Washington (D.C.) -- Small business -- 20th century
Shaw (Washington, D.C.)
Washington (D.C.) -- African Americans
The collection includes approximately 250,000 photonegatives, photoprints, color transparencies from the photographic business founded by Addison Scurlock in Washington, D.C. Collection also includes business records and ephemera.
Scope and Contents:
Photographs includes portraits of famous African-American luminaries such as Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, and many other artists, intellectuals, educators, entertainers, etc., as well as documentation of Washington, D.C., including both the African-American community and national political life, and important photographs of Howard University; also commercial photography, including color materials.
Color separation materials include sets of black-and-white color-separation negatives, sets of matrices for the Kodak Dye Transfer process (full-color Dye Transfer prints are storied in a different series).
Business records:,The photography studio records and Custom Craft records are in separate subseries, reflecting the fact that they were operated as separate businesses.
The collection includes all forms of photographs produced by the studio, such as prints in black-and-white and color, black-and-white and color negatives, color transparencies, black-and-white dye-transfer matrices, slides, etc.; as well as business documents, studio session ledgers, appointment books, business and personal correspondence, tax documents, and books, catalogs, and other publications. This material documents not only the photographic output of the business, both commercial and artistic, as well as the personal and business side of the enterprise.
Some photographs in the collection were not created by the Scurlocks. Some black-and-white and color prints seem to derive from assignments in the Capitol School of Photography, and are therefore student work. Also Custom Craft, the professional color processing service provided by the studio, made prints for other photographers, and samples for printing reference, as well as studio decor, have been retained in the collection. Custom Craft worked for such diverse photographers as artist Robert Epstein and well-known Washington photographer Fred Maroon, for example.
The collection numbers several hundred thousand photographic negatives, prints, and transparencies made by the Scurlocks and other staff photographers of the studio in its various Washington locations. The negatives are estimated at approximately 160,000-200,000 in number, and the prints of all sizes and types at nearly 57,000. The vast majority of the photographs are portraits of individuals, family groups, and organizations, as the primary business of the studio was portrait photography. They date primarily from the 1940s to 1990s. There are also a number of images, made for commercial clients, of building interiors and exteriors, and food. A small group of photojournalistic documentation also exists. The subjects also include architectural and industrial views, scenes in and around Washington, including children and street laborers, political events, social events, and 35mm slides of President Kennedy's funeral, 1964. There are also more personal artistic images, including still lifes with plants and flowers, and a few nudes; Robert's wartime service is also documented by his photographs, including European landscape photographs.
In addition to images taken by the Scurlock studio photographers, there are some prints, especially color, of images by other photographers who were clients, such as Fred Maroon, a prominent Washington photojournalist, and Robert Epstein, a teacher at the Corcoran School of Art. A print of one of Maroon's pictures had been displayed in the studio reception room at the time the studio was closed.
A large group of manuscript items, business documents, ephemera, and office and studio supplies constitutes a separate series from the photographs. An important adjunct to the photographs, a set of ledgers recording and identifying portrait sittings, highlights this group.
Nearly all of the photographs and documents stored in the studio and auxiliary storage locations were accepted for acquisition in order to form a complete history of this family business's production and operations over the better part of a century, whereas a selection of photographic apparatus and studio equipment was acquired by the Photographic History Collection: these items have been inventoried and catalogued separately.
The majority of the surviving photographic negatives and proof prints were made in connection with the studio's portrait work for a wide variety of clients. These portraits include images of famous people, such as political figures, entertainers, and noteworthy persons in a variety of fields, including scientists, writers, intellectuals, and academics. The majority of the figures depicted among both the famous and the not so famous are black. The greatest number of studio portraits, most of which are identified and dated, depict a general clientele who visited the studio for portrait sittings. Although the individual images in this vast quantity have limited research value in the usual sense, the aggregate represents a chronology spanning almost ninety years, which may be useful for demographic and genealogical information and as visual evidence of changing styles in clothing, hair, and accessories. It constitutes a panorama of a significant percentage of Washingtonians of the period, especially the black community.
Portraits of famous personages include George Washington Carver, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Duke Ellington, Marian Anderson, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Sammy Davis, Jr., Sugar Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali, Mayor Walter Washington, and Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton, Mayor Marion Barry, D.C. Council members, statesmen such as Ralph Bunche, and many other noteworthy figures. Of particular interest is a signed group portrait of the U.S. Supreme Court with Chief Justice Berger presiding. There are also large- format portraits of Justice Thurgood Marshall and J. Edgar Hoover.
Group portraits include both formal sittings and the informal documentation of banquets, convocations, and similar events. This material includes groups at Howard University; Dunbar High School; the Post Office Clerks' Banquet; the Bishops' Meeting of the A.M.E. Church; a Y.M.C.A. camp, ca. 1947 1949; the 23rd annual conference of the N.A.A.C.P., 1932, etc.
Several thousand black and white negatives and prints, 1930s-1960s, depict the people, facilities, and events of Howard University, with which the Scurlocks had a long business relationship. There are various portraits, including Howard University Medical School, represented by 850 negatives and 100 prints. A group of law school and medical school images numbers some 800 negatives and 200 prints. In addition, there are class portraits, as well as images of famous guests speaking at Howard convocations, such as President Herbert Hoover.
An important aspect of any portrait studio's output is wedding photography, and the Scurlock studio was no exception. Bridal portraits, group pictures of wedding parties, and the complete documentation of weddings, in both black and white and color, constitute a significant part of the collection. African-American weddings predominate and provide important insights into this aspect of the society.
The studio's work was shown in special public exhibitions over the years, and several of these are included in toto. The most important was an extensive retrospective display of 121 prints of Addison's work, both vintage and posthumous, prepared by Robert for the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1976. Others include: (1) a set of 32 black and white images made by Robert at the Ramitelli Air Base, Italy, while he was a major in the U.S. Air Force during World War II; (2) a group of portraits from a Black History Month exhibit at Woodward and Lothrop; and (3) a set of sixteen vintage and modern prints which Robert displayed in an interview on the "Today" television show in the 1980s.
This category includes architectural and industrial photography for commercial clients, food and still life photographs, etc. Much of this material is comparatively recent and was made in large format color, and includes transparencies and enlargements. It is possible that some of the prints represent Custom Craft work for other photographers rather than the camera work of Robert and George Scurlock. Thus far, prints by artist Robert Epstein have been identified as extra prints of his work from orders which he placed with the firm. At least one image by Fred Maroon has been identified.
A group of color prints constitutes copies of artworks, primarily in the National Portrait Gallery, for which the Scurlocks worked. Prints in 8" x 10", 11" x 14", 16" x 20" and 20" x 24" sizes are included, and undoubtedly negatives and transparencies corresponding to these subjects will be found.
In addition to the formal studio portraits and pictures documenting formal events, the Scurlocks took candid photographs of the everyday life of their city, as well as extraordinary events of local and national significance, ranging from occasions such as John F. Kennedy's funeral and the 1968 riots to political rallies and demonstrations.
Capitol School of Photography
The collection includes a variety of materials, such as books and ephemera, which document the activities of the Capitol School of Photography, a sideline of the Scurlock business. Some of the photographs apparently represent student work. The most famous student of the school was Jacqueline Bouvier (later Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis), although no documentation of her association with the school has been located thus far. There are 45 photographs, ca. 1950s, showing the photography lab, men retouching prints, students with cameras, etc.
A few photographs of the Scurlock family are included in the collection in various forms and formats, including enlarged portraits of Addison and Robert. A self portrait of Addison and Mamie Scurlock is included in the Corcoran Gallery of Art exhibition series. Other photographs which represent personal artistic expression, such as a few nude studies and floral and plant still lifes, are included.
Series 6 includes: subseries 1 transparencies, subseries 2 slides, and subseries 3 other formats, which is rolled film of black and white and color negatives, and transparencies.
