Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Table of contents What's This?


Professional correspondence, Series I. 1969-2003

Physical Description: 1.25 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Scope and Contents

Letters regarding the authentication of Rodin drawings, exhibition planning, and book publication.


Arranged in chronological order by year.
box 1


Scope and Contents

Including letters from the National Gallery regarding Varnedoe's Rodin exhibition, from Praeger, Inc. regarding the Rodin book, and various letters regarding authentication of Rodin works.
box 2


Scope and Contents

Including letters from artists Duane Hansen and Cy Twombly, and regarding the exhibition Primitivism and Modern Art, and regarding various speaking engagements.
box 119

Restricted, 1974-1996


Personal items, Series II. 1967-2003, undated

Physical Description: 1.04 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Scope and Contents

Letters from friends and colleagues, memorabilia, and photographs, mainly of travels.


Arranged in rough chronological order within the two media categories of correspondence and photography.
box 3

Correspondence, 1970-2003, undated

Scope and Contents

Including letters from friends and colleagues congratulating Varnedoe on appointments, expressing gratitude for his support, and offering sympathy for his final struggle with illness.
box 4, box 120

Photographs, slides, and miscellaneous, 1967-2001, and undated

Scope and Contents

Including primarily photographs of travels in Europe, with some related memorabilia.

Education, Series III. 1964-1972, undated

Physical Description: 3.75 Linear Feet (9 boxes)


Materials from Williams College and Stanford University are grouped separately and arranged in rough chronological order by year.

Scope and Contents

A comprehensive record of Varnadoe's undergraduate and graduate studies, with term papers, lecture notes, transcripts, and assorted materials.
box 5, box 6, box 7

Williams College, 1964-1968

Scope and Contents

Including term papers, lecture notes, address books, an art review from student newspaper, and transcripts. Also present are Varnadoe's curricula for a semester of post-graduate teaching at Williams (1968) and a narrative resume describing his choices and decisions during this stage of his life.
box 7, box 8, box 9, box 10, box 11, box 12, box 13

Stanford University, 1968-1972

Scope and Contents

Including Varnedoe's notes from his classes with Dr. Albert Elsen and others, photocopied pages from art historical textbooks, a heavily annotated copy of an issue of Stanford Today about Van Gogh, and a complete set of term papers from his graduate career. Also present are documents about Varnedoe's involvement in campus anti-war protests and art-related activism.

Teaching, Series IV. 1972-1985, undated

Physical Description: 2.92 Linear Feet (7 boxes)


Materials are grouped by institution in the sequence in which Varnedoe taught in them.

Scope and Contents

Lecture notes, syllabi, bibliographies, slides, and photocopied related readings.
box 14, box 133

Stanford University, 1972-1974

box 15, box 16

Columbia University, 1974-1979

box 17

New York University, 1980-1985

box 18

Las Meninas symposium, New York University, 1984

box 19

Assorted, undated


Lectures, Series V. 1972-2005

Physical Description: 7.7 Linear Feet (16 boxes)


Arranged in chronological order by year.

Scope and Contents

Research notes, drafts, study photographs, and in some cases, audio recordings and floppy disc records of the lectures.
box 20


Scope and Contents

On topics such as Caillebotte, Rodin, photography, and primitivism in Modern Art.
box 21


Scope and Contents

On such topics as Pollock, Munch, collecting, and including the commencement address Varnedoe gave at Stanford.

Slade lectures: the Poverty of Postmodernism, 1992-1993

box 22, box 23, box 24

Drafts of lecture texts

box 137, folder C24-C31

Audiotapes of lectures

box 25


Scope and Contents

On topics such as Pollock and Twombly, and including Varnedoe's commencement speech at Williams College.
box 26, box 120


Scope and Contents

On such topics as Twombly and Jasper Johns, and including Varnedoe's eulogy for Leo Castelli. Including views of Varnedoe in the act of lecturing.
box 27


Scope and Contents

On such topics as Lichtenstein, Pollock, David Smith, and Marcia Tucker
box 28


Scope and Contents

On topics such as Roulin and Van Gogh, and for George Segal's memorial.
box 29


Scope and Contents

On topics such as Matisse/Picasso, Van Gogh/Gauguin, and Rembrandt.

Mellon lectures: Pictures of Nothing: Abstract Art Since Pollock, 2003-2005

box 30, box 31, box 32, box 33, box 34

Drafts of lectures

box 136, folder C12-C23

Audio tapes of lectures


Research and Writings, Series VI. 1890-2006, undated

Physical Description: 34.59 Linear Feet (86 boxes)


Arranged in three subseries.

Scope and Contents

Files on the artists or topics Varnedoe wrote on or curated exhibitions about, with ample visual material, historical scholarship in the form of photocopied articles and books, and often including correspondence with artists or the sponsoring institutions, and occasionally also exhibition installation photographs and checklists.

Artists, Series VI.A. 1890-2006, undated

Physical Description: 28 Linear Feet (67 boxes)


Arranged in alphabetical order by the last name of the artist.

