George Biddle letters to Constance Biddle, 1943-1945
Biddle, George, 1885-1973
United States.War Dept.Art Advisory Committee
Place of publication, production, or execution:
2 items (4 p. on partial microfilm reel)
Access Note / Rights:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
To his cousin Constance, 1943 Feb. 7, Biddle writes about being named chairman of the War Department's Art Advisory Board which entailed selecting and sending artists (including himself) to North Africa and Italy to create a pictorial war record. "...not factual reportage," he adds, "but the emotional impact of the war on an artist...I am very interested to [sic] in inducting writers into the set-up. John Steinbeck is one of my Committee and I hope to make up that question with McCloy [assistant Sec. of War] next week." In the second letter, 1945 Mar. 27, written from San Angel, Mexico, Biddle mostly describes a stabbing accident undergone by his son, Michael; he briefly discusses the gloomy economic situation in Mexico.
George Biddle letters to Constance Biddle, 1943-1945. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Microfilm reel 4909 (fr. 46-52) available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
Location of Originals:
Originals returned to the lender, Helen Zimmerman, after microfilming.
Biddle, a painter, Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., is known as the person responsible for recommending to Franklin Roosevelt a federal art program for artists, giving rise to the Public Works of Art Project and subsequent art projects of the Treasury Department and Works Progress Administration. Biddle's drawings from World War II were published in Artist At War (New York: The Viking Press, 1944)
Lent for microfilming 1994 by Helen Zimmermann, who was raised by Constance Biddle and her sister; the letters were among Constance's effects at her death.
Government Sponsorship of the Arts
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001