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Elizabeth Gordon Papers

Creator:
Gordon, Elizabeth, 1906-2000  Search this
Names:
Claiborne, Craig  Search this
Gordon, Elizabeth, 1906-2000  Search this
Leach, Bernard, 1887-1979  Search this
Extent:
3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Periodicals
Photographs
Correspondence
Personal papers
Place:
Japan
Date:
1958-1987
Summary:
Papers, 1959-1987, of Elizabeth Gordon, editor of the periodical, House Beautiful from 1941-1964, mostly related to her research for the August and September 1960 issues of House Beautiful regarding the Japanese aesthetic concept of "shibui", and the subsequent travelling "shibui exhibition" from 1961-1964. Included are correspondence, some photocopies, 1959-1963; notes; drafts for articles and lectures; printed material including magazine and newspaper clippings, 1959-1987; 2 books, and exhibition announcements; drawings of paper and foil art; a photo album containing photos of exhibition installations; and photographs, slides, color transparencies, and lantern slides depicting people, sites, and objects reflecting the "shibui" aesthetic.
Scope and Contents:
The Elizabeth Gordon Papers measure 4.5 linear feet and span the years 1959-1987. The collection mainly documents Ms. Gordon's research for the August and September 1960 issues of House Beautiful regarding the Japanese aesthetic concept of "shibui", and the subsequent travelling "shibui exhibition" from 1961-1964. Included are correspondence, some photocopies, 1959-1963; research notes and materials; articles; lectures; printed material including magazine and newspaper clippings, 1959-1987; 2 books, and exhibition announcements; article materials; a photo album containing photos of exhibition installations; and photographs, slides, color transparencies, and lantern slides depicting people, sites, and objects reflecting the "shibui" aesthetic.
Arrangement note:
This collection is organized into eight series. 1. Biographical data, 2. Shibui research, 3. Shibui issues of, House Beautiful, 4. Correspondence, 5. Shibui promotion, 6. Exhibition files, 7. Printed materials, and 8. Photographs.
Biographical Information:
Born in Logansport, Indiana in 1906, Elizabeth Gordon served as editor of House Beautiful magazine 1941 to 1964. Ms. Gordon first became interested in Japanese aesthetics during the mid-1950s. As a result she began to read and study Japanese art, history and culture. In 1959, Gordon travelled to Japan with three staff people from, House Beautiful. In Kyoto she met Eiko Yuasa, a young woman then employed by the City of Kyoto to handle foreign V.I.P.s, who was assigned to assist Gordon during her stay there. It was Ms. Yuasa who, in the course of discussions of Japanese aesthetics, introduced the term "shibui." Around that term and its related concepts ("iki", "jimi", "hade") the theme for the issue began to crystallize. In August and September, 1960, House Beautiful, under the editorial control of Ms. Gordon, published two extremely popular issues devoted to the subject of "shibui". Due to the popularity of the issues, museum exhibits devoted to the concept of "shibui" travelled around the United States. Ms. Gordon died in Adamstown, Maryland in 2000.

Biographical Overview

1906 -- Born in Logansport, Indiana

1920s -- Attended the University of Chicago

1930s -- Moved to New York to work as a promotional copywriter for several newspapers

1930s -- Syndicated columnist on home maintenance for The New York Herald Tribune

1930s -- Editor at Good Housekeeping (here for 8 years)

1937 -- More House for your Money by Elizabeth Gordon and Dorothy Ducas published by W. Morrow and Company: New York.

1937 -- Married Carl Hafey Norcross

1939 -- Appointed editor of House Beautiful

1964 -- Left the magazine world

1972 -- Published a special issue on Scandinavian design and awarded the insignia of a knight, first class, in the Finnish Order of the Lion

1987 -- American Institute of Architects made her an honorary member

1988 -- Carl Hafey Norcross died

September 3, 2000 -- Died in Adamstown, MD

(The following biography of Elizabeth Gordon comes courtesy of curator Louise Cort. Written in consultation with Elizabeth Gordon, October 23, 1987)

The research papers, memoranda, magazines, books, photographs and color transparencies and other materials in this archives are related to the publication by Elizabeth Gordon (Mrs. Carl Norcross), editor of House Beautiful from 1941 to 1964 and creator of the August, 1960 issue of the magazine on the special theme of the Japanese aesthetic concept of "shibui". The "shibui issue" was followed by the September, 1960, issue of the same publication on the theme, "How to be shibui with American things." As a by-product of the issues, a "Shibui Exhibition" travelled to eleven museums in the United States during 1961-1964. Each exhibition was opened with a slide lecture by Elizabeth Gordon.

Miss Gordon first became curious about Japanese aesthetics in the mid-1950s when she began to see Japanese objects being displayed and used in the homes of Americans who had spent time in Japan during the Occupation and Japanese influence began to appear in wholesale showrooms of home furnishings manufacturers. It was clear that the time had come: she HAD to go to Japan!

She read for five years before going to Japan - history, social mores, art history. (Many of the books on Japan that she collected during this time have been presented to the library at the University of Maryland, College Park.)

An important bit of advice came from Alice Spaulding Bowen, owner of Pacifica, the highest quality shop of Asian antiquities in Honolulu, who told her, "Be sure to read, The Tale of Genji - then you'll understand everything."

She made her first trip to Japan in April, 1959, accompanied by three staff people from, House Beautiful. In Kyoto she met Eiko Yuasa, a young woman then employed by the City of Kyoto to handle foreign V.I.P.s, who was assigned to assist Miss Gordon during her stay there. It was Ms. Yuasa who, in the course of discussions of Japanese aesthetics, introduced the term "shibui." Around that term and its related concepts ("iki", "jimi", "hade") the theme for the issue began to crystallize.

Miss Gordon came home, planning to spend the summer researching "shibui" with the aid of the Japan Society. But she found virtually nothing written in English on the concept. So she returned to Japan in December, 1959 together with staff member Marion Gough, to dig deeper and to work out details and get better educated with Eiko Yuasa. One of their devices was to walk through department stores and discuss with sales personnel whether objects for sale were "shibui", or were "jimi" or "hade", and why. Between themselves, they did the same for the costumes of women they saw on the streets.

