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Oral history interview with Don G. Abel, 1965 June 10

Interviewee:
Abel, Donald G.  Search this
Interviewer:
Bestor, Dorothy K., 1913-  Search this
Subject:
Hinckley, Robert H.  Search this
Hopkins, Harry Lloyd  Search this
Inverarity, Robert Bruce  Search this
Roosevelt, Eleanor  Search this
Federal Art Project (Wash.)  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art and state  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11611
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213248
AAA_collcode_abel65
Theme:
New Deal
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_213248
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Harry Bonath, 1965 April 3

Interviewee:
Bonath, Harry, 1903-1976  Search this
Interviewer:
Bestor, Dorothy K., 1913-  Search this
Subject:
Federal Art Project (Wash.)  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Mural painting and decoration -- Washington (State) -- Seattle  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Art and state  Search this
Painters -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11638
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213325
AAA_collcode_bonath65
Theme:
New Deal
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_213325

Oral history interview with Andrew Chinn, 1965 May 24

Interviewee:
Chinn, Andrew, 1915-1996  Search this
Interviewer:
Bestor, Dorothy K., 1913-  Search this
Subject:
Graves, Morris  Search this
Elshin, Jacob Alexander  Search this
Cumming, William  Search this
Chong, Fay  Search this
Federal Art Project (Wash.)  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art and state -- Washington (State) -- Seattle  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Asian American art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Chinese American art  Search this
Chinese American artists  Search this
Asian American painters  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12153
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213368
AAA_collcode_chinn65
Theme:
Asian American
New Deal
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_213368

Oral history interview with William Cumming, 1965 April 3

Interviewee:
Cumming, William  Search this
Interviewer:
Bestor, Dorothy K., 1913-  Search this
Subject:
Anderson, Guy  Search this
Elshin, Jacob Alexander  Search this
Farwell, Denise  Search this
Graves, Morris  Search this
Inverarity, Robert Bruce  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Federal Art Project (Wash.)  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Art and state  Search this
Painters -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12163
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213383
AAA_collcode_cummin65
Theme:
New Deal
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_213383

Oral history interview with Jacob Alexander Elshin, 1965 April 21-22

Interviewee:
Elshin, Jacob Alexander, 1891-1976  Search this
Interviewer:
Bestor, Dorothy K., 1913-  Search this
Subject:
Inverarity, Robert Bruce  Search this
Rowan, Edward Beatty  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Federal Art Project (Wash.)  Search this
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art and state  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Mural painting and decoration  Search this
Muralists -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12775
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213441
AAA_collcode_elshin65
Theme:
New Deal
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_213441

Robert Bruce Inverarity papers, circa 1840s-1997

Creator:
Inverarity, Robert Bruce, 1909-1999  Search this
Subject:
Deutsch, Hilda  Search this
Ray, Man  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel  Search this
Graves, Morris  Search this
Morris, Carl  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Federal Art Project (Wash.)  Search this
Federal Art Project (Or.)  Search this
Federal Art Project (Utah)  Search this
Federal Art Project (Iowa)  Search this
Federal Art Project (N.Y.)  Search this
Federal Art Project (Calif.)  Search this
Federal Art Project  Search this
Museum of International Folk Art (N.M.)  Search this
Type:
Scrapbooks
Sound recordings
Sketchbooks
Interviews
Photographs
Drawings
Place:
United States -- Economic conditions, 1918-1945 -- Washington (State)
Topic:
Puppet theater  Search this
New Deal, 1933-1939 -- Washington (State)  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Federal aid to the arts -- Washington (State)  Search this
Art and state -- Washington (State)  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6796
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)208923
AAA_collcode_inverobe
Theme:
Government Sponsorship of the Arts
New Deal
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_208923
Online Media:

Robert Bruce Inverarity papers

Creator:
Inverarity, Robert Bruce, 1909-1999  Search this
Names:
Federal Art Project (Calif.)  Search this
Federal Art Project (Ill.)  Search this
Federal Art Project (Iowa)  Search this
Federal Art Project (N.Y.)  Search this
Federal Art Project (Or.)  Search this
Federal Art Project (Utah)  Search this
Federal Art Project (Wash.)  Search this
Museum of International Folk Art (N.M.)  Search this
Deutsch, Hilda, 1911-  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968 -- Photographs  Search this
Graves, Morris, 1910- -- Photographs  Search this
Morris, Carl, 1911-1993  Search this
Ray, Man, 1890-1976 -- Photographs  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Extent:
13.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Sound recordings
Sketchbooks
Interviews
Photographs
Drawings
Place:
United States -- Economic conditions, 1918-1945 -- Washington (State)
Date:
circa 1840s-1997
Summary:
The papers of artist, photographer, museum director, anthropologist, and writer Robert Bruce Inverarity are dated circa 1840s-1997 and measure 12.7 linear feet. Biographical information, correspondence, writings and notes, subject files, art work, scrapbooks, sound recordings, printed material and photographs are found within the papers. They document Inverarity's work as Director of the Federal Art Project in Seattle and Director of the Art and Craft Project for the State of Washington, as well as his other professional work. Nineteenth century material consists of a Japanese print, printed material, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of artist, photographer, museum director, anthropologist, and writer Robert Bruce Inverarity are dated circa 1840s-1997 and measure 13.8 linear feet. Biographical information, correspondence, writings and notes, subject files, art work, scrapbooks, sound recordings, printed material and photographs are found within the papers. They document Inverarity's work as Director of the Federal Art Project in Seattle and Director of the Art and Craft Project for the State of Washington, as well as his other professional work. Nineteenth century material consists of a Japanese print, printed material, and photographs.

