The papers of African American painter and educator Jacob Lawrence and his wife, artist Gwendolyn Knight measure 25.35 linear feet and 0.001 GB date from 1914 to 2008, with one item from 1816 and the bulk of the material dating from 1973 to 2001. The collection includes biographical material; correspondence including condolence letters to Gwendolyn Knight after Jacob Lawrence's death; writings by Jacob Lawrence and others; printed and digital material; photographs; personal business records; artwork; records from the Jacob Lawrence Catalogue Raisonné Project; materials related to the Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation; professional files; and material related to awards and honors received by Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of African American painter and educator Jacob Lawrence and his wife, artist Gwendolyn Knight measure 25.35 linear feet and 0.001 GB and date from 1914 to 2008, with one item from 1816 and the bulk of the material dating from 1973 to 2001. The collection includes biographical material; correspondence including condolence letters to Gwendolyn Knight after Jacob Lawrence's death; writings by Jacob Lawrence and others; printed and digital material; photographs; personal business records; artwork; records from the Jacob Lawrence Catalogue Raisonné Project; materials related to the Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation; professional files; and material related to awards and honors received by Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight.
Biographical material includes appointment and address books; education and personal identification certificates and documents; awards, certificates, curriculum vitae, and chronologies; biographical material related to other individuals, including identification documents and memorial programs; and transcripts of interviews with Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight.
The correspondence series includes extensive personal and professional correspondence with family, friends, artists, admirers (including students in a number of elementary and middle schools), university students, government agencies, art schools, galleries, museums, publishing houses, and others. Included in this series are condolence letters received by Gwendolyn Knight after Jacob Lawrence's death in 2000.
Writings include published and unpublished writings by and about Jacob Lawrence, as well as writings by others. These writings include speeches, notes, essays, articles, lists, and short stories. Also included is a visitor comment book from the Los Angeles County Museum exhibition of Jacob Lawrence's Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass series.
Printed material includes books; brochures; business cards; clippings; exhibition and event announcements, invitations, catalogs, and programs; magazines; newsletters; posters; post cards; and press releases. Books in this collection may include illustrations by Jacob Lawrence or have personal inscriptions from the author to Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight.
Photographs include photographs of Jacob Lawrence artwork, photographs and reproductions of Gwendolyn Knight artwork, and photographs of Jacob Lawrence, Gwendolyn Knight, and other individuals. Also included in this series are photographs and reproductions of work by others.
Personal business records include a ledger; consignment, financial, and shipping records related to the Terry Dintenfass Gallery; contracts and agreements; and estate documents.
Artwork includes sketches by Jacob Lawrence, a blank sketchbook inscribed by Jacob Lawrence to Gwendolyn Knight, and artwork by other artists.
Jacob Lawrence Catalogue Raisonné Project Records include materials generated by the Jacob Lawrence Catalogue Raisonné Project, a non-profit created with the goal of producing a catalogue raisonné (and later, a digital archive) of Jacob Lawrence's work. These records include address books and phone logs; copies of Jacob Lawrence's CV; founding documents, bylaws, and meeting minutes; correspondence; writings, including draft pages of the catalogue raisonné; business records, including employment files, contracts, invoices, insurance, and tax information; printed and digital material; and photographs and artwork.
The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation and Related Material series includes founding documents and foundation bylaws, correspondence, financial documents, reports, and proposals. Found within this series are materials related to the Lawrence Center for the Visual Arts, a subsidiary foundation of the Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation.
Professional files include material related to projects and exhibitions, teaching files and inclusion in curricula, files regarding possible fake Jacob Lawrence works, and gallery files.
The honors series is divided into two subseries: awards and certificates, and government honors. Awards and certificates includes honorary degrees, arts prizes, and any other honors awarded to Jacob Lawrence or Gwendolyn Knight. Government honors include resolutions, proclamations, and keys to cities. Also included in this series are correspondence related to awards and honorary degrees, commencement programs, plaques, and medals.
The collection is arranged in 11 series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1914-2005 (Boxes 1, 11, 26, OV 10; 0.5 linear feet)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1943, 1952-2005 (Boxes 1-5, 12-14, 26; 7.7 linear feet)
Series 3: Writings, 1954-1959, 1973-2005, undated (Boxes 5-6, 14-15; 0.5 linear feet)
Series 4: Printed Material, 1816, 1926, 1937, 1945-2008 (Boxes 6-9, 15-17, 26, OV 30, OV 31; 6.8 linear feet)
Series 5: Photographs, circa 1970-1997, undated (Boxes 9, 17, OV 10; 0.4 linear feet)
Series 6: Personal Business Records, 1962-2005 (Boxes 9, 17; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 7: Artwork, 1984, 1990-1994, undated (Boxes 9, 18, 26; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 8: Jacob Lawrence Catalogue Raisonne Project Records, 1982-2002 (Boxes 18-23, Box 26; 5.1 linear feet, ER01; 0.001 GB)
Series 9: Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation and Related Material, 1997-2005 (Box 23; 0.6 linear feet)
Series 10: Professional Files, 1964-2004 (Boxes 23-24; 1.2 linear feet)
Series 11: Honors, 1948, 1966-2005 (Boxes 24-25, 27-29, OV 30; 2.3 linear feet)
Modernist painter and educator Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) was born in 1917 as Jacob Armstead Lawrence in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He began his art studies at the Utopia Children's Center in New York City's Harlem district where he studied under the painter Charles Alston. Lawrence dropped out of high school at the age of sixteen to continue his art instruction with Alston, this time at the Harlem Art Workshop, where he met several artists associated with the Harlem Renaissance including the sculptor Augusta Savage.
