A Finding Aid to the Ethel Fisher Papers, 1930-2017, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.fishethe
Creators:
Fisher, Ethel, 1923-
Dates:
1930-2017
Languages:
Collection is in English.
Physical Description:
12.5 Linear feet
0.558 Gigabytes
Repository:
The papers of California and New York painter Ethel Fisher measure 12.5 linear feet and 0.558 GB and date from 1930 to 2017. Included are biographical materials, correspondence, writings, project files, exhibition files, artists' files, personal business records, printed and digital material, artwork and several sketchbooks, a few sound and video recordings, and photographic material.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of California and New York painter Ethel Fisher measure 12.5 linear feet and 0.558 GB and date from 1930 to 2017. Included are biographical materials, correspondence, writings, project files, exhibition files, artists' files, personal business records, printed and digital material, artwork and several sketchbooks, a few sound and video recordings, and photographic material.
Biographical material includes Art Students League records, address books and business cards, artist statements and resumes, an interview transcript and sound cassette, and other miscellaneous documents.
Correspondence is with family, friends, colleagues, artists, galleries, and museums. The bulk of the correspondence is with daughter Sandra Fisher and husband Seymour Kott. Notable correspondents include Will Barnet, Keith Coleborn, Elaine Ehrenkranz, Rafael Fernandez, Henry Pearson, and others. There are also greeting cards and postcards, inluding numerous illustrated cards from Fisher to her husband Seymour.
Writings mostly consist of annotated appointment calendars and travel diaries along with some writings by others, such as a travel diary by Keith Coleborn and a graduate thesis by Keri Jones.
Project files include correspondence, grant applications, printed and digital material, and publication agreements for art projects, commissions, studio tours, auctions, and speaking engagements. Notable projects include material on the NBC-TV film Family Ties, art loans for the Showtime movie Town of the Eighties, and teaching material from Brentwood Art Center.
Exhibition files contain exhibition announcements, catalogs, publicity, reviews, correspondence, exhibition lists, price lists of artwork, and other material for Ethel Fisher's group and solo shows.
Artists' files include printed material about and limited correspondence with various artists in which Fisher was interested or with whom she was friends, including Stanley Boxer, Irving Fine, Ilse Getz, Ibram Lassaw, and Paul Thek.
Personal business records include consignments, price lists, loan agreements, receipts, donations, and sales documentation.
Printed material includes exhibition catalogs, announcements, magazines, and clippings about Ethel Fisher and other artists. There are also books inscribed to Fisher.
The artwork series includes sketchbooks, drawings, watercolors, and loose sketches.
Photographic material consists of photographs, digital photographs, slides, and negatives of Ethel Fisher, her artwork, exhibitions, events, family, friends, artists, studios, and travel. There are also "reference photos" of people, places, and objects which Fisher used for her portraits and paintings.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 10 series.
    Missing Title
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1939-2014 (0.3 linear feet; Boxes 1, 13)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1930-2017 (5.4 linear feet; Boxes 1-6, 13, 15)
  • Series 3: Writings, 1965-2014 (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 6-7, 13)
  • Series 4: Project Files, 1954-2011 (0.5 linear feet; Boxes 7, 12, 0.128 GB; ER01)
  • Series 5: Exhibition Files, 1945-2006 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 7-8)
  • Series 6: Artists' Files, 1952-2010 (0.4 linear feet; Boxes 8, 12)
  • Series 7: Personal Business Records, 1959-2017 (0.3 linear feet; Boxes 8, 13)
  • Series 8: Printed Material, 1940-2016 (1.0 linear feet; Boxes 8-9, 12-13)
  • Series 9: Artwork and Sketchbooks, 1944-2014 (1.0 linear feet; Boxes 9, 12-15, OV16)
  • Series 10: Photographic Materials, 1942-2014 (2.2 linear feet;Boxes 9-11, 14, 0.430 GB; ER02)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Ethel Fisher (1923-2017) was a painter who lived in Pacific Palisades, California.
Ethel Fisher was born in Galveston, Texas in 1923. She studied art at the University of Houston, University of Texas, and Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. After college, she moved to New York City and attended The Art Students League on scholarship from 1943-1946. In New York, she studied with painter Will Barnet, Morris Kantor, and Robert Beverly Hale, and befriended many people in the art world. She married Gene Fisher and their first daughter Sandra was born. Sandra also became a painter and later married artist R. B. Kitaj.
Fisher and her family moved to Miami in 1948 where her daughter Margaret was born. Upon her divorce, Fisher travelled in Europe for about a year before returning to New York City in the early 1960s, where she continued to paint and maintained 2 studios for her artwork. She married art historian Seymour Kott in 1963.
In 1970, Fisher and her husband moved to Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles, California. Throughout her career as a painter, Ethel Fisher has had solo and group exhibitions at galleries in Havana, Cuba; West Palm Beach, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; New York City, New York; and San Francisco and Los Angeles, California. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and continues to paint. In 2003, Fisher had solo exhibit of portraits at Platt Gallery in Los Angeles.

Administration
Processing Information
This collection was processed by Rihoko Ueno in 2016. The 2018 addition was processed by Ryan Evans in 2018. Born-digital materials were processed by Kirsi Ritosalmi-Kisner in 2020 with funding provided by Smithsonian Collection Care and Preservation Fund.
Author
Rihoko Ueno
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Ethel Fisher papers were donated by Ethel Fisher in two installments in 1997 and 2015.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copy requires advance notice.
Terms of Use
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Preferred Citation
Ethel Fisher papers, 1930-2017. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Study and teaching Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists' studios -- Photographs Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women artists Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women painters Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Travel diaries Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketches Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Watercolors Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Transcripts Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Video recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Barnet, Will, 1911-2012 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ehrenkranz, Elaine Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Coleborn, Keith Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Boxer, Stanley Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kitaj, Sandra Fisher Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kott, Seymour Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lassaw, Ibram, 1913-2003 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brentwood Art Center Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jones, Keri Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Getz, Ilse, 1917- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Thek, Paul Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fernandez, Rafael Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fine, Irving, 1914-1962 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pearson, Henry, 1914-2006 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
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