Dreier, Katherine Sophie, 1877-1952

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Painter and co-founder/president of the Société Anonyme, Inc.

From the description of Correspondence, 1928-1929. (Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)). WorldCat record id: 122577860

Katherine S. Dreier, artist, promoter of modern art, and co-founder of the Société Anonyme.

Société Anonyme, organization founded in 1920 by Katherine S. Dreier, Marcel Duchamp, and Man Ray to promote modern art among the public.

From the description of Katherine S. Dreier papers / Société Anonyme archive, 1818-1952 (bulk 1920-1951) (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 81675455

Katherine S. Dreier, artist, promoter of modern art, and co-founder of the Société Anonyme.

Société Anonyme, organization founded in 1920 by Katherine S. Dreier, Marcel Duchamp, and Man Ray to promote modern art among the public.

From the description of Katherine S. Dreier papers / Société Anonyme archive, 1818-1952 (bulk 1920-1951). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702150772

Katherine Sophie Dreier was born on 10 September 1877 in Brooklyn, New York to Dorothea Adelheid and John Caspar Theodor Dreier, both immigrants from Bremen, Germany; she was the youngest of five children. Early on, Dreier manifested her dual interests in social issues and art. She was treasurer of the German Home for Recreation of Women and Children and helped to found the Little Italy Neighborhood Association in Brooklyn, New York. She studied art privately, then at the Brooklyn Art School and at Pratt Institute, and then with Walter Shirlaw (with whom Dreier's sister, Dorothea, also studied). There was a strong identification in the Dreier home with German culture, and the family often traveled to Europe to visit relatives. Between 1907 and 1914, Dreier spent much of her time abroad, traveling, studying art, and exhibiting her work in one-artist shows.

In New York, in 1916, through her work with the Society of Independent Artists, Dreier met Marcel Duchamp. He was to become a close friend and colleague, and an important figure in the history of the Société Anonyme.

In January 1920, Dreier, Duchamp, and Man Ray met in Dreier's apartment in New York City to found the Société Anonyme, a society to promote modern art among the American public. Dreier had wanted to call the society "The Modern Ark," but Man Ray later claimed that he was the one to suggest the French phrase for "incorporated" instead. Dreier added the subtitle "Museum of Modern Art: 1920."

The Société Anonyme sponsored many lectures, concerts, publications, and exhibitions concerning modern art, including the International Exhibition of Modern Art at the Brooklyn Museum in 1926. In spite of a major membership campaign in 1925, the Société's headquarters in New York City closed in 1928, and from this point on, the Société Anonyme existed only through Dreier's efforts. She continued to organize events that were sponsored by the Société, and she accumulated artwork to add to the Société Anonyme's collection.

In 1939, Dreier began developing a plan to open the Country Museum at her house in West Redding, Connecticut (the Haven), which would house the Société Anonyme's collection of artwork, as well as her private collection. After little success with other potential investors, Dreier approached Yale University about funding and maintaining the museum. Yale was hesitant, because of the high costs of renovating the Haven and maintaining it as a fire-proof museum, and instead offered as a compromise to take over the Société Anonyme's collection if it were moved to the Yale Art Gallery. Dreier agreed, and she began sending the collection to Yale in October 1941.

In 1942, Dreier was still adamant about her desire to open the Country Museum and to use her private collection as its basis. She continued her attempts to convince Yale to fund her project, but when Yale gave a final negative answer in April, Dreier decided to sell the Haven.

In April 1946, she moved to a new home, Laurel Manor, in Milford, Connecticut. She continued to add artwork to the Société Anonyme collection at Yale, through purchases and through gifts from artists and friends. In 1947, she attempted to reopen membership to the Société Anonyme and printed a brochure, but Yale blocked distribution of the brochure because of the ambiguous connection between Yale and the membership campaign. In 1948, Dreier and Duchamp decided to limit the activities of the Société to working on a catalog of the collection and to acquiring artwork.

On the thirtieth anniversary of the Société Anonyme's first exhibition, 30 April 1950, Dreier and Duchamp hosted a dinner at the New Haven Lawn Club, where they formally dissolved the Société Anonyme. In June, a catalog of the Société's collection at Yale, Collection of the Société Anonyme: Museum of Modern Art 1920, was published. Dreier died on 29 March 1952.

