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Emily Genauer papers, circa 1920s-1990s

Emily Genauer papers, circa 1920s-1990s

Genauer, Emily, 1910-2002

Author, Art critic

Collection Information

Size: 10.1 linear feet

Summary: The papers of art critic Emily Genauer measure 10.1 linear feet and date from circa 1920 to 1990. Found within the papers are correspondence with artists, gallery owners, and friends; extensive writings; research and reference files; personal business records; and photographs.

Notable correspondents include David Aronson, Mrs. Max Beckman, Isabel Bishop, Dorothy Carnegie, Marc Chagall, Salvatore Dali, Stuart Davis, Martha Graham, Harry F. Guggenheim, Irene Rice Pereira, Clyfford Still, Rufino Tamayo, and Frank Lloyd Wright, among numerous others. Extensive writings consist largely of drafts of columns written by Genauer and supporting research notes, as well as essays, speeches, lectures, book manuscripts, and memoirs. Research and reference files include source material for columns and essays. Personal business records document Genauer's work on committees and arts organizations, juries, awards, honors and also include interview transcripts and other personal scattered files. There is material regarding her leaving the New York World-Telegram. Printed material includes two of Genauer's books, magazines, newspaper clippings, and exhibition catalogs. Photographs are portraits of Genauer and of artwork.

Biographical/Historical Note

Emily Genauer (1911-2002) was a modern art critic and columinst working in New York, N.Y. Genauer was an art reviewer and columnist from 1932 until well into the 1980s, with regular writing posts on the New York World, the New York World-Telegram, the New York Herald Tribune, Newsday, and the New York Post. She also worked for Harper's and in television. She won a Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1975.

Provenance

Papers were donated in 2000 and 2003 by Constance Roche, daughter of Emily Genauer. Letters on reel NG1 were lent for microfilming 1959 by Emily Genauer.

Related Materials

Location of Originals

  • 300 letters, photographs and printed materials, Reel NG1: Originals returned to lender Emily Genauer after microfilming.

A Finding Aid to the Emily Genauer papers, circa 1920s-1990s, in the Archives of American Art
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Biographical/Historical note
Emily Genauer (1911-2002) was a modern art critic and columinst working in New York City from 1932 until well into the 1980s. In 1974, she won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished art criticism.
Genauer was born in 1911 in Staten Island. She attended Hunter College and Columbia University, majoring in Journalism. She began her writing career in 1929 with the
New York World
, which later became the
New York World-Telegram.
She became a strong advocate for modern art and sculpture and introduced modern artists like Marc Chagall and Diego Rivera to the newspaper audience. She also followed lesser known artists and often visited their studios, and they, in return, regularly read her articles and reviews of their shows.
Genauer left the
New York World-Telegram
in 1949 after a dispute with the owner who accused her writing as overly sympathetic to "Communists and left-wingers" and told her she could no longer write about Picasso. She immediately went to work as the art critic for the
New York Herald Tribune
, where she worked until 1967, when it folded. She then wrote a regular column for the
Newsday Syndicate
until the mid-1970s. She also worked for
Harper's
and in television and served on the council for the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1966 to 1970. Genauer was the author of a number of books, including
The Best of Art
,
Chagall at the Met
, and
Rufino Tamayo
.
Genauer passed away in 2002 in New York City at the age of 91.
Arrangement note
This collection is arranged as 6 series.
Series 1: Correspondence and Letters, 1938-1991 (Box 1, 12, 0.8 linear feet)
Series 2: Writings, circa 1930s-1990s (Box 1-3, 2.5 linear feet)
Series 3: Research and Reference Files, circa 1920s-1990s (Box 4-6, 2.6 linear feet)
Series 4: Personal Business Records, 1933-1992 (Box 6-7, 0.8 linear feet)
Series 5: Printed Materials, circa 1920s-1990s (Box 7-9, 12, 1.6 linear feet)
Series 6: Photographs, circa 1930s-1970s (Box 9-11, 12, 1.8 linear feet)
Provenance
Papers were donated in 2000 and 2003 by Constance Roche, daughter of Emily Genauer. Letters on reel NG1 were lent for microfilming 1959 by Emily Genauer.
Location of Originals
  • 300 letters, photographs and printed materials, Reel NG1: Originals returned to lender Emily Genauer after microfilming.
Processing Information note
This collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid was prepared by Alexandra Krensky in 2013 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collections Care Pool Fund. The Archives of American Art has implemented minimal processing tactics when possible in order to increase information about and access to more of our collections. Minimal processing included arrangement to the series, subseries and folder levels according to the original order. Generally, items within folders were simply verified with folder titles, but not arranged further. The collection was rehoused in archival containers and folders, but not all staples and clips were removed.

Additional Forms Available

Circa 300 letters, photographs and printed items lent for microfilming are available on reel NG1 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. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Emily Genauer papers, circa 1920s-1990s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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