Catalogue Raisonné Life and Work The Foundation



The history of The Archipenko Catalogue Raisonné goes back directly to the artist. Alexander Archipenko was the first to publish a cataloguing scheme of his work in 1960. In the book Fifty Creative Years, he included 292 illustrations of his art, and provided titles, dates, media, and ownership information from memory and from his archival records. For many years, that publication was the most comprehensive resource on the artist’s work.

Upon the artist’s death in 1964, his widow, Frances Archipenko Gray, recorded the artworks she inherited, and preserved the artist’s archive, which included catalogues, photos, articles, etc. On her initiative, the Archipenko Foundation was chartered in 2000, with the important priority of completing a comprehensive catalogue of all Archipenko’s art, from all periods, with an initial focus on sculptures and the different sculpture editions.

Many years of research and documentation have supported the Foundation’s current efforts, with two publications being especially valuable to our project: The first is Katherine Michaelsen’s 1977 doctoral dissertation, which included a catalogue of the early works—those created prior to and including 1920. The second is Anette Barth’s 1986 doctoral dissertation, which includes a catalogue of Archipenko’s sculptures from 1907-1963. The current Archipenko Sculpture Catalogue Raisonné updates and considerably expands on these publications, in particular by making entries for the individual works in a sculpture edition and that edition’s versions rather than only listing the original (first) sculpture example.

Today, The Archipenko Catalogue Raisonné project is well underway, with continuing guidance from Frances Archipenko Gray, and research efforts overseen by Dr. Alexandra Keiser. With Dr. Keiser’s appointment in 2002, the Foundation embarked on extensive international research and the systematic recording of artworks held in private and public collections. A wealth of historical documents and photographs from a variety of archival and institutional sources was accessed, processed, and incorporated into the cataloguing, including provenance, exhibition, literature, and auction sales references. Most recently, in 2013, the Foundation hired Christopher Hyde to catalogue primary and secondary views of each individual artwork illustrated in the Archipenko Catalogue Raisonné and to administrate related image rights.

Originally planned as a print publication, the Foundation began to envision The Archipenko Catalogue Raisonné as a digital publication in 2005. With the invaluable assistance of designer Andy Haug and FileMaker consultant Jesse Feiler, both working closely with Dr. Alexandra Keiser, we are pleased to offer up-to-date information with wide accessibility to the public and to the scholarly community.

The Archipenko Sculpture Catalogue Raisonné currently records 440 sculptures, which translates into entries for over 1800 individual works in different versions, sizes, and media (see Qualifications for Inclusion).