For further information about the Société Anonyme and about Dreier's life, consult The Société Anonyme and the Dreier Bequest at Yale University: A Catalog Raisonné (Yale University Press, 1984) edited by Robert L. Herbert, Eleanor S. Apter, and Elise K. Kenney; and The Société Anonyme's Brooklyn Exhibition: Katherine Dreier and Modernism in America (UMI Research Press, 1982) by Ruth L. Bohan.

From the guide to the Katherine S. Dreier papers / Société Anonyme archive, 1818-1952, 1920-1951, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Brooklyn Museum. Office of the Director. William Henry Fox records, 1913-33 (bulk), 1908-35 (inclusive). Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives
creatorOf Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900. Oscar Wilde collection, 1884-1915. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Dreier, Dorothea A., 1870-1923. Dorothea A. Dreier papers, 1887-1923. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Levitan, Israel, 1912-1982. Israel and Idee Levitan papers, [ca. 1946-1982]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company contracts, 1831-1979 (inclusive) 1880-1940 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf Kruse, Alexander Z., 1888-1972. Papers of Alexander Z. Kruse, 1890-1972 (bulk 1930s-1960s). Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
creatorOf Schack, William, b. 1898. William Schack papers, 1891-1963. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Joan and Peggy Murray Papers MS 295., 1880-1969, 1911-1969 Sophia Smith Collection
creatorOf DREIER, KATHERINE SOPHIE. Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
referencedIn Papers, 1867, 1895, 1902-1948 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Records of The Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, 1942-2011 Radcliffe College Archives, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Owens, Helen Brewster, 1881-1968. Papers, 1867-1948 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Oscar Wilde collection, 1884-1915 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.). Library. Collection of Macbeth Gallery exhibition checklists and newspaper clippings, 1906-1944 (bulk 1906-1935) Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
referencedIn Kuh, Katharine. Katharine Kuh papers, 1937-1964 (inclusive). Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Murray, Joan, 1917-1942. Papers, 1880-1969 (bulk 1911-1969). Smith College, Neilson Library
referencedIn Hekking, William Matthews, 1885-1970. William M. Hekking records, 1925-1931. Albright-Knox Art Gallery, G. Robert Strauss, Jr. Memorial Library
creatorOf Kiesler, Lillian, 1910?-2001. Lillian and Frederick Kiesler papers, [circa 1910]-2003. Bulk 1958-2000. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
referencedIn Josef Albers papers, 1899-1973 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Walkowitz, Abraham, 1880-1965. Abraham Walkowitz papers, 1904-1966. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Walkowitz, Abraham, 1880-1965. Abraham Walkowitz papers, 1904-1966. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Kiesler, Frederick. Letters received by Frederick Kiesler, 1937-1961. Getty Research Library
creatorOf Zadkine, Ossip. Letters and manuscripts of Ossip Zadkine, 1940-1959. Getty Research Library
referencedIn Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. Records of the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, 1942-2003 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
creatorOf Dreier, Katherine Sophie, 1877-1952. Katherine Sophie Dreier papers, circa 1890-1970. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Dreier, Katherine Sophie, 1877-1952. Correspondence, 1928-1929. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
creatorOf Torres-García, Joaquín, 1874-1949. Joaquin Torres-Garcia papers, 1921-1974. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Bowman, Ruth, 1923-. Interviews relating to American Abstract Artists, 1963-1965. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Katharine Kuh papers, 1937-1964 (inclusive) Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Katherine S. Dreier papers / Société Anonyme archive, 1818-1952, 1920-1951 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Miller, Christian William. Christian William Miller papers, 1943-1995 (bulk 1943-1969). Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Dreier, Katherine Sophie, 1877-1952. Artist file. Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives
