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From Arroyo--Valley Near Los Angeles, (painting)

Painter:
Herzog, Hermann 1831-1932  Search this
Medium:
Oil on illustration board or cardboard
Type:
Paintings
Owner/Location:
University of California, Berkeley Bancroft Library Berkeley California 94720 Accession Number: 63.2.1373
Date:
1870s (?)
Topic:
Landscape--California--Los Angeles  Search this
Architecture exterior  Search this
Landscape--Mountain  Search this
Control number:
IAP 60540045
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_69648

Ed Ruscha and some Los Angeles apartments / Virginia Heckert

Author:
Heckert, Virginia  Search this
Ruscha, Edward  Search this
J. Paul Getty Museum  Search this
Subject:
Ruscha, Edward  Search this
Physical description:
87 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Pictorial works
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Date:
2013
©2013
Topic:
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Apartment houses  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1008093

Deadly times : the 1910 bombing of the Los Angeles Times and America's forgotten decade of terror / Lew Irwin

Author:
Irwin, Lew  Search this
Subject:
Los Angeles Times (Firm) History  Search this
International Association of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers History  Search this
Physical description:
xii, 355 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
California
Los Angeles
United States
Date:
2013
20th century
Topic:
Bombings--History  Search this
Labor unions--History  Search this
Trials (Murder)--History  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1008853

Natural history of the White-Inyo Range, eastern California and western Nevada, and high altitude physiology : University of California, White Mountain Research Station symposium / edited by Clarence A. Hall, Jr. and Donna J. Young ; layout and illustrations by David M. Lee

Author:
Hall, Clarence A  Search this
Young, Donna J  Search this
White Mountain Research Station (University of California, Los Angeles) Symposium (1st : 1985)  Search this
Physical description:
vii leaves, 240 p., [1] leaf of plates : ill. (1 col.), maps ; 28 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
White Mountains (Calif. and Nev.)
California
Inyo Mountains
Great Basin
Date:
1986
Topic:
Natural history--Congresses  Search this
Altitude, Influence of--Congresses  Search this
Mountain ecology--Congresses  Search this
Call number:
QH104.5.G68 N28 1986
QH104.5.G68N28 1986
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_336470

The Brockman Gallery and the village / Lizzetta LeFalle-Collins

Author:
LeFalle-Collins, Lizzetta  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Subject:
Davis, Alonzo  Search this
Davis, Dale B. 1945-  Search this
Brockman Gallery  Search this
Type:
Articles
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Date:
2012
Topic:
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Call number:
NX1 .N737
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1014237

African art in the Fowler Museum at UCLA : collections and research, exhibitions and the public / Marla C. Berns, Mary Nooter Roberts, and Doran H. Ross

Author:
Berns, Marla  Search this
Roberts, Mary Nooter  Search this
Ross, Doran H  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Subject:
Wellcome, Henry S (Henry Solomon) Sir 1853-1936 Art collections  Search this
Fowler Museum at UCLA  Search this
Type:
Articles
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Date:
2011
Topic:
Art, African  Search this
African art collections  Search this
Call number:
N7380.5 .R47 2011
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_973566

Lines and cracks and zebras and horses / Michael Genovese ; [essay by Shamim Momin]

Author:
Genovese, Michael  Search this
OHWOW Gallery  Search this
Author of added text:
Momin, Shamim 1973-  Search this
Subject:
Genovese, Michael  Search this
Physical description:
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations ; 22 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
2013
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1012646

Storm Clouds, Berkshires, (painting)

Painter:
Inness, George 1825-1894  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Type:
Paintings
Owner/Location:
University of Southern California Fisher Gallery Los Angeles California 90007
Date:
1847
Topic:
Landscape--Weather--Storm  Search this
Landscape--Mountain--Berkshires  Search this
Landscape--Massachusetts  Search this
Animal--Cattle  Search this
Figure female  Search this
Control number:
IAP 70020191
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_126630

James A. McGrath papers

Creator:
McGrath, James A.  Search this
Names:
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Wiley, William T., 1937-  Search this
Extent:
5.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Poems
Prints
Postcards
Paintings
Sketches
Illustrated letters
Christmas cards
Photographs
Date:
1950-2011
Summary:
The papers of arts educator James A. McGrath measure 5.3 linear feet and date from 1950-2011. Included are McGrath's papers concerning his artist's residencies and workshops for the United States Information Agency (USIA) in the Yemen Republic, Saudi Arabia, and the Republic of the Congo, 1990-1995. Also found are McGrath's papers concerning artist William Wiley. These papers date from Wiley's high school days and includes correspondence, writings, student files, printed materials, photographs, and artwork. Letters from Wiley to McGrath span several decades and provide details about his artwork, family, and travels.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of arts educator James A. McGrath measure 5.3 linear feet and date from 1950-2011. Included are McGrath's papers concerning his artist's residencies and workshops for the United States Information Agency (USIA) in the Yemen Republic, Saudi Arabia, and the Republic of the Congo, 1990-1995. Also found are McGrath's papers concerning artist William Wiley. These papers date from Wiley's high school days and includes correspondence, writings, student files, printed materials, photographs, and artwork. Letters from Wiley to McGrath span several decades and provide details about his artwork, family, and travels.

James McGrath's papers regarding his artist's residencies and workshops are currently unprocessed.

Wiley's high school student files consist of exams and two Columbia High School yearbooks with contributions from Wiley. Correspondence includes mostly letters written from Wiley to McGrath, some of which are illustrated. There are also Christmas cards, postcards, prints and a wedding invitation and photograph of Wiley and his wife Mary. Wiley writes about his artwork, family, travels and his mother's death. There are also letters to McGrath from Wiley's first and second wives, Dorothy and Mary, his mother, and artists Robert Rauschenberg and Mark Tobey.

Printed materials include exhibition catalogs and announcements, news and magazine clippings, and the books Distraction, Lyrica and Almost Old/New Poems, all illustrated by Wiley.

Artwork by Wiley includes block prints, sketches and drawings, poems, paintings, prints and posters. Photographs are of Wiley's high school yearbook staff, art work and exhibitions, and a dinner honoring Wiley. There is a signed high school photograph of Wiley and a booklet of photographs of an exhibition of McGrath's art. There are also slides of artwork by Wiley, Bob Hudson and Bill Allan.
Arrangement:
The papers are arranged as 2 series.

Series 1: James A. McGrath Papers Concerning William T. Wiley (Box 1-3, OVs 4-6; 2.0 linear feet)

Series 2: Unprocessed James A. McGrath Papers, circa 1990-1995 (Boxes 7-9, OVs 10-12)
Biographical Note:
Arts educator James A. McGrath was a high school art teacher at Columbia High School in Richland, Washington where he taught William T. Wiley in the mid-1950s. They remained life-long friends. Later, McGrath worked at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe as Director of Arts, Professor of Painting, and Dean. In 1973 he became Director of Arts, Humanities and Culture in the Department of Defense and was stationed in Japan, Korea, Okinawa, Taiwan and the Philippines. He also worked for the United States Information Agency in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the Republic of the Congo. He continues to be active as an arts education specialist.

William T. Wiley (b. 1937)is a contemporary artist painting and teaching primarily in the San Francisco area. His artwork is associated with the Bay area Funk Movement. Wiley studied at the California School of Fine Arts and completed his MFA in 1962. One year later he joined the faculty of the UC Davis art department along with artists Robert Arneson and Roy DeForest. Wiley's students included Bruce Nauman and Deborah Butterfield.

Wiley's first solo exhibition was held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1960, and he had works in the Venice Biennial (1980) and Whitney Biennial (1983), as well as major exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco. His artwork is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among many others. Wiley was the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship Award in 2004 and, in 2009, the Smithsonian American Art Museum presented a retrospective exhibition of Wiley's career.
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds several collections related to William T. Wiley including an oral history interview conducted by Paul J. Karlstrom, October 8-November 20, 1997 and the William T. Wiley illustrated journals on microfilm reel 910. The University of Washington also holds papers of James A. McGrath.
Separated Material:
Six Documenta catalogs, originally donated to AAA with the James A. McGrath Papers Concerning William T. Wiley, were transferred to the Smithsonian Institution Libraries.
Provenance:
The papers were donated by James A. McGrath in five accessions between 2010-2015.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The James A. McGrath 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:
Sculptors -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Performance artists -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Painters -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Illustrators -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Poems
Prints
Postcards
Paintings
Sketches
Illustrated letters
Christmas cards
Photographs
Citation:
James A. McGrath papers, 1950-2011. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.mcgrjame
See more items in:
James A. McGrath papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mcgrjame

OBPC 2016: John Valadez Juror Interview

Creator:
National Portrait Gallery  Search this
Type:
Youtube videos
Uploaded:
2016-05-18T16:17:21.000Z
Topic:
Portraits  Search this
Youtube Category:
Education  Search this
See more by:
NatlPortraitGallery
YouTube Channel:
NatlPortraitGallery
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_PVCXnImLNns

OBPC 2016: Helen Molesworth Juror Interview

Creator:
National Portrait Gallery  Search this
Type:
Youtube videos
Uploaded:
2016-05-18T16:17:04.000Z
Topic:
Portraits  Search this
Youtube Category:
Education  Search this
See more by:
NatlPortraitGallery
YouTube Channel:
NatlPortraitGallery
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_hK_gwaawxgQ

