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Martin Birnbaum papers, 1862-1967, bulk 1920-1967

Contents and Arrangement

Collection is arranged as 8 series.

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Series 1: Biographical Material , 1890-1950s
0.3 Linear feet
Box 1, OVs 4-5

Series consists of certificates, visa applications, a 1922 passport, commencement programs, lists of names and addresses, letterhead, and travel material. United States visas are for 1907-1908 and 1913. Certificates include those from Birnbabum's grammar school, the City College Associates for membership, the Committee of the American Museum of Natural History to which Birnbaum was elected, and the Library of Congress for the deposit of his play The Bachelor. Also found are Birnbaum's commencement programs from the College of the City of New York where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1897, and Columbia University where he received a master of arts degee in 1898 and a law degree in 1901.
Travel material includes tourist maps of French Indochina, the Congo, and Europe and the Black Sea, as well as menus and passenger lists from ocean liners and cruise ships.
Description Container Select
Certificates, Passports, and Visas, 1890-1959
Oversized material housed in OV 4
1
1
Commencement Programs, 1897-1901
1
2
Letterhead and Envelopes, circa 1900-circa 1960
1
3
Names and Addresses, circa1920s-circa 1950s
1
4
Travel Material, 1920s-1950s
Oversized material housed in OV 5
1
5
Who's Who Entry, 1942
1
6
Oversized Certificates, Passports, and Visas from Box 1, Folder 1
OV 4
Oversized Travel Material from Box 1, Folder 5
OV 5

