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Charles Pollock papers, 1875-1994

Charles Pollock papers, 1875-1994

Pollock, Charles C. (Charles Cecil), 1902-1988

Muralist, Art teacher, Painter

Collection Information

Size: 3.1 linear feet

Summary: The papers of painter, muralist, and educator Charles Pollock measure 3.1 linear feet and date from 1875 to 1994. Found within the papers are biographical materials; family and personal correspondence; subject files on art and professional topics; writings; printed material; artwork, including political cartoons and figurative sketches; and photographs of Pollock, his family and friends, and his work.

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter, muralist, and educator Charles Pollock (1902-1988) lived and worked in East Lansing, Michigan, New York City, Detroit, and Paris, France and painted in a social realist style early in his career before transitioning to abstract works in the 1940s. Older brother of Jackson Pollock. Studied with Thomas Hart Benton, Art Students League. Art instructor, Michigan State University 1942-1967.

Provenance

The papers were donated in 1975 by Pollock's first wife, Elizabeth Feinberg Pollock, with assistance from Charles Pollock on the selection of items. Additional materials were donated in 1988 by his second wife, Sylvia Winter Pollock. From 1991 to 1994, Elizabeth Pollock gifted additional correspondence and photographs to the Archives.

Related Materials

Also found in the Archives of American Art are the Elizabeth Feinberg Pollock memoirs and the Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers.

Funding

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

A Finding Aid to the Charles Pollock Papers, 1875-1994, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.pollchar
Finding aid prepared by Judy Ng
Scope and Contents note
The papers of painter, muralist, and educator Charles Pollock measure 3.1 linear feet and date from 1875 to 1994. Found within the papers are biographical materials; family and personal correspondence; subject files on art and professional topics; writings; printed material; artwork, including political cartoons and figurative sketches; and photographs of Pollock, his family and friends, and his work.
Biographical/Historical note
Painter, muralist, and educator Charles Pollock (1902-1988) lived and worked in East Lansing, Michigan, New York City, Detroit, and Paris, France and painted in a social realist style early in his career before transitioning to abstract works in the 1940s. He is also the eldest brother of the abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock.
Born in Denver, Colorado to Stella McClure and LeRoy Pollock, Pollock received his early art training at the Otis Institute in Los Angeles, California. In 1926, he moved to New York City to attend the Art Students League where he studied under Thomas Hart Benton, with whom Jackson also studied after joining Charles in New York in 1930. In New York, he met and married his first wife, Elizabeth Feinberg Pollock, in 1931.
Pollock moved to Washington, D.C. in 1935 to work for the Resettlement Administration, and after two years, accepted a position as the political illustrator for the United Automobile Workers' newspaper in Detroit. After a short stint as the illustrator and layout editor for the paper, Pollock served as the supervisor of the Michigan WPA Mural Painting and Graphic Arts division from 1938 to 1942.
Upon completion of a three panel mural for Michigan State University in 1942, Pollock was invited to join the faculty of the art department, where he taught lettering, printmaking, typography, and design. During his twenty-five year tenure at the University, he also served as a book designer for the University's Press and continued to develop his abstract painting style. He met and married his second wife, Sylvia Winter Pollock, in 1957. Pollock served as the University of Pennsylvania's artist in residence in 1965 and 1967, and was the recipient of a National Foundation of Arts Grant (1967) and a Guggenheim Grant (1967-1968). The Pollocks moved to Paris in 1970, where Charles died of complications from a stroke in 1988.
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as 7 series.
Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1945-1988 (7 folders; Box 1)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1927-1994 (1 linear foot; Boxes 1-2)
Series 3: Subject Files, 1931-1988 (0.8 linear feet; Box 2)
Series 4: Writings, 1935-1965 (2 folders; Box 2)
Series 5: Printed Material, 1930-1990 (4 folders; Box 2)
Series 6: Artwork, 1925-1949 (0.7 linear feet; Box 3, OV 5-8)
Series 7: Photographic Materials, 1875-1987 (0.4 linear feet; Boxes 3-4)
Provenance
The papers were donated in 1975 by Pollock's first wife, Elizabeth Feinberg Pollock, with assistance from Charles Pollock on the selection of items. Additional materials were donated in 1988 by his second wife, Sylvia Winter Pollock. From 1991 to 1994, Elizabeth Pollock gifted additional correspondence and photographs to the Archives.
Processing Information note
Materials received a preliminary level of arrangement after donation and portions of the collection were microfilmed onto reels 1097, 1116, and 4213-4215. Materials were merged and processed to an intermediate level and a finding aid prepared by Judy Ng in 2015, with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art. 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.
Intermediate processing included arrangement to the series and folder levels with greater attention to the artwork and photographic materials series. For other series, items within folders were generally verified with folder titles, but not arranged further. The collection was rehoused in archival containers and folders.

Additional Forms Available

Portions of this collection are available on legacy 35 mm microfilm reels 1097, 1116, and 4213-4215 at the Archives of American Art offices, and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the microfilm does not represent the entire collection and the arrangement of the papers as described in this finding aid does not reflect the order of the collection on microfilm due to reprocessing.

Restrictions on Access

Unmicrofilmed Jackson Pollock and Thomas Hart Benton correspondence is: ACCESS RESTRICTED; written permission required.

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.

How to Cite This Collection

Charles Pollock papers, 1875-1994. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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