The records of the Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art measure 265.8 linear feet and date from 1883-1962, with the bulk of the material dating from 1885-1940. The collection includes extensive correspondence between the museum's founding director, John Beatty, and his successor, Homer Saint-Gaudens, with artists, dealers, galleries, collectors, museum directors, representatives abroad, shipping and insurance agents, and museum trustees. The collection also includes Department of Fine Arts interoffice memoranda and reports; loan exhibition files; Carnegie International planning, jury, shipping, and sale records; Department of Fine Arts letterpress copy books, and a copy of the original card catalog index to these records.
Scope and Contents:
The records of the Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art measure 265.8 linear feet and date from 1883-1962, with the bulk of the material dating from 1885-1940. The collection includes extensive correspondence between the museum's founding director, John Beatty, and his successor, Homer Saint-Gaudens, with artists, dealers, galleries, collectors, museum directors, representatives abroad, shipping and insurance agents, and museum trustees. The collection also includes Department of Fine Arts interoffice memoranda and reports; loan exhibition files; Carnegie International planning, jury, shipping, and sale records; Department of Fine Arts letterpress copy books, and a copy of the original card catalog index to these records.
This collection is a complete record of the museum's work, starting with the planning of the first loan exhibition in 1885 and ending with the cancellation of the International at the start of World War II in 1940. The museum's day-to-day relationships with all aspects of the contemporary art world are documented within the historical context of artists' reactions to World War I; the economic repercussions of the Great Depression on art sales and museum budgets; the ramifications of fascism on German, Italian, and European art; the impact of civil war on Spanish art; and the tensions introduced by the rise of 'radical' modernist art in Europe.
Correspondence (Series 1) is the largest series in the collection (152.5 linear feet) and is comprised of extensive correspondence between the Museum of Art and over 8700 correspondents, with over 3600 correspondents specifically related to art and artists.
Correspondents related to the art world include museum staff, artists, collectors, museums, galleries, dealers, shippers, insurance agencies, art directors, associations, societies, clubs, critics, press, and governments. These exchanges include general requests for information; requests related to the museum's exhibitions, including the International; letters regarding the museum's involvement in the events of other art organizations; loan, sales, and provenance information for specific works of art; and information regarding the events of other art organizations.
The correspondence of the museum's staff provides the greatest insight into understanding the museum's evolution into an international cultural institution. Both directors' correspondence touch on their personal opinions on art, their rationale behind policy decisions, and their understanding of the extent to which the museum's work was dependent on the good relations they maintained in the art world. Additionally, the extensive, opinionated correspondence between Saint-Gaudens' European agents and museum staff during the 1920s and 1930s provide a unique perspective on emerging art trends and the skill, growth, and personalities of individual artists.
The most prolific of the museum staff correspondents include museum directors John Beatty and Homer Saint-Gaudens, Board of Trustees president Samuel Harden Church, assistant director Edward Balken, and European agents Guillaume Lerolle , Ilario Neri, Arnold Palmer, Margaret Palmer, and Charlotte Weidler. Additional prominent staff members include Helen Beatty, Robert Harshe, Caroline Lapsley, Henry Jack Nash, John O'Connor, Charles Ramsey, George Shaw, George Sheers, August Zeller, and Fine Arts Committee members John Caldwell, William Frew, William Hyett, and John Porter.
The most prolific artist correspondents include John White Alexander, George Grey Barnard, Cecilia Beaux, Frank Benson, George de Forest Brush, William Merritt Chase, William Coffin, Bruce Crane, Andre Dauchez, Charles H. Davis, Alfred East, Ben Foster, Daniel Garber, Charles P. Gruppe, John Johansen, Johanna Hailman, John McLure Hamilton, Birge Harrison, Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer, Laura Knight, John la Farge, Gaston la Touche, John Lavery, Henri le Sidaner, Jonas Lie, Hermon A. MacNeil, Antonio Mancini, Gari Melchers, Emile Menard, Henry R. Poore, Edward Redfield, W. Elmer Schofield, Leopold Seyffert, Lucien Simon, Eugene Speicher, Abbott Handerson Thayer, Robert Vonnoh, J. Alden Weir, Irving R. Wiles, and Ignacio Zuloaga. Other artists of note include: Edwin Austen Abbey, George Bellows, Edwin Blashfield, Frank Brangwyn, Mary Cassatt, Kenyon Cox, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Thomas Eakins, William Glackens, Robert Henri, Eastman Johnson, Rockwell Kent, Paul Manship, Henry Ranger, John Singer Sargent, Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz, Edmund Tarbell, James McNeil Whistler, N.C. Wyeth, and Charles Morris Young.
Frequent museum collaborators include the Art Institute of Chicago, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Brooklyn Museum, Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Cleveland Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Detroit Institute of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Saint Louis Museum of Fine Arts, Toledo Museum of Art, and Worcester Art Museum.
Other prolific correspondents include collectors Chauncey Blair, Andrew Carnegie, Charles Lang Freer, George Hearn, Alexander Humphreys, Roy Hunt, Mrs. B.F. Jones, Burton Mansfield, Frank Nicola, Duncan Phillips, John Stevenson, and William Stimmel; dealers and galleries M. Knoedler, William Macbeth, Central Art Gallery, Charles A. Walker, C.W. Kraushaar Art Galleries, Downtown Gallery, Durand-Ruel and Sons, Ehrich Galleries, Ferargil Galleries, Frank Rehn, Frederick Keppel, Haseltine Art Gallery, R.C. Vose Galleries, and W. Scott Thurber Fine Arts; insurance agent Macomber Co.; and shippers Dicksee and Co., J.W. Hampton, P. Navel/R. Lerondelle, Stedman and Wilder, and W.S. Budworth and Son.
Correspondents not specifically related to the contemporary art world include businesses, educational institutions, libraries, and the general public. These exchanges detail the daily work of the museum, including the estimates and work orders of office suppliers, contractors, printers, and etc.; programming and research inquiries of k-12 and college/university institutions; acknowledgements of the receipt of Museum of Art publications; and general public inquiries regarding museum policies, exhibitions, and the permanent collection. Companies and institutions who worked particularly closely with the museum include Alden and Harlow (architects), Detroit Publishing Co., and Tiffany and Co.
Department of Fine Arts (Series 2) consists of art and artist lists, correspondence, memoranda, notes, and reports. These files were begun under John Beatty's tenure and streamlined under Homer Saint-Gaudens' directorship to track activities directly related to the museum's interoffice affairs. File headings continued under Saint-Gaudens focus on art considered and purchased for the permanent collection, employee records, exhibition proposals and loans, Fine Arts Committee minutes, museum programming, museum publications, press releases, requests for images, and requests for general information.
Under Saint-Gaudens, the Fine Arts Committee files contain voluminous impressions of contemporary European artists, which he composed during his annual studio tours of the continent in the early 1920s and late 1930s. These informal reports provide insight into the shaping of the International and include a running commentary on historical events of the time. The Fine Arts Committee files also document the artistic and budgetary compromises that were struck, particularly during the Great Depression and early run-up to World War II.
Exhibitions (Series 3) includes correspondence with collectors, museums, galleries, dealers, shippers, and many of the artists themselves. Additional documents include catalogs, lists, planning notes, and telegrams related to 185 traveling and loan exhibitions held at the Museum of Art from 1901 to 1940. Of these, over 100 are one-artist shows and 82 are group, survey, regional, or topical shows. The one-artist exhibitions tend to showcase contemporary artists of the time. Regional shows focused on American and European art, with two shows featuring the art of Canada and Mexico. Survey themes focused on animals, children, cities, gardens, landscapes, Old Masters, and portraitures. Many of the genre shows venture into art not typically collected by the Museum of Art, including architecture, crafts, engravings, figure studies, graphic arts, illustrations, miniatures, mural decorations, oriental rugs, prints, printed books, sculpture, small reliefs, stained glass, theater models, watercolors, and wood engravings.
The most important shows organized and curated by Museum of Art staff include the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915), American Sculpture Show (1915, 1920), Applied Arts Show (1917), Original Illustrations Show (1921), Mexican Art Show (1929), Garden Club Show (1922), Industrial Art Show (1924), Pittsburgh Artists Show (1935), French Survey Show (1936), English Painting Survey Show (1937), American Paintings, Royal Academy Show (1938), and Survey of American Painting Show (1940).
Important one-artist shows include Abbot Handerson Thayer (1919), George de Forest Brush (1922), Frank W. Benson (1923), Rockwell Kent (1923, 1939), Anders Zorn (1924), John Lavery (1925), Paul Manship (1925), Mary Cassatt (1925), Laura Knight (1925), Edouard Manet (1932), Edward Hopper (1936), Winslow Homer (1922, 1936), Paul Cezanne (1936), Charles Burchfield (1937), and William Glackens (1938).
International (Series 4) is comprised of catalogs, correspondence, art and artist lists, itineraries, jury selection ballots, minutes, notes, and reports related to the planning, logistics, and promotion of the International Exhibition from 1895 to 1940. These documents were originally grouped and filed separately under John Beatty and were more rigorously streamlined under Homer Saint-Gaudens. The folder headings continued under Saint-Gaudens focus on art purchases, artists' invitations, artists' request for information, general exhibition planning, Foreign Advisory Committees, foreign governments, jury reception planning, loan requests, and touring logistics.
Letterpress books (Series 5) consist of 75 volumes that chronologically collect all of the Museum of Art's outgoing correspondence from 1896 to 1917. Volumes 1-8 contain the only copy of outgoing correspondence from 1896 to 1900. Duplicate copies of all outgoing correspondence dating from 1901 to 1917 were filed in Correspondence (Series 1) by museum staff.
Card catalogs (Series 6) also include three sets of catalogs created by the Museum of Art to track the outgoing and incoming correspondence contained in this collection. Set 1 (1895-1906) consists of the original cards. Set 2 (1907-1917) and Set 3 (1918-1940) consists of photocopies of the original cards that were merged together into one contiguous set.
The collection is arranged into six series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1883-1962, (Boxes 1-153, OV 267; 152.5 linear feet)
Series 2: Department of Fine Arts, 1896-1940, (Boxes 153-184, OV 268; 31.6 linear feet)
Series 3: Exhibitions, 1901-1940, (Boxes 184-204; 20 linear feet)
Series 4: International, 1895-1940, (Boxes 204-234, 265-266; 30.2 linear feet)
Series 5: Letterpress Books, 1900-1917, (Boxes 235-251; 17 linear feet)
Series 6: Card Catalogs, 1895-1940, (Box 252-264; 11 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
The Carnegie Institute Museum of Art was established in 1895 by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. One of the first modern contemporary art museums in the United States, its flagship exhibition, the Carnegie International, is recognized as the longest running contemporary exhibition of international art in North America and is the second oldest in the world.
Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) was born in Dumfermline, Scotland and migrated to America with his family in 1848. Often regarded as the second-richest man in history behind John D. Rockerfeller, Carnegie built his industrialist fortunes in the steel industry and spent the remainder of his life in support of major philanthropic projects. By the age of 33, he had developed his personal philosophy of philanthropy, which saw it as the responsibility of the wealthy to foster educational opportunities and disseminate the ideals of high culture among all levels of society. In addition to establishing over 2500 free public libraries, in 1895, he provided the funds to build the Carnegie Institute, located in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Carnegie Institute originally maintained three separate departments under the auspices of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and the Carnegie Museum of Art.
The Carnegie Institute was administered by a Board of Trustees selected by Carnegie, all prominent professional men of Pittsburgh. Within this group, eight men were selected to serve on the Museum of Art's Fine Arts Committee, which was initially granted the final say on gallery affairs. The first Fine Arts Committee was composed of two artists, Alfred Bryan Wall and Joseph Ryan Woodwell, and six businessmen. Among the latter group, John Caldwell, Henry Clay Frick, William Nimick Frew, and David Thompson Watson were also knowledgeable art patrons and collectors. Over time, the Fine Arts Committee's sway over gallery affairs would be measured by the dedication of its various members and tempered by the vision and authority of the Museum's directors, John Beatty and Homer Saint-Gaudens, and the Carnegie Institute Board of Trustees president, Samuel Harden Church.
