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Prentiss Taylor on the Harlem Renaissance

Creator:
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum  Search this
Names:
Anacostia Community Museum  Search this
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum  Search this
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991  Search this
Collection Creator:
Smithsonian Institution. Anacostia Community Museum  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound recording (audio cassette)
Culture:
African American  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Place:
New York (N.Y.)
Anacostia (Washington, D.C.)
Washington (D.C.)
United States
Date:
1986
Scope and Contents:
Washington artist Prentiss Taylor recalled the Harlem Renaissance. Taylor once lived in New York City where he met and forged friendships wtih Langston Hughes, James Weldon Johnson, Carl Van Vechten, Richmond Barthe, Zora Neale Hurston, and others. During his presentation, Taylor relived many of the memories of these relationships.
Lunch bag forum. Audio only. Poor audio quality. Related to exhibition 'The Renaissance: Black Arts of the Twenties.' Dated 19860606.
Biographical / Historical:
The exhibition - The Renaissance: Black Arts of the Twenties - showcased the evolution and achievements of the Renaissance, which was the explosion of literary, visual, performance, and cinematic creativity generated by black artists between the end of World War I and the early days of the Great Depression. Represented is the creativity of Marian Anderson, Richard Barthe, Countee Cullen, Aaron Douglas, Duke Ellington, Meta Warrick Fuller, Roland Hayes, Zora Neale Hurston, Malvin Gray Johnson, Alain Locke, "Jelly Roll" Morton, Paul Robeson, George Schuyler, and Wallace Thurman, among others. The exhibition, held at the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum, ran from September 1985 - December 1986.
Local Numbers:
ACMA AV001230_B
Series Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Some items are not accessible due to obsolete format and playback machinery restrictions. Please contact the archivist at acmarchives@si.edu.
Occupation:
Artists  Search this
Painters  Search this
Topic:
African American authors  Search this
Authors  Search this
African Americans  Search this
Harlem Renaissance  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Citation:
Prentiss Taylor on the Harlem Renaissance, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
ACMA.03-024, Item ACMA AV001230_A
See more items in:
The Renaissance: Black arts of the Twenties exhibition records
The Renaissance: Black arts of the Twenties exhibition records / Series ACMA AV03-024: The Renaissance: Black arts of the Twenties audiovisual records
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/qa79cf9673b-5ef3-4df0-ab45-55d1d46140e9
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-03-024-ref509

Interview with Prentiss Taylor

Creator:
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum  Search this
Names:
Anacostia Community Museum  Search this
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum  Search this
Hughes, Langston, 1902-1967  Search this
McClendon, Rose, 1884-1936  Search this
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991  Search this
Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964  Search this
Collection Creator:
Anacostia Community Museum  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound recording (open reel, 1/4 inch)
Culture:
African American  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
Anacostia (Washington, D.C.)
Washington (D.C.)
United States
Date:
circa 1970s
Scope and Contents:
Prentiss Taylor talks about working with Langston Hughes to create The Negro Mother and the Scottsboro Limited. The illustrations created by Taylor, and the texts created by Hughes. Taylor talks about Hughes' personality and their relationship to Carl Van Vechten. Additionally, Taylor speaks of the Ethiopian Art Theatre, Rose McClendon, and the origin of Van Vechten's Nigger Heaven.
Interview. Sound is distorted. Part of ACM Museum Events, PR, and Ceremonies Recordings. Undated.
Local Numbers:
ACMA AV003312-2
Collection Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Some items are not accessible due to obsolete format and playback machinery restrictions. Please contact the archivist at acmarchives@si.edu.
Occupation:
Artists  Search this
Topic:
African Americans  Search this
African American artists  Search this
African American poets  Search this
Poets  Search this
Theater  Search this
Harlem Renaissance  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Interview with Prentiss Taylor, Record Group AV09-023, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
ACMA.09-023, Item ACMA AV003312-1
See more items in:
Museum Events, Programs, and Projects, 1967-1989
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/qa7583fef92-0734-4c06-a0c6-ad04984ed19d
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-09-023-ref639

