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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Ger 146-MS Ger 146.3

Lyonel Feininger papers

Correspondence between American born German artist Lyonel Feininger and his family and other correspondents, as well as musical compositions by him and his father Karl Feininger.


  • 1883-1960

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English and German.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

MS Ger 146.1 was formerly restricted until Mrs. Feininger's death in 1970.


24 linear feet (43 boxes and 5 volumes)

Chiefly correspondence of the Feininger family, between Feininger and his wife Julia (Lilienfeld) Feininger, their children, and other members of the Feininger and Lilienfeld families. Also a considerable amount of correspondence of Lyonel's father Karl Feininger, as well as about 40 musical compositions, essays, and other writings by him, chiefly on music.

Letters, 1939-1955, to Laurence Feininger from his parents contain many pen and ink drawings and woodcuts by Lyonel; Other correspondents represented in the collection include artists and architects, such as Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Rudolf Probst, Gerhard Marcks, and Walter Gropius; Alfred Hamilton Barr and others at the Museum of Modern Art; and German friends and family. Subjects range from wartime experiences in Germany, to exhibitions of the Blue Four.

Additionally, there are autograph manuscript musical compositions and an autobiographical sketch by Feininger as well as clippings pertaining to him, among other items. There are also transcripts (5 v., typewritten) of portions of the correspondence, prepared by Julia Feininger.

Biographical / Historical

Feininger was an American-born artist who went to Germany in 1887 and returned to the U.S. in 1936.


Organized into the following series:
  1. I. MS Ger 146: Correspondence and related materials
  2. ___A. Correspondence and related materials
  3. ___B. Additional correspondence and related materials
  4. II. MS Ger 146.1: Additional correspondence
  5. III. MS Ger 146.2: Letters to Laurence Feininger
  6. IV. MS Ger 146.3: Musical compositions
  7. V. MS Ger 146: Additions

Physical Location


Series V. Additions, is located in P-5, awaiting end-processing.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

62M-266. Gift of Feininger family; received: 1963.

62M-266A. Deposited by the Busch-Reisinger Museum Cambridge 38, Massachusetts ; received: 1963 June 30.

These papers were restricted during the lifetime of Mrs. Feininger.

78M-11. Gift of Mr. T. Lux Feininger, 22 Arlington Street Cambridge, Massachusetts 02140; received: 1979 January. 91M-63. Gift of T. Lux Feininger; received: 1992.

94M-92. Gift of T. Lux Feininger to Busch-Reisinger Museum; Busch-Reisinger Museum deposit; received: 1995.

95M-62. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. T. Lux Feininger; received: 1996.

2013M-34. Gift of T. Lux Feininger via Conrad Feininger; received: 2013 October 24.

2013M-106. Bequest of T. Lux Feininger; received: 2014 June 2.

Processing Information

Processing Information In 2018, five additions were integrated into the original finding aid for MS Ger 146-146.3. These additions are listed in Series V and were kept in original order, as received. The description is less detailed and material has not been end-processed.
Link to catalog
Feininger, Lyonel, 1871-1956. Lyonel Feininger papers, 1883-1960: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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