From 1896 to 1921, John Wesley Beatty (1851-1924) served as the first director of the Museum of Art. A native Pittsburgher and an accomplished silver engraver, illustrator, and painter, Beatty attended the Royal Bavarian Academy in Munich and upon his return to America, made a living as an artist. He also taught at the Pittsburgh School of Design for Women and co-founded a small school of art with fellow local artist George Hetzel. In 1890, while serving as the secretary of the Pittsburgh Art Society, he became the primary organizer of a loan exhibition to be displayed at the opening of the Carnegie Free Library in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. In 1895, when the Carnegie Institute trustees began discussing the possibility of a similar loan exhibition for the opening of their new institution, Beatty was contacted and eventually enlisted to take on the task. Upon the success of that exhibition, he was invited to direct the gallery's affairs and served as the Museum of Art's director until his retirement.
Beatty was an enthusiastic supporter of Impressionism, Realism, Tonalism, Symbolism, and the critically acclaimed contemporary art of the 1890s. He also shared Carnegie's vision for the Museum of Art and believed in the educational and uplifting role aesthetic beauty could provide to the general public. Pursuant to the stated goals of Andrew Carnegie, under Beatty's direction the museum began to purchase important contemporary works to add to its chronological collection of "Old Masters of tomorrow" and almost immediately began planning the first of its Internationals.
The Internationals were viewed as the primary means of showcasing the Museum of Art's selection of the best in contemporary American and European painting, thereby elevating its role as an influential cultural institution on a national and international level. Juried monetary prizes would be awarded to the two best works by American artists, additional awards would be offered to artists of all nationalities, and the Museum of Art's purchases for the year would be selected from the exhibition. Certain artists and collectors were tapped to serve as unofficial representatives of the Museum of Art at home and abroad, among them John White Alexander, William Coffin, I.M. Gaugengigl, Walter Shirlaw, and Edmund Tarbell. Many of the most prominent Pittsburgh art collectors were also asked to lend works to the exhibition. While details of the jury and artist selection process, number of representatives, exhibition show dates, and amount and total number of prizes would change over the years, the planning template was set and would remain the same for future Internationals.
Beatty continued to rely on a stable of close friends and confidantes to help smooth over relations with artists, dealers, shipping agents, and galleries alike, relying heavily on John White Alexander and W. Elmer Schofield, in addition to artists Thomas Shields Clarke, Walter Gay, Robert Henri, Frank D. Millet, and critic Charles M. Kurtz. Over time, many of the artists who served on International juries or Foreign Advisory Committees also became reliable friends and advocates of the International, including Edwin Austen Abbey, Edmond Aman-Jean, Edwin Howland Blashfield, William Merritt Chase, Charles Cottet, Kenyon Cox, Charles Harold Davis, Alfred East, Ben Foster, Charles Hopkinson, John la Farge, Gari Melchers, Leonard Ochtman, Irving R. Wiles, and Robert W. Vonnoh.
From 1896 to 1921, the Museum of Art held twenty-one Internationals, with the only exceptions coming in 1906 (construction of the Hall of Architecture, Hall of Sculpture, and Bruce Galleries), 1915 (deference to the San Francisco Panama-Pacific International), and 1916-1919 (World War I). During these years, the scope and administration of the International slowly expanded, though not without growing pains. At the turn of the century, new modernist styles of art that were appearing in galleries across Europe had not yet entered major American museums and the Carnegie Museum of Art maintained this trend. The museum's generally conservative selection policies, combined with criticism regarding the timing of the exhibition and the jury selection process, led to increasingly tense relations with artists, and were only partially resolved by changes made to the format of the International. In spite of these challenges, the Carnegie International retained its reputation as a preeminent venue for contemporary art and awarded top prizes to John White Alexander, Cecilia Beaux, George W. Bellows, Frank W. Benson, Andre Dauchez, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer, John Lavery, Henri le Sidaner, Edward W. Redfield, W. Elmer Schofield, Edmund C. Tarbell, Abbot Handerson Thayer, Dwight W. Tryon, and J. Alden Weir.
In addition to the International, Carnegie's mission of bringing cultural and educational opportunities to Pittsburgh was a central priority of the museum's daily operations. Beatty cultivated relationships with fellow museum directors, which allowed for the easy co-ordination and planning of traveling exhibitions benefiting the city. The museum developed educational programs for children and adults, including lectures, gallery talks, Saturday morning classes, fine art extension classes, guided tours, and outreach to local schools. As popular Pittsburgh art societies and clubs formed, the museum also provided meeting and exhibition spaces for groups such as the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, the Art Society of Pittsburgh, the Art Students League, the Garden Club of Allegheny County, and the Junior League.
After more than 25 years of service, Beatty made the decision to retire and put out an informal call for candidates. Being the right man at the right time, in 1921, Homer Schiff Saint-Gaudens (1880-1958) became the Museum of Art's second director.
The only child of American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his wife and artist, Augusta Fisher Homer, Saint-Gaudens frequently traveled abroad and grew up in the company of his parents' wide circle of friends, many of them artists, poets, writers, and performers who frequented the Cornish Artists' Colony. More intimate friends of the family included former students, assistants, and colleagues, the architect Stanford White, and successful artist-couples who resided near the family's Cornish, New Hampshire home, among them Louise and Kenyon Cox, Maria and Thomas Dewing, Florence and Everett Shinn, and Emma and Abbott Thayer.
Homer Saint-Gaudens attended the preparatory school Lawrenceville, graduated from Harvard in 1903, married the artist and suffragist Carlota Dolley (1884-1927) in 1905, and remarried to Mary Louise McBride (n.d.-1974) in 1929. He began his professional career as a journalist and worked as assistant editor of The Critic (1903) and managing editor of Metropolitan Magazine (1905). During those years, he was introduced to a number of the Ash Can school artists, wrote articles on contemporary art, and honed his abilities as a writer. In 1907, Saint-Gaudens took a break from professional editing and began a second career as the stage manager for Maude Adams, the most highly paid and successful stage actress of her day, with a yearly income of over one million dollars at the peak of her popularity. Working in theater and as Adams' manager for over ten years, Saint-Gaudens learned the ins and outs of event promotion and logistics, media coverage, and maintaining diplomatic relations through compromise, ideal skills he would later use in organizing the Carnegie Internationals.
With the United States' entry into World War I, Saint-Gaudens served as the chief of the U.S. Army's first camouflage unit and was awarded the Bronze Star. After his discharge, he managed Adams' 1918 final season and simultaneously helped his mother organize a major retrospective of his father's sculptures. While organizing a section of his father's work for the 1921 International, he was invited to step into the position of assistant director of the Carnegie Museum of Art, and was promoted to the directorship upon John Beatty's retirement.
Throughout his tenure, Saint-Gaudens was able to call upon long-standing family friendships with artists and art patrons to the museum's benefit. His connections to the art world can clearly be seen in his first major stand-alone exhibition, the Garden Club Show (1922). In this, he enlisted the aid of Elizabeth Alexander, wife of John White Alexander, and Johanna Hailman, artist and wife of John Hailman, who reached out to their circle of artists and art collecting friends in search of works appropriate for the show. Their efforts, combined with the relationships Beatty had established with museum directors, galleries, and dealers, as well as Saint-Gaudens' own friendships with Kenyon Cox, Thomas Dewing, Barry Faulkner, and Gari Melchers, resulted in an assemblage of 150 paintings of note. Coming immediately upon the heels of the 1922 International, the show was a resounding success. The exhibition's opening attracted over 300 delegates of the Garden Club of America and the entirety of Pittsburgh high society, settling any concerns regarding his leadership abilities.
As director of the Museum of Art, Saint-Gaudens instituted measures intended to streamline the Internationals and improve diplomatic relations with artists. Though the basic format of the juried exhibition remained the same, his solutions to the complaints many artists raised with the artist invitation, art selection, and jury systems reformed the International's reputation at a critical time. Though he was naturally inclined to appreciate the art and artists he had grown up with, Saint-Gaudens understood the immediate necessity of introducing modernist contemporary art into the museum's exhibitions and galleries. He circumvented the conservative Fine Arts Committee's resistance to the accolades of European modernists by choosing the tamest of the new 'radical' works. Eventually, he balanced the Internationals with a mix of conservative, moderate, and advanced works that appealed to a large range of audiences and increased the status and diversity of the Internationals.
To aid in his reformation of the International, Saint-Gaudens formalized a team of European agents who worked year round to scout artists' studios, recommend suitable art and artists, navigate local politics, arrange local transportation and logistics, and maintain cordial relations with artists abroad. In the spring, Saint-Gaudens would travel to Europe to meet with his agents in person, tour the most promising studios, and meet with artists personally. His team was headed by Guillaume Lerolle, who shared Saint-Gaudens' distinction of being the son of a well regarded national artist, Henry Lerolle. Like Saint-Gaudens, Lerolle was able and willing to call upon longstanding family friendships and networks on behalf of the Museum of Art. The other core members of the team were Ilario Neri (Italy), Arnold Palmer (England), Margaret Palmer (Spain), and Charlotte Weidler (Germany).
From 1922 to 1940, the Museum of Art held seventeen Internationals, with the exceptions coming in 1932 (Great Depression) and 1940 (World War II). After a brief period of change, growth, and experimentation in the early 1920s, the museum eventually settled on a routine of planning the Internationals, arranging for traveling exhibitions, and expanding upon the most popular of their educational programs. In addition to those programs put into place under Beatty's tenure, Saint-Gaudens paved the way for a revamped lecture series featuring visiting critics and traveled as a visiting lecturer himself.
During the 1930s, financial difficulties and increasing political tensions in Europe presented ample challenges to the diplomatic skills of Saint-Gaudens and his agents, and they found themselves increasingly forced to navigate through political minefields presented by the fascist ideologies of Germany and Italy, the chaos of the Spanish civil war, and the eventual outbreak of World War II in Europe. In spite of these challenges, under Saint-Gaudens' direction, the museum remained true to Andrew Carnegie's vision. The International was expanded to accept on average over sixty additional works of art, and at its peak, included art from twenty-one countries. Beginning in 1927, top prizes and recognition were awarded to Georges Braque, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Andre Derain, Raoul Dufy, Karl Hofer, Rockwell Kent, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Edouard Vuillard.
Works by Arthur B. Davies, Charles Hawthorne, Edward Hopper, Augustus John, Oskar Kokoschka, Leon Kroll, Ernest Lawson, and William Orpen were added to the museum's permanent collection. And, as under Beatty's tenure, many of the artists selected to serve on the Jury of Award became advocates and friends of the museum, including Emil Carlsen, Anto Carte, Bruce Crane, Charles C. Curran, Daniel Garber, Charles Hopkinson, Laura Knight, Jonas Lie, Julius Olsson, Leopold Seyffert, Lucien Simon, Eugene Speicher, Maurice Sterne, Gardner Symons, Horatio Walker, and Charles H. Woodbury.
The monumental task of establishing the Carnegie Institute Museum of Art and the Carnegie International has left an archival record that is unique and unparalleled in documenting its relations with every aspect of the contemporary art world from the turn of the century through the first forty years of the twentieth century.
The Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art records were loaned for microfilming in 1966 and later donated to the Archives of American Art in 1972. A small addition of corrrespondence was donated in 2017 by Elizabeth Tufts Brown.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
The Carnegie Institute Museum of Art records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
The C. J. (Clarence Joseph) Bulliet papers measure 34.6 linear feet and are dated circa 1888-1959. Biographical materials, correspondence, writings, subject and artist files, printed material, photographs, and artwork document the career of the influential Chicago art critic and writer. The records contain extensive information about art and artists in Chicago and the Midwest from the early to mid-twentieth century.
Scope and Content Note:
The C. J. Bulliet papers measure 34.6 linear feet and are dated circa 1888-1959. Biographical materials, correspondence, writings, subject and artist files, printed material, photographs, and artwork document the career of the influential Chicago art critic and writer. The records contain extensive information about art and artists in Chicago and the Midwest from the early to mid-twentieth century.
