Artists, Painters and Sculptors Special Collections Research Center

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Grace Hartigan painting in her studio in 1940s

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Significant holdings in modern painting and sculpture, with a focus on the work of American visual artists of the 20th century. Our collections are particularly strong in the papers of artists working in the United States during the 1930s to the 1960s. Many of the artists represented in our collections were associated with the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration, therefore several public art projects and murals are found across individual artist's papers. Another area of strength are papers of artists who immigrated to the United States in the wake of World Ware II, bringing with them the techniques and theoretical questions those artists were engaged in in their native countries-whether that be Lithuania, Russia, or France--and thereby altering the American art scene. Key artistic movements including Abstract Expressionism, Cubism, and Socialist Realism are represented in the collections, as are artists who immigrated from Latin America, Europe, and Asia.

Since the artists in our collections often worked with different media and were often affiliated with social or political movements, our holdings in painting and sculpture overlap with many of our other collecting areas, including: Radicalism in the Arts, Illustration, Printing and Publishing, and Photography and Photojournalism.

Archival Materials

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Audio and Visual Materials

Nearly all of the collections related to painters and sculptors contain visual materials. Please consult the finding aids for individual artists for more detailed information.

The collections of the Syracuse University Art Museum hold artworks by several artists represented in the SCRC collections.

Rare Books and Printed Materials

Printed material related to fine art ranges from scholarly texts to popular magazines and artists' books. Note in the collection the works of Jakob Burkhardt, which may be the most complete collection of his writings outside his native Switzerland. Another significant collection relates to the Harlem Renaissance and includes such journals such as Black Opals, Colored American Magazine, Voice of the Negro, and Bronze Booklets.

Useful search terms to locate these items include "art history," "aesthetics," "Harlem Renaissance," "modern painting," "commercial artists - United States," and "sculpture."

Programs and Events

  • Dawn of a New Age (Fall 2008)
  • Imagine! Painters and Poets of the New York School (Fall 2006)