This series consists of personal and work-related correspondence (primarily incoming correspondence) between Cahill and various friends and colleagues. While a large portion of the series documents Cahill's position as Director of the FAP, it also extends beyond those years and illuminates other aspects of Cahill's career including his interest in folk and Asian art, and his work as an art critic.
There is significant correspondence with the artist Stanton MacDonald Wright between 1936 and 1950, and with the artist Irene Pereira between 1950 and 1953. The series also documents research which Cahill conducted in the late 1940s on the development of the Index of American Design for his introduction to a book on the Index by the National Gallery of Art, published by the Macmillan Company. Correspondence from 1949 provides another angle on the historical details of the FAP through lengthy correspondence documenting Cahill's criticism of William Francis McDonald's book Federal Relief Administration and the Arts (Ohio State University Press, 1969).
There is a large amount of correspondence from July 1960 comprising sympathy letters to Dorothy C. Miller following Cahill's death. Correspondence from 1977 encloses a catalog of an exhibition organized by New York WPA Artists, Inc., at the Parsons School of Design in November 1977. The exhibition, New York City WPA Art, was dedicated to the memory of Holger Cahill.
See Appendix for a list of correspondents (with the exception of those microfilmed on reel 1105) in Series 2
Appendix: Correspondents in Series 2:
Abbott, Berenice: 1944 (letter to the Editor)
Abbott, John: 
Abell, Walter ( -- Canadian Art): -- 1943-1944 (2 letters)
Adams, Charles C.: 1940
Alcopley, Mr.:  (including typescript "Pictures of Alcopley" by Saburo Hasegawa); 1953-1960 (4 letters)
Alsberg, Henry G. (Director, Federal Writers' Projects): 1936 (4 letters)
American Council of Learned Societies: 1949
American Federation of Arts: 1949-1952 (3 letters)
American Folk Art Gallery: 1941
American Heritage: 1954
American Swedish Historical Foundation: 1949
Andrews, Robert Armstrong and Eleanor: , undated
Art in America: 1953
Artists For Victory: 
Artists League of America: 1945
Artists Union of Massachusetts: 1936 (telegram to President Roosevelt)
Arts Council of Japanese Americans for Democracy: 1944
Ashton, Dore: 
Bach, Richard F. (Metropolitan Museum): 1924 and 1950
Bailey, Herbert: 1972 (letter from Naomi Bliven)
Baker, Donald: 
Baker, Jacob (WPA): 1935-1960, undated (10 letters)
Barach, Frederica (Writers' War Board): 1944
Barker, Virgil and Ida: 1945-1960 (4 letters)
Barnard College: 1951 (2 letters)
Barr, Alfred H., Jr. (Museum of Modern Art): 1935-1960 (16 letters)
Barr, Tony: 1960
Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn, Inc.: 1950
Baur, John (Brooklyn Museum): 1946-1960 (6 letters)
Winchester, Alice ( -- Antiques -- Magazine): 1950-1951 (6 letters)
Winser, Beatrice: 1924-1944 (6 letters)
Winter, Anna K. (antiques dealer): 1935
Wisconsin: State Historical Society of Wisconsin: 1939
Woodstock Artists Association: 1960
Woodward, Ellen S.: 1936-1938 (3 letters)
Worcester, Wakefield (architect): 1936
Wright, Russell (industrial designer): 
Wyn: A. A. Wyn, Inc.: 1951
Youngerman, Jack: 1960
Zegri, Armando (Galeria Sudamericana): 1960
Zimmerman, Fred and Dorothy: 
Zorach, William: 1936-1960 (3 letters)
The microfilm of this collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Holger Cahill papers, 1910-1993, bulk 1910-1960. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the digitization of the microfilm of this collection was provided by Jane Blumenfeld.
Ca. 535 negatives of murals, signs, ceramic figures, furniture, sculpture, toys, posters, and other arts and crafts made for the FAP in the Ohio region.
