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Constantin Brâncuși Correspondence and Research Material Collected by Sidney Geist

in The Museum of Modern Art Archives

The Museum of Modern Art Archives
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019-5497
© 2007
The Museum of Modern Art Museum Archives
Finding aid prepared by the Museum Archives.

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Geist, Sidney
Title: Constantin Brâncuși Correspondence and Research Material Collected by Sidney Geist
Inclusive Dates: 1910-1967
Quantity: 5 Volumes

Biographical Note

Sidney Geist (1914-2005), sculptor, writer and critic was born in Paterson, New Jersey. He was an apprentice to Paul Feine in Woodstock between 1931-1937, studied with William Zorach, Jose de Creeft and Ossip Zadkine in 1945-46. He taught at Brooklyn College, the University of California at Berkeley, and Southern Illinois University, among other institutions, and his sculpture was exhibited at galleries the world over.

Geist's writing focused on Constantin Brâncuși, beginning with Brancusi: A Study of the Sculpture (New York: Grossman, 1967). Other writings include Constantin Brancusi, 1876-1957 (New York: Guggenheim Foundation, 1969), Brancusi: The Sculpture and the Drawings (New York: Abrams, 1975) and Brancusi: The Kiss (New York: Harper, 1978).

Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957) was one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century and an early pioneer of sculptural abstraction. The Museum of Modern Art has had a number of exhibitions devoted to Brancusi's sculpture. The first was in 1934, New Acquisition: Brancusi, Bird in Space [MoMA Exh.# 34i, August 13-September 13, 1934] and the second in 1954, Sculpture by Constantin Brancusi [MoMA Exh.# 563, July 7-August 15, 1954]. Also Artist's Choice: Burton on Brancusi [MoMA Exh.# 1514, April 7-July 4, 1989].

Scope and Content Note

The papers consist of material gathered by Geist in preparation for his first book on Brâncuși, Brancusi: A Study of Sculpture, and include clippings about the sculptor from Romanian, French and English newspapers and magazines; photocopies of correspondence dating from 1963 - 1968 from museums, private individuals, galleries and scholars, and artists owning works by Brâncuși.

Included in the collection are clippings, June 1964-Oct. 1967, by V.G. Paleolog in Inainte, Craiova, and Rumania, in Romanian. [Vol. I] and clippings, 1962-1967, in Romanian. [Vol. II]. Handwritten and typed manuscripts, photocopies of articles, and actual journals, 1910, 1945, 1958, 1963-1968 in Romanian, French and English. [Vol. III]

Correspondence consists of photocopies to S. Geist, Aug. 19, 1963 - March 28, 1968, from Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler (1963), Lincoln Kirstein (1964), Georgia O'Keeffe (1965), Meyer Schapiro (1965), Marcel Duchamp (1965 (1), 1967(2)), Alfred H. Barr, Jr. (1966), among many others. There are three letters from Geist to…? ? and E. Steichen 4/11/67 and Mr. Stendhal 8/17/67 [Vol. IV]. In English, Italian (3), and French (5).


Access Restrictions

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

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Constantin Brâncuși Correspondence and Research Material Collected by Sidney Geist 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:
Brancusi, Constantin, 1876-1957 -- Archives
Geist, Sidney
Sculptors -- 20th century -- Archives
Brancusi, Constantin, 1876-1957 -- Archives
Sculptors -- 20th century -- Archives
Document Types:
Clippings (information artifacts)    

Administrative Information


The Constantin Brâncuși Correspondence and Research Material Collected by Sidney Geist was given to the Museum Library on April 18, 1968 by Sidney Geist. The Papers were transferred to the Museum Archives on May 4, 1998 and are part of the Twentieth-Century Manuscript Collections.

Preferred Citation

Constantin Brâncuși Correspondence and Research Material Collected by Sidney Geist, [volume]. The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York.

Container List

Volume Description

Volume Title Date
1 Articles by V.G. Palelog in Inainte (Craiovia, Romania) October 1967-June 1969
2 Articles from Various Romanian Newspapers and Magazines 1962-1967
3 Articles by Romanian Scholars

Incl. handwritten and typed manuscripts and photocopied articles from magazines (1968-63, 1956, 1945, 1910)

4 Correspondence
5 Correspondence

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