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Robert Rosenblum papers, circa 1927-2009, bulk 1950-2006

Rosenblum, Robert, 1927-2006

Curator, Art historian

Collection Information

Size: 38.3 linear feet

Summary: The papers of art historian, curator, and professor Robert Rosenblum measure 38.3 linear feet and date from circa 1927 to 2009, with the bulk dating from 1950 to 2006. They include biographical material, extensive personal and professional correspondence; lectures, writings, and writing project files by Rosenblum and others; exhibition files; research reference files; teaching files; personal business records; printed material; photographs; and artwork.
Biographical materials include Rosenblum's bibliography and resume materials, various school related ephemera and diplomas, a transcript of an interview with Amy Newman for Artforum, and digital sound and video recordings with unverified content. Extensive personal and professional correspondence is with friends, family, colleagues, publishers, museums, and others. Some of the correspondents include Melvin Becraft, the Guggenheim, Harry Abrams, Inc., Hilton Kramer, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the National Museum of American Art. Also found are numerous postcards.
Lectures, writings, and writing project files document Rosenblum's prolific writing and speaking career, and include notes, copies, and manuscript drafts of lectures, articles, catalog essays, and books, as well as additional materials related to the writings and the publication of books, such as as correspondence, editing feedback, photographs, and lists of photographs. There are manuscript, notes, and other materials related to many of Rosenblum's notable books, including, "Transformations in Late Eighteenth-Century Art," "Paintings in the Musee D'Orsay," "19th-Century Art," "The Dog in Art," "Ingres," "Modern Painting and the Northern Tradition," and others. Also found are Rosenblum's dissertation and other student writings. There is also a series containing writings by or about others, such as students and colleagues.
Rosenblum planned and facilitated numerous exhibitions that are well-documented within the exhibition files, including "French Painting, 1774-1830: The Age of Revolution" (1974), "1900: Art at the Crossroads" (2000), "Norman Rockwell: Pictures for the American People" (2001), "Best in Show: Dogs in Art from the Renaissance to the Present" (2006), and "Citizens and Kings: Portraits in the Age of Revolution, 1760-1830" (2007), among many others. Contents of each exhibition file vary considerably but often include correspondence, lists of artwork, proposals, notes, catalog drafts and outlines (see also series 3), and printed materials. There are a few sound cassettes and electronic discs, including a recorded interview with James Rosenquist with transcripts.
Research reference files cover a wide variety of art related topics, but are arranged within a separate series because they are not related to specific named projects as are the files in Series 3. These files contain research notes, bibliographies, and syllabi kept by Rosenblum presumably for a variety of publications, research interests, and teaching references.
Teaching files and class notes document Rosenblum's professorial career at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University, University of Michigan, Yale College, and Yale University, and include a variety of course materials.
Personal business records consist of various financial and legal documents, expense and income records, publishing and speaking contracts, and royalties received.
The papers also include a variety of printed materials, photographs, student sketches by Rosenblum, and an unidentified collage.

Biographical/Historical Note

Robert Rosenblum (1927-2006) was an art historian, curator, and professor who worked primarily in New York City.


The papers were donated in multiple accessions by Robert Rosenblum between 1986 and 2003, and by his widow, Jane Kaplowitz between 2010 and 2013.


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