983
These files reflect how deeply Parsons' life was intertwined with the gallery as correspondence with dealers, museum directors, researchers, collectors, arts organizations, gallery staff, and artists predominate in this subseries, although letters from friends are scattered throughout. Letters address a variety of topics including requests for Parsons to be a jurist for juried exhibitions, exhibitions and sales of her own art work, references for artists, requests for interviews, questions from researchers, and communications from gallery staff. Letters from Jock Truman, include his original cover letter (1961) and updates concerning gallery business (1964, 1966-1968, and 1972).
Letters from Parsons include a letter of introduction for her former husband Schuyler Parsons to Peggy Guggenheim (1965) and a suggestion to collector Paul Mellon (1976)that Barnett Newman's Stations of the Cross belongs in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.. Parsons response to a researcher (1979) provides her insights concerning the early history of the gallery and her connection with the Abstract Expressionists. Other significant correspondents include Ossip Zadkine (1956), Jacqueline Monnier (1978 and 1982), and Judith Rothschild (1980). Finally, letters that post-date Parsons death in July, 1982 include condolence letters to gallery staff and correspondence between Jack Tilton, her former assistant at the gallery and William Rayner, her nephew and the executer of her estate, to establish prices for her art work.
Files are arranged chronologically by year, followed by a file of undated letters
DescriptionContainer
Correspondence, 1938-1949
41
15
Correspondence, 1950-1953
41
16
Correspondence, 1954-1956
41
17
Correspondence, 1957-1960
41
18
Correspondence, 1961-1962
41
19
Correspondence, 1963
41
20
Correspondence, 1964
41
21
Correspondence, 1965
41
22
Correspondence, 1966
41
23
Correspondence, 1967-1969
41
24
Correspondence, 1970-1974
41
25
Correspondence, 1975-1977
41
26
Correspondence, 1978
41
27
Correspondence, 1979
(2 folders)
41
28-29
Correspondence, 1980
41
30
Correspondence, 1981
(2 folders)
41
31-32
Correspondence, 1982
41
33
Correspondence, 1983
41
34
Correspondence, undated
41
35

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.