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 Collection
Identifier: MC 1478

Diane Burko Papers

Dates

  • 1958-2008

Scope and Content Note

The Diane Burko Papers comprise 4.5 cubic feet of material housed in 13.5 manuscript boxes and 1 records center carton. The papers span the years 1958 to 2008 with the bulk dating from 1976 to 1996. Document types include professional correspondence, notes, drafts and revisions of panel contributions and lectures, ephemera, photographs, slides, negatives, newspaper clippings, articles, catalogues, and exhibition announcements. A limited number of examples of Burko's artwork are interspersed throughout the collection in the form of photographs, inkjet prints, and slides.

The collection contains Diane Burko's personal papers and documents relating to her work as an artist, tenure as a professor, and activity in local and national art organizations. The SUBJECT FILES series contains material related to Burko's appearances at conference panels and lectures, committee work with the College Art Association, submissions to competitions and artist residencies, education, and materials about the founding of FOCUS and the subsequent series of events in Philadelphia. Most of Burko's solo and group exhibits are documented in the EXHIBITS FILES series, covering her correspondence with galleries and museums and arrangement details for exhibit openings and deinstallations. Reviews of the exhibits, from such publications as Art in America, American Artist, and ARTNews document the critical reception of Burko's work throughout the decades. Burko's curriculum vitae and all documents collected by her in preparation for applications for promotion and tenure are included in the CV AND PROMOTION MATERIALS series, documenting her work as a professor at Community College of Philadelphia.

Articles have been removed from their respective periodicals, with the cover of the issue and citation information attached to the article, and the remainder discarded. Newspaper articles have been copied onto acid-free paper, and the originals discarded. Photographs, negatives, and slides were placed in inert sleeves. Pamphlets and catalogs with no relevance to the collection were discarded.

Some duplication may exist between the series, especially in the case of articles and reviews, which discuss both Burko's career and particular exhibits.

Extent

4.5 Cubic Feet (13.5 manuscript boxes and 1 records center carton)

Language of Materials

English

Acquisition Note

This collection was donated by Diane Burko.

Abstract

This collection consists of the correspondence and personal papers of Diane Burko, a Philadelphia-based painter and photographer. The collection documents Burko's work as an artist, her tenure as a professor, and activity in local and national art organizations.

<emph render="bold">Biographical Sketch of Diane Burko</emph>

Diane Burko has been active in painting, drawing, and photography for over thirty years. She is known primarily as a landscape artist who has used an array of terrains as subject matter. Locales in her work have ranged from the exotic, such as the Himalayan mountain range, to the scenery of her home state of Pennsylvania. An only child and first-generation American, Burko was born in 1945 in Brooklyn, New York. She attended local public junior and senior high schools in Brooklyn and already showed interest in her future vocation by working as an artist for school yearbooks. Burko completed her undergraduate studies in 1966 at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, where she majored in art history and painting. She then earned an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Fine Arts in 1969, studying under Neil Welliver. Burko began teaching art at Community College of Philadelphia in 1969, where she later became a full professor and taught until 2000. During the spring of 1985, she was a visiting professor in the Visual Arts Program at Princeton University. In 1996, she was again a visiting instructor, this time at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass, Colorado for a two-week workshop called "Painting the Landscape En Plein Air in Oils." Beginning in the early 1970s through the 1990s, Burko was active in the local Philadelphia and national art scenes. She was also involved in the feminist movement in the 1970s, as exemplified by her work as a founding member and president of Philadelphia Focuses on Women in the Visual Arts (FOCUS), planning a two month schedule of events in the city that featured women artists. (1) Burko also served as a board member of the Women's Caucus for Art from 1984 to 1987, and as a board member of the College Art Association from 1994 to 1998. (2) Burko's work has consistently focused on the figuration of outdoor landscapes throughout her career. Beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s, she used mirrors and windows within paintings to frame landscapes, before moving on to painting the mountains of the southwestern United States. (3) She obtained maps from the United States Department of Agriculture, as well as photographs in such publications as National Geographic, before beginning to take her own aerial photographs for use as reference and projection of the terrain onto her large canvases. (4) Burko exhibited her work in earnest throughout the mid-1970s; her first solo show with Marian Locks Gallery in Philadelphia, where she continues to exhibit several decades later, was held in 1976. In April of that year, Burko began drawing landscapes on Arches watercolor paper with prismacolor pencils, continuing to focus on mountains and the terrain of Arizona and Colorado, particularly the Grand Canyon. (5) Her aerial tours and photographs of Pennsylvania's lakes and rivers were exhibited in Waterways of Pennsylvania, which traveled to a half-dozen galleries throughout Pennsylvania during 1983. Since the 1970s, she has participated in over seventy group exhibitions and over two dozen solo exhibitions in Philadelphia, within Pennsylvania, and throughout the United States. (6) Burko is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards. She was awarded the Reader's Digest Artists at Giverny residency grant, allowing her to live, study, and paint at Monet's residence for six months in 1989. Her paintings inspired by the Giverny lily pond, titled Reflects, were exhibited at Locks Gallery and received acclaim from local and national art critics. She also received a residency from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1993 at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Italy, the output of which led to another successful exhibition titled Luci ed ombra di Bellagio, shown at Locks Gallery. In 1996, the Redevelopment Authority of Philadelphia awarded Burko a One Percent Public Art Commission to create a large installment for the Marriott Hotel in Center City, Philadelphia. The project, entitled Wissahickon: Reflections, took three years to complete. Wissahickon: Reflections is only one of several permanent public displays of Burko's work; in addition to a Rutgers University National Drawing Show Purchase Prize in 1979, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts acquired the Grand Canyon-inspired Portals of Zion in 1986, while dozens of corporate entities, including Prudential and AT&T, display Burko's work. (7) Burko began new paintings in 1998 focusing on volcanoes, inspired by travels through Costa Rica, Hawaii, Alaska, Italy, and Iceland. (8) The volcano paintings culminated in a 2006 exhibition titled Flow, shown at Tufts University and the Michener Art Museum. Photography became part of Burko's artistic output in 2000, and in addition to a solo photography show at Locks Gallery in 2006, she exhibited photographs at the Philadelphia International Airport in 2007. Burko continues to live and work in the Philadelphia area with her husband, Ernie Goldberg. Her daughter Jessica was born in 1974. Notes: (1) Cindy Nemser, "Interview with Diane Burko," Feminist Art Journal 6, no. 1 (1977), 11. (2) Jacobsen's Biographical Index of American Artists, ed. Anita Jacobsen (Carrollton, Texas: A.J. Publications, 2002), s.v. "Burko, Diane: 1945–." (3) Diane Cochrane, "Diane Burko: Going Places,"American Artist 395, no. 39 (1975), 25. (4) Sally Shafto, "Diane Burko: Drawings," Arts Magazine 55, no. 4 (1980), 119. (5) Ibid., 118. (6) Jacobsen's Biographical Index of American Artists, 480. (7) Ibid., 480. (8) Brad Hampton, "Diane Burko at Locks," Art in America 90, no. 3 (2002), 134.

