Patterson, Frederick D. (Frederick Douglass), 1901-1988 Search this
18.66 Linear feet (21 boxes)
1882 - 1988
President of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute (later Tukegee Institute; now Tuskegee University) from 1935 - 1953 and founder of the United Negro College Fund (1944). Patterson was born on October 10, 1901. Orphaned at age two, he was raised by his eldest sister, Wilhelmina (Bess), a school teacher in Texas. He studied at Iowa State College, where he received a doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1923 and a master of science degree in 1927. Five years later, he was awarded a second doctorate degree from Cornell University. Patterson taught veterinary science for four years at Virginia State College, where he was also Director of Agriculture. His tenure at Tuskegee University started in 1928 and spanned almost 25 years, first as head of the veterinary division, then as the director of the School of Agriculture and finally as Tuskegee's third president. He married Catherine Elizabeth Moton, daughter of Tuskegee University's second president, Dr. Robert R. Moton. Patterson also founded the School of Veterinary Medicine at Tuskegee in 1944, the same year he founded the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). The UNCF continues today as a critical source of annual income for a consortium of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tuskegee University among them.
Scope and Content note:
The Frederick Douglass Patterson Collection comprises 18.66 linear feet of correspondence, manuscripts, research material, published writings, photographs, audiovisual material, scrapbooks, diplomas, awards, and other materials chronicling the personal life and professional career of Frederick D. Patterson.
The collection is comprised of glimpses into the life of Dr. Patterson. The little correspondece that survived is located in Series 2: Career, Series 3: Correspondence, and Series 4: Organizations. Some of the correspondence takes the form of congratulatory notes from 1953 during Patterson's transfer from Tuskegee Institute to the Phelps-Stokes Fund, located in Series 2. There is also a personal note sent to Patterson's wife, Catherine Patterson, from George Washington Carver in which he describes peanut oil as a good massage oil.
The collection is arranged by series and chronologically therein:
1. Biography: This series provides insight into Patterson's family life through primary documents. It is comprised of family wills, insurance policies, and his autobiography. Sub-series are arranged alphabetically by title.
2. Career: This series contains materials from Patterson's long professional career in the field of higher education, including his tenure as present of both the Tuskegee Institute and the Phelps-Stokes Fund. Sub-series are arranged chronologically.
3. Correspondence: This series contains letters sent to Patterson (and his wife) of a personal and professional nature. Several letters relate to Patterson's personal business "Signs and Services," which was a small billboard advertising company. There are also letters from George Washington Carver. The series is arranged chronologically.
4. Organizations: This series contains material from the various foundations Patterson founded and to which he belonged, including the R.R. Moton Fund and the College Endowment Funding Plan. He is especially noted for developing the United Negro College Fund. The series is organized alphabetically by sub-series title.
5. Honors: This series contains the awards, citations, and resolutions Patterson received during his lifetime. Folders are organized chronologically.
6. Subject Files: This series comprises articles, employee vitas, and other documents collected and organized by Patterson. Among the subjects in the files are higher education, Negroes, segregation, civil rights, and employee records. There is no key to this system.
7. Photographs: The Photograph series mostly documents Patterson's tenure at Tuskegee University. The series includes images of Patterson and various other notable figures during formal functions at the university. Noteworthy personalities include George Washington Carver, Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana.
8. Printed Materials: This series contains books, programs, and other documents from Patterson's personal collection. The series is organized alphabetically by author's last name.
Frederick Douglass Patterson was born on October 10, 1901 to parents William and Mamie Brooks Patterson, in the Buena Vista Heights area of Anacostia in Washington, D.C. The youngest of six children, Patterson's parents died of tuberculosis before he reached the age of two years, his mother when he was eleven months old and his father a year later. Following his parents' death, the Patterson children were split up and sent to live in the homes of family and friends as stipulated in his father's last will and testament until he was seven years old, Patterson lived in the Anacostia area with a family friend he called "Aunt Julia."
When he was seven years old, Patterson's older sister Bess (a recent graduate of the Washington Conservatory of Music) decided to seek employment in Texas and took him with her. Many of their parents' family still lived in the state, which allowed Patterson the opportunity to spend months with various aunts and uncles, while his sister taught music throughout the South. After completing eighth grade, Patterson joined his sister at the Prairie View Normal School, where she taught music and directed the choir. Patterson attended the school for four years, during which time he developed an interest in veterinary medicine.
In 1920, Patterson enrolled at Iowa State College as a veterinary student. He graduated in 1923 and moved to Columbus, Ohio, to join his brother John. While there, he took the Ohio State Board exam for Veterinary Medicine. Although he became certified, a lack of money prevented him from practicing. Four years later he received a teaching offer from Virginia State College (VSC) in Petersburg, Virginia, which afforded him the opportunity to work within his profession. While at VSC Patterson took a leave of absence and returned to Iowa, in 1926, to pursue a Master's degree in veterinary medicine.
After five years at VSC, the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute offered Patterson a position running the veterinarian hospital and teaching veterinary science. He moved to Tuskegee, Alabama in 1928. While at Tuskegee, Patterson decided to pursue a Ph.D. in bacteriology at Cornell University. During his year and a half leave from Tuskegee, Patterson completed his coursework and wrote his dissertation. After he returned to Tuskegee, a serial killer murdered three people, including the head of the Department of Agriculture. Confronted with this tragedy, school officials quickly offered Patterson the vacant position, which he accepted in 1934.
Robert R. Moton, second president of Tuskegee, retired in 1935 and a search was soon commenced to find the next president for the school. Patterson, in the meantime, pursued more personal matters when he met and married Catherine Moton (with whom he would have a son) in June 1935. By then he was already hired to take his now, father-in-law's, position as President of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute.
As president of Tuskegee, Patterson made several changes and many additions to the institution. He increased faculty housing for professors; integrated the Board of Trustees' meeting meals and eventually arranged for both balck and white members to eat at one table; shortened the name to Tuskegee Institute; and established the Department of Commercial Dietetics in 1935, the veterinary medicine program in 1942, and the engineering program in 1948. While many considered Patterson's changes important achievements, it was his development of the Commercial/Military Aviation Program that would bring the school distinction and fame.
Patterson first attempted to develop the aviation program in 1939. The government fostered the development of such programs by subsiding the expenses. All a university had to do was present able-bodied instructors and willing pupils. Tuskegee had both. By 1940 the United States Air Force was interested in integrating its forces. In order to do this they needed trained black pilots. Tuskegee was the perfect place to provide the needed pilots since the school was situated in an all-black environment where students could concentrate on learning to fly without having to worry about racist reactions from their fellow classmates. To accommodate this program, the Tuskegee Army Air Base was created. Tuskegee pilots flew missions throughout World War II and would later be recognized for their bravery.
An important part of Patterson's duties as president was fund-raising. By 1943 he found it increasingly difficult to find ample sources of funds to run the Institute. He came to realize Tuskegee and similar black colleges would benefit if they pooled their funding resources and asked for larger amounts of money from philanthropic individuals and organizations as a collective. Working together would cut fund-raising expenses; this in turn would leave more money for the colleges to use as they wished. Patterson named his new creation the United Negro College Fund (UNCF); it would go on to raise millions of dollars for the nation's historically black colleges. He served as the first president of the organization.
During the fifteen years Patterson served as president of Tuskegee, he hosted many famous personalities, including W.E.B. DuBois, Mary McLeod Bethune, Eleanor Roosevelt, Duke Ellington, Paul Robeson, Pearl Buck, and Andre Segovia. He developed a lasting relationship with George Washington Carver, who had been a professor with Tuskegee since the days of Booker T. Washington.
Patterson served on many organizational boards in addition to his educational work. His involvement with the Phelps-Stokes Fund would ultimately lead Patterson to leave his beloved Tuskegee Institute to apply his educational philosophies on a broader scale. In 1953 the Fund approached Patterson and offered him the presidency of the organization. Patterson, feeling he needed a change, accepted the offer. He resigned from Tuskegee that same year and moved to New York to begin a new life.
Organized in 1911, the Phelps-Stokes Fund supported African, African American, and Native American education and worked on solving housing problems in New York City. Patterson's interest in African education began before he joined Phelps-Stokes. In 1950 the World Bank/International Bank Commission to Nigeria hired him to "evaluate the resources of Nigeria and…to study the educational programs and the organizational structure of advanced education." Through his work with the Fund he continued his efforts to improve the educational opportunities for Africans and help them move beyond colonialism. Patterson traveled extensively throughout the west coast of Africa in support of these goals.
In addition to forming the UNCF, Patterson created two other organizations (the Robert R. Moton Institute and the College Endowment Funding Plan), during the mid 1960s and 1970s. Each was designed to improve funding efforts for historically black colleges. The Robert R. Moton institute began as an off-shoot of the Phelps-Stokes as a site for conferences to address the Fund's primary concerns. Patterson's idea for the Institute came from a desire to put to use a piece of property inherited after Moton's death. Empathy with the frustrations of college presidents regarding the restricted funding for institutional expenses led Patterson to create the College Endowment Funding Plan. The Endowment was designed to alleviate this situation by providing matching funds to eligible colleges. The Endowment made its first payment in 1978. Unfortunately, by the 1980s, the Moton Institute lost most of its government funding due to federal cutbacks. This resulted in reductions to the Institute's programming.
It was not until Patterson was well into his eighties that he began to retire from his life of public service. On June 23, 1987, President Ronald Reagan presented Dr. Patterson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest possible honor that can be bestowed upon a civilian, for his service in higher education and his role in creating funding sources for the nation's historically black colleges. A year later Frederick Douglass Patterson died at the age of eighty-seven.
undated -- Xavier University
1941 -- Virginia State College
1941 -- Wilberforce University
1953 -- Morehouse College
1956 -- Tuskegee Institute
1961 -- New York University
1966 -- Edward Waters College
1967 -- Atlanta University
1969 -- Franklin and Marshall College
1970 -- Virginia Union University
1975 -- Bishop College
1977 -- St. Augustine's College
1982 -- Brooklyn College of the City University of New York
1984 -- Stillman College
1985 -- Payne College
undated -- Association for the Study of Negro Life and History Carter
undated -- The Southern Education Foundation, Inc. Distinguished Service Citation
undated -- The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and Texas Association of Developing Colleges Annual Leadership Awards
1950 -- Christian Education department, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Inc. Citation for Distinguished Service
1953 -- Bethune-Cookman College, the Mary McLeod Bethune Medallion
1953 -- John A. Andrew Clinical Society at Tuskegee Institute, Citation for Distinguished Service in the Cause of Humanity
1953 -- Tuskegee Institute, Certificate of Appreciation for 25 Years of Service
1957 -- Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Beta Lamda Sigma Chapter, Bigger and Better Business Award
1960 -- National Alumni Council of the UNCF, Inc. Award
1963 -- National Business League, Booker T. Washington Award
1965 -- Booker T. Washington Business Association, Certificate of Acknowledgement
1970 -- Moton Conference Center Award
1970 -- Tuskegee National Alumni Association, R.R. Moton Award
1972 -- American College Public Relations Association, 1972 Award for Distinguished Service to Higher Education
1972 -- UNCF F.D. Patterson 71st Birthday Award
1975 -- National Business League, Booker T. Washington Symbol of Service Award
1976 -- Phelps-Stokes Fund, Continuous Creative and Courageous Leadership in the Cause of Higher Education for Blacks
1977 -- Yale Alumni Associates of Afro-America, Distinguished Service Award
1979 -- Alpha Phi Alpha Education Foundation Inc., Distinguished Educator Award
1979 -- Tuskegee Institute Alumni Association Philadelphia Charter Award
1980 -- The Iowa State University Alumni Association, Distinguished Achievement Citation
1980 -- Gary Branch NAACP Life Membership Fight for Freedom Dinner 1980, Roy Wilkins Award
1980 -- State of Alabama Certificate of Appreciation
1982 -- St. Luke's United Methodist Church Achievement Award
1983 -- Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., Distinguished Service Award
1984 -- Booker T. Washington Foundation, Booker T. Washington Distinguished Service Award
1984 -- The Ohio State University Office of Minority Affairs, Distinguished Humanitarian and Service Award
1985 -- Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc, Eta Zeta Lamda Chapter Civic Award
1985 -- United States, Private Sector Initiative Commendation
1987 -- Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc of New York State, Founders Day Award
1987 -- Presidential Medal of Freedom
1987 -- Brag Business Achievement Award
1987 -- Phelps-Stokes Fund, Aggrey Medal
1941-1971 -- Southern Educational Foundation, Inc., Board Member
1943-1988 -- United Negro College Fund, Founder, President, and Member
1960s-1988 -- Robert R. Moton Memorial Institute, Founder
1970s-1988 -- The College Endowment Funding Plan, Founder
undated -- American National Red Cross, Board of Governors Member
undated -- Boys Scouts of America, National Council Member
undated -- Citizens Committee for the Hoover Report on Reorganization of Federal Government, Board Member
undated -- Institute of International Education, Advisory committee Member
undated -- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Life Member
undated -- National Business League, President and Board Member
undated -- National Urban League, National Committee Member
undated -- Phelps-Stokes Fund, Board of Trustees Member
undated -- President's Commission on Higher Education for Negroes
undated -- Southern Regional Education, Board of Control Member
Additional biographical materials in the Dale/Patterson Collection of the Anacostia Community Museum Archives.
This collection contains artifacts catalogued in the ACM Objects Collection.
The Frederick Douglass Patterson papers were donated to the Anacostia Community Museum in 2001 by Frederick Douglass Patterson, Jr.
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
The Frederick Douglass Patterson papers are the physical property of the Anacostia Community Museum. Literary and copyright belong to the author/creator or their legal heirs and assigns. Rights to work produced during the normal course of Museum business resides with the Anacostia Community Museum. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the Museum Archives.
Universities and colleges -- Administration Search this
This microfilm collection of the papers of African American painter and illustrator Alvin C. Hollingsworth contains six letters from admirers of his television show (1969-1970), photographs, biographical information, a sketchbook, catalogs, book jackets, and other illustrations (1960-1970).
