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Earle and Mary Ludgin papers, 1930-1983

Ludgin, Earle, 1898-1981



Collection Information

Size: 2.2 Linear feet, (on 6 microfilm reels)

Summary: Correspondence; financial records; writings; photographs; sketches; inventories of art works; and printed materials.
REELS 1703-1704: Correspondence, 1948-1974, between Earle Ludgin and artist Forrest Bess, and 2 letters from Betty Parsons Gallery to Bess. Some letters contain clippings and photographs of Bess and of his work. [These letters also appear on microfilm reel 3458].
REELS 3821-3824: Correspondence, 1934-1979, with artists, musicians, writers, and other individuals involved in the arts, including ca. 1,200 letters received and carbon copies of letters sent. Ivan Albright, Leonard Baskin, Forrest Bess, Maurizio Bonora, Richard Bowman, Judith Brown, Copeland Burg, Alexander Calder, Pablo Casals, Marvin Cone, Peter Dews, Edwin Dickinson, Peter Fink, Dorothy Hood, Edward Hopper, Lincoln Kirstein, Norman Laliberte, Kirk Newman, Seiji Ozawa, Dan Palumbo, Alton Pickens, Abraham and Esther Rattner, Daniel Catton Rich, Kurt and Arlette Seligmann, Ben Shahn, Margaret Tomkins, Alice Valenstein, and Max Weber are correspondents.
Business correspondence and records, 1930-1981, regarding the Ludgin art collection consists of ca. 1,000 items, and includes documentation on the purchase, outgoing loan, insurance, shipment, etc. of art works. Also included are 3 inventories of the art collection, undated, 1951, and 1981.
Also included are typescript "With Both Eyes Open" by Earle Ludgin as a catalog introduction for the exhibition, THE LUDGIN COLLECTION OF CONTEMPORARY PAINTINGS, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1954; 6 photographs of an exhibition opening, sent to Ludgin by Kurt Seligmann, 1949; a photograph of Copeland Burg; a photograph of Kurt Seligmann and Father Bruckberger; 2 contact sheets containing photographs of Earle Ludgin by Peter Fink; 12 photographs of art installations at Earle Ludgin and Co. offices and at the Corcoran Gallery of Art;
color photographs of pages from Ivan Albright's sketchbook of flesh wounds (sketchbook is owned by the Art Institute of Chicago); and 38 photographs, ca. 370 slides, and a few negatives of art work in the Ludgin collection; printed materials, 1941-1979, including news releases, newpaper clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements (ca. 50 items); 11 rough pencil sketches on Earle Ludgin memo paper, some of which appear to be art installation plans; and a half-tone plate of RECLINING FIGURE by Henry Moore.

Biographical/Historical Note

Collectors; Chicago, Illinois. Earle Ludgin, an advertising executive, and his wife Mary, began collecting art in the early 1930's and continued for almost 50 years, amassing an important contemporary American art collection.


Material on reels 1703-1704 (also filmed on reel 3458) donated 1979 by Earle Ludgin; material on reels 3821-3824 donated 1985 by Donald Ludgin, son of Mary and Earle Ludgin.

Language Note

English .

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels 1703-1704 available at Archives of American Art offices; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and through interlibrary loan.

35mm microfilm reels 3458 available for use only at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and through interlibrary loan.

35mm microfilm reels 3821-3824 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Earle and Mary Ludgin papers, 1930-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.