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Willard Warren Cummings papers, 1911-1997, bulk 1930-1975

Creator:
Cummings, Willard Warren, 1915-1975  Search this
Subject:
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Colby College  Search this
Warner Brother's Company  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Drawings
Citation:
Willard Warren Cummings papers, 1911-1997, bulk 1930-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945 -- Art and the war  Search this
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9446
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211644
AAA_collcode_cummwill
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211644
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Willard Cummings, 1973 March 20

Interviewee:
Cummings, Willard Warren, 1915-1975  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul, 1933-1997  Search this
Subject:
Hale, Philip Leslie  Search this
Halpert, Edith Gregor  Search this
Peirce, Waldo  Search this
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Willard Cummings, 1973 March 20. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12296
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212049
AAA_collcode_cummin73
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212049

Oral history interview with Willard Cummings

Interviewee:
Cummings, Willard Warren, 1915-1975  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Names:
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Hale, Philip Leslie, 1865-1931  Search this
Halpert, Edith Gregor, 1900-1970  Search this
Peirce, Waldo, 1884-1970  Search this
Extent:
82 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1973 March 20
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Willard Cummings conducted 1973 March 20, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art. Cummings speaks of his family and its interests in art and theater; moving to Boston and his early education there; studying with Anna Ladd and at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts; his two years in Paris; going to Skowhegan during the Depression; the Art Students League and the Grand Central School; his interests in portrait painting and sculpture; his Yale art school experience; some early portrait subjects; exhibitions of his work; commercial art jobs he was involved in; his New York studio and friends in the mid-1930s; collecting American primitives; his U.S. Army service; the start of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1946; the organization of the school; his own painting technique and some portrait subjects. He recalls Philip Hale, Waldo Peirce and Edith Halpert.
Biographical / Historical:
Willard Cummings (1915-1975) was a painter from New York, New York and Maine.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 19 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.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Painters -- Maine -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.cummin73
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw943337d4b-8f98-4173-a9a6-1e0f62a13487
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cummin73
Online Media:

Willard Warren Cummings papers

Creator:
Cummings, Willard Warren, 1915-1975  Search this
Names:
Colby College  Search this
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Warner Brother's Company  Search this
Extent:
19.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Drawings
Date:
1911-1997
bulk 1930-1975
Summary:
The papers of painter and co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Willard Warren Cummings measure 19.3 linear feet and date from 1911 to 1997 with the bulk of the papers dating from 1930 to 1975. The collection documents Cummings's career as an artist through biographical material, correspondence, writings, printed materials, scrapbooks, artwork, and photographic material.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter and co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Willard Warren Cummings measure 19.3 linear feet and date from 1911 to 1997 with the bulk of the papers dating from 1930 to 1975. The collection documents Cummings's career as an artist through biographical material, correspondence, writings, printed materials, scrapbooks, artwork, and photographic material.

Biographical material includes an interview transcript, material for a mural commissioned by Warner Brothers Company, and records documenting Cummings's memorial. Personal and professional correspondence with family, friends and colleagues, and clients. Writings are by Cummings, his wife Mildred, and others, and includes a 1928 diary from his time in Paris. Printed material and six scrapbooks document Cummings's career, activities at Colby College, and the work of other artists. Artwork includes student work, six sketchbooks, and a substantial number of drawings. Photographs, slides, and negatives depict Cummings, his family, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, works of art, and images from military service in the War Art Unit.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as seven series.

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1930-1997 (Boxes 1, 18, OVs 20-22; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1911-1975 (Boxes 2-13, OVs 20, 23; 12.0 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, 1928-1974 (Box 14; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 4: Printed Materials, 1928-1996 (Boxes 14-16, 18; 1.9 linear feet)

Series 5: Scrapbooks, circa 1930-circa 1960 (Boxes 16, 19, OV 33, BV 35; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 6: Artwork, 1929-circa 1965 (Boxes 16, 18, OVs 24-32; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 7: Photographic Materials, circa 1930-circa 1970 (Boxes 16-18, OV 34; 2.0 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Willard Warren Cummings (1915-1975) was a painter and co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine.

Cummings was born to Willard H. and Helen Cummings in Old Town, Maine. He studied at the Académie Julian in Paris, received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Yale University, and was presented with an honorary doctorate degree from Colby College in 1960. Cummings was notable for his portraits of military generals, politicians including Margaret Chase Smith and Adlai Stevenson, actors such as Bette Davis, and other notable figures.

