Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Archives related to: Kootz Gallery

titleNathan Halper correspondence and gallery records, 1952-1979.
repositoryArchives of American Art
collection titleNathan Halper was an art dealer, gallery director; Provincetown, Massachusetts. Born 1907. Died 1983. Halper graduated from Columbia University in 1927, and was primarily a writer and James Joyce scholar.

Beginning with a partnership with Samuel Kootz, he managed the Samuel Kootz Gallery in Provincetown from 1953-1954. With John Murray Cuddihy, Halper formed the H.C. Gallery (1956) and H.C.E. Gallery (1957-1967), the latter gallery's name being inspired by FINNEGAN'S WAKE. Halper managed the Sun Gallery for a couple of years to aid the younger artists who had started it.

Correspondence, 1952-1966, and gallery records, 1952-1979, of the Samuel M. Kootz Gallery, H.C. Gallery, the Sun Gallery, and the H.C.E. Gallery, all in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Gallery records include notes, a poem, subject files on the galleries, printed material, legal material, financial records, and photographs.

Correspondence includes letters from Milton Avery, Gandy Brodie, Anthony Caro, G. Alan Chidsey, Wolf Kahn, Samuel M. Kootz, Robert Motherwell, and David Smith, 1952-1966; an exhibition guest register, 1955-1956; an address book; a poem; 11 clippings, 1952-1976; 3 exhibition catalogs, 1962; subject files contain letters and financial material concerning the Samuel M. Kootz Gallery, 1953-1958, the Sun Gallery, 1961-1963, and the H.C.E. Gallery, 1964-1979. The subject file for the Kootz Gallery contains 2 letters from Hans Hofmann, 1956.

Corporate and partnership agreements between Halper and Samuel Kootz, 1955, and between Halper and John Murray Cuddihy, 1955; insurance records, 1953-1970; expense records, 1959-1965; stock books containing price lists, sales and price lists, 1953-1970; 5 cash and sales notebooks, 1954-1967; an account book from the Kootz Gallery; 14 sales books, 1956-1967; checkbook registers, 1953-1968; bank statements and cancelled checks, 1955-1958; invoices and receipts, 1953-1970; photographs of installations and gallery openings with Halper, Henry Botkin, John Murray Cuddihy, Hans Hofmann, Karl Knaths, Samuel Kootz, Blanche Lazzell, and Wallace Putnam, 1955-1956; and 43 slides of works of art.
extent4.0 linear feet
formatsFinancial Records Account Books Photographs
accessUnmicrofilmed; use requires an appointment and is limited to Washington D.C. storage facility
record linkhttp://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/nathan-halper-correspondence-and-gallery-records-9671
record sourcehttp://www.aaa.si.edu/
acquisition informationDonated in 1979 by Nathan Halper, and in 1983-1984 by his wife Marjorie.
updated05/12/2022 11:09:41
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titleNathan Halper interview, 1963 July 17.
repositoryArchives of American Art
collection titleNathan Halper was an art dealer, gallery director; Provincetown, Massachusetts. Born 1907. Died 1983. Halper graduated from Columbia University in 1927, and was primarily a writer and James Joyce scholar. Beginning with a partnership with Samuel Kootz, he managed the Samuel Kootz Gallery in Provincetown from 1953-1954. With John Murray Cuddihy, Halper formed the H.C. Gallery (1956) and H.C.E. Gallery (1957-1967), the latter gallery's name being inspired by FINNEGAN'S WAKE. Halper managed the Sun Gallery for a couple of years to aid the younger artists who had started it.

An interview of Nathan Halper conducted by Dorothy Seckler for the Archives of American Art.
extentSound recordings: 1 sound tape (45 min.) ; 5 in. Transcript: 21 p.
formatsInterview Electronic Resource
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record sourcehttp://www.siris.si.edu/
acquisition informationThese interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
updated11/12/2014 11:29:48
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titleKootz Gallery records, 1923-1966
repositoryArchives of American Art
collection titleThe records of modernist New York City Kootz Gallery measure 7.1 linear feet and date from 1923-1966.

They consist of scattered correspondence and exhibition files; photograph files of artists, including ones for Picasso, William Baziotes, and Hans Hofmann, among many others; 23 scrapbooks, photographs and slides of the gallery and exhibitions; and scattered personal papers of Samuel M. Kootz.
There are two folders of scattered routine incoming letters. Three folders of exhibition files contain limited documentation of the 1952 Kootz Gallery exhibition "To South America," and printed material related to the 1951 exhibition "Art for a Synagogue" held at the Synagogue of Congregation B'nai Israel in Millburn, New Jersey.

Artists' Photograph Files contain mostly photographs of 52 artists, their artwork, and their exhibitions. In addition to photographs, there is one folder of artists' autographs. Pablo Picasso and Hans Hofmann's close friendship with Kootz is reflected in this series, as numerous informal personal photos are found in their respective files. A few folders also contain documents, such as transcript notes for a lecture and other writings by Hans Hofmann and a brief review of the work of Georges Braque and David Hare.