creatorOf Dreier, Katherine Sophie, 1877-1952. Katherine S. Dreier papers / Société Anonyme archive, 1818-1952 (bulk 1920-1951) Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Albers, Josef. Josef Albers papers, 1899-1973 (inclusive), 1934-1973 (bulk). Yale University Library
referencedIn Lillian and Frederick Kiesler papers, circa 1910s-2003, bulk 1958-2000 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
referencedIn John Henry Bradley Storrs papers, 1837-1996, bulk 1900-1956 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
creatorOf Dreier, Katherine Sophie, 1877-1952. Letters to Ted Shawn, 1939-49. 34 items. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Louis Lozowick Papers, 1922-1974 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
referencedIn Papers, 1797(1897-1963) Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
creatorOf Dreier, Katherine Sophie, 1877-1952. Katherine S. Dreier : artist file : study photographs and reproductions of works of art with accompanying documentation 1930?-1990 [graphic] [compiled by staff of The Museum of Modern Art, New York]. Frick Art Reference Library of The Frick Collection
creatorOf Meeker, Jess. Lithograph by K.S. Dreier / translated to sound by Jess Meeker. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
referencedIn Barzun, 1881-1973. Henri Martin Barzun papers 1909-1967. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Dreier, Mary E. (Mary Elisabeth), 1875-1963. Papers, 1797-1963 (inclusive), 1897-1963 (bulk). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn O'Reilly, Leonora, 1870-1927. Papers, 1886-1927 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
creatorOf Dreier, Dorothea A., 1870-1923. Dorothea A. Dreier papers, 1881-1941, bulk 1887-1923. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900. Oscar Wilde collection, 1884-1915. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Schack, William, b. 1898. William Schack papers, 1891-1963. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Katherine Sophie Dreier Papers, circa 1890-1970 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company correspondence and records, 1832-1944. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Hamilton, George Heard. George Heard Hamilton papers, 1937-1966 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf Kiesler, Frederick. Frederick Kiesler papers, 1923-1993. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Storrs, John Henry Bradley, 1885-1956. John Henry Bradley Storrs papers, 1837-1987, bulk 1900-1956. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Dreier, Katherine Sophie, 1877-1952. Katherine S. Dreier papers / Société Anonyme archive, 1818-1952 (bulk 1920-1951). Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Kiesler, Lillian 1910?-2001. Lillian and Frederick Kiesler papers, [circa 1910]-2003, bulk 1958-2000. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
referencedIn George Heard Hamilton Papers, 1937-1966 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
creatorOf Dreier, Dorothea A., 1870-1923. Dorothea A. Dreier papers, 1887-1923. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Tofel, Jennings, 1891-1959. Jennings Tofel papers, 1916-1960. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Dorothea A. Dreier papers, 1881-1941, bulk 1887-1923 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Alajalov, Constantin, 1900-1987. person
associatedWith Albers, Josef. person
associatedWith Albers, Josef. person
associatedWith Annot, 1894-1982. person
associatedWith Archipenko, Alexander, 1887-1964. person
associatedWith Art Commission of the City of New York. corporateBody
associatedWith Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. corporateBody
associatedWith Arts Club of Chicago. corporateBody
associatedWith Arts Council of the City of New York. corporateBody
associatedWith Arts Council of the City of New York. corporateBody
associatedWith Arts Council of the City of New York. corporateBody
associatedWith Barzun, 1881-1973. person
associatedWith Bowman, Ruth, 1923- person
associatedWith Brinton, Christian, 1870-1942. person
associatedWith Brooklyn Museum. corporateBody
associatedWith Brooklyn Museum. Office of the Director. corporateBody
associatedWith Burli︠u︡k, David, 1882-1967. person
associatedWith Campendonk, Heinrich, 1889-1957. person
associatedWith Carnegie Corporation of New York. corporateBody
associatedWith Cooperative Mural Workshops. corporateBody
associatedWith Cooperative Mural Workshops. corporateBody
associatedWith Dreier, Dorothea A., 1870-1923. person
associatedWith Dreier, Mary E. (Mary Elisabeth), 1875-1963. person
associatedWith Drewes, Werner, 1899-1985. person
associatedWith Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968. person
associatedWith Duchamp, Suzanne, 1889-1963. person
associatedWith Dzubas, Friedel, 1915-1994. person
associatedWith Gabo, Naum, 1890-1977. person
associatedWith Gaulois, Paul. person
associatedWith Gaulois, Paul. person
associatedWith George F. Of, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith George F. Of, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith George F. Of, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum. corporateBody
associatedWith Gogh, Elisabeth du Quesne van, 1859-1936. person
associatedWith Graham, John, 1881-1961. person
associatedWith Gropius, Walter, 1883-1969. person
associatedWith Hamilton, George Heard. person
correspondedWith Hekking, William Matthews, 1885-1970 person
associatedWith HELEN BARTEN (BREWSTER) OWENS, 1881-1968 person
associatedWith Hildebrandt, Hans, 1878-1957. person
correspondedWith Houghton Mifflin Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Kandinsky, Wassily, 1866-1944. person
associatedWith Keppell, Frederick P. person
associatedWith Kiesler, Frederick. person
associatedWith Kiesler, Lillian, 1910?-2001. person
associatedWith Kruse, Alexander Z., 1888-1972. person
associatedWith Kuh, Katharine. person
associatedWith Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955. person
associatedWith Levitan, Israel, 1912-1982. person
associatedWith Lissitzky, El, 1890-1941. person
associatedWith Long Ridge Women's Club (West Redding, Conn.) corporateBody
associatedWith Long Ridge Women's Club (West Redding, Conn.) corporateBody
associatedWith Lozowick, Louis, 1892-1973 person
associatedWith Man Ray, 1890-1976. person
associatedWith MARY ELISABETH DREIER, 1875-1963 person
associatedWith Matulka, Jan, 1890-1972. person
associatedWith Meeker, Jess. person
associatedWith Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.). Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Miller, Christian William. person
associatedWith Moholy-Nagy, László, 1895-1946. person
associatedWith Molzahn, Johannes, 1892-1965. person
associatedWith Murray, Joan, 1917-1942 person
associatedWith Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith O'Reilly, Leonora, 1870-1927. person
associatedWith Owens, Helen Brewster, 1881-1968. person
associatedWith Pannaggi, Ivo. person
associatedWith Russell Sage Foundation. corporateBody
associatedWith Schack, William, b. 1898. person
associatedWith Schwitters, Kurt, 1887-1948. person
associatedWith Shawn, Ted, 1891-1972. person
associatedWith Société anonyme. corporateBody
associatedWith Société anonyme. corporateBody
associatedWith Société anonyme. corporateBody
associatedWith Société Anonyme (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Society of Independent Artists (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Stella, Joseph, 1877-1946. person
associatedWith Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946. person
associatedWith Storrs, John Henry Bradley, 1885-1956. person
associatedWith Tofel, Jennings, 1891-1959. person
associatedWith Torres-García, Joaquín, 1874-1949. person
associatedWith Van Kleeck, Mary, 1883- person
associatedWith Villon, Jacques, 1875-1963. person
associatedWith Walkowitz, Abraham, 1880-1965. person
associatedWith Washington Irving High School (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith W. F. Collins & Co. corporateBody
associatedWith W. F. Collins & Co. corporateBody
associatedWith W. F. Collins & Co. corporateBody
associatedWith Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900. person
associatedWith W. S. Budworth & Son. corporateBody
associatedWith W. S. Budworth & Son. corporateBody
associatedWith W. S. Budworth & Son. corporateBody
associatedWith Yale University. Art Gallery. corporateBody
associatedWith Zadkine, Ossip. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
China
Connecticut--West Redding
Connecticut--West Redding
United States
China
United States
China
Subject
Community arts projects
Women--Connecticut--West Redding--Societies and clubs
Art--Collectors and collecting
Art--Societies, etc
Arts fund raising
Arts--United States--Societies, etc
Traveling exhibitions
Art, American
Art--American (?)--Reproductions
Community art projects--United States
Art, Modern--20th century
Mural painting and decoration--United States
Mural painting and decoration
Women--Societies and clubs
Occupation
Women artists--United States
Women painters
Art patrons--United States
Function

Person

Birth 1877-09-10

Death 1952-03-29

Americans

French,

English,

German,

Spanish; Castilian

Information

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Ark ID: w6m90f0w

SNAC ID: 11948901