The papers of Xavier Gonzalez, a New York and Massachusetts painter, sculptor, educator, and owner of the Wellfleet Art Gallery, measure 14.1 linear feet and date from 1908 to 1997. The collection consists of biographical materials, correspondence, writings, project files, business records, printed materials, scrapbooks, photographs, and artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Xavier Gonzalez, a New York and Massachusetts painter, sculptor, educator, and owner of the Wellfleet Art Gallery, measure 14.1 linear feet and date from 1908 to 1997. The collection consists of biographical materials, correspondence, writings, commission project files, business records, printed materials, scrapbooks, photographs, and artwork.
Biographical materials include an address book and calendars, awards, passports, resumes, student rosters, and legal documents. Correspondence is with family, friends, and colleagues regarding Gonzalez's work and art school in Wellfleet, his uncle and artist Jose Arpa, and other personal and professional activities. Manuscripts for Notes About Painting, unpublished books, and various essays by Gonzalez, along with manuscripts by other authors are in writings.
Commission project files are found for a U.S. Bicentennial monument, murals in New York and Texas, paintings commissioned by the Department of the Interior and Life magazine, and educational aids for the U.S. Navy.
Business records include sales and inventory records for Gonzalez's Wellfleet Art Gallery, The Spanish Institute, and other galleries. Printed materials consist of printed representations of artwork, clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, invitations, press releases, and books including He Who Saw Everything, The Epic of Gilgamesh, illustrated by Gonzalez.
The collection also includes 72 numbered scrapbooks that contain sketches, printed materials, project plans, photographs, writings, correspondence, and business records. One of the scrapbooks contains a notebook labeled "Notes of Paris, Visits with Picasso, 1936-1938". Photographs are of Gonzalez, his artwork and studio, his family and friends, Ethel Edwards, student artwork, composer Aaron Copeland, museum director Philip R. Adams, and Art Students League director Stewart Klonis. Artwork includes illustrated notes to Ethel Edwards, folded and cutout paper projects, and pencil and painted sketches.
The collection is arranged as 9 series.
Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1932-1992 (0.5 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1930s-1995 (1.0 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)
Series 3: Writings, 1948-1993 (0.5 linear feet; Boxes 2, 14)
Series 4: Project Files, 1942-1987 (0.5 linear feet; Boxes 2-3, OV 22)
Series 5: Business Records, 1949-1997 (0.5 linear feet; Boxes 3, OV 22)
Series 6: Printed Materials, 1928-1990s (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 4-5, OV 22)
Series 7: Scrapbooks, circa 1911-1980s (5.4 linear feet; Boxes 5-9, 14-20, OV 21)
Series 8: Photographs, 1908-1990s (3.5 linear feet; Boxes 9-12, 14)
Series 9: Artwork, circa 1950s-1980s (0.7 linear feet; Boxes 12-14)
Biographical / Historical:
Xavier Gonzalez (1898-1993) was a painter, sculptor, and educator who was active in New York, NY and Wellfleet, Massachusetts.
Gonzalez was born in Almeria, Spain and came to the United States at the age of 19. While working odd jobs in Chicago, he attended the Chicago Art Institute. Throughout his career, Gonzalez completed numerous commissions including murals in Texas and New York, a monument for the 1976 bicentennial celebration in New York, paintings for the Department of the Interior, and paintings of Egypt's Old Kingdom for Life magazine. During World War II, he designed posters and maps for the Navy. After the war, Gonzalez opened the Wellfleet Art Gallery with his wife, artist Ethel Edwards, in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. The gallery served as an exhibition space, studio, and art school where Gonzalez taught summer classes.
Gonzalez died in New York in 1993.
Also found at the Archives of American Art are the papers of Xavier Gonzalez's wife, Ethel Edwards.
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming on reels N68-113, N69-42, N69-43, and N70-53. Most of this material was included in subsequent gifts, but a comparison of the film and papers was not completed. Loaned materials not donated at a later date remain with the lender and are not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Xavier Gonzalez first loaned the Archives of American Art material for microfilming in 1968, most of which was included in the later 1999 gift. Gonzalez also donated a small amount of papers in 1971. Additional materials were donated by the George Arents Research Library at Syracuse University in 1984 and 1992, and by the estate of Ethel Edwards Gonzalez in 1999.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. Research Center.