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Holger Cahill papers

Creator:
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960  Search this
Names:
American Artists' Congress  Search this
American Council of Learned Societies  Search this
American Federation of Arts  Search this
Artists' Union (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Cartoonists Guild  Search this
Federal Art Project (U.S.)  Search this
Federal Music Project (U.S.)  Search this
Federal Theatre Project (U.S.)  Search this
Index of American Design  Search this
New York World's Fair (1939-1940)  Search this
Shakers  Search this
The Design Laboratory (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Treasury Relief Art Project  Search this
United States. Work Projects Administration  Search this
United States. Works Progress Administration  Search this
Abbott, Berenice, 1898-1991  Search this
Brown, Samuel Joseph, 1907-  Search this
De Rivera, José Ruiz, 1904-1985  Search this
Halpert, Edith Gregor, 1900-1970  Search this
Hopkins, Harry Lloyd, 1890-1946  Search this
Knaths, Karl, 1891-1971  Search this
Miller, Dorothy Canning, 1904-2003  Search this
Morris, Carl, 1911-1993  Search this
Olds, Elizabeth, 1896-1991  Search this
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962  Search this
Rowan, Edward Beatty, 1898-1946  Search this
Scaravaglione, Concetta, 1900-1975  Search this
Segal, George, 1924-2000  Search this
Speck, Walter, 1895-  Search this
Ward, Lynd, 1905-1985  Search this
Weisenborn, Rudolph, b. 1881  Search this
Extent:
15.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Prints
Government records
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Slides (photographs)
Photograph albums
Drawings
Place:
United States -- Economic conditions -- 1918-1945
United States -- Social conditions -- 1933-1945
Date:
1910-1993
bulk 1910-1960
Summary:
The papers of Holger Cahill (1887-1960) date from 1910 to 1993, with the bulk of the material dating from 1910-1960, and measure 15.8 linear feet. The collection offers researchers fairly comprehensive documentation of Cahill's directorship of the Works Progress/Projects Administration's (WPA) Federal Art Project (FAP) in addition to series documenting his work as a writer and art critic. Material includes correspondence, reports, artist files, scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Holger Cahill (1887-1960) date from 1910 to 1993, bulk 1910-1960, and measure 15.8 linear feet. The collection offers researchers fairly comprehensive documentation of Cahill's directorship of the FAP in addition to series documenting his work as a writer and art critic. FAP records include national and state administrative reports, records of community art centers, photographic documentation of state activities, artist files, divisional records about teaching, crafts, murals, and poster work, files concerning the Index of American Design, scrapbooks, and printed material.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into nine series:

Series 1: Biographical Material and Personal Papers, 1931-1988 (Box 1; 19 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence Files, 1922-1979, 1993 (Boxes 1-2; 1.5 linear ft.)

Series 3: Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project, 1934-1970 (Boxes 2-14, 18, MMs009; 10.75 linear ft.)

Series 4: Writings, Lectures and Speeches, 1916-1960 (Boxes 14-15, 18; 1.0 linear ft.)

Series 5: Minutes of Meetings and Panel Discussions, Non-FAP, 1939-1947 (Box 15; 5 folders)

Series 6: Notes and Research Material, 1935-1970 (Boxes 15-16; 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 7: Artwork, undated (Boxes 16, 18; 2 folders)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1910-1985 (Boxes 16-17; 1.8 linear ft.)

Series 9: Photographs, circa 1917-1960 (Box 17; 6 folders)
Biographical Note:
Holger Cahill was born Sveinn Kristjan Bjarnarson in Iceland in a small valley near the Arctic Circle, on January 13, 1887. His parents, Bjorn Jonson and Vigdis Bjarnadottir, immigrated to the United States from Iceland sometime later in the 1880s. In 1904, his father deserted the family, forcing Sveinn to be separated from his mother and sister to work on a farm in North Dakota. He ran away and wandered from job to job until settling in an orphanage in western Canada, where he attended school and became a voracious reader.

As a young man, he worked at many different jobs and attended night school. While working on a freighter, he visited Hong Kong, beginning his life-long interest in the Orient. Returning to New York City, he eventually became a newspaper reporter, continued his studies at New York University, and changed his name to Edgar Holger Cahill. In 1919 he married Katherine Gridley of Detroit. Their daughter, Jane Ann, was born in 1922, but the couple divorced in 1927.

