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Roko Gallery records, 1929-1982, bulk 1970-1978

Roko Gallery records, 1929-1982, bulk 1970-1978

Roko Gallery (New York, N.Y.)

Collection Information

Size: 6.0 linear ft.

Biographical/Historical Note

The Roko Gallery is an art gallery in New York, N.Y. Est. 1946 by Michael Leon Freilich. Featured work by young, lesser known artists, most living in New York.

Provenance

Donated 1975-1988 by Ann Freilich, sister of founder Michael Frielich, and by Cynthia Bernardi, former director of the gallery.

Scope and Contents

The Roko Gallery records measure six linear feet and date from 1929-1982, with the bulk of the records from 1970-1978. Founded by Michael Leon Freilich in 1946, the records of this New York gallery consist primarily of artists' files. Also found are scattered correspondence, business and financial records, a subject file, exhibition files, disassembled scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs.

The bulk of the correspondence is from the early to mid-1970s and concerns general gallery operations, sales of artwork, artists interested in exhibiting at the gallery, letters to Ann Freilich Schutz regarding Michael Freilich's death, and a handful of personal postcards from Freilich to his niece, 1952-1955. Scattered correspondence from artists Lambro Ahlas, Mike Cook, Hermann Dahl, Salvatore Del Deo, Raymond Dowden, Charles Kaiman, Peggy Muray (Mrs. Nicholas Muray), Raphael Soyer, George Sugarman, Anne Parker, Jan Wunderman, and Hank Virgona is also found. General business and financial records include calendars, address books, mailing lists, visitors' registers, receipt books, consignment agreements, invoices and receipts.

Measuring 3.5 linear feet, Artists Files comprise the bulk of the collection and contain correspondence, exhibition catalogs, clippings, original artwork, receipts, price lists, photographs, and slides of work. Among the nearly 200 artists are Murat Brierre, Faith Bromberg, Clare Burch, Lawrence Calcagno, Victor Candell, Arthur Cohen, Giuseppe Di Lieto, Edward Eichel, Ann Freilich, Dennis Fritz, Mary Heisig, Herbert Kallem, Doris Klein, Elizabeth Korn, Randall Morgan, Anne Parker, Dorothy Robbins, May Stevens, Hank Virgona, Walter Williams, and Jan Wunderman.

There is one subject file containing a proposal by the Rainbow Art Foundation. Exhibitions and Event files date from 1956-1978 and contain printed material, press releases, notes, correspondence, agreements, and a disassembled notebook containing prices and lists of works exhibited at the Roko Gallery from 1967-1978. Also found is typed and signed poetry by poet John Tagliabue. Disassembled scrapbooks contain additional printed materials regarding the gallery's solo and group exhibitions from 1947-1966. Among the many artists represented in the scrapbooks are Claude Clark, Beauford Delaney, Paul England, Peter Heinemann, Herbert Kallem, Herschel Levit, Si Lewen, Howard Mandel, Rose Piper, Sadie Rosenblum, Herbert Scheffel, Erika Weihs, Walter Williams, and Jan Wunderman.

Additional printed material includes mostly newspaper clippings, exhibition announcements, and catalogs. Material found in the collection that pre-dates the founding of the gallery consists primarily of printed material collected by Freilich.

Photographs, slides, and negatives date mostly from the 1970s and depict gallery directors Michael Leon Freilich, Cynthia Bernadini and Manu Sassoonian, and artwork.

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

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