Clyfford Still’s Summer in Colorado – Clyfford Still Museum
CS.1961

Image: In this black and white portrait, Clyfford Still poses before the floral wallpaper that decorated his daughter's, Sandra Still's, bedroom at the Westminster farmhouse. Circa 1961-2. Sandra Still, courtesy the Clyfford Still Archives. © Sandra Still.

Clyfford Still’s Summer in Colorado

Posted on July 30, 2019 | Share:

By Kristin Kirsch Feldkamp, Editorial Assistant

In the summer of 1960, Clyfford Still took a break from the New York art scene. He had accepted an invitation from Lynne Wolfe, professor of fine arts at the University of Colorado Boulder, to participate in the university’s Visiting Artist Series. Driving to Colorado from New York in his beloved Mark series Jaguar, one of his very few material indulgences, Still set off for a grand adventure. In honor of Colorado Day and that summer, we’re sharing three interesting facts about Still’s experience in Colorado.

Still was earnest when it came to teaching. During his ten-week residency, Still taught advanced oil painting to students he expected to be attentive. In a letter dated February 7, 1960, he wrote to Wolfe that “I expect students to be serious and to behave accordingly. My contribution will be a critical analysis of the meaning of what they are doing starting with each student’s present position.”

Image: Letter to Lynn R. Wolfe, February 7, 1960. Manuscript by Clyfford Still. Courtesy the Clyfford Still Archives.

Still’s summer in Boulder was a welcome break from New York. Although he was busy thinking about painting and teaching his advanced oil painting students, Still himself did not paint during his time in Colorado. Rather, he used his summer in Boulder as an escape from the New York art scene and a period of repose.

Image: Map of Boulder Campus, circa 1960. Brochure by University of Colorado. Courtesy the Clyfford Still Archives.

Still returned to New York with a fondness for Colorado. In a letter dated December 26, 1960, Still expressed gratitude to Wolfe, and described “sharp” reminders of Colorado, pine cones and evergreen branches, placed throughout his studio.

Image: Letter to Lynn R. Wolfe, December 26, 1960. Manuscript by Clyfford Still. Courtesy the Clyfford Still Archives.

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