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Raymond Saroff papers, 1953-2009

Saroff, Raymond, 1922-

Collector, Filmmaker

Collection Information

Size: 1.2 Linear feet

Summary: The Raymond Saroff papers are dated 1953-2009 and comprise 1.2 linear feet. Letters, printed material and photographs compiled by Saroff document his interest in Claes Oldenburg and "Happenings." Also included are a videotape of Saroff's film Claes Oldenburg's "Ray Gun Theater 1962" and receipts for artwork purchased for his modern art collection. The 2014 addition includes a catalog essay by curator and collector Howard Rose, Saroff's partner, for an exhibition of their folk art collection at Bard College (1991). Also found are financial records regarding his collections, related printed material, and photographs of artwork.

Biographical/Historical Note

Raymond Saroff (b. 1922), a resident of New York City, is a filmmaker and collector of both modern and folk art. Saroff pursued his interest in American folk art with his partner, Howard Rose, a scholar and art collector. In 1960, Saroff purchased Leg , a paper maché sculpture by Claes Oldenburg. Around the same time, he became interested in "Happenings." Using borrowed equipment, Saroff filmed a series of 1962 "Happenings" known as "Ray Gun Theater" that Oldenburg presented to small audiences in a storefront on East Second Street, New York City.


Gift of Raymond Saroff, 2011 and 2014.

Language Note

The collection is in English.