The collection is arranged into 9 series. Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1930-2004 (0.25 linear feet; Box 1) Series 2: Correspondence, 1930s-2003 (1.0 linear foot; Boxes 1-2) Series 3: Personal Business Materials, 1953-2003 (0.25 linear feet; Box 2) Series 4: Teaching Materials, 1960s-1980s (18 folders; Box 2) Series 5: Writings, 1940s-1994 (0.25 linear feet; Box 2) Series 6: Artwork, 1928-1995 (8 folders; Box 2) Series 7: Printed Materials, 1928-2003 (1.25 linear feet; Boxes 3-4) Series 8: Photographic Materials, 1900s-2004 (0.5 linear feet; Box 4) Series 9: Sound Recordings, 1965-1980 (10 items; Box 4)
Access Note / Rights:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The papers of Southern California painter and instructor Hassel Smith measure 4 linear feet and date from circa 1900 to 2004 with the bulk of the materials dating from 1930-1995. Found within the papers are correspondence, a transcript of an interview conducted by Jan Butterfield in the 1980s, personal business files, teaching files, writings by Smith and others, sketches, printed materials, and photographs of Smith, his family and friends, and his artwork. There are audio recordings of a lecture series organized by Smith and of reviews of Smith's work. Correspondents include Paule Anglim, Elmer Bischoff, Andre Emmerich, Clyfford Still, Wayne Thiebaud, and many others.
Hassel Smith papers, circa 1900-2004, bulk 1930-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The bulk of the collection was digitized in 2011 and is available via the Archives of American Art's website. Blank pages, blank versos of photographs, photographs of artwork, duplicates, and medical, legal, and personal financial documents have not been scanned. In most cases, only the cover, title page, and individual relevant pages have been scanned from published materials.
The sound recordings in this collection were digitized for research access in 2011 and are available at the Archives of American Art offices. Researchers may view the original reels for the archival notations on them, but original reels are not available for playback due to fragility.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Getty Foundation and funding for digitization was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
The Hassel Smith 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.
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Hassel Smith conducted by Paul Karlstrom, September 5, 1978 and a video interview with Hassel Smith conducted by Paul Karlstrom, January 15, 1986.
Hassel Smith (1915-2007) was a California Bay area abstract expressionist painter, painting instructor at the California School of Fine Arts, and a lecturer at the University of California. His students included Roy De Forest, Sonia Gechtoff, and Frank Lobdell. Smith was also associated with the famed Los Angeles Ferus Gallery.
Hassel Smith donated most of his papers in several increments between 1980 and 1998. His son Joseph donated audio recordings in 1980, and Hassel Smith's widow Donna donated additional materials in 2004.
This site provides access to the papers of Hassel Wendell Smith in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2011. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 5,095 images.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001