Selections From The Fairfield Porter Papers

March 16 to October 6, 2000
Exhibited in the Archives’ New York Research Center

Fairfield Porter (b. 1907 d. 1975), still best remembered as a painter, is now also seen as one of the most articulate art critics of his generation. A poet, philosopher, and political intellectual, Porter’s writings and correspondence provide a detailed chronicle of life in the American art world from his undergraduate days at Harvard to the year of his death.

In researching the biography Fairfield Porter: A Life in Art, Justin Spring relied heavily on the Fairfield Porter papers in the Archives of American Art, and also on a lengthy interview with Fairfield Porter, conducted by Paul Cummings in 1968 for the Archives' Oral History Program. While writing the biography, Spring also organized and cataloged an additional gift to the Archives of Porter's papers from the artist's widow, Anne Elizabeth Channing Porter.

The exhibition, co-curated by Spring and the Archives’ Manuscript Curator, Liza Kirwin, brought together over sixty photographs, letters, sketches, notebooks, and printed materials from Porter's papers, as well as a few items from the papers of his friend Richard Stankiewicz and a letter from gallery owner John Bernard Myers.

In 2006 the collection was digitized, and can now be viewed online in its entirety: Fairfield Porter papers, 1888-2001 (bulk 1924-1975)

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Selections From The Fairfield Porter Papers

Fairfield Porter in Maine

Fairfield Porter in Maine, ca. 1946

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Selections From The Fairfield Porter Papers

Fairfield Porter with his dog Bruno, Great Spruce Head Island, Maine

Fairfield Porter with his dog Bruno, Great Spruce Head Island, Maine, ca. 1972

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Selections From The Fairfield Porter Papers

Great Spruce Head Island, Maine

Great Spruce Head Island, Maine, ca. 1970

Creator: Fairfield Porter

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Selections From The Fairfield Porter Papers

Fairfield Porter with painting of his Chevrolet van, at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery

Fairfield Porter with painting of his Chevrolet van, at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, ca. 1962

Creator: Tibor de Nagy Gallery

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Selections From The Fairfield Porter Papers

Fairfield Porter

Fairfield Porter, ca. 1970

Creator: James Schuyler

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Selections From The Fairfield Porter Papers

Fairfield Porter painting in the woods in Maine

Fairfield Porter painting in the woods in Maine, 1975 Aug.

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