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Robert Motherwell Scrapbooks

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

© 2001 The Museum of Modern Art. All rights reserved.
The Museum of Modern Art, Publisher
Finding aid prepared by Jeremy Melius, under the direction of Michelle Elligott, 2001.
Machine-readable finding aid derived from Motherwell Scrapbooks.doc, 2007. Machine-readable finding aid created by Kathleene Konkle. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: John Cuddihy
Title: Robert Motherwell Scrapbooks
Dates: 1944-1978
Quantity: Five 2" scrapbooks in bound book form
One over-sized folder

Arrangement

Only the most important material has been noted in the album descriptions below. The pages in-between will have additional material such as news clippings and other ephemera. A brief note on condition and content appears before the description of individual scrapbooks.
The Papers are organized into five Series:
Volume I: 1944 - 1961
Volume II: 1959 - 1965
Volume III: September 1965 - May 1969
Volume IV: 1968 - 1977
Volume V: 1956 - 1978
Appendix A: Photostats


Biographical Note

John Murray Cuddihy was born c.1922 into a wealthy Irish-American family. He is the son of H. Lester Cuddihy and Julia Murray Cuddihy, and the grandson of the publisher Robert J. Cuddihy. Robert Henri painted a portrait of him as a child in 1928. He married Heidi DeHaven in the early 1960s. Pursuing an academic career in sociology, Cuddihy received three masters degrees: two from Columbia University and a third from the New School for Social Research in New York City. He completed a Ph.D. in Sociology at Rutgers University; his dissertation was later published as The Ordeal of Civility: Freud, Marx, Levi-Strauss and the Jewish Struggle with Modernity in 1974. His book No Offense: Civil Religion and Protestant Taste was published in 1978. He taught at Vassar College, Columbia University, and the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry before taking a position in the sociology department at Hunter College. Cuddihy was also a Senior Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities. His research interests included the sociology of knowledge, the sociology of intellectuals, and the overlap of sociology with anthropology. He was a member of the doctoral faculty at the Graduate School and University Center of The City University of New York (GSUC). Cuddihy retired from Hunter College in the fall of 1997.

Cuddihy's engagement with the work of Robert Motherwell was long and intense, resulting in five scrapbooks. The project proceeded with the eminent painter's approval and often his help as well, as Motherwell sent several items to Cuddihy for inclusion in the scrapbooks.

Robert Motherwell (1915-1991) was a leading exponent of Abstract Expressionism. Educated at Stanford University and briefly in Harvard University's philosophy department, Motherwell concentrated his energies on painting soon after his arrival in New York City in 1939. Beginning in 1945, he showed exclusively with the Samuel Kootz gallery until moving to the Sidney Janis Gallery in 1958. He had his first major museum retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art in 1965, which subsequently travelled to major venues in Europe. During the remaining decades of his life, Motherwell saw great success with many museum exhibitions devoted to his work.

In 1944, Motherwell helped found the groundbreaking Documents of Modern Art series with Wittenborn, Schultz, Inc. He served as general editor of the series until it was discontinued in 1953. He also edited the prodigious 1951 volume The Dada Painters and Poets. (The series was reactivated in 1968 with Arthur A. Cohen as co-editor and again in 1979 with Jack Flam as co-editor).


Scope and Content Note

The Robert Motherwell Scrapbooks, complied by John Cuddihy, consist of five 14 ½" x 11 ½" scrapbooks and additional ephemeral material for a total of one linear foot of material. Containing material with inclusive dates of 1944 - 1978, the Scrapbooks document the development of Robert Motherwell's career. They include exhibition catalogues, hundreds of newspaper and magazine clippings, exhibition invitations and checklists and other ephemera as well as photographs of Motherwell's work, records of Cuddihy's own collection, and various personal papers relevant to Cuddihy's interest in Motherwell. The latter includes records of sale, Cuddihy's diagrams of works by Motherwell and correspondence between Cuddihy and various dealers and museums, such as the Jewish Museum, the Sam Kootz Gallery, the Sidney Janis Gallery, The Museum of Modern Art, the Bennington College Art Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Art, the American Federation of Artists (AFA), the Pasadena Art Museum, the Smith College Art Museum, and Dore Ashton, on behalf of Cooper Union. The scrapbooks also include several letters and cards from Motherwell, and one from Helen Frankenthaler, Motherwell's former wife. The final scrapbook contains several autobiographical items, including the covers of Cuddihy's two publications.

Photostats that duplicated some of the material contained in the scrapbooks have been deaccessioned. Select items have been maintained and are listed as Appendix A.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

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

The Robert Motherwell Scrapbooks have been microfilmed with funding provided by the Dedalus Foundation. As a preservation measure, the microfilm copy, rather than the original scrapbooks, is served to researchers.