Biographical / Historical:
Alvin C. Hollingsorth (1928-2000) was an African American painter, illustrator, and arts educator in New York, New York. Hollingsworth began drawing at a young age, beginning his career as a comic book artist before moving into the fine arts. He taught at Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College of the City University of New York and also hosted a television show about art. Hollingsworth was also a member of the Spiral group.
Lent for microfilming 1971 by Alvin Hollingsworth.
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
The papers of New York multimedia artist and educator Paul Ramírez Jonas, measure 6.3 linear feet and date from circa 1989-2014. The collection documents the work of this social practice artist through correspondence, exhibition and project files, and professional files, and provides relatively thorough coverage of Ramírez Jonas's work and development to late mid-career.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York multimedia artist and educator Paul Ramírez Jonas, measure 6.3 linear feet and date from circa 1989-2014. The collection documents the work of this social practice artist through correspondence, exhibition and project files, and professional files, and provides relatively thorough coverage of Ramírez Jonas's work and development to late mid-career.
Correspondence and personal files include greeting cards and postcards sent to Ramírez Jonas from individuals and galleries, and includes the artist's file arrangement lists documenting his organization of the records prior to donation to the Archives of American Art.
Exhibition files provide a comprehensive survey of Ramírez Jonas's participation in group and solo exhibitions over more than two decades. Files include correspondence, notes, sketches, and printed and photographic material for multiple exhibitions, and record Ramírez Jonas's relationships with gallery owners as well as the evolution and execution of many installations.
Project files provide a relatively comprehensive record of over two decades of projects, including large scale public art installations and smaller, more intimate projects, that trace evolving themes in Ramírez Jonas's work. Files include correspondence, architect's plans and schematic drawings, artist notes, financial and contractual records, printed material, and photographs.
Professional files document other professional activities in which Ramírez Jonas was involved, such as boards and committees, conferences, panels, and seminars. Also found are a few files relating to teaching appointments, including documentation of his Combined Media Class at Hunter College.
Prior to donation, Ramírez Jonas organized the bulk of his archives chronologically and thereafter into three categories which he titled "Shows," "Work," and "Other." This core arrangement has been maintained in the series Exhibition Files (Shows), Project Files (Work) and Professional Files (Other). A few additional files that did not fall into these three categories are arranged at the beginning of the collection as Series 1: Correspondence and Personal Files.
Series 1: Correspondence and Personal Files, 1991-circa 2014 (0.25 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 2: Exhibition Files, 1990-2009 (3.05 linear feet; Boxes 1-4, OV 7)
Series 3: Project Files, 1990-2014 (2.4 linear feet; Boxes 4-6, OVs 8-9)
Series 4: Professional Files, circa 1989-2014 (0.6 linear feet; Box 6, OV 8)
Biographical / Historical:
Paul Ramírez Jonas (1965-) is a multimedia artist and educator in New York, New York.
Ramírez Jonas was born in Pomona, California and raised in Honduras. He earned a BA in Studio Art and an MFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1989. As a social practice artist Ramírez Jonas explores definitions of art and the public and seeks to engage active audience participation in much of his work. He uses pre-existing texts, models, and materials in work ranging from monumental sculpture to smaller and more intimate projects involving drawings, textiles, musical instruments, video and performance art, and other media.
Ramírez Jonas has had an ongoing association with Creative Time, a public arts organization in New York City which funded, amongst other projects, his 2010 project Key to the City, in which he replaced locks around the city with new locks that could be opened with keys he distributed. Keys have had an important role in Ramírez Jonas's work; his Taylor Square park project in Cambridge, for example, juxtaposes the locked gates of the public space with 5000 keys he distributed to the public to be duplicated endlessly, as a symbol of "this relationship between public space and the public."
Ramírez Jonas is an educator who has taught at institutions including the Rhode Island School of Design and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He is currently an Associate Professor at Hunter College, City University of New York.
The collection was donated in 2015 and 2017 by Paul Ramírez Jonas.
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
The Lee Harris papers, which dates from circa 1884 to 2001 and measures 1.43 linear feet, documents the activities of Chester Lee Harris and his extended family. The papers are comprised of certificates, diplomas, newspaper clippings, memorabilia, books, and photographs.
Scope and Contents note:
This collection documents the activities in the personal life of Chester Lee Harris and his family between 1884 and 2001. The majority of materials contained in this collection are family and travel snapshots. The series of biographical documents and books outline major events in his life, as well as his service in the military and his community.
The papers are organized into five series. Folders within series I to IV are arranged alphabetically, while the photographic series is arranged roughly in chronological order. Documents within the folders are organized chronologically.
Series I: Biographical files
Series II: Printed materials
Series III: Career
Series IV: Books
Series V: Photographs
Subseries 5.1: Lee Harris
Subseries 5.2: Family
Chester Lee Harris was born in 1940, spending his early years at Hackensack, New Jersey with his parents, Chester and Margaret Harris. His sister Renee Harris was born three years later, after which the family moved to Manhattan, New York. Lee's mother was 16 years old when he was born – documentation on his father, however, is scarce. Margaret later divorced Chester and became married to William Beasley, who died in 1977. Both Lee and Renee graduated Edward W. Stitt Junior high school in New York.
In the early 1960s, Lee was enlisted in the 369th Infantry of the New York Army National Guard, participating in training at Fort Dix and Fort Drum. After his discharge, Lee married Claudette Nourse in 1969, moving into an apartment in the Bronx. He worked as a New York City Transit bus operator until 1994. Their first house was acquired after retirement in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The couple remains active in the community into later years of their life. At the age of fifty, Claudette graduated Bronx Community College of the City University of New York with an Associate's degree in Applied Science. Lee was fifty-nine and Claudette sixty-three when they volunteered at the Citizen's Academy of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. The two-month program aimed to foster public understanding on the incentives behind police work, in order to correct common misunderstandings. The following year Lee again applied to be a police department volunteer, this time for the Programs for Accessible Living's Parking Patrol Program (P.A.L.). There is no indication of whether he was accepted into this program or not.
Gatherings with his extended family continued after marriage, particularly at Christmas. His grandmother, Henrietta Cephas Brown ("Nana") makes a consistent appearance in family photographs since Lee's birth, indicating their close correspondence. He also made trips with his extended family to locales such as Cape Cod, New Hampshire, and New York City.
The Lee Harris papers were donated to the Anacostia Community Museum in August 2003 by Mr. Chester Lee Harris.
The collection is open for unrestricted research. Use requires an appointment.
The Lee Harris papers are the physical property of the Anacostia Community Museum. Literary and copyright belong to the author/creator or their legal heirs and assigns. Rights to work produced during the normal course of Museum business resides with the Anacostia Community Museum. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the Museum Archives.
Copies of photographs depicting Pomo Indians, including formal and informal portraits and views of gatherings for a feast and other ceremonies.
Dr. Sally McLendon is an anthropologist and professor at the City University of New York. Her research focuses on linguistics, material culture, and the Indians of California, especially the Eastern and Southeastern Pomo. She wrote "A Sketch of the Eastern Pomo Language" for the 15th volume of the Smithsonian's Handbook of North American Indians, published in 1996.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot R82-4
Copy prints made by Smithsonian Institution, 1981.