Kate Steinitz papers

Creator:
Steinitz, Kate Traumann, 1889-1975  Search this
Names:
Bauhaus  Search this
Berlinische Galerie  Search this
Elmer Belt Library of Vinciana  Search this
Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg  Search this
San Francisco Museum of Art  Search this
Berg, Ilse  Search this
Chagall, Marc, 1887-  Search this
Gabo, Naum, 1890-1977  Search this
Graeff, Werner, 1901-1978  Search this
Grosz, George, 1893-1959  Search this
Höch, Hannah, 1889-1978  Search this
Leonardo, da Vinci, 1452-1519  Search this
Lissitzky, El, 1890-1941  Search this
Mondrian, Piet, 1872-1944  Search this
Nebel, Otto, 1892-1973  Search this
Schwitters, Kurt, 1887-1948  Search this
van Biema, Carrie  Search this
Extent:
4.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Manuscripts
Journals (accounts)
Collages
Paintings
Greeting cards
Visitors' books
Travel diaries
Date:
circa 1910-2002
Summary:
The papers of artist, collector, librarian, and scholar Kate Steinitz measure 4.3 linear feet and date from circa 1910 to 2002. The collection documents Steinitz's life and career in Germany and the United States through biographical material; correspondence; writings, including manuscripts and travel diaries; exhibition files; personal business records; printed material; travel scrapbooks; artwork; and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of artist, collector, librarian, and scholar Kate Steinitz measure 4.3 linear feet and date from circa 1910 to 2002. The collection documents Steinitz's life and career in Germany and the United States through biographical material; correspondence; writings, including manuscripts and travel diaries; exhibition files; personal business records; printed material; travel scrapbooks; artwork; and photographs.

Biographical material consists of life and travel documents, various membership cards, news clippings, and memorial cards. Also included are letters of recommendation, a resume, and an award from the president of Germany.

Correspondence is with friends, family, colleagues, and various organizations. Artists represented include Carrie van Biema, El Lissitzky, Piet Mondrian, and others. Correspondence with arts organizations include San Francisco Museum of Art, Berlinische Galerie, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, and others.

Published writings by Steinitz include articles, books, and book reviews. Unpublished writings include two travel diaries and an illustrated journal, an autobiographical essay with a sketch of the Traumann family tree, manuscripts, lectures, poems, and notes. Writings by others include a guest register with sketches and comments by visitors, a memorial speech, biographical essays, and miscellaneous notes.

Steinitz's professional activities during her career as a librarian and curator of the Elmer Belt Library of Vinciana are documented through published articles and books, informal reports, correspondence, scrapbooks, sketches, and photographs.

Files pertaining to exhibitions of Steinitz's artwork and collection are documented through three exhibition catalogs, correspondence, inventories, photographs, and printed ephemera. Materials related to the Schwitters-Steinitz Collection, which was compiled by Steinitz and is available at the National Gallery of Art Library in Washington, D.C., include a finding aid and photocopies documenting the exhibition Collaborative Works by Kate Steinitz and Kurt Schwitters from the Schwitters-Steinitz Collection (1994).

Personal business records include an appraisal of Steinitz's art and book collection. Documents pertaining to Steinitz's publishing activities include sales agreements and legal services rendered for the book Kurt Schwitters: A Portrait from Life (1968) written by Steinitz and contracts with Whitman Publishing Company for a children's book by Tom Seidmann-Freud.

Printed material consists of published illustrations and stationary by Steinitz; clippings about Steinitz, Kurt Schwitters, and others; reproductions of artwork; and miscellaneous invitations and announcements. Also found are three children's books written and illustrated by Tom Seidmann-Freud and a book of poems with an illustrated book jacket by Joachin Ringelnatz.

Steinitz's personal and professional trips to Europe are documented through six travel scrapbooks which include sketches, photographs, notes, and printed ephemera such as postcards, receipts, and maps.

Artwork by Steinitz consists of travel sketches and a mock-up sketch for the book Manuscripts of Leonardo da Vinci: Their History, With a Description of the Manuscript Editions in Facsimile (1948). Artwork by others includes miscellaneous sketches, prints, and paintings. Of note are greeting cards with prints by Werner Graeff and a collage by Otto Nebel.

Photographs and negatives consist of portraits and snapshots of Steinitz as well as family, friends, and artists. Photographs by Steinitz include a self-portrait and images of artists, artwork, and Bauhaus architecture. Photographs of Steinitz's apartments in Los Angeles include images of a Man Ray table that was given to Jake Zeitlin. Artists represented include Piet Mondrian, Naum Gabo, Kurt Schwitters, Hannah Höch, El Lissitzky, Marc Chagall, George Grosz, and others.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 10 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1915-1976 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1922-1998 (Boxes 1-2; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, 1921-2002 (Box 2; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 4: Elmer Belt Library of Vinciana, 1948-1989 (Boxes 2-3; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 5: Exhibition Files, 1939-2001 (Box 3; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Personal Business Records, 1938-1993 (Box 3; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1913-2002 (Boxes 3-5; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 8: Travel Scrapbooks, 1966-1974 (Box 4; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 9: Artwork, circa 1928-1974 ( Boxes 4-5; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 10: Photographic Material, circa 1910-1979 (Boxes 4-5; 0.3 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Kate Steinitz (1889-1975) was an artist, collector, librarian, and scholar who worked in Berlin and Hanover, Germany and Los Angeles, California. Steinitz was born in Beuthen, Silesia, Germany, (now Poland) to Arnold and Magdelena Traumann; the family relocated to Berlin in 1899. From 1908 to 1911, Steinitz studied drawing and painting under Käthe Kollwitz and Lovis Corinth and attended lectures by art historian, Heinrich Wölfflin. While visiting Paris with her mother in 1912, Steinitz continued her studies at the Sorbonne and Académie de la Grande Chaumière.

Steinitz married physician, Ernst Steinitz in 1913. The couple had three daughters including Ilse, Lotti, and Beate. In 1917, the family moved to Hanover, Germany. Over the next 17 years, the Steinitz household served as a salon for visiting artists including Naum Gabo, Hannah Höch, El Lissitzky, and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. Visitors' notes and drawings from this era are documented in Steinitz's guestbook, Zu Gast bei Kate Steinitz, published by Galerie Gmurzynska in 1977.

Steinitz was most active as a fine artist while living in Hanover. Her paintings under glass were first exhibited in 1921 at Herbert von Garvens' gallery. Steinitz had her first solo exhibition in 1922 at the Gurlitt Gallery in Berlin. In 1926, her work was included in the International Exhibition of Modern Art at the Brooklyn Museum in New York.

Steinitz also collected art and her collection included artworks by El Lissitzky, Kurt Schwitters, László Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Auguste Rodin, Otto Nebel, Franz Marc, and others. In 1925, she collaborated with German artist Kurt Schwitters and Dutch artist Theo van Doesburg on Die Scheuche Märchen, a typographic children's book published by Aposs and Merz Verlag. Steinitz and Schwitters also collaborated on Der Zusammenstoss, an opera libretto. Steinitz compiled an archival collection documenting Schwitters' life and career which was later acquired by the National Gallery of Art Library in Washington, D.C. in 1976.

As a journalist, Steinitz wrote about art and lifestyle topics for newspapers and magazines in Hanover and Berlin. Growing Nazi influences caused the family to leave Germany for New York City in 1936. As Chairman of the Art Committee of Friendship House, a cultural organization for refugees, Steinitz organized the New Americans (1939-1940) exhibition of paintings, drawings, and sculpture by European refugees at the World's Fair in New York.

After finalizing her U.S. citizenship in 1944, Steinitz relocated to Los Angeles where she resided for the remainder of her life. From 1945 to 1961, she served as a librarian for Elmer Belt's Leonardo da Vinci library. When Belt donated the library to the University of California, Los Angeles in 1961, Steinitz was named honorary curator of the Elmer Belt Library of Vinciana. In 1969, Steinitz's literary contributions on Leonardo da Vinci earned her an invitation to deliver the lecture for the IX Lettura Vinciana in Venice, Italy.

The biographical information included here draws upon the following sources: Wilson Library Bulletin, Vol. 45 (1970) and Kate Steinitz: Art into Life into Art, exhibition catalog, Severin Wunderman Museum (1994).
Related Materials:
Kate Steinitz compiled a collection of archival materials about German artist and writer Kurt Schwitters and donated the materials to the National Gallery of Art Library located in Washington, D.C.
Provenance:
The Kate Steinitz papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 1999 by Ilse Berg, daughter of Kate Steinitz.
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 Kate Steinitz 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.
Occupation:
Librarians -- Germany  Search this
Art historians -- Germany  Search this
Librarians -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Illustrators -- Germany  Search this
Illustrators -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Curators -- Germany  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Private collections  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Art historians -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Curators -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Germany  Search this
Dadaism  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Manuscripts
Journals (accounts)
Collages
Paintings
Greeting cards
Visitors' books
Travel diaries
Citation:
Kate Steinitz papers, circa 1910-2002. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.steikate
See more items in:
Kate Steinitz papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-steikate
Additional Online Media:

