This collection is arranged as ten series. Series 1: Biographical Material, 1962-2006, 2017 (Box 1, Box 14; 0.5 linear feet) Series 2: Calendars and Journals, 1967-2016 (Boxes 1-6; Box 15; 5.7 linear feet) Series 3: Correspondence, 1966-2017 (Boxes 6-8; 1.7 linear feet) Series 4: Writings, 1964-2010 (Box 8; 0.3 linear feet) Series 5: Professional Activities, 1966-2017 (Boxes 8-10, Box 15; 1.9 linear feet, ER01-ER06; 11.10 GB) Series 6: Printed Material, 1947, 1963-2017 (Boxes 10-12, Box 15; 1.4 linear feet, ER07; 0.143 GB) Series 7: Scrapbook, 1974-1976 (Box 15; 1 folder) Series 8: Photographic Material, circa 1962-2007 (Box 12, Box 15; 0.1 linear feet) Series 9: Artwork, circa 1960s-2004, 2014, undated (Box 12, Box 15; 0.5 linear feet) Series 10: Audio and Video Recordings, circa 1974-1998 (Boxes 12-13; 0.4 linear feet)
Access Note / Rights:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
The papers of African American conceptual and performance artist Senga Nengudi measure 12.8 linear feet and 11.24 gigabytes and date from circa 1962 to 2017, with a folder of printed material dating from 1947. The collection contains biographical material including education and family records, the kimono Nengudi wore during her wedding to Ellioutt Fittz, certificates, interview transcripts, and address books; calendars and journals chronicling Nengudi's appointments, thoughts, and artistic practice; and correspondence with friends and other artists including Maren Hassinger, Cheryl Banks, and David Hammons. Also included is family correspondence, including letters between Senga Nengudi (then Sue Irons) and her mother when Nengudi was living in Japan. The collection also contains writings by Senga Nengudi and others; material related to professional activities including teaching files, gallery files, and files related to exhibitions, projects, and performances; printed material including exhibition and event announcements and catalogs, clippings, magazines, and other published material; a scrapbook primarily containing photographs and printed material; photographic material depicting Senga Nengudi, works of art, and other individuals; artwork by Nengudi and others, including Maren Hassinger; and audio and video recordings, including recordings of performances.
Senga Nengudi papers, 1947, circa 1962-2017. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.
The Amistad Research Center also holds 4.5 linear feet of the Senga Nengudi papers, 1966-2017.
Senga Nengudi (1943- ) is an African American conceptual and performance artist in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Born Sue Irons in Chicago, Illinois, she earned a bachelor's degree in art with a minor in dance from California State University, Los Angeles. From 1966 to 1967 she studied Japanese culture at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. This study deeply influenced her artistic practice. Upon her return from Japan in 1967, she pursued her master's degree in sculpture at California State University, which she received in 1971.
The Senga Nengudi papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2018 and 2019 by Senga Nengudi.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001