Series 2: Correspondence , 1862-1967
1.7 Linear feet
Boxes 1-2

Correspondence is primarily in the form of incoming letters to Birnbaum, with drafts or copies of some of Birnbaum's outgoing letters. Correspondence is with family members, friends and colleagues, including artists, clients, galleries, museums, scholars, writers, and publishers.
Found is significant correspondence with artists including Cecilia Beaux, Orland Campbell, Louise Dillingham, William Hunt Diedrich, Herbert Haseltine, Jan Hoowij, Malvina Hoffman, Leonebel Jacobs, Lois Mailou Jones, Rockwell Kent, Lenard Kester, Paul Manship, Gari Melchers, Maxfield Parrish, Janet Scudder, Carl Sprinchorn, Maurice Sterne, Albert Sterner, and Carl N. Werntz. Correspondence with Edward Bruce discusses Bruce's painting, and his relationships with Birnbaum and Scott & Fowles concerning the development of his private collection. Letters from John Singer Sargent relate to Sargent's own work and his interests in acquiring works of art by others. Letters from Maxfield Parrish provide details about the artist's life and work in Windsor, Vermont.
Also found is correspondence with noted art collectors including Edmund Davis and his brother Reginald Davis, Henry P. McIlhenny, Grenville Lindall Winthrop, and Edith Wetmore. Material relating to Winthrop includes drafts of many of Birnbaum's letters to Winthrop, telegrams regarding sales, price lists, and correspondence with Harvard University's Fogg Museum, all of which document Birnbaum's crucial role in the development of the Winthrop collection and Winthrop's ultimately transformative gift to the Fogg Museum. Correspondence with Harvard University and Kate Winthrop Morse also relates to the Fogg's interest in Morse's sister, sculptor Emily Winthrop Miles.
2 folders of letters document directly Birnbaum's relationship with Scott and Fowles, primarily with Stevenson Scott, from the 1920s to the 1940s.
Correspondence with writers, publishers, and others illustrate Birnbaum's important literary and social connections and friendships and includes letters from Upton Sinclair relating primarily to collaborations prior to the publication of The Last Romantic; correspondence with Vantage Press, Inc., regarding the publication of Angkor and the Mandarin Road (1952); letters from Edmund Dulac and W. B. Yeats regarding the serial publication of The Hawk's Well to be illustrated by Dulac; letters from Fenella Lovell, a model renowned for being the subject of a 1910 portrait by Gwen John; a folder of letters from Virginia Gerson who invited Birnbaum to many of her salons; and one letter each from from Dorothy Parker, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Thornton Wilder.
Letters from James St. O'Toole contain appraisals of artwork provided to Birnbaum. Letters from James Parmalee relate to Gari Melchers and their involvement in the Smithsonian's National Gallery of Art Commission. Correspondence with Metropolitan Museum of Art includes correspondence with Gisela Marie Augusta Richter, during her time as assistant curator for the Museum.
Description Container Select
Allston, R. W. , circa 1920s
1
7
American Museum of Natural History, 1936-1952
1
8
Arkell, Bartlett, 1935
1
9
A, First Names Only, 1925-1965
1
10
A, General, circa 1920s-1960s
1
11
Beaux, Cecilia, circa 1930s-circa 1942
1
12
Bellows, George S., 1932
1
13
Berg, Sven, 1933-1950
1
14
Blythe, Florence W., circa 1940s
1
15
Bosworth, Welles, 1938-1954
1
16
Braxton, Henry, circa 1930s-circa 1940s
1
17
Bruce, Edward and Peggy, circa 1924-circa 1943
1
18
Bruckman, Lodewijk Karel "Loki", circa 1949-1956
1
19
Bufano, Beniamino, circa 1920s-circa 1960s
1
20
B, First Names Only, 1933-1955
1
21
B, General, 1862-1967
Includes letter from Pearl S. Buck and Bryson Burroughs
1
22
Campbell, Orland, 1946-1956
1
23
Carnegie Institute, 1921-1940
1
24
Cavalieri, Lina, circa 1930s-1958
1
25
Choate, Mabel, 1937-1939
1
26
City College of New York, 1945-1965
1
27
Clark, Stephen Carlton, 1928-1931
1
28
Cochran, Thomas, circa 1929-circa 1931
1
29
Coedes, George, 1935-1936
1
30
Cole, Ernest and Laurie, circa 1940s
1
31
Coomber & Dickin, 1936-1937
1
32
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, 1954-1958
1
33
Cortissoz, Royal, 1935-1943
1
34
Coykendall, Frederick, 1922-1931
1
35
C, First Names Only, 1934-1951
1
36
C, General, 1911-1963
Includes 1 letter each from Alexander Stirling Calder and Robert Winthrop Chanler
1
37
Dana, Richard, circa 1929
1
38
Danforth, Helen, circa 1931-circa 1955
1
39
Davies, Turner & Co. Ltd., 1930
1
40
Davis, Edmund and Mary, 1911-1940
1
41
Davis, Reginald, circa 1920s
1
42
De Bearn, Princesse G., 1943
1
43
Delano, William Adams, 1942-1946
1
44
Despiau, Charles, circa 1929-circa 1930
1
45
Diedrich, William Hunt, 1918-1919
1
46
Dillingham, Louise, circa 1940s
1
47
Dubaut, Pierre, circa 1930s
1
48
Dulac, Edmund, 1916-1950
Includes l10/26/16 letter from W. B. Yeats
1
49
Dumas, J. B. , circa 1926-1933
1
50
Dupay, Evelyne, circa 1930s
1
51
D, First Names Only, circa 1940s
1
52
D, General, 1919-1964
Includes 1 letter from Charles H. Davis
1
53
Earl, Maud, 1912-1927
1
54
E, First Names Only, 1942-1958
1
55
E, General, 1935-1947
includes 1 letter from Paula Eliasoph
1
56
Family Correspondence, 1905-1958
1
57
Fernandez, Luis, circa 1930s
1
58
