The papers of painter Andrew Dasburg and his wife and sculptor Grace Mott Johnson date from 1833 to 1980 (bulk 1900 to 1980), and measure 8.8 linear feet. The collection documents each artist's career and personal lives, including their brief marriage and their friendships with many notable artists in the New Mexico and New York art colonies during the early twentieth century. The papers of Dasburg (6 linear feet) and Johnson (2.8 linear feet) include biographical materials; extensive correspondence with family, friends, and fellow artists, such as John F. Carlson, Mabel Dodge Luhan, Marsden Hartley, Henry Lee McFee, and Ward Lockwood; writings by Dasburg, Johnson, and others; scattered legal, financial, and business records; clippings; exhibition materials; numerous photographs of Johnson and Dasburg, friends, family, and artwork; and original artwork, including two sketchbooks by Johnson.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter Andrew Dasburg and sculptor Grace Mott Johnson date from 1833 to 1980, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1900 to 1980, and measure 8.8 linear feet. The collection is divided into the papers of Andrew Dasburg (6 linear feet) and the papers of Grace Mott Johnson (2.8 linear feet), and documents each artist's career and personal lives, including their brief marriage, and friendships with many notable artists in New Mexico and New York art colonies during the early twentieth century. Found are scattered biographical, legal, and financial materials. Extensive correspondence (particularly in Dasburg's papers) is with family, friends, and fellow artists, such as John F. Carlson, Florence Ballin Cramer, Mabel Dodge Luhan, Marsden Hartley, Henry Lee McFee, Vera Spier Kuhn, and Ward Lockwood. Dasburg's papers also include letters to Johnson and his two later wives.
Johnson's correspondence is also with numerous artist friends and others, including John F. and Margaret Carlson, Florence Ballin Cramer, Jo Davidson, Florence Lucius, Walter Frankl, Lila Wheelock Howard, Henry Lee McFee, Mary Riley, Lee Simonson, Lindsey Morris Sterling, Alice Morgan Wright, Mabel Dodge Luhan, and Vera Spier Kuhn. Letters to her son Alfred are quite detailed and revealing. Writings are by Dasburg, Johnson, and others. Johnson's writings include a very brief diary and her poetry. Writings by others are about the Taos and New Mexico art communities. Printed materials about both artists include clippings and exhibition catalogs. There are numerous photographs of Dasburg and Johnson, individually and together, and with friends and family. Of note are a group photograph of Birge Harrison's art class in Woodstock, New York, which includes Johnson and Dasburg, and a photograph of Dasburg with friends Konrad Cramer and John Reed. Dasburg's papers also include snapshots of Florence Lucius, Konrad and Florence Ballin Cramer, Frieda and D. H. Lawrence, and Mabel Dodge Luhan. Original artwork by the two artists include two sketchbooks by Johnson and three prints and two drawings by Dasburg.
The collection is arranged into 2 series of each artist's papers:
Series 1: Andrew Dasburg Papers, circa 1900-1980 (Box 1-7; 6.0 linear feet)
Series 2: Grace Mott Johnson Papers, 1833-1963 (Box 7-10; 2.8 linear feet)
Andrew Michael Dasburg (1887-1979) was born in Paris, France, to German parents. After his father died and when he was five, Dasburg and his mother moved to New York City. In 1902 Dasburg started attending classes at the Art Students' League and studied with Kenyon Cox and Frank Du Mond. He also took night classes with Robert Henri. In 1907 he received a scholarship to the Art Students' League summer school in Woodstock, New York and spent three summers studying there in Birge Harrison's painting class. While in school he became friends with many young artists, including Morgan Russell and his future wife, Grace Mott Johnson.
Grace Mott Johnson (1882-1967) was born in New York City. She began drawing when she was four years old, and when the family moved to a farm in 1900 she enjoyed sketching horses and other farm animals. At the age of 22 she left home to study at the Art Students' League with sculptors Gutzon Borglum and James Earle Fraser, and also attended Birge Harrison's painting class in Woodstock. Throughout her career she would sculpt animals from memory, and would often attend circuses and farms for inspiration.
