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Richard A. Florsheim Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: ASE
Date: May 1994

Biographical History

American Jewish painter, lithographer, lecturer, educator.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Spanning 1927 to 1997, the Richard A. Florsheim Papers comprises correspondence, artwork reproductions, writings, photographs and memorabilia of the American Jewish painter, printmaker, lecturer, and educator. While illuminating Florsheim's personal relationships, the collection principally documents his leadership roles in artists' organizations (e.g. Artists Equity Association, Illinois Arts Council) as well as his gallery affiliations.

Family Correspondence (Boxes 1-2) consists primarily of incoming letters from Florsheim's Chicago industrialist father, his step-mother, step-sister, and brother, in addition to miscellaneous relatives whose correspondence is chronologically arranged.

Encompassing letters, contracts, photographs, receipts, sales records, and a wide variety of printed material, the Correspondence-Subject Files (Boxes 3-29) constitutes the bulk of the collection. Predominantly incoming letters with some outgoing carbons, correspondence of the greatest depth and/or duration consists of that with art associations and organizations (American Artists Group, Artists Equity Association, Associated American Artists, Contemporary Art Workshop, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Illinois Arts Council, International Association of Plastic Arts, International Graphic Arts Society); art specialists (Jose Pijoan, Peter Pollack, Daniel Catton Rich, Rose Valland, Hudson D. Walker); galleries (Babcock Galleries, Garelick's Gallery, Oehlschlaeger Galleries, Jacques Seligmann Galleries, Shore Galleries, E. and A. Silberman Galleries); and painter Norman H. MacLeish; as well as the Adult Education Council of Greater Chicago, Rose H. Alschuler, Sidney and Rosalie Berkowitz, Motive, National Art Week (1940, 1941), Jeanne C. Rogers, and the United States Navy. Included among these documents is material relating to the U.S. Senate investigation of artists' organizations (Artists Equity Association), Florsheim's work with students (Contemporary Art Workshop), and his contribution as an inventor during World War II (United States Navy).

Other correspondence, much of which documents the art scene in Chicago, Provincetown, New York City, and Woodstock, includes that with artists (Henry Billings, Aaron Bohrod, Edgar Britton, Victor Candell, Clayton Charles, Edward A. Chavez, Jerry and Helen Sawyer Farnsworth, Ernest Fiene, Mary Gehr, Cleve Gray, Davenport Griffen, Philip Guston, Lily Harmon, Murray Jones, Joseph Kaplan, Norman Kent, Rockwell Kent, Leon Kroll, Yasuo and Sara Kuniyoshi, Rico Lebrun, Sidnee Livingston, Ethel Magafan, Boris and Jan Gelb Margo, Martyl, Edward and Norma Millman, Seong Moy, Katherine Nash, William Pachner, Arthur Rissman, Andree Ruellan, Viktor Schreckengost, Ladislas Segy, Kenneth Shopen, Arlie Sinaiko, Mitchell Siporin, Frances Toor, Stuyvesant Van Veen, Emmanuel Viviano, John Edwin and Jano Walley, Ben Wolf, Joseph L. Young); authors (Inez Boulton, Gwendolyn Brooks, Alexander Eliot, Lucy Freeman, Katharine Kuh, Alain Locke, John Frederick Nims, Louis Simpson); composer Roy Harris; dancer Ruth St. Denis; and photographer Arnold Newman.

Reproductions of Florsheim's paintings in the form of promotional material for Associated American Artists and the International Graphic Arts Society, commercial greeting cards, and a book jacket constitute Artwork (Box 30).

Writings (Boxes 30-31) includes manuscript and printed articles, essays, and book reviews; a diary for 1933; a number of lecture manuscripts and notes pertaining to art; Florsheim's self-published "Prose and Verse"; and miscellaneous student papers.

Memorabilia (Box 32) encompasses articles and newspaper clippings about Florsheim (1951-1979); exhibition catalogs and invitations for the 1940s through the 1980s; two exhibition guest registers; an exhibition poster; financial data on artwork prices and studio construction; lecture-related material; and documents related to a trip to Italy.

Photographs (Box 33, Oversize 1) includes pictures from early childhood, formal portraits of Florsheim throughout his life, pictures of his home and studio and with his wife Helen. There are also a number of family photos, including several portraits of Helen Florsheim.


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.

Subject Headings


Alschuler, Rose H. (Rose Haas), 1887-1979.
Britton, Edgar, 1901-1982.
Charles, Clayton, 1915-
Florsheim, Richard A., 1916-1979.
Kroll, Leon, 1884-1974.
MacLeish, Norman, 1898-1949.
Martyl, 1917-2013.
Pijoán, José, 1881-1963.
Pollack, Peter, 1909-1978.
Rich, Daniel Catton, 1904-1976.
Rissman, Arthur.
Segy, Ladislas.
Valland, Rose.
Walker, Hudson D. (Hudson Dean), 1907-1976.

Corporate Bodies

Artists Equity Association.
Artists League of the Midwest.
Illinois Arts Council.


Art, American -- 20th century.
Art, American.
Artist colonies -- Massachusetts -- Provincetown.
Artist colonies -- New York (State) -- Woodstock.
Artists -- Societies, etc.
Artists, Jewish -- United States
Lithographers -- United States
Painters -- United States
Painting, American
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- United States

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Exhibition catalogs.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Richard A. Florsheim Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Table of Contents

Biographical Material

Family Correspondence

Correspondence-Subject Files