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Over 300 pencil and pencil and ink drawings (ca. 1950s-1960s), mostly contained in sketchbooks and tablets, as well as numerous loose sketches and several mixed-media works on board. Also found are Altoon's letters and a ship's log dating from his years of WWII Navy service in the Pacific.
John Altoon art work and papers, [ca.1940-1969]. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Painter; Los Angeles, Calif.; b. 1925, d. 1969 Altoon (born Altoonian), was a major figure in the Los Angeles art scene from the 1950s until his death from a heart attack in 1969. He began painting in the abstract-expressionist style, but by the mid-1960s his works turned to the figure, characterized by skillful draftsmanship and sexual imagery.
Donated 1998 by Roberta L. Thompson, John Altoon's widow.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001