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Mark Rothko lecturing in Studio 18


Mark Rothko lecturing in Studio 18, and Rothko smoking during a break. Photos by Bill Heick. 










Everything ramped up with the arrival of Mark Rothko during the summers of 1947 and 1949.  Rothko taught two classes each summer, one a lecture class on “Contemporary Art”—everyone received an ‘A’……and a Painting class…..everyone received ‘B’ . 

Rothko’s 1947 Roll Book with his doodle which looks a little like a sketch of his Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea
















Rothko’s 1944, Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea


1946 Sea Fantasy 1949 Untitled


Rothko certainly influenced students but the School also had a huge impact on his own painting as evidenced from how his work developed during his 1947 and 1949 tenure teaching, mingling and learning from the School’s faculty and its students

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With permission, SFAA is re-posting the emails Jeff Gunderson Librarian/Archivist Anne Bremer Memorial Library has been sending out since March 2020. Please enjoy this magnificent archive.



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SF Artists Alumni Inc., San Francisco, CA 94131