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Ex Libris records, 1973-2007

Ex Libris records, 1973-2007

Ex Libris

Collection Information

Size: 2.0 linear feet

Summary: The records of Ex Libris measure 2.0 linear feet and date from 1973-2007. Ex Libris was a New York City based antiquarian establishment that dealt in rare 20th century avant-garde books and periodicals, and was founded by Elaine Lustig Cohen and her husband Arthur A. Cohen. The records include professional files, sales records, printed material, and photographic material.

Biographical/Historical Note

Ex Libris, a New York City based antiquarian establishment that dealt in rare 20th century avant-garde books, periodicals, and archives, operated from 1973-circa 2000, and was founded by Elaine Lustig Cohen (1927- ) and her husband Arthur A. Cohen (1928-1986). Ex Libris specialized in rare 20th century archives, serials, and artist books of the Futurists, Dadaists, and Surrealists.

Provenance

The records were donated in 2015 by Elaine Lustig Cohen, co-founder of Ex Libris.

Related Materials

A Finding Aid to the Ex Libris Records, 1973-2007, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.exlibr
Author
Finding aid prepared by Hilary Price
Biographical/Historical note
Ex Libris, a New York City based antiquarian establishment that dealt in rare 20th century avant-garde books, periodicals, and archives, operated from 1973-circa 2000, and was founded by Elaine Lustig Cohen (1927- ) and her husband Arthur A. Cohen (1928-1986). Elaine Lustig Cohen is a graphic designer, previously married to the graphic designer Alvin Lustig (1915-1955), who later married her long-time friend Arthur A. Cohen, a scholar, theologian, and author, in 1956.
The Cohen’s began collecting avant-garde books and ephemera from antiquarian bookstores and artists in Europe. Ex Libris began when the couple amassed a surplus of material and Arthur placed an ad in the
New York Times
that said, “send for my list of Dada, Surrealist, Avant-Garde periodicals and ephemera.” The inventory of Ex Libris grew to include other movements of modernism including Bauhaus, Futurism, Cubism, De Stijl, German Expressionism, Constructivism, and Fluxus.
Ex Libris published catalogs of their inventory, designed by Elaine, which were sent to libraries and museums all over the world. The catalogs are now collector’s items. Exhibitions were organized at Ex Libris that complemented their inventory, and they often loaned material to be included in exhibitions elsewhere.
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as 4 series
Series 1: Professional Files, 1973-2007 (0.9 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 2: Sales Records, 1979-1998 (0.1 linear foot; Box 1)
Series 3: Printed Material, 1973-circa 1991 (0.9 linear feet; Box 2)
Series 4: Photographic Material, circa 1980s (0.1 linear foot; Box 2)
Scope and Contents note
TThe records of Ex Libris measure 2.0 linear feet and date from 1973-2007. Ex Libris was a New York City based antiquarian establishment that dealt in rare 20th century avant-garde books and periodicals, and was founded by Elaine Lustig Cohen and her husband Arthur A. Cohen. The records include professional files, sales records, printed material, and photographic material.
Provenance
The records were donated in 2015 by Elaine Lustig Cohen, co-founder of Ex Libris.
Related Archival Materials note
Also found in the Archives of American Art are the Elaine Lustig Cohen papers concerning Alvin Lustig, 1982, available on microfilm reel 2802.
Processing Information note
The collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid prepared by Hilary Price in 2015.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.

Restrictions on Use

The donor, Elaine Lustig Cohen, retains copyright.

How to Cite This Collection

Ex Libris records, 1973-2007. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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