Albert C. Barnes and Violette de Mazia The Art of Henri-Matisse Manuscripts,
circa 1931-1932

A Guide



The Barnes Foundation Archives

300 North Latch's Lane
Merion, PA, 19066
Telephone: (610) 667-0290
Fax: (610) 664-4026
Email: archives@barnesfoundation.org

Funding provided by the
National Endowment for the Humanities
and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

© 2006 The Barnes Foundation


Collection Summary

Repository: The Barnes Foundation
Creator: Albert C. (Coombs) Barnes, 1872–1951
Violette de Mazia, 1899-1988
Title: Albert C. Barnes and Violette de Mazia The Art of Henri-Matisse Manuscripts
Dates: circa 1931–1932
Extent: 6 linear feet
Abstract: This collection consists of background materials and drafts in manuscript, typescript, and carbon copy form, as well as galley proofs and page proofs for The Art of Henri-Matisse by Albert C. Barnes and Violette de Mazia.
Code: AHM
Language: The majority of this collection is in English. Some material is in shorthand.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Description of item], [date]. Albert C. Barnes and Violette de Mazia The Art of Henri-Matisse Manuscripts.The Barnes Foundation Archives, Merion, Pennsylvania. Reprinted with permission.

Acquisition Information

These records were part of a writings file housed in the Barnes Foundation’s administration building storage area.

Processed By

Adrienne Pruitt. Finding aid written by Adrienne Pruitt, September 2006.

Access Restrictions

The Barnes Foundation Archives is currently closed for research while staff complete grant-funded projects to process the collection. Please contact the Archives for information on access and research.

Use Restrictions

The Barnes Foundation’s writings files are the physical property of the Barnes Foundation Archives. The Foundation holds literary rights only for material created by staff of the Foundation and material given to the Foundation with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for determining the identity of rights holders and obtaining their permission for publication and for other purposes where stated.

Related Material

Administration, Presidents’ Files, Albert C. Barnes, Correspondence. The Barnes Foundation Archives, Merion, Pennsylvania.
Archives of Charles Scribner’s Sons, Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.


Historical Note

Dr. Albert C. Barnes established the Barnes Foundation in 1922 to “promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts.” Following his successful collaboration with Foundation teacher Violette de Mazia on The French Primitives and Their Forms from Their Origin to the End of the Fifteenth Century (1931), Dr. Barnes embarked on a project dear to his heart: “a comprehensive investigation” of Matisse, whom he regarded as “the foremost painter of the day.” Barnes first met Matisse in 1930, when the artist asked to visit the Foundation during a trip to the United States. During his visit, Dr. Barnes proposed that Matisse create a mural for the Main Gallery. By December of that year a contract had been signed for the work that would be The Dance mural. Dr. Barnes was eager to include a reproduction and an analysis of the mural in his book, but in early 1932 it was discovered that Matisse had been working from mistaken measurements and therefore work on the mural was delayed. Disappointed, but determined to publish the book as soon as possible, Barnes and de Mazia continued writing, including only a brief reference to The Dance in the biographical essay on Matisse.

The authors had a massive amount of information to organize, having generated over a thousand pages of notes during their 1931 research trip to France. Several Foundation staff members assisted them: Laura V. Geiger and Mary Mullen took dictation in shorthand, typed up notes and drafts, and edited punctuation and grammar, while Nelle E. Mullen compiled catalogue data, obtained reproduction rights for the illustrations, and oversaw all of the administrative and business details of publishing. Foundation teacher Edward T. Dreibelbies helped to verify catalogue data, and longtime Foundation associate Laurence Buermeyer refined the text where necessary. Barnes was also careful to acknowledge coauthor Violette de Mazia’s contribution to the book. He insisted that the publisher add her biographical information to the book jacket, declaring “the detail work which puts guts into the skeleton is ten times more her doing than mine.”

The majority of the manuscript was written at Brides-les-Bains, a resort town in the French Alps. In July 1932 Dr. Barnes wrote to his publisher describing their writing schedule: “We expect to stay here for three weeks and plug away on the manuscript. Incidentally, in the mornings we walk three miles to a swimming pool of warm, alkaline spring water, spend about half an hour in the water and get back to work by about ten-thirty. The rest of the day and usually up until ten or eleven o’clock at night we are working on the book.” With such grueling work habits, the authors managed to complete the book in late summer of 1932, and it was published on January 13, 1933.

The Art of Henri-Matisse is a case study in which Barnes and de Mazia apply their method of objective, verifiable, scientific analysis of artworks to the oeuvre of a living painter whom Barnes greatly admired. The book was dedicated to Leo Stein, from whom Dr. Barnes had acquired his first two Matisse paintings in 1912, and who, Barnes wrote, “was the first to recognize the genius of Matisse.” The writing displays Barnes’s signature interest in psychology, with chapters on “The Psychology of Matisse” and on “transferred values.” A chapter comparing Matisse and Stravinsky grew out of lectures given by Barnes at the Foundation and further develops his longstanding interest in the interrelationships between music and art. Although Dr. Barnes was satisfied with the text, he feared it was “too meaty and too scientific to be a popular book,” and his concerns proved to be well-founded. The book was not a critical success and sold slowly. The authors were untroubled by the book’s lack of acclaim. Barnes wrote to Henry Hart, “I am sure the book will live, and I am equally sure the world is not yet ready for that kind of study. That the time will arrive when both these factors will come into their own is not more doubtful than that the sun will rise again.”

Sources
Barnes, Albert C. and Violette de Mazia. The Art of Henri-Matisse. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1933, vii, 210.
Hart, Henry. Dr. Barnes of Merion, an Appreciation. New York: Farrar, Straus, 1963, 127-133, 154.
Flam, Jack. “Henri Matisse.” In Great French Paintings from the Barnes Foundation: Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and Early Modern. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2001, 274–291.
Letters, Albert C. Barnes to Laurence Buermeyer, 1931. Administration, Presidents’ Files, Albert C. Barnes, Correspondence. The Barnes Foundation Archives, Merion, Pennsylvania.
Letters, Albert C. Barnes and Barnes Foundation staff with Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1931–1933, 1935. Administration, Presidents’ Files, Albert C. Barnes, Correspondence. The Barnes Foundation Archives, Merion, Pennsylvania.
Letter, Albert C. Barnes to John Dewey, November 16, 1932. Administration, Presidents’ Files, Albert C. Barnes, Correspondence. The Barnes Foundation Archives, Merion, Pennsylvania.
Letters, Albert C. Barnes to Edward T. Dreibelbies, 1931. Administration, Presidents’ Files, Albert C. Barnes, Correspondence. The Barnes Foundation Archives, Merion, Pennsylvania.
Letters, Albert C. Barnes and Barnes Foundation staff with Henry Hart, 1930–1933. Administration, Presidents’ Files, Albert C. Barnes, Correspondence. The Barnes Foundation Archives, Merion, Pennsylvania.
Letters, Albert C. Barnes to Henri Matisse, 1931. Administration, Presidents’ Files, Albert C. Barnes, Correspondence. The Barnes Foundation Archives, Merion, Pennsylvania.
Letter, Albert C. Barnes to Barbara Morgan, August 28, 1931. Administration, Presidents’ Files, Albert C. Barnes, Correspondence. The Barnes Foundation Archives, Merion, Pennsylvania.


Scope and Content

This collection consists of background materials, drafts, and proofs for The Art of Henri-Matisse by Albert C. Barnes and Violette de Mazia. Background materials include extensive notes dictated by Barnes and de Mazia at the 1931 exhibition Henri-Matisse: exposition organisée au profit de l’Orphelinat des arts at Galerie Georges Petit in Paris, copies of letters from Barnes to John Dewey regarding Matisse, and notes on lectures given by Barnes in the Barnes Foundation Gallery comparing Henri Matisse and Igor Stravinsky. Shorthand transcriptions of a lecture by Barnes on Renoir and of a lecture by John Dewey on “Expression and Expression in Art” can also be found in the notebooks of background material.

Drafts of The Art of Henri-Matisse are in manuscript, typescript, and carbon copy form. There are few extant drafts, perhaps because the book was written in just over a year, and perhaps because, as notes written on surviving drafts suggest, unsuccessful or unnecessary drafts were deliberately destroyed by the authors. Catalogue data compiled by Nelle E. Mullen, Violette de Mazia, and Edward T. Dreibelbies is documented by a significant amount of correspondence with collectors, gallery owners, museum staff, and Matisse family members. This correspondence pertains to Matisse’s biographical information and painting history and contains details of provenance. Also of interest in the final notes and indices are manuscript notes regarding a palette of Matisse’s owned by de Mazia, and several lists describing Matisse paintings hanging in the Barnes Foundation. Corrected page proofs and galley proofs complete the collection.


