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Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg papers, circa 1890s-2002, (bulk 1919-1999)

Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg papers, circa 1890s-2002, (bulk 1919-1999)

Feitelson, Lorser, 1898-1978

Painter, Printmaker

Collection Information

Size: 15.6 linear feet

Biographical/Historical Note

Lorser Feitelson (1998-1978) and Helen Lundeberg (1908-1999) were painters in Los Angeles, Calif. and husband and wife. Feitelson, was also a graphic artist and teacher, and director of the WPA in California.


Scrapbook on reel LA 1 was lent for microfilming 1964 by Lorser Feitelson, material on reels 1103-1104 & 3990 donated 1973 and 1977 by Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg. Circa 26 feet of additional material, mostly of Lundeberg's, was donated by the Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg Arts Foundation in 1999 and 2002. Additional material donated 2014 by Lorrie Madden, a student of Feitelson's.

Related Materials

Also found in the Archives of American Art are oral history interviews with Lorser Feitelson conducted by Betty Lochrie Hoag, May 12, 1964, with Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg conducted by Betty Lochrie Hoag, March 17, 1965, and with Helen Lundeberg conducted by Jan Butterfield, July 19 and August 29, 1980, and the Lorser Feitelson lectures.


All accessions prior to 2014 were merged and fully processed in 2007 with funding provided by the Getty Foundation.

Location of Originals

  • WPA scrapbook, Reel LA 1: Originals returned to Feitelson after microfilming.

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the life and career of artists Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg, including their establishment of the Post-surrealism movement in southern California, their work for federal arts programs, and their later abstract artwork. Found are biographical materials, correspondence, personal business records, exhibition files, printed materials, and photographs. There is one circa 1957 reel-to-reel audio recording of an episode of Feitelson on Art.

Biographical documentation is found for both artists, Lundeberg's early life is documented by school notebooks, yearbooks, diplomas, calendars, awards, and a "memory book". Feitelson's biographical materials include family certificates, and documents compiled by Lundeberg regarding Feitelson's funeral. Also found are curriculum vitae and biographical sketches for both artists.

Correspondence is extensive and includes both personal and professional correspondence for both Feitelson and Lundeberg. Correspondence includes letters with artists, critics, and museums. Correspondents include Karl Benjamin, Frederick Hammersley, Reuben Kadish, John McLauglin, Diane Moran, Abraham Rattner, and numerous arts museums and galleries. Of special interest is Feitelson and Lundeberg's correspondence with Museum of Modern Art curator Dorothy Canning Miller.

A small amount of exhibition materials, mostly loan agreements and checklists, are found in the papers documenting exhibitions and loans of their artwork to exhibitions. Personal business records concern the management of their artwork and personal collections. Found here are lists of artwork, price lists, appraisal reports, sales invoices, purchase receipts, tax documents, and a set of index cards for their artwork. There are a few scattered legal documents as well. In addition to personal business records, there is a series of records of the Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg Foundation, established by Lundeberg in 1978.

Scattered research and teaching files are mostly Feitelson's. They document his personal research, teaching activities, and television programs, particularly the program Feitelson on Art. Writings, however, are found for both artists and include artist statements, writings about art and art styles and movements, writings about each artist, and writings about the federal arts program in southern California. Of interest are numerous writings by other contemporary writers and critics, including Jan Butterfield, Jules Langsner, Stephen Longstreet, Esther McCoy, Diane Moran, Henry Seldis, and Millard Sheets.

A small amount of artwork is found within the collection by Feitelson and Lundeberg, mostly sketches and drawings. There is one print by Hans Burkhardt.

Printed materials include newsclippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, lecture announcements, posters, press releases, and printed reproductions of Feitelson's and Lundeberg's artwork. There are also pamphlets produced by the Works Progress Administration Federal Arts Program and Lundeberg's poetry.

Photographs are extensive and include many of Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg, as well as of family, friends, and students. There are four photo albums and numerous photographs of Feitelson's and Lundeberg's artwork, including some exhibition installations.

There is one circa 1957 reel-to-reel audio recording of an episode of Feitelson on Art, focusing on Paul Gauguin.

An addition of 0.2 linear feet received in 2014 includes Feitelson's art history and teaching notes, writings by Feitelson, and photographs and contact sheets of Feitelson and works of art.

Microfilm reels LA 1, 1103-1104 and 3990 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

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