William Christopher papers, circa 1920s-circa 1973
Christopher, William R. (William Rodolphus), 1924-1973
King, Martin Luther
Crapo, Henry H.
Von Mohrenschildt, Dimitri Sergius
Selma to Montgomery Rights March
Place of publication, production, or execution:
7.9 linear feet
Access Note / Rights:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.
The William Christopher papers measure 7.9 linear feet and date from circa 1920s to circa 1973. Materials include biographical materials, correspondence, writings and notes, five diaries, subject/project files, printed materials, photographs, numerous sketches and eleven sketchbooks, and five unidentified motion picture films. The subject/project files include correspondence, printed materials, and two additional diaries about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the 1965 civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
Biographical materials include address books, annotated memorabilia, awards and certificates, curriculum vitae and resume materials, and identification materials. Correspondence is with friends and fellow artists, including actress Osceola Archer and Henry Crapo, galleries, and others. Writings and notes include eleven notebooks, miscellaneous undated notes and papers, annotated drafts and writings by William Christopher, and writings by others. There are five diaries written by William Christopher from the 1940s to the 1960s.
Subject files document miscellaneous projects in which Christopher was involved and/or interested, and include several about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. containing correspondence, printed material, and two diaries written by Christopher during his attendance of the Civil Rights march from Selma to Montgomery.
Scattered personal business papers concern artwork sold and loaned and personal finances. Printed materials include clippings, exhibition catalogs and materials, magazines and programs, and posters. Photographs are of William Christopher, Henry Crapo, Margaret French, Charles Howard, Bernard Perlin, George Tooker, male models and figures, furniture, landscapes, buildings, and artwork.
Christopher's papers include over one hundred sketches and watercolors, eleven sketchbooks, an artwork by Dimitri Von Mohrenshildt, and one sketch by George Tooker. Also found among the papers are five unidentified film reels made by Christopher for an unfinished project.
William Christopher papers, circa 1920s-circa 1973. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collections Care and Preservation Fun.
William Christopher was a painter, art instructor, and Civil Rights activist living and working in New York, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
William Christopher donated his papers to the Archives of American Art in 1972.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001