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John Canaday papers, 1932-1973

Canaday, John Edwin, 1907-1985

Art critic


Collection Information

Size: 5.44 Linear feet

Summary: Correspondence; scrapbooks; writings; and clippings.
Reels D257-D259: Scrapbooks containing clippings of art columns from newspapers, 1932-1962. 16 volumes.
Reel 1393: Correspondence which Canaday received and sent as art critic for the "New York Times". The letters are mostly from the general public, but also from museum staff, other critics, and artists. Many are about the Metropolitian Museum of Art and Barnett Newman. Correspondents include Jacob Burck, Edward and Rosamund Corbett, Stuart Davis, Thomas Hoving, Majorie and Virginia Lewisjohn, Bob Osborne, E. P. Richardson, and Tessim Zorach. Other items include drafts of articles, clippings, and a photo of Canaday in Venice, 1935.
Reel 3482: A letter to Canaday, October 7, 1960, from Si Lewen regarding Canaday's "call for a 'moratorium on art' and an invitation to all artists to occupy themselves with domestic service."
Reel 4909: A one page letter to Canaday from Nora Scott, February 18, 1973.
Unmicrofilmed: A letter from Balcomb Greene to John Canaday, March 14, 1960, written upon reading a review by Canaday of an exhibition of members of the American Abstract Artists art organization, in which Greene provides information and his reminiscences about the organization and several of its members.

Biographical/Historical Note

John Canaday (1907-1985) was an art critic in New York, N.Y.


Material on reels 1393, 3482, D257-D259, and 4909 was donated 1966-1974 by John Canaday. Material on reels NYJC1-NYJC6 was lent for microfilming 1965 by Canaday. He subsequently donated the papers he lent to Syracuse University.

Related Materials

Also in the Archives are papers lent for microfilming in 1965 by John Canaday (microfilm reels NYJC1-NYJC6), including correspondence with artists and others regarding Canaday's articles and reviews written for the New York Times, 1959-1965. Among the correspondents are George Biddle, Balcomb Greene, Adolf Dehn, Ernest Fiene, Joseph Hirsch, Karl Knaths, I. Rice Pereira, Nathaniel Poussette-Dart, Henry Varnum Poor, Selden Rodman, Jack Twoarkov, and William Zorach.
John Canaday papers are also located at Syracuse University.

Language Note

English .

Location of Originals

  • Reels NYJC1-NYJC 6: Originals located in Syracuse University, Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels D257-D259, NYJC1-NYJC6, 1393, 3482, and 4909 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. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

John Canaday papers, 1932-1973. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.