Leon Polk Smith papers, 1938-1997

Smith, Leon Polk, b. 1906 d. 1996
Painter, Sculptor, Printmaker
Active in New York, N.Y.

This site provides access to the papers of Leon Polk Smith in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2011. The bulk of this collection has been scanned and totals 9,145 images.

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Leon Polk Smith Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.


Collection size: 7.2 linear feet

Collection Summary: The papers of New York abstract painter Leon Polk Smith measure 7.2 linear feet and date from 1938 to 1997. The papers consist of biographical material, business and personal correspondence, interview transcripts and an interview video recording, writings, financial records for the corporate entity Leon Polk Smith, Inc., printed material, photographic material, and a scrapbook of newspaper clippings.

Biographical/Historical Note: Leon Polk Smith (1906-1996) was a painter from New York, N.Y.

The papers of Leon Polk Smith were donated by the artist's partner, Robert Jamieson, in 1998. Additional materials were donated by Jamieson in 2002.

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Leon Polk Smith Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.

How to Use this Collection

  • Read the Finding Aid for this digitized collection
  • The bulk of the collection was digitized in 2011 and is available via the Archives of American Art's website. Blank pages, blank versos of photographs, photographs of artwork, duplicates, and medical and routine financial documents have not been scanned. In most cases, only the cover, title page, and individual relevant pages have been scanned from published materials.
    The video recording in this collection was digitized for research access in 2011 and is available at the Archives of American Art offices. Researchers may view the original cassette for the archival notations on it, but the original cassette is not available for playback due to fragility.
  • Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
  • For more information on using the Archives’ resources, see the FAQ or Ask Us.

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