Lynd Ward papers, 1934-1964

Creator:
Ward, Lynd 1905-1985  Search this
Subject:
Albee, Grace  Search this
Arms, John Taylor 1887-1953  Search this
Eichenberg, Fritz 1901-1990  Search this
Frasconi, Antonio  Search this
Kainen, Jacob  Search this
Leighton, Clare 1899-  Search this
Taylor, Prentiss 1907-1991  Search this
Wengenroth, Stow 1906-1978  Search this
Young, Art 1866-1943  Search this
Yunkers, Adja 1900-1983  Search this
Zorach, William 1887-1966  Search this
Weber, Max 1881-1961  Search this
Artists League of America  Search this
Independent Citizens Committee for the Arts, Sciences, and Professions  Search this
Limited Editions Club  Search this
Society of American Graphic Artists  Search this
American Artists' Congress  Search this
Physical description:
1.6 linear feet
Type:
Mixed archival materials
Collection descriptions
Place:
United States
Date:
1934
1934-1964
20th century
Topic:
Graphic arts  Search this
Art--Societies, etc  Search this
Prints  Search this
Local number:
AAA 4466-4468
AAA 141
AAA wardlynd
Restrictions & 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
See more items in:
Lynd Ward papers, 1934-1964
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_213389

Lynd Ward papers

Creator:
Ward, Lynd, 1905-1985  Search this
Names:
American Artists' Congress  Search this
Artists League of America  Search this
Independent Citizens Committee for the Arts, Sciences, and Professions  Search this
Limited Editions Club  Search this
Society of American Graphic Artists  Search this
Albee, Grace  Search this
Arms, John Taylor, 1887-1953  Search this
Eichenberg, Fritz, 1901-1990  Search this
Frasconi, Antonio  Search this
Kainen, Jacob  Search this
Leighton, Clare, 1899-  Search this
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991  Search this
Weber, Max, 1881-1961  Search this
Wengenroth, Stow, 1906-1978  Search this
Young, Art, 1866-1943  Search this
Yunkers, Adja, 1900-1983  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
1.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1934-1964
Scope and Contents:
Letters, notes, business records, art works, printed material, and photographs relating to Ward's involvement in the American Artists' Congress (1936-1945), the Artists League of America (1934-1949), the Independent Citizens Committee for the Arts, Sciences, and Professions (1944-1948), the Limited Editions Club competition (1932-1957), and the Society of American Graphic Artists (1940-1964). Artists represented in the files include Grace Albee, John Taylor Arms, Fritz Eichenberg, Antonio Frasconi, Jacob Kainen, Clare Leighton, Prentiss Taylor, Max Weber, Stow Wengenroth, Art Young, Adja Yunkers, William Zorach.
Biographical / Historical:
Lynd Ward (1905-1985) was a printmaker, illustrator, and writer in Cresskill, New Jersey. Illustrated over 100 books. President, Society of American Graphic Artists, 1953-1959.
Provenance:
Donated 1972-1973 by Lynd Ward.
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.
Occupation:
Book illustrators  Search this
Printmakers  Search this
Topic:
Graphic arts -- United States  Search this
Prints -- 20th century  Search this
Function:
Arts organizations
Identifier:
AAA.wardlynd
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9cd674bbc-80af-4f2b-aa9c-632352d1ddf9
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-wardlynd

