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Natalie and Irving Forman Papers, ca. 1956–2008


Table of Contents

Collection Overview
Information for Users

Preferred Citation
Terms of Access and Use

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information
Processing Information

Biographical Note
Scope and Content Note
Container List
Search Terms

Subject Terms
Genre Terms

Associated Material

Separated Material
Related Resources 

Collection Overview

Natalie and Irving Forman Papers, ca. 1956–2008 [bulk 1980–2007]

Collection number:

Forman, Natalie
Forman, Irving

12 manuscript boxes, 2 photo boxes, 5 oversize boxes, 3 CDs, 1 DVD, and 1 VHS (11 linear feet) 

Language of Material:
Collection material in English 

Albright-Knox Art Gallery. G. Robert Strauss, Jr. Memorial Library 

Collection of materials pertaining to artworks collected by Natalie and Irving Forman. Contains extensive artist files, correspondence, photos, exhibition announcements, collection inventories, and exhibition records. 

Information for Users

Preferred Citation
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, SC 2008.001, Natalie and Irving Forman Papers, c.1956-2008 [bulk 1980-2007], G. Robert Strauss, Jr. Memorial Library, Albright-Knox Art Gallery. 

Terms of Access and Use
The Natalie and Irving Forman Papers, c.1956-2008 [bulk 1980-2007] are open for research.

Copyright is held by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Additional copyright may be held by individual artists/authors, their heirs, or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the G. Robert Strauss, Jr. Memorial Library before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. 

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information
Natalie and Irving Forman gifted this collection to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in four accessions: September 17, 2003, August 12, 2004, March 17, 2005, and February 15, 2008. This gift coincides with the donation of 150 paintings and sculpture, and over 150 works on paper to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in 2003. 

Further accruals may be added to this collection.

Processing Information
Collection processed by: Amy Vilz, April 2008
Finding aid encoded by: Amy Vilz, June 2008 

Biographical Note

1921-1946: Irving Forman
Irving Forman was born in Chicago, May 15, 1921 to William Forman and Mamie Balas. He attended Chicago schools and graduated from Von Steuben High School. Entering the Illinois Institute of Technology, he finished his premed degree in three years instead of the usual four, and then enrolled at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1941. At the time he was in service in the army. The government paid for medical school, and Irving served in the army during vacations. As he was not deployed overseas, Irving was stationed at Texas A&M and Fitzsimmons Hospital in Denver. 

1926-1946: Natalie Forman
Natalie Forman (nee Berg), was born in Chicago May 20, 1926 to Louis Berg and Bess (Riabuchin) Rabuchin. As a child, Natalie painted and took art classes at the Art Institute of Chicago when she was 11. She attended Sullivan High School, and in 1945, was chosen to be an exchange student, living in Mexico City for one year. Afterwards, she returned to the Art Institute, where her teachers and mentors included artists Kathleen Blackshear and Ethel Spears. Upon graduation, Natalie quit painting, but has said, “I haven’t worked in forty years. But I have to say that I really expanded my horizons by not working.”1

Natalie met Irving in Chicago in 1946. An active union organizer and member of the Young Communists, Natalie had been arrested at a political protest. “At the behest of a friend,” Irving posted bail for Natalie.2 A few weeks later, Irving proposed at the Chicago Zoo: 

“Irving: ‘Hey, would you like to get married?’
Natalie: ‘Sure. When?’
Irving: ‘How about tomorrow, April Fools’ Day?’”3 

The Formans early marriage was marked by frequent travel. Irving finished his medical internship at Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago and began active army duty in 1947. In June, he was sent to San Antonio, Texas for basic training, followed by subsequent moves to San Francisco, and later, Oahu, Hawaii. The Formans spent one year in Hawaii, where their first home was a former hula studio. Irving worked at the army dispensary and hospital, and Natalie at the Post Exchange. In 1948, Irving was transferred to Alaska as battalion surgeon of an anti-aircraft carrier. The Formans lived in a one-room home, where, in the evenings, Natalie would read art magazines to Irving.4

Returning to Chicago, this period is marked by many changes for the Formans. Irving served his residency at Mount Sinai from 1950 to 1954. Natalie and Irving also celebrated the births of their two daughters, Lisa, in 1954, and Gabrielle, in 1964.

During this time, the Formans began making weekend bus trips to New York City to visit galleries. As their fortunes rose, they began to collect abstract art. Their first purchased piece was a drawing by Jules Pascin; it cost $250.5 Another early purchase occurred in 1956, when the Formans bought a bronze Picasso sculpture. Irving described the purchase in a 1994 article: “We offered to buy the piece if we could pay in installments of $70 a month. Natalie was so embarrassed she hid behind a curtain....”6 Eventually, Natalie and Irving would trade the Picasso for their first paintings.7 

As the Forman collection grew, enthusiasm was not always shared among their friends. Their first Robert Tiemann [Ryman]* was placed in their bedroom because “no one wanted to look at it but us.”8 Natalie and Irving continued to collect and expand their vision. Charlotte Jackson Fine Art described their collecting career as having 3 stages: first, small, safe acquisitions; then more eclectic purchases, including Joseph Albers and Burgoyne Diller; and finally, the Formans came into their own, with purchases by Robert Ryman and Brice Marden.9 Natalie continues, “I never get bored with a painting, with the importance of paint in a painting. I get bored with symbolism. For those of us who love Rothko or Tiemann [Ryman]*, how can you get bored with paint?”10 

Retiring in 1985, Natalie and Irving left Chicago for Santa Fe, New Mexico. In the process, they sold and donated a large part of their collection to museums such as the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, University of California Berkeley Art Museum, and the Milwaukee Art Institute. The rest of their collection was brought to their new renovated home in Santa Fe. Art was integral to the design of the house, and was installed indoors and out, in private living space, as well as in the home’s formal gallery. Throughout the course of more than forty years of collecting art, Natalie and Irving had forged personal relationships with many of the artists in their collection. This new home provided the perfect venue for frequent gatherings of artists and friends in the art world. 

