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N W Ayer Advertising Agency Records

Creator:
Ayer (N W) Incorporated.  Search this
Names:
American Telephone and Telegraph Company -- Advertisements  Search this
Cunningham & Walsh.  Search this
Hixson & Jorgenson  Search this
United Air Lines, Inc. -- Advertisements  Search this
Ayer, Francis Wayland  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia , 1887-1986  Search this
Extent:
270 Cubic feet (1463 boxes, 33 map-folders, 7 films)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Business records
Interviews
Oral history
Print advertising
Proof sheets
Proofs (printed matter)
Scrapbooks
Trade literature
Tear sheets
Advertisements
Date:
1817-1851
1869-2006
Summary:
Collection consists of records documenting one of the oldest advertising agencies created in Philadelphia. The company then moves to New York and expanses to international markets. During its history NW Ayer & Sons acquires a number of other advertising agencies and is eventually purchased. The largest portion of the collection is print advertisements but also includes radio and television. NW Ayer is known for some of the slogans created for major American companies.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists primarily of proof sheets of advertisements created by NW Ayer & Son, Incorporated for their clients. These materials are in series one through thirteen and consist primarily of print advertisements. There are also billboards, radio and television commercials. The advertisements range from consumer to corporate and industrial products. The majority of the advertisements were created for Ayer's New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and international offices. Printed advertisements created by Cunningham & Walsh, Hixson & Jorgensen and Newell-Emmett are also included among these materials. Researchers who are interested in records created by Ayer in the course of operating an advertising agency will find these materials in Series fourteen-nineteen.

Series fourteen consists of advertisements created by NW Ayer & Son to promote their services to potential clients.

Series fifteen are scrapbooks of some of the earliest advertisements created by the company. Series sixteen are publications. Some of the publications were created by Ayer while others were about Ayer or the advertising industry in general. Provides good background materials and puts the company in perspective. Series eighteen are the legal records. Materials relating to employees including photographs, oral histories etc. are found in series nineteen.

Series twenty is one of the smallest amounts of materials and includes information relating to the history of NW Ayer & Son.

The container lists for series one-thirteen are part of a database and are searchable. The list has been printed for the convenience of the researcher and is included in this finding aid. Series fourteen-twenty container lists are also a part of the finding aid but are not in a searchable format.

Series 1, Scrapbooks of Client Advertisements, circa 1870-1920, is arranged into three boxes by chronological date. There are two bound scrapbooks and one box of folders containing loose scrapbook pages. NW Ayer & Son compiled an assortment of their earliest ads and placed them into scrapbooks. Besides the earliest advertisements, the scrapbooks contain requests to run advertisements, reading notices and listings of papers Ayer advertised in. The early advertisements themselves range from medical remedies to jewelry to machines to clothing to education and more. Most of the advertisements in the bound scrapbooks are dated.

Series 2, Proofsheets, circa 1870-1930, NW Ayer was fond of creating scrapbooks containing proofsheets. The series contains proofsheets created between 1892 and 1930, organized into 526 boxes. For convenience of storage, access and arrangement, the scrapbooks were disassembled and the pages placed in original order in flat archival storage boxes. The proofsheets are arranged by book number rather than client name. Usually the boxes contain a listing of the clients and sometimes the dates of the advertisements to be found within the box.

Series 3, Proofsheets, circa 1920-1975, is organized into 532 oversize boxes, and contain proofsheets and tearsheets created between 1920 and 1972. Within this series, materials are arranged alphabetically by company name (occasionally subdivided by brand or product), and thereunder chronologically by date of production. Many major, national advertisers are represented, including American Telephone & Telegraph, Armour Company, Canada Dry, Cannon Mills, Carrier Corporation, Domino Sugar, Caterpillar tractor company, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, Goodyear, Hills Bros. Coffee, Ladies Home Journal, National Dairy, Plymouth (Chrysler Corporation), Steinway, TV Guide, United Airlines and the United States Army. Also contained in this series are three scrapbooks of client advertisements including Canada Dry, Ford Motor, and Victor Talking Machine.

Series 4, 2001 Addendum, circa 1976-2001, is organized into ninety three oversized boxes,one folder and contains proofsheets for select Ayer clients, created between 1975 and 2001. Within this series, materials are arranged alphabetically by client name and there under chronologically by date of production. Major national advertisers represented include American Telephone & Telegraph, Avon, the United States Army, DeBeers Consolidated Diamond Mines, Dupont, TV Guide, Sealtest, Kraft Foods, Gillette, General Motors, Cannon Mills.

Series 5, Billboards, circa 1952-1956, consists of mounted and un-mounted original art/mock-ups. Twenty-two pieces of original art created as mock-ups for Texaco billboards.

Series 6, Film and Video Commercials, 1967-1970,

Series 7, Radio and Television Materials, 1933-1993, undated, is arranged into eight boxes and includes radio scripts, television scripts, and story boards for commercials.

Subseries 7.1, Scripts and storyboards for Radio and Television Commercials, dates Scripts for radio and television commercials includes title, date, length of commercial, advertising agency, client information

NW Ayer's radio and television materials mainly focus on the American Telegraph and Telephone account. Some of Ayer's materials relate to Bell Telephone Hours.

Storyboards are used in television and film to assist the director in working with crew to tell the story. To show the viewer through the use of figures, visual effects and camera angles. When directors first start thinking about their storyboard they create a story in their mind. They think of all the camera angles, visual effects and how the figures will interact in their mind. They try to create an extraordinary story in their head to attract the viewer (YOU) In order for the storyboard to be entirely effective it can't be a passive document. When done properly, a storyboard serves as a central design, meeting the needs of many team members including graphics artists, video personnel and programmers.

Another function of a storyboard is to help the team communicate during the training development process. This communication is very important in working with a large team as in the movie King, produced in 1996. Figures help the director explain to the crew how they are going to record the film and how to present it to the audience. Sometimes the director wants special effects to be added to the film, but his budget might not be that big so the director will have to change the story to fit their budget.

The Visual Effects are an important part in the storyboards it adds a special touch of creativity to your film. Camera angles are an important expects in your film because the camera angles determine where the viewing audience will look. If you want your audience to look at a certain object you must turn their attention to it by focusing on that object and maybe you might try blocking something out. Then you will have your audience's attention and you may do whatever else you have to, it could be scaring them are just surprising them or whatever you do.

Also included is talent information and log sheets relating to the storage of the commercials.

Bell Telephone Hour Program, 1942-[19??], The Bell Telephone Hour, also known as The Telephone Hour, was a five minute musical program which began April 29, 1940 on National Broadcasting Company Radio and was heard on NBC until June 30, 1958. Sponsored by Bell Telephone showcased the best in classical and Broadway music, reaching eight to nine million listeners each week. It continued on television from 1959 to 1968.

Earlier shows featured James Melton and Francia White as soloists. Producer Wallace Magill restructured the format on April 27, 1942 into the "Great Artists Series" of concert and opera performers, beginning with Jascha Heifetz. Records indicate that the list of talents on the program included Marian Anderson, Helen Traubel, Oscar Levant, Lily Pons, Nelson Eddy, Bing Crosby, Margaret Daum, Benny Goodman, José Iturbi, Gladys Swarthout and .The series returned to radio in 1968-1969 as Bell Telephone Hour Encores, also known as Encores from the Bell Telephone Hour, featuring highlights and interviews from the original series.

National Broadcasting television specials sponsored by the Bell System, 1957-1987includes information relating to Science series, Bell system Theshold Series, Bell telephone hour and commercial and public sponsored programs

Series 8, Chicago Office Print Advertisements, 1954-1989, is arranged alphabetically by the name of the client in ninety boxes and six oversize folders. Clients include Illinois Bell Telephone (1955-1989), Microswitch (1969-1989), Teletype (1975-1984), John Deere (1974-1989) and Caterpillar (1966-1972) are particularly well represented. Other clients of interest include Dr. Scholl's shoes (circa 1968-1972), the Girl Scouts (1976-1980), Sunbeam Personal Products Company (1973-1981), Bell and Howell (1974-1983) and Alberto Culver shampoos (1967-1971), Honeywell, Incorporated, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Associations, Kraft, Incorporated, Sears, Roebuck and Company, and YMCA.

Series 9, Los Angeles Office Materials, 1950s-1987, include printed advertisements created by this office and information relating to the employees.

Subseries 9.1, Print Advertisements, 1977-1987, printed advertisements arranged in one box alphabetically by client. There is a sparse sampling of clients from this particular Ayer branch office. The majority of the advertisements contained within this series are from Pizza Hut (1986-1987). Also included are Computer Automation (1977-1978), State of the Art, Incorporated (1982) and Toshiba (1986).

Subseries 9.2, Personnel Files, 1950s-1970s, includes cards of employees who worked in the Los Angeles office. Information on the cards includes name, address, telephone number, birthday, date hired, departure date and why (retired, terminated, resigned, etc) and position. Not all cards have all information. There is also a photograph of the employees on the cards.

Series 10, Foreign Print Advertisements, 1977-1991, undated, NW Ayer maintained partnerships with international companies such as Sloanas Ayer in Argentina, Connaghan & May Paton Ayer in Australia, Moussault Ayer in Belgium, NW Ayer, LTD. in Canada, GMC Ayer in France, Co-Partner Ayer in Germany, Wong Lam Wang in Hong Kong, MacHarman Ayer in New Zealand, Grupo de Diseno Ayer in Spain, Nedeby Ayer in Sweden, and Ayer Barker in United Kingdom. This group of material is a small sampling of advertisements created from these International offices. It is arranged alphabetically by client. There are quite a few automobile advertisements (i.e. Audi, Fiat, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen). In addition there are numerous advertisements for various personal items from MacLean's toothpaste to Quick athletic shoes to Labello lip balm, etc. Most of the advertisements have the creator's name printed on the advertisements.

Series 11, Cunningham & Walsh, Incorporated Materials, 1915-1987, undated contains 98 boxes 11 folders materials from the New York advertising agency acquired by NW Ayer in the 1960s. The company began with Newel-Emmett, an agency of nine men which broke up in 1949. Two of the men Fred Walsh and Jack Cunningham formed this agency in bearing their names in 1950. The agency created "let your fingers for the walking campaign for American Telephone & Telegraph, Mother Nature for Chiffon, and Mrs. Olson for Folgers's coffee and let the good times roll for Kawasaki motorcycle. In 1986, NW Ayer Incorporated purchased Cunningham & Walsh Incorporated.

Subseries 11.1, Print Advertisements, 1915-1987, are contained in ninety eight boxes of primarily print advertisements arranged alphabetically by client name. Clients that are particularly well represented are Graybar (electrical implements, circa1926-1937), Johns-Manulle (circa1915-1971), Smith and Corono typewriters (circa 1934-1960), Sunshine Biscuit Company (circa 1925-1961), Texaco Company (circa 1936-1961), Western Electric (circa 1920- 1971) and Yellow Pages (circa 1936-1971). Cunningham and Walsh also represented several travel and tourism industry clients, including Cook Travel Services (circa 1951-1962), Italian Line (circa 1953-1961), Narragansett and Croft (circa 1956-1960) and Northwest Airlines (circa 1946-1955). There are photographs of Texaco advertisements dating from 1913-1962. There is also a scrapbook of advertisements from the Western Electric Company dating from 1920-1922.

Subseries 11.2, Radio and Television Advertisements, 1963-1967, consist of materials created for Western Electric. Materials are arranged in chronological order.

Subseries 11.3, Company Related Materials, 1962-1986, undated include client lists, information relating to NW Ayer purchase and annual report 1962.

Series 12, Hixson & Jorgensen Materials, 1953-1971, a Los Angeles advertising company, merged with Ayer in 1969. This series is housed in one box. Within the box are four scrapbooks and folders with a hodgepodge of materials relating to advertising. Of most interest are the scrapbooks. Two scrapbooks deal with Hixson and Jorgensen's self promotion ad campaign "the right appeal gets action" (1953-1957). The other two scrapbooks contain news clippings about the company and its activities (1959-1971).

Series 13, Newell-Emmet, 1942-1957, founded in 1919 and governed in the 1940s by a partnership of nine men. The partnership broke up in 1949 when the men went their separate ways. The materials consist of print advertisements for one of client, Permutit Company, a water conditioning company. The materials are arranged in one box in chronological order.

Series 14, House Print Advertisements, 1870-1991, 16 boxes consists of advertisements or self-promotion advertisements to campaign for new clients. The series is arranged chronologically by date into fifteen boxes. Within the series are two scrapbooks containing self promotion ads from 1888-1919 and 1892-1895. Numerous house ads relate to Ayer's "Human Contact" campaign. In addition to the self promotion ads, Ayer ran advertisements expounding about particular concepts or themes for example, one month the concept would "understand" while another month would be "teamwork" and yet another would be on "imagination". Some of the self promotion ads target specific groups like Philadelphia businessmen. Other advertisements incorporate the fine arts.

Series 15, Scrapbooks, 1872-1959, relates to company events, records and news clippings about Ayer's history. The six boxes are arranged by chronological date. Two of the boxes focus solely on the death of founder F.W. Ayer (1923). Another box houses a scrapbook that showcases Ayer's annual Typography Exhibition (1931-1959). One box contains a scrapbook that specifically deals with correspondences relating to Ayer's advertising. Yet another box's contents are folders of loose pages from scrapbooks that have newspaper clippings, order forms, correspondences and other company records. In one box, a bound scrapbook houses a variety of materials relating to Ayer and advertising (i.e. newspaper clippings, competitor's advertisements, NW Ayer's advertisements, correspondences for advertisements, clippings regarding the "theory of advertising."

Series 16, Publications, 1849-2006, are housed in thirty four boxes and are arranged into three main categories.

