Joseph Schillinger Papers
in The Museum of Modern Art Archives
The Museum of Modern Art
Museum Archives
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 100195497
moma.org/learn/resources/archives
© 1986 The Museum of Modern Art. All rights reserved.
The Museum of Modern Art, Publisher
Finding aid prepared by Janis Ekdahl, September 1986.
Machinereadable finding aid derived from from paper original, 2007. Machinereadable finding aid created by Kathleene Konkle. Description is in English.





Creator: 
Joseph Schillinger 

Title: 
Joseph Schillinger Papers 

Quantity: 
8 linear feet 10 looseleaf notebooks 13 portfolios 18 loose, mounted photographs 12 wooden boxes 15 manila envelopes Five 16mm films in cases 2 boxes of slides

Joseph Schillinger was a composer and teacher of musical composition who combined the study of esthetics and the study of
science in such theoretical writings as the Schillinger System of Musical Compositon and The Mathematical Basis of the Arts (1948).
He was a minor cubist painter. Born in Kharkov, Russia, Schillinger became an American citizen in 1936.
A large collection of materials which document the "basic laws of mathematical logic underlying all art structures." Primarily
visual in nature, much of the collection was used in Schillinger's book The Mathematical Basis of the Arts.
The collection includes the following types of material: Sketches and notes in looseleaf binders, drawings, small paintings,
collages, films (16 mm (b/w)), slides (b/w), and design studies on small cards (b/w, color).
Locations of additional Schillinger material are listed on accompanying sheet prepared by Mrs. Schillinger. The Inventory
which follows is based on a 1966 inventory prepared by Mrs. Schillinger entitled "Schillinger Collection of Design and Kinetic
Art."
Access Restrictions
The records are open for research and contain no restricted materials.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Joseph Schillinger Papers 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.





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: 


Schillinger, Joseph, 18951943. 

Subjects: 


Art and science. 


Composers. 


Kinetic art. 


Mathematics. 

Document Types: 


Collages. 


Drawings. 


Motion pictures. 


Paintings. 


Photoprints. 


Slides (photographs). 
Collection was purchased from Mrs. Joseph Schillinger, (340 East 57th Street/New York, NY 10022) in 1969 for the International
Study Center at MoMA, and transferred to the Museum Archives at a later date. Dr. Anne Hanson was Director of the Center at
the time.
Joseph Schillinger Papers, [series.folder], The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York.
Series A: Illustrations related to Mathematical Basis of the Arts


Five folios containing a total of 285 plates, linear design, black on white. Some illustrated in Mathematical Basis of the Arts p. 284+

Folder 
Title 

A.1 
Periodicity of Dimensions: Sections AK 58 plates


A.2 
Periodicity of Angles: Sections AC 74 plates (plates 59132)


A.3 
Periodicity of Angles: Sections AF 

A.4 
Periodicity of Angles: Sections AD 

A.5 
Spirals: Sections AC 66 plates (plates 133198)


A.6 
Spirals: Sections AC 

A.7 
Rhythmic Groups of Linear Designs: Sections AC 41 plates (plates 199239)


A.8 
Planes: Sections AD 46 plates (plates 240285)



Series B: Miscellaneous Materials


Two folios of miscellaneous materials

Folder 
Title 

B.1 
Folio 1 1 red sketchbook 10 drawings 3 photostats 9 designs, black & gray on cardboard 1 color design


B.2 
Folio 2 21 preliminary pencil drawings 21 miscellaneous drawings 4 sketches of head 1 envelope with 8 designs of cardboard models (rocket, satellites) 5 rug designs 1 sheet with designs for plate, fountain pens 4 designs for sheetmusic covers 1 printed sheetmusic cover 4 sheets, designs for accessories 2 linear designs, pen & ink



Series C: Folio 3


Folder 
Title 

C.1 
Folio 3 One very large portfolio with the following contents: 6 plates (16); set of linear designs 4 charts 15 linear designs 11 applies designs (wallpaper, linoleum, etc.) 4 crayon drawings on cardboard.



Series D: Kinetic Series 1


Two folios each containing 126 plates. White designs on black plates; 10"x 13".

Folder 
Title 

D.1 
Kinetic Series 

D.2 
Kinetic Series 


Series E: Kinetic Series 2


315 plates; Colored designs (paint & collage) on black plates, 10"x 13" 26 series, labeled A to Z (in manila envelopes).

Envelope 
Title 

E.1 
A, 112 

E.2 
B, 112 

E.3 
C, 128 

E.4 
D, 124 

E.5 
E, 124 

E.6 
F, 112 (plate 1 missing)


E.7 
G, 112 

E.8 
H, 14 

E.9 
I, 18 

E.10 
J, 124 

E.11 
K, 18 

E.12 
L, 14 

E.13 
M, 16 

E.14 
N, 16 

E.15 
O, 14 

E.16 
P, 124 (plate 6 missing)


E.17 
Q, 18 

E.18 
R, 112 

E.19 
S, 114 

E.20 
T, 14 

E.21 
U, 112 

E.22 
V, 18 

E.23 
W, 112 

E.24 
X, 112 

E.25 
Y, 14 

E.26 
Z, 13 (6 plates present)


E.27 
Miscellaneous (4 plates)



Series F: Kinetic Compositions on Film


Reel 
Title 

F.1 
Kinetic Compositions on Film Five 16mm films housed in blue cases. Three of the films were made from "Elements of Kinetic Design"  see Series G below.
Permutations of Triangles Triangular Patterns G.W. Bridge Ratios of Rhythm Nothing Over Ten Cents
The films are stored with the Film Study Center as the Archives does not have the ability to store or screen the films. The
storage numbers are listed as S4976 through S4980 and researchers should contact the Center for further information. Access
may be denied due to the films' physical condition.



