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

Landgren, Marchal E., 1907-1983

Author, Educator, Librarian, Art historian

Collection Information

Size: 15.3 linear feet

Summary: The papers of Washington, D.C. art historian, librarian, author, educator, and art consultant Marchal Landgren measure 15.3 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Writings include miscellaneous published and unpublished writings and drafts by Marchal Landgren primarily those not associated with his major research projects.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.

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.


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


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