Samuel Bak

Methods

Documentation of the method and organisation of the Catalogue Raisonné.

This online-catalogue presents the first complete publication of the Catalogue Raisonné of the oeuvre by Samuel Bak and it documents the current stage of work.

Catalogue Raisonné numbers have not yet been allocated.
The catalogue information is in English (American).

Owners and collectors of works by the artist are kindly requested to review, confirm and correct the published data. And to register works by Samuel Bak for the catalogue raisonné.

Modus Operandi, Usage of the Website

This Catalogue Raisonné is published online at www.Art-Archives.net; it documents all artworks created by Samuel Bak: Paintings, Works on Paper, Stage Design & Costumes, Studies, Original Prints and Sculpture.
The catalogue contains several chapters. It opens with the biography of the artist: VITA, followed by the chapters ARTWORKS, EXHIBITIONS, LITERATURE, COLLECTIONS, TEXTS, METHODS.
Find a “Search…”-field on the pages’ upper left of any chapter, and search by entering an alphanumerical string. The home button [logo] takes you back to the home page.

The chapter ARTWORKS lists all works created by Samuel Bak in various media: Paintings, Works on Paper, Stage Design & Costumes, Studies, Original Prints and Sculpture (to be added at a later stage).

The chapter ARTWORKS can be navigated and sorted in a variety of ways.

In the default basic setting “Highlights only”, a small selection of works by the artist is displayed.
Click “All Works” and get access to the full inventory.
Under ARTWORKS, you also access your own Bookmarks.

The sequence can be displayed by TITLE, DATING or MEDIA.
The display options are LIST or GRID, with three image sizes.
Choose “Works per page: 25 – 50 – 100”.

In the “Search…”-field in the upper left corner, next to the website logo, you can search for a year or a title by entering an alphanumerical string.

If MEDIA is selected, the works are shown in their media-group. Under each media the works are sorted in title-alphabetical order, beginning with numbers.
If DATING is selected, all works of all media are shown in chronological order, sorted according to their date of origin. Under each year the works are shown in title-alphabetical order, beginning with numbers.

The listing can be filtered by MEDIA and THEMES (see left side of the page). MEDIA offers the choice of “All Media” or just one (Paintings or Works on Paper or Studies etc.). Numerous THEMES are assigned to each artwork, and a selection of works connected to a specific theme can be screened. For more granular research, a combination of several themes is possible!.

In the overview of artworks some of the works carry a yellow button with an “i”, indicating further information, quotes or “related artworks” in the context of each of these works.

Each artwork is linked to EXHIBITIONS where it was exhibited, to LITERATURE where it is mentioned, and to public COLLECTIONS that possess it. These links are displayed at the bottom of the page of the respective work.

In the chapter EXHIBITIONS, the entries are linked to respective “Works” and “Literature”, and can be invoked with a click on the number.
In the chapter LITERATURE, the entries are linked to respective “Works” and “Exhibitions”, and can be invoked with a click on the number.
In the chapter COLLECTIONS, the entries are linked to respective “Works”, and can be invoked with a click on the number.
On these pages the records can be sorted in either ascending or descending order by clicking on the column header.

The artworks are chronologically listed by their date of origin. When a definite dating is not possible, the estimated year of origin is preceded by “around”.
In such cases the search query shows the work in and ‘around’ the year given.
Works that have not (yet) been allocated are listed “n.y.”, no year.

Generally, the dating of an artwork which the artist has worked on over the course of more than one year is listed under the year of its completion.
There is no chronological order within any given year.

Catalogue Raisonné numbers have not yet been attributed.

All known titles additional to the work title are published (see below).

The Catalogue Raisonné is in US English, only the page-headers and the METHODS are in bilingual form (US English/German).

The editorial process of the Catalogue Raisonné for the Oeuvre by Samuel Bak was started in 2016. Copyright by the editors, Siegfried B. Schäfer and Cecilia A. M. Witteveen, for www.Art-Archives.net/ Kunst-Archive.net, Düsseldorf, Germany.

