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Catalog Data

Creator:
Packard, Emmy Lou, 1914-1998  Search this
Names:
American Civil Liberties Union  Search this
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
Covarrubias, Miguel, 1904-1957  Search this
Edmunds, John, 1913-  Search this
Kahlo, Frida  Search this
Lange, Dorothea  Search this
O'Gorman, Juan, 1905-  Search this
O'Higgins, Pablo, 1904-  Search this
Refregier, Anton, 1905-  Search this
Reynolds, Malvina  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Extent:
9.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Photographs
Interviews
Diaries
Date:
1900-1990
Summary:
The Emmy Lou Packard papers measure 9.4 linear feet and date from 1900 to 1990, and focus on the career of painter, printmaker, muralist, and sculptor Emmy Lou Packard. Also found are extensive materials relating to Packard's personal and professional relationship with muralist Diego Rivera and painter Frida Kahlo, with whom Packard lived for one year in Mexico. Papers include correspondence, financial records, notes, writings, exhibition files, photographs, and printed material.
Scope and Contents note:
The Emmy Lou Packard papers measure 9.4 linear feet and date from 1900 to 1990, and focus on the career of painter, printmaker, muralist, and sculptor Emmy Lou Packard. Also found are extensive materials relating to Packard's personal and professional relationship with muralist Diego Rivera and painter Frida Kahlo, with whom Packard lived for one year in Mexico. Papers include correspondence, financial records, notes, writings, exhibition files, photographs, and printed material. Biographical materials include resumes, personal forms, and certificates. Correspondence is with family, friends, and colleagues, including muralist Anton Refregier, songwriter Malvina Reynolds, and composer John Edmunds. There is one letter from Dorothea Lange. Also found is correspondence with various political and arts organizations, such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Russian magazine Soviet Woman. Much of the correspondence discusses personal relationships and political and art-related activities. Additional correspondence with and concerning Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo is arranged in Series 6. Personal business records found within the papers include studio real estate and rent records, insurance records, price lists for artwork, consignment records, and miscellaneous receipts. There is one interview transcript of an interview with Packard for the Radical Elders Oral History Project. The papers include a series of notebooks/diaries, address lists, and other notes. Packard's reference files and personal papers documenting her professional and close personal relationship with Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo are arranged into a separate series. They include her research files for a planned book on the two artists, personal letters between Packard and the couple, as well as several interesting photographs. Also found in this series are notes, writings, and printed materials relating to Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and other Mexican artists, such as Covarrubius, Juan O'Gorman, and Pablo O'Higgins. The collection also includes typescripts and additional writings by Packard and others. Artwork consists of orginal drawings and prints by Packard and others not directly associated with projects. Exhibition and project files for many of Packard's commissioned projects are also found within the collection, including her files for the restoration of Anton Refregier's Rincon Annex Post Office mural in San Francisco and the Coit Tower murals in San Francisco. Many of the project files contain correspondence, reports, contracts, printed material, photographs, and artwork. The papers also include photographs of Packard, her family, residences, artwork, friends, and colleagues, including Cesar Chavez, Juan O'Gorman, Malvina Reynolds, Charles Safford, Ralph Stackpole, and Tennessee Williams. Two scrapbooks are found, as well as additional printed materials such as clippings and exhibition announcements and catalogs. There are also two artifact items, a vinyl record of Malvina Reynolds and a political campaign button.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged into fifteen series. Missing Title Series 1: Biographical Material, 1942-1985 (Box 1; 1 folder) Series 2: Correspondence, 1919-1990 (Box 1-3; 2.6 linear feet) Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1945-1985 (Box 3; 21 folders) Series 4: Interview Transcript, 1979 (Box 3; 1 folder) Series 5: Notes, 1900-1985 (Box 3-4, 10; 1.1 linear feet) Series 6: Reference Files on Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, 1929-1986 (Box 5, 10, OV 11; 0.9 linear feet) Series 7: Writings by Packard, 1953-1984 (Box 6; 17 folders) Series 8: Writings by Others, 1955-1984 (Box 6; 19 folders) Series 9: Artwork, 1921-1976 (Box 6; 10 folders) Series 10: Exhibition Files, 1950-1964 (Box 6, OV 11; 5 folders) Series 11: Project Files, 1953-1985 (Box 6-7, 10, OV 11; 1.8 linear feet) Series 12: Photographs, 1914-1982 (Box 8, 10; 0.8 linear feet) Series 13: Scrapbooks, 1947-1950 (Box 8, 10; 0.2 linear feet) Series 14: Printed Material, 1936-1988 (Box 8-9, 10; 1 linear foot) Series 15: Artifacts, 1984 (Box 9-10, OV 11; 2 folders)
Biographical/Historical note:
Emmy Lou Packard was born in Imperial Valley, California on April 15, 1914, to Walter and Emma Leonard Packard. In the late 1920s she lived with her family in Mexico City where she became acquainted with Diego Rivera, from whom she received regular art criticism and encouragement. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and completed courses in fresco and sculpture at the California School of Fine Arts in 1940. That year and the next, Packard worked as a full-time painting assistant to Rivera on his 1,650 square-foot fresco at the World's Fair in San Francisco. During this project, Packard became very close to Rivera and Frida Kahlo and returned to Mexico with them and spent a year living with the couple. From then on, except for in 1944-1945 working for a defense plant, Packard worked and grew in various aspects of her art. In addition to her work in fresco, Packard is known for her work in watercolor, oil, mosaic, laminated plastic, concrete, and printmaking, both in linocuts and woodblocks. She received numerous commissions that included installations for ships, hotels, and private homes for which she executed large woodcuts and mural panels. During the 1950s and 1960s, Packard was hired to restore several historic murals, most notably the Rincon Annex Post Office mural by Anton Refregier and the Coit Tower murals in San Francisco. Between 1966 and 1967 she was commissioned by architects to design and execute a number of concrete and mosaic pieces, one of which went to the Mirabeau Restaurant in Kaiser Center, Oakland. She also designed and executed a mural for the Fresno Convention Center Theater during that same period. In 1973-1974, she designed and supervised a glazed brick mural for a public library in Pinole, California. Packard had one-woman shows at the San Francisco Museum of Art, Raymond and Raymond Gallery (San Francisco), Addison Gallery of American Art (Andover, Mass.), Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, Pushkin Museum (Moscow), and March Gallery (Chicago). Emmy Lou Packard died in 1998.
Related Archival Materials note:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Emmy Lou Packard conducted by Mary Fuller McChesney in 1964.
Provenance:
Emmy Lou Packard donated her papers to the Archives of American Art from 1984-1988.
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 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:
Painters -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Sculptors -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Muralists -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Topic:
Printmakers -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Mural painting and decoration, American  Search this
Mural painting and decoration, Mexican  Search this
Latino and Latin American artists  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women muralists  Search this
Women printmakers  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Women sculptors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Photographs
Interviews
Diaries
Citation:
Emmy Lou Packard papers, 1900-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.packemmy
See more items in:
Emmy Lou Packard Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9db9feb7f-b0e9-4a2b-9d8c-9940b1d933d2
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-packemmy