Jacob Kainen papers

Creator:
Kainen, Jacob  Search this
Kainen, Ruth Cole.  Search this
Names:
Addison Gallery of American Art  Search this
Australian National Gallery  Search this
Baltimore Museum of Art  Search this
British Museum  Search this
Brooklyn Museum  Search this
Corcoran Gallery of Art  Search this
Corcoran School of Art (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Middendorf Gallery  Search this
National Gallery of Art (U.S.)  Search this
Smithsonian American Art Museum  Search this
Acton, David, 1953-  Search this
Agee, William C.  Search this
Berman, Avis  Search this
Broun, Elizabeth  Search this
Butler, Bryce  Search this
Cole, Phoebe  Search this
Fine, Ruth, 1941-  Search this
Fort Wayne Museum of Art  Search this
Frohlich, Newton, 1936-  Search this
Gilkey, Gordon  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Halasz, Piri  Search this
Harrison, Carol  Search this
Holden, Donald  Search this
Holladay, Wilhelmina Cole, 1922-  Search this
Hopps, Walter  Search this
Jackson, John Baptist, 1701-1780?  Search this
Jordon, Jim  Search this
Kalonyme, Louis  Search this
Lunn, Harry, 1933-1998  Search this
Morse, Peter  Search this
Nordland, Gerald  Search this
O'Connor, Francis V.  Search this
Pollack, Jerome  Search this
Powell, Richard J., 1953-  Search this
Purcell, Ann  Search this
Rand, Harry  Search this
Reynolds, Jock  Search this
Ries, Martin, 1926-  Search this
Solman, Joseph, 1909-2008  Search this
Steinberg, Leo  Search this
Taylor, Joshua Charles, 1917-  Search this
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991  Search this
Tejera, V. ((Victorino))  Search this
Thornton, Valerie  Search this
Weber, Joanne  Search this
Extent:
33.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Diaries
Transcripts
Videotapes
Visitors' books
Lectures
Prints
Greeting cards
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Date:
1905-2009
bulk 1940-2001
Summary:
The papers of painter, printmaker, and curator Jacob Kainen measure 33.3 linear feet and date from 1905 to 2009, with the bulk of the material from 1940-2001. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence/subject files including personal correspondence to and from friends and family members and professional correspondence and records concerning Kainen's activities as an artist, curator, teacher, and art collector. The collection also contains biographical material, writings, diaries, calendars, inventories, interview transcripts, printed material, photographs, works of art by other artists, and nine scrapbooks.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter, printmaker, and curator Jacob Kainen measure 33.3 linear feet and date from 1905 to 2009, with the bulk of the material from 1940-2001. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence/subject files including personal correspondence to and from friends and family members and professional correspondence and records concerning Kainen's activities as an artist, curator, teacher, and art collector. The collection also contains biographical material, writings, diary and journal entries, calendars, inventories, interview and "dialog" transcripts, printed material, photographs, works of art by other artists, and nine scrapbooks.

Biographical materials include items concerning Kainen's career as a curator and artist, in addition to a useful bibliography, detailed biographical outline, and a copy of an FBI report compiled on him. Also included are five videocassette recordings of Kainen.

Alphabetical correspondence/subject files comprise the bulk of the collection and include both Jacob's and Ruth's correspondence with family, friends, colleagues, artists, art critics, curators, museums, arts organizations, galleries, and many others. There is a significant amount of correspondence with David Acton, the Addison Gallery of Art and Jock Reynolds, William Agee, Australian National Gallery, Baltimore Museum of Art, Avis Berman, the British Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Elizabeth Broun and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bryce Butler, Pheobe Cole, the Corcoran Gallery and School of Art, Richard Field, Ruth Fine, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Newton Frohlich, Gordon Gilkey and the Pacific Northwest College of Art, Arshile Gorky, Piri Halesz, Carol Harrison, Donald Holden, Wilhelmina Holladay, John Baptist Jackson, Jim Jordon, Lou Kantor, Harry Lunn Jr., Middendorf Gallery, National Gallery of Art, Peter Morse, Gerald Nordland, Francis O'Connor, Jerome Pollack, Richard Powell, Ann Purcell, Harry Rand, Martin Ries, Joseph Solman, Leo Steinberg, Prentiss Taylor, Victorino Tejera, Valerie Thornton, Joanne Weber, and numerous family members.

Writings are by and about Jacob Kainen. Kainen's writings include articles, lectures, exhibition catalog essays, notes, travel notebooks, short stories, poems, and written statements about his artistic motivations and justifications. There are writings about Kainen by Avis Berman, Ruth Cole Kainen, and others. The bulk of the numerous diary entries are from Ruth Cole Kainen's diaries, many of which concern Jacob and their family. There are also annotated and revised diary entries. There is one folder of diary entries and one folder of journal entries by Jacob Kainen and two dismantled journal-like notebooks. The papers include daily calendars and travel itineraries from 1972 through 2001.