Gwendolyn Knight (1913-2005) was born in Barbados and moved to New York City with her adoptive parents when she was seven. She attended New York's Wadleigh High School and later Howard University in Washington, D.C. where she studied fine arts with Lois Mailou Jones and James Porter. Forced to leave her studies at Howard because of the Depression, Knight returned to Harlem and continued her artistic pursuits in Augusta Savage's workshop. In 1935, Knight joined the Harlem Mural Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) working under Selma Day and Charles Alston. Lawrence and Knight met in Savage's workshop and married in the summer of 1941.
During the Depression, Lawrence also joined the WPA Federal Arts Project in Harlem. Finding WPA murals overwhelming, Lawrence concentrated on traditional painting instead. He produced his first major works in the late 1930s, most notably the Toussaint L'Ouverture series, images that document the life of the revolutionary hero and Haiti's struggle for independence. Other significant works include visual narratives of the lives of abolitionists Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass. In 1940, Lawrence received the prestigious Julius Rosenwald Fellowship, which made it possible for him to purchase his first art studio on 125th Street in the heart of Harlem. He soon portrayed Harlem street life in paintings that became commentaries on the role of African Americans in United States society with highly developed themes of resistance and social opposition. That same year, Lawrence began his most celebrated series, The Migration of the American Negro, multiple tempera panels depicting the exodus of African American sharecroppers in the south to northern industrial cities in search of better employment and social opportunities. Edith Halpert exhibited the works in their entirety at her Downtown Gallery in 1941, establishing Lawrence as the first African American artist to exhibit in a top New York gallery. The following year, New York's Museum of Modern Art and the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC each bought half of the sixty panels in the series, helping to further Lawrence's career within the larger world of American art.
In the summer of 1946, the artist Joseph Albers invited Lawrence to teach at North Carolina's Black Mountain College. It was the first in a series of teaching positions in prestigious art schools including Pratt Institute (1956-1971), Brandeis University (1965), The New School (1966), the Art Students League (1967), and others. During the 1950s and 1960s, Lawrence's work continued to focus on racism and political activism but in the late 1960s shifted to themes of racial harmony.
Both Lawrence and Knight continued independent careers in art. Knight pursued her art studies at the New School in New York and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. In the mid-1960s, she collaborated with other female artists to form the Studio Gallery in New York City. Knight's main body of work consists of portraits and still-lifes that incorporate expressions of African sculpture, Impressionism, dance, and theater. Focusing on gesture, her art is described as light and airy with a minimum of lines allowing empty space to define the work. In 1970, Lawrence traveled to Seattle to teach as a visiting artist at the University of Washington. He was hired on a permanent basis the following year and remained on staff until his retirement in 1986.
Jacob Lawrence died June 9, 2000, in Seattle, Washington at the age of 83. Gwendolyn Knight continued to paint and exhibit her work around the country until her death on February 18, 2005 in Seattle, Washington at the age of 92.
Also found at the Archives of American Art are an oral history interview with Jacob Lawrence conducted by Carroll Greene (1968 October 26), interviews conducted by Avis Berman (1982 July 20-August 4), and an oral history interview with Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight conducted by Paul Karlstrom (1998 November 18). The Archives of American Art also holds a collection of Jacob Lawrence papers, available on microfilm only, reels D286 and 4571-4573. Originals reside at Syracuse University Library, Special Collections.
The Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in five accretions between 1979 and 1997. Additional papers were donated in 2012 by the Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation via Barbara Earl Thomas, representative.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
The Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight 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.
Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight papers, 1816, 1914-2008, bulk 1973-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the 2007 processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art. Funding for the 2018 processing of this collection was provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.
The Beatrice Medicine papers, 1913-2003 (bulk 1945-2003), document the professional life of Dr. Beatrice "Bea" Medicine (1923-2005), a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, anthropologist, scholar, educator, and Native rights activist. The collection also contains material collected by or given to Medicine to further her research and activism interests. Medicine, whose Lakota name was Hinsha Waste Agli Win, or "Returns Victorious with a Red Horse Woman," focused her research on a variety of topics affecting the Native American community: 1) mental health, 2) women's issues, 3) bilingual education, 4) alcohol and drug use, 5) ethno-methodologies and research needs of Native Americans, and 6) Children and identity issues. The collection represents Medicine's work as an educator for universities and colleges in the United States and in Canada, for which she taught Native American Studies courses. Additionally, because of the large amount of research material and Medicine's correspondence with elected U.S. officials and Native American leaders, and records from Medicine's involvement in Native American organizations, the collection serves to represent issues affecting Native Americans during the second half of the 20th century, and reflects what Native American leaders and organizations did to navigate and mitigate those issues. Collection materials include correspondence; committee, conference, and teaching material; ephemera; manuscripts and poetry; maps; notes; periodicals; photographs; training material; and transcripts.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Beatrice Medicine reflect Medicine's interests as an academic and an activist, and contain correspondence, committee, conference, and teaching material, ephemera, manuscripts and poetry, maps, notes, periodicals, photographs, and training material (see series scope notes for further details on contents). The majority of the material is printed matter that Medicine collected, with less of her own work included. Taken together, the collection reflects issues affecting Native Americans during the second half of the 20th century, as well as the network of Native American leaders and organizations that navigated these issues. Student papers, letters of recommendation, evaluations, and documents containing personally identifiable information are restricted.
