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Yun Gee Papers

Call Number



1907-1979, inclusive


Gee, Helen
Gee, Yun, 1906-1963


6 Linear Feet in 7 boxes

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.


Yun Gee (1906-1963) was a Chinese American modernist painter who was active in San Francisco, Paris, and later New York. The Yun Gee Papers includes correspondence, audiovisual material, scrapbooks, catalogues, and biographical information associated with Gee's art career. The collection covers the years 1907-1979.

Biographical Note

Yun Gee was a modernist painter of some acclaim. He was born in Gee Village (now called Chu Village) near Canton, China in 1906. At the age of 15, he arrived in San Francisco and enrolled in the San Francisco Art Institute (then called the California School of Fine Arts), where he studied under Gottardo Piazzoni and Otis Oldfield. In 1926, Gee turned his attention to avant-garde painting, renouncing his classical training. He went to Paris to pursue his career. It was there that he met and married Princess Paule de Reuss. Gee befriended Gertrude Stein and became involved in bohemian circles concerned with poetry and Cubist painting.

Gee moved to New York City in the early 1930s, where he exhibited in major galleries in New York City, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Brooklyn Museum. In 1942, he married Helen Charlotte Wimmer. Although they divorced in 1947, Helen Gee kept her married name and later worked to promote Yun Gee's career after his death. In San Francisco, Paris, and New York, Gee was often the first or only Chinese artist to show in major galleries, and was the target of prejudice and discrimination in the art world all his life.



The Yun Gee Papers are organized into five series:

Series I: Correspondence
Series II: Scrapbooks
Series III: Biographical
Series IV: Media
Series V: Books

Within each series, materials are arranged chronologically, when material is dated. In some cases, which are indicated, material organized by Helen Gee has retained its original organization.

Scope and Contents

The Yun Gee Papers comprises correspondence, personal papers, art catalogues, scrapbooks, audiovisual material, and biographical information related to Gee's art career.

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open to researchers. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections,, 212-998-2596.

Conditions Governing Use

NYU's Fales Library & Special Collections is not the copyright owner for this collection. Collection use is subject to all copyright laws. Researchers wishing to reproduce collection material should contact rights holders for permission.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form: Identification of item, date (if known); Yun Gee Papers; MSS 144; box number; folder number; Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University Libraries.


The papers were donated to NYU's Fales Library & Special Collections by Yun Gee's first wife, gallerist Helen Gee, in 2001.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Due to their extreme fragility, access to selected scrapbooks is considered upon request. Audiovisual materials have not been preserved and may not be available to researchers.

Collection processed by

Alexa Giffen in 2013, and completed by Rachel Greer in 2014.

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-20 17:14:08 -0400.
Language: Finding aid written in English

Revisions to this Guide

March 2017: Edited by Stacey Flatt to reflect changes to series, boxes, and access to scrapbooks, returned from the Conservation Lab


Fales Library and Special Collections
Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012