Thoughts Regarding the Arnold Schwarzbart Archive (prepared by Louis Gauci)

Added November 6, 2017

Lou Gauci, architect and friend, has shared his thoughts about Arnold’s work. It is his advice that guided me to decide that the collection of materials around Arnold’s 45 year career as architect and artist should remain in Knoxville. The McClung Collection was my first choice for the most appropriate site and I am grateful to Steve Cotham, McClung Collection Manager, that he agreed and is very pleased to add this information to the McClung Collection. I have already begun the transfer of some items, and there is much to sort and document as I continue this work. These are Lou’s thoughts, and he has given me permission to share them.

Thoughts Regarding the Arnold Schwarzbart Archive (prepared by Louis Gauci)

 The following are some of my initial thoughts developed subsequent to meeting with Mary Linda Schwarzbart last October 2016. Later it was offered for her consideration, as a distillate of ideas regarding a location and placement of her late husband Arnold Schwarzbart’s broad portfolio of creative and artistic works including architectural drawings, graphics and Judaic art.



Where does Arnold’s work fall into the spectrum of Judaic Art?

How does his opus contribute/ augment the spectrum of Judaic Art?

Where is his work most rooted?

Does his work transcend location?

What locations are potentially viable?

Where does his work/ archive need to be to attract scholars and students?

Where would it most easily be accomplished?


The inertia and locus of the Arnold Schwarzbart Gallery within the Arnstein Jewish Community Center in Knoxville and its future renovation plans is a potential factor requiring strong consideration for a possible “Study Center” of his work there inspiring study from established or aspiring students scholars, Judaical artisans and craftsman.

Given there are Jewish or Judaica Museums in the United States located in the East Coast (The Jewish Museum in New York City) and West Coast (Skirball Museum in Los Angeles) it seemed at first that being offered and possibly housed in such prominent and large institutions may seem befitting. An important issue further deliberated is of the enticing potential for the ASA to reside within such places but perhaps without a tangible context and importance of the locus of its making.


With reflection upon the questions I posed to myself and given Arnold’s strong and rooted connection to the Knoxville area, it seems wholly appropriate, plausible and achievable for Mary Linda to guide it through its placement, that his archive remain in Knoxville. Arnold’s art was created here and remains a living testament to the spirit of survival, tradition and creative legacy to people of the Jewish faith as well as those of other faiths or those with none at all. It would have a much stronger identity and context for being created in Knoxville for those who reside here or travel to view, appreciate and study.


Essential publicity initiatives of the Arnold Schwarzbart Archive (ASA) are fundamental regardless of any final venue. Broad dissemination in print, media combined with referential Internet drivers, will inform the broader public of the holdings of the ASA so it could be accessible to a large audience of potential scholars and students and other interested parties.


PHASE 1 Identify interested host institution(s)

PHASE 2 Comprehensive catalogue of holdings – Archivist

-Architecture Project Sketches Drawings Photographs



-Painting, Prints and Drawings

-Writings and Papers

-Video/ Press

-Personal / Reference Library

-Tools/ Artifacts

PHASE 3 Determine complete or partial institutional distribution (if any) of Archive content

 PHASE 4 Develop legal framework of gift(s) or sale(s) including provisions and restrictions. 

This is with deep appreciation to Kathy Franzel and Lou Gauci for their friendship, support and guidance.

Author: Mary Linda Schwarzbart

Mary Linda Schwarzbart has been described as the full-time unpaid curator of the work of Arnold Schwarzbart, z"l. She is also a business and grant consultant.

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