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Philip Pearlstein papers, 1949-2009

Philip Pearlstein papers, 1949-2009

Pearlstein, Philip, 1924-


Collection Information

Size: 39.6 linear feet.

Summary: Biographical material, correspondence, business and financial records, teaching materials, writings, photographs, audio visual material, an interview transcript, printed material and miscellaneous relating to the career of Philip Pearlstein as a painter and educator.

Biographical material includes awards and records of honorary events, including recognition from president Bill Clinton. Correspondence is with family and colleagues, including letters from Chuck Close, Will Barnet, Robert Storr, John Updike, Leland Wallin, Richard Haas, Jerome Witkin, Jack Levine and Rackstraw Downes, among others, as well as letters of recommendation from Pearlstein for colleagues and students.

Business and financial records include four New York court summons (1965-1977), a 1972 contract to paint a double portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Steven Robinson, a 1973 loft lease, insurance records, (1964-1975), loan agreements, including exchanges with the Georgia Museum of Art (1970-1971), loan receipts, and miscellaneous receipts and statements. Teaching materials (1955-1973) are from Brooklyn College lectures.

Writings include published and unpublished drafts by Pearlstein, including When Paintings Were Made in Heaven (1981-1982) and Critics and Artists (1978), tributes, and acceptance speeches; Pearlstein's M.A. thesis The Paintings of Francis Picabia, 1908-1930 (Institute of Fine Art, 1955); student notebooks; notes, primarily regarding articles and lectures; and writings by others about Pearlstein.

Photographs, many of which are snaphots, are of Pearlstein, his family, artists' models, Andy Warhol as a student at Carnegie Institute of Technology, works of art by Pearlstein and others including Jack Mitchell, Harvey Stein, and David Levy.

Audio visual material includes numerous audio and video tapes, film reels, and digital recordings of Pearlstein speaking at various events, lectures and exhibitions, and at work. Production material for the documentary "Philip Pearlstein Draws the Artists' Model," produced by Jerry Whitely includes raw footage of Pearlstein working in the studio and teaching, multiple rough cuts and finished versions for distribution and broadcast. 13 reels of Super 8 mm film contain footage of Pearstein painting in the studio and in various locations as well as some home movie and travel footage. Also included are two untranscribed radio interviews of Pearlstein conducted by unknown interviewers for radio stations WBAI; (undated) and WRFM, March 18, 1963; and an interview transcript with Pearlstein.

Printed material includes clippings, press releases, and exhibition announcements and catalogs. Miscellaneous material includes engagement calendars, some annotated.

Biographical/Historical Note

Philip Pearlstein ( 1924- ) is a painter and educator in New York, N.Y. Pearlstein studied at Carnegie Institute of Technology and New York University. He teaches at Brooklyn College.


Donated 1975-2009 by Philip Pearlstein.

Restrictions on Access

Collection is being processed and is CLOSED to researchers.

Restrictions on Use

Videotapes: No commercial use without prior arrangement with Pearlstein or his heirs.

How to Cite This Collection

Philip Pearlstein papers, 1949-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.