Skip to main content

Thomas Downing papers, circa 1946-1995

More Information

Rihoko Ueno
Scope and Contents
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 material consists of Downing's college diploma, resume, biographical outlines, birth and death certificates, travel documents, passports and other miscellaneous documents.
Correspondence is between Thomas Downing and his family, friends, and colleagues. Notable correspondents include Phillip Romero, Osuna Galleries and Sidney Wordell.
Writings include notes, notebooks, annotated calendars and essays. There are a few writings by others such as poems by Sidney Wordell and Philip Romero's essay about Thomas Downing.
Personal business records consist of a few legal records, shipping and transportation invoices, and professional certificates.
Printed material includes clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, two books and an auction catalog.
Photographic material depict Thomas Downing, friends, family, travel, and artwork.
Artwork consists of sketchbooks and drawings by Thomas Downing, plus some drawings by the artist's son, Aaron Downing.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Material was first lent to the Archives of American Art for microfilming in 1988 by Downing's son, Aaron Downing, and then returned to the lender. His widow, Louise Downing, donated additional papers in 1988.
Separated Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reel 4058) including eleven letters from Thomas Downing to his son Aaron and seven photographs of Thomas Downing and others. Lent material was returned to the lender and is not described in the collection container inventory.
Processing Information
A small amount of material was loaned and microfilmed on reel 4058, then the material was returned to lender. Donated papers were processed and a finding aid prepared by Rihoko Ueno in 2018.