Skip to main content

Thomas M. Messer papers, 1949-2010

Thomas M. Messer papers, 1949-2010

Messer, Thomas M., 1920-2013

Museum director

Collection Information

Size: 4.6 linear feet

Summary: The papers of New York museum director and independent curator Thomas M. Messer measure 4.6 linear feet and date from 1949-2010. Material includes correspondence, a diary transcript, and printed material that reflect Messer's long career, primarily as director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Correspondence comprises the bulk of the collection and documents the relationships he built with artists, art historians, curators, and others colleagues. Notable correspondents include Francis Bacon, Will Barnet, Larry Bell, Alberto Burri, Pol Bury, Marc Chagall, Chryssa, Jean Dubuffet, Max Ernst, Dan Flavin, Helen Frankenthaler, Alberto Giacometti, Richard Hamilton, Jean Hélion, Grace Knowlton, Rosemarie Koczy, Jirí Kolár, Katherine Kuh, Agnes Martin, Henry Moore, George Rickey, Charles Simonds, Clyfford Still, Jack Tworkov, and many others.

Biographical/Historical Note

Thomas Messer was a museum director and independent curator in New York, New York. Messer was director at the Roswell Museum, Roswell, New Mexico, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts and at the Solomon R.Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York.

Provenance

Donated to the Archives of American Art in 1995 by Thomas Messer and in 2016 by the Thomas Messer estate via Adam Lehner, executor.

Related Materials

Also found in the Archives of American Art are two oral history interviews with Thomas Messer conducted by Paul Cummings in 1970 and by Andrew Decker in 1994-1995.

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 electronic records requires advance notice.

How to Cite This Collection

Thomas M. Messer papers, 1949-2010. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.