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Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection

Creator:
Federal Art Project. Photographic Division  Search this
Names:
Federal Art Project (N.Y.)  Search this
Federal Art Project (Wash.)  Search this
Federal Art Project -- Photographs  Search this
Federal Art Project. Easel Division  Search this
Federal Art Project. Graphic Arts Division  Search this
Federal Art Project. Poster Division  Search this
Federal Music Project (U.S.) -- Photographs  Search this
Federal Theatre Project (U.S.) -- Photographs  Search this
Federal Writers' Project U.S. -- Photographs  Search this
Harlem Art Center  Search this
United States. Work Projects Administration  Search this
United States. Works Progress Administration  Search this
Abbott, Berenice, 1898-1991  Search this
Alston, Charles Henry, 1907-1977  Search this
Arenal, Luis  Search this
Barthé, Richmond, 1901-1989  Search this
Benson, John Howard, 1901-1956  Search this
Berger, Andrew  Search this
Blanch, Lucile, 1895-1981  Search this
Bloch, Lucienne, 1909-1999  Search this
Bolotowsky, Ilya, 1907-1981  Search this
Brann, Louise, 1906-  Search this
Burke, Selma, 1900-  Search this
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960  Search this
Calapai, Letterio, 1902-1993  Search this
Chodorow, Eugene, 1910-2000  Search this
Criss, Francis, 1901-1973  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
De Rivera, José Ruiz, 1904-1985  Search this
Dehn, Adolf, 1895-1968  Search this
Dehn, Virginia E. (Virginia Engleman), 1922-2005  Search this
Ennis, George Pearse, d. 1936  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Gershoy, Eugenie, 1901?-1983 or 6  Search this
Goodman, Bertram, 1904-1988  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Greenwood, Marion, 1909-1970  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Herman, Andrew  Search this
Hord, Donal, 1902-1966  Search this
Horn, Sol  Search this
Hovell, Joseph, 1897-  Search this
Karp, William, 1905-  Search this
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953  Search this
Laning, Edward, 1906-  Search this
Levi, Julian E. (Julian Edwin), 1900-1982  Search this
McMahon, Audrey, 1900?-1981  Search this
Olds, Elizabeth, 1896-1991  Search this
Refregier, Anton, 1905-  Search this
Robbins, David  Search this
Seltzer, Leo, 1916-  Search this
Shuster, Will  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
12.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
circa 1920-1965
bulk 1935-1942
Summary:
The Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection dates from circa 1920-1965, with the bulk of the records spanning the active years of the Federal Art Project (FAP), 1935-1942. The collection comprises 12.4 linear feet of mostly photographic prints and negatives that document primarily artwork produced by artists employed by the FAP. A smaller number of photographs also document other programs of the FAP, such as art classes and community centers, exhibitions by children and adults, artwork installed in public buildings, project divisions, and demonstrations of art processes by FAP artists.
Scope and Content Note:
The Federal Art Project (FAP), Photographic Division collection dates from circa 1920-1965, with the bulk of the records spanning the active years of the FAP: 1935-1942. The collection comprises 12.4 linear feet of photographic prints and negatives, including photos of FAP artists and the artwork created by them, and other activities of the FAP in communities throughout New York City and other states. Photographers include Andrew Herman, Sol Horn, David Robbins, Leo Seltzer, and others.

Artist files comprise three-quarters of the collection and consist primarily of photographs of artwork, as well as scattered photos of artists at work, including: Charles Alston, Luis Arenal, Richmond Barthe, John Benson, Andrew Berger, Lucille Blanch, Lucienne Bloch, Ilya Bolotowsky, Luise Brann, Selma Burke, Letterio Calapai, Eugene Chodorow, Francis Criss, Stuart Davis, Adolf Dehn, Virginia Dehn, Jose de Rivera, George Pearse Ennis, Philip Evergood, Eugenie Gershoy, Bertram Goodman, Arshile Gorky, Marion Greenwood, Philip Guston, Donal Hord, Joseph Hovell, William Karp, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Edward Laning, Julian Levi, Audrey McMahon, Elizabeth Olds, Anton Refregier, Will Shuster, William Zorach, and others.

The remainder of the collection consists of files documenting related activities and programs of the FAP, arranged by subject. The bulk of these files document the activities of the New York City FAP, including free art classes and art exhibitions for adults and children, exhibitions at the Harlem Art Center, and the work of FAP branches including the Easel Division, the Graphic Arts Division, and the Poster Division.

