December 9, 1963 Letter to Mr. Richard Wentworth(Baton Rouge, LA) from E. Lorenz Borenstein(519 Royal, NO, LA) bcc: Mrs. Wilbur Marvin
December 9, 1963
Mr. Richard Wentworth, Director - Louisiana State University Press - Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Dear Mr. Wentworth:
Today I had a phone conversation with Mrs. Marvin of Baton Rouge, who told me that she had talked to you about the Rockmore paintings which she owns.
In the conversation the name of Carolyn Durieux came up and while I am not acquainted with Miss Durieux, I do know her work and I feel that she would be competent to express an opinion about Rockmore’s work. As far as I know, Miss Durieux has not seen any of Rockmore’s paintings and I believe that in order to fully grasp the power of his work it would be better for her to actually see some paintings as well as photographs. I would like to suggest that you contact her and ask her to make a point of stopping in to see Rockmore’s paintings on her next trip to New Orleans. I also think it would be worthwhile for her to see the paintings that Mrs. Marvin has and the photographs which you have.
By the way, I might add that the 1964 schedule of shows for Mr. Rockmore includes some of the most difficult galleries in the country for an artist to be invited to show in and I can’t help but feel that any objective well-trained artist would recognize the quality of this work once he saw it. Rockmore will be showing a small section of the jazz subject matter in a one-man show opening in New York January 7, 1964 at Greer Gallery. We have tentative shows lined up for February in the Chicago area involving Don Roth’s Blackhawk Restaurant, Evanston High School Gallery, and perhaps either Northwestern University or the University of Chicago, but which of the last two will finally have the show is not yet decided. There will also definitely be a show later this year at the University of Minnesota and at the Swope Museum in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Other tentative shows are in the talking stage for Palm Beach, Florida, Boston, and Philadelphia; and since each exhibiting gallery has considered this work with a professional jury before arranging for the show, you can feel pretty secure that the work will not embarrass you if you do publish it. In fact I am a little surprised that so many preliminary obstacles have come up as I feel that you have no risk, either economically or professionally, in the publication of this book.
I would like to have something firm in the way of a decision before the end of the year if possible as I will be in Mexico for much of the month of January and when I get back I expect the pre-Mardi Gras rush will be in full swing. Some time shortly after Mardi Gras I will be losing the services of my secretary and will have the problem of breaking in a new girl and if I am going to do the test which I have offered to do, I would like to actually get a start on it with my present secretary who knows the spelling of the proper names and understands what the project is all about rather than to perhaps completely scare off some new employee with this being added to the regular part of her job. I would appreciate learning from you what kind of timetable you think is possible.
Very truly yours,
bcc: Mrs. Wilbur Marvin