Charles M. Kurtz papers

Creator:
Kurtz, Charles M. (Charles McMeen), 1855-1909  Search this
Names:
Albright Art Gallery (Buffalo, N.Y.)  Search this
American Art Association  Search this
Buffalo Fine Arts Academy  Search this
Exposition universelle internationale de 1900 (Paris, France)  Search this
Louisiana Purchase Exposition (1904: Saint Louis, Mo.)  Search this
National Academy of Design (U.S.)  Search this
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts  Search this
Saint Louis Exposition and Music Hall Association (1883-1902 : Saint Louis, Mo.)  Search this
Southern Exposition (1885 : Louisville, Ky.)  Search this
World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893  Search this
Starkweather family  Search this
Abbey, Edwin Austin, 1852-1911  Search this
Avery, Samuel Putnam, 1822-1904  Search this
Cesnola, Luigi Palma di, 1832-1904  Search this
Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931  Search this
Hallowell, Sara  Search this
Hambidge, Jay, 1867-1924  Search this
Hasbrouck, Du Bois Fenelon, b.1860  Search this
Irwin, Benoni, 1840-1896  Search this
Ives, Halsey Cooley, 1847-1911  Search this
Kurtz, Davis Brook Kurtz, 1826-1906  Search this
Kurtz, Julia Stephenson  Search this
Reid, Alexander  Search this
Rhodes, Charles Ward, d. 1905  Search this
Richardson, Mary Curtis, 1848-1931  Search this
Sedelmeyer, Charles  Search this
Thum, Patty P., 1853-1926  Search this
Wanamaker, John, 1838-1922  Search this
Wickenden, Robert J.  Search this
Photographer:
Pluschow, Guglielmo  Search this
Extent:
27.74 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Menus
Photographs
Lithographs
Etchings
Address books
Engravings
Visiting cards
Diaries
Photogravures
Tempera paintings
Oil paintings
Sketches
Date:
1843-1990
bulk 1884-1909
Summary:
The papers of arts administrator, museum director, collector, dealer, and editor Charles M. Kurtz (1855-1909), measure 27.74 linear feet and date from 1843-1990 (bulk dates 1884-1909). The bulk of the collection consists of detailed chronological correspondence between Kurtz and his wife and family, friends, colleagues, and business associates that documents many notable exhibitions, galleries, museums, private collections, as well as cities, people, and events of the period. Also found in the collection are Kurtz's diaries, scrapbooks, printed materials, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The Charles M. Kurtz papers measure 27.74 linear feet and date from 1843 to 1990 with the bulk of the material dating from 1884 to 1909. The bulk of the collection consists of chronological correspondence between Kurtz and his family, most notably his wife, friends, colleagues, and business associates. Kurtz's letters are amazingly detailed and document many notable exhibitions, galleries, museums, private collections, as well as cities, people, and events of the period. The letters between Kurtz and his wife are most interesting for their descriptive commentary on late 19th century life and offer a complete picture of Kurtz's activities. Many of Kurtz's letters to Halsey C. Ives can be found in the Halsey C. Ives Papers. Some of the letters in the collection are illustrated. Also found in the collection are Kurtz's diaries, scrapbooks, printed materials, and photographs.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into twelve series.

Series 1: Biographical Information, 1885-1931, undated

Series 2: Correspondence, 1843-1940, undated

Series 3: Circulars/Requests for Submissions of Works of Art, 1886-1905

Series 4: Legal Records, 1881-1928

Series 5: Financial Records, 1870-1989, undated

Series 6: Diaries, 1894-1901

Series 7: Notes and Writings, 1872-1980, undated

Series 8: Scrapbooks, 1878-1909

Series 9: Printed Material, 1873-1990, undated

Series 10: Photographs, 1898-1990

Series 11: Photographs of Works of Art, undated

Series 12: Miscellany, undated
Biographical Note:
Charles M. Kurtz's name is known to many scholars and students of American art history. To some he is important for his critical writings, others are interested in his management of exhibitions for the Art Union and the American Art Association. Many are aware of him because of his publication of National Academy Notes, which continued for nine years. Still others are familiar with Kurtz in his role as an art administrator for late 19th century art exhibitions like those at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago and the St. Louis Fair, or for his accomplishments as the first director of the Albright Gallery in Buffalo, New York. Sometimes researchers have become familiar with his name through the sale catalogue for his considerable collection, which was sold at auction after his death in 1909. His career, which encompassed the last quarter of the nineteenth century and the first decade of the twentieth century, touched on virtually every aspect of art in America during that period.

Born in 1853 to Davis Brook Kurtz (1826-1906), an attorney, and Julia Wilder, Charles Kurtz enjoyed a genteel upbringing. The Kurtz family originated in Darmstadt, Germany, and migrated to America in the eighteenth century. D.B. Kurtz, a leading member of the Lawrence County bar, was also a vice-president of the National Bank of Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. As a local representative of many important railroad and business interests, he accumulated assets estimated at one million dollars by the time of his death, just three years before that of his son, Charles, the eldest of his five children. Unlike his brothers Louis, who also became an attorney, and Edward, a professor at Columbia University, Charles eschewed a professional career to enter the art world, as did his sisters Emily, an artist, and Catherine, a musician.

After his graduation from Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania, Kurtz visited the Centennial Exposition, held in 1876 in Philadelphia, before coming to New York to study art at the National Academy of Design. These two activities foreshadowed the direction that his career would eventually take. As the chronology indicates, his early efforts revolve around writing for a variety of publications, most notably, his own National Academy Notes. In 1881 he took what was to be the first of many trips abroad to survey the art scene in Europe. Later in his career, his fascination with foreign art and his own entrepeneurial interests led him to become an outspoken opponent of tariffs on imported art.

Kurtz's personal life changed significantly in 1884 when he met Julia Stephenson, a physician's daughter and fledging art student from Harrodsburg, Kentucky. Throughout their courtship and after their marriage the couple was frequently separated. Consequently, they wrote lengthy letters which document not only their personal relationship but also Kurtz's aspirations and activities in the art world.

With his appointment as one of Halsey C. Ives's (1847-1911) chief assistants of the Fine Arts Department of the World's Columbian Exposition in 1891, Charles Kurtz's career achieved international stature. Among the most notable European artists he introduced into this country through circulating exhibitions were the Glasgow School, the Danish School, the Hungarian artist, Mihaly Munkacsy, and the subject of his final exhibition, the Spanish artist, Sorolla.

Throughout his life, Kurtz was plagued by health problems and, in 1899, illness forced him to resign as Assistant Director of Fine Arts for the United States for the Paris Exposition of 1900. Throughout the following decade, his work was increasingly interrupted by ill health. His death in 1909 at the age of 54, while sudden, was not entirely unexpected. However it most certainly cut short a cosmopolitan career that encompassed virtually every aspect of the art world and the pertinent issues of the day.

Kurtz is remembered for his editorial work with the National Academy of Design; as Art Director for the Southern Exposition, 1883-1886, and the St. Louis Exposition, 1894-1899 (where he introduced the Glasgow School of Painting); and as Assistant Chief/Director for the World's Columbian Exposition, the 1900 Paris Exposition, and the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition. He was also director of the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy.

1855 -- Charles McMeen Kurtz born

1876 -- receives B.S. degree from Washington and Jefferson College, Washington, Pennsylvania

1876-78 -- studies at the National Academy of Design, N.Y. with Lemuel Wilmarth and William Morgan; writes a column, "New York Letters," for The Courant published in New Castle, Pennsylvania

1878 -- edits a small daily paper published during a "National Camp Meeting for the promotion of Holiness" held that summer in New Castle, Pa.; its critical stance resulted in his public denouncement and earned him a reputation as a journalist in western Pennsylvania; receives M.A. from Washington and Jefferson College

1878-79 -- becomes the local editor of The Guardian of New Castle

1879 -- publishes The Daily Reporter, a financial success

1881 -- publishes the first issue of National Academy Notes; travels in Europe, spending time in England, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France (Paris)

1881-82 -- prepares Illustrated Notes for Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition

1882 -- writes "Art Notes" in The New York Tribune and resigns Dec. 23rd

1882-83 -- accepts position to write for Music and Drama, a new daily paper

1883 -- becomes the general manager of the American Art Union; exhibits a large collection of Art Union paintings in Buffalo, N.Y. and Louisville, Ky., where they became part of the Southern Exposition's first great art display

1883-86 -- accepts offer to become Director of the Art Department, Southern Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky

1884 -- edits Art Union magazine until December; applies for position to head the Art Department of the New Orleans World's Fair in September

1884-86 -- accepts a position offered by the American Art Association; terminates uncongenial relationship in March, 1886

1885 -- writes catalogues for the sale of the George Seney Collection and for the Watts exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; October 1, marries Julia Stephenson (1861-1931), daughter of Dr. A. T. Stephenson of Harrodsburg, Kentucky; they had two daughters who survived them: Julia Wilder Kurtz (1889-1977), and Isabella Starkweather Kurtz (1901-1991); another daughter, Elizabeth Stephenson Kurtz (1886-1897), predeceased them

1886 -- terminates employment with the Art Association; daughter, Elizabeth Stephenson Kurtz, born

1886-87 -- manages the circulation of Mihaly Munkacsy's Christ Before Pilot for Charles Sedelmeyer to American venues: New York, Boston, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Nashville, Phildelphia, Indianapolis; tour generates $90,000 in ticket receipts

1889-91 -- February 24, appointed art critic ("Art Notes") and book reviewer for New York Daily Star; later literary and art editor of the Sunday Star

1890 -- writes for the Sunday edition The Press, a New York paper

1891 -- writes for The World; art editor for The New York Recorder; contributes to the New York Truth

1891-93 -- contributes to Chicago Evening Post ; writes artist biographies for The Chicago Graphic, a regional magazine; appointed Assistant Chief of the Department of Fine Arts of the World's Columbian Exposition

1894 -- contributes column, "Art at the Exposition" to St. Louis Life

1895 -- tours Denmark, Scotland, and France during the summer on behalf of the St. Louis Exposition

1894-99 -- appointed Director of the Art Department of the St. Louis Annual Exposition

1896 -- elected member of The Japan Society, London

1897 -- daughter, Elizabeth (Daisy), dies

1898 -- receives a diploma and medal "in recognition of valuable services in connection with the Fine Arts Exhibit" from the directors of the Trans-Mississippi International Exposition, Omaha

