Skip to main content

Kay Sage papers, 1925 - circa 1985, bulk 1950-1965

More Information

Erin Corley
Scope and Contents
The scattered papers of surrealist painter Kay Sage measure 0.4 linear feet and date from 1925 to circa 1985, with the bulk of the material dating from 1950 to 1965. Information about Sage's life as an abstract and surrealist artist and her relationship with her husband, artist Yves Tanguy are found in this small collection of biographical materials, correspondence, printed material, and photographs.
Sadly, the papers contain Sage's suicide note and her own personal arrangements for her funeral and estate. Correspondence concerns business and personal matters and is with galleries, museums, and family and friends. Correspondents include Dorothea Tanning, Pierre and Patricia Matisse, John S. Monagan, Hans and Fridel Richter, and Yves's sister, Emilie Tanguy, as well as the Catherine Viviano Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art. The papers do not contain documentation of Sage's early career while she was living in Europe, and very little about her husband Yves Tanquy. There are photographs of Kay and Yves and their home "Town Farm" in Connecticut.
John S. Monagan, attorney for Kay Sage's estate loaned a portion of this collection for microfilming in 1980 and subsequently donated the same material in 1989, as well as additional materials in 1994.
Separated Material
A game, "Fiddlesticks" given to Sage from Joseph Cornell and donated to the Archives of American Art as part of this collection was removed and transferred to the Joseph Cornell Study Center at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Related Material
Also available at the Archives of American Art are the Flora Whitney Miller papers regarding Kay Sage, as well as China Eggs, Kay Sage's unpublished memoirs covering the period circa 1910 to 1935, available on microfilm reel 685.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Processing Information
Material loaned in 1980 for microfilming on reel 2013 and subsequently donated in 1989 was merged with the later 1994 accretion during archival processing in 2006 as part of the Terra Foundation for American Art Digitization Grant. The collection was digitized in 2007.