The collection is divided into 24 series:
Series 1: Native American Culture and History, 1954-1962, 1967-1975, 1978-1989, 1991-1997, 1999-2002
Series 2: Appropriations, Economics, and Labor, 1955, circa 1970-1980, 1988, 1993, circa 1995-2000
Series 3: Archaeology, 1935-1950, 1952-1973, 1987-1995
Series 4: Native American Artists, Authors, Crafts, Film, and Poets, 1951-1969, 1972-2002
Series 5: Census, Demographic, and Poll Data, 1974, 1984-1986
Series 6: Civil Rights, 1972, 1980, 1983-1997
Series 7: Committee Material: Correspondence, Meeting Minutes, and Memos, 1985-1995
Series 8: Conference Material, 1955-1962, 1965, 1968-1974, 1976-2002
Series 9: Correspondence, 1952, 1959, 1962, 1966-2000
Series 10: Education: Native American Institutions and Teaching Material, 1948-2002
Series 11: Ephemera: Campaign, Pow-Wow, and Other Event Buttons, and Calendars, 1973, 1976, circa 1980-2000
Series 12: Health: Alcohol and Drug Addiction and Recovery, Disabilities, Healthcare, Mental Health, Nutrition, and Wellness, 1955, 1965, 1969-1999, 2004
Series 13: Historic Preservation, 1942, 1956, 1960-1969, 1979, circa 1985-1998
Series 14: Invitations, 1966-1979, 1982, 1991-2002
Series 15: Linguistics: Native American Languages, 1961, 1963, 1975, 1978-1981, 1987-1995
Series 16: Manuscripts, 1964-2003
Series 17: Maps, 1982-1991
Series 18: Museum Material: Native American Museums, Exhibit Preparation, and the National Museum of the American Indian, 1949, 1962, circa 1976-1998
Series 19: Oversized Material, 1962, circa 1965-1996, 1999
Series 20: Published material: Journals, Magazines, Monographs, and Newsletters, 1914, 1932, 1944, 1946-1947, 1952-2003
Series 21: Reports, 1947-1949, 1956-1998
Series 22: Training Material, 1968, 1988-2000
Series 23: Women and Gender, 1962, 1965, circa 1970-1997
Series 24: Restricted Material, 1972, 1978, 1987-1999
Biographical / Historical:
A member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, Beatrice "Bea" Medicine—also known by her Lakota name Hinsha Waste Agli Win, or "Returns Victorious with a Red Horse Woman"—was born on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in Wakpala, South Dakota on August 1, 1923.
As a young adult, she studied at the South Dakota State University on the Laverne Noyes Scholarship, where she attained her B.A. in Anthropology in 1945. Between 1945 and 1951, Medicine worked a variety of teaching positions, including for three American Indian institutions (see Chronology for Medicine's complete work history). In 1951, Medicine went back to school and worked as a research assistant until she earned her master's degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Michigan State University in 1954. For the remainder of her life, Medicine served as faculty, visiting professor, and scholar-in-residence at thirty-one universities and colleges in the United States and Canada, teaching cultural and educational anthropology courses, as well as Native American Studies. As an educator, Medicine carried out her research on a variety of issues affecting Native American and First Nation communities, including: 1) mental health issues, 2) women's issues—professionalization, sterilization, socialization, and aging, 3) bilingual education, 4) alcohol and drug use and abuse, 5) ethno-methodologies and research needs, and 6) socialization of children and identity needs. Medicine's research in American Indian women's and children's issues, as well as her research in gender identity among the LGBT community was among the first to document the narratives of the members of these groups.
In 1974, Medicine testified alongside her cousin, Vine Deloria, Jr., as an expert witness in the Wounded Knee trial (United States v. Banks and Means). Following this, Medicine returned to school to pursue her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology, which she completed in 1983 at the University of Wisconsin. With her experience as a researcher, educator, activist, and Lakota woman, medicine sought to create more opportunities for multicultural and bilingual education for minority students, especially those of Native American descent. Such education, she believed, provided students a means to preserve and legitimize their own cultural identity, debase negative stereotyes, and be recognized as individuals who are capable of academic and economic achievement.
Medicine was an active member of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and pursued her educational agenda further through the establishment of the Committee of Anthropologists in Primarily Minority Institutions (CAPMI) (1987-1995), which brought anthropologists out of retirement to teach at minority institutions. (See Chronology for a complete list of organizations and committees in which Medicine was involved.) The program was short-lived but provided a space for minority students to confront a field that historically misrepresented them, reclaim their narratives and languages, and instigate positive change as potential future anthropologists.
Medicine officially retired on August 1, 1989, but continued to be active in AAA and was honored many times for her contributions to the field of anthropology. Some of her recognitions include the Distinguished Service Award from AAA (1991) and the Bronislaw Malinowski Award from the Society for Applied Anthropology (1996). One of Medicine's highest honors, however, was serving as the Sacred Pipe Woman at the 1977 Sun Dance. Medicine continued her research into retirement, and went on to publish her first book in 2001, Learning to Be an Anthropologist and Remaining "Native": Selected Writings. Medicine died in Bismarck, North Dakota on December 19, 2005. Medicine's final work, Drinking and Sobriety Among the Lakota Sioux was published posthumously in 2006. In honor of her life's work and dedication to education, the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) created the Bea Medicine Award, a scholarship travel grant for students to attend the Annual Meeting of the SfAA.
Chronology: Beatrice Medicine
1923 August 1 -- Beatrice Medicine (also known by her Lakota name, Hinsha Waste Agli Win, or "Returns Victorious with a Red Horse Woman") is born on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in Wakpala, South Dakota.
1941-1945 -- Receives scholarship: Laverne Noyes Scholarship, South Dakota State University
1945 -- Receives Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology, South Dakota State University.
1945-1946 -- Teacher, Home Economics, Haskell Indian Institute (B.I.A.)