The papers include transcripts of formal interviews and informal conversations with Jacob Kainen. Transcripts are of informal dinner, telephone, and general conversations between friends, colleagues, artists, and Ruth Cole Kainen. Included are conversations with Avis Berman, Walter Hopps, Harry Rand, Joshua Taylor, and several others. Many of these transcripts were also annnotated by Jacob and Ruth Kainen. Also found are numerous transcripts of more formal interviews with Kainen by art historians, art critics, and students.

There are inventories, appraisals, and lists of sold and not sold paintings, as well as color photographs of some of Kainen's works of art. Also found are inventories of the Kainens' art collection. Printed materials include Kainen's exhibition catalogs and announcements, clippings of articles by and about Jacob Kainen, and an exhibition guestbook.

Photographs are of Kainen with his family and friends, at exhibition openings, and working in his studios. Works of art by others includes handmade greeting cards, limited edition prints, and portfolios given to Jacob Kainen. Nine scrapbooks containing news clippings and exhibition publications document the entirety of Kainen's career as an artist.
Arrangement:
The Jacob Kainen papers are arranged into 11 series.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1938-2001 (Boxes 1, 32; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence/Subject Files, 1936-2003 (Boxes 1-12, 32-33; 11.8 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1920s-2002 (Boxes 12-13, 33; 1.6 linear feet)

Series 4: Diaries, circa 1952-2002 (Boxes 13-18, 33-38; 10.0 linear feet)

Series 5: Calendars, 1953-2008 (Boxes 18-20, 38; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 6: Transcripts, circa 1975-1994 (Boxes 20-21, 38; 1.4 linear feet)

Series 7: Inventories, 1927-2001 (Boxes 21-22; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1938-2003 (Box 22, 38, OV 31; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 9: Photographs, 1905-2000 (Boxes 22-25, 38, OV 31; 3.3 linear feet)

Series 10: Works of Art by Others, 1942-2000 (Boxes 25-26, OV 31; 1.2 linear foot)

Series 11: Scrapbooks, 1936-1998 (Boxes 27-30, 38; 1.3 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Jacob Kainen (1909-2001) was a painter, printmaker, and curator who worked primarily in Washington, D.C.

Born on December 7, 1909 in Waterbury, Connecticut, Jacob Kainen moved with his family to New York City in 1918. Kainen studied at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn from 1927 until 1930, and at the Art Student's League. In the early 1930s, Kainen became involved in social causes and formed close friendships with the early abstractionists, including John Graham, Arshile Gorky, and Stuart Davis. He joined the Artists' Union and a contributor to its journal, Art Front, along with Stuart Davis and Harold Rosenberg. Jacob's participation in the Artists' Union was later investigated by the FBI.

From 1935 until 1942, Kainen worked for the Graphic Arts Division of the Works Progress Administration in New York City and began exhibiting with the New York School. It was during this period that he married Bertha Friedman. Jacob and Bertha had two sons together, Dan and Paul, and divorced in 1968.

In 1942, Kainen made a life-changing decision to leave New York City and move to Washington, D.C. to accept what he thought would be a temporary position as a scientific aide in the Division of Graphic Arts at the Smithsonian Institution. Kainen quickly became Assistant Curator and Curator in 1946. He served as Curator for twenty years, completely reshaping the department and building the graphic arts collection. His print exhibitions brought the work of S.W. Hayter, Josef Albers, Adja Yunkers, Louis Lozowick, Karl Schrag, José Guerrero, Louis Schanker, Werner Drewes, and Boris Margo to Washington audiences - graphic work that might not have been shown that early in the area.

1947 marked the opening of the Washington Workshop Center for the Arts, where Kainen served as a teacher and guide to several important artists, helping to make the workshop a magnet for new talent and instrumental in furthering the careers of several artists. Although Kainen taught Gene Davis and Alma Thomas and introduced Morris Louis to Leon Berkowitz, he never considered himself a member of the "Washington Color School."

