clyfford still | museum
Photo of painting storage at the Clyfford Still Museum
Painting storage image at the Clyfford Still Museum
PH-4, 1952 (rotated counterclockwise to clear the ceiling) in storage at the Museum.
Photo by CSM

About the Collection

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Clyfford Still thought the best way to experience his art was by seeing it all in one place without the distraction of, or what he thought were irrelevant comparisons to, other artists. In 1951, at the very time demand for his work grew, Still ended his relationship with his art dealer and from that time forward, only a select few of his works entered the art market. As a result, the Clyfford Still Museum is home to nearly everything he created, approximately 3,125 pieces representing 95% of his lifetime of work.

By the numbers

The collection consists of approximately 830 paintings and more than 2,300 works on paper and sculpture, including:

  • 130 paintings dating from 1920–1943: works from Still’s student years, Depression-era works, Surrealist-inspired works, and first forays into abstraction
  • 302 paintings dating from 1944–1960: Still’s “breakthrough period” and the years of “high” Abstract Expressionism, an era when many canvases span over ten feet
  • 350 paintings dating from 1961–1979: works from the final two decades of his life, created in rural Maryland
  • 2,300 works on paper spanning all aspects of Still’s career in a wide range of media such as pastel, crayon, charcoal, gouache, tempera, graphite, and pen and ink, as well as fine art prints in a variety of techniques
  • 3 carved wood and mixed media sculptures

In addition to the artworks, the Museum is also home to the artist’s archives of letters, sketchbooks, manuscripts, photo albums, and personal effects.