Film collection

Film collection

Collection Overview

Repository:
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives.
Creator:
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
Title:
Film collection
Call Number:
A0039
Dates:
1941-2001 (bulk 1962-1963)
Volume:
38 cubic ft. (100 films, 2 Betacam SP, 2 VHS, 1 box)
Historical Abstract:
Since its earliest years, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (SRGM), its staff, its exhibitions, and the artists it has presented have been the subject of documentation. The Museum has both documented itself, through filming exhibitions, and has been documented by outside sources, through the filming of major Museum figures such as former Director Thomas M. Messer and Peggy Guggenheim to be featured on television programs. The interest in retaining film documentation of the Museum parallels SRGM's long-standing interest in the medium established by first SRGM Director, Hilla Rebay. This content of this collection has been compiled over time by the SRGM staff.
Scope and Content Abstract:
The Film collection contains 100 films, 2 Betacam SP's, 2 VHS tapes and related paper documentation. There are seventy-two 16 millimeter, twenty-seven 8 millimeter, and three 35 millimeter films. The films within the collection span the years of 1941 - 1980, with the bulk of films produced in 1962. It is divided into six distinct series arranged alphabetically by title. The collection includes content that illustrates several facets of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum's history and operations.
Location:
Cold Storage Vault
Language:
Collection is primarily in English.
Arrangement:
Organized into 6 series: 1. Artist and Architecture Documentaries; 2. Exhibition Films; 3. Programs Featuring the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; 4. Personal Films; 5. Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Financed Films; 6. Unidentified Films.
Restrictions:
The collection is unrestricted.
Publication Rights:
Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Manager of the Library and Archives.
Preferred Citation:
Film collection. A0039. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives, New York, NY.
Subjects:
Brancusi, Constantin, 1876-1957.
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976.
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968.
Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898-1979.
Guggenheim, Solomon R. (Solomon Robert), 1861-1949.
Hadzi, Dimitri, 1921-2006.
Rebay, Hilla, 1890-1967.
Rodia, Simon, 1879-1965.
Contributors:
Camera Three (Television program).
Hirshhorn, Joseph H.
Mates, Robert E.
Messer, Thomas M.
WNET (Television station : New York, N.Y.).
Finding aid prepared by Kathleen Maguire in April 2007.

Historical Note

Since its earliest years, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (SRGM), its staff, its exhibitions, and the artists it has presented have been the subject of documentation. The Museum has both documented itself, through filming exhibitions, and been documented by outside sources, through the filming of major Museum figures such as former Director Thomas M. Messer and Peggy Guggenheim to be featured on television programs. The interest in retaining film documentation of the Museum parallels SRGM's long-standing interest in the medium established by first SRGM Director, Hilla Rebay. This content of this collection has been compiled over time by the SRGM staff.

Bibliography

Sherman, Gene. "One Man's Trash, Another's Towers." Los Angeles Times. 26 July 1959.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Art of This Century: The Guggenheim Museum and its Collection. New York, NY: Guggenheim Museum Publications, 1993
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Modern Sculpture from the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Collection. exh. Cat. New York, New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1962.
"Towers of Scrap Defended as Art." New York Times. 31 May 1959.

Scope and Content Note

The Film collection contains 100 films, 2 Betacam SP's, 2 VHS' and related paper documentation. There are seventy-two 16 millimeter, twenty-seven 8 millimeter, and three 35 millimeter films. The collection is divided into six distinct series arranged alphabetically by title. The films span the years of 1941-1980, with the bulk of films produced in 1962-1963. The Betacam SP and VHS contained in the collection are preservation and access copies of the unique film versions of the Hilla Rebay (HVR) home movies and Solomon R. Guggenheim's (SRG) 80th birthday, which are a part of series 4. Personal Films.

Series 1. Artists and Architecture Documentaries contains films produced outside of the Museum regarding a specific artist or work. Series 2. Exhibition Films consists of internally made films documenting SRGM exhibitions and openings. Series 3. Programs Featuring the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is composed of externally produced films and television shows that pertain to the Guggenheim Museum and associated artists. Series 4. Personal Films holds a film about Peggy Guggenheim, documentation of SRG's 80th birthday, and HVR home movies. Series 5. Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Financed Films includes films produced with funding from the Foundation. Series 6. Unidentified Films includes unlabelled and unviewed films about which no information is known.