Lacking printed sources for information on "shibui", Miss Gordon sought out and interviewed experts, including Douglas Overton, head of the Japan Society in New York. In Japan in December, 1959, she met Yanagi Soetsu, founder of Japan's Folk Craft Movement and head of the Craft Museum in Tokyo (with an introduction from Tonomura Kichinosuke, head of the Craft Museum in Kurashiki). She met the chef Tsuji Kaichi, who was commissioned to write an article on "kaiseki" (that could not be used because of an inadequate English translation) and Frances Blakemore. She met several times with Bernard Leach and attended his lecture at Bonnier's while he was in New York in March, 1960. (He would later write a "fan letter" for the issue)

As the concept of "the shibui issue" began to take shape, a third trip in the spring of 1960 focused on photography - to produce the shooting script decided on the preceding December. This was executed by the noted photographer Ezra Stoller of Rye, New York, and John DeKoven Hill, House Beautiful's Editorial Director. (Mr. Hill worked with Frank Lloyd Wright except for the ten years that he was a member of the House Beautiful editorial staff)

Miss Gordon was back in Japan in Mid-August 1960 as the "shibui issue" was causing a sensation. Altogether she spent sixteen months in Japan.

As one of the experiences that influenced her strong interest in Japanese costumes and textiles, Miss Gordon remembers a spectacularly thorough exhibition at the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno on, 1200 Years of Japanese Costume. She saw it on the last day of its exhibition (possibly 1964).

The August 1960 issue sold out quickly. Copies of the magazine, which sold for fifty cents, were sold on the "black market" for ten dollars.

The publication of the August 1960 issue was followed by an unprecedented avalanche of "fan mail". Many department heads in colleges and universities, including the Harvard-Yenching Institute and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (where Miss Gordon had worked as an undergraduate) wrote to comment on the issue. Many people in other fields of endeavor wrote: heads of firms concerned with interior design, landscape architecture, and related areas expressed their interest in the concept of "shibui" Other writers include Bernard Leach, Gertrude Natzler, Laura Gilpin, Mainbocher, the architect Yoshimura Junzo, the textile artist Marianne Strengell, Walter Kerr, Craig Claiborne, and Oliver Statler.

The "shibui issue" was followed immediately by the September issue dealing with the use of non-Japanese objects to express the concept of "shibui." (Miss Gordon convinced her advertisers, who had been skeptical about the potential success of the August issue, by promising the September issue dealing with American products.) Four American firms were involved in the production of an integrated line of paints, wallpaper, furniture and carpets expressive of the concept. Products were designed by the firms' designers following the clues offered by objects and fabrics purchased by Miss Gordon in Japan in December 1959 and spring 1960. Miss Gordon has expressed her dissatisfaction with the September issue, although public opinion was positive. She feels that some of the firms failed in the "shibui" project, though some "caught" the message: namely the paint company and the fabric/wallpaper company.

In response to strong public interest, the House Beautiful staff prepared a travelling exhibition to introduce the concept of "shibui" through a series of vignettes, mixing fabrics and objects, colors and textures. The museum installation was designed by John Hill of House Beautiful. Japan Air Lines underwrote shipping costs.

The exhibition began in Philadelphia in late 1961. Ezra Stoller was sent to photograph the installation in considerable detail at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts in January, 1962, so that his photographs cold serve as guidelines for installations at the other museums, which included the San Francisco Museum of Art (April 1962), the Newark Pubic Library, and the Honolulu Academy of Art. Miss Gordon presented a lecture on "shibui" at each of the museum installations.

In appreciation of her work to introduce Americans to the concept of "shibui", the city of Kyoto presented a bolt of especially "shibui" kimono fabric executed by a Living National Treasure textile artist. Miss Gordon eventually tailored the fabric into a dress and jacket. She received the 1961 Trail Blazer Award from the New York Chapter of the National Home Fashions League, Inc. In June, 1987, Miss Gordon was named an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects, with her introduction of the concept of "shibui" and her promotion of an understanding of other culture cited as her major contributions to American architecture.
Provenance:
Elizabeth Gordon donated her papers to the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives in 1988.
Elizabeth Gordon donated her papers to the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives in 1988.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
No restrictions on use.
Topic:
Interior decoration -- Periodicals  Search this
Landscape gardening  Search this
Art, Japanese  Search this
Aesthetics, Japanese  Search this
House funishings  Search this
Interior decoration  Search this
Museum exhibits  Search this
Interior decorators  Search this
Gardens -- Japan  Search this
Genre/Form:
Periodicals -- 1940-1970
Photographs
Correspondence
Personal papers -- 1950-2000
Citation:
The Elizabeth Gordon Papers. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Gift of Elizabeth Gordon, 1988
Identifier:
FSA.A1988.03
See more items in:
Elizabeth Gordon Papers
Archival Repository:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/dc3bd5683e5-f956-4a04-9d0c-4565a6b761b7
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-fsa-a1988-03
Online Media:

Myron Bement Smith Collection

Creator:
Smith, Myron Bement, 1897-1970  Search this
Names:
Aga-Oglu, Mehmet, 1896-1949  Search this
Ettinghausen, Richard  Search this
Field, Henry  Search this
Herzfeld, Ernst, 1879-1948  Search this
Kuban, Dogan  Search this
Moe, Henry Allen  Search this
Pope, Arthur Upham, 1881-1969  Search this
Former owner:
Blake, Marion Elizabeth  Search this
Extent:
192 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1910-1970
Summary:
The Myron Bement Smith collection consists of two parts, the papers of Myron Bement Smith and his wife Katharine and the Islamic Archives. It contains substantial material about his field research in Italy in the 1920s and his years working on Islamic architecture in Iran in the 1930s. Letters describe the milieu in which he operated in Rochester NY and New York City in the 1920s and early 1930s; the Smiths' life in Iran from 1933 to 1937; and the extensive network of academic and social contacts that Myron and Katharine developed and maintained over his lifetime. The Islamic Archives was a project to which Smith devoted most of his professional life. It includes both original materials, such as his photographs and notes, and items acquired by him from other scholars or experts on Islamic art and architecture. Smith intended the Archives to serve as a resource for scholars interested in the architecture and art of the entire Islamic world although he also included some materials about non-Islamic architecture.
Scope and Contents:
The Myron Bement Smith Collection consists of two parts, the papers of Myron Bement Smith and his wife Katharine and the Islamic Archives. The papers include some biographic material about Myron but little about his wife. Information on his academic and professional experience is sketchy and his diaries and appointment books often contain only sporadic entries. The papers contain substantial material about his field research in Italy in the 1920s and his years working on Islamic architecture in Iran in the 1930s. Correspondence comprises the largest and most potentially useful part of the papers. Letters describe the milieu in which he operated in Rochester, NY and New York City in the 1920s and early 1930s; the Smiths' life in Iran from 1933 to 1937; and the extensive network of academic and social contacts that Myron and Katharine developed and maintained over his lifetime.

