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Ednah Dow Littlehale Cheney papers relating to Seth Wells Cheney and John Cheney

Creator:
Cheney, Ednah Dow Littlehale, 1824-1904  Search this
Names:
Cheney, John, 1801-1885  Search this
Cheney, Seth Wells, 1810-1856  Search this
Hart, Charles Henry, 1847-1918  Search this
Koehler, S. R. (Sylvester Rosa), 1837-1900  Search this
Lowell, Anna C. (Anna Cabot), 1811-1874  Search this
Extent:
125 Items ((on partial microfilm reel))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1848-1897
Scope and Contents:
Papers gathered by Ednah Cheney, wife of Seth Wells Cheney, for her memoirs of the two brothers, Seth and John Cheney, prominent 19th century engravers, composed of correspondence, clippings, notes, lists, a diary, and family photographs.
Included are 89 letters to Ednah Dow Cheney, 1873-1897, most from authorities on engraving, chiefly, Sylvester Rosa Koehler and Charles Henry Hart concerning the location and identification of engravings pursuant to compilation of a Cheney catalog; a letter describing an 1892 meeting of the National Suffrage Association; 2 lists of casts for a sculpture collection; a diary, August 1848, kept by Anna Cabot Lowell during Seth Cheney's stay while executing family portraits, describing his activities and character; a phrenological study of Cheney; 33 family photographs and daguerrotypes of John Cheney's drawings (not microfilmed); and miscellany.
Biographical / Historical:
Seth Wells Cheney was an engraver, as was his brother John Cheney, of Manchester, Connecticut. Ednah Cheney wrote Memoirs of Seth Wells Cheney, 1881, and Memoirs of John Cheney, 1889.
Provenance:
Donated 1960 by Alice Williams (married to Corcoran Gallery of Art director Hermann Warner Williams, Jr.), who inherited the Cheney's studio remains.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm.
Occupation:
Art historians  Search this
Biographers -- Connecticut  Search this
Engravers -- Connecticut  Search this
Topic:
Cataloging of engravings  Search this
Engraving -- 19th century -- Connecticut  Search this
Engraving -- American -- Connecticut  Search this
Phrenology -- Case studies -- Connecticut  Search this
Women authors -- Connecticut  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.chenedna
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-chenedna

Burt Chernow papers

Creator:
Chernow, Burt  Search this
Names:
Housatonic Community College (Bridgeport, Conn.)  Search this
Housatonic Museum of Art  Search this
Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection  Search this
Westport-Weston Arts Council (Westport, Conn.)  Search this
Arman, 1928-2005  Search this
Avery, Milton, 1885-1965  Search this
Christo, 1935-  Search this
Christo, 1935- (Wrapped Reichstag)  Search this
Hendricks, Barkley L., 1945-  Search this
Jeanne-Claude, 1935-2009  Search this
Johnson, Lester, 1919-2010  Search this
Peterdi, Gabor  Search this
Woodham, Jean, 1925-  Search this
Zúñiga, Francisco, 1912-1998  Search this
Extent:
21.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Transcriptions
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Photographs
Date:
1930-2002
Summary:
The papers of Burt Chernow measure 21.8 linear feet and consist mainly of research materials gathered and produced in the course of writing Christo and Jeanne-Claude: A Biography over an extensive period of close contact with the subjects, from the early 1980s until Chernow's death in 1997. Research materials for the biography include photocopies of personal documents of the Christos, hundreds of recorded interviews with Christo, Jeanne-Claude, their family members, and their associates, transcripts of interviews and research on interview subjects, other collected research material compiled chronologically, drafts of the biography written by Chernow, drafts of the biography and its epilogue produced after Chernow's death, and business records related to the book's production, which include significant correspondence with the Christos. Also found are the published German and U.S. editions of the biography, printed materials and photographs related to the book's subject matter, and fabric samples from five of the Christos' projects undertaken during Chernow's association with them. Chernow's career as an art critic, writer, educator, and arts advocate, primarily in Southern Connecticut, is documented in Chernow's other writings, organizational records, printed materials, and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Burt Chernow measure 21.8 linear feet and consist mainly of research materials gathered and produced in the course of writing Christo and Jeanne-Claude: A Biography over an extensive period of close contact with the subjects, from the early 1980s until Chernow's death in 1997. Research materials for the biography include photocopies of personal documents of the Christos, hundreds of recorded interviews with Christo, Jeanne-Claude, their family members, and their associates, transcripts of interviews and research on interview subjects, other collected research material compiled chronologically, drafts of the biography written by Chernow, drafts of the biography and its epilogue produced after Chernow's death, and business records related to the book's production, which include significant correspondence with the Christos. Also found are the published German and U.S. editions of the biography, printed materials and photographs related to the book's subject matter, and fabric samples from five of the Christos' projects undertaken during Chernow's association with them.