Subject Terms

Personal Names:

Barnes, Albert C. (Coombs), 1872–1951
Buermeyer, Laurence, 1889–1970
De Mazia, Violette, 1899–1988
Dreibelbies, Edward T.
Geiger, Laura V.
Matisse, Henri, 1869–1954
Mullen, Mary, dd. 1957
Mullen, Nelle E.

Institutions:

Barnes Foundation

Subjects:

Manuscripts
Painting – History

Places:

Lower Merion (Pa.: Township)
Philadelphia (Pa.)

Form and Genre Terms:

Carbon copies
Correspondence
Galley proofs
Manuscripts for publication
Notebooks
Page proofs
Typescripts


Inventory

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series I. Background materials
Dates: 1931-1932
Extent: 2.88 linear feet
Arrangement:
Background materials are arranged in two subseries: 1. Notes; 2. Notebooks. Subseries 1 is arranged chronologically. Subseries 2 is arranged in original order, by subject.



Subseries 1. Notes

Folder Title Date Extent Folder Notes
Typescript and manuscript notes 1931 2 Folder(s) Includes notes on Matisse's use of color, a draft of "The Music Lesson" analysis, and a list of paintings with dates and dimensions.
"Strawinsky - Matisse." Typescript and carbon copy notes November 1, 1931 1 Folder(s) Notes on a lecture by Dr. Barnes given in the Gallery, comparing Matisse and Strawinsky, with a list of the music played.
"Merion Notes, Items to be checked in Paris." Notes in typescript, carbon copy, and manuscript form 1931 1 Folder(s) Includes notes on Matisse's personality, use of color, and use of other artistic traditions. Also includes a list of books and articles to be read as background, a list of paintings held in the Barnes Foundation with their dates and dimensions, and copies of letters by Albert C. Barnes to John Dewey.
Typescript and manuscript notes 1931 1 Folder(s) Includes notes on Matisse's personality, drawing, development of technique, color, and use of distortions.
"Vo's longhand notes." Manuscript notes 1931 1 Box(es)
Envelope in which "Vo's longhand notes" were stored 1931 1 Folder(s)
"Points from chapter on Matisse and Strawinsky." Typescript notes January 3, 1932 1 Folder(s)
"Matisse and Strawinsky." Typescript notes 1932 1 Folder(s) Notes on a lecture by Dr. Barnes given in the Gallery, with a list of the music played. Annotations by Violette de Mazia.
"Matisse and Strawinsky." Typescript notes May 8, 1932 1 Folder(s)
"Matisse - Strawinsky." Carbon copy notes circa 1931-1932 1 Folder(s) Annotations by Violette de Mazia.
Typescript and manuscript notes 1931-1932 2 Box(es) Notes arranged alphabetically by subject. Includes index.
Typescript and manuscript notes and subject index of paintings 1931-1932 6 Folder(s)
Notes in typescript, carbon copy, and manuscript form 1931-1932 1 Box(es) Includes a copy of a letter from Lawrence Binyon dated January 18, 1932.
"Henri Matisse 1931." Notes in typescript, carbon copy, and manuscript form 1931-1932 1 Box(es) Some notes in an unidentified hand. Includes some illustrations in pencil.



