Biography & Bibliography
FRANCIS V. O’CONNOR was born on February 14, 1937 in Brooklyn, New York and received his early education there. He took his B.A. in English from Manhattan College (1959) and his M.A. in Creative Writing from the Writing Seminars at The Johns Hopkins University (1960). Turning to the History of Art, he received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins (1965) with a dissertation on the early career of the American painter Jackson Pollock.
Between 1967 and the present he has published the following books as an art historian:
Jackson Pollock. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1967.
Art for the Millions. Greenwich, Connecticut: The New York Graphic Society, Ltd., 1973.
The New Deal Art Projects: An Anthology of Memoirs. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1972.
Federal Support for the Visual Arts, The New Deal and Now. A Report on the New Deal Art Projects in New York City and State with Recommendations for Present-day Federal Support for the Visual Arts. Submitted to the National Endowment for the Arts. Greenwich, Connecticut: The New York Graphic Society, Ltd., 1969. Reprinted 1971.
Jackson Pollock: A Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings, Drawings, and Other Works. With Eugene V. Thaw. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 4 Vols., 1978.
Supplement Number One - Jackson Pollock: A Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings, Drawings, and Other Works. Edited by Francis V. O'Connor. New York: The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc., 1995.
Charles Seliger: Redefining Abstract Expressionism, New York: Hudson Hills Press, 2003.
The Mural in America: Wall Painting in the United States from Prehistory to the Present New York, 2010. Publishhed as a website at:
For Dr. O'Connor's unpublished books completed or in progress, see below:
Seeking E-Book or Traditional Publication
1. Jackson Pollock: Down to the Weave — Complete
2. Okon Nor: A Verse Novel — Complete
3. Events In Life and Art — Autobiographical Essays — Ongoing
4. An Old Man’s Sonnets — Complete
5. Short Stories in Verse — Ongoing
6. The Collected Poems of Francis V. O’Connor — Unselected
7. O’CONNOR PAGE – An Anthology of Book and Exhibition Reviews and Commentaries on Art and its World: 1998-2007 — Needs editing
8. The Psycho-Dynamics of Creativity in Visual Art — In Progress
9. Ideas for a Secular Spirituality — In Progress
10. Maurice Golubov: His Life and Work — In Progress
While best known as an art historian, he has continued to write poetry. He began at Manhattan College (1954-59), where he was Editor-in-Chief of its literary journal, The Quarterly. He went on to take an M.A. in poetry (1960) in the now-famous Writing Seminars at The Johns Hopkins University, under the eminent poet and translator, Elliott Coleman. His thesis was a book of poems and translations from Charles Baudelaire's Les fleurs du mal. When seeing himself doomed to a Ph.D. in English (administered by a cabal of New Critics!) I went over to his other love: the visual arts, and took a Ph.D. in 1965 on the Abstract Expressionist, Jackson Pollock. He had been an avid painter as a boy, and continued through graduate school. But he came to realize that words were his creative medium. Writing poetry was an important part of his life--although until very recently he has made no great attempt to publish. (He has published enough, however, to be included in several directories of poets--such as Poets and Writers.) Normally, he writes to his own account, circulates xeroxed chapbooks among friends, and gives occasional private readings. One major work is a series of 125 sonnets on each of the fragments of the Greek pre-Socratic philosopher, Heraclitus--the composing of which kept him sane while researching and writing a history of the mural in America. (These sonnets prompted the development of a personal sonnet form:
A A’ B B’ A’ A B’ B C C’ A B C’ C).
He has also come to experiment--in the spirit of Baudelaire--with poetry as a mode of art criticism. Twelve of his sonnets on the Abstract Expressionists were published in the Fall 1988 Art Journal, and three about Pollock are in an anthology: Helen Harrison, ed., Such Desperate Joy: Imagining Jackson Pollock (NY: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2000). His longest poem, Birds of Fire: September 11, 2001--A Prophetic Elegy, was published in Creative Insight, Summer 2002. He is currently writing a verse novel.
For a complete Career Narrative and Bibliography, go to CAREER / BIBLIOGRAPHY here at left. For his art criticism, published between 1998 and 2007 on O'CONNOR'S PAGE, go to the Index here at left.
For his latest Blog entry, go to left, hit button, and scroll down past Title Index to last entry at top