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Reuben Tam papers, 1931-2006

Contents and Arrangement

The collection is arranged as 8 series:

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Series 1: Biographical Material , 1934-1993
0.4 Linear feet
Box 1

This series contains biographical summaries and resumes documenting Reuben Tam's career, as well as his school records, diplomas, and teaching records, including extensive records of his tenure at the Brooklyn Museum of Art School. Also found are records of artwork sales and loans, various lists of artwork, and the consignment and purchase records for the galleries which represented Tam. Also of note is a slide show and accompanying audio cassette recording of the "Reuben Tam Show" about his work as an artist on Monhegan Island, Maine.
Folders are arranged alphabetically.
The bulk of this series has been digitized, except for blank pages and duplicates. The sound recording of the "Reuben Tam Show" has been digitized for research access.
Description Container
Appraisal Records, 1991-1992
1
1
"Artists of Hawaii" Television Program Documents, 1983
1
2
Artwork Freight Records, 1991-1994
1
3
Artwork Sales and Loans, 1948, circa 1969-1992
1
4
Bills and Receipts (1 of 2), circa 1941-1977
1
5
Bills and Receipts (2 of 2), circa 1941-1977
1
6
Biographical Information and Resumes, 1944-1987
1
7
Calendar Pages, 1965
1
8
Consignments and Purchases, Alan Gallery, 1953-1955
1
9
Consignments and Purchases, Alan Gallery, 1956-1967
1
10
Consignments and Purchases, Coe Kerr Gallery, 1971-1979
1
11
Consignments and Purchases, Downtown Gallery, 1943-1951
1
12
Consignments and Purchases, Downtown Gallery, 1959, 1952-1953
1
13
Diplomas, 1937-1938
1
14
Identification Card, 1940
1
15
Lists of Artwork, circa 1957-1984
1
16
Memorial Program, 1991
1
17
National Endowment for the Arts Grant Application, 1969
1
18
"Reuben Tam Show" Slide Show, circa 1980
1
19
"Reuben Tam Show" Sound Recordings, circa 1980
2 sound cassettes
Duplicates
1
20
School Records, 1934-1940
1
21
Teaching Records, 1973, 1943, 1940
1
22
Teaching Records, Brooklyn Museum of Art School (1 of 2), 1948-1974
1
23
Teaching Records, Brooklyn Museum of Art School (2 of 2), 1948-1974
1
24
Travel Documents, 1974
1
25

