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Vladimir Isdebsky Papers

in The Museum of Modern Art Archives

The Museum of Modern Art Archives
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019-5497
© 2006
The Museum of Modern Art Museum Archives
Finding aid prepared by the Museum Archives.

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Isdebsky, Vladimir, 1900-1960
Title: Vladimir Isdebsky Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1908-1968
Quantity: 1 Linear Feet
One 5" document box, one 2.5" document box, one 3 × 15 × 19" oversize box, one roll of microfilm, one canister of negatives


Documents within each Series are arranged chronologically: Material, excluding books, was originally contained in a bound notebook of 26 units. Individual items were removed and refiled in acid-free folders. Microfilm and negatives are housed with other Museum Archives microfilm material.
The Papers are organized into three Series:
Series I: Background Information and Personal Effects
Series II: Rare Printed Matter, 1908-1960
Series III: Catalogues and Ephemera: exhibitions in the U.S. featuring Isdebsky,1945-1968

Historical Note

Vladimir Isdebsky, born in Kiev, Russia on May 22, 1882, received his art education in Munich and Paris before returning to Russia in 1908 where he organized two Salons, held in Odessa between 1909-1910 and 1911. These Salons included the work of Wassily Kandinsky and Alexei Jawlensky, among many other contemporary artists, and introduced the European avant-garde of the early twentieth-century to the Russian public. In 1917 Isdebsky married poet Halina Huzarska with whom he had a son (Witold Isdebsky 1918-1949) and a daughter (Aline Isdebsky Pritchard [referred to in the finding aid as AIP], b. 1926). Between 1920 and 1940 Isdebsky pursued commercial art in Paris. He emigrated to the United States in 1941 where he resumed activity as an artist; his work was exhibited in Manhattan and Long Beach, New York. Isdebsky died on August 20, 1965, survived by his second wife Bronislava Kaplan Isdebsky and his daughter. A chronology of his life was prepared by Aline Isdebsky Pritchard in 1999 and is attached to this finding aid as Appendix A.

Scope and Content Note

The processed Papers (one 5" document box, one 2.5" document box and one 3 × 15 × 19" oversize box; one roll of microfilm; and one canister of negatives) include manuscript material, personal official documents, photographs, and published material, and reflect Isdebsky's involvement in artistic life in Russia (between 1909 and 1911), Paris (1920s) and the United States (after 1941). Catalogues for the 1909-10 and 1911 Odessa Salons organized by Isdebsky are available on microfilm. Photocopies of the Salon catalogues in Series II are available through the Library. The negatives may be the source of the photographs in the Papers.


Access Restrictions

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

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Vladimir Isdebsky 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:
Isdebsky, Vladimir, 1900-1960

Related Collections at MoMA and Elsewhere

This record group reflects the continuing interest of this Museum in the Russian avant-garde. Material relating to Russia and Russian artists can be found in the Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Papers. Series 8 Soviet Matters and Series 13 Russian Material. Documentation on Museum organized exhibitions circulated to Russia may be found in the Records of the International Program.

Administrative Information


The Papers were a gift of Isdebsky's widow, Bronislava Kaplan Isdebsky, to the Museum in 1967; they were transferred from the Library's Special Collections to the Museum Archives Twentieth-Century Manuscript Collection in October, 1997 and processed according to archival standards. The chronology prepared by Aline Pritchard Isbedsky was a gift from the author and was added to the Papers in 1999.

Preferred Citation

Vladimir Isdebsky Papers, [series.folder]. The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York.

Container List

Series I. Background Information and Personal Effects

Folder Title Date
I.1 Chronologies of Isdebsky's life

2 items
Includes posthumous entry; 1882-1965
Compiled by AIP in 1999

I.2 Genealogy

Compiled by Hans H. von Weidner, 8/1947
1 item

ca. 1947
I.3.a Photographs: Isdebsky and family

5 items

I.3.b Photographs: Isdebsky sculptures

53 items

I.3.c Photographs: Film negatives

Housed with microfilm
Unavailable for use

I.4.a Official Documents: Awards and Diplomas

3 items

1900, 1903
I.4.b Official Documents: Military Documents

2 items
Incl. note by AIP, 1977

1903, 1915
I.4.c Official Documents: Livret Individuel [belonging to Witold Isdebsky]

Livret de famille, 1917
Incl. note by AIP, 1980

I.4.d Official Documents : 1935-1947

5 items

I.4.e Official Documents: Certificat d'Identité w/ photograph

2 items
Affadavit d'Identité, 1944

I.5 Sketches by Isdebsky

Pencil and pen
3 items
2 signed, 1 dated 7/24/44


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Series II. Rare Printed Matter 1908-1960

Note: Items indicated with an asterisk (*) are oversized; please include the asterisk when requesting those materials.