Subseries 16.1, House Publications, 1876-1994, covers diverse topics; some proscriptive works about the Ayer method in advertising, some commemorating people, anniversaries or events in the life of the agency. Materials consist of scattered issues of the employee newsletter The Next Step 1920-1921. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date of publication. Ayer in the News, The Show Windows of an Advertising Agency, 1915, book form of advertisements published on the cover of Printer's Ink, highlighting Ayer's relations with advertisers. The Story of the States, 1916, Reprint in book form of a series of articles published in Printer's Ink for the purpose of adding some pertinent fact, progressive thought and prophetic vision to the Nationalism of Advertising highlights major businesses, manufacturer, natural resources and other qualities or attractions of each state. The Book of the Golden Celebration, 1919, includes welcome address and closing remarks by founder F. Wayland Ayer, The Next Step, 1920 employee newsletter with photographs, employee profiles, in-house jokes, etc., Advertising Advertising: A Series of Fifty-two Advertisements scheduled one time a week. Twenty-seven, thirty and forty inches, a day of the week optional with publisher, 1924

Subseries 16.2, Publications about NW Ayer, 1949-2006, includes a book first published in 1939. Includes articles, documenting events and is arranged chronologically by date of publication.

Subseries 16.3, General Publications about Advertising, 1922-1974, are arranged chronologically by date of publication and relate primarily to the history of advertising.

Subseries 16.4, Publications about Other Subjects, 1948-1964, include four books about the tobacco industry primarily the history of the American Tobacco Company and Lorillard Company from the Cunningham and Walsh library.

Series 17, Business Records, circa 1885-1990s

Subseries 17.1, Contracts, 1885-1908, undated, are arranged alphabetically and span from 1885-1908. The majority of the contracts are with newspaper and magazine publishers from around the country.

Subseries 17.2, General client information, 1911-1999, undated, including active and cancelled lists with dates, client gains, historical client list, (should move this to series 20) Ayer Plan User Guide Strategic Planning for Human Contact, undated

Subseries 17.3, Individual Client Account Information, 1950s-1990s, undated, contain information used by Ayer to create advertisements for some of its clients. American Telephone &Telegraph Corporate Case History, American Telephone &Telegraph Corporate advertisement memo, commissioned artists for DeBeers advertisements, DeBeers information relating to the creative process and photography credits, a case history for DeBeers Consolidated Mines, Ltd., The Diamond Engagement Ring, Managing Communication at all levels, DuPont publications, JC Penny Marketing Communication Plan Recommendation, Leaf, Incorporated, Saturn presentation, and USAREC oral presentation.

Subseries 17.4, Potential Clients, 1993, includes grouping has a questionnaire sent to Ayer by a potential client. Questionnaire response for Prudential Securities, 1993 Prudential Securities advertising account review, 1993.

Subseries 17.5, Financial Records, 1929-1938, includes balance sheet, 1929 May 1 Balance sheet and adjustments Consolidated statement of assets and liabilities, Expenses 191936-37 Business review and expenses, 1937 and 1938 Business review and expenses comparative statement, 1937 and 1938.

Series 18, Legal Records, circa 1911-1982, Ayer's legal records are arranged by twelve subject groupings within four boxes. The twelve groupings are advertising service agreements (circa 1918-1982), bylaws, copyright claims, correspondences, international correspondences, dissolution of trusts, stock information, agreements between partners, incorporation materials, reduction of capital, property information and miscellaneous materials. The bulk of the materials are the advertising service agreements. These agreements are between Ayer and their clients and state the services Ayer will offer and at what cost. The bylaws are Ayer's company bylaws from 1969 and 1972. The copyright claims are certificates stating Ayer's ownership over certain published materials (i.e. "Policy", Media Equalizer Model, and Don Newman's Washington Square Experiment). The correspondences relate to either the voting trust and receipts for agreement or the New York Corporation. The international correspondences are from either Ayer's Canadian office or London office. The dissolutions of trusts contains materials about the dividend trust of Wilfred F. Fry, the investment trust of Winfred W. Fry, the voting trust, and the New York corporation. The stock information has stock certificates and capital stock information. The agreements between partners (1911-1916) specify the terms between F.W. Ayer and his partners. The incorporation materials (circa 1929-1977) deal with Ayer advertising agency becoming incorporated in the state of Delaware. The reduction of capital grouping is a notification that shares of stock have been retired. The property information grouping contains property deeds and insurance policy (circa 1921-1939), a property appraisal (1934), and a bill of sale (1948). The miscellaneous grouping contains a house memo regarding a set of board meeting minutes and a registry of foreign companies in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1929-1954).

Subseries 18.1, Advertising Service Agreements, 1918-1982

Subseries 18.2, Bylaw Materials, 1969-1972

Subseries 18.3, Copyright Claims, 1962-1969

Subseries 18.4, Correspondence, 1928-1933

Subseries 18.5, International Office Correspondence, 1947-1948

Subseries 18.6, Dissolution of Trusts, 1934-1937

Subseries 18.7, Stock Information, 1934-1974

Subseries 18.8, Agreements between Partners, 1911-1916

Subseries 18.9, Incorporation Materials, 1929-1977

Subseries 18.10, Certificates of Reduction of Capital, 1937; 1975

Subseries 18.11, Property Information, 1921-1948

Subseries 18.12, Miscellaneous Materials, 1929-1977

Series 19, Personnel Records, circa 1889-2001, are arranged into eight groupings within eight boxes. The groupings are employee card files, photographs, Ayer alumni, biographies, speeches, recollections, oral histories, and miscellaneous. Typed manuscript of book A Copy Writer Speaks by George Cecil, NW Ayer, Incorporated copy head 1920s-1950s

Subseries 19.1, Employee card files, circa 1892-1915; 1929-1963, consists of index cards with the name, age, job title, date and wage increases, date of hire/fire, as well as remarks about the employee's service and/or reasons for seeking or leaving the job. Materials are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the employee within three boxes.

Subseries 19.2, Photographs, circa 1924-1984, undated, are housed in two boxes. The photographs grouped together by subjects i.e. personnel, company events, Ayer buildings, and miscellaneous. This grouping primarily consists of personnel photographs. Includes a glass plate negative dated 1924 of NW Ayer.

Subseries 19.3, Ayer Alumni, circa 1989-98, include employees who have left Ayer. There is a listing of Ayer "graduates" and their current job. Emeritus, Ayer's alumni newsletter 1989-1996, makes up the majority of materials in this grouping. The newsletter keeps the alumni up to date with the happenings of Ayer and what has become of former Ayer employees. Emeritus is a quarterly newsletter devoted to the activities, thoughts and feelings of Ayer alumni a body of people who consists of retirees and former employees.

Subseries 19.4, Biographical Information, circa 1889-1994, undated, prominent members of Ayer's operations had biographical sketches completed of them. This was true for the bio sketches of Robert Ervin, Louis T. Hagopian, and George A. Rink. There is a substantial file on Dorothy Dignam ("Mis Dig"), a leading woman in the advertising world from the 1930s to the 1950s. Also of interest is a video ("The Siano Man") compiled by Ayer employees to commemorate Jerry Siano's retirement from Ayer in 1994. The series is arranged alphabetically by last name.

Subseries 19.5, Speeches, circa 1919-1931; 1975, contains speeches made by Wilfred W. Fry and Neal W. O'Connor. Wilfred W. Fry had various speaking engagements connected with Ayer. Contained in this group is a sampling of his speeches from 1919 to 1931. Neal O'Connor's speech "Advertising: Who Says It's a Young People's Business" was given at the Central Region Convention for the American Association of Advertising Agencies in Chicago on November 6, 1975. The speeches are arranged alphabetically by the speaker's last name.

Subseries 19.6, Recollections, 1954-1984, undated, are arranged alphabetically by last name. These are recollections from Ayer employees about the company and its advertisements. Some recollections are specifically about certain types of advertisements, like farm equipment while others reflect on F. W. Ayer and the company.

Subseries 19.7, Oral History Interview Transcripts, 1983-1985; 1989-1991, include interviews with key NW Ayer personnel, conducted by Ayer alumnae Howard Davis, Brad Lynch and Don Sholl (Vice President creative) for the Oral History Program. The materials are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the interviewee.

Subseries 19.8, Oral History Interview Audio Tapes, 1985-1990, include interviews on audiotape the materials are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the interviewee.

Subseries 19.9, Internal Communications, 1993-1999, includes information sent to employees relating to retirements, management changes, awards won by the company, promotions, potential new accounts, free items, grand opening of Ayer Café, donation events, sponsorship programs, holiday schedules, discounts for employees from clients, Ayer joins MacManus Group.

Subseries 19.10, General Materials, 1940; 1970, includes agency directory entry including a list of the employees, 1970s, annual banquet program for the Curfew Club May 22, 1940 a group formed by the Philadelphia employee in 1938. It sponsored numerous sports, social and educational activities. Groups were formed in public speaking, music appreciation and a series of talks on Monday evenings title the modern woman. The front page was a series of talks for general interest. A list of officers, 1991, Twenty five year club membership, 1973 December 1, List of NW Ayer graduates, 1970, List of Officers, 1991 May 31, Obituary for Leo Lionni, 1999 October 17, List of photographers of advertisements, 2001

Series 20, Background and History Information, 1817-1999, undated includes a chronology, 1817-1990, quick reference timeline, 1848-1923, loose pages from a scrapbook containing examples of correspondence, envelopes, advertisements dating from 1875-1878; slogans coined by NW Ayer & Sons, Incorporated, 1899-1990, history of management, 1909-1923, articles and photographs about the building and art galleries, 1926-1976, publications about the Philadelphia building, 1929, pamphlet relating to memories of NW Ayer & Sons, Incorporated, 1930s-1950s, television history, 1940-1948, Article about the history of the company, 1950 January, pocket guide, 1982, AdWeek reports about standings for advertising agencies, information relating to Human Contact which is NW Ayer's Information relating to Human Contact, undated which is their philosophy on advertising.

Series 21, Materials Created by other Advertising Agencies, 1945-1978, undated, consists of print advertisements collected by Ayer from other major advertising companies. The companies include Doyle Dane Bernback, Incorporated, Leo Burnett Company, Grey Advertising Agency, D'Arcy Ad Agency, Scali, McCabe, Sloves, Incorporated and Erwin Wasey Company. The materials are arranged in alphabetical order by client and include products from Ralston Purina and Van Camp (Chicken of the Sea), Kellogg, American Export Lines and No Nonsense Fashions.

Series 22, 2010 Addendum of Print Advertisements, circa 1879s-1999, undated, includes material given to the Archives Center in 2010. It is organized into seventy one oversized boxes and contains proofsheets of print advertisements for select Ayer clients. These are arranged alphabetically by client name and include substantial quantities of materials from American Telephone &Telegraph (1945-1996), Bahamas Ministry of Tourism (1967-1987), Carrier (1971-1981), Citibank (1973-1991), DeBeers (1940s-1960s and1990s), Electric Companies Advertising Program [ECAP] (1942-1970s), General Motors (1989-1998), J.C. Penney (1983-1986), Newsweek (1966-1975), and Proctor and Gamble (1980s-1890s). There are also numerous other clients represented by smaller quantities of materials.

Subseries 22.1, Print Advertisements, 1930-1990, undated

Subseries 22.2, Print Advertisements on Glass Plate Negatives, 1879-1881, undated, include Cannon towels, Cheny Brothers silks, Cornish & Company organs and pianos, Enterprise Manufacturing Company, 1879 sad iron, an ad from Harper's Weekly 1881 for ladies clothing, Ostermoor & Company mattresses, Pear's soap, Porter's cough balsam, Steinway pianos.

Series 23, Microfilm of Print Advertisements, circa 1908-1985, consists of three boxes of printed advertisements for the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. Some of the same advertisements might also be found in series two, three and four.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into twenty-three series.

