Scope and Contents
The papers of jeweler Irena Brynner measure 14.2 linear feet and date from circa 1914 to 2003. The papers document Brynner's career as a jeweler in California and New York through biographical material including sound recordings of her diary; correspondence with family, friends, and art organizations; diaries, notebooks, and other writings; exhibition announcements, news clippings, and other printed material; photographs and slides; artwork including eight sketchbooks; and eleven scrapbooks.
Biographical material includes family records and certificates, consular papers, and address books. Also included are 30 sound cassettes primarily of Brynner reading her diary in Russian and a radio interview with Brynner.
Correspondence is with family, friends, artists and art organizations and galleries. Much of the correspondence is in English, French and Russian. Included are correspondence between Brynner and her cousin, actor Yul Brynner.
Writings primarily consist of diaries and notebooks, lectures, and pieces from writing classes Brynner attended in the 1990s.
Personal business records consist primarily of inventories and price lists of the various jewelry pieces Brynner created. There are also shipping receipts and loan agreements with various art organizations.
Printed materials consist primarily of exhibition announcements and press releases. There are also news clippings and magazine articles related to Brynner's jewelry.
Artwork primarily consists of sketches and sketchbooks of jewelry designs and sculture designs.
Scrapbooks include various materials such as newspaper clippings, photographs, and exhibition announcements.
Photographic material includes personal photographs, photographs of jewelry, negatives of both personal photographs and photographs of jewelry, and slides of jewelry.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Irena Brynner papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Ragnar D. Ness, executor of the Irena Brynner Estate, in 2004.
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Irena Brynner conducted by Arline M. Fisch, 2001 April 26-27.
The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund, administered by the National Collections Program and the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee.
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Ricky Gomez in 2019.