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

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Series 9: Artwork, 1918-1975, undated
(Boxes 7-10 and 12-17; 2.2 linear feet)

Artwork includes sketchbooks, loose sketches and drawings, illustrations, prints, and cartoons by Fairfield Porter. Artwork by others includes works of Peggy Bacon, Alex Haberstroh, Leon Hartl, and Edith Schloss, and a portrait of Porter in pencil by Joe Brainard.
Sketchbooks contain sketches and drawings in pencil, charcoal, ink, watercolor, and pastel of subjects similar to those found in Porter's paintings: homes, family, landscapes, city street scenes, and figure studies. Notes in Anne Porter's handwriting are found in many of the sketchbooks and on sketches, and were presumably made retrospectively, upon donation of the collection. Sketchbooks also contain notes written by Fairfield Porter. Many of the dates assigned to sketchbooks in this finding aid have been estimated based on the relationship of sketches to dated paintings.
Loose sketches and drawings are mostly from Porter's early career and schooling. Life Class Sketches are from the Art Students League and from Barbara Merrick's dance class, and include two black and white oil paintings on paper. Sketches for murals and frescoes are related to two commissioned works from the 1930s, and also include sketches in oil. A mixed group of early sketches of landscapes, people, street scenes, and copies of museum pieces, filed under the heading "miscellaneous sketches and drawings," appear to contain the pages of two disassembled travel sketchbooks, among other sketches. Sketches and drawings of people are mostly of family members, with scattered sketches of friends, neighbors, and interiors of family homes. Miscellaneous landscape sketches also include several sketches in oil. Miscellaneous painted sketches include several scenes from a trip to the Western United States in 1938, along with other landscapes, scenes, and still lifes in oil and watercolor.
Illustrations made for the socialist arts organization Rebel Arts include a silk-screened poster and a drawing for a print made by Porter in the 1930s. Other prints found in this series are from the same era, and several of them were published in John Wheelwright's chapbooks, copies of which are filed in Printed Materials. Also among the prints is a lithograph illustrating Dostoyevsky's
The Possessed
, which Porter made in 1932.
Throughout this series, duplicates, negatives, and copy prints have not been scanned. The remainder of the series has been selectively scanned.

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.