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Weir family papers, 1809-circa 1961

Creator:
Weir family  Search this
Subject:
Saint-Gaudens, Augustus  Search this
Cole, Thomas  Search this
Weir, Mary French  Search this
Greenough, Horatio  Search this
Perry, Edith Weir  Search this
Weir, Julian Alden  Search this
Weir, John F. (John Ferguson)  Search this
Gifford, Sanford Robinson  Search this
Twachtman, John Henry  Search this
Whittredge, Worthington  Search this
Page, William  Search this
McEntee, Jervis  Search this
La Farge, John  Search this
Bryant, William Cullen  Search this
Morris, George Pope  Search this
Church, Frederic Edwin  Search this
Weir, Irene  Search this
Weir, Robert Walter  Search this
Type:
Sketches
Topic:
Painting, American  Search this
Painters  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13415
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209196
AAA_collcode_weirweir
Theme:
Diaries
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209196
Additional Online Media:

Hazen Collection of Band Photographs and Ephemera

Creator:
Hazen, Margaret Hindle  Search this
Hazen, Robert M.  Search this
Extent:
13.5 Cubic feet (20 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Programs
Posters
Stereographs
Sheet music
Picture postcards
Postcards
Pillows
Photographs
Textile fabrics
Ephemera
Cabinet photographs
Cartes-de-visite
Cabinet prints
Ambrotypes
Advertisements
Newspapers
Date:
circa 1818-1931
Scope and Contents note:
Large collection of photographs, picture postcards, printed ephemera, and music related to the brass band movement in the United States: includes 8 ambrotypes, 36 tintypes, 59 stereographs, 66 cabinet prints, 90 cartes-de-visite, 150 large photoprints, and 874 picture postcards; also posters, concert programs, instrument manufacturers' advertisemements and ephemera, periodicals, sheet music, etc.
Arrangement:
3 series: (1) photographs; (2) ephemera; and (3) resources in American band history. Series 1 has 7 sub-series: (1) ambrotypes; (2) tintypes; (3) stereographs; (4) cabinet prints; (5) cartes-de-visite; (6) large mounted photoprints; and (7) postcards. Series 2 has 7 sub-series: (1) company ephemera; (2) band ephemera; (3) music; (4) periodicals; (5) oversized paper ephemera; (6) artifacts (3-dimensional); and (7) folio-size broadsides. Geographical arrangement within postcard and stereograph sub-series.
Biographical/Historical note:
Dr. and Mrs. Robert M. Hazen formed this collection in conjunction with their research on the American brass band movement.
Provenance:
Collection purchased from Dr. Robert Hazen, May 23, 1985 (1988.3028).
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves.
Rights:
Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Musicians -- 1900-1950  Search this
Music ensembles -- Photographs  Search this
Musicians -- 1830-1880  Search this
Musical instruments -- Photographs  Search this
Brass bands -- Photographs  Search this
Bandstands  Search this
Bands (Music) -- Photographs  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Genre/Form:
Programs -- Concerts
Posters
Stereographs
Sheet music -- Manuscripts -- 19th century
Picture postcards
Postcards
Pillows -- Photographs
Photographs -- 1850-1900
Photographs -- 1900-1950
Textile fabrics -- Photographs on
Ephemera
Cabinet photographs
Cartes-de-visite
Cabinet prints
Ambrotypes
Advertisements
Photographs -- 1890-1900
Newspapers
Citation:
Hazen Collection of Band Photographs and Ephemera, ca. 1818-1931, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0253
See more items in:
Hazen Collection of Band Photographs and Ephemera
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0253
Additional Online Media:

