The Sally K. Ride Papers consists of over 23 cubic feet of papers, photographs, certificates, and film, created or collected by Sally Ride and chronicling her career from the 1970s through the 2010s. The papers document Ride's lifetime of achievements and include material relating to her astronaut training and duties; her contributions to space policy; her work as a physicist; and her work as an educator, including Sally Ride Science and related STEM projects.
Scope and Contents:
The Sally Ride Papers reflect Ride's careers as a student, astronaut, physicist, professor, author, and CEO
of Sally Ride Science. This collection consists of material gathered by Sally Ride over the course of her life. This material is particularly rich in training materials from her astronaut days, but also provides significant insight into her career in academia and her interest and support of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education.
The bulk of this collection consists of materials related to Ride's professional work. This includes correspondence, memoranda, meeting minutes, reports and papers, notes, speeches, photographs, brochures, pamphlets, programs, newsletters, newspaper and magazine articles, and miscellaneous materials. Materials of a personal nature were retained by her family and therefore do not figure in this collection.
The collection is organized chronologically into the following 12 series:
Series 1: Schooling
Series 2: NASA Career
Subseries 2.1: Training and Flights
Subseries 2.1.1: T-38 Training
Subseries 2.1.2: Space Shuttle Flight Training, General
Subseries 2.1.3: STS-7 Challenger Flight Training
Subseries 2.1.4: STS-41G Space Shuttle Challenger Flight Training
Subseries 2.1.5: Miscellaneous Space Shuttle Flight Training
Subseries 2.2: NASA Commissions and Reports
Subseries 2.2.1: Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident (Rogers Commission Report) 1986
Subseries 2.2.2: NASA Leadership and America's Future in Space: A Report to the Administrator [Ride Report] 1987
Subseries 2.2.3: Columbia Accident Investigation Board / NASA's Implementation Plan for Space Shuttle Return to Flight and Beyond Report 2003
Subseries 2.2.4: Review of United States Human Space Flight Plans Committee (Augustine Committee)
Subseries 2.3: White House Commissions and Reports
Subseries 2.3.1: President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)
Subseries 2.3.2: Briefing for the Vice President of the United States, 1986
Subseries 2.3.3: Briefing for the Clinton/Gore Transition, 1992
Series 3: Space.com
Series 4: Academia
Subseries 4.1: Physics Research Papers by Ride
Subseries 4.2: Ride's Physics Research Proposals and Projects
Subseries 4.3: Physics Research Files
Subseries 4.4: Physics Classes Taught by Ride
Subseries 4.5: Non-Physics Classes Taught by Ride
Subseries 4.6: Physics Conferences and Seminars
Subseries 4.7: Miscellaneous Department of Physics Materials
Subseries 4.8: California Space Institute
Series 5: Sally Ride STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] Education Projects
Subseries 6.2: STEM Advocacy, Committees and Conferences
Series 7: Awards and Publicity
Subseries 7.1: Awards
Subseries 7.2: Correspondence/Invitations
Subseries 7.3: Boards
Subseries 7.4: Publicity Files
Series 8: Research Files
Subseries 8.1: Space:
Subseries 8.1.1: Space Articles, Reports, and NASA Publications
Subseries 8.1.2: Space Files – Commission, Workshops, and Special Reports
Subseries 8.2: Education
Series 9: Miscellaneous
Series 10: First Day Covers/Autographs
Series 11: Oversized material
Series 12: Films, Audio Tapes, and Media
Biographical / Historical:
Dr. Sally K. Ride became a national icon of achievement in science and space on June 18, 1983, when she became the first American woman to fly in space. Born in 1951 in suburban Encino, California, she took up tennis as a teenager and within a few years was ranked eighteenth nationally. In 1968, she enrolled at Swarthmore College as a physics major, but she dropped out after three semesters to train full-time at tennis. In 1970, Ride gave up tennis and entered Stanford University, where she took a double major in physics and English literature. She went on to complete a Masters and Ph.D. in physics from Stanford. Her doctoral dissertation dealt with the theoretical behavior of free electrons in a magnetic field.
While completing her Ph.D. in physics, she saw an announcement that National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was looking for young scientists to serve as mission specialists and she immediately applied. She passed NASA's preliminary process and became one of 208 finalists. Ride was flown to Johnson Space Center outside Houston for physical fitness tests, psychiatric evaluation, and personal interviews. Three months later, she was an astronaut and one of six women selected for the class of 1978.
While learning to use a new space shuttle remote manipulative arm for a future mission, Ride acted as backup orbit Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) for STS-2 and prime orbit CAPCOM for STS-3. She was named a mission specialist on the seventh flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1983. As a mission specialist in the first five-member Shuttle crew, she operated a variety of orbiter systems and experiment payloads; she participated in the launch of two commercial communications satellites and also operated the remote manipulator system arm to maneuver, release, and retrieve a free-flying satellite. Ride also flew on a second mission, STS-41G in 1984, again on the Challenger. She spent a total of more than 343 hours in space.
Ride's career and legacy extended well beyond her missions in space. Ride had completed eight months of training for her third flight (STS-61-M, a TDRS deployment mission) when the space shuttle Challenger disaster occurred, and she was named to the Rogers Commission (the presidential commission investigating the accident) and headed its subcommittee on operations. Following the investigation, Ride was assigned to NASA headquarters where she led a strategic planning effort for NASA that yielded the 1987 report NASA Leadership and America's Future in Space: A Report to the Administrator (also known as the Ride Report), and she served as the first chief of the new NASA Office of Exploration. In 1993, she was named to the Columbia Accident Board, appointed to investigate the causes and to recommend remedies after that tragic loss.
