Scope and Contents
The Elisabeth Zogbaum papers regarding Franz Kline measure 11.5 linear feet and date from 1892 to circa 2005, bulk 1930-1990. Zogbaum was a close companion to the New York-based painter Franz Kline and she managed his estate after his death. These papers include biographical material on Franz Kline, documents related to the Franz Kline estate and Franz Kline Foundation, and other material about the artist compiled by Elisabeth Zogbaum. In addition to the aforementioned material, the collection also includes correspondence, exhibition files, printed material, Zogbaum's research and notes, photographic material, artifacts, sound recordings, and books from Franz Kline's personal library.
Franz Kline biographical material includes Kline's passport, will, address books, biographical outlines, obituaries, health and financial records, high school yearbooks, military training camp material, bills and receipts, loose pages of a high school scrapbook, and other material. There are also drawings and sketches by Franz Kline and a few drawings by others.
Correspondence is divided into two sections: correspondence with Franz Kline and correspondence with Elisabeth Zogbaum. Franz Kline correspondence mostly consists of letters to Franz Kline from friends, colleagues, artists, museums, and galleries. Notable correspondents include Sabro Hasegawa, Hedy Lamarr, John Ferren, Jack Micheline, William Morris, and Shinichi Segui. Elisabeth Ross Zogbaum correspondence consists of condolence letters upon the death of Franz Kline and professional correspondence with museums, galleries, foundations and collectors regarding his art.
The estate of Franz Kline includes financial and legal records on the Franz Kline estate, which Elisabeth Zogbaum managed as the sole executrix. There are art inventories, price lists, condition reports, sales reports, correspondence, contracts, tax records, and documents related to Marlborough Gallery and other galleries.
The Franz Kline Foundation series includes a range of material, such as a survey of public and private collections with Franz Kline artwork, related to the catalogue raisonne which the foundation began work on but did not complete. The series also contains correspondence, administrative records, lists, inventories, and sound recordings.
Elisabeth Zogbaum research and notes includes lists, notes, printed material, correspondence, and sound recordings compiled by Zogbaum regarding Franz Kline. Zogbaum produced an audiovisual presentation consisting of slides of Kline's artwork and an accompanying soundtrack. She recorded dozens of conversations with artists, friends, dealers, and contemporaries of Kline, including James Brooks, Louise Bourgeois, Willem de Kooning, George McNeil, Joan Mitchell, Giuseppe Panza, Ludwig Sander, Aaron Siskind, Ray Spillenger, and Joe Stefanelli, among others.
Exhibition files consist of correspondence, loan forms and agreements, checklists, and itineraries on various posthumous Franz Kline exhibitions.
Printed material includes exhibition catalogs, announcements, clippings, press releases, newsletters, magazines, postcards, and other miscellaneous material. Most of the material is about Franz Kline, but there is also material about other artists.
Photographic material includes photographs of Franz Kline, Elisabeth Zogbaum, family, friends, other artists, houses, studios, artwork, exhibition installations, Japanese calligraphy, and other subjects. There are mostly photographic prints, but there are also a few negatives, slides, and transparencies. There is an album of Franz Kline's artwork. Franz Kline Library consists of various books which were probably in his office. Some books contain articles about Franz Kline or images of his artwork. The rest are miscellanous titles that have been inscribed to Kline. There are also books with artwork by the artist Phil May.
There is a random assortment of artifacts that belonged to Franz Kline including a metal lantern, model car, tea pot, dominoes, a ring, and other objects.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Elisabeth Zogbaum papers regarding Franz Kline were donated to the archives in multiple installments from 1991 to 2010. The first 1991 donation was made by Elisabeth Ross Zogbaum. Subsequent donations in 2004 and 2010 were made by her son, Rufus Zogbaum.
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Elisabeth Zogbaum conducted by Garnett McCoy on December 3, 1981.
The collection was fully processed, prepared for digitization, and described in a finding aid by Rihoko Ueno and Megan McShea in 2018.