Archives Home

Contact Us
Close window

Printable view


The Dedalus Foundation's Robert Motherwell Recordings

in The Museum of Modern Art Archives




The Museum of Modern Art
Museum Archives
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019-5497
moma.org/learn/resources/archives

© 2008 The Museum of Modern Art. All rights reserved.
The Museum of Modern Art, Publisher
Finding aid prepared by Molly Shea under the direction of Michelle Elligott, 2008.
Machine-readable finding aid created by Molly Shea. Description is in English.

Overview of the Collection

Creators: Robert Motherwell, The Dedalus Foundation
Title: The Dedalus Foundation's Robert Motherwell Recordings
Dates: 1972-2004
Quantity: Two linear feet of records
Comprised of three boxes
Two (2) 5 7/8" x 5 ½" x 12" boxes
One (1) 8" x 5 ½" x 16 ½" box
Containing 34 Compact Discs, 26 DVDs

Arrangement

The Dedalus Foundation's Robert Motherwell Recordings have been arranged in chronological order, beginning with recordings that are undated and followed with recordings that had documentation of the date of recording. The Museum of Modern Art Archives retains CD and DVD service copies from the 2007 preservation project in which 51 recordings related to Robert Motherwell were preserved through the stewardship of The Museum of Modern Art Archives. The original recordings and preservation master recordings remain with The Dedalus Foundation.
The recordings are divided into two series: Audio and Video. Audio recordings are assigned an inventory number beginning with the letter "A." All audio recordings are compact discs. Video recordings are assigned an inventory number beginning with the letter "V." All video recordings are DVDs.


Biographical Note

Robert Motherwell (1915 - 1991) Renowned as one of the founders of Abstract Expressionism, Motherwell was an artist of international stature. His career encompassed more than five decades, he received virtually every honor accorded to an artist, and his work has been the subject of countless museum exhibitions and publications. Born on January 24, 1915 in Aberdeen, Washington, Motherwell received a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Stanford University in 1937. He briefly pursued graduate studies in philosophy at Harvard before moving to Paris for a year. In 1939 he moved to New York City where he studied art history with Meyer Schapiro at Columbia University. In 1941, after a brief time in Mexico where he married his first wife Maria Emilia Ferreira y Moyers, Motherwell returned to New York and became acquainted with Pollock, Rothko, Baziotes, and de Kooning. In 1943, Motherwell, Baziotes, and Pollock were selected to exhibit at Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century Gallery, which was followed by a one-man exhibition of Motherwell's work in 1944. Motherwell moved to East Hampton in 1945 where he maintained his studio, and he exhibited exclusively at the Samuel Kootz gallery. In 1946, Motherwell was included in The Museum of Modern Art exhibition, Fourteen Americans [MoMA Exh. #329, September 10 - December 8, 1946], and in 1947 he began to work on his Elegy series, perhaps his most well known body of work. Motherwell divorced Maria Emilia Ferreira y Moyers in 1948, and in 1950 married Betty Little, with whom he had daughters Jannine (1953) and Lise (1955). In 1953 Motherwell expanded his studio to include a space in Provincetown, MA, where he had been summering since 1942. There he began to focus on printmaking and collage, media he had experimented with since the death of his father in 1943, and he eventually helped to found the Fine Arts Work Center, a foundation providing support for emerging artists. In 1958 he changed affiliation to the Sidney Janis Gallery and married Helen Frankenthaler, a fellow Abstract Expressionist artist, and spent time in Spain and France. In the following years Motherwell continued to travel throughout Europe and to exhibit both in the States and abroad, and had his first major museum retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art in 1965, which subsequently traveled to major venues in Europe. In 1969 he moved to Greenwich, CT, and separated from Helen Frankenthaler. By 1972 he married his fourth wife, German-born photographer Renate Ponsold. Motherwell's career continued to be actively innovative as he experimented with etching and aquatints and incorporated music and poetry into his work. He also continued to devote a significant portion of his time to teaching, writing, and editing publications. During the remaining decades of his life, Motherwell experienced great success, with many exhibitions devoted to his work and many honors celebrating his achievements. Motherwell died in July of 1991.


