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INVENTORY OF THE JAMES THRALL SOBY PAPERS, 1928-1975 (bulk 1935-1955)
910128  
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Container list

 

Series I.  Correspondence, 1928-1975

Physical Description: 3 lin. ft.

Scope and Content Note

Series comprises letters from artists, museum and gallery officials - especially Museum of Modern Art, New York (MoMA) staff, critics, and friends. Arranged alphabetically by correspondent. Detailed letters from artists describe works, art theories, and personal matters. Other letters include discussions of MoMA business, exhibitions at MoMA and elsewhere, Soby's monographs, sale of works to Soby, and financial support for artists. The files also contain drawings, small art works and collages, photographs, manuscripts and ephemera.
Box 1, Folder 1

Antonioni, Michelangelo, 1975

Scope and Content Note

letter, transparency and 4 details of a De Chirico painting, 1975.
Box 1, Folder 2

Arp, Jean, 1958-1959

Scope and Content Note

2 Christmas cards, one with "découpages" (ca. 1959); postcard (1958); 2 letters and a postcard signed by Marguerite Hagenbach (Arp).
Box 1, Folder 3

Balthus, 1958, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

includes a letter about Pierre [Matisse] not returning "La Chambre" after the artist lent it to MoMA; 2 letters.
Box 1, Folder 4

Barr, Alfred, 1936-1965, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

letters regarding Barr's "retirement" from MoMA's Office of Director (1943, also correspondence with Stephen Clark), an interesting letter discussing the Dreier bequest (Duchamp's "Big Glass" is mentioned) and the Peggy Guggenheim collection courtship (1952), comments on Soby's foreword to the "Orangerie" exhibition (1955 Mar 9) and on Soby's Tchelitchew monograph (ca. 1942), and other MoMA business, ca. 35 items.
Box 1, Folder 5

Barry, Iris, 1969

Scope and Content Note

5 letters from Barry describing her 1969 illness and from others about her hospital expenses, 19 items.
Box 1, Folder 6

Breton, André, 1965

Scope and Content Note

1 letter regarding a "poème-objet" by Breton.
Box 1, Folder 7

Britton, James, 1929, 1931

Scope and Content Note

1 letter about Britton painting "Card Players," with a sketch revealing the identities of those depicted (1929); and another about the sale of "Fisherman" and lighting for "Card Players" (1931).
Box 1, Folder 8

Brown, John Mason, 1943, 1957

Scope and Content Note

2 letters from Brown and 1 from Cassie (Brown's wife).
Box 1, Folder 9

Butler, Reginald, 1959

Scope and Content Note

1 letter, 1959.
Box 1, Folder 10

Cahill, Holger, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

1 letter in praise of Alfred Barr's article "Matisse, Picasso and the Crisis of 1907."
Box 1, Folder 11

Calas, Nicolas, 1941, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

letter regarding Soby's De Chirico book, and 2 others.
Box 1, Folder 12-13

Calder, Alexander (Sandy), 1935-1966, bulk 1935-1940

Scope and Content Note

contains extensive correspondence about personal matters, and production and sale of Calder's works including "Water-Spout" (1935 Nov 27), various letters concerning "Well-head" (1937-1943), a project of designing theater costumes (1936 Jan 16), and a letter with drawings of lamps (Mar 1937), 33 letters total. Also contains 31 postcards - 3 with drawings, 17 photographs and negatives, 8 of which are of Calder and his work, and an exhibition poster.
Box 1, Folder 14

Campigli, 1956, 1961, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

5 letters regarding a monograph of the artist's work (1956), and 3 cards with graphics by Campigli.
Box 1, Folder 15

Carreña, Mario, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

handmade Christmas card using watercolor and cutouts.
Box 1, Folder 16

Cooper, Douglas, 1955

Scope and Content Note

1 letter=.
Box 1, Folder 17

Cornell, Joseph, 1939, 1943, 1947

Scope and Content Note

3 letters, one regarding Cornell's film collection (1939).
Box 1, Folder 18

Corso, Gaspero del, 1957-1958

Scope and Content Note

2 letters.
Box 1, Folder 19

Dali, Salvador and Gala, 1939, 1941-1942, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

includes a letter from Dali in which he states his belief that Picasso was influenced by the Surrealists (1939 Apr); 13 items.
Box 1, Folder 20

Davis, Stuart, 1940, 1954

Scope and Content Note

letter regarding his art and the resistance to abstract art in America (1940 Mar 18), and another enclosed with a brief artistic statement (1954 Apr 18).
Box 1, Folder 21

Dubuffet, Jean, 1962

Scope and Content Note

letter concerning the tragic death of Kay Sage, and another discussing how artists are influenced by their female companions.
Box 1, Folder 22

Duchamp, Marcel, 1961

Scope and Content Note

2 letters, one of which is about fund raising for the American Chess Foundation.
Box 1, Folder 23

Duhamel, Marcel, 1962

Scope and Content Note

large collage postcard, signed by Duhamel and Jacques Prévert.
Box 2, Folder 1-4

Edwin Valentine Mitchell, Inc. (bookseller and publisher) 1928-1943, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

includes extensive personal correspondence from partners Mitchell and Cedric Smith, but also some about their business operations, and Soby's manuscript "27 Lewis Street," being a 5 page account of his experiences as a partner in the business (n.d.), ca. 60 items.
Box 2, Folder 5

