Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Archives related to: ACA Galleries

titleACA Galleries records, 1917-1966.
repositoryArchives of American Art
collection titleArt gallery, N.Y.C. Also known as A.C.A. Gallery and American Contemporary Art Gallery, founded by Herman Baron in 1932 as an outlet for generally unknown and socially conscious artists. It was particularly important during the Depression period when it was closely allied with militant artists' organizations.

Correspondence between Herman Baron and artists including, David Burliuk (1 is illustrated), Philip Evergood, Robert Gwathmey, Oliver W. Larkin, Elizabeth Olds, Alton Pickens, Art Young, Lewis Mumford, Moses and Raphael Soyer, William Gropper, and Max Weber; a letter from Holger Cahill to the editor of "Life" magazine; writings by Baron on the history of the gallery and the social and artistic movement surrounding it; writings by Philip Evergood, Elizabeth McCausland, and Anton Refregier; photographs of Baron, the gallery, artists and art work, and patrons, including Burliuk, Nicolai Cikovsky, Hy Cohen, Robert Cronbach, Alexander Dobkin, Evergood, Gropper, Chaim Gross, Joseph Hirshhorn, Joe Jones, Mervin Jules (by Arnold Newman, ca. 1940s), Irene Rice Pereira, Geri Pine, Philip Reisman, Moses Soyer, Raphael Soyer, David Stein, Harry Sternberg, James Turnbull, Nicky Walker, Abraham Walkowitz, Weber, Nat Werner, and Art Young (taken by Berenice Abbott, ca. 1930s); clippings and obituaries on Baron; and material on the American Artists' Congress.
extent1.0 linear ft. (on 1 microfilm reel) reel D304
formatsPhotographs Correspondence Clippings
accessPatrons must use microfilm copy.
record sourcehttps://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/aca-galleries-records-8772
acquisition informationDonated by Mrs. Herman Baron, 1965-1966.
updated05/12/2022 11:09:40
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titleLena Gurr papers, 1908-1979.
repositoryArchives of American Art
collection titleResumes, correspondence, notes, an interview on a phonograph record, art work, scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs document Gurr's career as well as that of her husband, Joseph Biel.

REELS 4940-4948: Correspondence (4 ft.), 1921-1979, is between Gurr, family members, galleries, friends and colleagues. Notable correspondents include ACA Gallery, Mary Cecil Allen, Mary Ascher, Herman Baron, Dorothy Block, Emma Ehrenreich, Clare Fasano and her husband Jean De Marco, Ralph Fabri, Juliana Force, Minna Harkavy, Rockwell Kent, Karl Knaths, Louis Lozowick, Ross and Dorothy Moffett, Maria Norman, John von Wicht, and Lynd Ward.

Notes include lists of Gurr's exhibitions, 1926-1954 and a notebook listing serigraphs exhibited and sold, 1938-1972.
Art works include drawings, watercolors, oil sketches, and a lithograph, 1908-1951, 10 sketchbooks, 1930-1932 (includes her sketch of Raphael Soyer and a drawing by George Grosz in the style of Van Gogh), caricatures by Joseph Biel, designs by Gurr and Biel for Christmas cards, 1931-1942, and 2 monoprints by Hy Fogelberg, 1938.

Eight scrapbooks, 1912-1978, contain letters, award certificates, a typescript about Gurr and Elisabeth Model, a few photographs, and printed material concerning Gurr; and one, 1927-1948, contains letters, clippings, and exhibition announcements and catalogs primarily concerning Biel. Printed material, 1926-1974, includes clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and brochures.

A photograph album, 1912-1939, contains photographs of Gurr's mother, Gurr at the Art Students League, her friends, and with Biel in their Paris studio, at the World's Fair, and camping with Adele and Louis Lozowick. The remainder of the photographs span years 1937-1978, and are of members of Gurr's family; Gurr taken by Biel and others in Provincetown and at her Brooklyn home; Gurr with friends, including Mary Cecil Allen, Minna Harkavy, Jacob Lawrence, the Lozowicks, and Maria Norman; art-related events; self-portrait photographs of Biel; Biel's photographs of George Grosz, 1932, and views of New York City, including shanty towns, bread lines, activities at the waterfront, Times Square, snow scenes, beach scenes, and a photograph of a John Reed Club gathering; art work by Gurr, including an album of work executed at the Art Students League; and Biel's photographs of his paintings and art work by Joe Jones and Louis Lozowick.
Also included is a phonograph record of an interview of Gurr conducted by Jan Gelb from the radio program "Of Interest to Women," 1950.

REEL 8: A scrapbook containing 7 clippings about the death of Mary Cecil Allen and transcripts of 4 letters from Allen's attorney, 1962; and a catalog of Gurr's exhibition at the ACA Gallery, 1963.

