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Shirley Jaffe papers, circa 1950-2011

Biographical Note

Shirley Jaffe (1923-2016), née Sternstein, was an American painter living and working in Paris.
Born in New Jersey and raised in Brooklyn, Shirley Jaffe completed her studies at the Cooper Union in 1945. In 1949 she and husband Irving Jaffe moved to Washington, D.C. where she attended the Phillips Art School. Later that same year, they moved to Paris. The Jaffes returned to New York briefly in the early 1950s, but moved back to Paris in 1953, where Shirley Jaffe has been living and working ever since. She was married to Irving Jaffe until 1962.
Jaffe started her career as an abstract expressionist but began to work in a flat and geometric style in the late 1960s. She was part of the American expatriate art scene in Paris and associated with Joan Mitchell, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Sam Francis, Kimber Smith, and others. In 1963, Jaffe received a grant from the Ford Foundation to spend a year working in Berlin.
Jaffe took on several commissions in France including illustrations, murals, and notably, the design of stained glass windows in the Chapelle Saint-Jean-l'Evangéliste in Perpignan, titled Funéraria. Her paintings have been exhibited in New York at the Holly Solomon Gallery and the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, and at galleries and museums throughout France.