1947-1948 -- Health Education Lecturer, Michigan Tuberculosis Association
1948-1949 -- Teacher, Santo Domingo Pueblo, United Pueblos Agency, Albuquerque, New Mexico
1949-1950 -- Teacher, Navajo Adult Beginner's Program, Albuquerque Indian School
1950-1951 -- Teacher, Home Economics, Flandreau Indian School
1950-1954 -- Fellowship: Illinois Federation of Women's Clubs Fellowships
1951-1954 -- Research Assistant, Sociology and Anthropology, Michigan State University
1953-1954 -- Fellowship: John Hay Whitney Foundation Fellowship
1954 -- Receives Master of Arts, Sociology and Anthropology, Michigan State University. Fellowship: American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship
1954- -- Charter Member, American Indian Women's Service League
1955-1958 -- Teaching and Research Assistant, University of Washington
1956 -- Honor: Outstanding Alumna, South Dakota State University
1960 -- Mentioned as "Who's Who Among American Indians"
circa 1960 -- Alpha Kappa Delta, Sociology Hononary Phi Upsilon Omicron, Home Economic Honorary
1960-1963 -- Lecturer, Anthropology, University of British Columbia
1960-1964 -- Board of Directors, Native Urban Indian Centers in Vancouver, British Columbia and Calgary, Alberta
1963-1964 -- Lecturer/Sociology and Teacher/Counselor, Mount Royal College, Indian Affairs Branch Receives grant: American Council of Learned Societies Research Grant
1965 -- Lecturer, Social Science, Michigan State University
1966 -- Psychiatric Social Worker, Provincial Guidance Centre, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
1966-1967 -- Receives grant: Career Development Grant, National Institute of Mental Health
1966- -- Member, National Congress of American Indians (Education Issues)
1967 -- Receives grant: Ethnological Research Grant, National Museum of Canada
1967-1968 -- Lecturer, Sociology and Anthropology, University of Montana
1968 -- Teacher, "Cultural Enrichment Program," Standing Rock Indian Reservation, South Dakota Cited in "The Role of Racial Minorities in the United States," Seattle, Washington
1968 March -- Speaker: "The Pow-Wow as a Social Factor in the Northern Plains Ceremonialism," Montana Academy of Sciences
1968 May -- Speaker: "Patterns and Periphery of Plains Indian Pow-Wows," Central States Anthropological Society
1968 June -- Speaker: "Magic Among the Stoney Indians," Canadian Sociology and Anthropological Association, Calgary, Alberta
1968 August -- Speaker: "Magic Among the Stoney Indians," International Congress of Americanists, Stuttgart, German Speaker: "The Dynamics of a Dakota Indian Giveaway," International Congress of Americanists, Stuttgart, German
1968-1969 -- Director, American Indian Research, Oral History Project and Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of South Dakota
1968-1970 -- Consultant, Text Book Evaluation Committee, American Indians United
1969 -- Assistant Professor, Teacher Corps, University of Nebraska
1969 September -- Speaker: "The Red Man Yesterday," Governor's Interstate Indian Council, Wichita, Kansas
1969 December -- Speaker: "The Native American in Modern Society," Northwestern State College
1969-1970 -- Assistant Professor, San Francisco State University Speaker: "The Indian in Institutions of Higher Learning," Annual Conference, National Indian Education Association
1969-1975 -- Member, Editorial Board, American Indian Historical Society
1970 -- Mentioned for second time as "Who's Who Among American Indians" Steering Committee Member, Indian Ecumenical Convocation of North America Member, Planning Committee Indian Alcoholism and Drug Use
1970 August -- Speaker: "The Role of the White Indian Expert," 2nd Annual Conference, National Indian Education Association
1970 October -- Speaker: "The Ethnographic Study of Indian Women," Annual Convention, American Ethnohistorical Soceity
1970 November -- Speaker: "The Anthropologists as the Indian's Image Maker," Annual Meeting, American Anthropological Association Speaker: "The Anthropologist and Ethnic Studies Programs," Annual Meeting, American Anthropological Association
1970-1971 -- Associate Professor, Anthropology, San Francisco State University Member, Mayor's Committee on the Status of Women, San Francisco, California
1971 -- Member, Native American Scholars Board, Steering and Selection, American Indian Historical Society
1971 May -- Speaker: "Ethnic Studies and Native Americans," National Education Association
1971-1973 -- Pre-Doctoral Lecturer, Anthropology, University of Washington Consultant, American Indian Heritage Program
1972 -- Honored in "Potlatch" ceremony by Makah Tribal people at the National Indian Education Conference for contributions to Indian education Receives grant: American Council of Learned Societies Travel Grant, Americanist Annual Meeting, Rome, Italy Curriculum Advisor, Lakota Higher Education Center, Prine Ridge, South Dakota
1972 March -- Speaker: "Warrior Women Societies," Northwest Anthropological Conference
1972 April -- Chairperson and Speaker: "Racism and Ethnic Relations," Society for Applied Anthropology
1972 June -- Chairperson, Native American Studies Symposium, International Congress of Americanists, Mexico
1972 August -- Speaker: "Warrior Women of the Plains," International Congress of Americanists, Rome, Italy
1972 November -- Speaker: "Native Americans in the Modern World," Southwest Minnesota State College
1973 -- Expert Witness, Yvonne Wanro Trial, Spokane, Washington Member, Organization of American States, First Congress of Indigenous Women, Chiapas, Mexico Speaker: "Self-Direction in Sioux Education," American Anthropological Association Speaker: "North American Native Women: The Aspirations and Their Associations," presented as a Delegate to the Inter-American Commission on Indigenous Women, Chiapas, Mexico
1973-1974 -- Visiting Professor, Anthropology, Native American Studies Program, Dartmouth College
1973-1976 -- Member, Committee on Minorities in Anthropology, American Anthropological Association
1973- -- Consultant, Human Services Department, Sinte Gleska Community College
1974 -- Expert Witness, Wounded Knee Trial, Lincoln, Nebraska Speaker: "Indian Women's Roles: Traditional and Contemporary," Annual Meeting, American Anthropological Association
1974-1975 -- Visiting Professor, Anthropology, Colorado College
1975-1976 -- Visiting Associate Professor, Anthropology, Stanford University
1975-1977 -- Member, Steering Committee, Council of Anthropology and Education, American Anthropological Association
1976 -- Visiting Professor, Educational Anthropology, University of New Brunswick Expert Witness, Topsky Eagle Feathers Trial, Pocatello, Idaho Panelist, White House Conference on Ethnic Studies, Washington, D.C.
