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Betty Freeman papers, 1951-1969

Freeman, Betty

Author, Art historian


Collection Information

Size: 1.2 Linear feet, (on 2 microfilm reels); 32 Items, Addition

Summary: Research material on painters Clyfford Still (1904-1980) and Sam Francis (1923-1994), including correspondence, photographs, notes, and unpublished drafts of manuscripts.
The Still material includes detailed notes from various interviews with Still (none of which were tape recorded); correspondence between Freeman and Still; and photocopies of letters from Still to Alfonso Ossorio, Mark Tobey and others, which Freeman obtained from Still; copies of letters from Still to Betty Parsons; an interview with Claire Falkenstein on the subject of Still's paintings; texts by other authors, some annotated by Still; and photographs of Still and his paintings .
Sam Francis material includes several files of research notes and approximately 375 photographs of Francis and his paintings.
Draft manuscripts include Clyfford Still: A Critical Study (1963, 200 pages), Clyfford Still: A Study (1968, 212 pages), and Sam Francis: Ideas and Paintings (1969, 212 pages). Freeman did not have any of these writings published. The manuscript on Sam Francis coincided with the publication of another book on Francis by Peter Selz, and the manuscript on Still was blocked when Still rescinded his permission to quote and to use illustrations of material which he controlled.
ADDITION: Biographical information on Sam Francis and postscript.

Biographical/Historical Note

Writer, art historian; Beverly Hills, Calif.


Donated 1986, 2001 and 2002 by Betty Freeman.

Location of Originals

  • At the time that the letters were given to Betty Freeman, Clyfford Still held the original letters.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels 4060-4061 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

Patrons must use microfilm copy.

How to Cite This Collection

Betty Freeman papers, 1951-1969. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.