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James Thrall Soby papers, 1928-1975

Author: James Thrall SobyAlfred H Barr, Jr.Peter BlumeAlexander CalderGrace HartiganAll authors
Edition/Format:   Archival material : Original artwork : Photograph : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The Soby papers document his nearly 45-year career in 20th-century art scholarship and criticism. Materials date from about 1929 when he became a third partner in Edwin Valentine Mitchell, Inc., booksellers and publishers, to his retirement from the board of trustees at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in 1975. The bulk of the material is from 1935-1955, when Soby was most active, and primarily consists of
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Genre/Form: Photographic prints
Drawings
Greeting cards
Photographs, Original
Named Person: Eugene Berman; Peter Blume; Julien Levy; James Thrall Soby; Eugene Berman; Peter Blume; Julien Levy; James Thrall Soby
Material Type: Original artwork, Photograph
Document Type: Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: James Thrall Soby; Alfred H Barr, Jr.; Peter Blume; Alexander Calder; Grace Hartigan; Leonid Berman; René Magritte; Edwin Valentine Mitchell; Joan Miró; Man Ray; Larry Rivers; Georges Rouault; Kay Sage; Ben Shahn; Yves Tanguy; Pavel Tchelitchew; Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)
OCLC Number: 83538474
Description: 5 linear ft. (10 boxes)

Abstract:

The Soby papers document his nearly 45-year career in 20th-century art scholarship and criticism. Materials date from about 1929 when he became a third partner in Edwin Valentine Mitchell, Inc., booksellers and publishers, to his retirement from the board of trustees at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in 1975. The bulk of the material is from 1935-1955, when Soby was most active, and primarily consists of correspondence from 20th-century artists and photographers, MOMA personnel, curators, critics, friends and family members.

The collection has very few copies of Soby's own letters, but it does contain some manuscripts and notes for his publications. The correspondence files also include many original drawings and photographs and handmade cards from artists. Filed in separate series are a substantial quantity of letters and drawings from the Russian-born American painter and set designer Eugene Berman, and letters, manuscripts and other material from and about American painter Peter Blume.

Series I. Correspondence (3 lin. ft.): Arranged alphabetically, includes many detailed letters from artists about their work, art theories and personal matters; letters about MOMA business, exhibitions at MOMA and elsewhere; comments about Soby monographs; and letters about the sale of art works to Soby and financial support for artists. The files also contain drawings, small art works and collages, photographs and manuscripts.

Series II. Eugene Berman correspondence (1 lin. ft.): Letters from the artist (1932-69, bulk 1935-45) arranged chronologically with a separate substantial file of his drawings. Many of the letters concern his design and decoration of the dining room of Soby's Connecticut house. Other letters are about Berman's work in general, his anger over MOMA's treatment of him and other expatriates involved in the Neo-Romantic movement, his relationship with Julien Levy, and his promotion of other artists' work. Some of his drawings are in Berman's "trompe l'oeil" manner and were sent as letters to Soby.

Series III. Peter Blume material (.5 lin. ft.): Correspondence, arranged chronologically (1940-56, bulk 1940-45), from Blume about his paintings, his early life and career, and personal matters. There are a few letters from his wife Ebie. Also included are a pencil drawing and a small landscape painting, and manuscripts about Blume by Soby. Five versions of a Soby ms. on Blume, variously annotated by Blume and Alfred Barr, accompany Soby's notes and correspondence about the production of his monograph on Blume.

Series IV. Miscellaneous papers (.5 lin. ft.): Soby notes for a manuscript; review clippings of Soby monographs and exhibitions; his Last Will and Testament, 1942; and assorted Wadley family items such as correspondence, papers, poems, clippings and photographs.

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Linked Data


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