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Richard Gasperi Papers

Identifier: A0054

Scope and Contents

The Richard Gasperi Papers primarily comprises research files on artists that Gasperi collected, studied, featured in exhibitions, and engaged with on a personal level throughout his career. These files include newspaper clippings, excerpts of scholarly articles and publications, photographs, art inventories, and exhibition advertisements. Gasperi used these sources to write his own artist biographies, which can also be found in the collection. Some artist files contain correspondence, mainly between Gasperi and the artist, their family, or business representative. Most correspondence is professional in nature, addressing issues like payment for art works. Other letters are more personal, showcasing the relationships Gasperi developed with artists. While there are over sixty artists represented in this collection, Gasperi’s research files on Howard Finster, David Butler and Clementine Hunter are particularly comprehensive.

In addition to files about artists, there is a small amount of material related to specific exhibitions and art fairs Gasperi organized or participated in throughout his career.


  • The materials in this collection date from 1957-2007, however the bulk of them were created in the 1980s and 1990s. Each file in this collection contains some amount of undated material.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research. Access to sensitive materials may be restricted at the discretion of AFAM.

Conditions Governing Use

The Richard Gasperi Papers is owned by the American Folk Art Museum. The collection is subject to all copyright laws, and is dedicated to public use for research, study and scholarship.

Biographical / Historical

Richard Gasperi is a collector and former director of the Gasperi Folk Art Gallery. Gasperi opened his gallery in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1980. Throughout his career, he collected more than 500 artworks, primarily by self-taught artists from the American South; curated exhibitions in his gallery and contributed to many others; and was a regular exhibitor at the Outsider Art Fair in New York City.

Over time, Gasperi built substantial research files on the artists he collected, featured in exhibitions, and engaged with on a personal level.


6.25 linear feet (12 standard legal document boxes; 1 half-size legal document box)

Language of Materials



Richard Gasperi is an American gallerist and self-taught art collector. The Richard Gasperi Papers include research files related to artists, as well as records about exhibitions and art fairs. These files include newspaper clippings, correspondence, photographs, and other print materials, primarily from the 1980s and 1990s.


This collection is arranged alphabetically, primarily by the last name of the artist. Several folders in Boxes 1 and 2 contain administrative or assorted files.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by Richard Gasperi and Jim Resko in 2020.

Processing Information

This collection came to the Archives in numerous three-ring binders with the names of artists or events printed on the binders. For the most part, the folders in this collection correspond to these binders. If there were several binders designated to one artist, the processing archivist applied a title to the folder to differentiate the content of one binder from another. Minimal arrangement was done on the contents inside the binders. Duplicated material (more than three copies) were culled from this collection.

A Guide to the Richard Gasperi Papers Collection
Regina Carra and Kori Tuitt
July 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the American Folk Art Museum Archives Repository

47-29 32nd Place
Long Island City New York 11101 United States
(212) 595-9533