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Guide to the Abram Kanof Papers, 1858-1991

Collection Overview

The Abram Kanof Papers, 1858-1991, contain printed material, correspondence, writings, and photographs primarily reflecting Dr. Kanof's research and writing in the field of Jewish ceremonial art; his role in the development of the Tobe Pascher Workshop of the Jewish Museum, New York, N.Y.; his curatorship at the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, N.C.; and to a lesser extent, his patronage of the arts. The Abram Kanof Papers are relevant to the study of religious art in the Judaic tradition, and they also document Dr. Kanof's contributions, as a researcher, patron, and administrator, to the study of the relationship between art and Jewish liturgy and worship.

A substantial part of the collection consists of printed material, including exhibition programs, handbills, articles, journals, and clippings, which is contained in the Subject Files Series. Information pertaining to topics within this series includes art and religion; symbolism; synagogue architecture and decoration; the American Jewish Historical Society; Jewish ceremonial art; liturgical or ritual objects; and artists, including Ludwig Wolpert and Moshe Zabari, both resident artists of the Tobe Pascher Workshop. Primary materials relevant to the history, administration, and programs of the Jewish Museum as well as the development of the Tobe Pascher Workshop are contained in the Subject Files Series. The Correspondence Series primarily reflects Dr. Kanof's role in the formation of the workshop, which was developed to provide for the creation of art and liturgical objects to be used in synagogues as well as serve as an instructional center for training artists.

Pictures of items from exhibitions held at the Jewish Museum and the North Carolina Museum of Art as well as images used in Kanof's Jewish Ceremonial Art and Religious Observance are contained in the Pictures Series. Typescripts, page proofs and galley proofs for Dr. Kanof's works, and offprints and drafts of some of his other writings are contained in the Writings Series.

Selected publications from the Abram Kanof Papers have been cataloged for the rare book collection of the Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Abram Kanof papers, 1858-1991
Creator
Kanof, Abram
Extent
14.0 linear feet, circa 8,500
Repository
Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library Durham, North Carolina 27708-0185
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Language
English.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Part of the Writings Series in this collection is restricted.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in the Abram Kanof Papers have not been transferred to Duke University. For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Primarily contains printed material, including clippings, programs, newsletters, handbills, exhibit programs, journals, and journal articles. Also included are typed copies of articles, memoranda, and minutes. The files reflect Dr. Kanof's research interests in Jewish ceremonial art as well as other subject areas in the field of art; a substantial number of the files pertain to the administration and programs of the Jewish Museum and Judaic art exhibits at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically by year within the folders.

