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Carlen Galleries, Inc. records, 1775-1997, bulk 1940-1986

Carlen Galleries

Collection Information

Size: 10.4 linear feet

Summary: Correspondence, business records, subject files, a scrapbook, printed matter, photographs, and selections from Robert Carlen's library document the operation and activities of Carlen Galleries, Inc. and its founder Robert Carlen.

Biographical/Historical Note

Carlen Galleries, Inc. (founded 1937) is an art gallery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Carlen specialized in American folk, primitive and decorative art, but also sold African, European, and Oriental Art. Over the years Carlen worked with Alfred Frankenstein on William Harnett, with Mary Black on a variety of projects, and uncovered many Edward Hicks paintings. Carlen was also Horace Pippin's dealer.


Papers on reels 4166-4175 were donated 1986 by Robert Carlen. Material on reel 4175, frames 1-283 (second series) mainly relating to Horace Pippin were loaned by Carlen 1988. In 2002, Carlen's daughter, Nancy Carlen, donated 2 feet of records, and loaned 3 feet for microfilming (the loan portion partially duplicates the 1988 loan, but material was significantly reorganized in the intervening years).

Location of Originals

  • Reels 4175 (fr. 01-283) and 5746-5748: Originals returned to the lenders after microfilming.