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Park Place, The Gallery of Art Research, Inc., and Paula Cooper Gallery records, 1961-2006

Park Place, The Gallery of Art Research, Inc., and Paula Cooper Gallery records, 1961-2006

Park Place Gallery Art Research, Inc

Collection Information

Size: 49.8 linear feet

Biographical/Historical Note

Park Place, The Gallery of Art Research, Inc. (1965-1967), Paula Johnson Gallery (1964-1966), and Paula Cooper Gallery (1968- ) are art galleries in New York, N.Y. Park Place Gallery was one of the first artist-run cooperatives. The artists Forrest Myers, Tamara Melcher, Edwin Ruda, Dean Fleming, Leo Valledor, Peter Forakis, Robert Grosvenor, Anthony Magar, David Novros, and Mark di Suvero, entered into an agreement with collectors J. Patrick Lannon, Virginia Dwan Kondratief, Mr. and Mrs. John Murchison, Mr. and Mrs. Allen Guiberson, and Mr. and Mrs. List to give each of the collectors two major works of art in exchange for $14,400 each to found and maintain a gallery for two years. In 1968, after the two-year experiment of Park Place, Paula Cooper opened the Paula Cooper Gallery at 96 Prince Street, representing many of the Park Place artists.


Park Place, The Gallery of Art Research, Inc. records and Paula Cooper Gallery records were donated by Paula Cooper, director of the galleries, in two accessions in 2006 and 2009.

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Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collection Care Preservation Fund.

Scope and Contents

The records of the New York artist-cooperative Park Place, The Gallery of Art Research, Inc., and the SoHo contemporary art gallery, Paula Cooper Gallery measure 49.8 linear feet and date from 1961 to 2006. The collection documents the founding of the Park Place Gallery and its artists through correspondence, artists' files, photographic materials, financial records, printed materials, and scattered business records. The bulk of the collection is Paula Cooper Gallery records; nearly two-thirds of which are artists' files containing a variety of materials such as correspondence, printed materials, and photographic materials. Also found is additional business correspondence, business records, financial records, and printed materials for Paula Cooper Gallery, as well as a handful of records from Paula Johnson Gallery.

The collection is divided in three series, one series for each gallery represented in this collection. The records in each series are not comprehensive and do not represent the full scope of operations at each gallery. Due to the original arrangement of materials, some records related to Park Place Gallery are found in Series 3, and scattered records related to Paula Cooper Gallery are found in Series 2. Researchers are encouraged to reference both series.

Series 1, Paula Johnson Gallery records, contains six folders and includes an artist file for Bob Thompson; two ledger pages of accounts receivables; scattered exhibition announcements and flyers; two photographs of artwork by Vernon Lobb; tax records, and a handful of legal organizational records.

Park Place, The Gallery of Art Research, Inc. records are filed in Series 2 and is arranged in five subseries: correspondence, business files, artists' files, financial records, and printed materials. The correspondence is between gallery employees and clients, museums, and other galleries regarding artwork inquiries, sales and exhibitions. Business files are limited in scope and include documents related to the founding of the gallery, a guest book, and one folder of legal and financial records. Artists' Files for eight of the ten Park Place Gallery artists are found: Dean Fleming, Peter Forakis, Tony Magar, Tamara Melcher, Forrest Myers, David Novros, Edwin Ruda, and Leo Valledor. Not present in this collection are files for Mark di Suvero and Robert Grosvenor. Artists' Files contain a variety of materials including artists' statements, bibliographies, biographies, correspondence, exhibition flyers, interview transcripts, clippings and other printed materials, and photographic materials. Financial Records include check ledgers, a general ledger, paid bill receipts, sales invoices, tax forms, and other miscellaneous financial and banking records. Printed Materials include newspaper clippings, gallery announcements, an interview transcript, a handwritten gallery floor plan, and a poster for the 1964 Park Place Invitational Show drawn by Mark di Suvero with artists' names handwritten by Robert Grosvenor.

The bulk of the collection is the records of Paula Cooper Gallery, Series 3. This series contains similar materials as Series 2 and is arranged in the same five subseries. Correspondence includes responses to appraisal requests (1968-1997) and copies of outgoing gallery correspondence from 1985-1999. Business Files contain documentation related to advertising and renovations to the gallery, as well as an artwork inventory book from the early years of the gallery's operation. The bulk of this series is comprised of Artists' Files which contain varied materials such as correspondence with artists, museums, and galleries regarding installations, artwork fabrication, and other business; biographies and bibliographies; exhibition files; printed materials; and photographic materials of artwork and installations. There is considerable documentation for artists Jennifer Bartlett, Peter Campus, Zoe Leonard, Elizabeth Murray, Alan Shields and the estate of Tony Smith. Sales invoices, consignment records, payment ledgers, cancelled checks and other financial materials are found in Financial Records. Printed Materials are comprised of some newspaper and magazine clippings, an interview transcript, and a copy of a manuscript.

All collection material except photographs: Permission to quote, publish or reproduce for the purposes of publication requires written permission from Paula Cooper, 534 West 21st St., New York, N.Y., 10011.

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

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