Location of Other Archival Materials:
A Southwest Indian bowl, donated by McLendon, can be found in the Department of Anthropology in accession 387036.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Photo lot R82-4, Sally McLendon photograph collection of Pomo Indians, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Search this
24.96 Linear feet (59 document boxes plus 1 oversize box)
Monte Castello di Vibio (Italy)
The Sydel Silverman papers, 1939-2010 (bulk 1949-2010) document her field research in Italy, her work as an educator and foundation executive, and her involvement in professional organizations. Sydel Silverman taught at Queens College in New York, was Executive Officer of the CUNY Ph.D. Program in Anthropology, and served as president of the Wenner-Gren Foundation. Her primary fields of research have been agrarian communities in Italy and the history and practice of anthropology. Materials in the collection include field notes, journals, correspondence, calendars, published and unpublished writings, conference papers and lectures, teaching files, student files, photographs and slides, and sound recordings.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains the professional papers of anthropologist Sydel Silverman. Included are research materials consisting of field notes, journals, other scholars' publications, and newspaper clippings; correspondence; postcards; calendars; published and unpublished writings; conference papers and lectures; brochures; itineraries; conference meeting notes; teaching files, including syllabi and reading lists; student files such as class notes and papers from Silverman's years as an anthropology student; photographs and slides; and sound recordings.
The materials in this collection document Silverman's travels through Italy while conducting field research, her role as an educator and academic administrator, and her involvement in professional organizations such as the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the American Anthropological Association. Silverman participated heavily in conferences and seminars across the U.S. and internationally. A copious note taker, Silverman recorded her reflections on many of these experiences. Her notes can be found throughout the collection.
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.
The collection is organized into 10 series: (1) Field Research, 1939-2002 [bulk 1960-1987]; (2) Correspondence, 1959-2009; (3) Writings, 1963-2009; (4) Wenner-Gren Foundation Files, 1985-2009; (5) Professional Activities, 1961-2010; (6) Teaching Files, 1958-2005; (7) Biographical Files, 1961-2008; (8) Student Files, 1949-65; (9) Photographs, 1961-2002; (10) Sound Recordings, 1960-61
Sydel Silverman was an anthropologist known for her work as a researcher, writer, academic administrator, and foundation executive. Her career in anthropology began with her graduate studies at the University of Chicago (1952-1957) and Columbia University (1957-63). After graduation she started teaching at Queens College in New York (1962-75) and became Executive Officer of the CUNY Ph.D. Program in Anthropology (1975-86). After leaving CUNY, she moved on to the Wenner-Gren Foundation, serving as president of the Foundation from 1987 to 1999.
Silverman was born on May 20, 1933 in Chicago, Illinois. Sydel, the youngest of seven siblings, was raised in the Jewish neighborhood of Lawndale on the west side of Chicago. Silverman credited her Uncle Hirschel for inspiring her to learn about foreign cultures and traditions, writing that her time spent with him reading about mysticism and oriental religions "may have been the beginnings of what became my interest in anthropology" (Silverman 2008).
Silverman graduated from high school in January 1951 and entered the University of Illinois at Navy Pier as a pre-med student. At the end of her second year at the University of Illinois, she entered the University of Chicago's program in Committee on Human Development, which combined study in biology, psychology, and sociology-anthropology. The program allowed students to enter with only two years of college with a special exam, which Silverman passed. She completed her Masters in 1957 and enrolled in the PhD program in Anthropology at Columbia University, during which she decided to focus her research on central Italy.
Silverman's first experience in Italy was in 1955 when she spent a year traveling through Europe with her first husband, Mel Silverman. They moved from city to city, beginning in Naples and then Rome, the city that Sydel writes was "the instant beginning of my love affair with Italy" (Silverman 2008). Upon their return from Europe the couple moved to New York. Sydel began working as a secretary but she soon decided to go back to school. She "picked anthropology, because it was the closest thing to being multi-disciplinary while still having a label, and Columbia was the obvious place to go in New York" (Silverman 2008). She was inspired to focus on the Mediterranean for her fieldwork because of Conrad Arensberg's cultural anthropological work in Europe.
In August of 1960 Sydel left for Italy to conduct a community study of the village Montecastello di Vibio. Silverman confessed in her memoirs that she was "never good at fieldwork," but she formed relationships with many of the locals who helped her collect data for her dissertation. Her research in Italy was one of the first social-anthropological studies of Central Italy and is known for its description of the traditional agrarian system of that area (the mezzadria) shortly before it was abolished by law. Silverman's dissertation research resulted in a book, Three Bells of Civilization, and numerous journal articles. She was awarded her Ph.D. in 1963.
Silverman's subsequent research in Italy included a study of a land reform area in the South (1967) and several field seasons (1980-85) devoted to a comparative study of competitive festivals in Central Italy. Most notable from this work are her publications on the Palio of Siena.
Silverman's other primary research interest has been in the history and practice of anthropology. She edited Totems and Teachers (1981, rev. 2004), a text about prominent anthropologists, and co-authored One Discipline Four Ways (2005). Her book The Beast on the Table (2002) analyzes twenty-five international symposia that she organized and led while at the Wenner-Gren Foundation and is a record of the living history of anthropology. She later became interested in parallels between the history of anthropology and that of the movies, which she presented as the 2006 Distinguished Lecture to the American Anthropological Association (published in The American Anthropologist Volume 109, Issue 3). In addition, she initiated an effort to save the primary documents of anthropology, co-authoring with Nancy Parezo the book Preserving the Anthropological Record (1992, rev. 1995) and co-organizing CoPAR (the Council for the Preservation of Anthropological Records).
Silverman's career as an administrator began in 1970 when she was elected as departmental chair at Queens College. In 1975 she was chosen as the Executive Officer of the CUNY Ph.D. Program in Anthropology, and under her leadership the program went from disarray and the threat of elimination to being cited as one of the ten top anthropology doctoral programs in the country. She also led a successful effort to retain full anthropology departments at all the senior CUNY colleges during the New York City budget crises of 1965-76. In 1987 she was appointed president of the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and acted as the spokesperson for the Foundation, overseeing fellowship and grant funding and advocating for the field of anthropology. She retired from Wenner-Gren in 1999.
Silverman died of cancer on March 25, 2019 at age 85.
Roberts, Sam. "Sydel Silverman, 85, Dies; Defended Anthropology in Academia." New York Times, April 5, 2019.