In Santa Fe, Natalie and Irving developed a close association with art dealer Charlotte Jackson, and in 1994, guest-curated an exhibit at her gallery. Collector’s Choice, “Homage to Paint, Surface: A Step Beyond.” It showcased the Forman’s expertise and enthusiasm of monochromatic art. In his introductory exhibition essay, Irving wrote: 

“The one assault to fine art is the ceaseless attempt to subserve it as a means to some other end or value.... As the art is freer the viewer must become freer as well. To be released from the bonds of interpretation, understanding, philosophizing and all other restrictions that the viewer is subjected to that corrupts their sensibilities. The art, therefore, is always seen as something new, strange, wondrous, never exhausting the desire to see more. Now ‘The Step Beyond’ is achieved-- the pure visual joy, nothing more.”11 

By 2001, the Formans began the search for a proper repository for their vast collection of reductivist artwork, “where it would be respected for what it is.”12 Museums such as the Hirshhorn and Brandeis’ Rose Art Museum were considered, but eventually, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery was chosen. The Charlotte Jackson Gallery newsletter stated, “There are few perfect matches in the art world, but this seems to be one in which everyone—the Formans, the Albright-Knox, and most important, the art world—benefits.”13 

1 “A Collector’s Saga: It Began with a $700 Picasso,” by Lis Bensley, Pasatiempo in The New Mexican, (June 3, 1994).
2 Gallery News newsletter, Charlotte Jackson Fine Art Gallery, (Winter/Spring 2004).
3 Interview with Natalie and Irving Forman, notes by Karen Lee Spaulding, circa 2005.
4 Gallery News newsletter, Charlotte Jackson Fine Art Gallery, (Winter/Spring 2004).
5 Ibid.
6 “Scrapbook,” circa 1994, 11.8, The Natalie and Irving Forman Papers, G. Robert Strauss, Jr. Memorial Library, Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
7 Ibid.
8 “A Collector’s Saga: It Began with a $700 Picasso,” by Lis Bensley, Pasatiempo in The New Mexican, (June 3, 1994). *In a conversation with Natalie Forman on August 14, 2008, she stated that the painting in question was by Robert Ryman and not Robert Tiemann as reported in the article.
9 Gallery News newsletter, Charlotte Jackson Fine Art Gallery, (Winter/Spring 2004).
10 “A Collector’s Saga: It Began with a $700 Picasso,” by Lis Bensley, Pasatiempo in The New Mexican, (June 3, 1994). *In a conversation with Natalie Forman on August 14, 2008, she stated that the painting in question was by Robert Ryman and not Robert Tiemann as reported in the article.
11 “Scrapbook,” circa 1994, 11.8, The Natalie and Irving Forman Papers, G. Robert Strauss, Jr. Memorial Library, Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
12 Gallery News newsletter, Charlotte Jackson Fine Art Gallery, (Winter/Spring 2004).
13 Ibid. 

Scope and Content Note

The Natalie and Irving Forman Papers are organized in five series: artist files, correspondence, exhibition records, photographs, and documents relating to the Forman 50th wedding anniversary.

Series I. Artists, circa 1963-2005, undated
This series is divided into two subseries. The first contains records of a general nature pertaining to art and artists. Additionally, journal articles and images document the installation of artwork in the Forman home, including in their private gallery, indoor and outdoor living space, and the home’s surrounds. 

Subseries B consists of files on individual artists, mainly documenting those in the Forman art collection. These files consist of exhibition announcements and brochures, artist correspondence, artwork invoices and inventories, articles, resumes, and photographs. Photographic material has been removed from this series, and has been replaced with photocopy surrogates. Originals are located in Series IV. 

Records in this series give insight into the work and lives of various artists and illustrate the personal nature of their relationships with the Formans. Of particular note is the correspondence of John Beech, Rudolf de Crignis, Marcia Hafif, James Howell, Joseph Marioni, John Meyer, Winston Roeth, and Roy Thurston. Most of the records pertain to later additions to the Forman art collection, primarily post-1975. However, there is an early inventory compiled by Natalie, containing much of the material documenting early purchases of artwork [Subseries A]. 

Series II. Correspondence, circa 1963-2008, undated
In this series, correspondence mainly relates to artwork, including invoices and pieces sold through auction or consignment. Likewise, the folder “Gabrielle Bakker,” includes the 2005 conservation of John Meyer’s diptych: Untitled, 1993-95. The donation of the Forman artwork collection to AKAG is covered, as well as correspondence with other institutions considered for deposit. Lastly, a small amount of personal correspondence is located within this series. 

Series III. Exhibitions, circa 1993-2007
The bulk of these records cover exhibitions and events at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. These include the 2003 preliminary show, Selections from the Natalie and Irving Forman Collection, celebrating the collection donation, as well as the formal exhibition the Natalie and Irving Forman Collection, held in 2005. Records include accession registers, draft material for the exhibition catalogue, publicity, floor plans, images, and a scrapbook documenting the exhibition. Small amounts of material pertain to loans of artwork from the Forman collection, used in two additional exhibits: Extreme Abstraction and Art Alive

Records of the Forman curated show, Collector’s Choice, “Homage to Paint, Surface: A Step Beyond,” include a handwritten draft of Irving’s exhibition introduction essay, guest list, exhibition images, and a scrapbook showcasing the event. 

Series IV. Photographs, circa 1963-2007, undated
Original photographic material is contained in Series IV, with photocopy surrogates provided in the original location within the collection. Format includes photographs, transparencies, and a small amount of slides. 

Most records in this series are photos. Images include the Forman home, its architecture, furnishings, and installations of art within the living quarters of the home and the gallery. Interestingly, the location of artwork in the Forman home is not “fixed,” and various locations for a particular piece can be seen by studying the photographs in this series. Photos also document individual paintings and artists, both in the studio, and in candid views visiting the Forman home. These include Rudolf de Crignis, Alan Ebnother, James Howell, and John Meyer. Please note: Every effort was made to identify artwork. However, due to the nature of the artwork and the quality of the photos, a small number remain unidentified and are noted as such. 

