The papers of African American sculptor and painter Charles Searles measure 3.9 linear feet and date from 1953 to 2010. The collection documents his career through scattered biographical material, correspondence, personal business records, printed material, artwork, photographs, and a scrapbook.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of sculptor and painter Charles Searles measure 3.9 linear feet and date from 1953 to 2010. The collection documents his career through scattered biographical material, correspondence, personal business records, printed material, artwork, photographs, and a scrapbook.
Scattered biographical material includes legal papers, address books, transcripts, and awards. Correspondence includes correspondence with galleries, museums, and organizations. Personal business records consist of Searles' files on commissions, exhibitions, workshops and programs, and employment contracts. Printed material includes exhibition announcements, exhibition catalogs, as well as printed material of interest to Searles, but not directly documenting his career. Artwork consists of sketches, designs, flyers, a portrait of Kathleen Spicer by Russell Gordon, and a portrait of Searles by K. Spicer. Photographs depict Searles, Searles' artwork, and artist Walt Edmonds. Scrapbooks consist of news clippings and loose material that was originally inserted in between the pages in no particular order.
This collection is arranged as 7 series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1963-2004 (0.5 linear ft.; Boxes 1, 6)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1956-2004 (5 folders; Box 1)
Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1969-2007 (1.2 linear feet; Boxes 1-2,6)
Series 4: Printed Material, 1953-2010 (1.4 linear feet; Boxes 3-4, 6)
Series 5: Artwork, circa 1980s-2000 (9 folders; Box 5)
Series 6: Photographs, circa 1964-2000 (3 folders; Box 5)
Series 7: Scrapbooks, circa 1970s-2005 (0.3 linear ft.; Box 6)
Biographical / Historical:
Charles Robert Searles (1937-2004) was an African American sculptor, painter and muralist in Philadelphia, Pa. and New York, N.Y. Searles attended the University of Pennsylvania and graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1972. He was influenced by African art after traveling to Nigeria on the Ware Memorial Traveling Scholarship during his studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. During his career he participated in over 100 exhibitions in Denmark, Nigeria, and throughout the United States.
Searles taught art at several institutions including the Pratt Institute, the University of the Arts (Philadelphia College of Art), and the Philadephia Museum of Art. He also completed commission work for Newark Station, PATCO (Port Authority Transit Corporation), and MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority).
Searles moved to New York, NY in 1978 where he spent most of his career. He was married to artist Kathleen Spicer until his death on November 27, 2004.
Also at the Archives of American Art is an interview with Charles Searles conducted on June 13, 1991, by Cynthia Veloric, for the Archives of American Art Philadelphia Project.
Donated in 2012 by Kathleen Spicer Searles, Charles Searles' widow.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Photographs of artists, many from the San Francisco Bay Area, taken by Mimi Jacobs.
Artists photographed: Ansel Adams, Robert Arneson, Ruth Asawa, Billy Al Bengston, Fletcher Benton, Robert Bechtle, J. B. Blunk, William Brice, Joan Brown, Imogen Cunningham, Jay De Feo, Eleanor Dickinson, Richard Diebenkorn, Laddie John Dill, Archeliat Esherick, Sam Francis, David Gilhooly, Joseph Goldyne, Robert Graham, Henry Hopkins, Robert B. Howard, John Ihle, Robert Irwin, Allen Jones, Alvin Light, Lee Mullican, Isamu Noguchi, Howard Paris, Joseph Raffael, Fred Reichman, Ed Ruscha, Betye Saar, Raymond Saunders, Richard Shaw, Louis Siegriest, Nell Sinton, Wayne Thiebaud, DeWain Valentine, Leo Valledor, Carlos Villa, Peter Voulkos, William T. Wiley, Emerson Woelffer.
Photographs of Mark Adams, William Allan, Jeremy Anderson, Ruth Armer, Charles Arnoldi, Dennis Beall, Bruce Beasley, Tony Berlant, Elmer Bischoff, Vija Celmins, Judy Chicago, Bruce Conner, Roy de Forest, Tony DeLap, Guy Dill, Claire Falkenstein, Gerald Gooch, Russell Gordon, Wally Hedrick, Tom Holland, Robert Hudson, Robert Emory Johnson, Frank Lobdell, Robert Craig Kaufman, Richard McLean, Bill Martin, Manuel Neri, Bruce Nauman, Nathan Oliveira, Mel Ramos, Sam Richardson, Michael Todd, Julius Wasserstein, Paul Wonner and Norman Zammitt.
In 1999, additional photographs were donated including many duplicates of the previous donations. These include 50 mounted photographs of West Coast artists, twenty-four of which were exhibited in 1980 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and published in 50 West Coast Artists: A Critical Selection of Painters and Sculptors (1981, Chronicle Books). Photographs are of Ansel Adams, Robert Arneson, Billy Al Bengston, Robert Bechtle, Fletcher Benton, J. B. Blunk, William Brice, Joan Brown, Imogen Cunningham, Jay De Feo, Eleanor Dickinson, Richard Diebenkorn, Laddie John Dill, Archeliat Esherick, Sam Francis, David Gilhooly, Joseph Goldyne, Robert Graham, Henry Hopkins, Robert Howard, John Ihle, Robert Irwin, Allen Jones, Alvin Light, Lee Mullican, Isamu Noguchi, Howard Paris, Joseph Raffael, Fred Reichman, Ed Ruscha, Betye Saar, Richard Shaw, Louis Siegrist, Nell Sinton, Wayne Thiebaud, De Wain Valentine, Leo Valledor, Carlos Villa, Peter Voulkos, William Wiley, and Emerson Woeffer.
Biographical / Historical:
Photographer; Kentfield, Calif.; b. 1911; d. April 1, 1999. Known in the San Francisco Bay Area for her portraits of prominent local figures, many of whom were artists. She eventually expanded her scope beyond Northern California to included artists in the Los Angeles region as well. These images were widely reproduced in books and in exhibitions and in many cases became the portraits by which the individuals were best known. Among her subjects were Ed Ruscha, Robert Graham, Peter Voulkos, Joan Brown, Isamu Noguchi, Jay DeFeo, Wayne Thiebaud, Imogen Cunningham, and Richard Diebenkorn. Several exhibitions were devoted to the photographs as independent works of art, an acknowledgement of their pictorial qualities as well as their value as documents.
Donated 1976-1992 by Mimi Jacobs. Additional photos, many of them duplicates of previous donations, were donated in 1999 by Leslie Fleming, Jacobs' daughter, for the Estate.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.