The papers of painter and photographer Stanley Twardowicz measure 1.1 linear feet and date from 1942-2009, with the bulk of the papers dating from 1942-1981. The papers contain biographical material, scrapbooks, letters, printed material, photographs, and audio and video recordings regarding the career of Stanley Twardowicz as a painter and photographer.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter and photographer Stanley Twardowicz measure 1.1 linear feet and date from 1942-2009, with the bulk of the papers dating from 1942-1981. The papers contain biographical material, scrapbooks, letters, writings, printed material, photographs, and audio and video recordings regarding the career of Stanley Twardowicz as a painter and photographer.
Biographical material consists of various curriculum vitae, a list of exhibitions and awards from 1942-1954, and typed excerpts from reviews of Twardowicz's one-man shows at Contemporary Arts Gallery during 1951.
Writings include an unpublished hand-written 70 page memoir by Twardowicz entitled "A Life with No Tears" covering the artist's early life through 1970, a master's thesis "Stanley Twardowicz, Tracing the Roots of an American Modernist" by Kim Greer Verzyl written in 1978, and a 2008 writing by Gerald Nicoisa which describes his relationship with Twardowicz.
Scrapbooks are two disbound volumes organized by years. They contain the artist's collection of exhibition announcements, catalogs, and lists; press clippings; letters advising of awards and fellowships; and Ohio State Fair ribbons for excellence in fine art.
Printed materials and related items consist of chronological files that retain their original order. Found are printed materials relating to exhibitions, letters, and audio visual materials. Of particular interest is the 1956 letter advising Twardowicz that he has been awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in creative painting.
Photographs include pictures of the artist and ones taken by Twardowicz. Twardowicz's photographs are of Roy Lichtenstein, David Smith, Jules Olitski, Roy Parker, Mike Kanemitsu, Betty Parsons, Lillian Dodson (the artist's wife), and Jack Kerouac. There also is a photograph by Dorothy Lichtenstein of Twardowicz, Parker, Dodson and Roy Lichtenstein and casual snapshots of the artist and friends and family.
The collection is arranged as 5 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1951-2008 (Box 1; 1 folder)
Series 2: Writings, 1951-2008 (Box 1; 0.1 linear ft.)
Series 3: Scrapbooks, 1942-1951 (Box 1; 0.25 linear ft.)
Series 4: Printed Material and Related Items, 1946-2009 (Box 1; 0V 2; 0.6 linear ft.)
Series 5: Photographs, circa 1960-1979 (Box 1; 3 folders)
Stanley Twardowicz (1917-2008) was a painter, photographer and teacher. He is associated with the 1950's Abstract Expressionists of the Cedar Tavern in Greenwich Village, New York and with Beat Generation poet Jack Kerouac.
Twardowicz was born Stanley Jon Leginsky in July, 1917, but took his godfather's surname at age 20 when he married. After working at various jobs, in 1940 Twardowicz enrolled in Detroit's Meinzinger's Art School.
In 1946 Twardowicz was awarded a scholarship to the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, his first exposure to a creative arts community. There he met Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Jack Levine and Philip Guston. Through his associations at Skowhegan, Twardowicz obtained a teaching position at Ohio State University. He taught there until 1951, becoming friends with fellow instructor, Roy Lichtenstein. Twardowicz married (Ruth) Ann Mandel in 1949 and they lived in an artists' community near Guadalajara, Mexico. Twardowicz then travelled in Europe, his work edging towards an expressionist technique and mood. By 1953 Twardowicz painted in a fully abstract manner.
Upon his return to the States, Twardowicz frequented the Cedar Tavern in Greenwich Village, New York, where he met and was deeply influenced by Abstract Expressionists such as Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline and Jackson Pollock. During this time he had one-man shows and participated in group shows at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He was represented in the Museum of Modern Art's travelling exhibition "Young American Painters."
In 1956 Twardowicz received a Guggenheim Fellowship in creative painting and moved to Northport, Long Island, where he befriended area artists Jules Olitski and George Grosz. Between 1958 and 1970 the Peridot Gallery in New York presented annual one-man shows of Twardowicz's work. Twardowicz also participated in numerous major group shows at institutions such as the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Twardowicz began his long teaching career at Hofstra University in 1964, where he met his third wife, Lillian Dodson, a fellow artist. Twardowicz's career as a photographer also prospered. Edward Streichen, then Director of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, selected six of Twardowicz's photographs for the Museum's permanent collection. In June, 1967 Tardowicz took photographs of Jack Kerouac in his Lowell, Massachusetts home, which became the subject of an art book portfolio called Stashou and Yasho.
During the 1990's there was renewed interest in Twardowicz's work with a show at Mitchell Algus' Gallery in Soho, New York City. In 2001, the Phoenix Art Museum celebrated Twardowicz's contributions as a Color Field painter with a retrospective exhibition "Moving Color."
Twardowicz died on June 12, 2008 in Northport, Long Island.
The papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2010 by Lillian Dodson, widow of Stanley Twardowicz.
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
The Stanley Twardowicz papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. The donor, Lillian Dodson, has retained copyright to materials created by Twardowicz. Archives of American Art has been given a non-exclusive license to reproduce and display. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.