Scope and Contents
The papers of New York painter and sculptor Max Weber measure 11.8 linear feet and date from 1902-2008. The collection documents Weber's career as an artist through scattered biographical material; correspondence with artists, curators, universities, arts organizations, and others; exhibition and gallery files; personal business records; writings by Weber and others; exhibition catalogs, news clippings, and other printed material; photographs of Weber, exhibitions, and works of art; audio recordings and motion picture films. Also included are records maintained by Joy Weber on the exhibition and sale of Weber's work after his death.
Biographical material includes biographical summaries, obituaries, award certificates, and a small amount of family memorabilia. Weber's personal and professional correspondence includes discussions of exhibitions, sales, and donations of his work, as well was requests to teach, write, or lecture. Also found is correspondence with arts organizations, clubs, and committees in which he participated. A small amount of family correspondence is also included. Artists that Weber corresponded with include George Biddle, Arthur Davies, William Gropper, Chaim Gross, Marsden Hartley, Rockwell Kent, Leon Kroll, Barnett Newman, Raphael Soyer, and William Zorach, among many others. Weber also corresponded with many art historians and critics, gallery owners, and art patrons. Joy Weber's correspondence primarily concerns the exhibition, loan, sale, and authentication of her father's artwork.
Exhibition files document various solo and group exhibitions of Weber's work. Five reels of motion picture film include footage of an exhibition at the Forum Gallery in 1975. Gallery files include correspondence, inventories, sales and loan records, gallery publications, and other documentation. Most files for exhibitions and galleries were created by Joy Weber after Max Weber's death in 1961. Personal business records include documents on sales, loans, and gifts of Max Weber's artwork; scattered financial documents; and mortgage and property records. Also found are files regarding his participation in the American Artists' Congress and art juries. Weber's writings primarily concern art theory, impressions of other artists, and social and political issues. Additionally there are notes, drafts speeches, and writings by others about Weber.
Printed material is extensive and includes exhibition publications, press releases, and two published booklets written by Weber: "Art Consciousness" and "Things." Also found are news clippings, brochures, newsletters, and publications produced by art organizations, schools, and museums. Photographs include portraits and snapshots of Weber, depicting him working in his studio, participating in art juries, at art openings, and with his family. Photographs also depict installation views of exhibitions and numerous photographs of Weber's artwork. Audiovisual materials include one sound recording of a National Gallery program on Max Weber and five reels of motion picture film that include home movies and footage of an exhibition at the Forum Gallery in 1975.
Material was lent for microfilming in 1959 by Max Weber and in 1969 by Mrs. Max Weber and daughter, Joy Weber. The bulk of the microfilmed material and additional papers were donated in 2011 by Joy Weber.
Material lent for microfilming in 1959 and 1969 which was not included in the 2011 donation is available on microfilm reels NY59-6 to NY59-10, N69-82 to N69-88, and N69-112.
Also found at the Archives of American Art is an Allen L. Wetmore letter from Max Weber, April 15, 1946.
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Erin Kinhart in 2012. Motion picture film reels were inspected and re-housed in 2016 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund.