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Margaret Potter Papers

in The Museum of Modern Art Archives

The Museum of Modern Art Archives
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019-5497
© 1994
The Museum of Modern Art Museum Archives
Finding aid prepared by Rona Roob, June 1994.

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Potter, Margaret
Title: Margaret Potter Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1896-1974
Quantity: 0 Linear Feet
Three 5″ document boxes


In processing these papers original order was maintained wherever possible. Loan correspondence is chronologically arranged, as is correspondence and research concerning works of art and photographs. The Papers are processed to the folder level.

Biographical Note

Margaret (“Meg”) Potter was Associate Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art between September 1, 1968 and September 10, 1971. Prior to this, from 1959 to 1968, she was Curator at the Gallery of Modern Art in New York. She graduated from Barnard College (1952) and received her M.A. in medieval art from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (1959). Born in Omaha, Nebraska on May 21, 1931, Miss Potter also worked for the Metropolitan and Guggenheim Museums and did extensive research on the collections of Huntington Hartford and David Rockefeller. She served a one-year term as director of the Vassar College Art Gallery in 1978-79 and collaborated with Douglas Cooper in 1977 on the catalogue raisonné of Juan Gris. Miss Potter died in New York on May 6, 1992.

Scope and Content Note

This record group includes correspondence, photographs and clippings related to the exhibition Four Americans in Paris: The Collections of Gertrude Stein and her Family, [MoMA Exh. #950, December 19, 1970 to March 1, 1971], directed by Margaret Potter. Modified versions of the exhibition were shown at The Baltimore Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1971. The papers also include information on the 1971 Museum of Modern Art strike.


Access Restrictions

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

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Margaret Potter 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 and Organizations:
Potter, Margaret

Related Collections at MoMA and Elsewhere

See also, Registrar and Curatorial exhibition files and instalation photographs in the Museum Archives; for individual works now in the Museum's collection, see, Painting and Sculpture Department records. Papers not related to Miss Potter's work at the Museum are on deposit at the Archives of American Art.

Administrative Information


The Potter Papers were transferred to the Museum Archives on May 29, 1992 by the authority of Barbara Troyer of Omaha, Nebraska, Margaret Potter's sister who was also the executor of her estate. Five boxes of materials not related to The Museum of Modern Art were transferred to the Archives of American Art and one box relating to the Rockefeller Collection to David Rockefeller. Miss Potter bequeathed her library to Barnard College.

Preferred Citation

Margaret Potter Papers, [folder]. The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York.

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.

Container List

Folder Descriptions

Folder Title Date
1 Installation photographs

27 items
Exhibition as installed at The Museum of Modern Art, December 19, 1970 - March 1, 1971
Incl. invitation to opening reception.

2 Loan correspondence: general


Oct. 1969-Nov. 1970, Feb. 1971
3.a Loan correspondence: Soviet Union

Concerns loans of Picasso's Three Women and Nude with Drapery (Hermitage Museum Collection)
Incl. Wilder Green and David Rockefeller corresp. (photocopy) with Hon. and Mrs. Jacob Beam (Amer. Ambassador to U.S.S.R.), Edward Burgess (Acting Director, Soviet & Eastern European Exchanges Staff, Department of State), Anatoly F. Dobrynin (Soviet Embassador to U.S.), Nikolay Lunkov (Chief, Cultural Relations Division), Vladimir Popov (Dep. Minister of Culture, U.S.S.R.)

Aug. 1969 - Sept. 1970
3.b Loan correspondence: Soviet Union

See above description.

Oct. 1970 - Ap. 1971, Mar. 1974
4 Loan correspondence: San Francisco

Incl. corresp. with Lucile Golson, contributor to exhibition catalog.

5 Photographs of Gertrude Stein, Leo Stein, Michael and Sarah Stein and their collections


6 Research

Corresp. incl. Carolyn Lanchner re: provenance of specific paintings, i.e. Stein by Tchelitchew, Toklas by Rose
Incl. 1 TL (copy) John Rewald - Irene Gordon re: Cézanne photos and photostats.

7 Research

Incl. photos, notes, photostats, draft catalog entries

8 Photographs, of Stein paintings

Photos of mounted snapshots

9.a Research Picasso: Works

Incl. photographs and notes

9.b Research Picasso: Works


9.c Research Picasso: Works


9.d Research Picasso: Picasso: 1954 Berggruen & Cie., Paris, sale


10.a Research: Matisse: Works

Incl. photographs and notes

10.b Research: Matisse: Works


10.c Research: Matisse: Works


11 Research: Renoir

Incl. photographs and notes

12 Works not exhibited: Picasso and Matisse

7 items
Incl. 3 photographs and list (2 sheets) of Matisse works owned by Steins

13 Photo negatives


14 Printed matter

Newspaper and magazine clippings

15 1971/Museum staff strike/Potter's dismissal from MoMA

See also, PASTA and Protests Record Group

16 Slides

62 items
Most unlabelled


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Box and Folder List

Box Folder
1 1-5
2 6-9
3 10-16

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