In 1987, Ride left NASA to become a full-time educator. She first worked at the Stanford University Center for International Security and Arms Control and in 1989 she became a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and Director of the California Space Institute. From the mid-1990s until her death, Ride led two public-outreach programs for NASA — the ISS EarthKAM and GRAIL MoonKAM projects, in cooperation with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and UCSD. The programs allowed middle school students to request images of the Earth.
Ride continued her endeavors to improve science education and encourage young people to study science through her independent initiatives as an author or co-author of seven books on space aimed at children, and as a co-founder of Sally Ride Science, a company founded in 2001 that creates entertaining science programs and publications for upper elementary and middle school students, with a particular focus on science education for girls.
Ride died on July 23, 2012, at the age of 61, seventeen months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Gift of Tam O'Shaughnessy, received March 2014.
No restrictions on access.
The George Henry Mills Collection was donated to the National Air and Space Museum in 1994 by Mills' daughter, Mrs. Georgia Mills Head.
Scope and Contents:
The George Henry Mills Collection consists of 14.59 cubic feet (14.47 linear feet) of material collected from his naval career, 1918-1948. A large part of the collection is made up of records of Mills' service during World War II as the commander of the Atlantic Fleet's airship formations. The collection also includes records of his service as an official Navy observer aboard the German rigid airships Graf Zeppelin and Hindenburg. Of particular interest are records of the period before and immediately after the entry of the United States into World War II: the pre-war build-up of the Navy's LTA program, the "Neutrality Patrols" as the Navy fought an undeclared war against Germany, and of the harrowing early days of the Battle of the North Atlantic as German U-boats roamed the eastern coast of the United States. Mills maintained an extensive correspondence with many of the leading figures of LTA: Charles E. Rosendahl, Garland Fulton, and Scott E. Peck --their letters provide a unique picture of the Navy LTA program during its most active and successful period.
The collection also includes numerous technical reports on aspects of LTA flight, training material, photographs, clippings and articles on LTA.
The George H. Mills Collection is arranged in the following series:
Series I: Naval career of George H. Mills
Series II: Correspondence
Series III: General LTA Papers
Series IV: General Naval Papers
Series V: Publications, Articles, Clippings
Series VI: Lectures, Speeches, Papers
Series VII: Miscellaneous Papers
Series VIII: Photographs
Series IX: Scrapbooks; Oversized Material
George Henry Mills (1895-1975), Naval officer and airship aviator, was a member of the U.S. Navy's inner circle of advocates of lighter than air (LTA) flight. Mills was born on August 5, 1895 in Rutherfordton, North Carolina, the son of John Craton Mills and Nora Poole Mills. He attended Bingham Military School in Asheville, North Carolina, and entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1914. Mills graduated from the Academy in June, 1918 and served in various fleet and shore assignments (a chronology of Mills' naval service will be found in the notes to Series I on page 2). He married Leonore Wickersham of Corning, NY in 1923; their daughter, Georgia Lee Mills, was born in 1928.
Mills was assigned to LTA training at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey in 1931. He completed his training in 1932 and served in the Navy's LTA fleet through the 1930's. Mills flew as an observer on board the Graf Zeppelin in 1934 and on the Hindenburg in 1936. In 1935, Mills survived the crash of the USS Macon off the California coast. Mills returned to Lakehurst, serving there in various assignments; he was made commanding officer of NAS Lakehurst in January, 1940.
At Lakehurst, Mills organized blimp patrols as part of the Navy's Neutrality Patrol and helped coordinate the Navy's rapid buildup of the LTA program. When Airship Patrol Group One was formed in January 1942, Mills was named commanding officer; in December 1942 he commanded Airship Wing Thirty. In July 1943, Mills was assigned as the commander of Fleet Airships, Atlantic - the chief of the Navy's LTA forces in the Atlantic Theater. George Mills was promoted to the rank of Commodore in November 1943.
In 1945, Mills returned to sea as the captain of the troopship USS Hermitage. Before retirement from the Navy in 1949, Mills served as the chief of the Naval Airship Training and Experimentation Command (CNATE) at NAS Lakehurst.
After leaving the Navy, Mills settled in North Carolina and worked for the Equitable Life Insurance Company, and later for the National Securities and Research Corporation. Mills served one term in the North Carolina State Legislature from 1950 to 1952. George H. Mills died on October 24, 1975, the same day as his longtime LTA colleague and friend, Garland Fulton, whose papers are also part of the collections of the National Air and Space Archives. They were buried on the same day in Arlington National Cemetery.
