Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Edith Schloss Burckhardt Papers, 1962-2011

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1763
Bib ID 11502615 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Schloss, Edith, 1919-
Title Edith Schloss Burckhardt Papers, 1962-2011
Physical Description 35 linear feet (26 record cartons, 1 document box; 1 flat box)
Language(s) English .

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.



Material is arranged into ten series.



The Edith Schloss Burckhardt Papers offer an extraordinary opportunity for research into multiple areas of scholarship, especially unique insight into the lives and experiences of women in the art world, an American artist's expat life in Rome from the 1960s-2010s, the New York School of painters and poets, and a particularly rich and far-reaching, vein of the avant-garde and experimental music world, to name a few.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Edith Schloss Burckhardt Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.


No additions expected

Ownership and Custodial History

The collection was purchased from Max Burckhardt by the Rare Book and Manuscript Library in June, 2015.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed Adrien Hilton July 2015.

Finding aid written Adrien Hilton July 2015.

Revision Description

2015-07-17 xml document instance created by Adrien Hilton

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Painters Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Painters -- Italy -- Rome Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Rome (Italy) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Schloss, Edith, 1919- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Women painters Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Edith Schloss was born in Offenbach, Germany. She was sent to France and England to learn languages and, in 1936, attended a private school in Florence where she first fell in love with Italy. Edith eventually ended up in England working as an au pair while going to night school. During the Blitz she left England in a convoy that landed in New York City. In New York Edith attended lectures and dance performances at Cooper Union and studied painting and printmaking at the Art Students League. She also studied art history, music and poetry at the New School for Social Research.

Her friend, Heinz Langerhans, German sociologist and follower of Marxist theoretician Karl Korsch, introduced her to Anne and Fairfield Porter. In 1944, Porter introduced Edith to Elaine and Willem de Kooning, and soon after she moved into a West 21st Street Chelsea loft that de Kooning had painted for Walter and Ellen "Pit" Auberbach.

In 1962, Edith and Rudy Burckhardt separated, at which point Edith and her young son Jacob moved to Rome. In Italy she painted and supported herself with her writing; she was the Italian art editor for the International Herald Tribune for nearly 20 years and wrote forWanted in Rome. During this time, Edith became friends with artists Cy Twombly (with whom she had an exhibition), Giulio Turcato, Paul Klerr and Peter Rockwell. She was also a longtime partner and lifelong friend of composer/performer/teacher Alvin Curran, with whom she often collaborated. Edith continued to work and paint up until she died in 2011 at the age of 92.

Edith very quickly became a part of the de Kooning/Denby Chelsea scene that included photographer/filmmaker/painter Rudy Burckhardt and the Jane Street Group around Nell Blaine. In 1947, she and Burckhardt married. Edith was "known for knowing everyone who counted in Manhattan's legendary postwar art scene" (New York Sun, 2008) and she, Burckhardt and Denby were vital components of the New York School and the loft scene of that era.