Research material regarding Arshile Gorky, 1957-1999

Spender, Matthew
Sculptor, Author

Collection size: 0.6 linear ft. (on partial microfilm reel)

Collection Summary: Writings, interview transcripts, and photographs of works of art regarding Arshile Gorky.

REELS 2380-2381: 489 photographs of drawings by Gorky cataloged by signature, date, size, medium, title, inscriptions and other information.

REEL 4982: Reminiscence of Gorky by his friend, Gaston T. de Havenon (7 p.); exhibition catalog, 1957 [in Italian]; a list of Gorky library and photo reproductions in Spender's collection.

Unmicrofilmed: Photocopies of oral history transcripts and other archival material, much of it from the holdings of the Archives of American Art; and photocopies of several lists compiled by Spender of books known to have been owned by Gorky. This material was used by Spender in writing the biography, "From a High Place: A Life of Arshile Gorky" (1999).

Biographical/Historical Note: Painter; New York, N.Y. Born in Khorkom Vari Haiyotz Dzor, Armenia. Emigrated to the United States in 1920.Matthew Spender is the son-in-law of painter Arshile Gorky. He is co-author of the exhibition catalog Arshile Gorky: the Breakthrough Years (1995) and other work on Gorky.

Photographs on reels 2380-2381 donated in 1981 by Matthew Spender, son-in-law of Gorky. The drawings depicted in the photographs formed part of the Arshile Gorky Estate. Additional photocopies on reel 4982 were donated in 1992 by Spender. Spender copied the items from his father's papers. Photocopies discarded after microfilming. Additional material donated 1999.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reels 4982 (fr. 1390-1410), 2380-2381 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
  • 35mm microfilm reels 2380-2381 Authorization to publish or reproduce must be obtained from: Matthew Spender, Avane, Lecchi 53010, Sienna, Italy.
  • 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.
  • For more information on using the Archives’ resources, see the FAQ or Ask Us.

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