Eliasberg, Paul, 1935-1936, 1938

Scope and Content Note

correspondence regarding his work, the difficulties of life for artists in Paris at this period, and Eugene Berman, 8 letters.
Box 2, Folder 6

Ernst, Max, 1947

Scope and Content Note

letter about his naturalization.
Box 2, Folder 7

Evans, Walker, 1933-1934, 1956, 1962, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

includes a letter which corrects Soby's written chronology of Evans's Leica camera work to 1929 (1956 Feb 16), and letters giving photography advice to Soby and other letters about a job at the museum, 5 letters.
Box 2, Folder 8

Fett, William, 1943

Scope and Content Note

mostly about his current artistic production and development, and a letter with 2 photographs of Mexico by Fett (ca. 1943), 12 items.
Box 2, Folder 9

Ford, Charles Henri, 1938-1957, n.d., bulk 1941

Scope and Content Note

correspondence regarding Tchelitchew and personal matters, 11 letters and 4 postcards.
Box 2, Folder 10

Ford, Gordon Onslow, 1942

Scope and Content Note

3 letters about De Chirico.
Box 2, Folder 11

Frankenberg, Lloyd and Loren, 1947-1966

Scope and Content Note

includes personal correspondence and poems by Lloyd (1965), 15 items.
Box 2, Folder 12

Gaffé, René, 1955, 1959-1960, n.d.

Note

3 letters and a handmade Christmas card with a mobile (1960).
Box 2, Folder 13

Giacometti, Alberto, 1964

Scope and Content Note

1 letter regarding a New York exhibition of his work.
Box 2, Folder 14

Goodwin, Philip, 1943, 1955, 1958

Scope and Content Note

3 letters.
Box 2, Folder 15

Gross, Chaim, 1960

Scope and Content Note

Christmas card.
Box 2, Folder 16

Guggenheim, Peggy, 1955

Scope and Content Note

1 postcard.
Box 2, Folder 17

Guttuso, Renato, 1957, 1958, 1960

Scope and Content Note

2 letters, New Years greeting, postcard, and two telegrams.
Box 3, Folder 1

Harris, Louis, 1955

Scope and Content Note

1 letter.
Box 3, Folder 2

Hartigan, Grace, 1957-1964, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

correspondence regarding her work and exhibitions, including a 4 page letter describing a change in her painting methods, which deviates from expressionism for the first time. 7 letters and 3 postcards (see also Frank O'Hara file).
Box 3, Folder 3

Hitchcock, Henry-Russell, 1931-1942, n.d., bulk 1942

Scope and Content Note

correspondence about acquiring works in Europe for Soby (especially Berman) and a possible Le Corbusier project (ca. 1931), the return of Frank Lloyd Wright drawings (1942 Dec 30), and others letters about travels, naval service, and artistic personalities, 9 letters and 6 postcards.
Box 3, Folder 4

Hopper, Edward, 1948

Scope and Content Note

1 letter.
Box 3, Folder 5

Hunter, Sam

Scope and Content Note

includes letters about a de Kooning-Rothko switch and an Arp exhibition (1958), and Hunter asking for Soby's advise on writing a Caravaggio monograph (n.d.), 5 letters, 1956, 58, n.d.
Box 3, Folder 6

Jean, Marcel, 1955

Scope and Content Note

1 letter about De Chirico book and the artist copying his own paintings.
Box 3, Folder 7

Johnson, Philip, 1964

Scope and Content Note

1 letter.
Box 3, Folder 8

Jones, Robert Edmond, 1944

Scope and Content Note

1 letter.
Box 3, Folder 9

Kahnweiler, Henri, 1933, 1935

Scope and Content Note

2 letters regarding Picasso paintings.
Box 3, Folder 10

Kaufmann, Edgar, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

1 letter.
Box 3, Folder 11

Kirstein, Lincoln, 1943-1944

Scope and Content Note

includes a copy of Barr's response to Kirstein's criticism of MoMA's "Romantic Painting in America" exhibition (1943), copy of a long letter from Kirstein to Clement Greenberg disagreeing with Greenberg's statement "There is nothing left in nature for plastic art to explore" (1944), and a letter describing MoMA as "reactionary" (1944), 4 items.
Box 3, Folder 12

Kooning, Willem de, 1963

Scope and Content Note

1 letter.
Box 3, Folder 13

Laughlin, Clarence John, 1940-1942

Scope and Content Note

includes a letter that describes the "direct" vs. "symbolic" in his photography, 4 letters.
Box 3, Folder 14

Lebrun, Rico, 1940-1959, n.d., bulk 1940-1941

Scope and Content Note

correspondence regarding Lebrun's recent work (1940), humorous letter with references to Dali and Eugene Berman (1941), his crucifixion paintings (1954), and others about an introduction to a drawings catalogue, 12 letters total.
Box 3, Folder 15

Le Corbusier, 1935-1936

Scope and Content Note

includes 2 letters about Henri Laurens, sculptor friend of Le Corbusier, and 1 letter from Laurens; 4 letters total.
Box 3, Folder 16