Sources

In 2016, the editorial process on the Catalogue Raisonné was started. The Catalogue Raisonné for the oeuvre by Samuel Bak was initially based on lists entitled by the artist himself, his large archive of photographs of his works and his archive of documents, file copies and catalogues, as well as the stock lists of the artist’s exclusive agent, Pucker Gallery, Boston (MA), and its extensive archive of photographs and documents.

Additional sources include private and public collections, archives of auction houses (mainly in Israel, Germany, and the USA), as well as exhibition lists and catalogues, books and newspaper articles.

The artist and numerous collectors – museums, public and private collections, auction houses and galleries – have given access to their collections and/or have kindly provided photographs and documentation of the works in their possession.

There was limited access to a number of original works for examination, measuring and photographing.

Title, Signature and Inscriptions

Initially, the work-titles are given by the artist’s inscriptions as marked on the front or the reverse of the work. When no title is given on the artwork, the title is chosen from an entry in the artist’s records or from correspondence. In the latter case it is possible that the title was attributed later, during the editing process of the Catalogue Raisonné.

Translated titles under which a work was published are also given, separated by a slash.

Other titles under which a work was published are also given, whether they originate from exhibition catalogues, reviews or other publicised documents.
All other titles are mentioned in round brackets after the original title. The sources of the other titles are not mentioned.

All artist descriptions on the works – signature, date, title etc – are cited verbatim. The placement of these descriptions is noted accordingly; the layout of the various words and numerals, as well as the style are disregarded.

All inscriptions are by the artist, except as otherwise noted.

Dating and Place

Generally, only the year of origin is specified, corresponding the inscription on the work of art, or with records, and information given by the artist.

Only if the artist specified the dating by day or month, this information is added.

If two years are noted on the work it can be assumed that the artist had worked over the course of more than one year. In these cases, the work is dated with the later year.

If the artist did not date the work it was listed by stylistic criteria and marked with the term "ca."

If an artwork is listed with a different date in other sources, or an assumed date is questionable, the listing is marked as “doubtful”.

The Place of origin of a work was derived from the biography of the artist, sometimes based on notes by the artist.

Technique, Material, Measurement

PAINTINGS, DRAWINGS:

The information regarding technique is followed by information about the carrier material.
The measurements of paintings and drawings are given in inches and centimeters, height by width. Measurements are taken from the outer corners of the stretcher frame or those of the sheet.
Works on paper painted in oil are considered Paintings: ”I think that when things look like paintings they can be put as paintings with the indication of the material added. Many of my works of oil on paper have been in later years put on canvas. It was never (or very rarely) done by me.” [Sam Bak, eMail 27 Jan. 2017]

GRAPHICS:

The printing technology is identified without further information about edition and image carrier. The Catalogue Raisonné registers only the primal graphic work, as given with the printing plate, block, stone or silkscreen.
The size of graphic prints is given in inches and centimeters, height by width. The measurements refer to the plate, block, or image, not to the paper size.
SCULPTURES:

The information about the material is followed by the technical information.
The sizes of the sculptures are given in inches and centimeters, height by width by depth. The measurements refer to the maximum span in each direction.


All accessible works were examined, measured, and photographed. In some cases, when this was not possible, the measurements were taken from the sources or as given by the owners – or marked „size not known“.

Statements and Explanations about the Work

Statements and explanations by the artist or others about a respective work may be given as background information; these include comments on the subject matter, events, the process of creation, memories etc.

If relevant to the work, references are given to significant documents, remarks about possible problems re. dating or attribution, background information about symbols, subjects and people presented and possible technical details.

The sources of quotes are listed.

Whereabouts and Provenance

Provenances are not mentioned in the online version of the Catalogue Raisonné.

The Catalogue Raisonné gives the name of the holder, if the artwork is in a public collection; the chapter COLLECTIONS shows all public collections under their current official name. All works of the artist that are part of the collection are linked to this entry.

On the page of each respective work the name of the public collection as its possessor is mentioned below the specifications of the work.

Private collectors are not mentioned.**
When the current holder could not be identified or has not confirmed his ownership, the whereabouts of the artwork are considered as being not known, and is not mentioned.

**Requests for addresses of holders of works – if known – will be forwarded by the editors to the respective holder.

Exhibitions

The list of exhibitions of works by Samuel Bak has been newly compiled for the Catalogue Raisonné; solo exhibitions are listed as well as group exhibitions. All data is given as far as the information was accessible.

Listed are the title of the exhibition, date, place, and venue/organizer.

The works on display are linked to each exhibition. The Artworks can be invoked by a click on the number at the end of the line of each entry.

At the page of the respective work the exhibitions are mentioned on the bottom of the page, including catalogue- or exhibition-number. Switch from there to the exhibition list and see the complete bibliographical information of the exhibition.

In the chapter EXHIBITIONS - next to "Artworks" - also all "Literature" related to the very exhibition can be called up with a click (provided a publication exists).

The records can be sorted in either ascending or descending order by clicking on the column header.

Literature

The bibliography and publication list referring to Samuel Bak and/or his works has been newly compiled for the Catalogue Raisonné. The chapter LITERATURE lists all types of publications such as books, catalogues, newspapers, magazines, periodicals etc., based on accessible information at the time of compilation.

Each entry of the bibliography index mentions author/s and/or publisher, title, city and year of publication, as well as ISBN-number and type of publication.

The illustrated works of art are linked to each publication. The Artworks can be invoked by a click on the number at the end of the line of each entry.

At the page of the respective work the publications are mentioned under Literature on the bottom of the page, including information on pagination and/or illustration of the work. Switch from there to Literature and see the complete bibliographical information of the publication.
In the chapter LITERATURE – next to "Artworks" - also the "Exhibitions" related to the very publication can be called up with a click (provided there was exhibition).

Collections

The chapter COLLECTIONS lists the public collections that hold works by Samuel Bak, and who agreed to the publication.
Private collections are not mentioned in the online Catalogue Raisonné.

The works in their possession are linked to the very collection. The “Artworks” can be invoked by a click on the number at the end of the line of the entry.

Next to the name of each collection a button leads to the website of each collection.

The records can be sorted in either ascending or descending order by clicking on the column header.

At the page of the respective work the name of the public collection as its owner is mentioned below the data of the work.

Illustrations and Photo Credits

In some cases, this was not possible since the artwork was not accessible or the appropriate reproduction document was not available or the document at hand could not be matched to the original. In various cases old black and white photographs, color slides or amateur photos were used as illustration and although these were processed the quality remains largely insufficient. This is acceptable since it is important to present the body of work as complete as possible.

In few cases, no photo documentation about a particular work was available. Therefore, an illustration of the work was not possible, and the photo frame of the listing remains empty.

The artist, Samuel Bak, Weston, MA, USA, owns the copyright to all artworks.
See the Imprint for further information.

The images shown are from various sources and by various photographers. Photo credits are given under each image; usually in abbreviated form.

Photo credits - Abbreviations with their full text:

___ [No information]: Art-Archives.net, D; Archives of the artist, Briana Howard, Pucker Gallery, Boston, MA, or Siegfried B Schaefer, D
Fuis: Sasa Fuiz (VAN HAM Kunstauktionen GmbH&Co. KG Cologne), D
GR: Grisebach GmbH Berlin, D
HA: Harvard Art Museums, USA
Karl & Faber: Karl & Faber Kunstauktionen GmbH, Munich, D
Kr: Hermann Krause, D
Lehr Berlin: Stefan Schiske für Lehr Kunstauktionen, Berlin, D
Lewin: Richard Lewin, New York
MFA Houston: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
NN: nomen nescio, Name not known
SC: Siegfried B Schaefer, D
Sothebys: Photograph Courtesy of Sotheby's, Inc. (c)
Van Ham: VAN HAM Kunstauktionen GmbH&Co. KG, Cologne, D
VGSJM: Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum, Vilnius, LT

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