Paintings are also documented in transparencies. Slide images comprise collected artwork and research material. However, the majority of slides are of John Beech artwork: sculptures, bent and rotating paintings, rolling platforms, and installations. 

Series V. Anniversary, 1996
Lastly, the Forman’s 50th wedding anniversary is documented in Series V. Consisting of correspondence and photographs from friends, artists, and family, these records capture the personal side of the Formans. A commemorative wood box contained the correspondence and photos; these have been removed. The box was retained, and includes an original drawing created for the occasion by Mark di Suvero. This drawing presently resides with the Formans, but will eventually be accessioned into this collection. 


This collection is arranged in five series: Artists, Correspondence, Exhibitions, Photographs, Anniversary records.

Container List

Series I. Artists, circa 1963-2008, undated
Scope and content: Consists of materials pertaining to art and artists, both collected and researched by the Formans. **Please note: Photographic material was removed. With the exception of similar and duplicate images, photocopy surrogates have been provided. Original photographs are located in Series IV.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject and/or artist.


Subseries A. General, circa 1981-2007, undated
Scope and content: Contains miscellaneous materials on art and artists, such as articles, exhibition announcements, and an early collection inventory. Also contains articles and images regarding the Forman home’s architecture and display of collected art.
Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject.



Articles, circa 1981-2004, undated; includes “Mostly Monochrome,” “Richard Bellamy: 1927-1997,” “Edgy to Established,” “A Captivating Coat of Not Many Colors,” “Painting as Articulated Paint,” “Being-Present,” “1930s American Abstract Painting.”



Exhibition announcements, circa 1993-2007, undated



Forman home, circa 1997-2003; includes articles: “Making Waves: A Modernist Affair,” in Santa Fe Trend, vol. 4 no. 1 (Summer/Fall 2003), “Color of the Desert,” [regarding Forman’s garden]; images of artists/artwork at Forman home . [original photos in 17.1-17.14]



Inventory, undated; consists of artwork collected by Formans. [arranged by gallery, compiled by Natalie Forman] [disbound]



Journals, circa 1981, 2000-2006; includes Images & Issues, vol. 1 no. 4 (Spring 1981); Arté Contemporary, no. 2 (Spring/Summer 2000); Chinati Foundation newsletter, vol. 5 (September 2000); Look (Fall 2000); Art Santa Fe (Spring 2003); Charlotte Jackson Gallery News newsletters (Winter 2003 and Winter/Spring 2004); Hudson River Art, vol. 5 (2006).



Other artists, circa 1989-2005; includes Anne Appleby [letter with artwork]; Valerie Arber; John Connell [ink sketch]; Constance DeJong; Rebecca Howland [drawing images]; Joe Hughes; Dean Johnson; Lies Kraal; Daniel Levine; Terry Lindbloom; Ingo Meller; William Metcalf; John Pearson [artist prints, signed]; Judi Russell; Audra Skuodas [artist prints, signed]; Susan Wing; John Zurier.



Slides, undated; includes lists of slides by various artists from Museum of Modern Art, NYC and Sandak Color Slides, Inc. [slides in 16.7-16.8]


Subseries B. Artists: A to Z, circa 1963-2008, undated
Scope and content: Most files contain correspondence, exhibition announcements, inventories, artist resumes, invoices, and articles pertaining to the artist. 

Arrangement: Alphabetical by artist.



Agostini, Peter, 1966, undated



Albers, Josef, circa 1965-2003, undated



Arends, Stuart, circa 1977-2007, undated [2 folders]



Artschwager, Richard, circa 1969-1997, undated; includes artist correspondence.



Avedisian, Edward, 1965



Baer, Jo, 1970



Barnes, Joe, circa 1994-2007; includes artist correspondence.



Beech, John, circa 1989-2004; includes artist correspondence, correspondence with Miles Bellamy, Judith and David Beech [John Beech’s parents], ink sketches by artist.



Beech, John: A Look at Ninety-Six Works of John Beech, 1996; includes catalogue with images. [compiled by Miles Bellamy, disbound]



Benson, Tom, circa 1999-2005; includes artist correspondence.



Binaco, Phil, 1999-2007, undated; includes artist correspondence.



Blumenfeld, Erika, circa 1999-2007; includes artist correspondence.



Bowen, Paul, circa 1985-1996; includes journal: Contemporanea, vol. II no. 7 (October 1989) with article on artist.



Breuer, Mala, circa 1977-2007; includes artist correspondence, artist statement, ink drawing.



Calder, Alexander, 1965, undated



Caro, Anthony, 1984, undated



Carswell, Rodney, circa 1990-2005, undated; includes artist correspondence; loan of Two Grays and Orange Around an Empty Rectangle to University of Chicago.



Chamberlain, John, 1965-1966, undated



Christensen, Dan, 1970, undated



Christo and Jeanne-Claude, circa 1969-2001, undated; includes correspondence: signed postcard by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, donation of Red Store Front to Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art; chronology: “Wrapped trees, realized and not realized.”



Christo and Jeanne-Claude: calendar, 2000 [signed, in envelope]



Cole, Mark, circa 2002-2003; includes artist correspondence.



Davis, Gene, undated



De Crignis, Rudolf, circa 1997-2007, undated; includes correspondence of artist and Michael Paoletta; artist obituaries; eulogy.



Diller, Burgoyne, circa 1964-1999; includes correspondence regarding damage to Second Theme painting.



Di Suvero, Mark, circa 1968-2005



Ebnother, Alan, circa 1990-2007; includes artist correspondence; journal: Arts Houston, April 2007, with article on artist.



Ebnother, Alan, undated; includes broadside: Grün.



Glarner, Fritz, circa 1964-1966, 1995



Graham, Allan and Gloria, circa 1988-2004; includes artist correspondence [Allan Graham].



Hafif, Marcia, circa 1989-2008; includes artist correspondence, book: Ready-Made Glaze Paintings [inscribed to Natalie and Irving Forman]. [2 folders]



Hammersley, Frederick, circa 1989-2004, undated; includes artist correspondence.



Hayward, James, circa 1999-2007; includes artist correspondence.



