- Collection ID:
Diller, Burgoyne, 1906-1965
- Physical Description:
The Burgoyne Diller papers measure 1.5 linear feet and date from 1924-1987. The collection documents the abstract painter's career and includes two letters, a notebook, four annotated sketchbooks, art work, and clippings. The collection primarily consists of art work, including hundreds of drawings that document the development of Burgoyne Diller's unique artistic style. An unprocessed addition measuring 0.4 linear feet consists of sketches and studies by Diller.
Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The Burgoyne Diller papers measure 1.5 linear feet and date from 1924-1987. The collection documents the abstract painter's career and includes two letters, a notebook, four annotated sketchbooks, art work, and clippings. The collection primarily consists of art work, including hundreds of drawings that document the development of Burgoyne Diller's unique artistic style. An additional 0.4 linear feet of sketches and studies by Diller were accessioned in 2010 and remains unprocessed.
The collection is arranged as five series. Series 1 and 4 are arranged chronologically. Series 2 consists of a single dismantled notebook which maintains the creator's original arrangement. Series 3 has been arranged in a numerically consecutive order introduced by the donor, Kenneth W. Prescott. There are gaps in art work's numerical sequences.
- Series 1: Letters, 1940 (Box 1; 1 folder)
- Series 2: Notebook, 1932-1933 (Box 1; 6 folders)
- Series 3: Art work, 1924-1964, undated (Box 1-3; OVS 4-9; 33 folders)
- Series 4: Clippings, 1926-1968, undated (Box 2; 10 folders)
- Series 5: Unprocessed Addition to the Burgoyne Diller Papers, 1930-1987 (Box 10, OV 11; 0.4 linear ft.)
Born in New York City in 1906, Burgoyne Diller was brought up in Michigan and attended Michigan State College. He returned to New York in 1926 and studied at the Art Students League from 1928 to 1932, with Hans Hofmann. Diller made his first geometrical paintings in the 1930s, which were influenced by the rigid formulas of Piet Mondrian's "pure plastic art." Diller's work evolved into an abstract mode of configurations of lines, angles, and primary colors. Diller was one of the original members of the American Abstract Artists.
Between 1935 and 1941, Diller worked for the New York City Federal Arts Program, Mural Division, Works Progress Administration, eventually becoming Director. During that time, he provided commissions for many of the most advanced artists of the day, including Arshile Gorky and Stuart Davis. In 1945, he became associate professor of art at Brooklyn College. Burgoyne Diller died in 1965.
The collection was processed by Jean Fitzgerald in October 2002. An addition of 0.4 linear feet donated in 2010 remains unprocessed.
The Burgoyne Diller papers were donated by the Grace Diller estate via William C. LaCrone, executor, in 1992. Some of the papers were donated by the Diller estate via art historian Kenneth W. Prescott, in 4 installments dating 1983-2000. An unprocessed addition of 0.4 linear feet received in 2010 was donated by Emma-Stina Prescott.
Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. research facility.
for additional information.
Burgoyne Diller papers, 1924-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Burgoyne Diller collection of printed material, 1932-1961.
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001