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Dana Tai Soon Burgess Photographs

Donor:
Burgess, Dana Tai Soon  Search this
Extent:
0.15 Cubic feet (1 box, 1 map-folder)
0.15 Cubic feet (1 box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Passports
Photographs
Programs
Yearbooks
Place:
Korea
Date:
1904-2018
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the life of Dana Tai Soon Burgess, and that of his Korean American family, dating back to 1904. Included are photographs of his family before and after they immigrated to the United States; some photographs taken during a time when they lived and worked at Kunia Camp, Hawaii; and of Burgess throughout his life. Also included are a Hawaii Identity Card of Anna Kang, and a Korean Imperial Office passport, 1904.
Arrangement:
The collection isarranged into two series.

Series 1: Photographs

Series 2: Miscellaneous
Biographical / Historical:
Washington, D.C. choreographer, dancer and performance artist.
Related Materials:
An abacus, circa 1900 (See Accession #:2016.0006.01) was donated to the Division of Medicine and Science.

This Chinese-style abacus fits in a wooden box with a wooden cross piece. There are nine parallel rods, with beads on each rod. Seven rods are made of bamboo, two of metal. Two beads on each rod are above the cross piece, five below. The beads are rounded, like those on Chinese abacuses. The base of the box slides out to the right. According to the donor, this abacus was the property of Kim Dong Kuen and his wife, early Korean settlers in Hawaii. They were caretakers at a privately owned beachfront home in the country. Burgess and his family would go to the beach in their model A Ford on Sunday afternoons to go swimming. Before Kim Dong Kuen died, he gave Burgess's grandfather this instrument, his prize abacus. The 1930 U.S. Census lists a Kim Dong Kun, a resident of Honolulu born in about 1884 who emigrated from Korea in 1900. His wife also was born in Korea, emigrating in 1906. They had five children, all born in Hawaii. The family name was Kim.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Dana Tai Soon Burgess and James Freeman, 2016
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Occupation:
Dancers -- Photographs  Search this
Topic:
Emigration and immigration  Search this
Hawaii  Search this
Immigrants  Search this
Genre/Form:
Passports
Photographs -- 20th century
Programs -- 21st century
Yearbooks -- 20th century
Citation:
Dana Tai Soon Burgess Photographs, 1904-2005, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1397
See more items in:
Dana Tai Soon Burgess Photographs
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1397
Online Media:

Emmy Lou Packard Papers

Creator:
Packard, Emmy Lou, 1914-1998  Search this
Names:
American Civil Liberties Union  Search this
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
Covarrubias, Miguel, 1904-1957  Search this
Edmunds, John, 1913-  Search this
Kahlo, Frida  Search this
Lange, Dorothea  Search this
O'Gorman, Juan, 1905-  Search this
O'Higgins, Pablo, 1904-  Search this
Refregier, Anton, 1905-  Search this
Reynolds, Malvina  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Extent:
9.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Photographs
Interviews
Diaries
Date:
1900-1990
Summary:
The Emmy Lou Packard papers measure 9.4 linear feet and date from 1900 to 1990, and focus on the career of painter, printmaker, muralist, and sculptor Emmy Lou Packard. Also found are extensive materials relating to Packard's personal and professional relationship with muralist Diego Rivera and painter Frida Kahlo, with whom Packard lived for one year in Mexico. Papers include correspondence, financial records, notes, writings, exhibition files, photographs, and printed material.
Scope and Contents note:
The Emmy Lou Packard papers measure 9.4 linear feet and date from 1900 to 1990, and focus on the career of painter, printmaker, muralist, and sculptor Emmy Lou Packard. Also found are extensive materials relating to Packard's personal and professional relationship with muralist Diego Rivera and painter Frida Kahlo, with whom Packard lived for one year in Mexico. Papers include correspondence, financial records, notes, writings, exhibition files, photographs, and printed material.

Biographical materials include resumes, personal forms, and certificates. Correspondence is with family, friends, and colleagues, including muralist Anton Refregier, songwriter Malvina Reynolds, and composer John Edmunds. There is one letter from Dorothea Lange. Also found is correspondence with various political and arts organizations, such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Russian magazine Soviet Woman. Much of the correspondence discusses personal relationships and political and art-related activities. Additional correspondence with and concerning Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo is arranged in Series 6.