1899 -- appointed Assistant Director of Fine Arts for the United States Commission to the Paris Exposition of 1900; resigned in July due to ill health

1901-04 -- appointed Assistant Chief of the Department of Art of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, August

1901 -- daughter, Isabella Starkweather Kurtz, born

1902 -- receives honorary Ph.D from Washington and Jefferson College "in recognition of distinguished ability and services as an art critic and writer"

1905 -- receives the cross of the Order of Merit from Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria; appointed Director, Buffalo Fine Arts Academy and Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, in January; exhibits Glasgow paintings at Albright Art Gallery from November until the following April

1906 -- writes Academy Notes, a bulletin pubished by the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy and the Albright Art Gallery; father, D.B. Kurtz, dies in Newcastle, Pennsylvania

1907 -- accused of importing German pictures free of duty for exhibition purposes and then selling some for profit

1908 -- Honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree conferred by Washington and Jefferson College

1909 -- Charles M. Kurtz dies in Buffalo, New York on March 21

1910 -- Sale of the private collection of Charles M. Kurtz at auction, Fifth Avenue Art Galleries, February 24-25

1931 -- Widow, Julia Stephenson Kurtz dies October 30

1977 -- Daughter, Julia Wilder Kurtz, dies

1991 -- Daughter, Isabel Starkweather Kurtz, dies in Buffalo, N.Y.; remaining Charles M. Kurtz Papers bequeathed to the Archives of American Art and the National Academy of Design, New York
Related Material:
The St. Louis Exposition/Halsey C. Ives papers in the Archives of American Art contain material relating to Charles M. Kurtz.

Additional Charles Kurtz papers, 1870-1910, including 340 letters which discuss exhibitions, sales of art, patronage, atelier visits, and submissions to publications, and letters to his parents in which he discsses the art market and art world new; as well as manuscripts, notebooks, a diary, and printed ephemera relating to exhibitions and publications, are available at the Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Los Angeles, California.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reel 4912) including Charles Kurtz's Glasgow painting diary. The loaned diary was returned to the lender and can now be found at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut. This material is not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
For many years, the Kurtz Papers were thought to have been destroyed in a fire. Isabel Kurtz, a school teacher who lived with her older sister in Buffalo, New York, was vague when initially approached about her father's papers by Archives Regional Director, Robert Brown in the mid-1980s. However upon her death in 1991, her will revealed that the papers were indeed in her house in Buffalo and the bulk of them were bequeathed to the Archives of American Art. Paintings and a diary relating to the Glasgow School were given to the Yale Center for British Art. That diary has subsequently been duplicated on microfilm and is now also available in the Archives. Scorch marks on some of the papers and also on the paintings given to Yale suggest that there was indeed a fire. The material that was not bequeathed to the Archives included duplicates of printed documents along with books from the Kurtz library and a coin collection, all of which were dispersed in an estate auction that was held in Buffalo in 1991.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Patrons must use microfilm copy.
Rights:
With the exception of material filmed on Reel 4912 the Charles M. Kurtz 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. Permission from Yale University is required to quote, publish or reproduce from papers filmed on Reel 4912.
Topic:
Works of art  Search this
Editors -- United States  Search this
Glasgow school of painting  Search this
Exhibitions -- United States  Search this
Art, Scottish  Search this
Art -- Private collections  Search this
Art criticism  Search this
Art museums -- Buffalo (N.Y.)  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Art critics -- United States  Search this
Museum directors -- New York (State) -- Buffalo  Search this
Arts administrators -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Menus
Photographs
Lithographs
Etchings
Address books
Engravings
Visiting cards
Diaries
Photogravures
Tempera paintings
Oil paintings
Sketches
Citation:
Charles M. Kurtz papers, 1843-1990 (bulk 1884-1909). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kurtchar
See more items in:
Charles M. Kurtz papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kurtchar
Additional Online Media:

Josephine Baker

Artist:
Marcos Cotti Lorango Jr., born 1935  Search this
Copy after:
Armando Hernandez  Search this
Sitter:
Josephine Baker, 3 Jun 1906 - 12 Apr 1975  Search this
Medium:
Graphite on paper
Dimensions:
Sheet: 41.7 × 34 cm (16 7/16 × 13 3/8")
Type:
Drawing
Place:
United States\California\Los Angeles\Los Angeles
Date:
1952
Topic:
Illustration\Costume illustration  Search this
Josephine Baker: Female  Search this
Josephine Baker: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer  Search this
Josephine Baker: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
Josephine Baker: Performing Arts\Performer\Dancer  Search this
Josephine Baker: Legion of Honor  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Bequest of Jean-Claude Baker
Object number:
NPG.2016.46.B
Restrictions & Rights:
© Marcos Cotti Lorango Jr.
See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_NPG.2016.46.B

Mural Study #4:

Artist:
John Decker, 1895 - 1947  Search this
Sitter:
Bob Hope, 29 May 1903 - 27 Jul 2003  Search this
Joe E. Brown, 28 Jul 1892 - 6 Jul 1973  Search this
Charles Winninger, 1884 - 1969  Search this
Charles Boyer, 28 Aug 1897 - 26 Aug 1978  Search this
Greta Garbo, 18 Sep 1905 - 15 Apr 1990  Search this
Clark Gable, 1 Feb 1901 - 16 Nov 1960  Search this
Shirley Temple, 23 Apr 1928 - 10 Feb 2014  Search this
Humphrey Bogart, 25 Dec 1899 - 14 Jan 1957  Search this
William Claude Fields, 29 Jan 1880 - 25 Dec 1946  Search this
Mae West, 17 Aug 1893 - 22 Nov 1980  Search this
Roland Keith Young, 1887 - 1953  Search this
Medium:
Crayon, gouache, graphite and ink on illustration board
Dimensions:
Image: 20cm x 51cm (7 7/8" x 20 1/16")
Type:
Drawing
Place:
United States\California\Los Angeles\Los Angeles
Date:
c. 1941
Topic:
Nature & Environment\Clouds  Search this
Exterior\Landscape  Search this
Costume\Dress Accessory\Flower  Search this
Equipment\Walking stick\Cane  Search this
Costume\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses\Pince-nez  Search this
Equipment\Smoking Implements\Cigarette  Search this
Costume\Headgear\Hat\Top hat  Search this
Caricature  Search this
Costume\Headgear\Hat\Plumed  Search this
Costume\Dress Accessory\Tie\Bowtie  Search this
Weapon\Gun\Pistol  Search this
Costume\Headgear\Hat\Cap\Yachting cap  Search this
Symbols & Motifs\Putti  Search this
Roland Keith Young: Visual Arts\Artist  Search this
Roland Keith Young: Male  Search this
Roland Keith Young: Performing Arts\Performer\Comedian  Search this
Humphrey Bogart: Male  Search this
Humphrey Bogart: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
Humphrey Bogart: Oscar  Search this
Clark Gable: Male  Search this
Clark Gable: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Theater  Search this
Clark Gable: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
Clark Gable: Oscar  Search this
Joe E. Brown: Male  Search this
Joe E. Brown: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Theater  Search this
Joe E. Brown: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
Joe E. Brown: Performing Arts\Performer\Vaudeville  Search this
Charles Boyer: Male  Search this
Charles Boyer: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
Charles Boyer: Oscar  Search this
Shirley Temple: Female  Search this
Shirley Temple: Politics and Government\Diplomat\Ambassador  Search this
Shirley Temple: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
Shirley Temple: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Television  Search this
Shirley Temple: Performing Arts\Performer\Dancer  Search this
Shirley Temple: Health and Medicine\Philanthropist  Search this
Shirley Temple: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Child  Search this
Shirley Temple: Oscar  Search this
Mae West: Female  Search this
Mae West: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Theater  Search this
Mae West: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
Mae West: Literature\Writer\Playwright  Search this
Mae West: Performing Arts\Performer\Vaudeville  Search this
Greta Garbo: Female  Search this
Greta Garbo: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
Greta Garbo: Oscar  Search this
Bob Hope: Male  Search this
Bob Hope: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
Bob Hope: Performing Arts\Performer\Comedian  Search this
Bob Hope: Performing Arts\Performer\Television Personality  Search this
Bob Hope: Performing Arts\Performer\Entertainer  Search this
Bob Hope: Oscar  Search this
Bob Hope: Presidential Medal of Freedom  Search this
Bob Hope: Congressional Gold Medal  Search this
Charles Winninger: Male  Search this
Charles Winninger: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor  Search this
William Claude Fields: Male  Search this
William Claude Fields: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Theater  Search this
William Claude Fields: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
William Claude Fields: Performing Arts\Performer\Comedian  Search this
William Claude Fields: Performing Arts\Performer\Entertainer\Radio  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.93.376
See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_NPG.93.376

Mural Study #3:

