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Medium: Egg tempera »
Year(s): 1946 »
SFF.5 (Francis Archive SFP46-2)
The Secret Room
Egg tempera on Masonite panel
55.88 x 71.12 cm (22 x 28 in.)
Inscriptions: Signed and dated on lower-right panel recto in green paint: Sam Francis '46'
Additional notations: Stamped on canvas verso with the Sam Francis Estate logo and facsimile signature stamps Notated by unknown inscriber on the strainer verso: #38 Box 4
Creation location: San Francisco
Estate of the artist, California (1994)
San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, Sixty-Sixth Annual Exhibition of the San Francisco Art Association: Oil, Tempera and Sculpture, October 10–November 3, 1946 (exhibition catalogue: McCann Morley 1946), no. 44, no ill.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, New Works by Bay Region Artists, June 20–July 25, 1949 (Los Angeles County Museum of Art 1949) Traveled to: San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, August 2–September 11, 1949. Stanford Art Gallery, Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif, September 27–October 1949.
Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena, California, Sam Francis: Five Decades of Abstract Expressionism from California Collections, August 11, 2013–January 5, 2014 (exhibition catalogue: Burchett-Lere and Selz 2013–2014), no. 6, ill. in color, p. 49. Traveled to: Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, Calif, January 26–April 20, 2014.
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Charlotte, North Carolina, Sam Francis: Rapid Fluid Indivisible Vision, September 18, 2015–March 7, 2016 (exhibition brochure: Edwards 2015).
Literature References
Tono, Yoshiaki. "Firing “Blue” on Japan: Sam Francis." Geijutsu Shincho (Tokyo), no. 7 (July 1964), p. 40, ill. in b/w.
Burchett-Lere, Debra, ed. Sam Francis: Catalogue Raisonné of Canvas and Panel Paintings, 1946–1994. Berkeley, California: University of California Press and Sam Francis Foundation, 2011, p. 9, ill. in color; fig. 5, cat. no. 5, ill. in color on DVD I.

This painting is included in the forthcoming paint study publication by the Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles scheduled for February 2019 release. Authored by Debra Burchett-Lere and Aneta Zebala, the book (Sam Francis: The Artist's Materials) focuses on Francis's paint materials and methods over the decades. 

Portions of this entry are from Sam Francis: Catalogue Raisonné of Canvas and Panel Paintings, 1946–1994. Published by the Regents of the University of California/University of California Press (2011). Reproduced with permission.

Archival Material
1946 (circa) Fort Miley hospital
Sam Francis on balcony at Fort Miley hospital, San Francisco
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2013 Pasadena Museum California Art
Photo © Don Milici, Pasadena, California
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2014 Crocker Art Museum
Photo © Jesse Bravo, Sacramento, California
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2015-16 Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
Courtesy Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
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Record last updated March 10, 2019. Please note that the information on this and all pages is periodically reviewed and subject to change.
Current catalogue view includes unique works on paper and canvas and panel paintings of the artist’s oeuvre from the years 1945–1949.

Citation: Burchett-Lere, Debra, ed. "The Secret Room, 1946 (SFF.5)." Sam Francis: Online Catalogue Raisonné Project. (accessed on April 23, 2019).