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Catalog Data

Schipper, Merle, 1922-2001  Search this
ArtScene (periodical)  Search this
Bengston, Billy Al  Search this
Biederman, Charles Joseph, 1906-2004  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Diebenkorn, Richard, 1922-1993  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Holty, Carl, 1900-1973  Search this
Hélion, Jean, 1904-1987  Search this
Mullican, Matt, 1951-  Search this
Noland, Kenneth, 1924-2010  Search this
Orr, Eric, 1939-1998  Search this
Smith, Kiki, 1954-  Search this
Spratling, William, 1900-1967  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
12.1 Linear feet
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
France -- Paris -- Photographs
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Social life and customs
circa 1930s-1999
The papers of Los Angeles art historian, art critic, and writer Merle Schipper measure 12.1 linear feet and date from circa 1930s to 1999. The papers include biographical material, correspondence, writing and research project files, printed material, writings by others, photographs, and artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Los Angeles art historian, art critic, and writer Merle Schipper measure 12.1 linear feet and date from circa 1930s to 1999. The papers include biographical material, correspondence, writing and research project files, printed material, writings by others, photographs, and artwork. Biographical material consists of a notebook planner and professional contact addresses, as well as Schipper's resume and bibliography. Scattered correspondence is both personal and professional with family and colleagues. Over one-half of the collection consists of Schipper's writing, research, project, and exhibition files. There are drafts, essays, manuscripts, notes, and research documentation about California art and artists, an exhibition of craftsman William Spratling curated by Schipper, Schipper's dissertation and additional projects on Jean Helion, the exhibition Americans in Paris in the 1950s (1997), additional exhibitions, as well as transcripts of interviews with artists. The research files on Helion include an interview transcript with Willem de Kooning about Helion and correspondence with artists about Helion, including Charles Biederman, Alexander Calder, Philip Guston, Carl Holty, Jack Tworkov, and others. Additional exhibition files are found for Visions of Inner Space (1988) and Marmo: The New Italian Stone Age (1989). Artists interviewed by Schipper include Billy Al Bengston, Willem de Kooning, Richard Diebenkorn, Laddie John Dill, Kenneth Noland, Eric Orr, and others. Extensive printed materials include clippings and copies of journals and periodicals containing Schipper's writings. There are a few scattered writings by others about art and artists. Photographs are of Schipper, artists, artwork, and places, including Paris. Artwork includes one original poster print by Kiki Smith and one drawing by Matt Mullican.
This collection is arranged as 7 series. Missing Title Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1970s-1998 (5 folders; Box 1) Series 2: General Correspondence, 1944-circa 1998 (0.3 linear feet; Box 1) Series 3: Writing and Research Project Files, circa 1930s-1999 (7.8 linear feet; Boxes 1-9) Series 4: Printed Material, 1933-1997 (3.1 linear feet; Boxes 9-12, OV14-16) Series 5: Writings By Others, circa 1944-1991 (0.2 linear feet; Box 12) Series 6: Photographs, circa 1960s-circa 1992 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 12-13) Series 7: Artwork, 1982-1992 (0.1 linear feet; Box 13, OV16)
Biographical / Historical:
Merle Schipper (1922-2001) was an art historian, writer, and art critic active in Los Angeles, California. Born in Toronto, Canada, Merle Solway Schipper was naturalized in Los Angeles in 1950 and received a PhD in art history from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1974. Schipper was a familiar figure on the Los Angeles art scene. Her primary scholarly focus grew out of her dissertation research on Jean Helion, but much of her writing attention was devoted to Los Angeles artists and art world events. She was a regular contributor to many art periodicals, including ArtScene, Images and Issues, Artweek, ARTnews, and the Los Angeles Daily News. As an independent curator, Schipper's research interests led to several exhibitions, including Americans in Paris: the 50s (1979) at California State University, Northridge, Visions of Inner Space (1988) co-curated with Lee Mullican at UCLA's Frederick S. Wight Art Gallery, Marmo: the New Italian Stone Age (1989), Being There/Being Here: Nine Perspectives in New Italian Art (1991), traveling exhibition sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute, and an exhibition of William Spratling for the Craft and Folk Art Museum in 1997. Schipper also taught and lectured at UCLA, USC, CSU Northridge, and Claremont Graduate School. Merle Schipper died in 2001.
The Merle Schipper papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2002 by the Merle Schipper Estate via Schipper's daughter Amy Schipper Howe.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
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.
Art critics -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Art historians -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Authors -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Artists -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Merle Schipper papers, circa 1930s-1999. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
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Merle Schipper Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art