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Ching Ho Cheng papers, circa 1950-2014, bulk 1970-1989

Ching Ho Cheng papers, circa 1950-2014, bulk 1970-1989

Cheng, Ching Ho, 1946-1989

Artist

Collection Information

Size: 6.8 linear feet

Summary: The papers of New York City Asian American artist Ching Ho Cheng measure 6.8 linear feet and date from circa 1950-2014, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1970-1989. The collection documents Cheng's art career and life through biographical material, correspondence, personal business and estate records, printed material, a scrapbook, photographic material, artwork, sketchbooks, and artifacts.

Biographical/Historical Note

Ching Ho Cheng (1946-1989) was a naturalized Asian American artist of Chinese descent who worked primarily in New York City.

Provenance

The Ching Ho Cheng papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2014 and 2016 by Sybao Cheng Wilson, Cheng's sister and executor of the Ching Ho Cheng estate.

A Finding Aid to the Ching Ho Cheng papers, circa 1950-2014, bulk 1970-1989, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.chenchin
Author
Finding aid prepared by Hilary Price
Biographical/Historical note
Ching Ho Cheng (1946-1989) was a naturalized Asian American artist of Chinese descent who worked primarily in New York City.
Cheng was born in Cuba but spent most of life in New York City. After receiving his BFA from the Cooper Union in 1968, Cheng lived in Paris and Amsterdam, where he had his first solo exhibition in 1976. Shortly after, Cheng moved back to New York City. He became associated with the Warhol circle, and took up residence in the Chelsea Hotel, where he lived until his death in 1989.
Working in the pop psychedelic style early in his career, Cheng later developed a technique of creating abstract paintings with stencils and torn paper that he treated and soaked. He was in more than fifteen exhibitions before his death, and his work has been collected posthumously by the Hirshhorn, the Whitney, and many other museums.
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as nine series
Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1970-1990 (0.3 linear foot; Box 1)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1957-2014 (2.2 linear feet; Box 1-3)
Series 3: Personal Business and Estate Records, circa 1970-2010 (0.7 linear foot; Box 3-4)
Series 4: Printed Material, 1954-2011 (1.1 linear feet; Box 4-5, 7, OV 9)
Series 5: Scrapbook, 1982-1983 (1 folder; Box 5)
Series 6: Photographic Material, circa 1950-1990 (0.4 linear feet; Box 5, 7)
Series 7: Artwork, circa 1960-1990 (1linear foot; Box 5, 8, OV 10)
Series 8: Sketchbooks, circa 1970-1990 (0.5 linear feet; Box 6, 8)
Series 9: Artifacts, circa 1970-1990 (0.6 linear feet; Box 6)
Scope and Contents note
The papers of New York City Asian American artist Ching Ho Cheng measure 6.8 linear feet and date from circa 1950 to 2014, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1970-1989. The collection documents Cheng's art career and life through biographical material, correspondence, personal business and estate records, printed material, a scrapbook, photographic material, artwork, sketchbooks, and artifacts.
Biographical material includes artist’s statements, biographical writings, lists, life and death documents, a memorial book, naturalization paperwork, and one file of collaborative poetry with David Rattray.
Correspondence includes letters and postcards from Cheng’s friends, artists, and family, including Tally Brown, Ira Cohen, Gregory Millard, Vali Myers, David Rattray, and Dui Seid.
Personal business and estate records contain contracts, loan agreements, inventories, and other records documenting income and expenses.
Printed material is comprised of books, clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, journals, magazines, newsletters, postcards, press releases, programs, and posters documenting Cheng's career.
One scrapbook contains clippings and reproductions of Cheng’s work.
Photographic material includes photographs, negatives, and slides featuring portraits of Cheng, Gregory Millard, Tally Brown, Vali Meyers, Sybao Cheng-Wilson, and others.
Artwork and fifteen sketchbooks contain drawings and sketches, mostly quick studies of geometric compositions done in pencil, ink, and colored pencil.
Artifacts include a metal box, various fabric scraps, a paintbrush, and a blue enamel mug, which is the subject of one of Cheng's paintings.
Provenance
The Ching Ho Cheng papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2014 and 2016 by Sybao Cheng Wilson, Cheng's sister and executor of the Ching Ho Cheng estate.
Processing Information note
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Hilary Price in 2015. The finding aid was updated to reflect the addition in 2016.

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

Ching Ho Cheng papers, circa 1950-2014, bulk 1970-1989. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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