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David Berger papers, circa 1939-1986

David Berger papers, circa 1939-1986

Berger, David, 1920-1966

Sculptor, Painter, Printmaker

Collection Information

Size: 3.8 linear feet

Summary: The papers of Massachusetts painter, sculptor, and educator David Berger measure 3.8 linear feet and date from circa 1939 to 1986. His career as an artist and professor are documented through biographical material, personal business records, scattered correspondence, gallery files, exhibition catalogs, news clippings, and other printed material, as well as nine sketchbooks and photographs depicting Berger, his family, and artwork.

Biographical material consists of Veterans Administration records, interview transcripts, student records, diplomas, and documents from the memorial service held for Berger in 1966. Personal business records include of his employment records, scattered financial documents, and files documenting his submissions for juried art exhibitions. Also found here are inventory and sales records for Berger's artwork and documentation on the construction of Berger's house and studio in the late 1950s, designed by architect Marvin E. Goody.

Correspondence is with art galleries, professional organizations, publishers, Cranbrook Academy of Art, and individuals who purchased works by Berger. These letters primarily concern the sale and exhibition of David Berger's artwork as well as his education and teaching career. Gallery files include correspondence, price lists, artwork sales and loan records, exhibition planning documents, notes, and gallery publications.

Printed material consists of news clippings documenting David Berger's career, catalogs and announcements for exhibitions of works by Berger and others, as well as publications from Massachusetts College of Art and Cranbrook Academy of Art. One children's book includes illustrations by David Berger. Photographs depict Berger at art exhibitions and with his wife and daughters at home and in his studio. Also found are numerous photographs of his artwork. Nine sketchbooks contain various figure studies in pencil, ink, pastel, and charcoal.

Many of these files in this collection were maintained by Berger's wife, Ruth, after his death in 1966 and include her correspondence and notes.

Biographical/Historical Note

David Berger (1920-1966) was a painter, sculptor, and educator from Boston, Mass.


Donated in 2010 by the Estate of David Berger via his widow Ruth Berger and daughters Ellen Berger Rainville and Elizabeth Berger Barraza.

A Finding Aid to the David Berger Papers,
circa 1939-1986
, in the Archives of American Art
Biographical Note
David Berger (1920-1966) was a painter, sculptor, and educator in Boston, Massachusetts. Berger was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and earned a B.S. in education from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1946. In 1950 he received a master of fine arts degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He was a professor of art at Framingham State College from 1946 to 1957, and a professor of painting and illustration at Massachusetts College of Art from 1957 until his death on November 15, 1966.
Berger had numerous gallery exhibitions and won several awards in juried shows. He was represented in New York by the Cober Gallery, and in 1967 DeCordova Museum held a memorial exhibition of his work. In 1956 he was selected as on of the "100 Outstanding New Talents in U.S.A." by
Art in America
The collection is arranged as 7 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1939-1966 (Box 1, 5; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 2: Personal Business Records, 1941-1981 (Box 1, OV 6; 0.6 linear feet)
Series 3: Correspondence, 1945-1986 (Box 1-2; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 4: Gallery Files, 1953-1985 (Box 2; 0.6 linear feet)
Series 5: Printed Material, 1943-1975 (Box 2-3, 5; 1.1 linear feet)
Series 6: Photographs, circa 1949-1960s (Box 3-5; 0.6 linear feet)
Series 7: Sketchbooks, circa 1956-1960s (Box 4-5; 0.3 linear feet)
Donated in 2010 by the Estate of David Berger via his widow Ruth Berger and daughters Ellen Berger Rainville and Elizabeth Berger Barraza.
Processing Information
The collection was processed in 2012 by Erin Kinhart.

Restrictions on Access

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

How to Cite This Collection

David Berger papers, circa 1939-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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