Scope and Contents

Files contain notes, readings, drafts of essays, study photographs and slides, with occasional audiotaped interviews of living artists.
box 34A, box 35, box 36, box 37, box 38, box 39, box 40, box 41, box 42, box 121

Gustave Caillebotte, 1972-2001

box 43

Edgar Degas, 1899-1998

box 43, box 137

Duane Hanson, 1974-1985

box 43, box 44, box 45, box 46, box 47, box 48, box 49

Jasper Johns, circa 1960-1996

box 50, box 51

Matisse/Picasso, 1959-2003

box 52, box 53, box 54, box 55, box 56, box 57, box 58

Jackson Pollock, 1926-2006

box 59, box 60, box 61, box 62, box 63, box 64, box 65, box 66, box 68, box 67, box 69, box 70, box 71, box 72, box 73, box 74, box 75, box 76, box 77, box 78, box 79, box 80, box 81, box 82, box 122, box 123, box 124, box 125, box 133

Auguste Rodin, 1892-2003

Scope and Contents

Including numerous authentication files, and research dating from Varnedoe's Stanford years through the 1990s when he wrote A Fine Regard.
box 83, box 84, box 85, box 86, box 133

Scandinavian artists, circa 1950- circa 1988

Scope and Contents

Research on various artists for Varnedoe's Northern Lights exhibition in 1982, and book published in 1988.
box 87

Richard Serra, 1987-2002

box 87

James Turrell, 1967-2004


Cy Twombly, 1920-2000, undated

Cy Twombly (digital version available on-site only): 1920-2000

box 88, box 89, box 90, box 121, box 133

Drafts, readings, photographs

box 135, folder C1-C11

Audio tapes

Scope and Contents

C1: Lecture 1 of 3 from MOMA's Cy Twombly exhibit. October 4, 1994. Speakers are Richard Serra, Francesco Clemente, and Brice Marden.
C5: Lecture 3 of 3 from MOMA, titled "The Latin Class," October 25, 1994. Rosalind Krauss is the lecturer.
C8: Lecture 2 of 3 lectures from MOMA, titled "Rethinking Cy Twombly," October 11, 1994. Kirk Varnedoe is the lecturer.
C11: Kirk Varnedoe lectures on Cy Twombly at the National Gallery on May 17, 2001.
C2-C4 are duplicates of C1. C6, C7, and C10 are duplicates of C5. C9 is a duplicate of C8.
box 91, box 92, box 93

Vincent Van Gogh, circa 1890-2003

box 94, box 95

Andy Warhol, 1987-1999


Topics, Series VI.B. 1911-2002, undated

Physical Description: 2.5 Linear Feet (7 boxes)


Arranged in alphabetical order by topic.

Scope and Contents

A selection of topics Varnedoe pursued during his lifetime.
box 96

Abstraction, 1963-2002

box 96

Aviation, 1911-1970

box 97

High and Low, 1962-1992

Scope and Contents

Including reviews of the landmark show and numerous installation shots.
box 98, box 99, box 126, box 127

Ruins, 1968-2001

Scope and Contents

Box 99 contains eleven notebooks with Varnedoe's reflections on ruins and other themes, mainly from his 1977 research trip.
box 100

Primitivism. 1984

box 100

Propellers, 1944-1992

box 100

Vienna, 1985-1986


Assorted, Series VI.C. 1944-2003, undated

Physical Description: 4.09 Linear Feet (12 boxes)

Scope and Contents

Including articles about critical theory, clippings of general interest, and research possibly related to other curatorial and writing interests. Includes card catalog of Varnedoe's upstate New York library and audio visual material relating to topics other than the artists listed in subseries VI.A.


Arranged in chronological order by year.
box 101, box 102, box 103, box 104, box 105, box 106

Articles by others, 1944-2003

box 128, box 129, box 130, box 131, box 132, box 133

Slides, undated

Scope and Contents

Including views of monuments in Europe and commercially available slides of the work of various artists.
box 134, folder F1-F4

Films, undated

Scope and Contents

Including four reels, 3 unidentified, 1 about the artist Krogh.
box 137, folder C32-C33

Audiotapes, circa 1995

Scope and Contents

Including a Varnedoe interview with Jeff Koons.
box 138, folder D1-D19

Digital media, circa 1980 - circa 2003

Scope and Contents

Media generally pertains to lectures and includes one recording of the card catalog of Varnadoe's library. 14 computer discs (floppy disk) : 3 1/2 in. 3 computer disc (floppy disk) : 5 1/4 in. 2 computer disc : digital ; 4 3/4 in.

Museum of Modern Art files, Series VII. 1948-2004, undated

Physical Description: 1.25 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Scope and Contents

Including minutes of meetings, reports about art institutions other than MOMA, memoranda, and assorted correspondence.


Arranged in rough chronological order by year.
box 107

Papers by museum world colleagues and Varnedoe about Museum collecting and management, 1948-2004

Scope and Contents

Including interview with Adam Gopnik, and plans for museum expansion.
box 108

MOMA catalogs and calendars, memos, minutes of meetings regarding MOMA expansion and the Painting and Sculpture committee

box 109

MOMA Cycle III meeting notes


Printed matter, Series VIII. 1971-2006, undated

Physical Description: 8.58 Linear Feet (9 boxes)


Materials are grouped by type.

Scope and Contents

Including a fairly complete clipping file and mainstream serial collection on Varnedoe, documenting his career, with seemingly random selections of art ephemera.
box 110

Articles about Varnedoe, 1976-2001

box 111, box 112, box 113, box 114

Proofs of Pictures of Nothing, 2006

Scope and Contents

Including correspondence with Varnedoe's widow.
box 115

Postcards of art, undated

box 116

Announcements and brochures, 1972-1999, undated

box 117

Periodicals, 1971-2002

box 118

Miscellaneous, 1977-1991, undated