1977 -- Expert Witness, Greybull Grandchildren Custody Case, Portland, Oregon American Indian representative to the World Conference on Indigenous People, Geneva, Switzerland Honor: Outstanding Alumna, South Dakota State University
1977 August 18 -- Medicine serves as Sacred Pipe Woman at the Sun Dance, Green Grass, South Dakota
1977-1980 -- Education Consultant, National Congress of American Indians, Washington, D.C.
1978 -- Cited in the Directory of Significant 20th Century American Minority Women, Gaylord Professional Publications Biographical Sketch in "Moving Forward" of the Bookmark Reading Program, Third Edition
1978 August -- Speaker: "Issues in the Professionalization of Native American Women," Annual Meeting, American Psychological Association
1978-1982 -- Advanced Opportunity Fellow, Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
1979 -- Visiting Professor, Department of Education Policy Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison
1979 August -- Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters, Northern Michigan University Speaker: "The Dakota Indian Memorial Feast: Reservation and Urban Manifestations," International Congress of Americanists, Lima, Peru
1980 -- Member, Nominations Committee, American Anthropological Association Biographical Sketch in "Native American Indian Personalities, Historical and Contemporary," Dansville, New York: The Instructor Publications, Inc.
1981 -- Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Public Affairs, University of Washington-Seattle Speaker: "Linguistically Marginated: The Transformation of Dominated Speech Varieties," American Anthropological Association
1982 -- School of Social and Behavioral Science Academic Planning, California State University Speaker: "Policy Decisions: Federal Regulations and American Indian Identity Issues," Annual Meeting, American Anthropological Association
1982-1983 -- Anthropology Department Curriculum Committee, California State University
1982-1985 -- Associate Professor of Anthropology, Coordinator, Interdisciplinary Program in American Indian Studies, California State University Coordinator, Interdisciplinary Program in American Studies Program, California State University
1982- -- President, Assembly of California Indian Women
1983 -- Receives Ph.D., Cultural Anthropology, University of Wisconsin Expert Witness, Fortunate Eagle Trial, Reno, Nevada Award: Outstanding Woman of Color, National Institute of Women of Color, Washingtonton, D.C. (for anthropological contributions) Award: Outstanding Minority Researcher, American Educational Research Association Publishes book with Patricia Albers: The Hidden Half: Indian Women of the Northern Plains Honor: Significant Academic Book (The Hidden Half), Choice, Association of Colleges and Research Libraries, American Library Association
1983-1984 -- Student Affirmative Action Coordinating Council, California State University
1983-1986 -- Member, Executive Board, Southwest Anthropological Association Member, Governing Board, Common Cause
1984 -- Member, Advisory Board of National Research for Handicapped Native Americans, North Arizona University Scholarly Publications Award Selection Committee, California State University Award: Faculty Award for Meritorious Service, California State University Speaker: Field Work Methods: "Ties That Bond," Committee on the Status of Women in Anthropology," Annual Meeting, American Anthropological Association Speaker: "Career Patterns of American Indian Women," Council of Education and Anthropology, Annual Meeting, American Anthropological Association
1984 November -- Faculty Award for Meritorious Service, California State University
1984-1985 -- Participant, Chancellor's Office Grant to "Cross-Cultural Perspectives in the Social Sciences," California State University
1985 November -- Speaker: Conference on "The Native American: His Arts, His Culture, and His History," West Virginia State College
1985-1986 -- Board of Directors, Naechi Institute on Alcohol and Drug Education
1985-1988 -- Professor, Department of Anthropology and Director, Native Centre, University of Calgary
1985-1989 -- Member, Malinowski Awards Committee, Society for Applied Anthropology
1987 -- Honor: Outstanding Minority Professorship Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks Visiting Professor, University of Michigan
1987-1995 -- Member, Committee of Anthropologists in Primarily Minority Institutions, American Anthropological Association
1988 August 1 -- Medicine officially retires.
1989 -- Volunteer (Committee of Anthropologists in Primarily Minority Institutions, American Anthropological Association), Standing Rock College Honor (twice): Outstanding Minority Professorship Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks Visiting Professor, Wayne State University.
1990 -- Honor: "Outstanding Contributions for the promotion of sex equity in Education," Illinois State Board of Education Honor: Outstanding Lakota Woman, Standing Rock College
1991 -- Honor: Distinguished Service Award, American Anthropological Association. Medicine was the first American Indian to receive this award.
1991 -- Visiting Professor, Saskatchewan Indian Federal College Visiting Professor, Colorado College Visiting Professor, Anthropology, Humboldt State University
1992 -- Visiting Distinguished Professor, Women's Studies, University of Toronto
1993 -- Visiting Professor, Rural Sociology, South Dakota State University Award: Distinguished Native American Alumna Award, South Dakota State University
1993-1994 December -- Research Co-ordinator, Women's Perspectives, Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples
1994- -- Adjunct Professor, University of Alberta
1995 -- Scholar in Residence, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul Visiting Scholar, Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia Award: Ohana Award, Multi-Cultural Counseling Excellence, American Association of Counselors
1996 -- Award: Bronislaw Malinowski Award, Society for Applied Anthropology. Buckman Professor, Department of Human Ecology, University of Minnesota
circa 1997- -- Associate Professor of Anthropology Emeritus, Department of Anthropology, California State University
2001 -- Publishes book: Learning to Be an Anthropologist and Remaining "Native": Selected Writings.
2005 -- Award: George and Louise Spindler Award, Council on Anthropology and Education, American Anthropological Association.
2005 December 19 -- Medicine dies during emergency surgery in Bismarck, North Dakota.
2006 -- Book: Drinking and Sobriety Among the Lakota Sioux is published posthumously.
2008 -- The Society for Applied Anthropology creates the Bea Medicine Award.
The papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Beatrice Medicine between 1997 and 2003, and by Ted Garner in 2006.
Materials relating to student grades, letters of recommendation, and evaluations have been restricted.
Ellington, Mercer Kennedy, 1919-1996 (musician) Search this
Strayhorn, Billy (William Thomas), 1915-1967 Search this
400 Cubic feet
New York (N.Y.) -- 20th century
Harlem (New York, N.Y.) -- 20th century
Washington (D.C.) -- 20th century
1903 - 1989
The collection documents Duke Ellington's career primarily through orchestrations (scores and parts), music manuscripts, lead sheets, transcriptions, and sheet music. It also includes concert posters, concert programs, television, radio, motion picture and musical theater scripts, business records, correspondence, awards, as well as audiotapes, audiodiscs, photographs, tour itineraries, newspaper clippings, magazines, caricatures, paintings, and scrapbooks.
Scope and Contents:
Dating approximately from the time Duke Ellington permanently moved to New York City in 1923 to the time the material was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution in 1988, the bulk of the material in the Duke Ellington Collection is dated from 1934-1974 and comprises sound recordings, original music manuscripts and published sheet music, hand-written notes, correspondence, business records, photographs, scrapbooks, news clippings, concert programs, posters, pamphlets, books and other ephemera. These materials document Ellington's contributions as composer, musician, orchestra leader, and an ambassador of American music and culture abroad. In addition, the materials paint a picture of the life of a big band maintained for fifty years and open a unique window through which to view an evolving American society.
The approximate four hundred cubic feet of archival materials have been processed and organized into sixteen series arranged by type of material. Several of the series have been divided into subseries allowing additional organization to describe the content of the material. For example, Series 6, Sound Recordings, is divided into four subseries: Radio and Television Interviews, Concert Performances, Studio Dates and Non-Ellington Recordings. Each series has its own scope and content note describing the material and arrangement (for example; Series 10, Magazines and Newspaper Articles, is organized into two groups, foreign and domestic, and arranged chronologically within each group). A container list provides folder titles and box numbers.
The bulk of the material is located in Series 1, Music Manuscripts, and consists of compositions and arrangements by Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn and other composers. Series 6, Sound Recordings also provides a record of the performance of many of these compositions. The materials in Series 2, Performances and Programs, Series 3, Business Records, Series 8, Scrapbooks, Series 9, Newspaper Clippings, Series 11, Publicity and Series 12, Posters provide documentation of specific performances by Duke Ellington and His Orchestra. Ellington was a spontaneous and prolific composer as evidenced by music, lyrical thoughts, and themes for extended works and plays captured on letterhead stationery in Series 3, Business Records, in the margin notes of individual books and pamphlets in Series 14, Religious Materials and Series 15, Books, and in the hand-written notes in Series 5, Personal Correspondence and Notes.
During its fifty-year lifespan, Duke Ellington and His Orchestra were billed under various names including The Washingtonians, The Harlem Footwarmers and The Jungle Band. The soloists were informally called "the band", and Series 3 includes salary statements, IOU's, receipts and ephemera relating to individual band members. Series 1, Music Manuscripts contains the soloists' parts and includes "band books" of several soloists (for example; Harry Carney and Johnny Hodges) and numerous music manuscripts of Billy Strayhorn. The changing role of Strayhorn from arranger hired in 1938 to Ellington's main collaborator and composer of many well-known titles for Duke Ellington and His Orchestra including "Take The A' Train" and "Satin Doll" can be traced in these music manuscripts. Series 7, Photographs and Series 2, Performances and Programs contain many images of the band members and Strayhorn. This Collection also documents the business history of Duke Ellington and His Orchestra. Series 3, Business Records contains correspondence on letterhead stationery and Series 11, Publicity contains promotional material from the various booking agencies, professional companies, and public relations firms that managed the Orchestra.
The materials in the Duke Ellington Collection provide insight into public and institutional attitudes towards African Americans in mid-twentieth-century America. The business records in Series 3 beginning in 1938 and published sheet music in Series 1 depict Duke Ellington's progression from an African-American musician who needed "legitimization" by a white publisher, Irving Mills, to a businessmen who established his own companies including Tempo Music and Duke Ellington, Incorporated to control his copyright and financial affairs. Programs from the segregated Cotton Club in Series 2, Performances And Programs and contracts with no-segregation clauses in Series 3: Business Records further illustrate racial policies and practices in this time period. The public shift in perception of Duke Ellington from a leader of an exotic "Jungle Band" in the 1930s to a recipient of the Congressional Medal Of Freedom in 1970 is evidenced in Series 2, Performances And Programs, Series 12, Posters, Series 7, Photographs and Series 13, Awards. Reviews and articles reflecting Ellington's evolving status are also documented in Series 8, Newspaper Clippings, Series 9, Scrapbooks, Series 10, Newspaper and Magazine Articles.
The materials in the Duke Ellington Collection reflect rapid technological changes in American society from 1923-1982. Sound recordings in Series 6 range from 78 phonograph records of three minutes duration manufactured for play on Victrolas in monaural sound to long-playing (LP) phonograph records produced for stereo record players. Television scripts in Series 4, programs in Series 2 and music manuscripts (for example, Drum Is A Woman) in Series 1 demonstrate how the development of television as a means of mass communication spread the Orchestra's sound to a wider audience. The availability of commercial air travel enabled the Ellington Orchestra to extend their international performances from Europe to other continents including tours to Asia, Africa, South America and Australia and archival material from these tours is included in every series.
Series 4, Scripts and Transcripts and Series 6, Audio Recordings contain scripts and radio performances promoting the sale of United States War bonds during World War II, and Series 7, Photographs includes many images of Duke Ellington and His Orchestra's performances for military personnel revealing the impact of historic events on Duke Ellington and His Orchestra. Series 2: Programs and Performances, Series 9, Newspaper clippings and Series 8, Scrapbooks document the 1963 Far East tour aborted as a result of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.
The Duke Ellington Collection contains works by numerous twentieth-century music, literature, and art luminaries. Series 1, Music Manuscripts contains original music manuscripts of William Grant Still, Eubie Blake, Mary Lou Williams, and others. Series 4, Scripts and Transcripts contains a play by Langston Hughes, and Series 12, Posters contains many original artworks.
