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Kate Steinitz papers

Creator:
Steinitz, Kate Traumann, 1889-1975  Search this
Names:
Bauhaus  Search this
Berlinische Galerie  Search this
Elmer Belt Library of Vinciana  Search this
Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg  Search this
San Francisco Museum of Art  Search this
Berg, Ilse  Search this
Chagall, Marc, 1887-  Search this
Gabo, Naum, 1890-1977  Search this
Graeff, Werner, 1901-1978  Search this
Grosz, George, 1893-1959  Search this
Höch, Hannah, 1889-1978  Search this
Leonardo, da Vinci, 1452-1519  Search this
Lissitzky, El, 1890-1941  Search this
Mondrian, Piet, 1872-1944  Search this
Nebel, Otto, 1892-1973  Search this
Schwitters, Kurt, 1887-1948  Search this
van Biema, Carrie  Search this
Extent:
4.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Manuscripts
Journals (accounts)
Collages
Paintings
Greeting cards
Visitors' books
Travel diaries
Date:
circa 1910-2002
Summary:
The papers of artist, collector, librarian, and scholar Kate Steinitz measure 4.3 linear feet and date from circa 1910 to 2002. The collection documents Steinitz's life and career in Germany and the United States through biographical material; correspondence; writings, including manuscripts and travel diaries; exhibition files; personal business records; printed material; travel scrapbooks; artwork; and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of artist, collector, librarian, and scholar Kate Steinitz measure 4.3 linear feet and date from circa 1910 to 2002. The collection documents Steinitz's life and career in Germany and the United States through biographical material; correspondence; writings, including manuscripts and travel diaries; exhibition files; personal business records; printed material; travel scrapbooks; artwork; and photographs.

Biographical material consists of life and travel documents, various membership cards, news clippings, and memorial cards. Also included are letters of recommendation, a resume, and an award from the president of Germany.

Correspondence is with friends, family, colleagues, and various organizations. Artists represented include Carrie van Biema, El Lissitzky, Piet Mondrian, and others. Correspondence with arts organizations include San Francisco Museum of Art, Berlinische Galerie, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, and others.

Published writings by Steinitz include articles, books, and book reviews. Unpublished writings include two travel diaries and an illustrated journal, an autobiographical essay with a sketch of the Traumann family tree, manuscripts, lectures, poems, and notes. Writings by others include a guest register with sketches and comments by visitors, a memorial speech, biographical essays, and miscellaneous notes.

Steinitz's professional activities during her career as a librarian and curator of the Elmer Belt Library of Vinciana are documented through published articles and books, informal reports, correspondence, scrapbooks, sketches, and photographs.

Files pertaining to exhibitions of Steinitz's artwork and collection are documented through three exhibition catalogs, correspondence, inventories, photographs, and printed ephemera. Materials related to the Schwitters-Steinitz Collection, which was compiled by Steinitz and is available at the National Gallery of Art Library in Washington, D.C., include a finding aid and photocopies documenting the exhibition Collaborative Works by Kate Steinitz and Kurt Schwitters from the Schwitters-Steinitz Collection (1994).

Personal business records include an appraisal of Steinitz's art and book collection. Documents pertaining to Steinitz's publishing activities include sales agreements and legal services rendered for the book Kurt Schwitters: A Portrait from Life (1968) written by Steinitz and contracts with Whitman Publishing Company for a children's book by Tom Seidmann-Freud.

Printed material consists of published illustrations and stationary by Steinitz; clippings about Steinitz, Kurt Schwitters, and others; reproductions of artwork; and miscellaneous invitations and announcements. Also found are three children's books written and illustrated by Tom Seidmann-Freud and a book of poems with an illustrated book jacket by Joachin Ringelnatz.

Steinitz's personal and professional trips to Europe are documented through six travel scrapbooks which include sketches, photographs, notes, and printed ephemera such as postcards, receipts, and maps.

Artwork by Steinitz consists of travel sketches and a mock-up sketch for the book Manuscripts of Leonardo da Vinci: Their History, With a Description of the Manuscript Editions in Facsimile (1948). Artwork by others includes miscellaneous sketches, prints, and paintings. Of note are greeting cards with prints by Werner Graeff and a collage by Otto Nebel.

Photographs and negatives consist of portraits and snapshots of Steinitz as well as family, friends, and artists. Photographs by Steinitz include a self-portrait and images of artists, artwork, and Bauhaus architecture. Photographs of Steinitz's apartments in Los Angeles include images of a Man Ray table that was given to Jake Zeitlin. Artists represented include Piet Mondrian, Naum Gabo, Kurt Schwitters, Hannah Höch, El Lissitzky, Marc Chagall, George Grosz, and others.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 10 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1915-1976 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1922-1998 (Boxes 1-2; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, 1921-2002 (Box 2; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 4: Elmer Belt Library of Vinciana, 1948-1989 (Boxes 2-3; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 5: Exhibition Files, 1939-2001 (Box 3; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Personal Business Records, 1938-1993 (Box 3; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1913-2002 (Boxes 3-5; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 8: Travel Scrapbooks, 1966-1974 (Box 4; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 9: Artwork, circa 1928-1974 ( Boxes 4-5; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 10: Photographic Material, circa 1910-1979 (Boxes 4-5; 0.3 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Kate Steinitz (1889-1975) was an artist, collector, librarian, and scholar who worked in Berlin and Hanover, Germany and Los Angeles, California. Steinitz was born in Beuthen, Silesia, Germany, (now Poland) to Arnold and Magdelena Traumann; the family relocated to Berlin in 1899. From 1908 to 1911, Steinitz studied drawing and painting under Käthe Kollwitz and Lovis Corinth and attended lectures by art historian, Heinrich Wölfflin. While visiting Paris with her mother in 1912, Steinitz continued her studies at the Sorbonne and Académie de la Grande Chaumière.

Steinitz married physician, Ernst Steinitz in 1913. The couple had three daughters including Ilse, Lotti, and Beate. In 1917, the family moved to Hanover, Germany. Over the next 17 years, the Steinitz household served as a salon for visiting artists including Naum Gabo, Hannah Höch, El Lissitzky, and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. Visitors' notes and drawings from this era are documented in Steinitz's guestbook, Zu Gast bei Kate Steinitz, published by Galerie Gmurzynska in 1977.

Steinitz was most active as a fine artist while living in Hanover. Her paintings under glass were first exhibited in 1921 at Herbert von Garvens' gallery. Steinitz had her first solo exhibition in 1922 at the Gurlitt Gallery in Berlin. In 1926, her work was included in the International Exhibition of Modern Art at the Brooklyn Museum in New York.

Steinitz also collected art and her collection included artworks by El Lissitzky, Kurt Schwitters, László Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Auguste Rodin, Otto Nebel, Franz Marc, and others. In 1925, she collaborated with German artist Kurt Schwitters and Dutch artist Theo van Doesburg on Die Scheuche Märchen, a typographic children's book published by Aposs and Merz Verlag. Steinitz and Schwitters also collaborated on Der Zusammenstoss, an opera libretto. Steinitz compiled an archival collection documenting Schwitters' life and career which was later acquired by the National Gallery of Art Library in Washington, D.C. in 1976.

As a journalist, Steinitz wrote about art and lifestyle topics for newspapers and magazines in Hanover and Berlin. Growing Nazi influences caused the family to leave Germany for New York City in 1936. As Chairman of the Art Committee of Friendship House, a cultural organization for refugees, Steinitz organized the New Americans (1939-1940) exhibition of paintings, drawings, and sculpture by European refugees at the World's Fair in New York.

After finalizing her U.S. citizenship in 1944, Steinitz relocated to Los Angeles where she resided for the remainder of her life. From 1945 to 1961, she served as a librarian for Elmer Belt's Leonardo da Vinci library. When Belt donated the library to the University of California, Los Angeles in 1961, Steinitz was named honorary curator of the Elmer Belt Library of Vinciana. In 1969, Steinitz's literary contributions on Leonardo da Vinci earned her an invitation to deliver the lecture for the IX Lettura Vinciana in Venice, Italy.

The biographical information included here draws upon the following sources: Wilson Library Bulletin, Vol. 45 (1970) and Kate Steinitz: Art into Life into Art, exhibition catalog, Severin Wunderman Museum (1994).
Related Materials:
Kate Steinitz compiled a collection of archival materials about German artist and writer Kurt Schwitters and donated the materials to the National Gallery of Art Library located in Washington, D.C.
Provenance:
The Kate Steinitz papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 1999 by Ilse Berg, daughter of Kate Steinitz.
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 Kate Steinitz 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:
Librarians -- Germany  Search this
Art historians -- Germany  Search this
Librarians -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Illustrators -- Germany  Search this
Illustrators -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Curators -- Germany  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Private collections  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Art historians -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Curators -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Germany  Search this
Dadaism  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Manuscripts
Journals (accounts)
Collages
Paintings
Greeting cards
Visitors' books
Travel diaries
Citation:
Kate Steinitz papers, circa 1910-2002. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.steikate
See more items in:
Kate Steinitz papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-steikate
Additional Online Media:

Appraisal, Kate Steinitz Collection

Collection Creator:
Steinitz, Kate Traumann, 1889-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 29
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1963-1976
Collection 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.
Collection Rights:
The Kate Steinitz 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.
Collection Citation:
Kate Steinitz papers, circa 1910-2002. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Kate Steinitz papers
Kate Steinitz papers / Series 6: Personal Business Records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-steikate-ref211

Check Stubs

Collection Creator:
Steinitz, Kate Traumann, 1889-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 30
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1970
1964
Collection 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.
Collection Rights:
The Kate Steinitz 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.
Collection Citation:
Kate Steinitz papers, circa 1910-2002. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Kate Steinitz papers
Kate Steinitz papers / Series 6: Personal Business Records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-steikate-ref212

Commissions

Collection Creator:
Steinitz, Kate Traumann, 1889-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 31
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1947-1952
Collection 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.
Collection Rights:
The Kate Steinitz 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.
Collection Citation:
Kate Steinitz papers, circa 1910-2002. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Kate Steinitz papers
Kate Steinitz papers / Series 6: Personal Business Records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-steikate-ref213

Committee for Simon Rodia's Towers in Watts, Los Angeles

Collection Creator:
Steinitz, Kate Traumann, 1889-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 32-33
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1961-1993
Scope and Contents:
(Includes photographs and negatives)
Collection 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.
Collection Rights:
The Kate Steinitz 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.
Collection Citation:
Kate Steinitz papers, circa 1910-2002. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Kate Steinitz papers
Kate Steinitz papers / Series 6: Personal Business Records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-steikate-ref214

Invoices

Collection Creator:
Steinitz, Kate Traumann, 1889-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 34
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1964-1974
Collection 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.
Collection Rights:
The Kate Steinitz 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.
Collection Citation:
Kate Steinitz papers, circa 1910-2002. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Kate Steinitz papers
Kate Steinitz papers / Series 6: Personal Business Records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-steikate-ref216

Legal Services and Sales Agreements

Collection Creator:
Steinitz, Kate Traumann, 1889-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 35
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1964-1975
Collection 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.
Collection Rights:
The Kate Steinitz 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.
Collection Citation:
Kate Steinitz papers, circa 1910-2002. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Kate Steinitz papers
Kate Steinitz papers / Series 6: Personal Business Records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-steikate-ref217

Library Gifts, California State University, San Bernardino

Collection Creator:
Steinitz, Kate Traumann, 1889-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 36
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1983-1990
Collection 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.
Collection Rights:
The Kate Steinitz 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.
Collection Citation:
Kate Steinitz papers, circa 1910-2002. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Kate Steinitz papers
Kate Steinitz papers / Series 6: Personal Business Records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-steikate-ref218

