Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Search Results

Collections Search Center
1 documents - page 1 of 1

Werner Drewes papers

Creator:
Drewes, Werner, 1899-1985  Search this
Names:
Richard York Gallery  Search this
Smithsonian Institution  Search this
Boccia, Edward, 1921-2012  Search this
Drewes, Maria  Search this
Eldred, Thomas  Search this
Feininger, T. Lux  Search this
Fitz-Gerald, Clark B. (Clark Battle), 1917-2004  Search this
Hélion, Jean, 1904-1987  Search this
Kandinsky, Wassily, 1866-1944  Search this
Marcks, Gerhard  Search this
Osver, Arthur, 1912-2006  Search this
Schrag, Karl  Search this
Urban, Albert  Search this
Extent:
15.76 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Prints
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Date:
1838-2015
bulk 1890-1990
Summary:
The papers of painter, printmaker, designer, and teacher, Werner Drewes, measure 15.76 linear feet and date from 1838-2015, with the bulk of the material dating from the 1890s-1990s. The papers document Drewes' life and career through biographical and family material; correspondence with family members, artists, galleries, and art institutions and organizations; scattered teaching notes and writings including a diary; catalogs and inventories of artwork; three scrapbooks; printed material; 38 sketchbooks, loose sketches, and prints; and photographs of Drewes, his family, friends and colleagues, exhibitions, travels, and works of art. Also found are scattered papers of Drewes' second wife, Maria Drewes.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter, printmaker, designer, and teacher, Werner Drewes, measure 15.76 linear feet and date from 1838-2015, with the bulk of the material dating from the 1890s-1990s. The papers document Drewes' life and career through biographical and family material; correspondence with family members, artists, galleries, and art institutions and organizations; scattered teaching notes and writings including a diary; catalogs and inventories of artwork; three scrapbooks; printed material; 38 sketchbooks, loose sketches, and prints; and photographs of Drewes, his family, friends and colleagues, exhibitions, travels, and works of art. Also found are scattered papers of Drewes' second wife, Maria Drewes.

Biographical material documents Drewes' family history through family trees and biographical notes made by family members, and also includes 3 of Drewes' passports, some student and military records, resumés, and a partial interview transcript.

Correspondence is with family members; artists including Ed Boccia, Thomas Eldred, T. Lux Feininger, Clark Fitzgerald, Wassily Kandinsky, Jean Helion, Gerhard Marcks, Arthur Osver, Karl Schrag, and Albert Urban; and galleries and art organizations and institutions such as Richard York Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution, and others. Correspondence also relates to the Drewes estate, as well as to loans, exhibitions and sales of artwork.

Notes and writings include a diary kept by Drewes between 1918-1920 in Europe, a "love letter" in verse form written by Drewes to his first wife, Margaret, some teaching notes and notes on design, and 2 essays about Drewes written by others.

Catalogs and inventory records provide comprehensive documentation of the artwork Drewes created over the course of his career. Entries include titles, assigned numbers, subjects, dimensions, media used, and sketches or photos of artwork.

Three scrapbooks provide scattered documentation of Drewes' life and career, and include clippings from the 1920s and 1930s, and a scrapbook created by Maria Drewes for her husband's memorial service.

Printed material includes event announcements and exhibition catalogs, as well as news clippings tracing Drewes' career from the 1920s to the 1980s.

Artwork consists of greeting cards made by Drewes, as well as 38 sketchbooks and numerous loose sketches in pencil, ink, watercolor, and crayon.

Photographic material includes vintage family photographs, prints, negatives, slide tranparencies, and 8 glass plate negatives, of Drewes, his family and friends, events including exhibitions and travels, and artwork.

Found in Maria Drewes' papers are correspondence, 17 diaries primarily documenting travels with Werner Drewes, two scrapbooks with designs for jewelry, and photos of family, friends and jewelry.
Arrangement:
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1838-1980s (0.4 linear feet; Boxes 1, 16)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1878-2004 (1.2 linear feet; Boxes 1-2, 16)

Series 3: Notes and Writings, 1922-2002 (0.5 linear feet; Box 2)

Series 4: Catalogs and Inventory Records, circa 1919-circa 1980s (2.3 linear feet; Boxes 2-6)

Series 5: Scrapbooks, 1920s-1985 (3 folders; Box 5)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1897-2015 (1 linear feet; Boxes 5-6)

Series 7: Artwork and Sketchbooks, circa 1890s-2002 (3.67 linear feet; Boxes 6-9, 16-17)

Series 8: Photographic Material, circa 1890s-2000 (5.53 linear feet; Boxes 9-14, 17, MGP 2)

Series 9: Mary (Maria) Louise Lischer Drewes Papers, 1930s-1980s (1 linear foot; Box 15)

Many of the records were assigned color-coded alpha-numeric labels prior to donation. In series where these labeling systems predominate, material has been arranged according to those systems and all previously assigned labels are indicated in the Container Listing. Many folder titles are taken from the original labels. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.