In 1949, the Corcoran Gallery of Art held a retrospective of Kainen's prints and three years later Kenneth Noland organized Kainen's first painting retrospective at Catholic University. Kainen's paintings from the 1940s illustrated a shift away from social realism toward abstract expressionism. In 1956, Jacob Kainen received a grant from the American Philosophical society to conduct research in Europe for his monograph on the English woodcut artist, John Baptist Jackson. He traveled to Europe again in 1962 to study paintings and prints from the Mannerist Period.

From 1966 until 1970, Kainen worked as the Curator of prints and drawings at the National Collection of Fine Arts (now the Smithsonian American Art Museum). He married Ruth Cole in February of 1969. Kainen retired from the Smithsonian a year later to devote himself full-time to his art, but continued to serve as a special consultant to the Smithsonian American Art Museum for nineteen years. In 1971 and 1972, Kainen taught painting and the history of printmaking at the University of Maryland. A retrospective of Kainen's paintings was held in 1993 at the National Museum of American Art (SAAM).

Throughout his artistic career, Kainen experimented with different mediums and explored different styles, yet he identified himself as a painter. Jacob Kainen participated in at least twenty-five one man shows and several group exhibitions. His works are in collections across the United States and abroad, including the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the British Museum. He worked in his studio up until the time of his death on March 19, 2001 at his home in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Related Material:
Found among the holdings of the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview of Jacob Kainen conducted by Avis Berman in 1982 for the Archives' "Mark Rothko and His Times" oral history project. Also found are microfilm copies of Bertha Kainen's correspondence with Avis Berman regarding Berman's essay about Jacob Kainen.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reels 565, 2147-2149, and 2200) including correspondence, writings by Kainen, and papers relating to the Smithsonian Institution Loyalty Board's investigation of Jacob Kainen from 1942-1954. Most, but not all, of the loaned materials were included in later gifts. Loaned materials not donated at a later date remain with the lender and are not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Provenance:
Jacob and Ruth Kainen first lent the Archives of American Art material for microfilming from 1973-1981, the bulk of which was included in the later gifts. Papers were then donated in multiple accretions between 1981-2007 by Jacob and Ruth Kainen, and in 2009 from the estate of Ruth Kainen via executor Teresa Covacevich Grana. Also in 2003, eight photographs of Jacob and Ruth Kainen were transferred from the National Portrait Gallery to the Archives of American Art.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival 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:
Painters -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Curators -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Art teachers -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Topic:
Painting, Modern -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Painting, Abstract -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Printmakers -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Diaries
Transcripts
Videotapes
Visitors' books
Lectures
Prints
Greeting cards
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Jacob Kainen papers, 1905-2008, bulk 1940-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kainjaco
See more items in:
Jacob Kainen papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw974ec158d-d417-4d06-931d-44a4af17ab27
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kainjaco
Online Media:

Claribel and Etta Cone letters, 1898-1949

Creator:
Cone, Etta  Search this
Cone, Claribel  Search this
Subject:
Matisse, Henri 1869-1954  Search this
Pach, Walter 1883-1958  Search this
Silbert, Ben 1893-  Search this
Stein, Gertrude 1874-1946  Search this
Taylor, Prentiss 1907-1991  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Zorach, William 1887-1966  Search this
Fiene, Ernest 1894-  Search this
Kroll, Leon 1884-1974  Search this
Physical description:
6 microfilm reels
Type:
Mixed archival materials
Collection descriptions
Date:
1898
1898-1949
20th century
Topic:
Art, Modern--Collectors and collecting  Search this
Art--Collectors and collecting  Search this
Local number:
AAA 3807-3812
AAA coneetta
Restrictions & Rights:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy
Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce must be obtained from the Archivist at the Baltimore Museum of Art Library
See more items in:
Claribel and Etta Cone letters, 1898-1949
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_209227

