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Honoré Sharrer papers, circa 1920-2007

Sharrer, Honoré Desmond, 1920-2009

Muralist, Painter, Illustrator

Collection Information

Size: 9.45 Linear feet 1.12 Gigabytes

Summary: The papers of realist painter, Honoré Sharrer, measure 9.45 linear feet and 1.12 GB and date from circa 1920-2007. The collection documents Sharrer's career through biographical material, personal and professional correspondence, writings and notes, research and source files, printed and digital material, artwork, sketchbooks, and photographs of Sharrer, her family, friends, colleagues, and artwork.
Biographical material includes biographical notes and resumés, awards, paintbrushes used by Sharrer, and sales records, as well as comprehensive documentation, compiled 2004-2007 by her husband, Perez Zagorin, and her son, Adam Zagorin, of Sharrer's artwork in their possession. Included are digital images of Sharrer's artwork.
Correspondence is with family members including Sharrer's mother, Madeleine Sharrer, and her second husband, Reginald Poland; husband Perez Zagorin; son Adam Zagorin; and daughter-in-law, Mary Carpenter Also found is correspondence with artists including Peter Blume, Lester Burbank Bridaham, Gitta Caiserman-Roth, Kathy Calderwood, Mary Crutchfield, Betty Goodwin, Lincoln Kirstein, Mayumi Oda, and George Tooker. Other professional correspondents include galleries, museums, and other art institutions such as American Academy of Arts and Letters, Terry Dintenfass, Forum Gallery, Handmacher-Vogel, Inc., M. Knoedler & Co., Dorothy Miller relating to the 1946 Fourteen Americans exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, and the Women's Caucus for Art.
Writings and notes comprise drafts of several essays on art by Sharrer, preliminary notes for Tribute to the American Working People, and a mock-up for an unpublished book, "One White Christmas," written by Sharrer's grandmother, Honoré Sachs, and illustrated by Sharrer.
Research and source files consist of source material used throughout the course of Sharrer's career, including printed and photographic material used in the creation of Tribute to the American Working People, and later work dating up to, and including, the last decade of her life.
Printed material comprises announcements and catalogs for exhibitions and events featuring Sharrer, including a catalog for Fourteen Americans, as well as clippings about her and others, such as the Life Magazine cover story "Nineteen Young Americans."
Artwork and sketchbooks include studies for paintings and illustrations, and other preliminary sketches, as well as 14 sketchbooks of pencil and ink sketches dating from circa 1960s t0 2003.
Photographic material consists of photos of Sharrer, her family, friends, colleagues, exhibition installations, and houses. Also found are photos, negatives, and transparencies of Sharrer's artwork, as well as photos of artwork by Madeleine Sharrer and Lester Burbank Bridaham.

Biographical/Historical Note

Realist painter Honoré Sharrer (1920-2009) lived and worked in New York, Massachusetts, London, Montreal and Charlottesville, Virginia. She was best known for her five-panel painting, Tribute to the American Working People , completed in 1951 and first shown at M. Knoedler & Co. in New York to wide critical acclaim.


The Honoré Sharrer papers were donated in 2006 and 2007 by Perez Zagorin, Sharrer's husband. A small addition was donated by Adam Zagorin, Sharrer's son, in 2018.

Related Materials

Language Note

Collection is in English.


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