Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Additional Online Media

Catalog Data

Creator:
Fleischman, Lawrence A. (Lawrence Arthur), 1925-1997  Search this
Names:
American Federation of Arts  Search this
Archives of American Art  Search this
Corcoran Gallery of Art  Search this
Detroit Institute of Arts  Search this
Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum  Search this
Kennedy Galleries  Search this
Kraushaar Galleries  Search this
M. Knoedler & Co.  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Midtown Galleries (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Milwaukee Art Center  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
National Gallery of Art (U.S.)  Search this
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts  Search this
Philadelphia Museum of Art  Search this
United States Information Agency  Search this
University of Michigan. Museum of Art  Search this
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
Allston, Washington, 1779-1843  Search this
Arms, John Taylor, 1887-1953  Search this
Bailey, Grace  Search this
Bailey, Truman E., 1902?-1959  Search this
Bohrod, Aaron  Search this
Burchfield, Charles Ephraim, 1893-1967  Search this
Culver, Charles B. (Charles Beach), 1908-1967  Search this
Eakins, Thomas, 1844-1916  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Fleischman, Barbara  Search this
Gentle, Esther, 1900-  Search this
Krentzin, Earl, 1929-  Search this
Marin, John, 1870-1953  Search this
Pollack, Peter, 1909-1978  Search this
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Richardson, Constance, 1905-  Search this
Richardson, Edgar Preston, 1902-1985  Search this
Ryder, Albert Pinkham, 1847-1917  Search this
Sellers, Charles Coleman, 1903-  Search this
Watkins, Franklin Chenault, 1894-1972  Search this
Extent:
4.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Typescripts
Photographs
Date:
1837-1984
bulk 1935-1979
Summary:
The papers of art collectors, art patrons, and philanthropists Lawrence and Barbara Fleischman measure 4.9 linear feet and date from 1837 to 1984, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1935-1979. The papers are comprised mostly of correspondence with artists, museums, and arts organizations. Also found are scattered biographical materials, artists' autograph letters purchased by the Fleischmans, exhibition files, notes and writings, printed material, and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of art collectors, art patrons, and philanthropists Lawrence and Barbara Fleischman measure 4.9 linear feet and date from 1837 to 1984, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1935-1979. The papers are comprised mostly of correspondence with artists, museums, and arts organizations. Also found are scattered biographical materials, artists' autograph letters purchased by the Fleischmans, exhibition files, notes and writings, printed material, and photographs. One folder of biographical material includes a biographical account and a certificate of appreciation from the Common Council for the City of Detroit. The bulk of the collection is comprised of correspondence documenting the Fleischman's art related activities and interests primarily during the 1950s and 1960s. Individual correspondents include Aaron Bohrod, Charles E. Burchfield, Charles B. Culver, Philip Evergood, Earl Krentzin, John Marin, Jr., Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle, Peter Pollack, Edgar P. and Constance Richardson, Charles Coleman Sellers, and Franklin Watkins. One letter from Charles E. Burchfield includes four etching plates used to create the color print of Hot September Wind. Arts organizations and galleries represented in the correspondence include the American Federation of Arts, the Archives of American Art, the Arts Commission of the City of Detroit, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Detroit Institute of Art, Kennedy Galleries, M. Knoedler and Co., Inc., Kraushaar Galleries, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Midtown Galleries, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the School of the Society of Arts and Crafts, the United States Information Agency, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Winterthur Museum. Autograph letters purchased by the Fleischmans include letters written by artists Washington Allston (addressed to Thomas Sully), Albert Pinkham Ryder, and John Taylor Arms. Exhibition files document the various exhibitions of art work from the Lawrence and Barbara Fleischman Collection at the University of Michigan Museum of Art; the Detroit Institute of Art; in Central and South America; in Greece, Israel and Russia; and at the Milwaukee Art Center. The files contain letters, notes, printed material, and photographs. Three folders of notes and writings include "Introduction to Earl Krentzin Catalog" by Lawrence Fleischman and "Selection of Excerpts from the Soviet Press and Radio Attacking U. S. Culture" by unidentified authors. Scattered printed material includes miscellaneous clippings and catalogs not connected with the Exhibition Files series. There is also a book John Marin: The Man and his Work by E. M. Benson that was autographed by Marin to the Fleischmans in 1953. Photographs include portrait photographs of Lawrence Fleischman, photographs of Lawrence and Barbara Fleischman with colleagues, of art work from the Fleischman Collection, of Truman and Grace Bailey in their studio, and a copy photograph of Thomas Eakins as a boy.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 7 series: Series 1: Biographical Material, 1958 (Box 1; 1 folder) Series 2: Correspondence, 1949-1984 (Boxes 1-4, 7; 3.8 linear feet) Series 3: Autograph Letters, 1837-1942 (Box 4; 4 folders) Series 4: Exhibition Files, 1953-1960 (Boxes 4-5, 7; 0.5 linear feet) Series 5: Notes and Writings, 1957-1962 (Box 5; 3 folders) Series 6: Printed Material, 1935-1969 (Box 5-6; 6 folders) Series 7: Photographs, 1953-1965 (Box 6; 13 folders)
