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Gyorgy Kepes papers, 1909-2003, bulk 1935-1985

Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001

Painter, Designer, Educator

Collection Information

Size: 21.2 linear feet

Summary: The papers of Hungarian-born artist, art theorist, and educator, Gyorgy Kepes, measure 21.2 linear feet and date from 1909-2003, with the bulk of the material dating from the 1935-1985. The papers document Kepes's career as an artist and educator, and as founder of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), through biographical material, correspondence, writings by Kepes and others, project files, exhibition files, printed material, sketchbooks, artwork, sound recordings and motion picture films, and photographic material.

Biographical/Historical Note

Gyorgy Kepes (1906-2001) was a painter, designer, art theorist, and educator in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Born in Selyp, Hungary, Kepes studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest, working with Moholy-Nagy in Berlin and London before joining him at the New Bauhaus (later the Chicago Institute of Design) in 1937. From 1946-1980 he was professor of visual design at M.I.T., as well as director of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies from 1967-1974.


The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art by Gyorgy Kepes in a series of gifts between 1974 and 1993.

Related Materials

Additional papers of Gyorgy Kepes can be found at Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Advanced Visual Studies Special Collection.

Language Note

A typescript is in Braille.

A letter and a clipping are in Dutch.

Nineteen letters, six typescripts, three clippings, and six exhibition catalogs are in French.

Several letters and printed items are in German.

Several letters, a manuscript, and printed items are in Hungarian.

Several letters and printed material are: In Italian.

Ten letters are in Russian.

Several letters, and printed items are in Spanish.


Funding for the preservation and transfer of 4 reels of motion picture film provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.

Location of Originals

  • Reel 1211: Originals returned to Gyorgy Kepes after microfilming.