A Finding Aid to the Ed Colker Papers, 1944-2013, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.colked
Creators:
Colker, Ed, 1927-
Dates:
1944-2013
Languages:
English
The collection is in English.
Physical Description:
3.2 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of painter, printmaker, educator and administrator Ed Colker are dated 1944-2013 and measure 3.2 linear feet. Colker's painting, printmaking, and Haybarn Press, as well as his career as an art teacher and university administrator, are documented through biographical materials, correspondence, interviews, writings, subject files, printed material, and photographs.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of painter, printmaker, educator and administrator Ed Colker are dated 1944-2013 and measure 3.2 linear feet. Colker's painting, printmaking, and Haybarn Press, as well as his career as an art teacher and university administrator, are documented through biographical materials, correspondence, interviews, writings, subject files, printed material, and photographs.
Biographical materials include official letters regarding Colker's performance in the Army, caricatures of him, diplomas, resume, awards, and certificates.
Correspondence, mainly professional in nature with a few scattered personal letters, concerns Colker's academic and artistic work, Haybarn Editions, exhibitions, projects, and various interests. Poet correspondents are J. Curtis Johnson, Kathleen Norris, Deborah Pease, and Jeanne Walker; translators include Melvin Konner and others.
Interviews with Ed Colker, conducted between 1982 and 2008 for various purposes, are preserved as 1 sound cassette and published transcripts. Also found are 1 sound cassette, 1 videocassette, and a published transcript of interviews Colker conducted with Will Barnet and Toshiko Takaezu in 1981 and 1994 respectively.
Among Colker's writings are the published versions of several articles and the manuscript of an unpublished one; two proposed books for students of design and typography; lectures delivered to students (3 videocassettes), miscellaneous writings, notes, and 1 videocassete of readings by artists from one of Colker's Haybarn Press poetry portfolios.
Subject files document many of Colker's professional interests, activities, projects, and relationships. Also of note are files about Haybarn Press.
The bulk of the printed material consists of exhibition catalogs, announcements, and school catalogs. Almost all is about or mentions Colker, or features reproductions of his work. Of note is the first and only issue of Re-Art: A Reflection of Current Ideas on the Arts (1954), published by Colker and Gene Feldman.
Photographs are of Colker and his family; Colker at events related to his artistic, academic, and publishing activities; artwork by Colker, and his work as reproduced in Haybarn Editions. Also found are an exterior view of the barn studio and one of printers working at Desjobert Press.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 7 series:
  • Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1946-circa 2011 (Box 1; 1 folder)
  • Series 2: Correspondence,1954-2011 (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Interviews, 1981-2008 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)
  • Series 4: Writings, 1961-1990s (Box 1; 0.5 linear feet)
  • Series 5: Subject files, 1952-2013 (Boxes 2-3; 1.3 linear feet)
  • Series 6: Printed Material,1944-2011 (Box 3; 0.7 linear feet)
  • Series 7: Photographs, circa 1960s-2010 (Box 4; 0.2 linear feet)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Ed Colker (b. 1927) is a painter, printmaker, educator, and administrator who has worked in Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York City. Colker founded the not-for-profit fine art publisher Haybarn Press. He is married to artist Elaine Galen and resides in Mt. Kisco, NY.
After high school, Colker was awarded a scholarship and began his art education at the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Arts. He interrupted his studies to serve in the U.S. Army (1944-1946). He graduated in 1949, by which time the school had become the Philadelphia Museum School of Art; today it is the University of the Arts. He taught art in the Philadelphia area before moving to New York City in 1956. Later, Colker earned degrees from New York University (B.S. Ed, 1964; M.A., 1985).
Colker taught art and design courses at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Illinois at Chicago Circle, Cornell University, Pratt Institute, and Philadelphia College of Art. By the 1980s, he had become an administrator as well as a professor. Throughout his academic career, Colker published and lectured widely, served as a visiting artist, acted as a consultant, and participated in professional organizations. He occasionally organized exhibitions and served on exhibition juries.
Since 1960, under the imprints Editions du Grenier, Haybarn Editions, and Haybarn Press, Colker has published limited edition books, portfolios, broadsides, individual pages, and folders of poetry. Most are accompanied by Colker's etchings and lithographs inspired by the texts. Haybarn Press, under the Ambor Edition imprint, also produced four portfolios with text and drawings by Elaine Galen, 1996-2008. From its inception, the work of Haybarn Press has been featured in many exhibitions of book arts. Colker also participated in group shows throughout the United States and enjoyed solo exhibitions of his paintings and prints. Haybarn Press productions and Colker's prints and paintings are in the permanent collections of Brown University, Cornell University, Harvard University, Library of Congress, Museum of Modern Art, New York Public Library, University of Arizona Museum of Art, and others.
Now retired from university administration and teaching, Colker continues to operate Haybarn Press and occasionally serves as an exhibition juror and visiting artist.

Administration
Processing Information
This collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid prepared in 2015 by Catherine S. Gaines.
Author
Catherine S. Gaines
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by Ed Colker in 1991 and 2013.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original material requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Conditions Governing Use
The Ed Colker papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Printmakers -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Printing Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Video recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lectures Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Transcripts Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Design Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Arts administrators -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Educators -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Takaezu, Toshiko Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pease, Deborah Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Atelier Desjobert Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Walker, Jeanne Murray Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Army Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Haybarn Press Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Konner, Melvin Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Barnet, Will, 1911-2012 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Norris, Kathleen, 1947- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Johnson, J. Curtis Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/