The papers of printmaker and educator Fred Becker measure 3.4 linear feet and date from 1913 to 2004, with the bulk from 1940-2000. The collection documents Becker's work as a professional artist and educator through biographical material, personal and professional correspondence, writings, interviews, personal business records, gallery and exhibition files, project files, photographic material, printed material, and artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of printmaker and educator Fred Becker measure 3.4 linear feet and date from 1913 to 2004, with the bulk from 1940 to 2000. The collection documents Becker's work as a professional artist and educator through biographical material, personal and professional correspondence, writings, interviews, personal business records, gallery and exhibition files, project files, photographic material, printed material, and artwork.
Biographical material includes a birth certificate and announcement, résumés and other biographical writings, as well as memorial materials and obituaries. Also included are letters and photographs concerning Becker's WWII appointment with the Office of War Information in China. Correspondence reflects relationships with colleagues and friends including Stanley William Hayter, Gail Singer, and Mona Van Duyn, professional organizations, museums and galleries, as well as family. The Writings series contains essays and artist statements written by Becker, articles and essays written about Becker by others, and writings by poets Ruthven Todd and Mona Van Duyn. Lectures are featured in written form, as well as audio recordings. Interviews include transcripts and audio and video recordings.
Personal business records include various studio artwork inventories and information regarding artwork donation and sale at auction, in addition to documents related to Becker's role as an art instructor. In the gallery and exhibition files are detailed records of gallery and museum exhibitions, as well as correspondence with specific galleries including the Mary Ryan Gallery. Project files include documentation of various residencies and government art programs Becker participated in, a symposium on Atelier 17, as well as significant bodies of work.
Photographic materials document Becker's artwork, including images of works by fellow artists S.W. Hayter and Paul Burlin. Photograph formats include slides, transparencies, negatives, and black and white prints. Printed material includes exhibition catalogs, clippings and invitations. Also found are various artworks including sketchbooks, loose sketches, prints, and a partial letterpress mock-up of Winter of Artifice, printed by author Anaïs Nin, with various etching illustrations by Ian Hugo.
The collection is arranged in 10 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1913-2004 (0.1 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1940s-2001 (0.7 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 3: Writings, circa 1940s-1993 (0.1 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 4: Interviews, circa 1976-2004 (0.2 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)
Series 5: Personal Business Records, circa 1939-1990s (0.1 linear feet; Box 2)
Series 6: Exhibition and Gallery Records, circa 1950-2002 (0.2 linear feet; Box 2)
Series 7: Project Files, circa 1957-1993 (0.1 linear feet; Box 2)
Series 8: Photographic Material, circa 1930s-1999 (0.3 linear feet; Box 2)
Series 9: Printed Material, circa 1930s-2002 (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 2-3)
Series 10: Artwork, circa 1940-1989 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 3-4)
Biographical / Historical:
Fred Becker (1913-2004) was a printmaker and art educator in Amherst, Massachusetts. Becker was born in 1913 in Oakland, California. He attended New York University beginning in 1933, where he enrolled in architecture coursework before focusing on printmaking and drawing. Becker was employed by the Works Progress Administration from 1935 to 1939. His early work of this period often incorporated nightclub scenes depicting jazz musicians. In 1940, Becker was one of the first students to enroll in classes at the New York iteration of Atelier 17, led by printmaker Stanley William Hayter. There Becker engaged with more abstract forms in his art-making, and arrived at an expressionist style by the 1950s. He served in the China Division of the United States Office of War Information (OWI) from 1945 to 1946.
Becker taught at the Tayler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia, from 1946 to 1948; at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, from 1948 to 1968; and at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst from 1968 until his retirement in 1986. University of Massachusetts, Amherst's Herter Gallery was the site of his retrospective in 1999. Becker and his wife, painter Jean Morrison (1917-1995), had two children Carla and Anton. Fred Becker exhibited widely in print annuals and solo shows, as well as in the context of his participation in the Works Progress Administration and Atelier 17, New York. His prints are represented in a number of museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
The Fred Becker papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2018 by Becker's daughter Carla Becker.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The Fred Becker papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
This collection contains both the personal papers of Fred Rosenau and examples of air-dropped psychological warfare literature created by the O.W.I. Amongst his personal papers, which constitute the first series, there are information guidebooks and language aids for India and Burma, a large number of Indian newspaper articles, and photographs taken by Rosenau in Calcutta. However, letters to his family in New York City compose the bulk of the personal series. Along with detailing the experience of a young American living in India and his reactions to a distinctly different culture, the letters document the organization of his O.W.I. office and the duties of its workers. In one particular letter, dated January 7, 1945, (which was hand-delivered to his family and thus avoided censorship) Rosenau was able to write freely about his work, colleagues, and responsibilities in Calcutta. In addition, there are letters from the O.W.I. headquarters in New Delhi to Rosenau, including one in which the proposed post-war job was offered.
