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Kate Steinitz papers, circa 1910-2002

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Elissa L. Jerome
Scope and Contents
The papers of artist, collector, librarian, and scholar Kate Steinitz measure 4.3 linear feet and date from circa 1910 to 2002. The collection documents Steinitz's life and career in Germany and the United States through biographical material; correspondence; writings, including manuscripts and travel diaries; exhibition files; personal business records; printed material; travel scrapbooks; artwork; and photographs.
Biographical material consists of life and travel documents, various membership cards, news clippings, and memorial cards. Also included are letters of recommendation, a resume, and an award from the president of Germany.
Correspondence is with friends, family, colleagues, and various organizations. Artists represented include Carrie van Biema, El Lissitzky, Piet Mondrian, and others. Correspondence with arts organizations include San Francisco Museum of Art, Berlinische Galerie, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, and others.
Published writings by Steinitz include articles, books, and book reviews. Unpublished writings include two travel diaries and an illustrated journal, an autobiographical essay with a sketch of the Traumann family tree, manuscripts, lectures, poems, and notes. Writings by others include a guest register with sketches and comments by visitors, a memorial speech, biographical essays, and miscellaneous notes.
Steinitz's professional activities during her career as a librarian and curator of the Elmer Belt Library of Vinciana are documented through published articles and books, informal reports, correspondence, scrapbooks, sketches, and photographs.
Files pertaining to exhibitions of Steinitz's artwork and collection are documented through three exhibition catalogs, correspondence, inventories, photographs, and printed ephemera. Materials related to the Schwitters-Steinitz Collection, which was compiled by Steinitz and is available at the National Gallery of Art Library in Washington, D.C., include a finding aid and photocopies documenting the exhibition Collaborative Works by Kate Steinitz and Kurt Schwitters from the Schwitters-Steinitz Collection (1994).
Personal business records include an appraisal of Steinitz's art and book collection. Documents pertaining to Steinitz's publishing activities include sales agreements and legal services rendered for the book Kurt Schwitters: A Portrait from Life (1968) written by Steinitz and contracts with Whitman Publishing Company for a children's book by Tom Seidmann-Freud.
Printed material consists of published illustrations and stationary by Steinitz; clippings about Steinitz, Kurt Schwitters, and others; reproductions of artwork; and miscellaneous invitations and announcements. Also found are three children's books written and illustrated by Tom Seidmann-Freud and a book of poems with an illustrated book jacket by Joachin Ringelnatz.
Steinitz's personal and professional trips to Europe are documented through six travel scrapbooks which include sketches, photographs, notes, and printed ephemera such as postcards, receipts, and maps.
Artwork by Steinitz consists of travel sketches and a mock-up sketch for the book Manuscripts of Leonardo da Vinci: Their History, With a Description of the Manuscript Editions in Facsimile (1948). Artwork by others includes miscellaneous sketches, prints, and paintings. Of note are greeting cards with prints by Werner Graeff and a collage by Otto Nebel.
Photographs and negatives consist of portraits and snapshots of Steinitz as well as family, friends, and artists. Photographs by Steinitz include a self-portrait and images of artists, artwork, and Bauhaus architecture. Photographs of Steinitz's apartments in Los Angeles include images of a Man Ray table that was given to Jake Zeitlin. Artists represented include Piet Mondrian, Naum Gabo, Kurt Schwitters, Hannah Höch, El Lissitzky, Marc Chagall, George Grosz, and others.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Kate Steinitz papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 1999 by Ilse Berg, daughter of Kate Steinitz.
Related Materials
Kate Steinitz compiled a collection of archival materials about German artist and writer Kurt Schwitters and donated the materials to the National Gallery of Art Library located in Washington, D.C.
Kate Traumann Steinitz papers are also located at UCLA Library Special Collections.
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Elissa L. Jerome in 2016.