Series 1: Scrapbooks of Client Print Advertisements, circa 1870-1920

Series 2: Proofsheets, circa 1870-1930

Series 3: Proofsheets, circa 1920-1975

Series 4: 2001 Addendum, circa 1976-2001

Series 5: Billboards, circa 1952-1956

Series 6: Audiovisual Materials

Series 7: Radio and Television Materials, 1933-1993, undated

Series 8: Chicago Office Print Advertisements, 1954-1989

Series 9: Los Angeles Office Materials, 1950s-1987

Subseries 9.1: Printed Advertisements, 1977-1987

Subseries 9.2: Personnel Files, 1950s-1970s

Series 10: Foreign Print Advertisements, 1977-1991, undated

Series 11: Cunningham & Walsh Incorporated Materials, 1915-1987, undated

Subseries 11.1: Printed Advertisements, 1915-1987

Subseries 11.2: Radio and Television Advertisements, 1963-1967

Subseries 11.3: Company Related Materials, 1962-1986, undated

Series 12: Hixson & Jorgensen Materials, 1953-1971, undated

Series 13: Newell-Emmet, 1942-1957

Series 14: House Print Advertisements, 1870-1991

Series 15: Scrapbooks, 1872-1959

Series 16: Publications, 1849-2006

Subseries 16.1: House Publications, 1876-1994

Subseries 16.2: Publications about NW Ayer, 1949-1995

Subseries 16.3: General Publications about Advertising, 1922-2006

Subseries 16.4: Publications about other Subjects, 1948-1964

Series 17, Business Records, circa 1885-1990s

Subseries 17.1: Contracts, 1885-1908, undated

Subseries 17.2: General Client Information, 1911-1999, undated

Subseries 17.3: Individual Client Account Information, 1950s-1990s, undated

Subseries 17.4: Potential Clients, 1993

Subseries 17.5: Financial Records, 1929-1938

Series 18: Legal Records, circa 1911-1984

Subseries 18.1: Advertising Service Agreements, 1918-1982

Subseries 18.2: Bylaw Materials, 1969-1972

Subseries 18.3, Copyright Claims, 1962-1969

Subseries 18.4: Correspondence, 1928-1933

Subseries 18.5: International Office Correspondence, 1947-1948

Subseries 18.6: Dissolution of Trusts, 1934-1937

Subseries 18.7: Stock Information, 1934-1974

Subseries 18.8: Agreements between Partners, 1911-1916

Subseries 18.9: Incorporation Materials, 1929-1977

Subseries 18.10: Certificates of Reduction of Capital, 1937; 1975

Subseries 18.11: Property Information

Subseries 18.12: Miscellaneous Materials, 1929-1977

Series 19: Employee Materials, circa 1889-2001

Subseries 19.1: Employee Card files, circa 1892-1915; 1929-1963

Subseries 19.2: Photographs, circa 1924-1984, undated

Subseries 19.3: Alumni Publications, circa 1989-1998

Subseries 19.4: Biographical Information, circa 1889-1994

Subseries 19.5: Speeches, circa 1919-1931; 1975

Subseries 19.6: Recollections, 1954-1984, undated

Subseries 19.7: Oral History Interview Transcripts, 1983-1985; 1989-1991

Subseries 19.8: Oral History Audiotapes, 1985-1990

Subseries 19.9: Internal Communications, 1993-1999

Subseries 19.1: General Materials, 1940-2001

Series 20: History and Background Information about the Company, 1817-1999, undated

Series 21: Materials Created by other Advertising Agencies, 1945-1978, undated

Series 22: 2010 Addendum of Print Advertisements, circa 1879s-1990s, undated

Subseries 22.1: Print Advertisements, 1930-1990, undated

Subseries 22.2: Print Advertisements on Glass Plate Negatives, 1879-1881, undated

Series 23: Microfilm of Print Advertisements, circa 1908-1985
Biographical / Historical:
Founded in Philadelphia in 1869, NW Ayer & Son is one of the oldest and largest advertising agencies in America. For most of its history, it was the undisputed leader and innovator in the field of advertising. In 1876, NW Ayer & Son pioneered the "open contract", a revolutionary change in the method of billing for advertising which became the industry standard for the next hundred years. NW Ayer pioneered the use of fine art in advertising and established the industry's first art department. It was the first agency to use a full-time copywriter and the first to institute a copy department. The agency relocated to New York City in 1974. During its long history, the agency's clients included many "blue-chip" clients, including American Telephone & Telegraph, DeBeers Consolidated Diamond Mines, Ford Motor Company, Nabisco, R. J. Reynolds and United Airlines. However, in later years, the Ayer's inherent conservatism left the agency vulnerable to the creative revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, the advertising industry restructuring of the 1980s and the economic recession of the early 1990s. The agency was bought out by a Korean investor in 1993. In 1996, NW Ayer merged with another struggling top twenty United States advertising agency, Darcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles, under the umbrella of the McManus Group. Ayer continues to operate as a separate, full-service agency.

Through a series of buyouts and mergers, Ayer traces its lineage to the first advertising agency founded in the United States, a Philadelphia agency begun by Volney Palmer in 1841. Palmer began his career in advertising as a newspaper agent, acting as middleman between newspaper publishers and advertisers across the country. By 1849, Palmer had founded his own newspaper, V. B. Palmer's Register and Spirit of the Press, and had developed a complete system of advertising which included securing advertising space and placing ads in scores of commercial, political, religious, scientific and agricultural journals across the country. Palmer went one step further than the "space jobbers" of the day when he began offering "advertisements carefully drawn for those who have not the time to prepare an original copy." Always an enthusiastic promoter of advertising as an incentive to trade and American economic growth, Palmer promised advertisers that "every dollar paid for advertising in country newspapers will pay back twenty-fold" and encouraged skeptical consumers that "he who wishes to buy cheap should buy of those who advertise." When Palmer died in 1863, the agency was bought by his bookkeeper, John Joy, who joined with another Philadelphia advertising agency to form Joy, Coe & Sharpe. That agency was bought out again in 1868 and renamed Coe, Wetherill & Company. In 1877, Coe, Wetherill and Company was bought out by the newly formed NW Ayer & Son.

Francis Wayland Ayer was an ambitious young schoolteacher with an entrepreneurial streak. Having worked for a year soliciting advertisements on a commission basis for the publisher of the National Baptist weekly, Francis Ayer saw the potential to turn a profit as an advertising agent. In 1869, Ayer persuaded his father, Nathan Wheeler Ayer, to join him in business, and with an initial investment of only $250.00, NW Ayer & Son was born. Notwithstanding a smallpox epidemic in Philadelphia in 1871 and the general economic depression of the early 1870s, the agency flourished. The senior Ayer died in 1873, leaving his interest in the agency to his wife, but Francis W. Ayer bought her out, consolidating his interest in the company's management. In 1877, with Coe, Wetherill & Company (the successor to Palmer's 1841 agency) on the verge of bankruptcy and heavily indebted to Ayer for advertising it had placed in Ayer publications, Ayer assumed ownership of that agency. Thus did NW Ayer lay claim to being the oldest advertising agency in the country.

Both Nathan Wheeler and Francis Wayland Ayer began their careers as schoolteachers, and one of their legacies was a commitment to the cause of education: correspondence schools and institutions of higher learning were historically well-represented among Ayer clients. Just after World War I, the agency was heralded as "co-founder of more schools than any citizen of this country" for its conspicuous efforts to advertise private schools. Well into the 1960s, an "Education Department" at Ayer prepared advertisements for over three hundred private schools, camps and colleges, representing almost half the regional and national advertising done for such institutions. In fact, to its clients Ayer presented advertising itself as being akin to a system of education. In 1886, Ayer began promoting the virtues of the Ayer way advertising with the slogan, "Keeping Everlastingly at It Brings Success."

The agency's goals were simple: "to make advertising pay the advertiser, to spend the advertiser's money as though it were our own, to develop, magnify and dignify advertising as a business." Initially, Ayer's fortunes were tied to newspapers, and the agency began to make a name for itself as compiler and publisher of a widely used American Newspaper Annual. During the first years, Ayer's singular goal was "to get business, place it [in newspapers] and get money for it"; after several years as an independent space broker, however, Francis Ayer resolved "not to be an order taker any longer." This decision led NW Ayer and Son to a change in its mode of conducting business which would revolutionize the advertising industry: in 1876, Ayer pioneered the "open contract" with Diggee & Conard, Philadelphia raised growers and agricultural suppliers. Prior to the open contract, NW Ayer & Sons and most agencies operated as "space-jobbers," independent wholesalers of advertising space, in which the opportunities for graft and corrupt practices were virtually unlimited. In contrast, the open contract, wherein the advertiser paid a fixed commission based on the volume of advertising placed, aligned the advertising agent firmly on the side of the advertiser and gave advertisers access to the actual rates charged by newspapers and religious journals. The open contract with a fixed commission has been hailed by advertising pioneer Albert Lasker as one of the "three great landmarks in advertising history." (The other two were Lasker's own development of "reason-why" advertising copy and J. Walter Thompson's pioneering of sex appeal in an advertisement for Woodbury's soap.) Although the transition to the open contract did not happen overnight, by 1884, nearly three-quarters of Ayer's advertising billings were on an open contract basis. Since Ayer was, by the 1890s, the largest agency in America, the switch to direct payment by advertisers had a significant impact on the advertising industry, as other agencies were forced to respond to Ayer's higher standard. Just as important, the open contract helped to establish N W Ayer's long-standing reputation for "clean ethics and fair dealing" -- a reputation the agency has guarded jealously for over a century. The open contract also helped to establish Ayer as a full service advertising agency and to regularize the production of advertising in-house. From that point forward, Ayer routinely offered advice and service beyond the mere placement of advertisements. Ayer set another milestone for the industry in 1888, when Jarvis Wood was hired as the industry's first full-time copywriter. Wood was joined by a second full time copywriter four years later, and the Copy Department was formally established in 1900. The industry's first Art Department grew out of the Copy Department when Ayer hired its first commercial artist to assist with copy preparation in 1898; twelve years later Ayer became the first agency to offer the services of a full time art director, whose sole responsibility was the design and illustration of ads.

Ayer's leadership in the use of fine art in advertising has roots in this period, but achieved its highest expression under the guidance of legendary art director Charles Coiner. Coiner joined Ayer in 1924, after graduating from the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. Despite early resistance from some clients, Coiner was adamant that "the use of outstanding palette and original art forms bring a greater return in readership, in impact and prestige for the advertiser." To this end, Coiner marshaled the talents of notable painters, illustrators and photographers, including N.C. Wyeth and Rockwell Kent (Steinway), Georgia O'Keefe (Dole), Leo Lionni (DuPont), Edward Steichen (Steinway, Cannon Mills), Charles Sheeler (Ford), and Irving Penn (DeBeers). Coiner believed that there was a practical side to the use of fine art in advertising, and his success (and Ayer's) lay in the marriage of research and copywriting with fine art, an arrangement Coiner termed "art for business sake." Coiner's efforts won both awards and attention for a series completed in the 1950s for the Container Corporation of America. Titled "Great Ideas of Western Man" the campaign featured abstract and modern paintings and sculpture by leading U.S. and foreign artists, linked with Western philosophical writings in an early example of advertising designed primarily to bolster corporate image. In 1994, Charles Coiner was posthumously named to the American Advertising Federation's Hall of Fame, the first full time art director ever chosen for that honor.

Coiner and fellow art director Paul Darrow also created legendary advertising with the "A Diamond Is Forever" campaign for DeBeers; ads featured the work of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and other modernist painters. The "A Diamond is Forever" tagline was written in 1949 by Frances Gerety, a woman copywriter at Ayer from 1943 to 1970. In 1999, Ad Age magazine cited "A Diamond is Forever" as the most memorable advertising slogan of the twentieth century.

Coiner also earned respect for his volunteer government service during World War II; he designed the armbands for civil defense volunteers and logos for the National Recovery Administration and Community Chest. As a founding member of the Advertising Council in 1945, Ayer has had a long-standing commitment to public service advertising. In the mid-1980s, Ayer became a leading force in the Reagan-era "War on Drugs". Lou Hagopian, Ayer's sixth CEO, brokered the establishment of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, a media coalition which generated as much as a million dollars a day in donated advertising space and time to prevent the use and abuse of illegal drugs. Famous names appear among NW Ayer's clientele from the very earliest days of the agency. Retailer John Wanamaker, Jay Cooke and Company, and Montgomery Ward's mail-order business were among the first Ayer clients. The agency has represented at least twenty automobile manufacturers, including Cadillac, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Plymouth, and Rolls-Royce. Other major, long-term clients through the years have included American Telephone & Telegraph, Canada Dry, Cannon Mills, Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Kellogg's, R. J. Reynolds, Steinway and Sons, United Airlines, and the United States Army. By the time of Ayer's hundredth anniversary in 1969, some of these companies had been Ayer clients for decades if not generations, and the longevity of those relationships was for many years a source of Ayer's strength.

But the advertising industry began to change in the late 1960s and 1970s, due in part to a "creative revolution." Small advertising agencies won attention with provocative copywriting and art direction that more closely resembled art than advertising. Advances in market research allowed clients to more narrowly tailor their advertising messages to distinct groups of consumers, and this led to a rise in targeted marketing which could more readily be doled out to specialized small agencies than to larger, established firms like NW Ayer & Son. The civil rights and anti-war movements also contributed to increasing public skepticism with the values of corporate America, and by extension, with some national advertising campaigns. Older, more conservative firms like Ayer were hard pressed to meet these new challenges.

About 1970, in an effort to meet these challenges and to establish a foothold on the West Coast, Ayer bought out two smaller agencies--Hixson & Jorgenson (Los Angeles) and Frederick E. Baker (Seattle). The agency relocated from Philadelphia to New York City in 1974 in an attempt both to consolidate operations (Ayer had operated a New York office since the 1920s) and to be closer to the historic center of the advertising industry. Riding the wave of mergers that characterized the advertising industry in the late 1980s and 1990s, Ayer continued to grow through the acquisition of Cunningham & Walsh in 1986 and Rink Wells in 19xx.

During this transitional period, Ayer received widespread acclaim for its work for the United States Army, which included the widely recognized slogan "Be All You Can Be". Ayer first acquired the Army recruitment account in 1967 and with help from its direct marketing arm, the agency was widely credited with helping the Army reach its recruitment goals despite an unpopular war and plummeting enlistments after the elimination of the draft in 1973. Ayer held the account for two decades, from the Vietnam War through the Cold War, but lost the account in 1986 amid government charges that an Ayer employee assigned to the account accepted kickbacks from a New York film production house. Despite Ayer's position as the country's 18th largest agency (with billings of $880 million in 1985), the loss of the agency's second largest account hit hard.

NW Ayer made up for the loss of the $100 million dollar a year Army account and made headlines for being on the winning end of the largest account switch in advertising history to date, when fast food giant Burger King moved its $200 million dollar advertising account from arch-rival J. Walter Thompson in 1987. Burger King must have had drive-thru service in mind, however, and Ayer made headlines again when it lost the account just eighteen months later in another record-breaking account switch. Another devastating blow to the agency was the loss of its lead position on the American Telegraph and Telephone account. Ayer pioneered telecommunications advertising in 1908, when the agency was selected to craft advertising for the Bell System's universal telephone service. Despite valiant efforts to keep an account the agency had held for most of the twentieth century, and for which they had written such memorable corporate slogans as American Telephone &Telegraph "The Voice with a Smile" and "Reach Out and Touch Someone", the agency lost the account in 1996.