Chronology of George H. Mills' Naval Service
1914 -- June 14 - Entered U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland
1918 -- June 6 - Graduated from the Academy, Class of 1919; commissioned Ensign, USN September 21 - Service aboard USS New Mexico. Promoted to Lieutenant (JG)(Temporary)
1920 -- June 1 - Promotion to Lieutenant (JG)
1922 -- First LTA flight as gunnery spotter on captive balloon on USS New Mexico June 3 - Promotion to Lieutenant
1923 -- September 25 - Assigned as personal aide to RADM George W. Williams, Commandant, Sixth Naval District, Charleston, SC June 20 - Assigned as divisions communication officer on staff of VADM Henry A. Wiley, Battleship Division, Battle Fleet
1929 -- June 5 -Assistant gunnery officer and senior watch officer, USS Pensacola
1924 -- August 5 - Served as aide and flag secretary to RADM Williams as Commander Destroyer Squadrons, Scouting Fleet. Served on USS Concord, USS Dobbin, USS Whitney
1925 -- September - Continued as aide when RADM Williams was relieved by RADM Noble E. Irwin
1931 -- June 1 - Ordered to NAS Lakehurst for LTA instruction. Training flights on free and captive balloons and on airships Los Angeles (ZR-3), Akron (ZRS-4), J-3, J-4, K-1 and ZMC-2
1927 -- June 30 - Officer-in-charge, naval recruiting for North and South Carolina, Raleigh, North Carolina
1933 -- September 1 - Promotion to Lieutenant Commander
1934 -- May 14 - Ordered on temporary duty as naval observer on the Graf Zeppelin. Made three round trips aboard the Graf Zeppelin between Friedrichshafen and cities in South America August 9 - Ordered to NAS Lakehurst as Operations Officer October 14 - Ordered to NAS Sunnyvale (later NAS Moffett Field) as tactical officer, pilot and navigational watch on USS Macon (ZRS-4)
1935 -- February 12 - USS Macon crashes off Point Sur, California. Mills is rescued after three hours in the water April 15 - Ordered to NAS Lakehurst as operations and mooring officer
1936 -- November 4 - Ordered to Newport News for fitting out USS Yorktown August - Naval observer aboard Hindenburg on round trip flights between Lakehurst and Frankfort, Germany
1937 -- September 30 – Assigned as gunnery officer, USS Yorktown September 12 – October 2 - Training in chemical warfare at Gas Warfare School, Edgewood Arsenal, MD
1939 -- July 1 - Promotion to Commander June – Assigned as executive officer, NAS Lakehurst
1940 -- January 15 - Appointed commanding officer, NAS Lakehurst
1941 -- July - Temporary duty, Airship Board, Washington
1942 -- December 1 - Appointed Commander, Fleet Airship Wing Thirty June 17 - Promotion to Captain January 2 - Appointed Commander, Airship Patrol Group One
1943 -- November 5 - Promotion to Commodore July 1 - Appointed Commander, Fleet Airships, Atlantic
1945 -- July 23 - Awarded Legion of Merit July 10 - Appointed captain, USS Hermitage (AP-54). Reverts to rank of captain
1946 -- August 5 - Appointed commander, NAS Moffett Field
1947 -- September 26 - Appointed chief, Naval Airship Training and Experimentation Command (CNATE)
1949 -- June 30 - Retirement from U.S. Navy
ADM -- Admiral
ASW -- Anti-submarine warfare
ATC -- Air Transport Command
BuAer -- Bureau of Aeronautics (US Navy)
CDR -- Commander
CNATE -- Naval Airship Training and Experimentation Command
Cong -- Congress
GHM -- George Henry Mills
LTA -- Lighter than air flight
MAD -- Magnetic anomaly detector (often found as magnetic airborne detector)
NACA -- National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
NAS -- Naval Air Station
NATS -- Naval Air Transport Service
ND -- No date
RADM -- Rear admiral
RN -- Royal Navy
Sess -- Session
VADM -- Vice Admiral
WPA -- Works Project Authority
ZNP -- Patrol airship
ZP -- Airship squadron
Georgia M. Head, Gift, 1994, 1994-0022, NASM
No restrictions on access.
The Millard Sheets papers comprise 27.6 linear feet of material dating from circa 1907 to 2000 with bulk dates spanning 1956 to 1981. The collection documents Sheets's career as a designer, painter, and muralist, and his personal and professional interests through correspondence, writings, lectures, printed material, drawings, slides, photographs, and ephemera.
A small addition donated 2018 by Carolyn Owen-Toole, Sheet's daughter. There is a 4.6 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated 2018 that includes writings; sketchbooks and sketches; photographs and negatives of works of art, images of Millard Sheets and others; printed material, including two scrapbooks; and scattered correspondence regarding Sheet's projects.
Scope and Content Note:
The personal papers of Millard Sheets (1907-1990) measure 27.6 linear feet and date from circa 1907-2000, with bulk dates of 1956-1981. The collection reflects Sheets's career as a designer, painter, and muralist, as well as his other personal and professional interests, through correspondence, writings, lectures, clippings, blueprints, drawings, slides, photographs, and ephemera.
The Project Files comprise the largest group of materials in the collection and document design work undertaken by Sheets through his company Millard Sheets & Associates Designs. Sheets and his associates produced concept drawings and blueprints and supervised the construction for a wide range of design projects that ranged in scale from architectural plans for private residences to bid proposals for shopping malls and financial institutions located in California and the Southwest.
Sheets designed interior and exterior plans for over forty Home Savings and Loan bank branches in California. The distinctive modular design which Sheets created and then customized by integrating interior and exterior art elements that highlighted local historical events or natural features became synonymous with the image of Home Savings and Loan. Sheets also teamed up with the architect Edward Durrell Stone to produce a proposal for the Capitol Mall Project, an urban renewal project for the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Sacramento. Researchers will find correspondence, job costs and billing statements, and notes that trace the development of these and other building construction projects. In some instances the documents are supplemented by blueprints, photographs, and/or drawings of the project, but in many cases, visual documentation is missing.
The Project Files also document work done by Millard Sheets on public projects such as the Family of Man mural in the Los Angeles City Hall Annex, a mosaic dome in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., and the Word of Life mural at the University of Notre Dame, Ind., along with numerous other murals and mosaics created for private individuals and corporations.
The Correspondence Series primarily reflects the interaction between Sheets and his clients, colleagues, and personal acquaintances. These files will prove valuable to researchers who are interested in the way that Sheets's beliefs about the role of art in everyday life impacted the way he conducted business and managed both large and small design projects. The correspondence also reflects Sheets's interest in popular American culture, travel, political issues of the day, and art collecting.
The Membership Files document the wide variety of interests that Sheets maintained through active membership in associations and organizations. The material in this series consists primarily of correspondence, minutes of meetings, and notes which Sheets created or used as he served as a board member or trustee on a number of organizational boards, such as the California Institute of the Arts, the Claremont Colleges, Virginia Steele Scott Foundation, Webb School of California, and Goodwill Industries of Southern California.
