Smithsonian Opens Up Emmerich Archives


The Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art has completed the three-year Levy Foundation Project to organize and chronicle the André Emmerich Gallery’s records and papers. From 1954-1998, Emmerich, on the Upper East Side (with subsequent branches downtown and in Zurich), showed Anthony Caro, Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler, David Hockney, Hans Hofmann, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Jules Olitski, among many others.

The American Archives has created an online search aid that allows visitors to search for information about the daily workings of the gallery. You can also make an appointment with the Archives of American Art to look at original documents from the collection, and with written permission, you can read the collection’s diaries.

The documents collection is 309 linear feet in total, and spans from 1929 to 2008. It includes correspondence, appointment books (2 3/4 inch by 4 1/4 inches, usually Hermes brand, according to the Archives’ website), files,
financial records and personal papers of the German-born Emmerich regarding his relationships with artists associated with his gallery. In a 1993 interview with Mona Hadler (the transcript is among the documents in the collection), Emmerich spoke about his friendship with Helen Frankenthaler: “Helen I knew socially before I knew her as a painter.”

This project was made possible with funding from the Leon Levy Foundation, founded in 2004.