Ben Benn papers


Ben Benn papers


The papers of modernist painter Ben Benn measure 6.3 linear feet and date from 1906 through 1977, with the bulk of the papers dating from circa 1920 - circa 1970. The collection includes correspondence between Benn and his wife Velida de Benn and letters from Oscar Bluemner, Max Weber, Joseph Stella, and other artists. Also found are biographical materials, sketches, sketchbooks, diaries, scrapbooks, personal business records, clippings, photographs, exhibition catalogs, art journals, and auction catalogs. Some of the printed material is quite rare.The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence files dating from 1906 through 1993, and includes personal, professional, and family correspondence of Ben Benn and wife Velida Benn, as well as personal correspondence between the Benn's. Much of the professional correspondence relates to exhibitions and other projects and is with museums, galleries, and art associations, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Artists' Gallery, and the College Art Association. Additional correspondence contains letters from friends and colleagues including Alfred Barr, Oscar Bluemner, Rita Benton, Holger Cahill, Juliana Force, Sidney Geist, Kaj Klitgaard, Audrey McMahon, Julio Osma, Harry Salpeter, Hugh Stix, Hudson D. Walker, and Marguerite Zorach, among others. Letters exchanged between Ben Benn and Velida Benn primarily relate to Benn's activities in Woodstock, N.Y., Gloucester, Ma., and St. Augustine, Fla., places he visited during the early part of his career. Many of Benn's letters are illustrated. Velida Benn's correspondence includes letters from her brother Bernard Lopez, William M. Fisher (Metropolitan Museum of Art), Bessie Beatty, Rita Benton, Sidney Geist, and Julio Osma. Also found are brief notes from Joseph Stella, Max Weber, and Marsden Hartley.Diaries (1943-1977) contain entries by Velida Benn and reflect her activities and personal observations; also found are numerous references to Benn's exhibitions and projects. Three scrapbooks (1915-1972) document Benn's exhibitions and include copies of correspondence, announcements, checklists, price lists, and clippings; many of the items are annotated. Artwork (1937-1974) consists of sketchbooks and various loose sketches of portraits, figures, and still lifes; also included are fashion sketches by Velida Benn.Printed material (1905-1991, bulk 1930s-1970s) includes exhibition announcements and catalogs, newspaper and magazine clippings, printed programs, reproductions, and monographs. Of particular interest are Artists' and Writers' Chap Books (1933-1935) that include the work of Ben and Velida Benn. Photographs (1920-1969) contain images of works of art, of Ben Benn, individually and with Velida, and exhibition installation shots.



SNAC Resource ID: 6630369

Archives of American Art

Related Entities

There are 14 Entities related to this resource.

Harry Salpeter Gallery. (corporateBody)

Van Dine, S. S. (person)

Benn, Ben, 1884- (person)

B. 1884 d. 1983. From the description of Ben Benn artist file. (Whitney Museum of American Art). WorldCat record id: 228432875 Painter; New York, N.Y. Born Ben Rosenberg in Russia, 1884; d. 1983. From the description of Ben Benn papers, 1905-1993. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 78162888 ...

Benn, Velida. (person)

Ben Benn (person)

New York painter Ben Benn was born in Russia in 1884 as Benjamin Rosenberg and died in 1983. Benn studied drawing and painting at the National Academy of Design from 1904-1908 and had his first exhibition, "Oils by Eight American Artists," at the Artists' Gallery in 1907. In 1916, Benn participated in the "Forum Exhibition of Modern American Painters" at the Anderson Galleries, along with artists Thomas Hart Benton, Oscar Bluemner, Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Man Ray, ...

Harry Salpeter Gallery. (corporateBody)

Geist, Sidney. (person)

Sculptor, critic. Born 1914. From the description of Sidney Geist papers, 1938-1994. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 86132900 Sidney Geist (1914-2005), sculptor, writer and critic was born in Paterson, New Jersey. He was an apprentice to Paul Feine in Woodstock between 1931-1937, studied with William Zorach, Jose de Creeft and Ossip Zadkine in 1945-46. He taught at Brooklyn College, the University of California at Berkeley, and Southern Illinois University, among...

Whitney Museum of American Art (corporateBody)

American art museum; New York, N.Y. Founded by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and formally opened in 1931. Previous to its opening as a museum it was known as the Whitney Studio Club (1914-28) and Whitney Studio Galleries (1928-30). From the description of Whitney Museum of American Art artists' files and records, 1914-1966. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 86133455 The Friends of the Whitney Museum of American Art is an upper level membershi...

Bluemner, Oscar, 1867-1938 (person)

Oscar Bluemner (1867-1938) was a painter from South Braintree, Mass. and Germany. Born in Germany and trained as an architect. Became a painter and moved to the United States in 1892. Became associated with the group of advanced artists associated with Alfred Stieglitz. From the description of Oscar Bluemner papers, 1886-1939, 1960. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 669909412 Painter; South Braintree, Mass. and Germany. Born in ...

Benn, Velida (person)

Force, Juliana, 1876-1948 (person)

Director of the Whitney Museum of Art, 1931-ca. 1947. From the description of Whitney Museum of American Art, Juliana Force papers, 1916-1958. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122553066 ...

Van Dine, S. S. (person)

Artists' Gallery (New York, N.Y.) (corporateBody)

Art gallery. Founded 1936 by Hugh Stix. Directed by Federica Beer-Monti. Non-profit organization supported by contributions. Exhibited works of artists not represented by a commercial dealer. Some of the notable artists included Josef Albers, Saul Baizerman, Byron Browne, Louis Eilshemius, Aristodemos Kaldis, De Hirsh Margules, and Nicholas Vasilieff. Discontinued operation summer 1962. From the description of Artists' Gallery records, 1936-1966. (Unknown). W...

Walker Art Center. (corporateBody)

Located in Minneapolis, Minn. From the description of Exhibition records, 1940-1960. (Walker Art Center Library). WorldCat record id: 70958328 ...