Among the biographical information are awards and certificates, biographical and genealogical notes, and educational records. Correspondence concerns Inverarity's activities as Director of the WPA Federal Arts Project in Washington State, 1936-1941. Additional personal and professional correspondence, 1929-1993, documents his activities as a museum director, consultant, collector, and writer. Among the friends and colleagues with whom he corresponded are: Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning, Rockwell and Sally Kent, Stanton MacDonald-Wright, Wolfgang Palen, Juliet and Man Ray, Mark Tobey, Edward Weston, and various individuals associated with the WPA.

Manuscripts of a few of Inverarity's many articles on topics such as anthropology, museology, and information storage and retrieval are among his writings and notes. Also included are the manuscript of an unpublished book, Tobey Remembered, along with drafts, notes, correspondence, research materials, and photocopies of Tobey's letters to him and others. Other writings consist of book reviews, children's books, a catalog of the Inverarity Collection, and a copy of his 1946 master's thesis, "The Social-Economic Position of the American Artist." Several journals, 1928-1966, survive, including one that records his 1932 trip to study the Haida Indians of the Queen Charlotte Islands.

Subject files include general subjects such as "Folk Art" and "Preservation." Files on the museums where Inverarity was the director contain some official records as well as general information. Art work by Inverarity includes eight volumes of sketch books, 1928-1942, commercial work for Boeing, notes and drawings for book designs. Among the work by other artists are drawings, paintings and prints by friends. Of particular interest are display panels for a small exhibit on airbrush stencil prints produced by the Washington State WPA Federal Art Project. Other noteworthy items are pencil sketches and a watercolor by Mark Tobey, and prints by Hiroshige and Jan Matulka.

Five scrapbooks, 1928-1979, contain newspaper clippings, miscellaneous printed items, and a small number of photographs and letters. Three volumes document his career as an artist and museum director. One consists of biographical information and items designed by Inverarity, and another concerns publication and marketing of his monograph Art of the Northwest Coast Indians.

Sound recordings consist of interviews and conversations. An extensive interview with Inverarity about his life and career was conducted by Craig Gilborn in 1990. Bruce and Jane Inverarity in conversation with former colleague Ernie Johnson and his wife Helen about his departure from the Museum of International Folk Art were recorded in 1980. Also included is a 1981 conversation with Grace T. Stevenson containing references to Mark Tobey and Morris Graves.

Printed material includes many items about or produced by the WPA Federal Art Project. Among the items written by Inverarity are many articles on a wide variety of topics, his book Art of the Northwest Coast Indians, and two published portfolios. Printed material by other authors includes articles, books and reports about or mentioning Inverarity, and books designed or illustrated by him. Among the miscellaneous printed items are catalogs and brochures of the schools where Inverarity taught and studied, and a few ephemeral items designed by him.

Photographs are of art work, people, places, the Washington State WPA Federal Art Project, and miscellaneous subjects. All photographs known to be by Inverarity are clearly marked. Art work includes views of Inverarity's collection of his own work and that of other artists hanging in his home. Photographs of people include artists, friends, colleagues, and various groups. Of special interest are Inverarity's portraits of artists, among them Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Morris Graves, Hilaire Hiler, Rico Le Brun, Stanton Macdonald-Wright, Man Ray, Dorothea Tanning, and Mark Tobey. Photographs of places include the museums where Inverarity was director, places in which he lived, and travel pictures. Of note are a large group of photographs (copy prints) taken in 1932 while studying the Haida Indians in British Columbia. Nineteenth century photographs of family homes, Europe, and South America may have been taken by his father. Photographs of the Washington State WPA Federal Arts Project are of individual works of art, exhibition installations, mosaic procedures and local art centers. Many, probably intended for display, are mounted in groups on large cardboard panels. Miscellaneous subjects include art photographs by Inverarity and the microreader he invented.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as nine series. Correspondence is in chronological order, Biographical Information and Subject Files are arranged alphabetically by folder title. Other series have been organized into subseries and arrangement is as described in the Series Descriptions/Container List below. Unless noted otherwise, material within folders is arranged chronologically.