Series 1: Black and White Photographs:
Dates -- 1888-1993
Extent -- 105 boxes
Contents -- Series 1: Black and White Photographs: The materials are almost entirely black and white photographs, but in the subseries of clients, there may also be job envelopes, order materials, and other photographic material types that were included in the overall order. The series is arranged into two subseries, clients and subjects, and both are arranged alphabetically. The subseries clients documents the orders made by clients of the Scurlock Studio and individuals who were or could be identified but may or may not have actually placed an order at the Studio. The majority of the photographs in the clients subseries are formal portrait sittings but there are photographs of events, organizations, and businesses. The subseries subjects are photographs that were grouped into categories because no known client or individual in the image could be identified. The subjects cover a broad array of subjects but the majority of the subjects include unidentified people in formal portrait sittings and groups. In addition, not all photographs in this series were taken by the Scurlock Studio; there are photos by Abdon Daoud Ackad and other studios or photographers that were sent in to make copies. 1.1: Clients Black and white photographs1.2: Subjects Black and white photographs
Series 2: Color Photographs:
Dates -- 1930-1995
Extent -- 113 boxes
Contents -- Series 2: Color Photographs: The series color photographs consists of color photographs and hand-colored photographs, but there are also order envelopes and materials, and other photographic material types that were part of the order. The subseries are arranged as clients, subjects, weddings, and hand-colored photographs. Clients are arranged alphabetically by last name or the first word of an organization's name. Not all individuals, organizations, or businesses necessarily represent a client of the Scurlock Studio; if an individual or organization could be identified, the photograph was placed under the identified person or organization even if ther were not a known client of the Studio. The majority of the photographs are individual portrait sittings but also included are family portraits, businesses, organizations, and informal images. The subjects are arranged alphabetically, and document images of non-humans and humans that could not be connected to a known client. Weddings and hand-colored are arranged in alphabetical order with clients preceeding subjects. The were a large subject of the overall collection and the majority of weddings are color photographs but also included in the subseries are black and white and hand-colored photographs of weddings. The hand-colored photographs largely reflect the same subject matter of the subseries clients and subjects. In addition, not all photographs in this subseries were taken by the Scurlock Studio; there are photos by Abdon Daoud Ackad and other studios or photographers that were sent in to make copies. 2.1: Clients Color photographs2.2: Subjects Color photographs2.3: Weddings2.4: Hand-colored photographs
Series 3: Framed Prints:
Dates -- circa 1979
Extent -- 3 boxes
Contents -- Series 3: Framed Prints: The series framed prints includes three framed color photographs. The framed prints are arranged by the size, from smallest to largest, of the frame. The photographs are of two important political figures: Washington, D. C., Mayor Marion Barry and Senator Edward Brooke.
Series 4: Black-and-White Silver Gelatin Negatives:
Dates -- 1900-1994
Extent -- 320 boxes
Contents -- Series 4: Black-and-White Silver Gelatin Negatives: The material type of the series is black and white silver gelatin negatives. The negatives are arranged into twelve subseries. The materials document the clients and individuals whose photographs were taken by the Scurlock Studio and a wide variety of subject matters. The subjects represented are individual portrait sittings, organizations, events, businesses, commercial ventures of the Studio, and Washington, D. C. 4.1: Black and white negatives 4.2: Black and white negatives in freezers arranged by job number 4.3: Black and white negatives in freezer storage arranged by client 4.4: Black and white negatives in freezer storage arranged by subject 4.5: Black and white negatives in cold storage arranged by job number 4.6: Black and white negatives in cold storage arranged by client 4.7: Negatives in cold storage arranged by client with index cards 4.8: Negatives in cold storage arranged by subject 4.9: Black and white negatives for publication 4.10: Glass Plate Negatives 4.11: Customcraft Negatives 4.12: Banquet Negatives
Series 5: Color Negatives:
Dates -- 1964-1994
Extent -- 72 boxes
Contents -- Series 5: Color Negatives: The series color negatives primarily of color negatives but it also includes order envelopes and materials. The series is arranged into two subseries: clients and subjects. The subseries clients is arranged by job number, and the materials document the orders placed by clients of the Scurlock Studio and identified persons and organizations. The negatives depict individual portrait sittings, groups, and informal poses. The subseries subjects is arranged in alphabetical order, and the materials document negatives that could not be connected to a client of the studio. The negatives represent subjects such as art, buildings, commercial ventures of the Scurlock Studio, and unidentified people. 5.1: Color negatives arranged by client5.2: Color negatives arranged by subject
Series 6: Color Transparencies, Slides, and Other Formats:
Dates -- 1922-1994
Extent -- 40 boxes
Contents -- Series 6: Color Transparencies, Slides, and Other Formats: The series color transparencies, slides, and other formats consists of black and white and color transparencies, color slides, film, proofs, and order materials. The materials are arranged into four subseries: transparencies, slides, film, and proofs. The subseries are arranged by clients, in alphabetical order by last name, and then subjects, in alphabetical order. The materials document the orders placed at the Scurlock Studio by clients and identified individuals and organizations, and materials that could not be identified and are categorized by subjects. The subjects represented in the materials are primarily individual, family, and group portraits, and events and places. Cut but unmounted slides were typically placed in the subseries transparencies but a small number of cut but unmounted slides are included in the slides. The subseries proofs only contains a form of proof used by the Scurlock Studio that has a fugitive image, and other types of proofs printed on low quality paper or are water-marked and have a lasting image were included in the series Black and White Photographs and Color Photographs if the proof was either black and white or color. 6.1: Transparencies6.2: Slides6.3: Film6.4: Proofs
Series 7: Black-and-White Color Separation Negatives and Matrices:
Dates -- 1955-1957
Extent -- 7 boxes
Contents -- Series 7: Black-and-White Color Separation Negatives and Matrices: The materials in the series are black-and-white color separation negatives and a booklet about how to process black-and-white color separation negatives. The materials are arranged into three subseries: clients, subjects, and the booklet. The materials document orders placed at the Scurlock Studio by clients and individuals and organizations that could be identified but not connected to a specific order. The materials also document negatives categorized by subjects because there was no known client or identifiable individual or organization. The subjects represented are individual portrait sittings and groups, and unidentified people. 7.1: Clients Black-and-White Color Separation Negatives 7.2: Subjects Black-and-White Color Separation Negatives Booklet
Series 8: Scurlock Studio Business Records:
Dates -- 1907-1996
Extent -- 66 boxes
Contents -- Series 8: Scurlock Studio Business Records: The series Scurlock Studio Business Records contains paperwork pertaining to the administration of the business, the financial documentation of the business, the reocrds of sales, the advertising signs and promotions of hte business, the files kept on employees, and other materials kept at the Scurlock Studio. The series is arranged into six subseries: administrative file, financial, sales, advertising and marketing, employee and personnel, and office files. Each subseries is arranged differently according to the types of materials predominantly found in the subseries or in chronological order. The subjects represented in the series are mostly related to the financial records of the Scurlock Studio kept and the invoices of sales records. A wide variety of other subjects relating to the the business records of the Scurlock Studio can also be found including: session registers, construction plans, advertisements for specific holidays, and product information sent to the Studio. Some materials found in this series may be marked Scurlock Studio and Custom Craft, the color division of the Scurlock Studio, and were placed with this series because the Scurlock Studio was the primary business. Other materials with an unclear origin of either the Scurlock Studio or Custom Craft were placed in this series. 8.1: Administrative Files8.2: Financial8.3: Sales8.4: Advertising and Marketing8.5: Employee and Personnel8.6: Office Files
Series 9: Custom Craft Business Records:
Dates -- 1951-1994
Extent -- 57 boxes
Contents -- Series 9: Custom Craft Business Records: The series Custom Craft Business Records consists of paper documents relating to the administrative, financial, sales records, employee and personnel, and other files about the affairs of the Custom Craft business's day-to-day operations. The materials are arranged into five subseries: administrative, financial, sales, employee and personnel, and office files. The materials within a subseries are ordered by types of documents that consisted of a large number of materials listed first and materials with few documents following the grouped materials in chronological order. The materials document the day-to-day business of Custom Craft. The subjects represented are documents relating to the administration of the business, journals kept to document finances, the order invoices, the files kept about employees, product information, and materials accumulated in the office. Some documents may list both the Scurlock Studio and Custom Craft and were kept with the business records of Custom Craft if the materials appeared to fit the activities, color photography, of that business. Other documents relating to the business affairs of Custom Craft may be in the series Scurlock Studio Business Records because these documents did not clearly indicate which business the documents belonged to; in these cases, the materials were put in the series Scurlock Studio Business Records because the business was the primary business of the Scurlocks. There business records seem to indicate that there was not always a clear differentiation between the two businesses. 9.1: Administrative9.2: Financial9.3: Sales9.4: Employee and Personnel9.5: Office files
Series 10: Capitol School of Photography:
Dates -- 1948-1954
Extent -- 4 boxes
Contents -- Series 10: Capitol School of Photography: The series Capitol School of Photography consists of paper documents, photographs, and transparencies. The materials are arranged in chronological order and document the administration of the Capitol School of Photography and the students. The subjects represented are administrative documents, student files, photographs by students, photographs of students and the space used for the School, and transparencies of the same subjects.