Series 1: Music Manuscripts, circa 1930-1981, undated
Series 2: Performances and Programs, 1933-1973, undated
Series 3: Business Records, 1938-1988
Series 4: Scripts and Transcripts, 1937-1970
Series 5: Personal Correspondence and Notes, 1941-1974, undated
Series 6: Sound Recordings, 1927-1974
Series 7: Photographs, 1924-1972, undated
Series 8: Scrapbooks, 1931-1973
Series 9: Newspaper Clippings, 1939-1973, undated
Series 10: Magazine Articles and Newspaper Clippings, 1940-1974
Series 11: Publicity, 1935-1988
Series 12: Posters and Oversize Graphics, 1933-1989, undated
Series 13: Awards, 1939-1982
Series 14: Religious Material, 1928-1974
Series 15: Books, 1903-1980
Series 16: Miscellaneous, 1940-1974
Biographical / Historical:
A native of Washington, DC, Edward Kennedy Ellington was born on April 29, 1899. Edward was raised in a middle-class home in the Northwest section of Washington described by his sister Ruth--younger by sixteen years--as a "house full of love." Ellington himself wrote that his father J.E. (James Edward) raised his family "as though he were a millionaire" but Edward was especially devoted to his mother, Daisy Kennedy Ellington. In 1969, thirty-four years after his mother's death, Ellington accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom with these words, "There is nowhere else I would rather be tonight but in my mother's arms." Both his parents played the piano and Ellington began piano lessons at the age of seven, but like many boys he was easily distracted by baseball.
In his early teens, Ellington sneaked into Washington clubs and performance halls where he was exposed to ragtime musicians, including James P. Johnson, and where he met people from all walks of life. He returned in earnest to his piano studies, and at age fourteen wrote his first composition, "Soda Fountain Rag" also known as "Poodle Dog Rag." Ellington was earning income from playing music at seventeen years of age, and around this time he earned the sobriquet "Duke" for his sartorial splendor and regal air. On July 2, 1918, he married a high school sweetheart, Edna Thompson; their only child, Mercer Kennedy Ellington, was born on March 11, 1919. Duke Ellington spent the first twenty-four years of his life in Washington's culturally thriving Negro community. In this vibrant atmosphere he was inspired to be a composer and learned to take pride in his African-American heritage.
Ellington moved to New York City in 1923 to join and eventually lead a small group of transplanted Washington musicians called "The Washingtonians," which included future Ellington band members, Sonny Greer, Otto Hardwicke and "Bubber" Miley. Between 1923 and 1927, the group played at the Club Kentucky on Broadway and the ensemble increased from a quintet to a ten-piece orchestra. With stride pianist Willie "The Lion" Smith as his unofficial guide, Ellington soon became part of New York's music scene; Smith proved to be a long-lasting influence on Duke's composing and arranging direction. At the Club Kentucky, Ellington came under the tutelage of another legendary stride pianist, "Fats" Waller. Waller, a protege of Johnson and Smith, played solos during the band's breaks and also tutored Ellington who began to show progress in his compositions. In November 1924, Duke made his publishing and recording debut with "Choo Choo (I Got To Hurry Home)" released on the Blu-Disc label. In 1925, he contributed two songs to Chocolate Kiddies, an all-black revue which introduced European audiences to black American styles and performers. By this time Ellington's family, Edna and Mercer, had joined him in New York City. The couple separated in the late 1920's, but they never divorced or reconciled.
Ellington's achievements as a composer and bandleader began to attract national attention while he worked at the Cotton Club in Harlem, New York City, from 1927 to 1932. The orchestra developed a distinctive sound that displayed the non-traditional voicings of Ellington's arrangements and featured the unique talents of the individual soloists. Ellington integrated his soloists' exotic-sounding trombone growls and wah-wahs, their high-squealed trumpets, their sultry saxophone blues licks and Harlem's street rhythms into his arrangements. In the promotional material of the Cotton Club, the band was often billed as "Duke Ellington and His Jungle Band." With the success of compositions like "Mood Indigo," and an increasing number of recordings and national radio broadcasts from the Cotton Club, the band's reputation soared.
The ten years from 1932 to 1942 are considered by some major critics to represent the "golden age" for the Ellington Orchestra, but it represents just one of their creative peaks. These years did bring an influx of extraordinary new talent to the band including Jimmy Blanton on double bass, Ben Webster on tenor saxophone, and Ray Nance on trumpet, violin and vocals. During this ten year span Ellington composed several of his best known short works, including "Concerto For Cootie," "Ko-Ko," "Cotton Tail," "In A Sentimental Mood," and Jump For Joy, his first full-length musical stage revue.
Most notably, 1938 marked the arrival of Billy Strayhorn. While a teenager in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Strayhorn had already written "Lush Life," "Something To Live For" and a musical, Fantastic Rhythm. Ellington was initially impressed with Strayhorn's lyrics but realized long before Billy's composition "Take the A' Train" became the band's theme song in 1942 that Strayhorn's talents were not limited to penning clever lyrics. By 1942, "Swee' Pea" had become arranger, composer, second pianist, collaborator, and as Duke described him, "my right arm, my left arm, all the eyes in the back of my head, my brain waves in his head, and his in mine." Many Ellington/Strayhorn songs have entered the jazz canon, and their extended works are still being discovered and studied today. Strayhorn remained with the Ellington Organization until his death on May 30, 1967.
Ellington had often hinted of a work in progress depicting the struggle of blacks in America. The original script, Boola, debuted in Carnegie Hall in November of 1943, retitled Black, Brown and Beige. The performance met with mixed reviews, and although Ellington often returned to Carnegie Hall the piece was never recorded in a studio, and after 1944 was never performed in entirety again by the Ellington Orchestra. Nonetheless, it is now considered a milestone in jazz composition.
