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Helaine Fendelman Papers

 Collection
Identifier: A0022

Scope and Contents

The Helaine Fendelman Papers include research, images, correspondence, contracts, drafts, proofs, and other materials related to Fendelman’s 1975 publication Tramp Art: An Itinerant's Folk Art and the tramp art exhibition she guest-curated at the American Folk Art Museum. Reviews and publicity about the book and the exhibition are included, as well as related articles written by Fendelman. An exhibition proposal, research, images, correspondence, and additional material related to the 1999 publication Tramp Art: A Folk Art Phenomenon by Fendelman and Jonathan Taylor are also included.

Dates

  • 1973 - 1999

Creator

Biographical Note

Helaine Fendelman (born January 25, 1942 in Riverside, Illinois) is an antiques, fine arts, and collectibles appraiser; author; and instructor. She was guest curator of the 1975 exhibition Tramp Art at the American Folk Art Museum and author of the book Tramp Art: An Itinerant’s Folk Art (E. P. Dutton, 1975). The publication was one of the first to provide comprehensive documentation about tramp art, which consisted of notched woodcarving from cigar boxes, shipping crates, or other soft, readily available wood. The notched wood strips were applied in layers to create elaborate patterns adorning functional objects. Information about tramp art makers was scarce, and Fendelman conducted national research for her book, which sought to shed light on the origins, makers, and spread of the decorative art form. In 1999, she co-authored Tramp Art: A Folk Art Phenomenon with Jonathan Taylor. In the 1970s, Helaine and her husband Burton Fendelman ran an antiques business from their 1870s farmhouse in Scarsdale, New York. The American Folk Art Collection of Burton and Helaine Fendelman sale took place at Sotheby’s in 1993. Helaine Fendelman and Associates Fine Art Appraisals currently operates out of New York.

Extent

5.00 cubic feet (standard document cases)

1 reel(s) (magnetic audio tape)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

The collection includes research, contracts, correspondence, drafts, proofs, and other materials related to Helaine Fendleman's 1975 publication Tramp Art: An Itinerant's Folk Art and exhibition at the American Folk Art Museum, and to the 1999 publication Tramp Art: A Folk Art Phenomenon by Fendelman and Jonathan Taylor.

Arrangement

The Helaine Fendelman Papers are arranged in a loosely chronological order and additionally grouped by subject.

Related Materials

Tramp Art: An Itinerant's Folk Art [NK9712.F46 1975], Tramp Art: A Folk Art Phenomenon [NK9950.F46 1999]
Title
A Guide to the Helaine Fendelman Papers
Author
Emily Christensen
Date
July 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the American Folk Art Museum Archives Repository

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