Hock, Ines, circa 1997-2001; includes artist correspondence.



Howell, James, circa 1992-2004; includes artist correspondence; artist book; study: Clay, Series Initiated 11/30/92 [compiled by James and Joy Howell, disbound].



Howell, James: 94.75-96.66, 2007; includes artist correspondence, scrapbook. [compiled by James and Joy Howell]



Howell, James: Series 10 Inventory, circa 2002; includes artist correspondence, scrapbook. [compiled by James and Joy Howell]



Howell, James: Works in the Forman Collection, 2003; includes artist correspondence, scrapbook. [compiled by James and Joy Howell]



Humphrey, Ralph, circa 1995-2001; includes correspondence regarding donations to Milwaukee Art Museum.



Hyde, James, circa 1989-2002; includes catalogue: James Hyde: October 7-28, 1989.



Lachowicz, Rachel, 2003, undated



Lomberg, Jody, circa 1993-1994



Malina, Ed, 1993, undated; includes artist statement: Austerity in Excess [handwritten manuscript, 2nd draft], artist correspondence.



Mangold, Robert, circa 1998-1999



Marden, Brice, circa 1967-1989, undated; includes correspondence with Klaus Kertess regarding purchase of Marden and Humphrey works.



Marioni, Joseph, circa 1991-2008; includes artist correspondence; outline: A Strategy for the Preservation of the Forman’s Collection of Art [compiled by artist, typewritten]; manuscript: Radical Painting und die Präsenz der Farbe in den 80er-Jahren [by Nino Weinstock, typewritten in German].



Marioni, Joseph: lecture, 2002; includes manuscript: Modernism: Democracy and the Monochrome [typewritten], invitation.



McCollom, Alan, 1983-1984



Meyer, John, circa 1985-2005; includes artist correspondence [1 with sketch]; memorial invitation and obituaries; artist statement; manuscript: The Radical Place of Painting (without pictures) by Joseph Marioni; correspondence with daughter Anna regarding Meyer’s works.



“Meyer, John: photo-documentation of process,” [facsimile], undated; includes color images of Meyer creative process.



“Meyer, John: photo-documentation of process,” undated; includes facsimile and original artist book of Meyer creative process. [photographer: Jenna Ward] [CLOSED. Please use facsimile provided in 13.3+]



Moisan, Patricia, 2002, 2007, undated; includes artist correspondence, obituary.



Mossett, Oliver, 1999



Nickle, Robert, undated



Ohlson, Doug, circa 1967, 2003-2004; includes artist correspondence.



Pierce, Florence, circa 1985-2008; includes artist correspondence, invitation: Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts; obituary.



Rabinowitch, David, circa 2003-2007; includes correspondence, images of woodblock monotypes.



Roeth, Winston, circa 1991-2007; includes artist correspondence; ink drawings; journal: Hudson River Art, vol. 3 (Fall/Winter 2001) with article on artist; catalogues.



Rouillard, Michael, circa 1994-2003



Ryman, Robert, 1969-1970, 1993, undated; includes artist correspondence.



Saul, Peter, circa 1963-1966



Simpson, David, circa 1995-2007; includes artist correspondence.



Sims, Phil, 1998-2004; includes artist correspondence.



Smith, Leon Polk, circa 1966-2002; includes artist correspondence [1 with artwork], conservation of Outer Rim.



Stark, Linda, 1997-1998, undated



Stazewski, Henryk, 1963, 1965, undated



Thiel, Heiner, circa 1995-2005; includes artist correspondence.



Thurston, Roy, circa 1998-2008; includes artist correspondence, Burgoyne Diller brochure and exhibition announcements, booklet: Roy Thurston [inscribed to Natalie and Irving Forman, 2 copies].



Tiemann, Robert, circa 1994-2008; includes artist correspondence.



Tillinghast, Eric, circa 1996-2005, undated; includes artist correspondence, journal: Santa Fe Trend, Winter/Spring 2002, (vol. 2 no. 2) with article on artist.



Tilman, circa 2005; includes exhibit brochure/DVD: Tilman- F218B-BXL; scrapbook: Selected Works 2003-2005. [DVD in 12.2]



Tollens, Peter, circa 1989-2005, undated; includes artist correspondence, journal: Kölner Skizzen, vol. 26 no. 4 (2004) with article on artist, images from photo CD: Atelier Studio Werstatt, Köln Januar 2005. [photo CD in 12.3]



Tollens, Peter: 10x Santa Fe Blue Für Irving + Natalie, 1998; includes artist book of watercolors on handmade paper, gifted to Formans by artist.



Villinger, Dieter, circa 1996-2004; includes artist correspondence, journal: Kunstler [2003] featuring artist.



Wayne, Alan, circa 1996-1999



Westermann, H.C., circa 1964-2003; includes artist correspondence [1 with artwork].



Wiley, William T., circa 1972-1995; includes appraisal/donation of Saint Spill to UC Berkeley.



Wilson, Robert, undated



Witek, Joan, circa 1984-2007; includes artist correspondence.



Young, Peter, 1970, 1972

Series II. Correspondence, circa 1956-2008, undated
Scope and content: “General correspondence” is filed first, and includes personal and professional contacts. Business correspondence is also contained in this series and covers art inventories, invoices, and artworks donated and sold. “Museum correspondence” includes discussions of possible donation sites for the Forman collection. Transparencies of artworks from folder 9.2, “Donations: Structurist pieces, Milwaukee Art Museum,” are located in Series IV: Eli Bornstein (17.159), Don McNamee (17.176), and Aspasis Voulis (17.184). Quoted folder headings were taken directly from the Formans description of the material.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject.


General correspondence, circa 1995-2007; includes Wendy Belser, Donald M. Hess; Stephen Walrod; Helene Mairlot; Brigitte Haasner; Miles Bellamy; Werner H. Kramarsky; Johanna Gisler; Elizabeth Herridge; Lisa Forman [with sample images from photo CD]; Peg Elfvin; referrals regarding Joe Barnes and Erika Blumenfeld for the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. [photo CD in 12.4]


Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 2003-2008; includes correspondence with Charles W. Banta, Louis Grachos, Anna Kaplan, Karen Lee Spaulding; conservation of John Meyer diptych: Untitled, 1993-95 [Forman 2003-80].