The Abram and Frances Kanof Collection of Ceremonial Objects, 1961-1965, undated
Box 1
The Akedah in art, 1922-1969, undated
Box 1
American Jewish Historical Society, 1965-1981
Box 1
Archaeology, 1903-1977, undated
(2 folders)
Box 1
Art and Religion, 1914-1986, undated
(3 folders)
Box 1
Art, Contemporary Jewish, 1936-1971, undated
Box 1
Art galleries, 1954-1974, undated
Box 1
Art, God, Man, 1928-1984, undated
(2 folders)
Box 1
Art history, Jewish, 1926-1981, undated
(2 folders)
Box 1
A-C, 1946-1991
(2 folders)
Box 1
Chagall, Marc, 1930-1972, undated
Box 1
D-E, 1968-1980
Box 1
F-L, 1928-1991, undated
(4 folders)
Box 1
M-R, 1954-1987, undated
(3 folders)
Box 2
Richard, Chava Wolpert, 1970-1990, undated
Box 2
S-Z, 1923-1986, undated
(3 folders)
Box 2
General, 1925-1983, undated
(4 folders)
Box 2
Arts and crafts, 1923-1978, undated
(3 folders)
Box 2
Awards, 1954, 1971
Box 2
Background research, undated
(2 folders)
Box 2
Background research and bibliographies, undated
Box 2
Berenson, Bernard, 1949, 1966
Box 2
The Bezalel, 1962-1975
Box 2
Biblical themes, 1931-1985, undated
(2 folders)
Box 2
Books and book collections, Jewish, 1940-1988, undated
(3 folders)
Box 2
Books and manuscripts, 1928-1991, undated
Box 2
Calendars, 1940-1959
(2 folders)
Box 2
Calendars, 1959-1989
(5 folders)
Box 3
Ceremonial art, Jewish, 1958-1990, undated
Box 3
1961-1987, undated
Box 3
Literature on, 1886-1971, undated
Box 3
Ceremony, psychological basis of, 1958, undated
Box 3
Coins and tokens, 1858-1969, undated
(2 folders)
Box 3
Dura Europos, 1937-1965
(2 folders)
Box 3
Eastern European Jewish communities, 1969, 1988, undated
Box 3
The Educational Alliance, 1919-1965
Box 3
1935-1990, undated
Box 3
Multiple artists, 1956-1988
Box 3
Folk art, 1905-1990, undated
(2 folders)
Box 3
Hanukkah, 1950-1988
Box 3
The Hebrew alphabet, 1960-1989, undated
Box 3
Hellenism, 1890-1974, undated
(2 folders)
Box 3
Holocaust, 1965-1990, undated
Box 3
Islamic art, 1967-1975, undated
(2 folders)
Box 4
Israeli art, 1962-1986, undated
(2 folders)
Box 4
Israeli artists: A-W, 1962-1985, undated
Box 4
Jewish art, literature on, 1925-1989, undated
(5 folders)
Box 4
Jewish Ceremonial Art and Religious Observance, reviews, etc., 1970-1979, undated
(2 folders)
Box 4
Administration and Policy, 1950-1988, undated
(3 folders)
Box 4
Blueprints, 1962, 1976, undated
Box 4
Exhibits, 1949-1988, undated
Box 4
History, 1945-1987, undated
(3 folders)
Box 4
Programming, 1948-1991, undated
(3 folders)
Box 4
Jewish Museum, 1939-1984, undated
(8 folders)
Box 5
Judaism and art, 1936-1982, undated
(3 folders)
Box 5
Ketubah, 1969, 1975, undated
Box 5
Lectures, 1970-1984, undated
Box 5
Manuscripts, ancient and illuminated, 1928, 1978, undated
Box 5
The Menorah, 1903-1979, undated
(2 folders)
Box 5
Museums/Exhibits, 1948-1991, undated
(4 folders)
Box 5
National Museum of American Jewish History, 1965-1985
Box 5
North Carolina Museum of Art, 1974-1991, undated
(2 folders)
Box 5
Painters, 1925-1987, undated
(2 folders)
Box 5
Passover, 1940-1978, undated
(3 folders)
Box 6
Pucker/Safrai Gallery, 1971-1990, undated
Box 6
Rituals and ceremonies, 1947-1969
Box 6
Sculptors: E-Z 1928-1969, undated
(2 folders)
Box 6
Shield of David, 1949, undated
Box 6
Symbolism, 1946-1987, undated
(3 folders)
Box 6
American, 1956-1977, undated
Box 6
Ancient/Antique, 1915-1991, undated
(3 folders)
Box 6
Modern, 1925-1977, undated
(2 folders)
Box 6
Wooden, 1925-1981, undated
(2 folders)
Box 6
Synagogues: Dedications and services, 1950-1977, undated
Box 6
Temple vessels, 1981
Box 6
Tombs, burial objects, and burial rites, 1964-1978, undated
Box 6
Torah orientation, 1934-1978, undated
(2 folders)
Box 6
Visual arts and material culture, 1963, 1966, undated
Box 6
Wolpert, Ludwig, 1958-1991, undated
(4 folders)
Box 7

Chiefly consists of black and white photographs of artworks displayed in exhibits held by the North Carolina Museum of Art and the Jewish Museum as well as works created by particular artists. Some of the folders, such as those pertaining to Ludwig Wolpert and synagogues, have counterparts in the Subject Files Series. Arranged alphabetically by topic and chronologically by year within the folders. Miscellaneous photographs are arranged chronologically by year and follow the pictures which are topically arranged.

Archaeology, undated
Box 7
Arts and crafts, 1968, undated
Box 7
Barmitzvah, circumcision, marriage, memorial, 1956-1969, undated
Box 7
Bernstein, Rabinowitz and Richard, 1972-1978, undated
Box 7
Ceremonial art, Jewish, undated
(4 folders)
Box 7
Collections pictures, undated
Box 7
Fabrics, 1958, 1974, undated
Box 7
Jewish museum: Exhibition Commemorating 300th Anniversary of Jewish Settlement in the United States, 1954
(2 folders)
Box 7
Modern ceremonial objects, undated
Box 7
North Carolina Museum of Art exhibit, 1991
Box 7
Ceremonial Art in the Judaic Tradition, 1953-1976, undated
(2 folders)
Box 7
Ceremonial Art in the Judaic Tradition, exhibit: General layout, 1975
Box 7
Judaic Art Exhibit, 1975
Box 7
Judaica Gallery: Objects, undated
(3 folders)
Box 7
Moshe Kupferman, 1991
Box 7
Permanent Judaica collection, undated
(2 folders)
Box 7
Miscellaneous photos, undated
Box 7
Seder plates, undated
Box 7
Symbolic art. Jewish, undated
(4 folders)
Box 7
Synagogues: Ancient/Antique, undated
Box 7
1958-1962, undated
Box 8
Miller, Leon G., undated
Box 8
Horn, Milton, 1974, undated
Box 8
Torah pointers, 1974, undated
Box 8
Tubi, Shalom, 1974-1979, undated
Box 8
Wolpert, Ludwig, 1962, undated
Box 8
Zabari, Moshe, undated
Box 8
Miscellaneous, 1932-1979, undated
(9 folders)
Box 8