Artist:
John Decker, 1895 - 1947  Search this
Sitter:
Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin, 16 Apr 1889 - 25 Dec 1977  Search this
Jackie Coogan, 26 Oct 1914 - 1 Mar 1984  Search this
John Barrymore, 15 Feb 1882 - 29 May 1942  Search this
Will Rogers, 4 Nov 1879 - 15 Aug 1935  Search this
Colleen Moore, 1902 - 1988  Search this
Chester Morris, 1901 - 1970  Search this
Roderick La Rocque, 1896 - 1969  Search this
Nita Naldi, 1899 - 1961  Search this
Medium:
Crayon, gouache, graphite and ink on illustration board
Dimensions:
Image: 16.8cm x 49.5cm (6 5/8" x 19 1/2")
Board: 22.5cm x 51cm (8 7/8" x 20 1/16")
Type:
Drawing
Place:
United States\California\Los Angeles\Los Angeles
Date:
c. 1941
Topic:
Costume\Jewelry\Earring  Search this
Costume\Headgear\Hat  Search this
Nature & Environment\Clouds  Search this
Nature & Environment\Fruit  Search this
Equipment\Walking stick\Cane  Search this
Weapon\Sword  Search this
Costume\Jewelry\Bracelet  Search this
Caricature  Search this
Nature & Environment\Animal\Dog  Search this
Imaginary  Search this
Costume\Chaps  Search this
Nature & Environment\Animal\Pig  Search this
Symbols & Motifs\Putti  Search this
Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin: Male  Search this
Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin: Performing Arts\Director\Motion Pictures  Search this
Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin: Performing Arts\Performer\Comedian  Search this
Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin: Performing Arts\Performer\Vaudeville  Search this
Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin: Literature\Writer\Screenwriter  Search this
Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin: Oscar  Search this
John Barrymore: Male  Search this
John Barrymore: Visual Arts\Artist\Sculptor  Search this
John Barrymore: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor  Search this
John Barrymore: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Theater  Search this
John Barrymore: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
Colleen Moore: Female  Search this
Colleen Moore: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
Will Rogers: Male  Search this
Will Rogers: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Theater  Search this
Will Rogers: Society and Social Change\Philanthropist  Search this
Will Rogers: Communications\Journalist\Columnist  Search this
Will Rogers: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
Will Rogers: Performing Arts\Performer\Comedian  Search this
Will Rogers: Natural Resources\Agriculturist\Cowboy  Search this
Will Rogers: Communications\Journalist\Humorist  Search this
Will Rogers: Performing Arts\Performer\Showman  Search this
Will Rogers: Communications\Broadcast Journalist\Commentator  Search this
Will Rogers: Politics and Government\Public Official\Mayor\Beverly Hills, CA  Search this
Jackie Coogan: Male  Search this
Jackie Coogan: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
Jackie Coogan: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Television  Search this
Jackie Coogan: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Child  Search this
Jackie Coogan: Military\Army  Search this
Chester Morris: Male  Search this
Chester Morris: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor  Search this
Roderick La Rocque: Male  Search this
Roderick La Rocque: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor  Search this
Nita Naldi: Female  Search this
Nita Naldi: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.93.375
See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_NPG.93.375

Mural Study #2:

Artist:
John Decker, 1895 - 1947  Search this
Sitter:
Buster Keaton, 4 Oct 1895 - 1 Feb 1966  Search this
Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., 23 May 1883 - 12 Dec 1939  Search this
Mary Pickford, 8 Apr 1892 - 29 May 1979  Search this
Harold Clayton Lloyd, 20 Apr 1894 - 8 Mar 1971  Search this
Francis Xavier Bushman, 1883 - 1966  Search this
Carmel Myers, 1900 - 1980  Search this
William Surrey Hart, 6 Dec 1864? - 23 Jun 1946  Search this
Gloria May Josephine Swanson, 27 Mar 1899 - 4 Apr 1983  Search this
Roscoe Arbuckle, 1887 - 1933  Search this
Peggy Montgomery, born 1918/1919  Search this
Medium:
Gouache, graphite and ink on illustration board
Dimensions:
Image: 17.1cm x 42.7cm (6 3/4" x 16 13/16")
Board: 21.1cm x 42.7cm (8 5/16" x 16 13/16")
Type:
Drawing
Place:
United States\California\Los Angeles\Los Angeles
Date:
c. 1941
Topic:
Costume\Headgear\Military  Search this
Exterior\Waterscape\Seascape  Search this
Nature & Environment\Animal\Horse  Search this
Caricature  Search this
Imaginary  Search this
William Surrey Hart: Male  Search this
William Surrey Hart: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Theater  Search this
William Surrey Hart: Performing Arts\Director\Motion Pictures  Search this
William Surrey Hart: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
Harold Clayton Lloyd: Male  Search this
Harold Clayton Lloyd: Performing Arts\Director\Motion Pictures  Search this
Harold Clayton Lloyd: Performing Arts\Producer\Motion Pictures  Search this
Harold Clayton Lloyd: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
Harold Clayton Lloyd: Performing Arts\Performer\Comedian  Search this
Harold Clayton Lloyd: Oscar  Search this
Buster Keaton: Male  Search this
Buster Keaton: Performing Arts\Director\Motion Pictures  Search this
Buster Keaton: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
Buster Keaton: Performing Arts\Performer\Comedian  Search this
Buster Keaton: Performing Arts\Performer\Vaudeville  Search this
Buster Keaton: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Television  Search this
Buster Keaton: Oscar  Search this
Gloria May Josephine Swanson: Female  Search this
Gloria May Josephine Swanson: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
Peggy Montgomery: Female  Search this
Peggy Montgomery: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
Peggy Montgomery: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Child  Search this
Mary Pickford: Female  Search this
Mary Pickford: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Theater  Search this
Mary Pickford: Performing Arts\Producer\Motion Pictures  Search this
Mary Pickford: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
Mary Pickford: Oscar  Search this
Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.: Male  Search this
Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Theater  Search this
Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.: Oscar  Search this
Francis Xavier Bushman: Male  Search this
Francis Xavier Bushman: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor  Search this
Carmel Myers: Female  Search this
Carmel Myers: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor  Search this
Roscoe Arbuckle: Male  Search this
Roscoe Arbuckle: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor  Search this
Roscoe Arbuckle: Performing Arts\Director\Motion Pictures  Search this
Roscoe Arbuckle: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.93.374
See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_NPG.93.374

Edward S. Curtis papers and photographs

Creator:
Curtis, Edward S., 1868-1952  Search this
Extent:
86 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1895-2001
bulk 1898-1951
Scope and Contents:
The Edward S. Curtis papers and photographs, circa 1895-2001 (bulk 1898-1951) primarily relate to Curtis's work on his opus, the North American Indian (NAI), although other subjects are documented as well. The papers relate closely to the Edward S. Curtis papers at the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections (UW), as that collection was donated by Curtis's daughter Florence Graybill and appears to be part of the same body of materials that was maintained by Curtis, and after his death, by Florence. Occasionally a correspondence exchange or manuscript draft is divided between the National Anthropological Archives and UW. Also found in both collections are notes, mostly dated 1951, in Curtis's handwriting on slips of paper or the document itself that gives an explanation of the document.

The collection includes correspondence, research notes, NAI files and promotional material, writings and memoirs, a small amount of material relating to a complaint regarding his reporting in NAI of certain Pueblo ceremonies, and correspondence and other documents relating to his gold mining interests. Also included are papers of Florence Graybill, who published on Curtis after his death and maintained contacts with various individuals and entities involved in Curtis exhibits, publications, and sales.

The correspondence exchanges are almost exclusively NAI related and document the relationships Curtis had with various influential people, including Gifford Pinchot, Joseph Blethen, Jacob Riis, William Farabee, Smithsonian scholars Frederick Webb Hodge and Matilda Coxe Stevenson, and the immediate and extended family of Theodore Roosevelt. Included are letters of introduction for Curtis as he sought to promote his work.

The research notes consist of a small mixture of writings on field experiences as well as maps used during his fieldwork (the bulk of Curtis's fieldnotes and NAI manuscripts are at the Seaver Center in the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History). The NAI files chiefly contain material promoting the work, such as published reviews, articles, and ephemera, but there are a few North American Indian Inc. business records (the bulk of the business records are maintained at the Pierpont Morgan Library). Of note is a lengthy annual report for the North American Indian, Inc., in which Curtis explains difficulties encountered in the fieldwork and volume publication. Related to his NAI work are letters and other materials documenting a 1934 complaint from Harold Ickes, Secretary of the Interior on Curtis's reporting of certain Pueblo ceremonies, as well as Curtis's response.

The writings comprise manuscript drafts on various topics. Most are short, stand-alone stories relating to his NAI work, often relaying a story about his own experiences. Similar stories can be found in Florence Graybill's papers, as she published some of them after his death. Also part of the writings are drafts for several chapters of Curtis's unpublished memoir, "As it Was."

Curtis's interest in gold mining is represented in correspondence and other material dating from 1938-1950. Most of the letters are between Curtis and his son Harold. Curtis's invention of a concentrator for separating fine gold from placer tailings is also documented in photographs and drawings.

Florence Graybill's papers pertain to writings, talks, and projects relating to Curtis after his death. Included are publication files for Graybill's biography of Curtis written with Victor Boesen, Visions of a Vanishing Race, as well as other of her articles and book reviews. Graybill's correspondence reveals her commitment to assist scholars and others interested in researching and exhibiting Curtis material, as well as her communication with individuals having a commercial interest in Curtis. Also present are Graybill's lecture notes for talks given, and articles and newspaper features on Curtis written by others.

The photographs in this collection primarily relate to Curtis's NAI work (1898-1927) and are a mix of original and working copy negatives, prints, and transparencies. The original negatives are remarkable in that they reveal some of Curtis's working methods in crafting his images through pencil and other enhancements, as well as showing removal of unwanted items from the image. Also of note are two original logbooks used for recording negatives from approximately 1895-1916. The majority of the prints appear to be silver gelatin prints made for reference; however, there are a fair number of platinum prints as well as several blue-toned silver prints in the collection. There are only a few cyanotypes.

