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Robert Goodnough Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Goodnough, Robert, 1917-2010.
Title: Robert Goodnough Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1954-1970
Quantity: 0.25 linear feet
Abstract: American artist, teacher. Collection contains biographical sketch, 1962; manuscript on theory of art by Goodnough, 1962; and published material by and about Goodnough, 1954-1964.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Robert Goodnough (1917-) was an American painter and teacher of art, known for modern, non-objective, and collage pieces. He was both an alumnus and faculty member of Syracuse University.

Born in Cortland, New York, Goodnough grew up in nearby Moravia in the Finger Lakes region. Walter Long, a teacher at Syracuse University (SU) Art School, taught Goodnough in high school and suggested he try for a scholarship to SU, which Goodnough received. After graduating from SU Goodnough attended the Ozenfant School of Fine Art and then received his Master's from New York University (NYU). He also attended classes at the New School for Social Research in New York City.

Goodnough had annual one-man shows at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery in New York City for more than ten years, as well as shows at the Devan Art Gallery in Los Angeles and the Rhode Island School of Design. In 1963 he received a Ford Foundation grant. His work is in the permanent collections of the Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Art Institute of Chicago, NYU, Rhode Island School of Design, Corcoran Gallery of Art, and Smithsonian.

Goodnough taught at NYU until 1953, and also taught painting at Cornell. He was a critic for Art News magazine (1950-1957) and he is mentioned in USA Now by C. J. Butcher.

Several biographies and collections of reproductions of his work have been published.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Robert Goodnough Papers contains biographical material, manuscripts and published material.

Biographical material contains a brief biographical sketch.

Manuscripts consists of a short piece by Goodnough explaining the theory behind his work.

Published material includes a book about Goodnough and the announcement of its publication, exhibition notices, and magazine articles and newspaper clippings about Goodnough.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Within each series material is subdivided by type and arranged chronologically.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

A number of published items (books, exhibit catalogs, etc,) have been transferred to Rare Books for cataloging. Please refer to the Classic Catalog and search on "Gift of Robert Goodnough" to locate these items.

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Subject Headings


Goodnough, Robert, 1917-2010.


Painting, American -- 20th century.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Exhibition catalogs.
Manuscripts for publication.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Robert Goodnough Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: -
Date: Mar 1967
Revision history: 1970 - additions (-); 14 Jun 2010 - converted to EAD (MRC); 11 Sep 2019 - updated to reflect cataloged items (MRC)

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Biographical material
Box 1 Artist's statement 1962
Box 1 Biographical sketch
Published material
Clippings 1960-1964, 1970
Box 1 Exbhition notices and catalogs 1954, 1962-1964, [1970], undated
Box 1 Press release, “Form in Motion” 1967 - unveiling at Manufacturers Hanover Trust headquarters in New York City; includes photograph

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