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Francis V. O'Connor papers, 1920-2009

O'Connor, Francis V., 1937-

Art historian, Poet

Collection Information

Size: 23.4 Linear feet; 0.001 Gigabytes

Summary: The papers of New York art historian Francis O'Connor measure 23.4 linear feet and 0.001 GB and date from 1920-2009. Found within the papers are artist and exhibition files, questionnaires, transcripts, writings, project files, and printed and digital material that pertain to O'Connor's research and publications on the New Deal and the Federal Arts Project of the Works Progress Administration.

Biographical/Historical Note

New York art historian and poet Francis O'Connor (1937- ) is best known for his research and writings on the New Deal art programs of the Depression and the Roosevelt Administration. O'Connor received his Ph. D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1965 and taught contemporary European and American art history at the University of Maryland from 1964 to 1970. While at Maryland, he organized the country's first comprehensive exhibition of New Deal art programs since their ending in 1943. From 1967 to 1968, he also headed a research program for the National Endowment for the Arts to analyze the effectiveness of New Deal art patronage, which eventually led to the publication of Federal Support for the Visual Arts: The New Deal and Now (1969), New Deal Art Projects: An Anthology of Memoirs (1972), Art for the Millions (1973).


The papers were donated by Francis O'Connor to the National Collection of Fine Arts, now the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which subsequently transferred the papers, with O'Connor's permission, to the Archives of American Art in 1974. In 2010, O'Connor donated an additional 15.8 linear feet of papers to the Archives.

Related Materials

Language Note

The collection is in English.


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