Series 1: Biographical Information, 1934-1997, undated (Box 1, OV 18; 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1928-1993, undated (Box 1; 0.75 linear ft.)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1928-1993, undated, (Boxes 2-3; 1.5 linear ft.)

Series 4: Subject Files, 1938-1990, undated (Boxes 3-6, OV 19-20; 2.5 linear ft.)

Series 5: Art Work, circa 1840s-1969, undated (Boxes 6, 12, 16, OV 21; 1.3 linear ft.)

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1928-1991, undated (Boxes 7-8; 1.1 linear ft.)

Series 7: Sound Recordings, 1980-1990 (Box 8; 3 folders)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1902-1995, undated (Boxes 8-13, OV 22; 3.4 linear ft.)

Series 9: Photographs, circa 1870s-1990, undated (Boxes 11, 14-17, OV 23; 3.0 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Robert Bruce Inverarity (1909-1999) showed artistic leanings as a boy, and from an early age was fascinated by puppetry and Northwest Coast native culture. During much of his youth, Inverarity's family lived in Canada, but returned to their native Seattle when he was a teenager. After graduating from high school, he made a 500 mile journey on foot along the coasts of the Vancouver Islands, collecting Indian artifacts and studying the area's tribal legends.

He studied briefly with Mark Tobey in Seattle, where the two shared a studio; when Tobey departed for Chicago, Inverarity succeeded him as an art teacher at the Cornish School. He spent the next few years in California working as an artist, exhibiting, and occasionally teaching. From there, he moved to Vancouver where he was Director of the School of Creative Art. In 1932, Inverarity made a three month trip to the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, for the purpose of studying the Haida Indians.

Upon his return to the United States in 1933, Inverarity joined the University of Washington Drama School as a puppetry instructor; in 1938 he published a highly regarded Manual of Puppetry. During 1936-37, he took a leave of absence from the university to assume the position of State Director of the Federal Art Project, where he remained until 1939. He then became State Director of the Art and Crafts Project (1939-1941). The U.S. Navy appointed Inverarity Chief of Design for Camouflage (1941-1943) and he later served as an Official Navy War Artist (1943-1945).

During his early years as a teacher and administrator, Inverarity continued making art and participated in a wide variety of exhibitions. He published a portfolio, 12 Photographs by R. B. Inverarity (1940). In the following year, Movable Masks and Figures of the North Pacific Coast Indians, a portfolio of his watercolors reproduced as silkscreen prints, appeared. Although Inverarity stopped exhibiting in 1941, he continued to produce art; notable work of this period includes photographic portraits of a number of artist friends (Max Ernst, Dorothea Tanning, Marcel Duchamp, and Man Ray).

After World War II, Inverarity completed his formal education. He earned a Bachelor's degree in art and anthropology from the University of Washington (1946), and then studied with Hilaire Hiler at Freemont University in Los Angeles, where he was awarded a Master's degree in fine arts (1947) and a Ph.D. (1948).

Inverarity began his museum career in 1949 when he was appointed the first director of the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a position that combined his interest in, and knowledge of, anthropology and art. While in Santa Fe, he published Art of the North West Coast Indians (1950). During his five year tenure as director, the museum participated in a pilot study for coding visual files, a project of the anthropological group, Human Resources Area Files, Inc. When Inverarity was dismissed from the Museum of International Folk Art in 1954, most of the staff resigned in protest, and the American Association of Museums investigated the situation.

Inverarity then became the first director of the Adirondack Museum, Blue Mountain Lake, New York, where he remained for eleven years. In addition to planning the museum's building, and developing collections and programs, Inverarity continued his involvement with the visual files project of the Human Resources Area Files, Inc., studying information storage and retrieval, developing a "microreader," and publishing Visual Files Coding Index (1960). In addition, he published many articles on a variety of topics and was active in organizations for anthropologists and museum professionals.

After his 1965 departure from the Adirondack Museum, Inverarity went to California and worked as an illustrator and book designer at the University of California Press. He returned to the east coast in 1969 to assume the directorship of the Philadelphia Maritime Museum. During this period, he remained active in professional associations and traveled to study museums abroad. He retired in 1976 and moved to La Jolla, California.