The Islamic Archives, formally entitled The Archive for Islamic Culture and Art, was a project to which Smith devoted most of his professional life. It includes both original materials, such as his photographs and notes, and items acquired by him from other scholars or experts on Islamic art and architecture. Most of the latter consists of photographs and slides. Smith intended the Archives to serve as a resource for scholars interested in the architecture and art of the entire Islamic world although he also included some materials about non-Islamic architecture. The core collection of the Archives consists of Smith's original photographs and architectural sketches of Iranian Islamic monuments made during his field research in the 1930s. He meticulously photographed the interior and exterior of monuments, including their decorative detail. Some of the photographic materials subsequently loaned, purchased, or donated to the Archives may enable scholars to document sites over time but in many cases the materials are poorly preserved or reproduced. A notable exception to this is the glassplate negatives and prints of 19th century Iranian photographer Antoin Sevruguin.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 2 major series with further subseries. A third series inventories the outsized and miscellaneous materials.

Series 1: Papers

Subseries 1.1: Biographic Materials

Subseries 1.2: Professional Experience

Subseries 1.3: Notebooks, Journals and Appointment Books

Subseries 1.4: Correspondence

Subseries 1.5: Published and Unpublished Materials

Subseries 1.6: Italy Research 1925, 1927-1928

Subseries 1.7: Iran Research 1933-1937

Subseries 1.8: Katharine Dennis Smith Papers and Correspondence

Series 2: The Islamic Archives

Subseries 2.1: Islamic Archives History, Collection Information

Subseries 2.2: Resource Materials Iran

Subseries 2.3: Resource Materials Other Islamic World and General

Subseries 2.4: Myron Bement Smith Architectural Sketches, Plans and Notes, Iran, 1933-1937

Subseries 2.5: Myron Bement Smith Iran Photographs, Notebooks and Negative Registers

Subseries 2.6: Country Photograph File

Subseries 2.7: Lantern Slide Collection

Subseries 2.8: Myron Bement Smith 35 mm Color Slides

Subseries 2.9: Country 35 mm Color Slide File

Subseries 2.10: Myron Bement Smith Negatives

Subseries 2.11: Country Photograph Negatives

Subseries 2.12: Antoin Sevruguin Photographs

Series 3: Outsize and Miscellaneous Items

Subseries 3.1: Map Case Drawers

Subseries 3.2: Rolled Items

Subseries 3.3 Items in Freezer

Subseries 3.4 Smithsonian Copy Negatives
Biographical Note:
Myron Bement Smith was born in Newark Valley, New York in 1897 and grew up in Rochester, New York. He died in Washington D.C. in 1970. He showed an early interest in drawing, and after graduation from high school, he worked as a draftsman for a Rochester architect. He served in the US Army Medical Corps in France during World War I and on return again worked as an architectural draftsman. He studied at Yale University from 1922 to 1926, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. During summer vacations, he worked as draftsman or designer for architectural firms in New York City. After graduation, he received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation grant and spent two years in Italy doing research on northern Italian brick and stone work. He used photography as an tool for his research and published several well-illustrated articles. On return he joined an architectural firm in Philadelphia and in 1931 became a registered architect in New York. He enrolled in Harvard University graduate school in 1929 pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree.

In April 1930, Smith was appointed Secretary of the newly created American Institute for Persian Art and Archaeology founded by Arthur Upham Pope and located in New York City. He had no prior academic or work experience in Islamic art or architecture, and his job entailed designing publications, arranging lectures, organizing exhibitions and fund raising. That summer he arranged an independent study course at Harvard University on Persian art and subsequently studied Persian language at Columbia University and attended graduate courses at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. His work and academic credentials enabled him to compete successfully for a research fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies in 1933 to study Iranian Islamic architecture.

Accompanied by his new bride Katharine Dennis, Smith left for Iran in 1933. They suffered a horrendous motor vehicle accident in Iraq en route and required a lengthy recuperation in Lebanon and Cyprus. The Smiths eventually arrived in Isfahan, Iran, where they established their "Expedition House," as Smith called it, in a rented faculty house at Stuart College. Smith's research consisted of meticulous photographic documentation of Islamic monuments and architectural sketches and drawings of many of them. He concentrated on the Isfahan area but also documented monuments elsewhere in Iran. Smith outfitted his station wagon as a combination camper and research vehicle in which he and his staff traveled widely. Katharine sometimes traveled with him but generally she remained in Isfahan managing the household and logistics for the "expedition." The Smiths left Iran in 1937.

Smith published several articles about Iran's Islamic monuments based on his field research and in 1947 completed his PhD thesis for The Johns Hopkins University on the vault in Persian architecture. His professional career from 1938 until his death in 1970 consisted of a series of temporary academic positions, contract work and government or academic sponsored lecture tours and photographic exhibits. He had a long lasting relationship with the Library of Congress where he served as an Honorary Consultant from 1938 to 1940 and again from 1948 to 1970; from 1943 to 1944 he was Chief of the Iranian Section at the Library. Despite his lack of published material, Smith was well-known among academic, government and private citizens who worked, traveled or were otherwise interested Iran and the Islamic world.

Smith developed an extensive network of professional and social contacts that dated from his early student days and increased markedly during his time at the Persian Institute and later in Iran. He kept in touch with them and they touted him to others who were interested in Iran or Islamic art and architecture. This network served him well in realizing his ambition of creating a resource for scholars that relied on photographs to document Islamic architecture. The Islamic Archives began with his own collection of photographs from his Iran research and grew to include all manner of photographic and other materials not only on the Islamic world but also other areas. Creating and managing the Archives became the main focus of Smith's professional life and career. In 1967 he received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to revise his PhD thesis as a publishable manuscript but died before he could complete it.
Related Materials:
The Antoin Sevruguin Photgraphs

Ernst Herzfeld Papers

Lionel B. Bier Drawings

Lionel D. Bier and Carol Bier Photographs
Provenance:
Gift of Katherine Dennis Smith, transfered from National Anthropological Archives.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.
Topic:
Islamic architecture  Search this
Islamic Architecture-Turkey  Search this
Iran-description and travel  Search this
Iran-History 20th Century  Search this
Islamic Architecture-Middle East  Search this
Iran-social life and customs  Search this
United States-Social life and customs  Search this
Mosques  Search this
Architecture -- Iran  Search this
Citation:
The Myron Bement Smith Collection. FSA.A.04. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Gift of Katherine Dennis Smith.
Identifier:
FSA.A.04
See more items in:
Myron Bement Smith Collection
Archival Repository:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/dc3c8c950fe-250b-40df-b8c7-bcf788073968
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-fsa-a-04
Online Media:

Seherr-Thoss Photographs of Islamic Architecture

Creator:
Seherr-Thoss, Hans Christoph, Graf von, 1918-  Search this
Seherr-Thoss, Sonia P.  Search this
Extent:
4 Linear feet (approximate: 1250 items)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Color slides
Transparencies
Photographic prints
Place:
Uzbekistan
Iran -- Antiquities
Turkey
Afghanistan
Date:
circa 1960-1968
Summary:
Photographs and negatives of Sonia P. and Hans C. Seherr-Thoss. Mounted and unmounted color slides, transparencies, black and white negatives, mounted prints, contact sheets, and a photograph, circa 1960-1968. The majority of images, taken by Hans C. Seherr-Thoss, appear in their publication, Design and Color in Islamic Architecture: Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey, published by the, Smithsonian Institution Press, in 1968. Countries depicted are Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Scope and Contents of the Collection:
Photographs and negatives of Islamic monuments. Photos taken by Hans C. Seherr-Thoss and most appear in his and Sonia P. Seherr-Thoss' publication, Design and color in Islamic architecture: Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey.

