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Karl Zerbe papers, 1928-1996

More Information

Christopher DeMairo
Scope and Contents
The papers of German American painter and educator Karl Zerbe measure 5.1 linear feet and date from 1928 to 1996. The papers document Zerbe's career through biographical material, writings and journals, art gallery records, financial records, printed material, photographs, documentary film materials, and home movies.
The collection consists of papers related to Zerbe's estate, exhibitions, and associations, along with ephemera such as address books and awards; daily journals used by both Zerbe and his wife, Marion; biographical essays written about Zerbe, and some painting descriptions. Also included are papers related to the various galleries Zerbe dealt with such as the Downtown Gallery, Foster Harmon Gallery, Nordness Gallery, and Robert C. Vose Gallery. Financial records include cash books, receipts, invoices, and papers related to loans of art work. Printed material consists of mostly exhibition-related documentation, but also includes articles and clippings that cover a variety of art topics, a leaflet on modern art distributed by the Institute of Contemporary Art in 1948, artist cards, and auction lists. Images depict Zerbe's personal life, studio, artwork, and encaustic painting technique.
This collection also contains 2.4 linear feet of moving image material. Included are home movies and travel films, as well as videocassettes containing raw footage, rough cuts, and the final version of "Expressions of Life," a one hour documentary for television on the life and work of Karl Zerbe. Documentation on this project also includes interview transcripts with Zerbe and others, a production script, and production notes. The documentary was written by Ernest Kolowrat, 1986, Peter J. Barton Productions.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was donated by Karl Zerbe's daughter, Maria Zerbe Norton, in 2010.
The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund, administered by the National Collections Program and the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee.
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid was written by Christopher DeMairo in 2019.