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Priscilla Cunningham papers regarding Sue Fuller, 1982-2006

A Finding Aid to the Priscilla Cunningham Papers regarding Sue Fuller, 1982-2006, in the Archives of American Art, by Catherine S. Gaines

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Table of Contents:

Biographical Information

Art historian and art collector Priscilla Cunningham is the daughter of art museum director Charles Cunningham. For over twenty years, she was a close friend of Sue Fuller. Ms. Cunningham lives in Hampton Bays, New York.

Sue Fuller (1914-2006) was a printmaker and sculptor in New York City and Southampton, New York. She served as Stanley William Hayter's assistant at Atelier 17 in New York City in the mid 1940s. Fuller later became known for three-dimensional constructions composed of string and in the 1960s patented a method for embedding thread constructions in plastic.

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Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

Priscilla Cunningham papers regarding Sue Fuller measure 0.2 linear feet and are dated 1982-2006. The friendship between Cunningham and Fuller and Fuller's sculpture are documented by letters and photographs. Also included is a written version of Fuller's reminiscences of Atelier 17 in New York City that she presented at the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center in 1993.

Arrangement and Series Description

The collection is arranged as 4 series:

Subjects and Names

This collection is indexed in the online catalog of the Archives of American Art under the following terms:


  • Fuller, Sue--1914-2006
  • Atelier 17


  • Sculptors--New York (State)--New York
  • Women printmakers
  • Women artists--New York (State)--New York

Types of Materials:

  • Photographs


Gift of Priscilla Cunningham, 2007.

Separated and Related Materials

Oral history interview with Sue Fuller conducted by Paul Cummings for the Archives of American Art in 1975.

How the Collection was Processed

The collection was processed by Catherine S. Gaines in 2011.

How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

Use of original papers requires an appointment.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The Priscilla Cunningham papers regarding Sue Fuller are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.

How to Cite this Collection

Priscilla Cunningham papers regarding Sue Fuller, 1982-2006. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Letters, 1982-2006
(Box 1; 0.1 linear ft.)

All but two letters are addressed to Priscilla Cunningham. Most are from Sue Fuller or were sent jointly by Sue Fuller and Alice Crocker. A few of Fuller's letters are illustrated. Christmas cards sent by Fuller and Crocker were designed by Fuller and featured drawings of their cats.

Other correspondents are: Suzanne Folds McCullagh (Art Institute of Chicago), Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, Martha Lou Schove (Fuller's sister), Susan Teller Gallery, Aleko von C., and Women's Caucus for Art. Both Robert Stitt and Peter Difenbeck wrote about the memorial service for Fuller's good friend, John Leeper; Stitt sent related printed material.

One letter written by Priscilla Cunningham is about the condition of artwork stored in Fuller's attic and expresses concern about their eventual disposition. The other is addressed to a Museum of Modern Art curator asking why he never replied to her previous letters about Sue Fuller.

Box Folder
1 1-4 Letters, undated, 1982-2006
(4 folders)

Series 2: Writing, 1993
(Box 1; 1 folder)

Writings consist of the text of Fuller's reminiscences of Atelier 17 presented at the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, July 11, 1993.

Box Folder
1 5 "Atelier 17 and the New York Avant Garde 1940-'55," 1993

Series 3: Printed Material, 1982-2004
(Box 1; 1 folder)

All items in this series are about or mention Fuller. Included are reviews and articles, exhibition announcements and catalogs, an autographed copy of the Women's Caucus for Art 7th Annual Exhibition catalog and awards ceremony program, entries from biographical dictionaries, and an obituary.

Box Folder
1 6 Printed material, undated, 1982-2004

Series 4: Photographs, 1983-2005
(Box 1; 1 folder)

Photographs include views of Fuller at home, Fuller at the 1986 Women's Caucus for Art exhibition, and her altarpiece for All Souls Unitarian Church, New York City.

Box Folder
1 7 Sue Fuller and her Work, undated, 1983-2005