Its cards offer an unusually intimate glimpse into one of the most exciting moments of America’s artistic heritage.
This Rolodex belonged to an art dealer or agent—or perhaps a critic (but not the then all-powerful Clement Greenberg, as he is here, cited affectionately as “Clem”). Whichever, the owner was connected at the highest level. He or she (possibly the latter, as there is a card for “Louise Dressmaker”) has the number for Andy Warhol’s Factory and home; Mark Rothko’s home and studio; Joseph Cornell’s home on Utopia Parkway in Queens; Robert Indiana’s home; Robert Motherwell’s; Frank Stella’s.
The owner apparently lived or worked on the upper East Side, as there is a concentration of local cleaners and liquor stores and other neighborhood necessities.
The Rolodex seems entirely complete—there is scarcely room for another card among the hundreds here, which contain the names of many less-well-known artists of the day, and some famous ones not so closely associated with the New York art scene (Marisol, Jean Dubuffet). Here too are the prominent galleries of the day (Leo Castelli, of course), the leading art publications, and figures prominent in the non-painting arts (the composer John Cage, Rodgers and Hammerstein) as well as ones just generally prominent (Rockefeller, John D. III; Rockefeller, Nelson).