Carl Zigrosser Collection
Scope and Contents
This collection consists primarily of the materials Carl Zigrosser began to compile in 1942 about American artists, which he called the Archives of American Art. Comprised of correspondence, as well as photographs, signatures and other papers that Zigrosser intended for his archives as well as similar material that was added by his successors at the museum, this material makes up the first series, "Artist letters, papers, signatures and photographs." The second series, "General Reference" consists of various materials Zigrosser did not classify specifically but decided to retain. Most of the material is now arranged by genre, with periodicals comprising the bulk of the group. The "Writings" series consists of only a few of the articles Zigrosser published. The last series is "Memorabilia.”
The “Artist letters, papers, signatures and photographs” series includes correspondence collected by Carl Zigrosser, with many of them addressed to Leila Mechlin, Hudson D. Walker, Henry Schnakenberg, and R. Sturgis Ingersolll. Notable correspondents include John Taylor Arms, Cecilia Beaux, Julius Bloch, Charles E. Burchfield, Paul Cadmus, Mary Cassatt, Marc Chagall, Royal Cortissoz, Kenyon Cox, Thomas Eakins, Wanda Gag, Angela Gregory, Childe Hassam, Jacques Lipchitz, Alice Trumbull Mason, Reginald Marsh, Henry McCarter, Mary Augusta Mullikin, José Clemente Orozco, Horace Pippin, Orovida Pissaro, John Sloan, Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones, and many others.
Please see the descriptions at the folder level in the "Artist letters, papers, signatures and photographs" series for more specific information about the correspondents represented in each folder.
Additional descriptive information is available through the Archives of American Art for the microfilmed material.
- Zigrosser, Carl, 1891-1975 (Compiler, Person)
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
The Carl Zigrosser Collection is the physical property of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives. The Museum holds literary rights only for material created by Museum personnel or given to the Museum with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication and for other purposes where stated.
Biographical / Historical
In 1942 Carl Zigrosser began a collection of artists' letters, papers, signatures and photographs here at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He called this the Archives of American Art. In the 1950s the Smithsonian Institution organized a national collection of microfilmed American artists' papers and also called it the Archives of American Art. In 1954 the Smithsonian microfilmed much of Zigrosser's collection to add to their microfilms. Zigrosser acquired the Leila Mechlin and Henry Schnakenberg collections. Later, Kneeland McNulty also added material to the PMA Collection. Previously maintained in the Print Department, the Carl Zigrosser Collection is now in the Archives, indexed and arranged alphabetically by artist.
13 linear feet
Language of Materials
This collection consists primarily of the materials Carl Zigrosser began to compile in 1942 about American artists, which he called the Archives of American Art.
Greeting cards and postcards were transferred from the Prints, Drawings and Photographs Department in 2006.
Existence and Location of Copies
Much of the correspondence was microfilmed by the American Archives of Art in 1954. Copies are available for use in the museum's Library.
These materials were arranged and described by Merle Chamberlain and Louise F. Rossmassler in 1987. Revised by Bertha Adams in 2007. Funded by a grant from The Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation. Folder level description was added by Margaret Huang in 2021.
- Guide to the Carl Zigrosser Collection
- Finding aid prepared by Merle Chamberlain and Louise F. Rossmassler in 1987. Revised by Bertha Adams in 2007. Folder level description added by Margaret Huang in 2021.
- 1987, 2007, 2021
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Funded by a grant from The Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation