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

Porter, Fairfield, 1907-1975

Lithographer, Painter, Poet, Art critic

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.

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

Collection Information

Size: 9.3 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of New York-based painter, lithographer, art critic, and poet Fairfield Porter measure 9.3 linear feet and date from 1888 to 2001, with the bulk of material dating from 1924 to 1975. Papers document Porter's life and career through correspondence, writings, business records, printed materials, photographs, and artwork.

Biographical/Historical Note

Fairfield Porter was born near Chicago in 1907, the fourth of five children of James and Ruth Furness Porter. His father was an architect, his mother a poet from a literary family, and Porter grew up in an environment where art and literature were highly valued. His father designed the family homes in Winnetka, Illinois and on Great Spruce Head Island, an island in Maine that he purchased for the family in 1912. Fairfield Porter spent summers there from the age of six, and views of the island, its structures, and neighboring towns were the subjects of many paintings.

Provenance

The papers of Fairfield Porter were given to the Archives of American Art by the artist's wife, Anne Porter, in five separate accessions between 1977 and 1997.

Related Materials

Funding

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.