A Finding Aid to the Paul Jenkins Papers, circa 1915-2010, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.jenkpaul2

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.jenkpaul2
Creators:
Jenkins, Paul, 1923-2012
Dates:
circa 1915-2010
Languages:
Multiple languages
English; French
The collection is in English and French.
Physical Description:
11.1 linear feet
Repository:
Archives of American Art
The papers of abstract expressionist painter and playwright Paul Jenkins measure 11.1 linear feet and date from circa 1915 to 2010. Jenkins’s career in New York and Paris is documented through biographical material, family papers, correspondence, writings, personal business records, printed material, photographs of Jenkins in his studio and at various events, and original artwork by Jenkins and others.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
The papers of abstract expressionist painter and playwright Paul Jenkins measure 11.1 linear feet and date from circa 1915 to 2010. Jenkins’s career in New York and Paris is documented through biographical material, family papers, correspondence, writings, personal business records, printed material, photographs of Jenkins in his studio and at various events, and original artwork by Jenkins and others.
Biographical material and family papers consist of awards and certificates, calendars, marriage, divorce, and estate papers, and military service records. Also included are family papers and a scrapbook belonging to Jenkins’s aunt, Louise Jenkins.
Correspondence, which makes up the bulk of the collection, is with family, friends, and fellow artists, including Alice Baber, Norman Bluhm, Willem de Kooning, and Lee Krasner Pollock, as well as art organizations, schools, museums, galleries, and gallery owners, such as the Art Students League of New York, New York University, Museum of Modern Art, Martha Jackson Gallery, Zoe Dusanne, and Peggy Guggenheim.
Writings includes scattered writings by Paul Jenkins, two of his travel diaries, and the guest book for an exhibition in Tokyo. Also found are a copy of Lili Krahmer Verame’s China travel diary and the writings and research materials of others.
Personal business records consist of financial records, lease documents, price lists, travel documents, and papers regarding Jenkins’s rental property. Also included are a file on the New York University medal designed by Jenkins and a file concerning a Karl Prantl statue.
Printed material consists of event programs, newsletters, bulletins, member reports, press releases, art exhibition announcements and catalogs, concert and theater announcements and programs, news and magazine clippings, and obituaries and memorial announcements.
Artwork contains miscellaneous sketches and collages by Paul Jenkins. Additional artworks include sketches, watercolors, and prints by other artists, as well as 8 oversize mixed media sketches by Frank Prince of Jenkins’s
Meditation Mandala Sundial
sculptures.
Photographs of Paul Jenkins depict him in his studio, with family and friends, and at events. Photographs of family and friends include Esther Ebenhoe Jenkins, Alice Baber Jenkins, Norman Bluhm, Thomas Erma, Françoise Gilot, Matsumi "Mike," Carole, and Bunshi Paul Kanemitsu, and Frank Prince.

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as 7 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1915-1997 (Box 1; 9 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1930-2010 (Box 1-9, 13; 9 linear feet)
Series 3: Writings, circa 1950-2003 (Box 9-10; 0.5 linear feet)
Series 4: Personal Business Records, circa 1944-1990 (Box 10; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 5: Printed Material, circa 1952-2010 (Box 10-11; 0.6 linear feet)
Aeries 6: Artwork, circa 1935-2007 (Box 11-12, OV 14; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 7: Photography, circa 1940-1998 (Box 12; 0.4 linear feet)

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Paul Jenkins (1923-2012) was an abstract expressionist painter and playwright in New York, New York, and Paris, France. Jenkins was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1923, and moved to Youngstown, Ohio as a teenager. After serving in the U.S. Maritime Service and the U.S. Naval Air Corps, Jenkins studied playwriting with George McCalmon at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University). In 1948, he moved to New York City, where he studied with Yasuo Kuniyoshi at the Art Students League of New York.
Over the course of his career, Jenkins experimented with multiple techniques, including oil on primed canvas, flowing paints, acrylics, watercolor, and mixed media collages. After traveling extensively and meeting many artists, Jenkins ultimately became associated with the Abstract Expressionists. His work gained the attention of other members of the art world and he held solo exhibitions at venues such as the Zoe Dusanne Gallery in Seattle and the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York. Jenkins’ paintings were purchased by both museums and private collectors, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Peggy Guggenheim.
In addition to his painting, Jenkins continued to explore other creative endeavors. He experimented with sculpture, producing works for events and permanent displays, including the Sculptors' Symposium at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum and the Sculpture Garden of the Hofstra Museum. His plays, such as
Strike the Puma
, were published and performed off Broadway in New York City. Jenkins’s art served as the backdrop for multiple stage productions, and in 1978, his paintings were featured in the Academy Award nominated movie
An Unmarried Woman
. Jenkins also collaborated on a number of book projects, including
Anatomy of a Cloud
, a collection of autobiographical collages and texts.
Throughout his adult life, Jenkins split most of his time between New York and Paris. He continued to create and exhibit new works until his death in New York in 2012.

Administration
Processing Information note
The collection was processed and described in a finding aid by Rebecca McCormick in 2017.
Author
Finding aid prepared by Rebecca McCormick
Provenance
The papers were donated 2007-2009 and in 2012 by Paul and Suzanne Jenkins.

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. One letter from Paul Jenkins to Norman Bluhm, circa 1966, is ACCESS RESTRICTED; use requires written permission. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Preferred Citation note
Paul Jenkins papers, circa 1915-2010. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Paul Jenkins papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. They may be used for research, study, and scholarship. Authorization to quote or reproduce for the purposes of publication requires written permission from Suzanne Jenkins.

Related Archival Materials note
Also found at the Archives of American Art are an interview of Paul Jenkins, August 1969, conducted by Albert Elsen, and an oral history interview, 1968, conducted by Colette Roberts.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.). Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Baber, Alice Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bluhm, Norman, 1921-1999 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
De Kooning, Willem, 1904- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dusanne, Zoe, -1977 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Erma, Thomas, 1939-1964 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gilot, Francoise, 1921- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jenkins, Esther Ebenhoe Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Krasner, Lee, 1908-1984 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Martha Jackson Gallery Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.). Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New York University Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Prantl, Karl Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Prince, Frank Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Abstract expressionism Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists' studios--Photographs Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
China--Description and travel Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Collages Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dramatists--France--Paris Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dramatists--New York (State)--New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscripts Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Medals--Design Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters--France--Paris Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters--New York (State)--New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Prints Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketches Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Travel diaries Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Visitors' books Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Watercolors Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C., 20001
Phone: 202-633-7950
http://www.aaa.si.edu/askus