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Francis Criss papers, 1916-1975, bulk 1940-1969

Criss, Francis, 1901-1973


Collection Information

Size: 1.9 linear feet

Summary: Correspondence, handwritten notes for class lectures, exhibition files, newsclippings, scrapbooks, and photographs. Oversized reproductions of his commercial artwork are also found.
200 letters; biographical material; photographs of Criss, U.S. Army Medical Corps, and other paintings; teaching notes; catalogs, exhibition lists and other exhibition material.
Correspondence; teaching notes; sketches; photographs of Criss; his family, his students, and his work, catalogs and announcements; clippings; and 3 scrapbooks.

Biographical/Historical Note

Francis Criss (1901-1973) was a painter and teacher in New York, N.Y. Criss studied at the Graphic Sketch Club, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Barnes Foundation, the Art Students League in New York, and, later, with private instruction under Jan Matulka. Criss received the Cresson scholarship from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1920, which allowed him to further his studies in Europe. In 1934, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship to study in Italy. Criss was involved with the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the American Artists' Congress, which he helped to organize in 1936. He was also a charter member of the "American Group" with artists that included Philip Evergood, Julian Levy, Jack Levine, William Gropper, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, the Soyers, Chaim Gross, and Abraham Rattner. Criss taught painting privately and at the Knox-Albright Museum, Brooklyn Museum Art School, The Art Students League, the New School, and the School of Visual Arts.


Material on reel N70-34 was lent 1970 for microfilming by Francis Criss. Portions of the 1970 loan and unmicrofilmed material were donated 1976 by Katherine Criss Capello.

Location of Originals

  • Reel N70-34: Originals returned to Francis Criss after microfilming.