Skip to main content

Series 2 | A Finding Aid to the Joseph Cornell papers, 1804-1986, bulk 1939-1972 | Digitized Collection

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

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.

Series 2: Correspondence , 1909-1982
(boxes 1-5; 4.2 linear feet)

Series is comprised of Cornell's personal and professional correspondence, primarily consisting of letters, postcards, and greeting cards to Cornell from family, friends, artists, dealers, collectors, galleries, museums, admirers, "helpers," and charitable institutions. Also included, to a lesser extent, are letters between and amongst other members of the Cornell family. While Cornell did not usually make copies of his outgoing correspondence, he often wrote various versions of a letter. Several examples of these can be found amongst his correspondence, though it is unclear whether or not they represent letters that were actually sent. Files also include notes and printed material that pertain to various (often notable) individuals and/or institutions. Though most likely not actual correspondents, these individuals and institutions were of interest to Cornell in one way or another, which presumably led him to collect this material. Based upon this collecting activity, there is some overlap between correspondence and source material. Correspondence relating to Cornell and his artwork can be found amongst his estate papers.
In general, the correspondence is heavily annotated by Cornell's sister, Betty Cornell Benton, who prepared his papers for donation to the Archives. In her annotations, Benton often supplies the last name of the correspondent and sometimes the date of the letter when these are not provided. Other times, she provides information about or commentary on the correspondent and his/her relations with Cornell.
According to some of Benton's annotations, it seems likely that Cornell may have originally maintained some, if not all, of his correspondence in chronological files. At some point, correspondence was organized alphabetically according to the surname of the correspondent or name of institution. It is not clear whether this was carried out by Cornell, his sister, or someone in the Archives. The existing alphabetical organization has been maintained since, with so many undated letters, it would be impossible to reconstruct a meaningful chronological order.
In the existing arrangement, general correspondence, family correspondence, and greeting cards were maintained separately in distinct groupings of files. Based upon this, the Correspondence series is arranged as three subseries:
  • 2.1: General Correspondence, 1909-1982
  • 2.2: Family Correspondence, 1909-1977
  • 2.3: Greeting Cards, 1956-1972
This series has been scanned in entirety.
2.1: General Correspondence, 1909-1982
DescriptionContainer
Adams, Valerie, 1942-1959
1
33
Andrews, Wayne and Lisa, 1947, 1965-1972, undated
1
34
Ashbery, John, 1967-1969
1
35
Ashton, Dore, 1972, undated
1
36
A, 1937, 1945, 1955-1972, undated
1
37
Baur, John ( See also Whitney Museum), 1964
1
38
Beckman, Julie, 1955-1970, undated
1
39
Bennette, George and family, 1953, 1971-1972
1
40
Bergman, Edwin, 1959, 1966
1
41
Blum, Irving (Ferus Gallery), 1959, 1965-1966
1
42
Bontecou, Lee, 1961-1964
1
43
Brandon, Baby (Mary Hopkins), 1957-1958
1
44
Brown, Harriet and Bob, 1964-1971, undated
1
45
Brown, Jo, 1953-1954
1
46
Bruno, Phillip (Staempfli Gallery), 1964-1965
1
47
