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Theodoros Stamos papers, circa 1922-2008

Theodoros Stamos papers, circa 1922-2008

Stamos, Theodoros, 1922-1997

Painter, Educator

Collection Information

Size: 3.3 linear feet

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter Theodoros Stamos (1922-1997) worked in New York and spent considerable time in Lefkada, Greece. Stamos was a first generation Abstract Expressionist, developed as a color field painter, and had a long teaching career. His later years were encumbered by his role in the Mark Rothko Estate controversy.


The Theodoros Stamos papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Stamos' sister, Georgianna Savas, in 2008.

Related Materials

Two oral history inteveiws with Theodoros Stamos are among the holdings of the Archives of American Art: February 19, 1965 conducted by John Jones and Bruce Hooton, April 23, 1968 conducted by Irving Sandler. In addition, the Archives houses Stamos's letters to two former students: Theodoros Stamos letters to Diran Deckmejian, 1977-1995, (45 letters), and Theodoros Stamos letters to James DiMartino, 1977-1988 (13 letters).

Location of Originals

  • REELS N/70-66-N70/67 Originals returned to the lender, Theodoros Stamos, after microfilming, 1970

Scope and Contents

The papers of Theodoros Stamos measure 3.3 linear feet and date from circa 1922-2008. Stamos was a painter primarily associated with the first generation of Abstract Expressionists, and is known for his work with color, gestural technique, and reference to natural forms. Biographcal materials, correspondence, writings, business and legal records, printed materials, and photographs document Stamos' career as a painter. Also included are materials relating to the Rothko estate controversy compiled by Stamos' sister, Georgianna Savas, after his death, as well as papers concerning funeral arrangements and posthumous exhibition plans.

Biographical information includes birth and death certificates and interview transcripts. Personal correspondence is with friends and family; professional correspondence pertains to gallery transactions, including a falling out with gallery owner Louis K. Meisel. Among the printed materials are exhibition announcements and clippings of articles in English and Greek that concern his career and personal life. Photographs include views of family and friends, portraits of Stamos by Hans Namuth, Nina Leen and other photographers, and images of artwork by Stamos and other artists.

Microfilm reels N70-66 & N70-67 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

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