Lists, Beate Steinitz Library

Collection Creator:
Steinitz, Kate Traumann, 1889-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 37
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1942
Collection 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.
Collection Rights:
The Kate Steinitz 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.
Collection Citation:
Kate Steinitz papers, circa 1910-2002. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Kate Steinitz papers
Kate Steinitz papers / Series 6: Personal Business Records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-steikate-ref219

Lists, Kate Steinitz Collection

Collection Creator:
Steinitz, Kate Traumann, 1889-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 38
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1947
Collection 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.
Collection Rights:
The Kate Steinitz 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.
Collection Citation:
Kate Steinitz papers, circa 1910-2002. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Kate Steinitz papers
Kate Steinitz papers / Series 6: Personal Business Records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-steikate-ref220

Loan Agreements, El Lissitzky

Collection Creator:
Steinitz, Kate Traumann, 1889-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 39
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1983-1990
Collection 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.
Collection Rights:
The Kate Steinitz 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.
Collection Citation:
Kate Steinitz papers, circa 1910-2002. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Kate Steinitz papers
Kate Steinitz papers / Series 6: Personal Business Records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-steikate-ref221

Loan Agreements, Kate Steinitz Collection

Collection Creator:
Steinitz, Kate Traumann, 1889-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 40
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1952
1975
Collection 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.
Collection Rights:
The Kate Steinitz 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.
Collection Citation:
Kate Steinitz papers, circa 1910-2002. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Kate Steinitz papers
Kate Steinitz papers / Series 6: Personal Business Records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-steikate-ref222

Mailing Lists

Collection Creator:
Steinitz, Kate Traumann, 1889-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 41
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection 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.
Collection Rights:
The Kate Steinitz 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.
Collection Citation:
Kate Steinitz papers, circa 1910-2002. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Kate Steinitz papers
Kate Steinitz papers / Series 6: Personal Business Records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-steikate-ref223

Permissions, El Lissitzky

Collection Creator:
Steinitz, Kate Traumann, 1889-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 42
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1990
Collection 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.
Collection Rights:
The Kate Steinitz 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.
Collection Citation:
Kate Steinitz papers, circa 1910-2002. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Kate Steinitz papers
Kate Steinitz papers / Series 6: Personal Business Records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-steikate-ref224

Publishing Agreements, Tom Seidmann-Freud

Collection Creator:
Steinitz, Kate Traumann, 1889-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 43
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1938-1940
Collection 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.
Collection Rights:
The Kate Steinitz 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.
Collection Citation:
Kate Steinitz papers, circa 1910-2002. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Kate Steinitz papers
Kate Steinitz papers / Series 6: Personal Business Records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-steikate-ref225

Purchase Requests, El Lissitzky

Collection Creator:
Steinitz, Kate Traumann, 1889-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 44
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1980-1989
Collection 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.
Collection Rights:
The Kate Steinitz 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.
Collection Citation:
Kate Steinitz papers, circa 1910-2002. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Kate Steinitz papers
Kate Steinitz papers / Series 6: Personal Business Records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-steikate-ref226

Travel Itineraries, Europe

Collection Creator:
Steinitz, Kate Traumann, 1889-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 45
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1956-1975
Collection 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.
Collection Rights:
The Kate Steinitz 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.
Collection Citation:
Kate Steinitz papers, circa 1910-2002. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Kate Steinitz papers
Kate Steinitz papers / Series 6: Personal Business Records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-steikate-ref378

Travel Receipts, Europe

Collection Creator:
Steinitz, Kate Traumann, 1889-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 46
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1956-1966
Collection 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.
Collection Rights:
The Kate Steinitz 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.
Collection Citation:
Kate Steinitz papers, circa 1910-2002. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Kate Steinitz papers
Kate Steinitz papers / Series 6: Personal Business Records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-steikate-ref379

