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Wharton Esherick papers, 1920-1970

Creator:
Esherick, Wharton, 1887-1970  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10768
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)214388
AAA_collcode_eshewhar
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_214388

Wharton Esherick papers

Creator:
Esherick, Wharton  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (partial microfilm reel)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1920-1970
Scope and Contents:
Account books, 1920-1970, detailing commissions including clients, costs and sale price for furniture, prints and paintings; index card files detailing works, materials and services, and galleries; 3 loose price lists; and high school year book.
Biographical / Historical:
Wood engraver, furniture maker, sculptor; Philadelphia, Pa. Born 1887. Died 1970.
Provenance:
Lent for microfilming 1991 by the Esherick family as part of AAA's Philadelphia Arts Documentation Project.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Identifier:
AAA.eshewhar
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-eshewhar

Oral history interview with Wendell Castle

Interviewee:
Castle, Wendell, 1932-2018  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
School for American Crafts  Search this
Esherick, Wharton  Search this
Extent:
145 Pages (Transcript)
1 Item (sound file (2 min. 21 sec.) Audio excerpt, digital)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1981 June 3-December 12
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Wendell Castle, conducted 1981 June 3-December 12, by Robert F. Brown, in Scotsville, New York, for the Archives of American Art.
Castle speaks of his early work, in Kansas, in industrial design and sculpture; the transition he made in the early 1960s from sculpture to furniture design; teaching furniture design at the School for American Craftsmen, Rochester, New York; Wharton Esherick; the importance of creative design and sound workmanship; exhibitions and commissions; current interest in French 18th Century and Art Deco furniture; the evolution of his work from laminated pieces to an elegant style; and efforts to gain fine art status for his furniture.
Biographical / Historical:
Wendell Castle (1932-2018) was a furniture designer, sculptor, and educator from Rochester, New York. He taught at the School for American Craftsmen and Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 27 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Occupation:
Furniture designers -- New York (State)  Search this
Educators -- New York (State)  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State)  Search this
Topic:
Decorative arts -- United States  Search this
Design, Industrial  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.castle81
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-castle81

Oral history interview with Mansfield Bascom and Ruth Esherick Bascom about Wharton Esherick

Interviewee:
Bascom, Mansfield  Search this
Creator:
Bascom, Ruth Esherick  Search this
Interviewer:
Polsky, Richard  Search this
Names:
Esherick, Wharton  Search this
Extent:
78 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1990 July 13
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Ruth and Mansfield Bascom concerning artist Wharton Esherick, conducted 1990 July 13, by Richard Polsky, for the Archives of American Art Philadelphia Project.
Wharton Esherick was the father of Ruth Bascom. The Bascoms discuss Esherick's childhood sketching; studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; professional life including painting, printmaking, frame carving, sculpture and furniture making; stylistic development, working methods, clients, materials, and exhibitions; his stays in Fairhope, Alabama; his "organic" life style; and the establishment of the Wharton Esherick Museum.
Biographical / Historical:
Mansfield Bascom married Ruth Esherick and is the son-in-law of Wharton Esherick (1887-1970), who was a sculptor, painter, printmaker, wood-carver and furniture maker from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 15 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews of artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
Transcript: Patrons must use microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Cabinetmakers -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- Interviews  Search this
Wood-carvers -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Painters -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- Interviews  Search this
Printmakers -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.bascom90
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bascom90

Oral history interview with Ruth Esherick and Mansfield Bascom on Wharton Esherick

Interviewee:
Bascom, Ruth Esherick  Search this
Interviewer:
Pacini, Marina  Search this
Creator:
Bascom, Mansfield  Search this
Names:
Esherick, Wharton  Search this
Extent:
105 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1991 March 26
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Ruth Esherick Bascom and Mansfield Bascom regarding Wharton Esherick, conducted 1991 March 26, by Marina Pacini, for the Archives of American Art Philadelphia Project.
Ruth Esherick Bascom and Mansfield Bascom speak about Wharton Esherick's family, his education, his "organic" life in Paoli, Pennsylvania, and his efforts to support himself through the sale of his paintings, furniture and sculpture. They discuss Esherick's work, its stylistic development, and changes in his prints and furniture, materials; clients such as the Hedgrow Theater, The Fischer family, Marjorie Content, Curtis Bok; Esherick's studio and his workshop; Esherick's relationship with Miriam Phillips and some of the clients she brought him; and contacts in New York City.
Biographical / Historical:
Ruth Esherick Bascom from Paoli, Pennsylvania, is the daughter of Wharton Esherick (1887-1970), who was a sculptor, painter, printmaker, and furniture maker from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Bascom is married to Mansfield Bascom.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 40 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics anda others.
Restrictions:
Transcript: Patrons must use microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Cabinetmakers -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Painters -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- Interviews  Search this
Printmakers -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.bascom91
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bascom91