After a wave of mergers and acquisitions in the late 1980s, the economic recession of the early 1990s hit Madison Avenue hard, and Ayer was particularly vulnerable. Despite the agency's long history and roster of "blue-chip" clients, Ayer was not known for cutting-edge creative work. Moreover, though the agency had offices overseas, Ayer had never built a strong multinational presence, and many of the smaller international offices were sold during the financial turmoil of the 1980s. This left a real void in the new climate of global marketplace consolidation. By about 1990, earnings were declining (although Ayer was still among the top twenty United States agencies in billings), and the agency was suffering from client defections, high management turnover, expensive real estate commitments and deferred executive compensation deals, all fallout of the high-flying 1980s. This was the atmosphere in 1993, when W.Y. Choi, a Korean investor who had already assembled a media and marketing empire in his homeland, began looking for an American partner to form an international advertising network. Jerry Siano, the former creative director who had recently been named Ayer's seventh CEO, was in no position to refuse Choi's offer of $35 million to buy the now floundering agency. The infusion of cash was no magic bullet, however. Choi took a wait-and-see approach, allowing his partner Richard Humphreys to make key decisions about Ayer's future, including the purging of senior executives and the installation of two new CEOs in as many years.

The agency's downward trend continued with the loss of another longtime client, the DeBeers diamond cartel in 1995. Adweek reported that Ayer's billings fell from $892 million in 1990 to less than $850 million in 1995. Several top executives defected abruptly, and the agency failed to attract major new accounts. Ayer was facing the loss not merely of revenue and personnel, but the loss of much of the respect it once commanded. Ayer remained among the twenty largest U.S. agencies, but an aura of uncertainty hung over the agency like a cloud. A new CEO was appointed, and Mary Lou Quinlan became the agency's first woman CEO in 1995. A year later, Ayer and another struggling top twenty agency, D'arcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles, combined as part of the McManus Group of companies. In 1998, the McManus Group had worldwide billings of more than $6.5 billion.

Under the McManus Group, Ayer was able to expand its international operations and begin to rebuild a stronger global presence. Several important new clients were won in 1997 and 1998, including Avon, General Motors, Kitchenaid, several Procter & Gamble brands and, most notably, Continental Airlines worldwide accounts. Born in the nineteenth century, Ayer may be one of a very few advertising agencies to successfully weather the economic and cultural transitions of both the twentieth and twentieth first centuries. Ayer was eventually acquired by the Publicis Groupe based in Paris, France which closed down the N.W. Ayer offices in 2002.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana (AC0060)

Hills Bros. Coffee Incorporated Records (AC0395)
Provenance:
The collection was donated by N W Ayer ABH International, April 15, 1975 and by Ayer & Partners, October 30, 1996.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.

Physical Access: Researchers must use microfilm copy. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. Researchers must use reference copies of audiovisual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow.

Technical Access: Viewing the film portion of the collection without reference copies requires special appointment, please inquire; listening to audio discs requires special arrangement. Do not use original materials when available on reference video or audio tapes.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply. Publication and production quality duplication is restricted due to complex copyright, publicity rights, and right to privacy issues. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff. Potential users must receive written permission from appropriate rights holders prior to obtaining high quality copies.
Topic:
Advertising agencies  Search this
advertising  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business records -- 1840-2000
Interviews -- 1980-2000
Oral history -- 1980-1990
Print advertising
Proof sheets
Proofs (printed matter)
Scrapbooks -- 1840-1990
Trade literature
Tear sheets
Advertisements
Citation:
NW Ayer & Sons, incorporated Advertising Agency Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0059
See more items in:
N W Ayer Advertising Agency Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0059
Online Media:

Mr. Peanut

Measurements:
overall: 58 mm x 19 mm x 9 mm; 2 5/16 in x 3/4 in x 3/8 in
overall: 2 3/16 in x 5/8 in x 1/4 in; 5.55625 cm x 1.5875 cm x .635 cm
Object Name:
Celluloid Novelty
Object Type:
souvenirs
Associated Place:
United States: New Jersey
Credit Line:
Gift of Celanese Plastic Company
ID Number:
CH.334571
Accession number:
310799
Catalog number:
334571
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a0-e679-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_2946
Online Media:

Rockwell Kent papers, circa 1840-1993, bulk 1935-1961

Creator:
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971  Search this
Subject:
Wildenstein, Felix  Search this
Phillips, Duncan  Search this
Hays, Lee  Search this
Untermeyer, Louis  Search this
Zigrosser, Carl  Search this
Robeson, Paul  Search this
DuBois, W.E.B. (William Edward Burghardt)  Search this
Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano)  Search this
Ruggles, Carl  Search this
Stefansson, Vilhjalmur  Search this
Nearing, Helen  Search this
Nearing, Scott  Search this
Pach, Walter  Search this
Rasmussen, Knud  Search this
Reeves, Ruth  Search this
Seeger, Pete  Search this
Daniel, Charles  Search this
Cleland, T. M. (Thomas Maitland)  Search this
Davies, Arthur B. (Arthur Bowen)  Search this
Chamberlain, J. E.  Search this
Boyesen, Bayard  Search this
Chase, William Merritt  Search this
Freuchen, Peter  Search this
Gellert, Hugo  Search this
Gottlieb, Harry  Search this
Hartley, Marsden  Search this
Fitzgerald, James  Search this
Keller, Charles  Search this
Miller, Kenneth Hayes  Search this
Henri, Robert  Search this
Jones, Dan Burne  Search this
United American Artists  Search this
United Office and Professional Workers of America  Search this
United Scenic Artists  Search this
National Farmers' Union (U.S.)  Search this
National Maritime Union of America  Search this
American Artists' Congress  Search this
Artists' Union (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Artists League of America  Search this
Citizens' Committee for Government Arts Projects  Search this
Farmers Union of the New York Milk Shed  Search this
Federal Art Project  Search this
Federal Writers' Project  Search this
Macbeth Gallery  Search this
International Workers Order  Search this
Type:
Poems
Sketches
Business records
Photographs
Drawings
Topic:
Designers -- New York (State)  Search this
Mural painting and decoration  Search this
Politics and culture  Search this
Authors -- New York  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States -- Political aspects  Search this
Dairy farms  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State)  Search this
Illustration of books  Search this
Works of art  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Civilian relief  Search this
Labor unions  Search this
Art and war  Search this
Commercial art  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Art and the war  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9557
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211757
AAA_collcode_kentrock
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211757
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Ruben Torres-Llorca, 1998 January 31

Interviewee:
Torres Llorca, Rubén, 1957-  Search this
Interviewer:
Martínez, Juan A  Search this
Subject:
Bedia, José  Search this
Rodríguez Brey, Ricardo  Search this
Instituto Superior de Arte (Cuba)  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Artists -- Florida -- Miami -- Interviews  Search this
Hispanic American artists  Search this
Expatriate artists -- Florida -- Miami -- Interviews  Search this
Art, Cuban  Search this
Cuban American art  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Florida -- Miami  Search this
Cuban American artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13547
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216458
AAA_collcode_torres98
Theme:
Latino and Latin American
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_216458
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Ruben Torres-Llorca

Interviewee:
Torres Llorca, Rubén, 1957-  Search this
Interviewer:
Martínez, Juan A.  Search this
Names:
Instituto Superior de Arte (Cuba)  Search this
Bedia, José, 1959-  Search this
Rodríguez Brey, Ricardo, 1955-  Search this
Extent:
133 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
1998 January 31
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Ruben Torres-Llorca conducted 1998 January 31, by Juan A. Martínez, in Torres Llora's home/studio, Miami, Florida, for the Archives of American Art.
Torres Llora discusses his early interest in art; his father, whom he never met, who was a talented commercial artist; studying art at San Alejandro Academy of Art, Havana and fellow students Jose Bedia and Ricardo Rodriguez Brey; graduate studies at Havana's Instituto Superior del Arte; participating in the "Volumen I" exhibition in 1981; travels to Mexico, where he began sculpture and installations; returning to Cuba and curating exhibitions of younger artists; moving to Buenos Aires, Mexico City, and since 1993, Miami; artistic influences, including literature, anthropology, sociololgy, film, and other disciplines on him; his mixed media figurative objects of the 1990s which tell a narrative, are socially oriented, and at best, provide a shared experience for the viewer.
Biographical / Historical:
Ruben Torres-Llorca (1957-) is a painter and sculptor in Miami, Florida.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 6 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics, and administrators. Funding for this interview provided by Smithsonian Institution's Latino Pool Fund.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Artists -- Cuba  Search this
Topic:
Artists -- Florida -- Miami -- Interviews  Search this
Hispanic American artists  Search this
Expatriate artists -- Florida -- Miami -- Interviews  Search this
Art, Cuban  Search this
Cuban American art  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Florida -- Miami  Search this
Cuban American artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.torres98
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-torres98

Oral history interview with José de Rivera, 1968 February 24

Interviewee:
De Rivera, José Ruiz, 1904-1985  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul, 1933-1997  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Hispanic American artists  Search this
Sculpture, American  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12594
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212627
AAA_collcode_derive68
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212627

Oral history interview with Jacob Alexander Elshin, 1965 April 21-22

Interviewee:
Elshin, Jacob Alexander, 1891-1976  Search this
Interviewer:
Bestor, Dorothy K., 1913-  Search this
Subject:
Inverarity, Robert Bruce  Search this
Rowan, Edward Beatty  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Federal Art Project (Wash.)  Search this
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art and state  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Mural painting and decoration  Search this
Muralists -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12775
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213441
AAA_collcode_elshin65
Theme:
New Deal
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_213441

Oral history interview with José de Rivera

Interviewee:
De Rivera, José Ruiz, 1904-1985  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Extent:
60 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1968 February 24
Scope and Contents:
An interview of José de Rivera conducted 1968 February 24, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art. De Rivera recalls his childhood on sugar plantations in Louisiana; his early work in New Orleans and Chicago as a mechanic; his training as a commercial artist at Chicago's Studio School and taking life drawing classes with John Norton. He talks about freelancing as a commercial artist in Chicago; his military service during World War II; traveling in Europe and Egypt and relocating to New York. Cummings and de Rivera discuss de Rivera's sculpture in some depth, as well as de Rivera's interest in artists such as Brancusi and Mondrian.
Biographical / Historical:
José de Rivera (1904-1985) was a sculptor in New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 9 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others. Funding for the interview was provided by the New York State Council on the Arts.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Hispanic American artists  Search this
Sculpture, American  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.derive68
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-derive68

Charles E. Waltensperger papers

Creator:
Waltensperger, Charles E., 1871-1931  Search this
Names:
Académie des beaux-arts (France) -- Students  Search this
Gérôme, Jean Léon, 1824-1904  Search this
Extent:
1.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Sketches
Date:
1893-1931
Summary:
This small collection of scattered papers of painter and illustrator Charles E. Waltensperger measures 1.2 linear feet and dates from 1893-1931. Papers include biographical material, scattered correspondence between family members, sales records, engagement diaries, notes, sketches of the human form, printed material, and photographs of Waltensperger, his family, colleagues, and travel scenes.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter and illustrator Charles E. Waltensperger date from 1893-1931 and measure 1.2 linear feet. Biographical material includes passports and membership cards, including one for the Scarab Club. Letters are generally from members of the Waltensperger family discussing travels. One letter from Waltensperger briefly mentions his studies at the Académie des Beaux Arts and his instructor, Jean-Léon Gérôme, "who is perhaps the best that ever happened. He is very severe and no fancy stuff goes with him." Business records consists primarily of receipts, but also include account books documenting sales. Also found within the papers are annotated engagement diaries, notebooks that contain addresses, notes about art, and annonated sketches, and miscellaneous notes. There is one folder of Waltensperger's artwork consisting of sketches of the human form. Printed material including clippings and exhibition catalogs relating to Waltensperger and others. Photographs found here are of Waltensperger, his family and friends, and scenes from his travels.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 8 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1905-1931 (Box 1; 2 folders)

Series 2: Letters, 1899-1931 (Box 1; 19 folders)

Series 3: Business Records, 1925-1931 (Box 1; 4 folders)

Series 4: Engagement Diaries, 1914-1931 (Box 1; 6 folders)

Series 5: Notes and Writings, 1913-1931 (Box 1; 8 folders)

Series 6: Artwork, circa 1890-circa 1930 (Box 1; 1 folder)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1896-1931 (Box 1; 19 folders)

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1890-circa 1930 (Box 1, 2; 25 folders)
Biographical Note:
Charles E. Waltensperger was born on April 10, 1871 in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Emily and Fred Waltensperger, a merchant.

Waltensperger studied art at the Julius Melchers School with fellow students Joseph Kraemer, Myron Barlow, and Fred Leipziger. While working as an elevator operator for the Detroit Free Press, Waltensperger made sketches of the passengers. This attracted the attention of publisher William E. Quinby, who was so impressed with his drawings that he paid Waltensperger's tuition at the school of the Detroit Museum of Art.

During the early 1890s, Waltensperger exhibited his work in a competition at the Detroit Institute of Arts and was awarded a James E. Scripps scholarship that financed his art studies for two years in Europe. He studied both at the Académie des Beaux Arts under Jean-Léon Gérôme, and at the Académie Julian in Paris in 1893. Upon his return to the United States, Waltensperger was employed as a commercial artist and worked as an illustrator for the Detroit Free Press. He also illustrated books written by M. Quad, the pseudonym of humorist Charles Bertrand Lewis.

Waltensperger later established his own studio and turned his interest to creating oil paintings, primarily of Dutch interiors. He traveled extensively in Europe and in New England. He was a member of a group of Detroit artists known as the Hopkin Club that held exhibitions at the Old Detroit Museum of Art before they established the Scarab Club.