Weir family papers

Creator:
Weir family  Search this
Names:
McGuigan, John F., Jr. (John Fuller)  Search this
McGuigan, Mary K.  Search this
Perry, Edith Weir, 1875-  Search this
Weir, John F. (John Ferguson), 1841-1926  Search this
Weir, Julian Alden, 1852-1919  Search this
Weir, Robert Walter, 1803-1889  Search this
Extent:
0.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Date:
1809-circa 1961
bulk 1830-1920
Summary:
The papers of the prominent New York and Connecticut Weir family of artists measure 0.8 linear feet and date from 1809-circa 1961, with the bulk of the material dating from 1830-1920. The papers are a collection of correspondence and photographs that constitute a small but vivid record of the influence and relationships of this family of Hudson River School, landscape, and miniature painters. Correspondence consists primarily of letters to painter John Ferguson Weir when he was director of the Yale School of Fine Arts, with scattered letters to his daughter Edith Weir (Perry), and a small amount of correspondence of Robert Weir, his daughter Carrie M. Mansfield, son-in-law Lewis William Mansfield, and Julia Bayard. Letters to John F. Weir are from many late-19th century artists, as well as actors, poets, lawyers, scholars, and clergymen, often concerning arrangements for visiting lectures at the school. Photographs are of Robert Walter Weir, Susan Bayard Weir, Julian Alden Weir, and artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of the prominent New York and Connecticut Weir family of artists measure 0.8 linear feet and date from 1809-circa 1961, with the bulk of the material dating from 1830-1920. The papers are a collection of correspondence and photographs that constitute a small but vivid record of the influence and relationships of this family of Hudson River School, landscape, and miniature painters. Correspondence consists primarily of letters to painter John Ferguson Weir when he was director of the Yale School of Fine Arts, with scattered letters to his daughter Edith Weir (Perry), and a small amount of correspondence of Robert Weir, his daughter Carrie M. Mansfield, son-in-law Lewis William Mansfield, and Julia Bayard. Letters to John F. Weir are from many late-19th century artists, as well as actors, poets, lawyers, scholars, and clergymen, often concerning arrangements for visiting lectures at the school. Photographs are of Robert Walter Weir, Susan Bayard Weir, Julian Alden Weir, and artwork.

There are approximately 275 letters to John Ferguson Weir, some of which enclose sketches, photographs, and printed writings. The letters of Hudson River School artists including Frederic Edwin Church, Thomas Cole, Sanford Robinson Gifford, Jervis McEntee, and Worthington Whittredge, capture a sense of the intense ties those artists felt to the landscape and to each other. Often the correspondents mention their fellow artists in their letters in personal as well as professional terms, writing of family, friendships, visits to each other's homes, practical arrangements for delivering, retrieving, and exhibiting artwork, and their shared artistic aspirations, successes, and disappointments.

Many of the letters are responses from lawyers, scholars, clergymen, writers, and educators in reply to Weir's requests to speak at the Yale School of Fine Arts. Taken together the letters, which often go beyond routine matters to extend to more personal affairs, reveal the warm esteem in which Weir was held, not only in his capacity as director of the school but as an artist and a friend. The letters, such as those from Laura Hills, Lucia Fairchild Fuller, Adele Herter, and Candace and Dora Wheeler, also document the Weir family's friendships with and encouragement of women artists, at a time of limited support for women in the arts. Also of note are letters from actors Edwin Booth and Joseph Jefferson, who were both friends of John F. Weir.

Letters of Robert Weir and extended Bayard and Mansfield family members relate primarily to family affairs. Photographs of Julian Alden Weir, Robert W. Weir, and Susan Bayard Weir include professional portraits and candid family shots, as well as photographs of two sketches of Julian Alden Weir and two miscellaneous photos of artwork.
Arrangement:
Due to the small size of the collection, the Weir family papers are arranged as one series.
Biographical / Historical:
The New York and Connecticut Weir family of artists included painter and West Point professor Robert Walter Weir (1803-1889), his sons John Ferguson Weir (1841-1926) and Julian Alden Weir (1852-1919), and granddaughter Edith Weir (Perry) (1875-1955).

Julian Alden Weir was a renowned American Impressionist painter and a founding member of "The Ten," a loosely allied group of American artists dissatisfied with some of the established professional art organizations of the time who exhibited their work as a unified group. He also taught at the Women's Art School of the Cooper Union in New York.

John Ferguson Weir became acquainted with many of the rising young artists of his day when he took a room in the Tenth Street Studio in his early twenties and developed proficiency in landscape and still life painting. Like his brother, he then studied art abroad and returned to become director and later dean of the School of Fine Arts at Yale University from 1869-1913.

John Ferguson Weir married Mary Hannah French in 1866. Their daughter, Edith Weir Perry, was a noted miniature painter who studied under Lucy Fairchild Fuller.
Related Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds the microfilm (Reels 70-71, 125-126, 577) for the Julian Alden Weir papers, 1869-1966, including correspondence (mostly typed transcripts); scrapbooks; photographs; sketches; notebooks and scrapbooks and clippings compiled by Dorothy Weir Young in preparation for her book, The Life and Letters of J. Alden Weir (1960, Yale University Press).