Cahill met John Sloan circa 1920, and they shared a residence. Cahill also wrote publicity (until 1928) for the Society of Independent Artists, through which he made many friends in the arts. From 1922 to 1931, he worked under John Cotton Dana at the Newark Museum, where he received his basic experience in museum work, organizing the first large exhibitions of folk art.

From 1932 to 1935, he was the director of exhibitions for the Museum of Modern Art. In 1935, Cahill was appointed director of the Works Progress/Projects Administration (WPA) Federal Art Project (FAP), until its end in June 1943. In 1938, Cahill organized a countrywide exhibition "American Art Today" for the New York World's Fair. He also married MoMa curator Dorothy Canning Miller in that year.

Profane Earth, Cahill's first novel, was published in 1927, followed by monographs on Pop Hart and Max Weber, miscellaneous short stories, and a biography of Frederick Townsend Ward, entitled A Yankee Adventurer: The Story of Ward and the Taiping Rebellion. Following the end of the Federal Art Project, Cahill wrote two novels, Look South to the Polar Star (1947) and The Shadow of My Hand (1956).

Holger Cahill died in Stockbridge, Massachusetts in July 1960.
Provenance:
The Holger Cahill papers were donated to the Archives of American Art through a series of gifts by Cahill's widow, Dorothy C. Miller, between 1964 and 1995.
Restrictions:
The microfilm of this collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Rights:
The Holger Cahill papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Federal aid to the public welfare  Search this
Art and state  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
New Deal, 1933-1939  Search this
Arts administrators  Search this
Public officers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Prints
Government records
Interviews
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Slides (photographs)
Photograph albums
Drawings
Citation:
Holger Cahill papers, 1910-1993, bulk 1910-1960. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.cahiholg
See more items in:
Holger Cahill papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cahiholg
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Isamu Noguchi

