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Sam Francis papers 1916-2010, (bulk 1950-1994)

Francis, Sam, 1923-1994.

Available at Special Collections  SPECIAL COLLECTIONS - CONTACT REFERENCE  (2004.M.8** ) and other locations()

  • Title:
    Sam Francis papers 1916-2010, (bulk 1950-1994)
  • Author/Creator: Francis, Sam, 1923-1994.
  • Creation Date: 1916-2010, (bulk 1950-1994)
  • Biographical/Historical Note: California born artist Sam Francis was a second generation Abstract Expressionist painter who incorporated influences of Jungian psychology, Buddhism, and Japanese watercolor into the urban and angst-ridden painting style of the New York School. After living abroad in Paris and Japan, he settled in Los Angeles, where he founded a printing press, the Litho Shop, a book publishing enterprise, Lapis Press, and painted prolifically until his death in 1994.
  • Arrangement: Organized in eight series: Series I. Correspondence, 1937-2008; Series II. Personal, 1916-2000; Series III. Lapis Press, 1943-2002; Series IV. Business files, 1960-2008; Series V. Jung Institute, 1931-1997; Series VI. Printed matter, 1950-2010; Series VII. Artist files, 1960-2002; Series VIII. Artwork, 1955-2003.
  • Physical Desc.: ca. 238.73 linear ft. (298 boxes, 58 flatfile folders, 2 rolls).
    73 computer discs (floppy disks) : 3 1/2 in..
    6 computer discs (CD-R) : digital ; 4 3/4 in..
    3 computer discs (zip disks) : 3 1/2 in..
    1 computer tape cartridge; 5.5 x 5.5 in..
    26 videocassettes (VHS) : 1/2 in..
    9 videodiscs (DVD) : 4 3/4 in..
    10 audiocassettes : 3 7/8 x 2 1/2 in..
    3 audiotape reels.
    15 film reels : super 8 mm.
  • Summary: The Sam Francis papers span the artist's entire life and include family and personal material as well as correspondence with friends and art institutions around the world. Francis' art-related businesses, the Litho Shop and Lapis Press, are well documented. There are also numerous prints, products, and art making tools.
    Series I includes correspondence with artists, curators and dealers, including Joan Mitchell, Bruce Conner, Pontus Hultén, and Martha Jackson. There are also letters between Francis and his parents and between Francis and his wives. Series II. Personal includes family photographs of his parents and stepmother, as well as documents and manuscripts belonging to them. There are photographs of Francis at every stage of his life, as well as numerous photographs of his five wives and four children. There is also some audio visual documentation of Francis' family, including a video tape by fourth wife Mako Idemitsu, now an important video artist, of the two sons she had with Francis. Series III. Lapis Press documents the projects, both realized and unrealized, that engaged the press, including manuscripts for books of poetry, philosphy, biography and fiction. Awards and reviews, business files, and a selection of unique proofs and paste-ups are included in this series. Series IV. Business files includes a range of projects Francis worked on that are not included in Lapis Press files, such as printing projects for the Litho Shop, the performance piece Single Wing Turquoise Bird, Francis' design for Swatch watches, and the Jeffrey Perkins documentary, The Painter Sam Francis. There are financial papers and ledgers from intermittent years. Series VI. Printed matter comprises a very comprehensive collection of announcements, brochures, and posters from Sam Francis exhibitions, while Series VIII. Artwork includes transparencies of etchings, paintings and lithographs, numerous exhibition installation shots, products Francis designed, and tools he employed in his artmaking.
  • Language: English
  • Notes: Gift of the Estate of Samuel L. Francis.
  • Form/Genre: Artists' proofs
    Audiotapes
    Correspondence
    Diaries
    Drawings
    Photographic prints -- United States -- 20th century
    Posters
    Prints -- United States -- 20th century
    Videotapes
    Photographs, Original
    Born digital
  • Subjects: Francis, Sam, 1923-1994 Idemitsu, Mako, 1940- Lapis Press Abstract expressionism Artists, American -- California Art -- Collectors and collecting Jungian psychology Small presses -- California -- Los Angeles
  • Contributors: Hultén, Pontus, 1924-2006. Conner, Bruce, 1933-2008. Mitchell, Joan, 1925-1992. Lapis Press. Martha Jackson Gallery.
  • ID/Accession Number: 2608239
    2004.M.8
    2004.M.8*
    2004.M.8**
    2004.M.8***
  • Access/Rights: Open for use by qualified researchers, except unreformatted audio visual material. Box 193 is sealed until 2086.
    Sam Francis Foundation retains copyright of the material in the archive.
  • OCLC Record Number: 80343168

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