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

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

Rosenblum, Robert, 1927-2006

Curator, Art historian

Collection Information

Size: 41 linear feet

Summary: The papers of art historian, curator, and professor Robert Rosenblum measure 41 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/Historical Note

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

Provenance

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

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

A Finding Aid to the Robert Rosenblum Papers, circa 1927-2009, bulk 1950-2006 in the Archives of American Art
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Author
Finding aid prepared by Anna Rimel
Biographical/Historical note
Robert Rosenblum (1927-2006) was an art historian, curator, and professor who worked primarily in New York City.
Rosenblum received his B.A. from Queens College, his M.A. from Yale, and his Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Art at New York University in 1956. He spent a year teaching art at the University of Michigan before becoming associate professor at Princeton, ultimately accepting a Professor of Fine Arts position at NYU in 1966, where he spent the rest of his professorial career interspersed with visiting professorships at Oxford University and Yale University. Rosenblum was named Henry Ittleson, Jr. Professor of Modern European Art at NYU in 1976, and received the Frank Jewett Mather Award for Distinction in Art Criticism in 1981. After being appointed Stephen and Nan Swid Curator of 20th-Century Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1996, Rosenblum went on to curate such exhibitions as
1900: Art at the Crossroads
(2000) and
Norman Rockwell: Pictures for the American People
(2001). Prior to this appointment, he was one of the organizers of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s
French Painting, 1774-1830: The Age of Revolution
(1974). He received a Distinguished Teaching Award from NYU in 2005, and continued to curate, lecture, teach, and write.
Rosenblum was a prolific author, and his seminal works include:
Cubism and Twentieth-Century Art
(1959),
Transformations in Late Eighteenth-Century Art
(1967),
Modern Painting and the Northern Romantic Tradition: Friedrich to Rothko
(1975), and
19th-Century Art
(co-authored with H.W. Janson, 1984).
Rosenblum married Jane Kaplowitz in 1978. He died in New York City in 2006.
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as 11 series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1927-2006 (0.5 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1927-2006 (4.5 linear feet; Boxes 1-5)
Series 3: Lectures, Writings, and Writing Project Files, 1940-2006 (13.5 linear feet; Boxes 5-16, OV 39-41)
Series 4: Writings by Others, circa 1954-2006 (2.9 linear feet; Boxes 16-19)
Series 5: Exhibition Files, circa 1965-circa 2006 (5.2 linear feet; Boxes 19-24)
Series 6: Research Files, circa 1927-2006 (2.9 linear feet; Boxes 24-27)
Series 7: Teaching Files and Class Notes, 1955-2006 (4.3 linear feet; Boxes 27-31)
Series 8: Personal Business Records, 1951-2009 (4.4 linear feet; Boxes 31-36)
Series 9: Printed Material, 1927-2009 (2.4 linear feet; Boxes 36-38)
Series 10: Photographs, circa 1950s-circa 2000 (0.3 linear feet; Box 38, OV 41)
Series 11: Artwork, circa 1940s-circa 1980s (0.1 linear feet; Box 38)
Scope and Contents note
The papers of art historian, curator, and professor Robert Rosenblum measure 41 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.
Provenance
The papers were donated in multiple accessions by Robert Rosenblum between 1986 and 2003, and by his widow, Jane Kaplowitz between 2010 and 2013.
Processing Information note
Multiple accessions were merged, processed, and a finding aid prepared by Anna Rimel in 2017 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution’s Collections Care and Preservation Fund. The Archives of American Art has implemented accelerated processing when possible to increase information about and access to more of our collections. For this collection, accelerated processing included arrangement to the series, subseries and folder levels, adhering to the creator’s original arrangement as much as possible. Generally, folder contents were simply verified with the original folder titles, but items within folders were not arranged further. All materials were rehoused in archival folders and boxes for long-term stability, but staples and other fasteners have not all been removed.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Use of archival audiovisual recordings and electronic media with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.

How to Cite This Collection

Robert Rosenblum papers, circa 1927-2009, bulk 1950-2006. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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