Fiske, Marie Garland, 1940
1
59
Fitzgerald, Desmond (World Review), 1950
1
60
Fortuny, Mariano, 1934-1937
1
61
F, First Names Only, 1925-1941
1
62
F, General, 1933-1965
1
63
Garvan, F. P., 1931
1
64
Georges Bernheim et Cie, 1929-1930
1
65
Gerson, Virginia, circa 1918-circa 1950
1
66
Goff, Charles W. , 1941-1942
1
67
Gross, Magnus, 1934-1945
1
68
G, First Names Only, circa 1930s-1960
1
69
G, General, circa 1919-1961
1
70
Halford, Amy, circa 1920s-circa 1960s
1
71
Hardy, John P., 1933-1944
1
72
Harroy, Jean-Paul, 1938-1962
1
73
Harvard University, Fogg Museum of Art, circa 1935-1952
1
74
Haseltine, Herbert and Madeleine, circa 1929-1961
1
75
Haveirs, Stephen, circa 1915-circa 1927
1
76
Hitchens, Robert, circa 1901
1
77
Hoffman, Malvina, circa 1938-circa 1944
1
78
Horn, Karl, 1933-1970
1
79
Hoowij, Jan, circa 1950-circa 1964
1
80
Hubbard, Helen F., circa 1940s
1
81
H, First Names Only, circa 1920s-circa 1950s
1
82
H, General, circa 1919-1966
1
83
I, First Names Only, 1937-1945
1
84
I, General, circa 1940s-circa 1950s
1
85
Jacobs, Leonebel, circa 1930s-circa 1960s
1
86
James, William, 1943-1946
1
87
Javits, Eric and Joan, circa 1940s
1
88
Jennings, Walter and J. B., 1931-1942
1
89
John, Augustus, 1917-1923
1
90
Jones, Lois Mailou, circa 1938-1951
Includes 2 cards by Jones
1
91
J, First Names Only, 1944-1963
1
92
J, General, 1940-1961
1
93
Kent, Rockwell, 1921
1
94
Kester, Lenard, 1940s-1950
1
95
K, General, 1915-1965
1
96
Lawlor, Lily, circa 1935
1
97
Levine, Lester, 1930-1943
1
98
Lovell, Fenella, 1913-1936
1
99
L, First Names Only, circa 1926-circa 1951
1
100
L, General, 1925-1950
1
101
Macbeth Gallery, 1934-1937
1
102
Manos, Aspasia, circa 1940s
1
103
Manship, Paul, circa 1921-1961
1
104
Maraini, Antonio/Venice Biennale, 1932-1934
1
105
Marbury, Elisabeth, 1905
1
106
Marx, Claus Roger, circa 1940s
1
107
Maynard, Rosa, circa 1930s
1
108
Mazanako, Nico, 1930s
1
109
McIlhenny, Henry P., 1934-1951
1
110
Meeks, Everett Victor, 1925-1935
1
111
Melchers, Gari and Corinne, 1930s
1
112
Metcalf, Houghton P, circa 1940s
1
113
Metcalf, N., circa 1940s
1
114
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1928-1965
1
115
Miles, Emily Winthrop, 1944-1952
2
1
Morosini, La Contessa, circa 1920s
2
2
Morse, Kate, 1944-1965
2
3
Mowbray-Clarke, Mary, 1958
2
4
M, First Names Only , circa 1920-circa 1960
2
5
M, General, 1926-1965
Includes letter from Edna St. Vincent Millay.
2
6
N, General, 1933-1965
2
7
O'Keeffe, Georgia, 1937-1954
2
8
O'Toole, James St., 1959-1966
2
9
O, General, 1949-1965
2
10
Parmalee, James, 1927-1930
2
11
Parrish, Maxfield, circa 1918-circa 1929
2
12
Parsons, Harold Woodbury, circa 1930s-1961
2
13
Pascin, Jules, circa 1930s
2
14
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1944-1965
2
15
Potterton, Alfred B., 1930-1941
2
16
P, General, 1916-1965
Includes 2 letters from Mary Sargent Potter and 1 letter from Dorothy Parker regarding Birnbaum's donation to the Anti-Nazi League
2
17
Quinn, John, 1917
2
18
Radicke, Eliza G., circa 1927-circa 1930
2
19
Rice, Dorothy F., circa 1953
2
20
Ricketts, Charles S., circa 1920s
2
21
Robinson, Edward G., circa 1945
2
22
Rock, Joseph Francis Charles, circa 1935-circa 1950
2
23
Rockefeller, Abby, John D., and Martha B., circa 1927-1951
2
24
Rogers, Helen Russell, circa 1928
2
25
Rothenstein, William, 1917-1927
2
26
Rothenstein, John, circa 1930s
2
27
R, General, 1913-1954
Includes 1 letter from Emanuel Romano and 2 letters from Albert Daniel Rutherston.
2
28
Sargent, John Singer and Emily, circa 1920s
Includes letter illustrated by Sargent
2
29
Scialtiel, Marguerite, circa 1930-1950
2
30
Scott, Stevenson/Scott & Fowles, circa 1924-1945
2
31-32
Scudder, Janet, 1918-1930
2
33
Sinclair, Upton, circa 1938-1951
2
34
Sprinchorn, Carl, 1942-1943
2
35
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1940
2
36
Sterne, Maurice, circa 1911-1955
2
37-38
Sterner, Albert and Flora, 1931-circa 1943
2
39
Straub, George F., circa 1941-1956
2
40
Swope, Robert W. , 1940
2
41
S, First Names Only, circa 1960s
2
42
S, General, circa 1911-circa 1957
2
43-44
Tchelitchew, Pavel, 1942-1943
2
45
T, First Names Only, 1925-1938
2
46
T, General, circa 1922-circa 1943
Includes I letter each from Augustus Tack and Scofield Thayer
2
47
U, General, 1941-1965
2
48
Van Saake, George, 1943
2
49
Vantage Press, Inc., 1952-1958
2
50
Vicaji, Dorothy Elaine, circa 1930s
2
51
V, First Names Only, circa 1927-1941
2
52
V, General, circa 1930-1956
2
53
Walker, R. A., 1953-1955
2
54
Watts, M. S. , 1928-1934
2
55
Weeks, Donald, 1963
2
56
Weil, André, 1935-1938
2
57
Weil, Elsie, 1935-1936
2
58
Werntz, Carl N. and Milicent, circa 1930s-circa 1940s
2
59
Wetmore, Edith, circa 1940s
2
60
Wilder, Gerrit and Lillian Kimball, 1927-1935
2
61
Wilson, Stanley, 1947-1951
2
62
Winthrop, Grenville Lindall, circa 1920s-circa 1940s
2
63
Winthrop, Grenville Lindall, 1927-1944
2
64-66
W, First Names Only, 1928-1949
2
67
W, General, 1927-1960
Includes 1 letter from Thornton Wilder
2
68
Young, Mahonri M., circa 1942
2
69
Y, General, 1929-1963
2
70
Ziegler, Jerome Martin and Belle, circa 1932-1956
2
71
Ziegler, Jerome Martin, Jr. and Pat, circa 1936-circa 1951
2
72
Ziegler, Lester, circa 1937-1938
2
73
Zoumpoulakis, T., 1930-1938
2
74
Z, General, circa 1940s
2
75
Illegible and Unidentified, circa 1895-circa 1964
2
76-77