Scope and Content

The Dedalus Foundation's Robert Motherwell Recordings consist of 34 compact discs, totaling 19 recorded events and 26 DVDs totaling 26 videotaped events, resulting in 2 linear feet. The majority of the collection contains recordings of lectures given by Robert Motherwell and interviews between the artist and Jack Flam, art historian and president of The Dedalus Foundation. The collection also contains documentary footage of symposia, conferences, biographical films and television programs that relate to Motherwell. The Dedalus Foundation provided the title, date and production information for each recording.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

The records are open for research and contain no restricted materials.

Service copies of these recordings are available for consultation at both The Museum of Modern Art and The Dedalus Foundation. The original and archival master copies are maintained by The Dedalus Foundation.

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Dedalus Foundation's Robert Motherwell Recordings service copies are property of The Museum of Modern Art. Literary rights, including copyright belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Rights to work produced during the normal course of Museum business resides with The Museum of Modern Art. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the Museum Archivist.


Related Material

See also the George Wittenborn Papers; the Robert Motherwell Scrapbooks compiled by John Cuddihy; The Dedalus Foundation's Robert Motherwell Scrapbooks arranged by Eve Lambert; and numerous Sound Recordings of Museum-Related Events in The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York.

The Dedalus Foundation, New York, maintains comprehensive archival collections of the artist.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Long version: The Dedalus Foundation's Robert Motherwell Recordings, [item number]. The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York.

Short version: Motherwell Recordings, [item number]. MoMA Archives, NY.

Processing and Condition Information

The Dedalus Foundation's Robert Motherwell Recordings original source media consist of 25 audio cassettes, 23 VHS cassettes, 2 Beta master broadcast videocassettes and 1 HGX-M 8 mm videocassette. In 2007, the recordings were sent to an off-site vendor for preservation and digital mastering. When necessary, the recordings were physically cleaned. An archival master copy and service copies were created for each recording.

For the audio recordings, the archival master was created as a Broadcast Wave File (BWF) at 24 bit 96 kHz. The Dedalus Foundation received the archival masters for each recording. The duplication of the original 25 standard audiocassettes, which document 19 events in which Motherwell participated, resulted in a set of 34 compact discs that are to be used as service copies. The Museum of Modern Art received one complete set of the 34 service CDs, and The Dedalus Foundation received two sets.

For the video recordings, the archival master was created on a Digibeta cassette. The Dedalus Foundation received the archival masters for each recording. The duplication of the original 26 video recordings, in total amounting to 26 programs in which Motherwell participated, were transferred to 26 DVDs that are to be used as service copies. The Museum of Modern Art received one complete set of the 26 service DVDs, and The Dedalus Foundation received two sets.

The recordings were in stable condition and did not require extensive preservation.


Container List

 

Series I: Audio Recordings

Item Title Date
A1 Francis George Scott: A Centenary Song Recital n.d.
A2a Interview: Robert Motherwell and Jack Flam n.d.
A2b Interview: Robert Motherwell and Jack Flam n.d.
A3a Songs of Robert Burns, Lowlands, Jean Redpath n.d.
A3b Songs of Robert Burns, Lowlands, Jean Redpath n.d.
A4a A Conversation with Students, an adaptation for radio from an afternoon at the William Benton Museum of Art April 6, 1979
A4b A Conversation with Students, an adaptation for radio from an afternoon at the William Benton Museum of Art April 6, 1979
A4c A Conversation with Students, an adaptation for radio from an afternoon at the William Benton Museum of Art April 6, 1979
A5 Mix tape "For Robert Motherwell (April 6, 1979)" April 6, 1979
A6a Interview with Robert Motherwell about materials used in work, Betty Fiske and Rita Albertson December 11, 1980
A6b Interview with Robert Motherwell about materials used in work, Betty Fiske and Rita Albertson December 11, 1980
A7 Sweet Surrender After Motherwell: 1965 July 7, 1982
A8a Interview: Robert Motherwell and Jack Flam October 9, 1982
A8b Interview: Robert Motherwell and Jack Flam October 9, 1982
A8c Interview: Robert Motherwell and Jack Flam October 9, 1982
A9a Interview: Robert Motherwell and Jack Flam October 22, 1982
A9b Interview: Robert Motherwell and Jack Flam October 22, 1982
A10a Interview: Robert Motherwell and Jack Flam November 5, 1982
A10b Interview: Robert Motherwell and Jack Flam November 5, 1982
A10c Interview: Robert Motherwell and Jack Flam November 5, 1982
A11 Motherwell Lecture at the Albright-Knox Gallery, Jack Flam November 16, 1983
A12 Motherwell Lecture at the Guggenheim Museum, Jack Flam January 28, 1985
A13 Side A - Robert Motherwell's MacDowell Medal Acceptance Speech Side B - Interview: Robert Motherwell and Robert Enright August 16, 1985
A14 Conversation on Motherwell with Jack Flam, Catherine Tatge and Megan Callaway 1986
A15 Trio: Shining Forth May, 1988
A16a Robert Motherwell and Dore Ashton in conversation at Cooper Union, New York November 21, 1988
A16b Robert Motherwell and Dore Ashton in conversation at Cooper Union, New York November 21, 1988
A17 92nd Street Y "Artists' Visions" at the Guggenheim Museum November 8, 1989
A18a Motherwell Symposium, CUNY Graduate Center March 5, 1993
A18b Motherwell Symposium, CUNY Graduate Center March 5, 1993
A18c Motherwell Symposium, CUNY Graduate Center March 5, 1993
A18d Motherwell Symposium, CUNY Graduate Center March 5, 1993
A18e Motherwell Symposium, CUNY Graduate Center March 5, 1993
A19 Beyond Print October 24- December 21, 1996

