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Marchal Landgren papers, 1881-circa 1982, bulk 1930-1975

Marchal Landgren papers, 1881-circa 1982, bulk 1930-1975

Landgren, Marchal E., 1907-1983

Librarian, Art historian, Educator, Author

Collection Information

Size: 14.3 linear feet

Summary: The papers of Washington, D.C. art historian, librarian, author, educator, and art consultant Marchal Landgren measure 14.3 linear feet and date from 1881 to circa 1982, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930 to 1975. Included are biographical materials, correspondence, writings and notes, professional and organization files, research projects' files, scattered personal business records, printed materials, two clippings scrapbooks, photographical materials, and scattered artwork.

Biographical/Historical Note

Marchal E. Landgren (1907-1983) was an art historian, librarian, educator, author, and art consultant, active in New York and Washington, D.C.

Provenance

The Marchal Landgren papers were donated by Landgren in 1974, and by the Landgren estate via David Huddle in 1983.

Funding

Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collections Care and Preservation Fund.

A Finding Aid to the Marchal Landgren Papers, 1881-circa 1982, bulk 1930-1975, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.landmarc
Author
Finding aid prepared by Anna Rimel
Biographical/Historical note
Marchal E. Landgren (1907-1983) was an art historian, librarian, educator, author, and art consultant, active in New York and Washington, D. C.
As associate director and board member of Contemporary Arts, Inc. in New York, Landgren established a program for providing artists with their first solo exhibition in New York, including those of John Kane and Mark Tobey. In 1932, he directed the exhibition schedule at the New School for Social Research; and in 1935, Landgren served as the director of art activities for the New York City Municipal Art Committee where he facilitated many exhibitions over the course of five years, including
Recent Paintings by Boris Aronson
at Babcock Galleries in 1938.
Working as a freelance art consultant, researcher, and author, Landgren organized numerous exhibitions between 1932 and 1950 of the work of Milton Avery, George C. Cox, Elliot Orr, Robert Loftin Newman, and Albert Pinkham Ryder. He also edited several arts publications, including the
Old Print Shop Portfolio
,
John Mitchell Gallery Notes
, and arts manuscripts for Oxford University Press.
In 1939, Landgren was selected by the New York World’s Fair Commision to prepare historical notes on Latin American art for the exhibition catalogs of the Latin American art exhibition. After the Fair, he continued his research on this topic and wrote several articles, as well as lecturing on Latin American painting at the Art Students League of New York, the Newark Art Club, and the National Education Association at the Boston Museum.
After serving in the U. S. Army Air Force during World War II, Landgren moved to Washington, D. C. in 1950 and began work as the arts division readers’ advisor for the D. C. Public Library. For seventeen years, he built up the library's general collection of art books and created extensive files of art exhibition catalogs.
In 1967, he took a position as a bibliographic consultant for the fine arts department at the University of Maryland. He became director of the University’s art gallery and of the art department museum training program. During his tenure at the University of Maryland, Landgren conducted graduate seminars in art history, edited and published exhibition catalogs, and organized exhibitions, including
The Late Landscapes of William Morris Hunt
in 1976.
Landgren was a visiting scholar at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Collection of Fine Arts and curated an exhibition of paintings by Robert Loftin Newman held there from 1973 to 1974 and at the Tennessee Fine Arts Center in 1974.
Marchal Landgren authored two books:
Years of Art: The Story of the Art Students League of New York
(Robert M. McBride and Company, 1940), and
Robert Loftin Newman
(Smithsonian Institution Press, 1974). He was a regular reviewer of art books for the
Library Journal
from 1958 to 1972, and contributed reviews to
Trend
,
Magazine of Art
, and other journals. He was awarded a research grant by the American Council of Learned Societies in 1963 for his study of George C. Cox and did a great deal of research in American art and American art institutions for an unfinished manuscript. He also worked on a bibliography of art literature which he never completed.
Arrangement note
This collection is arranged as 10 series.
Series 1: Biographical Materials, circa 1890-circa 1981 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1930-circa 1982 (0.6 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1932-circa 1982 (1.2 linear feet; Boxes 1-3)
Series 4: Professional and Organizational Files, circa 1910-circa 1977 (3.4 linear feet; Boxes 3-6)
