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Eugene Paul Ullman papers

 Collection
Identifier: KA-0042-01

Overview

Eugene Paul Ullman (1877-1953), was an American painter of landscapes, portraits, and still lifes. Ullman studied and later taught with artist William Merritt Chase during the earliest years of the Chase School, predecessor school to what became Parsons School of Design. Ullman then moved from New York to Paris, where he briefly joined James Abbott McNeil Whistler's atelier and began receiving major awards for his work. The collection consists of artwork in the form of sketches and photographs of paintings, correspondence, exhibition catalogs, a scrapbook, and unpublished essay manuscripts. Much of the material is annotated by Ullman's youngest son, Pierre L. Ullman. Also included are files documenting the life of an older son, Paul Ullman, who was killed in France during the Second World War.

Dates

  • circa 1880-2000

Creator

Language of Materials

The bulk of the materials are in English, although a significant amount of correspondence and exhibition catalogs are in French.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use. Please contact archivist@newschool.edu for appointment.

Use Restrictions

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives. Please contact: archivist@newschool.edu.

Biographical note

Eugene Paul Ullman was an American painter whose career spanned the first half of the twentieth century. A student of American impressionist William Merritt Chase, Ullman painted portraits, landscapes, and still lifes, earning critical recognition at a relatively young age, and exhibiting throughout the United States and Europe. Beginning in 1902, his work was included in annual exhibitions of the National Academy of Design and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and within a few years his work was chosen for the annual exhibitions of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. Today, Ullman's paintings are held by the Brooklyn Museum, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Tampa Museum of Art, the Museum of Franco-American Cooperation at Blérancourt, and the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Ullman was born in New York City in 1877 to Bavarian immigrants Sigmund and Pauline Ullman. The Ullman family owned a successful ink factory, providing their son with sufficient financial resources to pursue a lifelong career as a fine artist. Ullman's education at Columbia University Grammar School was followed by business training and, finally, enrollment at the Chase School, where he studied painting under William Merritt Chase in Manhattan and at Chase's Shinnecock, Long Island summer school. It was at Shinnecock that Ullman met his future wife, artist and author Alice Woods (1871-1959). Ullman soon graduated from student to teacher at the school, which became the New York School of Art in 1898 and later evolved into Parsons The New School for Design.

Ullman began travelling to France in 1899. He briefly joined the atelier of James Abbott McNeil Whistler through an introduction from Chase. In 1903, Ullman moved to Europe and married Alice Woods in Belgium. The following year, Ullman received a Bronze Medal at the St. Louis Exposition and met up with Chase in Munich. In 1906, he was awarded a Temple Gold Medal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and painted Chase's portrait. Ullman curated an exhibition at the American Art Association of Paris in 1914, which included works by Henri Matisse. He was made an associate member of the Société des Beaux-Arts, but later resigned in protest of the society's restrictive admissions standards.

Ullman's expatriate associates in France included Arnold Bennett, Ezra Pound, Alan Seeger, Booth Tarkington, and siblings Leo and Gertrude Stein. Stein featured Ullman in early drafts of "Moral Tales of 1920-1921," but their friendship experienced a rupture and he was subsequently excised from the published version. During the First World War, Ullman sought to volunteer with American Ambulance Field Service (later, American Field Service). He was unable to fulfill the necessary mechanical requirements, but eventually contributed to the war effort as a hospital carpenter, possibly at an American Ambulance facility, and through fund raising activities.

Following his divorce from Woods, with whom he had two children, Allen (1905-1971) and Paul (1906-1944), Ullman married Suzanne Lioni (1899-1950) in 1927. Pierre Lioni Ullman, the donor and annotator of the Eugene Paul Ullman papers, was born in 1929. Because of the German invasion of France, the Ullmans (Eugene Paul, Suzanne, and Pierre), accompanied by Paul and his family, left for the United States in 1940, settling in Manhattan before buying a farmhouse in Westport, Connecticut. Paul, an artist and illustrator who had spent much of his life in Europe, also brought his family to Connecticut.

Eugene Paul Ullman participated in the founding of the Four Arts Aid Society alongside sculptor Cecil Howard, and was made honorary president. The organization's mission was to aid artists who remained in Nazi-occupied France. Meanwhile, Ullman's son, Paul, volunteered to return to France with the American Field Service's ambulance corps, and engaged in confidential work on behalf of the Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency. In 1944, prior to the Normandy invasion, Vichy-controlled militia shot and captured Paul when he parachuted behind enemy lines. He subsequently died in custody. Eugene Paul later received the Croix de Guerre from the French goverment on his son's behalf. Paul Ullman was also posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal by the United States government.

After the war's conclusion, Eugene Paul Ullman returned to France where, predeceased by Suzanne, he died on April 20, 1953.

The donor and annotator of the Eugene Paul Ullman papers, Pierre L. Ullman, is a graduate of Yale University, Columbia University, and Princeton University, from which he earned a doctorate in romance languages in 1962. He currently holds the title of professor emeritus from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Department of Spanish & Portuguese, and has published extensively on Spanish and Portuguese literature.

