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Burgoyne Diller papers, 1924-1987

Burgoyne Diller papers, 1924-1987

Diller, Burgoyne, 1906-1965

Painter

Collection Information

Size: 1.4 linear feet

Summary: The collection documents the abstract painter's career and includes two letters, a notebook, four annotated sketchbooks, art work, and clippings. The collection primarily consists of art work, including hundreds of drawings that document the development of Burgoyne Diller's unique artistic style.

The dismantled notebook includes Hans Hofmann's notes about lectures and theories and is illustrated with diagrams and drawings. Also found are miscellaneous booklets. There is also a series of 4 sketchbooks, and hundreds of drawings, collages, and a lithograph that document the development of his style. The media of the art work includes pencil, charcoal, conte crayon, pastel, ink, and cardboard strips.

Additional artwork donated 2010 includes sketches and studies by Diller, 1930-1987.

Biographical/Historical Note

Burgoyne Diller (1906-1965) was a painter in New York, N.Y. Diller was associated with abstract painting, particularly Neoplasticism.

Provenance

Notebooks, clippings, letter, Christmas card and 77 sketches/studies donated 1983 and 1995 by Kenneth Prescott, who received them from the Diller estate.228 sketches/studies and fragments donated 1992 by the Grace Diller estate via William C. LaCrone, executor. Additional sketches and studies by Diller donated 2010 by Emma-Stina Prescott.

Related Materials

A Finding Aid to the Burgoyne Diller Papers,
1924-1968
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.dillburg
Biographical Note
Born in New York City in 1906, Burgoyne Diller was brought up in Michigan and attended Michigan State College. He returned to New York in 1926 and studied at the Art Students League from 1928 to 1932, with Hans Hofmann. Diller made his first geometrical paintings in the 1930s, which were influenced by the rigid formulas of Piet Mondrian's "pure plastic art." Diller's work evolved into an abstract mode of configurations of lines, angles, and primary colors. Diller was one of the original members of the American Abstract Artists.
Between 1935 and 1941, Diller worked for the New York City Federal Arts Program, Mural Division, Works Progress Administration, eventually becoming Director. During that time, he provided commissions for many of the most advanced artists of the day, including Arshile Gorky and Stuart Davis. In 1945, he became associate professor of art at Brooklyn College. Burgoyne Diller died in 1965.
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as four series. Series 1 and 4 are arranged chronologically. Series 2 consists of a single dismantled notebook which maintains the creator's original arrangement. Series 3 has been arranged in a numerically consecutive order introduced by the donor, Kenneth W. Prescott. There are gaps in art work's numerical sequences.
Series 1: Letters, 1940 (Box 1; 1 folder)
Series 2: Notebook, 1932-1933 (Box 1; 6 folders)
Series 3: Art work, 1924-1964, undated (Box 1-3; OVS 4-9; 33 folders)
Series 4: Clippings, 1926-1968, undated (Box 2; 10 folders)
Provenance
Notebooks, clippings, letter, Christmas card and 77 sketches/studies donated 1983 and 1995 by Kenneth Prescott, who received them from the Diller estate.228 sketches/studies and fragments donated 1992 by the Grace Diller estate via William C. LaCrone, executor. Additional sketches and studies by Diller donated 2010 by Emma-Stina Prescott.
Processing Information
The collection was processed by Jean Fitzgerald in October 2002.

How to Cite This Collection

Burgoyne Diller papers, 1924-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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