A Finding Aid to the Joan Ludman papers relating to Fairfield Porter, circa 1910-2003, bulk 1976-2001, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.ludmjoan
Creators:
Ludman, Joan
Dates:
circa 1910-2003
bulk 1976-2001
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
4.2 Linear Feet
Repository:
The Joan Ludman papers relating to Fairfield Porter measure 4.2 linear feet and are dated circa 1910-2003, bulk 1976-2001. The papers primarily document her research for Fairfield Porter: A Catalogue Raisonné of his Prints (1981) and Fairfield Porter: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Watercolors, and Pastels (2001). There are records concerning "Prints by Fairfield Porter from the Lauris and Daniel J. Mason Collection," a traveling exhibition organized by Ludman. Also found are Ludman's records concerning her authentications of Porter's artwork, and general printed material about Porter. Photographs are of Porter and his work. A 2015 addition includes provenance forms sent to Ludman from artwork owners.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The Joan Ludman papers relating to Fairfield Porter measure 4.2 linear feet and are dated circa 1910-2003, bulk 1976-2001. The papers primarily document her research for Fairfield Porter: A Catalogue Raisonné of his Prints (1981) and Fairfield Porter: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Watercolors, and Pastels (2001). There are records concerning "Prints by Fairfield Porter from the Lauris and Daniel J. Mason Collection," a traveling exhibition organized by Ludman. Also found are Ludman's records concerning her authentications of Porter's artwork, and general printed material about Porter. Photographs are of Porter and his work. A 2015 addition includes provenance forms sent to Ludman from artwork owners.
The compilation of Fairfield Porter: A Catalogue Raisonné of his Prints and its publication are documented by a variety of records. Research correspondence includes photocopies of Porter's letters from the 1930s to John Wheelwright about linoleum cuts he made for the Socialist publication Poems for a Dime. Letters from Anne Porter concerning the catalogue raisonné are among the miscellaneous correspondence. Also found is a "Log of the Work in Progress on Research and Interviews…" kept by Ludman, along with notes and transcripts of interviews conducted during the course of her research. Printed material concerns Porter's prints, and photographs include those reproduced in the catalogue raisonné.
Ludman's work on Fairfield Porter: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Watercolors, and Pastels is documented by correspondence, a "master index," writings, printed material and photographs. Among the correspondence are questionnaires completed by owners of Porter paintings. Correspondence with Anne Porter includes typed excerpts from letters, 1922-1938, that mention her husband's painting activities. A "master index" summarizing Ludman's research is found among the writings. Printed material mentions or reproduces paintings by Fairfield Porter. Photographs include the images reproduced in the book; there are also snapshots of some early paintings, among them unidentified and unrecorded works.
Exhibition records document "Prints by Fairfield Porter from the Lauris and Daniel J. Mason Collection," a show organized by Joan Ludman that traveled in 1982 and 1983 under the auspices of the Gallery Association of New York State. Printed material provides general background information about Porter and his work. Also found are an article and book review by Fairfield Porter, along with printed material concerning members of his family and a map of Great Spruce Head Island, Maine.
Authentication records consist of letters conveying Mrs. Ludman's opinions about works purported to be by Porter. The majority of photographs are of Fairfield Porter. Also included are Manhattan street scenes photographed by Porter, and views of Joan and Harold Ludman's 1976 visit with Mrs. Porter at the home and studio.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 7 series:
  • Series 1: Fairfield Porter: A Catalogue Raisonné of his Prints, 1936-2003 (Box 1; 0.4 linear ft.)
  • Series 2: Fairfield Porter: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Watercolors, and Pastels, 1933-2003 (Boxes 1-3; 2.6 linear ft.)
  • Series 3: Exhibition Records, 1982-1983 (Box 4; 4 folders)
  • Series 4: Printed Material, 1966-2000 (Box 4; 0.2 linear ft.)
  • Series 5: Authentications, 1991-2001 (Box 4; 2 folders)
  • Series 6: Photographs, circa1910-1976 (Box 4; 0.1 linear ft.)
  • Series 7: Addition to the Joan Ludman Papers Relating to Fairfield Porter, circa 1970s-2000s (Boxes 5-6, 0.8 linear feet)

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Joan Ludman, an art historian with expertise in prints, developed a deep interest in the work of Fairfield Porter while living in Westbury, Long Island. She compiled and published a catalogue raisonné of Porter's prints in 1981, and another of his paintings, watercolors, and pastels in 2001. Now retired, Mrs. Ludman lives in Florida.
By the early 1970s, Joan Ludman had amassed a sizeable amount of information about Fairfield Porter and considered writing a biography. Instead, with the help of Anne Porter, the artist's widow, she began researching Porter's prints. The result was Fairfield Porter: A Catalogue Raisonné of his Prints. It was published by Highland House Publishers, Inc., a company established by Mrs. Ludman in order to assure her own standards and control the book's quality and cost.
At the same time she was compiling the catalogue raisonné of Porter's prints, Ludman was collaborating with Lauris Mason on other projects - a catalogue raisonné of George Bellow's lithographs, an anthology of essays, and five selected bibliographies about prints and printmaking. She also organized "Prints from Fairfield Porter from the Lauris and Daniel J. Mason Collection," an exhibition that traveled to several venues in 1982 and 1983.
The Estate of Fairfield Porter donated a substantial number of paintings to the Parrish Art Museum in 1979. The museum agreed to publish a catalogue raisonné, and arrangements were formalized the following year. Twice during the early 1980s, art historians who committed to writing the monograph lost interest. The project languished due to administrative problems and the discouragingly high cost of publishing such a volume. By 1988, it was apparent that the museum could not comply with the agreement. Knowing Joan Ludman's work on the catalogue raisonné of Porter's prints, Mrs. Porter approached her about the catalogue raisonné of his paintings. The highly regarded Fairfield Porter: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Watercolors, and Pastels was published by Hudson Hills Press, Inc.
Painter Fairfield Porter (1907-1975) was known for portraits, landscapes, and still life paintings. Also a critic and writer, Porter was an editorial associate with Art News in the 1950's, wrote for The Nation, published poetry, and a monograph on Thomas Eakins.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Catherine S. Gaines in 2010.
Author
Catherine S. Gaines
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
The Joan Ludman papers relating to Fairfield Porter were donated to the Archives of American Art by Joan Ludman in 2003 and 2004. Ludman donated additional 0.8 linear feet of papers in 2015.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Joan Ludman papers relating to Fairfield Porter, circa 1910-2003, bulk 1976-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Restrictions on Access
Use of original material requires an appointment.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Joan Ludman papers relating to Fairfield Porter 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.

Related Material
Among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are the Fairfield Porter papers, 1888-2001, and an oral history interview with Fairfield Porter conducted by Paul Cummings in 1968.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art patrons Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Transcripts Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Prints -- Technique Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gallery Association of New York State Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wheelwright, John, 1897-1940 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Porter, Fairfield Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Poor, Anne, 1911-2011 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/