Scope and Contents
The papers of art historian, educator, writer and psychologist Rudolf Arnheim measure 9.6 linear feet and date from 1919 to 1998. The papers documents his career in New York, Michigan, and abroad through biographical material, correspondence, writings, lectures, diaries, printed material, and sound recordings.
Biographical material includes a bibliography, biographical sketches, contracts and agreements, sound cassettes of interviews, and other miscellaneous material.
Correspondence is with colleagues, editors, publishers, and universities on various subjects. The bulk of the correspondence is arranged by subject such as architects, art historians, dance, and film. There is correspondence with Harvard University, University of Michigan, Museum of Modern Art, and New School of Social Research, as well as various individuals such as Josef Albers, Gyorgy Kepes, and Alice Sheldon.
Writings and lectures include book reviews, articles, lecture drafts and notes, sound recordings of lectures, manuscripts, and copies of published articles.
Arnheim's diaries date from 1919 to 1987 and discuss his early life as a student in Germany and career as an educator and lecturer. Some diaries include draft writings.
Printed material includes lecture announcements, reviews, clippings, programs, brochures, assorted material from Sarah Lawrence College, and two instructional sound cassettes.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Rudolf Arnheim papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in several installments between 1974 to 1998 by Rudolf Arnheim. Arnheim also loaned material for microfilming in 1986.
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reel 3767) including correspondence with German publishers and editors, 1959-1982; 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. The originals were returned to Rudolf Arnheim after microfilming and subsequently donated to the Schiller-Nationalmuseum Deutsches Literaturarchiv, Germany. This material is not described in the collection container inventory or the finding aid.
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Rudolf Arnheim conducted by Robert F. Brown, May 16, 1972. Additional papers on Rudolf Arnheim related to psychology are available at the Archives of the History of Psychology in Akron, Ohio.
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Rihoko Ueno in 2018.