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Sidney Simon papers, circa 1917-2002, bulk 1940-1997

More Information

Joy Goodwin
Scope and Contents
The papers of sculptor, painter, and educator Sidney Simon measure 8.0 linear feet and 2.21 GB and date from circa 1917-2002, with the bulk of the papers dating from 1940-1997. The collection documents Simon's career through biographical material, correspondence, writings and notes, subject files, sketches, sketchbooks, printed and digital material, and photographs.
Biographical material chronicles Simon's academic training and professional activities through curriculum vitae, biographical accounts, and awards. Included are letters and memoranda, many from Forbes Watson pertaining to Simon's service as a combat artist in World War II. Also found is a transcript of an interview with Simon recounting his experiences in the Southwest Pacific. Simon's personal correspondence with colleagues, friends, and family includes scattered letters from Jacqueline Helion, Penelope Jencks, William King, Burgess Meredith, among others. Many letters are illustrated by Sidney Simon and others. General correspondence includes letters from artists, galleries, museums, public and religious institutions primarily relating to Simon's exhibitions and commissioned projects. Among the correspondents are Castle Hill, Truro Center for the Arts, Colby College, André Emmerich, Eric Makler Gallery, Xavier Gonzalez, Graham Gallery, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Interspersed among the files are letters of a personal nature. Other correspondence relates to Simon's faculty positions and his activities in professional organizations, e.g., Century Association, National Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.
Writings and notes include Simon's 1943 diary entries recording his activities in the Army Corps of Engineers, draft versions of writings and lectures, and notes. Included are digital audio recordings of Simon's lectures at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Subject files provide documentation on Simon's commissioned projects, select exhibitions and competitions, as well as his faculty positions and memberships in several arts organizations. Printed material consists of clippings, invitations, announcements, newsletters, and programs. Exhibition catalogs are of Simon's solo and group shows at galleries, museums, and art organizations from 1959-1966. Photographs are of Simon by Budd Brothers, Richard Pousette-Dart, and Bernard Gotfryd. There are a number of photographs of the artist in his studio and outdoors as well as of Simon's family and friends, including group photographs with Ellsworth Kelly, André Emmerich, Robert Motherwell, and Louise Nevelson. Also found are three personal and family albums and twenty-one photograph albums of Simon's paintings and sculptures.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Sidney Simon lent the Archives of American Art material for microfilming in 1965. Rene Simon, Simon's widow, donated the Sidney Simon papers in 2009.
Separated Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds materials lent for microfilming (reel D210) including biographical material, correspondence, sketchbooks, scrapbooks, and photographs of Sidney Simon. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Related Materials
The Archives has two oral history interviews with Sidney Simon conducted by Paul Cummings in October 17-November 8, 1973 and the Karl E. Fortress taped interviews with artists, [1963-1985].
Processing Information
This collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid prepared by Joy Goodwin in 2012. Born-digital materials were processed by Kirsi Ritosalmi-Kisner in 2019 with funding provided by Smithsonian Collection Care and Preservation Fund.