A Finding Aid to the Irving Petlin papers, 1952-2014, bulk 1970-1990, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.peltirvi
Creators:
Petlin, Irving, 1934-2018
Dates:
1952-2014
bulk 1970-1990
Languages:
English
,
French
,
Italian
.
Physical Description:
3 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of painter Irving Petlin measure 3.0 linear feet and date from 1952-2014. Materials include correspondence with other artists and collaborators, galleries, friends, and family; notes by Petlin related to his artistic process; exhibition and project files regarding the war in Vietnam and other projects; exhibition catalogs, announcements, and clippings related to Petlin's work and group and solo museum and gallery shows; periodicals related to the art world; books featuring Petlin as an illustrator or inscribed by author or editor friends of Petlin's; sketches by Petlin; an Italian contemporary art award; a piece of the Peace Tower collaboration with Mark di Suvero and other artists; and photographs of Petlin's works, installations, and Petlin in a studio.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of painter Irving Petlin measure 3.0 linear feet and date from 1952-2014. Materials include correspondence with other artists and collaborators, galleries, friends, and family; notes by Petlin related to his artistic process; exhibition and project files regarding the war in Vietnam and other projects; exhibition catalogs, announcements, and clippings related to Petlin's work and group and solo museum and gallery shows; periodicals related to the art world; books featuring Petlin as an illustrator or inscribed by author or editor friends of Petlin's; sketches by Petlin; an Italian contemporary art award; a piece of the Peace Tower collaboration with Mark di Suvero and other artists; and photographs of Petlin's works, installations, and Petlin in a studio.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 7 series.
  • Series 1: Correspondence, 1968-2002 (0.25 linear feet, Box 1)
  • Series 2: Writings, 1952-1984 (0.18 linear feet) Box 1)
  • Series 3: Exhibition Files, 1974-1988 (0.20 linear feet, Box 1)
  • Series 4: Project Files, 1980-1984, 2007 (0.17 linear feet, Box 1)
  • Series 5: Printed Material, 1962-2014 (2.09 linear feet Box 1, 2, 3)
  • Series 6: Artwork, circa 1966-1974 (0.07 linear feet, box 3, 4)
  • Series 7: Photographic Material, circa 1970s-1978 (0.04 linear feet, Box 4)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Irving Petlin (1934-2018) was a painter in Paris, France; New York, New York; and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. Petlin was born in Chicago to Polish Jewish immigrants, attended the Art Institute of Chicago, and earned a MFA from Yale University. Petlin specialized in the medium of pastel, first gaining recognition in Paris after his service in the United States army. From there he went to Los Angeles, where he was principal organizer of the "Artists Protest Movement Against the War in Vietnam," and the 1966 "Peace Tower," with Mark di Suvero and other artists. Petlin and his wife, Sarah, a poet, moved to New York City for 28 years before returning to Paris. Petlin was heavily influenced by the political landscape around him and was an active member of the Art Workers' Coalition. He used allegory, mythology, and symbolism to illustrate politics and the human condition. He often collaborated on projects with other artists and was inspired by writers and poets. In the last decades of his life, Petlin split his time between his studio in Paris and his family's 18th century farmhouse in Martha's Vineyard continuing his work as an artist and activist.

Administration
Author
Jennifer E. Neal
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated in 2019 by Sarah Petlin.
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Jennifer E. Neal and Lewis Tio in 2021.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing 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.
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is temporarily closed to researchers due to archival processing. Contact References Services for more information.
Preferred Citation
Irving Petlin papers, 1952-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Irving Petlin conducted by James McElhinney September 13 and 15, 2016.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Painters -- France -- Paris Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- Massachusettes -- Martha's Vineyard Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art and war Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975 -- Protest Movements -- United States Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Golub, Leon, 1922-2004 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kitaj, R. B. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Selz, Peter Howard, 1919-2019 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/