Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Additional Online Media

Catalog Data

Kihn, W. (Wilfred) Langdon, 1898-1957  Search this
Wiggins, Guy C. (Guy Carleton)  Search this
Skinner, Constance Lindsay  Search this
Oakley, Thorton  Search this
Wellcome, Henry S., Sir (Henry Solomon)  Search this
Stirling, Matthew Williams  Search this
Lecomte du Noüy, Marie  Search this
Laubin, Reginald  Search this
Lecomte du Noüy, Pierre  Search this
Kihn, Helen Butler  Search this
Kihn, Alfred  Search this
Laubin, Gladys  Search this
Dale, Maud  Search this
Dixon, Maynard  Search this
Downs, Olin  Search this
Fisher, Franklin L.  Search this
Artzybasheff, Boris  Search this
Barbeau, Marius  Search this
Dale, Chester  Search this
National Geographic Society (U.S.)  Search this
Place of publication, production, or execution:
United States
Physical Description:
8.5 Linear feet
The collection is arranged into 7 series: Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1916-1957 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet) Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1904-1959 (Boxes 1-5; 4.0 linear feet) Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1920-1990 (Box 5-6; 1.0 linear feet) Series 4: Printed Material, circa 1920-1957 (Boxes 6-8, OV 10; 2.2 linear feet) Series 5: Financial Records, 1920-1955 (Box 8; 0.3 linear feet) Series 6: Sketchbooks and Sketches, circa 1922-1955 (Boxes 8-9, OV 10; 0.5 linear feet) Series 7: Photographs, circa 1920-1955 (Box 9; 5 folders)
Access Note / Rights:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
The papers of painter and illustrator W. Langdon Kihn measure approximately 8.5 linear feet and date from 1904-1990, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1904-1957. Papers document Kihn's career and travels associated with his interests in documenting the native American tribal nations of the United States and Canada in portraiture and writings. Found here are biographical materials, voluminous correspondence, memoirs and writings, one travel diary, printed material, financial records, three sketchbooks, sketches, and photographs.
W. Langdon Kihn papers, 1904-1990, bulk 1904-1957. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Additional Forms:
The bulk of the collection is available on 35 mm microfilm reels 3701-3713 at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of the material described in the container inventory does not reflect the arrangement of the collection on microfilm.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art
Use Note:
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.
Biography Note:
Born in Brooklyn, New York, W. (Wilfred) Langdon Kihn (1898-1959) is best known for his portraits of American Indians and illustrations of their history, culture and rapidly disappearing way of life. In 1919, Kihn joined his art teacher Winold Reiss on a trip to the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana where he completed his first series of portraits. This marked the beginning of his lifelong career of documenting the tribal nations of the United States and Canada. Through commissions from Canadian and American Railroad companies, Kihn spent much of the 1920s traversing both the United States and Northwest Canada where he had the opportunity to record the members and lives of various tribes. During this period, his paintings also traveled the country in a one man exhibition of his American Indian portraits, which was arranged by the Brooklyn Museum, and traveled to about 40 institutions in the United States. However his largest and best known commission was a project to research and paint North American Indians for serial publication in National Geographic . Kihn received the commission in 1935 and his association with the organization spanned two decades, culminating in the 1955 exhibition of his work at the National Geographic Museum, Washington, D.C, and the publication Indians of the Americas , with copius illustrations derived from Kihn's paintings and drawings.
Language Note:
English .
Helen Kihn, W. Langdon Kihn's widow, donated the bulk of the collection in 1959. In 1994 Phyllis Kihn, the artist's daughter, donated pages 1-8 of Kihn's original manuscript of his memoirs and a transcript of the complete memoirs.
Location Note:
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Book illustrators -- Connecticut  Search this
Indians of North America -- Pictorial works  Search this
Diaries  Search this
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Record number:
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art