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Lee Gatch papers, 1925-1979

Gatch, Lee, 1902-1968

Painter, Collagist


Collection Information

Size: 1 Linear foot, (partially microfilmed on 5 reels)

Summary: Correspondence, notebooks, writings, photographs, catalogs and other publications.
REEL D160: Letters from Gatch's dealer J.B. Neumann, detailing his financial difficulties, Marian Willard of Willard Gallery, collector Duncan Phillips, who discusses a catalog he is writing on Gatch, and painter and collector Max Kahn; photographs of Gatch, ca. 1934; a commonplace book, 1925-1937, which also includes food recipes and an inventory of Gatch's paintings; clippings; and catalogs.
REEL NLG-1: Mainly correspondence with Phillip Bruno of World House Galleries concerning the pricing and delivery of paintings. Gatch comments specifically on "Veronica's Veil" and "Gothic Night." Also included are social notes from Elsie Driggs Gatch to Josephine Bruno, playbills from performances of Merriman Gatch, clippings, and photographs.
REEL N69-137: an autobiographical sketch; letters, 1934-1965, from Lewis Mumford, Katharine Kuh, and others, commending his work, from J.B. Neumann and Duncan Phillips, discussing sales of his painting, and from Max Kahn, commenting generally on art matters; brief essays by Gatch on his paintings "Jurassic Frieze" and "World's End," and the development of his painting; a book of poems inscribed by the author, Power Dalton; and catalogs.
REEL 1: Letters to Elsie Driggs, 1934-1935, commenting on his art theories, his plans for Yaddo, and his financial situation; an exchange between Gatch and Bruno, commenting on his use of texture; one letter from Duncan Phillips, discussing an article he is preparing on Gatch. Also, a typescript comment by Gatch on the aim of his art, a certificate from the New York Institute of Mechanics, 1941, and a National Institute of Arts and Letters citation, 1965.
REEL 2812: 36 photographs of Gatch, his homes, and studios, ca. 1927-1963; 3 exhibition catalogs; and a letter, February 8, 1979, from Robert J. Koenig to Merriman Gatch regarding "The Acrobats" by her father.
UNMICROFILMED: Photographs, printed material, several letters, a student notebook, and memorabilia.

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter; New York, N.Y.


Donated 1963-1979 by Gatch and his wife Elsie Driggs Gatch, except for material on reel NLG-1, which was lent for microfilming, as well as portions of the unmicrofilmed material, which were donated 1971 by Mrs. Leonard Strauss (6 snapshots), who was working on a master's thesis on Gatch, and by Gatch's sister, Sister Mary Rachel Gatch (2 letters, and printed material).

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels D160, NLG-1, N69-137, 1, and 2812 available for use at all Archives of American Art offices.

How to Cite This Collection

Lee Gatch papers, 1925-1979. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.