Bio / His Notes:
Painter, printmaker; Brooklyn, N.Y.; b. 1897, d. Feb. 19, 1992. Attended the Maxwell Training School for Teachers, 1915-1917, the Educational Alliance Art School, 1919, and studied under John Sloan and Maurice Sterne at the Art Students League, 1920-1922. Gurr also studied in Paris, Nice, and Mentone, France. Her first solo exhibition was in 1932 at the Brooklyn Museum. She married painter and photographer Joseph Biel (1891-1943) on November 24, 1931. Biel was born in Russia and studied in the Russian Academy in Paris, and at the Workman's College, Melbourne, Australia. He also established the first Jewish library in Melbourne. Upon his arrival in the United States, he studied under George Grosz at the Art Students League.
extent7.1 linear ft. (on 10 microfilm reels) reels 8 and 4940-4948
formatsCorrespondence Interview Scrapbooks Prints Photographs
accessPatrons must use microfilm copy.
record sourcehttp://www.siris.si.edu/
finding aidElectronic finding aid available at http://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/findingaids/gurrlena.htm
acquisition informationDonated by Lena Gurr, 1966-1979. Material on reels 4940-48 microfilmed in 1994 with funds provided by the Helena Rubinstein Foundation.
updated11/12/2014 11:29:57
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titleMartyl Langsdorf papers, 1918-1977.
repositoryArchives of American Art
collection titleCorrespondence; subject files; biographical data; writings and notes; sketches; photographs; exhibition catalogs and announcements; guest books; price lists; receipts; reproductions; clippings; and printed materials.

REEL 1364: Sketches, 1936-1975, made in the United States, Mexico, Europe, and Japan. In addition there is a 1929 newspaper clipping.

REELS 2992-2994: Biographical data; letters, 1936-1937, to her mother Aimee Schweig from Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, Joe Jones and Grant Wood; files of letters from Carl Holty, Horst W. Janson and Lancelot Law Whyte; a file on Charles Hawthorne containing his painting notes and a photo; subject files on the ACA Gallery, BULLETIN OF ATOMIC SCIENTISTS, Chicago Art Institute, Feingarten Gallery, Kovlar Gallery, Oriental Institute, the Renaissance Society, and the Unitarian Church of Evanston, Illinois, containing correspondence and financial material; writings and notes; sketches of Langsdorf by friends; exhibition catalogs and announcements; guest books; price lists; receipts for sales and rentals of her paintings; printed material on the St. Genevieve School of art; and photographs, ca. 1935-1970, of Langsdorf, her family, her paintings, exhibition installations, Langsdorf at work on a mural for the Unitarian Church of Evanston, Illinois, and artists Thomas Hart Benton, Arnold Blanch, Adolf Dehn, Doris Lee, Boardman Robinson, Sequieros, and others, and a photograph by Fritz Henle, 1940, of a picnic at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.

UNMICROFILMED: Correspondence with Edward Rowan of the Public Buidlings Administration, Section of Fine Arts, and contracts, 1940-1944, concerning Langsdorf's watercolors for the Carville, La. Marine Hospital, murals for post offices in Russell, Kansas and St. Genevieve, Missouri, and for the Recorder of Deeds Building in Washington, D.C., and for related exhibitions; a photocopy of a letter from collector Joseph Hirshhorn, Jan. 18, 1943, regarding his purchases of Langsdorf's work; general correspondence, 1958-1972; price lists; and printed material, 1937-1976, including press releases, archaelogical newsletters, exhibition announcements and clippings.

Bio / His Notes:
Painter; Chicago, Illinois. Full name is Martyl Schweig Langsdorf.
extent2.6 linear ft. (partially microfilmed on 4 reels) reels 1364 & 2992-2994
formatsCorrespondence Subject Files Writings Notes Sketches
accessMicrofilmed portion must be consulted on microfilm. Use of unmicrofilmed portion requires an appointment and is limited to Washington, D.C. storage facility.
record sourcehttp://www.siris.si.edu/
acquisition informationMaterial on reels 2992-2994 donated 1977 by Martyl S. Langsdorf. Material on reel 1364 lent for microfilming 1977 by Langsdorf. Unmicrofilmed material is a combination of the unfilmed portion of the 1977 gift and the 1990 transferred material from General Services Administration. The GSA received the material originally from Martyl Langsdorf for their files on New Deal art. Location of Original: Reel 1364: Originals returned to Martyl S. Langsdorf after microfilming.
updated11/12/2014 11:29:57
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titleJacob Kainen interview, 1982 Aug. 10-Sept. 22.
repositoryArchives of American Art
collection titleAn interview of Jacob Kainen conducted by Avis Berman for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.

Kainen speaks about his family and educational background; early interest in art; his studies at the Art Students League and Pratt Institute; showing at the ACA Gallery; the community of artists in New York in the late 1930s; writing for ART FRONT; his employment by the graphic arts division of the WPA-FAP in New York; his move to Washington, D.C. in 1942 to work for the Smithsonian Institution; his first marriage to Bertha Friedman and their children; his career in Washinton, D.C. as a curator, painter, printmaker, writer, and teacher; the FBI investigation of his background; and the art scene in Washington, D.C.