Arrangement Note

The Diane Burko papers are divided into five series:

  1. SUBJECT FILES
  2. EXHIBIT FILES
  3. CV AND PROMOTION MATERIALS
  4. OTHER WOMEN ARTISTS FILES
  5. PHOTOGRAPHS

Related Collections

The Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series contains three folders related to Burko's participation in the Dana Women Artists Series in 1981, 1992, and 1996.

The Women's Caucus for Art Records cover the period when Burko was a board member and include one box of records from the Women's Caucus for Art Philadelphia Chapter.

General

(1) Cindy Nemser, "Interview with Diane Burko," Feminist Art Journal 6, no. 1 (1977), 11.

General

(2) Jacobsen's Biographical Index of American Artists, ed. Anita Jacobsen (Carrollton, Texas: A.J. Publications, 2002), s.v. "Burko, Diane: 1945–."

General

(3) Diane Cochrane, "Diane Burko: Going Places,"American Artist 395, no. 39 (1975), 25.

General

(4) Sally Shafto, "Diane Burko: Drawings," Arts Magazine 55, no. 4 (1980), 119.

General

(5) Ibid., 118.

General

(6) Jacobsen's Biographical Index of American Artists, 480.

General

(7) Ibid., 480.

General

(8) Brad Hampton, "Diane Burko at Locks," Art in America 90, no. 3 (2002), 134.

General

(1)

Cindy Nemser, "Interview with Diane Burko," Feminist Art Journal 6, no. 1 (1977), 11.

General

(2)

Jacobsen's Biographical Index of American Artists, ed. Anita Jacobsen (Carrollton, Texas: A.J. Publications, 2002), s.v. "Burko, Diane: 1945–."

General

(3)

Diane Cochrane, "Diane Burko: Going Places,"American Artist 395, no. 39 (1975), 25.

General

(4)

Sally Shafto, "Diane Burko: Drawings," Arts Magazine 55, no. 4 (1980), 119.

General

(5)

Ibid., 118.

General

(6)

Jacobsen's Biographical Index of American Artists, 480.

General

(7)

Ibid., 480.

General

(8)

Brad Hampton, "Diane Burko at Locks," Art in America 90, no. 3 (2002), 134.

Title
Inventory to the Diane Burko Papers, 1958-2008 MC 1478
Status
Edited Full Draft
Author
Anne Hutchinson, Sarah Malcolm, Weatherly Stephan, and Fernanda Perrone
Date
July 2009
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.
Sponsor
Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.