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Chaim Gross papers, 1920-2004

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Series 6: Sketchbooks , 1933-1991
6.1 Linear feet
Boxes 14-19, 22

This series comprises 115 sketchbooks produced by Gross between 1933 and 1991. The earliest sketchbooks are primarily figure and head studies interspersed with landscape sketches. Themes include the mother and child bond and models in acrobatic poses. There are sketches of Renee Gross with baby Mimi, Raphael Soyer, and Concetta Scaravaglione.
Beginning in 1944 Gross's sketchbooks take on a much darker tone with sketches characterized by bird-like and serpentine creatures of a mythological nature combined with human forms, images of war, Hebrew iconography, and recurring motifs of subjects pierced with long shards and nails, many dripping tears. A selection of Gross's sketches from this period were published in the book Chaim Gross: Fantasy Drawings by Beechurst Press, Inc. in 1956. These types of images continue to dominate the sketchbooks through the mid-1950s, and begin to diminish thereafter. Sketchbooks from the 1960s are characterized by figure and head studies, Jewish iconography, and vibrant and colorful sketches of travels abroad. The sketchbooks from 1965-1966 includes sketches of William and Marguerite Zorach.
"Fantasy drawings" reappear in the late 1970s-1980s, and the bird and teardrop motifs are revisited, although the drawings are less violent in nature. The 1987-1988 sketchbook includes sketches indicative of self-examination in the face of grief and mortality, such as those expressing Gross's grief on the death of life-long friend Raphael Soyer, and self-portrait sketches.
Sketches are in pencil, ink and wash, and watercolor. Many are annotated with notes on art and addresses of friends and contacts. Sketchbooks include a handful of sketches by others including one by Eliot Elisofon and several by Raphael Soyer and Mimi Gross.
Also found at the end of the series is a 1977 signed and numbered print (2 of 100) by Gross, entitled Happy Mother.
Sketchbook are arranged chronologically with one sketchbook per folder.
Description Container Select
Sketchbook, 1933
14
4
Sketchbook, 1933
14
5
Sketchbook, 1933
14
6
Sketchbook, 1933
14
7
Sketchbook, 1934
14
8
Sketchbook, 1934
14
9
Sketchbook, 1934
14
10
Sketchbook, 1934-1935
14
11
Sketchbook, circa 1935
14
12
Sketchbook, 1936
14
13
Sketchbook, 1936
14
14
Sketchbook, 1937
14
15
Sketchbook, 1938
14
16
Sketchbook, 1938
14
17
Sketchbook, 1938
14
18
Sketchbook, 1938-1939
14
19
Sketchbook, circa 1939
14
20
Sketchbook, 1939
14
21
Sketchbook, 1939
14
22
Sketchbook, 1939
14
23
Sketchbook, 1940
14
24
Sketchbook, 1940
14
25
Sketchbook, 1940
14
26
Sketchbook, circa 1941
14
27
Sketchbook, 1941
14
28
Sketchbook, 1941
14
29
Sketchbook, 1942
15
1
Sketchbook, 1942 May
15
2
Sketchbook, 1943
15
3
Sketchbook, 1944-1945
15
4
Sketchbook, 1945-1946
15
5
Sketchbook, 1946
15
6
Sketchbook, 1946-1947
