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Julian E. Levi papers, 1846-1981

Contents and Arrangement

The collection is organized into 9 series. Correspondence and Scrapbooks are arranged chronologically. Other series are further categorized by record type or broad topic, with material in each folder arranged chronologically or alphabetically, as noted in the series descriptions.

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Series 1: Biographical Information , circa 1906-1980
(Box 1; 14 folders)

This series is arranged into 2 subseries:
  • 1.1: Julian E. Levi, 1906-1980, undated
  • 1.2: Jean Laurent Levi (wife), 1949-1980
1.1: Julian E. Levi, 1906-1980, undated
Description Container
Automobile Registration and Drivers' License, 1932-1973
1
1
Awards and Certificates, 1919-1980
1
2
Biographical Notes, circa 1933-circa 1975
1
3
Draft Registration and Notices of Classification Status, 1918, 1942-1945, undated
1
4
Educational Records, 1914-1920
1
5
Exhibitor's Tickets, 1939-1942
1
6
French Identity Card, Admissions Cards, and Legal Summons, 1920-1927
1
7
Marriage Certificate and Divorce Papers (first wife, Beatrice Graitcer), 1930-1935
1
8
Membership Cards (A-Z, by organization), 1924-1973
1
9
Miscellaneous Items, 1906-1947
1
10
Passports, 1920-1971
1
11
1.2: Jean Laurent Levi, 1949-1980
Description Container
Dog Obedience Training (course information, rosters, and certificates), 1952
1
12
Membership Cards, 1949-1980
1
13
Passports, 1965-1971
1
14

Series 2: Correspondence , circa 1846-1981
(Boxes 1-3, OV 9; 2.3 linear ft.)

This series is arranged as 2 subseries:
  • 2.1: Julian E. Levi, circa 1914-1981
  • 2.2: Henderson Family Letters, 1846-1886
2.1: Julian E. Levi, 1914-1981
Julian E. Levi's correspondence concerns professional and personal matters. It consists primarily of incoming letters (a few of which are addressed to his wife, Jean Laurent Levi) with a small number of drafts and carbon copies of letters written by Levi. There are a number of illustrated letters and greeting cards (primarily Christmas cards) with original artwork by Levi and others. Among his correspondents are museums and galleries including: Alan Gallery, Carnegie Institute, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Downtown Gallery and Edith Halpert, Guild Hall, National Academy of Design, Lee Nordness Gallery, Frank K. M. Rehn Inc., Whitney Museum of American Art and Juliana Force; the art schools where he taught: Art Students' League, New School for Social Research, and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; art organizations such as: the American Academy in Rome, American Artists' Congress, An American Group, Inc., National Institute of Arts and Letters, and United American Artists; and friends and colleagues including: Leonard Baskin, George Biddle, Marc Blitzstein, Peter and Ebie Blume, Louis Bouché, Robert Coates, Ralston Crawford, Stuart and Roselle Davis, Marcel Duchamp, Philip Evergood, Alfred Frankenstein, C. Hartley Grattan, Hilaire Hiler, Joseph Hirsch, Leon Kelly, Patricia Kelly, Yasuo and Sara Kuniyoshi, Anthony Lauck, Jacob Lawrence, Dolores Milmoe, Arthur Moss, Gregorio Prestopino, Walter Quirt , Abraham Rattner, Man Ray, Ione Robinson, Francis Speight, Hervé Télémaque, Franklin C. and Ida Watkins, Max Weber, and Russell Wright.
Approximately 60 letters Levi wrote to his family from Paris circa 1927, survive. They comment on the activities of Franklin Watkins, Marc Blitzstein, and Hilaire Hiler; his own paintings and commissions, particularly for the nightclub, Chez Mister Finney; and his associations with other artists and writers including Ludwig Lewisohn, Roy Sheldon, Maruice Speiser, collector Otto Kahn, and Ford Madox Ford.
Additional correspondence, 1938-1939, concerning the Estate of Rosa Gomprecht (Julian Levi was a beneficiary) is filed with Financial Records (Series 5).
See Appendix for a list of selected correspondents from Series 2.1.
Description Container
Correspondence, 1914- 1926
1
15
Letters to his Family from Paris, circa 1927
1
16
Correspondence, 1927-1961
1
17-46
Correspondence, 1962-1981
2
1-26
Correspondence, undated
(alphabetical; See also: OV 9; 8 folders)
3
1-8
Oversize Correspondence (2 illustrated letters from Levi to his wife Valentine and Washington's Birthday, water colors; and Bon Voyage Card - calligraphy - from Students), undated
OV 9
2.2: Henderson Family Letters, 1846-1886
The Julian Levi Papers contain Henderson family letters, 1846-1886, that consist of a letter from S.N.B. Henderson of Covington, Ind. to her parents, Dr. and Mrs. J. L. Richmond, Indianapolis, Ind.; and postcards from Mrs. A. Henderson to her children in Lafayette, Ind. The relationship to Levi is unclear.
Description Container
Letters, 1846-1886
3
9

