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Joseph Cornell papers, 1804-1986, bulk 1939-1972

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Series 10: Joseph Cornell Estate Papers , circa 1911, 1944-1986
(boxes 19-22; 3.5 linear feet)

Series is comprised primarily of correspondence, legal documents, and printed material created and accumulated by Betty Cornell Benton in her role as residuary legatee of Cornell's estate, as well as some miscellaneous family papers. Estate papers relate to Benton's administration of the part of Cornell's estate for which she was responsible and her various legal disputes with the executors of the estate. They shed light, to a certain extent, on the exhibition and sale of Cornell art works, as well as on the disposition of Cornell material, during the period of time after his death and up until the mid-1980s. Estate papers document Benton's efforts to safeguard the memory of Cornell and to foster the memory of their brother, Robert, who was often wrongly portrayed as being mentally disabled; to carry on Cornell's legacy by contributing to charitable institutions and donating art works to museums and universities; and to organize and appropriately dispose of Cornell's papers, books, records, and source material. They also document the relationships Benton forged with some of Cornell's friends and acquaintances, as well as with curators, museum directors, collectors, dealers, and artists.
The Joseph Cornell Estate Papers series is arranged as four subseries:
  • 10.1: Correspondence, 1954-1986
  • 10.2: Legal Files, 1966-1968, 1973-1983
  • 10.3: Printed Material, 1944-1982
  • 10.4: Miscellaneous Family Papers, circa 1911, 1944-1964
The bulk of this series has been scanned with the exception of printed materials such as books, magazines and exhibition catalogs for artists other than Cornell; typically only covers, title pages, and/or relevant pages of these items have been digitized.
10.1: Correspondence, 1954-1986
DescriptionContainer
ACA Galleries (Sidney and Pearl Bergen), 1975-1977
19
23
Ader, Richard, 1983
19
24
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1972, 1978
19
25
American Dovecote and Shooting Gallery (Castelli Feigen Corcoran Gallery), 1977-1982, undated
19
26
Andrews, Wayne and Lisa, 1972-1974, undated
(2 folders)
19
27-28
Anthology Film Archives, 1976-1983, undated
(3 folders)
19
29-31
Art Institute of Chicago, 1982-1983
19
32
Ashton, Dore, 1973, undated
19
33
A, 1954, 1973-1980, undated
19
34
The Bedside Network ( See also Series 2 and 11), 1973-1980
19
35
Behringer, Hurley and Hurley ( See also Subseries 10.2), 1973-1978
(3 folders)
19
36-38
Bellevue Hospital Center, 1973-1977
19
39
Bennette, George and Shirley (Lighthouse Music School), 1973-1976
19
40
Bergman, Edwin and Lindy, 1975-1983, undated
19
41
Bergman, Robert, 1975-1983, undated
19
42
Bishop, Elizabeth, 1974-1978
19
43
Brown, Jo, 1979-1981, undated
19
44
B, 1973-1981, 1986, undated
19
45
Campbell, Mariruth, 1973-1974
19
46
Carrithers, Dorcas, 1977
19
47
Charles Hamilton Galleries, 1981
19
48
Corcoran, James, 1976-1979
19
49
Coulter, Dorothy, 1973-1976
19
50
C, 1974-1983, undated
19
51
Demetrion, James, 1973-1983, undated
(3 folders)
20
1-3
Dorazio, Virginia, 1973-1975
20
4
D, 1974-1977
20
5
Ethe, Solomon, 1974-1977, 1983
20
6
E, 1973-1975
20
7
First Church of Christ, Scientist, Bayside, 1973, 1977-1980
20
8
Fourcade, Droll Inc. ( See also Subseries 10.2), 1973-1976
(4 folders)
20
9-12
Friend, Sherry, 1975-1978
20
13
F, 1965, 1976-1981, undated
20
14
Guggenheim Museum, 1976
20
15
Gussow, Alan, 1977-1981
20
16
G, 1973-1979
20
17
Halper, Edward and family, 1973-1984, undated
(4 folders)
20
18-21
Haroutanian, Helen, 1977-1982
20
22
Hartigan, Lynda Roscoe ( See also National Museum of American Art), 1975-1983, 1986, undated
(5 folders)
20
23-27
Hartigan, Lynda Roscoe, "Special Folder,", 1983-1984, undated
(2 folders)
20
28-29
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gallery, 1981-1983, undated
20
30
Historical Society of Rockland County, 1963, 1972-1974
20
31
Hopper House (The Edward Hopper Landmark Preservation Foundation), 1977-1984, undated
(2 folders)
20
32-33
Hussey, Howard, 1972-1978
20
34
H, 1972-1978
20
35
Indiana, Robert, 1975-1977
20
36
Johnson, Ray, 1977, 1984, undated
20
37
J, 1976-1979
20
38
Kahn, Max, 1975-1983
20
39
Kappel, Hugh, 1973-1976, 1981, undated
20
40
K, 1973-1980
20
41
Lane, Alvin S., 1975
20
42
League in Aid of Crippled Children, 1973-1979
(2 folders)
20
43-44
Licka, Sean, 1977-1983, undated
20
45
L, 1973-1982
20
46
MacWhinnie, John, 1980, undated
21
1
Museum of Modern Art, 1973-1974, 1980, undated
21
2
