Skip to main content

Howard W. and Jean Lipman papers, 1848

More Information

Patricia K. Craig
Scope and Contents
The Howard W. and Jean Lipman papers measure 46.6 linear feet and span the years 1916 to 2000. A copy of an 1848 brochure, retained by Jean Lipman in her research and writings files accounts for the early span date listed in the title of the collection. The bulk dates for the collection are 1932 to 1992. The records include correspondence, notes and printed material that served as research and reference material, along with some financial material that documents the art collecting activities and interests of the Lipmans. The collection also contains writing and editorial material used by Jean Lipman in her dual roles as an editor for Art in America magazine and as a respected author.
The Personal Files describe the social activities and associations of the Lipmans and include biographical information, personal and family correspondence, gift giving activities, the art career of Jean Lipman, and relationships maintained by the Lipmans with various art organizations.
The Howard and Jean Lipman Art Collection Files describe the art collecting activities and interests of the Lipmans throughout their lifetime. The General Files section consists of reference files on art organizations and galleries with whom the Lipmans maintained relationships. Also included are particular topics or exhibitions of interest to the Lipmans. The Sculptors and Painters of Interest section served as reference files about the activities of artists in whom the Lipmans were interested and whose works they owned, or considered owning. The Folk Art Collection section documents the collecting and purchasing activities of the Lipmans as they amassed and then subsequently sold their two significant folk art collections.
The Artists Files document the friendship and projects that developed between the Lipmans and three major American artists: Alexander Calder, Louise Nevelson, and David Smith. Of special interest to researchers will be some original Calder artwork mixed into the correspondence between the Lipmans and Calder, as well as drawings, sketches, prints, and posters found in the associated oversize folder. Also found in the Calder subseries are some proofs from Calder's Circus, edited by Jean Lipman.
The Research and Writing Files is divided into five sections dealing with research and writing projects undertaken by Jean Lipman. The first three sections deal with biographical projects that resulted in books or articles about three significant American primitive artists: Jurgan Frederick Huge, Rufus Porter, and Samuel Wood Gaylor. The fourth section deals with writing projects that resulted in the publication of several generalized books on the topic of American folk art. The final section consists of materials associated with the published articles and other authored works of Jean Lipman on a variety of American art topics.
The Art in America Editorial Files consists of editorial material maintained by Jean Lipman during her tenure (1941-1971) as editor of Art in America. The Financial Files reflect the early financial activities of the magazine during the brief period when the Lipmans owned it.
During the period that Jean Lipman served as editor, a variety of distinguished art historians, artists, architects, novelists, and poets contributed articles, columns, or artwork to the magazine. A sampling of correspondents that can be found in the general correspondence of this series include: Joseph Albers, Marcel DuChamp, John Dos Passos, Nelson Rockefeller, Charles Sheeler, and Andrew Wyeth. The General Correspondence Files also document the two subsequent changes of ownership and the growth of subscribers that occurred during the period of Lipman's editorship.
Editorial material related to individual magazine issues is found within this series, as well as information pertaining to the innovative advertising and special projects undertaken by the magazine as it sought to expand its readership and prestige. The Art in America series also chronicles the changes at the magazine that led to Lipman's resignation as editor in 1971.
The papers of Howard and Jean Lipman were initially donated to the Archives of American Art by Howard and Jean Lipman from 1965-1989. Subsequent additions to the original gift were made by Jean Lipman in 1998 and by Peter and Beverly Lipman in 2001. Several small portions of these early accessions were microfilmed.
An associated gift that was originally accessioned as the Art in America Magazine Records was made by Howard and Jean Lipman from 1970-1973. This group, which largely consisted of Jean Lipman's editorial files from her years as editor of the magazine, was subsequently merged with the Howard W. and Jean Lipman records in 2004.
Processing Information
The collection was processed and the finding aid written by Patricia Craig in 2003-2004 with funds provided by the Lipman Family Foundation.