Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Search Results

Collections Search Center
8 documents - page 1 of 1

Richard Dempsey papers

Creator:
Dempsey, Richard W., 1909-  Search this
Names:
Art in Embassies Program (U.S.)  Search this
Clark Atlanta University Art Gallery  Search this
Corcoran Gallery of Art  Search this
Franz Bader Gallery  Search this
Howard University  Search this
United States. Embassy (Colombia)  Search this
United States. Embassy (Jamaica)  Search this
Brooks, Vonja Kirkland  Search this
Lawrence, Jacob, 1917-2000  Search this
Perlmutter, Jack, 1920-2006  Search this
Waters, Ethel, 1896-1977  Search this
Extent:
2.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Poetry
Sketches
Place:
Colombia -- Description and Travel
Date:
1929-1989
bulk 1960s-1980s
Summary:
The papers of painter Richard W. Dempsey measure 2.9 linear feet and date from 1929 to 1989, with the bulk of the papers dating from the 1960s to the 1980s. The papers contain biographcial material, correspondence, writings, project and exhibition files, printed material, photographs, and artwork and notes related to planning artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter Richard W. Dempsey measure 2.9 linear feet and date from 1929 to 1989, with the bulk of the papers dating from the 1960s to the 1980s. The papers contain biographical material, correspondence, writings, project and exhibition files, printed material, photographs, and artwork and notes related to planning artwork.

Biographical material consists of employment records; resumes, chronologies, and biographies; and compiled personal papers that may have once been part of scrapbooks. These materials are not bound, but have remained together and in the order in which they were received. This series also includes a folder of material related to Dempsey's wife, Vonja Kirkland Brooks.

Correspondence includes letters both sent, and received by the artist, primarily concerning the exhibition of Dempsey's paintings at the Franz Bader Gallery, the Atlanta University Gallery, Howard University, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the U.S. Embassies in Colombia and Jamaica, and with the Art in Embassies Program. Notable correspondents include Jack Perlmutter, Ethel Waters, and Jacob Lawrence. Personal and professional correspondence are intermingled throughout.

Writings include notes and drafts of lectures and other course materials, as well as excerpts and quotes from reviews of exhibitions of Dempsey's work. These excerpts, usually titled "comments," are frequently copied out by hand. Also included in this series are two folders of poetry.

Project and exhibition files include photographs; correspondence; lists; sketches and other plans; and printed material including clippings and exhibition announcements. Materials related to his Rosenwald Fellowship, his participation in the Art in Embassies program, his many exhibitions at Franz Bader Gallery, and his international exhibitions in Colombia and Jamaica are featured. Some files in this series may only include photographs or sketches.

Photographs are primarily of Dempsey's work and of exhibitions. There are some of the artist and of his Takoma Park, MD home and studio (designed by Harry Ormston of McLean, VA and occasionally featured in architecture articles).

Artwork is primarily composed of sketches, often with detailed planning notes for the completion of paintings.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as seven series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1930-1987 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1938-1985, undated (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, 1981, undated (Box 1; 3 folders)

Series 4: Project and Exhibition Files, 1929-1986 (Boxes 1-2; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1930s-1989, undated (Boxes 2-3; 0.4 linear feet, OV 5)

Series 6: Photographic Material, 1932-1981, undated (Boxes 3-4; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 7: Artwork, 1965-1981, undated, (Box 4; 5 folders, OV 5)
Biographical / Historical:
Richard W. Dempsey (1909-1987) was a painter known primarily for his abstract works and his portraits of prominent African American individuals including Ethel Waters, Duke Ellington, Thurgood Marshall, and Adam Clayton Powell. He was born in Ogden, Utah, but spent the majority of his youth in Oakland, California. He studied art at Sacramento Junior College, the California School of Arts and Crafts, and the Student Arts Center. Dempsey had four exhibitions in California before moving to Washington, D.C. to begin work as an engineering draftsman with the Federal Power Commission in 1941. He later transferred to a position as an illustrator with the General Services Administration (GSA), where he would spend the rest of his nearly 30-year government career.

In addition to his work with the GSA, Dempsey participated in the Art in Embassies program for decades, and his work was chosen by Congressman Adam Clayton Powell to hang in the Education Labor Committee rooms.

