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Elaine de Kooning papers, circa 1959-2013

De Kooning, Elaine, 1918-1989


Collection Information

Size: 1.1 Linear feet; 0.003 Gigabytes

Summary: The scattered papers of Abstract Expressionist painter Elaine de Kooning are dated circa 1959-2013 and measure 1.1 linear feet and 0.003 GB. Found within the papers are letters, writings, a sketch of John F. Kennedy, notes, a sound recording, a few documents regarding Willem de Kooning, transcripts of interviews of de Kooning, transcripts of recorded conversations between de Kooning and others, and transcripts of lectures by de Kooning and others. There are a few photographs of de Kooning and of de Kooning with others, including John F. Kennedy, artist James Bohary, and Ad Reinhardt, and of artwork. Most of the transcripts and few photographs are digitized. Also found are printed materials and two scrapbooks containing a variety of documents about de Kooning's protest against the death penalty and efforts to save the life of convicted criminal Caryl Chessman.

Biographical/Historical Note

Elaine de Kooning (1918-1989) was an Abstract Expressionist painter, teacher and writer who lived and worked in New York City and East Hampton, N.Y.


The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art in 2003 by Denise Lassaw, de Kooning's goddaughter and her mother Ernestine Lassaw, and in 2013-2015 by Denise Lassaw. Interview transcripts and lectures were donated in 2015 by Doris Aach, a friend who transcribed them for de Kooning.

Related Materials

Language Note

The collection is in English.