After World War II the mood and musical tastes of the country shifted and hard times befell big bands, but Ellington kept his band together. The band was not always financially self-sufficient and during the lean times Ellington used his songwriting royalties to meet the soloists' salaries. One could assign to Ellington the altruistic motive of loyalty to his sidemen, but another motivation may have been his compositional style which was rooted in hearing his music in the formative stage come alive in rehearsal. "The band was his instrument," Billy Strayhorn said, and no Ellington composition was complete until he heard the orchestra play it. Then he could fine tune his compositions, omit and augment passages, or weave a soloist's contribution into the structure of the tune.
In 1956, the American public rediscovered Duke and the band at the Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island. The searing performances of tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves on "Diminuendo and Crescendo In Blue," his premiere soloist, alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges on "Jeep's Blues", and the crowd's ecstatic reaction have become jazz legend. Later that year Duke landed on the cover of Time magazine. Although Ellington had previously written music for film and television (including the short film, Black and Tan Fantasy in 1929) it wasn't until 1959 that Otto Preminger asked him to score music for his mainstream film, Anatomy of a Murder, starring Jimmy Stewart. Paris Blues in 1961, featuring box-office stars Paul Newman and Sidney Poitier in roles as American jazz musicians in Paris, followed.
Ellington's first performance overseas was in England in 1933, but the 1960s brought extensive overseas tours including diplomatic tours sponsored by the State Department. Ellington and Strayhorn composed exquisite extended works reflecting the sights and sounds of their travels, including the Far East Suite, 1966. They wrote homages to their classical influences; in 1963, they adapted Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite and celebrated Shakespeare's works with the suite Such Sweet Thunder in 1957. With Ella Fitzgerald, they continued the Norman Granz Songbook Series. Ellington also began to flex his considerable pianist skills and recorded albums with John Coltrane (1963), Coleman Hawkins (1963), Frank Sinatra, and Money Jungle (1963) with Charles Mingus and Max Roach. The First Sacred Concert debuted in San Francisco's Grace Cathedral in 1965. In his final years, Ellington's thoughts turned to spiritual themes and he added a Second (1968) and Third (1973) Concert of Sacred Music to his compositions.
In his lifetime, Duke received numerous awards and honors including the highest honor bestowed on an American civilian, the Congressional Medal Of Freedom. In 1965, Ellington was recommended for a Pulitzer Prize to honor his forty years of contribution to music but the recommendation was rejected by the board. Most likely he was disappointed, but his response at the age of sixty-six was, "Fate is being kind to me. Fate doesn't want me to be famous too young."
Ellington never rested on his laurels or stopped composing. Whenever he was asked to name his favorite compositions his characteristic reply was "the next five coming up," but to please his loyal fans Ellington always featured some of his standards in every performance. Even on his deathbed, he was composing the opera buffo called Queenie Pie.
Duke Ellington died on May 24, 1974 at seventy-five years of age. His funeral was held in New York's Cathedral of St. John The Divine; he was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery. His long-time companion Beatrice "Evie" Ellis was buried beside him after her death in 1976. He was survived by his only child, Mercer Kennedy Ellington, who not only took up the baton to lead the Duke Ellington Orchestra but assumed the task of caring for his father's papers and his legacy to the nation. Mercer Ellington died in Copenhagan, Denmark on February 8, 1996, at the age of seventy-six. Ruth Ellington Boatwright died in New York on March 6, 2004, at the age of eighty-eight. Both Mercer and Ruth were responsible for shepherding the documents and artifacts that celebrate Duke Ellington's genius and creative life to their current home in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.
Materials in the Archives Center
William H. Quealy Collection of Duke Ellington Recordings (AC0296)
Rutgers University Collection of Radio Interviews about Duke Ellington (AC0328)
Duke Ellington Oral History Project (AC0368)
Duke Ellington Collection of Ephemera and realated Audiovisual Materials (AC0386)
Annual International Conference of the Duke Ellington Study Group Proceedings (AC0385)
Robert Udkoff Collection of Duke Ellington Ephemera (AC0388)
Frank Driggs Collection of Duke Ellington Photographic Prints (AC0389)
New York Chapter of the Duke Ellington Society Collection (AC390)
Earl Okin Collection of Duke Ellington Ephemera (AC0391)
William Russo Transcription and Arrangement of Duke Ellington's First Concert of Sacred Music (AC0406)
Ruth Ellington Collection of Duke Ellington Materials (AC0415)
Music manuscripts in the Ruth Ellington Collection complement the music manuscripts found in the Duke Ellington Collection.
Carter Harman Collection of Interviews with Duke Ellington (AC0422)
Betty McGettigan Collection of Duke Ellington Memorabilia (AC0494)
Dr. Theodore Shell Collection of Duke Ellington Ephemera (AC0502)
Edward and Gaye Ellington Collection of Duke Ellington Materials (AC0704)
Andrew Homzy Collection of Duke Ellington Stock Music Arrangements (AC0740)
John Gensel Collection of Duke Ellington Materials (AC0763)
Al Celley Collection of Duke Ellington Materials (AC1240)
Materials at Other Organizations
Institute of Jazz Studies
Billy Strayhorn Website
Duke Ellington Society
Artifacts related to this collection are in the Division of Culture and the Arts and include trophies, plaques, and medals. See accessions: 1989.0369; 1991.0808; 1993.0032; and 1999.0148.
The collection was purchased through an appropriation of Congress in 1988.
The 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.
Copyright restrictions. Consult the Archives Center at email@example.com or 202-633-3270.
Paul Ellington, executor, is represented by:
Richard J.J. Scarola, Scarola Ellis LLP, 888 Seventh Avenue, 45th Floor, New York, New York 10106. Telephone (212) 757-0007 x 235; Fax (212) 757-0469; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.selaw.com; www.ourlawfirm.com.