Other subjects documented include federal and community art centers in eleven states, most extensively Washington State; other WPA projects such as the Federal Theater Project, the Federal Music Project, and the Federal Writers' Project; buildings decorated with FAP artwork; art processes as demonstrated by FAP artists; special events; and people involved with the FAP, including director Holger Cahill.

One folder contains images that appear to have been taken by Berenice Abbott for the exhibition Changing New York (1935), for the Museum of the City of New York in collaboration with the WPA.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 2 series:

Series 1: Artist Files, circa 1920-1965 (Boxes 1-24; 9.6 linear feet)

Series 2: Subject Files, 1934-1956 (Boxes 25-32; 2.8 linear feet)
Historical Note:
The Federal Art Project (FAP) was one of the Depression-era work-relief programs of the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA). The program was founded in August 1935 to provide employment for artists and to implement visual arts programs in local communities across the country.

Together with the Federal Music Project, the Federal Theater Project, and the Federal Writers' Project, the FAP formed part of the WPA's Federal Project No. 1. The WPA became the Work Projects Administration in 1939 when it fell under the administrative hand of the newly created Federal Works Agency; concurrently the Federal Art Project was officially re-named the Federal Art Program.

Under the direction of Holger Cahill, the goals of the FAP fell into three main areas: production of artwork, art education through art classes and community centers, and art research through the Index of American Design. During the course of the program, artists created murals and other works of art for many non-Federal government buildings such as schools, hospitals, and libraries. Separate photographic divisions were set up in several states, most notably in New York City, to document the work of artists employed by the program, activities in art education such as classes for children and adults, community center outreach programs, and other "Federal 1" projects, including the Federal Theater and Music Projects. Employees of the photographic division were also involved in other assignments, such as creating exhibitions and photo murals.

The Federal Art Project ended in 1943.
Related Material:
Among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are related collections, including the Federal Art Project of the Work Projects Administration records, 1935-1948. Additional FAP records are held by the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington D.C.
Provenance:
The collection was anonymously donated to the Archives of American Art in the late 1950s.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection is owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
African American artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Photographs  Search this
Children's art -- United States -- Photographs  Search this
Photography  Search this
Art -- United States -- Exhibitions -- Photographs  Search this
Art -- United States -- Study and teaching -- Photographs  Search this
Art centers  Search this
Federal aid to the public welfare -- Photographs  Search this
Theater and state -- United States -- Photographs  Search this
Music and state -- United States -- Photographs  Search this
Federal aid to the arts -- Photographs  Search this
Art and state -- United States -- Photographs  Search this
Art -- Technique  Search this
Artists -- United States -- Photographs  Search this
Art -- Exhibitions  Search this
Hispanic American artists  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection, circa 1920-1965, bulk 1935-1942. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.fedeartp14
See more items in:
Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-fedeartp14
Additional Online Media:

Adolf Dehn papers

Creator:
Dehn, Adolf, 1895-1968  Search this
Names:
American Artists Group  Search this
Associated American Artists  Search this
Atelier Desjobert  Search this
Kennedy Galleries  Search this
University of Missouri Press  Search this
Bohrod, Aaron  Search this
Castellón, Federico, 1914-1971  Search this
Christ-Janer, Albert, 1910-1973  Search this
Dehn, Mura  Search this
Dehn, Virginia E. (Virginia Engleman), 1922-2005  Search this
Eastman, Max, 1883-1969  Search this
Freeman, Joseph  Search this
Gag, Wanda, 1893-1946  Search this
Goetsch, Gustav F. (Gustav Frederick), 1877-1969  Search this
Grosz, George, 1893-1959  Search this
Hayter, Stanley William, 1901-1988  Search this
Kuh, Frederick, 1895-1978  Search this
Lake, Eileen Hall  Search this
Marsh, Reginald, 1898-1954  Search this
Mitchell, Olivia Dehn  Search this
Olds, Elizabeth, 1896-1991  Search this
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Robinson, Boardman, 1876-1952  Search this
Shane, Fred, 1906-  Search this
Smith, William Arthur, 1918-1989  Search this
Spruance, Benton, 1904-1967  Search this
Thayer, Scofield, b. 1889  Search this
Zigrosser, Carl, 1891-  Search this
Photographer:
Kertész, André  Search this
Extent:
6.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Manuscripts
Sketches
Etchings
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Poems
Date:
1912-1987
Summary:
The papers of printmaker and painter Adolf Dehn measure 6.6 linear feet and date from 1912-1987. The collection contains extensive correspondence, as well as writings, exhibition announcements, catalogs, clippings, invoices, receipts, legal documents, scrapbooks, artwork, and photographs. There is also scattered correspondence of Virginia Dehn, mostly concerning her husband Adolf Dehn.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of printmaker and painter Adolf Dehn measure 6.6 linear feet and date from 1912-1987. The collection contains extensive correspondence, as well as writings, exhibition announcements, catalogs, clippings, invoices, receipts, legal documents, scrapbooks, artwork, and photographs. There is also scattered correspondence of Virginia Dehn, mostly concerning her husband Adolf Dehn.

