TABLE OF CONTENTS


Collection Summary

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Organization of the Collection

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Contact Information

Series Level Descriptions

1 - Negatives, 1933-1983?

2 - Correspondence, 1926-1983.

3 - Official Documents, 1920-1983.

4 - Personal Papers, 1945-1982.

5 - Professional Papers, 1942-1983.

6 - Teaching Notebooks, ca. 1950-1982.

7 - Exhibition Notices and Posters, 1941-1979.

8 - Clippings and Tear Sheets, ca. 1940-1983.

9 - Works on Paper, ca. 1938-1976.

10 - Study Photographs, [186-?]-1988.

11 - Gerd Sander Material, [1976-1983?].

12 - Audiovisual Material, 1954, 1977-1983.

Lisette Model fonds: Finding Aid

Lisette Model fonds:

Finding Aid



Collection Summary

Title:Lisette Model fonds.
Dates:- [186-?]-1988; predominant 1920-1983.
Quantity: - 1.59 m of textual records, ca. 27,000 photographs and other material.

Biographical Sketch

Elise Amelie Félicie (Lisette) Stern was born on November 10, 1901, in Vienna, Austria. In 1903 her family name was changed to Seybert. In 1934, having been introduced to darkroom techniques by her sister Olga, Lisette decided to pursue a career in photography. Her first series of works were taken along the Promenade des Anglais, Nice. A year after her marriage to the Russian-born painter Evsa Model, in 1937, the couple moved to New York City, where they lived for the rest of their lives. Lisette Model was most prolific between 1940 and 1947, resulting in a well-known series of photographs, including Reflections, Running Legs, Lower East Side, Sammy's, and Nick's; most of these works were featured in Harper's Bazaar and U.S. Camera. Beginning in 1940, Model's photographs were actively acquired by major museums and galleries around the world, most notably by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, which first purchased her work that year. As well as receiving critical acclaim as a photographer, Model was highly regarded and sought after as a teacher of photography. In conjunction with her teaching at the New School for Social Research in New York City from 1951 to 1983, she also conducted private workshops and was in great demand as a guest lecturer. In 1965 Model received both a Guggenheim fellowship and an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the New School for Social Research, New York. The following year she was given La Médaille de la Ville de Paris. On March 30, 1983, Lisette Model died in New York City.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The fonds consists of approximately 25,000 negatives taken by Lisette Model; photographic prints, primarily by Lisette Model; personal and professional correspondence; 34 notebooks of lecture notes; legal documents pertaining to Lisette and Evsa Model; notices, clippings, tear sheets, and posters, many of which cite Model or reproduce her photographs; and recorded interviews with and lectures by Model.

Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.

Finding aids: An item-level finding aid to the negatives is available at the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives; a detailed finding aid to the remainder of the fonds is also available.

Associated material: Other material related to Lisette Model at the National Gallery of Canada includes 291 gelatin silver prints by Model in the Photographs Collection. In addition, the National Gallery of Canada Archives holds contact sheet prints and duplicate exhibition-quality prints (the latter produced by Gerd Sander for the 1990 National Gallery of Canada exhibition Lisette Model), and research material compiled for the Lisette Model exhibition.

General note: Monographs, exhibition catalogues, periodicals (magazines, museum bulletins, newsletters), and academic calendars (New School for Social Research) owned by Lisette Model were included in the donation and have been transferred to the National Gallery of Canada Library. Most of the exhibition catalogues and periodicals cite Model and/or reproduce her work. The academic calendars usually include a faculty biography of Model and a description of courses given by her.

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Organization of the Collection

This collection is organized into 12 series.
Series 1 - Negatives
Series 2 - Correspondence
Series 3 - Official documents
Series 4 - Personal papers
Series 5 - Professional papers
Series 6 - Teaching notebooks
Series 7 - Exhibition notices and posters
Series 8 - Clippings and tear sheets
Series 9 - Works on paper
Series 10 - Study photographs
Series 11 - Gerd Sander material
Series 12 - Audiovisual material

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Access to Diane Arbus's correspondence requires written permission from the Arbus Estate.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Permission to reproduce or publish material from the Lisette Model fonds must be obtained from the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

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Index Terms

Names:
Model, Lisette, 1901-1983
Model, Evsa, 1899-1976
Sander, Gerd
Subjects:
Photography
Document Types:
Audio recordings.
Clippings files.
Correspondence.
Files.
Photographic negatives.
Photographic prints.
Posters.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Title of item], Lisette Model fonds, Library and Archives, National Gallery of Canada.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Joseph G. Blum, Executor of the Lisette Model Estate, through the American Friends of Canada Committee Inc., 1991.

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Contact Information

Reference Services
Library and Archives 
National Gallery of Canada 
380 Sussex Drive 
Ottawa, Ontario 
K1N 9N4 

T 613-714-6000 ext. 6323 

[email protected]

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Series Level Descriptions

Negatives. - 1933-1983? - ca. 25,000 negatives.

The series consists of Lisette Model's 2 1/4-inch and 35mm photographic negatives and includes negatives from Model's best known series including Reflections, Running Legs, Promenade des Anglais, Sammy's, and Nick's.
Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of series.

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Correspondence. - 1926-1983. - 75.5 cm of textual records.

