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Joseph Randall Shapiro and Jory Shapiro papers, 1943-1985

Shapiro, Joseph Randall, 1904-1996



Collection Information

Size: 0.6 Linear feet, (on 1 microfilm reel)

Summary: Letters, scrapbooks, and printed material documenting the development of the Shapiro's art collection. Correspondence, primarily from dealers, museums, art organizations and artists, includes letters from Enrico Baj, Aaron Bohrod (recommending Ben Shahn as a muralist), George Buehr, Jose Luis Cuevas, Leon Golub, Margo Hoff, Miyoko Ito, Sidney Janis, Ellen Lanyon, Pierre Matisse, Ida Meyer-Chagall (discussing her father's work), Abbott Pattison, Irving Petlin, Abraham Rattner, and Kay Sage Tanguy (discussing her husband's work). Printed material consists of 11 exhibition announcements and catalogs (1952-1984), and clippings (1965-1985).
Four scrapbooks (1943-1955) contain clippings, some dealing with the "Art to Live With" program, exhibition catalogs, a letter from Richard Daley (1958), a 3-page typescript "Surrealism Then and Now" by Doris Lane Butler (1958), press releases (1959), and a letter from R. J. Nedved of the Illinois Society of Architects (1967).

Biographical/Historical Note

Born 1904. Died 1996. Joseph Shapiro began collecting in 1942 and was drawn to works in the Surrealist tradition. While establishing one of the most important art collections in Chicago, Shapiro and his wife Jory enjoyed personal friendships with artists and used their collection to educate and increase public appreciation of modern art in Chicago. Shapiro was a founder of the Museum of Contemporary Art and served on its board as President from 1967 until 1974.


Material on reel 3759 (fr. 1-320) donated 1986; and material on fr. 323-569 lent for microfilming 1986 all by Joseph R. Shapiro.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reel 3759 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. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Joseph Randall Shapiro and Jory Shapiro papers, 1943-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.