Oral history interview with Joyce Anderson

Interviewee:
Anderson, Joyce, 1925-  Search this
Interviewer:
Gold, Donna, 1953-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
New York University -- Students  Search this
Anderson, Edgar, approximately 1922-  Search this
Esherick, Wharton  Search this
Maloof, Sam  Search this
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Stickley, Gustav, 1858-1942  Search this
Stocksdale, Bob, 1913-2003  Search this
Tibbs, Thomas S., 1917-2002  Search this
Wiley, Hugh, 1884-1968  Search this
Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959  Search this
Extent:
50 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2002 September 18-19
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Joyce Anderson conducted 2002 September 18-19, by Donna Gold, in Morristown, New Jersey, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.
Anderson describes her training in economics at New York University, and her interrupted career in that field; her childhood, "a good bringing-up," and her family; dating Edgar Anderson in high school, and marrying him after World War II; and on the early years of their partnership and her own self-education as a woodworker; the design and construction of their home, the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright, and living briefly in Wright's Robie House in Chicago; Scandanavian furniture as an important early influence on their work, as well as the enduring influence of the local environment; the general spirit of the early period, infused with a sense of "breaking tradition"; the New Jersey Designer Craftsmen, and friends such as George Nakashima and Wharton Esherick; on her status as a woman in the movement, which was "never" problematic; projects executed for institutional clients, including furniture designed for public libraries, churches, and synagogues; private clients, and their relationships with clients; her design approach, which differs greatly from her husband's, as well as shared attitudes towards applied decoration and problem solving; her inclusion in the exhibition "Women Designers in the USA 1900-2000: Diversity and Difference," at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies; the difficulties of the spousal partnership, on her own health which was compromised by sawdust, and on the future of the house which is being donated to a preservation trust; large parties they hosted at the house, which included children in elaborate performances. She also recalls Tom Tibbs, Lou and Sandy Grotta, Sam Maloof, Hugh Wiley, Zelda Strecker, Emil Milan, Gustav Stickley, Bob Stocksdale, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Joyce Anderson (1925- ) is a woodworker from Morristown, New Jersey.
General:
Originally recorded 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 16 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 50 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Decorative arts  Search this
Furniture design  Search this
Furniture making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Woodwork  Search this
Woodworkers -- New Jersey -- Interviews.  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.andersj02
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-andersj02

Henry Varnum Poor papers

Creator:
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Names:
Montross Gallery  Search this
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Benton, William, 1900-1973  Search this
Biddle, George, 1885-1973  Search this
Billing, Jules  Search this
Burchfield, Charles Ephraim, 1893-1967  Search this
Caniff, Milton Arthur, 1907-1988  Search this
Ciardi, John, 1916-  Search this
Czebotar, Theodore  Search this
Deming, MacDonald  Search this
Dickson, Harold E., 1900-  Search this
Dorn, Marion, 1896-1964  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Esherick, Wharton  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Garrett, Alice Warder  Search this
Houseman, John, 1902-1988  Search this
Marston, Muktuk  Search this
Meredith, Burgess, 1907-1997  Search this
Mumford, Lewis, 1895-1990  Search this
Padro, Isabel  Search this
Poor, Anne, 1918-  Search this
Poor, Bessie Breuer  Search this
Poor, Eva  Search this
Poor, Josephine Graham  Search this
Poor, Josephine Lydia  Search this
Poor, Peter  Search this
Sargent, Elizabeth S.  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968  Search this
Watson, Ernest William, 1884-1969  Search this
Extent:
12.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketches
Motion pictures (visual works)
Diaries
Prints
Photographs
Illustrations
Drawings
Watercolors
Sketchbooks
Date:
1873-2001
bulk 1904-1970
Summary:
The papers of Henry Varnum Poor measure 12.9 linear feet and date from 1873-2001, with the bulk from the period 1904-1970. Correspondence, writings, artwork, printed material and photographs document Poor's work as a painter, muralist, ceramic artist and potter, architect, designer, writer, war artist, educator and a co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Also found is extensive information about the design and construction of Crow House, his home in New City, New York, commissions for other architectural projects, and his personal life.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Henry Varnum Poor measure 12.9 linear feet and date from 1873-2001, with the bulk from the period 1904-1970. Correspondence, writings, artwork, printed material and photographs document Poor's work as a painter, muralist, ceramic artist and potter, architect, designer, writer, war artist, educator and a co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Also found is extensive information about the design and construction of Crow House, his home in New City, New York, commissions for other architectural projects, and his personal life.

