John Opper papers, 1908-2013, bulk 1930-1994
This site provides access to the papers of John Opper in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2021, and total 2,144 images.
Rachel Salzmann and Rihoko Ueno
Scope and Contents
The papers of New York-based abstract painter and teacher John Opper measure 1.6 linear feet and 0.057 GB and are dated 1908-2013, bulk 1930-1994. The papers contain both professional and personal correspondence. Biographical materials include passports, sketches, certificates, and curriculum vitae, as well as genealogical documents in digital format. Personal business records relate to the artist's Bowery Street and Amagansett studios, art sales through the Grace Borgenicht Gallery, and a few art inventories. A scrapbook contains newspaper clippings. Additional clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, and galley sheets of a children's book illustrated by Opper are included among the printed material. Photographs are of Opper, his family, friends, and paintings. Digital photographs depict the artist and relatives.
Biographical material contains a faculty identification card, family tree, passports, curriculum vitae, sketches, certificates, notes, and other material. Some Opper family genealogical documents are in digital format.
Correspondence includes letters from immediate family, galleries, universities, foundations, and friends and colleagues, such as Lee Hall and George McNeil.
Personal business records consist of financial and legal material as well as art inventories. Opper's Bowery and Amagansett studio files contain maintenance fees as well as records related to a legal settlement. Also included are sales records from Grace Borgenicht Gallery, a painting inventory and a list of slides.
Printed materials include a disbound scrapbook, newspaper and magazine clippings, exhibition catalogs, announcements, and the galley sheets for a children's book illustrated by Opper.
Photographs depict John Opper, Opper with friends and family, and Opper's artwork. Most of the photographic material consists of prints but there are a few slides, transparencies, and digital formats.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The John Opper papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by the artist's children, Jane and Joseph Opper, in 2013.
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with John Opper, conducted by Irving Sandler, 1968 September 9-1969 January 3.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by Jane and Joseph Opper.
This collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid prepared in 2014 by Rachel Salzmann. The collection was fully processed, prepared for digitization, and the finding aid was updated by Rihoko Ueno in 2021.
Born-digital records were processed by Kirsi Ritosalmi-Kisner in 2019 with funding provided by Smithsonian Collection Care and Preservation Fund.
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