Skip to main content

Harry Sternberg papers, 1927-2000

Contents and Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 8 series:

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.

Series 1: Biographical Material , 1927-2000
(Box 1, OV 5; 0.3 linear feet)

Biographical materials include career summaries and lists of his achievements, a transcript of an interview with Sternberg by art curator Malcolm Warner, and two ledgers containing price lists for etchings, sale records, dealer lists, and address lists. Other items found here include scattered financial documents and business contracts for the publishing of his books and teaching jobs. Sternberg also maintained files for certain activities he identified as "business ventures" including the design and production of Prest-Glass, a corrugated fiberglass. Also found is a file on his design and production of an easel seat, including original drawings for the design, and a file regarding the film, "The Many Worlds of Art", which he produced and directed. This file includes contracts, program notes, correspondence, and printed material about the project. Audio recordings of interviews with Sternberg are found in Series 7.
Items are arranged chronologically within each folder.
Description Container Select
Career Summaries, 1960s-1990s
1
1
Transcript, Interview with Malcolm Warner, 1994
(See also audio cassettes in Series 7, Box 3)
1
2
City Patrol Corps Discharge Certificate, 1944
1
3
Ledger, 1927-1936
1
4
Ledger, 1927-1947
1
5
Financial Documents & Receipts, 1944-1947, 1984, undated
1
6
Business Contracts, 1941-1957
1
7
File Regarding "Business Ventures", 1932, 1947
1
8
File Regarding Easel Seat Design, circa 1950s
(Oversized materials also filed in OV 5)
1
9
File Regarding the Film "The Many Worlds of Art", 1960-1967
1
10
File Regarding Committee on Art Education, 2000
1
11
Sternberg Business Card, 1966
1
12
Exhibition Label, 1976
1
13
File Regarding Easel Seat Design, circa 1950s
(From Box 1, F9)
OV 5

Series 2: Correspondence , 1928-2000
(Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)

Sternberg's personal and professional correspondence includes correspondence with friends and fellow artists Rockwell Kent, Philip Evergood, and Peter Blume; art collector Hudson Walker; curator Carl Zigrosser, and author and friend Erle Stanley Gardner. Also found is correspondence with art organizations, art galleries and museums regarding the loan, sale, and exhibition of his artwork, and with colleges and universities regarding the exhibition of his work and teaching and lecture opportunities. Additional correspondence includes letters from former students and art scholars as well as letters of congratulations. This series also includes a large number of letters written by Sternberg to his friend William Karp, letters to Sternberg from his former teacher Harry Wickey, and holiday cards designed by Sternberg.
General correspondence is arranged in chronological order followed by undated correspondence which is arranged in alphabetical order.
Description Container Select
General Correspondence, 1932-1960
1
14
General Correspondence, 1961-1970
1
15
General Correspondence, 1971-1980
(2 folders)
1
16-17
General Correspondence, 1981-1995
(2 folders)
1
18-19
General Correspondence, 1997-2000
1
20
Undated General Correspondence, circa 1932-2000
1
21
Correspondence with William & Mina Karp, 1946-1961, 1966-1983
(5 folders)
1
22-26
Correspondence with Harry Wickey, 1928-1930, 1948-1953
1
27
Holiday Cards, circa 1940s-1980s, 1998
1
28

Series 3: Writings , circa 1940s-2000
(Box 1, 4; 0.2 linear feet)

Writings by Sternberg include draft typescripts and manuscripts for a book on etching, a draft of a lecture "Art as Skilled Activity", a guide on buying art written with Verna Small for the Artists Equity Association, and other miscellaneous drafts of essays, talks, and autobiographical writings. Writings by others include a homemade newsletter written by artist Arthur Secunda, a statement written and signed by artist and political activist David Alfaro Siqueiros, and a thesis about Sternberg's work. Among the miscellaneous writings about Sternberg is an article by gallery owner Harry Salpeter. The author of a talk entitled "The Lost Island" is unidentified, but may have been written by Sternberg.
Description Container Select
Harry Sternberg, Draft Article about Poster as Art Medium, circa 1940s
(Oversized item housed in Box 4)
1
29
Harry Sternberg, Drafts of Book on Etching, circa 1949
1
30
Harry Sternberg, "Art As Skilled Activity", 1952
1
31
Harry Sternberg & Verna Small, "Art That Belongs to You", 1953
1
32
Harry Sternberg, Miscellaneous Writings & Notes, circa 1940s-1970s
1
33
Arthur Secunda, "The L. A. Bugle", 2000
1
34
David Alfaro Siqueiros, "To All Those Who Struggled for My Liberty, With My Most Profound Acknowledgement", 1964
1
35
Anne Suydam, Masters Thesis, "Social Consciousness in American Graphic Art and Its Reflection in the Prints of Harry Sternberg, 1929-1940", 1969
1
36
Various Authors, Miscellaneous Writings about Harry Sternberg, 1945, 1950, circa 1950s
1
37
Unknown Author, "The Lost Island - A Travelogue", circa 1990s
1
38
Draft Exhibition Catalog, "The Prints of Harry Sternberg", 1994
1
39
Draft Exhibition Checklist, California Centre for the Arts Exhibition, 2000
1
40
Harry Sternberg, Draft Article about Poster as Art Medium, circa 1940s
(From Box 1, F29)
4

Series 4: Printed Material , 1933-2000
(Box 1-3; 1.2 linear feet)