Robert Bruce Inverarity died in 1999.
Separated Material:
Originals of most of the drawings and sketches loaned by Mr. Inverarity were returned to him after filming and were not subsequently donated. This material is available on 35 mm microfilm reel D/NDA/I, frames 392-409.
Provenance:
Robert Bruce Inverarity donated his papers to the Archives in several installments between 1965 and 1993. Additional papers were received from his estate in 1999. He also loaned a small number of additional drawings and sketches for microfilming which were returned to him. A few of these drawings were included with the papers he subsequently donated to the Archives of American Art.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Arts administrators  Search this
Painters  Search this
Topic:
Puppet theater  Search this
New Deal, 1933-1939 -- Washington (State)  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Federal aid to the arts -- Washington (State)  Search this
Art and state -- Washington (State)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Sound recordings
Sketchbooks
Interviews
Photographs
Drawings
Citation:
Robert Bruce Inverarity papers, circa 1840s-1997. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.inverobe
See more items in:
Robert Bruce Inverarity papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-inverobe
Online Media:

Douglas C. Nicholson photographs of mural, 1939

Creator:
Nicholson, Douglas Cornwall, 1907-1975  Search this
Subject:
United States. Dept. of the Treasury. Section of Fine Arts  Search this
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts -- Washington (State) -- Photographs  Search this
Federal aid to the public welfare -- Washington State -- Photographs  Search this
Art and state -- Washington State -- Photographs  Search this
Muralists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9860
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212360
AAA_collcode_nichdoug
Theme:
Audio - Visual
New Deal
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_212360

Oral history interview with Joy Yeck Fincke

Interviewee:
Fincke, Joy Yeck  Search this
Interviewer:
Loomis, Sylvia Glidden  Search this
Creator:
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
Federal Art Project (N.M.)  Search this
Index of American Design  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Barela, Patrociño, -1964  Search this
Hunter, Russell Vernon, 1900-1955  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound tape reel (Sound recordings, 5 in.)
22 Pages (Transcript: (on one microfilm reel))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound tape reels
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1964 Jan. 9
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Joy Yeck Finke conducted by Sylvia Loomis on 1964 Jan. 9 for the Archives of American Art.
Fincke speaks of her background in Washington state and Oregon; going to work for the Federal Emergency Releif Administration (later the Works Progress Administration); meeting Vernon Hunter and becoming his secretary; how artists were selected for the project and how work was assigned; the work that was done by the Index of American Design in the Southwest; how Vernon Hunter supervised the project; art centers that were run by the project; community and public perception of the project; and the project's effect on artists' careers; She recalls Patrocino Barela.
Biographical / Historical:
Secretary to director of Index of American Design; Albuquerque, N.M. Index of American Design director in New Mexico was Vernon Hunter.
General:
Interviews of Louie H. and Virginia Ewing conducted by S. Loomis are also on this tape.
Provenance:
This interview conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.
Restrictions:
Transcript: Patrons must use microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Arts administrators -- New Mexico -- Albuquerque -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Art and state  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.fincke64
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-fincke64

Oral history interview with Jacob Alexander Elshin

Creator:
Elshin, Jacob Alexander, 1891-1976  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Interviewer:
Bestor, Dorothy K., 1913-  Search this
Names:
Federal Art Project (Wash.)  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
Inverarity, Robert Bruce, 1909-1999  Search this
Rowan, Edward Beatty, 1898-1946  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Extent:
41 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1965 April 21-22
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Jacob Elshin conducted by Dorothy Bestor on 1965 April 21-22 for the Archives of American Art.
Elshin speaks of his background in Russia and China; moving to Seattle in 1923; his work as a free-lance commercial artist and working as a greeting card artist; painting for the Public Works of Art Project; working on murals for the WPA Federal Art Project; political problems with the WPA; the destruction of some of the work that was produced by the project; some of the injustices he suffered during his years with the WPA. He recalls Robert Bruce Inverarity, Edward Rowan and Mark Tobey.
Biographical / Historical:
Jacob Alexander Elshin (1892-1976) was a painter in Seattle, Washington.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 10 min.
Provenance:
This interview conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.
Restrictions:
Transcript: Patrons must use microfilm copy.
Topic:
Art and state  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Mural painting and decoration  Search this
Muralists -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.elshin65
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-elshin65

Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection

Creator:
Federal Art Project. Photographic Division  Search this
Names:
Federal Art Project (N.Y.)  Search this
Federal Art Project (Wash.)  Search this
Federal Art Project -- Photographs  Search this
Federal Art Project. Easel Division  Search this
Federal Art Project. Graphic Arts Division  Search this
Federal Art Project. Poster Division  Search this
Federal Music Project (U.S.) -- Photographs  Search this
Federal Theatre Project (U.S.) -- Photographs  Search this
Federal Writers' Project (U.S.) -- Photographs  Search this
Harlem Art Center  Search this
United States. Work Projects Administration  Search this
United States. Works Progress Administration  Search this
Abbott, Berenice, 1898-1991  Search this
Alston, Charles Henry, 1907-1977  Search this
Arenal, Luis  Search this
Barthé, Richmond, 1901-1989  Search this
Benson, John Howard, 1901-1956  Search this
Berger, Andrew  Search this
Blanch, Lucile, 1895-1981  Search this
Bloch, Lucienne, 1909-1999  Search this
Bolotowsky, Ilya, 1907-1981  Search this
Brann, Louise, 1906-  Search this
Burke, Selma, 1900-  Search this
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960  Search this
Calapai, Letterio, 1902-1993  Search this
Chodorow, Eugene, 1910-2000  Search this
Criss, Francis, 1901-1973  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
De Rivera, José Ruiz, 1904-1985  Search this
Dehn, Adolf, 1895-1968  Search this
Dehn, Virginia E. (Virginia Engleman), 1922-2005  Search this
Ennis, George Pearse, d. 1936  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Gershoy, Eugenie, 1901?-1983 or 6  Search this
Goodman, Bertram, 1904-1988  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Greenwood, Marion, 1909-1970  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Herman, Andrew  Search this
Hord, Donal, 1902-1966  Search this
Horn, Sol  Search this
Hovell, Joseph, 1897-  Search this
Karp, William, 1905-  Search this
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953  Search this
Laning, Edward, 1906-1981  Search this
Levi, Julian E. (Julian Edwin), 1900-1982  Search this
McMahon, Audrey, 1900?-1981  Search this
Olds, Elizabeth, 1896-1991  Search this
Refregier, Anton, 1905-  Search this
Robbins, David  Search this
Seltzer, Leo, 1916-  Search this
Shuster, Will  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
12.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
circa 1920-1965
bulk 1935-1942
Summary:
The Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection dates from circa 1920-1965, with the bulk of the records spanning the active years of the Federal Art Project (FAP), 1935-1942. The collection comprises 12.4 linear feet of mostly photographic prints and negatives that document primarily artwork produced by artists employed by the FAP. A smaller number of photographs also document other programs of the FAP, such as art classes and community centers, exhibitions by children and adults, artwork installed in public buildings, project divisions, and demonstrations of art processes by FAP artists.
Scope and Content Note:
The Federal Art Project (FAP), Photographic Division collection dates from circa 1920-1965, with the bulk of the records spanning the active years of the FAP: 1935-1942. The collection comprises 12.4 linear feet of photographic prints and negatives, including photos of FAP artists and the artwork created by them, and other activities of the FAP in communities throughout New York City and other states. Photographers include Andrew Herman, Sol Horn, David Robbins, Leo Seltzer, and others.

Artist files comprise three-quarters of the collection and consist primarily of photographs of artwork, as well as scattered photos of artists at work, including: Charles Alston, Luis Arenal, Richmond Barthe, John Benson, Andrew Berger, Lucille Blanch, Lucienne Bloch, Ilya Bolotowsky, Luise Brann, Selma Burke, Letterio Calapai, Eugene Chodorow, Francis Criss, Stuart Davis, Adolf Dehn, Virginia Dehn, Jose de Rivera, George Pearse Ennis, Philip Evergood, Eugenie Gershoy, Bertram Goodman, Arshile Gorky, Marion Greenwood, Philip Guston, Donal Hord, Joseph Hovell, William Karp, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Edward Laning, Julian Levi, Audrey McMahon, Elizabeth Olds, Anton Refregier, Will Shuster, William Zorach, and others.

The remainder of the collection consists of files documenting related activities and programs of the FAP, arranged by subject. The bulk of these files document the activities of the New York City FAP, including free art classes and art exhibitions for adults and children, exhibitions at the Harlem Art Center, and the work of FAP branches including the Easel Division, the Graphic Arts Division, and the Poster Division.

Other subjects documented include federal and community art centers in eleven states, most extensively Washington State; other WPA projects such as the Federal Theater Project, the Federal Music Project, and the Federal Writers' Project; buildings decorated with FAP artwork; art processes as demonstrated by FAP artists; special events; and people involved with the FAP, including director Holger Cahill.

One folder contains images that appear to have been taken by Berenice Abbott for the exhibition Changing New York (1935), for the Museum of the City of New York in collaboration with the WPA.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 2 series:

Series 1: Artist Files, circa 1920-1965 (Boxes 1-24; 9.6 linear feet)

Series 2: Subject Files, 1934-1956 (Boxes 25-32; 2.8 linear feet)
Historical Note:
The Federal Art Project (FAP) was one of the Depression-era work-relief programs of the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA). The program was founded in August 1935 to provide employment for artists and to implement visual arts programs in local communities across the country.

Together with the Federal Music Project, the Federal Theater Project, and the Federal Writers' Project, the FAP formed part of the WPA's Federal Project No. 1. The WPA became the Work Projects Administration in 1939 when it fell under the administrative hand of the newly created Federal Works Agency; concurrently the Federal Art Project was officially re-named the Federal Art Program.

Under the direction of Holger Cahill, the goals of the FAP fell into three main areas: production of artwork, art education through art classes and community centers, and art research through the Index of American Design. During the course of the program, artists created murals and other works of art for many non-Federal government buildings such as schools, hospitals, and libraries. Separate photographic divisions were set up in several states, most notably in New York City, to document the work of artists employed by the program, activities in art education such as classes for children and adults, community center outreach programs, and other "Federal 1" projects, including the Federal Theater and Music Projects. Employees of the photographic division were also involved in other assignments, such as creating exhibitions and photo murals.

