The Cleveland Museum of Art

Box List

Records of Henry Adams: "Viktor Schreckengost and 20th Century Design

General Overview of the Records /
Series Descriptions

The records of Henry Adams document his research for the exhibition and the exhibition catalogue "Viktor Schreckengost and 20th Century Design" which was on display at The Cleveland Museum of Art from November 12, 2000 to February 4, 2001. The collection has been divided into seven series: Biographical Information, Subject Files, Correspondence, Exhibition records, Photographs, Audio cassettes, and Conservation (added August 2003).

Series 1 [View Box List], Biographical Information, primarily contains information about Viktor's artistic and design work. Viktor and his family were diligent record keepers who tracked every art object Viktor created. They created a cross-referenced card file system. The cards list all the exhibitions of Viktor's work both alphabetically by gallery name and chronologically from 1929-1997. A second set of cards lists all objects Viktor created alphabetically by object title. The collection includes photocopies of both sets of cards. These cards facilitated the creation of timelines of Viktor's professional career and exhibitions and an object chronology for 1939 through 1969. The series includes copies of Viktor's patents for his industrial design work and biographical information on Viktor from the Cleveland Institute of Art 1996 exhibition. Lastly, the series contains material gathered for Viktor's nomination for the National Medal of Art.

Series 2 [View Box List], subject files, were created by Adams to facilitate writing the exhibition catalogue and determining sections of the exhibition. The subject files include text by Adams for portions of the catalogue, research materials, and photographs on a specific topic such as pedal cars or dinnerware. They also include correspondence and information from former students, collectors, and colleagues of Viktor's. The subject files are arranged alphabetically.

Series 3 [View Box List], correspondence, has been arranged thematically as there was no original order. This arrangement seemed most logical because of the specific themes that were evident in the correspondence and in anticipation of the way researchers might approach the collection. Themes include requests for information, requests for loans, offers to tour the exhibition, the exhibition catalogue, and offers to loan objects to the exhibition.

Series 4 [View Box List] contains all of the records dealing specifically with the CMA exhibition. These include exhibition committee minutes; internal correspondence about the exhibition concept, content, design and budget; NEA planing grant materials; exhibition checklists; audio tour scripts; new media initiatives; the exhibition comment book; press kit; and related lecture and symposium materials. The series also includes the transcripts for an oral history interview Adams conducted with Viktor between March 1998 and June 1999.

Series 5 [View Box List] includes photographs of objects shown in and considered for the exhibition. The series also includes photographs of Viktor's fine art work taken by Adams at the Schreckengost home and photographs documenting an event featuring Viktor and Adams. There are also photocopies of photographs of Viktor in a variety of venues including a trip to Egypt and working at Murray.

Series 6 [View Box List] contains the seven audio cassettes of Adams' interviews with Viktor from March 1998 to June 1999. The bulk of the interviews were conducted in June and July 1998. There were eight interview sessions. There are transcripts for all eight sessions. However, there are only audio cassettes for six of the interviews. The seventh cassette records Viktor speaking at the museum. There is no transcript for this recording. Please see Series 4 and 6 box lists on page 9 for more information on the session dates for cassettes and transcripts.

Series 7 [View Box List] is an accretion from the Conservation Department (A2001.070). The records consist primarily of treatment files for the objects exhibited. The files and supplemental negatives are arranged numerically by incoming object number.