Scope and Contents
The papers of artist Shirley Jaffe measure 7.1 linear feet and date from circa 1950-2011. The collection documents her life and career as an American painter living in Paris through biographical material, letters, notebooks, writings, project files, printed material, photographic material, and sketchbooks.
Scattered biographical materials include address and appointment books, an interview with Jaffe by Jeff Perkins recorded on one videocassette, and other documents.
Letters make up a significant portion of the collection and are primarily written to Shirley from friends and family. In addition to frequent letters received from her siblings and mother, Jaffe also received letters from artists Joan Mitchell, Sam Francis, Kimber Smith, Sylvia Stone and Al Held, Hermine Ford, Robert Kushner, and George Sugarman.
The papers include eighty-four notebooks kept by Jaffe containing lists, addresses, notes, sketches and the occasional diary entry. Project files contain correspondence, gouache studies, sketches, and printed material related to commissions and collaborations, including illustrations, murals, and the design of stained glass windows in the Chapelle Saint-Jean-l'Evangéliste in Perpignan, titled Funéraria.
Printed materials include articles, published books about Jaffe, clippings, exhibition catalogs, a recorded radio broadcast, and reviews.
There are photographs, slides, transparencies, and one electronic disc (CD) of digital photographs depicting Jaffe's paintings, exhibitions, and artists and art world figures including Larry Rivers, Kimber Smith, Linda Nochlin, Sam Francis, Paul Jenkins, and Joan Mitchell at exhibition openings in the 1960s-1970s. Eight sketchbooks contain drawings by Jaffe in ink, marker, and pen.