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Senga Nengudi papers, 1947, circa 1962-2017

Nengudi, Senga, 1943-

Performance artist

Collection Information

Size: 12.8 Linear feet; 11.24 Gigabytes

Summary: The papers of African American conceptual and performance artist Senga Nengudi measure 12.8 linear feet and 11.24 gigabytes and date from circa 1962 to 2017, with a folder of printed material dating from 1947. The collection contains biographical material including education and family records, the kimono Nengudi wore during her wedding to Ellioutt Fittz, certificates, interview transcripts, and address books; calendars and journals chronicling Nengudi's appointments, thoughts, and artistic practice; and correspondence with friends and other artists including Maren Hassinger, Cheryl Banks, and David Hammons. Also included is family correspondence, including letters between Senga Nengudi (then Sue Irons) and her mother when Nengudi was living in Japan. The collection also contains writings by Senga Nengudi and others; material related to professional activities including teaching files, gallery files, and files related to exhibitions, projects, and performances; printed material including exhibition and event announcements and catalogs, clippings, magazines, and other published material; a scrapbook primarily containing photographs and printed material; photographic material depicting Senga Nengudi, works of art, and other individuals; artwork by Nengudi and others, including Maren Hassinger; and audio and video recordings, including recordings of performances.

Biographical/Historical Note

Senga Nengudi (1943- ) is an African American conceptual and performance artist in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Born Sue Irons in Chicago, Illinois, she earned a bachelor's degree in art with a minor in dance from California State University, Los Angeles. From 1966 to 1967 she studied Japanese culture at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. This study deeply influenced her artistic practice. Upon her return from Japan in 1967, she pursued her master's degree in sculpture at California State University, which she received in 1971.


The Senga Nengudi papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2018 and 2019 by Senga Nengudi.

Related Materials

Language Note

English .


Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.