Helen Frankenthaler Foundation

Helen Frankenthaler papers, circa 1920s-2017

A DRAFT Finding Aid to the Helen Frankenthaler Papers, circa 1920s–2017, in the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation Archives


Please note that updates to the Helen Frankenthaler Papers, circa 1920s–2017 finding aid are made on a continual basis as the collection is processed and opened to access. Inventories (pdf) for series or subseries that are open for research can be accessed by clicking on the links in the Arrangement.


Draft finding aid is created by Sarah Haug, HFF Archivist, December 12, 2022. All future drafts will supersede this version.


Collection Overview
Title: Helen Frankenthaler papers
Identifier: HFP
Date: circa 1920s–2017
Extent: over 300 linear feet
Creator: Helen Frankenthaler, Helen Frankenthaler Studio office
Language: English
Abstract: The papers of painter and printmaker Helen Frankenthaler measure over 300 linear feet and date from circa 1920s–2017. The papers document her personal life and her career as an artist through biographical material; correspondence with family, friends and colleagues; writings and lectures; interviews; datebooks and calendars; exhibition files; business records; studio records; inventories; financial and legal records; exhibition catalogues, clippings, and other printed materials; personal photographs and photographs relating to her career; sound and moving image recordings; and memorabilia.


Administrative Information
Provenance: The collection was acquired by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation upon the closing of the Estate of Helen Frankenthaler in 2013.
Processing Information: The collection is currently being processed and is partially described in a finding aid.
Preferred Citation: Helen Frankenthaler papers, circa 1920s–2017 (in progress). Helen Frankenthaler Foundation Archives, New York.
Conditions Governing Access: Processed materials are available for research by appointment. All unprocessed materials are closed for processing. Restrictions are noted at the series, subseries, or folder level.
Conditions Governing Use: The Helen Frankenthaler papers is the physical property of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation Archives. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.


Scope and Content
Measuring over 300 linear feet, the Helen Frankenthaler papers date from circa 1920s–2017 and contains the personal papers of artist Helen Frankenthaler, her studio business records, and the records of the Estate of Helen Frankenthaler. Materials found include biographical records; correspondence with friends, family, museums, galleries, and business relations; writings and lectures by the artist and others; interview files; datebooks and calendars; files pertaining to major exhibitions; studio records; artwork inventories; personal and business financial and legal records; printed materials such as exhibition catalogues, press clippings, posters, and reproductions of artwork; photographic materials of installation views, career photographs, personal snapshots, studio photos, and photo albums; sound and video recordings; electronic records; and artifacts and memorabilia.


The collection is arranged as 16 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material
Series 2: Correspondence
Series 3: Writings and Lectures
Series 4: Interviews
Series 5: Datebooks and Calendars
Series 6: Exhibition Files
Series 7: Business Records
Series 8: Studio Records [RESTRICTED]
Series 9: Artwork Inventory [RESTRICTED]
Series 10: Financial and Legal Records [RESTRICTED]
Series 11: Personal Business Records
Series 12: Printed Materials, 1922–2014 (click to access inventory PDF)
Series 13: Photographic Materials, circa 1870-2012 (click to access inventory PDF)
Series 14: Sound and Moving Image Recordings
Series 15: Electronic Records
Series 16: Artifacts and Memorabilia