Leonid (Berman), 1931-1960, n.d., bulk 1937-1939

Scope and Content Note

extensive correspondence regarding the artist's work, personal matters and travels, including a letter about the painting "Pêcheurs de Césenatico" (1937 Aug 25); 2 letters describing current work, especially with fishermen (1937 Sep 15 and 1937 Sep 22); expressing admiration for his brother Eugene's work (1938 Oct 13); about painting in Lille (1939 Jan 14); asking for financial assistance for the French army in Lille (1940 Oct 4); describing his life as a soldier and mentions how his contract with Julien Levy was provisionally suspended (1940 Apr 20); about not participating in the organization of a Neo-Romantic show with Levy (1961); and a letter to Eugene about awaiting demobilization, his observations on France's recent defeat and his participation as an eyewitness (n.d., ca. early 1940s). Also contains a contract and import documents for Soby's purchase of 6 Eugene Berman drawings (1931) and photograph taken in Venice (1937). ca. 36 items.
Box 3, Folder 17

Levy, Julien (Gallery), 1940-1941, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

includes a letter describing Dali's arrival from Europe and the present situations of Man Ray, Duchamp, Picasso, Léger, etc. (n.d.), and two others about the problems of getting Leonid Berman out of France (n.d.), 7 letters. Also contains a brochure of a Frida Kahlo exhibition with preface by André Breton (n.d.).
Box 3, Folder 18

Lipchitz, Jacques, 1942, 1958

Scope and Content Note

2 letters, one regarding his portrait of Charles V (1942) and the other stating that Henry Kahnweiler misquoted him about Juan Gris (1958).
Box 3, Folder 19

Lipton, Seymour, 1947

Scope and Content Note

2 letters, one about his lead sculptures.
Box 3, Folder 20

Magritte, René, 1965-1966

Scope and Content Note

contains a letter which describes Magritte's first encounter with De Chirico's work in 1922, a long letter documenting in detail his theory of painting, and another about Soby's text in the MoMA exhibition catalog on Magritte.
Box 3, Folder 21-22

Man Ray, 1933-1938, 1940-1941, 1958, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

correspondence includes an indignant rebuttal by Man Ray of a recent article by Lewis Mumford in The New Yorker, critical of a book of Man Ray's photographs; Mumford's reply addressed to Soby; and many letters about production and sales of Man Ray's books. Also contains a photograph of a woman with an inscription on the verso "Dedié à la Marquise Casatti/Soby 39.162" (n.d.), 3 photographs of Soby, one of which is mounted (n.d.), and one other made for New Years 1958, 17 items. (See also Box 6, Miscellaneous P-Z, for letter from Albert Skira about the sale of a Man Ray album).
Box 3, Folder 23

Marini, Marino and Marina

Scope and Content Note

includes an announcement of a De Chirico exhibition with pencil drawings (1952) and personal correspondence, 25 items, 1952, 54, 60-62, 64, n.d.
Box 3, Folder 24

Matisse, Pierre (Gallery), 1933, 1963

Scope and Content Note

letters about Rouault paintings for MoMA (1933), Miro's painting "Farm" (1963) and the distribution of the Yves and Kay Tanguy library (1963), 3 letters.
Box 3, Folder 25

Matta, Roberto, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

a small pencil and crayon drawing, titled "Le Forçat de la Lumiere," and a postcard, n.d. (see also Berman correspondence for letters about Matta).
Box 3, Folder 26

Melville, Robert, 1955, 1958

Scope and Content Note

2 letters.
Box 3, Folder 27

Miró, Joan, 1947-1968, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

contains personal correspondence and letters regarding MoMA including loans and offering a work, and five sheets with drawings in crayon on recto and verso (1959), 13 items.
Box 3, Folder 28

Morandi, Giorgio, 1957-1960, 1962-1963

Scope and Content Note

1 Christmas card, 4 calling cards and 1 letter.
Box 3, Folder 29

Morse, Reynolds, 1948, 1956, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

includes letter about MoMA's Dali monograph and another about a monetary dispute between Morse and Dali, 3 items.
Box 4, Folder 1

Newhall, Beaumont, 1944, 1957

Scope and Content Note

3 letters about various art related topics.
Box 4, Folder 2

O'Hara, Frank, 1955

Scope and Content Note

1 letter regarding a Soby article on Grace Hartigan.
Box 4, Folder 3

O'Keeffe, Georgia, 1946, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

letter about Soby's article on O'Keeffe, 1946, and photograph of O'Keeffe late in life being drawn by an unidentified artist, n.d.
Box 4, Folder 4

Osborn, Robert (cartoonist) 1957-1964, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

mostly personal correspondence with many drawings, but also one long letter regarding the difference between cartooning and "art" and descriptions of Osborn's recent acquisitions of Miro and Calder, and 1 clipping, 13 items total.
Box 4, Folder 5

Paley, William S., 1970, 1975

Scope and Content Note

4 letters about MoMA trustee business.
Box 4, Folder 6

Palmer, Philip, 1942

Scope and Content Note

1 letter commenting on Soby's US Camera article on documentary photography.
Box 4, Folder 7

Panofsky, Erwin, 1943-1944

Scope and Content Note

a letter about the representation of Copley's "Shark" in Gericault's "sick-room" and another about the "Blue Doll," 2 letters.
Box 4, Folder 8