Biographical materials, circa 1888-1952, about C. J. Bulliet and his artist wife, Katherine Adams Bulliet, include Adams family genealogy, biographical notes, inventory and notes about Bulliet's art collection, miscellaneous items, and photographs. Photographs include portraits of C. J. Bulliet as a young child, and photographs around the time of his graduation from Indiana University. Other photographs are group shots of Bulliet with Mrs. Bulliet, Millard Sheets, Mr. and Mrs. Peyton Boswell, Jr., James Chapin, the Chicago Daily News staff, and other Chicago art critics.
Correspondence, 1901-1942, documents Bulliet's professional and personal life. Professional correspondence provides a good overview of the art scene, activities, and attitudes in Chicago during the 1930s and 1940s. Many letters from newspaper readers contain both positive and negative reactions to his columns. Personal correspondence consists mainly of letters Bulliet wrote to his wife while on the road with Robert Mantell and his Shakespeare company. Other personal correspondence is with friends and relatives, and includes some letters addressed to Katherine Adams Bulliet.
Writings, 1929-1951, consist of notes, drafts, and final manuscripts of published and unpublished articles and essays, books, fiction and poems, lectures, and reviews by C. J. Bulliet. A small number of manuscripts are by other authors.
Artist files, 1919-1952, document a wide variety of artists from the Renaissance through the mid-twentieth century. Artists represented are American, European, and Asian; of particular interest are files relating to Chicago area artists, both well known and obscure. They consist largely of photographs of works of art and a small number of photographs of artists. A small percentage includes correspondence, notes and drafts of texts by Bulliet, printed material, and a few original prints.
Subject files, 1909-1952, concern topics that interested Bulliet. They consist mainly of photographs and printed material, with a small amount of correspondence.
Printed material, 1909-1959, by Bulliet consists of newspaper articles and columns, books, and reviews of art, books, and music. Items produced by others include books, clippings, museum and art school publications, periodicals, and press releases. Exhibition related items, consisting of announcements, invitations, catalogs, checklists, and prospectuses, are categorized by venues - Chicago and elsewhere.
Art work, 1916-1948, mainly by Chicago area artists, consists of prints, drawings, and a sketchbook, most likely given to Bulliet by the artists themselves.
Series 2: Correspondence, Series 4: Artist Files, Series 5: Subject Files, and Series 7: Artwork are arranged alphabetically. Other series, organized by record type, are arranged chronologically within each category, as noted in the series descriptions/container listing below.
The collection is arranged into 7 series:
Series 1: Biographical Materials, circa 1888-1952 (Box 1; 6 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1901-1952 (Boxes 1-2; 2 linear ft.)
Series 3: Writings, 1929-1951 (Boxes 3-4; 2 linear ft.)
Series 4: Artist Files, 1919-1952 (Boxes 5-24; 20 linear ft.)
Series 5: Subject Files, 1909-1952 (Boxes 25-27, 37; 2.3 linear ft.)
Series 6: Printed Material, 1909-1959 (Boxes 27-34, 36-37; 7.7 linear ft.)
Series 7: Artwork, 1916-1948 (Boxes 35, 38, OV 39; 0.6 linear ft.)
Known for his support of modernism, C. J. Bulliet spent the majority of his long newspaper career in Chicago. Born Clarence Joseph Bulleit in Corydon, Indiana, he studied English, astronomy, and mathematics at Indiana University. After graduating in 1905, he became a member of the Indiana University Total Eclipse Expedition to Spain in its search for a planet within Mercury's orbit. During World War I the spelling to Bulliet was changed to avoid any connection with Germany.
Upon returning to the United States, Bulliet began his newspaper career as a reporter for the Louisville Herald, soon moved to the Indianapolis Star as a police reporter, and eventually was named its drama critic. Between 1912 and 1921, he traveled extensively throughout the country as a press agent for Shakespearean actor Robert B. Mantell. During this period, he published his first book, a biography titled Robert Mantell's Romance. World War I interrupted Mantell's tour for two years, during which time Bulliet was press representative for D. W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation. He returned to the Louisville Herald for two years before moving to Chicago.
In 1923, the Chicago Evening Post established "The Art World Magazine," a weekly tabloid section reporting local, national, and international art news. C.J. Bulliet became the magazine's first (and only) editor. In addition, he served as the paper's drama critic. When the Chicago Evening Post was sold in 1932, becoming the Chicago Daily News, Bulliet was appointed its art critic. Although Bulliet was an experienced reporter, writer, and editor with a broad general knowledge of theater and drama, he had virtually no background in art or art history. An avid reader, he was determined to learn as much as he could, and managed to make himself an expert in a relatively short time. From 1924 until his death in 1952, C. J. Bulliet was the most important art critic in Chicago. His strong support of modernism and the gossipy, entertaining style of his columns made him a popular and controversial figure with great local influence on public opinion, exhibitions, and patronage. In addition to his work on the Chicago newspapers, C. J. Bulliet contributed articles to Art Digest, the New York Times, and other national publications.
Once established as an art editor and critic, C. J. Bulliet began writing extensively on art, and published many books on the subject for general readers. The first, Apples and Madonnas: Emotional Expression in Modern Art (1927), was extremely well-received and remained in print through many editions. Other titles include: Tour of the Exhibition of the Works of Alexander Archipenko (1927), The Courtezan Olympia: An Intimate Survey of Artists and their Mistress-Models (1930), Art Masterpieces: In a Century of Progress Fine Art Exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago (1933), Paintings, An Introduction to Art (1934); The Significant Moderns and Their Pictures (1936), Masterpieces of Italian Art (1939), French Art from David to Matisse: As Set Forth in 20 Masterpieces of the French Exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago (1941), Art Treasures from Vienna (1949), and The Story of Lent in Art (1951). He published books on other subjects, as well. In addition to his 1918 biography of Robert B. Mantell, they are: Venus Castina: Famous Female Impersonators, Celestial and Human (1933) and How Grand Opera Came to Chicago (1940-1941).
The papers were donated to the Archives in 1984 by C. J. Bulliet's son, Lender J. Bulliet. Additional records were given by Rockford College, Rockford, Illinois, in 1987.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
The C. J. Bulliet papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
This collection is primarily the work of one individual, Donald Harvey Sultner, known professionally as Donald Sultner-Welles (1914-1981). The collection forms a written and visual record of Sultner's family, life, and career from 1913-1980. Its major strength is Sultner's photographic documentation of the world during his travels, ca. 1950-1980. Work by other photographers and artists, correspondence, greeting cards, and contemporary memorabilia and ephemera are included, along with fewer than fifty examples of earlier materials, ca. 1790-1900, collected by Sultner.
The entire collection reflects Sultner's lifework and interests. Housed in @ boxes (.W cubic feet), the collection is organized into eleven
series: Personal Papers; Professional Papers; Lecture Materials; Biographical Materials; Transparencies; Photoprints; Photonegatives; Prints, Drawings, Mixed Media; Audio Tapes; Miscellaneous; and Restricted Materials. The arrangement within each series is based as closely as possi-ble on Sultner's own organization of the materials. However, in several instances similar materials were found separated and have been placed together. In addition, obvious filing mistakes and spelling errors have been corrected. The spelling of geographic place names is based on Offi-cial Standard Names prepared by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, Of-fice of Geography, U.S. Department of the Interior. Not all names given by Sultner were found in the gazetteers, so there may be errors.
The bulk of the collection consists of 2-1/4-inch by 2-1/4-inch color transparencies (Series 5). However, the manuscript materials (Series 1-4) provide a detailed complement to the transparencies. For example, from the mid-1950s until the late 1970s, Sultner kept a travel diary (Se-ries 1). Written on the backs of postcards, this stream-of-consciousness journal reflects not only his daily trips, but his impressions of the countries and thoughts on his photography. A juxtaposition of cards with images is especially useful in understanding what Sultner photographed as well as why and how he photographed it. Sultner's professional corre-spondence (Series 2) documents the various types of groups before which he performed and equipment manufacturers dealt with for cameras, projectors, and so on. Notes, drafts, and final lectures (Series 3) present the performance side of Sultner. This material, when viewed with tapes of concerts and slides, begins to recreate the photo-concert as Sultner presented it. Scrapbooks (Series 4), kept by Sultner from the 1940s to the 1980s, present Sultner's life and career in chronological fashion.
The transparency portion of the collection (Series 5), containing over 87,000 images, is especially rich because of its documentation of the countries of the world. People are seen at their daily tasks, such as washing clothes, marketing, shopping, and eating. Cities are documented as they changed over the years. Two areas in particular will be of spe-cial interest to European and Asian researchers. The first is Sultner's USIS Asian tour in 1959. He visited Japan, Java, India, Korea, the Phil-ippines, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. The serene, prewar cities and coun-tryside of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam evince nothing of the devastation to come in the 1960a and 70s.
The second area of interest is Sultner's passion for documenting archi-tecture. As a guest of the German government in 1954, Sultner documented the devastation of World War II and photographed both the reconstruction of bombed buildings and the construction of buildings reflecting "new" postwar architectural styles. In addition to photographing post-WW II styles, throughout his career Sultner documented Palladian, baroque and Rococo architecture. This interest manifested itself in several of his lectures.
A third subject area of interest to Sultner was gardens. Among his first lectures following his USIS tour was "Gardens of the World." Sultner de-veloped this theme into an ongoing commitment to ecology, culminating in a filmstrip, "The Time is Now" (Series 10), prepared for the Hudson River Conservation Society in the 1960s. Carl Carmer, a noted author, wrote the text for the filmstrip. Sultner's taped interviews, lectures, and program music (Series 9) complement the transparencies. During his USIS-sponsored Asian tour in 1959, Sultner recorded impressions of his trip on tape. Interviews with people living in the countries he visited, radio interviews, and his own personal reflections are included. Of particular interest are his "No Harm Asking" interviews in Manila (tape #2), his interview of two French hotel managers in Saigon discussing post-French control conditions (tape #9), and--perhaps the most unusual--his discussion with Erna Hanfstaengl about her personal relationship with Adolf Hitler (tape #107). Scripts for lectures (Series 3) round out the documentation of Sultner's profes-sional work.
Because of the arrangement of the transparencies, it is necessary to check several areas for the same subject. For example, Vietnam images are in the "World" section alphabetically under Vietnam (box 81). Sult-ner also lectured on Vietnam, so there are Vietnamese images in the "framed subjects" (Boxes 137-138). Another example, perhaps more compli-cated, but more common to Sultner, was his distinguishing between images of unidentified "People" and identified "Portraits." Transparency stud ies of human beings will be found under the subseries "People." "Subjects --Portraits," various countries in the subseries "World," and "Lectures." There are also individuals in the black-and-white photoprints (Series 6), and photonegatives (Series 8). The painter and print-maker Charles Shee-ler appears in a number of locations, as does tenor Roland Hayes. Another area of complexity with regard to people concerns the transparencies and negatives. Sultner interfiled his transparencies and negatives of iden-tified individuals. For appropriate storage, these two different formats have been arranged in separate series. Therefore, instead of container lists for the two series, there is a combined alphabetical index to both (pp. 166-206).
Of tangential interest are the photoprints (Series 6), etchings, wood-cuts, and other prints (Series 8) collected by Sultner. One particular subseries of interest contains photographs presented to Sultner by Asian photographers during his 1959 tour. Over 45 images were given to Sultner and represent the standards of camera-club photography in the 1950s. Thesecond subseries consists of over 25 prints by the Italian-American art-ist Luigi Lucioni (1900- ). For further information on this artist,see The Etchings of Luigi Lucioni, -A Catalogue Raisonne', by Stuart P.Embury (Washington, 1984). Lucioni also painted Sultner's portrait in1952 and the "People" section of the transparencies contains a number of images of Lucioni at work. Another significant category is the Japanese prints, including two by a major nineteenth-century artist, Ando Hiro-shige (1797-1858).
Series 11 contains restricted letters to Sultner from friends. These materials will become available to the public in the year 2031.
Twenty-three document boxes of clippings and magazine articles found in standard magazines and newspapers (e.g., Time, Life, Look, Modern Ma-turity, etc.) were destroyed. These materials represented general arti--cles being published on a number of topics during Sultner's lifetime. A list of subject file headings Sultner used is with the manuscript mate-rials.