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Robert Motherwell Scrapbooks are the physical 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.


Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in DADABASE, the library catalog of The Museum of Modern Art. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Persons:
Cuddihy, John Murray.
Subjects:
Motherwell, Robert -- Archives.
Motherwell, Robert -- Exhibitions.
Document Types:
Exhibition catalogs.
Photoprints.
Scrapbooks.


Related Collections at MoMA and Elsewhere

A copy of the microfilm is held at the Dedalus Foundation, located at 555 W. 57 Street, Suite 1222 New York, NY 10019 (tel: 212.220.4220; fax: 212.220.4225).

The George Wittenborn Papers contain documentation about Robert Motherwell, see finding aid for further information.

The Sound Recordings of Museum-Related Events include lectures and discussions in which Motherwell was a speaker and/or where his artwork is discussed.

The Department of Public Information Records contains clippings about MoMA exhibitions that featured works by Motherwell.

The Department of Circulating Exhibitions Records has correspondence, checklists and preparatory material for the circulating versions of MoMA exhibitions in which works by Motherwell were included.

The Records of the International Program include information about MoMA exhibitions that circulated internationally in which Motherwell's artworks were featured.

A comprehensive collection of materials related to Motherwell may be found at The Dedalus Foundation, New York.


Administrative Information

Provenance

In c.1965, photostat copies of the first two scrapbooks were placed on deposit by Cuddihy at The Museum of Modern Art's Library. In December of 1978, Cuddihy donated the complete set of original scrapbooks outright; they were officially accepted by the Library on December 22, 1978. On April 21, 1999, the scrapbooks and photostat copies were transferred from the Library to the Museum Archives, where they were processed in 2001.

Preferred Citation

The long version must be used for the first citation. For subsequent citations, the abbreviated version may be used.

Long version:
Robert Motherwell Scrapbooks, [series.page]. The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York.

Abbreviated version:
Motherwell, [series.page]. MoMA Archives, NY.

Microfilm long version:
Robert Motherwell Scrapbooks [Reel;Frame]. The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Microfilm abbreviated version:
Motherwell [Reel;Frame]. MoMA Archives, NY.

Condition

The scrapbooks are in fragile condition. Scrapbook I is the most delicate of the books and has many significant tears in the pages. The books were microfilmed to ensure long-term preservation. During the microfilming process, the books were disbound. The original scrapbooks should only be consulted when the corresponding microfilm does not give necessary detail.


Additional Descriptive Data

Explanation of Abbreviations

ALS is an Autographed Letter Signed.
TLS is a Typed Letter Signed.
TL stands for Typed Letter.
MoMA is The Museum of Modern Art.
n.d. stands for no date.
re: stands for regarding.
AN is an Autographed note not signed
ANS is an Autographed note signed
ACS is an Autograph card or message signed
JC is John Cuddihy
RM is Robert Motherwell
AFA stands for the American Federation of Artists


Container List

 

Volume I: 1944-1961

Consists of catalogues, clippings, letters, invitations, photographs, and other ephemera dated 1946-1961; also includes many JC diagrams of RM works.

Microfilm: This scrapbook begins at microfilm reel 1; frame 0001.

Page Title Date
I.1 RM signature in oil crayon (1958)
I.5 JC diagram of RM Joy of Living. 1943
I.19 JC diagram of RM A Wall in Italy. 1946
I.21 JC diagram of RM Homage to John Cage. 1946
I.23 JC diagram of RM collage
I.29 JC diagram of RM In Grey and Tan. 1948
I.34 JC pen diagram of RM In Ochre and White. 1947
I.44 JC pen diagram of RM Hotel Corridor. 1950
I.46 JC diagrams of RM Spanish Elegy and RM The Spring
I.47 JC diagrams of RM Spanish Elegy and RM The Spring
I.53 AN JC [re: "On Mondrian and Chirico" article by RM]
I.59 JC diagram of RM work
I.60.a Envelope Kootz Gallery-JC

TLS Helen W.F. of Bennington College-JC (4/20/1959) [re: Bennington exhibition]

I.60.b Envelope Kootz Gallery-JC

TLS Sidney Janis Gallery-JC (6/10/1957) [re: lending of Fishes with Red Stripes]

I.66 Check JC-RM

Fishes with Red Stripes

Check JC-Kootz Gallery (1/18/1955) for Figure in Pink and Green

ALS RM-"Nat" (7/29/1955) [re: JC]

5/14/1955
I.73 JC note "Photos of very early works of Motherwell"
I.74 JC note "Photos of very early works of Motherwell"
I.75 JC note "Photos of very early works of Motherwell"
I.76 JC note "Photos of very early works of Motherwell"
I.77 JC note "Photos of very early works of Motherwell"
I.87 ANS JC re: RM lecture

"Meet the Artist -Robert Motherwell" at New York University

4/20/1955
I.91 Photo of Jacob's Ladder, II (collection of JC)
I.113 Check JC-Sidney Janis, Ltd.

