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Leon Kelly Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Kelly, Leon, 1901-1982.
Title: Leon Kelly Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1882-1965
Quantity: 3.0 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American painter, muralist. Correspondence (1938-1965); manuscripts and other material relating to Kelly's work and family history; photographs of work and family; and published material, including articles about Kelly, clippings, and exhibition announcements and catalogs.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Leon Kelly (1901-1982) was an American surrealist painter. In his manuscript of the history of the Kelly family, Leon Kelly states that he was born in Perignan, France. His father, however, persuaded the family physician in Philadelphia to have the birth recorded as having taken place there. As a child, Kelly studied art privately then at the Pennsylvania Academy of Art (1921-1924), and maintained a studio in France for several years until 1930. He taught art at the Brooklyn Museum and the University of Wyoming, and his work was exhibited at, and is in the permanent collections of, many of the great galleries both in the United States and abroad. He is remembered as a significant artist of the American surrealist movement.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Leon Kelly Papers contains correspondence, subject files, manuscripts, photographs, and published material. Correspondence includes galleries, museums and academic institutions as well as other artists. Notable correspondents include Isabel Bishop, Lucien Cailliet, Massimo Campigli, Minna Citron, Félix Fénéon, Dorothy Hood, Benjamin Kopman, Julien Levy, Adrian and Sophie Siegel, Marcel Tabuteau, Yves Tanguy, Alice B. Toklas, Glenway Wescott, and Carl Zigrosser. Subject files includes passports, tax returns, and lists of exhibits, mailings, paintings and prices. Manuscripts consists of writings about Kelly, by himself and by others, and a Kelly family history. Photographs contains photographs of Kelly's work as well as some personal photos. Published material consist of articles about Kelly, exhibit notices, clippings about Kelly, and clippings about others.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is divided into incoming (arranged alphabetically by sender) and outgoing (arranged chronologically). Subject files, manuscripts, photographs, and published material are arranged alphabetically.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Bishop, Isabel, 1902-1988.
Cailliet, Lucien, 1891-1985.
Campigli, Massimo, 1895-1971.
Citron, Minna, 1896-1991.
Fénéon, Félix, 1861-1944.
Hood, Dorothy, 1919-
Kelly, Leon, 1901-1982.
Kopman, Benjamin, 1887-
Siegel, Adrian.
Siegel, Sophie.
Tabuteau, Marcel, 1887-1966.
Tanguy, Yves, 1900-1955.
Toklas, Alice B.
Wescott, Glenway, 1901-1987.
Zigrosser, Carl, 1891-1975.


Art, American -- 20th century.
Mural painting and decoration -- United States -- 20th century.
Mural painting and decoration, American.
Painters -- United States.
Painting, American -- 20th century.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Exhibition catalogs.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Leon Kelly Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: [Summit record]
Date: 2001-01-01
Revision history: 6 Dec 2007 - converted to EAD (MRC)