Also found in this series is material that documents his interest and participation in various recreational and professional organizations. Sheets maintained a long association with the Economic Roundtable, a group of businessmen who met regularly to give presentations and share discussion on contemporary political and social issues. Sheets was a frequent speaker and his talks given at the Economic Roundtables can be found in Lectures and Speeches, a subseries of the Writings Series.
Included in the Millard Sheets & Associates Designs, Inc. series are records that reflect the day-to-day operations of Sheets's design firm. Found here are chronological copies of correspondence that were sent out, files Sheets maintained on various independent contractors that the design firm frequently used, resumes and letters of recommendation that Sheets received regarding potential employees, as well as records relating to the cost and maintenance of Sheets's office building.
The Teaching and Workshop Files document the instructional activities undertaken by Sheets throughout his career in the arts. Although Sheets became pivotal in establishing a regionally recognized art department at Scripps College in Claremont, California, the files that reflect his academic position there are limited in scope and depth. Researchers will find more substantive the files that he maintained on the numerous art demonstrations and paintings workshops that he conducted privately throughout his career. Sheets traveled extensively around the world through his teaching activities and the files in this series track his path.
Closely related to the Teaching and Workshop Files is the Painting Trips series. The material in these files document Sheets's service as an American Specialist in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the USIS, Department of State. Sheets served two times as a cultural arts representative in Turkey in 1960 and in the former USSR in 1961. Sheets also made numerous trips to South East Asia, which had proved an area of fascination for him since his experiences as a war correspondent in Burma and India in World War II. The files in this series document his painting trips to Tahiti, the Pacific Ocean Rim, and Hawaii. Also found are files that detail his painting activities in Mexico.
The Exhibition Files reflect the records that Sheets maintained regarding his participation in art exhibitions, as well as his files on art shows that he personally directed or organized for public or private groups or organizations. Although Sheets exhibited his work predominantly in the West and Southwest, the files in this series demonstrate that he exhibited both nationally and internationally as well.
Also found within the records for this series are files relating to Sheets's representation of his artwork through established galleries and art agents. The Dalziel Hatfield Galleries of Los Angeles, California, served as his primary agent for most of his painting career. Correspondence between Sheets and the Hatfields provide insight into Sheets's development into a regionally and nationally significant watercolorist and painter. The files relating to the Kennedy Galleries in New York and the Circle Gallery in Chicago reflect Sheets's efforts to maintain a national presence in the arts community.
The Jury Files document Sheets's involvement as a juror in regional, as well, as national shows. The files reveal the great variety of professional watercolor and painting exhibitions in which Sheets participated as either a jury panelist or solo judge.
The Writings Files provide an excellent source for researchers interested in Sheets's philosophical beliefs about the relationship between art and everyday life. His articles, lectures, and speeches predominantly address the role of the artist, the relationships that exist between artists and the community, and the role that art can play in making a fuller, more productive life. Also found in the files of this series are articles written by others about Sheets.
The Biographical Material series provides a short introduction to Millard Sheets. The files consist of the calendars maintained by Sheets and his wife and staff, which were used to coordinate his many commitments and appointments. Also found in the files of this series are family chronologies that were created by Mary Baskerville Sheets. Medical records and resumes provide personal information about Sheets's background and health. A small file of military memorabilia provides information about Sheets's contributions to the war effort in World War II.
The Printed Matter series documents family activities and personalities through publicity clippings. Also found are exhibition catalogs and announcements that Sheets saved regarding other artists. Miscellaneous interests and activities of Sheets are found through magazine articles, brochures, and flyers.
The Photographs series includes photographic documentation for Sheets's artwork, horses, and major projects. A small group of photographs of Sheets are also in this series.
The files in the Artwork series include original drawings by Mary Baskerville Sheets and Millard Sheets.
There is a 4.6 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated 2018 that includes writings; sketchbooks and sketches; photographs and negatives of works of art, images of Millard Sheets and others; printed material, including two scrapbooks; and scattered correspondence regarding Sheet's projects.
The collection is arranged into fifteen series. Small series, such as Biographical Material are generally based on type of document. Larger series, such as Correspondence or Project Files, are arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent or project. General correspondence has been made into its own series, but other series or subseries may also contain some correspondence. Within particular series, materials have been further divided into subseries which represent particular aspects of the project or event. For example, the Writings Series is further divided into subseries of books and articles, eulogies, and lectures and speeches. An outline listing series and subseries titles and dates follows.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1907-1982, undated (boxes 1-2; 1.25 linear ft.)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1929-1990, undated (boxes 2-4; 2.75 linear ft.)
Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1933-1980, undated (boxes 5-6; 1.25 linear ft.)
Series 4: Membership Files, 1946-1982, undated (boxes 6-8; 2.5 linear ft.)
Series 5: Millard Sheets & Associates Designs, 1934-1982, undated (boxes 8-9; 1.0 linear ft.)
Series 6: Project Files, 1956-1981, undated (boxes 9-18; 8.25 linear ft.)
Series 7: Teaching and Workshop Files, 1932-1982 (box 18; 0.5 linear ft.)
Series 8: Painting Trips, 1959-1980, undated (box 18; 16 folders)
Series 9: Exhibition Files, 1932-1937, 1951-1988, undated (box 19; 0.75 linear ft.)
Series 10: Jury Files, 1941-1982 (boxes 19-20; 42 folders)
Series 11: Writings, 1936-1988, undated (boxes 20-22; 2.5 linear ft.)
Series 12: Printed Matter, 1936-1922, undated (boxes 22-23; 20 folders)
Series 13: Photographs, 1934-1983, undated (box 23; 17 folders)
Series 14: Artwork, circa 1929, undated (box 23; 2 folders)
Series 15: Unprocessed Addition, circa 1930-2000 (boxes 24, 26-30, OV25: 4.6 linear ft.)
"Your painting is a measure of your mind"-Millard Sheets
Millard Sheets, as one of the founding members of the "California Scene Painters," exerted a lasting influence upon subsequent generations of Western painters. He and the small group of painters who worked in California during the 1930s and 1940s, developed a new style of watercolor painting that was at the forefront of the American watercolor movement of the time, and that later gave rise to a subsequent generation of painters who became known as the California Regionalist school.
Sheets was born in Pomona, California on June 24, 1907. His mother died in childbirth, and his father, John Sheets, unprepared to raise a baby alone, sent Millard to Pomona, California to be raised by his maternal grandparents, Lewis and Emma Owen. Sheets's grandfather proved to be a guiding force in his life, and when Sheets's father remarried and offered Millard the opportunity to return to the Sheets household, Millard chose instead to remain with his grandparents.
Sheets's love of horses can be directly traced back to his childhood years spent living at his grandfather's horse ranch. Millard rode his first horse when he was three years old. Throughout his life, Sheets returned to the theme of horses in his paintings, as well as maintaining a private stable of horses, and raising and breeding racehorses.
His interest in art also began in childhood. When he was still a young boy, his two maternal aunts encouraged him to play with crayons and pencils. Sheets took his first painting lesson from a neighbor at the age of seven, and by 1919 he had already submitted artwork to the copy division of the Los Angeles County Fair fine arts show competition. He submitted a drawing he had copied of a tinted photograph of Lake KIlarney, California. Sheets won first prize in his division.
It was through this competition that Millard met Theodore B. Modra, a Polish artist who had retired to the Pomona area. After giving Sheets a lecture on the evils of copying art, Modra offered to give him art lessons.
Sheets continued to pursue his interest in art and enrolled in the Choinard School of Art in Los Angeles, California. By the time that he graduated in 1929, Sheets had also managed to come to the attention of Dalzell and Ruth Hatfield of the Dalzell Hatfield Galleries in Los Angeles, California. The Hatfields were one of the most influential art dealers in Southern California, and that same year, they sponsored Sheets in his first one-man exhibition in 1929. The exhibition brought Sheets to the attention of Western Coast art critics and launched Sheets on his painting career.
In 1929 Sheets also learned that he had won second place in the annual Edgar B. Davis art competition held in San Antonio, Texas. The award came with a cash prize and Sheets made plans to travel to Europe to study and paint. Shortly before his departure, however, he met an art student, Mary Baskerville, and they began a whirlwind romance. With Baskerville's enthusiastic support for European plans, and with her promise that she would wait for him, Sheets departed for New York and then Europe.
While overseas during 1929 and 1930, Sheets studied under Dorfinant, a master printer in Paris. Through his work at this studio workshop, he met Henri Matisse.
Five months after Millard returned to the California in 1930, Sheets and Mary Baskerville married. Sheets worked as the director of the Fine Arts Exhibition of the Los Angeles County Fair. In 1932 Sheets returned to school to study art and humanities at Scripps College in Claremont, California. After graduating from Scripps, school officials approached Sheets with an offer to set up a separate fine arts program and asked him to chair the new department. This was the beginning of a twenty year association with the school. In 1938, he also became the Director of Art at Claremont Graduate School.
Sheets left the school during the years of World War II to serve as a war-time artist and journalist for Life magazine, and from 1943-1944 was stationed on the Burma-India Front. His experiences in Asia appeared to affect him deeply. In contrast to his earlier works which featured backgrounds with neutral tones and brilliant shades that highlighted and punctuated the compositions, the paintings from the wartime featured somber tones. Sheets remarked of this time:
During the fighting and the time I spent in the C-B-1 theater, I was too shaken and intellectually stunned to do any complete paintings. I made many, many sketches, though, as well as a real effort to remember each scene that particularly affected me. Then, once I returned to America, I painted frantically, for months, exorcising demons. [Lovoos, Janice and Edmund F. Penney, Millard Sheets: One-Man Renaissance, Northland Press, Flagstaff, AZ, 1984]
Sheets returned from the war in 1944 and resumed his position at Scripps College until 1955 when he was approached by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and asked to overhaul the fledgling Los Angeles County Art Institute. Sheets accepted the position and spent the next five years reshaping the mission and format of the school, renaming it the Otis Art Institute. In the years after Sheets left the directorship, the school eventually became part of the Parson's School of Design on the West Coast.
In 1953 Sheets founded the Millard Sheets Designs company. He hired between twenty-five and thirty artisans for large projects, with Susan Hertel, a former student of his, serving as his assistant in all the operations of the design studio. The working staff included engineers, registered architects, draftsmen, and artists, and the projects that the firm produced included murals, mosaics, stained glass, and sculpture for private homes and public and commercial businesses.
The design studio completed several major architectural projects throughout the late 1950s through the mid 1970s, including the design and construction of Cal Aero, a flight training school for the US Air Force, the National American Insurance Company offices for the California financier, Howard Ahmanson, Ahmanson Bank and Trust Company in Beverly Hills, many Home Savings and Loan Association Buildings, private residences, and the Scottish Rite Memorial Temples in Los Angeles and San Francisco, among many other projects.
Sheets also designed and completed mural and mosiac work for numerous public buildings in the Los Angeles area, as well as across the nation. Many of the murals and mosiacs were for those buildings designed by his firm while others were done as independent commissions.
In 1968 Sheets first proposed the murals he designed for the Los Angeles City Hall. His design was approved and he was awarded a commission to complete The Family of Man murals over the two main entrances to the Los Angeles City Hall. The murals were completed in 1971 and installed in 1972. Sheets also designed mosiacs and murals for the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, the Library at Notre Dame University, the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple in Los Angeles, several Home Savings and Loan Association buildings in the Los Angeles area, the Detroit Public Library, and the Dome of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.
During the early 1960s Sheets participated in the American Specialist Program of the US Department of State. His first assignment was to Turkey in 1960, where he served as a visiting artist. The following year he went to the USSR in the same capacity.
During the early to mid 1950s Sheets became involved with Columbia Pictures and was technical advisor and production designer for a few years.
Millard Sheets was a member of the National Watercolor Society, the American Watercolor Society, the National Academy of Design, the Society of Motion Picture Art Directors, and the Century Association. Sheets actively promoted his own work and was a businessman, an active and prolific artist, instructor, and designer. Millard Sheets died on March 31, 1989 in Gualala, California.
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reels LA 10) including a biographical sketch, career resume, and a list of sheets' work prepared in 1964. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Millard Sheets lent material for microfilming in 1965. Mary B. Sheets, Millard's widow, donated the papers to the Archives of American Art in 1992. Carolyn Owen-Toole, Sheet's daughter, gave a small addition of material in 2018.
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
The Millard Sheets 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.
[Menu for Holiday Inn, Nags Head, NC; Organizational Listing of Smithsonian Institution; Sheet Music (5); Flight Training Report on General Hap Arnold; Department of State Certificate Authorizing Air Mail Service]
Paul E. Garber Collection, Acc. NASM.1991.0063, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
The Paul E. Garber Collection documents Paul Edward Garber's life, both personal and professional, prior to and during his 72-year tenure at the National Air and Space Museum.
Scope and Contents:
The Paul E. Garber Collection includes material from both the personal and professional realms of Garber's life. It is centered on the following three areas: Garber's personal life; his aeronautics interests; and his association with the Smithsonian Institution—the National Air Museum, and later the National Air and Space Museum. The collection is a particularly rich source of material relating to Garber's development of the military target kite, his involvement in a multitude of aviation-related clubs and organizations, and as a record of his daily work duties and influence upon the National Air and Space Museum. The following types of materials, dating from 1824 to 1992, are included: correspondence; diaries; notes and writings by Garber regarding a variety of aeronautical and museum topics; lectures and interviews; scrapbooks; newspaper clippings; magazine articles; photo albums; photographs, slides, negatives, and lantern slides; pamphlets and brochures; drawings; newsletters; and audio recordings.
Little emphasis has been placed on dividing this collection between Garber's personal and professional lives, as the two capacities intersected in almost every way. Whenever possible, Garber's original folder titles and order have been preserved. All titles that appear in [brackets] are the archivist's.
The collection is organized into the following 15 series:
Series 1: Correspondence, circa 1901-circa 1992 and undated
Series 2: Invitations and Programs, 1910-1988 and undated
Series 3: National Air and Space Museum (NASM), 1916-1992 and undated
Series 4: World War II Target Kites and Naval Reserve, 1919-1986 and undated
Series 5: Manuscripts and Speeches, 1925-1989 and undated
Series 6: Personal Materials, 1824-1992 and undated
Series 7: Personal Interest, circa 1908-circa 1992 and undated
Series 8: Organizations, 1908-1992 and undated
Series 9: Newsletters, 1938-1992 and undated
Series 10: Biographical Files, circa 1910-circa 1992 and undated
Series 11: Subject Files, 1909- circa 1990 and undated
Series 12: Photographs, circa 1880-1992 and undated
Series 13: Negatives, Transparencies, Film, and Slides, circa 1940s-circa 1970s and undated
Series 14: Oversize Materials, 1842-1990 and undated
Series 15: Audio Recordings
Biographical / Historical:
Paul Edward Garber (1899-1992) was instrumental in obtaining a substantial portion of the National Air and Space Museum's aircraft collection. His 72-year tenure with the Smithsonian Institution and his dedication to the belief that aeronautics artifacts were worthy of preservation for the sake of National memory effectively make him the progenitor of the National Air and Space Museum we know today.
Garber was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on 31 August 1899, a few years prior to the development of powered flight. Growing up during this exciting time, young Garber was exposed to a number of experiences that ignited his interest in aeronautics. Garber recalled that, while visiting Washington, D.C., in 1909, he took a streetcar across the Potomac River to watch Orville Wright fly the world's first military airplane at Fort Myer, Virginia.
The Garber family eventually left Atlantic City and permanently settled in Washington, D.C. In 1913 Garber and his schoolmates formed the Capital Model Aeroplane Club, organizing competitions for the making and flying of model aircraft and kites. In 1915, after visiting the Smithsonian Institution, Garber made a copy of Octave Chanute's biplane glider. After testing a smaller model, which he flew as a kite, Garber constructed a 20-foot wingspan version, using barrel staves sawed into thirds as ribs and covering them in red chintz fabric. Over several weekends, Garber made numerous towed take-offs and glides. These flights would eventually qualify him for membership into the Early Birds of Aviation, Inc. Between 1917 and 1918 Garber studied at the McKinley Technical School in Washington, D.C., and the University of Maryland, College Park. He also studied Aeronautical Engineering at the Research University, Washington, 1920-1921. He never received a degree from any institution he attended. Garber finished his teen years by joining the Army in 1918 and was about to begin flight training at College Park when World War I ended. Afterwards, he took a job as a ground crewman and messenger with the United States Post Office Department's Air Mail Service.
In 1920 Garber began his career with the Smithsonian Institution, starting as a "Preparator," dealing with the maintenance of exhibits. Advancing through the ranks, he was at various times an Aide, Assistant Curator, and Associate Curator. During World War II, Garber's talents in modeling and kite making allowed him to accept a commission in the U.S. Navy at the rank of Lt. Commander. His military target kites became an important part of gunnery training, serving as both targets and examples for identifying enemy aircraft. Following the ending of the war, Garber resigned at the rank of Commander and returned to the Smithsonian where, in 1952, he became the first Curator of the National Air Museum, which was created by act of Congress in 1946.