For View Number One

3/20/1959
I.115 ACS RM-JC

Re: dealer discount at Janis Gallery

3/11/1959
I.122 TL Janis Gallery-JC

Re: payment

3/24/1955
I.123 Telegram: Porter McCray, Director of Circulating Exhibitions and the International Program, MoMA-JC

Re: loan of View #1

4/12/1959
I.126 TLS E.C. Goossen, Director of Exhibitions, Bennington College Art Museum-JC

Re: RM retrospective

4/15/1959
I.128 JC diagrams of "four new paintings (to me)" at Bennington Retrospective
I.130 ANS JC

Re:1959 Janis Gallery show

I.135 Invitation from MoMA International Council Dinner

For The New American Painting [MoMA Exh. # 645, May 18 - September 8, 1959]

5/25/1959

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Volume II: 1959-1965

Consists of catalogues, clippings, letters, invitations, photographs, and other ephemera dated 1959 -1965.

Microfilm: This scrapbook begins at microfilm reel 1; frame 0191.

Page Title Date
II.4 Catalogue for exhibition Motherwell Collages 1958-60 Berggruen Gallery, Paris 1961
II.11 Check JC-Robert S. Warshaw and David J. Gool

For The Homely Protestant.1948

4/23/1962
II.30 TLS Thomas W. Leavitt, Director, Pasadena Art Museum-JC

Re: lending JC collection

3/1/1962
II.31 TLS Charles Chetham, Director, Smith College Museum of Art-JC

Re: lending Fishes with Red Stripes

10/19/1962
II.39 TLS P.R. Johnson-RM

Re: astrological chart

5/19/1962
II.50 ALS RM-JC

Re: collage catalogue, JC's wedding

2/21/1962
II.96 Envelope incl.: ALS RM-JC

Re: "your barrage of telegrams"

12/27/1964
II.101 TLS Waldo Rasmussen, Executive Director, Circulating Exhibitions, MoMA-JC

Re: loan agreement for Fishes with Red Stripes and A View # 1

2/5/1965
II.114 ACS RM-JC

Re: presidential telegram
Telegram Lawrence O'Brien,Special Assistant to the President of the United States-RM (9/23/1965) [invitation to bill signing]

9/26/1965
II.118 Envelope incl.: TLS Caroline Birenbaum, Assistant to Registrar, MoMA-JC

Re: condition photograph

8/31/1965
II.129 ACS RM-JC

Re: JC's child

9/1966

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Volume III: September 1965 - May 1969

Consists of catalogues, clippings, letters, invitations, photographs, and other ephemera dated 1965 - 1969. Note in JC's hand: "September 1965-May 1969."

RM signature inside cover (May 1969). Inside back cover: catalog for AFA's American Painting: the 1950's.

Microfilm: This scrapbook begins at microfilm reel 1; frame 0430.

Page Title Date
III.3 Invitation: MoMA-Mr. and Mrs. JC

Re: special showing of Robert Motherwell [MoMA Exh. # 776, August 1-September 28,1965]

III.34 ALS RM-JC

Re: clippings on RM (enclosed)

8/3/1965
III.36 ACS Helen "Motherwell" [Frankenthaler]-JC

Re: party on 1/22/1966

III.39 Poster for Homage à Caissa group exhibition
III.41 Envelope

Incl.: TLS Gerald Norland, Director San Francisco Museum of Art-JC (12/5/1966) [re: loaning of A View Number 1 for exhibition 2/8/67-3/19/1967

III.47 TLS RM-JC

Re: Documents of Modern Art series; material for the scrapbooks

1/8/1967
III.64 TLS Konrad Kuchel-JC

Re: lending Fishes with Red Stripe for AFA show

9/11/1968
III.72 Receipt I. Hollander-JC

Re: purchase of Automatism # 11

12/27/1965
III.72.a Envelope, The Jewish Museum-JC

Receipt 6/16/66 for arrival of 4 drawings for Contemporary Art for the Synagogue [The Jewish Museum, June-August 1966]

5/9/1966
III.72.b Envelope, The Jewish Museum-JC

ACS Katherine Kline-JC (n.d.) [re: invitation to preview of above exhibit]

5/9/1966
III.72.c Envelope, The Jewish Museum-JC

TCS Katherine Kline-JC (n.d.) [re: thanks for loan]

5/9/1966
III.72.d Envelope, The Jewish Museum-JC

TLS Katherine Kline-JC (5/9/1966) [re: request to lend RM drawing of menorah]

5/9/1966
III.72.e Envelope, The Jewish Museum-JC

TLS Katherine Kline-JC (9/6/1966) [re: thanks for loan]

