Scope and Contents
The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture records measure 35.42 linear feet and date from 1945 to 2013. The paper records of the school document the period from circa 1945 to 1977 and consist of administrative records, financial records, visiting artist files, faculty files, student files, and photographic material. Also included are motion picture films by Jack Eastman and Karl Fortess, dating from circa 1950 to 1968, showing the school's campus and faculty, staff, and students at work and leisure., artists, and students. A large portion of the collection consists of the Skowhegan Lecture Archives, a sound recording archive of lectures given by artists speaking at the school between 1952 and 2013.
Administrative records include files for the school's board, exhibitions and benefits, fundraising, government agencies, publicity, and other office files. Financial records consist of accounting procedure documents, bills paid, budgets, student drawing accounts, payroll, real estate expenses, and reports.
Files for visiting artists such as Philip Pearlstein, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, and William Zorach contain correspondence, lecture notes and transcripts, and records regarding the broadcast of artists' lectures. Faculty files consist of correspondence, faculty lists, and other material for Isabel Bishop, Xavier Gonzalez, Sidney Simon, and other faculty members. Student files include alumni records, correspondence, recommendations and rejections, and scholarship material.
Photographs and negatives are of Janet Fish, Paul Rasika, Alice Neel, Bette Davis, Jacob Lawrence, Roy Lichtenstein, faculty and visiting artists, and students at events, lectures, social gatherings, and in class.
Motion picture films include silent, color footage of the school's campus, working faculty and students, and social activities. Footage includes both edited footage and outtakes (footage shot but not used in the edited piece), that form three distinct sets of films from three different periods: 16 mm films from the 1950s, 8 mm films from 1964-1965, and super 8 mm films from 1966-1968. Based on handwritten notes on the original film containers, Karl Fortess was the creator of the 16 mm films, and Jack Eastman was the creator of the 8 mm film. It is unclear who created the super 8 mm films, but some of the footage appears to have been shot by Willard Cummings.