The mounted slides have been placed in cold storage due to preservation concerns and the transparencies and mounted photos have not yet been processed.
Arrangement note:
This collection is arranged into three series by format: 1. Mounted slides, 2. Transparencies, and 3. Mounted photos. Only the mounted slides have been arranged and remain in their original order.
Biographical/Historical note:
Count Hans Seherr-Thoss was born in Dobrau, Germany in 1912 (New York Times, October 29, 1992.) He later became a United States citizen and served in the United States' Army during World War II. Sonia Phipps Farrell married Seherr-Thoss in Palm Beach, Florida, on March 3, 1948 (The Washington Post, March 2, 1948.) Both had children from previous marriages. Mrs. Seherr-Thoss graduated from Columbia University with majors in economics and sociology. She served as president of the Litchfield (Connecticut) Historical Society and the Oliver Wolcott Library. She received the Paul Harris Fellowship for community service and the Connecticut Association of Schools awarded her the Distinguished Friend of Education Award. In 1968, the Smithsonian Institution Press published, Design and Color in Islamic Architecture: Afganistan, Iran, Turkey. Written by Mrs. Seherr-Thoss, the photographs were taken by Mr. Seherr-Thoss during their travels to the concerned regions. Many of the photographs featured in that publication are included in this collection. Hans C. Seherr-Thoss died on October 28, 1992 and Sonia P. Seherr-Thoss died on June 13, 2006.
Biography of Sonia P. and Hans C. Seherr-Thoss:
Count Hans Seherr-Thoss was born in Dobrau, Germany in 1912 (New York Times, October 29, 1992.) He later became a United States citizen and served in the United States' Army during World War II.

Sonia Phipps Farrell married Seherr-Thoss in Palm Beach, Florida, on March 3, 1948 (The Washington Post, March 2, 1948.) Both had children from previous marriages. Mrs. Seherr-Thoss graduated from Columbia University with majors in economics and sociology. She served as president of the Litchfield (Connecticut) Historical Society and the Oliver Wolcott Library. She received the Paul Harris Fellowship for community service and the Connecticut Association of Schools awarded her the Distinguished Friend of Education Award.

In 1968, the Smithsonian Institution Press published, Design and Color in Islamic Architecture: Afganistan, Iran, Turkey. Written by Mrs. Seherr-Thoss, the photographs were taken by Mr. Seherr-Thoss during their travels to the concerned regions. Many of the photographs featured in that publication are included in this collection.

Hans C. Seherr-Thoss died on October 28, 1992 and Sonia P. Seherr-Thoss died on June 13, 2006.
Related Materials:
Other collections housed in the archives documenting Islamic monuments include: Ambassador Richard B. Parker Photographs of Islamic Monuments and the Lionel Bier Architectural Drawings.
Provenance:
This collection was donated by Sonia P. Seherr-Thoss, 2001
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Mounted slides are in cold storage; digital surrogates are preferred for access. One week's notice is required prior to access originals.
Rights:
Permission to reproduce and publish an item from the Archives is coordinated through the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery's Rights and Reproductions department. Please contact the Archives in order to initiate this process.
Topic:
Decoration and ornament, Architectural -- Middle East  Search this
Islamic antiquities  Search this
Mosques  Search this
Islamic architecture  Search this
Minarets  Search this
Genre/Form:
Color slides
Transparencies
Photographic prints
Citation:
Hans C. and Sonia P. Seherr-Thoss Photographs of Islamic Architecture. FSA.A2001.15. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Gift of Sonia P. Seherr-Thoss, 2001.
Identifier:
FSA.A2001.15
See more items in:
Seherr-Thoss Photographs of Islamic Architecture
Archival Repository:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/dc3f918f05f-2bcc-4c1e-939a-9fb75631a9bd
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-fsa-a2001-15

Carl Whiting Bishop Collection

Creator:
Bishop, Carl Whiting, 1881-1942  Search this
Names:
Bishop, Carl Whiting, 1881-1942  Search this
Tung, Kuang-zung.  Search this
Warner, Langdon (1881-1955)  Search this
Wenley, A. G. (Archibald Gibson), 1898-1962  Search this
Extent:
20 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Negatives
Photographic prints
Manuscript
Place:
China
Date:
1923-1934
Summary:
An associate curator and associate in archaeology at the Freer Gallery of Art from 1922 to 1942, the collection of Carl Whiting Bishop (1881-1942) document his Gallery-sponsored travels to China from 1923 to 1934 and include an unpublished manuscript describing his archaeological research in China; line drawings; rubbings; maps; note cards; and nearly 4,000 glass and film negatives with corresponding original silver prints. These document his expeditions in northern and central China, illustrating archaeological sites in Henan, Shanxi, and Hebei provinces. Specific digs include the large neolithic site at Wanquan, Shanxi, and sixth century C.E. tombs near Fenyin. Additional images show Chinese cityscapes, daily life and customs, topography, temples, pagodas, caves, and sculpture.
Scope and Contents:
The professional papers and official records of Carl Whiting Bishop include his unpublished two-volume manuscript, [not before 1940]; and photographs, nearly 4,000 images, 1915-1934; and undated. These materials document over a twenty-five year period in the course of Bishop's research and archaeological activities. They were retained at the Freer Gallery of Art after Bishop's death in 1942, and were supplemented with an addition received in 1956 from his widow Daisy Furscott Bishop.

The manuscript was prepared in a typescript format, over 421 pages of text, with photographic illustrations, and completed by Bishop sometime after 1939. Properly titled Archaeological Research in China 1923-1934, this unpublished manuscript constituted a field report that chronicled Bishop's Gallery-sponsored expeditions in northern and central China during the period 1923 to 1934. The reader is provided with a record of the day-to-day operations completed, of obstacles and opposition encountered, and the results obtained from their work. Key diplomatic and scientific representatives from the West and China are recorded who aided and contributed to the investigations. Moreover, there are descriptions of the academic, social and political climate in China during a period of civil war and economic strife. Against this background, Bishop also discussed their efforts in view of the history of China, with commentary on the country's geography, topography, climate, flora and fauna, mineral products, and ancient customs and legends.