Lillian and Frederick Kiesler papers

Creator:
Kiesler, Lillian, 1910?-2001  Search this
Names:
Anthology Film Archives  Search this
Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts  Search this
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
University of Iowa, Museum of Art  Search this
Whitney Museum of American Art  Search this
Adnan, Etel  Search this
Andres, Jo  Search this
Arnaud, Leopold, 1895-  Search this
Bartos, Armand P., 1910-  Search this
Bultman, Fritz, 1919-1985  Search this
Buscemi, Steve, 1958-  Search this
Castelli, Leo  Search this
Copley, Alfred L.  Search this
Diller, Burgoyne, 1906-1965  Search this
Dlugoszewski, Lucia, 1931-2000  Search this
Dorazio, Piero, 1927-  Search this
Dorazio, Virginia Dortch  Search this
Dreier, Katherine Sophie, 1877-1952  Search this
Dubuffet, Jean, 1901-  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Hawkins, Erick  Search this
Hodges, Alice  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Holtzman, Harry  Search this
Howe, George, 1886-1955  Search this
Kamler, Richard  Search this
Kiesler, Frederick  Search this
MacIver, Loren, 1909-  Search this
Meredith, Burgess, 1907-1997  Search this
Milius, Tom  Search this
Miller, Henry, 1891-  Search this
Mondrian, Piet, 1872-1944  Search this
Montgomery, Chandler  Search this
Owen, Jane Blaffer, 1915-2010  Search this
Purdy, James  Search this
Takaezu, Toshiko  Search this
Tawney, Lenore  Search this
Zogbaum, Wilfrid, 1915-1965  Search this
Extent:
49.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Sound recordings
Diaries
Interviews
Scripts (documents)
Motion pictures (visual works)
Date:
circa 1910s-2003
bulk 1958-2000
Summary:
The papers of New York artist Lillian Kiesler and architect and sculptor Frederick Kiesler measure 49.1 linear feet and date from circa 1910s-2003, with the bulk of the material from 1958-2000. The collection documents their personal and professional lives and the legacy of Frederick Kiesler's work through biographical material, correspondence, legal, financial and business records, teaching files, exhibition and performance files, artwork, subject files, printed material, writings and interviews, monographs, photographic material, and sound and video recordings. Also found are papers related to Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hofmann and the papers of artist Alice Hodges.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of artist, performer, and arts educator Lillian Kiesler and sculptor, architect, set designer, educator, and writer Frederick Kiesler measure 49.1 linear feet and date from circa 1910s-2003, with the bulk of the material from 1958-2000. The collection documents their personal and professional lives and the legacy of Frederick Kiesler's work through biographical material, correspondence, legal, financial and business records, teaching files, exhibition and performance files, artwork, subject files, printed material, writings and interviews, monographs, photographic material, and sound and video recordings. Also found are papers related to Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hofmann and the papers of artist Alice Hodges.

The collection is arranged into two series: the Lillian Kiesler Papers (Series 1) and the Frederick Kiesler Papers (Series 2). Measuring 41.1 linear feet, the Lillian Kiesler Papers (Series 1) make up the bulk of the collection and document her personal life and professional career as an artist, actor, teacher, arts benefactor and promoter of Frederick Kiesler's legacy. The series spans her lifetime, although most of the material is dated after 1965. Among her papers are biographical materials, correspondence, legal and financial records, teaching files, exhibition and performance files, artwork, subject files, printed material, monographs, papers related to Frederick Kiesler and his legacy, papers of and related to Hans Hofmann, papers of Alice Hodges, photographic material, and sound and video recordings.

