The collection is arranged in 10 series: Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1913-2004 (0.1 linear feet; Box 1) Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1940s-2001 (0.7 linear feet; Box 1) Series 3: Writings, circa 1940s-1993 (0.1 linear feet; Box 1) Series 4: Interviews, circa 1976-2004 (0.2 linear feet; Boxes 1-2) Series 5: Personal Business Records, circa 1939-1990s (0.1 linear feet; Box 2) Series 6: Exhibition and Gallery Records, circa 1950-2002 (0.2 linear feet; Box 2) Series 7: Project Files, circa 1957-1993 (0.1 linear feet; Box 2) Series 8: Photographic Material, circa 1930s-1999 (0.3 linear feet; Box 2) Series 9: Printed Material, circa 1930s-2002 (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 2-3) Series 10: Artwork, circa 1940-1989 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 3-4)
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 printmaker and educator Fred Becker measure 3.4 linear feet and date from 1913 to 2004, with the bulk from 1940-2000. The collection documents Becker's work as a professional artist and educator through biographical material, personal and professional correspondence, writings, interviews, personal business records, gallery and exhibition files, project files, photographic material, printed material, and artwork.
Fred Becker papers, 1913-2004, bulk 1940-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Fred Becker (1913-2004) was a printmaker and art educator in Amherst, Massachusetts. Becker was born in 1913 in Oakland, California. He attended New York University beginning in 1933, where he enrolled in architecture coursework before focusing on printmaking and drawing. Becker was employed by the Works Progress Administration from 1935 to 1939. His early work of this period often incorporated nightclub scenes depicting jazz musicians. In 1940, Becker was one of the first students to enroll in classes at the New York iteration of Atelier 17, led by printmaker Stanley William Hayter. There Becker engaged with more abstract forms in his art-making, and arrived at an expressionist style by the 1950s. He served in the China Division of the United States Office of War Information (OWI) from 1945 to 1946.
The Fred Becker papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2018 by Becker's daughter Carla Becker.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001