Prentiss Taylor papers

Creator:
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991  Search this
Names:
American University (Washington, D.C.). Fine Arts Dept. -- Faculty  Search this
Golden Stair Press  Search this
Society of Washington Printmakers (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Field, Rachel, 1894-1942  Search this
Hughes, Langston, 1902-1967  Search this
Hurston, Zora Neale  Search this
Kahlo, Frida  Search this
Landeck, Armin, 1905-  Search this
O'Neill, Eugene, 1888-1953  Search this
Pinckney, Josephine, 1895-1957  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Robeson, Paul, 1898-1976  Search this
Robinson, Bill, 1878-1949  Search this
Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946  Search this
Toklas, Alice B.  Search this
Van Doren, Mark, 1894-1972  Search this
Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964  Search this
Extent:
20.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Drawings
Writings
Sketchbooks
Prints
Sound recordings
Date:
1885-1991
Summary:
The collection measures 20.8 linear feet, dates from 1885 to 1991 (bulk dates 1908-1986) and documents the career of lithographer, teacher, and painter Prentiss Taylor. The collection consists primarily of subject/correspondence files (circa 16 ft.), reflecting Prentiss' career as a lithographer and painter, his association with figures prominent in the Harlem Renaissance, notably Carl Van Vechten and Langston Hughes, his activities as president of the Society of Washington Printmakers and other art organizations, his work in art therapy treating mental illness, and his teaching position at American University. The subject files contain mostly correspondence, but many include photographs and printed material. Also included are biographical, financial, legal and printed material; several hundred photographs; notes and writings; sketchbooks, drawings and a few prints by Taylor; and scrapbooks dating from 1885-1956.
Scope and Content Note:
The collection measures 20.8 linear feet, dates from 1885 to 1991 (bulk dates 1908-1986) and documents the career of Harlem Renaissance lithographer, teacher, and painter Prentiss Taylor. The collection consists primarily of subject/correspondence files (circa 16 ft.), reflecting Prentiss' career as a lithographer and painter, his association with figures prominent in the Harlem Renaissance, notably Carl Van Vechten and Langston Hughes, his activities as president of the Society of Washington Printmakers and other art organizations, his work in art therapy treating mental illness, and his teaching position at American University. The subject files contain mostly correspondence, but many include photographs and printed material. Also included are biographical, financial, legal and printed material; several hundred photographs; notes and writings; sketchbooks, drawings and a few prints by Taylor; and scrapbooks dating from 1885-1956.

The Langston Hughes files contain photocopies of letters from Hughes, greeting cards, ten original photographs of Hughes, and an autographed card printed with Hughes' poem, The Negro Speaks of Rivers. In addition, there is a contract between Hughes and Taylor, witnessed by Carl Van Vechten, forming the Golden Stair Press, through which many of Hughes' poems were printed with illustrations by Taylor. A rare edition of their first publication, The Negro Mother, is found here. Also found in this file is a 1932 final copy of Scottsboro Limited, another collaborative effort between Taylor and Hughes that focused on a case where nine black youths were falsely accused of raping two white women. The collection contains extensive correspondence about Taylor's lithograph of the same title and the printing of the publication. Other rare Harlem Renaissance publications found within Taylor's papers include Golden Stair Broadsides, Opportunity Journal of Negro Life, The Rebel Poet, and Eight Who Lie in the Death House, several of which were also illustrated by Taylor.

Prentiss Taylor's long association with Langston Hughes and other figures of the Harlem Renaissance stemmed from his early friendship with Carl Van Vechten. Taylor's papers contain correspondence with Van Vechten, autographed copies of Van Vechten's booklets, and numerous photographs of notable Harlem Renaissance figures, many taken by Van Vechten, including Zora Neale Hurston, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Eugene O'Neill, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, Paul Robeson, and many others. Also found are period photographs of Charleston, South Carolina and Harlem street scenes.

95 letters from Rachel Field, 75 letters from Langston Hughes, 3 letters from Armin Landeck, 46 letters from Josephine Pinckney, 1 letter from Gertrude Stein, 7 letters from Alice B. Toklas, 1 postcard from Mark Van Doren, and 25 letters from Carl Van Vechten are photocopies. Originals of the Hughes and Toklas letters are located at the Yale University Library. Location of the remaining original letters are unknown.

