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Catalog Data

Creator:
Dows, Olin, 1904-1981  Search this
Names:
American Federation of Arts  Search this
Treasury Relief Art Project  Search this
United States. Dept. of the Treasury  Search this
Bruce, Edward, 1879-1943  Search this
Sterne, Maurice, 1878-1957  Search this
Watson, Forbes, 1880-1960  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Date:
1938-1949
Summary:
This small collection of letters to and from painter and arts administrator Olin Dows measures 0.2 linear feet and dates from 1938 to 1949. The letters primarily document his work as director of the Treasury Relief Art Project, as an admistrator for the American Federation of Arts, and his work as a war artist. Much of the correspondence is with arts administrators Edward Bruce and Forbes Watson.
Scope and Content Note:
This small collection of letters to and from painter and arts administrator Olin Dows measures 0.2 linear feet and dates from 1938 to 1949. The letters primarily document his work as director of the Treasury Relief Art Project, as an admistrator for the American Federation of Arts, and his work as a war artist. Much of the correspondence is with arts administrators Edward Bruce and Forbes Watson. Much of the correspondence is from 1941. Also of note is correspondence relating to the controversy over one of Maurice Sterne's murals for the Justice Department in 1940 and efforts to form a "Corps of Pictorial War Correspondents" in 1942. Some letters include attached documents including exhibition lists, announcements, news clippings, and reports.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 1 series: Series 1: Olin Dows Letters, 1938-1949 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Olin Dows (1904-1981) was a painter and arts administrator; he primarily lived and worked in Rhinebeck, New York. Dows was born in Irvington-on-Hudson, NY. He graduated from Harvard University in 1926 and also studied at the Yale School of Fine Arts. In 1935 he was appointed director of the Treasury Relief Art Project, funded by the Works Progress Administration. In 1938 he painted a series of murals for the post office in Rhinebeck, NY, and in 1941 painted murals for the post office in Hyde Park, NY. From 1938 to 1941 Dows was on the Board of Directors of the American Federation of Arts. In 1942 he enlisted in the Army Engineers Corps and was commissioned as a war artist, covering the European Theater of Operations. An exhibit of works produced by this project was held in 1944, entitled "The Army at War." Dows was discharged from the army in 1945. A book of his watercolors, Franklin Roosevelt at Hyde Park, was published in 1949.
Related Material:
Also at the Archives of American Art is an interview of Olin Dows conducted on October 31, 1963, by Harlan Phillips.
Provenance:
Letters were donated in 1962 by Olin Dows; the provenance of one letter (on microfilm reel 2803) is unknown.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Olin Dows letters are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Art and state  Search this
Mural painting and decoration, American -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Arts administrators  Search this
Citation:
Olin Dows letters, 1938-1949. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.dowsolin
See more items in:
Olin Dows letters
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-dowsolin