The second series contains general information about the O.W.I. and its aims. It mainly consists of documents and photographs relating to Rosenau's office. The series includes many examples of propaganda leaflets directed towards the Burmese and Thai peoples (with attached translations) which were produced by the Calcutta team. The representative works include news bulletins on the war's progress, warnings about future Allied bombings, and a variety of anti-Japanese and morale-boosting literature. It also includes examples of leaflets dropped over Japan, which were directed at soldiers rather than civilians in an attempt to undermine their faith in the military leaders.
The collection is divided into two series.
Series 1: Personal Experience of Fred S. Rosenau
Series 2: Psychological Warfare
Biographical / Historical:
Fred Simon Rosenau was a student at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania, when he joined the Overseas Branch of the Office of War Information (O.W.I.) in May 1944. After completing training at an unidentified military base camp, Rosenau traveled to Calcutta, India, where he served as Assistant Representative under the directorship of Mr. Teg Grondahl. The Calcutta office was part of the China-Burma-India (CBI) theater and as such its psychological warfare activities were directed towards Burma and Thailand. Initially Rosenau was responsible for leaflet production, including supervising their printing and delivery to air crews, as well as serving as an assistant to Grondahl. By the spring of 1945, however, Rosenau's role had been expanded and he was given new charges in the intelligence field, becoming more directly involved in the development and editing of "strategic" literature.
While in Calcutta, Rosenau lived in a series of different boarding houses. When he was not working (by the summer of 1945, his work load had been substantially reduced), he devoted his spare time to writing letters home, sightseeing around the city and neighboring areas of Bengal, and attending local cultural events. However, the heat and lack of proper sanitary conditions continued to frustrate Rosenau as he attempted to adjust to an Asian lifestyle.
Once the Japanese had surrendered in September 1945 and World War II had officially ended, Rosenau was offered a position by the Director of Psychological Warfare in India--William Carter--to join a new O.W.I news operation in Bangkok, Thailand. Its intent, as explained to Rosenau, was to fulfill the "need for American news" in Asia. Rosenau declined the offer since he was dissatisfied with the proposed salary and wanted to complete his college education. He left for the United States on the S.S. Muir in late September. Later, he attended the University of Chicago and received his bachelor of arts degree in 1947. His subsequent career is unknown. Rosenau died in 1985.
Materials in the Archives Center
The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana (AC060) contains some three hundred posters from World War I and II.
Princeton University Poster Collection (AC0433) has over 10,600 World War I and II posters.
The collection was donated to the Armed Forces History Division of the NMAH in January 1986, by Lucy W. Rosenau, daughter of Fred Rosenau. It was transferred to the Archives Center in January 1993.
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
This collection consists of 11.9 cubic feet of material chronicling Lee Ya-Ching's role as a pilot trying to raise funds for China during World War II. The collection contains the following types of material: correspondence, both official and personal; maps; publications; newspapers; invitation; programs from events; lecture notes; scripts from radio shows; photographs, both official and snapshots; trip schedules and agendas; address books; scrapbooks; and official paperwork and licenses.
Scope and Content note:
This collection consists of 11.9 cubic feet of material chronicling Lee Ya-Ching's role as a pilot trying to raise funds for China during World War II. The collection contains the following types of material: correspondence, both official and personal; maps; publications; newspapers; invitations; programs from events; lecture notes; scripts from radio shows; photographs, both official and snapshots; trip schedules and agendas; address books; scrapbooks; and official paperwork and licenses.
Note: The digital images shown for this collection were repurposed from scans made by an outside contractor for a commercial product which did not reproduce all materials found in this collection; some items have not been scanned. In addition, some materials have been excluded from display due to copyright, trademark, or patent restrictions.
