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Albert Boime papers, 1963-2007
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Note
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID

  • Title: Albert Boime papers
    Collection number: 1834
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 73.0 linear ft. (149 boxes and 3 oversize boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1963-2007
    Abstract: The collection contains drafts, correspondence, notes, course materials, and research aids pertaining to the academic career of art historian and professor Albert Boime. Materials in the collection span Boime's graduate studies and lengthy career, including seminal research on Vincent Van Gogh, Impressionism and the French Commune, and a 6-volume History of Modern Art written from a social history perspective. Though best known for his work on 18th and 19th century European art, Boime's papers cover a broad range of traditional and avant-garde Art History topics approached from a social history theoretical framework.
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Creator: Boime, Albert

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    COLLECTION CONTAINS DIGITAL MATERIALS: Special equipment or further processing may be required for viewing. To access digital materials you must notify the reference desk in advance of your visit.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Myra Boime, 2007.

    Processing Note

    Processed by Kimberly Williams in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT) . All rights reserved., with assistance from Megan Fraser, 2011.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Albert Boime Papers (Collection 1834). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.


    Albert Boime was born in St. Louis, Missouri on March 17, 1933 to Max and Dorothy Boime, both eastern European Jewish immigrants. In 1955 Boime joined the U.S. Army, serving in Germany before his discharge in 1958. Upon returning to the states Boime began his studies at the University of California, Los Angeles and received his B.A. in 1961. He went on to receive both his M.A. (1963) and Doctorate (1968) from Columbia University. Through his brother Jerome (1934-1977), Boime met teacher and social activist Myra Block, and they married in 1964.
    He began his career as an instructor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1967 and became an associate professor in 1969. He was appointed professor of art at the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1971. Boime chaired the art department at Binghamton from 1972-74 and was recruited by the University of California, Los Angeles in 1978. He served as a professor of art history there for three decades. Al Boime died in 2008.
    As a social art historian Boime was concerned with overlooked artists and ventured outside traditional research methods to evaluate an artist's work. He approached artworks as social documents, not simply artistic expressions, and demonstrated how artists are influenced by the historical events of their lifetime. Though Boime is best known for his studies of 19th-century European art, his work touched on many genres including popular imagery in Europe and America and emblematic national monuments.
    In the course of his career Boime authored nearly 20 books and over 100 articles. He also received various awards including two Guggenheim fellowships (1974, 1984), a Rome Fellowship (1979), and the A. Kingsley Porter Prize for his Art Bulletin article "The Second Republic's Contest for the Figure of the Republic" (1971). In 2006 a symposium on the social history of art was convened at UCLA in his honor.
    Sources: Dictionary of Art Historians, albertboime.com  

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of notes, correspondence, drafts, and annotated photocopies relating to Boime's academic career. This includes documentation corresponding to universities and Art History departments where he was employed, syllabi and outlines for courses and seminars, notes associated with research, conference materials, drafts of publications, and correspondence. The bulk of the collection consists of materials collected as part of Boime's research activities. Research topics span a wide range, although the bulk of material relates to Thomas Couture, imagery and symbolism of U.S. monuments and icons, artists and movements associated with his Social History of Modern Art series, social issues, academies and academic painting, the Macchiaioli, and comics and cartoons. Boime often revisited research topics after initially encountering the subject matter, so his files may include materials from different decades on the same research topic.

    Organization and Arrangement

    The collection is organized into six series, by subject and type of material.
    1. Series 1, Career. Materials relating to Boime's career as a professor of modern art history. The series is arranged by subject into six subseries, which are ordered chronologically.
    2. Series 2, Course Materials. Materials compiled by Boime during his extensive teaching career, mostly related to his UCLA modern art survey course (Art History 54: Introduction to Modern Art). The series also includes teaching materials for special seminars and upper division and graduate modern art courses. The series is arranged by course.
    3. Series 3, Research Materials. Materials relating to Boime's research interests during his 45-year career as an art historian. The majority of research topics listed in this series correspond to publications, articles, books, and lectures produced by Boime. This series is arranged by subject into 52 subseries, which are ordered by volume of material.
    4. Series 4, Conferences and Lectures. Materials in this series were gathered by Boime through his participation in a variety of conferences, symposia, and lecture series. This series also contains drafts of lectures given by Boime. Materials are arranged alphabetically by file title.
    5. Series 5, Publication Drafts. Includes drafts of articles, books, and other types of publications prepared by Boime. Materials are filed alphabetically by topic with general and untitled drafts at the end of the series.
    6. Series 6, Correspondence. This series includes correspondence between Boime and colleagues, museums, students, publishers, and personal contacts from his graduate studies until his death. The series is divided into three subseries based on the type of correspondence.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 6700155 

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Boime, Albert--Archives.
    Art historians--United States--Archives.