Correspondence with Carl Zigrosser, 1933-1971, n.d.

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Correspondence with Carl Zigrosser, 1933-1971, n.d.

The earliest letters from Castellón cover his travels in Europe and his response to the countries and art there, the progress of his work and it's reception. Letters from Madrid relate anecdotes about Salvador Dalí and the delights of the museums there. Paris news includes Castellón's inclusion in a 1935 exhibit of Spanish artists working in Paris and his sighting Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein in the galleries. Upon Castellón's return to New York, his lengthy letters detail the progress of his work and the financial demands of his family, sharing a studio with Henry Mangravite, his surrealist style's reception, his many plans to escape to "Utopia," money trouble and a thank you note to Zigrosser for a loan that enables Castellón to get away to New Orleans. Zigrosser arranged for Catellón to spend the summer of 1939 at Yaddo, a colony Castellón would return to. His letters from Yaddo recount the suicide of Richard Berman (Arnold Höllriegel), a refugee reporter from Vienna. A longer letter from Yaddo describes in detail his life there, the food, the architecture, Marc Blitzstein's political turmoil, Elizabeth Ames and her affair with Leonard Ehrlich, his dislike of Rudolf von Ripper, and the others at Yaddo: Nathan Asch, Martin Gumpert, John Cheever, David Diamond, Herman Broch, Jean Starr Untermeyer, Maureen Whipple and Newton Arvin. The letters are full of details and gossip. Also mentioned is his search for commercial work and his continuing money trouble. Some letters are addressed to Laura Canade, another employee at Weyhe Gallery and Zigrosser's future wife. In 1940, Castellón writes about serigraphy, commercial work at PM magazine, his fiancée Hilda Field and the new residents of Yaddo: Bruce M itchell, Miriam Cohen, Agnes Tait, Marion Greenwood, George Platt Lynes, Monroe Wheeler, and Katherine Anne Porter. After Zigrosser left Weyhe Gallery for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, he continued to support Castllón's career, supporting his application for a Guggenheim Fellowship. Castellón's letters describe meeting Alfred Barr and Una E. Johnson, his travels in the American southwest on his Fellowship, his concerns about being drafted and his 1942 stay at Katherine Anne Porter's farm. In 1943, Castellón was drafted, and his few, very emotional letters from this time describe his depression and alienation from art, his camouflage assignment under scenic designer Jo Mielziner, and eventual posting to India and China. From the war on, the correspondence is less frequent, but the letters are still jammed with details, descriptions and plans. Comments about the new painting, critics and exhibitions have a touch of bitterness to them. Castellón describes the new painting as empty, insincere, falsely intellectual rule-bound. His surrealist, representational style is out of favor. He writes about the changes at Weyhe Gallery and his growing discontent with Erhard Weyhe. He continues to write about plans for print portfolios and travelling, his Guggenheim Fellowship to Rome, and his friendship with John Taylor Arms and Adolf Dehn, two artists from an earlier generation. There is a gap in the correspondence from 1952 to 1963. A very long letter from Castellón details financial transactions, various career alternatives, printmaking ventures and the difficulties of teaching. He describes several projects with Atelier Desjobert in Paris and Abe Lublin in New York (Lublin is also doing mountains of work with Jack Levine), and his own on-going relationship with Associated American Artists and Sylvan Cole. Late letters describe his own print collecting in Europe and his frustration at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's declining to accept a complete set of his prints because they would not take his printing plates as well. The last letters describe Castellón's approaching departure to take up residence in Paris. Included in the printed matter are two issues of a publication of James Monroe High School in New York, exhibition announcements, clippings, reproductions of Castellón's work, and some exhibition catalogs.

125 items (260 leaves).

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