Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Archives related to: Frank Perls Gallery

titleFrank Perls Papers and Frank Perls Gallery Records, circa 1920-1983, bulk 1949-1975
repositoryArchives of American Art
collection titleThe Frank Perls papers and Frank Perls Gallery records measure 23.8 linear feet and date from 1920-1983, with the bulk dating from 1949-1975. Personal papers include writings, military records, appointment calendars, and photographs. Gallery records date from its opening in 1939 until its closure in 1981 and consist of financial, sales, and legal records; exhibition files; exhibition catalogs and announcements; subject files that contain a variety of correspondence with artists, dealers, galleries, museums, and friends and family, as well as reference materials and photographs; and scrapbooks.

Personal papers contain biographical materials, including military records from Perls' service in the army during World War II, personal photographs, documentation on his estate settlement, and numerous short stories. Of particular interest are Perl's stories about his interactions with Pablo Picasso and his work to uncover fraud, fakes, and corruption in the art world. There are also many photographs of Picasso, photographs of family, the war, and Perls, including two original photographs of Perls by Man Ray.

Gallery sales, purchases, consignments, insurance appraisals, loans, provenance research, and general business expenses are well documented in the General Business and Financial Records. Perls jointly owned artwork with several galleries in New York, including the Curt Valentine Gallery and M. Knoedler Gallery, and these consignment and joint sales are documented in the invoices. A complete accounting of the Gallery's income and expense reports from 1950-1971 is also be found in this series. Artists extensively documented through financial transactions are William Brice, James Strombotne, and Howard Warsaw.

Extensive exhibition files document the gallery's exhibitions and Perl's curatorial work. Files contain varied documentation, such as photographs, catalogs, announcements, and publicity for Frank Perls Gallery shows from 1939 through 1971. Artists represented in this series include Sam Amato, Robert Chuey, Jaques Lipchitz, Pablo Picasso, James McGarrell, and James Strombotne. Files are also found for the two major retrospective exhibitions Perls organized and curated, Matisse Retrospective at University of California, Los Angeles and Sixty Years of Picasso Prints at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, both in 1966. Additional information about these exhibitions is also found in the Subject Files.

Subject Files are extensive and varied in name, content, and topic. They consist mostly of correspondence with friends, family, colleagues, artists, critics, galleries and dealers, clients, arts organizations and associations, publications, and others. There are also reference files and exhibition files for exhibitions held at other galleries and museums in which Perls was interested, guest curated, or loaned artwork. The contents of each file unit varies, but many include correspondence, photographs, appraisal records, sales records, invoices, reports, and membership records. The files highlight his close personal relationship with many artists, including William Brice, Rico Lebrun, James McGarrell, Channing Peake, Pablo Picasso, and James Strombotne. Subject Files also contain abundant correspondence with colleagues and family members, including his brother Klaus, who owned and operated the Perls Gallery in New York. Many of the files concern Perl's work with art documentation and authentication. Subject Files have been arranged according to Frank Perls original order.

Finally, scrapbooks contain newspaper articles, catalogs, and announcements about exhibitions at the Perls Gallery in New York during the late 1930s and the Frank Perls Gallery in Los Angeles during the 1950s.

Series 1: Frank Perls papers, circa 1920-1981 (Box 1-2, 28; 1.1 linear feet)
Series 2: General Financial and Business Records, 1949-1975 (Box 2-4, 23-27; 3.4 linear feet)
Series 3: Exhibition Files, 1937-1975 (Box 5-6; 1.5 linear feet)
Series 4: Subject Files, circa 1939-1983 (Box 6-22; 16.5 linear feet)
Series 5. Scrapbooks, 1937-1957 (Box 28; 0.3 linear feet)
extent32.5 linear ft. Addition: 0.4 linear ft.
formatsFinancial Records Correspondence Exhibition Files Scrapbooks
accessUse requires an appointment and is limited to Washington, D.C. office.
record linkhttp://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/frank-perls-papers-and-frank-perls-gallery-records-9601
record sourcehttp://www.siris.si.edu/
finding aidavailable online at http://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/frank-perls-papers-and-frank-perls-gallery-records-9601/more
acquisition informationDonated 1976-1988 by Joan Hazlitt, Perls's secretary, for the Perls estate. This collection was processed by Diana Shenk in 2009, with funding provided by the Getty Foundation.
updated05/12/2022 11:09:43
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titleFrank Perls Gallery Collection of Art Exhibition Catalogs and Publicity (Collection 170).
repositoryUniversity of California, Los Angeles
collection titleCollection consists of catalogs and publicity material related to exhibitions at the Frank Perls Gallery. Includes catalogs, postcards, posters, announcements, and invitations. Also includes typed book chapters manuscript (1973-74).

Biographical and Historical Note
Frank Perls was born in Berlin, Oct. 23, 1910; his mother and father were owners of a leading art gallery; came to NY (1937) and became a partner with his brother Klaus Perls in founding Perls Gallery; in 1939, he opened a gallery in Hollywood and later in Beverly Hills; played a role in bringing modern art to So. CA and promoting the area's leading artists; died Feb. 8, 1975.

Location: SRLF Non-Circ Request at UCLA Perf Arts Spec Coll
Notes: Collection 170
extent4 boxes.
formatsCatalogs Ephemera Manuscript
accessCOLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE: Advance notice required for access. Contact repository for restrictions and policies.
record sourcehttp://catalog.library.ucla.edu/
finding aidUnpublished finding aid available; inquire at Performing Arts Special Collections.
updated11/12/2014 11:30:00
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