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Rose Slivka papers, circa 1947-2006

Rose Slivka papers, circa 1947-2006

Slivka, Rose, 1919-2004

Author, Editor

Collection Information

Size: 20.8 linear feet

Summary: The papers of craft expert Rose Slivka, an editor, writer, critic, and educator, measure 20.8 linear feet and date from circa 1947-2006. The papers reflect Slivka's work with associations and universities to encourage the recognition of crafts as an international and broadly defined art form. The routine business of publishing "Craft Horizons" magazine and the founding and operation of "Craft International" magazine are documented by correspondence and subject files. Correspondence is mainly professional with some scattered personal letters. Subject files concern various organizations, individuals and events related to Slivka's work and interests. Among the writings are manuscripts, notes, and research materials for her book about Peter Voulkos; also included are shorter writings on a variety of topics, poems, 2 diaries, lectures, and talks. There are many interviews with craftspeople and artists conducted by Slivka and others, some undertaken as research for articles. Photographs include artwork, views of Slivka, and craftspeople she observed when traveling abroad.

Interviews with craftsmen and other artists were conducted by Rose Slivka and others. Peter Voulkos is espcially well-documented. Among the artists interviewed are: Elaine de Kooning, Philip Guston, Jack Lenor Larsen, Louise Nevelson, and David Slivka. Also found are intereviews with John Cage, Stanley Kunitz, and Rose Slivka.

Writings, notes, and related research are by Slivka and others. Slivka's writings are mainly about crafts, although diaries, poetry, and brief reminiscences are also found. Writings by others include lectures, symposia and panel discussion presentations, and a dissertation on contemporary American craftsmen.

Biographical/Historical Note

Crafts expert Rose Slivka (1919-2004) was an editor, educator, and critic in New York City and East Hampton, NY. Slivka edited Craft Horizons magazine from 1957-1979, and then founded Crafts International, which published its first issue in 1980.


The Rose Slivka papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Slivka's daughter, Charlotte Slivka, in 2008 and 2012.

A Finding Aid to the Rose Slivka Papers, circa 1947-2006, in the Archives of American Art
Biographical/Historical note
Crafts expert Rose Slivka (1919-2004) was an editor, educator, and critic in New York City and East Hampton, NY. Slivka edited
Craft Horizons
magazine from 1957-1979, and then founded
Crafts International
, which published its first issue in 1980.
Rose Slivka was very active in the American Crafts Council and World Crafts Council, and promoted crafts by participating in conferences around the world, acting as a juror of competitions, writing, and teaching. The author of books and articles about crafts, including the entry on "Handicrafts" in the 1961 edition of
Encyclopedia Britannica
, Slivka was tireless in her search for information pertaining to crafts of all nations. Her study of the subject was integrated into a strong, far-reaching campaign to include sculpture as a craft and promote crafts on a par with fine art. She was also interested in poetry and taught courses in art criticism at New York University and the New School for Social Research.
Many of Slivka's articles on craft, painting and sculpture have been published in periodicals such as
Art in America
Architectural Digest
, and
The New York Times
. Books and exhibition catalogs include
The Crafts of the Modern World
The Object as Poet
(1976), Renwick Gallery, Washington, DC;
Peter Voulkos: A Dialogue in Clay
California Clay
(1979), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and
The Book as Art and Artist
(1979), Elaine Benson Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY. Slivka's writings have been translated into at least 7 languages.
Slivka was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Critics Fellowship in 1976 and between 1980 and 1982 conducted a research project on "Criticism and Scholarship in Modern Craft" also sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. She was awarded The Rhode Island School of Design President's Fellows Award in 1982, and its highest honor, the Athena Medal. In addition, she served on the boards of directors for several New York City organizations including Clayworks Studio Workshop, New York Experimental Glassworks, and Center for Book Arts.
Following her career as a magazine editor, international speaker on crafts, writer, and educator, Slivka moved to East Hampton, Long Island, where she continued to write poetry and was art critic for
The East Hampton Star
Rose Slivka's was married to sculptor David Slivka; the couple had 2 children and eventually divorced. She died of heart failure in Southampton, NY, on September 2, 2004.
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as 7 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1947-2005 ( Box 1; 0.6 linear feet)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1950-2004 (Boxes 1-4: 3.6 linear feet)
Series 3: Interviews, 1974-2001 (Boxes 5-6; 1.6 linear feet)
Series 4: Writings, Notes, and Related Research, 1954-2001 (Boxes 6-11, OV 23; 4.8 linear feet)
Series 5: Subject Files, 1958-2004 (Boxes 11-18, 22, OV 23; 7.4 linear feet)
Series 6: Printed Material, 1952-2006 (Boxes 18-20, OV 23; 1.9 linear feet)
Series 7: Photographs, circa 1947-1990s (Boxes 20-21; 1 linear feet)
The Rose Slivka papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Slivka's daughter, Charlotte Slivka, in 2008 and 2012.
Processing Information note
The collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid prepared in 2013 by Catherine S. Gaines with assistance from volunteer Harriet E. Shapiro who arranged and described the correspondence and photographs series. The Archives of American Art has implemented minimal processing tactics when possible in order to increase information about and access to more of our collections.
Minimal processing included arrangement to the series, subseries, and folder levels. Generally, items within folders were simply verified with folder titles, but not arranged further. The collection was rehoused in archival containers and folders, but not all staples and clips were removed.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.

How to Cite This Collection

Rose Slivka papers, circa 1947-2006. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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