Sarah Mundy and Megan McShea
Scope and Contents
The papers of New York artist Philip Pearlstein measure 31.8 linear feet and 16.68 GB and date from circa 1940 to 2008. The collection is comprised of biographical material, correspondence, interviews and transcripts, writing projects and lectures, personal business records, printed material, three scrapbooks, photographs and moving images, documentary production material, digital records, sound and video recordings, and motion picture film that documents Pearlstein's career as a painter and educator.
Biographical material includes appointment books, several awards, annotated calendars, a catalogue raisonné working list, identification card, membership files, resumes, and one sound recording. Correspondence is with Will Barnet, Chuck Close, Rackstraw Downes, Richard Haas, Jack Levine, Robert Storr, John Updike, Leland Wallin, Jerome Witkin, family, galleries and museums, students, colleagues, artists, arts organizations, and includes a digital recording.
Also found are sound recordings and transcripts of interviews with Pearlstein by Vivian Tsao, Michael Blaine, Sanford Sivitz Shaman, David McCarthy, and broadcast stations WRFM and WBAI. Writing projects and lectures by Pearlstein consist of student work, numerous articles and essays, sound and video recordings of lectures and speeches, letters, memorials, miscellaneous manuscripts and notes, and a U.S. and U.S.S.R. Workshop Exchange project proposal. Writings by others about Pearlstein are by W.J. Kelly, Alexander Dückers, Richard Field, John Ward, Jerome Viola, Robert Storr, and David Yezzi.
Personal business records contain agreements, consignment and loan documents, donations, financial material, exhibition files, insurance and inventories, recommendations written by Pearlstein, reproduction permissions, digital recordings, and teaching files for various institutions. Art reproductions, clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs for exhibitions of artwork by Pearlstein and others, magazines and journals, newsletters, postcards, and publicity files that include one digital recording are in printed materials.
Two scrapbooks are of Egyptian and Roman architecture and objects accompanied by notes and a small amount of sketches, and one scrapbook is printed material regarding Pearlstein's work and exhibitions. Artwork is by Jean Hampleman, Fernando Tamburini, and unidentified artists. Photographs and moving images that include video recordings and motion picture film of Pearlstein in the studio, portraits, and candids; personal photographs of family, travel, and classmates including Andy Warhol and Dorothy Cantor; artist's models; events and exhibitions; and works of art.
Completed and unedited video and sound recordings, computer graphics footage, soundtrack material, and administrative records for the 1985 documentary video production Philip Pearlstein Draws the Artist's Model are also in this collection.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers were donated in multiple installments by Philip Pearlstein from 1975 to 2009.
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Philip Pearlstein conducted by Paul Cumming, June 8 to August 10, 1972.
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Sarah Mundy and Megan McShea in 2018. 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 Preservation and Collection Care Fund.