Chernow's career as an art critic, writer, educator, and arts advocate, primarily in Southern Connecticut, is documented in Chernow's other writings, organizational records, printed materials, and photographs. Other writings include drafts of articles, lectures, exhibition reviews, and catalog essays, some of which include research material gathered on the subjects. Artists written about by Chernow include Arman, Milton Avery, Barkley Hendricks, Francisco Zuñiga, Lester Johnson, Gabor Peterdi, and Jean Woodham, among many others, and including many Connecticut artists. A recorded interview with Arman, as well as transcripts of multiple interviews with Zuñiga, are filed with these writings. Also found are many writings and lectures related to the value of visual art in public life and in elementary and higher education. Numerous lectures by Chernow about several of the Christos' large-scale projects are also found, one of which, on the Wrapped Reichstag, is recorded on video.

Organizational records document Chernow's involvement in various art education organizations, his years of teaching at Housatonic Community College, his development of the Housatonic Museum of Art collection, and his work with several local arts organizations in Westport, Conn., including the Westport Arts Advisory Council, the Westport Arts Center, the Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection Committee, and the Westport Weston Arts Council. Types of documents found include correspondence, clippings, photographs, flyers, and notes.

Printed material includes many of the books written by Chernow, and monographs and magazines which included essays on specific artists by Chernow. A file of clippings about Chernow spanning his career is also found. Photographs include prints, negatives, and contact sheets, and consist mainly of photographs of artists, many of which were taken by Chernow, and many of which are signed by the artists with a personal note to the Chernows. A handful of personal photographs of the Chernows are also found.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged as 5 series.

Series 1: Research Material for -- Christo and Jeanne-Claude: A Biography -- , 1930-2002 (17.1 linear feet; Boxes 1-17, 23, OV 24)

Series 2: Other Writing, 1962-1999 (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 17-19)

Series 3: Organizational Records, 1963-2000 (1.1 linear feet; Boxes 19-20, 23, OV 24)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1960-2002 (1.3 linear feet; Boxes 20-21, 23)

Series 5: Photographs, 1950-1997 (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 21-23, OV 24)
Biographical / Historical:
Burt Chernow was an art historian, writer, educator, collector, and dealer who founded the Housatonic Museum of Art in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and who, upon his retirement from Housatonic Community College, became the authorized biographer of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, which he researched through close contact with the Christos from 1984 until his death in 1997. Although he had not completed the biography when he died, his wife Ann Chernow saw the manuscript through to publication, and the biography, Christo and Jeanne-Claude: A Biography, was first published in Germany in 2000, and then in the United States in 2002.

Born in New York City in 1933, Chernow earned a master's degree in art education at New York University in 1960, and began his career as an art teacher in the Westport, Connecticut public schools, later joining the faculty of the Art Department at the Housatonic Community College, where he eventually became the department's director. He also taught at the Museum of Modern Art, organizing the Children's Art Carnival in Harlem through the museum, and at Silvermine School of the Arts, the A.B.C.D. Arts Center in Bridgeport, Conn., and the Stamford Museum. While on the faculty at Housatonic Community College, he began collecting original artworks, mainly through donations directly from the artists, for what eventually became the Housatonic Museum of Art. Over the course of nearly 30 years he amassed over 4000 works for the collection, the largest of its kind for a community college, and remained the museum's Emeritus Director until his death. He remained active in civic arts organizations in Westport as well, where he was a founding member of the Westport Arts Center, served on the Westport Arts Advisory Council, and helped to establish the annual Westport Arts Awards.