Series G: Elements of Kinetic Design


Twelve wooden boxes of designs, black on white and white on black, 4" x 5".

Folder 
Title 

G.1.A 
Arcs: IXLIX 196 cards


G.1.B 
Arcs: IXLIX 

G.1.C 
Arcs: IXLIX 

G.1.D 
Arcs: IXLIX (black on white)


G.2.A 
Arcs: IXXV 50 cards


G.2.B 
Arcs: IXXV (white on black)


G.3.A 
Arcs: IXXV 50 cards


G.3.B 
Arcs: IXXV (white on black)


G.4.A 
Diagonals: IXLIX 197 cards


G.4.B 
Diagonals: IXLIX 

G.4.C 
Diagonals: IXLIX 

G.4.D 
Diagonals: IXLIX 

G.5.A 
Diagonals: IXXV 50 cards


G.5.B 
Diagonals: IXXV (white on black)


G.6.C 
Diagonals: IXXV 50 cards


G.6.D 
Diagonals: IXXV (white on black)


G.7 
Experimental Kinetic Composition: No.1, Part I 337 cards (cards no. 1199 + 8 cards)


G.8 
Experimental Kinetic Composition: No.1, Part II (cards no. 200341) (missing 218,306,307,308,309)


G.9.A 
Linear Triangles and Plane Trianges: Part I 48 cards Linear Triangles, nos. 112, 112


G.9.B 
Linear Triangles and Plane Trianges: Part II Part II: Plane Triangles, nos 112, 112


G.10.A 
Kinetic Scale of Arcs  Consecutive Phases, Circles: Part I 16 cards Part I. IXVI (White on black)


G.10.B 
Kinetic Scale of Arcs  Consecutive Phases, Circles: Part II 49 cards Part II., nos. 150 (50 missing)


G.11.A 
Permutations of Rectangular Triangles Through Quadrant Variations: Part I, combinations by 2 287 cards


G.11.B 
Permutations of Rectangular Triangles Through Quadrant Variations: Part II, combinations by 3 

G.11.C 
Permutations of Rectangular Triangles Through Quadrant Variations: Part III, combinations by 4 (black on white)


G.12.1 
Miscellaneous  Section 1 19 designs on positive film 4" x 5"


G.12.2 
Miscellaneous  Section 2 4 designs onwhite background 14 cards written notes (1 scale included)


G.12.3 
Miscellaneous  Section 3 2 designs on black background 9 black cards with lettering


G.12.4 
Miscellaneous  Section 4 108 linear designs placed in one envelope, all on white background 30 designs, circular, in one envelope, all on white background


G.12.5 
Miscellaneous  Section 5 9 designs, linear, on tracing paper 10 designs, triangular, on tracing paper



Series H: Design Notebooks


Eight looseleaf notebooks

Book 
Title 

H.1 
Angles and Arcs Unlimited area; 124 pages


H.2 
Angles and Arcs (area with limited boundaries) 79 pages


H.3 
Angles and Arcs (area with limited boundaries) 72 pages


H.4 
Radii Derived from Rhythmic Center 72 pages


H.5 
Book V: Radii Derived from Rhythmic Center 55 pages


H.6.A 
Illustrations to Theory of Linear Design: Monomial periodicity in scale development 99 pages


H.6.B 
Illustrations to Theory of Linear Design: Monomial periodicity of the Arcs of variable extent ions 

H.6.C 
Illustrations to Theory of Linear Design: Composition of Angles and Arcs in an area with limited boundaries 

H.6.D 
Illustrations to Theory of Linear Design: Variable Radii and Variable Arc Extensions 

H.6.E 
Illustrations to Theory of Linear Design: Scales of Curvature 

H.6.F 
Illustrations to Theory of Linear Design: Application of linear design to projection of planes and solids 

H.7.A 
Radii derived from the Rhythmic center 

H.7.B 
Circular Permutations through the Rhythm of area 52 pages


H.8 
Application of Linear Design to Projection of Planes and Solids 48 pages



Series I: Miscellaneous Materials


Folder 
Title 

I.1 
Part I: Miscellaneous Notes on the Mathematical Basis of the Arts 1 looseleaf note; 100 pages


I.2 
Part II: Miscellaneous Notes on Design (1 looseleaf note); 129 pages 


Series J: Removed Materials


Folder 
Title 

J.1 
Removed Item This item was removed from collection by Mrs. Schillinger before sale to MoMA, see her letter of 11/4/68



Series K: Glass Slides


Folder 
Title 

K.1 
Glass Slides Two small cardboard boxes containing glass slides of linear designs; 74 slides



Series L: Photographs


Folder 
Title 

L.1 
Photographs Rhythmic design, multireflexion. 46 photos. One portfolio "Photos Landscapes" (28 photos). Eighteen loose, mounted photographs,
18"x 24"