Series 11: Washington Stock:
Dates -- 1981-1994
Extent -- 2 boxes
Contents -- Series 11: Washington Stock: The series Washington Stock consists of order materials, orders, and published materials. The materials are arranged chronologically and document the orders placed for Washington Stock and how the materials were used and published. The subjects represented are orders, standard forms used by Washington Stock, and published materials.
Series 12: Background Materials and Publications:
Dates -- 1902-1995
Extent -- 18 boxes
Contents -- Series 12: Background Materials and Publications: The series Background Materials and Publications is composed of paper documents, published materials, and materials from exhibitions. The materials are arranged into four subseries: historical and background information, Scurlock images, reference materials, and exhibition materials. The materials document the Scurlocks, published Scurlock images, published materials lacking Scurlock images, exhibitions of Scurlock images, and other exhibitions of related material. The subjects represented are largely materials related to the Scurlocks' photography and personal interests. Images were placed in the subseries Scurlock images if the photograph was credited to the Scurlocks or was a photograph known to have been taken by the Scurlocks; it is possible that uncredited and less well known images taken by the Scurlocks are present in the subseries reference materials. 12.1: Historical and Background Information12.2: Scurlock Images12.3: Reference Materials12.4: Exhibition Materials
The collection is divided into 12 series.
This collection was processed with numerous changes in arrangement and numbering of boxes. Original box numbers have been retained in this finding aid for cross-reference purposes and to assist anyone with a record of photographs according to the original box numbers.
Biographical / Historical:
The Scurlock photographic studio was a fixture in the Shaw area of Washington, D.C. from 1911 to 1994, and encompassed two generations of photographers, Addison N. Scurlock (1883-1964) and his sons George H. (1920- 2005) and Robert S. (1916-1994).
The turn of the twentieth century saw a mass exodus of African Americans from the South to northern cities in search of better employment opportunities and fairer racial treatment. Although many considered Washington to be the northern-most southern city, it still offered opportunities for African Americans leaving seasonal agricultural work and racial oppression in the South. In Washington, African Americans found stable employment with the U.S. government. In addition, Howard University offered African Americans teaching opportunities, college education, and professional training as doctors, dentists, nurses, lawyers, and ministers. By 1900 a substantial African-American middle class existed in Washington. Despite the fact that Washington was a historically and legally segregated city (and would remain so into the 1960s), this middle class population continued to grow and prosper.
After graduation from high school, Addison Scurlock moved from Fayetteville, North Carolina, to Washington, D.C., with his family in 1900. With a keen interest in photography, he sought out an apprenticeship at the white-owned Moses Rice Studio on Pennsylvania Avenue. The Rice brothers (Amos and Moses) had been in Washington working as photographers since the 1860s and had one of the more prominent and better studios in the city. There Addison learned portrait and general photography. In 1904, he left Rice and began his photographic career at his parents' home. By 1911, when he opened the Scurlock Studio, he had already captured the likeness of Booker T. Washington (1910; see Appendix B), most likely his most well-known portrait. Scurlock quickly identified his market: a self-sufficient African-American community which included students, graduates, and educators affiliated with Howard University; poets; writers; intellectuals; musicians and entertainers; politicians; socialites; fraternal and religious organizations and their leaders. The Scurlock Studio, located at 900 U Street, N.W., became a fixture in the midst of the thriving African-American business community. As with his white counterparts on Pennsylvania Avenue and F Street, N.W., Addison Scurlock inspired passers-by with window displays of his photographs of national leaders and local personalities.
During the 1930s, Addison Scurlock's two sons Robert and George apprenticed in the studio. In addition to portrait and general photography, the sons learned the techniques of retouching negatives and photographic prints, hand-coloring, hand-tinting, and mat decoration. George concentrated on the commercial side of the business while Robert concentrated on the portrait side. The Scurlocks' work changed with the times. From the early 1900s until Addison's death in 1964, the Scurlock Studio was the official photographer of Howard University. In the 1930s the studio began a press service and prepared newsreels on African American current events for the Lichtman Theater chain, which offered some of the few non-segregated venues in the city. Their press service supplied the African-American press with newsworthy photographs of current events, personalities, and social, political, and religious life. Clients included the Norfolk Journal and Guide, Amsterdam News, Pittsburgh Courier, Cleveland Call and Post and the Washington Tribune and Afro-American. George and Robert ran the Capitol School of Photography from 1948 to 1952. Included among their students were African-American veterans under the G.I. Bill, Ellsworth Davis, who later worked as a Washington Post photographer and Bernie Boston of the Los Angeles Times. Perhaps their best-known student was the young Jacqueline Bouvier.
In 1952 Robert opened Washington's first custom color lab. Capitalizing on his knowledge of color processing, Robert was asked to take color portraits of both noted and ordinary individuals. In addition, the studio offered color views of important Washington landmarks and monuments. By the 1960s, Robert added magazine photography to his list of talents, publishing images in Life, Look, and Ebony. Robert continued photographing Washingtonians at his studio until his death in 1994.
According to George Scurlock, the Scurlock studio never had substantial competition in the African American community. Some Washington residents remember it differently, however. Dr. Theodore Hudson, a retired Howard University professor, recalled two other black photographers: Sam Courtney and a man named Sorrell. He said Courtney photographed events in the African American community...?
The collection represents the most comprehensive record of any long-lived, let alone African-American, photography studio, in a public institution. Other twentieth century studio collections exist, such as Robinson Studio, Grand Rapids; Hughes Company, Baltimore, Md. Among African American studio collections in public institutions are James Van Der Zee (New York City, 1912-80s), P.H. Polk (Tuskegee), and the Hooks Brothers (Memphis, Tenn., 1910-1975). The Scurlock Collection covers a greater time period and provides greater depth of coverage of African-American events and personages.
A number of articles have been written about the Scurlock family. Jane Freundel Levey, editor of Washington History magazine, believes that the family went beyond the artful use of light, shadow, and composition. She wrote, "Perhaps the most distinctive hallmark of the Scurlock photograph is the dignity, the uplifting quality of the demeanor of every person captured by photographs who clearly saw each subject as above the ordinary."
Constance McLaughlin Green, one of the leading historians of Washington, D.C., talks about African-American Washington as "the Secret City," a separate world with institutions of its own that remained virtually unknown to the white majority. Addison Scurlock and his sons captured that world on film and in doing so, documented that world in the course of running his business and perfecting his art. Steven C. Newsome, director of the Maryland Commission on Afro-American History and Culture stated that The Scurlocks' photograph "Gave us connections. They tell stories. They let us remember."
The collection includes photographs of the nationally famous Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Mary McLeod Bethune, Mary Church Terrell, Marian Anderson; the locally or regionally important: P.B.S. Pinchback, Judge Miflin Gibbs, Col. Jim Lewis, Ernest Just, Anna J. Cooper; and actors, artists, vaudevillians, and musicians such as Fredi Washington, Madame Lilian Evanti, Oakley & Oakley, and Duke Ellington.
George Scurlock. Interview conducted by David Haberstich and intern Lora Koehler at Mr. Scurlock's apartment, Aug. 2003.
Theodore Hudson, conversation with David Haberstich in the Archives Center, 2 February 2004.
Jane Freundel Levey, "The Scurlock Studio," Washington History, 1989, p. 44.
