Scope and Contents
The papers of gallery director, art dealer and publisher Jsrael Ber Neumann (1887-1961) measure 2.1 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1967. The papers document Neumann's career as the director of galleries in Berlin and Munich, Germany (1910-1924) as well as the New Art Circle gallery in New York City (1924-1952). Neumann was a respected art dealer, publisher of Artlover periodical, founder of Gehenna Press, and frequent lecturer. Found within his papers are correspondence with artists and museums, writings, printed materials mostly comprised of exhibition catalogues, artwork, and photographic materials.
Correspondence is between Neumann and friends, colleagues, and museums. There is also correspondence with notable artists, including Josef Albers, Leonard Baskin, Max Beckmann, Wassily Kandinsky, and Abraham Rattner, among others. There are also condolence letters from friends and colleagues to Elsa Schmid, Neumann's wife.
Scattered writings consist of typescript drafts of Neumann's speeches and one article on expressionism. There is also one speech written by curator Richard Klein.
Printed materials comprise the bulk of the collection and include a bound gallery guest register, a disbound scrapbook, exhibition catalogs and announcements, brochures, magazines, posters, and news clippings. There are many exhibition catalogs from Neumann's galleries in Berlin and Munich as well as from the New Art Circle gallery in New York. Artwork consists of two etchings and one drawing by an unknown artist or artists.
Photographic materials include black and white photographs and negatives, including notable portraits of Neumann by photographers Helen Balfour Morrison, Clarence White, and Hans Namuth.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Neuman's wife, Elsa Schmid and The Museum of Modern Art lent the Archives of American Art material for microfilming in 1966-1967. The rest of the J.B. Neumann papers were donated in several installments between 1973-2007 by Eva Lee (family friend), Joy Weber, Max Weber's daughter, Neil Richmond, and Hellie Neumann, J.B. Neumann's granddaughter.
Also available at the Archives of American Art are materials lent for microfilming (reels NJBN-1- NJBN-5) including correspondence with numerous artists, art critics, museum directors and others. The materials on reel NJBN-1- NJBN-4 were returned to Neumann's wife, Elsa Schmid and the original material on reel NJBN-5 is located at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY. Loaned material is not described in the collection container inventory.
The Archives of American Art also holds a collection of Josef Albers letters to J. B. Neumann, 1934-1947 on microfilm reel 911.
Additional J.B. Neumann papers are also located at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The museum microfilmed a portion of these papers and donated a copy of that film to the Archives. This material may be viewed on reel NJBN5 at Archives of American Art offices, affliate centers, and via interlibrary loan.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation
Several increments of gifts were microfilmed separately on reels N69/93-94, 3533, 3947, NJBN 1. All filmed and unfilmed gifts were integrated and fully processed by Rihoko Ueno in March 2013 with funding provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.