Waltensperger never married and during the last five years of his life, ill health forced him to curtail his travels. He died of a heart attack on December 12, 1931 in Detroit.
Provenance:
The Charles E. Waltensperger papers were donated in 1973 by the artist's brother, George Waltensperger, through Mrs. Beverly Bassett who was conducting a survey of Michigan artists. In 1979, two photographs and two letters were donated.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use 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.
Topic:
Illustrators -- Michigan -- Detroit  Search this
Painters -- Michigan -- Detroit  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sketches
Citation:
Charles E. Waltensperger papers, 1893-1931. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.waltchar
See more items in:
Charles E. Waltensperger papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-waltchar

Ben Shahn papers

Creator:
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Names:
Baskin, Leonard, 1922-2000  Search this
Delano, Jack  Search this
Dugan, Alan  Search this
Evans, Walker, 1903-1975  Search this
Ferry, W. Hawkins  Search this
Francis, Arlene  Search this
Friendly, Fred W.  Search this
Gusten, Theodore, 1899-1978  Search this
Hirsch, Joseph, 1910-1981  Search this
Kingman, Dong, 1911-  Search this
Lange, Dorothea  Search this
Lee, Russell, 1903-1986  Search this
Lionni, Leo, 1910-  Search this
MacLeish, Archibald, 1892-1982  Search this
Martin, John Bartlow, 1915-1987  Search this
Mydans, Carl  Search this
Nakashima, George, 1905-  Search this
Nakashima, Marian  Search this
Odets, Clifford, 1906-1963  Search this
Osborn, Robert Chesley, 1904-1994  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Robbins, Jerome  Search this
Rodman, Selden, 1909-  Search this
Rothstein, Arthur, 1915-1985  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Soby, James Thrall, 1906-1979  Search this
Soyer, Raphael, 1899-1987  Search this
Vachon, John, 1914-1975  Search this
Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963  Search this
Wolcott, Marion Post, 1910-1990  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
24.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Awards
Sketches
Transcripts
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sketchbooks
Video recordings
Drawings
Photographs
Prints
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1879-1990
bulk 1933-1970
Summary:
The papers of social realist painter, photographer, illustrator, printmaker, and teacher Ben Shahn (1898-1969) measure 24.8 linear feet and date from 1879-1990, with the bulk of the material dating from 1933-1970. The bulk of the collection consists of over 14 linear feet of incoming letters from artists, writers, colleagues, publishers, art organizations, galleries, and universities and colleges. Also found are biographical materials, project and source files, printed material, artwork by Shahn and others, photographs taken of and by Shahn, interview transcripts, sound recordings of interviews and a motion picture film.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of social realist painter, photographer, illustrator, printmaker, and teacher Ben Shahn (1898-1969) measure 24.8 linear feet and date from 1879-1990, with the bulk of the material dating from 1933-1970. The bulk of the collection consists of over 14 linear feet of incoming letters from artists, writers, colleagues, publishers, art organizations, galleries, and universities and colleges. Also found are biographical materials, project and source files, printed material, artwork by Shahn and others, photographs taken of and by Shahn, interview transcripts, sound recordings of interviews and a motion picture film.

Biographical material and family records include a 1924 passport for Shahn and his first wife, Tillie, biographical sketches of Shahn, and award certificates received by him.

Letters are primarily written to Shahn from family members, artists, writers, colleagues, publishers, art organizations, galleries, and universities and colleges. Notable correspondents include Leonard Baskin, Alexander Calder, Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Joseph Hirsch, Leo Lionni, John Bartlow Martin, George and Marian Nakashima, Clifford Odets, Charles Olson, Robert Osborn, Diego Rivera, Jerome Robbins, Selden Rodman, James Thrall Soby, Raphael Soyer, and William Carlos Williams. A small number of scattered letters from Shahn can also be found throughout the series.

Project files document approximately twenty-one of Shahn's commissions, including murals for the community center at Jersey Homesteads, the Bronx Central Annex Post Office, the Social Security Building in Washington D.C. , and the William E. Grady Vocational High School. The files also document his involvement in the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Roosevelt, in addition to projects for schools, temples and private homes.

Financial and legal records include consignment records, loan agreements, royalty statements and receipts for artwork sold.

Notes and writings are by Shahn and others including Alan Dugan, W. H. Ferry, Theodore Gusten, and John Bartlow Martin. They include lists of artwork, many of which are annotated.

Artwork includes a sketchbook and several unbound sketches and lettering by Shahn, in addition to drawings and prints by others including Shahn's children, Mario Casetta and Stefan Martin.

Source files contain printed material and photographs relating to topics depicted by Shahn in his artwork such as children, dams, farming, houses, industry, mines and miners, slums, war and workers. These files also contain scattered photographic prints by FSA and OWI photographers including Shahn, Jack Delano, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, Carl Mydans, Marion Post Wolcott, Arthur Rothstein, and John Vachon.

Printed material includes news clippings covering Shahn and his career as well as subjects of interest to Shahn. Also found are exhibition catalogs and announcements for exhibitions for Shahn and others, and reproductions of Shahn's artwork including publications illustrated by him.

Photographs are of Shahn, his family and friends and colleagues including Alexander Calder, Jerome Robbins, Charles Sheeler, David Smith and William Zorach. Also included are photographs taken by Shahn of New York City and for the FSA in the 1930s, as well as photographs of artwork by Shahn. Photographs by others include one photo each by Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee and Arthur Rothstein.

The collection also contains transcripts of eight radio, television and motion picture interviews of Shahn and a reel of 16mm motion picture film from the BBC-TV program "Monitor," in addition to sound recordings of interviews of Shahn by Tony Schwartz and Arlene Francis. Artifacts include a Christmas greeting in the form of a sock.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged as 12 series:

Series 1: Biographical and Family Records, 1879-1984 (Box 1, OV 36; 0.2 linear ft.)

Series 2: Letters, 1929-1990 (Boxes 1-25, 35, OVs 36-38; 14.4 linear ft.)

Series 3: Project Files, 1933-1975 (Boxes 25-26; OVs 36-37; 1.03 linear ft.)

Series 4: Financial and Legal Records, 1934-1988 (Boxes 26-27, 35; 0.81 linear ft.)

Series 5: Notes and Writings, circa 1933-1988 (Boxes 27-28; 1.62 linear ft.)

Series 6: Artwork, circa 1930s-1965 (Boxes 28, 35; 11 folders)

Series 7: Source Files, circa 1900s-1960s (Boxes 28-30, 35; 1.81 linear ft.)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1912-1988 (Boxes 30-33, 35, OV 39; 3.22 linear ft.)

Series 9: Photographs, circa 1900-1969 (Boxes 33-35; 0.86 linear ft.)

Series 10: Interview Transcripts, 1943-1968 (Box 34; 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 11: Audio and Video Recordings, 1959-1968 (Box 34; 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 12: Artifacts, circa 1930s-circa 1960s (Box 34; 2 items)
Biographical/Historical note:
Ben Shahn (1898-1969) was a social realist painter, muralist, printmaker, photographer, illustrator, and teacher who worked primarily in Brooklyn, New York and New Jersey. He was most active in the 1930s through the 1950s and worked on several federally funded arts projects, including the Farm Security Administration's photographic documentation project of rural America during the Depression.

Ben Shahn was born in Kovno, Lithuania and immigrated with his family to the United States in 1906 where he settled in Brooklyn, and later Roosevelt, New Jersey, after becoming a naturalized citizen in 1918.

Following an apprenticeship as a lithographer from 1913-1917, Shahn studied at New York University, the City College of New York, and the National Academy of Design from 1919-1922. He married Tillie Goldstein in 1922 and they had two children, Judith and Ezra.

Two years after Shahn's first solo exhibition at the Downtown Gallery in 1930, his Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti, a series of 23 gouaches about the Sacco and Vanzetti trial of the 1920s, was exhibited at the Downtown Gallery to critical and public acclaim. The exhibition marked the beginning of Shahn's reputation as one of the most important social realist painters in America. Shahn's commitment to social and political justice found a natural outlet in mural painting when, in 1933, he was hired to assist Diego Rivera on the labor and industry mural Man at the Crossroads, for New York City's Rockefeller Center. The mural was destroyed amid controversy in 1933 before it was completed, but Shahn had learned much about the art of fresco painting during the project and was inspired by the potential of the mural as a unique art form for presenting life's struggles and stories to a large public audience. Between 1933 and 1937 Shahn worked on various murals for other buildings, including New York's Central Park Casino (circa 1934) and Riker's Island Prison (1934), none of which saw completion. In 1937, however, the Farm Security Administration (FSA) commissioned Shahn to execute a mural for the Community Center in the town of Jersey Homesteads, later Roosevelt, New Jersey, which Shahn completed in 1938. Shahn settled in Jersey Homesteads the following year and remained there for the rest of his life. Other important mural commissions followed for the Bronx Central Post office (1939) and the Social Security Building in Washington DC (1942).

One of Shahn's assistants on the Jersey Homesteads mural was Bernarda Bryson, whom he had met in 1933 when she came to New York to interview Rivera about the Rockefeller Center mural controversy for an Ohio newspaper. Shahn and Bryson became lifetime companions and had three children, Susanna, Jonathan and Abigail, although they did not marry until shortly before Shahn's death in 1969. Shahn and Tillie Goldstein were divorced in 1944.

Shahn had enrolled with the federal Public Works of Art Project in 1934, and between 1935 and 1938 he and Bryson travelled across country as Shahn photographed poverty-stricken areas and documented rural life for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and the Resettlement Agency. Shahn's interest in photography developed in the early 1930s when, encouraged by his friendship with Walker Evans, he began photographing street scenes and people in New York City. He later used the images as the basis for many of his prints and paintings.

In 1942 Shahn began working for the Office of War Information (OWI) and was instructed to produce posters and pamphlets explaining to citizens the necessities of wartime, such as the need for secrecy and food rationing. Ultimately, only two of Shahn's posters were ever used; the rest were rejected as being too harsh for their intended audience. Shahn later worked for the Congress of Industrial Organization Political Action Committee (CIO-PAC), producing posters for the 1944 campaign to re-elect Roosevelt, who he believed in deeply. He was promoted to director of the CIO's Graphic Arts Division for the 1946 congressional campaign following Roosevelt's death, but that job ended when the election went poorly for the Democratic party.

Shahn returned increasingly to painting and a retrospective of his work was held at the Museum of Modern Art in 1947. He also became more active in academia as an accomplished writer, teacher and lecturer. He received honorary doctorates from Princeton University and Harvard University, and become the Charles Eliot Norton professor at Harvard in 1956. Shahn's Norton lectures were collected and published as the influential The Shape of Content in 1957. He also began to work as a commercial artist for a variety of companies and publications including CBS, Time, Harper's, and the Container Corporation of America. Shahn believed, however, that the artist's ideas and integrity must always be reflected in his commercial art. He refused to compromise on this point and was very selective in his choice of commercial commissions. Shahn illustrated many books and articles, designed sets for stage productions such as New York Export: Opus Jazz, choreographed by Jerome Robbins, and designed mural mosaics for synagogues, universities and private homes.

Since the 1930s Shahn had been represented by Edith Halpert at the Downtown Gallery, but his relationship with her was always contentious on the subject of payments Shahn received for commercial work, and became increasingly so as his income from such sources increased. Finally, in 1968, Shahn wrote to Halpert telling her that after ten years of "an accumulation of ill-feeling, discomfort and recrimination between us" he felt compelled to end their dealer-artist relationship.

By the time of Shahn's break with Halpert his health had begun to fail. He died of a heart attack following surgery in a New York City hospital on March 14, 1969.
Related Archival Materials note:
The Archives of American Art holds four oral history interviews with Ben Shahn: 1964 Apr. 14 interview conducted by Richard K. Doud for the Archives of American Art New Deal and the Arts Project in which Shahn speaks of his travels and work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and the American image as portrayed by FSA; 1965 Jan. 17 interview; 1965 Oct. 3. interview conducted by Harlan Phillips for the Archives of American Art New Deal and the Arts Project; and 1968 Sept. 27 interview conducted by Forrest Selvig. Most of these interviews have transcripts available online.

The Archives also holds the Bernarda Bryson Shahn papers, circa 1947-2005, and two oral history interviews with Bernarda Bryson Shahn: 1983 Apr. 29 and 1995 July 3.
Separated Materials note:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reel N70-6) including addresses and essays by Shahn, seven royalty statements, and three letters from publishers. Many of the writings found on this reel were included in subsequent donations. All other lent material was returned to the lender and is not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
The Ben Shahn papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in several installments between 1967-1991 by Shahn's widow, Bernarda Bryson Shahn who also lent materials for microfilming in 1969. Jean Shahn, Ben Shahn's daughter-in-law and estate representative, donated one additional sketch in 2018.
Restrictions:
Access to original papers requires an appointment. Access to audiovisual recording with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
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 -- United States  Search this
Topic:
Printmakers -- United States  Search this
Illustrators -- United States  Search this
Photographers -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Awards
Sketches
Transcripts
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sketchbooks
Video recordings
Drawings
Photographs
Prints
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Ben Shahn papers, 1879-1990, bulk 1933-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.shahben
See more items in:
Ben Shahn papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-shahben
Online Media:

Rudolph Schaeffer papers

Creator:
Schaeffer, Rudolph  Search this
Names:
East & West Gallery (San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976 -- Photographs  Search this
Frey, Caroline  Search this
Frey, Fred  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959 -- Photographs  Search this
Extent:
13.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Christmas cards
Designs
Interviews
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Place:
Japan -- Description and Travel
Date:
1880s-1997
Summary:
The collection measures 13.3 linear feet, dates from the 1880s-1997 and documents the life and varied career of Rudolph Schaeffer, artist, designer, teacher, writer, collector of Asian art, and pioneer in the field of color study who founded the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design in San Francisco in 1926. The papers include biographical information, correspondence, subject files, writings, diaries, journals, artwork, scrapbooks, sound recordings, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The collection measures 13.3 linear feet, dates from the 1880s-1997, and documents the life and varied career of Rudolph Schaeffer, artist, designer, teacher, writer, collector of Asian art, and pioneer in the field of color study who founded the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design in San Francisco in 1926. The papers include biographical information, correspondence, subject files, writings, diaries, journals, artwork, scrapbooks, sound recordings, and photographs.

