A Finding Aid to the Philip Pearlstein Papers, circa 1940-2008, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.pearphil
Creators:
Pearlstein, Philip, 1924-
Dates:
circa 1940-2008
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
31.8 Linear feet
16.68 Gigabytes
Repository:
The papers of New York artist Philip Pearlstein measure 31.8 linear feet and 16.68 GB and date from circa 1940 to 2008. The collection is comprised of biographical material, correspondence, interviews and transcripts, writing projects and lectures, personal business records, printed material, three scrapbooks, photographs and moving images, documentary production material, digital records, sound and video recordings, and motion picture film that documents Pearlstein's career as a painter and educator.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of New York artist Philip Pearlstein measure 31.8 linear feet and 16.68 GB and date from circa 1940 to 2008. The collection is comprised of biographical material, correspondence, interviews and transcripts, writing projects and lectures, personal business records, printed material, three scrapbooks, photographs and moving images, documentary production material, digital records, sound and video recordings, and motion picture film that documents Pearlstein's career as a painter and educator.
Biographical material includes appointment books, several awards, annotated calendars, a catalogue raisonné working list, identification card, membership files, resumes, and one sound recording. Correspondence is with Will Barnet, Chuck Close, Rackstraw Downes, Richard Haas, Jack Levine, Robert Storr, John Updike, Leland Wallin, Jerome Witkin, family, galleries and museums, students, colleagues, artists, arts organizations, and includes a digital recording.
Also found are sound recordings and transcripts of interviews with Pearlstein by Vivian Tsao, Michael Blaine, Sanford Sivitz Shaman, David McCarthy, and broadcast stations WRFM and WBAI. Writing projects and lectures by Pearlstein consist of student work, numerous articles and essays, sound and video recordings of lectures and speeches, letters, memorials, miscellaneous manuscripts and notes, and a U.S. and U.S.S.R. Workshop Exchange project proposal. Writings by others about Pearlstein are by W.J. Kelly, Alexander Dückers, Richard Field, John Ward, Jerome Viola, Robert Storr, and David Yezzi.
Personal business records contain agreements, consignment and loan documents, donations, financial material, exhibition files, insurance and inventories, recommendations written by Pearlstein, reproduction permissions, digital recordings, and teaching files for various institutions. Art reproductions, clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs for exhibitions of artwork by Pearlstein and others, magazines and journals, newsletters, postcards, and publicity files that include one digital recording are in printed materials.
Two scrapbooks are of Egyptian and Roman architecture and objects accompanied by notes and a small amount of sketches, and one scrapbook is printed material regarding Pearlstein's work and exhibitions. Artwork is by Jean Hampleman, Fernando Tamburini, and unidentified artists. Photographs and moving images that include video recordings and motion picture film of Pearlstein in the studio, portraits, and candids; personal photographs of family, travel, and classmates including Andy Warhol and Dorothy Cantor; artist's models; events and exhibitions; and works of art.
Completed and unedited video and sound recordings, computer graphics footage, soundtrack material, and administrative records for the 1985 documentary video production Philip Pearlstein Draws the Artist's Model are also in this collection.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 10 series.
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1964-2008 (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 1, 36, OV42)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1955-2008 (8.5 linear Feet; Boxes 1-10, OVs 42-43, 0.168 GB; ER01)
  • Series 3: Interviews and Transcripts, 1957-2003 (0.5 linear Feet; Box 10)
  • Series 4: Writing Projects and Lectures, circa 1945-2008 (2.5 linear Feet; Boxes 10-13, 37-38, 8.26 GB: ER02-ER13)
  • Series 5: Personal Business Records, 1955-2007 (1 linear Feet; Boxes 13-14, 3.77 GB: ER14-ER15)
  • Series 6: Printed Materials, 1946-2008 (3.0 linear Feet; Boxes 14-21, 36, OVs 42-43)
  • Series 7: Scrapbooks, circa 1953-1970s (0.4 linear Feet; Box 22)
  • Series 8: Artwork, undated, 1967-2004 (0.2 linear Feet; Box 22, OV 42)
  • Series 9: Photographs and Moving Images, 1940s-2008 (3.3 linear Feet; Boxes 22, 37, 39-41, 4.18 GB; ER16-ER18)
  • Series 10: Philip Pearlstein Draws the Artist's Model, Documentary Production Material, 1983-1991 (8.5 linear Feet; Boxes 23-30, SAV 31-35)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Philip Pearlstein (1924- ) is a painter and educator based in New York, N.Y.
Pearlstein was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and he attended classes at the Carnegie Museum of Art as a child. While still in high school, his paintings were reproduced in Life magazine after winning Scholastic magazine's high school art competition. After graduating from high school Pearlstein enrolled in the Carnegie Institute of Technology's (CIT) art school, but left after a year to serve in the Army during World War II. He gained knowledge of printing, drafting, and sign painting while stationed in Florida and Italy. After the war he returned to CIT as a student and became art editor of the engineering school's Carnegie Technical magazine. During this time Pearlstein met his wife, Dorothy Cantor, and became close friends with Andy Warhol, both classmates at CIT. Pearlstein moved to New York City with Warhol after receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1949. In 1955, he completed his thesis on Francis Picabia and received a Master of Arts in art history from New York University's Institute of Fine Arts.
As Pearlstein's career evolved, he became known for his realistic nudes and landscapes. Many of Pearlstein's paintings were inspired by his travels to the western United States, Peru, Egypt, and to Italy as a 1958 Fulbright Grant recipient. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally, and he has worked closely with the Tanager and Alan Frumkin Galleries in New York. In addition to his painting career, Pearlstein was an instructor at Pratt Institute from 1959 to 1963 and at Brooklyn College from 1963 to 1988. He is also a member of the National Academy of Design and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, serving as president from 2003 to 2006.
Pearlstein continues to work and live in New York, N.Y.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Sarah Mundy and Megan McShea in 2018. Motion picture film reels were inspected and re-housed in 2017 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund. Born-digital materials were processed by Kirsi Ritosalmi-Kisner in 2019 with funding provided by Smithsonian Preservation and Collection Care Fund.
Author
Sarah Mundy and Megan McShea
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers were donated in multiple installments by Philip Pearlstein from 1975 to 2009.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Philip Pearlstein papers, circa 1940-2008. 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. Use of archival audiovisual recordings and born-digital records with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Conditions Governing Use
Authorization for commercial use of audiovisual material for the documentary Philip Pearlstein Draws the Artists' Model requires prior arrangement with Pearlstein or his heirs.

Related Materials
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Philip Pearlstein conducted by Paul Cumming, June 8 to August 10, 1972.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Architecture -- Egypt Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Architecture, Roman Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art teachers -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Motion pictures (visual works) Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketches Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Slides (photographs) Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Transcripts Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Video recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Barnet, Will, 1911-2012 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Blaine, Michael Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cantor, Dorothy Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Close, Chuck, 1940- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Downes, Rackstraw Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dückers, Alexander, 1939- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Field, Richard Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Haas, Richard, 1936- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hampleman, Jean Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Levine, Jack, 1915-2010 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kelly, W. J. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McCarthy, David, 1960- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shaman, Sanford Sivitz Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Storr, Robert Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tamburini, Fernando Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tsao, Vivian, 1950- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Updike, John Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Viola, Jerome Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wallin, Leland Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ward, John Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Warhol, Andy, 1928- -- Photographs Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Witkin, Jerome Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yezzi, David Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
WBAI Radio (New York, N.Y.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
WRFM (Radio station : New York, N.Y.) 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/