Skip to main content

Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture records, 1945-1977

Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture records, 1945-1977

Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture


Collection Information

Size: 35.0 linear feet

Summary: Institutional records, including lectures given at the school; correspondence, and printed material.

Included are student application forms; school catalogs; publicity and publications covering 1946-1968; artists' files arranged alphabetically, containing exhibition catalogs, announcements, and clippings. Publicity materials; financial records; correspondence with artists, including George Biddle, Peter Blume, Willard W. Cummings, Robert Motherwell, Henry Varnum Poor, Ben Shahn, David Smith and others; biographical and critical information on visiting instructors; catalogs, newsletters and annual award dinner programs; and photographs used in various institution publications.

Also included is over 4,000 feet of motion picture film shot by Jack Eastman and Karl Fortess between approximately 1955 and 1970, showing the school, artists, and students. Four reels have been transferred to videocassette (VHS; color, silent; 62 min. running time).

The collection also contains the Skowhegan Lecture Archives (named by Skowhegan) consisting of CD formatted audio copies (1952-2013) of lectures given by artists speaking at the school between 1952 and 2013, the original reel-to-reel audio recordings (1952-1999 only) and several original cassette audio recordings from 2000 and 2002; and transcripts (on 10 formatted CDs) of those lectures available through 2012. A majority of the lectures refer to slides shown during the lectures; these are not available at the Archives of American Art.

Biographical/Historical Note

Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (established 1946) is an art school in Skowhegan, Maine.


Portions of the collection were lent for microfilming and portions donated 1968-1977 by the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture via Willard Cummings and Jack Eastman and in 2002-2014 via Executive Director. Skowhegan received funding to transfer all of their open-reel audiotape lectures to gold-backed compact discs and preserve the originals. Originals and compact disc copies (audio and transcripts) were given to the Archives of American Art. Additional lecturers consist of Edwin Dickinson, 1958, and Robert Cronbach, 1959, Jack Levine, 1959 (on a cassette with the 1954 lecture) and a cassette of the College Art Association Skowhegan seminar, 1960 (on a cassette with the William Zorach 1959 lecture), donated to AAA 1968-1977. These cassettes were returned to Skowhegan to be transferred to CD and obtain release forms.

Location of Originals

  • Microfilmed materials: Originals in Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.
  • Duplicate audio CDs also available at Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, Califorina; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Califorina; Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine; Museum of Modern Art, New York, N.Y.; Tate Library and Archive, London; Arts Library, Robert A. Haas Family Arts Library at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut; and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

Microfilm reels N68-27-N68-30, N68-78-N68-80, and N68-96- N68-97 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

This collection is temporarily closed to researchers due to archival processing. Contact Reference Services for more information.

Restrictions on Use

Skowhegan Lecture Archives: Authorization to publish, quote or reproduce requires written permission from Skowhegan in addition to the copyright holders. A list of copyright holders is available at the Archives of American Art Washington, D.C. office. Transcripts may not be duplicated.

How to Cite This Collection

Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture records, 1945-1977. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.