This collection of materials listed in the finding aid is arranged into two series, Ms Lee's personal papers and her professional papers. Within each series, items are arranged by material type then chronologically. No attempt was made to translate foreign language material in the collection.
Lee Ya-Ching was born in Canton, China in 1912. As an only child who lost her mother at a young age, Ya-Ching was raised by her father and grandmother. Under her father's guidance she
learned many skills, including martial arts, some previously restricted to male children. Ya-Ching attended English schools in Hong Kong and Shanghai and at the age of 16 was sent to London to attend finishing school.
In 1929 at the age of 17, Ya-Ching went to Geneva, Switzerland. It is there that she took her first ride in an airplane and vowed to learn how to fly. She enrolled in Ecole Aero Club de Suisse and, in 1934, became the first woman to receive a pilot's license from the school. Determined to continue her education, Ya-Ching went to the United States and attended the Boeing School of Aeronautics in Oakland, California in 1935. In November of that year she became the first
woman licensed through the Boeing School. Upon completion of her training at the Boeing school Ya-Ching returned to China and began campaigning for a Chinese pilot's license, eventually obtaining the license in 1936. Seeing a need to train new pilots, Ya-Ching and some fellow pilots opened a civilian flying school in Shanghai in 1936.
When Japan invaded China in 1937, Ya-Ching volunteered to fly for her country, but was refused. Undeterred, she served her country by establishing hospitals. Leaving Shanghai for Hong Kong just before the city fell, she was finally given the opportunity to fly for China by piloting Red Cross planes ferrying supplies from Hong Kong to Canton. Realizing that China needed aid and supplies, Ya-Ching embarked on a Goodwill Tour of the United States and Canada in 1938. When the war prevented her return to China, Ya-Ching continued the tour expanding her appearances into South America.
Not much is known of Ya-Ching's life after the war. She returned to Hong Kong for a number of years. In the 1960's she returned to California, where she died in 1998 at the age of 86.
Time Line of Lee Ya-Ching
xxxx -- The following timeline covers key events in Ya-Ching's life, as well world events. Events involving Ya-Ching are shown in normal type world events are shown in italics.
1909 -- M. Vallon flies first plane in China
1911 -- China ousts the 2000 year old Imperial System for a Republic
April 16, 1912 -- Lee Ya-Ching is born in Canton, China
1916 -- Ya-Ching's mother dies of tuberculosis
1917 -- China enters World War 1 on the side of the Allies
1926 -- Begins career as a movie actress
1928 -- Leaves the film industry and goes to school in England
1929 -- The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) is ousted from China Goes to Switzerland
September 1931 -- Japan seizes control of Manchuria
November 1931 -- CCP resurfaces in China and forms the Chinese Soviet Republic in Jiangxi Province
May 1932 -- Amelia Earhart becomes first woman to solo across the Atlantic
1933 -- Begins flying lessons at Geneva's Cointrin-Ecole d'Aviation
1934 -- Receives her pilot's license from Ecole Aéro Club de Suisse
1935 -- Attends and receives license from the Boeing School of Aeronautics in Oakland, California
1935 -- Falls out of an aerobatic plane, earning her membership in the Caterpillar Club
1936 -- Receives her pilot's license from the Chinese Government First domestic airline established in China Opens a civilian flying school in Shanghai
1937 -- Flies for the Red Cross ferrying supplies from Hong Kong to Canton Japan invades China Earns Hong Kong commercial pilot's license Helps establish hospitals in Shanghai
1938 -- Begins goodwill tour of United States and Canada
1939 -- Appears in US film Disputed Passage with Dorothy Lamour
1940 -- Flies "Estrella China" to Caribbean, Central and South America Aids Ruth Nichols in raising money for Relief Wings
1941 -- Begins working for United China Relief
December 7, 1941 -- Bombing of Pearl Harbor forces American entry into World War II
1944 -- Begins Goodwill and Fund Raising tour of South America and Caribbean
August 1945 -- Atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, followed by Japanese surrender and end of World War II
1946 -- Returns to China and retires
1946 -- Fighting between CCP and KMT (Nationalist party) resumes
October 1949 -- KMT retreats to Taiwan Mao Zedong establishes the People's Republic of China
1950 -- Receives Hong Kong private pilot's license
1963 -- Receives Hong Kong Special Purpose Pilot's license
1971 -- Permanently moves to the United States
1997 -- British rule ends in Hong Kong
January 28, 1998 -- Dies at the age of 86
Pax Cheng and Mary Wolfson, Gift, 2007, NASM.2008.0009.
