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Subseries 10.1 | A Finding Aid to the Joseph Cornell papers, 1804-1986, bulk 1939-1972 | Digitized Collection

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10.1: Correspondence, 1954-1986

Subseries consists of correspondence sent and received by Benton in the administration of Cornell's residual estate, as well as some printed material and photographs that were accumulated in the same files. Correspondents include: lawyers, collectors, dealers, galleries, museums, curators, scholars, writers, art critics, artists, admirers of Cornell, the executors of Cornell's estate, and charitable institutions, as well as some of Cornell's former "helpers," friends, and acquaintances.
Correspondence generally relates to the exhibition, loan, appraisal, auction, and sale of Cornell art work. It documents, in particular, Cornell exhibitions at the ACA Galleries, Art Institute of Chicago, Castelli Feigen Corcoran Gallery, Hopper House, Washburn Gallery, and Washington University in St. Louis; and the major Cornell retrospectives, "Joseph Cornell" at the Museum of Modern Art (November 1980-January 1981) and "Joseph Cornell: An Exploration of Sources" at the National Museum of American Art (November 19, 1982-February 27, 1983). Correspondence also relates to the disposition of Cornell material and art work, including donations of his papers, books, records, and/or source material to various cultural institutions (such as the Anthology Film Archives, Museum of Modern Art, Archives of American Art, and National Museum of American Art, among others), and gifts of art work to various museums and galleries (such as Meadow Brook Art Gallery at Oakland University, Mead Art Gallery at Amherst College, and Williams College Museum of Art, among others). Correspondence also concerns Benton's gifts of art work (particularly, collages and book objects), source material, memorabilia, and copies of some of Cornell's papers to various individuals.
Correspondence documents Benton's many efforts to continue Cornell's legacy and to preserve his memory, including her monetary donations to charitable institutions in memory of her brothers; her attempts to correct misinformation and misrepresentations of Cornell and his family published in various articles (as in a letter to
New York Magazine
correcting a mistake about the nature of Robert's handicap in an article written by Thomas Hess); and her concern to have the right person do a "Cornell book" (as reflected in correspondence with Wayne Andrews, Dore Ashton, Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, Diane Waldman, and Don Windham). Correspondence also documents her role in facilitating research on Cornell, including that of graduate students, such as Sherry Friend and Helen Haroutanian (
See also
Series 9), and that of scholars such as David Porter; her work organizing and cataloging Cornell's papers and source material; and the various requests she fielded for information about or authentication of certain Cornell works.
Benton organized the correspondence into files according to correspondent, and the files in alphabetical order according to name of institution or surname of individual. Items in each file were typically accumulated in reverse chronological order. When only a few items were associated with a correspondent, Benton organized these into general alphabetical files. The existing organization has, for the most part, been maintained.
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
Includes letters from Edward Flower, who was the lawyer for Helen Batcheller.
20
14
Guggenheim Museum, 1976
20
15
Gussow, Alan, 1977-1981
20
16
G, 1973-1979
Includes letters from the Gallery Association of New York State, Inc. and Henry Geldzahler (Metropolitan Museum of Art).
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
Hirschhorn 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
Includes letter from Larry Jordan alluding to his film on Cornell.
20
38
Kahn, Max, 1975-1983
20
39
Kappel, Hugh, 1973-1976, 1981, undated
20
40
K, 1973-1980
Includes letters from Yayoi Kusama (with some annotations by Betty Cornell Benton), Rolf Koppel, and Kraushaar Galleries, and a handmade Christmas card from Allegra Kent.
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
Includes letter from Jean Farley Levy (wife of Julien Levy) and brief correspondence with Tanaquil LeClerq.
20
46
MacWhinnie, John, 1980, undated
Includes art work by MacWhinnie.
21
1
Museum of Modern Art, 1973-1974, 1980, undated
21
2
Myers, John Bernard, 1973-1976, 1981
21
3
M, 1973-1984, undated
Includes letters from
MD Medical News
Magazine, Tom Messer (Guggenheim Museum), and the Minnesota Historical Society.
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
Includes letters from Hans Namuth and copies of Betty Cornell Benton's letters to the editors of
New York Magazine
and the
New York Times
(clearing up a point about the legal dispute between the family and executors discussed in an article by Hilton Kramer).
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
Includes letters from the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Anne d'Harnoncourt), Anne and Fairfield Porter, and Eve Propp (a former "helper").
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
Includes letters from Terry Schutte, Lewis Shepard (Department of Fine Arts, Amherst College), and Sandra Starr.
21
30
Tate Gallery, 1974
21
31
T, 1973, 1976
Include letter from Dickran Tashjian.
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

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.