Henry Varnum Poor's correspondence documents his personal, family, and professional life. Correspondents include family and friends, among them George Biddle, Charles Burchfield, John Ciardi, Marion V. Dorn (who became his second wife), Philip Evergood, Lewis Mumford, John Steinbeck, David Smith, and Mrs. John Work (Alice) Garrett. Among other correspondents are galleries, museums, schools, organizations, fans, former students, and acquaintances from his military service and travels. Family correspondence consists of Henry's letters to his parents, letters to his parents written by his wife, and letters among other family members.

Among the writings by Henry Varnum Poor are manuscripts of his two published books, An Artist Sees Alaska and A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality. as well as the text of "Painting is Being Talked to Death," published in the first issue of Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions, April 1953, and manuscripts of other articles. There are also film scripts, two journals, notes and notebooks, lists, speeches, and writings by others, including M. R. ("Muktuk") Marston's account of Poor rescuing an Eskimo, and Bessie Breuer Poor's recollections of The Montross Gallery.

Subject files include those on the Advisory Committee on Art, American Designers' Gallery, Inc., William Benton, Harold Dickson, Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions Sales, and War Posters. There are numerous administrative files for the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Artwork by Henry Varnum Poor consists mainly of loose drawings and sketches and 45 sketchbooks of studies for paintings, murals, and pottery. There is work done in France, 1918-1919, and while working as a war correspondent in Alaska in 1943. There are commissioned illustrations and some intended for his monograph, A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality. Also found are a small number of watercolors and prints. Work by other artists consist of Anne Poor's drawings of her father's hands used for the Lincoln figure in The Land Grant Frescoes and interior views of Crow House by Ernest Watson.

Documentation of Poor's architectural projects consists of drawings and prints relating to houses designed and built for Jules Billing, MacDonald Deming, John Houseman, Burgess Meredith, Isabel Padro, and Elizabeth S. Sargent. Also found is similar material for the new studio Poor built in 1957 on the grounds of Crow House.

Miscellaneous records include family memorabilia and two motion picture films, Painting a True Fresco, and The Land Grant Murals at Pennsylvania State College.

Printed material includes articles about or mentioning Poor, some of his pottery reference books, family history, a catalog of kilns, and the program of a 1949 Pennsylvania State College theater production titled Poor Mr. Varnum. Exhibition catalogs and announcements survive for some of Poor's shows; catalogs of other artists' shows include one for Theodore Czebotar containing an introductory statement by Henry Varnum Poor. Also found is a copy of The Army at War: A Graphic Record by American Artists, for which Poor served as an advisor. There are reproductions of illustrations for An Artist Sees Alaska and Ethan Frome, and two Associated American Artists greeting cards reproducing work by Poor.