Personal business records found within the papers include studio real estate and rent records, insurance records, price lists for artwork, consignment records, and miscellaneous receipts. There is one interview transcript of an interview with Packard for the Radical Elders Oral History Project. The papers include a series of notebooks/diaries, address lists, and other notes.

Packard's reference files and personal papers documenting her professional and close personal relationship with Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo are arranged into a separate series. They include her research files for a planned book on the two artists, personal letters between Packard and the couple, as well as several interesting photographs. Also found in this series are notes, writings, and printed materials relating to Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and other Mexican artists, such as Covarrubius, Juan O'Gorman, and Pablo O'Higgins.

The collection also includes typescripts and additional writings by Packard and others. Artwork consists of orginal drawings and prints by Packard and others not directly associated with projects. Exhibition and project files for many of Packard's commissioned projects are also found within the collection, including her files for the restoration of Anton Refregier's Rincon Annex Post Office mural in San Francisco and the Coit Tower murals in San Francisco. Many of the project files contain correspondence, reports, contracts, printed material, photographs, and artwork.

The papers also include photographs of Packard, her family, residences, artwork, friends, and colleagues, including Cesar Chavez, Juan O'Gorman, Malvina Reynolds, Charles Safford, Ralph Stackpole, and Tennessee Williams. Two scrapbooks are found, as well as additional printed materials such as clippings and exhibition announcements and catalogs. There are also two artifact items, a vinyl record of Malvina Reynolds and a political campaign button.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged into fifteen series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1942-1985 (Box 1; 1 folder)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1919-1990 (Box 1-3; 2.6 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1945-1985 (Box 3; 21 folders)

Series 4: Interview Transcript, 1979 (Box 3; 1 folder)

Series 5: Notes, 1900-1985 (Box 3-4, 10; 1.1 linear feet)

Series 6: Reference Files on Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, 1929-1986 (Box 5, 10, OV 11; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 7: Writings by Packard, 1953-1984 (Box 6; 17 folders)

Series 8: Writings by Others, 1955-1984 (Box 6; 19 folders)

Series 9: Artwork, 1921-1976 (Box 6; 10 folders)

Series 10: Exhibition Files, 1950-1964 (Box 6, OV 11; 5 folders)

Series 11: Project Files, 1953-1985 (Box 6-7, 10, OV 11; 1.8 linear feet)

Series 12: Photographs, 1914-1982 (Box 8, 10; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 13: Scrapbooks, 1947-1950 (Box 8, 10; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 14: Printed Material, 1936-1988 (Box 8-9, 10; 1 linear foot)

Series 15: Artifacts, 1984 (Box 9-10, OV 11; 2 folders)
Biographical/Historical note:
Emmy Lou Packard was born in Imperial Valley, California on April 15, 1914, to Walter and Emma Leonard Packard. In the late 1920s she lived with her family in Mexico City where she became acquainted with Diego Rivera, from whom she received regular art criticism and encouragement. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and completed courses in fresco and sculpture at the California School of Fine Arts in 1940. That year and the next, Packard worked as a full-time painting assistant to Rivera on his 1,650 square-foot fresco at the World's Fair in San Francisco. During this project, Packard became very close to Rivera and Frida Kahlo and returned to Mexico with them and spent a year living with the couple.

From then on, except for in 1944-1945 working for a defense plant, Packard worked and grew in various aspects of her art. In addition to her work in fresco, Packard is known for her work in watercolor, oil, mosaic, laminated plastic, concrete, and printmaking, both in linocuts and woodblocks. She received numerous commissions that included installations for ships, hotels, and private homes for which she executed large woodcuts and mural panels. During the 1950s and 1960s, Packard was hired to restore several historic murals, most notably the Rincon Annex Post Office mural by Anton Refregier and the Coit Tower murals in San Francisco.

Between 1966 and 1967 she was commissioned by architects to design and execute a number of concrete and mosaic pieces, one of which went to the Mirabeau Restaurant in Kaiser Center, Oakland. She also designed and executed a mural for the Fresno Convention Center Theater during that same period. In 1973-1974, she designed and supervised a glazed brick mural for a public library in Pinole, California.

