A Finding Aid to the Jules Olitski Papers, 1950-2012, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.olitjule
Creators:
Olitski, Jules, 1922-2007
Dates:
1950-2012
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
3.2 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of artist and educator Jules Olitski measure 3.2 linear feet and date from 1950-2012. The collection sheds light on Olitski's career through writing files that consist of drafts, edits, and some correspondence; printed material such as newspaper clippings and articles, exhibition material, and published writings; portrait photographs of the artist; and sound and video recordings from interviews and lectures.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of artist and educator Jules Olitski measure 3.2 linear feet and date from 1950-2012. The collection sheds light on Olitski's career through writing files that consist of drafts, edits, and some correspondence; printed material such as newspaper clippings and articles, exhibition material, and published writings; portrait photographs of the artist; and sound and video recordings from interviews and lectures.
The majority of the collection consists of printed material that provides comprehensive coverage of Olitski's career including announcements, catalogs, and newspaper clippings from Olitski's exhibitions at galleries and museums. Sound and video recordings are of interviews with Olitski related to exhibitions of his work and of lectures given by Olitski at Brown University, the University of Miami, and the National Museum of American History, and other locations. The bulk of these recordings date from the 1990s.

Arrangement
Arrangement
This collection is arranged as four series.
  • Series 1: Writing Files, 1965-1976 (Box 1; 10 folders)
  • Series 2: Printed Material, 1950-2012 (Box 1-3; 2.3 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Photographs, 1967-2006 (Box 3; 7 folders)
  • Series 4: Recorded Interviews and Lectures, 1977-2003 (Box 3-4; .7 linear feeet)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Jules Olitski (1922-2007) was a painter, sculptor, and educator in New York, New York, who established himself as one of the leaders of the abstract expressionist movement in the United States during the 1950s-1960s.
Olitski was born in the Ukraine, and moved to New York in 1923 after his father, a commissar, was executed. By 1935, Olitski had developed an interest in art and was awarded a scholarship at the Pratt Institute where he began taking classes in 1939. Soon after he attended the National Academy of Design until 1942 when he enlisted in the United States Army.
In 1949 Olitski studied sculpture with Ossip Zadkine in the Zadkine School of Sculpture in France, and the next year attended the Academia de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris. He then moved back to the United States for his higher education, earning a master's degree from New York University. Olitski became an associate professor of art at the State University of New York, New Paltz in 1954. He held several more teaching positions throughout the 1950s and 1960s in New York and Vermont.
From the 1970s-2000s Olitski received honorary degrees from Keen State College, Hartford Art School, and Southern New Hampshire University, and held solo shows at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Knoedler Contemporary Art in New York, La Musee de Valence in France, and the Drabinsky Friedland Gallery in Toronto. He also participated in several major group exhibitions around the world including American Drawings, 1964 (1964) at the Solomon Guggenheim Museum, New York Painting and Sculpture: 1940-1970 (1970) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Green Mountain Boys - Caro, Feeley, Noland and Olitski at Bennington in the 1960's (1998), and exhibited elsewhere in Vermont and New York, and many other locations.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Christopher DeMairo in 2021.
Author
Christopher DeMairo
Sponsor
The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund, administered by the National Collections Program and the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated in 2012 and 2013 by the Olitski Family Estate via Lauren Olitski Poster, director of the estate and Olitsky's daughter.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research. Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact Reference Services for more information.
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
Jules Olitski papers, 1950-2012. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Use
The donor has retained all intellectual property rights, including copyright, that they may own.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Video recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Abstract expressionism Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation 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/