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Eugene Berman papers, 1926-1975

Berman, Eugene, 1899-1972

Painter, Designer

Collection Information

Size: 6.7 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of painter and theatrical set designer Eugene Berman date from 1926-1975 and measure 6.7 linear feet. Found within the papers are scattered letters, primarily postcards, from various colleagues including Juliet and Man Ray and Berman's brother Leonid. There are also notes, scattered artwork, printed material, and extensive photographs, many of Mexico.
Notes include a booklet of photocopies of notes in Italian conerning miscellaneous art work, including prices. There are also scattered notes in French concerning miscellaneous topics.
Art work consists of miscellaneous sketches, primarily on the reverse sides of postcards, depicting human figures and architectural details, sometimes annotated in Russian and Italian.
Printed material includes clippings concerning Eugene and Leonid Berman's art work, exhibition announcements and catalogs, reproductions of art work by Berman, picture postcards, a ballet program, and a guide book for Grado, Italy.
Photographs comprise the largest series in this collection. Photographs of Eugene Berman include two by Russell Lynes. Photographs are also of Berman's wife, Ona Munson, unidentified colleagues, exhibition installations, art work executed by Berman between 1937 and 1948, and miscellaneous photographs of Italy including images by Vincenzo Galdi and Wilhelm von Gloeden. There are ten portfolios of photographs of Mexico, primarily taken by Berman, but Portfolios 1, 6, 9, and 10 include images photographed by Hugo Brehme. There are also commercially produced photographs of various scenes and art work primarily in Italy and Mexico, publicity photographs of ballet and opera performers, and two stereographs of novelty subjects.

Biographical/Historical Note

Eugene Berman (1899-1972) worked in New York City, Los Angeles, California, and Rome, Italy as a Neo-Romantic painter and designer of theatrical sets and costumes for opera and ballet productions.


The Eugene Berman papers were donated by the artist's sister-in-law, Sylvia Marlowe Berman, in 1978.

Language Note

Some of the papers are in Italian, French, and Russian. Some of the papers are in Italian, French, and Russian.