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

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Series 2: Correspondence , 1918-1996 and undated
(Boxes 1-2, 1.2 linear feet)

Correspondence includes letters written by Fairfield Porter, Anne Porter, family members, artists, writers, critics, curators, neighbors, and others in Porter's circle. Incoming and outgoing letters are filed separately and arranged by correspondent. Single items of correspondence are filed in miscellaneous files by the first letter of the individual's last name. Incoming letters include letters to Fairfield and Anne Porter, as well as scattered third-party correspondence. Outgoing letters are mostly drafts and carbon copies of letters written by Fairfield Porter, although actual letters sent to his mother, wife, and Frank O'Hara are present.
Significant correspondence is present from the Porters' many poet friends, including Kenneth Koch, James Schuyler, Ron Padgett, Kenward Elmslie, Barbara Guest, Carl Morse, David Shapiro, and others. Among the letters are poetry manuscripts by Koch, Morse, Schuyler, Padgett, and Shapiro. Some letters are actually written in verse, especially those from Kenneth Koch. See Writings for additional poetry manuscripts.
Artists with letters in the collection include Joe Brainard, Rudy Burkhardt, John Button, Lucien Day, Rackstraw Downes, Philip Evergood, Jane Frielicher, Arthur Giardelli, Leon Hartl, Alex Katz, Edward Laning, Roy Lichtenstein, Larry Rivers, Richard Stankiewicz, Nicolas Vasilieff, among others. Other art world figures represented include John Bernard Myers, curator at the Tibor de Nagy gallery (New York), and Tom Hess, editor of ArtNews. Artwork found in this series includes an illustrated letter from Ron Padgett and an original print on a holiday card by Edith Schloss.
Porter's interest in leftist politics during the 1930s is seen in outgoing letters and in letters from Alex Haberstroh and Paul Mattick. Letters to Porter's mother, Ruth Porter, contain detailed descriptions of his boarding school and college years and his travels abroad in the 1920s and 1930s.
Annotations made by Anne Porter are found throughout this series, including dates, last names, and other explanatory notes.
Additional correspondence can be found in Personal Business Records, especially among the gallery records, and in Anne Porter's Posthumous Projects. A collection of excerpts about Fairfield Porter, compiled by Anne Porter from letters she wrote to her mother, is filed with Writings by Others.
Description Container Select
Incoming Letters to Anne and Fairfield Porter from:
Adams, Pat, 1956, undated
1
7
Ashbery, John, undated
(photocopies of originals dated 1955-1973 and undated; not scanned)
1
8
Auerbach, Ellen and Walter, 1939, 1942, 1972-1973
1
9
Miscellaneous A, 1957, 1981, 1983, undated
(includes an undated letter from Peter Ackroyd and a 1981 letter from John Ashbery to Anne Porter)
1
10
Benedict, Michael, 1964, undated
1
11
Berend, Charlotte, 1952, 1955
1
12
Bergman, Joy, 1987-1989, undated
1
13
Bigelow, Don N., 1970, undated
1
14
Birch, Barbara Channing, 1952, 1983-1995, undated
1
15
Bishop, Isabel, 1967-1972, undated
1
16
Brainard, Joe, 1989, undated
1
17
Brooks, Jim, undated
1
18
Brown, Garrett Mills, 1971-1974
1
19
Buckley, Senator James L., 1971, 1975
1
20
Bullowa, Arthur, 1977-1982
1
21
Burkhardt, Rudy, 1951, 1975, undated
1
22
Button, John, 1960-1975, undated
1
23
Miscellaneous B, 1952-1989, undated
(includes a 1989 postcard from Bill Berkson and a 1952 note from Louise Bourgeois)
1
24
Campbell, Larry, 1952, 1956, undated
1
25
Channing, Katherine M., 1933, 1942, 1954
1
26
Clement, Adele, undated
1
27
Cornell, Joseph, 1966
1
28
Cummings, E.E., 1946, 1952
1
29
Miscellaneous C, 1942, 1965-1975, undated
(includes a 1975 photo postcard from Dale Chihuly picturing him in Europe, and a 1966 letter from Oscar Collier)
1
30
Day, Lucien, 1972, undated
1
31
DeMott, Benjamin, 1972, undated
1
32
Denby, Edwin, undated
1
33
Downes, Rackstraw, 1972-1996, undated
1
34
Miscellaneous D, 1955-1975, undated
(Includes a letter from James Deely)
1
35
Elmslie, Kenward, undated
1
36
Evergood, Philip, 1952-1953
1
37
Miscellaneous E, 1968-1975, undated
1
38
Frazer, James, 1974, undated
1
39
Freeman, Dick, 1972-1975, undated
1
40
Freilicher, Jane, 1953, undated
1
41
Miscellaneous F, 1953-1975, undated