Folder Title Date
II.1 1908-09 Salon, St. Petersburg

Organized by Sergey Makovsky
Catalogue, with annotations [by Isdebsky?]
Photocopy classified in Library: 1 xS239s 1908

ca. 1908-1909
II.2 1909-10 Salon, Odessa

Organized by Isdebsky
Catalogue, frontispiece by M. Solomonoff
Foreword by Isdebsky
Photocopy classified in Library: 1 xO335s 1909
Please request Isdebsky microfilm

ca. 1909-1910
II.3 1909-10 Salon

Catalogue of variant showing, inscribed 1910
Photocopy classified in Library: 1 xS25 1910s

ca. 1909-1910
II.4 1909-10 Salon, review of

In Apollon, #3, pp. 18-20
Inscribed [by Isdebsky?]

ca. 1909-1910
II.5* Salon, Odessa

Organized by Isdebsky
Catalogue incl. articles by various artists and poets
Cover is a reproduction after a woodcut by Wassily Kandinsky
Incl., ticket to Salon
Photocopy classified in Library: 1 xo335s 1910
Oversized document: stored in Box 3
Please request Isdebsky microfilm

ca. 1910
II.6 Lists of artists included in the Odessa Salons

Russian artists on one list
French and other European artists on another
In Russian and French
3 items, 2 copies

II.7* Grand Bal des Artistes TRA-vesti/-nsmental [organisé par l'Union des Artistes Russes]

Catalogue/program, Paris February 23, 1923
Inscribed by Halina Isdebsky
Incl. work by Feder, Derain, Picasso, Gontcharova and Halina Isdebsky

ca. 1923
II.8* Gazette des Sept Arts

"Numéro consacré aux Artistes du Grand Bal Tra-vesti/-nsmental organizé par l'Union des Artistes Russes." #4-5, February 23, 1923

ca. 1923
II.9 Grand Bal des Artistes TRA-vesti/-nsmental

Program-souvenir with inscription by Isdebsky

II.10 Bal Banal: Organisé au profit de la Caisse de Secours Mutuel de l'Union des Artistes Russes à Paris

Poster with frontispiece by Natalia Gontcharova
1 item, 2 copies

March 14, 1924
II.11 Fête de Yarilo: Carnaval des Artistes Russes

Poster program with frontispiece by F. Maliavine

March 25, 1925
II.12 Umenislovanu [L'Art Slave], Prague

Includes article by Isdebsky and a photo of his sculpture
In Czech and French
Very brittle covers

II.13* Gileia by Benedikt Livshits. New York: 1931

Published by Mariia Burliuk
16 pp. with hand-done blue covers

ca. 1931
II.14 Polutoraglazyi strelets by Benedikt Livshits. Leningrad: 1933

Paper wrapper inscribed by Isdebsky: "... very rare," in Russian

Translated by John E. Bowlt as The One and a Half-eyed Archer and published with Bowlt's introduction and annotations by Oriental Research Partners, Newtonville, Massachusetts, 1977

ca. 1933
II.15 Novii Mir #9, Moscow: 1960 ca. 1960
II.16 Quarante-sept artistes exposant au Café du Parnasse, Paris


II.17 Portion of clipping with commentary on Malevich

No source


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Series III. Catalogues and Ephemera: exhibitions in the U.S. featuring Isdebsky 1945-1968

Folder Title Date
III.1 Bound notebook

Incl. clippings, brochures, catalogues, etc.

1945 -196[?]
III.2 11 Painters, 1 Sculptor, The Riverside Museum, New York April 3-24, 1955 ca. 1955
III.3 Art Exhibition, The Institute Conference in New York, New York, April 28-29, 1956 ca. 1956
III.4 Vladimir Isdebsky, Sculpture and Paintings, Long Beach Public Library, New York, Dec. 2-5, 1961 ca. 1961
III.5 30 Contemporary Sculptors

Inaugural exhibition, Sculpture House Gallery, New York, March 21- April 16, 1966

Vladimir Isdebsky Collection, Sculpture House Gallery, New York, February 17- March 6, 1968

The Selection from the Final Years, Harrington Galleries, New York, February 17, 1968


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Box and Folder List

Box Series Folder
1 I-II I.1-I.5, II.1-II.4
2 II-III II.5-II.17, III.1-III.5
3 II II.5, II.7, II.8, II.13

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