Print / View Finding Aid as Single Page

Fales Library and Special Collections logo

Ed Leffingwell Jack Smith Curatorial Files
1962-2010 (Bulk 1993-1998)

Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
3rd Floor
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 998-2596

Fales Library and Special Collections

Collection processed by David Hobbs, 2014.

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 19, 2017

Scope and Content

The Edward Leffingwell Jack Smith Curatorial Files contain research material acquired by Edward Leffingwell as he organized the exhibition “Jack Smith: Flaming Creature” for New York’s P.S. 1 Museum and his own record of the exhibition’s development and execution. It includes correspondence, notebooks, printed material, newspaper clippings, audio recordings, posters, flyers and other ephemera. The bulk of collection was created or assembled while Leffingwell was actively planning the exhibition (1993 to 1997), and most of the documents that were produced in the 1960s and 1970s exists here as photocopies – many of which feature Leffingwell’s annotations.


Series I: Jack Smith Research

Series I contains correspondence between Jack Smith and his contemporaries as well as follow-up from Leffingwell, notebooks and scripts written by Smith, flyers and posters advertising Smith performances and screenings, interviews with Smith from periodicals or transcribed by Leffingwell, articles about Smith written by critics, journalists and fellow artists, and some contextual information, including Smith’s censorship and accusations of obscenity.

Series II: Leffingwell’s Correspondence and Writing

Series II contains material related to Leffingwell's organization of “Jack Smith: Flaming Creature,” including an annotated bibliography, a checklist of the archival material assembled for the exhibition, Leffingwell’s correspondence with other artists and critics, drafts of material Leffingwell wrote for the exhibition and its associated publications, and newspaper clippings of the show’s reviews, as well as some material relating to subsequent Smith exhibitions.

Series III: Audio

Series III contains audio material recorded onto cassette tapes, including archival material of Smith’s rehearsals, performances, and interviews as well as interviews conducted by Leffingwell. The third subseries contains a variety of material, including additional Smith recordings, stock audio and recordings of radio advertisements, albums of commercially distributed music, and a recording of a Jack Smith memorial.


The Edward Leffingwell Jack Smith Curatorial Files are arranged in Leffingwell’s original order, retaining his folder titles and series separations (though in some instances, additional information has been added parenthetically). The files are grouped into two series of manuscript material and a series of audio media that features subseries, as well as an oversize series with two subseries reflecting the original manuscript series separations. Due to the broad date ranges contained within each folder, the first two series have been organized alphabetically, whereas the audio recordings are organized chronologically (where possible).

Series I: Jack Smith Material
Series II: Leffingwell’s Writing and Correspondence
Series III: Sound recordings
Subseries A: Jack Smith
Subseries B: Leffingwell Interviews
Subseries C: Miscellaneous
Oversize Series:
Series I: Jack Smith Material
Series II: Leffingwell’s Writing and Correspondence