Anne J. van Biema Papers

Detail of a pattern

At A Glance

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  • Creator

    Biema, Anne van
  • Dates

  • Physical Description

    6 Linear feet
  • Collection ID


  • Scope and Contents

    This collection contains correspondence to colleagues, friends, and family; research files; genealogical records of both Anne J. van Biema and her husband's families; and records pertaining to the Ukiyo-e Society of America. It includes photographs of the pieces in her collection, three framed pieces of artwork from her household, and images of her and her mother. This collection also contains material related to Helen Haiman Joseph, van Biema's mother and the "Grandmother of Puppetry" in the United States. The collection also contains information about van Biema's donations to various art institutions and charities, as well as collection documentation and exhibit records.
  • Biographical / Historical

    Anne Joseph van Biema was born in Cleveland, Ohio on February 18, 1915 to Helen Haiman Joseph and Ernest A. Joseph. At a young age she became interested in Japanese prints and artwork, in part due to a modern reproduction which was framed and hung in their home (This piece can be found in Box 11 of the collection). She married Hendrick Hans van Biema, a Jewish-German lawyer. She was an avid collector and researcher of Japanese woodblock prints, specifically in the ukiyo-e style. This led her to do much research in the field, as well as amass a significant collection. Some of her collection is now in the permanent collection of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, previously displayed as a loan in the Sackler's "Masterful Illusions" exhibition in 2002. For much of her life Anne was a founder and active member of the Ukiyo-e Society of America (now the Japanese Art Society of America), at one time acting as a governing officer. Anne died in her home in New York City on January 14th, 2004.
  • Creator

    Biema, Anne van
  • Names

    Ukiyo-e Society of America
  • Place

    USA -- New York -- New York
  • Topic

    Color prints, Japanese -- Edo period, 1600-1868
    Ukiyoe -- Collectors and collecting -- United States
    Color prints, Japanese -- Collectors and collecting -- United States
  • See more items in

    Anne J. van Biema Papers
  • Custodial History

    Bequest of Anne J. van Biema detailed in her will dated April 3, 2003, received 2004.
  • Archival Repository

    Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
  • Type

    Collection descriptions
    Archival materials
    Personal papers
  • Citation

    Anne J. van Biema Papers. National Museum of Asian Art Archives. Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.
  • Arrangement

    The collection is organized into four series:

    • Series 1: Biographical Materials

    • Series 2: Collection Records

    • Series 3: Correspondence
  • Rights

    Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.
  • Genre/Form

    Personal papers
  • Restrictions

    Collection is open for research.

Repository Contact

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
National Museum of Asian Art Archives
Washington, D.C. 20013