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Eldzier Cortor Papers, circa 1930s-2015, bulk 1972-2015

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Justin Brancato and Rayna Andrews
Scope and Contents
The papers of painter and printmaker Eldzier Cortor measure 3.1 linear feet and date from circa 1930s to 2015, with the bulk of the papers dating from 1972 to 2015. The papers contain biographical material, correspondence, professional files, exhibition and gallery files, writings, printed material, artwork, and photographs.
Biographical material consists of awards certificates; Cortor's artist biography; an obituary and prayer cards for his father in law; an address book; and a Christmas list.
Correspondence includes letters from Cortor's family; correspondence with or about individuals or organizations; and general correspondence. Individuals included in the general correspondence are Acklyn Lynch, Leontine Collier, Violetta Harrigan, Halima Taha, David C. Driskell, Carol Anderson, and Betye Saar. Art institutions represented in this series include Sylvan Cole Gallery, Anderson Gallery, and Kenkeleba House.
Professional files include materials related to the Cosby Collection of Fine Arts; publishing; materials related to fake Cortor works; the Public School Mural Project; teaching files; lists of possible titles for paintings; financial documents; materials related to painting and etching plates for storage; and notes of museum and gallery contacts.
Exhibition and gallery files include correspondence; contracts and agreements; exhibition announcements; inventories; other exhibition materials; clippings; press releases; photographs and photocopied images of artwork; and photographs of exhibitions.
Writings consist primarily of essays and articles about Eldzier Cortor. Also included are his answers to a questionnaire about art, a diary, and notes, as well as hand-copied excerpts of reviews.
Printed material includes exhibition announcements, exhibition catalogs, newsletters, clippings, research and source material, and books.
Artwork includes ink and watercolor sketches from Cortor's time as a student at the Art Institute of Chicago. This series also includes additional sketches, sketchbooks, and a collage by K. Carracio.
Photographs depict Cortor, other individuals, his artwork, and exhibitions. There are also photographs from his time in Cuba and Haiti (circa 1950s).
Eldzier Cortor loaned materials to the Archives of American Art for microfilming in 1970 and donated papers in 2009. His son, Michael Cortor, gave additional materials in 2016.
Related Material
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of materials lent for microfilming on reel N70-47, including biographical material, correspondence, printed material, papers related to exhibitions, photographs, and sketchbooks. Except for three photographs that appear in this collection (Box 3, Folder 19), loaned materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Funding for the 2017 processing of this collection was provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.
Processing Information
The papers were originally processed by Justin Brancato in March, 2010. The additional materials were merged and processed in 2017 by Rayna Andrews, with funding from the Henry Luce Foundation.