Alexander Archipenko papers, 1904-1986, bulk, 1930-1964

Archipenko, Alexander, b. 1887 d. 1964
Sculptor, Etcher
Active in Paris, France; New York, N.Y.; Kiev, Ukraine

Collection size: 19 linear feet

Collection Summary: The Alexander Archipenko papers measure 19 linear feet and date from 1904 to 1986, with the bulk of materials dating from 1930 to 1964. The sculptor's personal and professional life is documented by correspondence, financial records, scrapbooks, printed matter, and photographs documenting his art, exhibitions, travel, teaching activities, and the Archipenko Art School. Archipenko wrote and lectured extensively about his philosophies of art and the relationship between art and nature. The papers include drafts, notes, and final manuscripts of published and unpublished writings, and notes, outlines, transcripts, and audio recordings of some of his lectures.

Biographical/Historical Note: Alexander Archipenko (1887-1964) was a sculptor, painter, printmaker, and teacher. Significant in Cubist movement during his years in Paris, 1908-1921; came to United States in 1923; operated his own school in Paris, 1912, an endeavor that continued throughout his life in Berlin, New York City, Woodstock, N.Y., Chicago, and Los Angeles. Invented animated painting, known as "Archipentura," circa 1924 (U.S. patent issued 1927).

In 1967, the Alexander Archipenko papers, previously on deposit at Syracuse University, were loaned to the Archives of American Art for microfilming by his widow Frances Archipenko Gray. In 1982, Ms. Gray donated most of the material previously loaned and microfilmed to the Archives of American Art, along with additional items.

Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

How to Use this Collection

  • Read the Finding Aid for this collection
  • The collection is available on 35 mm microfilm reels 5826-5839, and NA11-NA12, NA16-NA18, and NA20-NA22 at Archives of American Art offices, and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of the papers as described in this finding aid may not reflect the order of the collection on microfilm due to reprocessing.
  • Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. research facility. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice. Lantern slides and glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.
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Also in the Archives

Related Materials

The bulk of the Alexander Archipenko papers were originally loaned for microfilming and most of that material was included in later gifts and are described in this finding aid. Loaned material that was not included in later gifts is still available to researchers on reels NA11-NA12, NA16-NA18, and NA 20-NA22, but is not further described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Among the holdings of the Archives are the Donald H. Karshan papers relating to Alexander Archipenko, originally accessioned as part of the Alexander Archipenko papers, but later separated to form a distinct collection.
The Archives also has the National Collection of Fine Arts records relating to Alexander Archipenko.