The collection encompasses a range of material that present a multi-faceted view SRGM's history and operations. Some of the distinct and unique highlights include the HVR home movies, which are part of series 4. Personal Films. These films contain documentation of HVR and her family at both her Connecticut Estate and in the Alps, offering inimitable insight into the life of SRGM's first director. Also notable are the internal produced films held in series 2. Exhibition Films, which document the 1962-63 exhibition, "Modern Sculpture from the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Collection." These films are expected to be three minute filmic studies of single sculptures. Such content serves as useful documentation of the layout of the exhibit, as well as an intimate study of individual sculptures. Included with the Exhibition Films series are photographs of the sculptures that were filmed and written camera directions.

Series Descriptions

Series 1. Artist and Architecture Documentaries, undated, 1955 – 1990, 4 cubic ft. (11 films, 1 folder)
Summary: Artist and Architecture Documentaries contains films which range in date from 1955 - 1980; however the dates of several of the titles are unknown. The series is comprised of several documentaries made about artists or architects and their work. Some of the titles have distinct ties to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (SRGM). For example, "Henry Moore" is narrated by former SRGM director James Johnson Sweeney and had its world premiere at SRGM on May 28, 1980. This film, like "Brancusi," "Lichtenstein in London," and "Soto," is a filmic portrait of an artist. Architectural films include, "8500 Tonnes de Fur Bury Eiffel," featuring the Eiffel Tower, and "The Towers," a program produced by the Ford Foundation's Radio-TV Workshop, known for their Sunday afternoon program, "Omnibus" with Alistair Cooke. The film is about Simon Rodia's (SR) towers in Los Angeles, which SR built on his residential property over the course of thirty years. The towers are made of a composite of both conventional and unconventional materials such as sea shells, glass, tiles, wire mesh, concrete and iron rods. Despite the city of Los Angeles' threatening to destruct the pieces, SR's towers are now National Historic Landmarks. Documentation includes correspondence from Museum at Large regarding their borrowing of "Lichtenstein in London," as well as an invitation to the premiere of "Henry Moore."
Arrangement: Organized into 2 subseries: A. Films; B. Documentation.
Series 2. Exhibition Films, undated, 1962 – 1971, 20 cubic ft. (55 films, 4 folders)
Summary: Exhibition Films date from 1962 to 1976; however, many of the films are undated. The films in this series are documentations of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum exhibitions. Several relate to the "Modern Sculpture from the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Collection" exhibit. Although many of the films are unlabelled, they are thought to be three minute documentations of single sculptures that were in the exhibition. The series also contains photographs of sculptures featured in the exhibition, as well as camera direction thought to be representative of the content of several of the three minute films. Twe works that appeared in the exhibition, Duchamp's "Maggy" and Hadzi's "Helmut V," are particularly well-represented in these camera directions and photographs. Other exhibitions documented by films in this series are "Philip Guston and Fernand Léger", "Paul Feeley (1910-1966): A Memorial Exhibition", "Selections from the Guggenheim Museum Collection: Recent Acquisitions 1972-1973" and the "Sixth Annual Guggenheim International".
Arrangement: Organized into 2 subseries: A. Films; B. Documentation.
Series 3. Personal Films, undated, 1941, 2001, 7 cubic ft. (17 media works, 1 folder)
Summary: Personal Films contains documentation of three of the Museum's central figures; Hilla Rebay (HVR), Peggy Guggenheim (PG), and Solomon R. Guggenheim (SRG). Included are home movies of HVR and family in the Alps, HVR and family at her Connecticut Estate, documentation of SRG's 80th birthday party, and an Italian film featuring PG. New dupe negatives, Beta SP transfers and VHS copies of the original HVR and SRG films were made in 2001-2002. This series contains both sound and silent materials, as well as a mix of black and white and color. Documents included with the series are receipts from the transfer project.
Arrangement: Organized into 2 subseries: A. Films; B. Documentation.
Series 4. Programs Featuring the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, undated, 1956 – 1977, 4 cubic ft. (9 films, 1 folder)
Summary: Programs featuring the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum contains externally produced television programs and films in which the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (SRGM) and important SRGM figures were featured. Television programs include titles such as, "Calder at the Guggenheim," from CBS Camera Three and "A Conversation with Marcel Duchamp and James Johnson Sweeney," produced by NBC. A piece titled, "Hirshhorn Sculpture at the Guggenheim," as well as a Kandinsky lecture by Thomas Messer (TMM) were produced for New York's Channel 13 (WNDT). TMM, SRGM Director from 1961 - 1988 is also seen in film "Blue Moment," directed by Elizabeth Louva Irvine (ELI), discussing his impressions of an exhibition opening. ELI's short film was featured at several festivals. Also included is correspondence between ELI and the Museum. All materials in this series are films. There are 35 millimeter as well as 16 millimeter materials. The series includes both sound and silent films, as well as a mix of black and white and color materials.
Arrangement: Organized into 2 subseries: A. Films; B. Documentation.
Series 5. Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Financed Films, 1957 – 1974, 2 cubic ft. (3 films, 1 folder)
Summary: Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Financed Films includes two films that were produced through funding contributed by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. "My Destination" was produced in association with a grant from New York Council on the Arts. The animated film, "The Adventures of an *" received several awards when it was first released including, "Best Animated Film," at the Melbourne, Australia Film Festival and grand prize in the experimental film category at the Third International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival in Montevideo, Uruguay. Former Museum Director James Johnson Sweeney collaborated on the script and served as technical advisor and consultant on the production. Documentation refers only to "Adventure of an *" and include correspondence regarding transport of the film and promotional documents.
Arrangement: Organized into 2 subseries: A. Films; B. Documentation.
Series 6. Unidentified Films, undated, 5 cubic ft. (14 films)
Summary: Unidentified Films contains 14 films that are unlabelled and have not been viewed. Their content is entirely unknown. Films are 16 millimeter and 8 millimeter. This series contains both black and white and color materials.
Arrangement: None.