Cummings joined the U.S. Army in 1941. He organized a mural project for soldiers, painted portraits for the War Department, and served as an artist-correspondent with the War Art Unit in the Aleutian Islands. Cummings met artists Sidney Simon, Henry Varnum Poor, and Charles Cutler while assigned to the unit. After completing their military service, Cummings, Simon, Poor, and Cutler founded the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine. Additionally, Cummings played an important part of organizing Soldier Art, an exhibition of the National Army Arts Contest winners.

Cummings was married to Mildred "Milly" Cummings with whom he had a daughter, Daphne, and son, William. Cummings died in 1975 in Skowhegan, Maine.
Related Materials:
Also found at the Archives of American Art are the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture records, 1945-2013, and an oral history interview of Willard Cummings conducted by Paul Cummings on March 20, 1973 for the Archives of American Art.
Provenance:
The Willard Warren Cummings papers were acquired from Willard H. and Willard W. Cummings from 1974 to 1976.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Occupation:
Painters -- Maine -- Skowhegan  Search this
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945 -- Art and the war  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Drawings
Citation:
Willard Warren Cummings papers, 1911-1997, bulk 1930-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.cummwill
See more items in:
Willard Warren Cummings papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9e81e2928-c01e-47af-b131-c8b01979b102
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cummwill

Biographical Materials

Collection Creator:
Cummings, Willard Warren, 1915-1975  Search this
Extent:
1.2 Linear feet (Box 1, 18, OVs 20-22)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1930-1997
Scope and Contents:
Biographical materials include addresses, five appointment books, architectural plans, awards and certificates, biographical sketches and chronology, material documenting Cummings's relationship with the Colby College Art Gallery, family documents, a guest book from 1957, an interview transcript, a few legal papers, and membership cards. Also included are sketches, photographs, clippings of advertisements, templates, and source material for a mural commissioned by the Warner Brothers Company in Connecticut to document their history as a women's clothing company. Also found are Cummings's War Art Unit notebook containing administrative records; and memorial records containing a guest book, eulogy by John I.H. Baur, and obituaries.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Willard Warren Cummings papers, 1911-1997, bulk 1930-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.cummwill, Series 1
See more items in:
Willard Warren Cummings papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw98d880e36-f67d-48f5-93ab-07116ac2a6d5
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-cummwill-ref1

Appointment Books

Collection Creator:
Cummings, Willard Warren, 1915-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 4-5
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1967-1974
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Willard Warren Cummings papers, 1911-1997, bulk 1930-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Willard Warren Cummings papers
Willard Warren Cummings papers / Series 1: Biographical Materials
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw955909367-ffa9-4975-88ab-e1db6c6ffcf2
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-cummwill-ref10

Mural Project for Warner Brothers Company

Collection Creator:
Cummings, Willard Warren, 1915-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 18, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1965
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Willard Warren Cummings papers, 1911-1997, bulk 1930-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Willard Warren Cummings papers
Willard Warren Cummings papers / Series 1: Biographical Materials
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw97a5e170f-fd0c-41b4-a32a-b7628e8c1889
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-cummwill-ref100

Periodicals

Collection Creator:
Cummings, Willard Warren, 1915-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 18, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1946
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Willard Warren Cummings papers, 1911-1997, bulk 1930-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Willard Warren Cummings papers
Willard Warren Cummings papers / Series 4: Printed Materials
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw931cbed08-17b9-4ce0-956c-488dd2389d7d
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-cummwill-ref101

Drawings, Portraits

Collection Creator:
Cummings, Willard Warren, 1915-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 18, Folder 3
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1940-circa 1965
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Willard Warren Cummings papers, 1911-1997, bulk 1930-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Willard Warren Cummings papers
Willard Warren Cummings papers / Series 6: Artwork
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw95f86ff10-0670-4280-9f08-296f14c19357
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-cummwill-ref102

Drawings, General

Collection Creator:
Cummings, Willard Warren, 1915-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 18, Folder 3-6
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1940-circa 1965
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Willard Warren Cummings papers, 1911-1997, bulk 1930-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Willard Warren Cummings papers
Willard Warren Cummings papers / Series 6: Artwork
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw939b23305-c8ce-49c0-9a8c-e4a73eb2c4b6
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-cummwill-ref103