Penrose, Roland, 1947, 1955-1956, 1963

Scope and Content Note

correspondence about reproductions of Penrose owned De Chirico works for Soby's monograph, and title changes of one of the works.
Box 4, Folder 9

Picasso, Pablo, 1962

Scope and Content Note

1 postcard with Picasso's signature and a small folder of material relating to a fake (copy) of the Soby-owned drawing "The Sigh."
Box 4, Folder 11

Porter, Fairfield, 1965

Scope and Content Note

letter about one of Porter's paintings.
Box 4, Folder 12

Rivers, Larry, 1947, 1955, 1962, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

includes 4 pg ms "Interview with Larry Rivers" about Rivers's transition from abstract to figure painting in his "Washington Crossing the Delaware" with Rivers' corrections (1955); letters about investigations into his background by the naturalization office (1947), his recent painting (1962), Rivers's reflection that recent painting seems to bear a resemblance to his own work and comments on his painting "Last Civil War Vet" (1962), and his Louvre show (n.d.), 6 items.
Box 4, Folder 13

Rockefeller, Nelson A., 1939-1969

Scope and Content Note

contains letters about museum business and Rockefeller'sattempt to commission Georges Rouault to create a stained glass window, 5 items.
Box 4, Folder 14-18

Rouault, Georges, 1945-1949

Scope and Content Note

includes material for MoMA's 1945 Rouault exhibition, such as Rouault manuscripts printed in the catalog as "Notes Received from the Artist February, 1945," correspondence from Rouault, his daughter Isabel and others, and exhibition checklists. Also contains other correspondence and manuscript page for the 1947 catalog reprint, correspondence with Robert Dahl about controversy over "Miserere et Guerre" prints and a summary of the Rouault-Vollard trial (1947), miscellaneous correspondence about work authenticity and publishing a small book of "Miserere" prints. Also catalogs, announcements and 3 photographs of Rouault's work, ca. 70 items.
Box 4, Folder 19

Sachs, Paul J., 1955-1957

Scope and Content Note

4 letters.
Box 4, Folder 20

Salemme, Attilio, 1954

Scope and Content Note

1 letter.
Box 4, Folder 21

Santomaso, Giuseppe, 1960

Scope and Content Note

1 small etching.
Box 43, Folder 22

Seligmann, Kurt, 1940

Scope and Content Note

1 letter.
Box 4, Folder 23

Severini, Gino, 1953-1954

Scope and Content Note

1 letter from Severini about the 1954 Venice Biennale and Soby's response with his thoughts on Surrealism in America.
Box 4, Folder 24

Shahn, Ben, 1945-1962, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

includes Soby's notes from a discussion with Shahn (1945 Apr 23); typescripted poem "A Small Painting in Tempera: For Ben Shahn" by A.M. Krich; letter from Shahn to Chrysler Corporation declining a painting commission because the firm wished to specify the subject of a war scene subtly containing Chrysler products (1946 Sep 26); and other correspondence about damage incurred to "Father and Child" while on tour (1949 Jan 5), "illustration" in painting and how some of Shahn's paintings evolved from stories he wrote and which appeared in Harpers (1962 Apr 20). Also contains pencil drawing of a seated man (n.d.), chapbook "I Sing of a Maiden" (n.d.), and printed Christmas card (see oversize).
Box 5, Folder 1

Storrs, Robert (Soby's godchild) 1932-1943, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

contains personal correspondence, postcards and poem, 32 items.
Box 5, Folder 2

Strand, Paul, 1955

Scope and Content Note

2 letters.
Box 5, Folder 3

Sutherland, Graham, 1949

Scope and Content Note

1 letter and a photograph of "Thorn Heads."
Box 5, Folder 4

Tanguy, Yves and Kay (Sage) 1941-1964, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

includes mostly personal correspondence from Sage, but also contains a long letter from Arpad Mezei to Soby about Tanguy's painting and a response from Sage to Soby in disagreement with Mezei's comments and explains Tanguy's inspirations and methods; 4 handmade Christmas cards; and 1954 Wadsworth Athenaeum exhibition catalogue Yves Tanguy, Kay Sage, ca. 24 items.
Box 5, Folder 5-8

Tchelitchew, Pavel, 1937-1955, n.d., bulk 1940-1942

Scope and Content Note

extensive personal correspondence, often documenting Tchelitchew's delicate constitution, and many letters related to his and others' art, including his inability to paint portraits because of his work on "Orpheus" (1936 Sep 21), his work "Phenomena" (1938 Apr 19), the play "Ondine" and his recent work (1939 Mar 5), urging Soby to protest for American artists' (1940 Sep 15), asking Soby to assist Matta who is penniless (1940 Oct 2 and 1940 Nov, see also Berman), the proposed exhibition and his feelings about a reproduction of one of his portraits in Fortune (1941 Dec 5), a large sculpture given as a thank you to Soby (1943 Dec 24), "Hide and Seek," comments for the 2nd edition text revision and advising Soby to give Ernst a one-man show (1947 Aug 5), Soby's intended plate revisions for 2nd edition (1948 Jan 24), Tchelitchew's response with references to early works and his statement that he is a poet who thinks in symbols and not an abstract painter (1948 Feb 2), Soby's decision to hand over the responsibility of writing the 2nd edition to Edgar Wind, due to Tchelitchew's dissatisfaction with Soby's revisions (1948 Mar 5), his drawing exhibition in France (1954 Jul 20), and praise for Bonnard as a painter, while disparaging Picasso (1955 Jul 4). Correspondence also contains two drawings in pen (1937), clippings and announcements. Other papers consist of material for MoMA's 1942 Tchelitchew exhibition and catalog including 2 manuscript copies, one with annotations (see also Barr file for letter ca. 1942 with comments on Soby manuscript), some correspondence from Tchelitchew about works in the show, postcard with fish drawing, exhibition pamphlets, clippings, MoMA news release and photograph possibly used for "Toreador," ca. 75 items.
Box 5, Folder 9

Thomson, Virgil, 1940

Scope and Content Note

includes a letter about Leonid's situation, 2 letters.
Box 5, Folder 10

Thurber, Helen (Soby's assistant at Magazine of Art ) 1940-1965, n.d., bulk 1951-1952

Scope and Content Note

correspondence about personal matters and Magazine of Art including a letter chronicling problems at the magazine (1952 Aug 11), and another about the Biennale issue (1952 May 19). 12 items.
Box 5, Folder 11

Toklas, Alice, 1934, 1958

Scope and Content Note

includes a letter regarding a Juan Gris attribution, 3 letters.
Box 5, Folder 12

Ungaretti, Giuseppe, 1956

Scope and Content Note

1 letter and 1 card.
Box 5, Folder 13

Vitali, Lambert, 1951-1961

Scope and Content Note

includes a letter about De Chirico's inspirations (1955 Oct 8), 5 letters.
Box 6, Folder 1

Weber, Max, 1957

Scope and Content Note

1 letter about the loan of "Giranium."
Box 6, Folder 2

Weinberg, Elbert, bulk 1955-1956

Scope and Content Note

includes letter correcting an Art in America article about one of Weinberg's sculptures which he designed but was executed with the help of others (1955 Mar), another stating how his recent work stems from the "Ritual Figure," (1956 Jan 19), and an exhibition announcement, 8 items.
Box 6, Folder 3

Westcott, Glenway, 1963-1964, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

letter about a proposed small book on Tchelitchew and 2 others.
Box 6, Folder 4

White, Nelson C., 1943

Scope and Content Note

2 letters, one which gives biographical information on artist Thomas W. Dewing.
Box 6, Folder 5

Wines, James, 1958

Scope and Content Note

1 postcard.
Box 6, Folder 6

Yourcenar, Marguerite, 1942, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

2 letters and 1 clipping.
Box 6, Folder 7

Miscellaneous A-G

Scope and Content Note

contains assorted letters from artists, friends and colleagues including Merle Armitage, Kirk Askew of Durlacher Bros., Virgil Barker, William Burden, Lynn Chadwick, John Coffey to Wyndham Lewis about his incarcerations, Ralph Colin, Pierre Courthion, Norman Cousins, Frank Crowninshield, Herbert Ferber, Lee Friedlander, ca. 38 items.
Box 6, Folder 8

Miscellaneous H-O

Scope and Content Note

George Heard Hamilton, Ian Hugo, Ernest Knee, Arnold Leondar, Naomi Lorne, John Melvin, John McGuinn, John de Menil, Henry Allen Moe, Walter Nathan, ca. 27 items.
Box 6, Folder 9

Miscellaneous P-Z

Scope and Content Note

Allen Porter, Nathan Pusey, Romain Rolland, Rosalind Russell, Germain Seligman, Albert Skira, Bill Snow, Peter Watson, George Wittenborn, ca. 33 items.
Box 6, Folder 10

Miscellaneous museums and galleries

Scope and Content Note

correspondence with, among others, John Baur, Brooklyn Museum; Gordon Washburn, Carnegie Institute; Lino Montagna, Comune di Milano Ente Manifestazioni Milanesi; Charles Buckley, Currier Gallery of Art, about Blume exhibition there; Jacues Dupin, Fondation Maeght; Jeanne Bucher, Galerie Jeanne Bucher; Henry Hope, Indiana University, about Dali; Henri Marceau, John G. Johnson Collection; W. Walter, Quatre Chemins, about purchasing Grandville; Robert Parks and Elizabeth Payne, Smith College Museum of Art; James Sweeney, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Blake-More Godwin, Toledo Museum of Art; Romeo Toninelli, Toninelli; Reuben Holden, Yale University; ca. 41 items.
Box 6, Folder 11

Miscellaneous MoMA

Scope and Content Note

correspondence and memos from Dorothy Miller, Monroe Wheeler, Blanchette Rockefeller, William Burden, Grace Mayer and others; and 4 press releases, ca. 30 items.
Box 6, Folder 12

Unidentified

Scope and Content Note

ca. 15 letters and 14 postcards (see also oversize).
Flat file folder **1

Unidentified drawing, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

sent as a Christmas gift, unidentified watercolor, and printed Christmas card from Ben Shahn.
 

Series II.  Eugene Berman, 1932-1969, bulk 1935-1945

Physical Description: 1 lin. ft.

