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Frederick J. Kiesler Papers

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: Kiesler, Frederick J. (Frederick John)
Title: Frederick J. Kiesler Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1937-1983
Quantity: 1.5 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

Fredrick J. Kiesler (1890-1965) was a noted stage designer, architect, and writer, and became associated with the Surrealists after his emigration to the United States. This collection consists of materials concerned with Kiesler's life and work including, correspondence, magazine articles, exhibition catalogs and anouncements, press releases, bibliographies, dissertation and book proposals, and ephemera.


Access Restrictions

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

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Frederick J. Kiesler 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:
Kiesler, Frederick J. (Frederick John)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Frederick J. Kiesler 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 Architectural Record - 3 Excerpts (Reprints)

Part 1 - April, 1937: Design Correlation, Animals & Architecture, pp. 87-92

Part 2 - May, 1937: Design-Correlation, pp. 53-60

Part 3 - Design-Correlation-Certain Date Pertaining to the Genesis of Design by Light (Photo-graphy), July, 1937, pp. 89-92, August 1937, part 2 of above, pp. 79-84

2 Architectural Record

Architecture as Biotechnique, pp. 60-78

Study on the genetics of building design, pp. 60-69

The Mobile Home Library, pp. 70-75

Sept. 1939
3 Vogue Magazine

Before Band Wagons, by Leo Lerner, p. 80, 140-142, l47, 148

Oct. 1, 1903
4 L'architecture d'Aujourd'hui - copyright, 1949

Correalism , pp. 1-23

Article dated by Kiesler, Sept. 20,1947, Paris

5 Architectural Forum

Design in Continuity by Kiesler, pp. 126-131

Oct. 1957
6 Leo Castelli - Ten Years - Exhibition catalogue

Kiesler, 1960-61 season, (Jan.10; catalogue copyrighted 1967)

7 The Ideal Theater; Eight Concepts

An exhibition of designs and models resulting from the Ford Foundation Program for Theatre Design.

Prepared and circulated by the American Federation of Arts, Jan. 1962- Jan. 1964

The Universal: an urban theater center, by Peter Larkin and Frederick J. Kiesler, pp. 91-108

8 Show Magazine

Breaking the Straight Jacket, by Kiesler, p. 76, pp. 90-92

March 1964
9 Technische Hochschule Wien, Bericht des Studententeams, U.S.A

0ct. 3-23 1964, p. 75

Also mentioned p. 61.

10 The Continuous World Of Frederick J.Kiesler, by Raphael O. Roig

University of California, Los Angeles. Department of Industrial Design. June 1, 1965

N.B.--many illustrations; quotations from magazine articles and Bibliography included.

11 Kiesler- Creatures, Lands Capes Praries

Martha Jackson Gallery, New York (includes Curriculum Vitae)

May 6 - June 10, 1966
12 Art In America

The Future: Notes on Architecture as Sculpture, by Kiesler, pp. 57-68

May-June 1966
13 Craft Horizons

Book Review: Inside the Endless House, p. 58 by Kiesler.

March- April, 1967
14 Howard Wise Gallery, Frederick Kiesler, exhibition catalogue

16 pp.; with cover

April 12 - May 10, 1969
15 Arqultectura Mexico

93, p. 2, No. 93

Special issue devoted to the memory of Kiesler

Articles inside front cover, and following masthead page, marked 2 - Spanish and English versions

March 1966
16.1 Notebook Contents: Dissertation Prospectus, by George Bedard

For a study tentatively titled: Frederick J. Kiesler: Designer, Theorist, and Architect of the Theatre, pp.1-4

16.2 Notebook Contents: Letter from Michael J. Griffith, Dept. of Speech and Dramatic Art

State University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, to Mr. Bernard Karpel, MoMA Librarian, dated February 27, 1967

Regarding the sending to the Library of his dissertation on Kiesler

1 page and overleaf

16.3 Notebook Contents: Dissertation Prospectus by Michael J. Griffith

Tentatively titled: Frederick J. Kiesler: Innovator in Theatre Architecture pp. 30-31

N.B.- last two pages are Bibliography

16.4 Notebook Contents: Newspaper Clippings, from The New York Times

And Miss Dlugoszewski Experiment!! -- A Lot, 3 pp. marked A, B, and C

Article on composer Lucia Dlugoszowski

Sunday, March 7, 1971
16.5 Notebook Contents: Transcripts of Tape 6

Taped at 101 West 10th Street, Lucia Dlugoszewski, Composer

Recollections; pp. 1- 43 (with Mrs. Lillian Kiesler.)

Apri124, 1970
16.6 Notebook Contents: Transcripts of Tape 7

At 56 Seventh Avenue, with Reinhold, Vivian and Frederick Heller, Marguerite Young, and Inez Garson; pp. 1- 12

July 17, 1910
16.7 Notebook Contents: Transctipts of Tape 8

At 56 Seventh Avenue, with Service men of building: "Lee", Atkins, and Charles Powell; pp. 1-17

April 24, 1970
17 Notebook

Transcript of six original tapes, selected by Mrs. Lillian Kiesler and transcribed at The Museum of Modern Art (Education Department) in the summer of 1977

For study & reference purposes only

Mrs. Kiesler has the original tapes from which these transcripts were made.

18 Design-Correlation-Towards prefabrication of Folk-spectacles by Frederick J. Kiesler

Architectural Record , pp. 93-96

June, 1937
19 Design's Bad Boy

Architectural Forum (no author noted), pp. 88-91, 138,140

Feb. 1947
20 Pursuit of an Idea, Interview of Kiesler by Thomas H. Greighton

Entire issue
Progressive Architecture, pp.-104-123

July 1961
21 Exhibition caption labels

Kiesler one-man show at the SR Guggenheim Museum, Environmental Sculpture, May-June 1964

4 typewrritten pages

22 Kiesler and Mondrian, Art into Life, by Kim Levin

Art News, pp. 39-41, 49-50

May 1964
23 Frederick Kiesler: Precursor de l'Architecture Des Courbes by Michael Ragon

La Galerie Des Arts, No. 20, pp. 26-28

Nov. 1964
24 Second Manifesto of Correalism, by Frederick J. Kiesler

Art International, pp. 16-19.