The Prentiss Taylor papers offer researchers insight into the rich cultural documentation of the Harlem Renaissance and the development of twentieth-century printmaking as an American fine art.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into ten series. The largest series housing Subject Files is arranged alphabetically, primarily by name of correspondent, maintaining Taylor's original arrangement. The remaining series are arranged in chronological order. Oversized material from various series has been housed in Box 21 (Sol) and OV 22 and is noted in the Series Description/Container Listing Section at the appropriate folder title with see also/see references.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1918-1985, undated (Box 1; 6 folders)

Series 2: Miscellaneous Receipts, 1929-1986, undated (Box 1; 11 folders)

Series 3: Insurance Records, 1960-1976 (Box 1; 1 folder)

Series 4: Notes, 1921-1984, undated (Box 1; 18 folders)

Series 5: Writings, 1924-1971, undated (Box 1-2; 51 folders)

Series 6: Art Work, 1916-1975, undated (Box 2; 14 folders)

Series 7: Scrapbooks, 1885-1956 (Box 2, 21; 10 folders)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1914-1990, undated (Box 2-3, 21; 29 folders)

Series 9: Photographs, 1908-1984, undated (Box 3, 23-24; 1.1 linear feet)

Series 10: Subject Files, 1885-1991, undated (Box 3-21, OV 22; 18.0 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Prentiss Taylor was born in 1907 at the Washington, D. C. residence of his maternal grandmother, his birth assisted by his grandmother's cook, affectionately known as Cookie Belle.

In the 1920s, Taylor studied painting with Charles W. Hawthorne in Provincetown, but turned to lithography in the late 1920s to early 1930s during his enrollment at the Art Students League in New York City. He received further training in that medium at the George C. Miller workshop in New York. During this period, he also designed costumes for the American-Oriental Revue. Taylor worked primarily in the printmaking medium for the rest of his life, experimenting with various techniques and compositions and ultimately achieving a status as one this country's great lithographers. Taylor depicted mostly realistic and narrative scenes of subjects and themes that reflected his personal interests in music, architecture, religion and social justice.

During his time in New York, Taylor developed close friendships with poet Langston Hughes and writer Carl Van Vechten. He collaborated with Hughes in the formation of the Golden Stair Press to produce publications reflecting the ideas of the Harlem Renaissance. Taylor created a number of prints and illustration for the press and its publications.

After returning to Washington, D.C., Taylor's work was included in exhibitions at the Corcoran Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution, the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. He was represented by the Franz Bader Gallery in Washington, D.C., and by the Bethesda Art Gallery in Maryland. In 1942, Taylor was elected President of the Society of Washington Printmakers, a position he held for thirty-four years. He also worked as an art therapist for more than thirty years and taught oil painting at American University from 1955-1975.

Prentiss Taylor died October 7, 1991 in Washington, D.C.
Related Material:
Prentiss Taylor papers are also located at the Yale University Library.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reel 1392) including three notebooks detailing Taylor's lithographs, a gift and sales notebook, a guestbook, exhibition announcements, and a brochure. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Prentiss Taylor lent the Archives of American Art material for microfilming in 1978. Papers were donated in 1978 and 1984 by Taylor, and in 1992 and 2004 by his companion, Roderick S. Quiroz, for the estate of Prentiss Taylor.
Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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:
Art teachers -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Painters -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Topic:
Lithography -- 20th century -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Lithographers -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Art therapy  Search this
Harlem Renaissance  Search this
Printmakers -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Drawings
Writings
Sketchbooks
Prints
Sound recordings
Citation:
Prentiss Taylor papers, 1885-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.taylpren
See more items in:
Prentiss Taylor papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9f818b565-3f0c-457b-8712-7eb5d7b4a257
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-taylpren
Online Media:

Sketchbook 13

Collection Creator:
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991  Search this
Container:
Box 2
Reel 5913, Frame 58-66
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1973
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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:
Prentiss Taylor papers, 1885-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Prentiss Taylor papers
Prentiss Taylor papers / Series 6: Art Work
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9f9634f36-31f1-4510-b5f3-cca43c1769fe
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-taylpren-ref100

Mauricio Lasansky

Collection Creator:
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991  Search this
Container:
Box 11
Reel 5924, Frame 437-458
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1956
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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:
Prentiss Taylor papers, 1885-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Prentiss Taylor papers
Prentiss Taylor papers / Series 10: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw95997b708-6b21-4753-bcb9-b5ae7cb7c1d7
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-taylpren-ref1000