Robert S. Scurlock, "An Appreciation of Addison N. Scurlock's Photographic Achievements," The Historic Photographs of Addison N. Scurlock. Washington, D.C.: The Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives, 1986 (exhibition catalog).
Materials at Other Organizations:
The Historical Society of Washington, D.C. holds Scurlock-related materials.
Materials in the National Museum of American History:
Cameras and other photographic apparatus, studio furniture, and miscellaneous ephemera from the Scurlock studio are in the History of Photography Collection. An adding machine from the studio is in the Museum's mathematics collection. See accessions 1997.0293 and 2010.0157.
The Museum purchased the Scurlock Studio Records from the Estate of Robert S. Scurlock, through Judge Marjorie Lawson in 1997. During the period of negotiation between the museum and Robert Scurlock's heirs, his widow Vivian and brother George, the collection was on loan to the Museum and was housed primarily in a closed exhibition area on the second floor. Staff of the Archives Center took physical possession of the collection long before the transfer to the Museum was final. The studio records and photographs were housed principally in the 18th Street studio and in two rental storage facilities. The primary move of the collection to the Museum occurred in September 1995. An additional pickup occurred on February 12, 1996 (on tags). There was probably one additional pickup from the studio by David Haberstich and Caleb Fey on an unrecorded date.
Collection is open for research.
Series 8: Business Records, Subseries 8.1: Studio Session Registers are restricted. Digital copies available for research. See repository for details.
Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives. Special arrangements required to view negatives due to cold storage. Using negatives requires a three hour waiting period. Contact the Archives Center at 202-633-3270.
When the Museum purchased the collection from the Estate of Robert S. Scurlock, it obtained all rights, including copyright. The earliest photographs in the collection are in the public domain because their term of copyright has expired. The Archives Center will control copyright and the use of the collection for reproduction purposes, which will be handled in accordance with its standard reproduction policy guidelines. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Scurlock Studio Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Smithsonian Institution
The collection was acquired with assistance from the Eugene Meyer Foundation. Elihu and Susan Rose and the Save America's Treasures program, provided funds to stabilize, organize, store, and create digital surrogates of some of the negatives. Processing and encoding funded by a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources.
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
This collection contains a variety of periodicals, photographs, correspondence, business and advertising ephemera (corporate and non-profit, personal), organizational records and ephemera, created by, for, and in reaction to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community.
Scope and Contents:
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Collection contains periodicals, ephemera, posters, postcards, advertisements, photographs, organizational records, publications, correspondence, and other materials related to all aspects of the LGBT community and the civil rights issues pertaining thereto. The collection was created by the Archives Center to bring together materials specifically pertaining to the LGBT community. This collection contains material from communities and individuals throughout the United States. The collection is currently strongest in periodicals, newspapers and ephemera and very strong in material from California and New York. The collection continues to add new items and the researcher would be wise to take a broad view in targeting their research topics in the collection.
The collection is divided into twenty-four series.
Series 1: Periodicals, 1937-2018
Series 2: Agencies, Associations, and Organizations, 1984-2018, undated
Series 3: Community Life and Subject Files, 1915-2018, undated
Subseries 3.1: Photographs and Slides, 1915-1980, undated
Subseries 3.2: Ephemera and Buttons, 1969-2018, undated
Subseries 3.3: Posters and Prints, 1972-2018, undated
Subseries 3.4: Subject Files, 1958-2018, undated
Subseries 3.5: Pride, 1976-2018, undated
Subseries 3.6: HIV and AIDS, 1987-2017, undated
Series 4: Advertising, Business, and Publications, 1970-2018, undated
Subseries 4.1: Advertising, 1970-2018, undated
Subseries 4.2: Business, 1998-2017, undated
Subseries 4.3: Television, Theater, and Motion Pictures, 1978-2018, undated
Subseries 4.4: Bar ephemera and advertisement, 1979-2018, undated
Subseries 4.5: Publications, 1976-2018, undated
Series 5: Biren, Joan E. (JEB), 195-2018, undated
Subseries 5.1: Xerographic Copies of Photoprints, 1971-1995, undated.
Subseries 5.2: Posters and Oversize Advertisement, 1973-2018, undated
Series 6: Dietrich, Joseph A., 1992-2010
Series 7: Mattachine Society Records, 1942-1996, undated
Subseries 7.1: Correspondence, 1952-1991, undated
Subseries 7.2: Board of Directors Minutes, 1954-1974, undated
Subseries 7.4: Councils, Chapters, and Committees, 1953-1965, undated
Subseries 7.5: Conventions, 1953-1960, undated
Subseries 7.6: Publications, 1944-1996, undated
Series 8: Rainbow History Community Pioneers, 2003-2012, undated
Series 9: Strub, Sean O., addendum, 1987-2011, undated
Series 10: Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Baltimore (GLCCB, 1990-2014, undated
Series 11: Ros, Silvia, 2009-2011
Series 12: Huebner, David, 2009-2014
Series 13: St. George, Philip, 1945-1955, undated
Series 14: Will & Grace, 1995-2006
Series 15: Barna, Joseph T. and Heritage of Pride (HOP), New York, New York, 1910-2014, undated
Subseries 15.1: Photographs, Photographic Negatives, and Slides, 1985-2010, undated
Subseries 15.2: Heritage of Pride (HOP), 1984-2014, undated
Subseries 15.3: Barna, Joseph T., 1910-2013, undated,
Series 16: Becker, John M., 1999-2014, undated
Series 17: Rohrbaugh, Richard, 1972-1986, undated
Series 18: Guest, Michael E., 2001-2009
Series 19: The Fosters, 2013
Series 20: Pride at Work, 1990-2015
Series 21: Sabatino, Michael and Voorheis, Robert, 1980-2016, undated
Subseries 21.1: Archilla, Gustavo A. and Lokkins, Elmer T., 1916-2014, undated
Series 22: Gay Officers Action League (GOAL), 1982-2016, undated
Series 23: Brown, Adele "Del" and Herizon's Bar, 1985-1991, undated
Subseries 1: Changing Herizons, and Herizons Newsletter, 1983-1991
Series 24: Universal Felloship Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC), 1957-2019, undated
While the quest for equal rights has been pursued by generations, it is generally acknowledged that the modern day Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) civil rights movement began in New York City in June 1969 with the Stonewall Riots. Prior to this time a number of activists, individuals, and organizations such as The Mattachine Society, Daughters of Bilitis and others, fought to bring recognition of LGBT civil rights to the forefront of American society. While the movement was primarily, and most visually, centered in New York City and San Francisco, periodicals, guide books, and ephemeral material interconnected the larger LGBT community throughout the United States. The increased visibility of the LGBT movement inspired groups at odds with that new found visibility and call to action. The challenge to what was termed "traditional" values encouraged counter-LGBT groups to define and solidfy their constituency as well. This collection comprises material that is generated by individuals and organizations that have been on both sides of the question.
Materials in the Archives Center
Michio and Aveline Kushi Macro-Biotics Collection (AC0619)
The Shamrock Bar: Photographs and Interviews (AC0857)
Archives Center Wedding Documentation Collection (AC1131 )
Division of Science, Medicine, and Society HIV/AIDS Reference Collection (AC1134)
John-Manuel Andriote Hot Stuff: A Brief History of Disco Collection (AC1184)
Joan E. Biren (JEB) Queer Film Museum Collection (AC1216)
World AIDS Institute (WAI) Collection (AC1266)
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) Records (AC1282)
Helping Persons with AIDS (HPA) Records (AC1283)
DC Cowboys Dance Company Records (AC1312)
Bil Browning and Jerame Davis Papers (AC1334)
David Hadley Rockwell New York Disco Ephemera Collection (AC1342)
Leonard P. Hirsch Federal Globe Records (AC1357)
Corbett Reynolds Papers (AC1390)
Mark Segal Papers (AC1422)
The Mattachine Society of Washington "Love in Action" Collection (AC1428)
Academy of Washington Records (AC1458)
Matthew Shepard Papers (AC1463)
The Division of Political History holds artifacts related to gay activist Franklin Kameny and a variety of political buttons. They also hold LGBT related artifacts from Joan E. Biren (JEB).
