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Louis K. Meisel Gallery selected records, 1964-2003

Louis K. Meisel Gallery selected records, 1964-2003

Louis K. Meisel Gallery

Collection Information

Size: 0.4 linear feet

Summary: The Louis K. Meisel Gallery selected records measure 0.4 linear feet and date from 1964-2003. The collection consists of correspondence with artists and other individuals; writings by Louis K. Meisel; subject files; and photographs. Correspondence documents the gallery's dealings with its artists.

Correspondence is with artists represented by the gallery; they discuss their works in progress, scheduling exhibitions, and sales of work with Meisel. Included are letters from John Baeder, Chuck Close, Don Eddy, Richard Estes, Audrey Flack, Ralph Goings, Richard McClean, Theodoros Stamos, and others. Also found are letters from Larry Rivers, Anwar el-Sadat, Robert Hughes, and Tom Messer.

Writings include a typescript by Louis K. Meisel on becoming an art dealer. Subject files are on art historian Gregory Battcock and sculptor Jason Seley, who was represented by Meisel.

Photographs include a photograph of Louis K. Meisel and his wife, Susan Meisel with Photorealists artists at a book party. Also found are photographs of John Baldessari with Herbert and Dorothy Vogel; and Andy Warhol and Elizabeth Taylor.

Biographical/Historical Note

Louis K. Meisel Gallery (est. 1973) is an art gallery in New York, N.Y. The gallery is owned and operated by Louis K. Meisel.


The Louis K. Meisel Gallery selected records were donated by Louis K. Meisel in 1990 and 2009.

A Finding Aid to the Louis K. Meisel Gallery Selected Records,
in the Archives of American Art
Biographical/Historical note
Louis K. Meisel (1942- ) opened the Louis K. Meisel Gallery on Prince Street in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City in 1966. The gallery has promoted the work of realist painters, sculptors, and photographers. Louis K. Meisel Gallery has also championed another genre of American realism, the Pin-up; the gallery has an extensive collection of vintage and contemporary Pin-ups. Artists represented include: John Baeder, Robert Bechtle, Charles Bell, Chuck Close, Audrey Flack, Ronald Kleemann, Mel Ramos, and Theodoros Stamos, among others.
Born in 1942 in Brooklyn, Louis K. Meisel has had a varied career as an art dealer, writer, and collector. Meisel attended Columbia University, 1964 and the New School for Social Research in New York, 1963-1965. Credited with coining the phrase, Photorealism in the late 1960s, Meisel defined the qualities of the Photorealist artist.
Louis K. Meisel has written numerous books and articles on Photorealism, the American Pin-Up, and other art-related topics. He has also lectured at academic and art-related institutions, including the Arts and Crafts Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1978; Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 1980, 2002; the Natural History Museum, Smithsonian Institution, 1993; and the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, 2002. His collecting interests have been wide-ranging. In addition to his extensive collection of Photorealist paintings and Pin-up illustrations, Meisel is a collector of 1940s Moderne, tin toys, Art Deco statues, and naturalia.
Since 2000, Louis K. Meisel, in partnership with Frank Bernarducci, has operated the Bernarducci. Meisel. Gallery on 57th Street in New York as a venue for established and emerging artists.
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as 4 series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1964-2003 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 2: Writings, circa 1970s (Box 1; 1 folder)
Series 3: Subject Files, 1974-1981 (Box 1; 5 folders)
Series 4: Photographs, circa 1980s-1993 (Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)
The Louis K. Meisel Gallery selected records were donated by Louis K. Meisel in 1990 and 2009.
Processing Information note
The papers were processed to a minimal level by Joy Weiner in November 2011.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Louis K. Meisel Gallery selected records, 1964-2003. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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