Series 3: Artwork , circa 1922-1972
(Box 3; 8 folders)

Artwork by Levi consists of mainly of pencil drawings and sketches. Included are a large number of stage costume designs, some annotated, and a few with fabric samples attached.
Additional artwork, in the form of illustrated letters and greeting cards by Levi and other artists, is filed with Correspondence (Series 2).
This series is organized into 2 subseries:
  • 3.1: By Levi, 1922, 1950, undated
  • 3.2: By Other Artists, 1942, 1972, undated
3.1: By Levi
Description Container
Drawings and Sketches, 1922, 1950, undated
(pencil; loose sheets and a small pad with 14 sketches)
3
10
Drawings of Stage Costumes, undated
3
11-12
Painting (oil on canvas), undated
3
13
Sketchbook (pencil sketches and 1 pastel drawing; spiral bound, some loose pages), undated
3
14
3.2: By Other Artists, 1942, 1972, undated
Description Container
Davidson, Lawrence (etching and gouache); Davis, Stuart (silkscreen); Houser, Alonzo (ink painting); Lippert, Margaret (illustrated resumé); and Unknown (pen and ink drawing), 1972, undated
3
15
Drawings by Children (Tommy Coates and unknown), 1942, undated
3
16
Monoprint (color), undated
3
17

Series 4: Writings and Notes, circa 1938-1982 ,
(Box 3; 11 folders)

Writings by Levi consist of brief statements concerning his work, other artists (possibly recommendations in support of fellowship applications or short introductions to exhibition catalogs), reminiscences (eulogies?) of deceased artist friends, a poem, and the text of a speech. Also included are notes consisting of miscellaneous jottings, lists of paintings, addresses and telephone information, and address books.
Writings by others include catalog introductions by for Levi exhibitions by unknown authors, and by Lewis Mumford and Archibald MacLeish for An American Group exhibitions. Also included are poems, an article about Gandy Brodie by Meyer Schapiro, and the text of J. Bronowski's Blashfield Address delivered to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Other notes by Levi (in a folder titled "Teaching") and additional items such as artists' statements and various reports are filed with Miscellaneous Records (Series 8).
This series is arranged into 2 subseries:
  • 4.1: By Levi, circa 1940-1978,
  • 4.2: By Other Authors, circa 1938-1982
4.1: By Levi, circa 1940-1978, undated
Description Container
Address Books, undated
(2 disbound vols. with loose notes)
3
18
Addresses and Telephone Numbers, undated
3
19-20
Layout for Modern Art: An Introduction by Julian Levi, [circa 1961]
3
21
Lists of Artwork and Photographs of Artwork (with negative numbers), undated
3
22
Miscellaneous Notes, undated
3
23
Teaching Notes, undated
3
24
Writings, circa 1940-1978, undated
3
25
4.2: By Other Authors, 1938-1982, undated
Description Container
Writings About Levi, 1961, undated
3
26
An American Group, Inc. Catalog Introductions (Lewis Mumford and Archibald MacLeish), 1938-1943, undated
3
27
Miscellaneous Writings by Others, 1966-1982, undated
3
28

Series 5: Financial Records , 1920s-1980,
(Box 3; 0.4 linear ft.)