Additional Weir family records are held by the Yale University Archives. The records form part of the material previously lent to the Archives of American Art for microfilming by Reverend DeWolf Perry, and described above as separated materials.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming by Reverend DeWolf Perry. Included on reels 529-531 are correspondence of John Ferguson Weir, much of it with his brother Julian Alden Weir, with his future wife which he wrote while serving in the Civil War, and with artists; 77 letters, 1823-1881, of Robert W. Weir with members of the Congress and War Dept. regarding commissions, and with artists and others, including Horatio Greenough, William Page, Thomas Cole, William Cullen Bryant, and George P. Morris; a pocket diary of John F. Weir, 1860, with occasional poems and sketches; 2 sketchbooks, and 71 drawings, watercolors, and oils by John F. Weir; 3 sketchbooks and 165 original drawings, lithographs, watercolors and oils by Robert Weir; 4 portraits of John F. by others; sheet music with words and lithograph on the cover by Robert; 81 photographs of John and Robert, family, and work; exhibition material of Robert; a list of John F. Weir's paintings with prices; drafts of Robert W. Weir, Artist by Irene Weir (1947); and a typescript of a biography of John F. Weir by his daughter, Edith Weir (Perry); genealogical material; and clippings. Reel 533 includes a typescript of "The Story of My Life: The Inner Life of a Human Soul," by Mary French Weir, ca. 1920 (94 p.), and a typescript of a biography of her mother, Clara Miller-French, ca. 1920 (28 p.). Reel 565 contains family correspondence, 1866-1927, of Mary French Weir; an excerpt from the French family genealogy; and an obituary of Mary French Weir written by her daughter Edith Weir Perry. Reel 936 contains a sketchbook, 1826, by Robert Weir, of figures, statues, and buildings in Rome done while a student. The drawings are in pencil, ink wash, and pen and ink. (111 p.); reel 949 contains three sketchbooks, 1869-1902, by John F. Weir, done in watercolor, pencil and ink wash. (69 p.), of landscapes, figures, and heads of individuals in Italy, Switzerland, Dordricht, Holland, and France.

Loaned materials were returned to the donor and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Photographs were given to the Archives of American Art in 2019 by Mary and John McGuigan, Jr. Letters to John Ferguson Weir were donated by Harold O. Love in 1961. Material on reels 529-531, 533, 565, 936 and 949 was lent for microfilming 1973-1975 by Rev. DeWolf Perry, grandson of John F. Weir. He also donated two photographs in 1975. The donor and date of acquisition of the manuscript draft of Julian Alden Weir's biography are unknown.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Landscape painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Miniature painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Women painters  Search this
Hudson River School  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Citation:
Weir family papers, 1809-circa 1961. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.weirweir
See more items in:
Weir family papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-weirweir
Additional Online Media:

James Stutsman Band Book Collection

Collector:
Stutsman, James  Search this
Musical Instruments, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Musical Instruments, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Names:
Maurer, Fred  Search this
Maurer, J.B.  Search this
Extent:
0.15 Cubic feet (1 box)
Container:
Box 1
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Sheet music
Place:
Wilton Junction (Iowa)
Date:
1875
Scope and Contents:
The set consists of nine books with a fragment of a tenth which seems not to be related to the other nine. Eight of the nine books, which are basically intact, offer a complete enough assortment to produce a usable performance set. The 1st althorn is missing, but the 2nd alto is present. Also, possibly missing are: 2nd Eb cornet, 2nd Bb tenor, and the snare drum.

The books include: Bass drum; 2nd Bb cornet; IInd Eb Alto; Eb Bass; IInd Bb cornet; ist Eb cornet; Bb Bass; ist Bb tenor; and Ist Bb cornet.
Biographical / Historical:
This is a set of manuscript brass band parts used by a municipal band in Wilton Junction, Iowa. It was bought by the father of the donor at a local auction in Wilton Junction. Most of the books are signed "Fred Maurer's Book," and one is signed "J. B. Maurer's Book". Presumably, Mr. Fred Maurer was the leader and/or arranger.
Provenance:
This collection was purchased from James Stutsman, 1984. The donor acquired this material from his father, who bought it at an auction in Wilton Junction, Iowa.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Music  Search this
Musicians -- 1870-1880  Search this
Bands (Music) -- 1870-1880  Search this
Band, Municipal  Search this
Musical performances  Search this
Musical instruments  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sheet music -- Manuscripts -- 19th century
Citation:
Item title and date, James Stutsman Band Book Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0258
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0258

