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Gabriella De Ferrari papers, 1931-2011, bulk 1975-2011

Gabriella De Ferrari papers, 1931-2011, bulk 1975-2011

De Ferrari, Gabriella, 1941-

Curator, Writer, Art historian

Collection Information

Size: 7.7 linear feet

Biographical/Historical Note

Art historian Gabriella De Ferrari (1941-) has lived and worked in Boston, Massachusetts and New York City. De Ferrari was director of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts. Full name is Maria Gariella De Ferrari.


The papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Gabriella De Ferrari, in 2011.

Scope and Contents

The papers of art historian Gabriella De Ferrari measure 7.7 linear feet and date from 1931-2011, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1975-2011. The collection provides an overview of her activities as an arts administrator, writer, and a philanthropist through biographical materials, correspondence, interviews, extensive writings and notes, subject files, printed material, scrapbooks, and photographs.

Correspondence with artists, academic administrators, museum directors, curators, literary agents, editors, and publishers is primarily of a social nature, e.g., thank you notes, invitations, and congratulatory letters. Letters include references to De Ferrari's professional activities from circa 1975-circa 2006. There are illustrated letters and handmade birthday cards by De Ferrari, family, and friends. Among the correspondents are Michael Brenson, James Cuno, Francine Du Plessix Gray, Agnes Gund, Alex and Ada Katz, Sol and Carol Lewitt, and Glen Seator.

Writings and notes primarily document Gabriella De Ferrari's career as an author and include numerous drafts and annotated versions of her novels, short stories, memoir, and articles. Subject files include materials chronicling De Ferrari's activities at the Busch-Reisinger Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and the Pan-American Society of New England. Also documented is her service as a Board of Trustees member, consultant, and advisor to major educational, corporate, and cultural institutions, including the New School University, United Technologies, Inc., and the Wadsworth Atheneum, among others. Interviews of De Ferrari are found on six sound cassettes. Additional audio cassettes and one videocassette are found within her writings.

Photographs are of Gabriella De Ferrari, family members, friends, and colleagues, including Michael Brenson, Leo Castelli, Agnes Gund, Martin Segal, Ingrid Sischy, Sol Lewitt, among others.

Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.

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