Scope and Contents
The papers of New York photographer and filmmaker Hans Namuth measure 4.5 linear feet and date from 1945 to 1985. The bulk of the collection consists of photographs taken by Namuth of New York artists. Also included are papers regarding Namuth's film about Alfred Stieglitz and other professional files.
The first series contains materials related to the planning and production of Namuth's film Alfred Stieglitz, Photographer. Documentation includes articles, correspondence, exhibition materials, grant program request sheets, magazines and catalogs, photo requests, photographs and photographic materials, notes and research, shot lists, script drafts and fragments, interview transcripts, and correspondence. Interviewees include Ansel Adams, Arnold Newman, Aaron Copland, Dorothy Norman, and others.
The second series contains various writings and papers relating to Namuth's professional activities, including Namuth's exhibition at the 1958 Brussels World Fair, business and financial records, papers on The Construction of Boston by Kennth Koch, correspondence, a notebook, and various printed materials. Namuth's correspondence is with James Boynton, Bernard Karpel, the Museum of Modern Art, Cynthia Navaretta, Elizabeth Shaw, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Yale University School of Art and Architecture.
Photographs taken by Hans Namuth depict prominent American (primarily New York-based) artists, architects, writers, musicians, and art critics. Artists are shown in their studios or homes, either at work or posing for the camera, and include Alexander Calder, Stuart Davis, Willem de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Edward Hopper, Jasper Johns, Lee Krasner, Isamu Noguchi, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko, and Andrew Wyeth, among many others. Photographs of other individuals include Marcel Breuer, John Cage, Leo Castelli, Buckminster Fuller, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and others. Also found are photographs of exhibitions, openings, and art-related events from the 1950s and 1960s, such as a traveling Picasso exhibit and a Robert Rauschenberg opening at the Jewish Museum. Most photographs are black and white, but a few color prints are included.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated 1972-1985 by Hans Namuth.
Also at the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Hans Namuth, Aug. 12-Sept. 8, 1971. Additional Hans Namuth papers are located at the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona.
The collection was processed by intern Kelly Overstreet in 2017.