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Noah Purifoy papers, 1935-1998

Purifoy, Noah, 1917-2004

Assemblage artist, Arts administrator, Sculptor


Collection Information

Size: 2.1 Linear feet

Summary: The Noah Purifoy papers contain biographical material including a high school diploma (1935), awards, and curriculum vitae; personal and professional correspondence (1966-1998); lecture notes; outlines of programs for the California Arts Council (1976) and Artists-in-Education Summer Workshop (1977); publications; scrapbooks containing newspaper and magazine articles; exhibition catalogs and announcements; and photographs.

Biographical/Historical Note

Noah Purifoy (1917-2004) was an African American sculptor, assemblage artist, and arts administrator in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, California. He attended Alabama State Teachers College and Atlanta University and later earned a BFA from Chouinard Art Institute in 1954. Purifoy was a founding director of the Watts Towers Art Center in Los Angeles, California and a co-founder of the Watts Summer Festival. In 1989, Purifoy moved to the Mojave desert and constructed large scale assemblages and environmental sculptures which comprise what is now the Noah Purifoy Outdoor Sculpture Museum.


Donated 1998 by Noah Purifoy.

Language Note

English .

How to Use This Collection

Restrictions on Access

This collection is temporarily closed to researchers due to archival processing. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Noah Purifoy papers, 1935-1998. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.