Packard had one-woman shows at the San Francisco Museum of Art, Raymond and Raymond Gallery (San Francisco), Addison Gallery of American Art (Andover, Mass.), Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, Pushkin Museum (Moscow), and March Gallery (Chicago). Emmy Lou Packard died in 1998.
Related Archival Materials note:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Emmy Lou Packard conducted by Mary Fuller McChesney in 1964.
Provenance:
Emmy Lou Packard donated her papers to the Archives of American Art from 1984-1988.
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.
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 -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Sculptors -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Topic:
Works of art  Search this
Printmakers -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Mural painting and decoration, American  Search this
Mural painting and decoration, Mexican  Search this
Muralists -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Photographs
Interviews
Diaries
Citation:
Emmy Lou Packard papers, 1900-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.packemmy
See more items in:
Emmy Lou Packard Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-packemmy
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Online Media:

Dorr Bothwell papers

Creator:
Bothwell, Dorr  Search this
Names:
Pollock-Krasner Foundation  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Adams, Virginia Best  Search this
Adnan, Etel  Search this
Chinn, Benjamen, 1921-2009  Search this
Falkenstein, Claire, 1908-1997  Search this
Howard, Charles, 1899-1978  Search this
Jackson, Martha Kellogg  Search this
Packard, Emmy Lou, 1914-1998  Search this
Extent:
10.6 Linear feet
1.72 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Drawings
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Visitors' books
Interviews
Travel diaries
Scrapbooks
Collages
Sketches
Contracts
Awards
Diaries
Lecture notes
Date:
1900-2006
Summary:
The papers of California painter, printmaker, and art instructor Dorr Bothwell date from 1900-2006, and measure 10.6 linear feet and 1.72 GB. Found within the papers are biographical material, correspondence, personal business records, notes and writings, five diaries, art work and 19 sketchbooks, three scrapbooks, printed material, and print and digital photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of California painter, printmaker, and art instructor Dorr Bothwell date from 1900-2006, and measure 10.6 linear feet and 1.72 GB. Found within the papers are biographical material, correspondence, personal business records, notes and writings, five diaries, art work and 19 sketchbooks, three scrapbooks, printed material, and print and digital photographs.

Biographical material consists of biographical sketches, resumés, identity cards, award certificates, typescripts of autobiographical interviews, address books, and a file concerning UFOs, spirituality, and philosophy.

Correspondence consists of letters exchanged between Bothwell and her colleagues and friends discussing their art-related activities, travel, and birthday greetings. There are scattered letters from Ansel and Virginia Adams, Etel Adnan, Benjamin Chinn, Claire Falkenstein, and Emmy Lou Packard.

Personal business records include teaching contracts, contracts and royalty statements for the publication of Bothwell's book Notan, insurance records, income tax records, records concerning a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, estate records, card files, lists of art work, price lists, exhibition entry cards, receipts for the sale of art work, travel receipts, medical receipts, and consignment/sales records.

Notes and writings include three diaries, two travel journals, guest books, miscellaneous lists, schedules of classes for various organizations and art schools including the Ansel Adams Yosemite Workshop, typescripts of lecture notes, and miscellaneous notes. There are also scattered writings by Bothwell and others.

Seventeen sketchbooks, including several completed during Bothwell's travels, and one dated 1942 illustrated with daily drawings of her activities while preparing for World War II, are found within the papers. There are also miscellaneous drawings, collages, a serigraph It's Time for a Change, an etching by Martha Jackson, and a drawing by Charles Howard.

Three scrapbooks contain clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, programs, and photographs of art work. Scrapbook 3 contains materials concerning spiritualism and mysticism. Additional printed material consists of clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, press releases, brochures for art classes, the sale of art work, travel, and camera equipment, reproductions of art work, picture postcards, programs, books, and miscellaneous commercial business cards.

Photographs are of Bothwell, her mother and brother, her studio/residences, miscellaneous friends and colleagues including her former husband, sculptor Donal Hord, miscellaneous events, and art classes conducted by Bothwell. There are also photographs of art work by Bothwell and others, as well as numerous photographs and slides of travel various forms in nature that Bothwell would incorporate into her art work.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 8 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1939-2001 (Box 1, 11, 13, 15; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1942-2002 (Box 1-3, 13; 2.3 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1925-2006 (Box 3-4; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 4: Notes and Writings, 1949-1998 (Box 4, 11, 14, 15; 0.8 linear feet.)