1933 -- Born May 20 in Chicago, Illinois
1951 -- January: Entered University of Illinois at Navy Pier, pre-med, through August 1952
1952 -- Entered University of Chicago, Program in Human Development
1953 -- December 27: Married Mel Silverman
1957 -- September: Entered Columbia University, Department of Anthropology Received M.A. from University of Chicago
1960-1961 -- Conducted fieldwork in Montecastello di Vibio
1962 -- September: Began teaching classes at Queens College, CUNY
1963 -- PhD awarded
1966 -- Mel Silverman died
1968 -- Fall semester: Acting Chairman, Dept. of Anthro., Queens Tenure awarded, Queens College
1970-1973 -- Department Chairman, Anthropology, Queens
1972 -- March 18: Married Eric R. Wolf
1975 -- Executive Officer of Ph.D. Program in Anthropology, CUNY Graduate School (through June 1982)
1980-1982 -- Festival research and travels in Italy: Siena, Perugia, Gubbio, Rome, Florence, Geneva
1982-1983 -- September: Acting Dean of the Graduate School, CUNY
1987 -- President of Wenner-Gren Foundation
1999 -- Eric R. Wolf died Retired from Wenner-Gren presidency
2019 -- Silverman died of cancer on March 25 at age 85
1968 -- Silverman, Sydel F. "Agricultural Organization, Social Structure, and Values in Italy: Amoral Familism Reconsidered." American Anthropologist 70 (February 1968): 1-20.
1970 -- Silverman, Sydel F. "'Exploitation' in Rural Central Italy: Structure and Ideology in Stratification Study." Comparative Studies in Society and History 12 (July 1970): 327-339.
1975 -- Silverman, Sydel. Three Bells of Civilization: the Life of an Italian Hill Town. New York: Columbia University Press, 1975.
1976 -- Silverman, Sydel. "Anthropology and the Crisis at CUNY." Anthropology News 17, no.10 (December 1976): 7-10.
1981 -- Silverman, Sydel, ed. Totems and Teachers: Key Figures in the History of Anthropology. New York: Columbia University Press, 1981.
1984 -- Silverman, Sydel. "Anthropological Perspectives on Suicide." In Suicide: The Will to Live vs. The Will to Die, edited by Norman Linzer, 225-233. New York: Human Sciences Press, 1984.
1986 -- Silverman, Sydel. "Anthropology and History: Understanding the Boundaries." Historical Methods 19 (Summer 1986): 123-126.
1992 -- Silverman, Sydel and Nancy J. Parezo, eds. Preserving the Anthropological Record. New York: Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, 1992.
2002 -- Silverman, Sydel. The Beast on the Table: Conferencing with Anthropologists. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2002.
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Sydel Silverman in April 2011.
Files containing Silverman's students' grades and papers have been restricted, as have grant and fellowships applications sent to Silverman to review and her comments on them. For preservation reasons, the computer disks from The Beast on the Table are also restricted.
Access to the Sydel Silverman papers requires an appointment.
The bulk of these papers document the professional life of Carol Kramer, a leading figure in ethnoarchaeology, specializing in the Middle East and South Asia. She was also a major advocate for the professional development of women in anthropology and archaeology.
Dating 1943-2002, the collection includes field notes, writings, correspondence, daily planners, teaching files, photographs, sound recordings, maps, computer disks, and botanical specimens. Her ethnoarchaeological research in "Shahabad" (a.k.a. "Aliabad") in Iran and in Rajasthan, India is well-represented in the collection.
Scope and Contents Note:
The bulk of these papers document the professional life of Carol Kramer. The collection contains field notes, writings, correspondence, daily planners, teaching files, photographs, sound recordings, maps, computer disks, and botanical specimens. Also in the collection are her notes and grade transcripts as a college and graduate student.
Her ethnoarchaeological research in "Shahabad" (a.k.a. "Aliabad") in Iran and in Rajasthan, India is well-represented in the collection in the form of her notes, maps, writings, and photographs. In addition, there are plant specimens that Kramer collected in Iran. Also among her research files are photocopies of her field notes from her work in Guatemala. Although her field notes from the Hasanlu Project are absent, the collection does contain a few photographs and some notes and correspondence from her research for her article on the Hasanlu Project's excavations at Dalma Tepe. In addition, the collection contains "A System of Pottery Classification According to Shape," a paper by Robert H. Dyson, Jr. and T. Cuyler Young, Jr. for the Hasanlu Project. Materials relating to the Godin Project consist of correspondence from 1996 and 1997 and a 1973 group photo.
Copies of her monographs are present in the collection along with drafts, figures, and correspondence for her published writings and dissertation. Many of the papers that she presented at professional meetings, seminars, and special lectures can also be found in the collection, including her 1994 AAA Distinguished Lecture, "The Quick and the Dead: Ethnography in and for Archaeology." In addition, there are two cassette tape recordings of Kramer presenting her paper, "Ceramics in Two Indian Cities," and the subsequent group discussion at the 1985 School of American Research Advanced Seminar, "Social and Behavioral Sources of Ceramic Variability." Also of special interest are materials documenting her involvement in the 1981 "Resolution to Implement the 1972 American Anthropological Association Resolution on Fair Practices in Employment of Women."
Kramer's professional correspondence is spread throughout the collection, mixed together with other documents, filed by subject. Much of her later correspondence is in the form of e-mail printouts. Letters of reference she wrote can also be found on her computer disks, which consist of several 3.50" and 5.25" floppy disks. Other files on the disks include materials for her books and articles, research data, her performance evaluations files, notes for courses she taught, and her will.
It should be noted that Kramer was briefly married during the 1960s and 1970s to Christopher Hamlin, who was a fellow graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania. Thus, she is referred to as Carol Hamlin in some of the documents from that period.
1971 -- "The 1971 Excavations at Seh Gabi, Iran," Archaeology, Vol. 26, pp. 224-227.
1974 -- "The Early Second Millennium Ceramic Assemblage of Dinkha Tepe," Ibid. with Louis D. Levine. "The Godin Project: Seh Gabi," Iran XII, pp. 211-213. "Seh Gabi, 1973," Archaeology, Vol. 27, pp. 274-277
1977 -- "Pots and Peoples," Mountains and Lowlands: Essays in the Archaeology of Greater Mesopotamia, edited by L.D. Levine and T.C. Young, Jr. Malibu: Undena Publications
1979 -- editor. Ethnoarchaeology: Implications of Ethnography for Archaeology. New York: Colombia University Press.
1980 -- "Estimating Prehistoric Populations: an Ethnoarchaeological Approach," L'Archéologie de I'Iraq, edited by Marie-Thérèse Barrelet, Paris: Centre National de la Rechere Scientifique.
1982 -- Village Ethnoarchaeology: Rural Iran in Archaeological Perspective. New York: Academic Press.
1988 -- with Miriam Stark. "The Status of Women in Archaeology," Anthropology Newsletter. Vol. 29, No. 9, pp. 11-12.
1991 -- Co-editor with W.A. Longcre. "Ethnoarchaeology," special issue of Expedition "Ceramics in Two Indian Cities," Ceramic Ethnoarchaeology, edited by William Longacre. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
1997 -- Pottery in Rajasthan: Ethnoarchaeology in Two Indian Cities. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.
2001 -- with Nicholas David. Ethnoarchaeology in Action. Cambridge (U.K.): Cambridge University Press
1943 -- Born May 3 in New York, New York
1964 -- Earns B.A. from The City University of New York
1967, 1969 -- Site supervisor of archaeological excavations at Godin Tepe, Iran for the Royal Ontario Museum's Godin Project
1968 -- Site supervisor of archaeological excavations at Dinkha Tepe and Se Girdan, Iran for University of Pennsylvania-Metropolitan Museum of Art's Hasanlu Project.