The earliest still photographic prints in the Bishop Papers date from his employ at the University of Pennsylvania Museum, where he conducted archaeological reconnaissance from 1915 to 1918 in China, Korea, and Japan. All subsequent images were created or collected by Bishop and his assistant Kuang-zung Tung during the Freer Gallery-sponsored expeditions of 1923-1934. Further descriptions of these materials may be found under Series 2 and Series 3 in this finding aid.

In the transliteration into English of the names of Chinese characters, Bishop followed the Wade-Giles system, with a few exceptions to those rules for certain well known and commonly used place-names, especially those of cities, towns, territorial divisions, and bodies of water. We have retained Bishop's romanization except in certain areas where clarification was needed. The Chinese personal and place-names have been kept as they appeared in his captions.
Arrangement:
Series 1: Manuscript/Writings 1915-1934 and undated

Series 2: Photography Prints

Series 3: Negatives

Series 4: Drawings, Rubbings, and Maps
Biographical / Historical:
Carl Whiting Bishop (1881-1942) was an archaeologist, anthropologist, and specialist in the field of East Asian studies. Born in Tokyo, Japan, on July 12, 1881, he was the son of a Methodist missionary, the Reverend Charles Bishop. Except for a twelve-month residence in the United States during 1889-90, Bishop spent the first sixteen years of his life in Japan, before returning to this country in 1898 for college preparatory work at Northwestern Academy, Evanston, Illinois. He studied at Hampden-Sydney College and in 1912 received an A.B. degree from DePauw University. In 1913 he was awarded the degree of Master of Arts by the Department of Anthropology, Columbia University, where he studied with the noted German anthropologist, Franz Boas (1858-1942). That same year he received his first scientific appointment as a member of the Peabody Museum Expedition to Central America.

From 1914-18 Bishop served as Assistant Curator in Oriental Art at the University of Pennsylvania Museum, where on an expedition for that museum he made his first trip to China. Under the auspices of the university, he conducted archaeological reconnaissance during 1915 and 1916 in China, Korea, and Japan, and again conducted archaeological surveys in 1917 and 1918, although no systematic excavations were carried out at that time. When the United States entered World War I on the side of the Allied Powers, Bishop enlisted in the United States Navy and was made assistant naval attaché, serving in China in the years 1918-20, with the rank of lieutenant, junior grade. He returned to Columbia University in 1921 to assume the position of Assistant in Anthropology, a post he held until the end of the academic season in 1922.

Effective 10 April 1922, Bishop was appointed as Associate Curator of the Freer Gallery of Art by then director John Ellerton Lodge (1878-1942). Asked to undertake important archaeological work, Bishop headed the gallery's first expedition to China, sponsored jointly by the FGA and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, lasting from 20 February 1923 to 6 August 1927. From 16 November 1929 to 11 April 1934, he headed another expedition, sent out this time by the Freer Gallery alone. When conditions in China made further efforts impractical, Bishop returned to Washington in 1934, where he remained at the gallery as Associate in Archaeology until the time of his death on 16 June 1942.

Carl Whiting Bishop was a member of a number of learned societies: the American Oriental Society, the American Archaeological Society, the Anthropological Society, the American Society for the Advancement of Science, the American Geographical Society, and he served on the advisory board of the American Council of Learned Societies until his death.

1881, July 12 -- Born in Tokyo, Japan

1898 -- Attends Northwestern Academy in Evanston, Illinois for college preparatory work Attends Hampden-Sydney College

1912 -- Receives A.B. degree from DePauw University

1913 -- Receives Master of Arts from Department of Anthropology from Columbia University, where he studied with Franz Boas

1914 -- Begins serving as Assistant Curator in Oriental Art at the University of Pennsylvania Museum

1915-1918 -- Makes several archaeological survey trips to China, Korea and Japan

1918-1920 -- Enlists in the U.S. Navy, serving as assistant naval attaché in China

1921 -- Serves as Assistant Professor in Anthropology at Columbia University

1922, April 10 -- Becomes Associate Curator of the Freer Gallery of Art

1923-1927 -- Heads the Freer Gallery's first expedition to China, co-sponsored by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts

1929-1934 -- Heads the second Freer-sponsored expedition to China

1934 -- Returns to US and serves as Associate in Archaeology at the Freer Gallery of Art

1942, June 16 -- Dies.
Related Materials:
Additional Bishop material may be found in the following collections also found in the the Archives of the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery:

Li Chi Reports, 1926-1929, regarding Li's reconnaissance work at Shi-yin Ts'un, Shansi Province, and the excavation at Anyang.

Archibald Gibson Wenley Papers, 1924-1926, including field diaries, notes, and photographs documenting his participation in the FGA expedition work in China.

Charles Lang Freer Papers, including 1915 correspondence between Freer and Bishop; newspaper clippings related to Bishop, and documents dated 1912-1913, relating to Freer's support for a proposed American School of Archeology in China.

A number of objects from the FGA expeditions, including bronzes, ceramics, and stone sculpture, have been accessioned into the permanent art collection of the Freer Gallery of Art. Additionally, remnants of antiquities, potteries, and metalwork accumulated during the field work, have been placed in the Freer Gallery Study Collection. Records for these items are retained with the Galleries' Registrar's Office.

Additional Bishop material may be found in the Smithsonian Institutional Archives:

Expedition Records, including correspondence of Carl Whiting Bishop, 1914; 1923-1942, nearly 3,000 letters arranged alphabetically by correspondent name; a manuscript catalogue of expedition acquisitions, Peking, 1923-1925; financial records, 1923-1934, including expedition fund ledgers, account statements, and receipts; and newspaper clippings, 1924-1932, documenting the gallery's field work and general archaeological work being conducted around the world at that time.

Smithsonian Institutional Archives, Central Files, Bishop folders, 1923-1942, including expedition letters, field reports, and photographs sent to John E. Lodge.

Personnel and Special Events Photograph Collection, containing portrait photographs of Bishop.

