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Esphyr Slobodkina papers, circa 1925-1995

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Judy Ng
Scope and Contents
The papers of painter, sculptor, author, and illustrator Esphyr Slobodkina measure 1.9 linear feet and date from circa 1925 to 1995. Found within the papers are personal and professional correspondence, including letters from Ilya Bolotowsky, George L.K. Morris, and Paul Kelpe; writings, including a copy of the autobiography Notes for a Biographer (vol. 1); printed materials; photographs; and material on the American Abstract Artists, including administrative records, business correspondence, and publications.
Correspondence is primarily with Slobodkina's family, friends, and business associates. The series includes significant correspondence from her first husband, Ilya Bolotowsky, as well as abstract artists George L.K. Morris, Paul Kelpe, Ruth Eckstein, Leo Rabkin, and Harry Tedlie. The series also includes correspondence regarding her published works.
Writings consist of 3 essays by Slobodkina on abstract art, the autobiography Notes for a Biographer (vol. 1), the edited folio Ilya Bolotowsky, and a small notebook kept by Ilya Bolotowsky during the 1920s-30s.
Printed material includes clippings; samples of announcements and cards designed by Slobodkina; exhibition announcements and catalogs; and press releases.
Photographs are of Slobodkina and her paintings and sculptures, as well as photographs of artwork by other abstract artists.
American Abstract Artists' records includes administrative material, correspondence, writings, selected exhibitions, and printed material dating from 1936 to 1996.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Esphyr Slobodkina loaned a portion of her papers for microfilming and donated material in 1970. She gave additional papers between 1995 and 1996.
Separated Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds materials lent for microfilming (N70-61) including a travel album, printed material, notes, McDowell colony correspondence, and an American Abstract Artists financial ledger. Lents materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Additionally, 69 rolled drawings on tracing paper were transferred to Hillwood Art Museum in 2006.
Related Materials
The Archives also holds the American Abstract Artists records.
Processing of this collection was funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art
Processing Information
Portions of the papers were microfilmed onto reels N70-54 and N70-55 shortly after receipt. All materials were merged, processed, and described by Judy Ng in 2013 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.