The Federal Art Project ended in 1943.
Related Material:
Among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are related collections, including the Federal Art Project of the Work Projects Administration records, 1935-1948. Additional FAP records are held by the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington D.C.
Provenance:
The collection was anonymously donated to the Archives of American Art in the late 1950s.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Children's art  Search this
Photography  Search this
Art -- United States -- Exhibitions -- Photographs  Search this
Art -- United States -- Study and teaching -- Photographs  Search this
Art centers  Search this
Federal aid to the public welfare -- Photographs  Search this
Theater and state -- United States -- Photographs  Search this
Music and state -- United States -- Photographs  Search this
Federal aid to the arts -- Photographs  Search this
Art and state -- United States -- Photographs  Search this
Art -- Technique  Search this
Artists -- United States -- Photographs  Search this
Art -- Exhibitions  Search this
Latino and Latin American artists  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
African American artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection, circa 1920-1965, bulk 1935-1942. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.fedeartp14
See more items in:
Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-fedeartp14
Online Media:

Douglas C. Nicholson photographs of mural

Creator:
Nicholson, Douglas Cornwall, 1907-1975  Search this
Names:
United States. Dept. of the Treasury. Section of Fine Arts  Search this
Extent:
1 Item ((on partial microfilm reel))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1939
Scope and Contents:
Photograph of a mural by Nicholson for Camas, Washington post office[Microfilm title NDA Miscellany].
Biographical / Historical:
Douglas C. Nicholson (1907-1975) was a mural painter from Washington (State) and Berkeley, Calif. Painted murals for the Section of Fine Arts of the Treasury Department.
Other Title:
NDA Miscellany [microfilm title]
Provenance:
Lent for microfilming 1965 by Douglas C. Nicholson.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts -- Washington (State) -- Photographs  Search this
Federal aid to the public welfare -- Washington State -- Photographs  Search this
Art and state -- Washington State -- Photographs  Search this
Muralists  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.nichdoug
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-nichdoug

Oral history interview with William Cumming

Creator:
Cumming, William  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Interviewer:
Bestor, Dorothy K., 1913-  Search this
Names:
Federal Art Project (Wash.)  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Anderson, Guy, 1906-1998  Search this
Elshin, Jacob Alexander, 1891-1976  Search this
Farwell, Denise  Search this
Graves, Morris, 1910-  Search this
Inverarity, Robert Bruce, 1909-1999  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Extent:
35 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1965 April 3
Scope and Contents:
An interview of William Cumming conducted by Dorothy Bestor on 1965 April 3 for the Archives of American Art.
Cumming speaks of getting on the Federal Art Project; meeting Morris Graves; problems with the way the project was administered and supervised; destruction of some of the art work produced by the project; his feelings about federal support for the arts; his existential philosophy on life; and his views on current trends in painting. He recalls Jacob Elshin, Robert Bruce Inverarity, Mark Tobey, Denise Farwell, Guy Anderson.
Biographical / Historical:
William Cumming is a painter from Seattle, Washington.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 29 min.
Provenance:
This interview conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.
Restrictions:
Transcript: Patrons must use microfilm copy.
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Art and state  Search this
Painters -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.cummin65
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cummin65

Oral history interview with Don G. Abel

Interviewee:
Abel, Donald G.  Search this
Interviewer:
Bestor, Dorothy K., 1913-  Search this
Creator:
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
Federal Art Project (Wash.)  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Hinckley, Robert H., 1891-  Search this
Hopkins, Harry Lloyd, 1890-1946  Search this
Inverarity, Robert Bruce, 1909-1999  Search this
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962  Search this
Extent:
12 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1965 June 10
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Don G. Abel conducted 1965 June 10, by Dorothy Bestor, for the Archives of American Art. Abel describes his position as state administrator for the WPA in Washington state, the levels of organization within the WPA, and his relationship with Robert Hinckley, Harry Hopkins, and Robert Bruce Inverarity. He also speaks of Eleanor Roosevelt's visits to Seattle Art Projects and her interest in the work of women artists. He also discusses communist opposition to the WPA, federal appropriations, the transition from Federal Art Project to the Washington State Project and the accomplishments of the WPA.
Biographical / Historical:
Don G. Abel was an art adminstrator with the Works Progress Administration, from Washington state.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 36 min.
Provenance:
This interview conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Arts administrators -- Washington (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Art and state  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.abel65
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-abel65