Burckhardt, Rudy, 1952-1968, undated
1
48
B, 1946-1972, undated
(3 folders)
1
49-51
Campbell, Sandy, 1948, 1956-1965, undated
1
52
Carrithers, Dorcas, 1967, 1970, undated
1
53
Cleveland Museum of Art, 1966, 1968
1
54
Couch, Lucile, 1967-1969, 1972
1
55
Coulter, Dorothy, 1962-1969
1
56
C, 1925, 1949-1972, undated
(4 folders)
2
1-4
De Maria, Susanne, 1963-1973, undated
(2 folders)
2
5-6
De Maria, Walter, 1967-1968
2
7
Delarue, Allison ( See also Series 9), 1943-1968, undated
2
8
Dorazio, Piero and Virginia ( See also Series 4), 1953-1970, undated
2
9
Duchamp, Marcel and Teeny, 1955-1968, undated
2
10
D, 1943-1970, undated
2
11
Eastman, Lee and family, 1962, undated
2
12
Egan, Charles, 1950-1951, 1963
2
13
Ehrich, Jo Ann, 1969-1970, undated
2
14
Ekstrom, Arnett and Parmenia, 1964-1965
2
15
Engdahl, Leonore, 1966, 1970-1971
2
16
E, 1949-1970, undated
2
17
Feigen, Richard, 1959-1969, undated
2
18
Fine, A.M., 1970
2
19
Ford, Charles Henri, 1939-1970, undated
2
20
Ford, Ruth, 1969-1972, undated
2
21
Fried, Rose, 1962-1965
2
22
F, 1955-1970, undated
2
23
Gablik, Suzi, 1961, 1963
2
24
Gagner, Robert, 1967-1968
2
25
Garson, Inez, 1968-1970
2
26
Goodman, Trudy, 1965-1966, undated
2
27
Graham, Susan, 1971, undated
2
28
Griffin, Howard, 1956-1957, undated
2
29
Grinstein, Elyse, 1966-1968
2
30
G, 1948-1972, undated
2
31
Hadley, Leila, 1965, 1970-1972, undated
2
32
Halper, Ed, 1967-1969, undated
2
33
Hammond, Paul, 1968-1971
2
34
Hanson, Elizabeth, 1966-1968, undated
2
35
Hodes, Barnet, 1955-1957, 1971-1972, undated
2
36
Hussey, Howard, 1966-1972
2
37
H, 1945-1972, undated
(2 folders)
2
38-39
I, 1967, undated
2
40
Javitz, Ramona, 1946-1964
2
41
Jean, Marcel, 1958
2
42
Johnson, Ray and friends, 1966-1971, undated
(2 folders)
2
43-44
Judreik, Sonia, 1963-1964, undated
2
45
J, 1956-1972, undated
2
46
Kappel, Hubert and Anne, 1947, 1953, 1965-1972
2
47
Kent, Allegra, 1969, undated
2
48
Kesl, Leonard, 1969-1972, undated
(3 folders)
2
49-51
Kirschenbaum, Carol, 1962, undated
2
52
Kreger, Nancy, 1970-1972
2
53
K, 1954-1972, undated
(2 folders)
3
1-2
Le Clerq, Tanaquil, 1956-1959, 1969-1970, undated
3
3
Leve, Sandra and Harvey, 1967-1968, undated
3
4
Levy, Julien, 1953-1967, undated
3
5
Life Magazine (David Bourdon), 1967, undated
3
6
Lousada, Pat, 1963-1968, undated
3
7
Loy, Mina, 1942, 1950-1951, 1982, undated
3
8
L, 1952-1972, undated
(2 folders)
3
9-10
Matta, Roberto and Malitte ( See also Piero Dorazio dossier in Series 4), 1945-1966, undated
3
11
Merkel, Katherine, 1965, undated
3
12
Messer, Tom (Guggenheim Museum), 1966-1967, 1970, undated
3
13
Monnier, Jackie, 1967-1970, undated
3
14
Moore, Lillian, 1955-1962, undated
3
15
Moore, Marianne, 1944, 1959, undated
3
16
Motherwell, Robert, 1946-1972, undated
3
17
Murray Avenue School, 4th Grade Class, 1967
3
18
M, 1951-1972, undated
(3 folders)
3
19-21
N.W. Ayer and Son, 1951
3
22
Namuth, Hans, 1968-1972, undated
3
23
Neumann, J.B., 1946-1947
3
24
New York Institute for the Education of the Blind, 1962, 1970-1971, undated
3
25
Nodturft, Pauline, 1964, undated
3
26
N, 1961-1972, undated
3
27
O'Doherty, Brian, 1967-1969, undated
3
28
O, 1909, circa 1938, 1965-1972, undated
3
29
Page, Geraldine, 1959-1961, undated
3
30
P, 1927, 1947-1971, undated
3
31
Reigel, Anne, 1968-1969, undated
3
32
Richter, Hans, 1960-1961
3
33
Rose, Isadora, 1962-1963, undated
3
34
Rothko, Mark and family, 1957-1959, undated
3
35
R, 1948-1972, undated
(2 folders)
3
36-37
Saint, Eva Marie, 1964-1972, undated
3
38
Schneeman, Carolee, 1964-1965
