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Rudolf Arnheim papers, [undated] and 1932-1992

Rudolf Arnheim papers, [undated] and 1932-1992

Arnheim, Rudolf, 1904-2007

Art historian, Educator, Author

Collection Information

Size: 9.0 linear ft. (partially microfilmed on 1 reel)

Addition: 1.0 linear ft.

Summary: Primarily correspondence and writings documenting Arnheim's teaching career and his professional interest in art and psychology. Writings include diaries, twenty-five volumes, including travel diaries, and two volumes in German while an educator in Berlin and during his travels to Rome and England (1919-1922 and 1934-1938).

REEL 3767: Correspondence, 1959-1982, with German publishers and editors, 1960-1979; Dumont Buchverlag, 1963-1980, Carl Hanser Varlag, 1974-1981, Helmut Diederich, 1974-1981, Franz Rudolf Knubel, 1971-1981, Werner Korbs, 1976-1982, Jurgen Weber, 1972-1981, and others.

UNMICROFILMED: Biographical material; bibliography of writings; legal papers; files of correspondence, some arranged chronologically, but most alphabetically by subject; diaries, 1919-1987; lecture notes; and writings, including manuscripts, articles, book reviews, published articles. Manuscripts include: "Art & Visual Perception," "Art of Seeing," "Autobiography of a Work of Art: Picasso's Guernica," "Depth Effect of 2D Figures," "Disorder & Entropy, Order and Art," "Dynamics of Architectural Form," "New Essays on the Psychology of Art," "Photographing Michelangelo," and a work of fiction "The World Upside Down" (Verkehrte Welt). Also included are printed material (book notices, book reviews, interviews, clippings) and audio tapes (untranscribed) of lectures and interviews.

Among the subject/correspondence file titles are: American Society for Aesthetics, Architects, Art Historians/Critics, Dance, Film, Harvard University, Japan/Fulbright Trip, University of Michigan, Museum of Modern Art, Music, New School of Social Research, Psychiatrists, and Television. Correspondents include Josef Albers, Gordon Allport, Joseph Campbell, Gyorgy Kepes, Hans Richter, Alice Sheldon, and B.F. Skinner.

Biographical/Historical Note

Art historian, educator, writer and psychologist. Born 1904, Berlin, Germany. Died June 9, 2007, Ann Arbor, Mich. Taught at Harvard and at the University of Michigan.


Donated 1974-1990 by Arnheim, except correspondence on reel 3767, which was lent for microfilming. He plans to donate it to a German repository.

Related Materials

Additional Arnheim papers relating to psychology available at: Archives of the History of Psychology, Akron, Ohio.

Location of Originals

  • Reel 3767: Originals returned to Arnheim after microfilming, and subsequently donated to the Schiller-Nationalmuseum Deutsches Literaturarchiv, Germany.

Alternative Forms Available

Microfilm reel 3767 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Rudolf Arnheim papers, [undated] and 1932-1992. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.