Scope and Content Note

Letters from the artist, arranged chronologically, with a separate drawings file at the end. Includes letters about the design and execution of decorations for Soby's Connecticut dining-room, Berman's work in general, anger over MoMA's treatment of him and the expatriates involved in the Neo-Romantic movement (which would cause a rift in Soby's and Berman's friendship), his relationship with Julien Levy, and Berman's promotion of other artists' work. The series also contains a substantial quantity of drawings, drawn on separate sheets and on his letters in his "trompe l'oeil" manner.
Box 7, Folder 1

1932-1934

Scope and Content Note

letters about Soby's purchase of a painting (1932 Sep 18); his new paintings on Italian themes (1932 Dec 8), opinion of Balanchine and Diaghilev (1933 Oct 14); primacy of politics over art as a topic of conversation in contemporary Parisian society and his plans to emigrate to the United States (1934 Jul 2); and a long letter regarding his painting (1934 Sep 21). 11 letters, 1 telegram.
Box 7, Folder 2

Apr-Aug 1935

Scope and Content Note

Berman asking Soby not to mention to Julien Levy that Berman initiated personal contact between Soby and Christian Bérard (Apr 12); Berman critique of Soby's After Picasso, which corrects and edifies the early careers and influences of Bérard and Tchelitchew in Paris (ca. May 6); offering to help with French edition of Soby monograph, Dupont's potential as an artist and Berman's fashion drawings for Harper's Bazaar (ca. Jun 6); Leonid's and Berman's dislike for Soby's statement that Dali influenced their landscape paintings, and instead notes the importance of De Chirico, but does express appreciation of Dali's technique, and opinions about the work of artists Filippo De Pisis, Leonor Fini, Paul Eliasberg, and Dupont (ca. Jul 1); lengthy discussion of Bérard as an artist, expressing disappointment with his recent work and recommending that Soby buy a painting from his early period (ca. Jul 18). 11 letters.
Box 7, Folder 3

Sept 1935

Scope and Content Note

9 letters with long and detailed discussions about plans for Soby's dining-room in his Connecticut home, including elevations (see Box 8 drawings folder for plan of room and South elevation), panel and ceiling designs, doors, windows, frames (see drawings file), drapes, lighting, color scheme, etc., with mention of the Julien Levy panels designed at the same time (see especially ca. Sep 9) and documenting tension between Berman and the architect Henry-Russell Hitchcock (see especially ca. Sep 26, which also discusses Bérard's dislike for varnishing his pictures and how he asked Berman or restorers to do it).
Box 7, Folder 4

Oct-Dec 1935

Scope and Content Note

10 letters mostly regarding Soby's dining-room, one with a drawing of a shell as a design for the light fixtures (ca. Dec 4), and about his financial situation and ill health.
Box 7, Folder 5

Feb-Jun 1936

Scope and Content Note

9 letters with references to the dining-room, one with a description of the two thus far completed panels (Mar 21), and another with a drawing of a shell (ca. Ju 16).
Box 7, Folder 6

July-Dec., 1936

Scope and Content Note

more about his progress on the dining-room, with letters about his difficulties finishing the panels (ca. Jul 16), sample of the panel's color border (ca. Jun 24), and many regarding the light fixtures; and other personal letters about his intended travels, visas, the state of friends in Paris upon his arrival (Sep 8) and various other topics, 13 letters.
Box 7, Folder 7

1937-1939

Scope and Content Note

two letters about a picture Soby purchased (ca. 1937 Feb 15 and 1937 Feb 27); how bad he thought "The Beggars' Opera" was, although he had many compliments for his set designs (1937 Sep 27); his tempestuous life in London and his daily ballet battles, his beginning "Twelfth Night" and doing the delayed Paginini for Massine with Freddie [Frederick] Ashton (1938 Sep 7); Berman admitting that he admires Dali as an artist, but disagrees strongly with Soby's statement in the Dali catalog that he is "the one and only to have brought something new to art since Picasso" (1939 Mar 27); about the drawings for a possible Schubert ballet, and Roberto Matta, whose work Berman thinks Soby would like to (ca. 1939 Dec 15); Berman trying to solicit funds from Soby in support of Matta (1939 Dec 29); 16 letters, 1 note, 2 postcards.
Box 8, Folder 1

1940

Scope and Content Note

regarding Matta's finances (Jan 1930); many letters about Leonid including his mobilization, raising money for him, helping him emigrate to America and the problems associated with it, and the committee created to help artists leave Europe; two other letters about Berman's feelings on the current state of ballet in New York and mention of giving "Mirages" to Matta because Lichine changed it so much (Dec 13 and Dec 20). 15 letters, 1 postcard.
Box 8, Folder 2

1941

Scope and Content Note

discussion of works to be in Berman's retrospective exhibition at the Institute of Modern Art, Boston (Mar 2, also Apr 10); the Spanish-Mexican architectural influences in the panel for John Yeon and Berman's belief that they are his finest work, and his disappointment with MoMA for not organizing a long promised Neo-Romantic show (Jul 18); long letter protesting Soby's contention that Berman is now in a category of artists who do not need any support, his dislike of the monopoly Surrealism and Dali have exerted on publicity, and his feeling that the Neo-Romantic movement has been seen as an offshoot of Surrealism instead of a parallel movement with similar sources (Oct 18); the success of Julien Levy's Los Angeles gallery (Nov 7); extensive discussion of Soby's text on De Chirico that shows Berman's thorough knowledge of the older master's mentality and work (Nov 25, see also Dec 2); Soby's monograph on Dali (Dec 14). 11 letters, 1 postcard, 1 Christmas card.
Box 8, Folder 3

