Papers of the American art critic Irving Sandler, including five decades of notes, transcripts and audiotapes of interviews
with artists and art professionals, materials documenting art organizations and associations, and correspondence regarding
publications, lectures, and academic appointments.
Irving Sandler was born in New York City in 1925. He holds a B.A. from Temple University (1948) and an M.A. from University
of Pennsylvania (1950), where he studied American history. His interests turned then to contemporary art, specifically the
abstract expressionist painting current in the 1950s New York art world. He tried his hand at painting for a year or so, and
became manager of a gallery on 10th Street, thereby meeting artists he admired. Soon feeling his vocation to be that of chronicler
and critic rather than artist, in 1954 Sandler began taking copious notes of conversations with artists, or among artists,
during informal gatherings at the Club, the Cedar Street Tavern, or in artists' studios. In 1956, he became the director of
the Tanager Gallery, Program Chairman for the Artists' Club, and a reviewer for
Art News and
Art International, establishing two roles that he would fill for the rest of his career: supporter of emergent artist groups, and advocate
critic. A third role, that of professor, emerged in the 1960s.