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Richard Brown Baker papers, 1941-1979

Baker, Richard Brown, 1912-2002



Collection Information

Size: 1.2 Linear feet (ca. 560 items partially microfilmed on 7 reels)

Summary: Primarily material relating to Baker's contemporary art collection. Also included are taped excerpts from journals, and 3 family letters from Alphaeus P. Cole.
REELS 1754-1755: Files on 27 exhibitions of contemporary art, 1959-1979, selected from Baker's collection, containing correspondence with curators, press releases, clippings, diary excerpts, catalogs, and photographs of exhibition installations.
REEL 132: Exhibition catalogs, 1964-1969, tour itineraries for the collection; and clippings.
REEL 1045: A card file on Baker's collection, arranged by artist, listing title, size, material, provenance, and exhibition history; and an acquisition book for the collection, arranged by numbers corresponding to the date acquired, 1941-1976.
REEL 2786: Four letters, 1961-1963, to Baker including one about a proposed article by James Fitzsimmons on Baker for ART INTERNATIONAL and typescripts of two lectures delivered by Baker at Drew University on February 18, 1962 and Wellesley College on May 6, 1963.
REEL D105: Five catalogs, two clippings, one manuscript and typescript "Notes on the Development of My Collection."
REEL 3482: Letters, 1948-1949, from portrait painter Alphaeus P. Cole to Baker's father, Harvey Baker, and his sister, Marion Baker Freeman, Providence, R.I., regarding a portrait by Cole of Freeman, commissioned by Harvey Baker through Grand Central Galleries.
UNMICROFILMED: 44 untranscribed tapes (5") containing excerpts from Baker's journals, 1963; and one folder of photographs of Baker and exhibition installations of his collections.

Biographical/Historical Note

Collector; New York, N.Y; b. 1912; d. Jan. 22, 2002 at age 89.


Material on reels D105, 1045 and 1754-1755 lent for microfilming 1962-1980 by Baker. He donated the Cole letters on reel 3482 in 1963, and material on reels 132 and 2786, and tapes, in 1971.

Location of Originals

  • Reels D105, 1045 and 1754-1755: Originals returned to Baker after microfilming.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels D105, 132, 1045, 1754-1755, 2786, and 3482 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

Microfilmed portion must be used on microfilm. Use of untranscribed tapes requires an appointment.

How to Cite This Collection

Richard Brown Baker papers, 1941-1979. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.