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Catalog Data

Creator:
Wells, Cady, 1904-1954  Search this
Names:
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia, 1887-1986  Search this
Extent:
4.3 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Date:
1913-1968
Summary:
The papers of painter Cady Wells measure 4.3 linear feet and date from 1913 to 1968. The collection provides a range of documentation of Wells' life and career, namely as a landscape artist in New Mexico and as a servicemember of the United States Army during World War II. Among these materials are twenty-two personal journals; correspondence with friends, family, and art organizations; preliminary sketches and watercolors; fourteen sketchbooks; photographs; printed material; biographical material; and documents related to his professional affiliations.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter Cady Wells measure 4.3 linear feet and date from 1913 to 1968. The collection provides a range of documentation of Wells' life and career, namely as a landscape artist in New Mexico and as a servicemember of the United States Army during World War II. Among these materials are twenty-two personal journals; correspondence with friends, family, and art organizations; preliminary sketches and watercolors; fourteen sketchbooks; photographs; printed material; biographical material; and documents related to his professional affiliations. Biographical material consists largely of documents and awards pertaining to Wells' military service in the 1940s. A large collection of correspondence provides a broader perspective of Wells' personal and professional affiliations, including a number of letters from his friend and painter Georgia O'Keeffe. Writings feature twenty-two nearly uninterrupted personal journals from the age of thirteen to his death at age 49, providing candid insight to Wells' upbringing, family and friends, creative pursuits, and life during wartime. A variety of printed material includes exhibition announcements and brochures, art periodicals, and news clippings from his lifetime. A small amount of documents outline his professional affiliations, highlighting his support of both established and emerging art organizations of the 1930s-1950s. Fourteen sketchbooks and a variety of loose preliminary drawings and watercolors trace Wells' development as an artist during his time in New Mexico. Photographs feature images of Wells throughout his life, along with his personal photos of family and friends, including one photo each of Ansel Adams and Georgia O'Keeffe. A scrapbook provides additional printed material pertaining to Wells' exhibitions and the greater Sante Fe arts community.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as eight series. Series 1: Biographical Material, 1940-1945 (4 folders; Box 1) Series 2: Correspondence, 1913-1968 (14 folders; Box 1) Series 3: Writings, 1918-1954 (24 folders; Boxes 2-3) Series 4: Printed Material, circa 1910s-1950s (8 folders; Boxes 3-4) Series 5: Professional Affiliations, circa 1930s-1950s (1 folder; Box 4) Series 6: Artworks, circa 1930s-1950s (10 folders; Box 4) Series 7: Photographs, circa 1920s-1950s (9 folders; Box 4) Series 8: Scrapbook, circa 1920s=1950s (4 folders; Box 5)
Biographical / Historical:
Cady Wells (1904-1954) was a painter and a patron of the arts, most associated with the Santa Fe, New Mexico, landscape artists of the 1930s and 1940s. Born in Southbridge, Massachusetts, Wells was raised in an affluent family, and pursued music as a concert pianist before discovering his passion for painting. Upon moving to New Mexico in 1932, Wells quickly gained rapport with regional modernist painters Andrew Dasburg and Georgia O'Keeffe. His artistic career was interrupted in the first half of the 1940s while he served in the United States Army during World War II. Returning to New Mexico in the mid-1940s, his innovative command of pattern and color earned him a reputation as a significant landscape painter of the American Southwest. Along with his original contributions, Wells was an avid supporter of his local arts community, assisting in the development of the Spanish Colonial Arts Society and the Museum of New Mexico.
Provenance:
The papers were donated in 1975 by Mason B. Wells, brother of Cady Wells.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonians's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Painters -- New Mexico -- Santa Fe  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Cady Wells papers, 1913-1968. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.wellcady
See more items in:
Cady Wells papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-wellcady