15
7
Sketchbook, 1946-1947
15
8
Sketchbook, 1948-1950
15
9
Sketchbook, France, 1949
15
10
Sketchbook, 1949
15
11
Sketchbook, 1950
15
12
Sketchbook, 1951
15
13
Sketchbook, 1952
includes sketches by Mimi Gross
15
14
Sketchbook, 1953
15
15
Sketchbook, 1954
15
16
Sketchbook, 1954
15
17
Sketchbook, 1954-1955
16
1
Sketchbook, 1955
16
2
Sketchbook, 1955-1958
16
3
Sketchbook, 1956
16
4
Sketchbook, 1957
16
5
Sketchbook, 1957-1958
16
6
Sketchbook, 1958
16
7
Sketchbook, 1958-1960
16
8
Sketchbook, 1959
16
9
Sketchbook, 1959
16
10
Sketchbook-Israel, Paris, Rome Spain, 1959
16
11
Sketchbook-Israel, Istanbul, Paris, Rome, 1959
16
12
Sketchbook-Amsterdam, Rome, 1959-1960
16
13
Sketchbook, 1960
16
14
Sketchbook, 1961
16
15
Sketchbook, 1961
16
16
Sketchbook, Acapulco, 1961
16
17
Sketchbook, 1962-1963
16
18
Sketchbook, 1963
16
19
Sketchbook, 1963-1964
16
20
Sketchbook, 1964
17
1
Sketchbook, 1964-1965
17
2
Sketchbook, 1964-1966
17
3
Sketchbook, 1965
17
4
Sketchbook, 1965-1966
Includes sketches by Moses Soyer
17
5
Sketchbook, 1965-1966
17
6
Sketchbook, 1965-1966
17
7
Sketchbook, 1966-1967
17
8
Sketchbook, 1966-1967
17
9
Sketchbook, 1967-1968
17
10
Sketchbook, Africa, 1967-1968
17
11
Sketchbook, 1968
17
12
Sketchbook, Jerusalem, Israel, 1968
17
13
Sketchbook, Paris, France, 1968
17
14
Sketchbook, Paris, New York, Spain, Canary Isles, 1969-1970
17
15
Sketchbook, 1969-1971
17
16
Sketchbook, Paris, 1970
17
17
Sketchbook, Yugoslavia, 1970
17
18
Sketchbook, Barcelona and France, 1971
18
1
Sketchbook, 1971-1973
18
2
Sketchbook, 1974
18
3
Sketchbook, 1975, 1979
Oversized sketchbook housed in Box 22, Folder 3; includes 2 sketches by Raphael Soyer and 1979 news clipping
18
4
Sketchbook, Jerusalem, 1975
18
5
Sketchbook, 1975-1976
Includes sketches of Raphael Soyer
18
6
Sketchbook, 1976-1978
18
7
Sketchbook, 1977
18
8
Sketchbook, 1978
18
9
Sketchbook, 1978-1979
18
10
Sketchbook, 1978-1980
18
11
Sketchbook, 1979
18
12
Sketchbook, 1979
18
13
Sketchbook, 1979-1980
18
14
Sketchbook, 1980
18
15
Sketchbook, 1980-1981
18
16
Sketchbook, 1981-1983
18
17
Sketchbook, 1982-1983
18
18
Sketchbook, 1983
19
1
Sketchbook, 1984
Includes sketch by Raphael Soyer and of Soyer by Gross
19
2
Sketchbook, 1984-1985
19
3
Sketchbook, 1985
19
4
Sketchbook, 1985-1986
19
5
Sketchbook, 1985-1989
includes sketch by Raphael Soyer
19
6
Sketchbook, 1986-1987
19
7
Sketchbook, 1987-1988
Includes sketch of Raphael Soyer day before his death
19
8
Sketchbook, 1988
19
9
Sketchbook, 1988-1989
19
10
Sketchbook, 1989
19
11
Sketchbook, 1989-1990
19
12
Sketchbook, 1990
19
13
Sketchbook, 1990
19
14
Sketchbook, 1990
19
15
Sketchbook, 1990-1991
19
16
Loose Sketches from 1990-1991 Sketchbook, circa 1990-circa 1991
19
17
Loose Sketches, circa 1940s-circa 1970s
19
18
Signed Print Happy Mother, 1977
Oversized print housed in OV 23
19
19
Oversized Sketchbook, 1975, 1979 from Box 18, Folder 4
22
3
Oversized Signed Print Happy Mother from Box 19, Folder 19
OV 23

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.