Series 5: Art Work, 1920-1994 (Box 4-5, 11, 13, 16, 17; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1926-1979 (Box 5, 11, 12; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1923-2000 (Box 5-7, 12, 13; 1.8 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, 1900-2001 (Box 7-9, 10; 2.4 linear feet, ER01-ER04; 1.72 GB)
Biographical Note:
Dorr Bothwell (1902-2000) worked primarily in California as a painter, printmaker, and art instructor.

Doris Bothwell was born on May 3, 1902 in San Francisco, and later changed her first name to Dorr in order to more easily enter the art business. Bothwell began her art studies in 1916 with her parents' friend Anna Valentien, a student of Rodin. Between 1921 and 1922, she studied at the California School of Fine Art, and continued her studies at the University of Oregon at Eugene. After attending the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design in 1924, she established her own studio in San Francisco from 1924 to 1927. Also during this time Bothwell, with eight other artists opened the Modern Gallery on Montgomery Street, mounting her first solo exhibition there in 1927.

Between 1928 and 1929, Bothwell traveled to American Samoa, where she created paintings and drawings, and documented tapa (barkcloth) drawings for the Bishop Museum of Honolulu. She then spent a year of study in Europe, returning to San Diego, California in 1931 and marrying sculptor Donal Hord. Four years later, they divorced and she moved to Los Angeles where she worked for the pottery manufacturer Gladding McBean, joined the post-surrealist group around Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg and opened the Bothwell-Cooke Gallery.

Between 1936 and 1939, Bothwell worked in the mural division of the Federal Arts Project of Los Angeles, and learned the art of serigraph printing. She designed dioramas and mechanized exhibitions for the Los Angeles County Museum. In 1940 she also created murals in the Manning Coffee Restaurant in San Francisco.

After teaching color and design at the California School of Fine Art in San Francisco from 1944 to 1948, Bothwell was awarded the Abraham Rosenberg Traveling Scholarship that financed study in Paris from 1949 to the fall of 1951. In 1952 she taught textile design for mass production at the Parsons School of Design in New York City.

Returning to San Francisco, Bothwell taught again at the California School of Fine Art from 1953 to 1958, and at the San Francisco Art Institute from 1959 to 1960. From 1960 to 1961 she took a sabbatical in England and France, creating paintings for an exhibition. In 1962 she was asked to teach at the new Mendocino Art Center and she taught there until 1983. She was also asked by Ansel Adams to teach design and composition for photographers at his Yosemite Workshop summer sessions, which she did from 1964 to 1977.

From 1966 to 1967, Bothwell documented indigo dying techniques, strip weaving, and pottery in Western Nigeria and Tunisia. In 1968, she published her book, co-authored with Marlys Frey, NOTAN The Principle of Dark-Light Design. The book was reissued in 1991. Bothwell continued her travels from 1970 to 1971, when she studied 12th century enamels in England, France, and Holland, and conducted a symposium, "Notan Design," for the London Educational Authority. In 1974, she traveled to Bali, Java, and Sumatra, making a slide documentary on batik, woodcarving, and folk design.

In 1977 Bothwell moved to Joshua Tree, California, from Mendocino in Northern California, but moved back and forth between the two studio/residences until 1992 when she moved to her last residence on the desert at Apache Junction, Arizona. From 1979 to 1980, she taught composition at the Victor School of Photography in Colorado and a design course at the Women's Art Guild in Kauai, Hawaii. Following a tour of China with a watercolor artists' group in 1982, Bothwell conducted workshops at the Mendocino Art Center. In 1985, she traveled to Japan.

Dorr Bothwell died on September 24, 2000 in Fort Bragg, California.
Provenance:
The Dorr Bothwell papers were donated in 1978 by the artist, and in 2002, 2009, and 2012 by the Dorr Bothwell Trust.
Restrictions:
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.
Occupation:
Art teachers -- California  Search this
Painters -- California  Search this
Topic:
Women artists -- California  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Surrealism  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Visitors' books
Interviews
Travel diaries
Scrapbooks
Collages
Sketches
Contracts
Awards
Diaries
Lecture notes
Citation:
Dorr Bothwell papers, 1900-2006. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.bothdorr
See more items in:
Dorr Bothwell papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bothdorr

Association of Western Union Employees identification card for C.H. Stearns, 1939. (front & back) [card]

Collector:
Western Union Telegraph Company  Search this
Collection Creator:
United Telegraph Workers.  Search this
Western Union Telegraph Company  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper., 2.3" x 3.7")
Container:
Box 564, Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
Identity cards
Date:
1939
Local Numbers:
AC0205-0000109-01 (AC Scan)

AC0205-0000109-02 (AC Scan)
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.

Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives. Special arrangements must be made to view some of the audio visual materials. Contact the Archives Center at 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Telegraph, Wireless  Search this
Genre/Form:
Identity cards
Collection Citation:
Western Union Telegraph Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
See more items in:
Western Union Telegraph Company Records
Western Union Telegraph Company Records / Series 18: Employee/Personnel Records / 18.2: Employee Membership Cards and Passes
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0205-ref11361
Online Media:

[United States citizen's identity card with portrait of Leo H. Baekeland], [black and white photoprint affixed to identity card.]

Names:
Baekeland, L. H. (Leo Hendrik), 1863-1944  Search this
Collection Creator:
Baekeland, L. H. (Leo Hendrik), 1863-1944  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Silver gelatin on paper, 3" x 5".)
Container:
Box 1, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Passports
Photographs
Place:
Mexico -- 1920-1930
Date:
1921
Scope and Contents:
Identity card was issued to Baekeland in San Diego, California and was valid for travel within forty miles of the Mexican Border. Photographer unidentified.
Local Numbers:
AC0005-0000052-1.tif and AC0005-0000052-2.tif (AC Scan)
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Identification cards  Search this
Genre/Form:
Passports
Photographs -- 1920-1930 -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin
Collection Citation:
Leo Baekeland Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Leo H. Baekeland Papers
Leo H. Baekeland Papers / Series 1: Reference Materials / 1.1: Biographical Materials / Naturalization papers and identification cards
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0005-ref3044
Online Media:

[Leo Baekeland's State, War, and Navy Dept. Bldgs. identification card.]

Names:
Baekeland, L. H. (Leo Hendrik), 1863-1944  Search this
Collection Creator:
Baekeland, L. H. (Leo Hendrik), 1863-1944  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper., 2.4" x 4.3".)
Container:
Box 1, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Identity cards
Date:
undated
Scope and Contents:
Photograph of Leo Baekeland on document.
Local Numbers:
AC0005-0000051.tif (AC Scan)
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Genre/Form:
Identity cards
Collection Citation:
Leo Baekeland Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Leo H. Baekeland Papers
Leo H. Baekeland Papers / Series 1: Reference Materials / 1.1: Biographical Materials / Naturalization papers and identification cards
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0005-ref3058

Catherine Hann Papers

Creator:
Hann, Catherine (Huynh bach Thuy)  Search this
Names:
United Nations. Office of the High Commissioner for Human RIghts.  Search this
United States Catholic Conference. Migration and Refugee Services  Search this
Extent:
0.6 Cubic feet (2 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Interviews
Oral histories (document genres)
Correspondence
Identity cards
Diaries
Audiotapes
Checkbooks
Date:
1953-2006
Summary:
Papers relating to Catherine Hann's life in Vietnam (1953-1981), her flight by boat to Malaysia and stay at Pulau Bidong refugee camp (February --September 1981), her immigration to the United States (September 1981), and her work in Maryland as a circuit board assembler, manicurist and esthetician.
Scope and Contents:
The Catherine Hann Papers are divided into five series: Life in Vietnam, pre-1981; Stay in Malaysia, 1981; United States, 1981-2006; Oral History Interviews, 2002, 2006; and Photographs, 1955-2005.

Series 1 consists of four documents from Hann's life in Vietnam: an official copy of Hann's 1953 birth certificate, her college student ID, her Gia Long High School student ID and her 1974 South Vietnamese identity card.

Series 2 documents Hann's stay in the Pulau Bidong refugee camp off the coast of Malaysia and her family's medical processing in Kuala Lumpur. Especially interesting is a small diary Hann kept in 1981 documenting the building of the fishing boat, the voyage in the Gulf of Thailand, the stay at Pulau Bidong and Kuala Lumpur, and the family's first few months in the United States. There is an English translation of the diary. Other materials in this series include letters sent by relatives and friends to Hann in the refugee camp, papers documenting a family member's attempt to sponsor the family in the U.S., and hand-made Certificates of Commendation awarded to Hann's husband for his work in the refugee camp. The original letter with attached photographs from the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur granting permission for the family to immigrate is included.