Sketchbook

Collection Creator:
Cummings, Willard Warren, 1915-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 18, Folder 7
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Willard Warren Cummings papers, 1911-1997, bulk 1930-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Willard Warren Cummings papers
Willard Warren Cummings papers / Series 6: Artwork
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw999f1da74-3749-41e3-ba76-d06623878007
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-cummwill-ref104

Works of Art, Student Work

Collection Creator:
Cummings, Willard Warren, 1915-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 18, Folder 8
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1934
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Willard Warren Cummings papers, 1911-1997, bulk 1930-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Willard Warren Cummings papers
Willard Warren Cummings papers / Series 7: Photographic Materials
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9f08d926e-a0e0-4553-b895-041878714231
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-cummwill-ref105

Scrapbook 2

Collection Creator:
Cummings, Willard Warren, 1915-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 19, Folder 1-2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1930s
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Willard Warren Cummings papers, 1911-1997, bulk 1930-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Willard Warren Cummings papers
Willard Warren Cummings papers / Series 5: Scrapbooks
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw94c8c9758-65e2-475f-a37c-475922d70a95
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-cummwill-ref106

Scrapbook 4, Clippings Regarding Exhibitions

Collection Creator:
Cummings, Willard Warren, 1915-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 19, Folder 3
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1937-1941
Scope and Contents:
The scrapbook contains clippings of reviews and articles about exhibitions of Cummings's artwork.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Willard Warren Cummings papers, 1911-1997, bulk 1930-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Willard Warren Cummings papers
Willard Warren Cummings papers / Series 5: Scrapbooks
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw98b9518de-a44d-4b94-a5e9-45e7dc761a7e
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-cummwill-ref107

Scrapbook 5

Collection Creator:
Cummings, Willard Warren, 1915-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 19, Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1938-1958
Scope and Contents:
The scrapbook contains clippings, exhibition catalogs, Army certificates, and forms to become 1st lieutenant.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Willard Warren Cummings papers, 1911-1997, bulk 1930-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Willard Warren Cummings papers
Willard Warren Cummings papers / Series 5: Scrapbooks
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9e8cdce65-13e9-459c-ad89-2736de74622f
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-cummwill-ref108

Scrapbook 6, World War II

Collection Creator:
Cummings, Willard Warren, 1915-1975  Search this
Container:
Box BV 35
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1943
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Willard Warren Cummings papers, 1911-1997, bulk 1930-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Willard Warren Cummings papers
Willard Warren Cummings papers / Series 5: Scrapbooks
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9a3d1a663-d954-4226-b553-a97c18b5cf46
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-cummwill-ref109

Awards and Certificates

Collection Creator:
Cummings, Willard Warren, 1915-1975  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 6
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1970
Scope and Contents:
Includes an exhibition catalog for the Fourth Annual Exhibition of Artists of Northern Westchester where Cummings won the Junior League Prize for Oils.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Willard Warren Cummings papers, 1911-1997, bulk 1930-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Willard Warren Cummings papers
Willard Warren Cummings papers / Series 1: Biographical Materials
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9683e21fc-fb23-4164-8b3d-cc0098207e06
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-cummwill-ref11

Scrapbook 6, World War II

Collection Creator:
Cummings, Willard Warren, 1915-1975  Search this
Container:
Oversize 33
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1943
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Willard Warren Cummings papers, 1911-1997, bulk 1930-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Willard Warren Cummings papers
Willard Warren Cummings papers / Series 5: Scrapbooks
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9eb5e4924-b350-4b73-804b-7d857d2f19fb
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-cummwill-ref110

Architectural Plans

Collection Creator:
Cummings, Willard Warren, 1915-1975  Search this
Container:
Oversize 20
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Willard Warren Cummings papers, 1911-1997, bulk 1930-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Willard Warren Cummings papers
Willard Warren Cummings papers / Series 1: Biographical Materials
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9d1c84466-32f1-4b01-8470-2f1e481bba35
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-cummwill-ref111

Awards and Certificates

Collection Creator:
Cummings, Willard Warren, 1915-1975  Search this
Container:
Oversize 20
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1969
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Willard Warren Cummings papers, 1911-1997, bulk 1930-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Willard Warren Cummings papers
Willard Warren Cummings papers / Series 1: Biographical Materials
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw955150bef-a92c-4e43-8b92-cb6486eb44da
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-cummwill-ref112

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