Found among Lillian Kiesler's personal papers are address books, numerous calendars and appointment books, and diaries and journals. Her correspondence is extensive and contains business correspondence with John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The University of Iowa Museum of Art, and Erick Hawkins Dance Foundation, and personal letters and greeting cards from friends, family, artists, scholars, and researchers, including Etel Adnan, Alcopley, Fritz Bultman, Steve Buscemi, Mike Diamond, Burgoyne Diller, Lucia Dlugoszewski, Piero Dorazio, Jean Dubuffet, Jay Gottlieb, Erick Hawkins, Burgess Meredith, Henry Miller, James Purdy, and Herrel Thomas. Of interest is a letter from Harry Holtzman postmarked March 13, 1935 describing his initial meeting with Mondrian, and a letter from E.B. Gordon describing Henry Miller in Paris.

Materials related to Lillian Kiesler's estate and last wishes can also be found, as well as teaching plans, student work, and writings by Lillian Kiesler's mentor and friend, New York University professor Chandler Montgomery. Various printed material, correspondence, scripts, and rehearsal schedules from Lillian Kiesler's exhibitions and performances are also found, and among the directors, artists and writers represented are Jo Andres, Steve Buscemi, Cindy Lugar, Tim Miller and James Purdy. Artwork contains photographs by Bob Del Fredici, drawings by Piero Dorazio, and notes to Frederick Kiesler from Lillian Kiesler.

Subject files about artists, friends, colleagues, performances, and organizations in which she supported, such as the Anthology Film Archives, include printed materials and research materials. Signed exhibition catalogs of Loren MacIver, Dina Ghen, Lenore Tawney, and Toshiko Takaezu, and a reprint article inscribed by Alcopley can be found, as well as numerous inscribed monographs, including books inscribed by Max Weiler and Piero Dorazio, an inscribed first edition of Henry Miller's Black Spring (1936), and a 1937 monograph by Harry Holtzman titled American Abstract Artists.

Series 1 also includes materials related to her husband Frederick Kiesler, papers of and related to Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hofmann, and the personal papers of artist Alice Hodges. The Papers Related to Frederick Kiesler were primarily created or compiled by Lillian Kiesler and document her work on behalf of Frederick Kiesler's legacy. Of interest are letters from Frederick Kiesler to Lillian Kiesler and Alice Hodges; a bound volume of correspondence to Piero Dorazio; an inventory of objects in the Frederick Kiesler estate; photographs of artwork; an interview (sound recordings and transcript) with Lillian Kiesler about Frederick Kiesler for "Music of the Age," included on the tape is a portion of a Frederick Kiesler interview (1965); a recording of Lillian Kiesler interviewing Richard Kamler about Frederick Kiesler; and Frederick Kiesler's dialogue with Leo Castelli (undated).

Lillian Kiesler was a student of Hans Hofmann (1880-1966) in New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts, as well as an enthusiastic volunteer promoter and assistant to The Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts. The bulk of the papers of and related to Hans Hofmann were created or compiled by Lillian Kielser and are about Hofmann's career and legacy. However, also found are some papers of Hans Hofmann, including letters from Hofmann to Lillian Kiesler and Alice Hodges describing his artwork, life in Provincetown, and issues with The Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts, typed and handwritten lectures given by Hofmann, Hofmann's 1941 address to the American Abstract Artists (AAA), three boxes of card files on students of the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts in New York City and Provincetown, and photographs of Hofmann and his house in Provincetown taken by Wilfrid Zogbaum and Tom Milius.

The artist Alice Hodges (b. unknown-1965) was a close friend of Lillian Kiesler, a former secretary to Frederick Kiesler, and a student of Hans Hofmann. Included among her personal papers is some correspondence from Hans Hofmann and Katherine Drier and numerous postcards from Hodges and Lillian Kiesler's trip to Europe in 1950, posters and printed material from her exhibitions, an oversized scrapbook chronicling Lillian Kiesler's teaching career, records from the United States Treasury War Bond Art Auction in 1945, original artwork and greeting cards made by Hodges and Lillian Kiesler, and 31 rolled negative strips in metal canisters of Frederick Kiesler sculptures, Provincetown and Hans Hofmann, Wellfleet, Empire State Music Festival (1955), and travels to Colorado and Europe, some of which may be printed and found in this subseries.

