The collection is arranged as 11 series. Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1930s-1960s (3 folders; Box 1, OV 12) Series 2: Correspondence, 1920-1974 (1.9 linear feet; Boxes 1-2, 8, OV 12) Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1920s-1973 (1.3 linear feet, Boxes 2-3, 8, OVs 13-16) Series 4: Diaries, 1930-1973 (1.4 linear feet, Boxes 3-5, 8) Series 5: Project Files, 1931-1966 (1.7 linear feet, Boxes 5-6, 8, OVs 17-19) Series 6: Teaching Files, 1966-1970 (3 folders, Box 6) Series 7: Financial Records, 1940s-1970s (2 folders, Box 6) Series 8: Printed Material, circa 1930s-1970s (0.2 linear feet, Box 6) Series 9: Scrapbooks, circa 1909-1974 (2 folders; Boxes 6, 9) Series 10: Artwork, circa 1920s-circa 1960s (1.7 linear feet, Boxes 6-7, 9-10, OVs 20-27) Series 11: Photographs, circa 1940s, 1977 (0.5 linear feet, Boxes 7, 11, OV 27)
Access Note / Rights:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The papers of Cambridge sculptor and illustrator, Lilian Swann Saarinen, measure nine linear feet and date from circa 1909 to 1977. The collection documents Saarinen's career through correspondence with artists, architects, publishers, and gallery owners; writings and notes, including manuscripts and illustrations for children's books and publications; project and teaching files; financial records; artwork, including numerous project sketches; and photos of Saarinen and her artwork. Saarinen's personal life is also documented through diaries and correspondence with friends and family members, including Eero Saarinen, to whom she was married from 1939-1953.
Lilian Swann Saarinen papers, circa 1909-1977. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The bulk of the collection was digitized in 2017 with funding provided by The Walton Family Foundation. Material not digitized includes blank pages of diaries, unannotated pages of engagement calendars, routine financial transactions, blank versos of photographs, and duplicates.
Material lent for microfilming is available on 35mm microfilm reels 1152 and 1192 at the Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by The Walton Family Foundation; and John R. & Barbara Robinson and Deborah Schmidt Robinson & Dr. R. Perry Robinson, The Widgeon Point Charitable Foundation.
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reels 1152 and 1192) including a scrapbook containing clippings, copies of letters and telegrams received, and reproductions of Saarinen's work. There is a copy of Saarinen's book, "Who Am I?", and three albums containing photographs of Saarinen, photographs and reproductions of her work, a list of exhibitions, quotes about her, and writings by her about sculpture. Lent material was returned to the lender and is not described in the collection container inventory.
Cambridge artist and sculptor, Lilian Swann Saarinen (1912-1995), studied at the Art Students League with Alexander Archipenko in 1928, and later with Albert Stewart and Heninz Warneke from 1934-1936, before moving to Michigan where she studied with Carl Milles at the Cranbrook Academy of Art from 1936-1940. Saarinen was an accomplished skier and a member of the 1936 US Olympic ski team.
The bulk of the collection is in English.
Lilian Swann Saarinen donated the collection in 1975. She lent additional materials for microfilming in 1976.
This site provides access to the papers of Lilian Swann Saarinen in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2017, and total 12,958 images.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001