3
39
Schoelkopf, Robert, 1960-1968, undated
3
40
Schutte, Terry, 1965-1969, undated
3
41
Sekula, Sonia, 1944-1951, undated
3
42
Serbanne, Claude, 1945-1946, undated
3
43
Shainberg, Lawrence, 1970, undated
3
44
Siskind, Aaron, 1951, 1972, undated
3
45
Sitney, P. Adams, 1963, undated
3
46
Smillie, Gwen Van Dam, 1955-1972, undated
3
47
Smith, Lois and Moon, 1957-1971, undated
3
48
Somers, Barbara, 1965-1970, undated
3
49
S, 1945-1973, undated
(3 folders)
3
50-52
Tandy, Jessica, 1947-1949, undated
3
53
Tanning, Dorothea, 1945-1965, undated
3
54
Tchelitchew, Pavel, 1940-1943, 1955, 1964, undated
3
55
Thode, Elizabeth (New York Institute for the Education of the Blind), 1960-1972
3
56
Thoeren, Manina, 1951, undated
3
57
Toumanova, Tamara, 1941-1945, 1967, undated
4
1
Tyler, Parker, 1939-1955, 1967, undated
4
2
T, 1933-1960, undated
4
3
U, undated
4
4
Victor, Joan Berg and Daniel, 1964-1972, undated
4
5
V, 1934-1971, undated
4
6
Wade, Jane, 1959-1972, undated
4
7
Waldman, Diane (Guggenheim Museum) and Paul, 1967, undated
4
8
Whitney Museum of American Art, 1962-1963, 1966
4
9
Windham, Donald, 1946-1970, undated
4
10
Winter, Marian Hannah, 1948-1952
4
11
W, 1934, 1951-1972, undated
(2 folders)
4
12-13
Young, Vivienne, 1966-1970
4
14
Z, 1963, undated
4
15
Unidentified Collage Letters, undated
4
16
Unidentified and Miscellaneous Letters, 1944-1971, undated
4
17
2.2: Family Correspondence, 1909-1977
DescriptionContainer
Batcheller, Sissy (to and from Cornell), 1963-1970, undated
4
18
Benton, Betty Cornell (to and from Cornell), 1948-1972, undated
4
19
Benton, Betty Cornell (to and from other family members), 1919-1925, undated
4
20
Cornell, Helen S. (to and from Cornell), circa 1920, 1953, 1963-1967, undated
4
21
Cornell, Joseph I. (to and from other family members), 1909, 1916
4
22
Cornell, Robert (to Nell and Jack Benton), 1921-1965, undated
(16 folders)
4
23-38
Cornell, Robert (to Nell and Jack Benton), Postcards, 1934-1958
(2 folders)
4
39-40
Cornell, Robert (to Nell and Jack Benton), Greeting Cards, 1942-1965, undated
(2 folders)
4
41-42
Cornell, Robert (to Nell and Jack Benton), Greeting Cards, 1942-1965, undated
(4 folders)
5
1-4
Cornell, Robert (to Helen S. Cornell), Greeting Cards, 1961, undated
5
5
Cornell, Robert (to Helen, Archie, and Sissy Jagger), 1935-1941, 1958
5
6
Cornell, Robert (to Emma Storms), 1920-1925, undated
5
7
Hand, Ray (to Cornell), 1966, undated
5
8
Jagger, Helen (to and from Cornell), 1960-1971, undated
(3 folders)
5
9-11
McMonegal family (to Cornell), 1945-1971, 1977, undated
5
12
Plitt, Jean (to and from Cornell), 1946-1971, undated
5
13
Sayres, Grace (to other family members), 1950-1971, undated
(4 folders)
5
14-17
Storms, Ethel (to Cornell), undated
5
18
Traphagen, Janet (to Cornell and his mother), 1965-1966, undated
5
19
2.3: Greeting Cards, 1956-1972
DescriptionContainer
A, 1968-1971, undated
5
20
B, 1962-1972, undated
(4 folders)
5
21-24
C, 1960-1972, undated
5
25
D, 1957-1970, undated
5
26
E, 1956-1971, undated
5
27
F, 1968-1969, undated
5
28
G, 1968-1970, undated
5
29
H, 1966-1970, undated
5
30
I-J, 1965-1969, undated
5
31
K-L, 1960-1970, undated
5
32
M, 1957-1971, undated
5
33
N-O, 1969-1970
5
34
P, 1960-1972, undated
5
35
R, 1962, undated
5
36
S, 1956-1971, undated
5
37
T, 1966-1972, undated
5
38
U, 1957-1972, undated
5
39
W, 1962-1972, undated
5
40
Unidentified and Miscellaneous, 1966-1969, undated
5
41
Unsent Cards, 1968-1970, undated
5
42

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.