“Art inventory sheets, insurance adjustments,” 1999, undated; includes Forman collection inventories.


Auctions and consignments, circa 1983-1985


“Gabrielle Bakker,” 2005; includes conservation of John Meyer diptych: Untitled 1993-95 [Forman 2003-80].


“Charlotte Jackson Fine Art,” circa 1995-2006; includes sale of Forman paintings by Robert Mangold and Ralph Humphrey; pdf file images: Marcia Hafif Pacific Ocean Series 2000; photo CD images: Marfa from John Beech 2006; newsletters: Gallery News (Winter 2003), (Winter 2002). [Beech photo CD in 12.5; Hafif CD in 12.6] [3 folders]


“Donations: Structurist pieces, Milwaukee Art Museum,” 1963-1995; includes deed of gift and appraisal report: Six Structurist Works by Bornstein, McNamee and Voulis; artist correspondence: Aspasia Voulis, Eli Bornstein, Charles Biederman, Don McNamee; journal: Chicago Midwest Art, vol. 3 no. 5 (May 1967); catalogue: Reliefs by Joan Saugrain and Aspasia Voulis.


“Museum correspondence,” circa 1977-2004; articles: includes AKAG; Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago, Ill.); Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Contemporary Museum (Honolulu, Hawaii); Indiana University Museum of Art; Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University; Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art; Rose Art Museum; SITE Santa Fe (Gallery).


“Paid paintings invoices,” circa 1956-1999; includes 1956 invoice from Galerie Chalette regarding sale of Picasso Standing Nude bronze and 3 Chagall etchings.

Series III. Exhibitions, circa 1993-2007
Scope and content: Consists of 2 subseries. Subseries A contains records of events and exhibits held at the Albright-Knox: “Art Alive” (June 4, 2005), “Extreme Abstraction” (July 15-October 2, 2005), “Selections from the Natalie and Irving Forman Collection” (October 8-26, 2003), and the “Natalie and Irving Forman Collection” (May 6-July 3, 2005). Subseries B covers the Forman-curated exhibit “Collector’s Choice, “Homage to Paint, Surface: A Step Beyond,” held at the Charlotte Jackson Fine Art Gallery in Santa Fe. Quoted folder headings were taken directly from the Formans description of the material. **Please note: Photographic material was removed. With the exception of similar and duplicate images, photocopy surrogates have been provided. Original photographs are located in Series IV.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject.


Subseries A. Albright-Knox Art Gallery, circa 2003-2007



Art Alive



Art Alive, 2005; includes images of contest “living tableaus:” Rodney Carswell’s Red Circle/White Center, Eric Tillinghast’s Ring #1. [printed copies, no original photos]



Extreme Abstraction



Extreme Abstraction, 2005; includes correspondence, loan agreements.



Selections from the Natalie and Irving Forman Collection



Images, 2003; includes images of exhibition. [original photos in 18.20-18.23+]



Scrapbook, 2003; includes images of exhibition, brochures, articles. [compiled by Karen Lee Spaulding]



Natalie and Irving Forman Collection

Boxes 14-15+


Accession registers, circa 2003-2007; includes 2-volume set of the Forman Collection of Paintings of Sculpture, with images, histories, transparencies.



Audio transcript, 2005



“Catalogue,” 2005; includes correspondence, production schedule.



Catalogue: acknowledgements, 2005; includes draft.



Catalogue: draft, 2005 [disbound]



“Catalogue: Wei essay,” 2005; includes draft, correspondence.



Correspondence, 2004-2005; includes AKAG staff: Karen Lee Spaulding, Francoise-Marie Hutchison, Kelly Mulaney, Susana Tejada; Margaret P. Stehlik, Johanna Gisler, Joy Howell; exhibition wall text drafts; digital prints of gallery, Garden restaurant. [printed copies, no original photos]



Floor plans, 2004; includes notations for placement of paintings, sculpture, and works on paper. [original floor plan located in archives drawer, print vault]



“Framed drawings,” 2004-2005; includes invoices from framers Wilkinson & Co.



Images, 2005; includes images of exhibition set-up and installation, reception, attendees, birthday celebration for Natalie Forman and Charlotte Jackson. [printed copies; originals of birthday celebration only in 17.142-17.143]



Interview, 2005; includes VHS tape: “Forman collection,” interviews with Natalie and Irving Forman, views of exhibition. [Channel 7, WKBW, 1 minute, 30 seconds]



Inventory: “Painting and sculpture,” circa 2003; includes “first draft,” with color images, histories of each work, annotations.



Inventory: “Works on paper,” circa 2005-2007; includes color images, histories of each work, annotations. [disbound]



“Invitation lists,” 2004-2005; includes lists: “Master Address,” “Birthday invite,” “Buffalo Packet Sent,” “Artists,” “Dealers,” “Save the date.”



“Itineraries,” 2005; includes Natalie and Irving Forman in Buffalo: April 25- May 9; “Forman Group” in Buffalo: May 6-7.



“Painting and sculpture,” 2004-2005; includes “draft 6” of list of works, caption list: “final 1.”



Publicity, 2003-2005; includes articles; brochures; press release; promotional packets.



Scrapbook, 2005; includes images of exhibition, brochures, articles. [compiled by Karen Lee Spaulding]



“Symposium correspondence,” 2005; includes Karen Lee Spaulding, Charles Abdoo, David Moos, Peter Tollens, Mark A. Cheetham.



Works on paper, 2004; includes list of artists.



“Written acceptances,” 2004-2005; includes Mala Breuer, Werner H. Dramarsky, David Simpson, Annabell Tiemann, Bruce Ebnother, Elizabeth Herridge, Constance DeJong, Rudolf de Crignis, Nancy Wolf, Anna Meyer.


