A Daughter’s Voice – Clyfford Still Museum

A Daughter’s Voice

Black and white photograph of Diane, Clyfford, and Sandra Still from 1958.

An intimate glimpse into one of America’s most important painters, through the eyes and voice of his younger daughter.

Chapter 1: Life on the West Coast

Sandra Still Campbell recalls stories from her past, including a terrifying story from Clyfford’s childhood that left an indelible mark on him and his work.

 

Outtakes

A story about how Clyfford learned to paint, and how he reacted when he finally went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. (01:07)


Sandra’s memories of her father include a generous gesture at Christmas. (01:21)

What it was like to live in Clyfford’s world of intensity and energy. (00:23)

Chapter 2: New York City

When Clyfford Still moves to New York City in 1950, things do not turn out exactly as he had hoped. Sandra Still Campbell explains why and describes what it was like to live in his studio in Manhattan at the center of the abstract expressionist movement.

 

Outtakes

Clyfford was a polymath, which may have informed his approach to art. (00:33)

The three humans Clyfford admired most according to Sandra. (00:31)

More on the story of the Beethoven concert. (00:40)

The full recording of Clyfford playing Beethoven’s Appassionata on the piano. (02:38)

Additional materials

New York nights: the Manhattan of the Abstract Expressionists By Morgan Falconer for the Royal Academy quarterly magazine, published on September 1, 2016, on the occasion of the exhibition Abstract Expressionism.

Chapter 3: Return to Rural Life

Hear Clyfford Still speak about why he kept his collection of paintings together in a rare audio clip from our archives, gain insight regarding the weight of that decision, and listen to Sandra Still Campbell’s dramatic, personal story of a threat Clyfford made near the end of his life.

 

Outtakes

A realization Sandra had about Clyfford’s ability to keep friends. (00:22)

To Clyfford, art was never a product to sell. And it was important to him that viewers see his evolution as an artist. (00:33)

A very short clip about doing and not doing. (00:04)

The barn Clyfford used as a painting studio in Maryland was used for livestock before the Stills bought it. (00:12)

A funny anecdote about Clyfford’s rolls of canvases. (00:35)

The rest of the story about Clyfford’s threat to burn all his paintings. (00:41)

Chapter 4: Still’s Legacy

Sandra Still Campbell shares a moving story about the final hours of her father’s life and reflects on her experience as the daughter of one of America’s most important painters.

 

Outtakes

Sandra talks about Clyfford’s bare canvas works. (00:21)

Sandra speaking about perishable materials and the ideas behind Clyfford’s work. (00:14)

Clyfford did not use the exercise of painting to heal himself (includes an excerpt of an archival recording of Clyfford). (01:00)

An alternative ending for the credits. (00:40)

Credits

Sarah Wambold, producer
Josh Mattison, consulting producer
Tim Cameron, composer
Betty Cameron, motion graphics designer

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