Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
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.
Olin Dows letters, 1938-1949. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The collection is available on 35 mm microfilm reels NDA 14 and 2803 at Archives of American Art offices, and through interlibrary loan.
Also at the Archives of American Art is an interview of Olin Dows conducted on October 31, 1963, by Harlan Phillips.
Olin Dows (1904-1981) was a sculptor, painter, printmaker, writer, lecturer, and the director of Treasury Relief Art Project from Rhinebeck, N.Y.
Letters were donated in 1962 by Olin Dows; the provenance of one letter (on microfilm reel 2803) is unknown.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001