A Finding Aid to the Jules Olitski Notes to Joan Olitski, 1981-2004, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.olitjoan
Creators:
Olitski, Joan C., 1937-
Olitski, Jules, 1922-2007
Dates:
1981-2004
Languages:
English
The collection is in English.
Physical Description:
0.02 Linear feet
Repository:
The notes of painter and sculptor Jules Olitski to Joan Olitski measure 0.02 linear feet and date from 1981-2004. The collection comprises of ten humorous love notes, some illustrated, written by Jules Olitski to his wife, Joan. Olitski wrote the notes to his wife (also known as Kristina) in the morning when he left his studio after working through the night.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The notes of painter and sculptor Jules Olitski to Joan Olitski measure 0.02 linear feet and date from 1981-2004. The collection comprises of ten humorous love notes, some illustrated, written by Jules Olitski to his wife, Joan. Olitski wrote the notes to his wife (also known as Kristina) in the morning when he left his studio after working through the night.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 1 series.
  • Series 1: Notes, 1981-2004 (0.1 linear feet; Box 1)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Painter and sculptor Jules Olitski (1922-2007) lived and worked from New York City; Meredith, New Hampshire; and Islamorada, Florida and was known for his color field abstractions and painted metal sculptures. Born Jevel Demikovsky in Snovsk, Russia (now Shchors, Ukraine), Olitski's father was politically executed months after his birth, and his mother and grandmother moved with him to the United States in 1923. Showing an early propensity for art, Olitski trained at both New York's National Academy of Design and the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design and furthered his art studies in Paris. After returning to New York, Olitski received a master's in art education from NYU in 1954 and subsequently taught at C.W. Post College (1956-1963) and Bennington College (1963-1967).
His first solo show of abstract impastos at the Alexander Iolas Gallery in 1958 caught the attention of art critic Clement Greenberg, who continued to champion him throughout his career. In the 1960s, Olitski came to prominence with color field paintings that used stain and spray methods to emphasize the broad, flat plane of the canvas. By the 1970s, he began producing and painting large scale abstract aluminum sculptures and returned to painting in the more textured style he had used in the 1950s.
Olitski, along with Roy Lichtenstein, Helen Frankenthaler, and Ellsworth Kelly, was selected to represent the United States at the 1966 Venice Biennale and was also the first living artist invited to exhibit a one-person show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1969. A prolific artist, he exhibited in over 150 solo shows and was elected to the National Academy of Design in 1994. Olinski continued painting and exhibiting new abstractions of monochrome landscapes late into his career and died of cancer in New York.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
The collection was digitized in its entirety in 2015 and is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Processing Information
The collection was fully processed and a finding aid prepared by Judy Ng in 2015.
Author
Judy Ng
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The notes were donated in 2014 by Olitski's wife, Joan Olitski, also known as Kristina.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Jules Olitski notes to Joan Olitski, 1981-2004. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Conditions Governing Use
The Jules Olitski notes to Joan Olitski 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 Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds the Jules Olitski papers.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Illustrated letters Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York Topic 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/