There is a wide variety of printed materials, including academic catalogs and brochures, mostly from the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts; publications from the Art Students League, such as catalogs, brochures, and newsletters; and several books written by Sternberg and others. Also found are exhibition announcements, invitations, and catalogs for exhibitions of Sternberg and others including several of his former students. News Clippings, magazines, and journals consist of articles about Sternberg, exhibitions of his work, reproductions of his artwork, and art-related events. Other items found here which document significant events during his career include newsletters, press releases, and programs.
Folders are arranged by type of material and items are arranged chronologically within each folder.
Description Container Select
Academic Catalogs & Brochures, 1967, 1981-1994
1
41
Art Students League Publications, circa 1940-1968, 1981-1994
(2 folders)
1
42-43
Book, Harry Sternberg, Silk Screen Color Printing, 1942
2
1
Book, Harry Sternberg, Composition: The Anatomy of Picture Making, 1958
2
2
Book, Harry Sternberg, Realistic Abstract Art, 1959
2
3
Book, Julian Levy, Modern Art: An Introduction, 1961
2
4
Book, Hudson Walker, Gaul Was Divided into 3 Parts, 1975
2
5
Book Publication Announcements, 1938, 1975, 1988, 1992
2
6
Exhibition Announcements & Invitations, 1963-2000
(4 folders)
2
7-10
Undated Exhibition Announcements & Invitations, circa 1963-2000
2
11
Exhibition Catalogs, 1943, 1953-1981
(3 folders)
2
12-14
Exhibition Catalogs, 1982-2000
(8 folders)
2
15-22
Undated Exhibition Catalogs, circa 1950s-1990s
2
23
Magazines & Journals, 1954, 1978
2
24
Magazines & Journals, 1986-2000
(2 folders)
2
25-26
News Clippings, 1933-1956, 1967-1989
(4 folders)
3
1-4
News Clippings, 1990-2000
(2 folders)
3
5-6
Undated News Clippings, circa 1933-2000
3
7
Newsletters, 1954, 1981-1998
3
8
Press Releases, 1939-1998
3
9
Programs, 1980, 1997
3
10
Reproductions of Artwork, circa 1930s-1990s
3
11
Miscellaneous Printed Material, circa 1940s-1990s
3
12

Series 5: Photographs , circa 1930s-1998
(Box 3, 4; 0.3 linear feet)

Photographs include those which depict Harry Sternberg posing with his artwork, in his studio, at the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts, with students, and with his wife Mary. Also found are two group photographs of faculty at the Art Students League, including Sternberg. Additional photographs are of his murals and other artwork and designs; exhibitions, including a 1949 exhibition at the Carnegie Institute and an unidentified exhibition.
Photographs are arranged by subject.
Description Container Select
Photographs of Harry Sternberg, circa 1930s-1979, 2000
(Oversized items housed in Box 4)
3
13
Photographs of Harry Sternberg in Idyllwild, California, 1958-1963
3
14
Photographs of Harry and Mary Sternberg in Escondido, California, circa 1970s
3
15
Group Photographs of Art Students League Instructors, 1952, circa 1960
3
16
Photographs of Murals, 1930s-1940s
3
17
Photographs of Exhibitions, 1949, circa 1990s
3
18
Photographs of Artwork, circa 1970s-1980s
(3 folders)
3
19-21
Photographs of Artwork, 1998
3
22
Photostat Copies of Artwork, circa 1930s
3
23
Negatives of Photographs of Artwork, undated
3
24
Photographs of Harry Sternberg, circa 1930s-1979, 2000
(From Box 3, F13)
4

Series 6: Artwork , circa 1928-1980s
(Box 3, OV 5; 0.2 linear feet)

Artwork in this series includes two sketchbooks belonging to Sternberg. The sketchbook from circa 1928 contains sketches in pencil and ink of subway riders, including many close-ups of their faces. The second sketchbook of a later date contains annotated ink drawings of Sternberg's design ideas for art tools, furniture, and other functional objects. Also found in this series are two loose drawings of subway riders and a drawing of a tugboat all by Sternberg and a Poster depicting Sternberg created by his students for his birthday party at the Idyllwild School.
Description Container Select
Sketchbook, circa 1928
3
25
Sketchbook, circa 1940s-1950s
3
26
Drawings by Sternberg, circa 1930s
(Oversized, housed in OV 5)
3
27
Birthday Poster for Sternberg, circa 1960s-1980s
(See OV 5)
3
28
Drawings by Sternberg, circa 1930s
(See Box 3, F27)
OV 5
Birthday Poster for Sternberg, circa 1960s-1980s
(From Box 3, F28)
OV 5

Series 7: Audio Visual Material , circa 1980s-2000
(Box 3; 0.5 linear feet, ER01; 0.553 GB)

This series contains audio and video recordings documenting Sternberg's career as an artist. Included are audio recordings of Sternberg's interview with art curator Malcolm Warner, and three video interviews of Sternberg conducted by the Felicita Foundation, Tony di Gesu for KUSI-TV in San Diego, and by the television program "Made in America." Also found is a videocassette copy of the film "Many Worlds of Art" directed and produced by Sternberg.
Description Container Select
Sternberg Interview with Malcolm Warner, 1994
(2 sound cassettes; see also Interview Transcript, Box 1, F2)
3
29
"Many Worlds of Art", circa early 1980s
(1 videocassette, VHS)
3
30
Felicita Foundation: "Touch & See" and "Harry Sternberg", circa 1980s
(1 videocassette, VHS)
3
31
Sternberg Interview with Tony di Gesu, 1983-1984
(2 videocassettes, VHS; 2 folders)
3
32-33
Interview of Harry Sternberg by John Haynes, Sundays at Seven, KSFD Radio, San Diego, CA (October 1, 2000), Digital Audio Recording, 2019
0.553 Gigabytes
Two computer files
ER01

Series 8: Scrapbook , 1929-1958
(Box 4; 0.2 linear feet)

This series consists of one disbound scrapbook containing newspaper and magazine clippings and a few exhibition printed materials documenting Harry Sternberg's career as an artist.
Description Container Select
Scrapbook, 1929-1958
4

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.