No restrictions on access.
This collection consists of the following four scrapbooks chronicling the aviation career of Colonel William B. Hawkins, especially his service with the 2nd Air Commandos Group during World War II: one 12 by 15 inch cream colored scrapbook, entitled "China 1942-1944" and "RAF 1949," containing newspaper clippings regarding World War II in China and snapshots from Hawkins' time with the Royal Air Force in 1949; one 10 by 14 inch brown photograph album mostly relating to Hawkins' career during the 1940s including snapshots, newspaper articles, foreign currency, maps and a short snorter; one 12 by 15 inch red photograph album entitled, "2nd Air Commando GP," and "Burma 1944-45 Bill Operations Officer," which contains captioned 3.5. by 4.5 inch black and white prints of the 2nd Air Commando Group; and one 9 by 11 inch photograph album 2nd Air Commando History of Operations, 1945 which consists of a report "Historical Record of 2nd Air Commando Group" and contains snapshots and captioned 3.5. by 4.5 inch black and white prints of the 2nd Air Commando Unit.
Biographical / Historical:
Colonel William B. Hawkins, Jr., (1920 - ) joined the US Army in 1935, at the age of 15. After finishing high school and junior college he went to flying school, and he was commissioned in the US Army Air Corps on December 7, 1941. Hawkins trained at Maybre Field in Florida and was assigned to the China-Burma-India Theater with the 74th Fighter Squadron, 23rd Fighter Group. Following his tour, Hawkins returned to America and was asked to join the 2nd Air Commandos with a return to the China-Burma-India Theater. After the war, Hawkins attended UCLA and received a BA in psychology. He was then sent to England to serve with the Royal Air Force as an exchange duty. He also had a tour of duty during the Korean War serving in Japan with the 508th Fighter Wing, and went on to tours in France with the 48th Tactical Fighter Command and to Germany, where he was Chief of Safety for the USAF. He was in the United States serving at Norton AFB when the Vietnam War began, and he volunteered for service. Hawkins sent to first to Clark AFB (Philippines), then to Taklee (Thailand) and finally to Tonsan Nuht (Vietnam), where he was again an operations officer and also flew a few bombing missions. After completing two tours of duty in Vietnam, Hawkins retired in 1966; at his retirement he had over 600 hours of flying time, mostly in jets.
Merrill S. Hawkins, Gift, 2006
No restrictions on access.
This collection consists of two cubic feet of material relating to William C. "Mac" McDonald's flying career, focusing on his time in the Army Air Forces as one of the "Men on the Flying Trapeze," his time training Chinese pilots at the Central Aviation School to fly before and during World War II, and as a Chinese National Aviation Corporation (CNAC) pilot flying the "Hump," and ferrying vital supplies in China for the Chinese troops, the "Flying Tigers" and the 14th Air Force. The material includes the following types of material: photographs, correspondence, military records, manuscripts, and newspaper articles. The collection contains material referencing the following notables: Claire Chennault, Anna Chennault, Frank "Dude" Higgs, Charles "Chuck" Sharp, Sebie Smith, Milton Caniff and Generalissimo and Madame Chiang Kai-shek.