Series 3: Writings and Notes , circa 1890-circa 1960
0.45 Linear feet
Box 2

Writings and notes are by Birnbaum unless otherwise noted. They include a diary from 1946-1955, primarily concerning Birnbaum's travels in the United States and Europe, and a typed manuscript of The Last Romantic, as well as Upton Sinclair's revision of the manuscript which is inscribed with a note by Birnbaum stating: "This manuscript was Upton Sinclair's revision in which a large portion of the mss. was deleted and some of my best stories omitted." Also found with the Sinclair revision are correspondence between Birnbaum and Sinclair, copies of their 1958 agreement for Sinclair to write the introduction, and other related corresponence, notes, and receipts.
A copy of an 1897 publication The Lotus is inscribed: "Martin Birnbaum's own copy of his first literary effort." Also found are a short story entitled "The Sons of Abranyi" and Birnbaum's copy of an edition of the Columbia Literary Monthly (February 1900) with an article by him entitled "Threnodies;" a draft of a typed manuscript, "Great Draughtsmen of the Nineteenth Century;" a privately printed manuscript of "The Bachelors," a 1904 play by Birnbaum; early unpublished essays, translations, and stories; manuscripts written in German, including 1 on Oscar Wilde; a folder of notes, typescripts and printed material relating to Aubrey Beardsley; and a folder of miscellaneous notes and writings by others, some unidentified.
Series also includes 3 sound tape reels with recorded dictation for "The Romance of Collecting Art," a working title for The Last Romantic.
Description Container Select
Diary, 1946-1955
2
78
Dictation for "The Romance of Collecting Art", 1952
3 sound tape reels
2
79-80
Early Published Writings , 1897-1900
2
81
Early Unpublshed Writings, circa 1890-circa 1944
2
82-83
Manuscripts in German, 1930s
3
1
Manuscript, "Great Draughtsmen of the Nineteenth Century", 1924
3
2
Manuscript, The Bachelors, 1904
3
3
Manuscript, The Last Romantic , circa 1960
3
4-7
Manuscript, The Last Romantic, Sinclair Revision, circa 1955-circa 1960
3
8-11
Manuscript, The Last Romantic, Sinclair Revision, Related Material, circa 1955-circa 1958
3
12
Notes, circa 1950s
3
13
Notes and Other Material on Aubrey Beardsley, 1920-1950
3
14
Writings by Others, circa 1955
3
15
Writings by Unidentified Authors, circa 1900-circa 1950
3
16

