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Catalog Data

Creator:
McLaughlin, John, 1898-  Search this
Names:
AndrĂ© Emmerich Gallery  Search this
Corcoran Gallery of Art  Search this
Pasadena Art Museum  Search this
Tamarind Lithography Workshop  Search this
Anderson, Eugene Newton  Search this
Benjamin, Karl  Search this
Felix Landau Gallery  Search this
Hammersley, Frederick, 1919-2009  Search this
Langsner, Jules, 1911-1967  Search this
Macdonald-Wright, Stanton, 1890-1973  Search this
McLaughlin, John, 1898- -- Photographs  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Salz, Peter  Search this
Extent:
3.3 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Paintings
Sketches
Collages
Photographs
Date:
1922-1979
bulk 1936-1976
Summary:
The papers of Southern California art dealer and abstract painter John McLaughlin measure 3.3 linear feet and date from 1922 to 1979. The collection documents John McLaughlin's personal life and career through biographical material, correspondence, writings, Tamarind Lithography fellowship files, scattered personal business records, printed materials, artwork, and photographic material.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Southern California art dealer and abstract painter John McLaughlin measure 3.3 linear feet and date from 1922 to 1979. The collection documents John McLaughlin's personal life and career through biographical material, correspondence, writings, Tamarind Lithography fellowship files, scattered personal business records, printed materials, artwork, and photographic material. Biographical material includes McLaughlin's military service records, art awards, and resumes. Correspondence is with friends, artists, museums, and galleries. Notable correspondents include Eugene Anderson, Karl Benjamin, Frederick Hammersley, Jules Langsner, Stanton Macdonald-Wright, Ad Reinhardt, and others. Writings and notes include several artist statements, lectures, notes, and lists and descriptions of paintings, some in the form of hand drawn sketches. Users will find McLaughlin's ideas about his work and aesthetics are referenced in much of the correspondence and writings. Some of the letters also document the evolution of the 1959 "Four Abstract Classicists" exhibition, particularly correspondence with Karl Benjamin, Peter Selz, and Jules Langsner. There are also writings about McLaughlin by others, including Jules Langsner. The Tamarind Lithography fellowship files consists of the letter of appointment, printed material, and profiles for fellow artists at the workshop. Personal business records include assorted legal and financial papers, such as contracts with galleries, art loan agreements, consignment records, and art shipment expenses. There are business papers about McLaughlin's Japanese print gallery, The Tokaido, Inc. Printed material consists of exhibition catalogs for McLaughlin's shows at the Andre Emmerich Gallery, Felix Landau Gallery, a retrospective at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1968, and the seminal 1959 "Four Abstract Classicists" in Los Angeles, among others. Also found are exhibition announcements, news clippings, and press releases. Artwork includes a few paintings and collages. Photographs, negatives, and slides are of McLaughlin, including one portrait by John Waggaman), artwork, and exhibition installations. There is one album of photographs from a 1963 retrospective exhibition at the Pasadena Art Museum.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as 8 series. Series 1: Biographical Material, 1942-circa 1969 (0.1 linear feet; Box 1) Series 2: Correspondence, 1936-1976 (0.7 linear feet; Box 1) Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1934-1976 (0.7 linear feet; Box 1-2) Series 4: Tamarind Lithography Fellowship Files, 1958-1970 (0.2 linear feet; Box 2) Series 5: Personal Business Records, circa 1938-1974 (0.2 linear feet; Box 2) Series 6: Printed Material, 1932-1979 (1.5 linear feet; Box 2-4) Series 7: Artwork, circa 1958 (0.1 linear feet; Box 3-4) Series 8: Photographic Material, 1922-1979 (0.2 linear feet; Box 3)
Biographical / Historical:
John Dwyer McLaughlin (1898-1976) was best known as one of the leading Los Angeles "hard-edge" geometric abstractionist painters and one of the artists featured in the seminal 1959 exhibition "Four Abstract Classicists" curated by Jules Langsner. McLaughlin was also a dealer of Japanese art prints. McLaughlin was born and educated in Massachusetts. He served in the United States Navy during World War I from 1917-1921 and married Florence Emerson in 1928. McLaughlin began painting around 1932 with no formal training. In 1935, the couple moved to Japan and lived for several years before moving back to Boston, where they opened The Tokaido, Inc., a Japanese art print gallery. From this time up to the beginning of World War II, McLaughlin worked primarily as a print dealer, without huge success. During World War II, he served as a language intelligence officer in the Marines, primarily because of his knowledge of Japanese. After the war, McLaughlin and his wife settled in Dana Point, California, where he began painting in earnest, gaining some early local successes. His painting, Hope Deferred was awarded first prize for oil painting in the 1948 San Diego Art Guild Annual. He became associated with the Felix Landau Gallery in Los Angeles and was one of four painters included in the historic 1959 "Four Abstract Classicists" exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art organized by critic Jules Langsner which also featured the work of Frederick Hammersley, Lorser Feitelson, and Karl Benjamin. The phrase "hard-edge painting" was first used in association with this exhibition as a description of a unique California style of geometric abstractionist painting. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s McLaughlin exhibited widely and became a mentor for many younger Los Angeles area reductive painters. He was widely admired for his integrity and independent position regarding the art market. John McLaughlin died in Dana Point, California in 1976 at the age of 77.
Related Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds an oral history interview of John D. McLaughlin conducted July 23, 1974, by Paul J. Karlstrom.
Provenance:
The John McLaughlin papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in multiple installments. John McLaughlin donated material in 1973 and his widow Florence McLaughlin donated material in 1976. Additional papers were donated by the artist's nephew John McLaughlin in 1998 and 1999.
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 John McLaughlin 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.
Occupation:
Art dealers -- California  Search this
Topic:
Art, Modern -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Painting, Abstract -- California -- Exhibitions  Search this
Painters -- California  Search this
Prints, Japanese  Search this
Genre/Form:
Paintings
Sketches
Collages
Photographs
Citation:
John McLaughlin papers, 1922-1979, bulk 1936-1976. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.mclajohn
See more items in:
John McLaughlin papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mclajohn