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Walt Kuhn, Kuhn family papers, and Armory Show records, 1859-1984, bulk 1900-1949

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4.12: Audio Recordings , 1965, 1969
0.2 Linear feet
Box 26; 8 audio reels [circa 24 hours], 1 audio cassette

This series consists of 8 audio reels and 1 audio cassette. Reels 1 to 7 were made by Brenda Kuhn (1911-1993), daughter of Walt Kuhn, as she went through her father's papers from March to November, 1965, on the eve of their accession to the archives. In her recordings, she makes specific reference to letters, artwork, photographs, and other documents found in the Armory Show Records and Walt Kuhn Family Papers. In some cases, Brenda is able to provide witness accounts of persons and events documented in the papers. However, her comments often stray far afield of the papers and art historical figures known to her as she muses on the activities of her own life and her vocation as promoter of her father's work. On reel 6, side 2 she interviews Grace Jones Sarka, wife of Charles Sarka and friend of Walt Kuhn during his early years as an artist in New York.
On reel 8, Brenda Kuhn's recollections are guided by Garnett McCoy, curator at the Archives of American Art, who interviews her about Walt Kuhn, the Kuhn family, and their contemporaries. Selected subjects on reels 1 to 8 are listed with the box inventory. All reels were recorded on both sides at a speed of 1 7/8 inches per second unless otherwise noted.
The audio cassette was recorded on "Walt Kuhn Day" at Kuhn House in Cape Neddick, ME on the 50th anniversary of Walt Kuhn's death in 1969.
Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Description Container Select
Brenda Kuhn's Recordings, 1965
(1 of 4)
  • Reel 1, First Side (Side 2): Brenda Kuhn discusses Walt Kuhn's letters of 1936 and vaudeville materials. Selected subjects include Union Pacific Railroad; Kuhn's contacts in Hollywood, CA; attitude towards homosexual men; his personality and manner of writing; the circus; Maine landscapes; the Kit Kat Club and Penguin Club artist's balls; burlesque; Vera Kuhn; Walt Kuhn's vaudeville productions.
  • Reel 1, Second Side (Side 1): Brenda Kuhn discusses Vera Kuhn's date books and Kuhn family Christmas Cards. Selected subjects include a complete description of Christmas Cards and the disposition and exhibition of Walt Kuhn's paintings.
  • Reel 2: Brenda Kuhn discusses Walt Kuhn letters from 1936 to 1946. Selected subjects include Walt Kuhn's stay at Lake Buel in 1941 and in Idaho in 1936; Averell Harriman's career; Kuhn's health, final illness, treatment, and death; Kuhn's cartoons; Kuhn's Cape Neddick, ME house; Mark Hanna; Ruth Johnston, Isabel and Paul Bird; Kuhn's oak tree paintings; Kuhn's anti-Semitism in letters; Jules Pascin.
26
7
Brenda Kuhn's Recordings, 1965
(2 of 4)
  • Reel 3, Side 1: Brenda Kuhn discusses Armory Show records and Walt Kuhn letters from 1936 to 1941. Selected subjects include Brenda's decision to donate papers to AAA; recollections of Fort Lee, NJ, 1909-1919; Ogunquit, ME house; 18th St. studio; Kuhn's animal art; circumstances of Philip Guston taking over WK studio in 1957; La Salle Spier; Spier home in Chevy Chase, MD; Kuhn's searches for landscape subjects; Arthur B. Davies second family as David A. Owen, and his daughter, Ronven Owen; Kuhn's cooking talents and his parents' Brooklyn restaurant, the International House; stage celebrities.
  • Reel 3, Side 2: Brenda Kuhn discusses Walt Kuhn letters from 1941 and 1944. Selected subjects include Kuhn's automobiles; painting methods; Frank di Gioia; Brenda's epilepsy; Vera Kuhn.