Among the photographs is a deerskin-bound photograph album containing Harriman Alaska Expedition and NAI photographs, representing some of Curtis's earliest Native American subjects. These include images of people from the Puget Sound area as well as from his 1900 trip to the Blackfoot reservation. There are no annotations in the album; however, tucked among the pages are a few small notes of identification in Curtis's handwriting.

Photographs documenting other subjects are also present to a lesser degree. Among these are photographs of Curtis's Seattle photography studio, a 1915 Grand Canyon trip, hop field workers in the Puget Sound area, and Curtis's illustrations for Marah Ryan's book Flute of the Gods. Additionally, the collection contains a number of photographs of Curtis, his children, and portraits of various individuals including Theodore Roosevelt and actor Anna May Wong.
Arrangement:
The Edward S. Curtis papers and photographs are arranged into the following 10 series:

Series 1: Biographical information, 1919-1952

Series 2: Correspondence, 1904-1951

Series 3: Research notes, 1900-1930, undated

Series 4: North American Indian, circa 1906-1920

Series 5: Writings, 1906, 1948, undated

Series 6: Complaint regarding Curtis's reporting of Pueblo ceremonies, 1924-1935

Series 7: Gold mining, 1938-1950

Series 8. Florence Curtis Graybill papers, 1948-2001

Series 9: Photographs, circa 1896-1927

Series 10: Duplicate material, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868-1952) was an American photographer famous for his photographs of the indigenous peoples of North America. His work was highly influential in shaping a sympathetic yet romantic view of cultures that he and many others believed to be "vanishing." Over the course of 30 years, Curtis visited more than 80 Native American communities and published his photographs and ethnographies in the twenty-volume North American Indian (NAI) (1907-1930).

Curtis was born in Whitewater, Wisconsin, to Ellen and Johnson Curtis in 1868. In about 1874, his family moved to a farm in Cordova, Minnesota. At a young age, Curtis built a camera, and it is possible that he may have worked in a Minneapolis photography studio for a time. In 1887, Curtis and his father moved West and settled on a plot near what is now Port Orchard, Washington, with the rest of the family joining them the following year. When Johnson Curtis died within a month of the family's arrival, 20-year-old Curtis became the head of the family.

In 1891, Curtis moved to Seattle and bought into a photo studio with Rasmus Rothi. Less than a year later, he and Thomas Guptill formed "Curtis and Guptill, Photographers and Photoengravers." The endeavor became a premier portrait studio for Seattle society and found success in photoengraving for many local publications. In 1892, Curtis married Clara Phillips (1874-1932) and in 1893 their son Harold was born (1893-1988), followed by Elizabeth (Beth) (1896-1973), Florence (1899-1987) and Katherine (Billy) (1909-?). Around 1895, Curtis made his first photographs of local Native people, including the daughter of Duwamish chief Seattle: Kickisomlo or "Princess Angeline." Curtis submitted a series of his Native American photographs to the National Photographic Convention, and received an award in the category of "genre studies" for Homeward (later published in volume 9 of the NAI). In 1896, the entire Curtis family moved to Seattle, which included Curtis's mother, his siblings Eva and Asahel, Clara's sisters Susie and Nellie Phillips, and their cousin William Phillips. Most of the household worked in Curtis's studio along with other employees. Curtis became sole proprietor of the studio in 1897, which remained a popular portrait studio but also sold his scenic landscapes and views of the Seattle Area. Curtis also sent his brother Asahel to Alaska and the Yukon to photograph the Klondike Gold Rush, and sold those views as well. Asahel went on to become a well-known photographer in his own right, primarily working in the American Northwest.

Curtis was an avid outdoorsman and joined the Mazamas Club after his first of many climbs of Mount Rainier. On a climb in 1898, Curtis met a group of scientists, including C. Hart Merriam, George Bird Grinnell, and Gifford Pinchot, who had lost their way on the mountain, and led them to safety. This encounter led to an invitation from Merriam for Curtis to accompany a group of over 30 well-known scientists, naturalists, and artists as the official photographer on a maritime expedition to the Alaskan coast. Funded by railroad magnate Edward Harriman, the Harriman Alaska Expedition left Seattle in May of 1899, and returned at the end of July. Curtis made around 5000 photographs during the trip, including photographs of the indigenous peoples they met as well as views of mountains, glaciers, and other natural features. Many of the photographs appeared in the expedition's 14 published volumes of their findings.

In 1900, Curtis accompanied Grinnell to Montana for a Blackfoot Sundance. Here, Curtis made numerous photographs and became interested in the idea of a larger project to document the Native peoples of North America. Almost immediately upon returning from the Sundance, Curtis set off for the Southwest to photograph Puebloan communities. By 1904, Curtis had already held at least one exhibit of his "Indian pictures" and his project to "form a comprehensive and permanent record of all the important tribes of the United States and Alaska that still retain to a considerable degree their primitive customs and traditions" (General Introduction, the NAI) had taken shape and already received some press coverage. With his fieldwork now increasing his absences from home, Curtis hired Adolph Muhr, former assistant to Omaha photographer Frank Rinehart, to help manage the Seattle studio.

In 1904, Curtis was a winner in the Ladies Home Journal "Prettiest Children In America" portrait contest. His photograph of Marie Fischer was selected as one of 112 that would be published and Fischer was one of 12 children selected from the photographs who would have their portrait painted by Walter Russell. Russell and Curtis made an acquaintance while Russell was in Seattle to paint Fischer's portrait, and not long afterwards, Russell contacted Curtis to make photographic studies of Theodore Roosevelt's children for portraits he would paint. Curtis subsequently photographed the entire Roosevelt family, and developed a social connection with the President. Several important outcomes came of this new friendship, including Roosevelt eventually writing the foreword to the NAI, as well as making introductions to influential people.

Key among these introductions was one to wealthy financier John Pierpont Morgan, in 1906. After a brief meeting with Curtis during which he viewed several of Curtis's photographs of Native Americans, Morgan agreed to finance the fieldwork for the NAI project for five years, at $15,000.00 per year. It was up to Curtis to cover publishing and promotion costs, with the publication being sold as a subscription. In return, Morgan would receive 25 sets of the 20-volume publication. The ambitious publication plan outlined 20 volumes of ethnological text, each to be illustrated with 75 photogravure prints made from acid-etched copper plates. Each volume would be accompanied by a companion portfolio of 35 large photogravures. With high-quality papers and fine binding, a set would cost $3000.00. 500 sets were planned. Under Morgan, the North American Indian, Inc. formed as body to administer the monies. Also around this time, Frederick Webb Hodge, Director of the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of American Ethnology, agreed to edit the publications.

Curtis then began more systematic fieldwork, accompanied by a team of research assistants and Native interpreters. In 1906, Curtis hired William E. Myers, a former journalist, as a field assistant and stenographer. Over the years, Myers became the lead researcher on the project, making enormous contributions in collecting data and possibly doing the bulk of the writing for the first 18 volumes. Upon meeting a new community, Curtis and his team would work on gathering data dealing with all aspects of the community's life, including language, social and political organization, religion, food ways, measures and values, and many other topics. (See box 2 folder 1 in this collection for Curtis's list of topics.) Curtis and his assistants, especially Myers, brought books and papers to the field relating to the tribes they were currently concerned with, and often wrote from the field to anthropologists at the Bureau of American Ethnology and other institutions for information or publications. In addition to fieldnotes and photographs, the team also employed sound recording equipment, making thousands of recordings on wax cylinders. Curtis also often brought a motion picture camera, although few of his films have survived.

The first volume of the NAI was published towards the end of 1907. Already, Curtis was encountering difficulty in finding subscribers to the publication despite great praise in the press and among those who could afford the volumes. Curtis spent progressively more of his time outside the field season promoting the project through lectures and in 1911, presenting his "Picture Musicale"—a lecture illustrated with lantern slides and accompanied by an original musical score—in major cities. After the initial five funded years, only eight of the twenty volumes had been completed. However, Morgan agreed to continue support for the fieldwork and publication continued.

Starting in 1910, Curtis and his team worked among the Kwakwaka'wakw First Nation on Vancouver Island, and in 1913 began to develop a documentary film project featuring the community in Alert Bay. In 1914, Curtis produced the feature-length film, In the Land of the Headhunters. The film showcased an all-indigenous cast and included an original musical score. Screened in New York and Seattle, it received high praise. However after this initial success, it did not receive the attention Curtis had hoped for, and resulted in financial loss.

Meanwhile, Curtis's prolonged absences from home had taken a toll on his marriage and in 1919 Clara and Edward divorced. The Seattle studio was awarded to Clara, and Curtis moved to Los Angeles, opening a photography studio with his daughter Beth and her husband Manford "Mag" Magnuson. Daughters Florence and Katherine came to Los Angeles sometime later. Curtis continued with fieldwork and promotion of the project, and in 1922 volume 12 of the NAI was published. Also in 1922, Curtis was accompanied during the field season in California by his daughter Florence Curtis Graybill, the first time a family member had gone to the field with him since the Curtis children were very small.

Curtis continued to push the project and publications along, yet never without financial struggle and he picked up work in Hollywood as both a still and motion picture photographer. John Pierpont Morgan, Jr., continued to provide funding for the fieldwork in memory of his father, but with the various financial upsets of the 1910s and 1920s, Curtis had a difficult time getting subscribers on board. In 1926, Myers, feeling the strain, regretfully resigned after the completion of volume 18. Anthropologist Frank Speck recommended Stewart Eastwood, a recent graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, to replace Myers as ethnologist for the final two volumes.