Financial records concern both business and personal transactions. Business records document art sales, commissions, consignments, and related expenses, arranged by gallery. Receipts and invoices record expenditures for art supplies, framing, insurance, photography, shipping, etc. Financial records relating to Levi's personal expenses document his appraisals, purchases, and sales of antiques in his collection, along with banking and investment records, and receipts and invoices for personal and household expenses.
Description Container Select
Appraisals of Antiques, 1959-circa 1970, undated
3
29
Art Sales, Commissions, Consignments; Gallery Expenses; Art Received/Returned
Alan Gallery, 1953-1958
3
30
Associated American Artists, 1940-1972, undated
3
31
Downtown Gallery, 1936-1958, undated
3
32
Nordness Gallery
3
33
Rehn Gallery
3
34
Miscellaneous Galleries (A-Z, unidentified), 1960-1980, undated
3
35
Miscellaneous Commissions, 1928-1964, undated
3
36
Amalgamated Bank of New York, 1941
3
37
First National City Bank, 1938-1972
3
38
Estate of Rosa Gomprecht (J. Levi a beneficiary), 1938-1939
3
39
Julian E. and Jean L. Levi Investments, 1942-1975
3
40
Elsie Levi [sister] Investments, 1958-1964
3
41
Loan, undated
3
42
Pay Stubs (teaching, lecturing, writing), 1940-1972, undated
3
43
Real Estate Records, 1926-1970, undated
3
44
Receipts and Invoices
Antique Collection (purchases and sales), 1938-1975, undated
3
45
Art Supplies, 1927-1963, undated
3
46
Business Expenses, Miscellaneous, 192[?], 1941-1981, undated
3
47
Contributions, 1940-1966
3
48
Framing, 1940-1977
3
49
Household, Construction and Repairs, 1947-1972, undated
3
50
Household, General, 1934-1974, undated
3
51
Insurance, 1942-1972, undated
3
52
Personal Expenses, 1927-1981, undated
3
53
Photography, 1940-1970, undated
3
54
Shipping, 1940-1973
3
55
Travel, 1920s-1968, undated
3
56
Royalty Statements, 1950-1980, undated
3
57
Taxes
Local Property Tax (East Hampton, N.Y.), 1956-1971
3
58
Federal Income Tax (returns and related items), 1945-1969
3
59

Series 6: Scrapbooks , 1921-1940
(Box 4; 2 folders)

Two disbound volumes contain printed material such as clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements that document Levi's career. Vol. 1, in addition to printed material, contains 4 photographs of artwork by Levi and one strip of 3 contact prints of large groups of people that include Levi.
Description Container Select
Vol. 1, 2, 1921-1940
4
1-2

Series 7: Printed Material , 1897-1981,
(Boxes 4-6, OV 10; 2.2 linear ft.)

This series is arranged into 4 subseries:
  • 7.1: Printed Material By Levi, 1922, circa 1961
  • 7.2: Printed Material About/Mentioning Levi, circa 1934-1980
  • 7.3: Exhibition Printed Material, circa 1930-1981
  • 7.4: Miscellaneous Printed Material, circa 1897-1981
7.1: Printed Material By Levi, 1922, circa 1961
Description Container
Article, "Clive Bell and the Artistic Problem" in Gargoyle, June, 1922
4
3
Book, Modern Art: An Introduction, circa 1961
4
4
7.2: Printed Material About/Mentioning Levi, circa 1934-1980
Description Container
Book Prospectuses and Advertisements, 1945-1961, undated
4
5
Clippings About/Mentioning Levi or containing Reproductions of his Work, 1934-1980, undated
4
6-11
Events and Programs (Levi an honoree or sponsor), 1942-1969, undated
4
12
Fundraising Auctions and Raffles (Levi a contributor), 1942-1953, undated
4
13
Lecture Notices, undated
4
14
Miscellaneous Items, 1942-1968, undated
4
15
Press Releases, 1941-1964, undated
4
16
Reproductions of Work by Levi, undated
4
17
Teaching (school catalogs, course descriptions, etc.), 1949-1968
4
18
7.3: Exhibitions, 1930-1981, undated
Description Container
Exhibition Catalogs, Announcements, and Invitations, 1930-1965
4
19-29
Exhibition Catalogs, Announcements, and Invitations, 1966-1976, undated
5
1-2
Exhibition Catalogs, Announcements, and Prospectuses (Levi on Jury or Committee), 1947-1977, undated
5
3
Exhibition Catalogs, Announcements, and Invitations (Other Artists), 1934-1981, undated
5
4-11
Exhibition Posters and Announcements (Other Artists; see: OV 10), 1951-1975, undated
5
12
Exhibition Prospectuses, circa 1935-1962, undated
5
13
Student Exhibition Catalogs (New School for Social Research), 1963-1977
5
14
Oversized Exhibition Posters and Announcements (Other Artists), 1951-1975, undated
OV 10
7.4: Miscellaneous Printed Material, 1897-1981, undated
Description Container
Auction Catalogs, 1941-1943
5
15
Book Prospectuses, undated
5
16
Books (The Oasis by Mary McCarthy; Poems by the Peninsula Poets), 1949, 1975
5
17
Brochures about Art Services, Galleries, etc., 1972, undated
5
18
Brochures about Art Supplies, undated
5
19
Clippings
Art Related (not mentioning Levi), 1930-1981, undated
5
20-27
Baseball, 1959-1969, undated
5
28
Birds, 1972, undated
5
29
Dogs, 1941-1962, undated
5
30
Football, 1959-1979
5
31
Miscellaneous Topics, 1937-1981, undated
5
32-33
Illustrations, 1897-1900, undated
5
34-35
Investment Information, 1949-1976, undated
5
36
Invitations, 1917-1981, undated
6
1-2
Miscellaneous Items
Art Related, circa 1938-1951, undated
6
3
Not Art Related, 1956-1979, undated
6
4
Newsletters and Other Periodicals, 1939-1981
6
5
Conference, Lecture and Meeting Notices, circa 1940-1949, undated
6
6
Political Leaflets and Related Items, circa 1932-1971
6
7
Blank Post Cards, undated
6
8
Programs (play, concert), 1945-1954, undated
6
9
Publications (not exhibition catalogs)
Art Organizations, 1971-1979, undated
6
10
Museums, 1920-1981, undated
6
11
Other Organizations, 1964-1974
6
12
Reproductions of Art by Other Artists, undated
6
13
Travel Brochures and Printed Souvenirs 1926-1967, undated
6
14