Found within the biographical materials are several address books, official travel documents, exhibition price lists, and a biographical sketch.

Correspondence, both personal and business, makes up the bulk of this collection. Dehn maintained long friendships with many fellow artists and his correspondence includes letters from Aaron Bohrod, Federico Castellon, Albert Christ-Janer, Wanda Gág, Gustav Goetsch, George Grosz, Reginald Marsh, Elizabeth Olds, Abraham Rattner, Boardman Robinson, Frederick Shane, William Smith, and Benton Spruance. Additional notable correspondents include print dealer and curator Carl Zigrosser; journalists Max Eastman, Joseph Freeman, Frederick Kuh; editor Scofield Thayer, and his former wife, the Russian dancer Mura Dehn (neé Tsiperovitch). Business correspondence includes letters from art schools, associations, museums, and galleries affiliated with Dehn, including the Weyhe Gallery; Associated American Artists, a gallery that promoted American art to the middle classes; and the Kennedy Gallery, which represented the Dehn estate upon the artist's death. There is also correspondence from companies and organizations that commissioned commercial work from Dehn, such as greeting card publisher, American Artists Group . Finally the correspondence of Virginia Dehn includes letters to and from the University of Missouri Press related to the publication of Adolf Dehn Drawings and condolence cards and letters from friends and associates after the Adolf Dehn's death in May 1968.

Writings include manuscripts for Adolf Dehn's manual on painting technique, Watercolor, Gouache, and Casein Painting (Studio Publications, 1955), as well as his entries on technique and watercolor painting for Encyclopedia Britannica. Writings by others includes the catalog Adolf Dehn Drawings, prepared by his wife Virginia Dehn, and published in 1971 by the University of Missouri Press. There is also a journal with handwritten poems attributed to Eileen Hall Lake.

Printed materials consists of exhibition announcements and catalogs from galleries featuring Dehn's work including the Weyhe Gallery and Associated American Artists; art school brochures and newsletters from programs which Dehn attended or taught; and newspaper and magazine clippings including examples of his editorial cartoons, which appeared in The Liberator, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair, among other publications as well as clippings of news items related to the artist. This series also includes examples of Dehn's commercial work, such as book covers, calendars, and Christmas cards. Additional similar printed materials can be found in the scrapbooks. Artwork consists of only a few sketches attributed to Dehn, others to Eileen Lake Hall, and an etching by S.W. Hayter.

Dehn is well documented through numerous photographs, both alone and with others, including a portrait by the renowned photographer André Kertész. Additional vintage photographs include Dehn with family members, friends, and a series of photographs taken with his wife, Virginia Dehn at Atelier Desjobert, where he had been making lithographs since the 1920s.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 8 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1920-1968 (Box 1; 10 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1919-1982 (Boxes 1-4; 3.75 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1920-1971 (Boxes 4-5; 0.25 linear feet)

Series 4: Financial Records, 1936-1965 (Box 5; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 5: Printed Materials, circa 1915-1987 (Boxes 5-6; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1912-1968(Boxes 6-7; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1920-1945 (Box 6; 3 folders)

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1912-1961 (Boxes 6 and 8; 7 folders)
Biographical Note:
Adolf Dehn (1895-1968) was well-known for his drawings, lithographs and watercolors which satirically chronicled the social and political milieu of his times, as well as poetic landscapes, many of which depicted the rolling hills and farmlands of his native Midwest. Although he worked mostly in New York, Dehn also spent substantial time traveling and working in Europe, the Middle East, South America, and the American mid-west.