Mar-July 1942

Scope and Content Note

recent work and its closeness to "Night Music" (Mar 3 and May 27); many letters about financial help for Leonid; Berman's critical reaction to the news that MoMA will organize a Tchelitchew exhibition, instead of one on the Neo-Romantic movement as a whole, and also about recent works "Les Filles du Feu," "Monument to a Muse," "Soledad," "Anatomy of Melancholy," and "Portrait Fantasy of Ona Munson" (Jul 3); unwillingness to give any information on the early days of the Neo-Romantics for the Tchelitchew text (Jul 6, see also Jul 8); long letter documenting tensions between Berman and Soby over the Tchelitchew exhibition (Jul 17); Stravinsky portrait (Jul 30); Berman's recommendations for the selection of one of his paintints for the portrait show (Jul 31). 14 letters.
Box 8, Folder 4

Aug-Dec 1942

Scope and Content Note

more detailed recommendations for selecting portraits from Berman's oeuvre for the show, and which artists should be represented (ca. Aug 7); Berman asking Soby's assistance for Corrado Cagli (Aug 8), with a letter from Cagli to Berman explaining his current plight (Aug 6); Berman's preference to exhibit his newly painted portrait of Ona Munson rather than "Night Music" (Aug 20); 8 letters.
Box 8, Folder 5

1943-1947

Scope and Content Note

reaction to Soby's critical remarks on his recent work, which begins Berman's estrangement from MoMA and Soby (1943 Jan 26); letter to Berman about restoration of "Souvenir d'Ischia" and "Adriatique" (1943 Jan 29); criticism of MoMA sharply intensified in response to his poor representation in a drawings show (1944 Mar 3); carefully documented account of Berman's life and friendship with Soby since 1932, written so Soby could corroborate Berman's history to attain citizenship (1944 Apr 12); recent work based on his Guggenheim fellowship in Mexico and his intention to find another dealer (1947 Sep 12). 10 letters, 1 postcard.
Box 8, Folder 6

1954-1969

Scope and Content Note

about the possibility of his inclusion into the American section of the Biennale (1954 Mar 3); Berman's thoughts on his career and friendships from ca. 1935 to the 1960, expressing much dismay at the rejection his friends showed him during his middle period (1960 Apr 10); a Neo-Romantic show to be exhibited in Europe, a fight with Levy regarding this matter and some thoughts on Leonid (1961 Aug 14); Berman manuscript on Neo-Romanticism (ca. 1969); Soby's comments on the ms (1969 Nov 25). 8 letters, 1 postcard.
Box 8, Folder 7

n.d.

Scope and Content Note

1 letter, 2 notes.
Box 8, Folder 8

Drawings, 1935-1939, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

letter discussing in detail a new idea to extend the walls of Soby's dining-room 12" in order to create niches, with two drawings of floor plan and south elevation, and also discussing still-life motif of panels (ca. 1935 Oct 7); letter about frames and trim with an example of each on one sheet with text (ca. 1935 Dec 12); 4 sheets of drawings with similar image of a head atop a pedestal, 2 in ink and 2 in pencil (1 signed EB 1936); letter about the trim for the dining-room with drawing of figures and buildings inscribed "Mr. E. Berman's design for living for Mr. and Mrs. James Thrall Soby. . ." and small portrait head on the verso (ca. 1937 Jan 4); "trompe l'oeil" letter with margins of envelope in black ink (ca. 1937 Mar); "trompe l'oeil" letter with red watercolor (1937 Apr 12), which also contains another drawing on a separate sheet of three figures in purple (1936); personal letter with information on furniture Berman recently saw, with a drawing of a chair on the same sheet as the text and a drawing of a dog on a separate sheet (1937 Jun 16); 3 page letter regarding, among other things, Berman's dislike for Tchelitchew's recent work, with light grey watercolor drawings on verso and recto of each page and a "trompe l'oeil" envelope (1937 Nov 9); Christmas letter stating Berman is "gloomy and lonely" with drawing of artist's head on a table and a bottle of sherry overhead (ca. 1937 Dec 23); printed Julien Levy exhibition announcement with invitation (ca. 1937); personal letter and a drawing on a separate sheet of a seated man with a severed head between his feet on red ground (1938 Apr 7); Christmas and New Year's wish with a drawing of a man standing under an arch on the same sheet (1938 Dec); letter with small drawing of a woman standing under an arch of the nightclub "Famous Door" (ca. 1939 Dec 5); drawing with figures and buildings (ca. 1937 or 1939); and New Year's greeting with self-portrait.
 

Series III.  Peter Blume, 1940-1956

Physical Description: 0.5 lin. ft.

