A Finding Aid to the John Opper Papers, 1926-2011, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.oppejohn
Creators:
Opper, John , 1908-1994
Dates:
1926-2011
Languages:
English
The collection is in English.
Physical Description:
1.4 Linear feet
0.057 Gigabytes
Repository:
The papers of abstract painter and teacher John Opper measure 1.4 linear feet and 0.057 GB and are dated 1926-2011. The papers contain both professional and personal corespondence, including letters from immediate family. Biographical materials consist of essential data including passports, birth and death certificates, and curricula vitae. Some geneological documents are in digital format. Personal business records relate to the artist's Bowery Street and Amagansett studios, and to art sales through the Grace Borgenicht Gallery. A scrapbook contains newspaper clippings. Additional clippings, group and solo exhibition catalogs and announcements documenting Opper's career, and galley sheets of a children's book illustrated by Opper are included among the printed material. Photographs are of Opper, his family, friends, and paintings. Digital photographs depict the artist and relatives. The collection also contains a few pen and ink drawings by Opper.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of abstract painter and teacher John Opper measure 1.4 liner feet and 0.057 GB and are dated 1926 to 2011. The papers contain both professional and personal correspondence, including letters from immediate family. Biographical materials consist of essential data including passports, birth and death certificates, and curriculum vitae. Some geneological records are in digital format. Personal business records relate to the artist's Bowery Street and Amagansett studios, and to art sales through the Grace Borgenicht Gallery. A scrapbook contains newspaper clippings. Additional clippings, group and solo exhibition catalogs and announcements documenting Opper's career, and galley sheets of a children's book illustrated by Opper are included among the printed material. Photographs are of Opper, his family, friends, and paintings. Digital photographs depict the artist and relatives. The collection also contains a few pen and ink drawings by Opper.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 7 series:
  • Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1953-1994 (Box 1; 1 folder, ER01; 0.049 GB)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1948-1994 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1960s-1993 (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)
  • Series 4: Printed Materials, 1930-2011 (Box 1; 0.5 linear feet)
  • Series 5: Scrapbook, 1937-2005 ( Box 2; 0.2 linear feet)
  • Series 6: Artwork, 1963 (Box 2; 1 folder)
  • Series 7: Photographs, 1926-circa 2011 (Box 3; 0.2 linear feet, ER02; 0.008 GB)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Chicago born abstract painter and teacher John Opper (1908-1994) moved to New York in the 1930s where he lived and worked for most of his career.
Opper was a founding member of the American Abstract Artist group in 1936, studying with Hans Hofmann the same year. He studied at Cleveland School of Art, Case Western Reserve University, Columbia University and Art Institute of Chicago. Opper received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1969. He was represented by Grace Borgenicht Gallery. He became known for his abstract style that was influenced by both abstract expressionism and color field painting.

Administration
Processing Information
This collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid prepared in 2014 by Rachel Salzmann. The Archives of American Art has implemented minimal processing tactics when possible in order to increase information about and access to more of our collections. Minimal processing included arrangement to the series, subseries, and folder levels. Generally, items within folders were simply verified with folder titles, but not arranged further. Folders within boxes were not numbered. The collection was rehoused in archival containers and folders, but not all staples and clips were removed. Born-digital records were processed by Kirsi Ritosalmi-Kisner in 2019 with funding provided by Smithsonian Collection Care and Preservation Fund.
Author
Rachel Salzmann
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by the artist's children, Jane and Joseph Opper, March 27, 2013.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The John Opper papers 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.
Preferred Citation
The John Opper papers, 1926-2011. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Use
Use of original material requires an appointment.

Related Materials
Oral history interview with John Opper, 1968 September 9-1969 January 3, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painting, Abstract Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists' studios Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Grace Borgenicht Gallery Corporate 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/