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Thomas Downing papers, circa 1946-1995

Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985


Collection Information

Size: 1.4 linear feet

Summary: The papers of painter Thomas Downing measure 1.4 linear feet and date from circa 1946 to 1995. The papers document his career as an artist in Washington, D.C. and Provincetown, Massachusetts through biographical material, correspondence, writings, personal business records, printed material, photographic material, and artwork.

Biographical/Historical Note

Thomas Downing (1928-1985) was a painter based in Washington, D.C. and Provincetown, Massachusetts who was associated with the Washington Color School. Downing studied at Randolph-Macon and Pratt and, after military service, at Catholic University under Kenneth Noland. He later shared a studio with Howard Mehring, with whom he founded the Origo, a cooperative gallery. During the 1960s, Downing taught at the Corcoran School, numbering among his students Sam Gilliam, Rockne Krebs, and Michael Clark. The last ten years of his life were spent in Provincetown, Massachusetts.


Material was lent for microfilming in 1988 by Downing's son, Aaron Downing, then returned to the lender. Additional papers were donated in 1988 by his widow, Louise Downing.

Related Materials

Location of Originals

  • Reel 4058: Originals returned to the lender, Aaron Downing, after microfilming.