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New York Artists Equity Association records, 1920-2012

New York Artists Equity Association

Collection Information

Size: 26.8 linear feet

Summary: The records of the New York Artists Equity Association (NYAEA) measure 26.8 linear feet and date from 1920-2012. The records include history and founding documents, presidents' files, board of directors' files that include monthly board meeting minutes, committee files and annual membership meeting minutes, general administrative and correspondence files, financial and legal files, event and program files, artists and subject files, extensive individual membership files, art project and exhibition files, Broome Street Gallery files, NYAEA publications that include issues of "The Artists Proof," printed materials, four scrapbooks, sketches created by artists attending a party in honor of Yasuo Kuniyoshi, and photographs of member artists and events. The President's files appear to be complete and include files for presidents Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Louise Nevelson, Harry Waterson, Roy Gussow, Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence, Karl Zerbe, Ernst Fiene, Sidney Laufman, Carolyn deLisser, Burt Hasen, and Bert Diener, among others. Committee files and meeting minutes are found, as well as general administrative and correspondence files which include information pertaining to the national level Association.
Event files include documentation of the Association's Art Thursday series, where they hosted talks and panels by artists. Artists referenced in these files include Jean Cohen, Charles Searles, Leon Golub, Doug Ashford, Bruno Palmer-Poroner, Dom Facci, Susan Teller, Eleanor Lipsky, Ted Berger, Hilton Kramer, Bernice Steinbaum, Laura Stirton, Jean Zaleski, Renee Philips, Denise Bibro, Dan Concholar, Irving Sandler, Angela Babin, Dorothy Gillespe, Donna Marxer, Nan Hall, Ivan Karp, Alan Gussow, Mary Carswell, Bill Smart, Charlotte Kotik, Klaus Kertess, Elaine Marinoff, and Judith Brodski. Additional events covered in this series include the annual awards dinner, masquerade balls, lectures, the Association's 55th Anniversary event, which includes recollections by Helen Frankenthaler, Sidney Simon, and Lorrie Goulet, as well as other events and programs. Videocassette and sound recordings of many of the events are found here.
Artists' and subject files contain mostly printed materials about a few artists and subjects or issues in which the Association was interested.
There are extensive files on individual members that include card files, applications, biographies, and clippings.
Project and exhibition files include material pertaining to the Artists Welfare Fund, the Art Bank artwork donation, and a few scattered exhibitions. Additional exhibition and event files are found in the series containing the Broome Street Gallery files.
Association publications consist of what appears to be a full run of Association newsletters and reports. The NYAEA newsletter changed its name to "The Artists Proof" in 1986. Additional printed materials include exhibition catalogs and announcements, programs, clippings, posters, and newsletters of other arts organizations. There are four scrapbooks (two unbound) that contain printed materials, and a few items of correspondence. One of the scrapbooks documents the annual "Bal Fantastique".
Artwork consists mostly of sketches and drawings by artists attending a 1948 dinner in honor of Yasuo Kuniyoshi. Photographs are of members and events. Photographers include Arnold Newman, Marvin Bolotsky, and Frances Avery, among others. Numerous notable artists are depicted in the images.

Biographical/Historical Note

The New York Artists Equity Association (originally the Artists Equity Association) was created in 1947 to promote and support living American artists.


The records were donated to the Archives of American Art by the New York Artists Equity Association in several increments between 1980-2016.


Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund.