Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Serge Hollerbach Papers, 1914-2019

Summary Information


The Serge Hollerbach Papers consist of correspondence, photographs, sketchbooks and artworks, writings, notebooks, biographical materials, documents related to the life and career of Serge Hollerbach, Russian émigré artist, critic and author. The collection documents Hollerbach's art and written legacy (published and unpublished) in academic, literary, and journalistic formats.

At a Glance

Call No.: BA#0627
Bib ID 7227044 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Hollerbach, Serge, 1923-
Title Serge Hollerbach Papers, 1914-2019
Physical Description 8 linear feet (15 manuscript boxes, 2 flat boxes)
Language(s) Russian , English , French .

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.



The papers are arranged in six series.



Serge Hollerbach's personal and professional correspondence comprises about one-third of the collection. The correspondence is divided into three sub-series: with individuals, with family members, and with organizations. Hollerbach corresponded in Russian and English with numerous artists, writers and academics in the United States, France and Russia, including Ivan Elagin, René Guerra, Oleg Lasunskii and Alexis Rannit, and others.

The second major part of the collection is comprised of published and unpublished writings by Serge Hollerbach in various formats. The writings are divided into five sub-series. The first sub-series is comprised of Hollerbach's articles and essays on various topics in art and society, containing both manuscript texts and print publications. The remaining sub-series contain Hollerbach's poetry, autobiographical writings, diaries and journals, and notes and drafts.

The collection contains a small number of documents related to Serge Hollerbach's time in Munich, where he was a student at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts from 1946-1949. The majority of the collection is drawn from his residency in New York City (beginning in 1951) and his artistic practice there. The collection also contains articles and reviews written by others in Russian and English on the art, writings and life of Serge Hollerbach.

The collection contains photographs of Serge Hollerbach along with a number of noted artists and Russian émigrés. The collection contains a relatively small but significant series of original artworks by Serge Hollerbach, comprising 22 sketchbooks and 167 drawings and sketches.

  • Series I: Correspondence, 1964-2019

    Professional and personal correspondence with various people and organizations. Arranged into three sub-series: Correspondence with Individuals, Family Correspondence, Correspondence with Organizations. Within the sub-series arranged in alphabetical order.

  • Series II: Writings and Diaries of Serge Hollerbach, 1970s-2017, undated

    This series consists of numerous manuscripts on various topics, publications in newspapers and academic journals, original poetry, autobiographical writings, diaries and journals, and notes and drafts. Divided in five sub-series: Articles and Essays; Poetry; Autobiographical Writings; Diaries and Journals; Notes and Drafts. The Series may contain unpublished writings.

  • Series III: Documents and Biographical Materials, 1936-2010

    Series arranged into two sub-series: Personal Documents; Biographical Materials.

  • Series IV: Writings by Others and Printed Matter, 1923-2000s

    Writings by others: books, printed ephemera, and various articles.

  • Series V: Photographs, 1914-2000s

    Photographs of Serge Hollerbach and various people. Includes individual and group photos, portraits of Serge Hollerbach, photographs of him at work, and photographs of his relatives and friends. Many photos are with inscriptions. There are also photographs of Hollerbach's artworks.

  • Series VI: Artworks, 1946-2000s, undated

    The series arranged in two sub-series: Serge Hollerbach's Artworks; Artworks by Others. Consists of original artworks on paper by Serge Hollerbach, including watercolors, drawings and sketches in ink, pencil and charcoal. There are also artworks by other artists.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Serge Hollerbach Papers; Box and Folder; Bakhmeteff Archive, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.


Additions to the collection are expected.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Collection-level record describing unprocessed material made public in summer 2018 as part of the Hidden Collections initiative.

The collection was processed and finding aid written by Marlow Davis in summer 2019 during the graduate student internship in primary sources (under the supervision of Katia Davidenko).

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Art Works Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
American Watercolor Society Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Andrii︠e︡nko, Mykhaĭlo, 1894-1982 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Art, Modern -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Artists -- United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Artists, Russian Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Bitov, Andreĭ Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Chinnov, Igorʹ Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Cooper, Mario Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Dobkin, I︠A︡. G., 1924- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Dobuzhinskiĭ, Rost. M. (Rostislav Mstislavovich), 1903-2000 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Elagin, Ivan, 1918-1987 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Emigration and immigration -- Germany -- Russians -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Emigration and immigration -- Soviet Union -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Emigration and immigration -- United States -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Ėrnst, Sergeĭ, 1894- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Filippov, Boris, 1905-1991 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Guerra, René Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Hollerbach, Serge, 1923- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Ivask, I͡Uriĭ Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Komar, Vitaly Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Ktorova, Alla, 1926- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Kublanovskiĭ, I︠U︡riĭ Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lamm, Leonid Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lasunskiĭ, O. (Oleg) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Likhachev, D. S. (Dmitriĭ Sergeevich) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Mamleev, I︠U︡riĭ Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Melamid, Aleksandr Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Neratova, Rimma Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Nikolenko, Lada Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Pantelić, Vesna Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Popovskiĭ, Mark Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Raeff, Marc Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Rannit, Aleksis Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Romadin, M. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Russian American artists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Rzhevskiĭ, Leonid, 1905-1986 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Schakovskoy, Zinaïda, princesse, 1906-2001 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sedykh, Andreĭ, 1902-1994 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Setchkarev, Vsevolod, 1914-1998 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Shatalov, Vladimir, 1917- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Shelkovskiĭ, Igorʹ, 1937- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sinkevich, Valentina Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Tauber, Ekaterina Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Tselkov, Oleg, 1934- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Ulʹi︠a︡nov, N. (Nikolaĭ), 1904-1985 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Vivien, Marina Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Zinger, Oleg, 1910-1998 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Serge Hollerbach (Sergei Lvovich Gollerbakh) was born in Pushkin, Russia (Tsarskoe Selo) on November 1, 1923. He initiated his artistic training in Leningrad with the encouragement of his uncle, Erich Hollerbach, a noted literary and art critic.

Following the Nazi occupation of the areas surrounding Leningrad in June 1941, Hollerbach was sent to Germany to work as a forced laborer for the duration of the war. Along with thousands of other forced laborers from occupied territories, Hollerbach was freed by the US Army in May, 1945. He chose to remain in Germany and attended the Munich Academy of Fine Arts from 1946 to 1949. Hollerbach emigrated to the United States in late 1949. He settled in New York City, where he studied at the Art Students League and the American Art School.

Hollerbach taught painting at the National Academy School of Fine Arts in New York for many years and has conducted workshops across the country. An Academician at the National Academy of Design, he has served as honorary president of the American Watercolor Society and also belongs to Allied Artists of America, Audubon Artists, and the National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylic.

His publications include Composing in Acrylics (Watson-Guptill, 1988), City's Hot Shadows (also in Russian; Albatros Publishing House Paris, 1990), and the memoir New York Notebook (in Russian; The New Review Publishing, 2013), among others. He has published articles in American Artist, The Artist's Magazine, The New Review, Novoe Russkoe Slovo and Today's Art.

Hollerbach's work is held in several private and public collections, including the National Academy of Design in New York, the Yale University Art Gallery, the University of Kentucky Art Museum, The Georgia Museum of Art, The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, and the Philbrook Art Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.