The collection is arranged into 7 series. Each series is arranged chronologically: Series 1: Biographical Material, 1928-1975 (Box 1, OV 4; 34 folders) Series 2: Letters, 1930-1988 (Box 1; 25 folders) Series 3: Business Records, 1961-1982 (Box 1; 5 folders) Series 4: Artwork, circa 1962 (Box 1; 6 folders) Series 5: Scrapbooks, 1932-1939 (Box 1-2; 4 folders) Series 6: Printed Material, 1916-1988 (Box 2; 48 folders) Series 7: Photographs, 1910-1982 (Boxes 2-3, OV 4; 20 folders)
Access Note / Rights:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
The papers of Washington, D.C. area painter and art instructor Robert Franklin Gates date from 1910-1988, bulk 1928-1988, and measure 2.3 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical materials; letters from government agencies, museums, galleries, and colleagues; business records primarily concerning transactions with the Jack Rasmussen Gallery; artwork including scattered drawings by Gates and block prints by Joe Goethe and D. Neufeld; two scrapbooks; printed materials; and photographs of Gates, family members, models, artwork, and exhibition installations. There are also photograph albums and miscellaneous photographs documenting a 1936 voyage to the Virgin Islands commissioned by the U.S. Treasury Department.
Robert Franklin Gates papers, 1910-1988, bulk 1928-1988. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Also in the Archives of American Art are the papers of Gates' first wife Margaret Casey Gates, 1934-1988,
Robert Franklin Gates was born on October 6, 1906 in Detroit, Michigan. He studied at the Detroit School of Arts and Crafts, and from 1929 to 1930 attended the Art Students' League in New York. Between 1930 and 1932, Gates studied under C. Law Watkins at the Phillips Gallery Art School in Washington, D.C., later becoming an instructor in life drawing and painting there. During this time, he met fellow student Margaret Casey, and they married on January 7, 1933. Between 1934 and 1938, Robert Gates was an art instructor at the Studio House in Washington, D.C.
The Robert Franklin Gates papers were donated in 1995 by Sarita W. Gates, the artist's widow, via legal representative Bradford G. Weekes III.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001