George E. "Mello" and Neva Satterlee McNally Vaudeville Collection

Collector:
McNally, George E.  Search this
McNally, Neva Satterlee, -1909  Search this
Donor:
LaClair, Beatrice M.  Search this
Names:
Browning, Frances H. "Peaches", 1910-1956  Search this
Tovell, Albert  Search this
Extent:
1 Cubic foot (1 box)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Manuscripts
Sheet music
Photographs
Date:
circa 1889-1964
Summary:
Collection consists of photographs, commercially published sheet music, and original music manuscripts from the McNallys' vaudeville careers. Materials include minstrel show and blackface material; photo of Albert Tovell, once the master of ceremonies for Frances H. "Peaches" Browning; and a photograph of "Gov. Jordan," a blackface female impersonator.
Scope and Contents:
Series 1: Original Music Manuscripts/Arrangements contains original manuscripts used in the Hokem is Hokem act orchestrated by Neva Satterlee Mello. There are parts scores for five musical instruments and various instruments have additional music scores as well for individual selections. The series is arranged alphabetically.

Series 2: Commercial Sheet Music contains commercially printed sheet music, mostly from the vaudeville era with a few exceptions such as Hello Dolly and others. The series contains some well worn sheet music selections, some of which were presumably used by Neva's orchestra or the Hokem is Hokem troupe. One piece, Lily of the Valley, has been sewn along its spine by a sewing machine to help keep it together. The series is arranged alphabetically.

Series 3: Photographs contains photographs of George Mello and some of the Mello's/McNally's vaudeville contemporaries. Of special interest is one photograph of a man dressed in drag and blackface and a photograph of Albert Tovell, one time master of ceremonies for the somewhat infamous Frances H. Browning aka Peaches Browning (1910-1956). There is also another photograph of two men dressed in blackface.

Series 4: Memorabilia contains the music covers for the Hokem is Hokem act and one publication.
Arrangement:
Collection is divided into four series.

Series 1: Original Sheet Music

Series 2: Commercial Sheet Music

Series 3: Photographs

Series 4: Memorabilia
Biographical / Historical:
According to family history, Neva Satterlee at the age of seventeen formed an orchestra and was its leader for many years. At one time she was under contract with Charles Hoyt Productions, probably the same Hoyt of Morgan & Hoyt's who boasted a Ladies Band and Imperial Singing Orchestra on their bill. She was an accomplished musician and actress. Neva married George McNally and they took the stage surname of Mello. Neva did all the musical arrangements as she was the only one of the pair who could read music. Their home base was the town of Fulton, New York. The couple remained on the vaudeville circuit as entertainers until Neva's death during child birth in 1909. The couple had at least one child, Angeline McNally. George continued to work in vaudeville. The act was under the direction of George Mello and Eddie Shaw. The act, titled Hokem is Hokem, was a minstrel, musical revue style show and apparently consisted of at least five musical selections; the opening Hot-Time, followed by He's Goin' to Hab a Hot Time Bye an' Bye termed (the greatest coon song ever published), Tall Girl (arranged by Neva Satterlee Mello), Snaps, and The Man Behind the Plow. The act's band consisted of a piano, violin, cornet, trombone, drums, clarinet, and flute but may have included other instruments. According to family tradition, Mello ceased his vaudeville career by 1928.