The collection is arranged as 9 series.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, printmaker and designer Werner Drewes (1899-1985) was born in Canig, Germany, and immigrated to the United States in 1930. A student of the Bauhaus, and a prolific artist and teacher, Drewes worked with many kinds of media and produced numerous woodcuts, etchings, oils, watercolors, drawings and collages over the course of his life.

Drewes served for two years on Germany's Western Front during World War 1, before studying at the Bauhaus, Weimar, from 1921-1922. He then traveled throughout Europe, Asia and North and South America with his wife Margaret before returning to Germany in 1927 and enrolling at the Bauhaus, Dessau. During his time there Drewes forged his artistic ideas from the radical influences of renowned architects and artists including Lyonel Feininger, Johannes Itten, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Oscar Schlemmer, and learned the Bauhaus teaching approach that would serve him throughout his career. In 1930 Drewes, Margaret, and their 2 young sons emigrated to the United States and settled in New York City where Drewes attended the Art Students League. From 1935-1936 he taught drawing and printmaking at the Brooklyn Museum School as an employee of the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project (WPA FAP). In 1936 he became a founding member of American Abstract Artists and the following year joined the American Artists' Congress and became an American citizen. From 1937-1940 he taught painting and printmaking at Columbia University.

In the early 1940s Drewes taught at the Master Institute in Riverside Museum, New York City, and worked as a technical supervisor for the Graphic Art Division of the FAP. From 1944-1945 he worked at Stanley William Hayter's Atelier 17 improving his intaglio technique and then teaching design, printmaking and photography at Brooklyn College. In 1946 he taught design at the Institute of Design in Chicago before being appointed Professor of Design at the School of Fine Arts of Washington University in Saint Louis, where he continued to teach until his retirement in 1965.

Following Margaret's death in 1959, Drewes married jewelry designer and fellow professor of Washington University, Mary (Maria) Louise Lischer in 1960. On Drewes' retirement he and Maria moved to Pennsylvania where he continued to paint, focusing primarily on still lifes and landscapes. He moved to Washington in 1972 and published his American Indians portfolio, before finally setting in Reston, Virginia, where the Rose Catalog of his prints was published and where he lived as a working and exhibiting artist until his death in 1985.

In October 1984 a comprehensive retrospective, Sixty-Five Years of Printmaking, was held at the then named Smithsonian's National Museum of American Art. Drewes' work can be found in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, New York Public Library, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Provenance:
The Werner Drewes papers were donated in 2005 by Werner Drewes' sons Wolfram U. Drewes, Harald D. Drewes, and Bernard W. Drewes. 4 additional items were donated by Karen Seibert, Drewes granddaughter, in 2015. Some material had been previously loaned for microfilming in 1979, and was subsequently included in the 2005 gift.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. Research Center. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- Virginia -- Reston  Search this
Designers -- Virginia  Search this
Printmakers -- Virginia -- Reston  Search this
Topic:
Educators -- Virginia  Search this
Transcripts  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Greeting cards  Search this
Genre/Form:
Prints
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Citation:
Werner Drewes papers, 1838-2015, bulk 1890-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.drewwern
See more items in:
Werner Drewes papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-drewwern
Online Media:

Modify Your Search







or


Narrow By
  • Images
  • Finding aids
  • Archival materials
  • Collection descriptions
  • Diaries
  • Greeting cards
  • Interviews
  • Photographs
  • Prints
  • Scrapbooks
  • Sketchbooks
  • Archival materials
  • Collection descriptions
  • Diaries
  • Greeting cards
  • Interviews
  • Photographs
  • Prints
  • Scrapbooks
  • Sketchbooks
  • Art
  • Designers
  • Educators
  • Painters
  • Printmakers
  • Transcripts
  • Art
  • Designers
  • Educators
  • Painters
  • Printmakers
  • Transcripts
  • Boccia, Edward
  • Drewes, Maria
  • Drewes, Werner
  • Eldred, Thomas
  • Feininger, T. Lux
  • Fitz-Gerald, Clark B. (Clark Battle)
  • Hélion, Jean
  • Kandinsky, Wassily
  • Marcks, Gerhard
  • Osver, Arthur
  • Boccia, Edward
  • Drewes, Maria
  • Drewes, Werner
  • Eldred, Thomas
  • Feininger, T. Lux
  • Fitz-Gerald, Clark B. (Clark Battle)
  • Hélion, Jean
  • Kandinsky, Wassily
  • Marcks, Gerhard
  • Osver, Arthur
Filter results to a specific time period.
  • 1830s
  • 1840s
  • 1850s
  • 1860s
  • 1870s
  • 1880s
  • 1890s
  • 1900s
  • 1910s
  • 1920s
  • Archives of American Art