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Shirley Jaffe papers, circa 1950-2011

More Information

Hilary Price
Scope and Contents
The papers of artist Shirley Jaffe measure 7.1 linear feet and 0.260 GB and date from circa 1950-2011. The collection documents her life and career as an American painter living in Paris through biographical material, letters, notebooks, writings, project files, printed and digital material, photographic material, and sketchbooks.
Scattered biographical materials include address and appointment books, an interview with Jaffe by Jeff Perkins recorded on one videocassette, and other documents.
Letters make up a significant portion of the collection and are primarily written to Shirley from friends and family. In addition to frequent letters received from her siblings and mother, Jaffe also received letters from artists Joan Mitchell, Sam Francis, Kimber Smith, Sylvia Stone and Al Held, Hermine Ford, Robert Kushner, and George Sugarman.
The papers include eighty-four notebooks kept by Jaffe containing lists, addresses, notes, sketches and the occasional diary entry. Project files contain correspondence, gouache studies, sketches, and printed material related to commissions and collaborations, including illustrations, murals, and the design of stained glass windows in the Chapelle Saint-Jean-l'Evangéliste in Perpignan, titled Funéraria.
Printed materials include articles, published books about Jaffe, clippings, exhibition catalogs, a recorded radio broadcast, and reviews.
There are photographs, slides, transparencies, and digital photographs depicting Jaffe's paintings, exhibitions, and artists and art world figures including Larry Rivers, Kimber Smith, Linda Nochlin, Sam Francis, Paul Jenkins, and Joan Mitchell at exhibition openings in the 1960s-1970s. Eight sketchbooks contain drawings by Jaffe in ink, marker, and pen.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Shirley Jaffe papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Shirley Jaffe in 2014.
Related Materials
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Shirley Jaffe conducted by Avis Berman, September 27-28, 2010.
Processing Information
The collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid prepared by Hilary Price in 2015. Born-digital materials were processed in 2019 by Kirsi Ritosalmi-Kisner with funding provided by Smithsonian Collection Care and Preservation Fund.