Photographs are of Henry Varnum Poor's architectural work, artwork, people, places, and miscellaneous subjects. This series also contains negatives, slides, and transparencies. Images of architectural work include exterior and interior views of many projects; Poor's home, Crow House, predominates. Photographs of artwork by Poor are of drawings, fresco and ceramic tile murals, paintings, pottery and ceramic art. People appearing in photographs include Henry Varnum Poor, family members, friends, clients, juries, students, and various groups. Among the individuals portrayed are Milton Caniff, Marcel Duchamp, Wharton Esherick, M. R. ("Muktuk") Marston, and Burgess Meredith. Among the family members are Bessie Breuer Poor, Marion Dorn Poor, Anne Poor, Eva Poor, Josephine Graham Poor, Josephine Lydia Poor, Peter Poor, and unidentified relatives. Photographs of places include many illustrating village life in Alaska that were taken by Poor during World War II. Other places recorded are French and California landscapes, and family homes in Kansas. Miscellaneous subjects are exhibition installation views, scenes of Kentucky farms, and a photograph of Poor's notes on glazes.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1919-1987 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1, OV 18)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1873-1985 (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1944-1974 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 2-3)

Series 4: Subject Files, 1928-1975 (0.8 linear feet; Box 3, OV 23)

Series 5: Artwork, circa 1890s-circa 1961 (3.5 linear feet; Boxes 4-6, 9-10, OV 19-22)

Series 6: Architectural Projects, circa 1940-1966 (0.7 linear feet; Box 6, OV 24-26, RD 14-17)

Series 7: Miscellaneous Records, 1882-1967 (Boxes 6, 11, FC 30-31; 0.5 linear ft.)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1881-2001 (1.2 linear feet; Boxes 6-7, 11, OV 27-29)

Series 9: Photographs, 1893-1984 (2.3 linear feet; Boxes 7-8, 12-13)
Biographical Note:
Henry Varnum Poor (1888-1970), best known as a potter, ceramic artist, and a co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, was also an architect, painter, muralist, designer, educator, and writer who lived and worked in New City, New York.

A native of Chapman, Kansas, Henry Varnum Poor moved with his family to Kansas City when his grain merchant father became a member of the Kansas Board of Trade. From a young age he showed artistic talent and spent as much time as possible - including school hours - drawing. When a school supervisor suggested that Henry leave school to study at the Art Institute of Chicago, the family disagreed. Instead, he enrolled in the Kansas City Manual Training High School where he delighted in learning skills such as carpentry, forge work, and mechanical drawing. In 1905, he moved with his older brother and sister to Palo Alto, California and completed high school there. Because Poor was expected to join the family business, he enrolled at Stanford University as an economics major, but much to his father's disappointment and displeasure, soon left the economics department and became an art major.

Immediately after graduation in 1910, Poor and his major professor at Stanford, Arthur B. Clark, took a summer bicycling tour to look at art in London, France, Italy, and Holland. As Poor had saved enough money to remain in London after the summer was over, he enrolled in the Slade School of Art and also studied under Walter Sickert at the London County Council Night School. After seeing an exhibition of Post-Impressionism at the Grafton Galleries in London, Poor was so impressed that he went to Paris and enrolled in the Académie Julian. While in Paris, Poor met Clifford Addams, a former apprentice of Whistler; soon he was working in Addams' studio learning Whistler's palette and techniques.

In the fall of 1911, Poor returned to Stanford University's art department on a one-year teaching assignment. During that academic year, his first one-man show was held at the university's Old Studio gallery. He married Lena Wiltz and moved back to Kansas to manage the family farm and prepare for another exhibition. Their daughter, Josephine Lydia Poor, was born the following year. Poor returned to Stanford in September 1913 as assistant professor of graphic arts, remaining until the department closed three years later. During this period, Poor began to exhibit more frequently in group shows in other areas of the country, and had his first solo exhibition at a commercial gallery (Helgesen Gallery, San Francisco). In 1916, Poor joined the faculty of the San Francisco Art Association. He and his wife separated in 1917 and were divorced the following year. Poor began sharing his San Francisco studio with Marion Dorn.

During World War I, Poor was drafted into the U. S. Army, and in 1918 went to France with the 115th Regiment of Engineers. He spent his spare time drawing; soon officers were commissioning portraits, and Poor was appointed the regimental artist. He also served as an interpreter for his company. Discharged from the Army in early 1919, Poor spent the spring painting in Paris. He then returned to San Francisco and married Marion Dorn.

