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Alice Neel papers, 1933-1983

Alice Neel papers, 1933-1983

Neel, Alice, 1900-1984

Painter

Collection Information

Size: 1.0 linear foot

Summary: The papers of New York painter Alice Neel measure 1.0 linear foot and date from 1933 to 1983. The bulk of the collection documents the last fifteen years of Neel's career as an artist. Found within the papers are letters from galleries, museums, and art organizations; writings and notes by Neel; exhibition catalogs, clippings, and other printed material; and photographs depicting Neel, exhibitions, and her artwork.

Biographical/Historical Note

Alice Neel (1900-1984) was a portrait painter from New York, N.Y. Neel studied painting at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (now the Moore College of Art) from 1921-1925. After living briefly in Havana, Cuba, she settled in New York City in 1927. She participated in various Federal Art Projects during the 1930s, painting scenes of urban poverty and developing her distinctive portrait style. Neel received an honorary doctorate from the Moore College of Art in 1971.

Provenance

Donated 1974-1983 by Alice Neel.

Related Materials

Funding

Funding for the processing, microfilming, and cataloging was provided by the Bay Foundation.

A Finding Aid to the Alice Neel Papers,
1933-1983
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.neelalic
Author
Finding aid prepared by Jean Fitzgerald and Erin Kinhart
Biographical Note
Alice Neel (1900-1984) was a painter in New York, NY. She was known for her portraits of New York artists and intellectuals. Neel studied painting at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (now the Moore College of Art and Design) from 1921-1925. She married Cuban artist Carlos Enríquez, and they briefly lived in Havana, Cuba. After the break-up of their marriage, she settled in New York City. During the 1930s she worked for the Public Works of Art Project and the Works Progress Administration, painting scenes of urban poverty and developing her distinctive portrait style. She pursued a career as a figurative painter during a period when abstraction was favored, and she did not begin to gain critical praise for her work until the 1960s. Neel received an honorary doctorate from the Moore College of Art and Design in 1971 and a retrospective of her work was held at the Whitney Museum in 1974. During the last decade of her life she finally received extensive national recoginition for her paintings. Neel was also a notable public speaker and often spoke on the topic of women artists.
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as # series:
Series 1: Letters, circa 1968-1983 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 2: Writings and Notes, circa 1960-1979 (Box 1; 2 folders)
Series 3: Printed Material, 1933-1983 (Box 1; 0.6 linear feet)
Series 4: Photographs, 1940-1983 (Box 1; 6 folders)
Scope and Content Note
The papers of New York painter Alice Neel measure 1.0 linear foot and date from 1933 to 1983. The bulk of the collection documents the last fifteen years of Neel's career as an artist. Found within the papers are letters from galleries, museums, and art organizations; writings and notes by Neel; exhibition catalogs, clippings, and other printed material; and photographs depicting Neel, exhibitions, and her artwork.
Provenance
Donated 1974-1983 by Alice Neel.
Related Material
Also found in the Archives of American Art are printed material on Romare Bearden, Alice Neel, and Howard Newman, 1975-1990, compiled by Dennis Florio, and a videorecording of "Art and Alice Neel," 1975, recorded as part of University of Georgia Television station WGTV's "Forum" program.
Processing Information
The collection was processed by Jean Fitzgerald in 1990. Funding for the processing, microfilming, and cataloging was provided by the Bay Foundation. A finding aid was written in 2011 by Erin Kinhart.

Additional Forms Available

The collection is available on 35 mm microfilm reel 4964 at Archives of American Art offices, and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Alice Neel papers, 1933-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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