Sidney Simon papers, 1917-2002, bulk 1940-1997

Simon, Sidney, b. 1917 d. 1997
Painter, Sculptor
Active in New York, N.Y.

Collection size: 9.6 linear feet

Collection Summary: The papers of sculptor, painter, and educator Sidney Simon measure 9.6 linear feet and date from circa 1917-2002, with the bulk of the papers dating from 1940-1997. The collection documents Simon's career through biographical material, correspondence, writings and notes, subject files, sketches, sketchbooks, printed material, and photographs.

Biographical material chronicles Simon's academic training and professional activities through curriculum vitae, biographical accounts, and awards. Included are letters and memoranda, many from Forbes Watson pertaining to Simon's service as a combat artist in World War II. Also found is a transcript of an interview with Simon recounting his experiences in the Southwest Pacific. Simon's personal correspondence with colleagues, friends, and family includes scattered letters from Jacqueline Helion, Penelope Jencks, William King, Burgess Meredith, among others. Many letters are illustrated by Sidney Simon and others. General correspondence includes letters from artists, galleries, museums, public and religious institutions primarily relating to Simon's exhibitions and commissioned projects. Among the correspondents are Castle Hill, Truro Center for the Arts, Colby College, André Emmerich, Eric Makler Gallery, Xavier Gonzalez, Graham Gallery, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Interspersed among the files are letters of a personal nature. Other correspondence relates to Simon's faculty positions and his activities in professional organizations, e.g., Century Association, National Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Writings and notes include Simon's 1943 diary entries recording his activities in the Army Corps of Engineers, draft versions of writings and lectures, and notes. Included are Simon's lectures at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture recorded on five sound discs. Subject files provide documentation on Simon's commissioned projects, select exhibitions and competitions, as well as his faculty positions and memberships in several arts organizations. Printed material consists of clippings, invitations, announcements, newsletters, and programs. Exhibition catalogs are of Simon's solo and group shows at galleries, museums, and art organizations from 1959-1966. Photographs are of Simon by Budd Brothers, Richard Pousette-Dart, and Bernard Gotfryd. There are a number of photographs of the artist in his studio and outdoors as well as of Simon's family and friends, including group photographs with Ellsworth Kelly, André Emmerich, Robert Motherwell, and Louise Nevelson. Also found are three personal and family albums and twenty-one photograph albums of Simon's paintings and sculptures.

Biographical/Historical Note: Sidney Simon (1917-1997) was a sculptor, painter, and educator who worked primarily in New York City and Truro, Massachusetts.

The Sidney Simon papers were donated in 2009 by Rene Simon, widow of Sidney Simon.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reel D210 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
  • Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
  • For more information on using the Archives’ resources, see the FAQ or Ask Us.

Also in the Archives

Related Materials

Originals of loaned material, including biographical material, correspondence, sketchbooks, scrapbooks, and photographs of Sidney Simon were returned to Simon after microfilming. Loaned material is available on reel D210, but is not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
The Archives has two oral history interviews with Sidney Simon conducted by Paul Cummings in October 17-November 8, 1973 and the Karl E. Fortress taped interviews with artists, [1963-1985].