The Division of Medical and Science holds objects donated from Dr. Renee Richards, Sean O. Strub, and Leonard Hirsch.
The Division of Entertainment and the Arts holds objects donated by The Fosters and Will & Grace.
This collection was assembled by the Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian, beginning in 2004.
The collection is open for research use.
Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. Researchers must use reference copies of audio-visual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow.
Do not use original materials when available on reference video or audio tapes.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff.
The papers of painter, collage artist, and printmaker Nancy Spero measure 27.5 linear feet and 19.12 GB and are dated 1940s-2009. Biographical materials, correspondence, interviews, writings, subject files, personal business records, printed and digital material, and photographic materials provide an overview of her exhibitions, major projects, and personal life. Also documented is her interest and participation in political movements and social issues including anti-war, women's rights, animal rights, repressive regimes, and the treatment of political prisoners.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter, printmaker, and collage artist Nancy Spero measure 27.5 linear feet and 19.12 GB and are dated 1940s-2009. Biographical materials, correspondence, interviews,writings, subject files, personal business records, printed and digital material, and photographic materials provide an overview of her exhibitions, major projects, and personal life. Also documented is her interest and participation in political and social movements including anti-war, women's rights, animal rights, and raising awareness about repressive regimes, and the treatment of political prisoners.
Biographical materials include 26 audiovisual recordings about Nancy Spero and her work. Also found are biographical notes, resumes, and her passport. Correspondence concerns exhibitions, projects, travel, general news of family and friends, social events, and fundraising for political and social causes that Spero supported.
Interviews with Spero, conducted for a variety of purposes, include 7 audiovisual recordings, many transcripts, and published versions. Also, there are several joint interviews with Nancy Spero and Leon Golub. Spero's writings consist of notes, artist's statements, and articles. Also included are 7 audiovisual recordings of talks by Spero and her participation in panel discussions.
Subject files document many of Spero's personal and professional projects, relationships, and interests. Especially well documented is A.I.R. Gallery which includes 42 sound cassettes of talks presented in its "Current Issues and Events" series (1982-1984), gallery correspondence, exhibition documentation, and records of the A.I.R. Partnership. Some materials are in digital format.
Personal business records include many inventories and lists. Also documented are gifts, loans, sales, prices, reproduction permissions and fees. Printed material consists of a variety of items such as books, clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, periodicals, press releases, digital materials and reproductions. Many items mention Spero and/or include reproductions of her work. Also found with printed material are 22 commercially produced audiovisual recordings about various subjects.
Photographic materials include photographs, digital images, slides, negatives and color transparencies of artwork, exhibition installations, and people. Artwork is mainly by Spero and exhibition installations record some of her solo shows. Images of people include Nancy Spero, Leon Golub, unidentified friends and family members.
The collection is arranged in 9 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1950-2009 (Boxes 1-2, FC 31; 1.5 linear feet, ER01-ER04; 9.58 GB)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1946-2009 (Boxes 2-4; 2 linear feet)
Series 3: Interviews, 1973-2007 (Boxes 4-5; 0.8 linear foot)
Series 4: Writings, 1950-2003 (Box 5; 0.8 linear foot)
Series 5: Subject Files, circa 1950-2009 (Boxes 6-18, 29, RD 30; 12.6 linear feet, ER05-ER15; 5.02 GB)
Series 6: Personal Business Records, circa 1976-2008 (Boxes 18-19; 1 linear foot)
Series 7: Printed Material, 1949-2009 (Boxes 19-25; 6.1 linear feet, ER16-ER17; 4.36 GB)
Series 8: Photographic Material, 1940s-2009 (Boxes 25-26, 29; 1.2 linear feet, ER18-ER19; 0.151 GB)
Series 9: Video Recordings, 1970s-1990s (Boxes 26-28; 1 linear foot)
Biographical / Historical:
Nancy Spero (1926-2009) was a figurative painter, printmaker, and collage artist in New York City whose multi-media work often incorporated text. She was an ardent feminist and activist whose political and social concerns were expressed in her art.
Born in Cleveland, Nancy Spero lived in Chicago from the time she was a very young child until completing her studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA 1949) where she met her future husband, painter Leon Golub (1922-2004). She studied briefly in Paris and lived in New York City, returning to Chicago after her marriage in 1951. The couple and their two sons lived in Italy from 1956 to 1957. In 1959, after a few years in New York, the family moved to Paris where Spero developed an interest in existentialism and produced a series of black paintings. When Spero and Golub returned to New York in 1964, their family consisted of three sons.
Nancy Spero was strongly affected by the war in Vietnam and the many social changes of the period. She became a social activist and feminist, joined various organizations, and participated in a variety of demonstrations. Work such as the War series began to include political and sexual imagery. Spero was among the founding members of the women's cooperative A.I.R. Gallery established in 1972. In 1974 she decided to make women in mythology, history, art, and literature the exclusive subject of her work. Included in this vein are major series and installations, among them Torture of Women, Notes in Time on Women, The First Language, and her 66th Street/Lincoln Center subway station mosaic mural Artemis, Acrobats, Divas and Dancers.
Spero exhibited in the 1950 Salon des Independents and her first solo exhibition (in tandem with Leon Golub) was held at Indiana University in 1958. Thereafter, she showed sporadically until nearly 30 years later when her career flourished and she enjoyed international stature. Beginning in 1986, each year brought multiple solo exhibitions at galleries and museums in the United States and internationally. In addition, she continued to participate in group shows such as "Documenta" and the Venice Biennale. Her work is included in the permanent collections of museums throughout the world.
Awards and honors included the Skowhegan Medal for Works on Paper (1995), Hiroshima Art Prize shared with Leon Golub (1996), The Women's Caucus for Art award for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Arts (2003), and The Women's Caucus for Art Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement (2005). Spero was awarded honorary Doctorates of Fine Arts by The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1991) and Williams College (2001), and was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2006).
After several years of declining health, Nancy Spero died from heart failure in New York City, October 18, 2009.
Also among the holdings of the Archives of American Art an interview of Nancy Spero conducted 2008 Februay 6-July 24, by Judith Olch Richards, and the papers of Spero's husband, Leon Golub.
Gift of Nancy Spero in 1979. The majority of the collection was donated by her sons, Stephen Golub, Philip Golub, and Paul Golub in 2013.
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
The Nancy Spero 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
The Paul Ryan papers measure 19.7 linear feet and document Ryan's education and career as a pioneering video artist, theorist, writer, and educator. Records include school records, family papers, correspondence, writings, project files, video recordings, teaching files, printed materials, scattered photographs, and artwork by others. Organizational records are also found for the Earthscore Foundation, Earth Environmental Group, the Gaia Institute, and the Raindance Corporation, among others. The bulk of Ryan's professional work is documented in his writings and project files.
Scope and Contents:
The Paul Ryan papers measure 19.7 linear feet and document Ryan's education and career as a pioneering video artist, theorist, writer, and educator. Records include school records, family papers, correspondence, writings, project files, video recordings, teaching files, printed materials, scattered photographs, and artwork by others. Organizational records are also found for the Earthscore Foundation, Earth Environmental Group, the Gaia Institute, and the Raindance Corporation, among others. The bulk of Ryan's professional work is documented in his writings and project files.
Biographical materials include family papers, early correspondence among Ryan family members, school records, selective service records, photographs of Paul Ryan, and career documentation such as résumés, CVs, recommendation letters, and narratives written by Ryan describing his career. Records related to Ryan's time in the seminary and monastery include letters home during this period, and his letter of resignation from 1965.
Correspondence is mainly professional in nature, and spans Ryan's career. Correspondence between Ryan and family members is also found. Professional correspondence is found with Myrdene Anderson, Peter Berg of Planet Drum, Morris Berman, Avery Johnson, Marga Bijvoet, Thomas Berry, Lois Bianchi, David Dunn, Roberta Kevelson, Gerrit Lansing, Aldo Lira, Oliver Lowenstein, Chip Lord, Claude Ponsol, Jody Procter, Jodi Sibert, Phyllis Gershuny Segura, Michael Shamberg, and Marita Sturken. Corporate correspondence is found regarding job applications, manuscript submissions to publishers, and video submissions to museums and broadcasters.