Correspondence documents Schaeffer's personal and professional activities as well as the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design. Subject files contain various combinations of correspondence, photographs, printed material, and drawings reflecting Schaeffer's activities, projects, and interests. Within the subject files is correspondence with artists, including Mark Tobey. Extensive writings include manuscripts for published and unpublished articles and drafts, notes, and manuscripts of several unpublished books including Collected Lectures of Rudolph Schaeffer on Color and Design, Color and Design, Prismatic Color Theory, and Rhythmo-Chromatics, all undated. Diaries include a volume recording Schaeffer's 1936 trip to Japan. 42 volumes of journals, compiled between 1954 and 1987, contain entries on a wide range of subjects including lists of errands, invitation lists, class notes, drafts of letters, notes including staff assignments and staff meetings, autobiographical notes and reminiscences, and musings on religion and philosophy.

The Artwork series houses artwork by Schaeffer and his students. Found are hand-made Christmas cards, designs, sketches, and sketchbooks. Seven scrapbooks document Rudolph Schaeffer's career, his school and former students, and the San Francisco art scene. They contain printed material, photographs, letters, and a small amount of artwork. Volume 3 is devoted to East West Gallery, and volume 7 documents Rudolph Schaeffer's 90th Birthday and the 50th Anniversary of the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design.

Most untranscribed sound recordings (audio cassettes and reels) are of lectures by Schaeffer and others delivered at the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design.

Miscellaneous records includes a series of hand-baticked fabric samples from the Wiener Werkstatte, as well as transcripts of an oral history with Schaeffer and other interviews.

Printed material concerns the career of Rudolph Schaeffer, his school and former students, the San Francisco art scene, and general art topics. Included are articles and a book by Schaeffer, catalogs and other items produced by the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design, and miscellaneous items about or mentioning Schaeffer and his school. Items of note are announcements of courses taught by Schaeffer in Piedmont and San Francisco prior to the opening of his school, and theatre programs from productions with sets and some costumes designed by Schaeffer in the early 1920s.

Photographs are of artwork, people, places, events, stage designs, and miscellaneous subjects. Artwork includes some designs by Rudolph Schaeffer; people include Schaeffer, his family, friends, and students. Of particular note are a photograph of Frank Lloyd Wright's visit to the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design, and one of Rudolph Schaeffer and Imogen Cunningham. Places include interior and exterior views of the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design at its St. Anne Street and Mariposa Street locations. Also included are photographs by Ansel Adams of the home of Ed and Caroline Fey.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 10 series:

Series 1: Biographical Information, 1900-1988 (Box 1; 0.1 linear ft.)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1906-1989 (Box 1, 19; 0.5 linear ft.)

Series 3: Subject Files, 1907-1988 (Boxes 1-2, OV 16; 1.3 linear ft.)

Series 4: Writings, circa 1910-1987 (Boxes 2-6, 15, 19, 21; 4.2 linear ft.)

Series 5: Artwork, 1911-1957 (Boxes 6-15, 19, 21 OV 17; 0.6 linear ft.)

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1933-1976 (Boxes 6, 14, 19; 0.6 linear ft.)

Series 7: Sound Recordings, 1949-1986 (Boxes 11-13; 1.2 linear ft.)

Series 8: Miscellaneous Records, 1905-1986 (Box 7, 19, 22; 0.8 linear ft.)

Series 9: Printed Material, 1906-1994 (Boxes 7-8, 15, 19, 22; 1.2 linear ft.)

Series 10: Photographs, 1880s-circa 1988 (Boxes 8-10,15, 20, 22, OV 18; 1.8 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Rudolph Schaeffer (1886-1988), a proponent of the Arts and Crafts movement, aspired to unite technology, science, and lifestyle in order to live in harmony with nature. An individual with many talents and interests, he was best known for his work in the field of color study and as a teacher and the founder of the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design in San Francisco.

Born on a farm in Clare, Michigan in 1886, Rudolph Schaeffer displayed musical and artistic talent from a young age. Although he initially wanted to become a professional musician, he began focusing more on art when his musical abilities were compromised by an improperly set broken wrist. Schaeffer received his first formal art training as a high school student and then attended the Thomas Normal Training School in Detroit, where he studied music, art, and design. He continued studying independently, developing interests in calligraphy and metal craft.

In 1907, Schaeffer taught manual training courses in the Columbus, Ohio, public schools. The following summer he traveled to Paris and London. While in London he saw an exhibition of Josef Hoffman's modern interiors that had a great impact on his own design ideas. He then returned to Michigan and taught in schools close to home. In 1909, Schaeffer attended a design course in Minneapolis taught by A. E. Batchelder, director of Throop Polytechnic Institute in Pasadena. Both Batchelder and his course were strong influences on Schaeffer, as was Ralph Johnot, a proponent of Arthur Wesley Dow's design principles. In 1910 Schaeffer joined the faculty of Throop Polytechnic Institute, where he remained for five years.

The U. S. Commission on Education selected Schaeffer to be part of a delegation of twenty-five American teachers sent to Munich for several months in 1914 to investigate the exemplary industrial design curriculum offered in their secondary schools. Schaeffer subsequently expected to begin teaching at the Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles at the start of the 1914 school year, but World War I erupted while he was in Germany and his return to the United States was delayed so long that another teacher had to be hired to fill his place.

In 1915 Schaeffer was a manual training instructor at the California College of Arts and Crafts (formerly the Hopkins School), and taught design and metal crafts at the University of California Berkeley. For a number of years afterwards, he did free lance design work, taught private classes, and ran a small summer school in his Piedmont studio. Schaeffer was a visiting professor at Stanford University in 1918 when he was drafted and sent to drafting and surveying courses by the Army. Between 1917 and 1924 Schaeffer was on the faculty of the California College of Arts and Crafts where he taught design, color, handicrafts, and interior design. During this period he developed a new approach to teaching color and design based on the prismatic color wheel.

During the early 1920s Schaeffer worked as a set designer and as Art Director of Greek Theatre at the University of California at Berkeley, Schaeffer began applying prismatic color theory to set and costume design. He also designed sets for productions in Detroit. In 1925, Schaeffer saw the Paris Exposition and researched interior and stage design while in France.

The Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design which, in its early days was called the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Rhythmo-Chromatic Design, opened on St. Anne Street in San Francisco's Chinatown in 1926. In 1951 the school then moved to Union Street on Telegraph Hill where it remained for nearly a decade. In 1960, the school purchased a former boys' school on Mariposa Street, Portero Hill. Rudolph Schaeffer lived in a small cottage built for him at the rear of the property where he designed and tended a remarkable "Peace Garden."

The Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design was best known for its courses in color and interior design. Schaeffer was the first person in the United States to teach prismatic color theory, is credited with being the first to use the term "interior design" rather than "interior decoration" and the first to incorporate the use of models into interior design coursework. In 1959 the school's courses were expanded from 2 to 3-year programs and a diploma was awarded. Former students include many successful interior designers, textile designers, furniture designers, industrial designers, commercial artists, color consultants, teachers, and master flower arrangers.

In addition to the interior design and color diploma courses, the school offered a summer session, classes for children, a brief lecture series for the general public, and a wide variety of classes including advertising art, architecture and design, art history, art in public schools, calligraphy, color design, color for television, color for weavers, color theory, design, drawing, environmental aesthetics, fashion design, fashion illustration, flower arrangement, industrial design, interior design, Notan, sculpture, space planning, textile design, and weaving. Always struggling financially and sometimes lacking adequate enrollment, the school nevertheless managed to stay open for nearly 60 years. In 1984, the Board of Directors voted to remove Schaeffer from the board and close the school. Two years earlier the board had forced Schaeffer to retire, appointed him Director Emeritus, and brought in a new director charged with making the institution financially solvent, reorganizing the curriculum, and working toward accreditation. Unable to separate himself from the school (though he had done so legally when it was incorporated in 1953), Schaeffer balked and refused to cooperate with plans for revitalizing the institution.

One of the aims of the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design was to interpret Asian esthetic principles. To this end the East West Gallery was established at the school in 1950. A membership organization, it offered exhibitions, lectures, concerts, and other programs that encouraged cultural integration. Exhibitions alternated between East (Asian art and artifacts from Rudolph Schaeffer's collection or other sources) and West (student work or work of local artists illustrating the influence of the Asian esthetic on contemporary art and design). East West Gallery was a membership organization, the first space of its kind in San Francisco for Asian art and operated in each of the school's locations.

In addition to running the school Schaeffer was involved in many other activities. He wrote several articles about flower arrangement, color, and color theory that were published in popular magazines. In 1935, he published Flower Arrangement Folio I (said to be the first on the subject published in this country) and in 1942 edited and wrote the introduction to Sunset's Flower Arrangement Book by Nell True Welch. Over a period of many years, he worked on several monographs on color, design, and "rhythmo-chromatics." None were ever published.

A sought-after speaker on the subjects of color, interior design, flower arrangement, and myriad other art topics, Schaeffer frequently served as a juror for art exhibitions and flower shows. From the 1930s on, the San Francisco department store Emporium used his services as a color consultant, as did Dutch Boy paints, and numerous textile and clothing manufacturers. Builders also asked Schaeffer to select interior and exterior colors for suburban housing developments.

Schaeffer worked on planning and designing the decorative arts exhibition at the 1939-40 Golden Gate International Exposition. In 1943-44, he participated in the Red Cross's Arts and Skills program, using color therapy with shell-shocked soldiers in a psychiatric unit.

The Rudolph Schaeffer Collection of Asian Art began as a collection of ceramics, both historical and contemporary examples chosen for their form and color, which he used for flower arrangements and in set-ups for still life classes. It soon expanded to include color prints, paintings, screens, and other works of art and portions were exhibited frequently in the East West Gallery. Selections from this collection were exhibited in Kansas City in 1960 and at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco in 1976.

The City of San Francisco declared June 26, 1986, Schaeffer's 100th birthday, "Rudolph Schaeffer Day" and it was observed with great fanfare. He died at home on March 5, 1988, a few months before his 102nd birthday.
Provenance:
The Rudolph Schaeffer papers were donated in 1991 by Rudolph Schaeffer and the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design administrator Peter Docili, and in 1999 and 2000 by James Alexander, a friend of both Schaeffer and Docili, who had been storing portions of Docili's estate after his death in 1998, with the assistance of Frances Valesco, a fiber artist and researcher. An addition was received in 2007 by William Woodworth, a close friend and caretaker of Schaeffer's and in 2017 and 2018 by Frances Valesco.
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. Use of archival audiovisual recordings requires advance notice.
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 teachers -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Topic:
Artists -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Designers -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Art, Asian  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Artists -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Authors -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Color -- Study and teaching  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Christmas cards
Designs
Interviews
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Citation:
Rudolph Schaeffer papers, 1880s-1997. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.scharudo
See more items in:
Rudolph Schaeffer papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-scharudo

Violet Oakley papers

Creator:
Oakley, Violet, 1874-1961  Search this
Names:
Pennsylvania State Capitol (Harrisburg, Pa.)  Search this
Extent:
56.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Diaries
Glass plate negatives
Renderings
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Visitors' books
Sketches
Date:
1841-1981
Summary:
The papers of painter, stained glass artist, and muralist Violet Oakley measure 56.4 linear feet and date from 1841-1981. Found within the papers are biographical materials; personal and business correspondence; writings, including essays, lectures, and project drafts; diaries and journals; financial material; artwork; printed material, including scrapbooks; and photographs, 3 albums, 322 glass plate negatives, and 1600 film negatives of Oakley, her family and friends, and her work.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter, stained glass artist, and muralist Violet Oakley measure 56.4 linear feet and date from 1841-1981. Found within the papers are biographical materials; personal and business correspondence; writings, including essays, lectures, and project drafts; diaries and journals; financial material; artwork; printed material, including scrapbooks; and photographs, 3 albums, 322 glass plate negatives, and 1600 film negatives of Oakley, her family and friends, and her work.

Biographical materials include certificates, family records, curriculum vitae, and identification cards, and studio guest books. About one-half of the collection is comprised of correspondence with family, friends, and business associates. Writings include Oakley's notes, essays and lectures, and writings related to 16 of her major artworks and publications, including her work on the Pennsylvania Capitol murals in Harrisburg. Diaries and journals include Oakley's travel notes and research on planned artworks.

Financial materials include a catalog of artworks and price lists, accounting records, and art supply receipts. Artwork includes early childhood juvenilia, a sketchbook, sketches of travel and friends, architectural renderings, and artwork by others. Printed materials include books, clippings, exhibition catalogs, programs, and reproductions of artwork by Oakley and others. Photographic materials include photographs, albums, and negatives depicting Oakley, her friends and family, her studio at Cogslea, and reproductions of artwork.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 8 series. A comprehensive index of individidual correspondents for the chronological correspondence is found in the first folder of the chronological correspondence in box 5, folder 41. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers, but listed where they fall intellectually within the collection.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1841-1970 (2.8 linear feet; Boxes 1-3, OV 69, OV 71)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1857-1979 (26.7 linear feet; Boxes 3-30)

Series 3: Notes and Writings, 1899-1976 (10.6 linear feet; Boxes 30-38, 58-64, OV 66, OV 70)

Series 4: Diaries and Journals, 1891-1958 (0.9 linear feet, Boxes 38-39)

Series 5: Financial Material, 1874-1977 (3.1 linear feet; Boxes 39-42)

Series 6: Artwork, 1883-1955 (0.7 linear feet; Boxes 43-43, 64, OV 67, OV 71)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1866-1981 (7.3 linear feet, Boxes 43-50, 65, OV 67)

Series 8: Photographs, 1890-1980 (5.3 linear feet; Boxes 50-57, 65, OV 68)
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, muralist, and stained glass designer Violet Oakley (1874-1961) lived and worked in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was known for her Renaissance-revival style of art and the series of murals she completed for the Pennsylvania State Capitol.

Born in Bergen Heights, New Jersey, to a family of artists, both of Violet Oakley's grandfathers were painters and members of the National Academy. In 1892, she began her art studies at the Art Students' League and traveled abroad a year later to study in Paris at the Academie Montparnasse, and in England with Charles Lazar. Upon her return to the states in 1896, she continued her studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and at Drexel Institute with Howard Pyle.

For fourteen years, Oakley shared her early studios at Red Rose Inn and Cogslea Estate with fellow artists and illustrators Elizabeth Shippen Green and Jessie Willcox Smith. These two studio homes were managed by their friend Henrietta Cozens in a cooperative arrangement which allowed all three artists to focus on their work as commercial artists. Early in her career, Oakley designed covers for magazines such as Collier's Weekly and Century Magazine, and also found work as a stained glass designer for the Church Glass and Decorating Company of New York. In 1900, she received her first major commission to design and execute two large murals and six stained glass pieces for the All Angels' Church in New York City.

In 1902 Oakley was approached by architect Joseph Huston to design 13 murals for the Governor's reception room in the new Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg. She eventually completed two additional mural commissions for the Capitol's Senate (1911-1920) and Supreme Court (1917-1927) chambers. Her studies of William Penn in connection with her murals for the State Capitol inspired Oakley to work for international peace and eventually led to the publication of a portrait folio depicting League of Nations delegates (1932). Other significant works include murals, panels, and stained glass commissions completed for the Vassar College Alumni house, Charlton Yarnall house (Philadelphia), and Cuyuhoga County courthouse.

While working as an established artist, Oakley also taught courses at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, arranged a yearly lecture series, and published folios and other writings on topics ranging from art history to Christian Science under the Coslea Studios imprint. Her later studio, Lower Cogslea, was shared by artist and lifelong companion Edith Emerson, who after Oakley's death in 1961, established a memorial foundation in her name.

Oakley was the first woman elected to the National Society of Mural Painters, was a recipient of the Gold Medal of Honor of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and was the first woman to receive the Gold Medal of Honor from the Architectural League of New York. Her writings include The Holy Experiment: A Message to the World from Pennsylvania (1922) and Law Triumphant: The Opening of the Book of Law (1933).
Related Materials:
Also found among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are the Violet Oakley Memorial Foundation records and the Violet Oakley autograph and photograph. The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts holds the Violet Oakley Foundation Art Collection, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art holds the Violet Oakley Collection.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reels 1204, P12, 1187-1188, 1272, and 1194-1195).

Reel 1204 consists of two scrapbooks (circa 1896-1952) containing clippings from magazines of illustrations by Violet Oakley and her sister, Hester, and of Violet's murals for the State Capitol at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Reel P12 is of a scrapbook (1898-1936) containing a photograph of Oakely at her easel, clippings, and letters. Reels 1187-1188 consist of five scrapbooks (1920-1962) containing letters, clippings, exhibition announcements, catalogs, and awards. One of the scrapbooks is devoted to "The Holy Experiment", a limited edition publication by Oakley which commemorating William Penn, and which includes reproductions of Oakley's capitol murals in Harrisburg.

Reel 1272 contains two albums (circa 1900-1949) containing photos of Oakley working on murals in her studio, as well as her works of art, including stained glass windows at the Church of All Angels, New York; murals at the Harrisburg State Capitol; preliminary drawings and site photographs of "Dante's Window"; the lunettes and window for the Yarnall House; murals and preliminary drawings for the Cuyahoga Court House; the mural and dedication ceremonies for the Vassar Alumnae House; and photos and printed material on "Divine Presence--Christ at Geneva," "The Life of Moses," "Great Women of the Bible," and triptychs for the Army and Navy.

Reels 1194-1195 cobsist of photograph albums (circa 1870-1960) containing photographs of the Oakley and Swain families, of Violet Oakley, Edith Emerson, Jessie Willcox Smith, Elizabeth Shippen Green, friends, her home, Oakley's "Red Rose" studio in Villanova, Pennsylvania, her "Cogslea" studio in Philadelphia, and of her works of art, mainly portraits of her friends and of delegates to the League of Nations.

Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Violet Oakley first loaned the Archives of American Art materials for microfilming in 1959. Edith Emerson, Oakley's longtime friend and companion, donated and lent papers for microfilming in 1977 and 1984. The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, who had received the papers from Emerson's estate, donated two feet of materials in 1988.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' research center in Washington, D.C.
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:
Stained glass artists -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Muralists -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Topic:
Women artists -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Artists' materials  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Mural painting and decoration -- United States  Search this
Painters -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Diaries
Glass plate negatives
Renderings
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Visitors' books
Sketches
Citation:
Violet Oakley papers, 1941-1981. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.oaklviol
See more items in:
Violet Oakley papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-oaklviol
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Alison Knowles

Interviewee:
Knowles, Alison, 1933-  Search this
Interviewer:
Richards, Judith Olch  Search this
Creator:
Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project  Search this
Names:
California Institute of the Arts -- Faculty  Search this
Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project  Search this
Middlebury College -- Students  Search this
Pratt Institute. Art School -- Students  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Brecht, George  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Chicago, Judy, 1939-  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Gordon, Coco, 1938-  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Hamilton, Richard, 1922-  Search this
Hendricks, Jon  Search this
Higgins, Dick, 1938-1998  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-1995  Search this
Jones, Joe, 1909-1963  Search this
Kaprow, Allan  Search this
Kuehn, Kathy  Search this
Lauf, Cornelia  Search this
Lindner, Richard, 1901-1978  Search this
Mac Low, Jackson  Search this
Maciunas, George, 1931-1978  Search this
Moorman, Charlotte  Search this
Ono, Yōko  Search this
Paik, Nam June, 1932-  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Saito, Takako, 1929-  Search this
Schapiro, Miriam, 1923-2015  Search this
Schneemann, Carolee, 1939-  Search this
Schöning, Klaus  Search this
Shiomi, Mieko, 1909-1948  Search this
Silverman, Gilbert  Search this
Spoerri, Daniel, 1930-  Search this
Teitelbaum, Richard  Search this
Tenney, James  Search this
Waśko, Ryszard  Search this
Extent:
86 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2010 June 1-2
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Alison Knowles conducted 2010 June 1-2, by Judith Olch Richards, for the Archives of American Art's Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project, at Knowles' home and studio, in New York, N.Y.
Knowles speaks of her family background; her father's (an English professor) influence on her education; her love of nature and isolation as a young girl; her French studies at Middlebury College; her transfer to Pratt Institute to study art; the social and academic environment at Pratt; her inclinations towards abstraction; her first marriage to Jim Ericson; her first studio at 423 Broadway; her early jobs as a commercial artist; her first gallery show at Nonagon, in 1958, and how she subsequently burned the paintings in that show; her second marriage to Dick Higgins in 1960; her Judson Gallery Show in 1962 and how she subsequently discarded those works; her involvement in the Fluxus group; her involvement with the "Cage class," and its early performances; her collaboration with John Cage on the book, "Notations" (1968); her collaboration with Marcel Duchamp on a print (1967); the circumstances surrounding her performance piece, "Make a Salad" (1962), her travels through Europe with Higgins; the birth of her twins; her computerized poetic piece and installation, "House of Dust" (1967) and how it was later vandalized; her move to Los Angeles to teach at CalArts; the rebuilding of "House of Dust" at CalArts; her move back to New York; the processes leading up to several projects and collaborations including "Loose Pages," "Big Book," "Bread and Water," and more; where she finds her inspiration; her thoughts on performance art; her studio environment in Barrytown, N.Y.; the influence and support of Germany on her work and Fluxus in general; her recent work, including "Identical Lunch"; and current challenges she faces as an artist.
She recalls Richard Lindner, Adolph Gottlieb, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Judy Chicago, Josef Albers, Dorothy Podber, Ray Johnson, Dick Higgins, Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage, Klaus Schöning, Jon Hendricks, Gilbert Silverman, George Maciunas, George Brecht, Jack Mac Low, Yoko Ono, Mieko Shiomi, Takako Saito, Joe Jones, Marcel Duchamp, Daniel Spoerri, Richard Hamilton, Nam June Paik, Charlotte Moorman, Helmut Becker, Coco Gordon, Jim Tenney, Cornelia Lauf, Rirkrit Tirvanija, Allan Kaprow, Simone Forte, Carolee Schneemann, Richard Teitelbaum, Miriam Schapiro, Miguel Abrau, James Fuentes, Cyrilla Wozenter, Kathy Kuehn, Ryszard Wasko.
Biographical / Historical:
Alison Knowles (1933- ) is an artist and a founding member of Fluxus in New York, N.Y. Judith Olch Richards (1947- ) is a former director of iCI in New York, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 5 mini discs. Duration is 5 hr., 45 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Topic:
Fluxus (Group of artists)  Search this
Women artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Performance art  Search this
Function:
Artists' studios
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.knowle10
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-knowle10

Oral history interview with Sidney Gordin

Interviewee:
Gordin, Sidney, 1918-1996  Search this
Interviewer:
Seckler, Dorothy Gees, 1910-1994  Search this
Names:
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art -- Students  Search this
Pratt Institute -- Faculty  Search this
Harrison, Wallace, 1900-  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Jewell, Edward Alden, 1888-1947  Search this
Kantor, Morris, 1896-1974  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Rosenborg, Ralph M., 1913-1992  Search this
Thomas, Byron, 1902-1978  Search this
Extent:
23 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1965 Sept. 2
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Sidney Gordin conducted 1965 Sept. 2, by Dorothy Seckler, for the Archives of American Art.
Gordin speaks of immigrating to the United States from Shanghai, China in 1922; being the class artist in grade school; attending Brooklyn Technical High School; studying at the WPA art school at the Brooklyn Museum for a summer; attending the Cooper Union School of Art; encountering Cubism; working as a commercial artist and making cartoons; teaching at the Pratt Institute; and alternating, as inspiration strikes, between painting and sculpture; and Constructivist philosophy. Gordin also mentions Ralph Rosenborg, Tom Eldred, Carol and Wallace Harrison, Edward Alden Jewell, Pablo Picasso, Byron Thomas, Morris Kantor, Hans Hofmann, Paul Clay, Jackson Pollock, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Sidney Gordin (1918-1996) was a sculptor and educator from Berkeley, Calif.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 1 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Occupation:
Art teachers -- California -- Berkeley -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- California -- Berkeley  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Sculptors -- California -- Berkeley -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.gordin65
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-gordin65

Oral history interview with Stephen Antonakos

Interviewee:
Antonakos, Stephen, 1926-2013  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Names:
Droll, Donald E.  Search this
Fischbach, Marilyn Cole, 1931?-2003  Search this
Lippard, Lucy R.  Search this
Extent:
125 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1975 May 9
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Stephen Antonakos conducted 1975 May 9, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.
Antonakos speaks of his family and educational background; his work as a commercial artist; the influence of Ben Shahn and David Martin; his association with the Allan Stone Gallery, Fischbach Gallery, and John Weber Gallery; and his collages, pillow assemblages and mail art projects. He discusses his neon sculpture, including electrical wiring and timing devices, selection of colors, glass tubing, installation problems and the cost of electricity. He discusses the aesthetic and conceptual development of his work with neon and mail art. He recalls Donald E. Droll, Marilyn Cole Fischbach and Lucy Lippard.
Biographical / Historical:
Stephen Antonakos (1926-) is a sculptor from New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hrs., 30 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Topic:
Neon sculpture -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.antona75
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-antona75

Oral history interview with Sue Fuller

Interviewee:
Fuller, Sue, 1914-  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Names:
Carnegie Institute of Technology -- Students  Search this
Columbia University. Teachers College -- Students  Search this
Society of American Etchers  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Arms, John Taylor, 1887-1953  Search this
D'Amico, Victor, 1904-1987  Search this
Dewey, John, 1859-1952  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Lejwa, Madeleine Chalette, 1913-1996  Search this
Matta, 1912-2002  Search this
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Schaefer, Bertha, 1895-1971  Search this
Schanker, Louis, 1903-1981  Search this
Thurn, Ernest  Search this
Extent:
6 Items (Sound recording: 6 sound files, digital, wav file)
94 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Europe -- description and travel
Japan -- Description and Travel
Date:
1975 April 24-May 8
Scope and Contents:
Interview of Sue Fuller, conducted on April 24, 1975, April 30, 1975, and May 8, 1975, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, at the home of Sue Fuller, in Southampton, New York.
Fuller speaks of her family and childhood in Pittsburgh, including art teachers and friends; her childhood painting lessons; her education in prep school, at Carnegie Tech, and at Columbia Teachers' College; her travels to Europe and Japan; her use of plastics; her work as a teacher, commercial artist, and assistant in Bill Hayter's studio; the influence of John Dewey's philosophy on her teaching style; training with Ernest Thurn, Hans Hofmann, Josef Albers; learning printmaking and calligraphy; the Society of American Etchers; the influence of science and mathematics on her work; and her thoughts on contemporary computer art. Fuller also recalls Bertha Schaefer, Victor D'Amico, Madeleine Lejwa, John Taylor Arms, Abraham Rattner, Louis Schanker, Roberto Matta, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Sue Fuller (1914-2006) was a sculptor and printmaker from Southampton, New York.
Provenance:
These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Calligraphy -- Study and teaching  Search this
Computer Art  Search this
Painting -- Study and teaching  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Prints -- Technique -- Study and teaching  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.fuller75
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-fuller75

Ellis Wilson papers

Creator:
Wilson, Ellis, 1899-1977  Search this
Names:
Locke, Alain, 1885-1954  Search this
Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Date:
1922-1959
bulk 1940s
Summary:
The papers of African American painter and illustrator Ellis Wilson measure 0.2 linear feet and date from 1922 to 1959, with the bulk of the collection dating from the 1940s. The collection includes certificates, correspondence, printed material, and photographic material. The bulk of this collection is composed of photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of African American painter and illustrator Ellis Wilson measure 0.2 linear feet and date from 1922 to 1959, with the bulk of the collection dating from the 1940s. The collection includes certificates, correspondence, printed material, and photographic material. The bulk of this collection is composed of photographs.