Folder List

Series 1. Artist and Architecture Documentaries, undated, 1955 – 1990, 4 cubic ft. (11 films, 1 folder)
BoxFolderTitleDate
A. Films
691926Beresford, Bruce. "Lichtenstein in London." 16mm. color. sound. 20 min. 1968
786552Branther, Alfred. "Soto, or the Will." 16mm. color. sound. 30 min.undated
786552Comco Productions. "Falling Water. 16 mm.undated
691926Constantinescu, Pavel. "Brancusi." 35 mm. color. sound.undated
691926[DeKooning at the Modern]. 16mm.undated
786552Falkenberg, Paul and Hans Namuth. "Brancusi #5." 16 mm. color. sound. undated
786552Fresco, Robert. "Henry Moore." 16 mm. color. Sound1980
691926Hurtado, Angel. "Soto." 16mm. color. sound. 15 minundated
786552[Kandinsky]. 16mm. color. sound.undated
691926Nehls and O' Connell, Inc. "8500 Tonnes de Fur Bury Eiffel." 16mm. b/w. sound1972
691926"The Towers." 16 mm. color. sound. 1955
B. Documentation
564 (786289)Correspondenceundated, 1972, 1980, 1982, 1990
Series 2. Exhibition Films, undated, 1962 – 1971, 20 cubic ft. (55 films, 4 folders)
BoxFolderTitleDate
A. Films
691926[Alexander Calder's Braniff Airplanes from Selections from the Guggenheim Museum Collection: Recent Acquisitions 1972-1973.]. Super 8mm. color. 1973
691926[Guston Opening]. 16mm. b/w. silent. 3 min1962?
691926[Hirshhorn Estate: Conn Test Film.]. 16mm. b/w. silent. 3 min1962?
691926[Hirshhorn Exhibit?]. 16mm. b/w. silent. 3 min. 23 films.1962?
691926[Hirshhorn Sculpt. 6th Ramp]. 16mm. b/w. silent. 3 min.1962?
786551[Léger Opening/ Tapies Opening/ Guston Opening]. 16 mm. b/w.1962?
691926[Léger Open I]. 16mm. b/w. silent. 3 min.1962?
691926[Léger Open II]. 16mm. b/w. silent. 3 min.1962?
691926[Moore I]. 16mm. b/w.undated
691926[Mr. Xceron]. 16mm. b/w. silent.1965 - 1966?
691926[Opening Taping]. 16mm. b/w. silent. 3 min.1962?
691926[Paolla 221]. 16mm. b/w. silent. 3 min. 1962?
691926[Paul Feeley (1910-1966): A Memorial Exhibition]. 16mm. color. silent. 7 min. circa 1968
691926[Ponzi Guggenheim Museum]. 16mm. b/w. silent. 3 min.undated
691926[Sixth Guggenheim International Exhibit]. 16mm. color. silent. 4 min.1971
691926[Skylight]. 16mm. silent. b/w. 3 min.undated
691926[Test. Galleries. Ponzi]. 16mm. b/w. undated
691926[Unknown Exhibition Film]. Super 8mm. b/w. silent. 3 min. 14 films.undated
691926[Walking in Gallery]. 16mm. b/w. silent. 3 min.undated
B. Documentation
564 (786289)Camera Direction and Photographs (3 folders)1962?
564 (786289)[Paul Feeley (1910-1966): A Memorial Exhibition]. Film Contents and Quality. circa 1968
Series 3. Personal Films, undated, 1941, 2001, 7 cubic ft. (17 media works, 1 folder)