Upon his retirement from the Housatonic faculty in 1984, Chernow approached Christo and Jeanne-Claude about becoming their authorized biographer. He had participated in their project Surrounded Islands in Miami in 1983, and had played a role in exhibitions and artist talks by Christo at the Aldrich Museum (1981) and the Wadsworth Atheneum (1978) as well. He and his wife Ann Chernow attended and helped to document the Wrapped Pont Neuf (1985) in Paris, and then visited Christo's family in Bulgaria in 1986. It was after their Bulgarian trip that Christo and Jeanne-Claude agreed to authorize him to write their biography, and Chernow's research began in earnest. He conducted hundreds of interviews with them, their family, and associates, participated in the major large-scale projects that took place between 1985 and 1995, and completed a draft of the biography up to the year 1982 before he died suddenly in 1997. After his death, his wife Ann Chernow saw the biography through to publication. It was published with an epilogue by Wolfgang Volz, the Christos' official photographer, bringing the Christos' story up to date from where Chernow had left off, first in Germany, and later in the United States and Italy.

Chernow wrote many books, catalogs, and articles about other artists as well, including Milton Avery, Francisco Zuniga, Gabor Peterdi, Will Barnet, Jean Woodham, and Lester Johnson, among others, and published and lectured widely on the subjects of art education and public art.
Provenance:
Donated 2002 by Ann Chernow, the widow of Burt Chernow.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Burt Chernow papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Occupation:
Art historians -- Connecticut  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art critics -- Connecticut  Search this
Authors -- Connecticut  Search this
Educators -- Connecticut  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Transcriptions
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Photographs
Citation:
Burt Chernow papers, 1930-2002. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.cherburt
See more items in:
Burt Chernow papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cherburt
Online Media:

Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley papers

Creator:
Brinley, Putnam  Search this
Names:
Blashfield, Edwin Howland, 1848-1936  Search this
Brinley, Kathrine Sanger  Search this
Bruce, Edward, 1879-1943  Search this
Coffin, William A. (William Anderson), 1855-1925  Search this
Davis, Charles H. (Charles Harold), 1856-1933  Search this
Erskine, John, 1879-1951  Search this
Euwer, Anthony  Search this
Gabay, Esperanza  Search this
Henri, Robert, 1865-1929  Search this
Meiere, M. Hildreth, d. 1961  Search this
Peixotto, Ernest, b. 1869  Search this
Troy, Hugh  Search this
Extent:
14.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Diaries
Photographs
Writings
Poetry
Date:
1879-1984
Summary:
The papers of painter and muralist Daniel Putnam Brinley and his wife, linguist and writer Kathrine Sanger Brinley, date from 1879 to 1984 and measure 14.3 linear feet. The Brinleys' careers and lives are documented in biographical materials, as well as extensive correspondence with one another, family, friends, art galleries, organizations, publishers, and others. Also found within the papers are writings by both, including 16 diaries (1 by Daniel Putnam Brinley and the rest by Kathrine), essays, manuscripts, typescripts, notes and notebooks, poetry, and various other writings. There are mural commission files, files for organizations of which the Brinleys were members, financial and legal records, exhibition catalogs, news clippings, and other printed material. Also found are photographs of the Brinleys, family, friends, travels, and artwork, and six sketchbooks and original artwork by Daniel Putnam Brinley.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter and muralist Daniel Putnam Brinley and his wife, linguist and writer Kathrine Sanger Brinley, date from 1879 to 1984 and measure 14.3 linear feet. The Brinleys' careers and lives are documented in biographical materials, as well as extensive correspondence with one another, family, friends, art galleries, organizations, publishers, and others. Also found within the papers are writings by both, including 16 diaries (1 by Daniel Putnam Brinley and the rest by Kathrine), essays, manuscripts, typescripts, notes and notebooks, poetry, and various other writings. There are mural commission files, files for organizations of which the Brinleys were members, financial and legal records, exhibition catalogs, news clippings, and other printed material. Also found are photographs of the Brinleys, family, friends, travels, and artwork, and six sketchbooks and original artwork by Daniel Putnam Brinley.

Biographical material consists of biographical sketches and professional summaries for both Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley, passports, personal mementos, award certificates, two radio interview transcripts, and military records documenting Daniel Putnam Brinley's service in the American Expeditionary Forces and the Camouflage Corps.

The papers contain extensive correspondence (4.6 linear feet) divided into family correspondence and general correspondence. Family correspondence includes letters between Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley and with their parents and siblings. General correspondence primarily includes the Brinley's personal correspondence with friends and extended family. These letters discuss travel, mutual acquaintances, social events, and general news. Also found is professional correspondence regarding the exhibition and commission of artwork by Daniel Putnam Brinley and the publication of writings by Kathrine Sanger Brinley. Also discussed in the letters are the Brinleys' participation in art, social, and religious organizations. Correspondence of note is with Edwin Blashfield, Edward Bruce, William A. Coffin, Charles H. Davis, John Erskine, Anthony Euwer, Esperanza Gabay, Robert Henri, Hildreth Meiere, Ernest Peixotto, and Hugh Troy.

