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Lawrence and Barbara Fleischman papers, 1837-1984, bulk 1935-1979

Fleischman, Lawrence Arthur, 1925-1997

Dealer, Collector

This site provides access to the papers of Lawrence and Barbara Fleischman in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2004. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 7,205 images.

Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Collection Information

Size: 4.9 linear feet

Summary: The papers of art collectors, art patrons, and philanthropists Lawrence and Barbara Fleischman measure 4.9 linear feet and date from 1837 to 1984, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1935-1979. The papers are comprised mostly of correspondence with artists, museums, and arts organizations. Also found are scattered biographical materials, artists' autograph letters purchased by the Fleischmans, exhibition files, notes and writings, printed material, and photographs.
One folder of biographical material includes a biographical account and a certificate of appreciation from the Common Council for the City of Detroit.
The bulk of the collection is comprised of correspondence documenting the Fleischman's art related activities and interests primarily during the 1950s and 1960s. Individual correspondents include Aaron Bohrod, Charles E. Burchfield, Charles B. Culver, Philip Evergood, Earl Krentzin, John Marin, Jr., Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentile, Peter Pollack, Edgar P. and Constance Richardson, Charles Coleman Sellers, and Franklin Watkins. One letter from Charles E. Burchfield includes four etching plates used to create the color print of Hot September Wind.
Arts organizations and galleries represented in the correspondence include the American Federation of Arts, the Archives of American Art, the Arts Commission of the City of Detroit, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Detroit Institute of Art, Kennedy Galleries, M. Knoedler and Co., Inc., Kraushaar Galleries, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Midtown Galleries, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the School of the Society of Arts and Crafts, the United States Information Agency, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Winterthur Museum.
Autograph letters purchased by the Fleischmans include letters written by artists Washington Allston (addressed to Thomas Sully), Albert Pinkham Ryder, and John Taylor Arms
Exhibition files document the various exhibitions of art work from the Lawrence and Barbara Fleischman Collection at the University of Michigan Museum of Art; the Detroit Institute of Art; in Central and South America; in Greece, Israel and Russia; and at the Milwaukee Art Center. The files contain letters, notes, printed material, and photographs
Three folders of notes and writings include "Introduction to Earl Krentzin Catalog" by Lawrence Fleischman and "Selection of Excerpts from the Soviet Press and Radio Attacking U. S. Culture" by unidentified authors.
Scattered printed material includes miscellaneous clippings and catalogs not connected with the Exhibition Files series. There is also a book John Marin: The Man and his Work by E. M. Benson that was autographed by Marin to the Fleischmans in 1953.
Photographs include portrait photographs of Lawrence Fleischman, photographs of Lawrence and Barbara Fleischman with colleagues, of art work from the Fleischman Collection, of Truman and Grace Bailey in their studio, and a copy photograph of Thomas Eakins as a boy.

Biographical/Historical Note

Lawrence Fleischman (1925-1997) of New York City was an American art collector, patron, philanthropist, and benefactor. His wife, Barbara, is also an art collector.


The collection was microfilmed in accretions on reels D8-D10 and 3646; the film is no longer in circulation. Letters that were loaned for microfilming in 1965 were subsequently donated, except for five letters which are filmed on reel D197. All accretions were merged and arranged, and a finding aid prepared by Jean Fitzgerald in 2010. The collection was prepared for scanning in 2011 by Stephanie Ashley and fully scanned in 2011 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Related Materials

Among the Archives holdings are two oral history interviews with Lawrence A. Fleischman. The first was conducted by Paul Cummings in 1970 and the second conducted by Gail Stavitsky in 1994. Both interviews have transcripts available.


Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.