Photographs found in the Lillian Kiesler Papers are mostly black and white and color snapshots of Lillian Kiesler's friends and family at events and at home, including candid photos of Hans Hofmann, Alice Hodges, Frederick Kiesler, and Alcopley. Slides prepared by Lillian Kiesler for a lecture on Frederick Kiesler and her lecture notes on index cards are found. Sound and video recordings include recordings of productions in which Lillian Kiesler performed, and music, film, or live stage performances written, directed, or performed by friends.

Measuring 7.1 linear feet, Frederick Kiesler's personal papers (Series 2) document his professional career and date from 1923-1992. Biographical materials include his curriculum vitae, four passports, and numerous appointment books and notes from late in his life. Correspondence with architects, publishers, editors, universities, museums, galleries, manufacturers, artists and friends includes letters from L. Alcopley, Leopold Arnaud, Armand P. Bartos, Piero and Virginia Dorazio, George Howe, Kay Johnson, Jane Owen, and others. There are also photocopied letters from Katherine Dreier, Marcel Duchamp, and Piet Mondrian. Business and financial records from the 1940s to mid-1960s comprise a significant bulk of this series and are primarily tax returns and receipts and statements used to file tax returns. Materials on the publication of "Inside the Endless House" (1966), the International Theatre Exposition (in German) in 1924 and other exhibits from shortly after his death are found, as well as student artwork and papers from Kiesler's classes in the mid-1950s. A bound copy of the "Bibliography of Writings of and About Frederick Kiesler" compiled by Lillian Kiesler is found, as well as printed material about Frederick Kiesler and a handful of photographs of artwork.

Users should note that Lillian Kiesler's and Frederick Kiesler's papers contain similar types of material that often overlap in subject matter, especially among the Papers Related to Frederick Kiesler (Subseries 1.10) in Series 1 and the Frederick Kiesler Papers (Series 2). This collection contains limited material related to Lillian Kiesler prior to the 1940s and Frederick Kiesler prior to his arrival in the United States in 1926.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into two series. Each series is divided into several subseries, with the arrangement described in detail in the series descriptions.

Series 1: Lillian Kiesler papers, circa 1910s-2003 (Box 1-39, 47-52, OV 53-55; 41.1 linear feet)

Series 2: Frederick Kiesler papers, 1923-1992 (Box 40-46, OV 53; 7.1 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Frederick Kiesler (1890-1965) was a sculptor, architect, set designer, educator, and writer active in New York and Connecticutt. Lillian Kiesler (1911-2001) was a performer, arts educator, and painter married to Frederick Kiesler. She was also active in the administration of the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts.

Frederick Kiesler was born in Romania in 1890, although he gave various other dates for his birth and regularly cited Vienna as his birthplace. He arrived in the United States with his wife Steffi in 1926 for the International Theatre Exposition at Steinway Hall in New York City. They stayed in the United States and were granted citizenship in 1936.

Kiesler secured a teaching position at Columbia University's School of Architecture in 1930, and from 1934 through 1957 he was the scenic design director at The Juilliard School of Music. He also lectured at Yale University from 1950-1952. Often labeled a Surrealist, Kiesler's work was experimental and frequently described as ahead of its time. He published, lectured, and participated in numerous exhibitions throughout his career. He is known for his theory of "coreallism;" "The Space House" (1933), a full-scale model of a single family home; an installation designed for Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century gallery in 1942; "The Endless House" drawings and model (1950); "The Universal Theatre" (1961) model; and the Shrine of the Book (1965), a building to exhibit the Dead Sea Scrolls in Jerusalem. He died in New York City in December 1965.

Lillian Olinsey met architect and sculptor Frederick Kiesler in 1934. After years of friendship, they were married in 1964, a year and a half before Frederick's death in 1965.

