Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Additional Online Media

Catalog Data

Gilliam, Sam, 1933-2022  Search this
Andrews, Benny  Search this
Driskell, David C.  Search this
Gilliam, Dorothy Butler  Search this
Krebs, Rockne  Search this
Mondale, Walter F.  Search this
Carl Solway Gallery  Search this
Philadelphia Museum of Art  Search this
Studio Museum in Harlem  Search this
Sound recordings
Place of publication, production, or execution:
United States
Physical Description:
7.9 Linear feet; 7.9 Linear feet
This collection is arranged as 9 series. Series 1: Biographical Material, 1958-1988, (Box 1; 0.8 linear feet) Series 2: Correspondence, 1965-1989, (Boxes 1-2; 0.6 linear feet) Series 3: Writings, 1962-1988, (Box 2; 0.4 linear feet) Series 4: Business Records, 1957-1986, (Boxes 2-3; 1.0 linear foot) Series 5: Printed Material, 1962-1987, (Boxes 3-4; 1.0 linear foot) Series 6: Subject Files, 1963-1988, (Boxes 4-7; 2.2 linear feet) Series 7: Scrapbook, 1958-1968, (Box 7; 0.2 linear feet) Series 8: Artwork, 1970-1980, undated, (Boxes 7-9; 0.4 linear feet) Series 9: Photographic Material, 1960-1985, (Boxes 8-9; 0.3 linear feet)
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 contemporary Color Field painter and educator Sam Gilliam measure 7.9 linear feet and date from 1957 to 1989. The papers include biographical material, correspondence, writings, business records, printed material, subject files, a scrapbook, artwork, and photographic material that document Gilliam's life beginning as a student, through to his teaching, professorial, and artistic career based in Washington D.C. The collection highlights Gilliam's close involvement with the art institutions, racial politics, and artistic innovation from the 1960s through the 1980s, and particularly showcases the planning and creation of Gilliam's large-scale three-dimensional paintings, often associated with the Washington Color School.
Sam Gilliam papers, 1957-1989. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.
Use Note:
Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce requires written permission from Sam Gilliam. Contact Reference Services for more information.
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.
Related Materials:
Also found in the Archives of American Art are two oral history interviews with Sam Gilliam, one conducted by Kenneth Young, September 18, 1984, and the other by Ben Forgey, November 4-11, 1989.
Biography Note:
Sam Gilliam (1933-2022) was an African American artist based in Washington, D.C. He was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, where he began painting as a child, eventually attending the University of Louisville where he received his B.A. in Fine Art and M.A. in Painting. He went on to teach art to high school students in the Washington D.C. public school system, and university-level students at the Corcoran School of Art, the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), the University of Maryland, and Carnegie Mellon University. His numerous grants and awards include the 1971 Solomon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and multiple Honorary Doctoral degrees.
Language Note:
English .
The Sam Gilliam papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Sam Gilliam in 1989.
Location Note:
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Color-field painting  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Washington Color School (Group of artists)  Search this
African American artists  Search this
African American educators  Search this
African American painters  Search this
Sketches & Sketchbooks  Search this
African American  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
Sketches & Sketchbooks
African American
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art