Skip to main content

Subseries 4.3 | A Finding Aid to the Walt Kuhn, Kuhn family papers, and Armory Show records, 1859-1984, bulk 1900-1949 | Digitized Collection

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

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.

4.3: General Correspondence, 1890-1966
4 linear feet
Box 5-9, 32, OV 40

Correspondence in this series is primarily between Walt Kuhn and his professional and personal contacts and spans his entire career. Correspondents include family members, fellow artists, students, dealers, museum and gallery staff, collectors, friends, fans, critics and colleagues. Copies of outgoing correspondence are often present and are interfiled chronologically. Also included is scattered correspondence of Vera and Brenda Kuhn, and correspondence written after Kuhn died that documents his family's efforts to exhibit, sell, and donate his work.
The content of the correspondence ranges from personal and candid to purely transactional. Artists, collectors, dealers, and critics involved in the creation of significant works of art and collections in the early 20th century are represented. An alphabetical index of selected correspondents in this series is provided in the appendix. Another resource for accessing correspondence are the card files in Series 4.8: Notes and Writings, where correspondence with various contacts was indexed by the Kuhns and filed alphabetically by name.
In 1938, Walt and Vera Kuhn wrote and self-published the pamphlet, "The Story of the Armory Show" and sent it
gratis
to hundreds of interested parties. Among the correspondence from that year are many heartfelt reponses from fellow artists and other witnesses to the 1913 event, including Charles Sheeler, William Glackens, Stuart Davis, André Derain, Henri Roché, Walter Pach, and J.H. du Bois to name just a few.
Kuhn regularly instructed students through the mail with lengthy letters about painting techniques and methods. San Francisco painter Otis Oldfield is represented by over 100 lengthy letters in this subseries. Kuhn's letters to Oldfield, returned at Kuhn's request in 1945 for a publication project that was never realized, are interfiled. Other correspondence students include Patsy Santo, Frank di Gioia, Watson Bidwell, John Bernhardt, John Laurent, Goldie Paley, and Eric Lundgren. See the appendix for dates.
Types of material include letters (sometimes illustrated), postcards, invitations, announcements, and Christmas cards, which are sometimes made of original artwork. Enclosures are often found, such as photographs, clippings, tracings of art work, writings, receipts, passes and membership cards. Some letters indicate enclosures that were previously separated and can be found in other series.
Significant writings enclosed with correspondence include an early vaudeville script written by Kuhn and his friend, Archibald Macnab (1923); drafts of articles about Kuhn by the poet Genevieve Taggard (1931), critic Alan Burroughs (1930), and patron Eloise Spaeth (1950); and an unpublished history of the 1913 Armory Show by Paul Bird (1938). Photographs and photographic postcards are also found throughout the series. Included are photo postcards from Spain and France (1925), and from Arizona and California (1928); and photographs related to Kuhn's work for the Union Pacific Railroad Company (1936, 1938).
Additional correspondence can be found throughout the collection. See individual series descriptions for details.
This series has been scanned in entirety.
DescriptionContainer
General Correspondence, 1890-1913, undated
5
16
General Correspondence, 1914-1919
5
17
General Correspondence, 1920-1922
5
18
General Correspondence, 1923
2 folders
5
19-20
General Correspondence, 1924-1925
5
21
General Correspondence, 1926
5
22
General Correspondence, 1927
3 folders
5
23-25
General Correspondence, 1928
4 folders
5
26-29
General Correspondence, 1929
4 folders
oversized material housed in Box 32
5
30-33
General Correspondence, 1930
3 folders
6
1-3
General Correspondence, 1931
3 folders
6
4-6
General Correspondence, 1932
5 folders
6
7-11
General Correspondence, 1933
3 folders
6
12-14
General Correspondence, 1934
4 folders
6
15-18
General Correspondence, 1935
4 folders
6
19-22
General Correspondence, 1936
5 folders
6
23-27
General Correspondence, 1937
7 folders
oversized material housed in Box 32
6
28-34
General Correspondence, 1938
12 folders
7
1-12
General Correspondence, 1939
6 folders
7
13-18
General Correspondence, 1940
5 folders
oversized material housed in Box 32
7
19-23
General Correspondence, 1941
6 folders
oversized material housed in OV 40
7
24-29
General Correspondence, 1942
4 folders
7
30-33
General Correspondence, 1943
4 folders
7
34-37
General Correspondence, 1944
4 folders
8
1-4
General Correspondence, 1945
5 folders
8
5-9
General Correspondence, 1946
3 folders
oversized material housed in Box 32
8
10-12
General Correspondence, 1947
4 folders
oversized material housed in Box 32
8
13-16
General Correspondence, 1948
8 folders
8
17-24
General Correspondence, 1949
8 folders
8
25-32
General Correspondence, 1950
3 folders
8
33-35
General Correspondence, 1951
4 folders
9
1-4
General Correspondence, 1952
3 folders
9
5-7
General Correspondence, 1953
3 folders
9
8-10
General Correspondence, 1954
9
11
General Correspondence, 1955-1957
9
12
General Correspondence, 1958-1960
9
13
General Correspondence, 1961-1963
9
14
General Correspondence, 1964-1966, undated
9
15
General Correspondence, A-L, undated
9
16
General Correspondence, M-W and Illegible, undated
9
17
General Correspondence, Kuhn Fragments, undated
9
18
Oversized General Correspondence and Enclosures
Box 8, F11 and F13
Oversized material scanned with Box 5, F31; Box 6, F30; Box 7, F23
32
Oversized Blueprint Enclosed with General Correspondence
Oversized material from Box 7, F24
OV 40

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.