In 1927, Curtis and his team, along with his daughter Beth Curtis Magnuson, headed north from Seattle to Alaska and Canada on a final field season. Harsh weather and a hip injury made the trip difficult for Curtis, but he was very satisfied with the season's work. The party returned to Seattle, and upon arrival Curtis was arrested for unpaid alimony. He returned exhausted to Los Angeles, and in 1930 the final two volumes of NAI were published without fanfare. Curtis spent the next two years recovering from physical and mental exhaustion. Beth and Mag continued to run the Curtis studio in LA, but for the most part, Curtis had set down his camera for good. With the NAI behind him and his health recovered, Curtis pursued various interests and employment; he continued to do some work in Hollywood, including working on The Plainsman, starring Gary Cooper.

In 1933 Curtis was publicly criticized by John Collier, the Commissioner for Indian Affairs for some of the statements he had made on certain Pueblo ceremonies in the NAI volume 16, published in 1924. In September of 1934 Curtis received a letter from Harold Ickes, Secretary of the Interior regarding the claims published in volume 16, demanding a printed apology to be distributed among the text of the book as well as removal of the offending text from any undistributed copies of the publication. Curtis spent months writing and compiling supporting documentation in his defense, which he submitted to Ickes in January 1935. Also in 1935, the Morgan estate liquidated the North American Indian, Inc. and sold the remaining sets of the NAI volumes and unbound pages, photogravures, and copper printing plates along with the rights to the material to Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat for $1000.00.

Curtis's interest in gold prospecting took a front seat in the mid-1930s. While he scouted for potentially profitable mines in Northern California, his friend Ted Shell and possibly his son Harold sought investors. However, nothing ever fully panned out, though Curtis did design and build a concentrator for separating fine gold from placer tailings. He later sold the patent for ten dollars. Eventually, Curtis settled down on a farm outside Los Angeles, moving later to live with Beth and Mag, where he stayed until his death. In the mid to late 1940s Curtis began to write his memoirs. His daughter Florence visited him regularly and typed as Curtis dictated his recollections, and at some point he completed a draft of a memoir titled "As it Was." He also went through his papers and annotated or tucked notes among the correspondence and other material giving a brief explanation of the item or its context. Curtis died at home in 1952.

Prior to his death, Curtis had been out of the public eye for some years, and the NAI had slipped into relative obscurity. The Curtis studio in Los Angeles continued to sell Curtis's Native American photographs, and Florence gave occasional talks on her father, but it wasn't until the early 1970s that Curtis's work saw a renewed interest. This renaissance took place largely in the art photography market, but Curtis's biography and the NAI were also getting treatment in publications. Florence Curtis Graybill partnered with Victor Boesen to produce two narrative histories of Curtis and his work, and these were followed by many others. Florence continued to publish short works on her father for many years, and stayed in touch with numerous people involved in projects both scholarly and commercial that related to Curtis's work.

Sources Cited

Davis, Barbara. Edward S. Curtis: the life and times of a shadowcatcher. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1984.

Gidley, Mick. The North American Indian, Incorporated. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Chronology

1868 -- Curtis is born in Whitewater, Wisconsin

circa 1874 -- Curtis family moves to Cordova, Minnesota

1887 -- Moves with his father to Washington territory to be joined by his mother and siblings in 1888

1891 -- With Rasmus Rothi forms Rothi & Curtis photography studio in Seattle

1892 -- Marries Clara Phillips With Thomas Guptill forms Curtis & Guptill Photographers and Photoengravers in Seattle

circa 1895 -- Becomes interested in photographing the indigenous people of the area

1897 -- Guptill leaves, Curtis establishes himself as Edward S. Curtis, Photographer and Photoengraver

1898 -- Meets C. Hart Merriam, George Bird Grinnell, and Gifford Pinchot during climb on Mount Rainier Receives first place award from the National Photographic Convention in the "Genre Studies" for his photographs of Native Americans

1899 -- Joins Harriman Alaska Expedition as official photographer at request of C. Hart Merriam and George Bird Grinnell

1900 -- Accompanies George Bird Grinnell to Blackfoot reservation in Montana for Sundance Becomes interested in a major project to document Native American tribes Travels to Arizona to photograph Hopi communities

circa 1902 -- Travels again to the southwest to photograph Native communities

1903 -- Holds first formal exhibit of Native American photographs in his studio

1904 -- Publicly announces intention to produce major publication on Native Americans Portrait entered in the Ladies Home Journal "Prettiest Children in America" contest is selected for publication and as a result, Curtis is asked to photograph President Theodore Roosevelt's family

circa 1904-1906 -- Conducts fieldwork among Native communities of the southwest

1906 -- Meets with J. P. Morgan, who agrees to finance the fieldwork for Curtis's project Hires William E. Myers as researcher and writer for the project

1907 -- Volume 1 of NAI is published

1908 -- Volumes 2 and 3 of NAI are published

1909 -- Volumes 4 and 5 of NAI are published

1911 -- Volumes 6, 7, and 8 of NAI are published Presents and tours the "Picture Musicale"

1913 -- J. P. Morgan dies, but his son agrees to continue to provide support for NAI Volume 9 of NAI is published

1914 -- Releases film In the Land of the Headhunters

1915 -- Volume 10 of NAI is published

1916 -- Volume 11 of NAI is published

1919 -- Edward and Clara Curtis divorce and the Seattle studio is awarded to Clara Moves to Los Angeles and opens new studio with daughter Beth and her husband, Manford Magnuson

1922 -- Volume 12 of NAI is published Conducts fieldwork in California with daughter Florence Curtis Graybill

1924 -- Volumes 13 and 14 of NAI are published

1926 -- Volumes 15, 16, and 17 of NAI are published William E. Myers resigns as chief writer and ethnologist of NAI

1927 -- Conducts fieldwork in Alaska and Canada for final NAI volume with daughter Beth Curtis Magnuson

1928 -- Volume 18 of NAI is published

1930 -- Volumes 19 and 20 of NAI are published

circa 1930-1950 -- Applies himself to various interests, especially gold mining

1952 -- Dies in Los Angeles at the home of Beth and Manford Magnuson
Related Materials:
The National Anthropological Archives holds additional Curtis papers and photographs in MS 2000-18, the Edward Curtis investigation of the battle of Little Bighorn and Photo Lot 59, the Library of Congress copyright prints collection.

The Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University holds Curtis's wax cylinder audio recordings from 1907-1913.

The Braun Research Library at the Autry Museum of the American West holds the Frederick Webb Hodge papers (1888-1931), which contain substantial correspondence from Curtis. The Braun also holds a small amount of Curtis papers and photographs, including some of Curtis's cyanotypes.

The Getty Research Institute holds the Edward S. Curtis papers (1900-1978), which include the original manuscript scores for the Curtis Picture Musicale and film In the Land of the Headhunters.

The Palace of the Governors at the New Mexico History Museum holds original Curtis negatives pertaining to the southwest.

The Pierpont Morgan Library holds the Edward S. Curtis papers (1906-1947), which contain the records of the North American Indian, Inc., as well as Curtis's correspondence to librarian, and later library director, Belle Da Costa Greene. The library also holds a large collection of Curtis's lantern slides, used in his Picture Musicale.

The Seattle Public Library holds correspondence of Curtis to Librarian Harriet Leitch (1948-1951), pertaining to his career.

The Seaver Center for Western History Research at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History holds collection GC 1143, which contains Curtis's field notes as well as manuscript drafts for the North American Indian.

The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian holds NMAI.AC.080, the Edward S. Curtis photogravure plates and proofs, as well as NMAI.AC.053, the Mary Harriman Rumsey collection of Harriman Alaska Expedition photographs.

The University of Washington Libraries Special Collections holds the Edward S. Curtis papers (1893-1983). Additionally, the Burke Museum holds papers and photographs of Edmund Schwinke, which relate to Curtis's work with the Kwakwaka'wakw community.
Separated Materials:
Artifacts collected by Curtis that were a part of this donation comprise Accession No. 2058745 in the collections of the Department of Anthropology in the National Museum of Natural History.
Provenance:
The papers and photographs were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Jim Graybill, grandson of Edward S. Curtis, in 2010 and 2011.
Restrictions:
Viewing of the photographic negatives and transparencies requires advance notice and the permission of the Photo Archivist.

Access to the Edward S. Curtis papers and photographs requires an appointment.
Rights:
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Identifier:
NAA.2010-28
See more items in:
Edward S. Curtis papers and photographs
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-naa-2010-28
Additional Online Media:

Beatrice Wood papers

Creator:
Wood, Beatrice  Search this
Names:
Garth Clark Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
John Waller, Fine Ceramics (Firm : Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Zachary Waller Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Arensberg, Louise S. (Louise Stevenson), 1879-1953  Search this
Arensberg, Walter, 1878-1954  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Hapgood, Elizabeth Reynolds  Search this
Hoag, Stephen Asa  Search this
Nin, Anaïs, 1903-1977  Search this
Roché, Henri Pierre, 1879-1959  Search this
Rosencrantz, Esther, 1876-1950  Search this
Extent:
26.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drafts (documents)
Interviews
Photographs
Illustrated letters
Notes
Watercolors
Diaries
Transcripts
Lithographs
Short stories
Illustrations
Designs
Drawings
Bookplates
Date:
1894-1998
bulk 1930-1990
Summary:
The papers of California ceramicist Beatrice Wood measure 26.6 linear feet and date from 1906 to 1998, with the bulk dating from 1930-1990. There is extensive correspondence with gallery owners, fellow artists, clients, friends, and family. The collection also contains biograpical materials, personal business records, writings, printed materials, photographs, and works of art. Of particular interest are the 28 diaries that Wood maintained from 1916 until her death in 1998 and 42 glazing formula notebooks dating from 1934-1997. Also found are documents of Steven Hoag and Esther Rosencranz, her husband and aunt respectively, that consist of correspondence, business records, and photographs given to the Archives of American Art as part of the Beatrice Wood papers.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of California ceramicist Beatrice Wood measure 26.6 linear feet and date from 1906 to 1998, with the bulk dating from 1930-1990. There is extensive correspondence with gallery owners, fellow artists, clients, friends, and family. The collection also contains biographical materials, personal business records, writings, printed materials, photographs, and works of art. Of particular interest are the 28 diaries that Wood maintained from 1916 until her death in 1998 and 42 glazing formula notebooks dating from 1934-1997. Also found are documents of Steven Hoag and Esther Rosencranz, her husband and aunt respectively, that consist of correspondence, business records, and photographs given to the Archives of American Art as part of the Beatrice Wood papers.