Scope and Content Note

Series comprises letters from Blume about many of his important paintings, the history of his early life and career, personal matters, and also contains a few letters from Blume's wife Ebie. The letters are arranged chronologically (bulk 1940-1945). The archive also has clippings, a pencil drawing, a small landscape painting, five different versions of a Soby manuscript on Blume with Blume and Barr annotations (1945), and two other manuscripts by Soby on Blume. Also includes Soby notes for text and bibliography, and correspondence with others pertaining to production of a Blume monograph.
Box 9, Folder 1

Correspondence 1940-1944

Scope and Content Note

letters about his move from Julien Levy Gallery to Downtown Gallery (1941 Feb 9); his works at Downtown Gallery which the MoMA acquisition committee might find suitable, including "South of Scranton," "The Eternal City," "Lilies," and "Buoy" (1941 Apr 9); the committee rejecting "Buoy" (1941 May 6); and 2 MoMA press releases about the museum's purchase of "The Eternal City" (1943).
Box 9, Folder 2

Correspondence bulk 1945

Scope and Content Note

copy of a letter from Blume to James Sweeney describing in detail his work "Parade" (Mar 9); letters about Blume monograph from Penguin series and Blume's explanation of why photographs and provenance of his early career are difficult to obtain (May 16 & May 21); copy of a letter from Blume to Dorothy Miller about "Penicillin Ward, Army Hospital" (Jun 13); detailed account of Blume's adolescent period as an art student, his printing "career," and "life class" training at the Educational Alliance, where he met Soyers and Chaim Gross (Jul 22); continuation of previous letter which describes his family's view of an artistic career, art classes at the Education Alliance and his modelling, his short stay at the Art Students League, and rental of a studio on 13th Street, in which he began painting "in a manner unlike anything I had ever done" (Jul 24, both of the previous letters were meant to flesh out details for Soby's monograph on Blume); sources of his painting "The Light of the World" (Aug 1); the final progress of "Excavation," which Barr wants to send to an engraver (Aug 9); chronology of his painting "South of Scranton" (Aug 24); the influence of Kingston and its environs on his paintings "The Boat," "White Factory," and "The Bridge" (Aug 28); his painting "Barnyard" (Oct 16).
Box 9, Folder 3

Correspondence 1946-1956

Scope and Content Note

includes letter about his use of preliminary sketches in the process of painting (1947 May 7).
Box 9, Folder 4

Drawing and letter, 1961, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

clippings, pencil drawing (n.d.), landscape painting (5x7, n.d.), and letter requesting information on Blume (1961).
Box 9, Folder 5

Soby manuscripts and notes, ca. 1945-1950, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

contains extensive notes on "South of Scranton," "The Eternal City," other works and general information extracted from articles (n.b.: Soby makes many references to Peter A. Juley negatives of which the Getty Research Library houses duplicate prints in the Photo Study Collection); 5 manuscripts by Soby on Blume (ca. 1945), two of which have annotations and comments by Blume, and a letter with comments by Barr; Soby manuscript with Blume comments (ca. 1950); and another manuscript "History of a Picture" (n.d.); and index cards with bibliographic notes.
Box 9, Folder 6

Correspondence with others about Soby monograph, 1945

Scope and Content Note

includes many reproduction permission requests, discussions of which works to reproduce, provenance queries, guidelines and comments from Barr about reproductions and text, etc.
Box 9, Folder 7

Miscellaneous material for Soby text

Scope and Content Note

includes large color reproduction of "Penicillin Ward, Army Hospital," photograph request lists, notes, clippings and announcements.
 

Series IV.  Miscellaneous, ca. 1928-1968

Physical Description: 0.5 lin. ft.

Scope and Content Note

Series contains assorted materials including Soby's manuscript about Everett (Chick) Austin; review clippings of Soby monographs and exhibitions; a few pages of Soby notes; photographs and postcards, including 2 photographs by George Platt Lynes; correspondence about Soby's personal finances; Soby's Last Will and Testament (1942); and miscellaneous Wadley family items such as correspondence, papers, poems, clippings and photographs accumulated by Soby's third wife Melissa.
Box 10, Folder 1

Austin, Everett A. (Chick) n.d.

Scope and Content Note

contains manuscrips about Austin (n.d., see also Berman correspondence ca. 1935 for Austin's involvement with the decoration of Soby's dining-room).
Box 10, Folder 2-4

Clippings

Scope and Content Note

mostly reviews of Soby's books and exhibitions, especially De Chirico and Tanguy; reviews of various exhibitions; and miscellaneous clippings and ephemera.
Box 10, Folder 5

Notes

Scope and Content Note

2 pages of Soby notes about Frank Lloyd Wright's "Falling Water" and 2 other pages.
Box 10, Folder 6

Photographs and postcards

Scope and Content Note

12 photographs of family, friends and artistic personalities, 8 postcards and 2 negatives.
Box 10, Folder 7

Photographs by George Platt Lynes, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

2 photographs, one inscribed on verso "288/As a Wife Has a Cow" and the other "345/Boat Series #9."
Box 10, Folder 8

Personal Finances, 1928-1968

Scope and Content Note

correspondence with Hartford National Bank and Trust Company and Loomis, Sayles & Company (1933-1934, 1951, 1968); regarding Package Machinery Company (1928, 1931); about purchasing New Canaan, Conn., property (1953); and Last Will and Testament (1942).
Box 10, Folder 9

Soby Collection List

Scope and Content Note

1 sheet.
Box 10, Folder 10

Wadley family

Scope and Content Note

correspondence, papers, poems, clippings and photographs accumulated by Melissa from family members, ca. 16 items.