Subseries B. Collector's Choice, "Homage to Paint, Surface: A Step Beyond," circa 1993-1995



Correspondence, 1993-1995; includes Dennis Adrian, Mala Breuer, Rodney Carswell, Charlotte Jackson, James Jensen, Charlotta Kotik, Bernard Levatin, Carla Lies, David McAuliffe, Barbara Ogg, Kathleen Shields, Malin Wilson; articles regarding artist Frederick Hammersley, exhibition review.



Invitation, 1994; includes exhibit invitation, guest list.



Manuscript, circa 1994; includes draft of essay by Irving Forman. [handwritten]



Scrapbook, circa 1994; includes images of installation and exhibit, essay by Irving Forman, invitations, articles, artist biographies.

Series IV. Photographs, circa 1963-2007, undated
Scope and content: Contains photographs, transparencies, and slides. Images include the Forman home on Old Santa Fe Trail in Santa Fe, New Mexico, artists, artwork, exhibitions, and the Forman 50th wedding anniversary party. Images are color unless otherwise noted. With the exception of similar and duplicate images, photocopy surrogates have been provided within the rest of the collection. 

Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject.


Forman home, circa 1997-2001, undated; includes interiors/exteriors of 915 Old Santa Fe Trail; Natalie and Irving Forman; Forman pets; Rudolf de Crignis; Alan Ebnother; Hubert Hagadorn; Joseph Hughes; Stephen Krause; Joseph Marioni; John Meyer; Roy Thurston; Peter Tollens. [65 photos]


Forman home: negatives, undated; includes gallery, gallery reading room at 915 Old Santa Fe Trail.


Subseries A. Artists, circa 1963-2007
Scope and content: This subseries is separated into format subsets: photographs are listed first, followed by transparencies and slides. Some images are of the artist’s work; others are images photographed by the artist. If known, photographers are listed. A “+” sign indicates oversize photographs, approximately 8 x 10 or larger.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by artist.



Agostini, Peter, undated; includes Still Life #1. [1 photo]



Albers, Josef, 2002, undated; includes Homage to the Square. [4 photos]



Arends, Stuart, 1999, undated; includes Celadon 10, Arends’ son. [2 photos]



Artschwager, Richard, undated; includes untitled painting with chrome frame. [1 photo]



Barnes, Joe, 2002, 2007; includes interior, exterior views of Forman home, kitchen, dining room, patio, garden, landscape, Natalie and Irving Forman, Forman pets. [23 photos, photographer: Joe Barnes]



Beech, John, circa 1997-2002; includes awning sculpture; Bent Glue Painting; Diminishing Bumper-Pink; Large Elmer Painting; Rotating Painting #78; Res III; small rolling platforms; Untitled, 1998; views of artwork in gallery at Forman home, 9 unidentified works. [32 photos]



Blumenfeld, Erika, 2003, 2005; includes Scattered Light: Santa Fe; views of Forman home: gallery, gallery reading room, exterior. [7 photos: b/w, photographer: Erika Blumenfeld]



Blumenfeld, Erika, circa 2000-2002; includes installation of work; Forman pet dogs: Emma and Tootsie; Light Graph: Winter Solstice; sample sheet: Light Leaks Variation No. 13 (meditation on evolution), Light Graph: Twilight, Light Graph: Reflection for Muted Skies, Light Recording: South, Light Recording: Mediation on Floating Light, Light Recording: Dawn. [4 photos, photographer: Erika Blumenfeld]



Calder, Alexander, undated; includes stabile. [1 photo]



Caro, Anthony, undated; includes sculpture in Forman garden. [1 photo]



Carswell, Rodney, undated; includes Red Circle/White Center; Two Grays and Orange Around an Empty Rectangle. [3 photos]



Chamberlain, John, undated; includes Penthouse #69. [1 photo]



Christo and Jeanne-Claude, 1995, 1998; includes Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin; Wrapped Trees, Switzerland. [6 photos, photographer: Wolfgang Volz]



Davis, Gene, undated; includes 2 stripe paintings. [2 photos]



De Crignis, Rudolf, 2001-2002, undated; includes images of ultramarine blue paintings, de Crignis with Natalie Forman at Forman home. [15 photos]



Diller, Burgoyne, circa 1999-2002; includes First Theme #35; damage to Second Theme painting. [8 photos]



Diller, Burgoyne, circa 1999; includes damage to Second Theme painting. [2 photos]



Di Suvero, Mark, 1999, undated; includes Untitled, 1967 steel mobile sculpture; Untitled, circa 1959 drawing of hand; di Suvero with Formans at exhibition. [9 photos]



Ebnother, Alan, circa 1999-2005; includes images of daughter Jamie; artist John Meyer; portraits of Ebnother; Ebnother in studio; series of 5 Untitled works on paper; Able; Accord; Agony; Alarm; Angry (#1); 2 unidentified works. [30 photos, 1: b/w]



Ebnother, Alan, 1999, undated; includes portraits of Ebnother at work in studio. [11 photos, 1: b/w]



Glarner, Fritz, undated; includes Tondo #50; Untitled drawing. [3 photos]



Graham, Allan, circa 2003-2005; includes Hinge; Lotus; Untitled graphite drawing?. [5 photos]



Hafif, Marcia, circa 1999-2002; includes installation views of exhibition: Virtuel/Reel at Espace d'Art Concrete; Natalie Forman and Hafif; French Painting: Terraile; Red Painting: Indian Yellow Tint; Red Painting: Paliogen Maroon; Roman Painting XXVII. [32 photos, photographers: Marcia Hafif, John Beech]



Hock, Ines, circa 1999; includes images of Natalie and Irving Forman, Hock. [3 photos]



Howell, James, 2002-2003, undated; includes portraits of Howell; Dark Suite Four Part Painting; (S1.9) Set 68.98 (unit 5 of 5); 5 unidentified works. [26 photos, 3: b/w, photographer: Joy Howell]



Howell, James, 2005, undated; includes Charlotte Jackson, Natalie and Irving Forman at NYC studio; artwork in 2005 AKAG exhibit: Natalie and Irving Forman Collection. [6 photos, 2: b/w]