Once Poor realized that earning a living as a painter would be extremely difficult in California, he and his new wife moved to New York in the autumn of 1919. They were looking for a place to live when influential book and art dealer Mary Mowbray-Clarke of the Sunwise Turn Bookshop in Manhattan suggested New City in Rockland County, New York as good place for artists. In January of 1920, the Poors purchased property on South Mountain Road in New City. The skills he acquired at the Kansas City Manual Training High School were of immediate use as Poor designed and constructed "Crow House" with the assistance of a local teenager. Influenced by the farmhouses he had seen in France, it was made of local sandstone and featured steep gables, rough plaster, chestnut beams and floors, and incorporated many hand-crafted details. Poor designed and built most of their furniture, too. Before the end of the year, he and Marion were able to move into the house, though it remained a work in progress for many years. Additions were constructed. Over time, gardens were designed and planted, and outbuildings - a kiln and pottery, work room, garage, and new studio - appeared on the property.

In 1925, two years after his divorce from Marion Dorn, Poor married Bessie Freedman Breuer (1893-1975), an editor, short story writer, and novelist. Soon after, he adopted her young daughter, Anne (1918-2002), an artist who served as his assistant on many important mural commissions. Their son, Peter (b. 1926) became a television producer. Crow House remained in the family until its sale in 2006. In order to prevent its demolition, Crow House was then purchased by the neighboring town of Ramapo, New York in 2007.

Between 1935 and 1966 Poor designed and oversaw construction of a number of houses, several of them situated not far from Crow House on South Mountain Road. Poor's designs, noted for their simplicity, featured modern materials and incorporated his ceramic tiles. Among his important commissions were houses for Maxwell Anderson, Jules Billig, Milton Caniff, MacDonald Deming, and John Houseman.

Poor's first exhibition of paintings in New York City was at Kevorkian Galleries in 1920, and sales were so disappointing that he turned his attention to ceramics. His first pottery show, held at Bel Maison Gallery in Wanamaker's department store in 1921, was very successful. He quickly developed a wide reputation, participated in shows throughout the country, and won awards. He was a founder of the short-lived American Designers' Gallery, and the tile bathroom he showed at the group's first exposition was critically acclaimed. Poor was represented by Montross Gallery as both a painter and potter. When Montross Gallery closed upon its owner's death in 1932, Poor moved to the Frank K. M. Rehn Gallery.

Even though Poor's pottery and ceramic work was in the forefront, he continued to paint. His work was acquired by a number of museums, and the Limited Editions Club commissioned him to illustrate their republications of Ethan Frome, The Scarlet Letter, and The Call of the Wild.

Poor's first work in true fresco was shown in a 1932 mural exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. Between 1935 and 1949 he was commissioned to produce several murals in fresco for Section of Fine Arts projects at the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior, The Land Grant Frescoes at Pennsylvania State College, and a mural for the Louisville Courier-Journal. Ceramic tile mural commissions included: the Klingenstein Pavilion, Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York City; Travelers Insurance Co., Boston; the Fresno Post Office, California; and Hillson Memorial Gallery, Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, Mass.

As a member of the War Artists' Unit, Poor was a "war correspondent" with the rank of major in World War II, and for several months in 1943 was stationed in Alaska. An Artist Sees Alaska, drawing on Poor's observations and experiences, was published in 1945. A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality, his second book, was published in 1958. It remains a standard text on the subject. While on the faculty of Columbia University in the 1950s, Poor and other artists opposed to the growing influence of Abstract Expressionism formed the Reality Group with Poor the head of its editorial committee. Their magazine, Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions, first appeared in 1953 featuring "Painting is Being Talked to Death" by Poor as its lead article. Two more issues were published in 1954 and 1955.

Along with Willard Cummings, Sidney Simon, and Charles Cuttler, in 1946 Henry Varnum Poor helped to establish the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine. He served as its first president. Poor and his daughter, Anne, were active members of the Board of Trustees and were instructors for many years. The summer of 1961 was Henry Varnum Poor's last as a full-time teacher, though he continued to spend summers at Skowhegan.

