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Jane Wade papers regarding Curt Valentin, 1903-1971

More Information

Stephanie Ashley
Scope and Contents
The Jane Wade papers regarding art dealer and New York gallery owner Curt Valentin, measure 0.6 linear feet and date from 1903-1971. This small collection consists of papers donated by former Curt Valentin Gallery employee Jane Wade, which provide scattered documentation of Valentin's life and exhibitions at the Buchholz Gallery (renamed Curt Valentin Gallery in 1951) including biographical material, correspondence from artists Valentin represented, writings and notes, lists documenting clients, exhibitions held, and artwork by Picasso sold by the gallery, clippings of obituaries for Valentin, and a complete set of Buchholz Gallery exhibition catalogs from 1937-1948.
Valentin's biographical material is in German and includes his baptismal certificate, a report book from Hamburg University, a letter of recommendation from Commetersche Kunsthandlung, a 1937 permit authorizing Valentin to buy and sell the work of German artists outside Germany, and his 1950 passport.
Valentin's correspondence is primarily with artists and includes letters from Ben-Zion, Reg Butler, Alexander Calder, Jan Cox, Lyonel Feininger, John Flannagan, Barbara Hepworth, Karl Knaths, Gerhard Marcks, André Masson, Henry Moore, Clifford Odets, Carl Pickhardt, Alton Pickens, John Piper, Kurt Roesch, and Graham Sutherland. There are also photocopies of three letters in German from Georg Kolbe. Many of the letters are substantial and provide details about the artists and their work. Also found are a letter vouching for Valentin's loyalty to the United States from Alfred Barr, and two 1942 letters from France from art dealer Henry Kahnweiler, containing news of European artists including Picasso and André Masson.
Jane Wade's correspondence extends to her time working for Otto Gerson at Fine Arts Associates, and includes letters from some of the artists whose work was handled by Curt Valentin, including Alexander Calder, Lois Dailey, and Henry Moore. There are also thirteen letters and telegrams from David Smith, with some responses from Jane Wade and Otto Gerson, which document exhibitions and details of his artist-dealer relationship with Gerson and include sketches of his sculpture with information about prices. Also found in Wade's correspondence are letters from Gertrude Lennart and Marino Marini. Lennart describes the last days of Valentin's life as she accompanied him on a visit to Marini in Italy in August 1954.
There are three folders of condolence letters written upon Valentin's death, from artists, museum and gallery professionals, and other colleagues and friends.
Writings and notes include two appreciations of Valentin written after his death by André Masson and Henry Moore, and a sheet of notes written by John Flannagan with an accompanying note entitled "Some of Johns' thoughts...."
Printed material is comprised of news clippings of obituaries and reviews of a memorial exhibition for Valentin, in addition to a complete set of bound exhibition catalogs for Buchholz Gallery from 1937-1948. Also found is a bound collection of 1929 exhibition catalogs for Galerie Alfred Flechtheim.
Artwork includes a Christmas card from Valentin designed by an artist whose name is illegible; a print by Gerhard Marcks; and a colored pencil sketch of "127 Evil Eye II" on Curt Valentin letter head, with an address on the Rue de Seine written beside it.
Photographs include two of Valentin in his gallery and two of an unidentified woman, possibly Jane Wade, in the gallery; a folder of photographs of Valentin's apartment showing his art collection; a photo of a Robert Osborn cartoon about Valentin; and a photo of "Portrait of Curt Valentin" by Jacques Lipchitz.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Jane Wade papers were donated by Jane Wade in 1976. The catalogs of exhibitions organized by Curt Valentin were donated in 1977 by Jane Wade. In 2018 the two collections were merged and named the Jane Wade papers regarding Curt Valentin.
Related Materials
The bulk of Curt Valentin's papers are held by the Museum of Modern Art Archives.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by The Walton Family Foundation.
Processing Information
The collection was donated separately in two accessions: The Jane Wade papers, and the Catalogs of exhibitions organized by Curt Valentin. Both accessions were microfilmed after donation on reels 2322 and 5742 respectively. Due to their related subject matter and provenance the two collections were merged as the Jane Wade papers regarding Curt Valentin. The collection was then processed, prepared for digitization, and described in a finding aid by Stephanie Ashley in 2018 and digitized with funding provided by The Walton Family Foundation.