Writings include mainly articles and notebooks by Ryan, but also drafts of books, lectures, poetry, short stories, a treatment for a television show, and writings by others in various genres. Most of Ryan's prose writing is theoretical in nature, although personal writings and notes from projects are also found. Articles include both published and unpublished writings, with some published multiple times under different titles. Over one hundred notebooks spanning forty years contain a variety of content including drafts of letters, articles, grant proposals, lectures, and other writings. Ryan's two major publications, Cybernetics of the Sacred and Video Mind, Earth Mind, are documented with drafts, contracts, correspondence with publishers, layout documents, and notes.
Organizational records include writings, correspondence, printed material, financial records, grant proposals, and other records concerning various organizations, collectives, and companies in which Ryan participated, mostly having to do with environmental advocacy, video production, or a combination of the two. Organizations with substantial records in this series include the Earth Environmental Group, the Earthscore Foundation, Environment '89 (and '90, '91, and '92), the Gaia Institute, and the Raindance Corporation, among others. Documentation is most comprehensive for The Earthscore Foundation, including by-laws, grant proposals, extensive writings, financial records, and printed materials.
Project files contain video recordings, production notes, photographs, proposals, correspondence, a computer program designed by Ryan, prints for exhibition, illustrations and designs, posters, circulars, contracts, and scripts. Many of the projects documented in this series relate to Ryan's many explorations of the use of video to monitor and interpret two seemingly different subjects, environmental change and human behavior in relationships, expressed through a ritual of interaction among three persons designed by Ryan and called "Threeing," or "Triadic Behavior." The most thoroughly documented projects in this series include "Nature in New York City," "New York City Eco-Channel for Sustainable Television (NEST)," Talking Wood (a publication that incorporated the project "Watershed Watch"), "Inventing Triadic Behavior" (also known as the "Triadic Tapes"), "Tethys"(with artist Bob Schuler), and "Video Wake for my Father," a performance for video that saw many iterations, including a private performance, a public performance, an edited video program, and a published script.
Video recordings are found for three projects, including "Nature in New York City," "Inventing Triadic Behavior," and a threeing workshop held at the Kitchen entitled "Video Variations on Holy Week." A printout of records in a videotape database kept by Ryan is found in this series, with a proposal for video preservation; the list of tapes includes those found in the collection as well as tapes not extant.
Teaching files include documentation of Ryan's work at Dalton School, Hudson School, the New School for Social Research, and Savannah College of Art and Design, and many other workshops and training programs Ryan taught. Included are grade books, correspondence, curricula, training materials, and reports. Two of his programs, the Black Rock Rangers at the Dalton School, and the Urban Conservation Corps Pilot Video Program involve the implementation of the Earthscore Notational System in school curricula.
Printed material includes books, newspaper clippings, conference programs and published proceedings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, film and video programs, flyers, periodicals, poetry publications, posters, and materials relating to the artist Al Robbins, which includes an obituary written by Ryan. Also found are publications of the Raindance Corporation, which include the book, Guerrilla Television (1971), and four issues of their magazine, Radical Software (1971-1972). Most of the printed material was either written by Paul Ryan, contains articles by Paul Ryan, or documents activities of Paul Ryan. Other materials found contain works by Ryan's associates and collaborators.
Artwork contains artists' books, doodles, illustrations, prints, and photographs by named and unnamed artists. None of the artwork in this series appears to be by Ryan. Notable is an artist's book entitled "Patterns" by Lida Zerella, which incorporates still images from Ryan's Triadic Tapes in a small album. Two illustrations are found by Claude Ponsot, who also illustrated many of Ryan's publications relating to Kleinform and threeing.
This collection is arranged as 8 series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1931-2003 (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 1, 20)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1965-2007 (2 linear feet; Boxes 1-3)
Series 3: Writings, 1955-2001 (6.8 linear feet; Boxes 3-10, 20)
Series 4: Organizational Records, 1968-1996 (1.2 linear feet; Boxes 10-11, 20, OV 21)
Series 5: Project Files, 1968-2008 (6.5 linear feet; Boxes 11-17, 20, OV 21-22, 24, RD 26)
Series 6: Teaching Files, 1967-2008 (0.7 linear feet; Box 17)
Series 7: Printed Materials, 1968-2009 (1.6 linear feet; Boxes 18-20, OV 23, 25)
Series 8: Artwork, 1965-2003 (0.1 linear feet; Boxes 19-20, OV 22)
Biographical / Historical:
Paul Ryan was a pioneering video artist, writer, teacher, and theoretician based in New York City and the Hudson Valley of New York State. Born in 1943, Ryan spent his early adulthood as a seminarian and later a member of the Roman Catholic order of Passionist monks, which he left in 1965. He eventually received a B.A. from New York University. During the Vietnam War, Ryan received conscientious objector status and studied with Marshall McLuhan at Fordham University as alternative service. It was McLuhan's influence that led Ryan to begin to explore the possibilities of the medium of video.
In 1969, Ryan participated in the landmark exhibition "TV as a Creative Medium" curated by Howard Wise, which served to link the kinetic art movement of the 1960s with the emergent medium of video art. The first exhibition in the United States devoted to video, "TV as a Creative Medium" signaled radical changes and defined an emerging artistic movement. In 1969 Ryan co-founded the Raindance Corporation along with Ira Schneider, Michael Shamberg, David Cort, Beryl Korot, Phyllis Gershuny, and others. Raindance was an influential media collective that proposed radical theories and philosophies of video as an alternative form of cultural communication. Influenced by the communications theories of Marshall McLuhan and Buckminster Fuller, the collective produced tapes and writings that explored the relation of cybernetics, media, and ecology. From 1970-1974, Raindance published the seminal video journal Radical Software, which provided a network of communications for the fledgling alternative video movement. In 1971, Shamberg published Guerrilla Television, a summary of the group's principles and a blueprint for a decentralization of television through access to public and cable programming. The original Raindance collective dispersed in the mid-1970s; the nonprofit Raindance Foundation continued into the 1990s. Ryan's core writings from the Raindance era were gathered into his 1973 publication Birth and Death and Cybernation, republished in 1974 as Cybernetics of the Sacred.
Ryan's work to develop alternative uses of video technology continued long after his involvement with Raindance. He began to implement his theories about the use of video monitoring and feedback within dynamic systems with the work that came to be known as the Earthscore Notational System. With Steve Kolpan and Bob Schuler, he founded the Earthscore Foundation, through which he raised money for the exploration and development of this applied practice. Earthscore, based largely on the writings of philosopher Charles Sanders Pierce and Gregory Bateson's work on cybernetics, provided the theoretical and logical underpinnings of both the ecosystem documentation and interpretation process, and the triadic rituals of interpersonal behavior, that became the core of Ryan's work for much of his life. These ideas were implemented in a wide variety of projects such as eco-channel design, video scores specific to certain locations, threeing projects exploring interpersonal behavior with video and computer technology, and a curriculum for combining media production training with environmental education.
Ryan later worked with organizations such as Talking Wood, The Earth Environmental Group, and Environment '89, (re-named in later years Environment '90, '91, and '92) to implement Earthscore systems and prototypes. He co-founded The Gaia Institute, hosted at Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and co-directed it from 1985-1991. The Institute fostered dialogs between science, religion, and art through workshops, lectures, exhibitions and events. He was an artist-in-residence for Earth Environmental Group in 1988 via a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, and used the residency to carry out his video project "Nature in New York City," documenting city ecosystems and demonstrating how an eco-channel might work. Environment '89 organized a coordinated campaign for a cable channel devoted to the environment, the New York City Eco-channel for a Sustainable Tomorrow (NEST).
Ryan spent his later years as a professor of media production and theory at Savannah College of Art and Design, and then at the New School for Social Research. His work has been exhibited widely in the United States, including "The Primitivism Show" in The Museum of Modern Art (1984), "The American Century Show" at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1999-2000), and the Venice Biennale (2002). He died in 2013.
The papers of Paul Ryan were donated to the Archives of American Art by Ryan in 2008.
