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Claire Falkenstein papers, circa 1914-1997, bulk 1940-1990

Falkenstein, Claire, 1908-1997


Collection Information

Size: 42.8 linear ft.

Summary: The papers of sculptor, painter, jewelry designer, and teacher Claire Falkenstein measure 42.8 linear feet and date from 1917 to her death in 1997. There is extensive correspondence with fellow artists, collectors, critics, friends, museums, and galleries. The collection also contains biographical materials, much of it collected and organized by Falkenstein, personal and business records, writings, diaries, exhibition files, commission files, teaching files, photographs, original artwork, scrapbooks, and printed materials. There is a short motion picture film of an interview with Falkenstein featuring the windows she designed for St. Basil's Church in Los Angeles.

Biographical/Historical Note

Claire Falkenstein (1908-1997) was a sculptor and painter from Venice, Calif. Falkenstein was born in Coos Bay, Or. She studied at the University of California, Berkeley and lived in Paris in the 1950s to pursue her art career, where her association with critic Michel Tapié and his group Art Autre developed into many commissions including the gates at the home of her longtime friend Peggy Guggenheim in Venice, Italy. She returned to Venice, Calif. in 1960. During her career she created over four thousand sculptures, paintings, and drawings, and became known for her innovative and often controversial abstract public art. Among major commissions were the windows for St. Basil's Catholic Church, and fountains at California Federal Savings (now destroyed) and California State University.


Donated 1997 by the Claire Falkenstein Trust.


Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Getty Foundation.