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Rudy Burckhardt papers, 1934-2015

Burckhardt, Rudy, 1914-1999

Photographer, Painter, Filmmaker

Collection Information

Size: 5.6 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of photographer, filmmaker, and painter Rudy Burckhardt measure 5.6 linear feet and date from 1934 to 2015. A bulk of the collection consists of black and white negatives which document over 260 mid-to-late twentieth century modern artists, their work, studios, and/or exhibitions. Notable artists include Willem de Kooning, Dan Flavin, Joseph Cornell, Helen Frankenthaler, Donald Judd, Franz Kline, Roy Lichtenstein, Louise Nevelson, Isamu Noguchi, Frank Stella, and many others. Burckhardt was hired to photograph for a number of New York art galleries such as the Leo Castelli Gallery and Green Gallery; art collectors including Chaim Gross and David Rockefeller; and art magazines such as ARTnews. Personal papers include announcements and an exhibition catalog; clippings; photographs on postcards; and a book, entitled Conversations with Rudy Burckhardt About Everything, by Simon Pettet, 1987. A small but rich addition to the collection dates from 1941-2015 and contains a curriculum vitae; letters from Joe Brainard, Harold Schimmel, and others; writings; one scrapbook dating from World War II containing letters Burckhardt wrote to Edwin Denby; printed announcements and clippings; and one photograph of Burckhardt taken by Yvonne Jacquette.

Biographical/Historical Note

Rudy Burckhardt (1914-1999) was a Swiss-American photographer, filmmaker, and painter based in New York, N.Y. during the post-World War II era. Originally from Basel, Switzerland, Burckhardt relocated to New York in 1935 at the age of 21. Burckhardt shared a loft in Chelsea with American dance critic and poet, Edwin Denby, next-door to Willem and Elaine de Kooning.


The first accession of biographical material was donated to the Archives of American Art by Rudy Burckhardt in 1993. A second installment of photographic material was donated by Yvonne Jacquette Burckhardt, Burckhardt's widow, in 2011. A third addition was donated by Yvonne Jacquette Burckhardt in 2016.

Related Materials

Language Note

Collection is in English.