Muriel Laskoff

Collection Creator:
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991  Search this
Container:
Box 11
Reel 5924, Frame 460-462
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1943
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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:
Prentiss Taylor papers, 1885-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Prentiss Taylor papers
Prentiss Taylor papers / Series 10: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw93d8d3490-e97d-464a-8704-c5d6b42a1075
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-taylpren-ref1001

Dorothy Lathrop

Collection Creator:
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991  Search this
Container:
Box 11
Reel 5924, Frame 464-487
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1929-1956
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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:
Prentiss Taylor papers, 1885-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Prentiss Taylor papers
Prentiss Taylor papers / Series 10: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw95f1ca989-2a51-4623-aa76-12e9db03727a
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-taylpren-ref1002

Henry A. Latimer & Son

Collection Creator:
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991  Search this
Container:
Box 11
Reel 5924, Frame 489-490
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1979
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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:
Prentiss Taylor papers, 1885-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Prentiss Taylor papers
Prentiss Taylor papers / Series 10: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw95bc00fb4-4738-4259-b813-a013ec5eb04f
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-taylpren-ref1003

Basil La Trobe-Bateman

Collection Creator:
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991  Search this
Container:
Box 11
Reel 5924, Frame 492
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1955
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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:
Prentiss Taylor papers, 1885-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Prentiss Taylor papers
Prentiss Taylor papers / Series 10: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw95249b2a9-7b0a-4f7b-8ad1-aba7f6b0005a
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-taylpren-ref1004

Father Lauck

Collection Creator:
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991  Search this
Container:
Box 11
Reel 5924, Frame 494-496
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1956
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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:
Prentiss Taylor papers, 1885-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Prentiss Taylor papers
Prentiss Taylor papers / Series 10: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9a6c82e25-0cfe-42c4-bb39-6a12a96cfc66
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-taylpren-ref1005

Nancy Lauderbaugh

Collection Creator:
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991  Search this
Container:
Box 11
Reel 5924, Frame 498-502
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1967-1970
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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:
Prentiss Taylor papers, 1885-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Prentiss Taylor papers
Prentiss Taylor papers / Series 10: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9ef15226c-9c24-41d0-852f-45a22ce70e89
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-taylpren-ref1006

Adelaide C. Law

Collection Creator:
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991  Search this
Container:
Box 11
Reel 5924, Frame 504-506
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1960
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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:
Prentiss Taylor papers, 1885-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Prentiss Taylor papers
Prentiss Taylor papers / Series 10: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw99584106a-3c9f-418e-a1a7-aea82ff54e68
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-taylpren-ref1007

Lawrence (Family) Curry

Collection Creator:
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991  Search this
Container:
Box 11
Reel 5924, Frame 508
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1962
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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:
Prentiss Taylor papers, 1885-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Prentiss Taylor papers
Prentiss Taylor papers / Series 10: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9b4300669-c81e-4f23-b795-9a06023c2506
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-taylpren-ref1008

Fern Lawrence

Collection Creator:
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991  Search this
Container:
Box 11
Reel 5924, Frame 510-511
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1953
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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:
Prentiss Taylor papers, 1885-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Prentiss Taylor papers
Prentiss Taylor papers / Series 10: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9c486f826-c329-4a0a-9d14-65068ae534ec
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-taylpren-ref1009

Sketchbook 14

Collection Creator:
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991  Search this
Container:
Box 2
Reel 5913, Frame 68-83
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1975
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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:
Prentiss Taylor papers, 1885-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Prentiss Taylor papers
Prentiss Taylor papers / Series 6: Art Work
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw950bc7116-f231-469e-86b6-ac49f0bad285
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-taylpren-ref101

Jacob Lawrence

Collection Creator:
Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991  Search this
Container:
Box 11
Reel 5924, Frame 513-515
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1950
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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:
Prentiss Taylor papers, 1885-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Prentiss Taylor papers
Prentiss Taylor papers / Series 10: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9f51d2ec3-815b-4eb2-bfa1-3585a0fd1306
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-taylpren-ref1010

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