Richard Diebenkorn Correspondence

Correspondence from Douglas MacAgy to the Albert M. Bender Grants-in-Aid Committee

Correspondence from Douglas MacAgy to the Albert M. Bender Grants-in-Aid Committee

20 July 1946
Ink on paper
Credit Line:
© Richard Diebenkorn Foundation
RD number:
Correspondence from Douglas MacAgy, Director of the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute), to the Albert M. Bender Grants-in-Aid Committee, San Francisco Art Association, in support of Richard Diebenkorn receiving the prestigious grant, San Francisco, Calif., 20 July 1946

The San Francisco Art Association supported the Bender Memorial Trust, a separate institution, during the selection process for the grant's recipient. In October 1946 Richard Diebenkorn won the Albert Bender grant-in-aid for $1,200, and he used the funds to live and work in New York City that fall. MacAgy promised Diebenkorn a job as an instructor at CSFA upon his return.



July 20, 1946

Albert M. Bender Grants-in-Aid
San Francisco Art Association
800 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, California


Perhaps to his embarrassment, I asked Richard Diebenkorn for permission to write this letter. I know that his work will receive the consideration it deserves without supplementary recommendations, but I should like to add a word on behalf of myself and of this school.

Diebenkorn seems to me to be by far the most important among the group of painters in this area whose names are not yet well known. The nature of his work and his attitude towards it are exemplary in the manner desired of all members of the school faculty. I have asked him to join the faculty after he spends the year he believes he needs in New York.

His plan of study in New York appears to me to be the wisest course for a man of his experience and interests. I know of no one who would profit more from the support offered by the Grant this year. Moreover, the rewards of such support would be shared by many members of this community through the future exhibition of his works and through his desirable influence on students in this school.

For these reasons, along with the primary evidence of the work itself, I respectfully urge the Jury to give his application its most thoughtful attention.

Yours sincerely,

Douglas MacAgy




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