(includes 1953 letter from John Ferren, a 1975 letter of condolence from Joe Fiore, and a 1956 letter from Jean Follett)
1
42
Giardelli, Arthur, 1936-1937, 1958-1974, undated
1
43
Gilbert, Creighton, 1955
1
44
Gordon, Albert, 1975, undated
1
45
Griffin, Howard, 1961, undated
1
46
Guest, Barbara, 1958, undated
1
47
Miscellaneous G, 1952-1978, undated
(includes a 1955 note from John Graham and a 1966 letter from Dorothy Grotz)
1
48
Haberstroh, Alex, 1935, 1939, 1941
1
49
Hartl, Leon, 1952-1954, undated
1
50
Hess, Tom, 1978, undated
1
51
Miscellaneous H, 1939-1974, undated
1
52
Ickes, Betty, 1971, undated
1
53
Javits, Senator Jacob R., 1968-1971
1
54
Johnson, Ben, 1955-1956
1
55
Katz, Alex, 1959
1
56
Klein, Samuel and Pauline, 1967, 1972, undated
1
57
Koch, Katherine "Koko", 1982-1988, undated
1
58
Koch, Kenneth, 1968-1976, undated
1
59
Koethe, John, 1973-1974
1
60
Miscellaneous J, K, 1952-1978
(includes a brief 1968 note from Robert F. Kennedy, a 1960 note from William King, and a 1952 note from Doris Kreindler)
1
61
Laning, Edward, 1948-1952
1
62
Leake, Eugene W., 1966, 1968, 1974
1
63
Leigh, Ted, 1972, 1974, undated
1
64
Miscellaneous L, 1952-1994, undated
(includes a 1954 letter from John C. LeClair, a 1994 letter from Denise Levertov, an undated letter from Roy Lichtenstein, a 1952 letter from Charles Locke and a 1963 letter from Tom Locker)
1
65
Maroger, Jacques, 1952
1
66
Mattick, Ilse Hamm, undated
1
67
Mattick, Paul, 1938-1941, undated
(2 folders)
1
68-69
Morse, Carl, 1970, 1984-1987
1
70
Myers, John Bernard, undated
1
71
Miscellaneous M, 1952-1975, undated
(includes an undated letter from Dwight MacDonald, an undated letter from Norman MacLeish, an undated letter from John MacWhinnie, a 1952 note from Ezio Martinelli, a 1975 note from Harry Mathews, circa 1975 note from Peter Matthiessen, a 1963 note from Henry Mayer, and an undated note from Howard Moss)
1
72
Miscellaneous N, 1955
1
73
O'Hara, Frank, 1954, 1956, 1959, undated
1
74
Padgett, Ron, 1970-1989, undated
1
75
Porter, Anne Channing
to Katherine M. Channing, 1936, 1953, undated
1
76
to Fairfield Porter, circa 1934-1962
(3 folders)
1
77-79
Porter, Edward and Audrey, 1946-1977, undated
1
80
Porter, Eliot and Aline, 1959-1966, undated
1
81
Porter, John (Fairfield and Anne Porter's son), 1942-1968, 1977, undated
(3 folders)
1
82-84
Porter, John and Trudy, 1951-1956, 1970-1978, undated
1
85
Porter, Ruth Furness, 1941
1
86
Miscellaneous P, 1947-1995, undated
(includes an undated letter from Harley Perkins and a 1947 letter to a family member from Miss Probst, Fairfield's German governess)
1
87
Rivers, Larry, 1952, undated
1
88
Miscellaneous Q-R, 1941-1975, undated
(includes a 1966 letter from Frank Redelius describing the prepartion of the Maroger Medium)
1
89
Schuyler, James, 1955-1989, undated
(4 folders)
1
90-93
Schloss, Edith, 1972-1996
1
94
Shapiro, David, 1972-1974
1
95
Smith, Elizabeth, 1974-1975, undated
1
96
Stankiewicz, Richard, 1956, undated
1
97
Straus, Francis, 1968, 1975
1
98
Straus, Nancy Porter, 1952-1955, undated
1
99
Miscellaneous S, 1956-1975, undated
(includes a 1969 letters from Robert G. Skinner, a 1956 postcard from David Smith, a 1956 letter from Raphael Soyer, and a 1970 note from Henry Striebel)
1
100
Tworkov, Jack, 1952, 1960
1
101
Miscellaneous T, 1968-1975
1
102
Vasilieff, Nicholas, 1951-1954
1
103
Walker, John, 1952
1
104
Wallace, Frank, 1953, undated
1
105
Welliver, Neil, 1972, undated
1
106
White, Bobby, 1967-1970
1
107
Miscellaneous V, W, Y, 1955-1989, undated
(includes 1965 letter from Jean Volkmer concerning conservation of a Porter painting and a 1953 letter from Hudson Walker)
1
108
First Name Only, Albert, 1936, 1955, undated
1
109
Illegible and Unsigned Letters, 1952, 1987, undated
1
110
Outgoing Letters from Fairfield Porter to:
Miscellaneous A, 1956, 1961
(draft and copy)
1
111
Channing, Katherine M. "Kee", 1935-1957, undated
1
112
Miscellaneous F, 1918, 1923, 1956
(includes copy of a 1956 letter sent to Alfred Frankfurter and Betty Chamberlain)
1
113
Miscellaneous G-N, 1940-1959, undated
(includes drafts of letters to Clement Greenberg and Dwight MacDonald)
1
114
O'Hara, Frank, 1954-1955, undated
2
1
Porter, Anne, 1931-1964, undated
(4 folders)
2
2-5
Porter, Ruth Furness, circa 1923-1942 and undated
(7 folders)
2
6-12
Miscellaneous P, W, circa 1932, undated
2
13
First Names Only, 1955, 1971, 1975
2
14

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.