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Thomas Downing papers

Creator:
Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985  Search this
Names:
Osuna Gallery (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985  Search this
Romero, Phillip  Search this
Wordell, Sidney  Search this
Extent:
1.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Date:
circa 1946-1995
Summary:
The papers of painter Thomas Downing measure 1.4 linear feet and date from circa 1946 to 1995. The papers document his career as an artist in Washington, D.C. and Provincetown, Massachusetts through biographical material, correspondence, writings, personal business records, printed material, photographic material and artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter Thomas Downing measure 1.4 linear feet and date from circa 1946 to 1995. The papers document his career as an artist in Washington, D.C. and Provincetown, Massachusetts through biographical material, correspondence, writings, personal business records, printed material, photographic material and artwork.

Biographical material consists of Downing's college diploma, resume, biographical outlines, birth and death certificates, travel documents, passports and other miscellaneous documents.

Correspondence is between Thomas Downing and his family, friends, and colleagues. Notable correspondents include Phillip Romero, Osuna Galleries and Sidney Wordell.

Writings include notes, notebooks, annotated calendars and essays. There are a few writings by others such as poems by Sidney Wordell and Philip Romero's essay about Thomas Downing.

Personal business records consist of a few legal records, shipping and transportation invoices, and professional certificates.

Printed material includes clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, two books and an auction catalog.

Photographic material depict Thomas Downing, friends, family, travel, and artwork.

Artwork consists of sketchbooks and drawings by Thomas Downing, plus some drawings by the artist's son, Aaron Downing.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as seven series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1949-1995 (Box 1; 7 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1948-circa 1987 (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, 1969-1986 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 4: Personal Business Records, 1950-1986 (Box 1; 5 folders)

Series 5: Printed Material, circa 1946-1987 (Boxes 1-2; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1950-1988 (Box 2; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1950-1984 (Box 2; 0.2 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Thomas Downing (1928-1985) was a painter based in Washington, D.C., and Provincetown, Massachusetts, who was associated with the Washington Color School.

Thomas Downing was born in Suffolk, Virginia, in 1928. He received his undergraduate degree from Randolph Macon College in Virginia in 1948, then attended Pratt Institute in New York from 1948 to 1950. He traveled to Europe for one year in 1950 to 1951 on a grant from Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

After serving in the military, Downing moved to Washington, D.C., for a teaching job in 1953. He enrolled in a course at Catholic University and studied art under Kenneth Noland, who was a major influence on his work. Downing later shared a studio with Howard Mehring, with whom he founded the Origo, a cooperative gallery that operated from early 1959 to roughly mid-1960. During the 1960s, Downing also taught at the Corcoran School, numbering among his students Sam Gilliam, Rockne Krebs, and Michael Clark. Although he mostly resided in D.C., the last ten years of his life were spent in Provincetown, Massaschusetts, where he died in 1985.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reel 4058) including eleven letters from Thomas Downing to his son Aaron and seven photographs of Thomas Downing and others. Lent material was returned to the lender and is not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Material was first lent to the Archives of American Art for microfilming in 1988 by Downing's son, Aaron Downing, and then returned to the lender. His widow, Louise Downing, donated additional papers in 1988.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Massachusetts -- Provincetown  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Color-field painting  Search this
Painters -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Provincetown  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Thomas Downing papers, circa 1946-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.downthom
See more items in:
Thomas Downing papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-downthom
Online Media:

Undated Correspondence

Collection Creator:
Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 8-12
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1948-1987
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Thomas Downing papers, circa 1946-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Thomas Downing papers
Thomas Downing papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-downthom-ref10

Correspondence

Collection Creator:
Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 13
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1948
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Thomas Downing papers, circa 1946-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Thomas Downing papers
Thomas Downing papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-downthom-ref11

Correspondence

Collection Creator:
Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 14
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1949
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Thomas Downing papers, circa 1946-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Thomas Downing papers
Thomas Downing papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-downthom-ref12

Correspondence

Collection Creator:
Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 15
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1950-1958
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Thomas Downing papers, circa 1946-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Thomas Downing papers
Thomas Downing papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-downthom-ref13

Correspondence

Collection Creator:
Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 16
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1972-1978
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Thomas Downing papers, circa 1946-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Thomas Downing papers
Thomas Downing papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-downthom-ref14

Correspondence

Collection Creator:
Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 17
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1979 January-August
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Thomas Downing papers, circa 1946-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Thomas Downing papers
Thomas Downing papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-downthom-ref15

Correspondence

Collection Creator:
Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 18
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1979 September-December
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Thomas Downing papers, circa 1946-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Thomas Downing papers
Thomas Downing papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-downthom-ref16

Correspondence

Collection Creator:
Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 19
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1980 January-August
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Thomas Downing papers, circa 1946-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Thomas Downing papers
Thomas Downing papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-downthom-ref17

Correspondence

Collection Creator:
Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 20
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1980 September-December
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Thomas Downing papers, circa 1946-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Thomas Downing papers
Thomas Downing papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-downthom-ref18

Correspondence

Collection Creator:
Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 21
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1981-1982
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Thomas Downing papers, circa 1946-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Thomas Downing papers
Thomas Downing papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-downthom-ref19

Biographical Outlines and Resume

Collection Creator:
Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1975
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Thomas Downing papers, circa 1946-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Thomas Downing papers
Thomas Downing papers / Series 1: Biographical Material
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-downthom-ref2

Correspondence

Collection Creator:
Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 22
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1983
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Thomas Downing papers, circa 1946-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Thomas Downing papers
Thomas Downing papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-downthom-ref20

Correspondence

Collection Creator:
Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 23
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1984
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Thomas Downing papers, circa 1946-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Thomas Downing papers
Thomas Downing papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-downthom-ref21

Correspondence

Collection Creator:
Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 24
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1985-1987
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Thomas Downing papers, circa 1946-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Thomas Downing papers
Thomas Downing papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-downthom-ref22

Undated Notebooks

Collection Creator:
Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 25
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1980-circa 1984
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Thomas Downing papers, circa 1946-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Thomas Downing papers
Thomas Downing papers / Series 3: Writings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-downthom-ref25

Undated Notebook

Collection Creator:
Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 26
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1980-circa 1984
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Thomas Downing papers, circa 1946-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Thomas Downing papers
Thomas Downing papers / Series 3: Writings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-downthom-ref26

Notebook

Collection Creator:
Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 27
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1980 August
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Thomas Downing papers, circa 1946-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Thomas Downing papers
Thomas Downing papers / Series 3: Writings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-downthom-ref27

Notebook

Collection Creator:
Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 28
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1980 September
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Thomas Downing papers, circa 1946-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Thomas Downing papers
Thomas Downing papers / Series 3: Writings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-downthom-ref28

Notebook

Collection Creator:
Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 29
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1984
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Thomas Downing papers, circa 1946-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Thomas Downing papers
Thomas Downing papers / Series 3: Writings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-downthom-ref29

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