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Lily Harmon papers, 1930-1996

Harmon, Lily, 1912-1998

Painter, Sculptor, Illustrator


Collection Information

Size: 6 Linear feet

Summary: Primarily research files and notes, subject files, interview tapes and transcripts, correspondence, writings, and other materials compiled by Harmon for a never-published biography of art dealer J.B. Neumann, titled The Art Lover. Found are photocopies of J.B. Neuman's correspondence with Karl Nierendorf, Clifford Odets, Elsa Schmid, and Alfred Stieglitz; photocopies and other materials from the J.B. Neumann Collection at the University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Center, including photocopies of the magazine published by Neumann titled Art Lover Library, 1930-1957 (volume 1, 1930 is original bound volume), copyprints and photocopies of photographs of Neumann, his family, and of other subjects; interview transcripts and audio tapes with numerous artists conducted in the mid-1980s; research notes and files; and subject files on numerous artists (all photocopies).
Harmon's personal papers include resumes; copies of letters from friends, family, dealers and others; photographs of Harmon's paintings; writings, including poems, excerpts from diaries, autobiographical essays, and her autobiography FREEHAND; photocopies of various mss. drafts of Harmon's biography of Neumann, The Art Lover, and related writings by Harmon, including The Art Dealer and the Playwright, and Synopsis of Art Lover, ca. 1987-1990 ; a transcript of an interview of Harmon conducted by Karl Fortress, 1967; magazine and newspaper clippings; exhibition announcements and catalogs; and miscellany.
Interviewees include: Dore Ashton, Sally Avery, Alfred Barr, Phillip Bruno, Al Copley, Dorothy Dehner, Bettina Drew (about Nelson Algren), Elsie Driggs (also found is a video interview and transcript of Driggs by Merryman Gatch, n.d.), Ben Hertzberg, Leonard Hutton, Lewis Isaacs, Max Kahn, Katharine Kuh, Johanna Neumann Lamm, Frances Manacher, Peter Neumann, Albrecht Neumann, Nolbert Rothbaum, Margarete Schultz, Joseph Solman, Margarete Sapanel, Hugh Stix, Ilse Vogel with Howard Knotts, and Edward M.M. Warburg.

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter and sculptor; New York City. Harmon worked for the influential art dealer J.B. Neumann, and spent several years preparing a biography of him which was never published. As an artist, she lived in Europe in the early part of the century, and worked on WPA art projects in the 1930s.


Donated 1983 and 1998 by Lily Harmon.

Language Note

Multiple languages .

How to Use This Collection

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.

How to Cite This Collection

Lily Harmon papers, 1930-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.