Correspondence and printed material relating to National Art Week

Creator:
Hough, Halley Brewster Savery  Search this
Names:
Federal Art Project (Wash.)  Search this
Federal Art Project. National Art Week  Search this
Extent:
270 Items ((on partial microfilm reel))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Place:
United States -- Economic conditions -- 1918-1945 -- Washington (State)
United States -- Social conditions -- 1933-1945 -- Washington (State)
Date:
1940-1941
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence, press releases, and miscellaneous publications, chiefly relating to Savery's work as chairman of Art Week and related activities with the National Council for Art Week in Washington state.
Biographical / Historical:
Savery was chairperson of National Art Week for the state of Washington, Seattle, Washington. National Art Week was an attempt by the Federal Art Project to cultivate a greater cultural and consumer awareness of the arts across America. It lasted only 2 years, 1940 and 1941.
Provenance:
Lent for microfilming by, Richard Berner, 1964. Berner is affiliated with the University of Washington in Seattle.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Arts administrators  Search this
Public officers  Search this
Topic:
New Deal, 1933-1939 -- Washington (State)  Search this
Federal aid to the arts -- Washington (State)  Search this
Federal aid to the public welfare -- Washington (State)  Search this
Art and state -- Washington (State)  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.houghall
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-houghall

Oral history interview with Andrew Chinn

Interviewee:
Chinn, Andrew, 1915-1996  Search this
Interviewer:
Bestor, Dorothy K., 1913-  Search this
Creator:
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
Federal Art Project (Wash.)  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Chong, Fay  Search this
Cumming, William  Search this
Elshin, Jacob Alexander, 1891-1976  Search this
Graves, Morris, 1910-  Search this
Extent:
27 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1965 May 24
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Andrew Chinn conducted 1965 May 24, by Dorothy Bestor, for the Archives of American Art. Chinn speaks of his memories of the Federal Art Project in Washington state; how the program affected Seattle as an art center; and he recalls other artists involved in the project: Fay Chong, William Cumming, Jacob Elshin, and Morris Graves.
Biographical / Historical:
Andrew Chinn (1915-1996) was a Chinese American painter based in Seattle, Washington.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 1 digital wav file. Duration is 1 hr., 2 min.
Provenance:
This interview conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.
Restrictions:
Transcript: Patrons must use microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Painters -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Art and state -- Washington (State) -- Seattle  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Asian American art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Chinese American art  Search this
Chinese American artists  Search this
Asian American painters  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.chinn65
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-chinn65

Oral history interview with Harry Bonath

Creator:
Bonath, Harry  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Interviewer:
Bestor, Dorothy K., 1913-  Search this
Names:
Federal Art Project (Wash.)  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Extent:
23 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1965 April 3
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Harry Bonath conducted by Dorothy Bestor on 1965 April 3 for the Archives of American Art.
Bonath speaks of his work on a mural project for the WPA Federal Art Project in the University of Washington Drama Department, including how the project was run, politics and other artists who were involved; his feelings about government support for the arts; and the economic situation for artists.
Biographical / Historical:
Harry Bonath (1903-1976) was a painter in Seattle, Washington.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 1 digital wav file. Duration is 29 min.
Provenance:
This interview conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.
Restrictions:
Transcript: Patrons must use microfilm copy.
Topic:
Mural painting and decoration -- Washington (State) -- Seattle  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Art and state  Search this
Painters -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.bonath65
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bonath65

Selected Federal Art Project of the Work Projects Administration records from the United States National Archives (microfilm)