In 1909 Johnson and Dasburg went to Paris and joined the modernist circle of artists living there, including Morgan Russell, Jo Davidson, and Arthur Lee. During a trip to London that same year they were married. Johnson returned to the United States early the next year, but Dasburg stayed in Paris where he met Henri Matisse, Gertrude and Leo Stein, and became influenced by the paintings of Cezanne and Cubism. He returned to Woodstock, New York in August and he and Johnson became active members of the artist community. In 1911 their son Alfred was born. Both Dasburg and Johnson showed several works at the legendary Armory Show in 1913, and Dasburg also showed at the MacDowell Club in New York City, where he met the journalist and activist John Reed who later introduced him to Mabel Dodge (Luhan), a wealthy art patron and lifelong friend. In 1914 Dasburg met Alfred Stieglitz and became part of his avant-garde circle. Using what he had seen in Paris, Dasburg became one of the earliest American cubist artists, and also experimented with abstraction in his paintings.
Dasburg and Johnson lived apart for most of their marriage. By 1917 they had separated and Dasburg began teaching painting in Woodstock and in New York City. In 1918 he was invited to Taos, New Mexico by Mabel Dodge, and returning in 1919, Johnson joined him there for a period of time. Also in 1919, Dasburg was one of the founding members of the Woodstock Artists Association with John F. Carlson, Frank Swift Chase, Carl Eric Lindin, and Henry Lee McFee. In 1922 Dasburg and Johnson divorced, and also at that time he began living most of the year in Santa Fe with Ida Rauh, spending the rest of the year in Woodstock and New York City. Dasburg became an active member of the Santa Fe and the Taos art colonies, befriending many artists and writers living in these communities, and remaining close friends with Mabel Dodge Luhan. Here he moved away from abstraction, and used the southwestern landscape as the inspiration for his paintings.
In 1928 he married Nancy Lane. When that marriage ended in 1932, he moved permanently to Taos, and with his third wife, Marina Wister, built a home and studio there. Dasburg periodically taught art privately and at the University of New Mexico. In 1937 he was diagnosed with Addison's disease, which left him unable to paint again until 1946. In 1945 he and his wife Marina separated. Dasburg was recognized for his career as an artist in a circulating retrospective organized by the American Federation of Arts in 1959. He also had retrospectives in Taos in 1966 and 1978. His artwork influence several generations of artists, especially in the southwest, and he continued creating art until his death in 1979 at the age of 92.
Grace Mott Johnson lived in the Johnson family home in Yonkers, New York during the 1920s and later moved to Pleasantville, New York. In 1924 she went to Egypt to study ancient Egyptian sculpture. During the 1930s she became a civil rights activist. She produced very little art during the last twenty years of her life.
Also found in the Archives of American Art are two oral history interviews with Andrew Dasburg, July 2, 1964 and March 6, 1974. Additional related collections at other repositories include the Andrew and Marina Wister Dasburg Papers at the New Mexico State Archives, the Andrew Dasburg Papers at Syracuse University Library, and the Grace Mott Johnson Papers at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming. Reel 2803 contains photocopies of ten Morgan Russell letters to Dasburg. Reels 4276-4278 include biographical material, subject files, photographs, correspondence, writings, and exhibition material. The photocopies on reel 2803 were discarded after microfilming, and the items on 4276-4278 were returned to the lender. This material is not described in the collection container inventory.
The Andrew Dasburg and Grace Mott Johnson papers were donated by their son, Alfred Dasburg, in 1980. Syracuse Univresity lent materials for microfilming in 1978 and 1989.
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
Papers relating to work done for the Federal Art Project; business and personal letters; printed material; biographical data; correspondence; and photographs.
REEL 79: Correspondence, memoranda, and other material relating to federal art programs in New Mexico and Arizona. Includes correspondence with Public Works of Art Project administrators about a mural in Taos County Court House done by Bisttram, Bert G. Phillips, and Victor Higgins; memoranda; press releases and reports; catalogs of Treasury Department art projects shown at the Corcoran Gallery; and Federal Art Project dismissals and a proposal for a Bureau of Fine Arts.
REEL 581: Business and personal letters to and from Bisttram, including a letter from Lily and Eero Saarinen, and letters from Raymond Jonson; clippings; 91 catalogs; 22 reproductions of Bisttram's work; newspaper and magazine articles describing the artist colony at Taos and Santa Fe.
REEL 2787: Baptismal and naturalization records; correspondence; a photograph of Bisttram; clippings and printed material.