Writings and notes are by Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley. Included among their writings are one diary by Daniel Putnam Brinley, 15 diaries by Kathrine Sanger Brinley, essays, notebooks and notes, manuscripts, and typescripts. Subjects of their writings include essays about religion, poetry, and autobiographical and travel essays. Also found among Daniel Putnam Brinley's writing are lecture notes, fictional stories and plays, essays about art, and historical research for his mural projects.

Mural commission files include correspondence, lists, contracts, financial agreements, notes, plans, sketches, and photographs for specific murals. There is extensive documentation on murals Brinley completed for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in New York and the Liberty War Memorial in Kansas City Missouri. Organization files document the Brinleys' participation in art and social organizations.

Scattered financial and legal records include receipts, account books, leases, estate and power of attorney documents, and records regarding their house and property in New Canaan, Connecticut. Printed material consists of published items documenting the careers, social activities and personal interest of the Brinleys, and includes books, exhibition catalogs and announcements, news clippings, newsletters, and items from their travels abroad.

Photographs depict Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley, individually and with family and friends, and include photographs of Daniel Putnam Brinley working on mural commissions. Also found are photographs of their travels, their homes, Daniel Putnam Brinley's artwork, and reference photographs for his murals. Artwork in this collection includes six of Daniel Putnam Brinley's sketchbooks, primarily from his travels in Europe and Canada, loose drawings and mural studies, drawings by Albert Sterner and Reinhold Palenske, and a lithograph by John Steuart Curry.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1879-1970s (Box 1, OV 16; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1879-1984 (Box 1-6; 4.6 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1895-1964 (Box 6-9; 3.3 linear feet)

Series 4: Commission Files, 1920-1979 (Box 9-10; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 5: Organization Files, 1909-1964 (Box 10-11; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 6: Financial and Legal Records, 1896-1965 (Box 11; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1895-1979 (Box 11-13, OV 16-17; 1.8 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, 1881-1971 (Box 13-14, OV 22; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 9: Artwork, 1891-1950s (Box 14-15, OVs 18-21; 0.9 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Daniel Putnam Brinley (1879-1963) was a muralist and painter in New York City and New Canaan, Connecticut. Brinley was born in Newport, Rhode Island, and studied from 1900 to 1902 at the Art Student's League under Kenyon Cox and John Henry Twachtman. Influenced by Twachtman, he became an impressionist landscape painter for a time. In 1904, he married his childhood friend, writer Kathrine Gordon Sanger (1877-1966). For the next four years they traveled throughout Europe and lived in Paris, where Brinley studied art independently and became a member of the modernist circle of painters.

In 1908 the Brinleys returned to the United States and Daniel established a studio in New York City. During this period his work was heavily influenced by the modernist movement, with flattened forms and a deeper hued palette. Brinley had his first one-man show at Madison Avenue Galleries in 1910, exhibited at Alfred Stieglitz's gallery at 291, and helped organized the 1913 Armory Show. He was also a founding member of the Association of American Painters and Sculptors and the Grand Central Art Galleries. In 1914 the Brinleys built a home, Datchet House, in New Canaan, Connecticut, and spent part of each year there for the remainder of their lives.

In 1917 Daniel Putnam Brinley trained with the American Expeditionary Forces and went to France as the Director of Decoration for the Foyers Du Soldat (YMCA), remaining there until 1919. After returning to the United States he became a mural painter and received numerous commissions for memorials, office buildings, churches, and public spaces over the next forty years. Perhaps most notable of these commissions was the Liberty War Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, for which Brinley painted 24 decorative maps showing the history of World War I. He remained active in the art community as a member of the Architectural League of New York, the National Academy of Design, and the Silvermine Guild of Artists, among others.

