The Kay Sage Catalogue Raisonné will bring to fruition the meticulous work and scholarship of Stephen Robeson Miller, curator of Double Solitaire: The Surreal Works of Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy at the Katonah Museum of Art in 2011. It is our objective to produce a fully illustrated record of the artist's oeuvre, including comprehensive provenance, exhibition history, and publication history. The projected date of publication is 2016 with a loan exhibition planned to celebrate the book launch.
Owners of works by Sage are asked to complete the Catalogue Raisonné Submission Form, a copy of which can be downloaded by clicking here, and send it by fax or mail to our office. Inquiries can be made by email to email@example.com or by contacting the office.
HISTORY OF THE PROJECT
In 1973, at the age of seventeen, Stephen Robeson Miller walked into Clapp and Tuttle Bookstore, Main Street South, Woodbury, Connecticut, and came across a copy of a catalogue rasionné titled Yves Tanguy: une recueil de ses oeuvres/A Summary of His Work, published ten years earlier in an edition of 1200 numbered copies by Pierre Matisse Editions, New York. The catalogue had been compiled by Tanguy’s wife, Kay Sage, who had lived in Woodbury from 1940 until her death in 1963. Using her Tanguy catalogue raisonné as his model, Miller decided then and there that he would do for Sage what she had done for Tanguy, and the idea of a Sage catalogue raisonné was born. (1)
During the next ten years, Miller collected images (in those days, in the form of 10 x 8 inch black and white glossy print photographs), exhibition history, provenance and bibliographic citations for all of Sage’s Surrealist works. In so doing, he had the cooperation and assistance of those who had exhibited her art (Pierre Matisse, Julien Levy, Catherine Viviano, Talcott B. Clapp, Gasparo del Corso, Nina Dausset); as well as the lawyer for her estate, John S. Monagan; her close friend, the Museum of Modern Art trustee and curator, James Thrall Soby; her photographer Alexandra Darrow; and her cousin Henry Sage Goodwin, to name but a few.
In 1983, Miller had his “Illustrated Catalogue Raisonné of the Surrealist Art of Kay Sage” placed on microfilm at the Archives of American Art of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., thereby establishing his expertise on the subject. Additionally, he had his ninety page chronology of Sage's life included on the microfilm (the chronology was published in book form by the Gallery of Surrealism, New York, to coincide with the aforementioned Double Solitaire exhibition in 2011 under the title Kay Sage: The Biographical Chronology and Four Surrealist One-Act Plays.)
Numerous scholars and curators have since consulted this microfilmed source, prompting one writer to state, “Stephen Robeson Miller’s unpublished catalogue raisonné of Sage’s art, now housed in the Archives of American Art, is the primary source for material on the artist. He has documented not only her work but also her life and included correspondence and interviews with many people who knew Sage.” (Salomon Grimberg, Woman’s Art Journal, vol. 20, no. 2, Fall 1999-Winter 2000, p. 57). Over the years, in helping to advance scholarship about the artist, Mr. Miller never abandoned the idea (despite what has mistakenly been written about him) that the catalogue raisonné would one day be published as a book, just as Kay Sage herself did for Yves Tanguy's work in 1963. Now, thirty years after its microfilming, interest in the artist has grown and the time has come to publish the catalogue raisonné in book form. Many of Sage’s works have changed hands; some that were missing have come to light, while others known to have existed are now lost, and still others have entered museum collections. Publication of the catalogue raisonné will permit an understanding of the development of Sage’s work as never before possible.
(1) The 1963 Tanguy catalogue raisonné included a Chronology by critic Lucy R. Lippard and an extensive Bibliography by the Museum of Modern Art's librarian Bernard Karpel, with the assistance of Yves Pouppard-Lieussou.
The project is graciously sponsored by Mark Kelman and Hollis Taggart Galleries.
©2014 Kay Sage Catalogue Raisonné Project