Included are typescripts, galley proofs and page proofs for Kanof's Jewish Ceremonial Art and Religious Observance as well as offprints and drafts pertaining to art and medicine by Kanof. Primarily arranged alphabetically by author. Also included are autographed writings given to Dr. Kanof by other others. The typescript of Jewish Ceremonial Art and Religious Observance has been arranged according to the order of its chapters.

[Artists and the Holocaust], undated
Box 8
Davidowitz, Moshe, The Menorah, 1971
Box 8
Ceremony and Art in Jewish Life (typescripts), undated
Box 8
Judaism and Art (typescripts), undated
Box 8
Form and Style in Jewish Ceremonial Art (typescript), undated
Box 8
Motifs and Symbols in Jewish Ceremonial Art (typescripts), undated
Box 8
Light in Jewish Ceremonial Art (typescripts), undated
Box 8
Wine in Jewish Ceremonial Art (typescripts), undated
Box 8
The Sabbath: Light, Wine, and Spice (typescripts), undated
Box 8
Passover and the Seder (typescripts), undated
Box 8
Sukkot, Hanukkah, Purim (typescript), undated
Box 8
Ceremonial Markers in the Jewish Life Cycle (typescripts), undated
Box 8
Hallmarks of Jewish Home (typescripts), undated
Box 8
The Synagogue: Evolution , Architecture, and contents (typescripts), undated
Box 8
Jews and Art (typescript), undated
Box 8
Acknowledgements and lists of photographs (typescripts), undated
Box 8
Page proofs, pp. 1-159, undated
(2 folders)
Box 8
Galley proofs, undated
Box 8
Page proofs, undated
(4 folders)
Box 8
Miscellaneous writings, 1953-1982
Box 8
Schoenberger, Guido: Drafts and typescripts, 1949-1970, undated
(2 folders)
Box 8
Miscellaneous, 1949-1984, undated
Box 8

Primarily includes letters and memoranda documenting the creation and administration of the Tobe Pascher Workshop of the Jewish Museum. To a lesser extent, letters pertaining to broader administrative concerns of the Jewsih Museum are included. Dr. Kanof's direction in the development of the Tobe Pascher Workshop as well as the financial support he and Mrs. Kanof provided for the workshop is reflected in this series. See the folders under Jewish Museum in the Subject Files Series for related materials. Correspondents include Arthur Katz, Ludwig Wolpert and Abram Kanof. Arranged chronologically.

1953-1991, undated
(4 folders)
Box 9

Printed material, including postcards, clippings, programs, pertaining to Judaism and art, and publications on aspects of Jewish art history.

1902-1933
(2 folders)
Box 9
1910-1991, undated
(6 folders)
Box 9
Subject Files, 1919-1991
Ovsz. Box 10
Subject Files, 1946-1991, undated
Oversize Cabinet OC:III:3
Miscellaneous, 1959-1991, undated
Ovsz. Box 97

Historical Note

DateEvent(s)
1903, Dec. 25Born, Russia
1924Graduated from Columbia University
1928Received M.D. from the State University of New York Medical School
1931Married Frances Pascher
1948-1962Chairman, Jewish Museum, New York, N.Y.
1956Founded the Tobe Pascher Workshop, Jewish Museum, New York, N.Y.
1961-1964President, American Jewish Historical Society
1965-1972Professor of Pediatrics, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center
1970Published Jewish Ceremonial Art and Religious Observance
1971Received the Maimonides Award for Service to Medicine and Judaism.
1972-Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center
ca.1975-1980Guest Curator of Judaica, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, N.C.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Abram Kanof Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Abram Kanof Papers (1858-1991) were donated to the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library from 1979 to 1992 by Dr. Abram Kanof.

Processing Information

Processed by Daniel Daily

Assisted by Brent Johanson

Date Completed: May 12, 1993

Encoded by Alvin Pollock

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.