Series 3 describes Hann's life in the United States as she transitioned from refugee to financially successful American citizen. Uncommon pieces of ephemera are cancelled checks repaying a loan from the United States Catholic Conference for the purchase of plane tickets from Malaysia to the United States. Also included are papers from Hann's seventeen years in the electronics industry, textbooks for manicurist training, a ledger and checkbook from Hann's short-lived Nails & Beauty Spa, Inc., and daily schedules with earnings from her current job at Totally Polished.

Series 4 consists of the original audiocassettes, reference CDs and typed transcript of an oral history conducted by Susan B. Strange, associate curator, with Hann on March 7, 2006, as well as a typed transcript of a December 14, 2002, interview with Hann conducted by Daniel Ekman, a student at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland.

Original photographs in Series 5 document Hann's life in Vietnam, her husband's work in the refugee camp, the family's departure from Pulau Bidong, and Hann at work at Fairchild Space Co. Also in Series 5 is a folder with photocopies of seven photographs taken in 2005 by a Smithsonian staff member of Hann working at her manicure table. Smithsonian negative numbers are included with the photocopies; releases from the photographer, Hann, and the woman having a manicure, are in the Archives Center's control file for this collection. In the same folder are photocopies of five photographs (originals retained by Hann) showing Hann's life in Vietnam; the Archives Center scan number is printed on each photocopy. Hann granted copyright in these five photographs to the National Museum of American History on April 22, 2006; the release form is in the Archives Center's control file.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into five series with chronological arrangement.

Series 1: Life in Vietnam, 1953-1981

Series 2: Stay in Malaysia, 1981

Series 3: United States, 1981-2006

Series 4: Oral History Interviews, 2002, 2006

Series 5: Photographs, 1955-2005
Biographical / Historical:
Catherine Hann was born in Saigon, State of Vietnam, on November 14, 1953 as Huynh bach Thuy. (She changed her name to Catherine Hann when she became a naturalized American citizen on June 19, 1987.) Hann, her parents and younger siblings lived in Saigon where her father worked as an instructor at Truong Quan Y, a South Vietnamese Army medical school. In 1968 Hann's family moved further south to Rach-Gia in Kien Giang province to care for Hann's recently-widowed paternal grandmother. Hann, the eldest of twelve children, stayed behind in Saigon, living with a great-uncle, so that she could continue attending Gia Long High School, one of the most prestigious and academically challenging public schools for girls in the country.

After graduation from Gia Long in 1973, Hann attended the University of Science in Saigon where she studied to become a biologist. In 1975, Hann's father, who had worked in a South Vietnamese military hospital in Rach-Gia since his arrival there in 1968, was sent to a "re-education camp." Hann returned to Rach-Gia to be with her mother and to help support the family. She then began attending a teacher training program in Rach-Gia where she trained as a biology teacher. At the training program, Hann met Han Huu Vinh who became her husband in 1976. After graduation, Hann taught biology in a high school in Rach-Gia while her husband taught mathematics in the same school. Their son, Kinh, was born in 1977.

In addition to supplementing the family income with her teacher salary, she also purchased unprocessed rice or "rough rice," had it milled, and sold the resulting white rice. To make a little more money for the family, the hulls and other residue from the milling process were sold as hog food. The future looked bleak, and Hann and her husband decided to take their young son and flee the country.

After two failed attempts to escape by boat, the Hanns were luckier the third time. A family friend obtained permission to build a fishing boat, a small wooden craft only 11.5 meters by 2.1 meters. Hann's family, one of the initiators and organizers of the scheme to use the fishing boat as a means of escape, hired a man who had served in the South Vietnamese Navy to navigate. At 2:05 a.m. on the morning of February 14, 1981, ninety-two people left Rach-Gia on the overloaded boat and headed southwest. Three days later the fishing vessel, towing another boat found stranded after being attacked by pirates, docked at Pulau Bidong, an island off the coast of Malaysia. After five months in the United Nations refugee camp on Pulau Bidong, Hann, husband, son, brother, and husband's nephew were taken to Kuala Lumpur for processing in preparation for immigration to the United States.

Hann's husband's sister, a naturalized American living in Rockville, Maryland, was their sponsor, and on September 11, 1981, the five-member family group arrived in the United States. The five continued to live together for about four years before Hann's brother and her husband's nephew went out on their own. After being on welfare and receiving intensive English-language training, Hann and her husband gradually became self-sufficient. Hann's first job was working in the cafeteria at Montgomery College in Rockville which she left to work at Denro Labs doing electronic assembly. Hann's husband's first job was at Solarex testing solar panels.

