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Helene Herzbrun Papers

VOLUME: 3 linear feet

ACCESS: This collection is open to the public upon request.

COPYRIGHT: Please consult the archivist for information about duplication or publishing of any materials from this collection.

RELATED COLLECTIONS: Jefferson Place Gallery Records, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution


Biographical Note

Abstract painter Helene Herzbrun was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1922. She earned her BA in English from the University of Chicago and then studied painting at the Art Institute of Chicago. She continued her studies in painting at American University, where she worked with Robert Gates and Jack Tworkov. Along with other DC artists, Herzbrun and AU colleagues Ben Summerford, Robert Gates, and William Calfee founded the Jefferson Place Gallery in 1957. Herzbrun had multiple solo-shows there. She also had shows at Crapo Gallery, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Jack Rasmussen Gallery, Poindexter Gallery, and Watkins Gallery. Herzbrun was a professor at American University for over twenty years (1959 - 1984) and was named University Professor Emerita after she passed away in 1984.


Scope and Content Note

This collection contains class exercises, supply lists and syllabi from Helene Herzbrun's American University courses (1961 - 1981) as well as class resources (1964 - 1982) and teaching notes (1971 - 1980). There is also biographical information (1959 - 1984), correspondence (1971 - 1987), gallery brochures from Herzbrun's shows (1952 - 1984), photos (1957 - 1983), probate documents (1984), slides of Herzbrun's paintings (1958 - 1983), and sales records (1959 - 1974).

There are 2 series: 1. American University (1948 - 1984) and 2. Professional (1952 - 1988)


Provenance

Director and Curator of Watkins Gallery Ron Haynie received these papers from Helen Herzbrun's husband, Philip Herzbrun. Haynie also received Herzbrun correspondence from Mary Orwen, a friend of Herzbrun's. Samuel Sadow, American University's Visual Resources Curator, transferred this collection to AU Archives in 2016.


Processing Note

The archivist organized the collection into two series. All series have been arranged alphabetically for accessibility.


Series Descriptions & Box and Folder Listing


Series 1: American University (1948 - 1984)
1 Linear Foot

This series consists of class exercises, notes, supply lists, and syllabi (1961 - 1981) from classes Herzbrun taught at American University. These are labeled by course title. There are also class resources (1964 - 1982), teaching notes (1971 - 1980), and other materials relating to Herzbrun's tenure at American University.


Box 1
Art laboratory - painting 1961 - 1981, undated
Articles to quote 1951 - 1982, undated
Class resources (3 folders) 1964 - 1982
Comp questions 1960 - 1983, undated
Discussion material 1948, 1980, undated
Faculty leave 1984
Fundamentals of Drawing 1980, undated
Fundamentals of Painting (2 folders) 1980 - 1981, undated
Introduction to Visual Arts 1962 - 1975  
Introduction to Visual Form 1970 - 1978
Introduction to Visual Form, notes 1962 - 1978
Masterpiece Project 1978 - 1979, undated
Personnel appointment 1953

Teaching notes
  • 3 folders) 1971 - 1980, undated
  • Abstraction, undated
  • Colors 1971, undated

The Language of a Work of Art, includes notes 1963
Tracing, undated
University Professor Emerita 1984


Series 2: Professional (1952 - 1988)
2 Linear Feet

This series consists of gallery brochures from Herzbrun's shows (1952 - 1984), journals Herzbrun kept with sketches and notes about art (1974 - 1982), photos of Herzbrun (1957 - 1983), and slides, negatives, and photos of Herzbrun's paintings (1958 - 1983). There is correspondence to and from Herzbrun (1971 - 1984) and correspondence regarding Helene Herzbrun before and after her death (1984 - 1987). There are also biographical materials including curriculum vitae and newspaper clippings (1959 - 1984).


Box 1 (continued)
Abstract painting, undated
Baltimore Museum of Art 1970
Chronology of works locations 1959 - 1988
Corcoran Gallery of Art 1959 - 1982
Correspondence, incoming and outgoing (2 folders) 1970 - 1984
Correspondence regarding Helene Herzbrun 1984 - 1987


Box 2
Drawings, undated
Curriculum Vitae 1959 - 1980
Gallery K 1979
Gates, Robert, undated
Herzbrun clippings 1959
Herzbrun, Philip 1995
Jack Rasmussen Gallery 1980
Jefferson Place 1957 - 1979
Journals (2 folders) 1974 - 1982
Ledger 1968 - 1981
Notes, undated
Obituaries 1984
Other Exhibits 1960, 1969 - 1977
Paintings from the Estate of Helene Herzbrun exhibit 1988
Paris guide 1963 - 1964
Photos 1957 - 1983, undated
Poindexter Gallery 1960
Probate documents 1984
Sales records 1959 - 1974
Scrapbook of exhibits 1952 - 1979
Slides, negatives, and photos (2 folders) 1958 - 1983, undated
The Late Collages exhibit 1984
Washington Women Artists exhibition 1977
Watkins gallery 1956, undated
Who's Who of American Women 1970, 1980, undated