ublogo print

University at Buffalo Libraries

Archival & Manuscript Collections

Return to Search Results | Citation | Print View

Finding Aid for the Helene Fesenmaier Collection of Morton Feldman Correspondence, 1965-1977

Contains Digital Content

Mus. Arc. 2.5

State University of New York at Buffalo. Music Library


112 Baird Hall
Buffalo, New York 14260-4750
United States
Phone: 716 645-2924
Fax: 716 645-3906
Email: musique@buffalo.edu
URL: http://library.buffalo.edu/music/

Finding aid prepared by John Bewley.
Finding aid encoded in EAD by John Bewley, April 2015.
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid prepared using DACS ( Describing Archives: A Content Standard ).

Please use the following URL when citing this document:
http://purl.org/net/findingaids/view?docId=ead/music/ubmu0002_5.xml

© 2015. State University of New York at Buffalo. All rights reserved.


Collection Overview

Title: Helene Fesenmaier Collection of Morton Feldman Correspondence, 1965-1977
Collection Number: Mus. Arc. 2.5
Creator: Fesenmaier, Helene
Extent: 1 box (8 folders)
Language of Material: Collection material in English.
Repository: State University of New York at Buffalo. Music Library
Abstract: The Helene Fesenmaier Collection of Morton Feldman Correspondence contains six manuscript letters by composer Morton Feldman written to artist Helene Fesenmaier. The collection also contains an annotated copy of a typescript version of Feldman's article, The Anxiety of art.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Specified item], Helene Fesenmaier Collection of Morton Feldman Correspondence, 1965-1977, Music Library, The State University of New York at Buffalo.

Acquisition Information

Gift of David Hodgson, March 2015.

Terms of Access

Materials can be examined by qualified researchers in the Music Library during hours of operation during which Music Librarians are present. In order to insure access, researchers are advised to contact the Music Library in advance of visits.

Copyright

Copyright for the materials in the collection does not reside with the Music Library. Therefore, patrons wishing to publish any item, or part of an item from this collection for any purpose, are responsible for securing requisite permissions.

Processing Information

Processed by John Bewley, 2015.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.


Biographical Note

Helene Marie Fesenmaier was born 31 August 1937 in New Ulm, Minnesota. She was a graduate of Smith College in Massachusetts (1959) and from Yale University School of Art and Architecture (BFA, 1961). She moved to New York City and in 1963 was one of the initial group of students that founded the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture with their teacher Mercedes Matter. Matter named Morton Feldman Dean of the school in 1966.

After years of studying and working in The Netherlands, Greece, Peru, Yucatan, and Venezuela, Fesenmaier moved to London, England in 1970 and became a resident there for the remainder of her life. Her paintings and sculptures have been the subjects of more than two dozen solo exhibitions in London, Cambridge, New York, Northampton, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., Caracas, and Dusseldorf, Germany. Her works have also been on display in group exhibitions and are held in the permanent collections of several museums.

Helene Fesenmaier worked under her maiden name but Feldman's letters to her are addressed to her under her married name at the time, Helene Dawson. Her husband was Frank Dawson, a lawyer for the World Bank. After her first marriage was dissolved, she married artist David Hodgson in 1992. Helene Fesenmaier died in London 21 June 2013.

Composer Morton Feldman (1926-1987) was best known for his association with the New York School of experimentalist musicians, including composers John Cage, Christian Wolff, and Earle Brown, and pianist David Tudor. In addition to composing approximately 150 works, Feldman also wrote more than three dozen articles about various aspects of music and art.

Feldman was a member of the music department faculty at the State University of New York at Buffalo from 1972-1987. During those years he served as Slee Professor of Music 1972-1973, Edgar Varèse Professor 1975-1987, and Director of the Center of the Creative and Performing Arts, 1976-1980. He was also responsible for creating the June in Buffalo festival of contemporary music in 1975.


Scope and Content Note

The Helene Fesenmaier Collection of Morton Feldman Correspondence contains six manuscript letters by composer Morton Feldman written to artist Helene Fesenmaier. The collection also contains an annotated copy of a typescript version of Feldman's article, The Anxiety of art. Five of the six brief letters were written on paper with a letterhead for the Music Department at the State University of New York at Buffalo where Feldman was on the faculty. Other people mentioned in the correspondence include William Colleran, Mary Sprinson, and Eve Benesch Goldschmidt.

An additional folder holds the catalog for an exhibition of Fesenmaier's work at the Redfern Gallery in London, England in 2012.


Arrangement

The manuscript letters are arranged in chronological order with the article, The Anxiety of art, placed last.


Container List

Box Folder Contents
1 1 Letter from Morton Feldman to Helene Dawson [Fesenmaier], 5 October 1971
icon View a digital version of this item

1 manuscript leaf
1 2 Letter from Morton Feldman to Helene Dawson [Fesenmaier], 2 November 1972
icon View a digital version of this item

1 manuscript leaf
1 3 Letter from Morton Feldman to Helene Dawson [Fesenmaier], 6 November 1972
icon View a digital version of this item

1 manuscript leaf
1 4 Letter from Morton Feldman to Helene Dawson [Fesenmaier], 30 February 1973
icon View a digital version of this item

1 manuscript leaf
Date transcribed as stated cannot be correct but there is no accompanying envelope with postmark to verify a date.
1 5 Letter from Morton Feldman to Helene Dawson [Fesenmaier], 25 June 1974
icon View a digital version of this item

1 manuscript leaf
1 6 Letter from Morton Feldman to Helene Dawson [Fesenmaier], 11 July 1977
icon View a digital version of this item

1 manuscript leaf
1 7 Annotated copy of Morton Feldman's article The Anxiety of Art 1965
8 typescript leaves (photo reproduction)
The article was published 1973 in the journal Art in America, v. 61, n. 5. Annotations consist chiefly of underlining, presumably done by Fesenmaier.
1 8 Catalog for exhibition titled Helene Fesenmaier: Transfiguration, at the Redfern Gallery, London 2012
40 pages

Includes illustrations of Fesenmaier's works, commentary on her work, a brief biography, and an Afterword by Fesenmaier in which she mentions Feldman's influence on her work.


Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Library's online catalog.

Contributors

Feldman, Morton, 1926-1987

Subjects

Composers--Correspondence
Feldman, Morton, 1926-1987
Fesenmaier, Helene

Genres

Correspondence

Associated Material

Related Resources

Related Resources in the Music Library

A collection of Feldman's personal and business correspondence, writings by and about Feldman, clippings, photographs, and concert programs.