Use of original papers and archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
The Paul Ryan 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.
The Carl Holty papers are dated circa 1860s-1972 (bulk 1940-1967), measure 1.8 linear feet and contain correspondence, writings, printed material and photographs documenting Holty's career as an abstract painter and painting teacher.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Carl Holty are dated circa 1860s-1972 (bulk 1940-1967), measure 1.8 linear feet and consist of correspondence, writings, printed material and photographs documenting Holty's career as an abstract painter and painting teacher.
Correspondence with Romare Bearden, Charles Byrne and Hilaire Hiler concerns art, exhibitions and reviews, education, and news of mutual friends. Holty's writings include articles, autobiographical writings, unpublished manuscripts of a monograph, Art In America, and an untitled novel. Also found among his writings is a journal which contains his reminiscences of artist friends and acquaintances, and reflections on art, art history, and his life, personal plans and aspirations.
Printed material consists mainly of clippings about or mentioning Holty, and reviews and publicity relating to The Painter's Mind, a book Holty wrote with Romare Bearden. Miscellaneous records consist of a transcript of an interview with Carl Holty and an identification card issued to his father.
Photographs are of artwork, people and places. Also included are 6 photograph albums of Holty's artwork, and a small number of negatives. The people pictured are mainly Holty, friends and family. There is also a group photograph that includes Joan Miró.
The collection is arranged as 5 series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1940-1972 (Box 1; 5 folders)
Series 2: Writings, 1944-1967 (Box 1; 0.6 linear ft.)
Series 3: Printed Material, 1931-1972 (Box 1; 5 folders)
Series 4: Miscellaneous Records, 1900, 1966 (Box 1; 2 folders)
Series 5: Photographs, circa 1860s-1972 (Boxes 1-3; 0.9 linear ft.)
Carl Holty was born in 1900 to American parents in Freiburg, Germany, where his father was studying medicine. Carl was still an infant when the family returned to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where they lived with his grandparents in a traditional German neighborhood. It was Carl's grandfather who first introduced him to art through visits to a small local commercial gallery.
After showing an interest in being an artist at around age 12, Holty began taking lessons with a local painter. As a teenager he began drawing cartoons and soon set his sights on becoming a poster artist. With that in mind, Holty enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1919. He soon headed to New York and took courses at the Parsons School of Design and then at the National Academy of Design. In 1923 he returned to Milwaukee and opened a portrait painting studio.
Holty married in 1925 and took his bride to Europe, remaining abroad for the next decade. He entered Hans Hofmann's school in Munich in 1926, and exposure to Hofmann's ideas about color, space, and form greatly influenced and transformed his work. In 1927, the Holtys relocated to Switzerland in search of treatment for Mrs. Holty's tuberculosis. Holty and Hofmann remained in touch, and while in Switzerland, Holty increasingly incorporated Hofmann's teachings into his paintings as they grew more abstract in style.
After his wife's death in 1930, Holty moved to Paris for five years where he participated in several exhibitions and his work was well-received. Robert Delaunay invited him to join Abstration-Création, and the group published some of Holty's work in its magazine.
Upon returning to the United States in 1935, Holty settled in New York City where he eventually remarried and had a daughter. He renewed friendships with Hans Hofmann, Vaclav Vytlacil, and Stuart Davis, whom he had known in Paris. A figure in vanguard art circles, Holty was involved in meetings that resulted in the formation of the American Abstract Artists, and in 1938 he served as the group's chairman.
Holty taught drawing and paining at Brooklyn College from 1950 until his retirement in 1970, when he was designated Professor Emeritus. His years at Brooklyn College were punctuated by brief stints as a visiting instructor at the Art Students League, Washington University (St. Louis), and University of Louisville; he served as artist-in-residence at the universities of Georgia, Florida, California (Berkeley), and Wisconsin, and the Corcoran School of Art.
He exhibited widely at major museums throughout the United States including: the San Francisco Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Carnegie Institute, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Holty's work was shown at major New York galleries such as J. B. Neumann, Samuel Kootz Gallery, and Graham Gallery, and is in the permanent collections of many museums including: Addison Gallery of American Art, Brooklyn Museum, Butler Institute of Art, Carnegie Institute, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
Carl Holty died March 22, 1973 in New York City, after a short illness.
Related Archival Materials note:
Six interviews with Carl Holty (in addition to the one described in this finding aid) are available at the Archives of American Art. Three are oral histories conducted by the Archives of American Art, 1964-1968. The others are parts of interview collections accessioned by the Archives: Interviews relating to American Abstract Artists (Ruth Bowman), Anne Bowen Parsons collection of Interviews on Art, and Collette Roberts Interviews with Artists.
In addition, substantial correspondence with Carl Holty is included among the Hilaire Hiler papers and Romare Bearden papers owned by the Archives of American Art.
Separated Materials note:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reels N68-93 and N68-105), much of which was subsequently donated. Loaned material that was not later donated includes Holty's letters to his wife, Elizabeth, and daughter, Antonia, letters to Zoe Dusanne, letters from Ulfert Wilkie and Erwin Breithaupt, a small amount of general correspondence, and a typescript copy of Holty's journal. This material remains with the lender and is not described in the collection container inventory.
The Carl Holty papers were donated in increments between 1972 and 2006. The bulk of the papers were originally loaned in 1968, and later donated by Holty in 1972. Charles Byrne, a friend of Holty, donated a small amount of correspondence, printed material, and photographs in 1976-1977; family photographs were given by Holty's biographer, Virginia Liles, in 2006.
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
The Carl Holty 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 consists of the records of the Waco Aircraft Company. The material includes office files of the company, marketing and sales information, and design data. Also included are original engineering drawings and report files.
Scope and Contents note:
In 1920 Clayton J. Bruckner, Elwood "Sam" Junkin and George "Buck" Weaver formed Weaver Aircraft Co. In April of 1923, they renamed the company Advanced Aircraft Co. and, in May of 1929, Waco Aircraft Co. By the 1930s the company was a leader in the design of wood and fabric aircraft. At their most widespread use, Waco aircraft were operated by public, private, military and corporate owners in thirty-five countries. During World War II, Waco devoted itself entirely to war production, manufacturing large numbers of troop- and cargo-carrying gliders. Following the war Waco attempted to market a wholly new design, but the post- war slump in the private aviation market and the high development costs of the aircraft forced Waco to withdraw from aircraft manufacture in June 1947. During its twenty-seven year existence Waco produced sixty-two different aircraft models and led all its competitors in the number of aircraft registered.
The Waco collection is divided into two parts. Part One comprises 24,855 drawings. The locations and descriptive information of these drawings are listed on an electronic database entitled the Waco Aircraft Engineering Drawings Data Base. The drawings vary greatly in size from small drawings of 4x5" to large sheets of over 150" in length. The majority of the drawings included in Part One are numbered, but many of the drawings are unnumbered. These drawings span most of the Company's existence and depict many of its powered and glider aircraft. There are several smaller sets of drawings which include layout drawings, tool drawings and stress analyses. Production charts and data charts are also among these drawings.
Part Two includes the business records of the Waco Aircraft Company. These documents can be generally divided between the engineering and sales departments. Most of the drawings within Part Two are from sub-contractors and U.S. Government agencies.
Waco aircraft company designations are confusing. Many variations exist regarding the practice of assigning model designations. Despite these exceptions, some basic rules serve as a guideline. Prior to 1930, Waco models were designated by a single number, 1 through 10. The last aircraft designated in this manner, the Waco 10, became the Waco Model O under the new scheme of designation.
Waco early models were additionally referred to by their horsepower. This may have been a practice of distributors and salesmen.
Since 1930, The Waco Aircraft Company used a combination of three letters with which to name its models. An example would be the Model ASO. The letters are best read from right to left. The letter on the right represents the fuselage, i.e. Model O. The middle letter represents a modification to the basic model, i.e. CSO for straight wing or CTO for tapered wing. The letter on the left represents the engine, i.e. CSO for Wright J-6, 225 horse power engine. Additionally, Waco models were often followed by a number indicating the year in which the aircraft was built. A YPF-6, for example, was manufactured in 1936.