Creator:
Federal Art Project (U.S.)  Search this
Names:
Federal Art Project. National Art Week  Search this
Federal Music Project (U.S.)  Search this
Federal Theatre Project (U.S.)  Search this
Federal Writers' Project (U.S.)  Search this
Index of American Design  Search this
United States. Work Projects Administration  Search this
United States. Works Progress Administration  Search this
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960  Search this
Rourke, Constance, 1885-1941  Search this
Extent:
70 Microfilm reels
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Microfilm reels
Place:
United States -- Economic conditions -- 1918-1945
United States -- Social conditions -- 1935-1945
Date:
1935-1948
Scope and Contents:
Selected records from the United States National Archives and Records Administration of the Federal Art Project (FAP) of the Work Projects Administration. Records cover a broad range of topics. The bulk are from the Central Files, "States" and "General Subject" series, 1935-1944. Also microfilmed are materials from series Federal Art Project, Federal Project #1, WPA, among them records related to the Index of American Design; and records of the Chicago Field Finance office relating to allocations of works of art.
General Subject Files is comprised of correspondence, memoranda, receipts, reports, and business files. Found on reels DC44-DC49 are correspondence and memoranda of the the FAP; materials relating to Art for the Millions published during the WPA; receipts for loans of works of art.and other correspondence, memoranda, business records, reports, and lists of artists. Found on reels. DC45, and DC49-DC50 are materials relating to the two National Art Weeks of 1940 and 1941; regional correspondence, 1939; reports, 1939; and papers relating to exhibitions held for WPA artists.
Central Files, "States", on reels DC62-DC111, is comprised of general correspondence, memoranda, telegrams, reports, and records of FAP activities at the state level. Much of the material is between state administrators and national directors. There are occasional occurrences of letters from individual citizens seeking assistance. Topics covered include FAP, Federal Writers' Project, Federal Theater Project, Federal Music Project, Index of American Design, and other projects under Federal Project # 1 of the WPA. New York City has its own separate file.
Federal Art Project, Federal Art Project #1, series appears on reels DC51-DC61 are broken down into "General Correspondence File", reels DC51-DC59, consisting of ca. 80 files with a variety of titles, for example Artist's oil paints, Congressional correspondence, Index of American Design (mostly reel DC53), Museum of Modern Art, News releases, Salary increases, etc.; and "Regional Correspondence Files," reels DC60-DC61, for Ohio, Washington state, and California; publicity and exhibition material; and "Regional and State Correspondence Files," Alabama to Michigan. Among the persons represented are Holger Cahill, Lawrence Morris, Thomas C. Parker, Russell C. Parr, and Constance Rourke.
Chicago Field Finance office records relating to allocations of works of art are found on reels DC129-DC130 and include requests for allocations of funds, requests for loans, receipts for allocations of works of art, shipping receipts, miscellaneous forms and correspondence.
Arrangement:
Microfilm reels DC44-50: General Subject Files. Reels DC51-61: Federal Art Project, Federal Project #1, WPA. Reels DC62-DC111: Central Files: "States" (reel DC53 is exclusively related to the Index of American Design). DC129-DC130: Chicago Field Finance office records relating to allocations of works of art. Most series are arranged alphabetically by subject, artist, state, territory, and district. Researchers should note that the arrangement of the records on microfilm reflects the order and arrangement as existed during the microfilming project, 1964-1966, and may not correspond to the original order of the records currently maintained by the National Archives in Record group 69,
Biographical / Historical:
The Federal Art Project (FAP) fell under the jurisdiction of Federal Project No. 1 of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to aid unemployed artists, following the precedent set by the Public Works of Art Project and other Treasury department art relief projects. Holger Cahill was appointed director of the FAP and remained in that position throughout its existence. The WPA was established in May 1935 specifically as a work relief program for the millions of individuals left unemployed during the Depression. Its name changed to the Work Projects Administration in 1939 when it fell under the administrative hand of the newly created Federal Works Agency.
The FAP projects included a broad range of events and activities which generated the various publications and materials found in the central files of the general subject series. ART FOR THE MILLIONS was a publication project about the accomplishments of the FAP consisting of a series of articles by Project workers. In addition to creating work for artists, the FAP sought to increase art appreciation as well as art sales among the general public. In doing so it devised a plan which created National Art Week. National Art Week was observed in both 1940 and 1941, and although the scale was grand and participation by the public impressive, the financial return on both occasions was minute, putting an end to plans for future National Art Weeks.
Provenance:
Series and files microfilmed by AAA were selected from the National Archives record group 69, records of the Work Projects Administration. Additional records of the WPA are preserved at the National Archives. FAP series and files not microfilmed by AAA include: additional records of the Federal Art Project (FAP), National Archives boxes, 27-58 and records of the FAP in Ohio, ca. 1937-1940; Division of Information, "Primary File" of the FAP and National Art Week; and photographic prints and negatives in the Still Picture Division, National Archives Building.
Restrictions:
The Archives does not own the original records. Use is limited to microfilm copy.
Topic:
Federal aid to public welfare  Search this
Art and state -- United States  Search this
New Deal, 1933-1939  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.fedeartp09
See more items in:
Selected Federal Art Project of the Work Projects Administration records from the United States National Archives (microfilm)
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-fedeartp09

Oral history interview with Joy Yeck Fincke, 1964 Jan. 9

Interviewee:
Fincke, Joy Yeck  Search this
Interviewer:
Loomis, Sylvia Glidden  Search this
Subject:
Barela, Patrociño  Search this
Hunter, Russell Vernon  Search this
Index of American Design  Search this
Federal Art Project (N.M.)  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art and state  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13225
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213453
AAA_collcode_fincke64
Theme:
New Deal
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_213453

Selected Federal Art Project of the Work Projects Administration records from the United States National Archives (microfilm), 1935-1948

Creator:
Federal Art Project (U.S.)  Search this
Subject:
Cahill, Holger  Search this
Rourke, Constance  Search this
Index of American Design  Search this
Federal Art Project  Search this
United States  Search this
Federal Music Project (U.S.)  Search this
Federal Theatre Project (U.S.)  Search this
Federal Writers' Project (U.S.)  Search this
Place:
United States -- Economic conditions -- 1918-1945
United States -- Social conditions -- 1935-1945
Topic:
Federal aid to public welfare  Search this
Art and state -- United States  Search this
New Deal, 1933-1939  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9777
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212199
AAA_collcode_fedeartp09
Theme:
Government Sponsorship of the Arts
New Deal
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_212199

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