Myers, John Bernard, 1973-1976, 1981
21
3
M, 1973-1984, undated
21
4
National Museum of American Art (formerly National Collection of Fine Arts and currently Smithsonian American Art Museum), 1974-1983
(2 folders)
21
5-6
National Museum of American Art, Exhibition ( See also Hartigan, Lynda Roscoe), 1982-1984
(2 folders)
21
7-8
New York Institute for the Education of the Blind, 1973-1975
21
9
Noble, Alastair and Lindsay, 1982-1983, undated
21
10
Novak, James, 1976, undated
21
11
N, 1973-1979
21
12
Oakland University (Meadow Brook Art Gallery), 1984-1985
21
13
Paine, Stephen, 1973-1977
21
14
Parke Bernet, 1979
21
15
Philatelic Hobbies for the Wounded, 1967-1970, 1976
21
16
The Phillips Collection, 1975-1976
21
17
Plandome Book Auctions, 1976
21
18
Porter, Aline, 1975-1981
21
19
Porter, David, 1976-1981
21
20
P, 1973-1978, undated
21
21
Queens Museum (formerly Queens County Art and Cultural Center) ( See also M file), 1973-1982
21
22
Roseman, Harry, 1973-1978
21
23
R, 1974-1977
21
24
Smithsonian Institution, 1973-1983
(2 folders)
21
25-26
Southampton College, 1974-1977
21
27
Stiglitz, Ruth, 1973-1976
21
28
Szyncer, Katherine Sergava, 1973-1978
21
29
S, 1973-1981, undated
21
30
Tate Gallery, 1974
21
31
T, 1973, 1976
21
32
University of Massachusetts, 1976-1977
21
33
U, 1973
21
34
Valparaiso University, 1977-1982
(2 folders)
21
35-36
Viking Press, 1974-1975
21
37
von Furstenberg, Betsy, 1973, 1980, undated
21
38
Vondrak, Deanna Mayer, 1975-1983
21
39
V, 1973
21
40
Waldman, Diane, 1976-1977, 1981-1982
21
41
Washburn Gallery, 1973-1983
21
42
Washington University in St. Louis, 1981-1982
(2 folders)
21
43-44
Whitney Museum of American Art, 1977-1979
21
45
Williams College Museum of Art, 1973-1976
21
46
Windham, Donald, 1975
21
47
Wolff, Ted, 1981
21
48
W, 1973-1981
21
49
Z, 1975-1978
21
50
10.2: Legal Files, 1966-1968, 1973-1983
DescriptionContainer
Helen S. Cornell Estate Papers, 1966-1968
(4 folders)
21
51-54
Case Re: Joseph Cornell Estate, 1973-1974
(6 folders)
21
55-60
Case Re: Joseph Cornell Estate, 1973-1974
(2 folders)
22
1-2
Case Re: Joseph Cornell Estate, Betty Cornell Benton's Notes, 1973-1974, undated
22
3
Case Re: Joseph Cornell Estate, Correspondence between Lawyers, 1976-1976
22
4
Case Re: Joseph Cornell Estate, Correspondence with Special Investigations, 1974
22
5
Case Re: Joseph Cornell Estate, Correspondence with Potential Witnesses, 1974-1975
22
6
Case Re: Joseph Cornell Estate, Partial Synopsis of Testimony on Behalf of Elizabeth C. Benton, undated
22
7
Case Re: Joseph Cornell Estate, Compromise Agreement, 1974-1976
22
8
Case Re: Joseph Cornell Estate, Settlement, 1975
22
9
Correspondence, General, 1973-1977
22
10
Correspondence re: Bebe Marie, 1974-1978
22
11
Correspondence with Fourcade, Droll Inc., 1975
22
12
Correspondence re: Income, Estate, and Gift Taxes, 1975-1977
22
13
Cornell and Benton Foundation, 1975-1980
(4 folders)
22
14-17
Case in United States Tax Court, Motion to Intervene, 1978
22
18
Case in United States Tax Court, Response to Informal Request for a "Discovery List,", 1981
(3 folders)
22
19-21
Case in United States Tax Court, 1983
22
22
10.3: Printed Material, 1944-1982
DescriptionContainer
Printed Material Collected by Cornell, Miscellaneous, 1944-1971
22
23
Printed Material Collected by Cornell, Clippings on Stamps, 1954, 1959
22
24
Printed Material Collected by Cornell, National Geographic Magazines, 1956-1957
(2 folders)
22
25-26
Printed Material Collected by Cornell, Stamps, undated
(6 folders)
22
27-32
Exhibition Announcements, 1966, 1982
22
33
Clippings on Comet Kohoutek, 1973
22
34
Exhibition Catalogs, 1974-1978
22
35
Clippings on or related to Cornell, 1974-1983
22
36
Publications with articles on or referencing Cornell, 1977-1982
(2 folders)
22
37-38
Lists of Cornell Material Given to Anthology Film Archives, 1976-1977
22
39
Robert Cornell Biography by Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, 1981
22
40
Lists of Cornell's Record Collection, undated
22
41
Newspaper Clippings, undated
22
42
10.4: Miscellaneous Family Papers, circa 1911, 1944-1964
DescriptionContainer
Betty Cornell Benton Papers, Kindergarten Art Work, circa 1911
22
43
Betty Cornell Benton Papers, Inventory of Robert Cornell's Train Collection, 1962-1963, undated
22
44
Betty Cornell Benton Papers, Miscellaneous Notes, undated
22
45
Betty Cornell Benton Papers, Notes on Cornell Biography, undated
22
46
Helen S. Cornell Papers, Printed Material on World's Fair, 1939-1940
22
47
Helen S. Cornell Papers, Printed Material on Flushing, 1944-1949, 1957, undated
22
48
Helen S. Cornell Papers, Writings, 1952-1964, undated
22
49

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.