Henry Varnum Poor exhibited widely and received many awards, among them prizes at the Carnegie Institute, Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Architectural League of New York. Poor was appointed to the United States Commission of Fine Arts by President Roosevelt in 1941 and served a five year term. He was elected a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1943. The National Academy of Design named him an Associate Artist in 1954 and an Academician in 1963. He became a trustee of the American Craftsman's Council in 1956. The work of Henry Vernum Poor is represented in the permanent collections of many American museums including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Addison Gallery of American Art, and Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts.

Henry Varnum Poor died at home in New City, New York, December 8, 1970.
Related Material:
An oral history interview with Henry Varnum Poor was conducted by Harlan Phillips for the Archives of American Art in 1964.
Provenance:
Gift of Henry Varnum Poor's son, Peter V. Poor, in 2007. A smaller portion was loaned to the Archives in 1973 by Anne Poor for microfilming and returned to the lender; this material was included in the 2007 gift.
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 audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
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:
War artists  Search this
Topic:
Architects -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
War posters  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Pottery -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Designers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Ceramicists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketches
Motion pictures (visual works)
Diaries
Prints
Photographs
Illustrations
Drawings
Watercolors
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Henry Varnum Poor papers, 1873-2001, bulk 1904-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.poorhenr
See more items in:
Henry Varnum Poor papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-poorhenr
Online Media:

Esherick, Wharton

Collection Creator:
Jacques Seligmann & Co  Search this
Container:
Box 34, Folder 21
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1934-1936
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Jacques Seligmann & Co. records, 1904-1978, bulk 1913-1974. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Jacques Seligmann & Co. records
Jacques Seligmann & Co. records / Series 1: Correspondence / 1.3: General Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-jacqself-ref9658

Henry Varnum Poor papers, 1873-2001, bulk 1904-1970

Creator:
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Subject:
Burchfield, Charles Ephraim  Search this
Benton, William  Search this
Biddle, George  Search this
Ciardi, John  Search this
Caniff, Milton Arthur  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel  Search this
Dickson, Harold E.  Search this
Evergood, Philip  Search this
Esherick, Wharton  Search this
Marston, Muktuk  Search this
Garrett, Alice Warder  Search this
Meredith, Burgess  Search this
Czebotar, Theodore  Search this
Poor, Peter  Search this
Houseman, John  Search this
Watson, Ernest William  Search this
Padro, Isabel  Search this
Billing, Jules  Search this
Deming, MacDonald  Search this
Poor, Anne  Search this
Poor, Bessie Breuer  Search this
Poor, Eva  Search this
Poor, Josephine Graham  Search this
Sargent, Elizabeth S.  Search this
Poor, Josephine Lydia  Search this
Dorn, Marion  Search this
Steinbeck, John  Search this
Smith, David  Search this
Mumford, Lewis  Search this
Montross Gallery  Search this
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Type:
Sketches
Motion pictures (visual works)
Diaries
Prints
Photographs
Illustrations
Drawings
Watercolors
Sketchbooks
Topic:
Architects -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
War posters  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Pottery -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Designers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Ceramicists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13442
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)210589
AAA_collcode_poorhenr
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Craft
Diaries
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_210589
Online Media:

Esherick, Wharton

Collection Creator:
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Container:
Box 8, Folder 11
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1928
Collection 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 audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Henry Varnum Poor papers, 1873-2001, bulk 1904-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Henry Varnum Poor papers
Henry Varnum Poor papers / Series 9: Photographs / 9.2: Artwork / By Other Artists
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-poorhenr-ref479

Esherick, Wharton

Collection Creator:
Nordness, Lee  Search this
Container:
Box 10, Folder 46
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1968-1970
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Lee Nordness business records and papers, circa 1931-1992, bulk 1954-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Lee Nordness business records and papers
Lee Nordness business records and papers / Series 1: Nordness Gallery, Inc. and Lee Nordness Galleries Art Advisory Section, Inc. / 1.2: Artist's Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nordlee-ref341

Esherick, Wharton

Collection Creator:
Bulliet, C.J. (Clarence Joseph), 1883-1952  Search this
Container:
Box 10, Folder 148
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1888-1959
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
The C. J. Bulliet papers, circa 1888-1959. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
C. J. (Clarence Joseph) Bulliet papers
C. J. (Clarence Joseph) Bulliet papers / Series 4: Artist Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-bullclar-ref1072