Series 8: Miscellaneous Records , circa 1936-1974
(Box 6, OV 9; 0.2 linear ft.)

Of particular interest are items pertaining to the American Artists' Congress, An American Group, Inc., Downtown Gallery, and New York City Council for Art Week. Other items of note are a blueprint of plans for Levi's studio at his home in Easthampton, New York, records regarding the New School for Social Research where Levi taught for many years.
Description Container Select
American Artists' Congress (Outline of Program held at the New School; Agenda for Exhibition Committee Meeting), 1936, 1940
6
15
An American Group, Inc.
Constitution and By-Laws, 1941
6
16
Membership Lists, 1942, undated
6
17
Miscellaneous Records and Fragments, 1941, undated
6
18
Notes of Meeting, March 29, undated
6
19
Raffle Winners (lists and ticket stubs), undated
6
20
Copper Etching Plate ( Winnie the Pooh illustration) and Half-Tone Printing Plate (portrait of Julian Levi), undated
6
21
Downtown Gallery
Artists' Statements, undated
6
22
Minutes of Artists' Meetings, 1946-1953
6
23
Minutes of Board of Directors, Edith Halpert Foundation, Inc. (Julian Levi on Board), 1950-1964
6
24
Guestbook from Julian Levi Exhibition at Rehn Gallery, 1974
6
25
Joint Artists-Museums Committee, 1955
6
26
New School for Social Research, 1954-1964, undated
6
27-28
New York City Council for Art Week - Minutes, 1940-1941
6
29
Postage Stamp honoring Stuart Davis, 1964
6
30
Stationery Samples, undated
6
31
Survey of the Economic Position of the Graphic Arts (tentative memorandum and proposal), 1940
6
32
Blueprint of Plans for Levi's Studio in East Hampton, N.Y. (Herman Neumann, architect), 1956
OV 9

Series 9: Photographs , circa 1902-1974
(Boxes 6-8, OV 11; 1.1 linear ft)