Biographical material contains certificates, licenses, degrees, legal documents, and extensive interview transcripts, which describe her philosophy on art and her development as a ceramic artist.

Correspondence is particularly rich in documenting Wood's passion and dedication to her work as a writer and artist. The records reflect Wood's close professional and personal relationships with many friends and colleagues, including Henri-Pierre Roche, Marcel Duchamp, Anais Nin, Elizabeth Hapgood, and Walter and Lou Arensberg. Additional correspondence with editors and publishers is also included. Wood enjoyed illustrating her letters, as did many of her correspondents.

Personal business records include financial material, sales and consignment records, and correspondence with gallery owners, including Garth Clark Gallery, John Waller Gallery, and Zachary Waller Gallery.

Notes and writings extensively document Wood's second career as a writer. Edited drafts of her monographs and short stories are available, as well as her journal writings and notes. Drafts of I Shock Myself: The Autobiography of Beatrice Wood, Angel Who Wore Black Tights, 33rd Wife of a Maharajah, among others are included. Also found here are the illustrations that Wood created for her monographs. She often did a series of drawings for each illustration and these copies are included as well.

Twenty-eight detailed diaries contain information about studio sales, clients, and the economic uncertainties of being a self-employed artist. The diaries, arranged in one-year and five-year volumes, begin in 1916 and end just a few days before her death in 1998.

Forty-two glaze books record the formulas for the pottery glazes Wood developed throughout her career.

Printed material includes copies of Wood's published monographs as well as exhibition announcements and brochures. Also found are clippings about Wood, including numerous articles about her trips to India.

Photographic material includes photographs and slides of Wood, her friends, travels, and other events. Many of the photographs are identified by Wood.

Artwork includes original sketches, drawings, watercolors, lithographs and designs by Wood. The original illustrations from her books are included in this series.

The last two series contain records generated by her husband, Stephen Hoag and her maternal aunt, Esther Rosencrantz. Wood was married to Hoag from 1937 until his death in 1960. The bulk of the material contains Hoag's financial records, mostly receipts, from his early years as a engineer in the Pacific Northwest. Esther Rosencranz, a physician in San Francisco, collected book plates that are included in this series.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged as 11 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1924-1993 (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1910-1998 (Box 1-8; 7.7 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1909-1988 (Box 9-11, 26, OV 31; 3.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Notes and Writings, circa 1912-1997 (Box 11-16, 27; 5.5 linear feet)

Series 5: Diaries, 1915-1998 (Box 17-20; 4 linear feet)

Series 6: Glaze Books, circa 1930-1997 (Box 21-22, 27-30; 2.5 linear feet)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1940-1997 (Box 23, OV 31; 1.1 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographic Material, 1913-1997 (Box 24, 30; 1 linear foot)

Series 9: Artwork, 1917-1991 (Box 24-25, 30; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 10: Stephen Hoag papers, 1906-1960 (Box 25; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 11: Esther Rosencranz papers, 1894-1959 (Box 25; 0.1 linear feet)
Biographical/Historical note:
Beatrice Wood (1893-1998) was a ceramicist, painter, and writer who relocated to Ojai, California in 1948.

Beatrice Wood was born on March 3, 1893 in San Francisco to socially prominent and wealthy parents. In the late 1890s, the family moved to New York City where Wood was expected to begin the process of "coming out" in New York society. This process included boarding schools, a convent school in Paris, and frequent summer trips to Europe where she was exposed to museums, galleries, and the theater. Wood studied acting and dance in Paris until the outbreak of the war in 1914. She returned to New York and soon joined the company of the French National Repertory Theatre. From 1914 through 1916, Wood played over 60 parts as a stage actress.

In 1917, Wood met the writer Henri Pierre Roche, with whom she had a brief affair and a long friendship. Roche introduced her to the New York world of artists and writers and encouraged her interest in drawing and painting. During a visit to see the composer Edgard Varese in the hospital, Wood met Marcel Duchamp, with whom she had a love affair and who also had a strong influence in her development as an artist. Their long discussions about modern art encouraged Wood to show Duchamp a recent drawing entitled "Marriage of a Friend." Duchamp liked the drawing so much that he published it in Rogue, a magazine partly financed by Walter and Louise Arensberg, friends of Duchamp. The Arensbergs were pioneering collectors of modern art and soon became friends of Wood as well. She became a frequent guest at their evening gatherings, forming friendships with Walter Pach, Francis Picabia, Joseph Stella, Myrna Loy, Galka Scheyer, and others.

Through Duchamp and the Arensbergs, Wood was introduced to the world of the New York Dada. Following the formation of the Society of Independent Artists in 1917, Wood exhibited work in their Independents exhibition. Together with Duchamp and Roche, she published a short-lived avant-garde journal, called Blind Man, in which the Alfred Steiglitz photograph of Duchamp's famous ready-made "Fountain" appeared. She also designed the poster for the Dada event, The Blind Man's Ball.

Throughout the 1920s, Wood continued to draw and paint, especially watercolors. Late in 1927, she moved to California to join the Arensbergs, who had been there since 1921. She also developed an interest in clay and took her first ceramics classes with Glen Lukens at the University of Southern California in the late 1930s. In 1940 Wood studied with Otto and Gertrud Natzler, Austrian potters who were known for their technical mastery and ability to throw almost perfectly formed pots. The Natzlers taught her how to throw pots and calculate glaze formulas.

Museums and galleries began to take an interest in her pottery and she held several shows in New York, San Francisco, and Phoenix. Several department stores, including Nieman Marcus and Gumps, also began to feature her pottery. During the 1940s, Wood began making figurative art in addition to more traditional pots. In 1947, for example, she included a large blue fish with white spots in an exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science, and Art. As her skills developed, Wood moved to a new home and studio in Ojai, California. By 1950, Wood was experimenting with luster surfaces, pottery with a metallic glaze that gives the effect of iridescence. These lusterware plates, in addition to her decorative figures and traditional ceramics, were sold at her studio, advertised with a sign out front that read "Beatrice Wood: Fine Pottery, Reasonable and Unreasonable."

In 1961, Wood visited India as a cultural ambassador, sponsored by the State Department. She toured the country and showed her work in fourteen cities. She became enamoured with Indian decorative arts and began to weave shimmering gold and silver threads into her palatte. Wood returned a second time in 1965 at the invitation of the Indian government. It was during this trip that she decided to adopt the sari as her style of dress, a style she continued until her death in 1998. She made her third and last trip to India in 1971. Her book, 33rd Wife of a Maharajah is about her adventures in India.

Wood always enjoyed writing, recording her daily activities in a diary and creating stories about her experiences with friends and colleagues. She published her first book, Angel Who Wore Black Tights in 1982, followed by her autobiography, I Shock Myself, in 1985.

Wood considered her last 25 years as her most productive. In addition to her literary publications, Wood also had several successful exhibitions, including Intimate Appeal: The Figurative Art of Beatrice Wood at the Oakland Museum in 1990 and Beatrice Wood: A Centennial Tribute at New York's American Craft Museum in 1997. The film, Beatrice Wood: The Mama of Dada, was filmed on the occasion of her 100th birthday in 1993. She died in Ojai, California in 1998, nine days after her 105th birthday.
Related Archival Materials note:
The Archives of American Art holds two oral history interviews with Beatrice Wood completed by Paul Karlstrom in 1976 and 1992.
Provenance:
Beatrice Wood donated her papers in several accretions between 1976 and 2002. Additional material was donated by Francis Naumann in 1993 and the Beatrice Wood Personal Property Trust in 1999. Material from a 1977 loan was included in Wood's later donations.
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 Beatrice Wood 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:
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Authors -- California  Search this
Glazes -- Formulae  Search this
Women artists -- California  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Actresses -- United States  Search this
Ceramicists -- California  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- California  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drafts (documents)
Interviews
Photographs
Illustrated letters
Notes
Watercolors
Diaries
Transcripts
Lithographs
Short stories
Illustrations
Designs
Drawings
Bookplates
Citation:
Beatrice Wood papers, 1906-1998, bulk 1930-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.woodbeat
See more items in:
Beatrice Wood papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-woodbeat
Additional Online Media:

Striking iron : the art of African blacksmiths : curated by Tom Joyce, Allen F. Roberts, Henry J. Drewal, William J. Dewey and Marla C. Berns : UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, June 3-December 30, 2018 / reviewed by Amanda M. Maples

Author:
Maples, Amanda M. 1979-  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Subject:
University of California, Los Angeles Fowler Museum of Cultural History  Search this
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
California
Los Angeles
Africa
Date:
2019
Topic:
Ironwork, African  Search this
Blacksmiths  Search this
Iron implements  Search this
Call number:
N1 .A258
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1114882

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