Series 2: Correspondence , 1931-2006
3.5 Linear feet
Boxes 1-4

This series contains Tam's correspondence with his wife Geraldine, family, friends, colleagues, art associations, schools, museums, and galleries. Also found are copies of Tam's outgoing correspondence and letters sent to Geraldine Tam after Reuben's death. Researchers should note that additional letters of significance are located within the scrapbooks in Series 8.
Of note is correspondence with friends and fellow artists Alan Gussow, William Kienbusch, Frances Kornbluth, Carl Nesjar, Ben Norris, and Hyde Solomon, as well as art organizations, schools, and museums, such as Artists Equity Association, Brooklyn Museum of Art School, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Maine Coast Artists group, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Also found is correspondence with the three galleries which represented his work: Downtown Gallery, Alan Gallery, and Coe Kerr Gallery.
Family and outgoing correspondence is arranged chronologically followed by general correspondence which is arranged alphabetically.
The bulk of this series has been digitized, except for duplicates.
Description Container
Correspondence between Reuben and Geraldine Tam, circa 1954-1971
1
26
Correspondence between Reuben and Geraldine Tam, 1971-1976
1
27
Family Correspondence, 1941, 1970-1974
1
28
Family Correspondence, 1985-1988
1
29
Family Correspondence, 1989
1
30
Family Correspondence, 1990
1
31
Family Correspondence, 1991-1992
1
32
Family Correspondence, 1993
1
33
Family Correspondence, 1994
1
34
Family Correspondence, 1995
1
35
Family Correspondence, 1996
1
36
Family Correspondence, 1997-1998
1
37
Family Correspondence (Undated), circa 1970-circa 1998
1
38
Letters to Geraldine Tam from Others (Undated), circa 1991-1998
1
39
Letters to Geraldine Tam from Others, 1991-1998
1
40
Letters to Geraldine Tam from Others, 2001-2002
1
41
Outgoing Letters by Reuben Tam, 1940-1945
1
42
Outgoing Letters by Reuben Tam, 1946-1947
1
43
Outgoing Letters by Reuben Tam, 1948-1949
1
44
Outgoing Letters by Reuben Tam, 1950-1952
1
45
Outgoing Letters by Reuben Tam, 1953
2
1
Outgoing Letters by Reuben Tam, 1954
2
2
Outgoing Letters by Reuben Tam, 1955
2
3
Outgoing Letters by Reuben Tam, 1956-57
2
4
Outgoing Letters by Reuben Tam, 1958-1959
2
5
Outgoing Letters by Reuben Tam, 1963-1966
2
6
Outgoing Letters by Reuben Tam, 1970-1989
2
7
Alan Gallery, 1953-1960
2
8
Alan Gallery, 1962-1974
2
9
Allentown Art Museum, 1974
2
10
Artists Equity Association, 1952-1972
2
11
Art League of Hilton Head, 1977-1978
2
12
A, Miscellaneous: Ad-An, 1941-1978
2
13
A, Miscellaneous: Ar-Av, 1939-1978
2
14
Barrett, Tom and Leni Mancuso, 1970-1975
2
15
Betts, Edward, 1976-1980
2
16
Boothbay Region Art Foundation, 1967-1978
2
17
Brooklyn Museum Art School, 1947-1968
2
18
Brooklyn Museum Art School, 1969-1978
2
19
B, Miscellaneous: Ba-Bi, 1938-1997
2
20
B, Miscellaneous: Bl-By, 1955-1978
2
21
Clough, Gari and Elena, circa 1965-1972
2
22
Coe Kerr Gallery, 1970-1972
2
23
Coe Kerr Gallery, 1973-1978
2
24
Coe Kerr Gallery, 1979-1984
2
25
Colby College Art Museum, 1964-1976
2
26
Columbia University, 1967-1973
2
27
C, Miscellaneous: Ca-Ce, 1940-1997
2
28
C, Miscellaneous: Ch-Cl, 1948-1988
2
29
C, Miscellaneous: Coa-Con, 1943-1993
2
30
C, Miscellaneous: Cor-Cu, 1967-1988
2
31
Downtown Gallery, 1945-1957
2
32
D, Miscellaneous: Da-Di, 1941-1979
2
33
D, Miscellaneous: Do-Dr, 1939-1995
2
34
E, Miscellaneous, 1963-1975
2
35
Ford Foundation, 1958-1959
2
36
F, Miscellaneous: Fa-Fe, 1957-1976
2
37
F, Miscellaneous: Fi-Fo, 1960-1979
2
38
F, Miscellaneous: Fr-Fu, 1942-1994
2
39
Goldsmith, Lawrence, 1968-1979
3
1
Gussow, Alan, 1967-1975
3
2
Gussow, Alan, 1976-1997
3
3
G, Miscellaneous: Ga-Gi, 1948-1988
3
4
G, Miscellaneous: Go-Gu, 1940-1990
3
5
Haystack, 1970-1971
3
6
Honolulu Academy of Arts, 1939-1993
3
7
Honolulu Print Makers, 1942-1948
3
8
H, Miscellaneous: Ha, 1943-1997
3
9
H, Miscellaneous: He-Hu, 1938-1994
3
10
Institute of International Education, 1957-1961
3
11
International House, 1974, circa 1942-1943
3
12
I, Miscellaneous, 1940-1987
3
13
Jahn, Elena, 1959-1994
3
14
Joe De Mers Gallery, 1973-1977
3
15
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 1942-1990
3
16
J, Miscellaneous, 1952-1977
3
17
Kienbusch, William, 1947-1949
3
18
Kienbusch, William, 1950-1975
3
19
Kirchner, Leon, 1943-1948
3
20
Kline, Amy Sue and Thomas McColl, 1973-1974
3
21
Kornbluth, Frances, 1989, 1970-1977
3
22
Kurka, Don, 1967-1995
3
23
K, Miscellaneous: Ka-Ko, 1935-1984
3
24
K, Miscellaneous: Kr-Ku, 1954-1973
3
25
Lamont Gallery, 1970
3
26
Lyman House Memorial Museum, 1984-1986
3
27
L, Miscellaneous: La-Le, 1944-1977
3
28
L, Miscellaneous: Li-Ly, 1942-1990
3
29
Maine Art Gallery, 1961-1967
3
30
Maine Coast Artists, 1953, 1964-1969
3
31
Maine Coast Artists, 1970-1976
3
32
Maine Coast Artists, 1977-1984
3
33
Manoa, 1989
3
34
Miller, Donald, 1942-1943
3
35
Museum of Modern Art, 1952-1974
3
36
M, Miscellaneous: Mac-Mai, 1962-1978
3
37
M, Miscellaneous: Mal-May, 1969-1994
3
38
M, Miscellaneous: Mc-Mo, 1947-2006
3
39
National Academy of Design, 1966-1989
3
40
Nesjar, Carl, 1946-1967
3
41
Norris, Ben, 1958-1978
3
42
N, Miscellaneous: N.-Na, 1945-1980
4
1
N, Miscellaneous: Ne-No, 1931-1992
4
2
Oregon State University, 1965-1967
4
3
O, Miscellaneous, 1953-1979
4
4
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1940-1967
4
5
Porter, Cecil, 1971-1973
4
6
Portland Museum of Art, 1958-1993
4
7
P, Miscellaneous: Pa-Pe, 1948-1985
4
8
P, Miscellaneous: Ph-Pu, 1941-1989
4
9
Q, Miscellaneous, 1973, 1997
4
10
Rockwell, Fritz, 1943-1947
4
11
R, Miscellaneous: Ra-Ri, 1958-1973
4
12
R, Miscellaneous: Ro-Ru, 1943-1974
4
13
Samenfeld, Mark, circa 1953-1969
4
14
Schaffner, John, 1957-1958
4
15
Shoemaker, Peter, 1952-1997
4
16
Silk Screen Group, 1942-1943
4
17
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, 1954-1967
4
18
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, 1969-1976
4
19
Solomon, Hyde, 1944-1972
4
20
State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (Hawaii), 1970-1997
4
21
Syracuse University, 1964-1970
4
22
S, Miscellaneous: Sa-Sc, 1943-1992
4
23
S, Miscellaneous: Se-Sm, 1939-1979
4
24
S, Miscellaneous: So-Su, 1941-1988
4
25
Twining, Libbie Cooper, 1969-1974
4
26
T, Miscellaneous, 1939-1976
4
27
University of Colorado, 1970, 1953
4
28
University of Delaware, 1980-1987
4
29
University of Hawaii, 1942-1990
4
30
University of Illinois, Urbana, 1952-1959
4
31
U, Miscellaneous, 1934-1978
4
32
V, Miscellaneous, 1940-1970
4
33
Whitney Museum of American Art, 1953-1986
4
34
Winters, Denny, circa 1952-1978
4
35
W, Miscellaneous: Wa-We, 1940-1978
4
36
W, Miscellaneous: Wh-Wo, 1955-1997
4
37
Y-Z, Miscellaneous, 1959-1991
4
38
Unidentified Correspondence, 1939-1971
4
39
Unidentified Correspondence, 1972-1990
4
40