Dempsey was awarded a Julius Rosenwald Fellowship in 1946 to paint 100 portriats of "Outstanding American Negros." He taught art courses at the Corcoran School of Art and at Glen Echo and received invitations to exhibit around the world in places like Haiti, Colombia, and Jamaica. He exhibited frequently in the U.S., most often with Franz Bader Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reel 4368) including a photograph album chronicling Dempsey's 1951 trip to Haiti and other photographic material. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
The Richard Dempsey papers were initially lent for microfilming in 1990 by Vonja Kirkland Dempsey, Richard Dempsey's widow. After the collection was microfilmed, Vonja Kirkland Dempsey donated the bulk of the collection, excluding some photographic material, in 1990.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Occupation:
Educators -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Painters -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Portrait painters -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Topic:
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Painting, Abstract -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Jamaica -- Description and Travel  Search this
African American artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Poetry
Sketches
Citation:
Richard Dempsey papers, 1929-1989, bulk 1960s-1980s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.demprich
See more items in:
Richard Dempsey papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-demprich

Richard Dempsey papers, 1929-1989, bulk 1960s-1980s

Creator:
Dempsey, Richard W., 1909-1987  Search this
Subject:
Brooks, Vonja Kirkland  Search this
Lawrence, Jacob  Search this
Perlmutter, Jack  Search this
Waters, Ethel  Search this
Art in Embassies Program (U.S.)  Search this
Clark Atlanta University Art Gallery  Search this
Corcoran Gallery of Art  Search this
Franz Bader Gallery  Search this
Howard University  Search this
United States  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Poetry
Sketches
Place:
Colombia -- description and travel
Topic:
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Painting, Abstract -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Jamaica -- Description and Travel  Search this
African American artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9942
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212493
AAA_collcode_demprich
Theme:
African American
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_212493
Online Media:

From rearguard to vanguard : selections from the Clark Atlanta University collection of African American art

Author:
Clark Atlanta University Art Gallery  Search this
Olympic Arts Festival (1966 : Atlanta, Ga.)  Search this
Host institution:
Clark Atlanta University Art Gallery  Search this
Physical description:
32 pages : color illustrations ; 23 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Exhibition catalogs
Date:
1996
20th century
Topic:
African American art  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1091349

In the eye of the muses : selections from the Clark Atlanta University art collection / Tina Maria Dunkley, Jerry Cullum ; with an introduction by Richard A. Long

Author:
Clark Atlanta University  Search this
Dunkley, Tina Maria  Search this
Cullum, Jerry  Search this
Subject:
Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries  Search this
Physical description:
253 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm + 1 CD-ROM (4 3/4 in.)
Type:
Catalogs
Place:
Georgia
Atlanta
Date:
2012
[2012], ©2012
Topic:
African American art  Search this
Art--Private collections  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_988649

Rescue and Restoration

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Sat, 01 Jul 2000 03:00:00 +0000
Topic:
Search this
See more post:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_7315788389c345c2f4ab239258522929

Lifting the veil : Robert S. Duncanson and the emergence of the African-American artist : media report

Title:
Media report
Author:
Duncanson, Robert S. 1821-1872  Search this
Subject:
Duncanson, Robert S. 1821-1872 Exhibitions  Search this
Physical description:
1 v. (various pagings) : ill. ; 28 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1996
1996?]
Call number:
N40.1.D897 W32 1996
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_534045

Robert S. Duncanson : lifting the veil : the emergence of the African-American artist : [exhibition / organized by the Washington University Gallery of Art, St. Louis.]

Title:
Lifting the veil
Author:
Duncanson, Robert S. 1821-1872  Search this
Taft Museum  Search this
Washington University (Saint Louis, Mo.) Gallery of Art  Search this
Subject:
Duncanson, Robert S. 1821-1872 Exhibitions  Search this
Physical description:
1 v. (unpaged) : ill. (some col.) ; 27 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
United States
Date:
1995
[1995]
Topic:
African American painters  Search this
Landscape painters--Exhibitions  Search this
Call number:
N40.1.D897 W3 1995
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_494351

Hairstorieshairstorieshairstories / Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art ; [texts ©2003 by Kim Curry-Evans ... et al.]

Title:
Hair stories, hair stories, hair stories
Author:
Curry-Evans, Kim  Search this
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art  Search this
Physical description:
64 p. : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 28 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
2003
C2003
Topic:
African American art  Search this
Hair in art  Search this
Hair in literature  Search this
Hairdressing of African Americans  Search this
Call number:
N8217.H27 H35 2003
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_902910

Modify Your Search







or


Narrow By