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Walter and Louise Arensberg papers, 1912-1982, bulk 1917-1982

Arensberg, Walter, 1878-1954

Art patron


Collection Information

Size: 2 Microfilm reels, 558 items on 2 microfilm reels

Summary: The microfilmed Walter and Louise Arensberg papers contain correspondence (1917-1982) with Marcel Duchamp (1917-1968), Beatrice Wood (1952-1982), Charles Sheeler (1953-1955), and others. A few letters are illustrated or include photographs, poetry, and printed material. Some correspondence with Marcel Duchamp is in French. Also included in the papers are a list of art in the Arensberg collection (1951), compiled for a tax return; poetry and essays by the psychiatrist E. E. Southard; and notes and scripts for skits and pantomimes by Guillaume Apollinaire.

Biographical/Historical Note

Walter (1878-1954) and Louise Arensberg (1879-1953) were art collectors in New York, New York and Los Angeles, California. Walter Arensberg was also a poet and art critic.


Lent for microfilming 1985 by the Francis Bacon Library and Foundation, Claremont, Calif. Most, or perhaps all, of the microfilmed material was subsequently physically transferred from the Francis Bacon Foundation to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1996 and formally given to the Museum in 2001 by the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, which had received it as part of a larger gift from the Francis Bacon Foundation in 1995.

Related Materials

The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Library and Archives holds the Arensberg Archives, 1905-1957. The Huntington Library holds the Walter Arensberg letters, 1927-1954.

Language Note

Multiple languages .

Location of Originals

  • Originals returned to lender after microfilming, and subsequently donated to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Arensberg Archives.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels 3570-3571 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.

Restrictions on Use

Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce requires written permission from Archivist of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Contact Reference Services for more information.

The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.

How to Cite This Collection

Walter and Louise Arensberg papers, 1912-1982, bulk 1917-1982. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.