Subseries 2. Notebooks

"Matisse Book I." Notebook with manuscript notes March 21, 1931 1 Folder(s) Notes dictated by Dr. Barnes and Violette de Mazia, taken down in shorthand by Laura V. Geiger.
"Matisse Book I." Notebook with manuscript notes June 1931 1 Folder(s) Notes dictated by Dr. Barnes and Violette de Mazia in Paris on June 14 and 17, 1931, taken down in shorthand by Laura V. Geiger.
"Matisse Book II." Notebook with manuscript notes June 1931 1 Folder(s) Notes dictated by Dr. Barnes and Violette de Mazia on June 18 and 21, 1931, taken down in shorthand by Laura V. Geiger.
"Matisse Book III." Notebook with manuscript notes June 1931 1 Folder(s) Notes dictated by Dr. Barnes and Violette de Mazia on June 21 and 22, 1931, taken down in shorthand by Laura V. Geiger.
"Matisse Book IV." Notebook with manuscript notes July 27, 1931 1 Folder(s) Notes dictated by Dr. Barnes and Violette de Mazia, taken down in shorthand by Laura V. Geiger.
"Matisse." Notebook with manuscript notes 1931-1932 1 Folder(s) Inscription on cover reads: "Merion includ. Dr's talk on Renoirs + Dewey's lecture on Expression + Expression in Art." Shorthand notes taken by Laura V. Geiger, dated November 18, 1931 and March 30, 1932.
"Matisse." Notebook with manuscript notes 1931-1932 1 Folder(s) Notes dictated by Dr. Barnes and Violette de Mazia on November 5, 1931 and March 31, 1932, taken down in shorthand by Laura V. Geiger.
"Strawinsky - Matisse." Notebook with manuscript notes 1932 1 Folder(s) Notes in shorthand by Laura V. Geiger, dated March 27 and April 1, 1932.
"Matisse - Picasso." Notebook with manuscript notes 1932 1 Folder(s) Notes dictated by Dr. Barnes and Violette de Mazia on May 27, July 9, and September 22, 1932, taken down in shorthand by Laura V. Geiger.
Series II. Drafts
Dates: 1931-1932
Extent: 1.25 linear feet
Arrangement:
Drafts are arranged chronologically within the order of the final printed text.
Folder Title Date Extent Folder Notes
"Small 'Joie de Vivre.'" Draft, manuscript, corrected April 24, 1931 3 Folder(s)
"Black and White Work." Draft, carbon copies, corrected June 1931 1 Folder(s) Corrections by Dr. Barnes and Laurence Buermeyer.
"Drawing." Draft, typescript, corrected, incomplete, and carbon copies September 3, 1931 3 Folder(s)
"Drawing." Draft, typescript, corrected, incomplete, and manuscript notes 1931 1 Folder(s)
"Color, Decoration." Draft, carbon copies, corrected, incomplete April 24, 1931 1 Folder(s) Corrections by Laura V. Geiger.
"Matisse and his Contemporaries." Draft, typescript, corrected December 1931 1 Folder(s) Corrections by Laurence Buermeyer.
"Earlier draft." Draft, typescript, corrected 1931 1 Box(es) Corrections by Dr. Barnes, Violette de Mazia, Laurence Buermeyer, and Laura V. Geiger.
"Analyses." Draft, carbon copies May 1932 1 Folder(s) Includes: River with Aloes, Boy with Net, Moorish Woman, Woman at Dressing Table, Red Couch, Still Life with Bust, Standing Nude Near Window, French Window at Nice, Red Rug.
"Analyses." Draft, typescript, corrected 1932 3 Folder(s) Corrections by Laurence Buermeyer. Includes: Red Couch, Still-Life with Melon, Standing Figure, Seated Nude, Head of Girl, Etretat, the Sea, Beach at Etretat, Joy of Life (small), Seated Nude in Tan Room, Girl and Screen, Domino Players, Madras Headdress and Oranges, Landscape.
"Analyses." Draft, typescript, corrected July 1932 2 Folder(s) Corrections by Dr. Barnes, Laurence Buermeyer, and Laura V. Geiger. Includes: Pitcher with Flowers, Two Figures in a Park, The Window, Standing Nude Near Window, Houses at Fenouillet, Reclining Figure in Landscape, Flowers in Glass Vase, Interior with with Seated Figure, Small Jar, River with Aloes, Still Life with Bust, Still-Life with Lemon, Shrimps, Boy with Butterfly Net.
"Miscellaneous Works of Art." Draft, typescript and manuscript, corrected September 1932 1 Folder(s) Corrections by Violette de Mazia and Laura V. Geiger.
"Carbons of Matisse analyses not published in book." Drafts, typescript and carbon copies, corrected 1931-1932 3 Folder(s) Corrections by Dr. Barnes, Violette de Mazia, Laurence Buermeyer, Mary Mullen, and Laura V. Geiger.
"Skeleton draft." Draft, typescript, carbon copies, and manuscript, corrected 1931-1932 1 Box(es) Corrections by Violette de Mazia, Mary Mullen, and Laura V. Geiger.
"Later draft." Draft, carbon copies, corrected 1932 1 Box(es) Corrections by Dr. Barnes, Violette de Mazia, Laurence Buermeyer, Mary Mullen, and Laura V. Geiger.
"Final draft." Draft, typescript and carbon copies, corrected 1932 1 Box(es) Corrections by Dr. Barnes, Laurence Buermeyer, Mary Mullen, and Laura V. Geiger.
Series III. Final notes and indices
Dates: 1931-1932
Extent: .42 linear feet
Arrangement:
Final notes and indices are arranged in the order of the final printed text.
Folder Title Date Extent Folder Notes
"Data on Matisse's Pictures Mentioned." Draft, typescript, corrected 1932 1 Folder(s) Corrections by Mary Mullen and Laura V. Geiger.
"List of Illustrations, Data on Matisse's Pictures Mentioned - version 2." Draft, carbon copies, corrected 1932 2 Folder(s) Corrections by Laura V. Geiger.
Working notes for index, corrected 1932 1 Box(es) Laurence Buermeyer's working notes for the index, on index cards, corrected by Dr. Barnes, Violette de Mazia, Mary Mullen, and Laura V. Geiger.
"Index of Matisse's Paintings." Draft, carbon copies 1932 1 Folder(s)
"Data on Pictures Mentioned." Draft, typescript, corrected circa 1931-1932 2 Folder(s) Index by alphabetical title and by year painted. Cardboard cover includes an illustration in ink and colored pencil. Corrections by Violette de Mazia and Laura V. Geiger.
"Data on Works of Art Mentioned." Notes in manuscript, typescript, and carbon copy form, and correspondence 1931-1932 7 Folder(s) Includes correspondence between Dr. Barnes and Foundation staff and a variety of collectors, gallery owners, museum staff, and Matisse family members regarding catalog data on certain paintings. Also includes notes on Matisse's palette, a list of paintings by Matisse hanging in the Barnes Foundation as of May 1932, and a brief biographical sketch of Matisse.
Series IV. Proofs
Dates: 1932
Extent: .42 linear feet
Arrangement:
Proofs are arranged in two subseries: 1. Galley proofs; 2. Page proofs. Within each subseries, proofs are arranged by state (version 1, version 2, etc.) within the order of the final printed text.



