Marion Sanford and Cornelia Chapin papers, 1929-1988
Sanford, Marion, 1904-1987
Chapin, Cornelia Van Auken, 1893-1972
Place of publication, production, or execution:
3.1 linear feet
Access Note / Rights:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
The papers of sculptors Marion Sanford and Cornelia Chapin measure 3.1 linear feet and date from 1929-1988. Sanford and Chapin were close companions and shared a studio in New York City. The papers include scattered materials created by and about both women, including biographical materials, one folder of correspondence for each woman, a few writings and essays, news clippings, exhibition catalogs, other printed materials, and four scrapbooks (three about Chapin and one about Sanford). Photographs are of Chapin only and of artwork of both women. There is also one sound recording of a radio interview with Chapin and several motion picture films of Chapin's home movies transferred onto video, mostly of her time working in Paris.
Biographical material consists of scattered items documenting the careers of Marion Sanford and Cornelia Chapin. Included are a small amount of correspondence of both women, membership certificates, an index card file of Sanford's artwork, Chapin's written description of her sculpting process, and writings by others about Chapin.
Printed material includes exhibition announcements and catalogs for many group and solo shows of both women, news clippings about Chapin and Sanford, and a few reproductions of their artwork. Source files consist of postcards and clippings of various images that were most probably used as references or inspiration for their artwork.
The collection includes four scrapbooks compiled by Sanford and Chapin documenting their careers through news clippings, a few exhibition materials, and photographs of their artwork. There are three scrapbooks about Chapin, and one about Sanford. Also found are two additional scrapbooks on the subject of bas-relief and sculpture. Photographs include several of Cornelia Chapin in her studio and with her teacher Mateo Hernandez. There are numerous photographs of artwork by Chapin and Sanford. Artwork includes drawings of animals, architectural elements, coins, and people, by either Sanford or Chapin. Audio and video recordings include a radio interview of Chapin after she sculpted a bear for the National Zoo and several of Chapin's home movies, most from her time working in Paris.
Marion Sanford and Cornelia Chapin papers, 1929-1988. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Harvard University Library houses the the bulk of Cornelia Van Auken Chapin's papers, 1877-1959.
Marion Sanford (1904-1987) and Cornelia Chapin (1893-1972) were sculptors from Lakeville, Connecticut and New York, New York. Sanford was known for bronze portraits, bas-reliefs, and figures of women doing farm work or household chores. She was an active exhibitor at the National Academy of Design. Chapin was a direct carver specializing in animals. She worked in Paris during the 1930s. In the late 1930s, Chapin and Sanford became companions, and shared the former studio of Gutzon Borglum.
A portion of the Marion Sanford and Cornelia Chapin papers were donated by Marion Sanford in 1974. Additional materials were donated by Sanford's caretaker, Brenda Brenwell-Lejeune, in 1999.
This site provides access to the papers of Marion Sanford and Cornelia Chapin in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2015, and total 3,415 images.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001