Kathrine Sanger Brinley was a writer and linguist who worked in Europe, New York City, and Connecticut. She lived in Europe from 1904 to 1908 where she studied the arts and crafts of the middle ages and became an expert on English writing and language of the 14th century. She published articles and books on these subjects and during the 1920s had a successful career touring as a dramatic recitalist of the works of Geoffrey Chaucer. From 1934 to 1938 the Brinley's spent their summers traveling throughout Canada, and Kathrine published four travel books which were illustrated by Daniel Putnam Brinley. Kathrine Sanger Brinley published and wrote professionally under the name Gordon Brinley.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is the Elizabeth Loder research material on Daniel Putnam Brinley, 1919-1990.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming on reel 1427, including select family photographs. Loaned material was returned to the lender is not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
The Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley papers were lent for microfilming by their niece, Elizabeth Loder, in 1978-1979. Loder subsequently donated all but select family photographs in 1991 and additional material in 1992.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Muralists -- Connecticut -- New Canaan  Search this
Mural painting and decoration -- United States  Search this
Authors -- Connecticut -- New Canaan  Search this
Painters -- Connecticut -- New Canaan  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Diaries
Photographs
Writings
Poetry
Citation:
Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley papers, 1879-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.brindani
See more items in:
Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-brindani
Online Media:

John Vassos Papers

Creator:
Vassos, John, 1898-1985  Search this
Names:
General Electric Company  Search this
Industrial Designers Society of America  Search this
Kuljian Corporation  Search this
Matthias Hohner AG  Search this
Packard Motor Car Company  Search this
Perey Manufacturing Company  Search this
Prudential Lines, Inc.  Search this
Radio Corporation of America.  Search this
Remington Arms Company  Search this
Savage Arms Corporation  Search this
Silvermine Guild of Artists  Search this
Byard, Dorothy  Search this
Sanders, Bernard  Search this
Second, George  Search this
Vassos, Ruth  Search this
Extent:
18.7 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Paintings
Photographs
Screen prints
Transcripts
Design drawings
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Slides (photographs)
Date:
1915-1989
Summary:
The papers of designer, illustrator, and muralist John Vassos measure 18.7 linear feet and date from 1915 to 1989. The papers include biographical materials, personal and professional correspondence, writings and writing project files, Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) files, Radio Corporation of American (RCA) files, Silvermine Guild of Artists files, general professional and committee files, printed materials, four scrapbooks, photographic materials, and artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of designer, writer, illustrator, and muralist John Vassos measure 18.7 linear feet and date from 1915 to 1989. The papers include biographical materials, personal and professional correspondence, writings and writing project files, Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) files, Radio Corporation of American (RCA) files, Silvermine Guild of Artists files, general professional and committee files, printed materials, four scrapbooks, photographic materials, and artwork.

Biographical materials include various biographies and resumes, passports for Ruth and John Vassos and other vital documents, one unidentified interview transcript with Vassos, property boundaries, leases, and scattered financial materials among other material. Correspondence is primarily professional in nature and is with colleagues, industrial design organizations in which Vassos' was involved, organizations and individuals with which Vassos' may have done consulting work, and others. Personal correspondence includes exchanges with a few WWII military colleagues and friends, and several files of personal correspondence between Ruth and John Vassos during his deployment in WWII.

John Vassos was a prolific writer and illustrated and wrote a number of articles, books, essays, and play scripts. Writings and writing projects include handwritten and typed drafts of book manuscripts, including Vassos' autobiography; sketched mock-ups with illustrations and layouts for articles and books; publishing contracts and correspondence; and writings by others. Notable published books include Contempo, Phobia, and Ultimo.

Vassos' involvement in the founding and eventual merging of major U. S. industrial design organizations is documented within the IDSA files, which include materials on ADI, IDI, ASID, SID, and IDEA.

Vassos' thirty-plus year career as a consultant designer with RCA is documented through various materials, including contract agreements, correspondence, design plans and sketches, expense reports, project proposals, and various other materials. And as the president and an active member of the Silvermine Guild of Artists, Vassos kept extensive files on Guild activities, including building proposals and sketches, logo designs, exhibitions, school plans and lesson structures, photographs, and printed materials.

Vassos' involvement with numerous other professional organizations and committees as a consultant designer, illustrator, member, and muralist, is documented through general professional and committee files. Vassos designed appliances, bicycles, flatware, knives, pens, radios, rifles, television sets, and turnstiles, in addition to painting murals, designing several buildings, and doing interior design work for theaters. Companies include: General Electric Company; M. Hohner, Inc.; the India Industries World Trade Fair; International Society for Arts and Decoration; Kuljian Corporation; Packard Motor Car Company; Perey Manufacturing Company; Prudential Lines, Inc.; Remington Arms Company, Inc.; Remington Dupont; and Savage Arms Corporation, to name a few.

