Skip to main content

Thomas Downing papers, circa 1946-1995

Contents and Arrangement

The collection is arranged as seven series.

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.

Series 1: Biographical Material , 1949-1995
7 Folders
Box 1

Biographical material consists of a copy of Thomas Downing's Randolph-Macon College diploma, resume, biographical outlines, birth and death certificates, travel documents from his 1950-1951 trip to Europe, passports, astrological charts and other miscellaneous documents.
Description Container Select
Biographical Outlines and Resume, circa 1975
1
1
Birth and Death Certificates, 1983-1985
1
2
Diploma from Randolph-Macon College, 1949
1
3
Europe Travel Documents, 1950-1951
1
4
Horoscope Astrology Charts for Thomas and Louise Downing, 1977
1
5
Passports, 1970-1995
1
6
Miscellaneous Artifact - "Large Circle Template", circa 1960-circa 1980
1
7

Series 2: Correspondence , circa 1948-circa 1987
0.3 Linear feet
Box 1

Correspondence is between Thomas Downing and his family, friends and colleagues. Notable correspondents include Benjamin Forgey, Grant King, Ira Lowe, Phillip Romero, Osuna Galleries, and Sidney Wordell, on myriad subjects such as art theory and Downing's experiences in school.
Description Container Select
Undated Correspondence, circa 1948-1987
1
8-12
Correspondence, circa 1948
1
13
Correspondence, 1949
1
14
Correspondence, 1950-1958
1
15
Correspondence, 1972-1978
1
16
Correspondence, 1979 January-August
1
17
Correspondence, 1979 September-December
1
18
Correspondence, 1980 January-August
1
19
Correspondence, 1980 September-December
1
20
Correspondence, 1981-1982
1
21
Correspondence, 1983
1
22
Correspondence, 1984
1
23
Correspondence, 1985-1987
1
24

Series 3: Writings , 1969-1986
0.4 Linear feet
Box 1

Writings include six notebooks that contain Downing's thoughts on art, occasional journal entries, and scattered drawings; loose notes; six annotated wall calendars; and short essays on a range of topics such as art theory, his observations about life, and Kenneth Noland. There are a few writings by others, such as poems by Sidney Wordell and Philip Romero's essay on "Thomas Downing: The Way of the Dot" (1979).
The material in this series is grouped together by document type, then arranged chronologically within each grouping, except for the essays which are arranged alphabetically by title. Writings by others are at the end of the series.
Description Container Select
Undated Notebooks, circa 1980-circa 1984
1
25
Undated Notebook, circa 1980-circa 1984
1
26
Notebook, 1980 August
1
27
Notebook, 1980 September
1
28
Notebook, 1984
1
29
Annotated Calendar, 1969
1
30
Annotated Wall Calendar, 1980
1
31
Annotated Wall Calendar, 1981
1
32
Annotated Wall Calendar, 1982
1
33
Annotated Wall Calendar, 1983
1
34
Annotated Wall Calendar, 1985
1
35
Undated Miscellaneous Notes, circa 1972-circa 1985
1
36-38
Miscellaneous Notes, 1973-1978
1
39
Miscellaneous Notes, 1979
1
40
Miscellaneous Notes, 1980-1981
1
41
Miscellaneous Notes, 1982-1985
1
42
"Andevorante and Vatomandry", 1972
1
43
"Human Race", circa 1972-circa 1984
1
44
"Illusions", circa 1972-circa 1984
1
45
"Inner Peace", 1984
1
46
"Ken", 1981
1
47
"Lisa (Ego, Pride, Tension, Selfishness)", 1984
1
48
"Madame Paquin", 1981
1
49
Partial Autobiography, circa 1979
1
50
"Red Room", circa 1972-circa 1984
1
51
"Two Nine Three", 1979
1
52
Writings by Others
"Thomas Downing: The Way of the Dot" by Phillip Romero, 1979
1
53
Poems by Sidney Wordell, 1984-1986
1
54
Preface to Memoirs by Louise Downing, 1981
1
55
Miscellaneous, 1981-1984
1
56

Series 4: Personal Business Records , 1950-1986
5 Folders

Personal business records consist of a few legal records; assorted invoices and receipts related to the shipping and transportation of artwork from companies such as Hague Warehousing and Artransport, Inc.; and certification records for the appointment of Thomas Downing's wife Louise as the town clerk for Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Description Container Select
Artransport, Inc., 1981-1986
1
57
Art Shipping and Transportation Expenses, 1950-1951
1
58
Hague Art Delivery, 1976-1983
1
59
Legal Records, 1979-1985
1
60
Louise Downing Clerk-Accountant Certification, 1978-1979
1
61

Series 5: Printed Material , circa 1946-1987
0.3 Linear feet
Boxes 1-2

Printed material includes an auction catalog, clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements for Thomas Downing and other artists, and two books.
The material in this series is grouped together by document type, then arranged chronologically within each grouping.
Description Container Select
Undated Clippings, circa 1946-circa 1986
1
62
Clippings, 1946-1968
1
63
Clippings, 1970-1978
1
64
Clippings, 1979
1
65
Clippings, 1980
1
66
Clippings, 1981-1986
1
67
Thomas Downing Exhibition Catalogs and Announcements, circa 1951
1
68
Thomas Downing Exhibition Catalogs and Announcements, 1967-1968
1
69
Thomas Downing Exhibition Catalogs and Announcements, 1970-1979
1
70
Thomas Downing Exhibition Catalogs and Announcements, 1980-1987
1
71
Exhibition Catalogs and Announcements for Other Artists, 1980-1983
1
72
Auction Catalog, 1984
2
1
Olympics of Art, 1973
2
2
Shankpainter 17, 1978
2
3
Miscellaneous Printed Material, 1956-1984
2
4

Series 6: Photographs , circa 1950-1988
0.2 Linear feet
Box 2

This series includes photographs of Thomas Downing, friends, family and artwork. There are a few travel photographs presumably from his 1950-1951 trip to Europe. The bulk of the series consists of photographic prints and snapshots, but there are also a few slides.
Description Container Select
Thomas Downing, circa 1980-1985
2
5
Family and Friends, circa 1978-circa 1984
2
6
Undated Artwork, circa 1950-circa 1985
2
7
Artwork, 1985-1988
2
8
Slides of Artwork, circa 1976
2
9
Artwork by Tom Paterson, circa 1983-circa 1984
2
10
Travel, circa 1950-circa 1951
2
11
Unidentified Locations, circa 1960-circa 1980
2
12

Series 7: Artwork , circa 1950-1984

Artwork consists of 3 sketchbooks and 20 drawings by Thomas Downing. There is one folder of photocopies of Downing's drawings, some of which appear to be from Downing's sketchbooks. Also included is a folder of drawings by the artist's son, Aaron Downing.
Description Container Select
Undated Sketchbook, circa 1980
2
13
Sketchbook, 1980 April-August
2
14
Sketchbook, 1980 July-September
2
15
Undated Drawings, circa 1950-circa 1984
2
16
Drawings, circa 1976-1984
2
17
Photocopies of Artwork Designs, 1980-1982
2
18
Drawings "From Aaron to Tom", circa 1979
2
19

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.