Interviewee:
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Names:
Artists' Union (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Bollingen Foundation  Search this
Brummer Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Japanese American Citizens' League  Search this
Japanese American Citizens' League  Search this
Leonardo da Vinci Art School  Search this
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill  Search this
UNESCO  Search this
Barnard, George Grey, 1863-1938  Search this
Becker, John Bruere, 1915-  Search this
Borglum, Gutzon, 1867-1941  Search this
Brancusi, Constantin, 1876-1957  Search this
Breton, André, 1896-1966  Search this
Brummer, Joseph  Search this
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960  Search this
Calder, Alexander Stirling, 1870-1945  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Collier, John, Jr., 1913-1992  Search this
Covarrubias, Miguel, 1904-1957  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Egan, Charles, 1911-  Search this
Fraser, James Earle, 1876-1953  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-1983  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Graham, John, 1887-1961  Search this
Graham, Martha  Search this
Gregory, Peter Ronald, 1947-  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Hare, David, 1917-1992  Search this
Hasegawa, Saburō, 1906-1957  Search this
Hopkins, Harry Lloyd, 1890-1946  Search this
Itō, Michio, 1893-1961  Search this
Kahn, Louis I., 1901-1974  Search this
Kantor, Morris, 1896-1974  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Knoll, Hans  Search this
Levy, Julien  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
McMahon, Audrey, 1900?-1981  Search this
Moore, Henry, 1898-1986  Search this
Neumann, J. B. (Jsrael Ber)  Search this
Price, Edison A., d. 1997  Search this
Raymond, Antonin, 1888-  Search this
Reynal, Jeanne, 1903-  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Ruellan, Andrée, 1905-2006  Search this
Ruotolo, Onorio, 1888-1966  Search this
Schoen, Eugene, 1880-1957  Search this
Shoji, Sadao, 1937-  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Taniguchi, Yoshirō, 1904-  Search this
Ward, Eleanor, 1912-1984  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
148 Pages (Transcript)
1 Item (Audio excerpt: 1 sound file (5 min. 29 sec.), digital)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
Japan -- Description and Travel
Italy -- description and travel
Egypt -- description and travel
India -- description and travel
Date:
1973 Nov. 7-Dec. 26
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Isamu Noguchi conducted 1973 Nov. 7-Dec. 26, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.
NOVEMBER 7, 1973 session: Noguchi discusses his family background; growing up in Japan; returning to the United States in 1917; his identity as an artist; Gutzon Borglum; Columbia University and studying pre-med; attending Leonardo da Vinci Art School; apprenticing to Onorio Ruotolo; quitting Columbia to become a sculptor; Guggenheim Fellowship in 1927; J.B. Neumann; Alfred Stieglitz; George Grey Barnard; James Earle Fraser; Brummer and the Brummer Gallery; studying at Chaumiere and Collarosi; working with Brancusi; meeting Sandy Calder in Paris; Stuart Davis; Morris Kantor; Andrée Ruellan; his work, "Sphere"; reacting against Brancusi; Eugene Schoen's; his Carnegie Hall studio; Michio Ito; Martha Graham; Buckminster Fuller; traveling in China and Japan; meeting Chi Pai Shi; John Becker; his works, "Play Mountain," "Monument to the Plow," "Monument to Ben Franklin," and "Orpheus" for Balanchine; designing for the stage; Audrey McMahon; Harry Hopkins; Holger Cahill; Mexico; Diego Rivera; Miguel Covarrubias; and the Artists Union.
DECEMBER 10, 1973 Session: His reaction to the Spanish Civil War- avoided direct involvement; Stuart Davis; Gorky; Andre Breton; David Hare; Marcel Duchamp; John Graham; Julien Levy; his artist friends dying at the peak of their success; Leger; Stirling Calder; associating himself with the laboring class; Buckminster Fuller; being American; expanding the possibilities of sculpture; his Associated Press Building project in Rockefeller Center, it being done in stainless steel instead of bronze; John Collier; Japanese-American Citizens League; organizing Nisei Artists and Writers Mobilization for Democracy; Jeanne Reynal; going to Poston, Ariz. to assist with American Indian Service camp under John Collier and becoming an internee there; returning to New York in 1942; Bollingen Foundation; trip around the world in 1949; and Philip Guston.
DECEMBER 18, 1973 session: Best work in studio; reaction against expressionism; artists protesting against the Establishment; his objection to the WPA, influenced by William Zorach; exhibiting in group show called, "Fourteen Americans at the Museum of Modern Art"; show at Egan Gallery in 1949; accepting art in its most aesthetically pure form without reference to social issues; movement in Japan since war to get away from refinement of Japan; Yoshiro Hiro responsible for Gutai and the happenings; his work, "Monument to Heroes," using bones; his work takes years to do; materials used in his work; his work, "Cronos"; doing theater stage sets for the Library of Congress including, "Appalachian Spring" and "Herodiade"; wants a given space which he can call his own and do something with it, has to be a work of art.
DECEMBER 26, 1973 Session: Show with Charles Egan in 1948 arranged by de Kooning; applying to the Bollingen Foundation to write a book on leisure, which was never written; traveling to Italy, Egypt, and India for two years; being removed from the New York scene with Franz Kline and de Kooning; his light objects; sculpture as environment; respect for material; Mondrian and his art deriving from nature; his time in Japan in 1931; visiting Japan in 1951; working in stone; projects in Japan; Taniguchi; Antonin Raymond; designing Japanese gardens; discovery of Zen; Hasegawa Saburo; Skidmore; Hans Knoll; Edison Price; Italy in the 1960s; Peter Gregory; Henry Moore; Louis Kahn; UNESCO; Noguchi Foundation and Plaza Company; Shoji; Eleanor Ward; and his autobiography, "A Sculptor's World."
Biographical / Historical:
Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988) was a sculptor from Long Island City, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hrs., 25 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are 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.
Topic:
Sculptors -- Interviews  Search this
Asian American artists -- Interviews  Search this
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Sculpture, American  Search this
Gardens, Japanese  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.noguch73
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-noguch73

Oral history interview with Don G. Abel

Interviewee:
Abel, Donald G.  Search this
Interviewer:
Bestor, Dorothy K., 1913-  Search this
Creator:
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
Federal Art Project (Wash.)  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Hinckley, Robert H., 1891-  Search this
Hopkins, Harry Lloyd, 1890-1946  Search this
Inverarity, Robert Bruce, 1909-1999  Search this
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962  Search this
Extent:
12 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1965 June 10
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Don G. Abel conducted 1965 June 10, by Dorothy Bestor, for the Archives of American Art. Abel describes his position as state administrator for the WPA in Washington state, the levels of organization within the WPA, and his relationship with Robert Hinckley, Harry Hopkins, and Robert Bruce Inverarity. He also speaks of Eleanor Roosevelt's visits to Seattle Art Projects and her interest in the work of women artists. He also discusses communist opposition to the WPA, federal appropriations, the transition from Federal Art Project to the Washington State Project and the accomplishments of the WPA.
Biographical / Historical:
Don G. Abel was an art adminstrator with the Works Progress Administration, from Washington state.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 36 min.
Provenance:
This interview conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Art and state  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Arts administrators -- Washington (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.abel65
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-abel65