Biographical / Historical:
The Federal Art Project was established under Federal Project No. 1 of the WPA. The 48 states and territories were divided into regions and FAP programs were initiated, employing thousands of unemployed artists and craftsmen.
Donated 1974 by the Fine Arts Department, Ohio State University.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959 -- Photographs Search this
13.3 Linear feet
Japan -- Description and Travel
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
Art teachers -- California -- San Francisco Search this
Photographs made during Elizabeth Compton Hegemann's trips to Hopi and Navajo reservations in the 1920s and early 1930s. They include images of Navajo, Hopi, and some Havasupai Indians, as well as the Grand Canyon and trading posts. Her photographs relating to Southwest Indians depict agriculture, crafts, and ceremonies, including a Navaho Squaw Dance and Hopi Niman Kachina ceremonies. There are also some images of Charles F. Lummis, Earl Halstead Morris, and John Wetherill.
Elizabeth Compton Hegemann (1897-1962) was born near Cincinatti, Ohio, though she spent many of her summers visiting her grandparents in Southern California. She married her first husband, Mike Harrison, in 1925 and moved with him to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, where he worked for the National Park Service. They developed strong relationships with the Navajo, Hopi, and Havasupai Indians in that region. Hegemann separated from Harrison in 1928 and moved to Tuba City. She married Harry Rorick in 1929 and the two co-owned the Shonto Trading Post near Tsegi Canyon on the Navajo Reservation from 1929-1938.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot R81A
Copy negatives made by Elizabeth Compton Hegemann.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
This copy collection has been obtained for reference purposes only. Copies may be obtained from the Huntington Library.
To a considerable degree, the James H. Howard papers consist of manuscript copies of articles, book, speeches, and reviews that document his professional work in anthropology, ethnology, ethnohistory, archeology, linguistics, musicology, and folklore between 1950 and 1982. Among these are a few unpublished items. Notes are relatively scant, there being somewhat appreciable materials for the Chippewa, Choctaw, Creek, Dakota, Omaha, Ponca, Seminole, and Shawnee. The chief field materials represented in the collection are sound recordings and photographs, but many of the latter are yet to be unidentified. A series of color photographs of Indian artifacts in folders are mostly identified and represent the extensive American Indian Cultural collection of costumes and artifacts that Howard acquired and created. Other documents include copies of papers and other research materials of colleagues. There is very little original material related to archeological work in the collection and that which is present concerns contract work for the Lone State Steel Company.
Scope and Contents:
The James Henri Howard papers document his research and professional activities from 1949-1982 and primarily deal with his work as an anthropologist, archeologist, and ethnologist, studying Native American languages & cultures. The collection consists of Series 1 correspondence; Series 2 writings and research, which consists of subject files (language and culture research materials), manuscripts, research proposals, Indian claim case materials, Howard's publications, publications of others, and bibliographical materials; Series 3 sound recordings of Native American music and dance; Series 4 photographs; and Series 5 drawings and artwork.
Howard was also a linguist, musicologist, and folklorist, as well as an informed and able practitioner in the fields of dance and handicrafts. His notable books include Choctaw Music and Dance; Oklahoma Seminoles: Medicines, Magic, and Religion; and Shawnee! The Ceremonialism of a Native American Tribe and its Cultural Backround.
Some materials are oversize, specifcially these three Winter Count items: 1. a Dakota Winter Count made of cloth in 1953 at the request of James H. Howard, 2. a drawing of British Museum Winter Count on 4 sheets of paper, and 3. Photographs of a Winter Count.
This collection is arranged in 5 series: Series 1. Correspondence, 1960-1982, undated; Series 2. Writings and Research, 1824-1992; Series 3. Sound Recordings, 1960-1979; Series 4. Photographs, 1879-1985; Series 5. Drawings and Artwork, 1928-1982.
1925 -- James Henri Howard was born on September 10 in Redfield, South Dakota.
1949 -- Received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Nebraska.
1950 -- Received his Master of Arts from the University of Nebraska and began a prolific record of publishing.
