Fritz Bultman papers, 1928-2010, bulk 1940s-1990s

Bultman, Fritz, b. 1919 d. 1985
Painter, Sculptor
Active in New York, N.Y.

Collection size: 9.2 linear feet

Collection Summary: The papers of New York School painter and sculptor Fritz Bultlman, 1928-2008, bulk 1940s-1990s, measure 9.2 linear feet. They document Bultman's professional activities, ties to the Abstract Expressionist movement, and his personal life. Letters from friends and family include many from Hans and Maria Hofmann. Letters by Bultman are mostly to family; also found are a few drafts and copies of business and personal letters. Writings and notes are by and about Bultman. Notebooks/sketchbooks (39 volumes) include autobiographical writings, notes on dreams and thoughts while in psychoanalysis, many sketches and some completed drawings. Subject files reflect Bultman's professional activities, interests, and relationships. Extensive printed material concerns Bultman's activities and exhibitions; also included are his published writings. Most photographs are of artwork, Bultman, his family and friends. Also found are biographical materials, 4 diaries, 6 interviews with Fritz Bultman and Jeanne Bultman, and a small amount of artwork.

Biographical materials include school records and notice of Bultman's army classification.

Most letters are addressed to Fritz Bultman and his parents. Fritz's education in Munich and with Hans Hofmann is well-documented. Many letters are from Miz Hofmann and Hans Hofmann. Also found are a smaller number of letters from museums, galleries, universities, and arts organizations. The surviving letters by Bultman are mainly to his family. Most were written when he was a student in Munich or traveling in Europe. There are some drafts and copies of letters concerning professional activities, arrangements for lectures, exhibitions, and Cynthia Goodman's editing "Form and Color in the Creative Process: The Painter's Primer" by Hans Hofmann.

Most interviews focus on Bultman's career. An interview with Jeanne and Fritz Bultman is about John Graham, and one of the interviews with Jeanne Bultman concerns Hans Hofmann.

Bultman's writings and notes include articles, lectures and talks about Hans Hofman, lectures about his own work, and a book review. Among the writings about Bultman are articles, a catalog essay and exhibition review.

Notebooks/sketchbooks (39 volumes) contain a variety of writings and notes, including some that are autobiographical, along with sketches and several finished drawings. Some volumes consist of writings and notes with a few sketches and doodles while others are mainly sketchbooks containing a few stray notes and brief writings; many contain approximately the same amount of text and drawings. Included are a volume titled "Venice" (1937), "New Bauhaus" from his year in Chicago (1937-1938), "N.Y.C." (circa 1938), and 3 volumes that focus on his psychoanalysis (1952-1953).

Diaries (4 volumes) contain entries about his work, professional and personal activities. One volume is a record of his October 1978 trip to Istanbul.

Subject files consist of correspondence, photographs, printed material, manuscripts, and photographs in varying combinations. The most extensive file relates to Hans Hofmann and includes copies of writings by him. Other files of note concern Joseph Cornell, the exhibitions "Forum '49" and "Forum '49 Revisited," Weldon Kees, Tony Smith, and Donald Windham.

The largest series, printed material, consists of exhibition catalogs, announcements, reviews, articles and clippings about or mentioning Bultman.

Noteworthy among the small amount of artwork by Bultman is an early print; also found are loose drawings and paintings on paper.

Photographs of artwork document the full range of Bultman's production paintings, sculpture, drawings, collage, stained glass, interior design and decoration. Also found are a few photographs of works by other artists. Photographs of Fritz Bultman include many by Renate Ponsold. Other indentified individuals include parents Fred and Pauline Bultman, sister Muriel Bultman, childhood nurse Katie Belle, son Johann Bultman, Sherman Drexler, Hans Hofmann, Miz Hofmann, Miss Katsura, Lee Krasner, Annalee Newman, Barnet Newman, Alfonso Ossorio, Jeanne Reynal, Thomas Sills, Jack Tworkov, and Wally Tworkov. A group portrait of the artists of Long Point Gallery includes: Varujan Boghosian, Fritz Bultman, Carmen Cicero, Sideo Fromboluti, Budd Hopkins, Rick Klauber, Lee Manso, Sidney Simon, Robert Motherwell, Judith Rothschild, Nora Speyer, and Tony Vevers. Also found in this series are photographs of Bultman exhibition installations and views of miscellaneous places.

Biographical/Historical Note: Fritz Bultman (1919-1985), a New York School painter and sculptor who lived and worked in Provincetown, Massachusetts and New York City, was also a collagist, stained glass artist, and educator.

Gift of Fritz Bultman in 1984, with additions donated by Jeanne Bultman, his widow, in 1988 and 2000, and by his sons, Anthony F. Bultman, IV and Ellis Johann Bultman, in 2013.

How to Use this Collection

  • Portions of this collection are available on 35 mm microfilm reels N70-40 and 60-61 and for 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. In addition, a selection of letters and photographs of Fritz and Jeanne Bultman were digitized by the Provincetown History Preservation Project and appear on the organizations website.
  • Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
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Also in the Archives

Related Materials

An oral history interview with Fritz Bultman, 1986 January 6, was conducted by Irving Sandler for the Archives of American Art (available on microfilm reel 3196).