Printed Material consists of exhibition announcements and catalogs, advertisements, and newspaper and magazine clippings on the gallery and artists associated with the gallery. There are catalogs for Kootz Gallery exhibitions, including "The Intrasubjectives" show of 1949.

Twenty-three scrapbooks date from 1931 through 1966 and include exhibition announcements, catalogs, photographs, clippings, and miscellaneous printed material. Scrapbook 1, 1947-1948, focuses on Pablo Picasso. Scrapbooks 2-21 document approximately one year of Kootz Gallery events and press coverage from 1945 to 1966, and Scrapbooks 22-23, 1950-1958, focus on architectural models and exhibitions.

Photographic material includes photographs, transparencies, and slides of Kootz Gallery New York and Kootz Gallery Provincetown; interior design photographs showcasing Kootz Gallery artwork hanging in office and residential spaces; group and unidentified exhibitions; group and unidentified artists/artwork; and informal photographs of Samuel Kootz and of his wife, Jane.

Samuel Kootz Personal Papers consist of a cocktail party invitation and a copy of the 1923 Phi Epsilon Pi Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 1.

Biographical/Historical Note
Kootz Gallery (1945-1966) was an art gallery in New York, N.Y. Kootz Gallery was founded 1945 by Samuel M. Kootz.

Historical Note
Samuel M. Kootz officially opened the Kootz Gallery in 1945 in New York City. In 1953, he opened a satellite gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts that closed one year later.

Samuel M. Kootz (1898-1982) received his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1921 and practiced law briefly before moving to New York City to accept a job as an advertising account executive. While still in law school, he began visiting New York art galleries and was particularly drawn to works by modern artists that were showing at the Stieglitz Gallery and the Charles Daniel Gallery. In 1930, he independently published his first book, Modern American Painters and began to regularly contribute articles on painting and photography to various periodicals, including The Times.

In 1942, he curated an abstract expressionist showcase for Macy's and published New Frontiers in American Painting one year later. Kootz's second book was one of the first to examine the emerging abstract expressionist movement and marked the beginning of his full transition into the art world.
In 1944, Kootz resigned from his advertising job to represent Robert Motherwell and William Baziotes as a professional art dealer. He officially opened the Kootz Gallery opened in 1945 and showcased the work of both American and European abstract expressionists, including Hans Hofmann and Adolph Gottlieb.

In 1946, during the Kootz Gallery's preparation for Pablo Picasso's first one man exhibition in America, Picasso became quite friendly with Kootz and his wife Jane. Upon the artist's suggestion, Kootz agreed to close his gallery and represent Picasso and his other artists as a private dealer. Although this was a successful venture, Kootz missed the structure of an office and decided to reopen his gallery on Madison Avenue in 1949.

The gallery's first show at the new location was "The Intrasubjectives," a term Kootz had coined for abstract expressionists. The exhibition included four artists from his stable, William Baziotes, Robert Motherwell, Adolph Gottlieb, and Hans Hofmann, along with Jackson Pollock, Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Ad Reinhardt, Morris Graves, Mark Tobey, and Bradley Walker Tomlin.

In 1953, Kootz opened a satellite gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts that was managed and operated by gallerist Nathan Halper. In 1954, they mutually agreed to dissolve their partnership and Kootz focused his energies on his New York gallery, which grew to include Herbert Ferber, David Hare, Philippe Hosiasson, Ibram Lassaw, Conrad Marca-Relli, Georges Mathieu, Raymond Parker, William Ronald, Gerard Schneider, Emil Schumacher, and Pierre Soulages.

A number of factors, including competition from new galleries, commoditization of art by investment collectors, and the public's interest in emerging pop art, influenced Kootz's decision to close his gallery in 1966.

Related Materials:
Records loaned for microfilming in 1965 included eight articles from the publication Modern Artists in America (1951), that were not included in the later donation and are now available on microfilm reel NY65-1.

Also found among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are oral history interviews with Samuel M. Kootz by John Morse on March 2, 1960 and by Dorothy Seckler on April 13, 1964. Records of Kootz Gallery are also interspersed among the records of Nathan Halper's galleries.

Location of Originals
Reel NY65-1: Originals returned to the lender after microfilming; the catalog, Intrasubjectives, was subsequently donated.

extent7.1 linear ft.
formatsCorrespondence Scrapbooks Clippings Catalogs Photographs
accessPatrons must use microfilm copy.
record linkhttps://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/kootz-gallery-records-9163
record sourcehttps://www.aaa.si.edu/files/resources/finding-aids/pdf/kootgall.pdf
finding aidAvailable on the Archives of American Art's website.
acquisition informationSamuel M. Kootz donated the gallery records in two increments in 1971. Nearly all of the same records had been loaned in 1965 for microfilming.
updated11/17/2017 16:04:26
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