A Finding Aid to the Wayne Thiebaud Papers,
1944-2001
, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.thiewayn
Creators:
Thiebaud, Wayne
Dates:
1944-2001
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1 Linear foot
Repository:
The papers of Sacramento painter, printmaker, and teacher Wayne Thiebaud date from 1944 through 2001 and measure 1.0 linear foot. Thiebaud's prolific painting career is documented in this collection mostly through exhibition catalogs, printed materials, original artwork, photographs, and ephemera. His career as an art professor at the University of California at Davis is documented to a lesser extent.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The papers of Sacramento painter, printmaker, and teacher Wayne Thiebaud date from 1944 through 2001 and measure one linear foot. Thiebaud's prolific painting career is documented in this collection mostly through exhibition catalogs, printed materials, original artwork, photographs, and ephemera. His career as an art professor at the University of California at Davis is documented to a lesser extent.
Of particular interest in the collection are ten large format sketchbook pages with numerous ink, graphite, and watercolor drawings of his typical imagery of pies, cakes, tie racks, San Francisco street scenes, Sacramento Delta landscapes, many figures, storefronts, counters, and personal notations regarding color, light, and ideas for the transformation of his imagery. There are also ten smaller cartoon drawings in ink on plain copy paper. In addition to several folders of exhibition catalogs, announcements, and other printed material, there is one folder of teaching notes and one folder of photographs, many of which include other artists, such as Chuck Close, Richard Diebenkorn, Richard Estes, Gregory Kondos, Roy Lichtenstein, Barnett Newman, Claes Oldenburg, Philip Pearlstein, Mel Ramos, Harold Rosenberg, and others. Also found are ephemera items, including a collectible watch with his imagery printed onto the face and band, a palette, brushes, and plastic lids from tennis ball containers used for mixing paints.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The Wayne Thiebaud papers are arranged as five series.
  • Series 1: Printed Material, 1965-2001, undated (Box 1-2; 12 folders)
  • Series 2: Writings, 1981, 2001, undated (Box 2; 1 folder)
  • Series 3: Photographs, 1944-1990, undated (Box 2; 1 folder)
  • Series 4: Original artwork, undated (Box 2, OV3; 1 folder, 1 oversize folder)
  • Series 5: Original artwork, undated (Box 2, OV3; 1 folder, 1 oversize folder)

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Wayne Thiebaud was born in Mesa, Arizona in 1920 and raised in Long Beach, California. After graduating high school, he worked as a free-lance cartoonist, commercial artist, and stage technician. He later landed a job at the Walt Disney studios as an 'in-betweener' filling in individual film frames started by animators. Thiebaud joined the Air Force in 1942 where he painted murals and began to create cartoons and illustrations.
After his service in the war, Thiebaud went to California State College in Sacramento to study art and art history. His work remained figurative but gained a conceptual dimension as he read, studied, taught, and exhibited a great deal in Northern California. During the late 1950s, Thiebaud spent time in New York City with artists such as Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Barnett Newman and other painters of their generation.
Thiebaud's work found its national audience in 1962 with his first exhibition, Wayne Thiebaud: Recent Paintings, at the Allan Stone Gallery in New York and his participation in the "New Realists" exhibition at the Sidney Janis Gallery during the same New York season. In that memorable year, when Pop Art burst upon the American cultural scene, Thiebaud's more painterly images of food and other familiar objects found an audience that has grown with each passing decade. Thiebaud's exhibition of store counters, suburban consumers, tie racks, cakes and pies seemed to comment upon American consumer culture as did his New York contemporaries. However, his thickly painted strangely illuminated forms had a pathos and a humor that was seldom found in Pop Art. Thiebaud's roots were more likely in the urban melancholy of Edward Hopper and the robust painterly style of Willem de Kooning.
Wayne Thiebaud has served as faculty member of the art department at the University of California at Davis for more than thirty years. At this writing, he lives and works in Sacramento, California while also maintaining a studio in San Francisco. He is still affiliated with the Allan Stone Gallery. Thiebaud's work is currently found in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. His recent 2000-2001 retrospective exhibition organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, traveled the nation to critical acclaim and great interest from the general public.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed by Rosa Fernandez in 2002.
Author
Rosa Fernandez and Susan Larsen
Provenance
Wayne Thiebaud donated his papers in 2001 to the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Wayne Thiebaud 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
Wayne Thiebaud papers, 1944-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- California -- San Francisco Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketches Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists' preparatory studies Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art teachers -- California -- San Francisco Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cartoons (humorous images) Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
University of California, Davis. Art Dept. -- Faculty 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/