A second grouping of materials destroyed were nine filing cabinet drawers of travel material--maps, guide books, and other tourist pamphlets used by Sultner on his travels. This material, as with the first group of ma-terial, was of the common variety easily found. Any books or pamphlets found with the clippings were sorted out and sent to Smithsonian Institu-tion Libraries. Other library material that came in with the estate was sent immediately to the library and disposed of through their channels. Any office equipment, such as filing cabinets and supplies, etc., has been put to use in the National Museum of American History.
Series 1: Personal Papers, 1923-1981
Series 2: Professional Papers, 1954-1980
Series 3: Lecture Materials, 1952-1980
Series 4: Biographical Materials, 1954-1980
Series 5: Transparencies, 1947-1980
Series 6: Photoprints, 1913-ca. 1980
Series 7: Photonegatives, 1929-1981
Series 8: Prints, Drawings, Mixed Media, ca. 1790-1979
Series 9: Audio Tapes, 1947-1980
Series 10: Miscellaneous, 1947-1980
Biographical / Historical:
Donald Harvey Sultner was bom in York, Pennsylvania, on April 13, 1914, the son of Lillian May Arnold Sultner and Harvey A. Sultner. In 1923 Sultner attended the Lewis Institute in Detroit, Michigan, to overcome a speech impediment. He entered the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1932 and graduated in 1936. Sultner studied merchandising and sang in the glee club, then under the direction of composer Harl MacDonald. Sultner, a baritone, continued his interest in music and studied voice with Reinald Werrenrath and with Florence Benedict and Bruce Benjamin in New York City. In the late 1940s and early 1950s he appeared in concert with accompanists at schools, clubs, and resort hotels along the East Coast.
It appears that photography was always an important part of Sultner's life. Using a small format (120) camera, he recorded his vacation travels around the United States and Canada, parties, and his family. While living in New York, Sultner continued photographing friends and family and began photographing the famous people he encountered on his concert tours. In the early 1950s he began taking 2-1/4-inch by 2-1/4-inch color transparencies (slides) of landscapes and architecture as he traveled giving concerts.
Sultner, who had taken the stage name of "Sultner-Welles," began what was to be his lifework as a professional "photo-lecturer" in 1952. He illustrated his talks on nature, art, architecture, and the environment with his color slides. In 1954 Sultner toured West Germany as a guest of the Bonn government, and in 1959 he lectured in Asia under the auspices of the U.S. State Department. He was dubbed the "camera ambassador." Constantly adding new material to his collection of slides, Sultner traveled extensively throughout the United States, speaking before garden clubs, cultural organi-zations, and schools. He also appeared aboard various ships of the Holland-America line during a number of cruises abroad.
Sultner had established his performance style by the early 1960s. He expanded his lectures to include a combination of art, words, and music. The expanded presentation resulted in the "photo-concert," a unique synthesis of light and sound that Sultner frequently per-formed with a symphony orchestra. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra commissioned "Concertino for Camera and Orchestra" by Eric Knight with Sultner in mind. The world premiere was in Baltimore in March 1979. While he spoke on many art, garden, and architectural topics, Sultner specialized in subjects relating to the baroque and rococo periods and Palladian architecture.
Sultner died of cancer in York, Pennsylvania, on March 25, 1981, at the age of 67.
1914 -- April 13, born York, Pennsylvania.
1929 -- In Detroit at Lewis Institute to overcome a speech impediment.
1932 -- To University of Pennsylvania.
1935 -- Summer trip to Roanoke (VA), Picketts, Hershey (PA); fall trip to New England for fraternity (AXP) convention.
1936 -- Spring glee club trip; graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; summer trips to Newport News (VA), northern trip to Canada, Picketts (PA).
1937 -- Fall trip to Williamsburg (VA), Duke University (NC); Sultner family begins building "Glen Hill" (Dover, PA).
1938 -- Summer at home, and Picketts (PA), Camp Pratt.
1939 -- Spring trip to Washington, D.C.; September trip to The Homestead (WV), Hot Springs (WV), Virginia; Lake Mohonk (NY).
1940 -- Summer trip to New Orleans, Blowing Rock (NC); winter trip to Skytop Club (NY); fall trip to Atlantic City (NJ), Philadelphia (PA), Annapolis (MD).
1941 -- Winter 1941-42 appearance in "Hit the Deck." Lake Mohonk (NY) with Ted Walstrum (Sept. 22-23); Skytop Club (NY) (February); summer trip to Canada, Lake Chazy (NY) (Aug. 17-23).
1942 -- Spring in Atlantic City (NJ); summer to Buck Hill Falls, Lakes Chazy and Mohonk.
1943 -- Summer trip to Mohonk (NY).
1944 -- Summer: To Toronto (Ontario), Muskoka Lake, Bigwin Island, Montreal (Quebec), Mohonk (NY).
1946 -- To Mohonk (NY), Ogunquit (ME), Old Saybrook (CT), Nantucket (RI).
1947 -- Singing tour of Canada and New England; winter-spring tour to Georgia and Florida.
1948 -- To Florida and Nassau, Feb.-Mar., Vermont, July-Aug.; Nassau-Havana-Miami-Bermuda, October.
1949 -- Singing tour of North and South Carolina.
1950 -- Summer trip to South.
1951 -- To District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, [New Jersey?], New York, Vermont.
1952 -- January 9: first public photo-concert, Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts, Philadelphia; trips to Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont.
1953 -- To Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont.
1954 -- Guest of German government for a study tour in the fall. To District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia.
1955 -- To Holland; Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia.
1956 -- To California, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia.
1957 -- Holland-America Cruise to Germany, Austria, Italy. To Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia.
1958 -- Holland-America Cruises to Germany, Austria, Holland, Italy, Switzerland. To Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota., Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Wisconsin.
1959 -- United States Information Service (USIS)-sponsored tour of Asia: Burma, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaya, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam. Also visited Austria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Greece, Iran, Italy, Spain; Alaska, California, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania.
1960 -- Holland-America Cruise to Austria, Belgium, Caribbean, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Morocco. To Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin.
1961 -- To Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland; Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode.Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin.
1962 -- Portfolio, "Autumn in Vermont," with introduction by Carl Carmer, published in Autumn issue of Vermont Life. Holland-America Cruise to Denmark, England, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Sweden. To Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia.
1963 -- Holland-America Cruise to Caribbean, Canada, Sweden, Thailand. To Alabama, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, N;w York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington.
1964 -- Holland-America Cruise to Germany, Canada, England, Holland, Wales. To Delaware, District of Columbia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia.
1965 -- Holland-America Cruise to Austria, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Holland, Portugal, Wales. To Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Indiana, Kentucky, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia.
1966 -- Holland-America Cruise to Caribbean, Germany, France, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland. To New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia.
1967 -- Holland-America Cruise to Caribbean, Austria, Denmark, England, Germany, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, Wales. To Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia.
1968 -- To Germany; Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia.
1969 -- To England, France, Germany, Holland, Switzerland; Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia.
1970 -- Holland-America Cruise to Caribbean, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden. To Alabama, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia.
1971 -- Holland-America Cruise to Caribbean, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Portugal, Sweden. To Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania.
1972 -- Holland-America Cruise to Asia, Pacific, Caribbean, Africa, Austria, Italy, Japan, Thailand, Turkey. To California, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia.
1973 -- Holland-America Cruise to Austria, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Iceland, Sweden. To California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont.
1974 -- To Germany, Switzerland; California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia.
1975 -- To Austria; California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia.
1976 -- To Canada; Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah.
1977 -- To Canada, Germany; New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia.
1978 -- To Scotland; Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina.
1979 -- To England; Florida.
1980 -- To Florida.
1981 -- March 25: Sultner dies of cancer, York, Pennsylania.
The Donald H. Sultner-Welles Collection, ca. 1790-1981, came to the National Museum of American History in 1982 from the estate of Mr. Sultner. The collection was created by Sultner over his adult life and represents one of the most extensive collections of color transparencies created by one individual and held in a public repository. Sultner's emphasis was on world culture. He took the majority of his photographs in the eastern United States, western Europe, and Asia. Gardens, architecture, and people are the three major subject areas represented in the collection. Of additional interest are Sultner's taped impressions of his 1959 United States Information Service (USIS)-sponsored Asian tour. The collection occupies 309 boxes and covers more than 83 cubic feet.
The Donald H. Sultner-Welles Collection is open to researchers in the Archives Center, third floor east, of the National Museum of American History, between 12th and 14th Streets, on Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20560. The Archives Center is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Written and telephone (202/357-3270) inquiries are welcome and researchers are encouraged to contact the Archives Center before their arrival. The FAX number is 202/786-2453.
This is the eleventh in a series of occasional guides to collections in the Archives Center. Finding aids to other collections are available. The Guide to Manuscript Collections in the National Museum of History and Technology (1978) and an updated compilation contain brief descriptions of all archival holdings in the Museum. All current Archives Center holdings are available for search on the Smithsonian Institution Bibliographic Information System (SIBIS), an online database.
References in notebook to tapes not located:
5/1960 Laddsl--Pasadena, CA (Thornton Ladd, Helen Peabody, me, Mrs. Ladd
Frontispiece: Portrait of Donald Harvey Sultner-Welles by Ludwig Harren, Nuremberg, Germany, May, 1957. Series 6: Photo¬prints, box 6; Series 7: Photonegatives, 700.1.
vii Donald Sultner-Welles inspecting slides at his 2101 E. Market Street apartment. Photograph by Gretchen H. Goughnour, York, Pennsylvania, December 1958. Series 6: Photoprints, box 6, folder 5; Series 7: Photonegatives, Box 11, 696.1.
Sultner-Welles with Rollei, Kobe, Japan, April 1959. Press photograph, photographer unknown. Series 7: Photonegatives, 687.1.
10 Americana by the Roadside" (boy with soda, Beech Creek, North Carolina). Series 5, Subseries 5: Subjects, Box 102: 6.3.
20 "Americana in Europe" (sign: "To the Elephant Kraal," South Africa). Series 5, Subseries 5: Subjects, Box 102: 6.33.
39 North Miami Beach Motel, Florida, February 1960. Series 5, Subseries 1: United States, Box 8: 9.11. SI Neg. 87-326, Videodisc Frame 2942.
40 Beech Creek, North Carolina (portrait of elderly woman), June 1956. Series 5, Subseries 1: United States, Box 28: 12.10. SI Neg. 87-327, Videodisc Frame 10156.
97 Brookgreen Sculpture Garden, South Carolina, ca. 1963. Series 5, Subseries 1: United States, Box 35.35.11. SI Neg. 87-328; Videodisc Frame 12747.
98 "Six Irrigation Paddlers Outside Hue," South Vietnam, 1959. Series 5, Subseries 2: World, Box 81: 35.11; also Series 7: Photonegatives, 658.1 (copy neg.). Videodisc Frame 27960.
151 Alkmaar Cheese Market, The Netherlands, September 1969. Series 5, Subseries 2: World, Box 70: 17.9. SI Neg. 87-329; not shown on videodisc.
152 African Cruise: Victoria Falls, Rhodesia, February 1972. Series 5, Subseries 3: Cruises, Box 83: 9.12. SI Neg. 87-330, Videodisc Frame 28344.
166 Il Galero, Italy, July 1966. Series 5, Subseries 4: European Architectural Styles, Box 99: 48.4. SI neg. 87-331.
179 "Baroque--Germany: Alterding," July 1965. Series 5, Subseries 4: European Architectural Styles, Box 94: 1.8. SI Neg. 87-332, Videodisc Frame 31310.
180 Design Elements, Hotel Fontainebleau, New Orleans,, Louisiana, April, 1961. Series 5, Subseries 5: Subjects, Box 106: 23.2. SI Neg. 87-333, Videodisc Frame 34912.
192 Charles Sheeler, ca. 1957-1965. Series 5, Subseries 9: Lectures, Box 169: 49.2. SI Neg. 87-334. Videodisc Frame 52713.
276 Villa Barbaro, Maser, Treviso, Italy. Series 7. Photonegatives, 715.1. SI Neg. 87-335.
281 "Water--Economics," Storm-Damaged Beach House. Series 5, Subseries 8: Notecard Transparencies, Box 155: 22.12. SI Neg. 87-336.
