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Nell Blaine papers, 1930-1985

Blaine, Nell Blair Walden, 1922-1996



Collection Information

Size: 2.7 linear ft. (partially microfilmed on 1 reel)

Summary: Biographical material, correspondence, business records, writings, art works, and printed material. Also included are papers of Blaine's friend, Howard Griffin.
REEL D311: Correspondence; clippings, exhibition catalogs, and printed materials; two scrapbooks; and photographs of Blaine and her work.
Among the photographs are: 8 of Blaine's studio, 1943-1961; 5 of Blaine, one each with E. Astor, Dilys Evans, Olga von Flotow, Margaret Harmsworth, Midi Garth and Denise Levertov; 2 of Larry Rivers, one with Blaine, 1950; 2 of Blaine, one with art collectors Mr.and Mrs. Henry Jason and the New York City ballet dancer, Gayle Young, 1959, the other with Constance Smith, Patricia H. Cooper, Jane Freilicher, Jane Watrous, Milton Klonsky, Albert Kresch. In addition there is a photograph of the dancer Eleanor Goff modeling a costume designed by Blaine, 1946.
UNMICROFILMED: Correspondence with friends, dealers, collectors, writers, institutions and others,including Kit Barker, Peggy Guggenheim, Midi Garth, Carolyn Harris, Galway Kinnell, Larry Rivers, John Von Wicht, Beatrice Gazzolo and others; correspondence regarding the publication of Breakthrough by Daisy Aldan and Nell Blaine; a book, Love Aspects, by Howard Griffin, illustrated by Blaine and photographs of Blaine, her studio, Howard Griffin, and friends and relatives.
Howard Griffin material includes research material on Joseph Cornell byGriffin, and letters to Griffin from W. H. Auden, Kit Barker, Jean Garrigue, Clarence John Laughlin, Marianne Moore, Frank O'Hara, Mark Tobey, Clifford Wright (over 100), and others. The collection also includes etchings by Alvin Ross.

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter; New York, N.Y., Died 1996. Blaine's early work was abstract, later evolving to figurative. She was a close friend of poet and art writer Howard Griffin, and illustrated a limited edition of his Four Poems.


Scrapbooks on reel D311 lent for microfilming 1967; remainder donated 1980 and 1985 by Blaine. The Howard Griffin papers included in the collection were received by Blaine as executrix of Griffin's estate.

Location of Originals

  • Reel D311 (scrapbooks only): Originals returned to Blaine after microfilming.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

Microfilm reel D311 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Nell Blaine papers, 1930-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.