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Joan Ludman papers relating to Fairfield Porter, circa 1910-2003, bulk, 1976-2001

Joan Ludman papers relating to Fairfield Porter, circa 1910-2003, bulk, 1976-2001

Ludman, Joan, 1932-

Author

Collection Information

Size: 4.2 linear feet

Summary: The Joan Ludman papers relating to Fairfield Porter, circa 1910-2003, bulk, 1976-2001, mainly document her research for "Fairfield Porter: A Catalogue Raisonné of his Prints," (1981) and "Fairfield Porter: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Watercolors, and Pastels (2001)." In addition, there are records concerning "Prints by Fairfield Porter from the Lauris and Daniel J. Mason Collection," a traveling exhibition organized by Ludman. Also included are general printed material about Fairfield Porter and his work, records concerning authentication of artwork by Porter, and photographs.

Biographical/Historical Note

Joan Ludman (1932- ) is an art historian with expertise in prints, developed a deep interest in the work of Fairfield Porter while living in Westbury, Long Island.

Provenance

The Joan Ludman papers relating to Fairfield Porter were donated to the Archives of American Art by Joan Ludman in 2003, 2004, and 2015.

Related Materials

A Finding Aid to the Joan Ludman papers relating to Fairfield Porter,
circa 1910-2003,
bulk 1976-2001
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.ludmjoan
Author
Finding aid prepared by Catherine S. Gaines
Biographical Note
Joan Ludman, an art historian with expertise in prints, developed a deep interest in the work of Fairfield Porter while living in Westbury, Long Island. She compiled and published a catalogue raisonné of Porter's prints in 1981, and another of his paintings, watercolors, and pastels in 2001. Now retired, Mrs. Ludman lives in Florida.
By the early 1970s, Joan Ludman had amassed a sizeable amount of information about Fairfield Porter and considered writing a biography. Instead, with the help of Anne Porter, the artist's widow, she began researching Porter's prints. The result was
Fairfield Porter: A Catalogue Raisonné of his Prints
. It was published by Highland House Publishers, Inc., a company established by Mrs. Ludman in order to assure her own standards and control the book's quality and cost.
At the same time she was compiling the catalogue raisonné of Porter's prints, Ludman was collaborating with Lauris Mason on other projects - a catalogue raisonné of George Bellow's lithographs, an anthology of essays, and five selected bibliographies about prints and printmaking. She also organized "Prints from Fairfield Porter from the Lauris and Daniel J. Mason Collection," an exhibition that traveled to several venues in 1982 and 1983.
The Estate of Fairfield Porter donated a substantial number of paintings to the Parrish Art Museum in 1979. The museum agreed to publish a catalogue raisonné, and arrangements were formalized the following year. Twice during the early 1980s, art historians who committed to writing the monograph lost interest. The project languished due to administrative problems and the discouragingly high cost of publishing such a volume. By 1988, it was apparent that the museum could not comply with the agreement. Knowing Joan Ludman's work on the catalogue raisonné of Porter's prints, Mrs. Porter approached her about the catalogue raisonné of his paintings. The highly regarded
Fairfield Porter: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Watercolors, and Pastels
was published by Hudson Hills Press, Inc.
Painter Fairfield Porter (1907-1975) was known for portraits, landscapes, and still life paintings. Also a critic and writer, Porter was an editorial associate with
Art News
in the 1950's, wrote for
The Nation
, published poetry, and a monograph on Thomas Eakins.
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 7 series:
Series 1:
Fairfield Porter: A Catalogue Raisonné of his Prints
, 1936-2003 (Box 1; 0.4 linear ft.)
Series 2:
Fairfield Porter: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Watercolors, and Pastels
, 1933-2003 (Boxes 1-3; 2.6 linear ft.)
Series 3: Exhibition Records, 1982-1983 (Box 4; 4 folders)
Series 4: Printed Material, 1966-2000 (Box 4; 0.2 linear ft.)
Series 5: Authentications, 1991-2001 (Box 4; 2 folders)
Series 6: Photographs, circa1910-1976 (Box 4; 0.1 linear ft.)
Series 7: Addition to the Joan Ludman Papers Relating to Fairfield Porter, circa 1970s-2000s (Boxes 5-6, 0.8 linear feet)
Scope and Content Note
The Joan Ludman papers relating to Fairfield Porter measure 4.2 linear feet and are dated circa 1910-2003, bulk 1976-2001. The papers primarily document her research for
Fairfield Porter: A Catalogue Raisonné of his Prints
(1981) and
Fairfield Porter: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Watercolors, and Pastels
(2001). There are records concerning "Prints by Fairfield Porter from the Lauris and Daniel J. Mason Collection," a traveling exhibition organized by Ludman. Also found are Ludman's records concerning her authentications of Porter's artwork, and general printed material about Porter. Photographs are of Porter and his work. A 2015 addition includes provenance forms sent to Ludman from artwork owners.
The compilation of
Fairfield Porter: A Catalogue Raisonné of his Prints
and its publication are documented by a variety of records. Research correspondence includes photocopies of Porter's letters from the 1930s to John Wheelwright about linoleum cuts he made for the Socialist publication
Poems for a Dime
. Letters from Anne Porter concerning the catalogue raisonné are among the miscellaneous correspondence. Also found is a "Log of the Work in Progress on Research and Interviews…" kept by Ludman, along with notes and transcripts of interviews conducted during the course of her research. Printed material concerns Porter's prints, and photographs include those reproduced in the catalogue raisonné.
Ludman's work on
Fairfield Porter: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Watercolors, and Pastels
is documented by correspondence, a "master index," writings, printed material and photographs. Among the correspondence are questionnaires completed by owners of Porter paintings. Correspondence with Anne Porter includes typed excerpts from letters, 1922-1938, that mention her husband's painting activities. A "master index" summarizing Ludman's research is found among the writings. Printed material mentions or reproduces paintings by Fairfield Porter. Photographs include the images reproduced in the book; there are also snapshots of some early paintings, among them unidentified and unrecorded works.
Exhibition records document "Prints by Fairfield Porter from the Lauris and Daniel J. Mason Collection," a show organized by Joan Ludman that traveled in 1982 and 1983 under the auspices of the Gallery Association of New York State. Printed material provides general background information about Porter and his work. Also found are an article and book review by Fairfield Porter, along with printed material concerning members of his family and a map of Great Spruce Head Island, Maine.
Authentication records consist of letters conveying Mrs. Ludman's opinions about works purported to be by Porter. The majority of photographs are of Fairfield Porter. Also included are Manhattan street scenes photographed by Porter, and views of Joan and Harold Ludman's 1976 visit with Mrs. Porter at the home and studio.
Provenance
The Joan Ludman papers relating to Fairfield Porter were donated to the Archives of American Art by Joan Ludman in 2003, 2004, and 2015.
Related Material
Among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are the Fairfield Porter papers, 1888-2001, and an oral history interview with Fairfield Porter conducted by Paul Cummings in 1968.
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Catherine S. Gaines in 2010.

Restrictions on Access

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

How to Cite This Collection

Joan Ludman papers relating to Fairfield Porter, circa 1910-2003, bulk, 1976-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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