Series 3: Diaries , 1932-1974
0.4 Linear feet
Boxes 4-5

This series contains five bound diaries as well as diary entries written by Reuben Tam on loose sheets of paper. Most of the diaries document Tam's activities during the 1940s, including his early visits to Maine. Diaries also include a few sketches and notes.
Diaries are arranged in chronological order.
The bulk of this series has been digitized, except for blank pages.
Description Container
Diary, 1932
4
41
Diary (Loose Pages), 1938
4
42
Diary (Loose Pages), 1939
5
1
Diary (Loose Pages), 1940-1941
5
2
Diary, 1941
5
3
Diary, 1941-1942
5
4
Diary (Loose Pages), 1942-1943
5
5
Diary (Loose Pages), 1944-1947
5
6
Diary, 1947-1948
5
7
Diary, 1962-1974
5
8
Diary (Loose Pages), circa 1966-1970
5
9

Series 4: Writings , 1939-1987
7 Folders
Box 5

This series contains drafts of poetry by Reuben Tam, one notebook containing notes on artwork and painting technique, and miscellaneous writings and notes by Tam, including thoughts on Montauk, New York, and Monhegan Island, Maine. Also found are an essay about Tam, "Reuben Tam, Metaphysical Painter" by Martin James, and an article for Kauai Magazine by Pat I. Griffin.
The material in this series has been arranged alphabetically by type of writing, such as essays, notes, and poems.
The bulk of this series has been digitized, except for blank pages and duplicates.
Description Container
Autobiographical Essay by Reuben Tam, 1975
5
10
Miscellaneous Writings and Notes, 1944
5
11
Miscellaneous Writings and Notes, 1946-1987
5
12
Notebook, 1942
5
13
Poetry by Reuben Tam, circa 1940-circa 1942
5
14
Poem by Jerry Friese, "Signature", 1939
5
15
Writings about Reuben Tam, 1945, 1985
5
16

