Skip to main content

Susan Conway Gallery records, circa 1928

More Information

Sarah Haug
Scope and Contents
The modern and contemporary art gallery records of the Susan Conway Gallery in Washington, D.C. measure 23.9 linear feet and 0.001 GB and date from circa 1928, circa 1940s-2003, with the bulk of the material dating from 1987-2003. Nearly half of the collection documents the gallery's work as the sole representative of artist and political cartoonist Pat Oliphant through administrative records, exhibition files, press clippings, and a handful of photographs. Also found in the collection are artists' files of other artists represented by the gallery, client files, administrative records, printed and digital materials, and the records of the Susan Conway Conservation Studio.
The exhibitions and sales of artwork by artists represented by the gallery are documented through biographies, correspondence, exhibition printed materials, newspaper clippings, notes, price lists, photographs and slides, sales invoices, and shipping records. Artists of interest include Eric Aho, Will Barnet, Leonard Baskin, Dorothy Dehner, Mary Ellen Doyle, Brece Honeycutt, Ross M. Merrill, Otto and Gertrud Natzler, Sam Scott and Edward Sorel. Sales records can also be found in Client Files, along with correspondence with individual clients and galleries, notes, and shipping records.
Nearly half of the collection documents the exhibitions, loans, promotion and sales of Patrick Oliphant's artwork. Materials found include contracts, correspondence with galleries, museums, and clients, exhibition printed materials, notes, scattered photographs, price lists, proposals, sales invoices, and shipping records. Much of the material relates to Oliphant's numerous traveling exhibitions, including "Oliphant: The New World Order in Drawing and Sculpture," "Oliphant's Presidents: 25 Years of Caricatures," and "Seven Presidents."
Administrative and Miscellaneous Records includes records related to the daily operation of the gallery space and promotion of the gallery, such as contracts, a guest book, documents created for Conway's public talks, scattered documentation regarding gifts of artwork, and other miscellaneous records.
The bulk of the printed materials are Susan Conway Gallery exhibition announcements. Also found are some catalogs, clippings and a brochure. The records of the Susan Conway Conservation Studio include condition reports, correspondence with clients, notes, and photographs and slides of artwork.
None of the gallery records of the Santa Fe location are included in this collection. The outlying dates of this collection include older photographs and a negative found in the Artists' Files.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Susan Conway Gallery records were donated by Susan Conway in 2004 and 2007.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collection Care Preservation Fund.
Processing Information
The collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid prepared by Sarah Haug in 2013, with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collections Care Preservation Fund. Born-digital materials were processed by Kirsi Ritosalmi-Kisner in 2019 with funding provide by Smithsonian Collection Care and Preservation Fund.
The Archives of American Art has implemented minimal processing tactics when possible in order to increase access to more of our collections. Minimal processing included arrangement to the series and folder levels. Generally, items within folders were simply verified with folder titles and dates, but not arranged further. Folder titles were transcribed from original folder headings. The collection was rehoused in archival containers and folders. Staples and other fasteners were not removed, but correspondence was removed from envelopes and filed behind the envelope. Materials were removed from binders or damaged binding when necessary.
Materials with Social Security numbers and personal financial information were redacted with copies left in the collection. The original documents are maintained separately.