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

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Catherine S. Gaines
Scope and Contents
The Carlen Galleries, Inc., records measure 10.4 linear feet (gift portions, Parts 1 and 3) and date from 1775-1998 (bulk 1940-1986). Correspondence, business records, subject files, a scrapbook, printed matter, and photographs document the operation and activities of Carlen Galleries, Inc., and its founder Robert Carlen.
Part 1: Received in 1986 as a gift from Robert Carlen, these records document the activities of Carlen Galleries and its founder, 1937-1986. Correspondence mainly concerns the sale and purchase of works of art. Also included are artist files containing correspondence, receipts, and printed matter regarding Albert Davies, Edward Hicks, K├Ąthe Kollwitz, Horace Pippin, and Maurice Prendergast. Subject files concern African American artists, Raphael Peale, Raymond Feuillate, and the French Moderns. Business records consist of loan forms, documentation of exhibitions at Carlen Galleries, inventories, a scrapbook and clippings concerning the gallery, conservation reports, appraisals (not microfilmed), and financial records.
Part 2: Additional records documenting the activities of Carlen Galleries and its founder, 1937-1986, were loaned by Robert Carlen for microfilming in 1988. Included are letters about Horace Pippin and rare letters from the artist. Other correspondence concerns Carlen's search for paintings by Edward Hicks, and there is also a small selection of letters regarding more routine gallery business. Among the business records are and account book and receipts. Printed matter consists of exhibition catalogs, announcements, and clippings; a scrapbook contains printed matter about Horace Pippin. Photographs are of Allan Freelon and works of art.
Part 3: Received in 2002 as a gift from Robert Carlen's daughter Nancy Carlen, this portion of the Carlen Galleries, Inc., Records consists of two letters, business records, photographs, and selections from the galleries' library. Letters are from Joan Baez, circa 1960 and Charles M. Mount, 1968. Previously sealed letters from Charles M. Mount, undated, and 1962-1975, relating to John Singer Sargent have been integrated into this portion.
Part 4: Additional records borrowed for microfilming from Nancy Carlen in 2002 include documents dated 1775-1997 (bulk 1940s-1990). Correspondence concerns gallery business, but a small amount of personal correspondence is also included. Business records consist of appraisal reports, receipts for sales and purchases, and the contract and program for the 1964 University [of Pennsylvania] Hospital Antiques Show in which Carlen Galleries exhibited. Subject files document Edward Hicks, Anatol Jal, the Captain James Lawrence Goblet, Horace Pippin, and Antoine Roux. Five notebooks, containing material similar to that in the subject files, are about Horace Pippin (vols. 1-3), Edward Hicks (vol. 4), and chronicle the career of Robert Carlen (vol. 5).
Printed matter consists of clippings and other items concerning art and antiques, Robert Carlen and Carlen Galleries, Inc., and the Diplomatic Reception Rooms of the State Department where two Hicks paintings owned by Carlen were on extended loan. Among the miscellaneous records are biographical documents, personal financial records, business and research notes (including original documents and photocopies of archival materials), and four prints. Photographs are mostly of antiques and art work; also included are a few pictures of people, places, and miscellaneous subjects.
The collection was acquired in various accessions of gifts and loans. Part 1: gift of Robert Carlen, 1986; Part 2: loaned by Robert Carlen for microfilming, 1988; Part 3: gift of Nancy Carlen, 2002 (previously sealed letters and appraisals received with Part 1 are housed with Part 3 and integrated for microfilming); Part 4: loaned by Nancy Carlen for microfilming, 2002.
Separated Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reels 4175 and 5746-5748) including material relating to Horace Pippin. Loaned material was returned to the lender and is described in the collection container inventory.
Processing Information
Part 1 (1986 gift) and Part 2 (1988 loan) were processed by Marina Pacini, Philadelphia Project Coordinator, and microfilmed in 1988. Part 3 (2002 gift) and Part 4 (2002 loan), along with previously sealed letters and appraisals (received with Part 1, but housed and microfilmed with Part 3), were processed by Catherine S. Gaines and microfilmed in 2002.