The vaudeville tradition began in the aftermath of the Civil War when numerous minstrel companies began touring the country in minstrel shows presenting songs and comedy in an easily accessible format. Vaudeville became the staple American family entertainment during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Tony Pastor gave the first big time vaudeville show in New York City in 1881 and by 1919 there were reportedly 900 vaudeville theatres in the country. Featuring a collection of sketches, short plays, popular songs, and simple comedy routines, the show often featured minstrel-type acts presented by actors in blackface. With the influx of immigrants in the latter 19th century, the tradition continued but was changed by European and ethnic influences. Booking agents operated in the major cities of New York, Chicago and San Francisco promoting and developing their own Vaudeville Acircuits. Booking agents booked small troupes of actors, specialty acts and musical performers to tour the circuit traveling from one town's vaudeville house to the next. (Encarta Encyclopedia, IATSE)
Provenance:
Collection donated to the Archives Center by the granddaughter of the McNallys, Beatrice M. LaClair, in 2000.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Rights situation uncertain. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Blackface entertainers  Search this
Female impersonators  Search this
Minstrel shows -- 1900-1960  Search this
Musicians  Search this
Vaudeville  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Sheet music -- Manuscripts -- 19th century
Sheet music
Photographs -- 1890-1900
Photographs -- 1900-1950
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- 1910-1930
Citation:
George E. "Mello" and Neva Satterlee McNally Vaudeville Collection, 1889-1964, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Gift of Beatrice M. LaClair.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0760
See more items in:
George E. "Mello" and Neva Satterlee McNally Vaudeville Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0760
Additional Online Media:

Paul Cadwell Banjo Collection

Source:
Musical History, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Creator:
Cadwell, Paul, 1889-1985 ((banjoist))  Search this
Reed, Frances  Search this
Names:
American Banjo Fraternity.  Search this
Bowen, Bill  Search this
Bradbury, Frank  Search this
Cadwell, Joyce  Search this
Denton, Harry  Search this
Farland, Alfred  Search this
Van Eps, Fred, 1878-1960  Search this
Former owner:
Musical History, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Extent:
12 Cubic feet (28 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Sheet music
Sound recordings
Photographs
Ephemera
Correspondence
Place:
New York (N.Y.)
Date:
1883-1980
Summary:
The bulk of the collection is music for the five-string banjo, often with piano and/or second banjo accompaniments. Almost no sheets have cover illustrations. Many editions are British and rarely have copyright dates.
Scope and Contents note:
The collection documents banjoist Paul Cadwell (1889 1985). Most of the material originally belonged to him; exceptions to this include photographs of Frances Reed (Cadwell's first wife), travel ephemera of Frances Reed, banjo music of William Brewer, and banjo history writings of Brewer. British banjoist William Brewer corresponded regularly with Cadwell through the 1950s. Though they never met, a close friendship developed between the men. After Brewer's death, Brewer's son mailed his father's banjo materials to Cadwell (see correspondence from Basil Brewer). Series 8, "Reed Travel Ephemera," is largely unrelated to both Cadwell and the banjo most items date from before Reed's marriage to Cadwell. This series is unprocessed as of this writing. Most of Cadwell's audio recordings (both discs and tapes) fell outside the museum's collections scope and so were not kept. A complete inventory, however, has been attached at the end of this register.

The bulk of the collection consists of music for the five string banjo, often with piano and/or second banjo accompaniments. The Cadwell and the Brewer banjo music have been placed in separate subseries. The Cadwell music is organized alphabetically by title of composition; much of this material is fragile and a majority of the music is in manuscript rather than published scores. The Brewer subseries maintains his careful organization: alphabetical by composer or arranger separating the American from the British composers/ arrangers. Almost no sheets have cover illustrations. Many of the editions are British (which rarely give a copywrite date).

Bluegrass and folk banjo music from the second half of the 20th century, when written, was written in tablature. "Classic" five-string banjo music is written in standard notation with some adaptations. The Brooks and Denton compositions were given in both standard notation and tablature and an arrangement of "Dueling Banjos" is in tablature. All other banjo compositions are written in standard notation. Some compositions are in C notation, others were transposed to A. Earlier in the 19th century, the banjo sounded in A and the music was written in A. With the technological changes in banjo construction of the late 19th century, the pitch of the banjo went up and generally sounded in C. The British were quick to switch to C notation, but American banjoists, wedded to tradition, were slow to make the change.

Cadwell had music in both C and A notation; presumably, he could play both. Adaptations to standard notation include the following indications for which finger should pluck the string: + = thumb, = first finger, = second finger. "12 B " indicates that the marked section should be played using a barre at the 12th fret. A sixteenth note flag up high G (high E in A notation) is used when the note should be played on the short thumb string.