On 10 May 1952 Garber married Irene Tusch, daughter of the aeronautical enthusiast Mary E. "Mother" Tusch. Throughout the next decade plus, Garber received promotions to Head Curator and Senior Historian, serving in this last position until 1965. From 1965 to 1969, Garber was the Assistant Director of Aeronautics. Forced to retire by Federal law upon reaching the age of 70, Garber received the honorary lifetime titles of Historian Emeritus and Ramsey Fellow.
Garber wrote several books on aeronautics and flight: Building and Flying Model Aircraft. A Guide for Youthful Beginners in Aeronautics, 1920; We: The Story of Achievement in Aviation, 1929; Kites and Kite Flying, 1931; Flying in Safety, 1939; and Navy Target Kites, 1944. He wrote multiple editions on the National Aircraft/Aeronautical Collections (1941, 1949, 1956, and 1965), as well as numerous pamphlets, handbooks, encyclopedia entries, and articles on aviation-related subjects.
In addition to his writing and lecturing, he was the recipient of many awards and trophies, including: the Washington Air Derby Association Trophy, 1954; the Air Line Traffic Association Citation, 1955; the Frank G. Brewer Trophy for Youth Education, 1959; the Elder Statesman of Aviation Award, 1964; the Trasvolata Atlantica Medal from Italy, 1964; the Santos-Dumont Medal of Merit from Brazil, 1966; the Paul Tissandier Diplome from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (F.A.I.), 1968; the Smithsonian Institution's Gold Medal, 1969; the Order Rio Branco, 1969; the Mérito Aeronáutico Medal from Brazil, 1974; named an honorary pilot in the Brazilian Air Force, 1982; recipient of the Medalha Mérito Tamandaré of Brazil, 1983; named to the OX-5 Club's Aviation Hall of Fame, 1974; and received the Laskowitz Gold Medal from the New York Academy of Sciences, 1979. Garber was also made Honorary Naval Aviator #17 during the mid-1980's. He was a member of the National Aeronautics Association, the Air Mail Pioneers, the Early Birds of Aviation, Inc. (Secretary, 1956-1960; President 1968, 1976-77), the Connecticut Aeronautical Historical Society, the National Aviation Club, and the National Space Club.
Paul Garber died in his sleep at Arlington Hospital on 23 September 1992. His acquisition efforts and advocacy on behalf of the National Air and Space Museum continue to live on in the form of its rich aircraft collections. The National Air and Space Museum's Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility, formerly known as "Silver Hill," is named in his honor.
Paul Garber, Gift, 1991, NASM.1991.0063
No restrictions on access.
The Bowman Family Papers contain 1.28 cubic feet of material related to the aviation careers of Leslie (Les), Marguerite (Martie), and Larnie Bowman.
Scope and Contents:
The Bowman Family Papers contain: log books, licenses, and membership cards for Marguerite, Larnie, and Leslie Bowman; loose materials including maps, newspaper clippings from the 1930s, 1972 and 1985; and miscellaneous photographs, including two of Charles Lindbergh. Three scrapbooks at the end of the collection (1923-1931, 1932-1935, 1936-1987) include photographs (some autographed), personal and business correspondence, and newspaper clippings.
The Bowman Family Papers are arranged by content type.
Biographical / Historical:
Leslie (Les) and Marguerite (Martie) Bowman were married in October 1919 and had both learned to fly by 1925. Les, a mechanic, worked as an engineer and salesman for the Kinner Engine and Aircraft Company and was involved in both the production and testing of airplanes. Martie was a charter member of both the Ninety-Nines, a women pilots' association, and the National Air Race Association. She set women's speed records and swept three women's racing events on one day in 1938. Les and Martie both tried wing walking, as did their daughter, Larnie, at the age of eight. Larnie learned to fly by the time she was twelve. During World War II, the Bowmans ran one of five civilian schools for the training of Navy fighter pilots. Les and Martie retired from aviation after the conclusion of the war.
Mrs. M. Lorraine Allen, gift, 1991, NASM.1991.0042
No restrictions on access
This collection consists of the personal papers and memorabilia of Arthur Raymond Brooks. It includes photographs, correspondence, documents, and certificates relating to Brooks' aviation career, as well as personal correspondence, photographs, and diaries (1907-87).
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of the personal papers of Arthur Raymond Brooks. These papers relate to his military career with the U.S. Army Air Service (1917-22), his years in both civilian government service and the private sector (1923-60), as well as a lifetime's involvement in numerous military, academic, aeronautical, and professional associations and organizations. Additionally, there are examples of correspondence and autographed photographs from such aerospace notables as Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Billy Mitchell, Clayton Bissell, Reed Chambers, and Michael Collins.
The collection is arranged into two broad series. First, is the material relating to his professional life. This includes Brooks' official military documents (U.S. Army commission, discharge papers, etc.), correspondence, reports, photographs (mostly from his time spent as an Air Service officer in France and the U.S.), handbooks, manuals, brochures, programs, speeches, magazines, newsletters, newspaper clippings, and articles. The second series contains items pertaining mainly to his personal life. Included here are personal documents such as income tax receipts, last will and testament, correspondence, photographs (both largely from and of family and friends), diaries, biographical notes, transcripts from audio tape cassettes, logbooks, travel guides, and books. Miscellaneous materials retained by Brooks such as a commemorative medallion, prints, posters, publications, a stamp album, photograph albums, newspapers, and address books are also found in this series.