Biographical / Historical:
Lawrence Fleischman (1925-1997) of New York City was an American art collector, patron, philanthropist, and benefactor. He and his wife, Barbara Greenberg Fleischman, assembled an impressive collection of art and artifacts that they shared with the public as part of their philanthropic activities aimed at fostering a wider appreciation of the arts around the world. Lawrence Fleischman was born on February 14, 1925 in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Stella and Arthur Fleischman, the owner of a large carpet business. He attended the Western Military Academy in Alton, Illinois, and studied engineering at Purdue University. In 1942, he interrupted his studies to volunteer for service in the U.S. Army during World War II. While serving in France, he met a doctor who further fostered Fleischman's ever growing interest in American art. Following the war, he graduated with a degree in physics from the University of Detroit. Fleischman met Barbara Greenberg in Detroit and they were married in 1948. Beginning in the late 1940s, Fleischman established a fledgling television station, developed holdings in real estate, and began purchasing art work. Initially the Fleischmans collected undervalued 20th century American art and were friends with several artists, including John Marin, Charles Burchfield, Stuart Davis, and Ben Shahn. They also expanded the scope of their collection to include 19th century American works. During the 1950s, Lawrence Fleischman realized how there were few American art historians and college departments, as well as a lack of primary source material. Fleischman worked with Edgar P. Richardson, then director of the Detroit Institute of Art, to raise funds and they founded the Archives of American Art at the Detroit Institute of Art in 1954. The Archives of American Art was, and still is, dedicated to the collection, preservation, and study of primary source records that document the history of the visual arts in the United States. Lawrence A. Fleischman is a founding Trustee of the AAA and served as the Chairman of the Board from 1958 to 1966. His wife, Barbara joined the Board of Trustees in 1997 and served as Chair from 2003 to 2007. She is a Trustee Emerita. Lawrence Fleischman's business and philanthropic interests included the Arthur Fleischman Carpet Company, the Lee Plaza Hotel-Motel in Detroit, Art Adventurers, the Art School of the Society of Arts and Crafts in Detroit, the Friends of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Cultural Committee of the United States Information Agency, and the Art Commission of Detroit, which governed the Detroit Institute of Art. He also served as an officer of the Board for many of the arts-related organizations. In 1996, the Fleischmans moved their family from Detroit to New York City, where Lawrence Fleischman became a partner in the Kennedy Galleries. The Fleischmans philanthropic activities include generous support of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Art, the Cleveland Museum, the British Museum, the Vatican Museum, and lifelong support of the Archives of American Art. Lawrence Fleischman died on January 31, 1997 in London, England. Barbara Fleischman lives in New York City and continues to be an active supporter of the visual arts.
Related Materials:
Among the Archives holdings are two oral history interviews with Lawrence A. Fleischman. The first was conducted by Paul Cummings in 1970 and the second conducted by Gail Stavitsky in 1994 . Both interviews have transcripts available.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming, the majority of which was later donated, except for five letters on reel D197. These include one postcard from Constance Richardson, 1956; one letter from Constance Richardson, 1957; one letter from Franklin Watkins, 1955; one letter from Lawrence Fleischman to Wilbur H. Hunter, 1960; and one letter from Richard D. Tucker, 1960. This material remains with lender and is not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
The Lawrence and Barbara Fleischman papers were donated in several accretions by Lawrence and Barbara Fleischman from 1954 to 2007. Letters were also loaned for microfilming in 1965, but nearly all of them were subsequently donated.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Lawrence and Barbara Fleischman papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Painting, American  Search this
Art patrons Michigan Detroit  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Philanthropists  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- United States  Search this
Painters -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Typescripts
Photographs
Citation:
Lawrence and Barbara Fleischman Papers, 1837-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.fleilawr
See more items in:
Lawrence and Barbara Fleischman papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-fleilawr