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Peter Fingesten papers, 1936-1988

Fingesten, Peter, 1916-1987

Arts administrator, Sculptor, Educator, Graphic designer


Collection Information

Size: 2.7 Linear feet

Summary: Biographical material, correspondence, writings, teaching material, photographs, printed material, and a scrapbook.
The papers of sculptor, graphic artist and educator Peter Fingesten measure 2.7 linear feet and date from 1936-1988. Included are correspondence, writings, teaching material, photographs, works of art, printed material and a scrapbook.
Correspondence concerns Fingesten's association with Pace University and his writings and lectures. Among the correspondence is a postcard from Ad Reinhardt, circa 1962, commending Fingesten for his articles in the College Art Journal. Writings including diaries, essays, art and exhibition reviews, and manuscripts by Fingesten and others including is a draft of Fingesten's article, Breast of the Madonna, and related research material. Teaching material consists of lecture notes and syllabi for courses taught at Pace University. Photographs are of Fingesten, his family, friends, and works of art. Works of art consist of seven signed and numbered prints by Fingesten. Printed material includes articles by Fingesten, exhibition catalogs and announcements, clippings, reviews of Fingesten's writings and books about religion, death, and the ancient world and a folio of reproductions of nine drawings A scrapbook, 1936-1957, (disbound) also includes printed material.

Biographical/Historical Note

Peter Fingesten (1916-1987) was a sculptor, graphic artist, and educator in New York. Born Berlin, Germany, Fingesten emigrated to the United States in 1939. He founded the Pace University Art Department in 1950 and served as chairman until 1986.


A small amount of printed material and a postcard from Ad Reinhardt was donated by Peter Fingesten in 1971 and 1976. His widow, Carole C. Fingesten Forbes, donated the remainder in 1989-1995, 2014 and 2017.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

A small amount of the collection is available on 35mm microfilm reels 2804 (some printed materials) and 3482 (postcard from Ad Reinhardt). Microfilm is available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan..

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.

Restrictions on Use

"Breast of the Madonna" draft and and related research material: Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce must be obtained from Carole Fingesten Forbes.

How to Cite This Collection

Peter Fingesten papers, 1936-1988. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.