From Homer to Graffiti: Recent Notable Acquisitions


The Archives of American Art continues to enrich its broad research holdings through a systematic collecting program. On view in "From Homer to Graffiti: Recent Notable Acquisitions" are selections from a diverse range of collections acquired within the New York Region over the past 3 years.

In 2010 the Archives received an extraordinary gift in the form of records of the International Exhibition of Modern Art?or Armory Show?previously unknown to contemporary scholars. Additionally, in 2009 scrapbooks pertaining to the 50th Anniversary of the Armory Show, sponsored by the Henry Street Settlement, were donated by the family of Mrs. Winslow Carlton, chairperson of the event. Joined with the Walt Kuhn papers (secretary of the Association of American Painters and Sculptors that staged the 1913 Armory Show) and the papers of Joseph Trovato, organizer of the anniversary exhibition in 1963, the Archives of American Art stands as the prime archival repository for materials pertaining to America?s most historic exhibition of art.

Artists' papers continue to command prominence within the Archives' research holdings. Recent notable acquisitions in the New York region range from the papers of Alexander LibermanJacques Lipchitz and Theodoros Stamos to important groups of letters and scrapbooks from Winslow HomerWilliam Merritt Chase and George Bellows.

In 2009 and 2010 the Archives of American Art conducted a concentrated collecting effort on the founding figures of Photorealism. Papers acquired include those of Audrey FlackRonald Kleemann, Tom Blackwell, Ralph Goings, Don Eddy and David Parrish, as well as selected records of the Louis K. Meisel Gallery, the leading commercial nexus for the movement. Additionally, the Archives commissioned oral history interviews with Richard McLean, Flack, Kleemann, Blackwell, Meisel and Goings, complementing earlier interviews with Richard Estes and Robert Cottingham.

In recent years the Archives has also been the grateful recipient of formidable research collections from prominent art historians including Robert RosenblumFrancis V. O?Connor and Mildred Constantine, as well as of volumes of unpublished lectures by Erwin Panofsky.

Of special note is the acquisition in 2010 of the Jack Stewart papers. A painter and muralist, Stewart charted the ascendancy of graffiti as a world art form on the New York City transit system during the 1970s. The Stewart papers, in turn, stand as an unparalleled resource for the study of graffiti during this transformative phase.