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Louis Finkelstein papers, 1930-2001

Finkelstein, Louis, 1923-2000

Painter, Educator, Art critic

Collection Information

Size: 11.2 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of painter, educator, and writer Louis Finkelstein measure 11.2 linear feet and date from 1930 to 2001. The papers document his career in New York through biographical material; correspondence with friends and colleagues; printed material such as exhibition catalogs, announcements, and published articles; sketches and sketchbooks; and professional material, including exhibition records and documents related to his time on the board of directors of the National Academy of Design. Also found are teaching materials and extensive writings, including notes and lecture outlines in over 40 notebooks and draft articles and lectures written by Finkelstein and others. The collection also includes over 40 sound recordings of lectures and audio notes by Finkelstein. Photographic materials include personal photographs, photographs of artwork, and slides used for lectures.

Biographical/Historical Note

Louis Finkelstein (1923-2000) was a painter, educator, and writer in New York, NY. Finkelstein was born in New York City and studied painting at the Cooper Union, Art Students League of New York, and the Brooklyn Museum School of Art. Finkelstein was an educator and a lecturer at Philadelphia College of Art, Yale School of Art, and Queens College, where he was head of the Art department for over 25 years. Finkelstein was also a member of the National Academy of Design.


The Louis Finkelstein papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Jane Culp, widow of Louis Finkelstein, in 2001.

Language Note

The collection is primarily in English but there is one file of notes corresponding to a lecture Finkelstein gave in Brazil that is in Portuguese.


The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund, administered by the National Collections Program and the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee.