Looking for Lawrence Alloway: the pleasures and pains of archival research


Last month, I and my co-editors Courtney Martin (Brown University) and Rebecca Peabody (Getty Research Institute) finally submitted the full manuscript of our forthcoming collected volume of essays about the critic and curator Lawrence Alloway (1926-1990) to our publishers. There is quite a way to go before it’s published – the essays need to be copy edited, image permissions must be secured and there will be a couple of rounds of proofs to check. But nonetheless, this felt like a milestone.

The book is the result of a good deal of primary research by a number of scholars, who spent a considerable amount of time looking through the archive of Alloway’s papers and those of his wife, the painter Sylvia Sleigh (1916-2010) – both collections are now housed at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. The papers include personal and professional correspondence, notes and lists, diaries, notebooks, ephemera, and

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