1970 -- Ethnoarchaeological research with an urban potter in Antigua, Guatemala
1971 -- Receives Ph.D. in Anthropology from University of Pennsylvania 1971 Hired as Assistant Professor at City University of New York Assistant director of archaeological excavations at Seh Gabi, Iran for Godin Project
1973 -- Assistant director of archaeological excavations at Seh Gabi, Iran for Godin Project
1975 -- Ethnoarchaeological research in Iranian village
1977 -- Associate Professor, Lehman College and the Graduate Center, CUNY
1980 -- Ethnoarchaeological research in Rajasthan, India
1982-1984 -- Ethnoarchaeological research in Rajasthan, India
1985 -- Visiting Professor at Yale University
1986-1988 -- Visiting Professor at University of Arizona
1990 -- Hired as Professor at University of Arizona
1994 -- Presents distinguished lecture to Archaeology Section of American Anthropological Association
1995 -- Site supervisor of archaeological excavations at Gordion, Turkey
1996 -- Ethnoarchaeological research near Gordion, Turkey
1999 -- Receives "Squeaky Wheel Award" from COSWA/American Anthropological Association
2002 -- Died on December 3 at the age of 59
Carol Kramer was a leading figure in ethnoarchaeology, specializing in the Middle East and South Asia. She was also a major advocate for the professional development of women in anthropology and archaeology.
She was born on May 3, 1943 in New York City to Aaron Kramer, a poet and professor of English at Dowling College, and Katherine Kolodny Kramer, a social worker. She attended the High School of Music and Art and earned her B.A. at the City University of New York in 1964. Kramer initially studied archaeology in the graduate program at the University of Chicago, but transferred to the University of Pennsylvania after a year, where she earned her doctorate in 1971. Her dissertation was entitled "The Habur Ware Ceramic Assemblage of Northern Mesopotamia: An Analysis of its Distribution."
In 1968, she was a site supervisor for University of Pennsylvania and Metropolitan Museum of Art's joint archaeological excavations at Dinkha Tepe and Se Girdan, Iran as part of the Hasanlu Project, directed by Robert H. Dyson, Jr. She also served as site supervisor (1967, 1969) and Assistant Director (1971, 1973) for the Royal Ontario Museum's archaeological excavation at Godin Tepe, known as the Godin Project, which was directed by Louis D. Levine and T. Cuyler Young, Jr. In 1970, she conducted her first ethnoarchaeological fieldwork under Ruben Reina, working with an urban potter in Antigua, Guatemala.
Kramer returned to Iran in 1975 to conduct ethnoarchaeological research in a Kurdish village in the Hamadān Province. Her work there resulted in several papers, including "An Archaeological View of a Contemporary Kurdish Village: Domestic Architecture, Household Size, and Wealth," published in Ethnoarchaeology: Implications of Ethnography for Archaeology (1979), which she edited. She expanded upon her paper in her 1982 book, Village Ethnoarchaeology: Rural Iran in Archaeological Perspective.
For her next project, she intended to study pottery communities in Iran, but the outbreak of the Iranian Revolution forced her to change her plans, and she decided to shift her location to India. In 1980 and 1982-1984, she studied ceramic production and distribution in Rajasthan. Articles produced from her research include "Ceramics in Two Indian Cities" (1991), "Ceramics in Rajasthan: Distribution and Scalar Variation" (1992), "A Tale of Two Cities: Ceramic Ethnoarchaeology in Rajasthan" (1994), and "Social and Locational Contexts of Ceramic Distribution in Rajasthan" (1995). She also authored Pottery in Rajasthan: Ethnoarchaeology in Two Indian Cities, published in 1997.
Kramer returned to the field in 1995, serving as site supervisor for archaeological excavations in Gordion, Turkey. She returned the next year to explore the possibility of conducting research in Yassihöyük and other villages near Gordion as an extension of her village ethnoachaeology research in Iran.
In 2001, Kramer further contributed to the field of ethnoarchaeology with the publication of Ethnoarchaeology in Action, which she co-wrote with Nicholas David. The landmark book is the first comprehensive study of ethnoarchaeology.
In addition to her work in ethnoarchaeology, Kramer was also involved in promoting the professional advancement of women in anthropology. In 1980, Kramer and her colleagues (Roger Sanjek, Rayna Rapp, Carole Vance, and Glenn Peterson) drew up a resolution to implement the 1972 Resolution on Fair Practices in Employment of Women. They campaigned to raised funds and support for the resolution, which called for the American Anthropological Association (AAA) to censure universities that hired or promoted a low percentage of women. Due to their work, the resolution passed and AAA censured five departments in 1981. In 1988, she and Miriam Stark published, "The Status of Women in Archeology," a study of gender equity in archaeology. They looked at gender differences in the number of graduate students, PhD recipients, and funding recipients as well as in faculty composition. Kramer was also a member of the Committee on the Status of Women in Anthropology (COSWA) from 1973 to 1975 and host and discussion leader at the COSWA Roundtable on professional skills and the female archaeologist at the 1998 annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA).
In 1999, Kramer was awarded the Squeaky Wheel Award by COSWA in recognition of her contributions to equity for women in anthropology. She also delivered the 1994 Distinguished Lecture to the Archaeology Section for the AAA, "The Quick and the Dead: Ethnography in and for Archaeology." In 2003, she was posthumously awarded the SAA's Award for excellence in Archaeological Analysis.
From 1971 to 1990, Kramer taught at Queens College and later Lehman College and the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, during which time she was a visiting professor at Yale University (1985). She also taught at the University of Arizona (1986-1988) as a recipient of a National Science Foundation Visiting Professorship for Women. In 1990, she joined the faculty of the University of Arizona, where she taught until her death.
Kramer passed away at the age of 59 on December 3, 2002.
Rothschild, Nan A. "Carol Kramer (1943-2002)." American Anthropologist 106.1 (2004): 214-220.
Thompson, Raymond H. and Norman Yoffee. "Carol Kramer." Anthropology News 44.3 (2003): 30.
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Carol Kramer's sister, Laura Kramer.
The Carol Kramer papers are open for research.
Materials with student grades and social security numbers have been restricted. The dates that the restricted items will be made available for access range from 2047 to 2064. Access to Kramer's computer disks is also restricted. Please consult an archivist for more information.
New York University. Museum Studies Program Search this
134 sound recordings
31.5 Linear feet (72 boxes)
1951-2012, bulk 1969-2012
The Flora S. Kaplan papers document her field work, research, and professional activities from 1951-2012 (bulk 1969-2012) and primarily deal with her work as the director and founder of New York University's Museum Studies program and her field work in Benin and Mexico. The collection consists of correspondence, research files, book files, photographs, sound recordings, ephemera, and writings.
Scope and Contents:
The Flora S. Kaplan papers document her field work, research, and professional activities from 1951-2012 (bulk 1969-2012) and primarily deal with her work as the director and founder of New York University's (NYU) Museum Studies program and her field work in Benin, Nigeria and Mexico. The collection consists of correspondence, research files, book files, photographs, sound recordings, ephemera, and writings.