REELS 2892-2894: Biographical material; one or more letters from Ray Jonson, Stanton Macdonald-Wright; Oscar Berninghaus, Mrs. Walter Ufer, and other artists; correspondence with Olin Dows and others involved in the Treasury Relief Art Project, with galleries, museums, art organizations, and students; writings and notes; the draft for a book about Dynamic Symmetry; drafts for a book The Creative Process in the New Age; sketches and drawings; business, financial, and legal records; exhibition catalogs and announcements; certificates and awards; transcripts of interviews of Bisttram; and photographs of Bisttram and his paintings.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter; Taos, N.M. Was an exponent of Dynamic Symmetry, a painting technique.
Papers microfilmed on reel 581were lent for microfilming 1973, and some was subsequently donated with a gift in 1983 (and refilmed on reels 2892-2894).
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The papers of muralist, painter, and teacher Barry Faulkner measure 2.82 linear feet and date from circa 1858-1973. Faulkner's career; his relationships with family, friends, and fellow-artists; and his thoughts on art and artists are documented in biographical materials, correspondence, writings, sketchbooks, five diaries, two photograph albums and photographs, and one scrapbook. Correspondents include family members, Witter Bynner, Ann and Eric Gugler, Leon Kroll, Isabel Manship, James Johnson Sweeney, Maxfield Parrish and others. An unprocessed addition to the collection dating 1942 includes a one page letter mounted on board from Maxfield Parrish to Barry Faulkner.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of muralist, painter, and teacher Barry Faulkner measure 2.82 linear feet and date from circa 1858-1973. Faulkner's career; his relationships with family, friends, and fellow-artists; and his thoughts on art and artists are documented in biographical materials, correspondence, writings, sketchbooks, five diaries, photograph albums and photographs, and one scrapbook. An unprocessed addition to the collection dating 1942 includes a one page letter mounted on board from Maxfield Parrish to Barry Faulkner.
Biographical materials include biographical sketches, awards, and records documenting Faulkner's military service. Also found are a list of medications, a list of Faulkner's writings, party guest lists, an address book, a calendar, and materials related to the posthumous publication of Sketches From an Artist's Life. Of special interest are oversized architectural drawings by Eric Gugler for Faulkner's Keene, New Hampshire house.
Correspondence includes letters from Faulkner's friends, family, fellow artists, and art organizations and institutions. Faulkner's correspondence with his parents document his 1900-1901 trip to Italy with the Thayer family. Of special interest is his correspondence with writer Witter Bynner about Faulkner's daily life in New Hampshire, his travels through Europe, his artistic practice and career, Bynner's writings, his opinions on artistic and literary works, and his service in World War One. Many of the letters to Bynner include sketches by Faulkner of Abbott Handerson Thayer, Rockwell Kent, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Homer Saint-Gaudens, George de Forest Brush, Kahlil Gibran, and Mark Twain. Additional correspondents include sculptor Frances Grimes, architect Eric Gugler, painter Leon Kroll, and museum director James Johnson Sweeney.
Faulkner's writings are about art, artists, and the New Hampshire art community. Found are essays on Gifford Beal, George de Forest Brush, James Earle Fraser, Harriet Hosmer, Paul Manship, Charles Adams Platt, Hiram Powers, Edward Willis Redfield, Joseph Lindon Smith, Mary Lawrence Tonetti, Mark Twain, Lawrence Grant White, and Mahonri Young. Other writings discuss Faulkner's mural commissions, various aspects of New Hampshire history, and the history of the Dublin and Cornish art colonies whose inhabitants included George de Forest Brush, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and Abbott Handerson Thayer. Of special interest is a manuscript for Faulkner's posthumously published memoir Sketches From an Artist's Life, and an unpublished manuscript titled A Neighborhood of Artists about the history and culture of the Connecticut River Valley.
Four sketchbooks by Faulkner contain drawings of landscapes, city scenes, architecture, people, nature, and studies of artwork by others. Also found are two loose sketches.
Five diaries document Faulkner's 1922-1924 trip through Europe, Africa, and Asia including stops in France, Italy, Egypt, and Turkey. Diaries record Faulkner's thoughts on architecture, tourist sites, and travel amenities. Found is one diary from 1956 that discusses social events, the Saint-Gaudens Memorial, the MacDowell Colony of artists, and various artists including Gifford Beal, Maxfield Parrish, Paul Manship, and Eric Gugler.
