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Mary Frank papers, 1884-2017, bulk 1957-1990

More Information

Jennifer E. Neal
Scope and Contents
The papers of sculptor and painter Mary Frank measure 4.2 linear feet and date from 1884-2017. Included are correspondence, writings, photographs, artwork and printed material documenting Frank's career. Correspondence is both personal and professional. Writings include dreams recounted in detail, poems, and ideas for works of art, some illustrated. Black and white photographs are of Frank, her sculptures, friends and family, and source material. Artwork includes drawings and sketches in dry point, pencil and watercolor. Printed material includes exhibition catalogs, announcements, brochures and clippings.
Materials in this collection document Mary Frank's career as an artist in New York through correspondence with family, friends, and artists; original drawings and watercolors; writings about ideas for her artwork; photographs of Frank in her studio and artwork; clippings reviewing her work and documenting her interest and support in the solar cooker movement; and exhibition catalogs and announcements. Also included are photographs from Frank's travels with Red Grooms and other artists in Italy in the 1960s, which was a formative experience in Frank's artistic development. The collection provides an illuminating context for Frank's artwork of the 1970s and 1980s, present in the collection as photographed sculpture but also as original drawings and watercolors.
The collection also offers a glimpse of her family life and early childhood documented through photographs of Robert Frank, and their children; photographs taken by Robert Frank and other known photographers; photographs that belonged to her parents and aunt; drawings by her son, Pablo, and aunt, Sylvia Weinstein; writings by her maternal grandfather; and writings that document personal struggles she experienced throughout her life. The collection provides a penetrating glimpse into the emotional turmoil of the years before Frank's divorce from Robert Frank, and documents through letters and writings Frank's struggles with her daughter's early death in 1974 and her son's illness that began in 1975 and ended in his death in 1994.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated in 2014 and 2019 by Mary Frank.
Related Materials
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Mary Frank conducted by Judith Olch Richards on January 10, 11, and February 3, 2010.
Processing Information
The collection was processed, and a finding aid prepared by Jennifer E. Neal in 2019.