  • Reel 4, Side 1: Brenda discusses photographs and Walt Kuhn letters from 1936 to 1944. Selected subjects include Walt Kuhn's transition from cartoonist to fine artist; Kuhn family photographs; community of artists in Fort Lee, NJ, including Jules Pascin, Pop Hart, Paul Bransom, Rudy Dirks; meeting of Walt and Vera Kuhn; Penguin Club Kuhn's Maine landscape paintings; reading habits; Cape Neddick, ME; Perkins Cove, ME and the Laurent family; Alfred Frankfurter; onset of Kuhn's mental illness.
  • Reel 4, Side 2: Brenda Kuhn discusses Walt Kuhn publication Fifty Paintings, and letters from 1920 and 1938 to 1947. Selected subjects include watching her father paint; Kuhn's hobby of carving toys for children; Kuhn's experiences at Lake Buel, MA; Kuhn's guitar-playing; Brenda's plans for a museum in Cape Neddick; Kuhn's smoking habits; Edna St. Vincent de Millay purchase of "Mario"; Kuhn's illness and idea for "State of Maine Follies"; Vera's record-keeping habits; Kuhn's teaching, especially John Laurent; Frank di Gioia.
26
8
Brenda Kuhn's Recordings, 1965
(3 of 4)
  • Reel 5, Side 1: Selected subjects include Durand-Ruel Galleries; Margery Petit Caron; Kuhn's clown drawings and use of pass to circus; Kuhn's costume collection.
  • Reel 5, Side 2: Brenda Kuhn discusses Walt Kuhn letters from 1938-1948. Selected subjects include Walt Kuhn's painting techniques; Paul Bransom, social life at Clark's restaurant in Maine; Ogunquit, ME Playhouse; Kuhn's social life, family life, and involvement with show people; Kuhn's automobiles; Kuhn's rivalry with Picasso; relationship with Gary Cooper; Kuhn's time on Florida's Gold Coast; relationship with Paul and Minna Mellon.
  • Reel 6, Side 1: Selected subjects include Walt Kuhn's reading habits; Cape Neddick, ME; Kuhn family's relationships with the Glackens family; Edith Halpert; confusion over Kuhn's birth date.
  • Reel 6, Side 2: Brenda Kuhn muses on prospects for Walt Kuhn centenary and publications; Brenda Kuhn interviews Grace Jones Sarka, who describes her relationship to Walt Kuhn beginning in 1903, and their artists' community centered around the 23rd St. studio in New York.
26
9
Brenda Kuhn's Recordings, 1965
(4 of 4)
  • Reel 7 (labeled 6B): Brenda Kuhn attends Elizabeth Navis day at Wichita Museum; discusses the Murdoch collection; Kuhn's relationship with Maurice Prendergast and William Glackens; importance to Kuhn of Eakins' painting The Gross Clinic. (Note: Side 2 of this reel is not recorded)
  • Reel 8 (labeled #7), Side 1: Garnett McCoy interviews Brenda Kuhn, November 19, 1965. Selected subjects include Kuhn's feelings about his contemporaries and artist circles; Kuhn's personality and aesthetic, and his attitudes towards art, politics, family, religion, Jews, etc.; Kuhn's work with collectors, especially John Quinn; Penguin Club; vaudeville; Kuhn's 14th St. studio; Clara Davidge; Frederick James Gregg; writing and distribution of "The Story of the Armory Show;" discovery of Armory Show records and Milton Brown; Arthur B. Davies; brief recollections of Edward and Jo Hopper, Edith and William Glackens, Charles Sheeler, John Sloan, personality and death of George Luks, Walter Pach, Abraham Walkowitz, Georgia O'Keeffe, Louis Bouché, George Bellows, Robert Henri; Kuhn in Florida.
  • Reel 8 (labeled #7), Side 2: Garnett McCoy interview with Brenda Kuhn, cont. Selected subjects include relationships with dealers Annie Montross, Edith Halpert, the Harrimans, Durand-Ruel, and Maynard Walker; Albert Freueh, Marius de Zayas; Kuhn's attitude towards critics; Kuhn's public relations philosophy; the dissolution of the Association of American Painters and Sculptors; Jules Pascin; Mary Roberts; Kuhn's mental illness; Vera Kuhn; disposition of the estate.
26
10
"Walt Kuhn Day,", July 13, 1969
1 Sound cassette
26
11

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.