Series 5: Printed Material , 1935-1997
1.2 Linear feet
Boxes 5-6, 9

Printed material consists of a book of poetry by Reuben Tam titled The Wind-Honed Islands Rise, publications produced by the Brooklyn Museum Art School, exhibition catalogs and announcements for solo and group shows of Tam's work, brochures, flyers, and other miscellaneous publications. Included are several catalogs for exhibitions at the Downtown Gallery. Also found are magazines, bulletins, and news clippings of articles documenting Tam's career. Researchers should note that numerous clippings and exhibition announcements are also included within the scrapbooks found in Series 8.
The material in this series has been arranged by document type (exhibition announcements and catalogs, report, magazines, clippings, etc.), then arranged chronologically within those groupings.
The bulk of this series has been digitized, except for duplicates. Most of the exhibition catalogs and other publications have had their covers, title pages, and relevant pages scanned.
Description Container
The Wind-Honed Islands Rise by Reuben Tam, 1996
5
17
Brooklyn Museum Art School Publications, 1947-1973
5
18
Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs (Undated), circa 1940-circa 1990
5
19
Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1937-1941
5
20
Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1942-1944
5
21
Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1945-1946
5
22
Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1946-1947
5
23
Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1948-1949
5
24
Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1950-1951
5
25
Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1952
5
26
Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1953-1959
5
27
Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1960-1969
5
28
Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1970-1979
6
1
Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1980-1996
6
2
Foundation Reports, 1948, 1991
6
3
Gallery Publications, circa 1940-circa 1952
6
4
Magazines and Bulletins, 1935-1941
6
5
Magazines and Bulletins, 1945-1949
Oversized magazine housed in Box 9.
6
6
Magazines and Bulletins, 1950-1979
6
7
Magazines and Bulletins, 1984-1997
6
8
News Clippings (Undated), circa 1940-circa 1995
6
9
News Clippings, circa 1938-1940
6
10
News Clippings, 1941-1946
6
11
News Clippings, 1947-1949
6
12
News Clippings, 1950-1965
6
13
News Clippings, 1970-1979
6
14
News Clippings, 1980-1995
6
15
Miscellaneous Printed Material (1 of 2), circa 1937-1989
6
16
Miscellaneous Printed Material (2 of 2), circa 1937-1989
6
17
Miscellaneous Printed Material, circa 1940-circa 1949
6
18
Oversized Magazine digitized with material from Box 6, Folder 6, 1948
9

Series 6: Photographs , circa 1930-1990
1 Linear foot
Boxes 6-7, 9

This series consists of photographs of Reuben Tam, Tam with friends and family, photographs and slides of his artwork, and four photograph albums. Included are photographs of Tam in his studio, sketching on Monhegan Island, and portraits taken by his nephew, William Ing. One photograph album contains photographs from Tam's visits to Maine from 1946 to 1948 and includes photographs of fellow artists Hyde Solomon, Carl Nesjar, Dorothy Andrews, and William Kienbusch.
The material in this series is loosely arranged by subject. Photographs of Reuben Tam are at the beginning of the series.
The bulk of this series has been scanned, except for duplicates and blank versos of photographs.
Description Container
Small Snapshots of Reuben Tam, 1940-1949
6
19
Photographs of Reuben Tam, circa 1940-1947
6
20
Photographs of Reuben Tam, 1947-1951
Oversized photographs housed in Box 9.
6
21
Photographs of Reuben Tam, 1951-1968
Oversized photograph housed in Box 9.
6
22
Photographs of Reuben Tam, 1969-1977
6
23
Photographs of Reuben Tam by William Ing, circa 1960-1984
6
24
Photographs of Reuben Tam on Monhegan Island, circa 1970-circa 1979
6
25
Photographs of Reuben Tam and Others, circa 1940-1990
6
26
Photograph of Monhegan Cottage, circa 1950-circa 1959
Oversized photograph housed in Box 9.
6
27
Photographs for Still Life Lecture, 1986
6
28
Photograph Album, Personal (1 of 2), 1946-1948
6
29
Photograph Album, Personal (2 of 2), 1946-1948
6
30
Photograph Album of Artwork 1 (1 of 2), circa 1940-circa 1949
6
31
Photograph Album of Artwork 1 (2 of 2), circa 1940-circa 1949
6
32
Photograph Album of Artwork 2 (1 of 2) , circa 1940-1961
7
1
Photograph Album of Artwork 2 (2 of 2), circa 1940-1961
7
2
Photograph Album of Artwork 3, circa 1960-circa 1969
7
3
Photographs of Artwork, circa 1930-circa 1979
7
4
Photographs of Artwork, circa 1930-circa 1980
7
5
Photographs of Artwork, circa 1940-circa 1979
7
6
Photographs of Artwork, circa 1940-circa 1987
7
7
Photographs of Artwork, circa 1950-circa 1969
7
8
Negatives and Slides, 1983, undated
7
9
Oversize Photographs of Reuben Tam digitized with material from Box 6, Folders 21-22, circa 1948, circa 1960
9
Oversize Photograph of Monhegan Cottage digitized with Box 6, Folder 27, circa 1950-circa 1959
9

