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William Nelson Copley papers, 1948-1967

Copley, William Nelson, 1919-1996

Dealer, Painter


Collection Information

Size: 0.2 Linear feet

Summary: Papers and gallery records including photographs, writings, announcements and catalogs.
REEL 2709: Announcements and catalogs for exhibitions at The Copley Galleries, Beverly Hills, California, 1948-1949; 97 photographs, mostly of installations of exhibitions at the gallery, and a few of paintings by Man Ray, 1948; and an undated essay by Copley, "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Art Dealer," 51 pages in which he describes the brief one year history of the gallery, which exhibited the work of the Surrealists, including Joseph Cornell, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Rene Magritte, Roberto Sebastian Antonio Matta Echuarren, Man Ray, and Yves Tanguy.
REEL 861: Scrapbook, 1953-1967, in 3 volumes. Includes Copley's newspaper column; magazine clippings relating to his work and exhibits; and exhibition catalogs.

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter, New York, N.Y. and gallery owner, Calif. Died May 1996.


Material on reel 2709 donated 1976, by William Copley; material on reel 861 lent for microfilming 1975 by Copley.

Language Note

English .

Location of Originals

  • Reel 861: Originals returned to William N. Copley after microfilming.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels 861 and 2709 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

Restrictions on Use

"Portrait of an Artist as a Young Art Dealer": Authorization to publish, quote or reproduce requires written permission from Director, Centre Beauborg. 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

William Nelson Copley papers, 1948-1967. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.