Additional Bishop matieral may be found in the University of Pennsylvania Museum Archives, Philadelphia:

Documentation of University of Pennsylvania Museum-sponsored field work in East Asia may be found there that includes records of C.W. Bishop, dated 1914-1927 (measuring about .5 linear foot), much of it created during his tenure as the Museum's Assistant Curator of Oriental Art from 1914-1918. Included are Bishop's journals consisting of daily entries for two trips to China for the University of Pennsylvania Museum; letters to and from G.B. Gordon, C.W. Harrison, and Jane McHugh, written during Bishop's travel in China and subsequent to his return; and detailed financial accounts of expenditures during the China travels. Additionally, the repository houses a group of Bishop's negatives taken in China to visually record the expedition work.
Provenance:
Gift of Carl Whiting Bishop.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Permission to reproduce and publish an item from the Archives is coordinated through the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery's Rights and Reproductions department. Please contact the Archives in order to initiate this process.
Topic:
Archaeology  Search this
Archaeological expeditions  Search this
Archaeology -- China  Search this
Photography -- China  Search this
Genre/Form:
Negatives
Photographic prints
Manuscript
Citation:
The Carl Whiting Bishop Collection. FSA.A.02. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.
Identifier:
FSA.A.02
See more items in:
Carl Whiting Bishop Collection
Archival Repository:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/dc31125ea37-fbdf-4cd0-b413-1b022a34356b
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-fsa-a-02
Online Media:

Dorothy Gees Seckler Collection of Sound Recordings Relating to Art and Artists

Creator:
Seckler, Dorothy Gees, 1910-1994  Search this
Names:
Art in America  Search this
Velvet Underground (Musical group)  Search this
Asher, Elise, 1914-  Search this
Avery, Sally  Search this
Beck, Margit, 1915-1997  Search this
Bellow, Saul  Search this
Bultman, Fritz, 1919-1985  Search this
Cale, John  Search this
Cavallon, Giorgio, 1904-1989  Search this
Cohen, Jean  Search this
Cunningham, Merce  Search this
De Diego, Julio, 1900-  Search this
Drexler, Rosalyn  Search this
Flexner, James Thomas, 1908-2003  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Freed, William, 1904-  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-  Search this
Gelb, Jan, 1906-1978  Search this
Gorelick, Shirley, 1924-2000  Search this
Greenwood, Marion, 1909-1970  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Jones, John  Search this
Kahn, Wolf, 1927-  Search this
Karolik, Maxim  Search this
Katz, Alex, 1927-  Search this
Marcus, Marcia, 1928-  Search this
Margo, Boris, 1902-1995  Search this
Martin, Fletcher, 1904-1979  Search this
McLuhan, Marshall, 1911-1980  Search this
Middleman, Raoul F., 1935-  Search this
Motherwell, Robert  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Nico, 1938-1988  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Orlowsky, Lillian, 1914-2004  Search this
Pearlstein, Philip, 1924-  Search this
Refregier, Anton, 1905-  Search this
Rivers, Larry, 1925-2002  Search this
Ross, Alvin, 1920-1975  Search this
Rothschild, Judith  Search this
Saint-Phalle, Niki de, 1930-  Search this
Segal, George, 1924-2000  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Tinguely, Jean, 1925-  Search this
Ustinov, Peter  Search this
Warhol, Andy, 1928-  Search this
Whyte, William Hollingsworth  Search this
Wyeth, Andrew, 1917-2009  Search this
Extent:
1.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1962-1976
Summary:
The Dorothy Gees Seckler collection of sound recordings relating to art and artists measures 1.6 linear feet and dates from 1962 to 1976. Recordings include 17 interviews conducted by Seckler, one interview by John Jones, and 17 additional recordings of mostly contemporary art-related programs and interviews taped from radio and television broadcasts. Recordings are on 26 sound cassettes and 25 sound tape reels.
Scope and Contents:
The Dorothy Gees Seckler collection of sound recordings relating to art and artists measures 1.6 linear feet and dates from 1962 to 1976. Recordings include 20 interviews conducted by Seckler, one interview by John Jones, and 17 additional recordings of mostly contemporary art-related programs and interviews taped from radio and television broadcasts. Recordings are on 26 sound cassettes and 25 sound tape reels.

Interviews with Artists consist of 17 interviews by Dorothy Seckler with artists including Elise Asher, Fritz Bultman, Judith Rothschild, Giorgio Cavallon, Marcia Marcus, Jean Cohen, William Freed, Lillian Orlowsky, Shirley Gorelick, Hans Hofmann, Wolf Kahn, Raoul Middleman, Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Olin Orr, Larry Rivers, Alvin Ross, George Segal, Jean Tinguely, and Niki de Saint Phalle. Several interviews are with two subjects at once. Many of these interviews were conducted in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and are referenced in her introduction to the catalog for the exhibition Provincetown Painters, 1890's – 1970's held at the Everson Museum and the Provincetown Art Association in 1977, and several interviews were conducted as research for articles Seckler wrote and published in Art in America. Also found are group interviews on specific subjects, including an interview with Julio de Diego, Marion Greenwood, Fletcher Martin, and Anton Refregier on the Woodstock art colony, and with Sally Avery, Boris Margo, Jan Gelb, Margit Beck and others on Op Art. In September of 1966, Seckler recorded some of Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable in Provincetown, which includes a performance by Nico and the Velvet Underground, as well as an interview with one of the band's members, John Cale. A single interview conducted by John Jones of George Segal appears to have been copied by Seckler to prepare for her April 1966 interview of Segal.

Broadcast materials include sound recordings of television and radio broadcast programs taped off the air presumably by Seckler. Most programs are interviews, with subjects including Maxim Karolik, James Thomas Flexner, R. Buckminster Fuller, Merce Cunningham, Alex Katz, Phillip Pearlstein, Roslyn Drexler, Barnet Newman, Saul Bellow, Ben Shahn, Marshall McLuhan, Isamu Noguchi, Andrew Wyeth, and William H Whyte. Other recordings include documentary programs related to contemporary art, book reviews, and a comedy performance with actor Peter Ustinov.

Photographs include 12 color slides from October of 1967 that appear to have been shot in Provincetown, Mass. Subjects include Dorothy Seckler and two other unidentified women.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged in 3 series.

Series 1: Interviews with Artists, 1962-1976 (1 linear foot; Box 1)

Series 2: Broadcast Materials, 1962-1972 (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 2-3)

Series 3: Photographs, 1967 (1 folder; Box 3)
Biographical / Historical:
Dorothy Gees Seckler was an art historian, critic, journalist, and artist active in New York City and Provincetown, Mass. Born Dorothy Elizabeth Gees in Baltimore, MD in 1910, she completed the program in Advertising Design at Maryland Institute College of Art in 1931 and was awarded a traveling scholarship upon graduation, which she used to study in Europe. She later received a masters degree from Columbia University in Art History and Art Education, and worked during World War II as head of an illustration unit in the Army's Judge Advocate General's office.

After the war, she worked at the Museum of Modern Art as an art historian in the education office until 1950, when she began writing for ARTnews magazine, reviewing New York gallery shows for its "Gallery Notes" section, and exploring painters' processes in the "Paints a Picture" series. She later served as contributing editor for Art in America from the late 1950s through the late 1960s, where her published work included features on Robert Rauschenberg and Louise Nevelson, as well as broad surveys of contemporary art such as "A Folklore of the Banal" (Winter 1962) and "Audience is His Medium" (February 1963). She taught at New York University and City College of New York, and wrote a long essay on the history of the Provincetown's art colony, published in Art in America in 1959, and later updated for the catalog for the 1977 exhibition Provincetown Painters, 1890's - 1970's. Between 1962 and 1968, she conducted thirty oral history interviews for the Archives of American Art and served as one of its manuscript collectors.

