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Charles Cajori papers, 1940-2015

Charles Cajori papers, 1940-2015

Cajori, Charles, 1921-2013


Collection Information

Size: 5.8 linear feet

Biographical/Historical Note

Charles F. Cajori (1921-2014) was a painter in New York, New York and Watertown, Connecticut. Cajori was co-founder of the Tanager Gallery with Lois Dodd, Phillip Pearlstein, William Knig, Angelo Ippolito, and Fred Mitchell.


Donated 2011 by Charles F. Cajori and in 2015 by Barbara Grossman, Charles Cajori's wife and executor.

Scope and Contents

The papers of New York painter, Charles Cajori, measure 4.0 linear feet and date from 1942-2011. The collection documents Cajori's activities as a painter, educator, and co-founder of the Tanager Gallery that was located on the Lower East Side in New York through correspondence; writings and notes; interviews, talks, and panel discussions on art and artists; and printed materials.

Correspondence is personal and professional and consists of mostly incoming letters to Cajori from artists, friends, family, art historians, and academic institutions. There are a few letters from Charles Cajori, including draft of his letters. Among the correspondents are Pat Adams, Leland Bell, Bernard Chaet, Cooper Union, Cleve Gray, Louis Finkelstein, Philip Pearlstein, Sidney Simon, Norman Turner, and the University of California at Berkeley. Of interest, are letters from the founders of the Tanager Gallery, such as Lois Dodd, Angelo Ippolito, and William King. Correspondence also documents Cajori's dealings with galleries and museums as well as his involvement in arts organizations; included are letters from American University, Watkins Gallery; Bertha Schaffer Gallery; Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center; Gallery Association of New York; Museum of Modern Art; Roko Gallery; Stable Gallery; and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Writings and notes are and about Charles Cajori. Cajori's writings include drafts on painting and drawing that Cajori prepared for classroom lectures and panel discussions; essays on Paul Cézanne and Chaim Soutine; and his account of the founding of the Tanager Gallery. Cajori's writings also include a biographical account and an artist's statement. There are writings by Louis Finkelstein, Andrew Forge, and Mercedes Matter about Cajori's work. Included are several guest registers for Cajori's exhibitions at the David Findlay Gallery, Lohin Geduld Gallery, and the New York Studio School.

Interviews, talks, and panel discussions include a transcript of an interview with Charles Cajori, audiotaped and videotaped interviews with Charles Cajori, and panel discussions with Cajori and others. Panel discussions with Cajori and others cover such topics as the New York school artists and Chaim Soutine. Many of recordings focus on Cajori's association with the Tanager Gallery, the art scene in New York during the 1950s, and his reflections on art. Also included are miscellaneous videotaped recordings.

Printed material contains exhibition catalogs, checklists, announcements, invitations, press releases, clippings, reviews, brochures, and miscellaneous printed material. A file of printed materials on the Tanager Gallery includes exhibition catalogs and clippings.

An addition of 1.7 feet donated 2015 includes correspondence (mostly posthumous regarding Cajori's death), writings, photographs, printed material, medals, and a sound recording relating to Charles Cajori and the Tanager Gallery.

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

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