5/9/1966
III.72.f Envelope, The Jewish Museum-JC

TLS Katherine Kine-JC (5/24/1966) [re: agreement to loan]

5/9/1966
III.97 Publicity report on Robert Motherwell: Works on Paper [MoMA International Circulating Exhibition # ICE-F-112-67]
III.95.a Envelope, AFA-JC

Memo AFA-messenger (cc: JC) (10/2/1968) re: pickup of Fishes with Red Stripes for American Painting: the 1950s [AFA exh. # 68-14]

10/2/1968
III.95.b Envelope, AFA-JC

TLS Renee S. Neu, Assistant Curator, MoMA-Mr. and Mrs. JC (9/12/1968) [re: lending of Fishes with Red Stripe for Robert Motherwell: Works on Paper [ICE-F-112-67]]


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Volume IV: 1968 - 1977

Consists almost entirely of clippings and other ephemera dated 1968-1977.

Microfilm: This scrapbook begins at microfilm reel 1; frame 0567.

Page Title Date
IV.2 TLS RM-JC

Re: "R.C." collectors/artists

8/23/1973
IV.30 TLS Konrad G. Kuchel, coordinator of Exhibitions, AFA-Mr. and Mrs. JC

Re: itinerary of American Painting: the 1950's

1/12/1970
IV.33 TLS RM-JC

Re: RM disagreement with Hare, Thomas Hess

2/21/1968
IV.38 Announcement for The Documents of 20th Century Art

Series edited by Robert Motherwell

IV.52 ACS (?)-JC

Re: thank you for information

8/6/1973
IV.68 Checklist for Knoedler Contemporary Art Gallery exhibition of RM works 4/6 - 4/25/1973
IV.96 TLS Anthony J. Lavels, Director, University of Notre Dame Art Gallery-Mr. & Mrs. JC

Re: considering a donation of RM work

5/9/1973
IV.102 Slide of Je t'aime No. III

Fformerly collection of Clement Greenberg


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Volume V: 1956 - 1978

Consists of catalogues, clippings, letters, invitations, photographs, and other ephemera dated 1946-1961; also includes many JC diagrams of RM works.

Microfilm: This scrapbook begins at microfilm reel 1; frame 0700.

Page Title Date
V.4 ACS "Jeremy," Harvus Krakow Rosen Sonnabend Gallery, Boston-JC 1/20/1975
V.37 Shipping receipt JC-Lebron Bros., Inc. 2/27/1975
V.46 TLS "Le Conservateur," Musée d'Art Moderne, Paris-JC

Re: exhibition catalogue for Robert Motherwell choix de peinture et de collage, 1941 - 1977

5/13/1978
V.49 TLS Dore Ashton-JC

Re: lending View Number One

10/18/1974
V.51 TLS Jurgen Harten, Director, Staditsche Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf-JC

Re: thanks for loan

9/8/1976
V.62 Cover of JC. The Order of Civillity

With reproduction of RM Decalogue, Jacob's Ladder, and Burning Bush.1951

V.63 Cover of JC. The Order of Civillity

With reproduction of RM Decalogue, Jacob's Ladder, and Burning Bush.1951

V.64 Cover of JC. No Offense

With reproduction of RM Homely Protestant, 1948

V.65 Cover of JC. No Offense

With reproduction of RM Homely Protestant, 1948

V.66 Invoice Daniel Cordies and Michael Warren, Inc.-JC

Re: Homely Protestant

4/21/1962
V.67 TLS C. de Wilde, Director, Stedelijk-JC

Re: purchase of View Number One

3/11/1966
V.68 TLS Thomas M. Messer, Director, AFA-JC

Re: lending Fishes with Red Stripe

5/1/1956
V.69 TLS Thomas M. Messer, Director, AFA-JC

Re: lending Fishes with Red Stripe

5/1/1956

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Appendix A: Photostats

Microfilm: The photostats begin at microfilm reel 1; frame 0775.

Item Title Date
App.A.[1] Modern Artists in America Book Cover
App.A.[2] Bill of Sale from Samuel Kootz Gallery for RM painting "Personnage" 12/22/1954
App.A.[3] Rental Agreement with Art Lending Service for RM painting "Personnage"
App.A.[4] Bill of Sale from Samuel Kootz Gallery for RM painting "Figure in Green and Pink" 12/7/1954
App.A.[5] Bill of Sale from Sidney Janis Limited for RM painting "A View #1" 3/10/1959
App.A.[6] Photostat of RM painting "Decalogue, Jacob's Ladder and Burning Bush"

Owned by JC

App.A.[7] Rental Agreement with Art Lending Service for "Figure in Green and Pink"

Titled: "Girl with Stripes" on agreement form (12/17/1954)


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