Clyfford Still’s Summer in Colorado
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.”
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.
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.