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Fritz Bultman papers, 1928-2010

More Information

Catherine S. Gaines
Scope and Contents
The papers of New York School painter and sculptor Fritz Bultlman, 1928-2010, bulk 1940s-1990s, measure 11.9 linear feet. They document Bultman's professional activities, ties to the Abstract Expressionist movement, and his personal life. Letters from friends and family include many from Hans and Maria Hofmann. Letters by Bultman are mostly to family; also found are a few drafts and copies of business and personal letters. Writings and notes are by and about Bultman. Notebooks/sketchbooks (39 volumes) include autobiographical writings, notes on dreams and thoughts while in psychoanalysis, many sketches and some completed drawings. Subject files reflect Bultman's professional activities, interests, and relationships. Extensive printed material concerns Bultman's activities and exhibitions; also included are his published writings. Most photographs are of artwork, Bultman, his family and friends. Also found are biographical materials, 4 diaries, 6 interviews with Fritz Bultman and Jeanne Bultman, and a small amount of artwork.
Biographical materials include school records and notice of Bultman's army classification.
Most letters are addressed to Fritz Bultman and his parents. Fritz's education in Munich and studying with Hans Hofmann is well-documented. Many letters are from Miz Hofmann and Hans Hofmann. Also found are a smaller number of letters from museums, galleries, universities, and arts organizations. The surviving letters by Bultman are mainly to his family. Most were written when he was a student in Munich or traveling in Europe. There are some drafts and copies of letters concerning professional activities, arrangements for lectures, exhibitions, and Cynthia Goodman's editing "Form and Color in the Creative Process: The Painter's Primer" by Hans Hofmann.
Most interviews focus on Bultman's career. An interview with Jeanne and Fritz Bultman is about John Graham, and one of the interviews with Jeanne Bultman concerns Hans Hofmann.
Bultman's writings and notes include articles, lectures and talks about Hans Hofman, lectures about his own work, and a book review. Among the writings about Bultman are articles, a catalog essay and exhibition review.
Notebooks/sketchbooks (39 volumes) contain a variety of writings and notes, including some that are autobiographical, along with sketches and several finished drawings. Some volumes consist of writings and notes with a few sketches and doodles while others are mainly sketchbooks containing a few stray notes and brief writings; many contain approximately the same amount of text and drawings.
Diaries (4 volumes) contain entries about his work, professional and personal activities. One volume is a record of his October 1978 trip to Istanbul.
Subject files contain varying combinations of correspondence, photographs, printed material, and manuscripts. The most extensive file relates to Hans Hofmann and includes copies of writings by him. Other files of note concern Joseph Cornell, the exhibitions "Forum '49" and "Forum '49 Revisited," Weldon Kees, Tony Smith, and Donald Windham.
The largest series, printed material, consists of exhibition catalogs, announcements, reviews, articles and clippings about or mentioning Bultman.
Noteworthy among the small amount of artwork by Bultman is an early print; also found are loose drawings and paintings on paper.
Photographs of artwork document the full range of Bultman's production --paintings, sculpture, drawings, collage, stained glass, interior design and decoration. Also found are a few photographs of works by other artists. Photographs of Fritz Bultman include many by Renate Ponsold. Other indentified individuals include parents Fred and Pauline Bultman, sister Muriel Bultman, childhood nurse Katie Belle, son Johann Bultman, Sherman Drexler, Hans Hofmann, Miz Hofmann, Miss Katsura, Lee Krasner, Annalee Newman, Barnett Newman, Alfonso Ossorio, Jeanne Reynal, Thomas Sills, Jack Tworkov, and Wally Tworkov. A group portrait of the artists of Long Point Gallery includes: Varujan Boghosian, Fritz Bultman, Carmen Cicero, Sideo Fromboluti, Budd Hopkins, Rick Klauber, Lee Manso, Sidney Simon, Robert Motherwell, Judith Rothschild, Nora Speyer, and Tony Vevers. Also found in this series are photographs of Bultman exhibition installations and views of miscellaneous places.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Fritz Bultman in 1984, which included material lent for microfilming in 1970 and 1971. Additions donated by Jeanne Bultman, his widow, in 1988 and 2000, and by his sons, Anthony F. Bultman, IV and Ellis Johann Bultman, in 2013.
Related Materials
An oral history interview with Fritz Bultman, 1986 January 6, was conducted by Irving Sandler for the Archives of American Art (available on microfilm reel 3196).
Processing Information
A small portion of the collection loaned for microfilming in 1970 and 1971 was subsequently donated in 1984. Later donations in 1988 and 2000 from the artist's widow, Jeanne Bultman, and in 2013 from their children, Anthony F. Bultman, IV and Johann Ellis Bultman were not microfilmed. All previously filmed and unfilmed accessions were merged and processed to a minimal level and a finding aid prepared in 2013 by Catherine S. Gaines.
The Archives of American Art has implemented minimal processing tactics when possible in order to increase information about and access to more of our collections.
Minimal processing included arrangement to the series, subseries, and folder levels. Generally, items within folders were simply verified with folder titles, but not arranged further. Folders within boxes were not numbered. The collection was rehoused in archival containers and folders, but not all staples and clips were removed.