Oregon FAP records

Creator:
Federal Art Project (Or.)  Search this
Names:
United States. Work Projects Administration  Search this
United States. Works Progress Administration  Search this
Hopkins, Harry Lloyd, 1890-1946  Search this
Extent:
15 Items ((on partial microfilm reel))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1936-1939
Scope and Contents:
Typescript of a speech given by Harry Hopkins, FAP bulletins, reports, and some correspondence.
Biographical / Historical:
The Federal Art Project (FAP) fell under the jurisdiction of Federal Project No. 1 of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The WPA was established in May 1935 specifically as a work relief program for the millions of individuals left unemployed during the Depression. Its name changed to the Work Projects Administration in 1939 when it fell under the administrative hand of the newly created Federal Works Agency. The FAP was created in August 1935 to aid unemployed artists, following the precedent set by the Public Works of Art Project and other Treasury department art relief projects. Holger Cahill was appointed director of the FAP and remained in that position throughout its existence. Harry Hopkins was the administrator for the WPA.
Provenance:
Lent for microfilming by Margery Hoffman Smith.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Topic:
New Deal, 1933-1939 -- Oregon  Search this
Federal aid to the arts -- Oregon  Search this
Federal aid to the public welfare -- Oregon  Search this
Art and state -- Oregon  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.fedeartp06
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-fedeartp06

Federal art program papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry L. Hopkins

Creator:
Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945  Search this
Hopkins, Harry Lloyd, 1890-1946  Search this
Names:
American Institute of Architects  Search this
Federal Art Project  Search this
Federal Theatre Project (U.S.)  Search this
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
Treasury Relief Art Project  Search this
United States. Dept. of the Treasury. Section of Fine Arts  Search this
United States. President (1933-1945 : Roosevelt)  Search this
Biddle, George, 1885-1973  Search this
Bruce, Edward, 1879-1943  Search this
Chambless, Edgar, d. 1936  Search this
Dows, Olin, 1904-1981  Search this
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971  Search this
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich), 1908-1979  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
4 microfilm reels
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Microfilm reels
Place:
United States -- Economic conditions -- 1918-1945
United States -- Social conditions -- 1933-1945
Date:
1932-1942
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence of Roosevelt, Edward Bruce, Nelson Rockefeller, Hopkins, George Biddle, William Zorach, Olin Dows, Rockwell Kent and others regarding the Public Works of Art Project, the Federal Theater Project, and the Federal Art Project; reports on regional Federal Art Project offices in Florida, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Pennsylvania; shipping receipts for works of art; clippings; photographs of works of art; correspondence between White House staff and members of the American Institute of Architects concerning federal architecture, 1934; correspondence of Edgar Chambless regarding his urban design, "Roadtown"; and miscellaneous correspondence.
Biographical / Historical:
President of the United States of America, 1933-1945. Instituted the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and its programs. Harry L. Hopkins was the Director of the WPA. The Federal Art Project was one of five projects in Federal Project No. 1 of the WPA. Holger Cahill was director.
Provenance:
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Library donated the microfilm copies of these papers to AAA in 1982. The microfilming was done by the donor.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Rights:
Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce must be obtained from Franklin D. Library, Hyde Park N.Y.
Topic:
New Deal, 1933-1939  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Federal aid to the public welfare  Search this
Art and state  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.roosfran
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-roosfran

Federal art program papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry L. Hopkins, 1932-1942

Creator:
Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945  Search this
Hopkins, Harry Lloyd, 1890-1946  Search this
Subject:
Biddle, George  Search this
Bruce, Edward  Search this
Chambless, Edgar  Search this
Dows, Olin  Search this
Kent, Rockwell  Search this
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich)  Search this
Zorach, William  Search this
American Institute of Architects  Search this
Federal Art Project  Search this
Federal Theatre Project (U.S.)  Search this
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
Treasury Relief Art Project  Search this
United States. Dept. of the Treasury. Section of Fine Arts  Search this
United States  Search this
Place:
United States -- Economic conditions -- 1918-1945
United States -- Social conditions -- 1933-1945
Topic:
New Deal, 1933-1939  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Federal aid to the public welfare  Search this
Art and state  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9867
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212368
AAA_collcode_roosfran
Theme:
Government Sponsorship of the Arts
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_212368

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