Kainen also recalls artists he has known including Stuart Davis, Joseph Solman, John Graham, Mark Rothko, Pietro Lazzari, Willem de Kooning, Max Schnitzler, Arshile Gorky, Gene Davis, Alma Thomas, George McNeil, Kenneth Noland, Boris Margo, Stanley Hayter, and Ad Reinhardt. He discusses Mark Rothko's influences, how he "hated the art industry" and was secretive about his art materials. Kainen also recalls encountering Rothko in Provincetown in 1968 and comments on his art and his suicide. Jacob Kainen's wife, Ruth, was also present and contributed her recollections.

Bio / His Notes:
Painter, printmaker, curator; Washington, D.C.; b. 1909. Studied at the Art Students League and Pratt Institute; d. March 19, 2001, at age 91.
extentSound recording: 6 cassettes analog. Transcript: 108 p. (on partial microfilm reel) reel 4937
formatsSound Recording Transcript Microfilm Online Transcript
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record sourcehttp://www.siris.si.edu/
acquisition informationThis interview was conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and his Times oral history project, with funding provided by the Mark Rothko Foundation. Others interviewed on the project (by various interviewers) include: Sonia Allen, Sally Avery, Ben-Zion, Bernard Braddon, Ernest Briggs, Rhys Caparn, Elaine de Kooning, Herbert Ferber, Esther Gottlieb, Juliette Hays, Sidney Janis, Buffie Johnson, Louis Kaufman, Jack Kufeld, Katharine Kuh, Stanley Kunitz, Joseph Liss, Dorothy Miller, Betty Parsons, Wallace Putnam, Rebecca Reis, Maurice Roth, Sidney Schectman, Aaron Siskind, Joseph Solman, Hedda Sterne, Jack Tworkov, Esteban Vicente and Ed Weinstein. Each has been cataloged separately.
updated11/12/2014 11:29:57
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titleMartyl Langsdorf papers, 1918-1977.
repositoryArchives of American Art
collection titleCorrespondence; subject files; biographical data; writings and notes; sketches; photographs; exhibition catalogs and announcements; guest books; price lists; receipts; reproductions; clippings; and printed materials.

REEL 1364: Sketches, 1936-1975, made in the United States, Mexico, Europe, and Japan. In addition there is a 1929 newspaper clipping.

REELS 2992-2994: Biographical data; letters, 1936-1937, to her mother Aimee Schweig from Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, Joe Jones and Grant Wood; files of letters from Carl Holty, Horst W. Janson and Lancelot Law Whyte; a file on Charles Hawthorne containing his painting notes and a photo; subject files on the ACA Gallery, BULLETIN OF ATOMIC SCIENTISTS, Chicago Art Institute, Feingarten Gallery, Kovlar Gallery, Oriental Institute, the Renaissance Society, and the Unitarian Church of Evanston, Illinois, containing correspondence and financial material; writings and notes; sketches of Langsdorf by friends; exhibition catalogs and announcements; guest books; price lists; receipts for sales and rentals of her paintings; printed material on the St. Genevieve School of art; and photographs, ca. 1935-1970, of Langsdorf, her family, her paintings, exhibition installations, Langsdorf at work on a mural for the Unitarian Church of Evanston, Illinois, and artists Thomas Hart Benton, Arnold Blanch, Adolf Dehn, Doris Lee, Boardman Robinson, Sequieros, and others, and a photograph by Fritz Henle, 1940, of a picnic at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.

UNMICROFILMED: Correspondence with Edward Rowan of the Public Buidlings Administration, Section of Fine Arts, and contracts, 1940-1944, concerning Langsdorf's watercolors for the Carville, La. Marine Hospital, murals for post offices in Russell, Kansas and St. Genevieve, Missouri, and for the Recorder of Deeds Building in Washington, D.C., and for related exhibitions; a photocopy of a letter from collector Joseph Hirshhorn, Jan. 18, 1943, regarding his purchases of Langsdorf's work; general correspondence, 1958-1972; price lists; and printed material, 1937-1976, including press releases, archaelogical newsletters, exhibition announcements and clippings.

Bio / His Notes:
Painter; Chicago, Illinois. Full name is Martyl Schweig Langsdorf.
extent2.6 linear ft. (partially microfilmed on 4 reels) reels 1364 & 2992-2994
formatsCorrespondence Subject Files Writings Notes Photographs
accessMicrofilmed portion must be consulted on microfilm. Use of unmicrofilmed portion requires an appointment and is limited to Washington, D.C. storage facility.
record sourcehttp://www.siris.si.edu/
acquisition informationMaterial on reels 2992-2994 donated 1977 by Martyl S. Langsdorf. Material on reel 1364 lent for microfilming 1977 by Langsdorf. Unmicrofilmed material is a combination of the unfilmed portion of the 1977 gift and the 1990 transferred material from General Services Administration. The GSA received the material originally from Martyl Langsdorf for their files on New Deal art. Location of Original: Reel 1364: Originals returned to Martyl S. Langsdorf after microfilming.
updated11/12/2014 11:29:57
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