Scope and Contents
The papers of painter and educator Esther Rolick measure 3.7 linear feet and date from 1940 to 1985. The papers document Rolick's career through correspondence with friends and colleagues; writings, including unpublished illustrated books for children; business records; printed material and scrapbooks of clippings and exhibition catalogs; artwork including a sketchbook; photographs of artwork, travels around the world, and personal photographs; and sound recordings of interviews with prominent African American artists.
Correspondence includes personal letters from friends and letters related to Rolick's exhibitions. Some of the letters are in Spanish. Writings include poems by Rolick and two unpublished books for children, primarily of illustrations.
Personal business records and professional activity files include financial materials related to Rolick's travels around the world, statements, promissory notes, certificates, and exhibition guestbooks.
Printed material consists mainly of exhibition announcements and catalogs, with some newspaper clippings. Additional printed material can be found in Series 6: Scrapbooks.
Photographs consist primarily of personal photographs, photographs of travels to Bogota, Colombia and Palermo, Italy, and photographs of artwork. Artwork includes oversized sketches by classmates and one small sketchbook of drawings.
Of note are untranscribed interviews conducted by Rolick for her class "Black Music and Art," at Mercy College, circa 1970-1971. Interviewees include Charles Alston, Romare Bearden, Jean Hutson, Jacob Lawrence, Norman Lewis, Hale Woodruff, and artists affiliated with the Cinque Gallery, Weusi Gallery, and SPIRAL artist's group.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Esther G. Rolick papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Esther Rolick in a series of installments between 1970 and 1985.
The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund, administered by the National Collections Program and the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee.
The collection received some level of processing and was microfilmed on reels 827-828 and 950 after receipt.
The collection was processed, and a finding aid prepared by Ricky Gomez in 2019.