Brooks' papers are arranged both chronologically and alphabetically. Official military and personal documents, correspondence, reports, photographs, brochures, programs, newspaper clippings and articles, diaries and day timers, biographical notes, transcriptions, logbooks, travel guides, maps, atlases, timetables, and newspapers are organized by the former method. Handbooks, instructions, manuals, magazines, and newsletters are grouped alphabetically by title. The books are arranged alphabetically by author.
Series 1: Professional material
1.1 Official military documents
1.4 Handbooks, instructions, and manuals
1.10 Newspaper clippings and articles
Series 2: Personal materials
2.1 Personal documents
2.3 Diaries and day-timers
2.5 Biographical notes
2.8 Travel guides, maps, atlases, and train/airline timetables
2.10 Miscellaneous materials
2.11 Oversized materials
2.12 Posters, prints and maps
2.13 Newspapers and newspaper supplements
Arthur Raymond Brooks (1895-1991) was a fighter pilot for the U.S. Army Air Service during World War I and later, a civil aviation pioneer. Born in Framingham, Massachusetts on November 1, 1895, Brooks graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1917 with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrochemical engineering. In July of that year, he enlisted in the Aviation Section of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. His flight training was provided by the Royal Flying Corps' School of Military Aeronautics in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was then sent for further flight training to Fort Worth, Texas where he flew with the 139th Squadron, 2nd Pursuit Group. In March 1918, Brooks left for France and completed pursuit training at the 3rd Aviation Instruction Center, American Expeditionary Force (AEF), at Issoudun. The 139th was placed at the Vaucouleurs Aerodrome, Toul sector, where the squadron was equipped with SPAD VII aircraft. Brooks was eventually made its flight commander. By early August, he was assigned as flight commander of the 22nd Aero Squadron, 2nd Pursuit Group. His new squadron was supplied with SPAD XIII pursuit craft. Altogether, he flew 120 missions in four different aircraft. He named each of the aircraft Smith in honor of his fiancée (Ruth Connery) who was attending Smith College in Massachusetts. The final plane he flew in combat, the Smith IV, is on display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum.
On July 29, 1918, Brooks achieved his first confirmed aerial victory by downing a German Fokker aircraft. Later, he destroyed two more Fokkers while flying over enemy lines on September 14. On that day, Brooks single-handedly engaged eight enemy aircraft in combat thus, earning him the Distinguished Service Cross. By the war's end, he had six confirmed kills to his credit.
Following the armistice of November 11, 1918, Brooks remained in France as the 22nd Squadron's commanding officer. His squadron was kept in reserve for possible German occupation duty. Upon his return to the United States in July 1919, Brooks was promoted to Captain. He decided to stay in the Air Service and was subsequently assigned as commanding officer for the 95th Pursuit Squadron, stationed at Kelly Field, Texas. From May 1920 to August 1921, he was put in charge of the 1st Pursuit Group at Ellington Field, Texas. Following that assignment, Brooks attended Air Service Field Officer's School, Langley Field, Virginia. After graduation, he stayed on duty at Langley Field until his resignation from the U.S. Army Air Service in December 1922. This action was spurred both by Brooks' frustration with being on the Army's stagnant promotion list and an interest in entering the private sector. During 1920-21, while in the service, he was involved in a failed Framingham-based commercial aviation business called the Brooks, Banks and Smith Corporation. Also in 1920, Brooks married Ruth. Their only child, Peter, was born in 1929.
Brooks' first job after his honorable discharge from the Air Service was as secretary for the National Automobile Association during 1923-24. During 1924-25, he worked in advertising sales for the financial magazine, United States Investor. Once again, his desire to be engaged in commercial aviation compelled him to become involved in establishing and organizing the Florida Airways Corporation from late 1925 into 1926. In time, Florida Airways became Eastern Airways. Brooks left this financially struggling enterprise and joined the Department of Commerce's Aeronautics Branch in August 1926. For the next seventeen months, he worked as an airway extension superintendent and associate airways engineer. His main task with the Aeronautics Branch was to survey air routes and supervise the installation of beacons to assist air mail pilots navigate the Appalachian Mountains from Virginia to Pennsylvania. He left government service in early 1928 and was hired by Bell Telephone Laboratories. He spent the next few decades working as a scientist, engineer and chief pilot for the company at Hadley Field, New Jersey. There, Brooks and his staff conducted pioneering research on ground-to-air radiotelephone communications and electronic aviation navigation equipment. During much of this period, he piloted a Fairchild FC2-W Wasp and a Ford Tri-Motor that operated as flying laboratories for the team's communications research. He was Bell's publications manager for New Jersey operations at the time of his retirement in 1960.
Brooks stayed active in aviation for the remainder of his life. Even in his nineties, he enjoyed flying all sorts of aircraft, including ultralights, gliders and hot-air balloons. He belonged to many aviation-related and professional associations and organizations such as the American Legion, Military Order of the World Wars, Combat Pilots Association, Order of Daedalians, OX-5 Aviation Pioneers Association, Telephone Pioneers of America, Cross and Cockade, Associate Fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, Quiet Birdmen, WWI Overseas Flyers and the American Fighter Aces Association. Brooks also remained involved with the alumni affairs of his alma mater – MIT. He attended numerous air shows and reunions, including the sixty-fifth, and final reunion, held for the Lafayette Flying Corps in Paris, France in 1983. In 1980, he was inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey. Brooks lived long enough to see his Smith IV restored by the National Air and Space Museum during the 1980s. Brooks, the last surviving American World War I ace, died in Summit, New Jersey, on July 17, 1991.
Other materials: medals and memorabilia transferred to NASM Aeronautics Division.
A. Raymond Brooks, Gift, 1989, NASM.1989.0104
No restrictions on access
Arthur Raymond Brooks Collection, NASM.1989.0104, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Collection, Acc. 1992.0023, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.