Director’s Letter

Debra Burchett-Lere, Executive Director/President and Beth Ann Whittaker-Williams, Associate Director, viewing Sam Francis, Deep Orange and Black, 1953–55, oil on canvas, Kunstmuseum Basel, Swizterland, 2017.

Debra Burchett-Lere, Executive Director/President and Beth Ann Whittaker-Williams, Associate Director, viewing Sam Francis, Deep Orange and Black, 1953–55, oil on canvas, Kunstmuseum Basel, Swizterland, 2017.

Happy 2018 from All of Us –

 

We invite you to explore the Sam Francis Foundation’s website which includes several sections pertaining to the documentation and expansion of Francis oeuvre. This site will work in tandem with the forthcoming online living Catalogue Raisonné of the unique works on paper and addendum to the canvas compilation, scheduled to be launched in the spring of 2018! Through our efforts to continue Francis’s vision we are pleased to announce many new projects ensuring the ongoing exposure to and understanding of his creative legacy. We are working with a number of authors and scholars on exhibitions and publications that include the involvement of the Getty Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Tate London, to name a few.

 

Over the past ten years, we have focused intently on the organization and digitization of the artist’s archives (regularly updated at the Getty Research Institute) as well as an extensive oral history that includes over 150 filmed and taped interviews (many conducted by the filmmaker Jeffrey Perkins) with artists, collectors, curators, family members, friends, gallery owners, and studio assistants providing a valuable documentation and insight into Francis’s history. In addition, we are pleased to announce that the author Gabrielle Selz is working on a major biography on the artist. Stay tuned to our website as we keep you posted on all these developing activities.

 

As part of our educational mission, we continue to provide resources for individuals to obtain documentation information on specific artworks as well as encouraging the greater public to discover Francis’s oeuvre with our art donations to museums and universities, exhibitions programming, and publications. We welcome researchers to contact us as we expand our database and continue to encourage individuals to submit information on our Call for Works section. We continue to update the information gathered on the Sam Francis: Catalogue Raisonné of Canvas and Panel Paintings 1946–1994, published with the University of California Berkeley (UC Press) in 2011.

 

Our small, but energetic team values the opportunity to work with you. Please feel free to contact any of the archival and research team: Beth Ann Whittaker-Williams, Beth Silverman, Leila Elliott, and Stephanie Velazquez. Don’t forget to peruse the Artifacts section for a variety of books and posters and other ephemera available for purchase to benefit the foundation’s ongoing program expenses.

 

We encourage you to join our mailing list to receive monthly updates by email of activities when they occur. We thank you for being a part of our journey to educate, inform, and catalyze new thinking and creativity in our society, an important concept to Francis as he noted in the late 1960s: “The artist structures reality–– he makes it exist through his imagination…Aesthetics could be an enormous, powerful and clear concept ––not an embellishment–– that should bring the artist back into society…” (quoted in Betty Freeman, 1969. Sam Francis: Ideas and Paintings, unpublished manuscript).

 

Debra Burchett-Lere
Executive Director/President

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