Catherine S. Gaines
Scope and Contents
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.
The Joan Ludman papers relating to Fairfield Porter were donated to the Archives of American Art by Joan Ludman in 2003 and 2004. Ludman donated additional 0.8 linear feet of papers in 2015.
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.
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Catherine S. Gaines in 2010.