Return to the Top of Page
 

Series II: Video Recordings

Item Title Date
V1 Artitude II - Ken Tyler Ep.15 Printmaking

LaSalle College of the Arts

n.d.
V2 Ollendorff Warehouse Inventory n.d.
V3 Ollendorff Warehouse and Robert Motherwell Studio Inventory n.d.
V4 Painter's Painting: The New York Art Scene 1940-1970

Emile de Antonio, Mystic Fire Video

1972
V5 Motherwell

Michael Blackwood Productions

1973
V6 An Interview with Robert Motherwell, Provincetown 1975
V7 "Robert Motherwell," CBS Sunday Morning 1981, 1985
V8 Two Broadcasts from CBS-TV's Sunday Morning: Robert Motherwell, 1981; Tyler Graphics Printing, 1985 1985
V9 Segment on WGBH Ten O'Clock News re: RM and "The Collaged Image" show at the Boston Athenaeum 1987
V10 Robert Motherwell Tapes 4A, 4B

with Jack Flam, Sigmund Koch at Boston University Aesthetics Research Archive

Note: There is no tape for 1A, 1B

1987
V11 Robert Motherwell at the Boston Athenaeum

WGBH

January 30, 1987
V12 Conversations with Robert Motherwell Tape 3A

with Jack Flam, Sigmund Koch at Boston University Aesthetics Research Archive

Note: There is no tape for 1A, 1B

May 14, 1987
V13 Robert Motherwell Tapes 2B, 3A, 3B

with Jack Flam, Sigmund Koch at Boston University Aesthetics Research Archive

Note: There is no tape for 1A, 1B

May 14, 1987
V14 A Dialogue on the Subject of Modernism: Robert Motherwell and Arthur C. Danto, part 2

Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art

December, 1987
V15 Excerpts from a Dialogue Between Robert Motherwell and Arthur C. Danto at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Arts, parts 1 and 2 December, 1987
V16 L'Atelier de Robert Motherwell

Benoit Jacquot, I.N.A.

1988
V17 The Exiles 1989
V18 Motherwell/Alberti: A la Pintura

Michael Blackwood Productions

February 13, 1989
V19 Robert Motherwell and the New York School: Storming the Citadel

International Cultural Programming

1990
V20 MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour July 17, 1991
V21 Robert Motherwell Summer of 1971

Michael Blackwood Productions

1998
V22 New York School

Michael Blackwood Productions

2000
V23 Rothko and Repetition

Briony Fer, Phyllis Wattis Distinguished Lecture

2001
V24 Rothko and the Critics

Michael Leja, Phyllis Wattis Distinguished Lecture

2001
V25 Coming to Light: Avery, Gottlieb, Rothko, Provincetown Summers 1957-1961

Keith Rodan, Knoedler & Co.

2002
V26 Bilderstreit Folge: 2004/6 2004

Return to the Top of Page