Series 4: Business Records , 1918-1967
0.15 Linear feet
Box 2

Business records include financial records, a folder of descriptions of specific artwork with their appraisal and sale values, and legal records.
Financial records comprise bills, canceled checks, and receipts and statements for artwork bought and sold from and to galleries, individuals, and museums in the United States and Europe. These records also document gifts Birnbaum made to the Metropolitan Musem of Art and others.
Legal records consist of a loan agreement between Stevenson Scott and Birnbaum (1916); a signed, handwritten land agreement between Birnbaum and Prince Louis Ferdinand d'Orleans of Bourbon (1938); a copy of the will of Alfred B. Potterton (1940); and a copy of Birnbabum's deposition on the value of an Eli Nadelman bust of Jane Wallach (1958).
One folder documents Birnbaum's involvement with the Professional Children's School in the mid-1960s. Birnbaum made financial contributions to the school and served on its Board of Trustees.
Description Container Select
Artwork Appraisals/Descriptions, 1940s
3
17
Financial Records , 1918-1967
3
18-21
Legal Records , 1916-1958
3
22
Professional Children's School Records, 1964-1967
3
23

Series 5: Printed Material , 1895-circa 1960
0.15 Linear feet
Box 3

Printed material includes programs, primarily for musical events which Birnbaum helped to arrange or appeared in as a violinist, and scattered newsclippings about Birnbaum. Announcements and exhibition catalogs include Twayne Publishers Inc.'s announcement for The Last Romantic, Vantage Press, Inc.'s announcement for Angkor and the Mandarin Road, and 1 exhibition catalog each for exhibitions by Carl Sprinchorn and Maurice Sterne.
Description Container Select
Announcements and Exhibition Catalogs, circa 1920-circa 1960
3
24
News Clippings, circa 1920-circa 1960
3
25
Printed Miscellany, circa 1920-circa 1960
3
26
Programs, 1895-1960
3
27-28

Series 6: Scrapbook , 1960-1961
1 Folder
Box 3

Found is a dismantled scrapbook from the 1960s documenting Birnbaum's receipt of the Townsend Harris Medal from the Alumni Association of the City College of New York, and the publication of The Last Romantic, with related correspondence, clippings and memorabilia from the Alumni dinner.
Description Container Select
Scrapbook, 1960-1961
3
29

Series 7: Artwork , circa 1890-circa 1960
0.15 Linear feet
Box 3

Series includes 2 etchings and one pencil sketch by Birnbaum; bookplates by Arthur W. Crisp, Anthony H. Euner, Allen Lewis, Emil Orlik, and others; 3 sketches and 3 cards with original artwork by others; and 7 pencil sketches by unidentified artists.
Description Container Select
By Birnbaum, circa 1890s
3
30
By Others, Bookplates, circa 1890-circa 1960
3
31
By Others, Cards and Sketches, circa 1890-circa 1960
3
32
By Unidentified, circa 1900-circa 1960
3
33

Series 8: Photographs , circa 1900-circa 1960s
0.3 Linear feet
Box 3

Series comprises photos of Birnbaum alone and with artists and friends including one of Maurice Sterne, Alfred Potterton, Ned (Edward) Bruce, and Leo Stein (brother of Gertrude Stein), at Ned Bruce's house near Rome, Italy, circa 1915-1916.
Photos of artists and others include snapshots and portraits of Robert Chanler, Charles Despiau in his Paris studio, Norman Douglas, Luis Fernandez, Herbert Haseltine, Augustus John, Paul Manship, Gari Melchers, Elie Nadelman, Albert Sterner, Stevenson Scott, Mrs. Leonard Valkmann, Abraham Walkowitz, and Grenville Lindall Winthrop.
Also found are circa 82 travel photographs, primarily of Greece, photographs used in the publication of The Last Romantic, and photographs of works of art.
Description Container Select
Photos of Artists and Others, circa 1900-1951
3
34-36
Photos of Birnbaum and Others, circa 1915-circa 1950s
3
37
Photos of Travel, circa 1920s-circa 1930s
3
38-40
Photos For The Last Romantic, circa 1900-circa 1960
3
41-42
Photos of Works of Art, circa 1940s-circa 1960s
3
43-48
Photos of Works of Art, Sculpture, circa 1940s-circa 1960s
3
49-50
Photos of Works of Art, Unidentified, circa 1940s-circa 1960s
3
51-53

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.