Primary Documents

Archival Material

Archives of American Art (AAA), Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Please consult the AAA’s website at http://www.aaa.si.edu for a comprehensive listing of the research collections and oral history interviews that pertain to Gorky. Most notably, the AAA’s holdings include: the Holger Cahill Papers, 1910 – 1993; the Downtown Gallery Records, 1824 – 1974; the Guild Art Gallery Records, c.1935 – 1939; the Jeanne Reynal Papers, 1942 – 1968; the Ethel Schwabacher Papers, 1940 – 1975; and the Matthew Spender Papers, 1957 – 1999.

Arshile Gorky Archive, Italy. The material from this collection is reproduced in Matthew Spender, Arshile Gorky, Goats on the Roof: A Life in Letters and Documents. London: Ridinghouse / Karsten Schubert, 2009.

Arshile Gorky Foundation Archives. The Foundation’s archives include the files and correspondence of the late Gorky scholar Melvin P. Lader as well as research material on Gorky.

Arshile Gorky – Karlen Mooradian Archive, Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), New York. The diocese houses Gorky’s letters to Vartoosh and Moorad Mooradian (in Armenian) and transcripts of interviews conducted by Karlen Mooradian for his book The Many Worlds of Arshile Gorky. Chicago: Gilgamesh Press, 1980.

Arshile Gorky Research Collection, Whitney Museum of American Art Archives, New York. This collection contains an extensive Artist’s file, the Ethel Schwabacher papers, Gorky family correspondence (including the English translations of Gorky’s letters to his sister Vartoosh), Lloyd Goodrich’s Curatorial Files from the 1951 Gorky exhibition at the Whitney, and research material donated by Matthew Spender.

Ruth Bowman Papers, “Murals Without Walls” Curatorial Records, 1930 – 1980, Archives of the Newark Museum, Newark, NJ. The finding aid for this collection can be consulted online at http://www.newarkmuseum.org/archive/curatorial/1978.32.1.asp.

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, New York. The Foundation’s records contain Gorky’s 1940 application for a Guggenheim grant.

Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York. MoMA’s archives house a variety of exhibition records and other material related to the artist (see http://www.moma.org/learn/resources/archives/index).

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, MD. NARA’s holdings contain the records of the Works Progress Administration (Group 69) and the Public Buildings Service (Group 121). For a synopsis of the information relevant to Gorky, see Francis V. O’Connor, “Arshile Gorky’s Newark Airport Murals: The History of Their Making,” in Ruth Bowman, Murals Without Walls: Arshile Gorky’s Aviation Murals Rediscovered. Newark, NJ: The Newark Museum, 1978, pp. 17 – 29.

Statue of Liberty—Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., New York. Ship manifests and passenger records for Gorky (listed under “Manouk Adoian”) and other family members are available through http://www.ellisisland.org.

Corinne Michael West Archive, Collection of Stuart and Roberta Friedman, http://www.nyschoolartgallery.com. This collection consists of Gorky’s letters to West as well as notes by West regarding her relationship with the artist.

Writings and Statements by the Artist (listed chronologically)

“Fetish of Antique Stifles Art Here, Says Gorky Kin.” New York Evening Post, 15 September 1926.

“Thirst.” Grand Central School of Art Quarterly (November 1926). The wording for this poem was taken from a work by the Armenian poet Siamanto (Atom Yarjanian), who was killed during the Armenian Genocide.

“Stuart Davis.” Creative Art 9 (September 1931), pp. 213-217.

“General Description of Newark Airport Murals.” Typewritten paper, c. 1936, Arshile Gorky Research Collection, Whitney Museum of American Art Archives, New York.

“My Murals for the Newark Airport: An Interpretation.” Typescript, c. 1937, Holger Cahill papers, 1910–1993, Series 4.5: Typescripts For Art For The Millions, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. See also Francis V. O’Connor, ed., Art for the Millions. Greenwich CT: New York Graphic Society, 1973, p.72 – 73; Arshile Gorky, “My Murals for the Newark Airport: An Interpretation” and Francis V. O’Connor, “A Note on the Texts of Gorky’s Essay,” in Ruth Bowman, Murals Without Walls: Arshile Gorky’s Aviation Murals Rediscovered. Newark, NJ: The Newark Museum, 1978, pp. 13 – 16. Because there are several versions of this manuscript, the reader should examine the citations listed above for a thorough history of this essay.

Camouflage. Course announcement for the Grand Central School of Art, 1942.

“Garden in Sochi.” Unpublished two-page typescript, 26 June 1942, Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York.

“The Liver is the Cock’s Comb.” Caption for the painting in Sidney Janis, Abstract and Surrealist Art in America. New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1944, p. 120.

Malcolm Johnson. “Cafe Life in New York.” The New York Sun, 22 August 1941.

Talcott B. Clapp. “A Painter in a Glass House.” Sunday Republican Magazine (Waterbury, CT), 9 February 1948.

The following publications include reprints of some of the writings and statements listed above: Harold Rosenberg, Arshile Gorky: The Man, the Time, the Idea. New York: Horizon Press, 1962; Ethel Schwabacher, Arshile Gorky. New York: The Macmillan Company for the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1957; Matthew Spender, Arshile Gorky, Goats on the Roof: A Life in Letters and Documents. London: Ridinghouse / Karsten Schubert, 2009.