Papers include certificates, professional correspondence, printed material and clippings, and scrapbook pages. The scrapbook pages include clippings of reviews and reproductions of Wilson's work, exhibition invitations and catalogs, and correspondence, including a letter of congratulations from Alain Locke.

Photographic material makes up the bulk of this collection. This series includes three photos of Ellis Wilson taken by Carl Van Vechten.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in two series.

Series 1: Papers, 1927-1951 (Box 1; 3 Folders)

Series 2: Photographic Material, 1922, 1942-1948, 1959, undated (Box 1; 5 Folders)
Biographical / Historical:
Ellis Wilson (1899-1977) was an African American painter and illustrator. He was born in Kentucky and studied at the Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute, and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He later worked as a commercial artist in Chicago before moving to New York in 1928. Wilson was employed by the Federal Arts Project, sponsored by the Works Progress Administration, from 1935 to 1940, and was also involved with the Harlem Artists Guild. During World War II he worked in an aircraft engine factory and was commissioned to create triptychs for military chaplains. In 1944 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and traveled throughout the Southern United States. He later traveled to Haiti. He continued to paint until his death in 1977. In 1985, his painting Funeral Procession (circa 1950) was featured on an episode of The Cosby Show.
Separated Materials:
Exhibition catalogs and news clippings were transferred to the Smithsonian Institution Libraries after microfilming.
Provenance:
The Ellis Wilson papers were loaned for microfilming in 1970 and subsequently donated by Ellis Wilson.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Occupation:
Illustrators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Painting, American -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
African American artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Ellis Wilson papers, 1922-1959, bulk 1940s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.wilselli
See more items in:
Ellis Wilson papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-wilselli

Naomi Savage Papers on Man Ray

Creator:
Savage, Naomi, 1927-2005  Search this
Names:
Galerie Anderson-Mayer  Search this
La Boetie, Inc.  Search this
Philadelphia Museum of Art  Search this
Prakapas Gallery  Search this
Ronny Van de Velde (Gallery : Antwerp, Belgium)  Search this
Serpentine Gallery  Search this
Vered Gallery  Search this
Zabriskie Gallery  Search this
Duchamp, Alexina, 1906-1995  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968 -- Photographs  Search this
Greenbaum, Theodora S.  Search this
Hunter, Sam, 1923-  Search this
Kimmel, Roberta  Search this
Man Ray, Juliet, d. 1991  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Ray, Man, 1890-1976  Search this
Savage, Naomi, 1927-2005  Search this
Serger, Helen  Search this
Extent:
1.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1913-2005
Summary:
The Naomi Savage papers on Man Ray measure 1.6 linear feet and date from 1913-2005. The collection provides an overview of Man Ray's career as a photographer and painter through correspondence, exhibition files, writings, notes, artwork, printed material, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The Naomi Savage papers on Man Ray measure 1.6 linear feet and date from 1913-2005. The collection provides an overview of Man Ray's career as a photographer and painter through correspondence, exhibition files, writings, notes, artwork, printed material, and photographs.

Correspondence primarily consists of incoming letters from art historians, students, publishers, museums, and galleries interested in obtaining biographical information, scheduling exhibitions, or seeking permission to reproduce artwork. Correspondents include Theodora Greenbaum, Sam Hunter, and Roberta Kimmel. Also found is a letter to Man Ray from Isamu Noguchi.

Exhibition files document some of Man Ray's solo and group exhibitions held at museums and galleries in the United States and abroad, including Galerie Anderson Mayer, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Prakapas Gallery, Helen Serger, La Boetie, Inc., Ronny Van De Velde Gallery, Serpentine Gallery, Vered Gallery, and Zabriskie Gallery.

Writings and notes include typescripts of unpublished pieces on Man Ray and Surrealist photography and on Juliet Man Ray, miscellaneous writings, and Naomi Savage's list of Man Ray published work. Artwork consists of an artist's proof of a print by Paul Levitt.

Printed material houses news and periodical clippings on Man Ray and Juliet Man Ray, newsletters, reproductions of artwork, and miscellaneous printed material. Clippings provide documentation on Man Ray's early commercial photography for advertisements and fashion magazines as well as his experimental photographic work.

Photographs include portrait photographs of Man Ray and Juliet Man Ray. There are photographs of Man Ray and Juliet with family, friends, and colleagues, including photographs of Marcel Duchamp and Teeny Duchamp.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 6 series:

Series 1: Naomi Savage Correspondence, 1939-1995 (Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 2: Man Ray Exhibition Files, 1941-1997 (Box 1, OV 4; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1974-1998 (Box 1, OV 4; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 4: Artwork, circa 1963 (Box 1; 1 folder)

Series 5: Printed Material, circa 1913-1998 (Boxes 1, 3; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographs, 1913-1991 (Boxes 1-3; 0.4 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Photographer Naomi Siegler Savage (1927-2007) lived and worked in Princeton, New Jersey. While a teenager, Savage attended a photography class taught by Berenice Abbott and pursued this interest at Bennington College in Vermont. In California, Savage apprenticed with her uncle Man Ray, who was a close friend as well as mentor to his niece.

Influenced by Man Ray's experimental techniques with film, Naomi Savage pioneered the use of the photographic metal plate which produced a three dimensional form with a metallic surface. One of her best-known photographic engravings is a magnesium mural for the Johnson Library and Museum in Austin, Texas, depicting the national elective offices held by President Johnson and the various Presidents under which he served. In later years, Savage continued to experiment with the photographic process by using digital cameras, color photocopiers, and computer imaging.

In 1952, Savage had her first exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In addition to the Museum of Modern Art, Savage's work is also in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Fogg Museum at Harvard University, the International Center of Photography in New York, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts.

Naomi Savage was married to the painter, sculptor, and architect, David Savage. Naomi Savage died in Princeton, New Jersey in 2007.

Man Ray (1890-1976) lived and worked in New York and Paris, France and was best known for his painting and photography.

Man Ray was born Emmanuel Radnitsky in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1890. His family later moved to Brooklyn, New York. During this period, the family changed their name to Ray and Emmanuel shortened his first name to Man, gradually using Man Ray as his combined single name. Man Ray attended Boys High School from 1904-1908 where he developed an interest in painting. After high school, he worked as a commercial artist and technical illustrator in New York City while attending classes at the Art Students League, Ferrer School, and National Academy of Design.

Influenced by European artists, whose Modernist works were being shown at the 1913 Armory Show and Alfred Stieglitz's "292" Gallery, and other such venues, Man Ray began to incorporate elements of Cubism in his paintings and drawings. In 1915, Man Ray met Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) and they formed a lifelong friendship and professional partnership. That same year, the Dada group, founded by a Tristan Tzara and other artists in Zurich, Switzerland also took root in New York; Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia were credited for starting the New York Dada movement.

By 1921, Man Ray moved to Paris and became part of the circle that formed the Dada group. He photographed many of the Dada poets and writers, including Louis Aragon, André Breton, and Paul Eluard. Man Ray's work for André Breton established his reputation as a portrait photographer of artists, writers, and other prominent individuals, including George Antheil, Salvador Dalí, James Joyce, Sinclair Lewis, Gertrude Stein, and Virginia Woolf. In that same period, Man Ray pioneered the photographic process of rayographs (named after him) and he also participated in the first Surrealist exhibition at the Galerie Pierre.

Man Ray moved to Los Angeles, California in 1940. There he met New York City-born Juliet Browner (1910-1991), a trained dancer and professional artists' model. They married in 1946 in a double wedding ceremony with their friends Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning. In 1951, Man Ray and Juliet Man Ray returned to live in the Montparnasse section of Paris.

In addition to an autobiography, Self-Portrait, published in 1963, Man Ray wrote a number of monographs and articles on photography that included Electricité, a portfolio of ten gravure prints of rayographs commissioned by the Paris electric company, Compagnie Parisenne de Distribution d'Electricité, 1931.

Man Ray received an honorary Master of Fine Arts degree from Freemont University, Los Angeles, 1948 and the gold medal for photography at the Venice Photo Biennale, 1962. In 1967, Man Ray received an award from the Philadelphia Arts Festival honoring its native son for his accomplishments.

Man Ray died in Paris in 1976. Juliet Man Ray survived her husband and continued to live in Paris until her death in 1991.
Provenance:
The Naomi Savage papers were donated in 2007 by Lourie Savage Bates, Naomi Savage's daughter. Naomi Savage was Man Ray's niece.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
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.
Topic:
Painters -- France -- Paris  Search this
Photography  Search this
Surrealism  Search this
Photographers -- France -- Paris  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Naomi Savage papers on Man Ray, 1913-2005. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.savanaom
See more items in:
Naomi Savage Papers on Man Ray
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-savanaom

Oral history interview with I.J. (Isaac J.) Sanger

Interviewee:
Sanger, I. J. (Isaac J), 1899-1986  Search this
Interviewer:
Pennington, Estill Curtis  Search this
Names:
American Institute of Graphic Arts  Search this
Columbia University -- Students  Search this
University of Virginia -- Students  Search this
YMCA of the USA  Search this
Dow, Arthur W. (Arthur Wesley), 1857-1922  Search this
Heckman, Albert  Search this
Pins, Jacob, 1917-  Search this
Von Groschwitz, Gustave, 1906-1991  Search this
Extent:
16 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1981 November 17
Scope and Contents:
Interview of I.J. (Isaac) Sanger, conducted 1981 November 17, by Estill Curtis "Buck" Pennington, for the Archives of American Art, in New York, N.Y.
Sanger speaks of his first encounters with art as a child growing up in rural Virginia, and of his first industrial art classes, taken at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville while he was still attending high school in Free Union. After graduating, he received what he describes as his first real training in art while working for the carpentry shop at Columbia University in New York in the early 1920s. While attending Columbia, he found work as a furniture designer for the YMCA [Young Men's Christian Association]. Sanger also worked for his professor Albert Heckman, doing linoleum cuts for "Aesop's Fables," which Heckman was illustrating. He explains that it was Heckman who encouraged him to continue practicing print making. Until then, he had been working in oil and water color while studying "Art Structure" with Arthur Dow.
When the Depression hit in 1929, Sanger lost his position with the YMCA and worked odd jobs until Albert Heckman introduced him to Gustave von Groschwitz, who brought him on to the WPA. During the 1930s, he received widespread recognition for his work; his prints were selected by the American Institute of Graphic Arts for their "50 Prints of the Year" show in 1928 and 1929. Following his work with the WPA, Sanger served the army in World War II at Camp Kearns in Utah. He explains how he continued expanding his portfolio throughout the War, and once it was over, spent 25 years as a commercial artist. He relocated to Washington, D.C. in 1951 and became a member of the Washington Print Society while Prentiss Taylor was secretary. In D.C., he was a graphic designer for the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, but kept up his own private work, which Jacob Pins featured at the Smithsonian Castle. After formally retiring in 1966, Sanger decided to dedicate his time to travel, but adds that he still makes print making, painting, and furniture design a priority.
Biographical / Historical:
I. J. Sanger (1899-1986) was a painter and printmaker of Marlow Heights, Md.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound cassette. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 6 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Occupation:
Furniture designers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Painters -- Maryland -- Interviews  Search this
Painting, Modern  Search this
Printmakers -- Maryland -- Interviews  Search this
Prints  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.sanger81
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-sanger81

Oral history interview with Rockwell Kent

Interviewee:
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Names:
American Artists Group  Search this
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Armitage, Merle, 1893-1975  Search this
Chase, William Merritt, 1849-1916  Search this
Henri, Robert, 1865-1929  Search this
Miller, Kenneth Hayes, 1876-1952  Search this
Zigrosser, Carl, 1891-  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound tape reel (Sound recording: (3 hours 30 min.), 7 in.)
40 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound tape reels
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1969 Feb. 26-27
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Rockwell Kent conducted 1969 Feb. 26-27, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art. Kent speaks of his family background; his early interest and talent in art; studying painting with Robert Henri and William Merritt Chase; his early studies and work in architecture; Kenneth Hayes Miller as a teacher; experiences which influenced him and inspired him; his travels and explorations; his work in book design and illustration; mural commissions; the American Artists Group; his political life and public affairs. He recalls Merle Armitage and Carl Zigrosser.
Biographical / Historical:
In addition to being a successful painter, printmaker, illustrator, designer, and commercial artist, Kent pursued careers as a writer, professional lecturer, and dairy farmer. He travelled extensively, and was a political activist who supported the causes of organized labor, civil liberties, civil rights, anti-Fascism, and peace and friendship with the Soviet Union.
Provenance:
These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Restrictions:
Transcript: Patrons must use microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Book-plate designers -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Book design  Search this
Illustration of books  Search this
Mural painting and decoration  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Landscape painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.kent69
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kent69

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