March 1965
25 Frederick Kiesler, Architekt 1890-1965

One catalog, 88 pages

Exhibition catalog from Galerie Nachst St.Stephan, Wien

26 Patriotism and the American Home

Typescript, 8 pages

Club panel, Frederick Kiesler, moderator

March 27, 1958
27 "UFO's and the Transformations of Man" in Gods of Aquarius

By Brad Steiger (Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich: 1976), pp. 244-245; photocopy, 6 pages

28 Architecture and its Double by Bernard Tschumi

Architectural Design, No. 2/3, 1978, pp. 111-116

29 Mitteilungen zur Ausstellung des Architeckten Frederick Kiesler

Galerie Pabst, 1978 (Munich)

5 pages, photocopy; 2 typewritten pages & envelope

30 Announcement of exhibition at Emmerich Gallery

Villlage Voice, Frederick Kiesler, January 1, 1978; 1 leaf

31 Invitation and 24-p catalog for Kiesler exhibition

André Emmerich Gallery, Dec. 9, 1978-Jan.3, 1979

32 Held, Roger L. Title page of dissertation, Endless Innovations: The Theories and Scenic Design of Frederick Kiesler

1 page

Held, Roger L. Proposal for book entitled, Endless Innovations...

See Museum Library for entire dissertation.

33 Listing of theater productions by Frederick Kiesler

2 pages; prepared by Lillian Kiesler; revised 1977

34 Internationale Ausstellung Neuer Theatertechnik

(International Exhibition of Theater)

Catalog in six sections

Wien, 1924. (reprinted 1975)

Photocopies in 6 parts

35 Der Sturm, 16 jahrgang

By Ingenieur B.F. Dolbin on "Die Internationale Ausstellung neuer Theatertecknik in Wein

July/Aug. 1925
36.A International Theatre Exposition/NY: Steinway announcement

Organized by F.J. Kiesler and Jane Heap

36.B International Theatre Exposition/NY: Exposition announcement 1926
36.C International Theatre Exposition/NY: Catalog

(37 p.)

36.D International Theatre Exposition/NY: Material from Publicity Department 1926
37 Checklist for Recent Acquisitions V [MoMA Exh. #903 June 5-Sept. 13, 1970]

3 pages, xerox

Includes one work by Kiesler

38 Obituaries

From The New York Times and the New York Post; 1 page, photocopy

December 20, 1965
39 Copy of transcript prepared by Lucy Lippard for the Guggenheim's Kiesler exhibition

Carbon of 17-p. transcript

This was not given to the Library by Mrs. Keisler, but by Lippard

40 Announcement of Kiesler exhibition at the Thomas Segal Gallery (Boston)

1 postal card

41 Cover & pages from catalog of Galerie Michael Pabst (Munich)

4 photocopied pages

Kunst Des XX. Jahrhunderts/ Two of Kiesler's works reproduced

42 Coques Contre Boites by G. Luigi

Neuf Magazine, No. 78, pp. 26-32

Jan.-Feb. 1979
43 Curriculitm Vitae, Theater Productions, Bibliography Of Frederick Kiesler

Compiled 2/14/79 by Lillian Kiesler (Bibliography and theater productions are not included in this copy)

Title page lists where Kiesler microfilm and archives available

The full version of this bibliography by Mrs. Kiesler entitled Bibliography of Writings by or about Frederick Kiesler: biographical chronology, theatre productions, dated January 1, 1980 is in the Special Collections of MoMA Library.

44.A Material related to exhibition at Architectural Association (London) Frederick Kiesler, 1890-1965; Drawings & Prints April-May 1977

Announcement in "Events List 1"

44.B Material related to exhibition at Architectural Association (London) Frederick Kiesler, 1890-1965; Drawings & Prints April-May 1977

Brochure to accompany exhibition, 4 p

45.A Material relating to the reconstruction of the Art of This Century Gallery

Photocopies; Exhibited as part of the Paris-NY-Paris show Centre Pompidou, 1977

Article by Cynthia Goodman from Arts, June 1977, pp. 90-91

45.B Material relating to the reconstruction of the Art of This Century Gallery

Review by Jacques Michel in Le Monde 9 juin 1977

46 Bibliography of writings on or by Frederick Kiesler

14" of 3x5 index cards (kept in separate file box)

Arranged chronologically by date of publication

Subject of article indicated for each entry - list of subject headings attached

47 Museum of Modern Art press release no. 14

2 p.; for Art Lending Service exhibition, The Stage Show

Show included 6 pieces by Kiesler

March 1979
48 Hans Richter's comments on Keisler

Translated into English, from his Koepfe und Hinterkoepfe (1967)

49 Poem ("Ich/Her Calli Graf von Ink and Pelican…")

2 typed pages; photocopy

With inscription "Dedicated to Alcoply from Kiesler, 1962", by Kiesler?

50 Invitation

Exhibition of Kiesler's model of the Universal Theater and his theater drawings

Organized by the Harvard Theater Collection, May 1983

51 Kiesler Correspondence

Letters from:
4 ALS Galerie Maeght, 11/9/1947 and 1/22/1948

2 ALS A. Bloc, L'Architecture

1 ALS d'Aujourd'hui, 8/13/1947

1 ALS Madoura, 9/28/1962

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