Dehn was born on a farm in Waterville, Minnesota on November 22, 1895, he began his formal art education in 1914 at the Minneapolis School of Art (currently known as the Minneapolis College of Art and Design). As a student, his drawings were featured in the school's humor journal, The Minne-Ha-Ha and by 1917 he had published his first drawing in one of his favorite political journals, The Masses. Later that year he and fellow Minneapolis School of Art student Wanda Gág were among a select group of art students nationwide who won scholarships to the Art Students League of New York. After only eight months in New York, however, Dehn was drafted into the Army to serve in the final months of World War I, but he proclaimed himself as a conscientious objector and was sent to Camp Wadsworth in South Carolina for several months.

Dehn returned to New York, where his friend and mentor Boardman Robinson introduced him to lithography through the master printer George Miller and brought him to the Weyhe Gallery to meet Carl Zigrosser, an avid supporter of American printmakers. However, he soon left New York for Europe in September 1921 where he spent most of the following eight years. There he traveled with his sketchbooks to the cafes and opera houses of Berlin, Paris, and Vienna, as well as on hiking trips in the Alps. He became friends with the poet E.E. Cummings, Scofield Thayer, editor of The Dial, who published many of his drawings, and met the German artist, George Grosz, whose work he so admired. In addition to The Dial, his satirical drawings of jazz-age entertainments and European cafe life also appeared in , The Liberator, Jugend, Vanity Fair, and Simplicissimus. Finally during his stint in Europe, Dehn met and married the Russian dancer Mura Tsiperovitch. They were married in Vienna in 1926, but divorced sometime in the early 1930s.

Unfortunately Dehn's return to the United States coincided with the Great Depression of 1929 and sales of his work were slim. However in the 1930s, The New Yorker and Vogue began to publish his work. He continued to work in lithography and returned to Paris to work at the Atelier Desjobert, the print studio with whom he worked most closely throughout his life. In the late 1930s, Dehn began working in watercolors, mostly rural landscapes, and had a one man show of works in his new medium at Weyhe Gallery in 1938. In 1939 Dehn traveled through the Southwest and Mexico on his first Guggenheim Fellowship (he was awarded his second in 1951).

By the 1940s Dehn was an active member of both the American Artists Group and Associated American Artists; both organizations sought to popularize contemporary American Art, primarily through reproductions of fine art prints and commercial use of artists' designs on greeting card, calendars, and even wall paper. Appreciation for his lithographs and watercolors grew, and along with it his recognition. He also taught art classes a few summers; in the late 1930s at Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri where his friend Albert Janner-Christ was head of the art department and in the early 1940s at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, where friend and mentor Boardman Robinson was the director. In 1955 he published Watercolor, Gouache, and Casein Painting, a manual on technique. Throughout the rest of his life he continued to travel, not only returning to Europe, but also visiting Afganistan, Cuba, Haiti, and a trip to Venuzuala on assignment from Standard Oil to document the oil industry there. On many of his later trips, he was accompanied by his wife, fellow artist, Virginia Engleman Dehn, whom he had married in November 1947.

Near the end of his long career, Dehn was elected in 1961 to the National Academy of Design as a full academician. He was later elected to the National Academy of Arts and Letters. After his death in 1968, his wife Virginia worked with the University of Missouri Press on the catalog Adolf Dehn Drawings (Columbia: University of Missouri, 1971).
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming. Reel 287 contains printed materials, including exhibition announcements, catalogs, magazines, and newspaper and magazine clippings. After filming, these materials were transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library. Reels 2938-2939 include 750 letters from Adolf Dehn to various family members. This material was returned to the lender and is not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
The Adolf Dehn papers were donated in several installments from 1966 to 1985 by Adolf Dehn and his wife Virginia. Dehn's sisters, Viola Dehn Tiala and Olivia Dehn Mitchell, separately donated additional materials in 1971 and 1972. Olivia Dehn Mitchell also loaned the Archives letters from Adolf in 1983 for microfilming. Finally in 1989, Lillian Morrison, a friend and editor, donated a published book of Mura Dehn's poetry and a four page draft of a letter signed by Adolf Dehn.
Restrictions:
Use of originals requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Adolf Dehn papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Painting -- Technique  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Graphic arts -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Sketches
Etchings
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Poems
Citation:
Adolf Dehn papers, 1912-1981. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.dehnadop
See more items in:
Adolf Dehn papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-dehnadop

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