282 Market in Madeira. Series 5, Subseries 9: Lectures, Box 161: 48.12. SI Neg. 87-337, Videodisc Frame 48435.
298 Children (South Carolina?). Series 5, Subseries 9: Lectures, Box 104: 17.2. SI Neg. 87-338.
311 Goethe Statue, Chicago, Illinois. Series 7: Photonegatives, 678.1.
316 Feeding Gulls, Florida. Series 7. Photonegatives, 684.1.
331 Montage for Sultner's concerts. Series 8: Prints, Drawings, Mixed Media, filing case. Series 7: Photonegatives, 740.1.
332 Sultner Showing Slides to Garden Club, Caterpillar Tractor Co. Auditorium, Dec. 1958. Photograph by Gretchen H. Goughnour, York, Penn. Series 7: Photonegatives, 690.1.
340 Montage for Sultner's concerts. Series 8: Prints, Drawings, Mixed Media, filing case. Series 7: Photonegatives, 742.1.
341 Children, Ohio (boy in box in wagon) Series 5, Subseries 9: Lectures, Box 165: 13.2; Series 7: Photonegatives, 667.4 (copy neg.)
352 Publicity/brochure photograph. Drinking cup and water, Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania. Series 7: Photonegatives, 651.1.
353 Publicity/brochure photograph, Milles Gardens, Stockholm, Sweden. Series 7: Photonegatives, 659.1.
Collection is open for research.
A small number of letters and photographs are restricted until the year 2031. Identification list in box.
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.
This collection consists of approximately 2.84 cubic feet of airline menus and other ephemera gathered by Jean Grosdidier de Matons, circa 1963 to 2006.
This collection includes material in multiple languages.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of approximately 2.84 cubic feet of airline menus gathered by Jean Grosdidier de Matons, circa 1963 to 2006. Most of the menus are either for business class or first class service. There are menus from the following airlines: Air Afrique (France); Air France (France); Air India (India); Air Madagascar (Madagascar); Air Mauritius (Republic of Mauritius); Alitalia (Italy); Austrian Airlines (Austria); British Airways (UK); British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) (UK); Continental Airways/Airlines (USA); Iran Air (Iran); Japan Air Lines (JAL) (Japan); Kenya Airways (Kenya); KLM (Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij) (Netherlands); Kuwait Airways (Kuwait); Lufthansa (Germany); Middle East Airlines (MEA) (Air Liban) (Lebanon); Pan American Airways (Pan Am) (USA); Royal Air Maroc (Morocco); SABENA (Belgium); Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS); Singapore Airlines (Singapore); South African Airways (SAA); Spanair (Spain); SwissAir (Switzerland); Thai Airways International (Thailand); Trans World Airlines (TWA) (USA); Tunis Air (Tunisia); Union Transports Aeriens (UTA) (France); and United Air Lines (USA). There are also a few miscellaneous items such as travel brochures and airline stationery.
This collection is in original order, with materials organized by airline.
Biographical / Historical:
Jean Grosdidier de Matons (d. 2017) joined Force Maritime de l'Aéronautique Navale (French Naval Aviation) in August 1944 as an officer candidate and completed training with the Royal Air Force in Great Britain. Grosdidier de Matons served as a navigation officer in French West Africa before volunteering for service in French Indochina from 1948-1951. Grosdidier de Matons then served as a submarine officer with the French Mediterranean Fleet until 1953. Grosdidier de Matons served as a harbor officer and later harbor master at various ports in Africa until 1968 when he went for training at the Planning Center for Economic and Technical Cooperation in Paris, France which lead to an assignment at the World Bank where he eventually was named Division Chief for Transports in Europe-Middle East and North Africa. After retiring from the World Bank in 1987, Grosdidier de Matons founded his own international consulting company. Grosdidier de Matons was also a Doctor of Law and the author of numerous works on legal and business matters.
Jean Grosdidier de Matons, Gift, 2017, additional material received in 2019, NASM.2018.0003.
No restrictions on access
The papers of art conservator and historian, engineer, and professor Daniel Varney Thompson (1902-1980) are dated 1848-1979, with the bulk of the material dated 1923-1979. The collection measures 10.1 linear feet and consists of biographical material, correspondence, subject files, writings, artwork, printed material, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of art conservator and historian, professor, engineer, and writer Daniel Varney Thompson (1902-1980) are dated 1848-1979, with the bulk of the material dated 1923-1979. The collection measures 10.1 linear feet and consists of biographical material, correspondence, subject files, writings, artwork, printed material, and photographs.
Biographical information includes certificates and diplomas, passports, and wills. Correspondence documents Daniel Varney Thompson's personal and professional life. Personal correspondence centers heavily on family members including his brother, the composer Randall Thompson. Professional correspondence concerns Thompson's academic career, research, writing, and work as a technical consultant and engineer. Among the correspondents are colleagues from Harvard, Yale, the Courtauld Institute, publishers, and academic and technical journals, in addition to corporate clients.
Subject files are comprised of varying correspondence, printed matter, photographs, notes and writings relating to Thompson's areas of interest. Personal and professional subject files include many relating to his research interests and engineering consulting projects. Of particular interest are numerous letters from Bernard Berenson. There is also correspondence with Belle da Costa Greene, as well as files concerning the Kermes beetle (a source of crimson dyes in the middle ages). Food and gardening subject files reflect Thompson's career as a writer and columnist on these subjects.
Writings consist mainly of manuscripts, drafts, research and miscellaneous notes; also included are diaries, poems, miscellaneous items, and a music score. Daniel Varney Thompson's personal and professional writings include two diaries, poems, and student writings. Most of his extant writings are on art-related topics, science and technology. Among the notes is an index to medieval manuscripts on craftsmanship in major European libraries was compiled by Thompson in 1935. His work on the subject remains unpublished and his notes are extremely valuable since some of the materials noted were lost in World War II. Scientific and technical notebooks, along with various wirings and reports, document projects undertaken as a technical consultant and engineer. The food and gardening writings are extensive and consist of manuscripts and notes for articles and columns, and for a book-length compilation of these writings. Among the writings by other authors are diaries of his mother and wife, and a music score by his brother, Randall Thompson.
Artwork by Daniel Varney Thompson, Mary Sargent McKean, and Henry Winslow consists of drawings, prints, watercolors, a sketchbook, and an oil painting. Printed material includes articles and book reviews by Daniel Varney Thompson, and items about or mentioning him and his family. Also found are articles and books about art, history, medieval studies, science and technology, and food and gardening topics.
Photographs are of artwork, people, places and miscellaneous subjects. Images of people are mainly Thompson and family members.
The collection is arranged as 7 series.
Series 1: Biographical Information, 1848-1970s (Box 1, OV 11-12; 0.3 linear ft.)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1914-1979 (Boxes 1-3; 2.0 linear ft.)
Series 3: Subject Files, 1925-1979 (Boxes 3-6; 3.0 linear ft.)
Series 4: Writings, 1907-1970s (Boxes 6-9; 2.85 linear ft.)
Series 5: Artwork, 1923-1934 (Box 9, OV 13; 5 folders)
Series 6: Printed Material, 1917-1979 (Box 9; 0.75 linear ft.)
Series 7: Photographs, circa 1900-1972 (Box 10; 0.4 linear ft.)
Daniel Varney Thompson (1902-1980) was an art conservator and historian, professor, engineer, and writer. A noted authority on medieval painting, Varney lived and worked primarily in the Boston area and London.
Daniel Varney Thompson was born in New Jersey in 1902. He was the son of Grace Randall Thompson and Daniel Varney Thompson, Sr., a classics teacher at the Lawrenceville School and later headmaster of Boston Latin School. American composer Randall Thompson was his older brother. Following family tradition, Thompson attended Harvard, earning the A.B. in 1922 and A.M. in 1926, focusing his attention on fine arts, physical chemistry, and literature. Daniel V. Thompson stopped using the designation Jr. after his father's death in 1932.
Between 1922 and 1925 Thompson was employed in the Fogg Museum's laboratory devoted to analyzing art materials for the purposes of detecting forgeries, preserving works of art, and devising methods to aid working artists. During this period, Thompson went to Italy as a Sheldon Fellow in Fine Arts, to learn medieval fresco painting techniques from Edward W. Forbes, Director of the Fogg Museum. He also had an opportunity to study medieval and Renaissance painting techniques with Inicio Federico Joni, and while in Italy began life-long friendships with the Forbes family and Bernard Berenson. Thompson served as a technical advisor to the 1924-1925 Second Harvard China Expedition; he traveled to China by way of India, where he studied wall paintings in caves at Ajanta and Elura and researched newly discovered scrolls.
Daniel Varney Thompson was on the faculty of Yale from 1926-1933, where he taught art history, and tempera painting courses, and laid the foundation for the Department of Fine Arts when Yale became a university in 1932. During his time at Yale, Thompson married Cecile [Cecily] de Luze Simonds.
When The American Council of Learned Societies awarded Thompson a research fellowship for the academic year 1933/34, he returned to Europe and surveyed major libraries for materials concerning the history of technology of the arts. Thompson was then invited to be Professor of the History of Technology at the University of London. He was on the faculty from 1934-1946, and also served as research and technical advisor, developing a laboratory at the Courtauld Institute for analysis of art materials.
During World War II, the Courtauld's laboratory - which had facilities for emission, absorption, and x-ray spectrography - was offered to the Ministry of Aircraft Production. To avoid compromising the University's tax-free status, Thompson formed and served as managing director of Daniel Varney Limited, a private company which leased the premises and equipment. From 1940 to 1945, the company was operated in the name of the Courtauld Institute, employing 200 people in tool making, gauge making, fine mechanisms, and development and production of optics instruments. After the war, Daniel Varney Limited shifted its interests to high vacuum diffusion pumps, gas manipulation, and glassblowing.
Upon returning to the United States in 1947, Thompson settled in the Boston area, becoming a technical consultant. He worked on projects for E-Z Mills, Inc., Sylvania Eloctronics, Comstock & Wescott, Inc., and other corporations. He was chief engineer of Jarrell-Ash Co., 1953-1955, redesigning optical instruments, spectrography, and schlieren systems. Between 1955 and 1957, Thompson served as Vice President of Swett & Sibley, involved with the design and development of optical instruments, scanning spectrometers, and densistometers. He then moved to Avco Corporation, where for the next decade he was a Senior Staff Consultant working on optical design in rocket instrumentation. Thompson retired from his engineering career in 1967.
Daniel V. Thompson wrote and published extensively. Art-related writings include translations and a monograph published by Yale University Press, and numerous articles and reviews. Translations are: Cennino Cennini's Il Libro dell'Arte (3 volumes: Text of Il Libro dell'Arte, 1932; The Craftsman's Handbook, 1933; and The Practice of Tempera Painting, 1936), and An Anonymous Fourteenth Century Treatise ( De arte illuminadi) (with his student George Heard Hamilton), 1936. A monograph, The Materials and Techniques of Medieval Painting (foreword by Bernard Berenson) appeared in 1936.
Most of Thompson's scientific and technical writings are unpublished and relate to projects for which he served as a consulting engineer.
Soon after retiring, Thompson began a new career that he continued for the remainder of his life. A serious cook and long-time gardener, he began writing about these topics, producing weekly columns that were published by newspapers from Maine to Chicago and contributing articles to Gourmet, Horticulture, and similar periodicals. Thompson also lectured to garden clubs and judged garden and flower competitions.
Daniel Varney Thompson died on January 4, 1980, following an automobile accident in Malaga, Spain.
Also found in the Archives of American Art are oral history interviews conducted with Daniel V. Thompson by Robert Brown, September 25, 1974-November 2, 1976. There are also three letters from Thompson to his sister-in-law Edith Simonds Moore.