Series 5: Research Projects' Files, 1881-circa 1982 (6.9 linear feet; Boxes 6-13, 15)
Series 6: Personal Business Records, circa 1934-circa 1982 (0.4 linear feet; Box 13)
Series 7: Printed Material, circa 1927-circa 1981 (1.0 linear feet; Boxes 13-14)
Series 8: Scrapbooks, circa 1931-circa 1979 (0.2 linear feet; Boxes 14-15)
Series 9: Photographic Materials, circa 1930s-circa 1978 (0.2 linear feet; Boxes 14-15)
Series 10: Artwork, circa 1930s-circa 1940s (0.2 linear feet; Boxes 14-15)
Scope and Contents note
The papers of Washington, D.C. art historian, librarian, author, educator, and art consultant Marchal Landgren measure 14.3 linear feet and date from 1881 to circa 1982, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930 to 1975. Included are biographical materials, correspondence, writings and notes, professional and organization files, research projects' files, scattered personal business records, printed materials, two clippings scrapbooks, photographical materials, and scattered artwork.
Biographical material includes address cards, an appointment book, curriculum vitaes, genealogical materials, and military records. Correspondence is with artists, clients, colleagues, museums, and universities, and is predominantly professional in nature. Correspondents include Albert E. Gallatin, George Gershwin, Ira Glackens, Sidney Laufman, Elliot Orr, Candido Portinari, and Carl Sprinchorn, among others.
Writings include miscellaneous published and unpublished writings and drafts by Marchal Landgren primarily those not associated with his major research projects. These include various articles written for magazines and journals, manuscript drafts, research notes, and notebooks. There is also a file of writings by others that includes the
John Mitchell Gallery Notes
.
Professional and organizational files document Landgren's positions and work for educational institutions and arts organizations, including the American Abstract Artists Group, Art Students League of New York, Association of Artists Equity of Washington D. C., Contemporary Arts, D. C. Public Library, Library Journal, New York City Municipal Art Committee, Old Print Shop, Inc., and the University of Maryland, among others. These files also contain correspondence, perhaps the most notable found in the file on the American Abstract Artists Group which includes letters from Josef Albers, Eleanor de Laittre, Sidney Geist, Balcomb Greene, Hananiah Harari, and Harry Holtzman.
Well over one-half of the collection consists of files for Landgren's ongoing research projects on numerous artists and photographers, Latin American art, as well as his bibliographic reference projects. The bulk of the files cover his research, writing, and curatorial work on Robert Loftin Newman. Files are also found for Berenice Abbott, Milton Avery, George Constant, George Collins Cox, Aline Fruhauf, Eugene Higgins, William Morris Hunt, John Kane, Charles Logasa, Elliot Orr, and Albert Pinkham Ryder, among many others.
Personal business records include personal and general expense documentation and scattered exhibition price lists. Printed materials include clippings, exhibition catalogs, and miscellaneous published articles and essays. There are two scrapbooks of clippings.
There are photographs, slides, and negatives of images of Landgren, other artists and notable figures in the art world, and of artwork. Of note is a portrait photograph of Juliana Force by Cecil Beaton, one photograph by Berenice Abbott, "Barclay Street Ferry", and 14 taken by George C. Cox of Rudyard Kipling, Clyde Fitch, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Madame Fanny Janauschek, Donald G. Mitchell, and others.
The papers also include scattered artwork, including holiday cards illustrated by artists, and sketches and drawings by other artists.
Provenance
The Marchal Landgren papers were donated by Landgren in 1974, and by the Landgren estate via David Huddle in 1983.
Processing Information note
Multiple accessions were merged and archivally processed and a finding aid prepared by Anna Rimel in 2016 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution’s Collections Care and Preservation Fund. The Archives of American Art has implemented accelerated processing when possible to increase information about and access to more of our collections. For this collection, accelerated processing included arrangement to the series, subseries and folder levels, adhering to the creator’s original arrangement as much as possible. Generally, folder contents were simply verified with the original folder titles, but items within folders were not arranged further. All materials were rehoused in archival folders and boxes for long-term stability, but staples and other fasteners have not all been removed.

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

Marchal Landgren papers, 1881-circa 1982, bulk 1930-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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