The collection also includes printed materials; three clippings scrapbooks on the Silvermine Guild and School, and one scrapbook assembled by a Greek student, George Second; and photographic items: approximately 97 glass lantern slides, various negatives, color slides, and photographs of John Vassos and others, as well as images of products and designs, and two photo albums of industrial design work.

Artwork includes extensive figure and illustration sketches in pen, pencil, charcoal, watercolor, and other media; two paintings by Vassos; mural design drawings and sketches; sketches of products and designs; and several sketches and a collection of silkscreen prints by other artists, including Dorothy Byard and Bernard Sanders.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as 11 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1915-1975 (0.4 linear feet; Box 1, Box 16, OV20, OV35)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1927-1986 (2.3 linear feet; Boxes 1-3)

Series 3: Writings and Writing Projects, circa 1929-1989 (1.0 linear feet; Boxes 3-4, OV20)

Series 4: Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), circa 1938-1976 (2.0 linear feet; Boxes 4-6, Box 16, OV21)

Series 5: Radio Corporation of America (RCA), circa 1930s-1976 (2.1 linear feet; Boxes 6-7, Box 15, OV22-24, OV26)

Series 6: Silvermine Guild of Artists, 1915-1986 (1.9 linear feet; Boxes 7-9, Box 16, OV27-28)

Series 7: General Professional and Committee Files, circa 1920s-1983 (3.8 linear feet; Boxes 9-11, Boxes 15-16, OV26, OV29-39, RD57)

Series 8: Printed Material, circa 1928-circa 1985 (1.6 linear feet; Boxes 11-12, Box 16)

Series 9: Scrapbooks, circa 1940s-1953 (0.8 linear feet: Box 13, Box 17, Box 19)

Series 10: Photographic Materials, 1919-circa 1989 (1.7 linear feet; Boxes 13-14, Box 16, Box 18, OV40-41, Lantern Slide Boxes 58-59)

Series 11: Artwork, circa 1930s-circa 1970s (1.7 linear feet; Box 14, Box 18, OV25, OV42-56)
Biographical / Historical:
John Vassos (1898-1985) was an author, designer, illustrator, and muralist, active in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Vassos was born John Vassacopoulos, in Romania to Greek parents, attended Robert College in Turkey, and joined the British Fleet to serve in World War I. He immigrated to Boston in 1919, where he washed windows and studied art and illustration with John Singer Sargent at the Fenway Art School. In 1924, he moved to New York City where he studied at the Art Students League under John Sloan. Vassos began his career as an illustrator for various magazines, in addition to writing, illustrating, and publishing over fourteen books, most notably, Contempo, Phobia, and Ultimo. He worked on many publications with his wife, Ruth Carrier, who often wrote what he then illustrated in the late 1920s through the 1930s.

Employed as an industrial designer at the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), he established their first internal design department in 1933. He contributed a number of RCA product designs, including radios, radio cabinets, and televisions during his time as a consultant and designer. In addition, he designed RCA's first electronically decorated living room for the New York World's Fair, "America at Home" pavilion. He remained as an industrial design consultant with RCA through 1964. Vassos went on to work as a consultant designer to create utensils with Remington Dupont, the first Lucite pen for Waterman, and redesigned turnstiles for Perey Manufacturing Company, among many other companies. In addition to product design work, Vassos did interior design work for restaurants and theaters, and painted murals for a number of companies, hotels, and movie theaters.

During World War II, Vassos served in the U. S. Army Air Corps developing camouflage techniques and conducting special operations in Greece while also writing a number of publications, including informational advertisements and flyers, as well as several brief illustrated books warning about carelessness with regards to camouflage and equipment.

In 1938, Vassos founded the American Designers Institute (ADI) and became president again in 1948. He was instrumental in the merger of the major industrial design associations, the Industrial Designers Institute (IDI), Industrial Design Education Association (IDEA), American Society of Industrial Designers (ASID), and the Society of Industrial Designers (SID), into the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), where he was elected the first Chairman of the Board in 1965.

Additionally, he was president of the Silvermine Guild of Artists in Connecticut for ten terms from 1936 to 1955, where he designed the logo and raised significant funds with help from his influence with RCA. Between 1938 and 1940, the Guild held an exhibition titled Social Statements and included works by various members, to which he contributed two oil paintings of his own.

Vassos died in 1985 in Norwalk, Connecticut.
Related Materials:
John Vassos' papers are also at Syracuse University.
Provenance:
The John Vassos papers were donated from 1989 to 1990 by Paul Johnes, Vassos' nephew.
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.

Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The John Vassos papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Occupation:
Designers -- Connecticut -- Norwalk  Search this
Design -- Study and teaching  Search this
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Theaters -- Designs and plans  Search this
Authors -- Connecticut  Search this
Theaters -- Decoration  Search this
Muralists -- Connecticut  Search this
Illustrators -- Connecticut  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Paintings
Photographs
Screen prints
Transcripts
Design drawings
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Slides (photographs)
Citation:
John Vassos papers, 1898-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.vassjohn
See more items in:
John Vassos Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-vassjohn
Online Media:

Burt Chernow papers, 1930-2002

Creator:
Chernow, Burt, 1933-1997  Search this
Subject:
Peterdi, Gabor  Search this
Hendricks, Barkley L.  Search this
Johnson, Lester  Search this
Arman  Search this
Avery, Milton  Search this
Christo  Search this
Zúñiga, Francisco  Search this
Woodham, Jean  Search this
Jeanne-Claude  Search this
Christo (Wrapped Reichstag)  Search this
Westport-Weston Arts Council  Search this
Housatonic Community College  Search this
Housatonic Museum of Art  Search this
Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Transcriptions
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Photographs
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art critics -- Connecticut  Search this
Authors -- Connecticut  Search this
Educators -- Connecticut  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6021
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)235373
AAA_collcode_cherburt
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_235373
Online Media:

John Vassos Papers, 1915-1989

Creator:
Vassos, John, 1898-1985  Search this
Subject:
Second, George  Search this
Byard, Dorothy  Search this
Vassos, Ruth  Search this
Sanders, Bernard  Search this
Radio Corporation of America.  Search this
Prudential Lines, Inc.  Search this
Perey Manufacturing Company  Search this
Packard Motor Car Company  Search this
Savage Arms Corporation  Search this
General Electric Company  Search this
Remington Arms Company  Search this
Matthias Hohner AG  Search this
Kuljian Corporation  Search this
Industrial Designers Society of America  Search this
Silvermine Guild of Artists  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Paintings
Photographs
Screen prints
Transcripts
Design drawings
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Slides (photographs)
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Theaters -- Designs and plans  Search this
Authors -- Connecticut  Search this
Theaters -- Decoration  Search this
Muralists -- Connecticut  Search this
Illustrators -- Connecticut  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9640
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211848
AAA_collcode_vassjohn
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Architecture & Design
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211848
Online Media:

Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley papers, 1879-1984

Creator:
Brinley, Putnam, 1879-1963  Search this
Brinley, Katherine Sanger, 1879-1966  Search this
Subject:
Henri, Robert  Search this
Gabay, Esperanza  Search this
Peixotto, Ernest  Search this
Meiere, M. Hildreth  Search this
Davis, Charles H. (Charles Harold)  Search this
Coffin, William A. (William Anderson)  Search this
Euwer, Anthony  Search this
Erskine, John  Search this
Troy, Hugh  Search this
Blashfield, Edwin Howland  Search this
Brinley, Kathrine Sanger  Search this
Bruce, Edward  Search this
Type:
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Diaries
Photographs
Writings
Poetry
Topic:
Muralists -- Connecticut -- New Canaan  Search this
Mural painting and decoration -- United States  Search this
Authors -- Connecticut -- New Canaan  Search this
Painters -- Connecticut -- New Canaan  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6830
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)208957
AAA_collcode_brindani
Theme:
Diaries
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Lives of American Artists
American Art and Artists in a Global Context
Audio - Visual
Craft
Architecture & Design
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_208957
Online Media:

Ednah Dow Littlehale Cheney papers relating to Seth Wells Cheney and John Cheney, 1848-1897

Creator:
Cheney, Ednah Dow Littlehale, 1824-1904  Search this
Cheney, John, 1801-1885  Search this
Subject:
Cheney, Seth Wells  Search this
Cheney, John  Search this
Hart, Charles Henry  Search this
Koehler, S. R. (Sylvester Rosa)  Search this
Lowell, Anna C. (Anna Cabot)  Search this
Topic:
Cataloging of engravings  Search this
Engraving -- 19th century -- Connecticut  Search this
Engraving -- American -- Connecticut  Search this
Phrenology -- Case studies -- Connecticut  Search this
Women authors -- Connecticut  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7403
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209560
AAA_collcode_chenedna
Theme:
Diaries
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209560

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