BoxFolderTitleDate
A. Films
786551[Baroness Rebay at Green Farms]. 16mm. color. silent. 3 min. (2) copies.undated
786551[Baroness Rebay at Green Farms]. 16mm. dupe neg. silent. 3 min.undated
786551[Baroness Rebay at Green Farms, Mr. Solomon R. Guggenheim Expanding Cinema, Baroness Rebay at Metropolitan Museum of Art]. Betacam SP. color and b/w. (2) silent, (1) sound. 14.21 min.1941
786551[Baroness Rebay at the Metropolitan Museum]. 16 mm. b/w. silent. undated
786551[Guggenheim 80th Birthday.]. 16mm. color. sound. 1941
786551[Mr. Solomon R. Guggenheim]. 16mm. color. sound. 7 min.1941
786551[Mr. Solomon R. Guggenheim]. 16mm. dupe neg. sound. 7 min.1941
786551[Mr. Solomon R. Guggenheim]. 16 mm. color. sound. 1941
786551[Rebay Family Alps Visit, Pre-WWII]. 8mm.undated
786551[Rebay Family Alps Visit, Pre-WWII]. 8mm.undated
786551[Rebay Family Alps Visit, Pre-WWII]. 16mmundated
691926[Rebay Family Alps Visit, Pre-WWII]. Betacam SP. b/w. 13 min.undated
691926[Rebay Family Alps Visit, Pre-WWII]. VHS. b/w. 13 min.undated
786551[Ritratto di Peggy]. 16mm. color. sound.undated
B. Documentation
564 (786289)Transfer Correspondence2001
Series 4. Programs Featuring the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, undated, 1956 – 1977, 4 cubic ft. (9 films, 1 folder)
BoxFolderTitleDate
A. Films
786552[Calder Art]. 16mm. color. sound. (2 films)1965
786552Calder at the Guggenheim. 16mm. b/w. sound. 1965
786552Calder at the Guggenheim (unaired version). 16mm. color. sound. 28 min.1965
786552 [A Conversation with Marcel Duchamp and James Johnson Sweeney.]. 16mm. 1956
786551Hirshhorn Sculpture at the Guggenheim. 16mm. b/w. sound1962?
786552 [Kandinsky Lecture by Thomas Messer.] 16mm. b/w. sound.1963?
786552Irvine, Louva Elizabeth. "Blue Moment." 16mm. color. sound.1976
B. Documentation
564 (786289)Receipts and Correspondenceundated, 1967, 1977
Series 5. Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Financed Films, 1957 – 1974, 2 cubic ft. (3 films, 1 folder)
BoxFolderTitleDate
A. Films
786552Hubley, John and James Johnson Sweeney. "Adventures of an *." 35mm1957
786552Hubley, John and James Johnson Sweeney. "Adventures of an *." 16mm1957
786552Triantafylliade, Theodore. "My Destination." 16mm. color. sound.1974
B. Documentation
564 (786289)Correspondence and Promotionundated, 1957 - 1960
Series 6. Unidentified Films, undated, 5 cubic ft. (14 films)
BoxFolderTitleDate
786551[Unknown]. 16 mm. b/w.undated
786551[Unknown]. 16 mm. color.undated
691926[Unknown]. 8 mm. color. 12 films.undated