Waco World War II gliders, designed for the U.S.A.A.F, were designated by an alpha-numeric combination. The four unpowered gliders produced shared the same letter prefixes of CG, which stood for cargo glider. The numeric suffix distinguishes the aircraft. They were the Models CG-3A, CG-4A, CG-13A and CG-15A. An X preceding the designation denotes experimental, i.e. XCG-4A. An addition of two letters denotes the manufacturer, i.e. CG-4A- TI for Timm Aircraft Co. Many of the Waco designed gliders were constructed by various companies. Powered versions of the gliders were referred to by the prefix PG for powered gliders.
Series 1: Numbered Engineering Reports
Series 2: Model Engineering Reports
Series 3: Engineering Documents
Series 4: Government Contracts
Series 5: Contractor Reports
Series 6: Correspondence
Series 7: Publications
Series 8: Sales
Series 9: Blueprints & Drawings
Series 10: Drawings Lists
Series 11: Model Indexes
Series 12: Contractor Drawings
In 1920 Clayton J. Bruckner, Elmwood "Sam" Junkin, and Buck Weaver formed an aircraft company known as the Weaver Aircraft Company in Troy, OH. By the 1930s the company, known as Waco Aircraft Co. since 1929, was a leader in the design of wood and fabric aircraft, with Waco aircraft being operated by public, private, and corporate owners in thirty-five countries. During World War II Waco devoted itself entirely to war production, manufacturing large numbers of troop- and cargo-carrying gliders. Following the war Waco attempted to market a wholly new design but the postwar slump in the private aviation market and the high development costs of the aircraft forced Waco to withdraw from aircraft manufacture in June 1947. During its twenty-eight year existence Waco produced sixty-two different aircraft models and led all its competitors in number of aircraft registered.
Related Archival Materials note:
Other collections within the Archives Division of the National Air and Space Museum which are relevant to Waco are as follows:
The Hattie Meyers Junkin Papers(1906-1982), Accession #XXXX-0171. Junkin was married first to George Weaver and later to Elwood Junkin, both founders of the Waco Aircraft Company.
The A. Francis Arcier(1890-1969) Collection, Accession #XXX-0072. Arcier was one of the leading engineers with the Waco Aircraft Company.
The National Air and Space Museum Archival Video Discs. Included in this collection are three blocks of Waco Aircraft photographs; prints listed by model type under the Company name in the Aircraft Finding Aid, prints listed under "Glider Aircraft" in the U.S. Air Force Collection finding aid and prints listed under the Company name in the "General Subjects" of the U.S. Air Force Collection Finding Aid.
The NASM Archives Technical Files. The documents filed under "Waco" include mostly photographs and newspaper articles. Information about some of the individual Waco employees, including Hattie Junkin and George Weaver, can be found filed under the individual's name in the biographical section of the Technical Files.
The collection is divided into four series. Series 1: Oral History Transcripts, 1982-1991 are transcribed versions of the oral interviews. Correspondence and/or notes pertaining to the interviewed individual collected or written by the interviewer are filed in this series following the transcription. The majority of the oral histories were done by Lu Ann Jones between1985-1991. There are a few interviews done by Pete Daniel in the early 1980s and some reference copies of oral histories done elsewhere. This series is divided into eight sub-series: Sub-series 1a: Arkansas, Sub-series 1b: Georgia, Sub-series 1c: Louisiana, Sub-series 1d: Mississippi, Sub-series 1e: North Carolina (including transcripts of the Mexican Workers Project in English and Spanish), Sub-series 1f: South Carolina, Sub-series 1g: Tennessee, and Sub-series 1h: Virginia. Files are arranged alphabetically by state and there under by name; within the file materials are arranged chronologically. Interview files may contain transcribed copies of the oral history interviews and subsequent draft copies with corrections by the interviewer or subject. The file also may contain distillations or edited versions of the interview done by the researcher for possible publication. Correspondence and notes files may include Life History Forms, correspondence, newspaper articles, interviewer's notes, business cards, and paper copies of photographs. Signed releases are on file in the registrar's office, NMAH, with copies in the control file of the Archives Center.
Series 2: Project Files and Reference Materials, 1928-2004 contain notes and correspondence kept by Jones in support of the oral history project. This series is divided into four sub-series: Sub-series 2a: State Files, Sub-series 2b: Project and Reference Files, 1985-1991, Sub-series 2c: Reference Publications, Pamphlets and Articles, 1928-2004 and Sub-series 2d: Computer Floppy Disks, 1985 and n.d. This series include bills, receipts, photo orders, travel brochures, reference materials, articles, correspondence, fundraising proposals and materials, USDA Extension Service bulletins, product cookbooks, and ephemera. These materials are valuable in documenting the methodology of the oral history project. They are also valuable in detailing the funding and maintenance of the project over its five year lifespan. There is also a great deal of information on black farmers. This series is arranged alphabetically by state and county or by article/publication title and within the file chronologically.
Series 3: Photographic Prints and Slides, 1987-1991 documenting the individuals interviewed, their homes and businesses, and geographic locations that were studied as part of the oral history project. The series is arranged numerically then chronologically by year. This series is followed by detailed photographic descriptions arranged alphabetically by state then subject. Photograph files contain photographs taken by a Smithsonian photographer or Jones and any copies of photographs supplied by the subject. Most of the photographs are black and white. Series 4: Original Interview Tapes and Reference Compact Discs (CD), 1986-1991 are the original tapes of the individual interviews conducted by Jones. This series is divided into eight sub-series. Reference numbers for CDs matching the original tapes are noted after the tapes. CDs 495-497 are for the Smithsonian Photographer's Show: Sub-series 4a: Arkansas, Sub-series 4b: Georgia, Sub-series 4c: Louisiana, Sub-series 4d: Mississippi, Sub-series 4e: North Carolina (within this sub-series are the transcripts of the Mexican Workers Project there may be an English language transcription as well as one in Spanish), Sub-series 4f: South Carolina, Sub-series 4g: Tennessee and Sub-series 4h: Virginia and Sub-series 4i: Miscellaneous and Duplicates, within the sub-series tapes are arranged alphabetically by subject.
Series 4: Original Oral History Interview Tapes and Reference Compact Discs (CDs) are the original inteview tapes and the accompanying reference copy cds.
Divided into 4 series: Series 1, Oral History Transcripts; Series 2, Project Files; Series 3, Photographic Prints and Slides, and Series 4, Original Oral History Interview Tapes and Reference Compact Discs (CDs) are the original inteview tapes and the accompanying reference copy cds.
The history of the American South is intricately entwined with the history of agriculture in North America. Until very recently, post 1950, the South was predominately rural and agricultural in both its production and culture. By the 1980s American agriculture, and particularly agriculture in the south, was under attack on various fronts especially cultural, financial, and technological. This assault threatened the very existence of the small and family farm. Many small farming operations went bankrupt and the face of American agriculture was becoming more corporate. It was amidst these troubling times that the Agricultural Division of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History undertook a massive project to document southern agriculture through oral history.
Through the efforts of NMAH staff, Pete Daniel, curator and project director, LuAnn Jones, researcher, and with countless support from staff photographers and personnel, Jones conducted approximately 159 interviews of individual persons, couples and sometimes small groups, in eight southern states over a five year period, 1986-1991. The project was funded by a series of grants from various sources. Not only were oral histories taken but also substantial documentary photographs and slides of the many interviewees. The interviews ranged from individual farmers to individuals at companies and corporations involved with agriculture. The range of crops discussed included tobacco, cotton and rice. The project interviewed a wide range of subjects: male, female, black, white, and Mexican. The project has contributed to at least two books, Mama Learned Us to Work: Farm Women in the New South by LuAnn Jones and Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World by Jacquelyn Dowd Hall and others of which Jones was a contributing author.
#60 Warshaw Collection
#149 Kulp Collection of Account Books, 1755-1904
#475 Robinson and Via Family Papers
#481 William C. Kost Farm Records
#767 Timothy B. Bladen, Southern Maryland Photoprints
A transfer from the Division of History of Technology (Agriculture), NMAH, July 2001
Collection is open for research. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
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.