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Sources

Moralde, Jocelyn Guzman. 2000. Process and Repose: Paintings by Eugene Paul Ullman. UWM Art History Gallery. University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Ullman, Pierre L. 1984. Review Essay: Eugene Paul Ullman and the Paris Expatriates. Papers on Language and Literature, 20 (1), 99-118.

Extent

8.1 Cubic Feet (14 boxes, 2 oversize boxes, 3 oversize folders, 1 monograph)

Scope and Content of Collection

The Eugene Paul Ullman papers include biographical materials on Ullman and family members, clippings, correspondence, drawings, exhibition catalogs and invitations, handwritten and typed manuscripts, photographs, and a scrapbook. Many of the items have been annotated and, in some cases, translated from the original French by Eugene Paul Ullman's son, Pierre L. Ullman. The papers cover Eugene Paul Ullman's life from childhood through his final years. Additional materials document Pierre L. Ullman's research on his father.

The papers are divided into five series. The first series, Artwork, consists of over 100 reference images of Ullman's oil paintings, as well as original pencil and pastel drawings. Pierre L. Ullman has annotated many of the reference images with information about provenance and disposition. (The New School Archives does not hold Ullman's paintings.) The drawings, which span from juvenile works to depictions of his wife prior to her death in 1950, are primarily sketches, not finished studies.

The second series consists of biographical and Ullman family-related materials, some created and received by Eugene Paul Ullman and some assembled by Pierre L. Ullman. Much of the documentation consists of annotated and translated photocopies--the originals have been retained by the donor. Included here are materials relating to Eugene Paul Ullman's middle son, Paul, who died in 1944, as well as a smaller number of items relating to his eldest son, Allen, and his youngest son, Pierre. The series also includes a scrapbook of ephemera maintained by Eugene Paul Ullman as a teenager during the 1890s. The scrapbook primarily consists of concert, opera, and theater programs from events in New York City and in Europe, documenting a Gilded Age adolescence.

The third series consists of printed materials and publications documenting the exhibition of Ullman's work, reproductions of his paintings in mass market periodicals, and newspaper and magazine clippings publicizing and reviewing his exhibitions and lectures. Some of the exhibition catalogs and other unbound, printed materials issued on the occasion of a public showing feature annotations, such as Ullman's assessments of other artists' work and sale prices. Early catalogs often feature the work of William Merritt Chase as well as other individuals associated with Chase and his school, including Robert Henri and F. Luis Mora. Exhibition catalogs and clippings featuring Ullman's son Paul and other family members will be found with Biographical materials.

The fourth series consists of subject files assembled by Pierre L. Ullman as a way of gathering, classifying, and interpreting his father's correspondence and other documents. The files have been divided into two groupings, one consisting of files arranged by named individuals and one consisting of files named by topic. Subject files are of both a professional and a personal nature.

The fifth and final series consists of handwritten and typed manuscripts. Ullman drafted unpublished essays about artists, collectors, critics, and authors he knew, including Arnold Bennett, William Merritt Chase, Gertrude Stein, and Pablo Picasso. Language in some manuscripts suggests his intention may have been to author an autobiography. Ullman also lectured on aspects of being a practicing artist, and the lecture scripts are included here. Correspondence regarding and drafts of an early attempt to translate Delacroix's journals into English are also present.

While Ullman's time studying with and subsequently teaching with William Merritt Chase at the Chase School of Art is not well documented in his personal papers, reflections on this formative period in Ullman's career will be found in his writings. Other school-related related materials include a rare school prospectus, a photograph of a trip to the Rijksmuseum with Chase, three letters from Chase, and two items autographed by Chase--a photographic portrait of Chase and a reproduction of an Alfred Stieglitz portrait painted by Chase. Exhibition catalogs collected by Ullman provide evidence of the two painters' intertwined exhibition history and document the trajectories of fellow Chase School alumni and associates.

Organization and Arrangement

Organized in 5 series: I. Artwork, 1880s-circa 1950s; II. Biographical and Ullman family materials, 1890-2000; III. Printed materials and publicity, 1895-2000; IV.Subject files, 1902-1959, undated; V. Writings, 1920-1948, undated

Other Finding Aids

For selected item-level description and images from the Eugene Paul Ullman papers, see The New School Archives Digital Collections at http://digitalarchives.library.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/collections/KA0042.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Pierre L. Ullman, Eugene Paul Ullman's son, 2001.

Related Materials

A copy of The Salmagundi Club included with Eugene Paul Ullman's papers will be found in the New School Archives and Special Collections.

Separated Materials

A copy of the fashion book Les Modes du Directoire et du Consulat: Desins et Aquarelles de G. Garcia, H. Daragon that was donated with this collection has been transferred to Gimbel Design Library's Special Collections.
Title
Guide to the Eugene Paul Ullman papers
Status
Completed
Author
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
Date
February 16, 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English