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Walter Pach papers, 1857-1980

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Nancy Malloy, Catherine Stover and Stephanie Ashley
Scope and Contents note
The papers of New York artist, critic, historian, writer, art consultant and curator Walter Pach, measure 20.7 linear feet and date from 1857-1980. The collection documents Pach's promotion of modernism through his role in the landmark 1913 Armory Show, his relationships with artists and art-world figures and his extensive writings on art. Records include biographical material, correspondence with family, friends and colleagues including noted artists, handwritten and edited versions of manuscripts by Pach, diaries and journals, business records, printed material, scrapbooks, sketchbooks and artwork by Pach and others, and photographs of Pach and his family, friends, and colleagues. The collection also includes 12 linear feet of selections from Walter Pach's library.
Biographical material includes a copy of Pach's birth certificate and two passports for Walter and Magda Pach, in addition to address books, association membership cards and certificates.
Correspondence is both personal and professional. Family correspondence includes letters from Pach's son, Raymond, his first wife Magdalene (Magda), and his second wife Nikifora, whom he married in 1951 following the 1950 death of Magda. General correspondence includes letters from artists including Jean Charlot, Arthur B. Davies, Marcel Duchamp, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Jacques Lipchitz, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Maurice Prendergast, Diego Rivera, Morton Livingston Schamberg, John Sloan, and Jacques Villon; and other art-world figures including writers Van Wyck Brooks and Elie Faure, and Bryson Burroughs, curator of painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Writings series represents an extensive collection of hand-written manuscripts, typescripts, annotated drafts and notes for published and unpublished writings by Pach, including lectures, monographs such as Queer Thing, Painting and Ananias, or The False Artist, and journal and newspaper articles such as "Pierre-Auguste Renoir" (1912).
Diaries and journals include one of particular note recording Pach's trip to Europe circa 1903-1904, with William Merritt Chase's class.
Business records include 2 notebooks recording sales at the Armory Show in New York, Boston and Chicago, a record book with handwritten lists of paintings owned and sold by Pach in the early 1930s, and two books, one maintained by Nikifora Pach, recording pictures sold, lectures and publications by Pach from the early 1900s to the early 1960s.
Printed material documents Pach's career through exhibition catalogs of Pach's solo and group exhibitions, news clippings about Pach, including reviews of his writings on art, and an almost comprehensive collection of copies of Pach's published journal and newspaper articles.
Scrapbooks include a book of reviews and original letters pertaining to Pach's book Ananias or the False Artist, and a scrapbook documenting Pach's activities during the 1920s which included his first one-man show at the Brummer Gallery in New York and the publication of his books Masters of Modern Art and Raymond Duchamp-Villon.
Artwork inlcudes a small group of drawings and three sketchbooks by Pach. Also of note are two print portfolios published in 1947 by the Laurel Gallery which include an essay and an etching by Pach, in addition to hand-pulled prints by artists such as Milton Avery, Reginald Marsh and Joan Miro.
Photographs are of Pach from childhood through to the 1950s, in addition to Magda and Raymond Pach and other family members, artists, colleagues and friends. Included are photographs of William Merritt Chase's class and Robert Henri's class at the New York School of Art, circa 1904, and photos of artists including Robert Henri, Moriye Ogihara, and Pablo Picasso. Photographs of artwork by Pach and other artists can also be found here including Mexican mural projects by José Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera, and works by Antoine-Louise Barye and George Of.
Selections from Pach's library include works written by or translated by Pach, and items central to Pach's interests and work.
The Walter Pach papers were acquired in several installments. After Pach's death his widow, Nikifora Pach, sold Pach's papers to Salander-O'Reilly Galleries. They were purchased by the Archives of American Art in 1988 with a grant from the Brown Foundation, Inc.
Eight family photographs, donated by Raymond Pach, son of Walter Pach, were received in 1990.
In 2012 Francis M. Naumann donated an additional 5.7 linear feet of material to the Archives of American Art.
Separated Materials note
When the Archives of American Art acquired the Walter Pach Papers, some portion of his library was also received. The bulk of the library was transferred to the Smithsonian's American Art/Portrait Gallery Library where the items could be properly cataloged, cared for, and used.
Related Materials
Papers of Walter Pach, 1885-1956, are also located at the Helen Farr Sloan Library & Archives.
Funding for the initial digitization of the microfilm of this collection was provided by the Gladys K. Delmas Foundation. Funding for the processing of the addition to the Walter Pach papers and digitization of the fully re-processed collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Processing Information
The 1988 accession of the Walter Pach papers was processed by Nancy Malloy and Catherine Stover and the bulk of the collection, with the exception of Walter Pach's library, was microfilmed in 1997. The microfilm was digitized in 2008 with funding provided by the Gladys Delmas Foundation.
In 2012 these papers were merged, fully processed, arranged and described with the 1990 and 2012 additions, by Stephanie Ashley, and the bulk of the collection was digitized in 2014 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art. Motion picture film reel was inspected and re-housed in 2017 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund.