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Nanae Momiyama papers, 1928-circa 2000, bulk 1948-1990s

Nanae Momiyama papers, 1928-circa 2000, bulk 1948-1990s

Momiyama, Nanae, 1924-2002

Painter, Teacher

Collection Information

Size: 3.0 linear feet

Summary: Biographical material, correspondence, writings, photographs, works of art, subject files, audio tapes, printed material and miscellany relating to Nanae Momiyama's career as an artist.

Biographical/Historical Note

Nanae Momiyama (1924-2002) was a painter, calligrapher in New York, N.Y. Momiyama was a first-wave, post-war Japanese American immigrant who was active with 10th Street abstractionists in the 1950s.


Donated 2009 by Haniwa Gottlieb, Momiyama's daughter.

A Finding Aid to the Nanae Momiyama Papers,
1928-circa 2000
bulk 1948-1990s
, in the Archives of American Art
Finding aid prepared by Joy Weiner
Biographical Note
Nanae Momiyama (1924-2002) worked in New York and Greenwich, Connecticut as a painter, calligrapher, and educator.
In 1924, Nanae Momiyama was born in Tokyo, Japan. In 1944, she graduated from Bunka Gakuin College in Tokyo, where she later taught painting and drawing. In 1954, under the sponsorship of the Japanese government, Nanae Moimiyama attended the Art Students' League in New York City, where she was mentored by the painter, Morris Kantor. During this period, Momiyama participated in exhibitions organized by the cooperative galleries on East Tenth Street in New York City that were promoting the works of Abstract Expressionist artists.
Nanae Momiyama's artistic interests extended to the teaching of Japanese calligraphy and Sumi-e paintings at colleges, universities, and art institutions, including the National Teacher's Convention for Asian Studies at Brooklyn College, Columbia University, and Japan Society. During her career, Momiyama received commissions to design posters for movies, plays, and concerts and to illustrate books and magazines. In addition, she wrote
Sumi-e, An Introduction to Ink Painting
that became a standard text on the subject.
Nanae Momiyama participated in many solo and group exhibitions in the United States and abroad: Brata Gallery, the Bruce Museum, Gima Gallery, Ligoa Duncan Gallery, and Seibu Galleries, among others.
Nanae Momiyama was a long time resident of Greenwich, Connecticut. She died in 2002.
The collection is arranged as 9 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1948-1995 (Box 1: 0.4 linear feet)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1953, 1970s-1993 (Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)
Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1950s-1995 (Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)
Series 4: Business Records, 1962-1987 (Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)
Series 5: Printed Material, circa 1950s-1995 (Box 1; 0.8 linear feet)
Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1948-1978 (Box 2; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 7: Sketches and Drawings, circa 1950s-1970s (Box 2; 0.1 linear feet)
Series 8: Sketchbooks, circa 1975-1997 (Box 2; 0.1 linear feet)
Series 9: Photographs, 1928-circa 2000 (Box 3; 1.0 linear feet)
Scope and Content Note
The papers of New York painter, calligrapher, and educator, Nanae Momiyama measure 3.0 linear feet and date from 1928-circa 2000, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1948-1990s. The collection traces Momiyama's career as a first wave post-World War II Japanese-American artist through biographical material, correspondence, writings and notes, business records, printed material, scrapbooks, sketches and sketchbooks, and photographs.
Biographical material includes resumes, a graduation certificate, passports, artist's statements, a calendar of lectures, address books, miscellaneous biographical material, and a 1972 WGCH radio interview with Nanae Momiyama.
Correspondence is mostly professional and consists of incoming and outgoing letters with arts organizations, museums, and galleries, such as the Bruce Museum, the Japanese Artists'Association, Kenkeleba House, and the National Association of Women Artists. There is some personal correspondence from family and friends, including Yayoi Kusama and Johanna Secor.
Writings and notes contain writings and notes by Nanae Momiyama and others. Writings and notes mostly consist of drafts of lectures and press releases relating to Momiyama's class demonstrations on Sumi-e painting.
Business records include annotated painting lists, consignments, a loan agreement, a contract, and scattered receipts. Painting lists and sales receipts provide a detailed record of works sold by Nanae Momiyama from 1974-1987.
Nanae Momiyama's activities as an artist are well-documented through printed materials, including press releases, clippings, periodicals, exhibition invitations, announcements, and catalogs, periodicals, annotated checklists, and brochures. Also found is Momiyama's monograph on Sumi-e painting.
Five scrapbooks contain exhibition-related material, such as announcements, invitations, brochures, reviews, installation shots, and artwork. One scrapbook is of a more personal nature and includes notes, handmade holiday cards by the artist, and photographs of Momiyama's children.
Artwork comprises sketches, drawings, and graphic designs. Sketches are mostly studies for Nanae Momiyama's paintings. Also included are five sketchbooks; one sketchbook is devoted to Momiyama's calligraphy.
Photographs are of Nanae Momiyama and others, exhibition installations and artwork, miscellaneous photographs, and slides of artwork. Also found are six photograph albums of images of Nanae Momiyama with family, friends, and colleagues. Of interest, are two photograph albums depicting Nanae Momiyama's school life and social activities in Japan from 1928-1940s.
Donated 2009 by Haniwa Gottlieb, Momiyama's daughter.
Processing Information
The papers were processed by Joy Weiner in 2012.

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

Nanae Momiyama papers, 1928-circa 2000, bulk 1948-1990s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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