Photographs of artwork include a disbound album of Levi's work and exhibition installation views that show paintings by Levi. The collection contains pictures of Levi at various ages, including some taken when he was a child. Will Barnet, Isabel Bishop, Louis Bouché, Byron Browne, Edwin Dickinson, Frank DuMond, Robert Hale, Chris and John Hovannes, Morris Kantor, Norman Kent, Stewart Klonis, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Jack Levine, Reginald Marsh, Kenneth H. Miller, Walter Pach, and William Zorach are among the individuals identified in group pictures.
Many photographs of places (specifically beach scenes and seascapes) probably were used as reference for paintings. Photographs of other places of interest include Downtown Gallery, Stuart Davis's grave, and studios he occupied while in Paris, circa 1926-1927 and at the American Academy in Rome, 1967-1968. Pictures of the interior and exterior of Levi's home in Easthampton, New York, show some of his antique collection as well as his studio.
Miscellaneous subjects consist mainly of pets. Of particular note are copies of Resettlement Administration and Farm Security Administration photographs. Levi may have acquired these while employed in the W. P. A. Federal Art Project.
Additional photographs of works of art and people enclosed with letters, and original photographs that serve as Christmas cards, are filed with Correspondence. Also, there are a small number of photographs in Vol. 1 of the Scrapbooks.
This series is arranged into 5 subseries:
  • 9.1: Artwork, circa 1926-1965
  • 9.2: People, circa 1902-1974
  • 9.3: Places, 1926-1969
  • 9.4: Miscellaneous Subjects, 1930s-1940s
  • 9.5: Negatives, Slides, and Transparencies, 1961-1971, undated
9.1: Artwork, 1926-1965, undated
Description Container
Artwork by Levi
Album of Paintings by Levi (disbound), 1926-1945
6
33
Exhibition Installation, Art Students' League, undated
6
34
Exhibition Installation, Brookhaven National Laboratory, 1960
6
35
Exhibition Installations, Carnegie Institute, 1941-1948
6
36
Exhibition Installation, Rehn Gallery, undated
6
37
Exhibition Installation, Unidentified Parisian Restaurant and Bar, circa 1926-1927
6
38
Exhibition Installations, Unidentified, undated
6
39
Paintings, 1939-1965, undated
6
40
Paintings (duplicates), undated
6
41
By Other Artists, undated
6
42-45
9.2: People, circa 1902-1974, undated
Description Container
Levi
Julian E. (as a boy; siblings included in all but one view), circa 1902-circa 1910
6
46
Julian E. (as a young and middle aged man; see also OV 11), circa 1920s-1950s
6
47
Julian E. (as an older man), circa 1960s-1970s
6
48
Julian E. in his Studio, 1920s-1966, undated
6
49
Julian E. with Dogs, undated
6
50
Julian E. with Groups (see also OV 11), 1920s - circa 1970, undated
6
51
Julian E. with Others (Louis Bouché, Yasuo Kiniyoski, Jack Levine, Norman Kent, and unidentified), 1954-1969, undated
6
52
Julian E. with Students, 1973, undated
6
53
Julian E. and Beatrice Graitcer (first wife), circa 1930-1935
6
54
Julian E. and Jean Laurent (wife), 1952, undated
6
55
Jean Laurent, 1952, undated
7
1-2
Family, Friends, and Colleagues (includes one of Yasuo Kuniyoshi), circa 1919, 1956-1974, undated
7
3-7
Julian E. Levi (as a young and middle aged man), circa 1920s-1950s
OV 11
Julian E. Levi with Groups, undated
OV 11
9.3: Places, circa 1926-1969,
Description Container
Beaches, undated
7
8
Beaches and Piers with Boats, undated
7
9
Buildings, undated
7
10
Cityscapes, undated
7
11
Diablo Dam, undated
7
12
Downtown Gallery (exterior, with sigh announcing Levi's one-man show), 1940s
7
13
Grave of Stuart Davis in Green River Cemetery, Long Island, 1964
7
14
Landscapes, undated
7
15
Landscapes with Buildings, undated
7
16
Levi's Home, East Hampton, N.Y., 1947-1969, undated
7
17
Levi's Home, East Hampton, N.Y., 1947-1969, undated
7
18
Levi's Home, East Hampton, N.Y., 1947-1969, undated
7
19
Seascapes, undated
7
20
Studios occupied by Levi
American Academy in Rome, 1967-1968
7
21
Paris (rue de Moulon-Vert, leased from William Hayter), 1926-1927
7
22
Miscellaneous Views, undated
7
23
9.4: Miscellaneous Subjects, 1930s-1940s
Description Container
Cats and Dogs, undated
7
24
Dog (Vicki), undated
7
25
Resettlement Administration and Farm Security Administration, 1930s-1940s
7
26
9.5: Negatives, Slides, and Transparencies, circa 1961-1971
Description Container
Color Slides
Artwork (by Levi), 1961-1971, undated
8
1
People (Levi, Julian E. and with Others, including students), 1964, undated
8
2
Color Transparency, Artwork, undated
8
3
Negatives
Artwork, undated
8
4
People, undated
8
5
Places (buildings, Downtown Gallery exterior, cityscapes, landscapes, Levi Home in East Hampton, and seascapes), undated
8
6
Miscellaneous Subjects, undated
8
7

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.