Hyde, James, undated; includes Knew. [1 photo]



Malina, Ed, undated; includes portraits of Malina, Malina’s mother. [3 photos]



Mangold, Robert, undated; includes Four Color Frame Party. [1 photo]



Mangold, Robert, undated; includes Four Color Frame Party. [1 photo]



Marden, Brice, undated; includes Untitled, 1970. [1 photo]



Marioni, Joseph, circa 2001-2003; includes Blue Painting; Green Painting; Red Painting; White Painting; Yellow Painting; Viridian Color Drawing #63-97. [25 photos, photographer: Joy Howell, unknown]



Marioni, Joseph, undated; includes Yellow Painting. [1 photo]



Meyer, John, circa 1985, 1999-2002; includes portraits: Meyer, Jenna Ward, Alan Ebnother and daughter Jamie; studio; artworks: Untitled: 1989, 1991, 1993-1995, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001; 2001 exhibit opening. [106 photos, 5: b/w, photographers: Jenna Ward, unknown]



Meyer, John, circa 2001, undated; includes portrait of Meyer; with Jenna Ward; at Forman home. [5 photos, 1: b/w]



Moholy-Nagy, Laszlo, 1968; includes unidentified work. [1 photo: b/w]



Moisan, Patricia, 2002; includes Perforation. [1 photo]



Nickle, Robert, undated; includes Untitled Collage, 1962; C63-5-11 Collage. [4 photos]



Pierce, Florence, 2001, undated; includes Untitled #134 (Pure Blue). [3 photos]



Roeth, Winston, circa 2003; includes Luzerne; Dark 3x4; Untitled, 1992 [work on paper]. [9 photos]



Roeth, Winston, circa 2002; includes images of the Palazzo Ducale di Sassuolo. [5 photos]



Rouillard, Michael, 2002; includes Trace. [3 photos]



Saul, Peter, undated; includes Untitled drawing, 1962?. [1 photo]



Simpson, David, 2002, undated; includes artist portrait; Golden Rectangle #8 (Golden Mean); Gold Over Green; New Primary (Yellow); Sky High; Flash Point; Study: Blue Inversion; Study: Violet Yellow Shift; Dark Iridescent Blue Green; 2 unidentified. [19 photos]



Sims, Phil, circa 1999-2002; includes Pieve Caina #7, Cat. 166; Untitled, Cat. 343; Untitled, Cat. 379; Untitled, Cat. 228. [8 photos]



Smith, Leon Polk, 2002, undated; includes First One; Outer Rim; Torn Drawing. [4 photos]



Smith, Leon Polk, undated; includes First One. [2 photos: b/w]



Stazewski, Henryk, 1963; includes portrait of Stazewski; Relief [white]; Relief [white yellow]. [3 photos]



Thurston, Roy, 2002, undated; includes 93-4; 94-1; 2001-5; 2001-8; 2002-4?. [10 photos]



Tiemann, Robert, undated; includes Untitled, 1979; Untitled, 1980. [4 photos]



Tillinghast, Eric, undated; includes portrait of Irving and Natalie Forman with unidentified woman in Forman kitchen. [1 photo]



Tollens, Peter, 2002, undated; includes Rudolf de Crignis, Joseph Hughes, Irving Forman, Peter Tollens in Forman library; 209; 204; 205; 218; 230; 271; 236; Untitled, 1992-1993. [20 photos]



Villinger, Dieter, undated; includes Cadmium Orange. [2 photos]



Westermann, H.C., undated; includes G.O.P. Convention. [4 photos]



Wiley, William T., 1998, undated; includes Art Official Peace Plan; Performance to Black Ball Violence. [3 photos]



Wiley, William T., undated; includes Art Official Peace Plan. [1 photo: b/w]



Witek, Joan, undated; includes Untitled, 1980; unidentified triptych?. [11 photos]






Albers, Josef, undated; includes Homage to the Square. [2 transparencies]



Arends, Stuart, undated; includes Celadon 10. [1 transparency]



Artschwager, Richard, undated; includes charcoal drawings? of living room. [2 transparencies]



Avedisian, Edward, undated; includes Untitled, 1964. [2 transparencies, photographer: Young Hoffman Gallery]



Baer, Jo, undated; includes Untitled, 1964-1968. [2 transparencies, photographer: Young Hoffman Gallery]



Beech, John, undated; includes Glue Paintings #59, #64; Rotational Painting #156. [9 transparencies]



Blumenfeld, Erika, undated; includes Aqua Blue/Light Green?; Untitled (Yellow/Light Gold) diptych. [2 transparencies]



Bornstein, Eli, undated; includes Painted Wood Structurist Relief #31. [1 transparency]



Breuer, Mala, undated; includes Untitled, 1993. [3 transparencies]



Calder, Alexander, undated; includes stabile. [6 transparencies]



Chamberlain, John, undated; includes Ca-D’oro; Penthouse #69; unidentified [Ca-D’oro?]. [15 transparencies]



Christianson, Dan, undated; includes Revel Time. [1 transparency]



Connell, John, undated; includes Untitled [Buddha]. [3 transparencies]



De Crignis, Rudolf, undated; includes ultramarine blue painting. [1 transparency]



Diller, Burgoyne, undated; includes First Theme #35; Second Theme. [6 transparencies]



Glarner, Fritz, undated; includes Relational Painting- Tondo #50?. [2 transparencies, photographer: Herbert Lotz]



Graham, Gloria, undated; includes Ethiopia. [1 transparency]



Howell, James, undated; includes unidentified gray painting. [1 transparency]



Humphrey, Ralph, undated; includes For Karen. [1 transparency]



Marden, Brice, undated; includes Two Year Painting?. [2 transparencies, photographer: Herbert Lotz]



Marioni, Joseph, undated; includes Yellow Painting, 1997. [1 transparency]



McNamee, Don, undated; includes Columbus; Saskatoon. [2 transparencies]



Poons, Larry, undated; includes unidentified painting. [1 transparency]



Roeth, Winston, undated; includes Dreamer. [1 transparency]