Most of the music is for standard five-string banjo. There is a small amount of music for four-string tenor or plectrum banjo (as well as a few selections for mandolin and guitar). Two forms of the five string banjo appear in the music collection: the banjeurine and the zither banjo. The banjeurine was popular in banjo clubs, slightly smaller, tuned higher, and usually played lead. The zither banjo is peculiar to Britain. The two highest strings are of metal and the lower strings of the "classic" standard gut, nylon, or wound silk. The banjo has a resonator, but unlike American banjos with resonators, the head sits flush with the resonator. Many of the British compositions are labeled for zither banjo and are intended to take advantage of the peculiarities of that instrument's sound.
Arrangement:
The collection has been organized into the following series:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1941-1976 Series 2: Photographs, circa 1895-1980 Series 3: Ephemera, 1922-1978 Series 4: Banjo Music, circa 1883-1975 Series 5: Magazines and Journals, 1886-1977

Series 6; Banjo History Sources, circa 1951-1975

Series 7: Audio Recordings, circa 1895-1976

Series 8: Reed Travel Ephemera, circa 1930-1970

The Cadwell music is organized alphabetically by title of composition; much is fragile and in manuscript rather than published scores. The Brewer subseries maintains his careful organization: alphabetical by composer or arranger, separating American from British composers/arrangers.
Biographical/Historical note:
Paul Cadwell was born in 1889 in Westfield, New Jersey. He lived nearly all of his life in New Jersey and New York City. He began playing banjo at the age of ten. His first teacher was Fred Van Eps, a young man who already had been making commercial recordings of banjo ragtime and popular tunes. Van Eps continued to record frequently through the 1920s.

From the 1880s to the 1910s most American Universities and all of the Ivy League schools had banjo clubs. These organizations played orchestra style with various sizes of banjos. Cadwell played with college banjo clubs at both Princeton (class of 1910) and Harvard Law School. After law school, Cadwell studied for a time in England at Trinity College, Oxford. He spent his adult life working as a lawyer and in various business dealings.

After his schooling, Cadwell continued to perform on the five string banjo. In the 1920s he organized and performed in minstrel shows for the American Legion and the Masonic Lodge. During the 1930s he played occasionally on the "Dutch Masters" radio hour as a member of the "Van Eps Trio." Cadwell began his involvement with American folk music in the 1940s playing for the American Folk Dance Society and on NBC radio for "Music of the New World." During the 1950s, Cadwell became involved in the folk music revival and he befriended revivalist and bluegrass musicians, notably Roger Sprung.

In 1949, a group of older "finger style" five string banjoists created a formal organization; the American Banjo Fraternity (ABF) still meets twice a year in Lewistown, Pennsylvania though the original banjo notables are now deceased. Paul Cadwell, Fred Van Eps, Alfred Farland, Harry Denton, Bill Bowen, and Frank Bradbury (names familiar to fans of this style of banjo playing) were all members. Cadwell was a bit younger than the others and also had never made his living playing vaudeville or making commercial recordings as had these other men. The heyday of their music surely had passed, but they banded together to keep the tradition.

Cadwell sensed in the folk revival of the 1950s a revitalization of the five string banjo. Most of the other ABF members saw these young banjo players as a threat to their music; they played with metal stringed instruments and with what seemed to them a simplistic technique. The correspondence in series 1 traces the painful conflict between Cadwell and the ABF members over the folk music revival. Cadwell continued to perform in folk revival events into the 1970s.

Cadwell married Frances Reed in 1956 (they had been a couple, though, for many years). Many of the photographs in series 2 and most of the travel ephemera of series 8 were hers. In 1965 he married Joyce. Paul Cadwell died in 1985.
Related Materials:
The Division of Culture and the Arts holds related musical instrument parts (banjo head, banjo strings, and banjo bridges).
Provenance:
Collection donated by Joyce Cadwell, 1991.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Travel photography  Search this
Musicians  Search this
Musical groups  Search this
Banjo  Search this
Banjoists  Search this
Banjo music  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sheet music
Sound recordings
Photographs -- 20th century
Ephemera
Correspondence -- 1930-1950
Citation:
Paul Cadwell Banjo Collection, 1883-1980, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0387
See more items in:
Paul Cadwell Banjo Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0387

Libraries' Surprising Special Collections

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Sun, 01 Mar 2009 05:00:00 +0000
Topic:
Search this
See more post:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_03a1874f250b9b7849b356c494c3723d

How a Single Paragraph Paved the Way for a Jewish State

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
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Mon, 22 May 2017 14:17:52 +0000
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Smithsonian Highlights

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Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Sun, 01 Mar 1998 05:00:00 +0000
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