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Fairfield Porter papers, 1888-2001, bulk 1924-1975

Fairfield Porter papers, 1888-2001, bulk 1924-1975

Porter, Fairfield, 1907-1975

Painter, Poet, Lithographer, Art critic

Collection Information

Size: 8.2 linear ft.

Summary: The papers of New York-based painter, lithographer, art critic, and poet Fairfield Porter measure 8.2 linear feet and date from 1888 to 2001, with the bulk of material dating from 1924 to 1975. The collection includes a biographical chronology; certificates, awards, and diplomas; letters to Fairfield and Anne Porter; scattered outgoing correspondence; and reviews, essays, notes, poems, and translations written by Porter and others. Among the writings are poetry manuscripts written by several New York School Poets including Frank O'Hara, James Schuyler, and Kenneth Koch. Also found are gallery records, inventories and appraisals, financial records, exhibition catalogs, clippings, posters, and records of Anne Porter's efforts to place his collection and document and publish his work after his death. Photographs of Porter, his homes, and his family are also present, as well as sketchbooks, loose sketches, and drawings spanning his entire career.

Biographical/Historical Note

Fairfield Porter (1907-1975) was a painter, lithographer, art critic and poet from Southampton, N.Y.


Donated 1977-1997 by Anne Porter, Porter's widow.

Related Materials

The Archives of American Art holds an oral history of Fairfield Porter conducted by Paul Cummings in 1968.


Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Location of Originals

  • Before donating the papers to the Archives, Anne Porter returned letters from Frank O'Hara to Fairfield Porter to the O'Hara estate. Letters from John Ashbery to Fairfield Porter were returned to Ashbery, and photocopies have been placed in the collection.

Additional Forms Available

The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Fairfield Porter papers, 1888-2001, bulk 1924-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Digitization Note

The papers of Fairfield Porter in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2006. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 9,600 images.