Oral history interview with Joyce Anderson, 2002 September 18-19

Interviewee:
Anderson, Joyce, 1925-  Search this
Interviewer:
Gold, Donna, 1953-  Search this
Subject:
Anderson, Edgar  Search this
Esherick, Wharton  Search this
Maloof, Sam  Search this
Nakashima, George  Search this
Stickley, Gustav  Search this
Stocksdale, Bob  Search this
Tibbs, Thomas S.  Search this
Wiley, Hugh  Search this
Wright, Frank Lloyd  Search this
New York University  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Decorative arts  Search this
Furniture design  Search this
Furniture making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Woodwork  Search this
Woodworkers -- New Jersey -- Interviews.  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12981
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)237708
AAA_collcode_andersj02
Theme:
Craft
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_237708
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Wendell Castle, 1981 June 3-December 12

Interviewee:
Castle, Wendell, 1932-2018  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F  Search this
Subject:
Esherick, Wharton  Search this
School for American Crafts  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Decorative arts -- United States  Search this
Design, Industrial  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13011
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212038
AAA_collcode_castle81
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212038
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Mansfield Bascom and Ruth Esherick Bascom about Wharton Esherick, 1990 July 13

Interviewee:
Bascom, Mansfield  Search this
Interviewer:
Bascom, Ruth Esherick  Search this
Subject:
Esherick, Wharton  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Painters -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- Interviews  Search this
Printmakers -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12694
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213933
AAA_collcode_bascom90
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_213933

Oral history interview with Ruth Esherick and Mansfield Bascom on Wharton Esherick, 1991 March 26

Interviewee:
Bascom, Ruth Esherick  Search this
Interviewer:
Pacini, Marina  Search this
Subject:
Esherick, Wharton  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Painters -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- Interviews  Search this
Printmakers -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13331
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)214377
AAA_collcode_bascom91
Theme:
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_214377

Esherick, Wharton

Collection Creator:
Wildenhain, Frans, 1905-1980  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 5
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1951-1974
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Frans Wildenhain papers, circa 1890-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Frans Wildenhain papers
Frans Wildenhain papers / Series 5: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-wildfran-ref54

Theodore Dreiser

Artist:
Wharton Esherick, 1887 - 1970  Search this
Sitter:
Theodore Dreiser, 27 Aug 1871 - 28 Dec 1945  Search this
Medium:
Wood
Dimensions:
50.3cm x 17.5cm (19 13/16" x 6 7/8"), Estimate
Type:
Sculpture
Date:
1927
Topic:
Theodore Dreiser: Male  Search this
Theodore Dreiser: Communications\Journalist\Reporter\Newspaper  Search this
Theodore Dreiser: Literature\Writer\Novelist  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
Owner: University of Pennsylvania
Object number:
PA330241
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Catalog of American Portraits
Data Source:
Catalog of American Portraits
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm4b4d8dbfe-6881-4db9-840f-bee44e43d958
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_PA330241

Wharton Esherick, 1887-1970, American woodworker : [exhibition] May 3 through July 20, 1996 / Robert Edwards and Robert Aibel, curators

Author:
Esherick, Wharton  Search this
Edwards, Robert  Search this
Aibel, Robert  Search this
Moderne Gallery (Philadelphia, Penn.)  Search this
Subject:
Esherick, Wharton Exhibitions  Search this
Physical description:
36 p. : ill. ; 26 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
United States
Date:
1996
C1996
20th century
Topic:
Furniture--History  Search this
Wood-engraving  Search this
Block printing--Exhibitions  Search this
Call number:
N40.1.E75 M63 1996
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_504072

Desk

Artist:
Wharton Esherick, born Philadelphia, PA 1887-died Paoli, PA 1970  Search this
Medium:
cherry
Dimensions:
29 7/8 x 62 3/4 x 32 3/4 in. (76 x 159.5 x 83.2 cm)
Type:
Decorative Arts-Furniture
Crafts
Date:
1950
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Robert B. Frank
Object number:
1977.69
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Renwick Gallery
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk75101ecfa-befc-4fba-8a62-654b1d88bbdb
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1977.69

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