Richard Diebenkorn: The Sketchbooks Revealed

Exhibition Website

This major exhibition celebrates the recent gift to the Cantor of 29 sketchbooks by Richard Diebenkorn from the artist’s widow and long-time muse, Phyllis Diebenkorn, as well as from the Diebenkorn Foundation. Richard Diebenkorn (1922–1993) was celebrated as both a central figure in the Bay Area figurative movement and a key figure in the nationwide development of abstract expressionism and color-field painting. The sketchbooks -- which contain 1,045 drawings dating from 1943 to 1993 -- are presented in Richard Diebenkorn: The Sketchbooks Revealed

Throughout his long career, Diebenkorn (Stanford B.A., ’49) kept a sketchbook—a “portable studio,” as he called it—to capture his ideas. These books span 50 years and represent the range of styles and subjects he explored, including deeply personal portraits of his wife, studies of the figure, landscape studies and compositions that point to Diebenkorn’s signature blend of figuration and abstraction. Richard Diebenkorn: The Sketchbooks Revealed explores the relationship between his sketchbooks and his paintings and includes loans of early works that Diebenkorn created as a Stanford student. Touch screens installed in the exhibition allow visitors to leaf through all 29 books digitally and see every drawing. 

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

Whether or not you go, the exhibition catalog, Richard Diebenkorn: The Sketchbooks Revealed, features selections from 28 of the sketchbooks, and Sketchbook 24 is reproduced in full. The volume includes more than 500 images in all, as well as four essays by Stanford-affiliated contributors plus a remembrance by the artist’s daughter Gretchen Diebenkorn Grant.

  • Works on Paper
  • American
  • 20th Century
  • Abstraction
  • Abstract-expressionism
  • Richard Diebenkorn

Exhibition Venues & Dates