Series I. Texts, ca. 1925-1965, 62 boxes
Extensive holograph notes and manuscripts, revised manuscripts, typescripts, galley proofs, tear sheets from publications, clippings, publicity materials, correspondence, and diaries are included in this series. Major theoretical works represented here include City in Space (1925), On Correalism and Biotechnique (1939), Magic Architecture (1940s), Manifesto of Correalism (1949), Inside The
Endless House (1966) as well as several unpublished texts on theatre, window shop design, architecture, home furnishings, design. An extensive amount of desk papers and scribbled notes witness a continuous exchange between words and images in FK’s creative process. A box contains Thirsty Papers, a collection of Haiku poems written by Kiesler in the 1950s. The theoretical works are arranged alphabetically by title if miscellaneous; otherwise they are placed in individual boxes. Part of related correspondence, clippings, and publicity materials is housed with the corresponding work. Manuscripts and typescripts related to single projects (as listed in the Series III. Works) are placed within the individual files (for example Brief Note on Designing the Gallery in ›Art of This Century‹ ; The Endless House and Its Psychological lighting in ›Endless House‹).
Series II. Records, 12 boxes
This series includes transcripts of Kiesler’s lectures in various Universities from the 1930s onward. The boxes contain extensive material including reports, lectures, and students’ activities from the years of the Laboratory for Design Correlation, especially on the design process of the Mobile Home Library. Exhibition Records up to 1965 are part of this series as well as clippings.
Series III. Design and Architecture Works, ca. 1923-1965
The Works series include files containing drawings, photographs, clippings and texts related to Kiesler’s numerous commissions and designs. Files are ordered chronologically and different media are located in separate files. Each project is abbreviated (for example ›Art of This Century‹ as AOTC; ›Endless House‹ as EH) and every folder is further identified with an abbreviation indicating the media (for example ›Art of This Century drawings‹ as AOTC_DRAW; ›Endless House photographs‹ as EH_PHO and so on). Oversized drawings related to projects are located in a different shelf and indicated as LFP (Large Format Paper).
Series IV. Fine Arts Works, ca. 1947-1965
The Fine Art Works series include files containing drawings, photographs and texts related to Kiesler’s sculptures. Files are ordered chronologically and different media are located in separated files. Every project is indicated with a short name (for example ›Last Judgement‹ as LJ and every folder is further identified with a short name indicating the media (for example › Last Judgement drawings‹ as LJ_DRAW). Oversized drawings related to projects are located in a different physical place and indicated with LFP (Large Format Paper).
Series V. Theater
The Theater series includes photographs that document the various stage design made by Kiesler from 1933 to 1957. Invitations to performances, reviews and posters are included in this series.
Series VI. Correspondence, ca. 1926-1965, 24 boxes
The Correspondence series is formed of 24 boxes containing approximately 3.600 letters from more than 1.100 people; files include carbon copies of letters by Kiesler. Files are ordered alphabetically and thereunder chronologically. In general, Kiesler himself grouped materials related by subject or project such that correspondence related to a particular work is housed with that work (see also Series I. Texts and Series III. Works).
Series VII. Photographs, ca. 1920-1965, 9 boxes
Private and professional photographs including artists, architects and friends of the Kieslers. Photos of Kiesler’s works and installation are filed in the related projects. This series include portraits of Kiesler by Irving Penn, Virginia Dortch, Hans Namuth and numerous snapshots of parties, dinners and museum and gallery openings. Among the photos there are private shots of Peggy Guggenheim, Roberto Matta, Andrè Breton, Gordon Onslow Ford, Marcel Duchamp, Yves Tanguy, Arshile Gorky, Pablo Picasso, Hans Richter, Theo Van Doesburg, Wilhelm De Kooning, Edgar Varèse, Andy Warhol. Several photos of Kiesler’s travels to Italy, Israel, South America.
Series VIII. Tapes
This series includes recordings of many lectures and seminars held by Frederick Kiesler in American Universities, interviews with friends and collaborators, art discussions with artists Costantino Nivola and Bill de Kooning, gallerist Leo Castelli, composer Lucia Dlugoszewski. A recording of the “Gong Song” performed by Ann McMillan composed for the gong included in the environmental sculpture Us-You-Me.
Series IX. Personal and Legal Papers, 12 boxes
This series includes tax papers, invoices, legal papers such as rent contracts, Kiesler’s last will, inventories, financial correspondence.
Series X. Ephemera, 3 oversized boxes
Kiesler’s personal effects such as clothing, hats and glasses, his telephone, his desk tools are included in this series.
Series XI. Works by Other Artists
This series includes precious and rare artworks and art editions given to Kiesler by other artists such as Victor Brauner, Max Ernst, Ray Johnson, Toyen and others.