The bulk of printed material consists of clippings which document published writings by Faulkner, obituaries and published rememberances of Faulkner, local events in Keene, New Hampshire, and reproductions of Faulkner's artwork. Also found are exhibition catalogs of other artists, an announcement of Faulklner's death from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a publication illustrated with reproductions of Faulkner's murals for the National Archives.
Photographs include formal and informal images of Faulkner throughout his life, and photographs of his family and friends, his studio, and reproductions of his artwork. Also included are two photograph albums, one of which contains photographs of Faulkner during his youth and one that contains photographs primarily from the 1930s of Faulkner's Keene, New Hampshire house, himself, and his friends and family.
The collection also includes a scrapbook prepared for Faulkner's seventieth birthday containing photographs, cards, telegrams, and placecards with hand drawn illustrations which show the "taste and characteristics" of Faulkner.
Series 2: Correspondence, 1900-1973 (Box 1; 0.5 linear feet)
Series 3: Writings, 1912-1966 (Boxes 1-2; 1.0 linear foot)
Series 4: Sketchbooks and Sketches, circa 1910s-1930s (Boxes 2-3; 8 folders)
Series 5: Diaries, 1922-1956 (Box 2; 6 folders)
Series 6: Printed Materials, circa 1858-1966 (Boxes 2-3; 8 folders)
Series 7: Photographs, 1892-1960s (Boxes 2-3; 15 folders)
Series 8: Scrapbook, 1951 (Box 3; 2 folders)
Francis Barrett Faulkner was born on July 12, 1881 in Keene, New Hampshire. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy and went on to study at Harvard College. Around this same time, Faulkner began an apprenticeship with his cousin and painter Abbott Handerson Thayer and painter George de Forest Brush. He also met sculptors James Earle Fraser and Augustus Saint-Gaudens, both of whom became Faulkner's lifelong friends.
In 1901, Faulkner traveled to Italy for the first time with Thayer and his family. He returned to New York in 1902 and studied at the Art Students League and Chase School. He also completed illustration work for Century magazine.
In 1907, Faulkner won the Rome Prize Fellowship from the American Academy in Rome. shortly thereafter, he left to study in Italy for three years, studying with George de Forest Brush and befriending sculptor Paul Manship. Upon his return in 1910, he started working on his first mural, commissioned by the wife of railroad executive E.H. Harriman. Having found his niche, Faulkner continued taking mural commissions until his career was interrupted by World War I and his service in the camouflage section of the army. Shortly after the war, he completed a mural for the marine headquarters in Quantico, Virginia.
Between 1923-1924, Faulkner worked in collaboration with Eric Gugler and Paul Manship to create the American Academy in Rome war memorial. Also following the war, Faulkner completed murals for the Eastman School of Music in 1922, the Rockefeller Center in 1932, and the National Archives in 1936. That same year, Faulkner bought and refurbished a house named "The Bounty" in Keene, New Hampshire, and built a studio nearby. In 1930, he was elected as a trustee of the American Academy in Rome.
During the 1940s, Faulkner created murals for numerous public buildings and sites around New Hampshire including the Senate Chambers in Concord, the Elliot Community Hospital, Keene National Bank, and the Cheshire County Savings Bank in Keene. During his final decades, Faulkner wrote an unpublished manuscript on the history of art in the Connecticut River Valley entitled A Neighborhood of Artists, and his posthumously published memoirs, Sketches of an Artist's Life. Faulkner died in 1966, in Keene, New Hampshire.
Found in the Nancy Douglas Bowditch papers at the Archives of American Art is correspondence, photographs, and printed materials related to Barry Faulkner. The Library of Congress, Manuscript Division also holds a small collection of Barry Faulkner's papers. Additional correspondence from Faulkner is found in the papers of Witter Bynner at the University of New Mexico and at Harvard University.
The collection was donated by Francis Faulkner, Barry Faulkner's nephew, in 1974. An addition to the collection was donated by Jocelyn Faulkner Bolle in 2014.
The bulk of this collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
My time there : the art colonies of Santa Fe & Taos, New Mexico 1956-2006 : a memoir of art, essays, letters, and rare photos, about two of America's most important art colonies / by R.H. Dick ; with an introduction by Bambi Ellis
Art colonies of Santa Fe & Taos, New Mexico 1956-2006