Series 1. Museum Studies contains material related to the administration of NYU's Museum Studies program, Kaplan's participation in professional societies including ICOM (International Council of Museums), AAA (American Anthropological Association), and ACASA (Arts Council of the African Studies Association), and materials dealing with Kaplan's museum studies publications, especially Museums and the Making of "Ourselves": The Role of Objects in National Identity.
Series 2. Benin (Nigeria) consists of materials related to Kaplan's fieldwork in Benin, Nigeria including her tenure as a Fulbright professor at the University of Benin from 1983-1985 and subsequent books, articles, symposia, correspondence and travels to Benin. This includes letters from friends and business associates in Benin, including extensive correspondence with the Oba of Benin, and field notes that span more than 20 years and include interviews, research, and Kaplan's thoughts on her experiences.
Series 3. Mexico consists of materials related to Kaplan's field work in Mexico in the 1970s and subsequent research and writings. This includes original research in support of Kaplan's doctoral thesis, A Mexican Folk Pottery Tradition: Cognition and Style in Material Culture in the Valley of Puebla.
This collection is arranged in 3 series: Series 1. Museum studies, 1951-2012, bulk 1970-2012; Series 2. Benin (Nigeria), 1969-2012; Series 3. Mexico, 1957-2007, bulk 1969-1998.
Flora Edouwaye S. Kaplan, anthropologist, is a professor emerita, and founding director (1978-99) of the Museum Studies Program, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, New York University (NYU). She taught Anthropology as a Fulbright professor, (1983-85), University of Benin, Nigeria; and previously taught at Lehman College, CUNY (1970-1976), before arriving at New York University in 1976.
She publishes widely on Benin (Nigeria) and on Mexico, museum politics, art, photography, religion and gender. She holds degrees in anthropology from The Graduate Center, CUNY (Ph.D.), and Columbia University (M.A., archaeology). Dr. Kaplan was on the curatorial staff at the Brooklyn Museum, New York for six years in the Department of Primitive Art and New World Cultures. She was a research associate at the Museum of the American Indian, (1977-87), and was an associate at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU for more than 20 years. She co-edited the book series 'Museum Meanings' (Routledge) from 1997-2010 and has been a Board member of the journal 'Museums & Society' (University of Leicester Press) since 2004.
(Biography courtesy of Flora Kaplan's C.V. in Box 3 of this collection)
1930 August 28 -- Flora Kaplan born in New York City
1951 -- B.A. degree, Hunter College: English writing major, Anthropology minor
1951-1954 -- Assistant, The Brooklyn Museum of the City of New York, Department of Primitive Art and New World Cultures
1954-1957 -- Acting Curator, The Brooklyn Museum of the City of New York, Department of Primitive Art and New World Cultures
1958 -- M.A. degree, Columbia University, Anthropology
1970-1976 -- Graduate fellow, lecturer: Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York (CUNY), Department of Anthropology
1972-1973, 1977 -- Field work, Mexico
1976 -- Ph.D., The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY), Social Anthropology
1976-1999 -- Director and founder of the Museum Studies Program, professor of Anthropology, New York University
1977-1987 -- Research associate, Museum of the American Indian
1983-1985 -- Fulbright professor at the University of Benin, Nigeria
1999-present -- Professor emerita of Museum Studies, New York University
Additional material from Flora S. Kaplan, primarily related to her field work in Mexico, can be located at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) Archive Center: Flora S. Kaplan collection.
Two one-half inch video tapes and two 3/4 inch Umatic video tapes were transferred to the Human Studies Film Archive (accession number 2016-008).
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Flora S. Kaplan in 2015.
The Flora S. Kaplan papers are currently closed to researchers due to donor imposed restrictions. Please contact the NAA for further information.
Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Philip, Prince, consort of Elizabeth II, Queen of Great Britain, 1921- Search this
1.5 Cubic feet
1924 - 1981
Scope and Contents:
This collection covers the period 1924-81 and consists of exhibition catalogs, correspondence, photographs, slides, drawings, photostats, contracts, book proofs, and related biographical material on Lissim. Extensive material on the designer's work for the Sevres porcelain factory includes correspondence, original contracts, photographs of porcelains and designs for porcelains, slides, drawings, and invoices.
Most of the material relating to Sevres is in French. A copy of the brochure for the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes, 1925, is included, which features many of his designs. Also included are his designs for commencement caps and gowns, and other related ephemera for the City University of New York's City College.
The collection contains a mock-up of his 1952 publication, "How to be an Artist", which describes different techniques and how to apply them to greeting cards, porcelains, and textiles. Copies of the introduction and biographical sections of his book "An Artist's Interpretation of Nature", published in 1958 are included.
A scrapbook consists of articles, reviews, personal correspondence, press releases, and brochures. Among Lissim's personal correspondence are letters exchanged with Prince Philip of England, an avid collector of his work. Material on Lissim's work for the theater consists of exhibition brochures, correspondence, and lists of institutions in possession of his work. In addition, the collection contains photographs of Lissim's designs for jewelry, flatware, and textiles.
Biographical / Historical:
Porcelain, theater, and metalwork designer. Born, Kiev, Russia, 1900. Lissim left Russia in 1919 and moved to Paris where he resided until 1940. In all of Lissim's designs, his appreciation for nature is apparent in his use of fish, birds, flowers, and other motifs.
In 1921, he began designing scenery and costumes for the Theatre de l'Oeuve in Paris. In 1924, he created his first designs for the Sevres porcelain factory. His relationship with Sevres lasted for more than 40 years and some of his designs are still being produced. His work achieved a gold medal at the 1929 Exposition Internationale Des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Barcelona. Lissim made his first journey to the United States in 1935, and by 1936, his designs for the theater were featured in exhibitions in this country. His porcelains were featured in exhibitions at The Smith College Museum of Art, 1939, and Georg Jensen, Inc., 1941.
Lissim became Head of the Art Education Project at the New York Public Library in 1942. In 1947 he began teaching at the City Univerity of New York's City College campus, where he also designed commencement costumes for the Chancellor, President, and Chief Marshal. In 1952, Lissim became an art consultant for Castleton China, Inc. in New Castle, Pennsylvania. His work was featured in the exhibition, "A Designer's Interpretation of Nature", held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York in 1953. In 1954, Lissim created his first silver pieces of jewelry and flatware manufactured by Carl Sorensen & Son, Copenhagen, Denmark. In the early 60s, Lissim created three designs for plates that were executed by Claude Boulme. He continued to work and hold exhibitions at his studio in Dobbs Ferry, New York, until his death in 1981.
Related Archival Materials:
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Applied Arts Department
A Lenox vase, plates, cups, and saucers. A sterling silver pin, paperweight, and cutlery.
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Department of Drawings and Prints
Designs for plates, vases, and other porcelain pieces, silver cutlery, stage designs, playing cards, and greeting cards. Drawings of commencement robes, a gavel, and a mace designed for City College. Poster for the Musée Céramique de Sévres.