Ryman, Robert, undated; includes Untitled Painting #23-L?. [2 transparencies, photographer: Herbert Lotz]



Simpson, David, undated; includes Flash Point; Sky High. [4 transparencies]



Thiel, Heiner, undated; includes Untitled (Sphere, r=6.6 ft.) at Forman home. [1 transparency]



Tillinghast, Eric, undated; includes Untitled [steel cubes]; Ring #1. [4 transparencies]



Voulis, Aspasia, undated; includes Untitled, 1953; Untitled, 1955-56; Untitled, 1958. [3 transparencies]



Wiley, William T., undated; includes Art Official Peace Plan; Saint Spill. [photographers: Herbert Lotz; Young Hoffman Gallery] [5 transparencies]



Young, Peter, undated; includes #21. [1 transparency, photographer: Young Hoffman Gallery]






Beech, John, circa 1989-2001; includes Bent Painting; Bent Rolling Beam; Container; Deshler Painting; Double-length Bumper #1; Dumpster/Kit; Extended Painting; Flag #1; Neoprene Sleeve II; Orange Container; Painting in Two Plains and Two Axes; Plexiglass Sheet with 10 Mended Holes; Projecting Paintings #1-4; Repository; Res I; Rig; Rolling Sheet; Rotating Paintings #2, #4, #19: Big Disc; Small Rolling Platforms; Three Bumpers; Three Enclosures; Tri-Dumpster; Untitled (I-VIII); Untitled (Truncated Painting); Wax Shards; exhibit installations. [55 35mm slides]



Cole, Mark, circa 2001-2002; includes images of Cast Painting (Untitled), Cast Painting (American Romantic). [17 35mm slides]



Davis, Gene, undated; includes 2 stripe paintings. [6 35mm slides]



Hyde, James, 1992, 1994; includes Content, Finish. [2 35mm slides]



Meyer, John, 1994; includes Untitled (Mahogany/Green). [1 35mm slide]



Moholy-Nagy, Laszlo, undated; includes unidentified work. [1 35mm slide]



Smith, Leon Polk, undated; includes image of First One. [25 35mm slides]



Other artists: Sandak slides, circa 1959-1993, undated; includes Josef Albers, Jo Baer, Burgoyne Diller, Marcel Duchamp, Kasimir Malevich, Henri Matisse, Jean Miró, Piet Mondrian, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, Robert Ryman, Frank Stella. [51 35mm slides]


Subseries B. Exhibitions, 1994, 2003, 2005
Scope and content: Consists of images from the Forman-curated exhibit “Collector’s Choice, “Homage to Paint, Surface: A Step Beyond,” held at the Charlotte Jackson Fine Art Gallery in Santa Fe. Also, contains images from two Albright-Knox events: “Selections from the Natalie and Irving Forman Collection” exhibit and a birthday celebration held for Natalie Forman and Charlotte Jackson during the opening of the 2005 exhibition, the “Natalie and Irving Forman Collection”.

Arrangement: Chronological.



Collector’s Choice, “Homage to Paint, Surface: A Step Beyond,” 1994; includes images of installation, exhibit reception. [7 photos, 3: b/w]



Selections from the Natalie and Irving Forman Collection, 2003; includes images of exhibition. [12 photos]



Natalie and Irving Forman Collection, 2005; includes birthday celebration for Natalie Forman and Charlotte Jackson. [9 photos]


Subseries C. Anniversary, 1996



50th Anniversary, 1996; includes photos of Natalie and Irving Forman, attendees. [9 photos]



Portraits, 1996; includes Natalie and Irving Forman [“lovebirds”]. [2 photos: b/w, photographer: Joy Howell]


Series V. Anniversary, 1996
Scope and content: Contains letterbox and correspondence pertaining to the Forman’s 50th wedding anniversary. **Please note: Photographic material was removed. With the exception of similar and duplicate images, photocopy surrogates have been provided. Original photographs are located in Series IV. 

Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject.


Artwork, 1996; includes Mark di Suvero work on paper: ink, marker and watercolor. [photocopy, original to be accessioned]


Correspondence, 1996; includes Joseph Marioni, Wally Goodman and Patrick Duffy, Florence Pierce, David Simpson, James Howell, Mala Breuer, John Beech, John Meyer.


Images, 1996; includes images of Natalie and Irving Forman [“lovebirds”], attendees. [photographer: Joy Howell] [original photos in 17.146-17.148, 18.24+]

Box 19+

Commemorative box, 1996; includes 11 ½ x 14 x 2 ½ hinged wood box, with facsimile of Mark di Suvero drawing created for Forman anniversary. [letters removed and located in 11.10-11.11, this series]


Search Terms

Forman, Natalie
Forman, Irving
Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, NY) 

Subject Terms
Forman, Natalie
Forman, Irving
Forman, Natalie—Archives
Forman, Irving—Archives
Forman, Natalie—Art collections
Forman, Irving—Art collections
Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, N.Y.)
Art—Collectors and collecting
Art—Private collections—New York (State)—Buffalo
Art, Modern—20th century
Art, American—20th century
Art, European—20th century
Monochrome art
Monochrome painting
Artists—20th century
Painters—20th century
Artists—Correspondence—20th century
Painters—Correspondence—20th century 

Genre Terms
accession records
accessions registers
drawings (visual works)
exhibition catalogs
exhibition records
slides (visual works)

Associated Material

Separated Material
Most books and artist catalogues have been removed from the collection and cataloged within the library’s holdings. These items can be found in the library’s catalog by searching in the call number field with the phrase “Forman library.” 

Related Resources
N6494.A2 A43 2005
Albright-Knox Art Gallery
The Natalie and Irving Forman collection: an exhibition organized by Karen Lee Spaulding with Natalie and Irving Forman
Buffalo, NY: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 2005. 

Gallery Archives
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, G. Robert Strauss, Jr. Memorial Library  

Contact Information
G. Robert Strauss, Jr. Memorial Library
Albright-Knox Art Gallery
1285 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14222-1096
716.270.8240 TEL
716.882.6213 FAX

© 2008 Albright-Knox Art Gallery. All rights reserved.