Biographical / Historical:
William Clifford "Mac" McDonald (1906-1984) received his first airplane ride at age 14 from his neighbor, World War I ace, James "Jimmy" Meissner. After attending college at Washington and Lee University (Lexington, VA) and Howard College (Birmingham, AL), McDonald joined the 106th Observation Squadron of the Alabama National Guard, where he was an airplane mechanic. McDonald decided he wanted to be a pilot, and in May 1930 he was appointed as a US Army Air Corps Flying Cadet at Brooks Field, Texas. In 1931, McDonald was assigned to the 94th Pursuit Squadron at Selfridge Field, Michigan, and by June 1932 he had completed his active duty, graduated, and was released from the Army Air Forces. As McDonald was unable to find a job as a civilian pilot, he soon reenlisted in the Army so that he could join Claire Chennault's newly formed Army aerial aerobatics team, "Men on the Flying Trapeze." From 1932 to 936 the aerobatics team participated in numerous air shows. Through William Pauley, president of Central Aviation Manufacturing Company (CAMCO), the aerobatic team pilots met with Chinese Air Force General Mow Pang-Tsu who, impressed with their performance, invited them to come to China to train Chinese pilots in the American military flying style. MacDonald and his teammate John H. "Luke" Williamson, resigned from the Army Air Corps and accepted the offer and left for China during the summer of 1936, with Chennault following in 1937. McDonald became the senior American Instructor for the Central Aviation School, located outside Hanghow, China. Madame Chiang Kai-Shek headed the Chinese Commission on Aeronautics Affairs and was the real power behind the aviation school. During the fall of 1936, McDonald was also assigned to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's squadron and several times served as his pilot on military business. After four years training Chinese pilots, McDonald resigned from the school and started with the Chinese National Aviation Corporation (CNAC) ferrying vital supplies in China for the Chinese Air Force, Chennault's American Volunteer Group "Flying Tigers," and then the 14th Air Force. By mid-1943, McDonald was the Operations Assistant in Calcutta, India, and by the end of the year, he was the Chief Pilot. In Calcutta, McDonald met his wife, Margaret "Peggy" Spain, who was volunteering with the American Red Cross. The McDonald's left China in 1947, when Mac stepped down as Chief Pilot and took a transfer to Pan American Airways (PAA), working first in the United States and then for three years in Brazil. After his wife contracted polio in South America, McDonald moved his family back to Birmingham and he stopped flying. By that point, McDonald had over 20,000 flying hours. McDonald helped to found the CNAC Association and served as its president. Through McDonald's publishing company, the four volumes of Wings over Asia, which contained first person stories form CNAC personnel and friends, were published. McDonald was inducted in the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame in 1981, and passed away in 1984.
William C. McDonald Papers,
William C. McDonald, III, Gift, 2017
No restrictions on access.
This collection consists of seventy-four modern 8 x 10 inch gelatin-silver prints made from 1944 photographs of the 16th Fighter Squadron taken by Kuo Ching "K. C." Li. Subjects include identified portraits of squadron personnel, aircraft (including the Consolidated B-24J Liberator, Curtiss C-46 Commando, Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, Lockheed P-38 Lightning, and the North American P-51C and P-51D Mustang) and several photographs of other squadrons - the 9th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron and the 118th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. Several portraits of Li and his P-51 "The Vicious Virgin" are included. Places identified include Nanning, Chenkung and Kwelin, China.
Biographical / Historical:
The 16th Fighter Squadron was constituted on November 20, 1940 as the 16th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor). Equipped initially with Curtiss P-40 fighters, the squadron was activated at Hamilton Field, California on January 15, 1941. Assigned to the Tenth Air Force, the squadron deployed to the China-Burma-India (CBI) theater in March 1942. The squadron initially defended the Indian terminus of the vital "Hump" airlift route over the Himalayas between India and China, operating from the Assam Valley of northeast India. The squadron flew strafing, bombing, reconnaissance, and patrol missions in support of Allied ground troops during a Japanese offensive in northern Burma in 1943. In October 1943, the 16th Fighter Squadron was assigned to the Fourteenth Air Force and redeployed to southeast China for the defense of the Chinese end of the Hump and the air bases in the Kunming area. In 1944, the squadron was reequipped with North American P-51 Mustangs. The squadron returned to India in the fall of 1945 and sailed for the United States in November. The 16th Fighter Squadron was deactivated on December 13, 1945.
Kuo Ching "K. C." Li, Jr. was born in Glen Cove, New York, in 1921, the son of Dr. K. C. Li. He attended Friends Academy, Locust Valley, New York, and Kent School in Connecticut. Li studied engineering at Cornell University before enlisting in the Army Air Forces in June, 1942. He received his training at Craig Army Airfield in Selma, Alabama, in December, 1943. Li flew sixty-four missions in his P-51 Mustang "The Vicious Virgin," and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Soldier's Medal, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart. After the war, Li received a degree from Swarthmore College. Later, he took over management of his father's company, Wah Chang International Corporation, selling it to Teledyne Inc. (now Allegheny Technologies Incorporated) in 1967. Li later opened a restaurant, K.C.'s, on West 10th Street in New York City.
Robert L. Liles, Gift, 2013
No restrictions on access.