Scope and Contents note
The papers of painter, photographer and sculptor Lowell Nesbitt measure 50.2 linear feet and 0.001 GB and date from circa 1903-1993 (bulk 1950-1993). The collection documents Nesbitt's career through biographical material, correspondence, subject files, business and financial records, source material, artwork, printed and digital matter, photographs and audiovisual records and scrapbooks.
Biographical Material includes documentation of Nesbitt's education and other personal documents. Plans and designs for Nesbitt's properties on West Twelfth Street, New York City and Kent, New York are arranged in the series for architectural records for homes and studios
Correspondence and Subject Files are voluminous and record Nesbitt's interaction with individuals, businesses and organizations and includes personal and family correspondence in addition to correspondence relating to galleries, exhibitions, commissions he undertook and committees on which he served.
Artwork by Nesbitt includes a small collection of collages, drawings, paintings, prints and sketchbooks. Source material comprises approximately 11 linear feet of material, primarily newspaper and magazine clippings and photographs, relating to a large variety of subjects that inspired Nesbitt, such as flowers, fruits and vegetables, dogs and other animals and the studios of other artists including Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol.
Photographs are of Nesbitt, his friends, family, colleagues and his pets, as well as subjects of interest to him in his work. Also of note are twenty-seven folders of photographs taken by photographer Jack Mitchell of Nesbitt and others.
Printed Material contains publicity material and documents exhibitions of Nesbitt's work. Additional photographs and printed material are found in the Scrapbooks.
A portion of the papers were donated by Lowell Nesbitt in 1983 and the bulk of the papers were a bequest from Nesbitt's estate in 1994.
The collection was processed to a preliminary level by Ambika Sankaran in 2006. The finding aid was completed by Stephanie Ashley in 2007. Motion picture film reels were inspected and re-housed in 2017 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund. Born-digital materials were processed by Kirsi Ritosalmi-Kisner in 2019 with funding provided by Smithsonian Collection Care and Preservation fund.