Barnes Foundation Archives 2012 - səhifə 8
Albert C. Barnes Correspondence 1902-1951 ABC
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directors. Barnes and Roberts, who eventually became Chester County neighbors in the 1940s, continued
to correspond regarding legal and personal matters until 1950.
The correspondence throughout the 1920s provides comprehensive documentation of the planning for
the Barnes Foundation itself: its conception and the construction of its buildings. Barnes’s detailed
correspondence with architect Paul Philippe Cret includes the technical aspects of construction such as
lists of sub-contractors, cost estimates, discussions regarding building stone and roofing materials, and
suggestions for the placement of the Foundation buildings within an established arboretum. Cret’s files
also include correspondence between himself and artist Jacques Lipchitz, who created the bas-reliefs
decorating the exterior of the buildings, as well as plans and drawings for a tea house, and a graphite and
colored pencil drawing of the portico of the Gallery building depicting the African design elements in its
The activities of the early years of the Barnes Foundation – its staff, teachers and students, educational
curriculum, European tours, and book and journal publications – are also well documented in this
correspondence. Included are Barnes’s letters to educators and scholars such as Laurence Buermeyer
and Thomas Munro. While Buermeyer’s name may not have the same resonance as others who wrote
to Barnes, their correspondence from 1915 to 1951 contains letters, notes, copy edited drafts, and re-
written chapters, clearly demonstrating his vast contribution to the Foundation’s publications including its
primary text, the Art in Painting (1925).
Insight into Barnes’s hopes for the Foundation, and his problems and decisions regarding the construction
of the buildings are also found in correspondence with Paris art collector and dealer Paul Guillaume. This
correspondence is one of the only collections of Guillaume’s letters extant, spanning ten years beginning
in 1922. Their letters, in French and English, cover a wide range of subjects such as negotiations with
dealers, gossip from Paris, and health and family issues. Barnes’s acquisition of Modern art and his
extensive collection of African art is documented by their letters, notes, lists of purchased artwork,
receipts, and shipping statements.
Evidence of Barnes’s keen affinity for African American art and culture is found in his correspondence
with Charles S. Johnson, Alain Locke, and James Weldon Johnson, as well as his many anonymous
donations to African American organizations such as the NAACP, the Association for the Study of Negro
Life and History, the Armstrong Association, and the National Urban League’s journal, Opportunity.
Correspondence with the Manual and Industrial Training School for Youth in Bordentown, New Jersey,
highlights Barnes’s love of African American music and includes invitations to concerts performed by its
Bordentown Glee Club in the Foundation’s Gallery. Letters with music director and composer Frederick
J. Work include song lists, lyrics, references to music scholarships provided for Work and several of his
students, guest lists, and menus and receipts for lunches and Sunday suppers at the Foundation.
In 1929, Barnes sold the A.C. Barnes Company to the Zonite Products Corporation. Files from both
companies include letters and legal papers regarding the Zonite label and the trademark for Argyrol,
Barnes’s resignation as president of the A.C. Barnes Company, and his waiver for the sale and transfer of
From 1930 to 1939, the correspondence tracks Barnes’s activities as president of the Barnes Foundation
as well as his work as an author, lecturer, benefactor, and art collector. Barnes’s correspondence from
this period contains letters from artists such as Jules Pascin, Georgia O’Keeffe, Giorgio de Chirico, and
photographer Carl Van Vechten. Further documentation regarding the provenance of the art collection can
Albert C. Barnes Correspondence 1902-1951 ABC
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be found in letters, invitations, exhibition catalogues, receipts, and shipping statements from art dealers
such as Pierre Matisse, Alfred Stieglitz, Galerie Barbazanges, Paul Rosenberg, Tetzun-Lund, Caroll
Carstairs, and Kraushaar Galleries.
Correspondence with Henri Matisse regarding the commission for The Dance mural (2001.25.50)
installed in the Main Gallery includes their financial agreement, notes, and letters in French with some
translations. Matisse also included sketches describing the placement for his paintings, Three Sisters
(BF25, 363, 888), in the Gallery. Barnes and Matisse corresponded from 1930 until 1950.
Correspondence during the 1930s also documents Barnes’s travels to Europe to conduct research
at museums and galleries for the Foundation’s books. Included are letters, notes, and drafts from
members of the Foundation staff which support the manuscript collections found in the archives for the
Foundation’s book publications, The French Primitives and Their Forms (1931), The Art of Henri- Matisse (1933), The Art of Renoir (1935), and The Art of Cézanne (1939).
Records reflecting Barnes’s inclusion of Native American art in the collection can be found in
correspondence in the early 1930s with Western American art dealers which include receipts for jewelry,
pottery, and textiles. By the end of the decade, correspondence with antique dealers such as Stony Batter
Antique Exchange, Robert Burkhardt, Ellen Penrose, A. J. Pennypacker, and Clarence Ulrich contains
letters, price lists, and receipts documenting Barnes’s additional acquisitions of American decorative arts
and fine crafts such as Pennsylvania German chests, chairs, ironwork, brass, tin, copper, ceramics, pewter,
textiles, and glass.
The correspondence from 1940 until Barnes’s death in 1951 documents the purchase of Barnes’s country
home, Ker-Feal, in Chester County, the hiring – and firing – of English philosopher Bertrand Russell
to teach at the Foundation, Barnes’s charitable activities during the Second World War, and continued
efforts to create a link between the Barnes Foundation and an established university.
In 1942 alone, over 1,800 correspondents from across the country responded to magazine articles
published about Barnes – one in House & Garden and a four part series in the Saturday Evening Post.
Included in this year are the letters, notes, and drafts of essays written by Barnes and Violette de Mazia
which were submitted to the editorial staff of House & Garden describing the educational purpose of the
American decorative art collection displayed at Ker-Feal.
Correspondence from the 1940s includes plans and proposals documenting the expansion of Ker-Feal’s
main house by the architectural firm Kneedler, Mirick and Zantzinger. Additional provenance regarding
the collection at Ker-Feal can be found in letters discussing the authenticity of antique furniture, lists of
purchases, and receipts from local dealers such as Hattie Klapp Brunner, Charles M. Heffner, Charles
Vandeveer, Helena Penrose, and Joseph K. Kindig.
Evidence of Barnes’s support of the war effort during the Second World War can be found within
correspondence and forms filed with the United States Office of Price Administration regarding gasoline
rationing and the donation of crops grown at Ker-Feal. Correspondence with Fraser, Morris Co. and
CARE includes pamphlets, price lists, brochures, and receipts for food and clothing parcels that Barnes
purchased and sent to his friends in Europe. This correspondence also includes letters from former
Foundation students-turned-soldiers as well as many others service men who wrote to Barnes from all
over the world.
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