William Anthony papers, 1956-2003

A Finding Aid to the William Anthony Papers, 1956-2003, in the Archives of American Art, by Jean Fitzgerald

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Table of Contents:

Biographical Information

American painter William Graham Anthony was born on September 25, 1934 in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. While majoring in history at Yale University, Anthony attended a few art courses, one of which was taught by Josef Albers. He also attended the Art Students' League in 1958 and 1961.

After graduating from Yale, he joined his family in California, where he attended the San Francisco Art Institute. In 1962, Anthony taught figure drawing at a commercial art school in San Francisco, where he developed a method of drawing that resulted in his book A New Approach to Figure Drawing. Two years later he moved to New York City.

From 1977 to 1978, Anthony made a series of drawings for magazine Andy Warhol's Interview, and published another book Bible Stories. In 1983, he married Norma Neuman, and continued to produce and exhibit his art work, including solo exhibitions in New York, California, and Europe. In 1988, the Jargon Society published an additional book, Bill Anthony's Greatest Hits. Anthony also teaches painting to senior citizens.

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Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

The papers of contemporary painter and author William Anthony measure 1.5 linear feet and date from 1956 to 2003. Found within the papers are scattered biographical materials; correspondence files; exhibition files; original art work; files of reproductions of his art work; a file for his book A New Approach to Figure Drawing; clippings; photographs; a recorded lecture and announcements of Anthony's slide talks. This material offers a comprehensive record of the works and exhibitions of this prolific painter.

Arrangement and Series Description

Subjects and Names

This collection is indexed in the online catalog of the Archives of American Art under the following index terms. People, families and organizations are listed under "Names" when they are creators or contributors and under "Subjects" when they are the topic of collection contents.


  • Painting, American -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Painters -- New York (State) -- New York

Types of Materials:

  • Photographs
  • Drawings


  • Johns, Jasper, 1930-
  • Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923-
  • Ross, David A., 1949-
  • Carpenter, Charles Hope, 1916-
  • Little, Carl
  • Masheck, Joseph
  • Schwabsky, Barry
  • Rosenblum, Robert


The William Anthony papers were donated by Anthony from 2001 to 2003. In 1976, he lent miscellaneous photocopied material for microfilming. The loaned materials do not duplicate the later gifts except for single letters from Jasper Johns (1972), William King, Claes Oldenburg, Theodoros Stamos, and a book endorsement comment signed by Larry Rivers. [Note: Reel 1094 is not described in this finding aid.

How the Collection was Processed

The collection was processed by Jean Fitzgerald in April 2004.

How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

The collection is open for research. Patrons must use microfilm copy.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The William Anthony papers 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.

Available Formats

The collection is available on microfilm Reels 5875-5877. Earlier loaned material is also available on Reel 1094. The microfilm is available for interlibrary loan.

How to Cite this Collection

William Anthony papers, 1956-2003. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1976-2001
(Box 1; 2 folders; Reel 5875)

Biographical material consists primarily of biographical accounts that include listings of Anthony's exhibitions. The chronology provides more detailed information concerning events in Anthony's life.

Box Reel
1 5875 Biographical Accounts, 1981-2001
1 5875 Chronology, 1976-2001

Series 2: Correspondence Files, 1961-2001
(Box 1; 16 folders; Reel 5875)

Correspondence consists primarily of alphabetically-arranged folders of letters from colleagues who maintained a long-term contact with Anthony. Single letters from other colleagues have been placed in a separate alphabetical arrangement and filed in miscellaneous correspondence and includes letters from Jules Feiffer, William King, Alfred Leslie, Sol Lewitt, Claes Oldenburg, Harold Rosenberg, and Theodoros Stamos.

Box Reel
1 5875 Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1961-2001
(3 folders)
1 5875 Charles Carpenter, 1979-2001
1 5875 James Duffy, Jr., 1975-1998
1 5875 Jasper Johns, 1972-2000
1 5875 Roy Lichtenstein, 1977-2000
1 5875 Carl Little, 1989-2000
1 5875 Joe Masheck, 1981-1991
1 5875 Robert Rosenblum, 1981-2000
1 5875 David Ross, 1978-1992
1 5875 Barry Schwabsky, 1990-1992
1 5875 Leo Steinberg, 1981-2001
1 5875 Jonathan Williams, 1972-2000
(3 folders)

Series 3: Exhibition Files, 1961-2003
(Box 1, OV 3; 32 folders; Reel 5875)

Exhibition files primarily contain printed material concerning exhibitions of Anthony's work. Some files also contain letters, price lists, and photographs. The file for the Cokkie Snoei Gallery of Rotterdam contains an original drawing for the exhibition announcement. There is also a file for an exhibition of other artist's works owned and exhibited by Anthony.

Box Reel
1 5875 Exhibition Files for Exhibitions of Anthony's Work, 1961-2003
(32 folders)
1 5875 Exhibition Files for Exhibitions of Other Artist's Works Owned by Anthony, 1997
Box Reel
OV 3 5875 Four oversize posters for Now Gallery, New York, 1985-1987
OV 3 5875 Oversize poster and a duplicate for the Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, California, 1998

Series 4: Art work, 1961-2003
(Box 1, OV 3; 6 folders; Reel 5875)

Artwork primarily consists of pencil drawings, but also includes 2 tempera sketches and a silkscreen line self-portrait.

Box Reel
1 5875 Drawings, 1961-1963
1 5875 Drawings, tempera paintings, and silkscreen, 1964-1969
1 5875 Drawings, 1971-2003
(4 folders)
Box Reel
OV 3 5875 Eleven oversize drawings, 1971-2000

Series 5: Reproductions of Art Work Created in 1976-2003, undated
(Box 1, 2; 25 Folders; Reels 5875-5877)

Files of photocopies and photographs of Anthony's drawings and paintings created from 1976 to 2003 offer a comprehensive overview of his work.

Box Reel
1 5875-5876 Reproductions of Art Work Created in 1976-1995
(17 folders)
Box Reel
2 (hol) 5876-5877 Reproductions of Art Work Created in 1996-2003
(8 folders)

Series 6: File for Book, A New Approach to Figure Drawing, 1965
(Box 2; 2 folders)

A file concerning Anthony's book, A New Approach to Figure Drawing, contains letters, printed material, and original art work. Also included is an endorsement comment signed by Larry Rivers.

Box Reel
2 (hol) 5877 File for A New Approach to Figure Drawing, 1965

Series 7: Clippings, 1956-2002, undated
(Box 2; 2 folders)

Clippings consist of cartoons, articles about Anthony, and a copy of Public Illumination Magazine.

Box Reel
2 (hol) 5877 Clippings, 1956-2002, undated
(2 folders)

Series 8: Photographs, 1965-2000, undated
(Box 2; 3 folders)

The majority of photographs are of Anthony and of his students and colleagues, including Dore Ashton. Four photographs are photocopies.

Box Reel
2 (hol) 5877 Photographs of Anthony's parents, undated
2 (hol) 5877 Photographs of Anthony, 1965-2000
2 (hol) 5877 Photographs of Anthony with friends and colleagues, 1987-1998

Series 9: Recorded Lecture and Announcements of Slide Talks, 1985-1990, undated
(Box 2; 1 folder)

This file contains an undated 21-minute audio cassette of one of Anthony's slide talk lectures and announcements for other talks.

Box Reel
2 (hol) 5877 Recorded Lecture and Announcements, 1985-1990