The Daniel Varney Thompson papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in increments between 1974-1981 by Mr. Thompson and his estate.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
The Daniel Varney Thompson papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
The papers of painter and illustrator W. Langdon Kihn measure approximately 8.5 linear feet and date from 1904-1990, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1904-1957. Papers document Kihn's career and travels associated with his interests in documenting the native American tribal nations of the United States and Canada in portraiture and writings. Found here are biographical materials, voluminous correspondence, memoirs and writings, one travel diary, printed material, financial records, three sketchbooks, sketches, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter and illustrator W. Langdon Kihn measure approximately 8.5 linear feet and date from 1904-1990, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1904-1957. Papers document Kihn's career and travels associated with his interests in documenting the native American tribal nations of the United States and Canada in portraiture and writings. Found here are biographical material, voluminous correspondence, memoirs and writings, one travel diary, printed material, financial records, three sketchbooks, sketches, and photographs.
Biographical materials include address books, membership cards, exhibition and price lists, legal and travel documents, as well as biographical notes. Additional biographical sketches are found in the Writings and Notes series.
Correspondence is the largest series in the collection, almost half of the papers. In addition to letters to W. Langdon Kihn, this series include both originals and drafts of his outgoing letters; letters to his wife Helen from friends; third party business correspondence between his father, Alfred Kihn, and various parties undertaken on his son's behalf; and third party correspondence addressed to his friend and colleague, the Canadian ethnographer, Marius Barbeau. In addition to Barbeau, significant correspondents include Constance Lindsay Skinner, Chester and Maud Dale, Sir Henry Wellcome, Pierre and Marie "May" Lecompte du Noüy, and Reginald and Gladys Laubin. Although there is little correspondence with other artists, those represented with cards and letters in this collection include Boris Artzybasheff, Maynard Dixon, Olin Dows, Thornton Oakley, and Kihn's summer art school partner, Gus Wiggins. Correspondence with Franklin L. Fisher, Chief of National Geographic Magazine's Illustrated Division and Matthew W. Striling, Chief of the Bureau of American Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution dominate the period spanning from 1935 - 1952, the years of Kihn's close association with the National Geographic Society.
Writings and notes includes manuscripts and typescripts of articles, poems, lectures, memoirs, and other writings by Kihn and others. There is one travel diary dated circa 1924-1925, and numerous writings about Kihn's travels and documentation of native American Indians.
Printed materials include exhibition catalogs, travel brochures, and magazine and newspaper clippings. Also found here are copies of Kihn's illustrations for books by other authors, including Beaver, Kings and Cabins, by Constance Lindsay Skinner, as well as proofs from the National Geographic series on American Indians arranged by geographic location. Financial records consist of invoices and receipts related to Kihn's artwork, traveling, and exhibitions.
Three sketchbooks and loose sketches include illustrated field notes and other drawings that document Kihn's travels and of native Americans. Photographs are of Kihn, and of Kihn at work. There are also photographs of Kihn's artwork.
The collection is arranged into 7 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1916-1957 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)
Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1904-1959 (Boxes 1-5; 4.0 linear feet)
Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1920-1990 (Box 5-6; 1.0 linear feet)
Series 4: Printed Material, circa 1920-1957 (Boxes 6-8, OV 10; 2.2 linear feet)
Series 5: Financial Records, 1920-1955 (Box 8; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 6: Sketchbooks and Sketches, circa 1922-1955 (Boxes 8-9, OV 10; 0.5 linear feet)
Series 7: Photographs, circa 1920-1955 (Box 9; 5 folders)
Born in Brooklyn, New York, W. (Wilfred) Langdon Kihn (1898-1959) is best known for his portraits of American Indians and illustrations of their history, culture and rapidly disappearing way of life. In 1919, Kihn joined his art teacher Winold Reiss on a trip to the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana where he completed his first series of portraits. This marked the beginning of his lifelong career of documenting the tribal nations of the United States and Canada. Through commissions from Canadian and American Railroad companies, Kihn spent much of the 1920s traversing both the United States and Northwest Canada where he had the opportunity to record the members and lives of various tribes. During this period, his paintings also traveled the country in a one man exhibition of his American Indian portraits, which was arranged by the Brooklyn Museum, and traveled to about 40 institutions in the United States. However his largest and best known commission was a project to research and paint North American Indians for serial publication in National Geographic. Kihn received the commission in 1935 and his association with the organization spanned two decades, culminating in the 1955 exhibition of his work at the National Geographic Museum, Washington, D.C, and the publication Indians of the Americas, with copius illustrations derived from Kihn's paintings and drawings.
In addition to his travels and work in North America, Kihn enjoyed a brief stint between 1929-1932 painting in France and Spain. Upon his return he focused upon obtaining commercial work and enjoyed success as an illustrator, whose work was featured in Beaver, Kings and Cabins (1933) and Flat Tail (1935), among other books. Kihn also wrote articles about his travels; amateur painters, whom he specialized in teaching; and American Indian legends and tribal cultures. Between 1948-1951 he was a partner in the Guy Wiggins-W. Langdon Kihn Art School in Essex, Connecticut. He married Helen Butler in 1920 and in between their travels the couple eventually settled in East Haddam, Connecticut. W. Langdon Kihn died in 1957.
Helen Kihn, W. Langdon Kihn's widow, donated the bulk of the collection in 1959. In 1994 Phyllis Kihn, the artist's daughter, donated pages 1-8 of Kihn's original manuscript of his memoirs and a transcript of the complete memoirs.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
The W. Langdon Kihn papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
The Cleve Gray papers, 1933-2005, measure 9.2 linear feet. Papers include biographical material, alphabetical files, writings, artwork, audio/visual records, artifacts, printed material, and photographs. Extensive alphabetical files contain personal and professional correspondence as well as subject files relating to projects and interests. Especially well-documented are: Gray's involvement with the Vietnam protest movement; and Threnody, his best-known work composed of fourteen large panels lamenting the dead of both sides sides in Vietnam, commissioned by the Neuberger Museum of Art.
Scope and Content Note:
The Cleve Gray papers, 1933-2005, measure 9.2 linear feet. Papers include biographical material, alphabetical files, writings, artwork, audio/visual records, artifacts, printed material, and photographs. Extensive alphabetical files contain personal and professional correspondence as well as subject files relating to projects and interests. Especially well-documented are: Gray's involvement with the Vietnam movement; and Threnody, his best-known work composed of fourteen large panels lamenting the dead of both sides sides in Vietnam, commissioned by the Neuberger Museum of Art.
Among the biographical material are award and membership certificates, biographical notes, and personal documentation.
The alphabetical files contain Cleve Gray's personal and professional correspondence, as well as subject files relating to projects and interests. Correspondence is with friends and family, colleagues, publishers, museum curators and directors, art dealers, collectors, and fans. Among the correspondents of note are: Jacques Barzun, James E. Davis, Naum Gabo, Louise N. Grace, Hans and Fridel Richter, and Jacques and Gaby Villon. Other substantial correspondence includes: Berry-Hill Galleries, Betty Parsons Gallery, Connecticut Commission on the Arts, Jacques Seligmann and Co., Neuberger Museum of Art, Pratt Institute, Princeton University, and Rhode Island School of Design. Subject files mostly consist of correspondence, but include printed material and some photographs. Among the subject files are: Art Collection of Cleve and Francine Gray, Artist-Dealer Consignments and Visual Artists' Rights Act of 1989, Artists' Tax Equity Act of 1979, Promised Gifts to Museums, Threnody, Vestments, and Vietnam Protest. Of particular interest are files relating to the Estate of Hans Richter (Cleve Gray, executor), and Gray's research correspondence and illustrations for his Cosmopolitan article "Women-Leaders of Modern Art."
Writings are manuscripts and drafts, research materials, notes, and miscellaneous writings by Cleve Gray and other authors. Those by Gray include articles and catalog introductions on a wide range of art-related topics, as well as book and exhibition reviews. Also found are a book proposal, texts and notes for lectures and talks, miscellaneous notes, poems, political statements, and student papers. Of particular interest are autobiographical notes in the form of a chronology that his biographer, Nicholas Fox Weber, cited as an "autochronology."
Among the writings by other authors are pieces about Cleve Gray including Nicholas Fox Weber's manuscript Cleve Gray. A significant amount of material relates to three books edited by Gray: David Smith by David Smith: Sculpture and Writings, Hans Richter, and John Marin. Research material survives for an unpublished volume, Naum Gabo. Also included are notes relating to his translation of A l'Infinitif by Marcel Duchamp. Jane Daggett Dillenberger is represented by a lecture, "The Resurrection in Art." The remaining items by other authors are unsigned; of particular interest is a small notebook of reminiscences and notes about Jackson Pollock.
Artwork by Cleve Gray consists mostly drawings and sketches, and a small number of paintings, prints, and watercolors. Works by other artists consist are an unsigned mobile of paper cut-outs, possibly by Alexander Calder, and a pencil drawing signed Dick (probably Richard Avedon).
Audio recordings are a radio broadcast featuring Cleve Gray, several lectures by Gray on John Marin, and a lecture titled "Meaning in the Visual Arts." Other recordings are of Hans Richter and an interview with Jimmy Ernst conducted by Francine du Plessix Gray. Also found is a videocassette of "Glenville School Students at SUNY (Lincoln Center Activity)."
Artifacts are a Chinese scroll representative of those that hung in Cleve Gray's studio, two of his paintbrushes, Aberdeen-Angus Breeders' Association blue ribbon, and Neuberger Museum of Art Lifetime Achievement Award.
The vast majority of printed material - articles, clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, reproductions of art work, etc. - are about or by Cleve Gray. Miscellaneous items and publications mentioning Gray consist of annual reports, brochures, calendars, newsletters, programs, etc. Clippings about Vietnam and Vietnam protest memorabilia reflect his passionate involvement in the anti-war movement; a small number of these items mention Gray or were written by him.
Photographs are of artwork, events, people, places, and miscellaneous subjects. Most of the art work appearing in the photographs is by Cleve Gray and includes images of destroyed paintings. Also found is an original print of Photo Abstraction by Gray, circa 1934. Of particular note are photographs of Threnody, among them preparatory drawings and views of the work in progress. Photographs of artwork by other artists include Louise N. Grace, Jacques Lipchitz, John Marin, Hans Richter, and Jacques Villon.
Photographs of people are mainly portraits of Gray, and views of him with his wife and sons. Other individuals appearing in photographs are Hans Richter and some of Richter's descendants. Pictures of places consist of Gray's studio.
Events are an unidentified exhibition opening. Miscellaneous subjects are mostly exhibition installations. Illustrations consist of photographs published in David Smith by David Smith: Sculpture and Writings. Also found are small number of negatives and color transparencies.
The collection is organized into 8 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1943-circa 2001 (Box 1; 0.1 linear ft.)
Series 2: Alphabetical Files, 1936-2005 (Boxes 1-5, 9; 4.3 linear ft.)
Series 3: Writings, 1935-2000 (Boxes 5-6; 0.85 linear ft.)
Series 4: Artwork, circa 1933-1987 (Boxes 6, 9, OV 12; 0.45 linear ft.)
Series 5: Audio/Visual Records, 1971-1989 (Box 6; 0.25 linear ft.)
Series 6: Artifacts, 1957-1999 (Box 6, RD 11; 0.45 linear ft.)
Series 7: Printed Material, 1933-2005 (Boxes 7-8; 1.25 linear ft.)
Series 8: Photographs, circa 1934-2002 (Boxes 8-10; 1.15 linear ft.)
Abstract Expressionist painter, sculptor, and writer Cleve Gray (1918-2004) lived and worked in Connecticut where he was politically active in the Vietnam protest movement and other liberal causes.
Born Cleve Ginsberg in New York City (the family changed its name to Gray in 1936), he attended the Ethical Culture School and at a young age developed a fascination with color and paint. At the urging of friends, Cleve's parents allowed him to accompany a school friend for lessons with George Bellows' student Antonia Nell. She encouraged and inspired the young artist, and a still life he painted in her class was shown at the National Academy of Design's 1932 annual exhibition. Miss Nell also introduced him to Louise N. Grace, an artist who became a good friend and had a lasting influence on him. While a student at Phillips Academy, Cleve studied painting with Bartlett Hayes and aspired to paint in France. Upon his graduation in 1936, he was awarded the Samuel F. B. Morse Prize for most promising art student.