Throughout her career as a writer and critic, Seckler painted and worked in collage, and her work was shown in several Provincetown galleries, and in the Provincetown Art Center and Museum. She married Jerome Seckler in 1937 and they had one son. Seckler received the American Federation of Arts Award for outstanding writing in the field of American Art in 1952. She died in 1994.
Related Materials:
Other related materials in the Archives' collections include several additional interviews conducted by Seckler for its oral history program, a full recording and transcript of the August 28, 1963 symposium on pop art, for which brief sound notes are found in this collection, and a transcript of the John Jones interview with George Segal in the John Jones interviews with artists collection, 1965 Oct. 5-1965 Nov. 12.
Separated Materials:
In 2012, several duplicates of recordings Seckler made for the Archives of American Art's oral history program were removed from the collection including: Peter and Riva Dechar (1965 and 1967), David von Schlegell (1967), Joan Mitchell (1965), Theresa Schwartz (1965), Paul Burlin (1962), Ibram Lassaw (1964), Jack Tworkov (1962), Allan Kaprow (1968), Edwin Dickinson (1962), Nathan Halper (1963), Louise Nevelson (1964-1965), Karl Knaths (1962), and Stephen Greene (1968). Joan Mitchell's 1965 oral history interview remains with the Seckler collection because reel 2 of this recording also contains a discussion of optical art that belongs in the Seckler collection. The oral history interview has been digitized and is available through the Archives' oral history program.
Provenance:
The bulk of the collection, including the interviews with the Provincetown artists, was donated 1995 by Don Seckler, son of Dorothy Seckler. The source of acquisition for the Seckler interviews with the Woodstock artists is unknown.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
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:
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Optical art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Dorothy Gees Seckler collection of sound recordings relating to art and artists, 1962-1976. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.seckdoro
See more items in:
Dorothy Gees Seckler Collection of Sound Recordings Relating to Art and Artists
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9af226ceb-11fb-469d-ae6f-d35718934f26
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-seckdoro

Charles Henry Alston papers

Creator:
Alston, Charles Henry, 1907-1977  Search this
Names:
City University of New York. City College -- Faculty  Search this
Bearden, Anna Alston  Search this
Bearden, Romare, 1911-1988  Search this
Browne, Byron, 1907-1961  Search this
Lawrence, Jacob, 1917-2000  Search this
Logan, Myra, 1909-1977  Search this
Welty, Eudora, 1909-2001  Search this
Woodruff, Hale, 1900-1980  Search this
Wright, Louis T. (Louis Tompkins), 1891-1952  Search this
Extent:
0.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1924-1980
Summary:
The scattered papers of African American and Harlem Renaissance painter, muralist, illustrator, sculptor, and educator Charles Henry Alston measure 0.9 linear feet and date from 1924-1980. Included are biographical materials, correspondence, commission and teaching files, writings and notes, printed materials, and photographs. Notable correspondents include Romare Bearden, Byron Browne, Jacob Lawrence, and Hale Woodruff.
Scope and Content Note:
The scattered papers of African American and Harlem Renaissance painter, muralist, illustrator, sculptor, and educator Charles Henry Alston (1907-1977) measure 0.9 linear feet and date from 1924-1980. The bulk of the collection documents his personal and professional relationships with figures of the Harlem Renaissance. Researchers should note that this collection contains very little documentation on Alston's actual federal WPA work with the Harlem Art Workshop, the Harlem Artists Guild, or his Harlem Hospital murals completed in 1940. A photograph of Alston in 1937 is likely the only reference to the actual WPA murals in this collection.

Scattered correspondence includes general correspondence; letters concerning Alston's artistic endeavors; and personal letters from friends and family. Found is a copy of a thank you note from Eudora Welty to John Woodburn for a jacket design presumably by Alston; letters from Harlem Renaissance figures and personal friends Romare Bearden, Byron Brown, Jacob Lawrence, and Hale Woodruff.

Commission files are for Alston's murals including those in the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance building in Los Angeles, California (1947); and the addition to the Harlem Hospital (1965); and the Family and Criminal Courts Building in the Bronx, New York (1976). There is one file concerning teaching at City College New York (CUNY).

Writings and notes includes scattered notes and three short stories probably by Alston entitled "Bitsy O'Wire," "Body and Soul," and "Gigi."

Printed materials include illustrations by Alston in the Columbia University literary magazine, The Morningside, and medical illustrations done for Dr. Louis T. Wright. Also found are scattered clippings, exhibition announcements, press releases, and materials from the First Conference on Aesthetic Responsibility.

Photographs are of Alston, Alston with his wife, Myra Logan, his mother Anna Alston Bearden, Romare Bearden, and Hale Woodruff. Photographs of note include one of Alston holding a self-portrait, and one of the artist in 1937 with works that are most likely preliminary sketches of his WPA murals at Harlem Hospital. There are also photographs of Alston's works of art.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 6 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Information, 1924-1977 (Box 1; 3 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1931-1977(Box 1; 7 folders)

Series 3: Commission and Teaching Files, 1947-1976 (Box 1; 4 folders)

Series 4: Writings and Notes, circa 1940s-1970s (Box 2-3; 4 folders)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1928, 1946-1980(Box 2-3; 5 folders)

Series 6: Photographs, 1925-1968 (Box 2; 2 folders)
Biographical Note:
Charles Henry Alston (1907-1977) worked primarily in New York city as a painter, muralist, illustrator, and educator. He was part of the Harlem Renaissance movement in the 1930s and helped form the Harlem Art Workshop and the Harlem Artists Guild.

Charles Henry "Spinky" Alston was born in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 28th, 1907. His parents were the Reverend Primus Priss and Anna Miller. After the death of his father, Alston's mother married Henry Pierce Bearden (Romare Bearden's uncle) in 1913 and the family moved to New York City.

At DeWitt Clinton High School in New York, Alston served as art editor of the school's literary magazine. Alston majored in fine arts and history at Columbia University, graduating in 1929. He became active in the Harlem community and accepted a position as director of Utopia House, a boy's camp, where he started an art program. He returned to Columbia and recieved a Masters degree in art education from Columbia's Teachers College. While still a student, he illustrated album covers for jazz musician Duke Ellington and book covers for poet Langston Hughes.

Alston played a major role in the Harlem Renaissance Movement of the period. During the Great Depression, he and sculptor Henry Bannarn directed the Harlem Art Workshop which was funded by the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project. There he taught and mentored African American painter Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden, among others.