The series consists of correspondence between Lisette Model and family members (including Evsa Model), friends, students, colleagues, museums and galleries, and publishers. Legal correspondence between Lisette Model and her lawyers is also included.
Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of series.
Organisation: Correspondence is divided among the following categories: Family, Personal, Students, Other Photographers, Museums, Galleries, Publications, Other Professional, Awards, and Education and Teaching.
Language: Most of the text is in English, with numerous items in French, some in German, and a few in Esperanto.
General note: The letters have been summarized in the finding aid.

See Item Level Description for this Series

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Official Documents. - 1920-1983. - 2.5 cm of textual records.

The series consists of legal papers for both Lisette and Evsa Model. Items include birth certificates, marriage licence, passports, immigration papers, and naturalization papers. In addition, two different versions of Lisette Model's will, together with copies of death certificates for both Evsa and Lisette Model, are included.
Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of series.
Language: Most of the text is in English, with a few items in French, Russian, and German.

See Item Level Description for this Series

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Personal Papers. - 1945-1982. - 19 cm of textual records.

The series consists of various personal papers belonging to Lisette and Evsa Model. Items include calendars, appointment books, address books, and business cards of colleagues. Correspondence and other papers related to personal matters such as medical records, apartment rental, and various other personal business are also included.
Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of series.
Language: Most of the text in English, with some items in French.

See Item Level Description for this Series

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Professional Papers. - 1942-1983. - 13.5 cm of textual records.

The series consists of papers relating to Lisette Model's various cameras, including owner's manuals, technical booklets and notes, sales receipts, repair invoices, correspondence with manufacturers, and records of insurance coverage for Model's cameras. Included are technical notes on photographic processes and reports on issues relating to photography. This series contains Model's honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the New School for Social Research, La Médaille de la Ville de Paris, and other awards and honours. Writings on Lisette Model's life and work, together with her own artist's statements and her writings, are included. Papers relating to a memorial service for Lisette Model held at the New School for Social Research are also part of this series.
Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of series.

See Item Level Description for this Series

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Teaching Notebooks. - ca. 1950-1982. - 13 cm of textual records.

The series consists of 34 notebooks containing Lisette Model's handwritten lecture notes for courses she taught, as well as hand-drawn technical diagrams illustrating optics and mechanics of the camera. In addition, loose sheets of notes are included in some of the notebooks.
Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of series.
General note: In the finding aid notebooks 1-29 have been transcribed, but not verbatim; notebooks 30-34 are included, but not transcribed.

See Item Level Description for this Series

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Exhibition Notices and Posters. - 1941-1979. - 2.5 cm of textual records.

The series consists of exhibition notices for both Lisette and Evsa Model. The series also contains two exhibition posters for Lisette Model.
Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of series.

See Item Level Description for this Series

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Clippings and Tear Sheets. - ca. 1940-1983. - 33 cm of textual records.

The series consists of various articles from newspapers, tabloids, magazines, and periodicals. Topics are wide ranging and include Lisette Model herself, other photographers, photography in general, music, well-known people, and a variety of photo images.
Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of series.

See Box List for this Series

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Works on Paper. - ca. 1938-1976. - 42 watercolours and other graphic material.

The series consists of 42 watercolours, 4 charcoal sketches on paper, and 2 acrylic paintings on board, all unsigned and undated, by Evsa Model (?), as well as a sketchbook of pencil drawings by Lisette Model. Also included are 19 small mixed-media collage works on board sent by Evsa and Lisette Model as Christmas cards. The words "Greetings, Evsa, Lisette, '56" appear on the verso of most of the Christmas cards.
Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of series.

See Box List for this Series

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Study Photographs. - [186-?]-1988. - ca. 1,200 photographic prints and other graphic material.

The series consists of negatives, contact prints, and photographic prints by Lisette Model, including numerous self-portraits and portraits of family and friends. Prints, contact prints, polaroids, and slides by other photographers are included and are usually, but not always, identified. Among the photographers whose work is represented in this series are Berenice Abbott, Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Marc Kazmarek, Todd Webb, and others. Historical photographs by unidentified photographers are included, as are installation views of some of Lisette Model's exhibitions.
Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of series.
Physical description: Series includes: ca. 1155 b/w photographic prints, 14 colour photographic prints, 6 negatives (35mm), 28 contact prints and contact sheets (35mm and 2 1/4-inch), 26 polaroids, 3 colour slides, 3 colour transparencies, 7 postcards, 2 colour stereoviewer images, and 1 tin-type.

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Gerd Sander Material. - [1976-1983?]. - ca. 580 photographs and other material.

The series consists of 2 1/4-inch contact prints of Lisette Model's photographs, which were printed by Gerd Sander of the Gerd Sander Gallery (Model's dealer from ca. 1976 to 1983); a visual inventory of the contact prints consisting of photocopies of Model's photographs arranged by subject; and an index card inventory of prints organized by subject.
Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of series.

See Box List for this Series

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Audiovisual Material. - 1954, 1977-1983. - 13 audio cassettes and 1 film reel.

The series consists of taped recordings of interviews with Lisette Model conducted by Janet Beller, Jim McQuaid, Sheila Seed, and Radio France, as well as taped recordings of lectures given by Lisette Model at the Comfort Gallery, Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania, and at the Pratt Institute, New York, N.Y. The series also contains a silent colour film featuring Lisette Model and others in Venezuela.
Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of series.
Related material: Transcripts of the interviews of Lisette Model by Janet Beller, Jim McQuaid, and Sheila Seed, as well as a transcript of the lecture at the Pratt Institute, can be found in the reseach material for the Lisette Model exhibition in the National Gallery of Canada Archives.
General note: The recordings have not been transcribed verbatim and the transcripts are not complete.

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