Anne Alpert's Textual Records and Photographs

Anne Alpert's Textual Records and Photographs

Part of


  • Anne Alpert (creator)
  • Anne Alpert (compiler)
  • Jane Crawford (compiler)


Anne Alpert's Textual Records and Photographs

Dates of creation


Level of archival description

Series 2

Extent and Medium

  • 6 ring binders
  • 2 letters
  • 1 album
  • 1 magazine
  • 1 school yearbook
  • 1 set

Scope and Content

Series documents the life of Anne Alpert (1914-1997), Gordon Matta-Clark's (1943-1978) mother, dating from her early childhood to her death. It includes correspondence, memorabilia, photographs, and published reviews and catalogues. The material also relates to the public and private life of her twin sons, John Sebastian Matta (1943-1976) and Matta-Clark, their father Roberto Matta (1911 or 1912-2002), and others.

Series contains three sub-series.

Reference Number



The series is divided into 3 sub-series, "Anne Alpert's Textual Records", "Anne Alpert's Photographs", "Anne Alpert's Memorabilia", based roughly on Jane Crawford's, Gordon Matta-Clark's widow, titling of the ring binders contained within two of the three sub-series.

Biographical notes


Lincoln, Illinois, 5 August 1914 - New York City, New York, 30 March 1997

Anna Louise Clark (also known as Ann Clark, Ann Matta, and later as Anne Alpert) was born on August 5, 1914, the youngest of five children to David Wesley Clark (1874-1940) and Anna Erdmann Clark (1878-1945). A graduate of Lincoln Community High School (class of 1932), she studied at Lincoln College (class of 1934) and then at the Art Institute of Chicago for two years. She later moved to Paris, France and studied art, reportedly only for four months before her work was selected to be included in the International Exhibition of Surrealism in Paris in 1938. While in Paris, she met Chilean Roberto Matta Echaurren (1912-2002) (commonly known as Matta), an architect trained in his native Chile who was also involved in the surrealist movement. They were married in Paris on November 9, 1938.

To escape the war in Europe, the couple moved to New York City, New York in the fall of 1939. They quickly became part of the artistic scene, having been taken under the wing of Yves Tanguy (1900-1955) and his wife Kay Sage Tanguy.

Matta and Anne had twin sons, John Sebastian Matta Echaurren (1943-1976) (later John Sebastian Matta and also known as Batan) and Gordon Matta Echaurren-Herboso (1943-1978) (later Gordon Matta-Echaurren and most commonly known as Gordon Matta-Clark) who were born in New York City on June 22, 1943. The marriage broke apart soon after and in the summer of 1944, mother and children moved to Sag Harbor, Long Island, New York and shared a house with Venezuelan artist Luchita Hurtado (1920-). Through Hurtado, Anne met sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988) with whom she started a relationship.

In the winter of 1945, the family was again on the move, now to Chile to stay with the children's paternal grandparents in Santiago. The relationship with Noguchi continued as a romance documented in long letters while lawyers worked on the details of Anne's divorce from Matta.

Anne returned to New York City in the summer of 1946 and again lived on Long Island. Her relationship with Noguchi seems to have ended shortly afterwards, although they remained friends. By the fall of 1946, she and the children had moved to New York City again.

Despite the fact that Matta no longer lived with his family, he remained a strong presence in the life of his former wife and their two sons. He continued to provide financial support, usually with funds from the sale of his paintings; letters document his ongoing concern about their well-being.

In the fall of 1948, mother and sons moved to Paris and then to Mégève, France in the countryside because of the ill health of Gordon who reportedly had tuberculosis. In 1949 or 1950, they returned to New York City and shortly afterwards, Anne became involved with writer Hollis Alpert (1916-) whom she married in 1951.

In 1958, Anne's marriage to Alpert ended and she subsequently lived with James Astor for several years in the 1960s. She remained in New York for the rest of her life, living on 11th Street in New York City in the winter and at Sag Harbor, Long Island in the summer. She was close to many of Gordon's friends and participated as a member of the board of the Gordon Matta-Clark Foundation that gave fellowships to artists following his death. She died on March 30, 1997.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

  • The material was bequeathed by Anne Alpert to Jane Crawford, Gordon Matta-Clark's widow, with the understanding that it should be added to and kept with the Matta-Clark materials compiled by Crawford.

Language of material

Documents are in English, French, Spanish and Italian.


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