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Biographical Material
Box 1 Miscellaneous
Box 1 A-C
Box 1 Art Institute of Chicago
Box 1 Ash, Isaac
Box 1 Barbara, George 1961, 1962, 1965, undated
Box 1 The Barnes Affair
Box 1 Bayne, Walter and Lucy
Box 1 Benedict, Walter 1960, 1963, 1965, undated
Box 1 Berman, Eugene
Box 1 Bishop, Isabel
Box 1 Blodgett, George W.
Box 1 Bok, Mrs. Curtis
Box 1 Brody, Sol 1962-1964
Box 1 Caillet, Lucien
Box 1 Caillet, Marcel
Box 1 Campigli, Massimo
Box 1 Carnegie Institute
Box 1 Carton, Norman
Box 1 Ciani, Vladimoro
Box 1 Citron, Minna
Box 1 Clevenger, E. H.
Box 1 Committee on International Exchange of Persons
Box 1 Cuadra, Ricardo
Box 1 D-G
Box 1 Dallam, John
Box 1 De Beausaeq, Contesse I.
Box 1 Di Rosa, Rene
Box 1 Drabkin, David and Stella
Box 1 Ermilio, Michael and Lenore
Box 1 Etting, Emlen and Gloria
Box 1 Fénéon, Mme and Monsieur Félix
Box 1 Freid, Sam
Box 1 Georgian Court College Students and Faculty 1960, 1962, 1963, undated
Box 1 Soleman R. Guggenheim Museum
Box 1A H-L
Box 1A Hagendorn, Ruth
Box 1A Hayter, Stanley William undated
Box 1A Herndon, Venable and Ursule
Box 1A Hinchman, Margaretta
Box 1A Hogue, Bob
Box 1A Holburn, Gerd
Box 1A Honig, Ethelynn
Box 1A Hood, Dorothy 1962-1965, undated
Box 1A Howard, Morton
Box 1A Hubbard, Betty Paul
Box 1A Iolas Gallery 1955, 1958-1959, 1964
Box 1A Kelly, Mrs. Elizabeth (mother)
Box 1A Kelly, Helen 1950-1952, 1960, 1962-1964
Box 1A Kelly, Henriette 1938-1939, undated
Box 1A Kelly, Panteleon L. (father)
Box 1A Kelly, Paula 1950's, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1965, undated
Box 1A Kevorkian, John 1960, undated
Box 1A Kopman, Ben
Box 1A Kulicke, Frames, Inc. 1959-1961, 1964
Box 2 Lefebvre-Foinet, Lucien
Box 2 Leuy, Berna and Douglas
Box 2 Levy, Julien 1940-1950, 1959-1961, undated
Box 2 Lodge, John Davis 1960
Box 2 M-R
Box 2 Mackey, William
Box 2 Marine Corps
Box 2 McNulty, Father P. J.
Box 2 Museum of Modern Art
Box 2 National Gallery of Art
Box 2 Newport, Ike
Box 2 Nichols, Inez
Box 2 Noble, Janet 1960-1963, undated
Box 2 Oppenheimer, Robert
Box 2 Park, Paul
Box 2 Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts 1961, 1963-1964, undated
Box 2 Pennsylvania Museum of Art
Box 2 Pepp, Claire
Box 2 Perakis, Petros
Box 2 Philadelphia Art Alliance
Box 2 Philadelphia Museum of Art
Box 2 Reynal, Jeanne
Box 2 Rosa Angela, Sister (cousin)
Box 2 S-Z
Box 2A Shapiro, Edwin A. 1959-1962
Box 2A Siegal, Adrian and Sophie
Box 2A Tabuteau, Marcel and Louise
Box 2A Tai
Box 2A Tanguy, Yves and Kay
Box 2A Toklas, Alice
Box 2A Tyson, Carroll and Helen
Box 2A View Magazine
Box 2A Vilary, Lenore
Box 2A Voelker, Curt and Kathe
Box 2A Volodine, George
Box 2A Waas, Milton J.
Box 2A Warren, Liz and Dick
Box 2A Welch, Harriett
Box 2A Wescott, Glenway
Box 2A White, Vera
Box 2A Whitney Museum
Box 2A Whitney Museum 1962
Box 2A Woodward, Shirley & Stanley Sr.
Box 2A Woodward, Stanley Jr. 1947-1948, 1952, 1958, 1960-1961, undated
Box 2A Woolley, Louise D. 1962-1964
Box 2A Zabriskie Gallery 1963
Box 2A Zeid, Princess Fahr El Nissa 1960
Box 2A Zygrosser, Carl
Box 2A Not Identifiable
Correspondence of others
Box 2A Kelly, Mrs. Elizabeth (mother)
Box 2A Kelly, Mrs. Helen (wife)
Box 2A 1941, 1945-1947, 1950-1951, 1957-1965, undated
Subject files
Box 3 Account Book
Box 3 Divorce
Box 3 Documents and Passports
Box 3 Edwin Hewitt Gallery 1956
Box 3 Hugo Gallery
Box 3 Income Tax Returns 1941-1959
Box 3 Iolas Gallery
Box 3 Paula Kelly
Box 3 Julien Levy Collection
Box 3 List - Exhibitions
Box 3 Lists - Mailing
Box 3 Lists - Paintings
Box 3 Lists - Prices
Box 3 Retrospective Exhibit 1956
Box 4 About Kelly by Others
Box 4 Explication of Kelly's Work by Kelly
Box 4 Family History
Box 4 Notes on Painting
Box 4 Notes on Painting, Techniques, Materials
Box 4 Of Others
Box 4 Plan for an Art Gallery
Box 4 Photographs
Box 4 Family, Friends, and Self
Box 4 Kelly's Work
Box 4 Kelly's Work - Negatives
Box 4 Unidentifiable
Published material
Box 4 Articles About Kelly
Box 4 Exhibit Notices
Box 4 Newspaper Clippings About Kelly
Box 4 Newspaper Clippings About Others

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