John Rhoden Digital Archives
In 2017, the John Rhoden Estate selected PAFA to assume the responsibility of
preserving and promoting John Rhoden's artistic legacy. The Rhoden Collection
includes over 300 works of art and 22 linear feet of archival materials. In 2019,
PAFA was awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to
organize the archival papers and provide free online access to the public. The grant
team has dedicated over a year working on the project to deliver 5,000 digital objects
online. This online portal provides a curated look into the life of John Rhoden and highlights
a few areas that can be further explored using the archival collections. Users can
review the finding aid for the collection
Over 275 works from the estate were transferred to PAFA. 28 works were
accessioned by PAFA and the remaining will be placed into other museum collections.
1,083 photographs were digitized, primarily documenting exhibitions,
works of art, commissions, and personal life.
2,103 document pages were digitized including exhibition ephemera, planning files,
awards, correspondence, sketches, applications, and personal journals.
2,169 slides were digitized, primarily documenting John's extensive travel abroad,
visiting three continents and over 20 countries.
Explore & Learn
"I have enjoyed my life. I have had just about everything I really wanted and you are lucky when you can say that."
- John Rhoden, 1990
"To be selected by the State Department for this undertaking is an honor and also an obligation that must be fulfilled well as a great deal of responsibility is attached to such a good-will tour."
- John Rhoden
"And then one day I decided to give up everything and put everything I could
into sculpture. It was very difficult. I began to exhibit. Whenever there was a
show you paid to get into I was rejected. I never been so rejected in all my life.
Eight straight years. Rejections. I kept trying."
- John Rhoden, 1968
John Rhoden’s commissions are perhaps his most recognizable works. Often set up in public spaces, Rhoden's works are not contained within frames like painted portraits but share the same space as the spectator.
John and Richenda Rhoden were both naturally civc-minded people. John served on the Board of Education of the City of New York, taught in schools, hosted tours in his home, and, along with Richenda, organized community events and festivals.
"When I decided to travel, I wanted to meet all kinds of people."
- John Rhoden
Richenda Rhoden was not simply the wife of an artist. She lived her life as an artist, teacher, model and beloved neighbor. She was a constant muse for John's work and occasional collaborator. Discover more about her fascinating life.
The papers of John Walter Rhoden (1916-2001) provide comprehensive documentation of Rhoden's life as an artist,
educator, veteran, friend, and husband. A large portion of the collection has been digitized and
freely accessible online.
Access the finding aid...