In the 1950s, Alston embarked on a series of portraits of African American figures. He also taught at the Art Students League and later with the City College of New York (CUNY). Along with his wife, Myra Logan, a surgeon at Harlem Hospital, Alston lived in Harlem and remained an active member of the community until the end of his life. Charles Alston died in 1977.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art are two oral history interviews with Charles Henry Alston, one conducted by Harlan Phillips on September 28, 1965 and another by Al Murray on October 19, 1968.

Additional Charles Henry Alston papers are located at the University of North Carolina's Southern Historical Collection at the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library.
Separated Material:
In 1970, Charles Alston loaned materials for microfilming, including correspondence with Henry Epstein, Langston Hughes, Robert Riggs, Harry Sternberg, J. Johnson Sweeney, Hale Woodruff and others. Also loaned for microfilming were sketchbooks, printed materials, and photographs. Subsequently, some of the photographs were later donated by Alston's sisters. The loaned materials are available only on microfilm reel N70-23 at Archives of American Art offices, and through interlibrary loan. These materials are not included in the container listing of this finding aid.
Provenance:
Charles Alston lent portions of the collection for microfilming in 1970. Aida Winters and Rousmaniere Alston Wilson, Charles Alston's sisters, donated additional materials to the Archives of American Art in 1982 and 1984.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
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 -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Harlem Renaissance  Search this
African American artists  Search this
African American educators  Search this
African American painters  Search this
African American sculptors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Charles Henry Alston papers, 1924-1980. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.alstchar
See more items in:
Charles Henry Alston papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9659f264f-7afb-4e05-bf28-ed3872b7cfea
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-alstchar
Online Media:

for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf

Published by:
Playbill, American, founded 1884  Search this
Subject of:
Ntozake Shange, American, 1948 - 2018  Search this
Used by:
Booth Theatre, American, founded 1913  Search this
Medium:
ink on paper, metal
Dimensions:
9 x 5 5/8 x 1/8 in. (22.9 x 14.3 x 0.3 cm)
Type:
magazines (periodicals)
playbills
Place used:
New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
Date:
November 1977
Topic:
African American  Search this
Drama (Theatre)  Search this
Feminism  Search this
Gender  Search this
Identity  Search this
Sexuality  Search this
Women  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Dow B. Ellis
Object number:
2012.152.1213
Restrictions & Rights:
Playbill used by permission. All rights reserved, Playbill Inc.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Documents and Published Materials-Published Works
Memorabilia and Ephemera
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd51ab3730e-e1bf-4147-a63e-74b05c4b3209
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2012.152.1213
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Online Media:

Pennant, Pacific Flight, Amelia Earhart

Materials:
Linen, cotton
Dimensions:
2-D - Unframed (H x W): 40 x 96.5cm (15 3/4 in. x 38 in.)
Type:
MEMORABILIA-Events
Date:
1935
Credit Line:
Gift of Robert T. Skinner
Inventory Number:
A19750015000
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Location:
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA
Hangar:
Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/nv903985956-1691-4775-8b9e-342cffa3cc35
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19750015000

Celebrating Women in History: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Creator:
Smithsonian Channel  Search this
Type:
Conversations and talks
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2020-09-19T00:30:28.000Z
YouTube Category:
Entertainment  Search this
See more by:
smithsonianchannel
Data Source:
Smithsonian Channel
YouTube Channel:
smithsonianchannel
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_Ti-o4AdypdI

2022 Smithsonian American Art Museum Fellows Lectures – May 6, 2022 (Day 3)

Creator:
Smithsonian American Art Museum  Search this
Type:
Lectures
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2022-06-22T14:20:41.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
See more by:
americanartmuseum
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
YouTube Channel:
americanartmuseum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_Y9t2TgqNWdU

Jerry Saltz - Clarice Smith Distinguished Lecture Series - Smithsonian American Art Museum

Creator:
Smithsonian American Art Museum  Search this
Type:
Lectures
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2014-11-26T15:30:25.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
See more by:
americanartmuseum
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
YouTube Channel:
americanartmuseum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_lAH-SmHfSPw

HOT Topic: What Do Molecules in Mud Tell Us About the Environments of Our Early Hominin Ancestors?

Creator:
National Museum of Natural History  Search this
Type:
Lectures
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2022-05-25T20:15:03.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Natural History  Search this
See more by:
smithsonianNMNH
Data Source:
National Museum of Natural History
YouTube Channel:
smithsonianNMNH
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_lI1HpnSR71s

(At Home) On Art and Soil: Artist Talk with Kiyan Williams

Creator:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2020-12-16T19:35:41.000Z
YouTube Category:
Entertainment  Search this
Topic:
Art, modern  Search this
See more by:
hirshhornmuseum
Data Source:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
YouTube Channel:
hirshhornmuseum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_DzLHN99jn_E

The Yoga of the Yoginīs: Mapping the Goddesses' Powers in Text and Image

Creator:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2014-01-28T17:17:49.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Art, Asian  Search this
See more by:
FreerSackler
Data Source:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
YouTube Channel:
FreerSackler
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_Doqs6ArAS44

Spirituality and the Art Museum in Contemporary America

Creator:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2020-08-05T23:55:53.000Z
YouTube Category:
Entertainment  Search this
Topic:
Art, Asian  Search this
See more by:
FreerSackler
Data Source:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
YouTube Channel:
FreerSackler
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_bYahGAwRWLk

Yogi, Jackal, and Goddess in Hindu Tantric Yoga

Creator:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2014-01-28T17:18:22.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Art, Asian  Search this
See more by:
FreerSackler
Data Source:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
YouTube Channel:
FreerSackler
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_fCUkH1d7agw

Join the Curator: A Conversation with Artist Vivan Sundaram

Creator:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery  Search this
Type:
Conversations and talks
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2021-05-10T01:27:54.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Art, Asian  Search this
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FreerSackler
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Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
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The Topography of Emotion: Eighteenth-Century Landscape Paintings of Udaipur, Rajasthan

Creator:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery  Search this
Type:
Conversations and talks
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2021-10-26T23:00:39.000Z
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Education  Search this
Topic:
Art, Asian  Search this
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FreerSackler
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Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
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The Antique in Print: The Classical Past and the Visual Arts in the Long 18th Century

Creator:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum  Search this
Type:
Lectures
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Uploaded:
2023-01-19T07:29:57.000Z
YouTube Category:
Entertainment  Search this
Topic:
Design  Search this
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cooperhewitt
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Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
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Smithsonian Institution Castle: James Renwick

Creator:
Smithsonian Institution  Search this
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YouTube Videos
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2009-11-02T18:41:47.000Z
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Education  Search this
Topic:
Museum administration  Search this
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SmithsonianCastle
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Smithsonian Institution
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SmithsonianCastle
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