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Joseph Schillinger Papers

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

© 1986 The Museum of Modern Art. All rights reserved.
The Museum of Modern Art, Publisher
Finding aid prepared by Janis Ekdahl, September 1986.
Machine-readable finding aid derived from from paper original, 2007. Machine-readable finding aid created by Kathleene Konkle. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Joseph Schillinger
Title: Joseph Schillinger Papers
Quantity: 8 linear feet
10 loose-leaf notebooks
13 portfolios
18 loose, mounted photographs
12 wooden boxes
15 manila envelopes
Five 16mm films in cases
2 boxes of slides

Arrangement

The Papers are organized into twelve Series:
Series A: Illustrations related to Mathematical Basis of the Arts
Series B: Miscellaneous Materials
Series C: Folio 3
Series D: Kinetic Series 1
Series E: Kinetic Series 2
Series F: Kinetic Compositions on Film
Series G: Elements of Kinetic Design
Series H: Design Notebooks
Series I: Miscellaneous Materials
Series J: Removed Materials
Series K: Glass Slides
Series L: Photographs


Biographical Note

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.


Scope and Content Note

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 loose-leaf 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."


Restrictions

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.


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:
Schillinger, Joseph, 1895-1943.
Subjects:
Art and science.
Composers.
Kinetic art.
Mathematics.
Document Types:
Collages.
Drawings.
Motion pictures.
Paintings.
Photoprints.
Slides (photographs).


Administrative Information

Provenance

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.

Preferred Citation

Joseph Schillinger Papers, [series.folder], The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York.


Container List

 

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 A-K

58 plates

A.2 Periodicity of Angles: Sections A-C

74 plates (plates 59-132)

A.3 Periodicity of Angles: Sections A-F
A.4 Periodicity of Angles: Sections A-D
A.5 Spirals: Sections A-C

66 plates (plates 133-198)

A.6 Spirals: Sections A-C
A.7 Rhythmic Groups of Linear Designs: Sections A-C

41 plates (plates 199-239)

A.8 Planes: Sections A-D

46 plates (plates 240-285)


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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 sheet-music covers
1 printed sheet-music cover
4 sheets, designs for accessories
2 linear designs, pen & ink


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Series C: Folio 3

Folder Title
C.1 Folio 3

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


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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

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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, 1-12
E.2 B, 1-12
E.3 C, 1-28
E.4 D, 1-24
E.5 E, 1-24
E.6 F, 1-12

(plate 1 missing)

E.7 G, 1-12
E.8 H, 1-4
E.9 I, 1-8
E.10 J, 1-24
E.11 K, 1-8
E.12 L, 1-4
E.13 M, 1-6
E.14 N, 1-6
E.15 O, 1-4
E.16 P, 1-24

(plate 6 missing)

E.17 Q, 1-8
E.18 R, 1-12
E.19 S, 1-14
E.20 T, 1-4
E.21 U, 1-12
E.22 V, 1-8
E.23 W, 1-12
E.24 X, 1-12
E.25 Y, 1-4
E.26 Z, 1-3

(6 plates present)

E.27 Miscellaneous

(4 plates)


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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.


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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: I-XLIX

196 cards

G.1.B Arcs: I-XLIX
G.1.C Arcs: I-XLIX
G.1.D Arcs: I-XLIX

(black on white)

G.2.A Arcs: I-XXV

50 cards

G.2.B Arcs: I-XXV

(white on black)

G.3.A Arcs: I-XXV

50 cards

G.3.B Arcs: I-XXV

(white on black)

G.4.A Diagonals: I-XLIX

197 cards

G.4.B Diagonals: I-XLIX
G.4.C Diagonals: I-XLIX
G.4.D Diagonals: I-XLIX
G.5.A Diagonals: I-XXV

50 cards

G.5.B Diagonals: I-XXV

(white on black)

G.6.C Diagonals: I-XXV

50 cards

G.6.D Diagonals: I-XXV

(white on black)

G.7 Experimental Kinetic Composition: No.1, Part I

337 cards
(cards no. 1-199 + 8 cards)

G.8 Experimental Kinetic Composition: No.1, Part II

(cards no. 200-341) (missing 218,306,307,308,309)

G.9.A Linear Triangles and Plane Trianges: Part I

48 cards
Linear Triangles, nos. 1-12, 1-12

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

Part II: Plane Triangles, nos 1-12, 1-12

G.10.A Kinetic Scale of Arcs - Consecutive Phases, Circles: Part I

16 cards
Part I. I-XVI (White on black)

G.10.B Kinetic Scale of Arcs - Consecutive Phases, Circles: Part II

49 cards
Part II., nos. 1-50 (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 on-white 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


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Series H: Design Notebooks

Eight loose-leaf 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


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Series I: Miscellaneous Materials

Folder Title
I.1 Part I: Miscellaneous Notes on the Mathematical Basis of the Arts

1 loose-leaf note; 100 pages

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

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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


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Series K: Glass Slides

Folder Title
K.1 Glass Slides

Two small cardboard boxes containing glass slides of linear designs; 74 slides


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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"


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