Additional archival materials can be found at The New York Public Library, Theater Division; City University of New York, City College Archives; and Columbia University Libraries, Bakhmeteff Archive, New York City.
Porcelains designed by Lissim are in the collections of the following museums: Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York; and The Museum of the City of New York, New York City, among others.
These materials were donated to Cooper-Hewitt by the museum's former Curator of Drawings and Prints, Elaine Evans Dee, in 1996. Transferred to the Archives Center in 2012.
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
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.
The papers of art historian and educator Milton Wolf Brown date from 1908 to 1998 and measure 26.0 linear feet and 0.225 GB. The collection documents Brown's career through scattered biographical material, correspondence with friends, publishers, colleagues, artists, museums, and art organizations, travel journals, files for the Prendergast Catalogue Raisonne Project, exhibition, research, teaching, and organization files, printed and digital material, and scattered photographs. A large portion of this collection consists of writings by Brown including notebooks, draft writings for books and other publications, lectures, and his writings as a student.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of art historian and educator Milton Wolf Brown date from 1908 to 1998 and measure 25.8 linear feet and 0.225 GB. The collection documents Brown's career through scattered biographical material, correspondence with friends, publishers, colleagues, artists, museums, and art organizations, travel journals, files for the Prendergast Catalogue Raisonne Project, exhibition, research, teaching, and organization files, printed and digital material, and scattered photographs. A large portion of this collection consists of writings by Brown including notebooks, draft writings for books and other publications, lectures, and his writings as a student.
Biographical material includes academic records, travel documents, financial documents, Brown's military records, and a transcript of a 1997 interview. Correspondence is with students, museums, universities, publishers, art organizations, and others. The bulk of these letters document Brown's professional activities, but also found are scattered letters from friends, artists, and colleagues such as Russell Lynes, Stanley Meltzoff, Louis Lozowick, Erwin Panofsky, and Paul Sachs.
This collection also contains 33 detailed travel journals written primarily by Milton Brown's wife, Blanche, documenting their travels in Europe, the United States, and other parts of the world. Within the writings series are notebooks from the period that Brown was a student and while traveling in Europe in 1959 and 1960; book project files, which include draft writings as well as related correspondence, research material, notes, photographs and other material. Files are found for American Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Decorative Arts, Photography (1979), American Painting, From the Armory Show to the Depression (1955), The Story of the Armory Show (1963, 1988 2nd ed.), and other books. Among the writings are files for lectures written by Brown; essays, articles, and scripts written for various publications; general research notes and student writings; and writings by others sent to Brown for review and feedback.
Brown maintained a set of files documenting his work on the Prendergast Catalogue Raisonne Project, which consist of correspondence, drafts, reports, and research materials, including notes on twenty meetings with Mrs. Prendergast. Exhibition files document Brown's work as curator on several major exhibitions, including a Jacob Lawrence exhibition at the Whitney Museum, and his contributions to others. Also found here are three interviews of Milton Brown and Marcel Duchamp concerning the 50th Anniversary of the Armory Show and anniversary exhibition. Research files include notes, research material, and printed material on various art-related subjects that were maintained by Milton and Blanche Brown for regular use for lectures, teaching, and writing projects. Brown's teaching files contain scattered lecture notes, syllabi, correspondence, faculty records, and other materials from his time at CUNY, Brooklyn College, and other visiting professorships. Organization Files contain correspondence, reports, planning documents, and event materials. These records document his membership or advisory role in various organizations such as the Archives of American Art and Century Association.
This collection also contains printed material, such as exhibition announcements, newsletters, brochures, journals, event programs, and magazine and newspapers clippings compiled by Brown. Scattered photographs include nine photographs of Milton Brown, a few photographs of friends, and photographs of artwork.
The collection is arranged as 11 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1932-1998 (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1908, 1934-1998 (Boxes 1-3; 1.8 linear feet)
Series 3: Travel Journals, 1941-1996 (Boxes 3-4; 1.6 linear feet)
Series 4: Writings, circa 1929-1990s (Boxes 4-13, 25; 8.7 linear feet)
Series 5: Prendergast Catalogue Raisonne Project, circa 1952-1990 (Boxes 13-14, 25; 1.8 linear feet)
Series 6: Exhibition Files, 1962-circa 1997 (Boxes 14-16, 28; 2.0 linear feet, ER01; 0.225 GB)
Series 7: Research Files, circa 1930s-1986 (Boxes 16-19; 3.0 linear feet)
Series 8: Teaching Files, circa 1946-1993 (Boxes 19-21; 2.0 linear feet)
Series 9: Organization Files, 1959-1995 (Boxes 21-22; 1.3 linear feet)
Series 10: Printed Material, 1925-1990s (Boxes 22-24, 26, 27; 3.2 linear feet)
Series 11: Photographs, circa 1956-1990s (Boxes 25, 27; 0.2 linear feet)
Milton Wolf Brown (1911-1998) was an art historian and educator in New York City.
Known to his friends as "Mainey," Brown was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1911. At a young age he intended to be a painter and studied with Louis Lozowick. However, instead of attending art school, he entered New York University to study education and eventually received his master's and doctorate in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts. While there he took courses with Walter Friedlander, Erwin Panofsky, and Mayer Schapiro. He also received fellowships to the Courtauld Institute of Art in 1934 and Brussels in 1937, and studied from 1938-1939 at the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University. In 1938 he married fellow student Blanche Levine. After serving in World War II, he began teaching in the art department at Brooklyn College in 1946. There he developed a specialization in American art history and his doctoral dissertation, American Painting from the Armory Show to the Depression, was published in 1955. In 1963 he participated in the fiftieth anniversary exhibition of the 1913 Armory Show. The publication of his book Story of the Armory Show coincided with this event.
In 1971 Brown established the graduate program in Art History at the City University of New York, which became preeminent in the areas of modern art and American art history. During the 1980s he remained a resident professor at CUNY, though he retired in 1979, and he held visiting professorships at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art. From 1983 to 1987 he had a senior fellowship at Williams College for the Prendergast Catalogue Raisonne Project.
Over the course of his career Brown curated exhibitions, including an exhibition on the works of Jacob Lawrence and The Modern Spirit: American Painting and Photography, 1908-1935, and wrote for numerous publications. He also served as an active member of several professional societies. Brown was close friends with art scholars and artists, such as Jack Levine, Moses and Raphael Soyer, Ad Reinhardt, and Paul Strand. In 1991 he returned to painting landscape watercolors, and had the opportunity to exhibit his work before his death in 1998.
Also at the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Milton Wolf Brown, conducted in 1976 by Paul Cummings.
The Milton Wolf Brown papers were donated in 2000 and 2001 by Blanche R. Brown, Brown's widow. Three reel-to reel sound recordings were lent for duplication to cassette and transcript in 1986 by Milton Brown. A cassette copy of the Martha Deane interview was donated in 2006 by Milton Brown's estate, via Naomi Rosenblum. Additional material was donated in 2002 and 2004 by Naomi Rosenblum, executor for the estate of Blanche R. Brown, who died in 2002.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
The Milton Wolf Brown 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.