1950-1953 -- Began his first professional employment as an archaeologist and preparator at the North Dakota State Historical Museum in Bismarck.
1955-1957 -- Was a museum lecturer at the Kansas City (Missouri) Museum.
1957 -- James H. Howard received his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. Joined the staff of the Smithsonian's River Basin Surveys in the summer.
1957-1963 -- Taught anthropology at the University of North Dakota.
1962 -- Chief archeologist at the Fortress of Louisberg Archeological Project in Nova Scotia.
1963-1968 -- Taught anthropology at the University of South Dakota; State Archeologist of South Dakota; Director of the W. H. Over Dakota Museum.
1963-1966 -- Director of the Institute of Indian Studies, University of South Dakota.
1968-1982 -- Associate professor of anthropology at Oklahoma State University at Stillwater (became a full professor in 1971).
1979 -- Consulted for exhibitions at the Western Heritage Museum in Omaha, Nebraska.
1982 -- Died October 1 after a brief illness.
James H. Howard was trained in anthropology at the University of Nebraska (B.A., 1949; M.A., 1950) and the University of Michigan (Ph.D., 1957). In 1950-1953, he served as archeologist and preparator at the North Dakota State Historical Museum; and, in 1955-1957, he was on the staff of the Kansas City (Missouri) Museum. During the summer of 1957, he joined the staff of the Smithsonian's River Basin Surveys. Between 1957 and 1963, he taught anthropology at the Universtity of North Dakota. Between 1963 and 1968, he served in several capacities with the University of South Dakota including assistant and associate professor, director of the Institute of Indian Studies (1963-1966), and Director of the W.H. Over Museum (1963-1968). In 1968, he joined the Department of Sociology at Oklahoma State University, where he achieved the rank of professor in 1970. In 1979, he was a consultant for exhibitions at the Western Heritage Museum in Omaha, Nebraska.
Howard's abiding interest were the people of North America, whom he studied both as an ethnologist and archeologist. Between 1949 and 1982, he worked with the Ponca, Omaha, Yankton and Yaktonai Dakota, Yamasee, Plains Ojibwa (or Bungi), Delaware, Seneca-Cayuga, Prairie Potatwatomi of Kansas, Mississipi and Oklahoma Choctaw, Oklahoma Seminole, and Pawnee. His interest in these people varied from group to group. With some he carried out general culture studies; with other, special studies of such phenomena as ceremonies, art, dance, and music. For some, he was interest in environmental adaptation and land use, the latter particularly for the Pawnee, Yankton Dakota, Plains Ojibwa, Turtle Mountain Chippewa, and Ponca, for which he served as consultant and expert witness in suits brought before the United Stated Indian Claims Commisssion. A long-time museum man, Howard was also interested in items of Indian dress, articles associated with ceremonies, and other artifacts. He was "a thoroughgoing participant-observer and was a member of the Ponca Hethuska Society, a sharer in ceremonial activities of many Plains tribes, and a first-rate 'powwow man'." (American Anthropologist 1986, 88:692).
As an archeologist, Howard worked at Like-a-Fishhook Village in North Dakota, Spawn Mound and other sites in South Dakota, Gavin Point in Nebraska and South Dakota, Weston and Hogshooter sites in Oklahoma, and the Fortess of Louisbourg in Nova Scotia. He also conducted surveys for the Lone Star Steel Company in Haskall, Latimer, Le Flore and Pittsburg counties in Oklahoma.
Howard's American Indian Cultural Collection of Costumes and Artifacts, that he acquired and created during his lifetime, is currently located at the Milwaukee Public Museum. In Boxes 19-21 of the James Henri Howard Papers, there are photographs with accompanying captions and descriptions in binders of his American Indian Cultural Collection of Costumes and Artifacts that his widow, Elfriede Heinze Howard, created in order to sell the collection to a museum.
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by James Henri Howard's wife,
Elfriede Heinz Howard, in 1988-1990, 1992, & 1994.
The James Henri Howard papers are open for research.
Access to the James Henri Howard papers requires an appointment.