Series 7: Artwork , circa 1936-1975
0.7 Linear feet
Boxes 7, 9-10, OV 11

Artwork includes Reuben Tam's drawings, watercolors, prints, and sketchbooks, as well as two drawings by others. Some of these works are from the period that Tam was a student at the University of Hawaii. Seventeen large sketchbooks contain Tam's pencil, ink, and watercolor sketches of the rocky landscape on Monhegan Island, Maine. One pastel portrait, possibly of Tam, is by an unidentified artist, and one sketch by Geraldine Tam is titled "Reuben Tam Typing."
The material in this series has been loosely grouped by medium and format (drawings, portraits, prints, sketchbooks, etc.). The sketchbooks have been arranged chronologically.
The bulk of this series has been digitized, except for blank pages.
Description Container
Drawings and Watercolors, circa 1936, 1954, undated
Oversized items housed in Box 9.
7
10
Pastel Portrait, circa 1937
Oversized item housed in OV 11.
7
11
Prints, circa 1935-circa 1975
7
12
Sketch by Geraldine Tam, 1971
7
13
Sketchbook 1, 1964
9
1
Sketchbook 2, 1964
9
2
Sketchbook 3, 1964
9
3
Sketchbook, 1967
9
4
Sketchbook 1, 1968
9
5
Sketchbook 2, 1968
9
6
Sketchbook 1, 1969
9
7
Sketchbook 2, 1969
9
8
Sketchbook 1, 1970
10
1
Sketchbook 2, 1970
10
2
Sketchbook 3, 1970
10
3
Sketchbook, 1972
10
4
Sketchbook, 1973
10
5
Sketchbook 1, 1975
10
6
Sketchbook 2, 1975
10
7
Sketchbook (Undated) 1, circa 1964-circa 1975
10
8
Sketchbook (Undated) 2, circa 1964-circa 1975
10
9
Oversize Drawings digitized with material from Box 7, Folder 10, circa 1954
9
Oversized Pastel Portrait digitized with Box 7, Folder 11, circa 1937
OV 11

Series 8: Scrapbooks , 1938-1978
0.9 Linear feet
Boxes 7-8

This series contains eight scrapbooks, documenting 40 years of Reuben Tam's career as an artist in New York and Maine. Included in the scrapbooks are newspaper clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, event invitations, membership cards, and letters from Downtown Gallery, Museum of Modern Art, Carnegie Institute, Brooklyn Museum, and other galleries and art organizations. Three loose scrapbook pages appear to be from scrapbooks not found in this collection.
Scrapbook pages have been removed from fragile binders and placed into archival folders, maintaining the original page order. Scrapbooks were numbered by Reuben Tam and are in chronological order.
The bulk of the series has been digitized, except for a few pages of duplicates.
Description Container
Loose Scrapbook Pages, circa 1939-1942
7
14
Scrapbook 1 (1 of 2), 1938-1944
7
15
Scrapbook 1 (2 of 2), 1938-1944
7
16
Scrapbook 2 (1 of 2), 1945-1947
7
17
Scrapbook 2 (2 of 2), 1945-1947
7
18
Scrapbook 3 (1 of 2), 1946-1949
7
19
Scrapbook 3 (2 of 2), 1946-1949
7
20
Scrapbook 4 (1 of 2), 1949-1952
7
21
Scrapbook 4 (2 of 2), 1949-1952
7
22
Scrapbook 5 (1 of 3), 1952-1959
7
23
Scrapbook 5 (2 of 3), 1952-1959
7
24
Scrapbook 5 (3 of 3), 1952-1959
7
25
Scrapbook 6 (1 of 3), 1960-1967
8
1
Scrapbook 6 (2 of 3), 1960-1967
8
2
Scrapbook 6 (3 of 3), 1960-1967
8
3
Scrapbook 7 (1 of 2), 1967-1970
8
4
Scrapbook 7 (2 of 2), 1967-1970
8
5
Scrapbook 8 (1 of 2), 1971-1978
8
6
Scrapbook 8 (2 of 2), 1971-1978
8
7

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.