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

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4.5: Provenance Files , 1910-1964
2.7 Linear feet
Box 11-13, 32, OV 42-44

The Kuhns kept meticulous records of Walt Kuhn's art work. Their original file folders contain detailed annotations about paintings and sculptures, along with art reproductions, tracings, and other documentation. Annotations include information such as the model used for the work; where the work was created, exhibited, reproduced, and sold; and critical response. Some of the files also contain correspondence, clippings, exhibition catalogs, announcements, and bills of sale. Tempera paintings, watercolors, etchings, and lithographs are documented in a bound ledger filed at the end of this series.
Occasionally files contain other unique documentation. The unusually thick file for "Still Life with Red Bananas," for example, contains printed materials related to a controversy over the 1946 international exhibition of the State Department's collection of modern art, which was cancelled in response to conservative reaction. The collection was sold as "surplus" by the War Assets Administration, and the public outcry that ensued is documented in clippings in this file.
In addition to photographs of works of art, photographs in this series include publicity photographs of Edna St. Vincent de Millay standing before the painting "Mario" in her home and other installation views. Original sketches can be found in the files for Lahr's portrait and the paintings "Zuleika," "Absolom's House," "Beach Scene," "Green Apples with Gray Curtain," "Interior," and "Maternity." Miscellanous tracings and watercolor sketches of paintings whose original file folders are not present are filed at the end of this series.
Files are arranged alphabetically by the the artwork's title or by a key word in the title, grouping files for clown paintings, girl paintings, pine tree paintings, etc. This arrangement has been preserved, although it is idiosyncratic. Files for individual works have been grouped together in general alphabetical files. Large files are filed and listed individually. Execution dates of artwork for some files are provided in parentheses after the file headings and should not be confused with record dates.
Original files are very brittle and have torn edges and missing fragments. Microfilm of the collection made in 1965 may show the file before such damage occurred (reels D242A-D242B). Additional material related to the provenance of Kuhn's artwork is filed in Financial Records and elsewhere in the collection. See individual series descriptions for more details. A record book documenting Vera Kuhn's art jewelry is in Photographs and Scrapbooks.
See the Index for a list of selected correspondents from 4.3 General Correspondence with cross-references to this series and 4.4: Selected Gallery and Exhibition Files.
This series has been scanned in entirety.
Description Container Select
ABS - ACR, 1916-1945
11
1
ACR - APP, 1921-1941
Oversized material housed in OV 42
11
2
APP - ATH, 1927-1964
Oversized material housed in OV 43
11
3
"Athlete in Green" (1946), 1946-1947
11
4
ATH - BER, 1919-1953
Oversized material housed in OV 42
11
5
BLA - BLO, 1922-1946
Oversized material housed in OV 42
11
6
"The Blue Clown" (1931), 1931-1944
11
7
"The Blue Clown" (1931), 1946-1953, undated
11
8
BOU - CAM, 1918-1949
11
9
CAR - CLO, 1915-1959
11
10
CLO - CLO, 1929-1959
11
11
CLO - DOR, 1915-1938
Oversized material housed in OV 42
11
12
DOR - EIG, 1925-1937
Oversized material housed in OV 42
11
13
ELE - FLO, 1918-1940
Oversized material housed in OV 42
11
14
FLO - GIR, 1921-1946
Oversized material housed in OV 42
11
15
GIR - GIR, 1920-1942
11
16
GIR - GRE, 1912-1946
Oversized material housed in OV 42
11
17
GRE - GUI, 1930-1947
11
18
HAR - HYD, 1915-1938
Oversized material housed in OV 42
12
1
"Imaginary History" Series, 1918-1923
Oversized material housed in OV 42
12
2
"Imaginary History" Series, 1918-1921, undated
Oversized material housed in OV 42
12
3
IND - KAN, 1921-1947
Oversized material housed in OV 42
12
4
Portrait of Burt Lahr (1947), 1947-1952
12
5
LAN - MAN, 1918-1945
12
6
MAN - MAN, 1918-1947
12
7
MAR - MOR, 1912-1960
12
8
MOU - PIE, 1926-1946
Oversized material housed in OV 42
12
9
PIN - PIN, 1918-1946
12
10
PIT - POT, 1919-1945
Oversized material housed in OV 43
12
11
RED - ROS, 1924-1946
12
12
ROS - SAN, 1910-1961
Oversized material housed in OV 42
12
13
SHE - STI, 1922-1948
Oversized material housed in OV 42
12
14
"Still Life with Red Bananas" (1941), 1941-1951, undated
Oversized material housed in OV 42
12
15
STI - TRE, 1921-1942
Oversized material housed in OV 42
12
16
TRE-TRI (1937-1939), 1937-1944
13
1
"Trio" (1937), 1937-1941
13
2
"Trio" (1937), 1941-1951, undated
13
3
TRU - WHI, 1922-1959
Oversized material housed in OV 42
13
4
WHI - YEL, 1915-1938
Oversized material housed in OV 42 and OV 43
13
5
"Young Clown" (1932), 1935-1948, undated
13
6
YOU-ZUL (1915, 1925-1939), 1915-1942
13
7
Tempera, Watercolor, Etching, Lithograph Records (1915-1938), undated
Oversized bound volume housed in Box 32
13
8
Miscellaneous Tracings of Artwork, undated
Oversized material housed in OV 44
13
9
Miscellaneous Watercolor Sketches of Paintings (1933-1942), undated
13
10
Oversized Tempera, Watercolor, Etching, Lithograph Records (1915-1938), undated
Oversized material scanned with Box 13, F8
32
Oversized Tracings of Artwork from Provenance Files
Box 13, F4-5
Oversized material scanned with Box 11, F2, F5-6, F12-15, F17; Box 12, F1-4, F9, F13-16
OV 42
Oversized Tracings of Artwork from Provenance Files
Box 13, F5
Oversized material scanned with Box 11, F3; Box 12, F11
OV 43
Oversized Miscellaneous Tracings of Artwork
Oversized material scanned with Box 13, F9
OV 44

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.