Lillian Kiesler studied art at the Art Students League, Cooper Union, and the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts, where she also assisted Hofmann and the school administration. She taught art to children and young adults for twenty years in New York City. From 1945 to 1955, she taught at the Greenwich House Art workshops and the Woodward School, followed by the Brooklyn Museum (1948-1958), Barnard School (1953-1963), New York University School of Education (1955-1966), and Juilliard School of Visual Arts (1963-1965). Lillian was involved in the performing arts and between the late 1970s through the 1990s she performed in New York City with numerous directors, notably Jo Andres, Steve Buscemi, Richard Foreman, John Jesurun, Cindy Lubar, and Tim Miller. She frequently performed with her close friend, painter Maryette Charlton, who was the executor of the Lillian Kiesler estate.

Lillian Kiesler tirelessly promoted Frederick Kiesler's work and legacy after his death in 1965. From the late 1980s through the 1990s, she delivered lectures about his work at universities and museums, gave interviews, corresponded with researchers, and organized his papers to donate to the Harvard Theatre Collection, Yale School of Art and Architecture, and the Archives of American Art. In 1997, she helped found the Frederick and Lillian Kiesler Foundation in Vienna, Austria. She endowed the Austrian Frederick Kiesler Prize, an award given to a notable contributor to the field of architecture. The first recipient was Frank Gehry in 1998. Lillian Kiesler passed away in 2001 in New York City.
Related Material:
The holdings of the Archives of American Art include the Hans Hofmann Papers, 1904-1978 and the Maryette Charlton Papers, 1929-1998. Additional Frederick Kiesler papers are available at the Museum of Modern Art, the Harvard Theater Collection, and the Yale School of Art and Architecture.
Separated Material:
Some of the materials related to Frederick Kiesler were initially loaned for microfilming on reels 57 and 127-128. This material is not described in the container listing of this finding aid. Most, but not all, of the loaned material was later donated and has been merged with the other accretions.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Lillian Kiesler and Maryette Charlton, executrix of her estate, in several accessions between 1980-2002. Some of the papers related to Frederick Kiesler were originally loaned for microfilming in 1971, most of which was later donated in 1980. Additional papers related to Frederick Kiesler were donated in 1993. Papers related to Hans Hofmann were given in 1981. Lillian Kiesler's papers were donated in 2000 by Lillian Kiesler, and in 2002, by Maryette Charlton.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Lillian and Frederick Kiesler 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:
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Set Designers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Exhibition designers  Search this
Art schools -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art schools -- Massachusetts -- Provincetown  Search this
Art patrons -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Architects -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Actors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Sound recordings
Diaries
Interviews
Scripts (documents)
Motion pictures (visual works)
Citation:
Lillian and Frederick Kiesler papers, circa 1910s-2003, bulk 1958-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kieslill
See more items in:
Lillian and Frederick Kiesler papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kieslill
Additional Online Media:

Papers Related to Frederick Kiesler

Collection Creator:
Kiesler, Lillian, 1910?-2001  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1913-2003
Scope and Contents note:
The Papers Related to Frederick Kiesler primarily were created by Lillian Kiesler and document Frederick Kiesler's legacy as an architect, sculptor, and set designer. Found are biographical materials, correspondence dated primarily after 1965, inventory lists, business records, exhibition files, transcribed and recorded interviews, writings and notes, printed material, photographic material, and sound and video recordings. There is some overlap between this subseries and the Frederick Kiesler Papers, 1923-1992 (Series 2), especially exhibition files, printed material, and photographs. This subseries is arranged in nine sub-subseries, each described in more detail in the sub-subseries description.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Lillian and Frederick Kiesler 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.
Collection Citation:
Lillian and Frederick Kiesler papers, circa 1910s-2003, bulk 1958-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kieslill, Subseries 1.10
See more items in:
Lillian and Frederick Kiesler papers
Lillian and Frederick Kiesler papers / Series 1: Lillian Kiesler papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-kieslill-ref339

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