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Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg papers, circa 1890s-2002

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Michael Yates and Jayna Josefson
Scope and Contents
The papers of Los Angeles painters and art instructors Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg measure 15.6 linear feet and date from circa 1890s to 2002. The papers document the careers of the two artists, including their establishment of the Post-surrealism movement in southern California, their work for federal arts programs, and their later abstract artwork. Found are biographical materials, correspondence, personal business records, exhibition files, printed materials, photographs, and one sound recording.
Biographical documentation is found for both artists. Lundeberg's early life is documented by school notebooks, yearbooks, diplomas, calendars, awards, and a "memory book." Feitelson's biographical materials include family certificates and documents compiled by Lundeberg regarding Feitelson's funeral. Also found are curriculum vitae and biographical sketches for both artists.
Correspondence is extensive and includes both personal and professional correspondence for both Feitelson and Lundeberg. Materials consist of letters with critics, museums, artists, and friends, including Karl Benjamin, Frederick Hammersley, Reuben Kadish, John McLauglin, Diane Moran, and Abraham Rattner. Of special interest is Feitelson and Lundeberg's correspondence with Museum of Modern Art curator Dorothy Canning Miller.
A small amount of exhibition materials, mostly loan agreements and checklists, are found in the papers documenting exhibitions and loans of their artwork to exhibitions. Personal business records concern the management of their artwork and personal collections. Found here are lists of artwork, price lists, appraisal reports, sales invoices, purchase receipts, tax documents, and a set of index cards for their artwork. There are a few scattered legal documents as well. In addition to personal business records, there is a series of records of the Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg Foundation, established by Lundeberg in 1978.
Scattered research and teaching files are mostly Feitelson's. They document his personal research, teaching activities, and television programs, particularly the program Feitelson on Art. Writings, however, are found for both artists and include artist statements, writings about art and art styles and movements, writings about each artist, and writings about the Federal Arts Program in southern California. Of interest are numerous writings by other contemporary writers and critics, including Jan Butterfield, Jules Langsner, Stephen Longstreet, Esther McCoy, Diane Moran, Henry Seldis, and Millard Sheets.
A small amount of artwork is found within the collection by Feitelson and Lundeberg, mostly sketches and drawings. There is one print by Hans Burkhardt.
Printed materials include newsclippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, lecture announcements, posters, press releases, and printed reproductions of Feitelson's and Lundeberg's artwork. There are also pamphlets produced by the Works Progress Administration Federal Arts Program and Lundeberg's poetry.
Photographs are extensive and include many of Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg, as well as of family, friends, and students. There are four photo albums and numerous photographs of Feitelson's and Lundeberg's artwork, including some exhibition installations.
There is one circa 1957 reel-to-reel sound recording of an episode of Feitelson on Art, focusing on Paul Gauguin.
An addition of 0.2 linear feet received in 2014 includes Feitelson's art history and teaching notes, writings by Feitelson, and photographs and contact sheets of Feitelson and works of art.
In 1964, Feitelson loaned for microfilming a scrapbook of clippings primarily concerning his activities with the federal Works Progress Administration. The scrapbook was microfilmed on Reel LA1 and returned to Feitelson. It is not included in the container inventory in this finding aid.
Separated Material
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reel LA 1) including a scrapbook of clippings primarily concerning Lorser Feitelson's activities with the federal Works Progress Administration. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Related Material
Found in the Archives of American Art are oral history interviews with Lorser Feitelson conducted by Betty Lochrie Hoag, May 12, 1964; with Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg conducted by Betty Lochrie Hoag, March 17, 1965; and with Helen Lundeberg conducted by Jan Butterfield, July 19 and August 29, 1980. Also found are Lorser Feitelson lectures recorded by Bonnie Trotter, 1973-1974.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Getty Foundation; funding for the digitization of the collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Processing Information
Portions of the collection were microfilmed on receipt on Reels 1103-1104, and 3990; these reels are no longer in circulation as they do not represent the current arrangement or all of the papers. Previously filmed and unfilmed accessions were merged and fully processed in 2007 by Michael Yates with funding provided by the Getty Foundation. In 2011, Jayna Hanson prepared the papers for digitization, and they were fully digitized in 2012 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art. An addition of 0.2 linear feet received in 2014 is unprocessed.