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Herbert Ferber papers, 1932-1987

Ferber, Herbert, 1906-1991

Painter, Environmental artist


Collection Information

Size: 1 Linear foot, (on 6 microfilm reels); 0.8 Linear feet, Addition

Summary: Personal and business correspondence; photographs; writings; biographical materials; and printed materials.
REELS N69/133-N69/136: Personal correspondence, including letters and postcards from friends Wayne Anderson, composer Richard Arnell, E. Leontief, Barnett Newman, Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko and others; business correspondence, including letters from galleries and universities, regarding exhibitions, sculpture contracts and invitations for lecture, his donation of his paper to Syracuse University, and teaching positions; ground plans, estimates, and correspondence regarding Ferber's "environmental sculpture" for Harlow Carpenter and Bundy Gallery and the ensuing case against them;
contract and letters concerning the courtyard sculpture for the John F. Kennedy GSA building in Boston; letters regarding insurance and damage done to works lent for exhibition through the Walker Art Center; writings by Ferber for various journals including art journals and a scientific journal (using an pseudonym, Herbert F. Silver, D.D.S.); drafts of lectures given at art institutions and colleges; a catalog raisonne; transcript of an interview with Ferber; licenses, degrees and diplomas; a book, THREE AMERICAN SCULPTORS: FERBER, HARE, LASSAW, by E.C. Goossen, Robert Goldwater, and Irving Sandler; sketchbooks, 1933-1937; clippings; exhibition catalogs and announcements; scrapbook relating to his career and work at Midtown Galleries, New York.
REEL N/70-39: Photographs of Ferber at work and of his sculptures.
REEL 2804: A typescript, "Sculpture as Environment," by Ferber, January 1960.
ADDITION: Biographical materials; correspondence, 1979-1980; records concerning Williams College exhibition, 1975-1980; writings, 1970-1986; exhibition catalogs and announcements; photographs, including one of Ferber ca. 1935, one of Helen Frankenthaler and Andrew Heiskell, and one of a painting signed on back by Beck Balken. Additional records concerning his career as a dentist include diplomas and certificates, published articles on dental subjects by Dr. Silvers, and letters of appointment to the dental school faculty, Columbia University, 1980-1985.

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter and environmental sculptor; New York, N.Y. d. 1991. Ferber was also a dentist, who practiced under the name Herbert Ferber Silvers.


Material on reels N69/133-136 and reel N70/39 lent by Herbert Ferber 1969-1970; the unmicrofilmed material was donated 1991 by Herbert Ferber. The donor of the typescript on reel 2804 is unspecified.

Language Note

English .

Location of Originals

  • Reels N69/133-N69/136 and N70/39: Originals returned to lender, Herbert Ferber, after microfilming.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels N69/133-N69/136, N70/39, and 2804 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Herbert Ferber papers, 1932-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.