Gray's mother was always supportive of his career choice. His businessman father, who didn't understand his son's desire to be an artist, insisted on a college education. Cleve chose Princeton, where he majored in art and archaeology, and studied painting with James E. Davis. His senior thesis was on Chinese landscape painting; both Eastern philosophy and art were long-term influences on Gray's work and outlook. He graduated summa cum laude in 1940, and then spent several months painting while living at the farm of a family friend in Mendham, New Jersey.
When a doctor suggeted that a dry climate might relieve sinus and asthma problems, Gray moved to Tucson, Arizona. Once settled in the desert, he contacted Louise N. Grace, whom he had met as a young teenager through his art instructor. Miss Grace, an artist and daughter of the founder of W. R. Grace and Co., was a highly cultured and independent woman older than his parents. The summer before Gray entered Phillips Academy, she had hired him to brush ground color onto canvases for murals she was painting for "Eleven Arches," her home in Tuscon then under construction. Miss Grace invited Gray to visit "Eleven Arches" to see the completed murals, and despite the substantial age difference, their friendship deepened; Gray found in her intellectual and spiritual guidance that was lacking in his own family. He remained in Tucson until enlisting in the U. S. Army in 1942, and they corresponded frequently during the the war. When a stroke in 1948 prevented Miss Grace from participating in the extensive tour of Europe she was arranging for a small group of friends, including Gray, she provided sufficient funds and insisted he make the trip on his own. Another stroke, suffered while Gray was traveling, left her in a coma; he was not permitted to see her again. Upon her death in 1954, Gray inherited "Eleven Arches."
Between 1943 and 1946, Gray was stationed in England, France, and Germany, serving in Army Signal Intelligence. Most of his work was performed at night, and he spent his free time drawing. While in London, Gray produced many colored pencil drawings of buildings that had been bombed. In France, a Red Cross volunteered to introduce him to Jacques Villon; although unfamiliar with the artist, Gray knew of Villon's brother, Marcel Duchamp, and accepted the invitation. Jacques and Gaby Villon lived near Gray's billet and he became a frequent visitor. Their friendship was important to his development as an artist. After being discharged from the Army in 1946, Gray remained in France to work with Villon who introduced him to the study of color and the concept of intellectual quality in painting. Gray also studied informally with André Lhote, Villon's former teacher. "American Painters in Paris," an exhibition presented in 1946 at Galerie Durand-Ruel, included work by Cleve Gray.
He returned to New York City in 1946. In the tight post-war rental market Gray managed to find a small room upstairs from a grocery store on East 106th Street for use as a studio. He commenced painting the London Ruins series based on drawings he had made during the war, and began thinking about exhibiting in New York. Gray secured introductions to Pierre Matisse, Curt Valentin, and Dorothy Miller. They encouraged him, but no opportunities came his way until Germain Seligmann, whose gallery was expanding its scope to include contemporary art, followed the advice of Curt Valentin and looked at Gray's work. Gary's first solo exhibition, held at Jacques Seligmann and Co., included selections from the London Ruins series, paintings done in Maine and Arizona, and a few portraits. The New York Times called it "an auspicious first," and one of the London Ruins series was selected by Edward Alden Jewell for the "Critic's Exhibition" at Grand Central Gallery.
Gray found New York City too frenetic. In 1949 he bought a large, old house in Warren, Connecticut, and lived and worked at "Graystones" for the remainder of his life. Half of a 6-car garage was converted to a studio; many years later, his studio moved to a barn, its renovation and design planned by sculptor and architect Tony Smith.
He married Francine du Plessix in 1957. Always interested in literature and philosophy, in the 1960s Francine du Plessix Gray began contributing articles to The New Yorker and is still affiliated with the magazine. Her reviews and articles appeared in prominent publications, and she wrote several award-winning novels and biographies. Their sons, Thaddeus and Luke (now a painter), were born in 1959 and 1961. Francine's mother, Tatiana du Plessix (the hat designer Tatiana of Saks), and step-father, the sculptor Alexander Liberman (also former art director of Vogue and later editorial director of Condé Nast publications) became Cleve Gray's closest friends.
The paintings and drawings of Cleve Gray - first consisting of figures and portraits, and then abstract compositions - were often produced in series. The earliest series, London Ruins, grew from the colored pencil drawings made while stationed in London during World War II. Travels to France, Italy, Greece, Morocco, Hawaii, Spain, Egypt, Japan, and Czechoslovakia, inspired many series, among them: Etruscan, Augury, Ceres, Demeter Landscape, Hera, Morocco, Hawaii, Ramses, Perne, Hatshepsut, Roman Walls, Zen, and Prague. His hometown, the Holocaust, and musicians inspired other series: Warren, Sleepers Awake!, Bela Bartok, and Four Heads of Anton Bruckner. Some series were works on paper, others were collage canvases, and a few series later spawned prints. Gray began using acrylics in the 1940s. Although the medium offered many benefits, he did not always like its appearance and frequently returned to oils. Around 1966 Gray was painting almost exclusively with acrylic, and eventually developed a technique of thinning the paint and applying successive layers of color (sometimes by pouring or with a sponge) on cotton duck rather than traditional canvas.
Gray was attracted to sculpture, too, working in that medium at different points in his career. His first sculpture, in plaster, was completed in 1959. In the early 1960s he visited a commercial sand-casting foundry and became excited about learning to cast in bronze. He made about a dozen sculptures to cast in sand, but due to too much undercutting, their casting became too difficult a problem. Lava flows seen while in Hawaii during 1970 and 1971 inspired a return to sculpture. This time, he used wood, papier maché, and metal. Gray then decided these pieces should be cast in bronze, and he was determined to do it himself. Friends taught him the lost wax process and he began working at the Tallix Foundry in Peekskill, New York where, over the next year, he cast about forty bronzes.
Gray's best known work is Threnody, a lament for the dead of both sides in Vietnam. In 1972, Gray received a commission to fill a very large gallery of the soon-to-open Neuberger Museum of Art (State University of New York, College at Purchase) designed by Philip Johnson. Friends of the Neuberger Museum paid his expenses and Gray, who was enormously excited about the project he considered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, donated his time. Developing plans for the execution of Threnody consumed most of his time during 1972 and 1973. Composed of a series of fourteen panels, each approximately twenty feet square, the piece presented a number of technical challenges. It was constructed and painted in situ during the summer and early fall of 1973. Since then, Threnody has been reinstalled at the Neuberger Museum of Art on several occasions.
Gray was commissioned to design liturgical vestments for two Episcopal churches in Connecticut in the 1970s. A chasuble, stoles, and a mitre were commissioned by the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut in 1984.
He won the "Outdoor Art at the Station Competition," for Union Station, Hartford, Connecticut. His very large porcelain enamel tile mural, Movement in Space, was installed on the façade of the transportation center in 1988.
Gray began writing occasional articles and exhibition reviews in the late 1940s. His concern with rational structure in art led him to question Abstract Expressionism and write "Narcissus in Chaos." This article, published in 1959 by The American Scholar, drew considerable attention. In 1960, Cosmopolitan published "Women - Leaders of Modern Art" that featured Nell Blaine, Joan Brown, Elaine de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Sonia Gretchoff, Grace Hartigan, Ethel Magafan, Louise Nevelson, and Georgia O'Keeffe. Between 1960 and 1970, Gray was a contributing editor of Art In America, producing numerous articles (a few co-authored with Francine) and reviews for the periodical. He edited three books, David Smith by David Smith: Scupture and Writings, Hans Richter, and John Marin, all published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, and translated Marcel Duchamp's A l'Infinitif.
During the early 1960s, Gray became intensely focused on the situation in Vietnam. His first artistic response came in 1963 with Reverend Quan Duc, painted to commemorate a Buddhist monk who had immolated himself. Francine, too, felt strongly about the issue and over time the couple became increasingly active in the anti-war movement. They joined a number of organizations and helped to found a local chapter of Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam. The years 1968 and 1969 were an especially intense and active period for the Grays. They protested, wrote and spoke out against the war, raised funds to support anti-war political candidates, and on a few occasions were arrested and jailed. Writing for Art in America, editing the book series, and anti-war activities left little time for his art. In 1970 Gray refocused his attention on painting.
Beginning in 1947, Gray was always represented by a New York Gallery: Jacques Seligmann and Co. (1947-1959), Staempfli Gallery (1960-1965), Saidenberg Gallery (1965-1968), Betty Parsons Gallery (1968-1983), Armstrong Gallery (1984-1987), and Berry-Hill Galleries (1988-2003). He was represented by galleries in other cities, as well, but not as consistently or for such long periods.
He exhibited extensively in group and solo exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally. In addition to numerous solo exhibitions presented by the dealers who represented Gray, there were retrospective exhibitions at: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Brooklyn Museum, Columbus Museum of Art, Krannert Art Museum (University of Illinois, Champaign), Princeton University Art Museum, Rhode Island School of Design, and Wadsworth Atheneum.
Many museums' permanent collections include the work of Cleve Gray, among them: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Butler Institute of American Art, Columbus Museum of Art, Neuberger Museum of Art (SUNY, College at Purchase), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Newark Museum, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Phillips Collection, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery (University of Nebraska, Lincoln), Smithsonian Institution, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Yale University Art Gallery.
Cleve Gray served as artist-in-residence at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art in 1963 and at the Honolulu Academy of Arts in 1970, both sponsored by Ford Foundation programs. In 1980, he was appointed an artist-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome, where Francine concurrently served as a writer-in-residence; they returned for shorter periods during each of the subsequent seven years. Cleve Gray was presented the Connecticut Arts Award in 1987, and the Neuberger Museum of Art Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999. He was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Hartford in 1992, and was elected a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1998. In addition, he was a trustee of the Neuberger Museum of Art, New York Studio School, Rhode Island School of Design, and Wadsworth Atheneum.
Cleve Gray hit his head and suffered a massive subdural hematoma after falling on ice outside of his home. He died the following day, December 8, 2004.
Exhibition catalogs and announcements and two scrapbooks donated to the Archives in 1967 and 1968 were microfilmed on reels D314-D315. Items on reel D315, transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum Library in 1975, are not described in this finding aid.
The Cleve Gray papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Mr. Gray in 1967 and 1968. The bulk of the collection was given by his widow, Francine du Plessix Gray, in 2007 and 2008.
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordigs with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
The Cleve Gray 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.
These papers reflect the professional and personal life of Frederica de Laguna. The collection contains correspondence, field notes, writings, newspaper clippings, writings by others, subject files, sound recordings, photographs, and maps. A significant portion of the collection consists of de Laguna's correspondence with family, friends, colleagues, and students, as well as her informants from the field. Her correspondence covers a wide range of subjects such as family, health, preparations for field work, her publications and projects, the Northwest Coast, her opinions on the state of anthropology, and politics. The field notes in the collection mainly represent de Laguna and her assistants' work in the Northern Tlingit region of Alaska from 1949 to 1954. In addition, the collection contains materials related to her work in the St. Lawrence River Valley in Ontario in 1947 and Catherine McClellan's field journal for her research in Aishihik, Yukon Territory in 1968. Most of the audio reels in the collection are field recordings made by de Laguna, McClellan, and Marie-Françoise Guédon of vocabulary and songs and speeches at potlatches and other ceremonies from 1952 to 1969. Tlingit and several Athabaskan languages including Atna, Tutochone, Upper Tanana, and Tanacross are represented in the recordings. Also in the collection are copies of John R. Swanton's Tlingit recordings and Hiroko Hara Sue's recordings among the Hare Indians. Additional materials related to de Laguna's research on the Northwest Coast include her notes on clans and tribes in Series VI: Subject Files and her notes on Tlingit vocabulary and Yakutat names specimens in Series X: Card Files. Drafts and notes for Voyage to Greenland, Travels Among the Dena, and The Tlingit Indians can be found in the collection as well as her drawings for her dissertation and materials related to her work for the Handbook of North American Indians and other publications. There is little material related to Under Mount Saint Elias except for correspondence, photocopies and negatives of plates, and grant applications for the monograph. Of special interest among de Laguna's writings is a photocopy of her historical fiction novel, The Thousand March. Other materials of special interest are copies of her talks, including her AAA presidential address, and the dissertation of Regna Darnell, a former student of de Laguna's. In addition, materials on the history of anthropology are in the collection, most of which can found with her teaching materials. Although the bulk of the collection documents de Laguna's professional years, the collection also contains newspaper articles and letters regarding her exceptional performance as a student at Bryn Mawr College and her undergraduate and graduate report cards. Only a few photographs of de Laguna can be found in the collection along with photographs of her 1929 and 1979 trips to Greenland.