Subseries 1. Galley proofs

Folder Title Date Extent Folder Notes
Galley proof, corrected 1932 1 Folder(s) Corrections by Violette de Mazia, Mary Mullen, and Laura V. Geiger.
"Data on Works of Art Mentioned." Galley proof, corrected 1932 1 Folder(s) Corrections by Laura V. Geiger.
"Data on Works of Art Mentioned - version 2." Galley proof, corrected 1932 1 Folder(s)
"Data on Works of Art Mentioned - version 3." Galley proof and carbon copy, corrected 1932 1 Folder(s) Corrections by Violette de Mazia, Mary Mullen, and Laura V. Geiger.
"Data on Works of Art Mentioned - version 4." Galley proof, corrected 1932 1 Folder(s)
"Data on Works of Art Mentioned - version 5." Galley proof and typescript, corrected 1932 2 Folder(s) Corrections by Mary Mullen and Laura V. Geiger.



Subseries 2. Page proofs

"Front matter." Page proofs, corrected October 7, 1932 1 Folder(s) Corrections by Dr. Barnes, Violette de Mazia, and Laura V. Geiger.
"Front matter - version 2." Page proofs November 14, 1932 1 Folder(s)
"Front matter - version 3" Page proofs, corrected 1932 1 Folder(s) Corrections by Laura V. Geiger.
Uncut page proofs, corrected, incomplete 1932 Corrections by Laura V. Geiger. Note on front page states that Chapter XXI on Matisse and Strawinsky was removed on October 28, 1946 (most likely for the publication of the 2nd edition of Art and Education).
"Data on Works of Art Mentioned, Index." Uncut page proofs, corrected 1932 1 Folder(s)
"Data on Works of Art Mentioned, Index - version 2." Uncut page proofs, corrected 1932 1 Folder(s)
"Index." Uncut page proofs, corrected, incomplete 1932 1 Folder(s)