Scope and Contents:
These papers reflect the professional and personal life of Frederica de Laguna. The collection contains correspondence, field notes, writings, newspaper clippings, writings by others, subject files, sound recordings, photographs, and maps.
A significant portion of the collection consists of de Laguna's correspondence with family, friends, colleagues, and students, as well as her informants from the field. Her correspondence covers a wide range of subjects such as family, health, preparations for field work, her publications and projects, the Northwest Coast, her opinions on the state of anthropology, and politics. Among her notable correspondents are Kaj Birket-Smith, J. Desmond Clark, Henry Collins, George Foster, Viola Garfield, Marie-Françoise Guédon, Diamond Jenness, Michael Krauss, Therkel Mathiassen, Catharine McClellan, and Wallace Olson. She also corresponded with several eminent anthropologists including Franz Boas, William Fitzhugh, J. Louis Giddings, Emil Haury, June Helm, Melville Herskovitz, Alfred Kroeber, Helge Larsen, Alan Lomax, Margaret Mead, Froelich Rainey, Leslie Spier, Ruth Underhill, James VanStone, Annette Weiner, and Leslie White.
The field notes in the collection mainly represent de Laguna and her assistants' work in the Northern Tlingit region of Alaska from 1949 to 1954. In addition, the collection contains materials related to her work in the St. Lawrence River Valley in Ontario in 1947 and Catharine McClellan's field journal for her research in Aishihik, Yukon Territory in 1968. Most of the audio reels in the collection are field recordings made by de Laguna, McClellan, and Marie-Françoise Guédon of vocabulary and songs and speeches at potlatches and other ceremonies from 1952 to 1969. Tlingit and several Athapaskan languages including Atna, Tutochone, Upper Tanana, and Tanacross are represented in the recordings. Also in the collection are copies of John R. Swanton's Tlingit recordings and Hiroko Hara's recordings among the Hare Indians. Additional materials related to de Laguna's research on the Northwest Coast include her notes on clans and tribes in Series VI: Subject Files and her notes on Tlingit vocabulary and Yakutat names specimens in Series 10: Card Files.
Drafts and notes for Voyage to Greenland, Travels Among the Dena, and The Tlingit Indians can be found in the collection as well as her drawings for her dissertation and materials related to her work for the Handbook of North American Indians and other publications. There is little material related to Under Mount Saint Elias except for correspondence, photocopies and negatives of plates, and grant applications for the monograph. Of special interest among de Laguna's writings is a photocopy of her historical fiction novel, The Thousand March.
Other materials of special interest are copies of her talks, including her AAA presidential address, and the dissertation of Regna Darnell, a former student of de Laguna's. In addition, materials on the history of anthropology are in the collection, most of which can found with her teaching materials. The collection also contains copies of photographs from the Harriman Alaska Expedition of 1899. Although the bulk of the collection documents de Laguna's professional years, the collection also contains newspaper articles and letters regarding her exceptional performance as a student at Bryn Mawr College and her undergraduate and graduate report cards. Only a few photographs of de Laguna can be found in the collection along with photographs of her 1929 and 1979 trips to Greenland.
Frederica Annis Lopez de Leo de Laguna was a pioneering archaeologist and ethnographer of northwestern North America. Known as Freddy by her friends, she was one of the last students of Franz Boas. She served as first vice-president of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) from 1949 to 1950 and as president of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) from 1966-1967. She also founded the anthropology department at Bryn Mawr College where she taught from 1938 to 1972. In 1975, she and Margaret Mead, a former classmate, were the first women to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
Born on October 3, 1906 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, de Laguna was the daughter of Theodore Lopez de Leo de Laguna and Grace Mead Andrus, both philosophy professors at Bryn Mawr College. Often sick as a child, de Laguna was home-schooled by her parents until she was 9. She excelled as a student at Bryn Mawr College, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in politics and economics in 1927. She was awarded the college's prestigious European fellowship, which upon the suggestion of her parents, she deferred for a year to study anthropology at Columbia University under Boas. Her parents had recently attended a lecture given by Boas and felt that anthropology would unite her interests in the social sciences and her love for the outdoors.
After a year studying at Columbia with Boas, Gladys Reichard, and Ruth Benedict, de Laguna was still uncertain whether anthropology was the field for her. Nevertheless, she followed Boas's advice to spend her year abroad studying the connection between Eskimo and Paleolithic art, which would later became the topic of her dissertation. In the summer of 1928, she gained fieldwork experience under George Grant MacCurdy visiting prehistoric sites in England, France, and Spain. In Paris, she attended lectures on prehistoric art by Abbe Breuil and received guidance from Paul Rivet and Marcelin Boule. Engaged to an Englishman she had met at Columbia University, de Laguna decided to also enroll at the London School of Economics in case she needed to earn her degree there. She took a seminar with Bronislaw Malinowski, an experience she found unpleasant and disappointing.
It was de Laguna's visit to the National Museum in Copenhagen to examine the archaeological collections from Central Eskimo that became the turning point in her life. During her visit, she met Therkel Mathiassen who invited her to be his assistant on what would be the first scientific archaeological excavation in Greenland. She sailed off with him in June 1929, intending to return early in August. Instead, she decided to stay until October to finish the excavation with Mathiassen, now convinced that her future lay in anthropology. When she returned from Greenland she broke off her engagement with her fiancé, deciding that she would not able to both fully pursue a career in anthropology and be the sort of wife she felt he deserved. Her experiences in Greenland became the subject of her 1977 memoir, Voyage to Greenland: A Personal Initiation into Anthropology.
The following year, Kaj Birket-Smith, whom de Laguna had also met in Copenhagen, agreed to let her accompany him as his research assistant on his summer expedition to Prince William Sound and Cook Inlet. When Birket-Smith fell ill and was unable to go, de Laguna was determined to continue on with the trip. She convinced the University of Pennsylvania Museum to fund her trip to Alaska to survey potential excavation sites and took as her assistant her 20 year old brother, Wallace, who became a geologist. A close family, de Laguna's brother and mother would later accompany her on other research trips.
In 1931, the University of Pennsylvania Museum hired de Laguna to catalogue Eskimo collections. They again financed her work in Cook Inlet that year as well as the following year. In 1933, she earned her PhD from Columbia and led an archaeological and ethnological expedition of the Prince William Sound with Birket-Smith. They coauthored "The Eyak Indians of the Copper River Delta, Alaska," published in 1938. In 1935, de Laguna led an archaeological and geological reconnaissance of middle and lower Yukon Valley, traveling down the Tanana River. Several decades later, the 1935 trip contributed to two of her books: Travels Among the Dena, published in 1994, and Tales From the Dena, published in 1997.
In 1935 and 1936, de Laguna worked briefly as an Associate Soil Conservationist, surveying economic and social conditions on the Pima Indian Reservation in Arizona. She later returned to Arizona during the summers to conduct research and in 1941, led a summer archaeological field school under the sponsorship of Bryn Mawr College and the Museum of Northern Arizona.
By this time, de Laguna had already published several academic articles and was also the author of three fiction books. Published in 1930, The Thousand March: Adventures of an American Boy with the Garibaldi was her historical fiction book for juveniles. She also wrote two detective novels: The Arrow Points to Murder (1937) and Fog on the Mountain (1938). The Arrow Points to Murder is set in a museum based on her experiences at the University of Pennsylvania Museum and the American Museum of National History. Fog on the Mountain is set in Cook Inlet and draws upon de Laguna's experiences in Alaska. Both detective novels helped to finance her research.
De Laguna began her long career at Bryn Mawr College in 1938 when she was hired as a lecturer in the sociology department to teach the first ever anthropology course at the college. By 1950, she was chairman of the joint department of Sociology and Anthropology, and in 1967, the chairman of the newly independent Anthropology Department. She was also a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania (1947-1949; 1972-1976) and at the University of California, Berkeley (1959-1960; 1972-1973.)
During World War II, de Laguna took a leave of absence from Bryn Mawr College to serve in the naval reserve from 1942 to 1945. As a member of WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service), she taught naval history and codes and ciphers to women midshipmen at Smith College. She took great pride in her naval service and in her later years joined the local chapter of WAVES National, an organization for former and current members of WAVES.
In 1950, de Laguna returned to Alaska to work in the Northern Tlingit region. Her ethnological and archaeological study of the Tlingit Indians brought her back several more times throughout the 1950s and led to the publication of Under Mount Saint Elias in 1972. Her comprehensive three-volume monograph is still considered the authoritative work on the Yakutat Tlingit. In 1954, de Laguna turned her focus to the Atna Indians of Copper River, returning to the area in 1958, 1960, and 1968.
De Laguna retired from Bryn Mawr College in 1972 under the college's mandatory retirement policy. Although she suffered from many ailments in her later years including macular degeneration, she remained professionally active. Five decades after her first visit to Greenland, de Laguna returned to Upernavik in 1979 to conduct ethnographic investigations. In 1985, she finished editing George Thornton Emmons' unpublished manuscript The Tlingit Indians. A project she had begun in 1955, the book was finally published in 1991. In 1986, she served as a volunteer consultant archaeologist and ethnologist for the U. S. Forest Service in Alaska. In 1994, she took part in "More than Words . . ." Laura Bliss Spann's documentary on the last Eyak speaker, Maggie Smith Jones. By 2001, de Laguna was legally blind. Nevertheless, she continued working on several projects and established the Frederica de Laguna Northern Books Press to reprint out-of-print literature and publish new scholarly works on Arctic cultures.
Over her lifetime, de Laguna received several honors including her election into the National Academy Sciences in 1976, the Distinguished Service Award from AAA in 1986, and the Lucy Wharton Drexel Medal from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999. De Laguna's work, however, was respected by not only her colleagues but also by the people she studied. In 1996, the people of Yakutat honored de Laguna with a potlatch. Her return to Yakutat was filmed by Laura Bliss Spann in her documentary Reunion at Mt St. Elias: The Return of Frederica de Laguna to Yakutat.
At the age of 98, Frederica de Laguna passed away on October 6, 2004.
Darnell, Regna. "Frederica de Laguna (1906-2004)." American Anthropologist 107.3 (2005): 554-556.
de Laguna, Frederica. Voyage to Greenland: A Personal Initiation into Anthropology. New York: W.W. Norton Co, 1977.
McClellan, Catharine. "Frederica de Laguna and the Pleasures of Anthropology." American Ethnologist 16.4 (1989): 766-785.
Olson, Wallace M. "Obituary: Frederica de Laguna (1906-2004)." Arctic 58.1 (2005): 89-90.
Although this collection contains a great deal of correspondence associated with her service as president of AAA, most of her presidential records can be found in American Anthropological Association Records 1917-1972. Also at the National Anthropological Archives are her transcripts of songs sung by Yakutat Tlingit recorded in 1952 and 1954 located in MS 7056 and her notes and drawings of Dorset culture materials in the National Museum of Canada located in MS 7265. The Human Studies Film Archive has a video oral history of de Laguna conducted by Norman Markel (SC-89.10.4).
Related collections can also be found in other repositories. The University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania holds materials related to work that de Laguna carried out for the museum from the 1930s to the 1960s. Materials relating to her fieldwork in Angoon and Yakutat can be found in the Rasmuson Library of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks in the papers of Francis A. Riddell, a field assistant to de Laguna in the early 1950s. Original photographs taken in the field in Alaska were deposited in the Alaska State Library, Juneau. Both the Archive of Folk Culture at the Library of Congress and the American Philosophical Library have copies of her field recordings and notes. The American Museum of Natural History has materials related to her work editing George T. Emmons' manuscript. De Laguna's papers can also be found at the Bryn Mawr College Archives.
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Frederica de Laguna.
Some of the original field notes are restricted due to Frederica de Laguna's request to protect the privacy of those accused of witchcraft. The originals are restricted until 2030. Photocopies may be made with the names of the accused redacted.