After almost ten years in the electronic assembly field, a Vietnamese friend encouraged Hann to train as a manicurist, and in 1992 Hann graduated from the Aesthetics Institute of Cosmetology in Gaithersburg, Maryland. At first she only manicured her own nails, but a year or so later Hann began working on Saturdays at a busy nail salon while continuing to work full-time in the electronics industry. When she learned that doing facials and waxing was faster and more profitable than doing manicures, Hann obtained training and a license to become an esthetician. After her week-day employer, Orbital Science Corp., moved to Sterling, Virginia, in 2000, a long commute for Hann, she started working full-time as an esthetician and manicurist at Totally Polished in Potomac, Maryland.

Hann works six days a week at Totally Polished, and on her day off she spends the morning doing manicures and waxing for private clients in their homes. This hard work has enabled Hann and her husband to pay off the mortgage on their single-family house in Gaithersburg and purchase a rental house in Florida. Their only child, Kinh, also has done well, earning a Master's Degree from the University of Maryland and now (2006) working on his PhD in biomedical engineering. Kinh is employed by Digene Corporation; he bought a house three years ago; and, as his mother proudly states, he drives a brand new BMW. Hann's stated reason for fleeing her country was "for my son's future;" the family's hard work and sacrifices seem to have made her hopes come true.
Separated Materials:
In 2005, the Division of Work and Industry collected manicure tools and soldering test equipment from Hann; in 2006 the division collected facial and waxing-related objects from Hann. Clothing worn on the boat fleeing Vietnam was donated in 2006 to the Division of Home and Community Life, along with tweezers Hann purchased in Saigon and carried throughout her immigration experience. The wedding of Kinh Hann to Leila Poursedehi in 2008 is documented in the Archives Center Weddings Documentation Collection, collection number 1131. The Vietnamese wedding dress that Leila Poursedehi wore at their wedding dinner was donated to the costume collection in the Division of Home and Community Life in 2008.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Catherine Hann, March 18, 2006.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Manicuring  Search this
Naturalization  Search this
Emigration and immigration  Search this
Refugees  Search this
Beauty culture  Search this
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975  Search this
Vietnamese Americans -- Biography  Search this
Small business  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 2000-2010
Interviews
Oral histories (document genres)
Correspondence
Identity cards
Photographs -- 1950-2000
Diaries -- 20th century
Audiotapes
Checkbooks
Citation:
Catherine Hann Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0921
See more items in:
Catherine Hann Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0921
Online Media:

[South Vietnamese identity card for Huynh Bach Thuy : black and white photoprint affixed to card]

Names:
Hann, Catherine (Huynh bach Thuy)  Search this
Collection Creator:
Hann, Catherine (Huynh bach Thuy)  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Silver gelatin on paper., 2.5" x 4".)
Container:
Box 1, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
ca. 1968
Scope and Contents:
Huynh Bach Thuy changed her name to Catherine Hann when she became a naturalized American citizen in 1987; photographer unidentified.
Local Numbers:
AC0921-0000018.tif (AC Scan)
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site by appointment. Photographs must be handled with cotton gloves unless protected by sleeves.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Identification cards -- Vietnam  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1960-1970
Collection Citation:
Catherine Hann Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
See more items in:
Catherine Hann Papers
Catherine Hann Papers / Series 1: Life in Vietnam / Personal Identification Documents
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0921-ref562

Biographical Material

Collection Creator:
Spohn, Clay Edgar, 1898-1977  Search this
Extent:
(box 1, 0.3 linear feet)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1892-circa 1978
Scope and Contents note:
Biographical material includes a variety of official documentation for Spohn and his parents. Documents concerning Spohn's parents include their marriage license. Documents concerning Spohn include his baptismal certificate, passport, the contents of two wallets, membership and identity cards, biographical sketches, two wills, and Spohn's death certificate. There is also a typescript biography of Spohn, "Life of a Painter," by David R. Beasley.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use of unfilmed material requires an appointment.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Clay Spohn Papers, circa 1862-1985, bulk 1890-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.spohclay, Subseries 2.1
See more items in:
Clay Spohn papers
Clay Spohn papers / Series 2: Clay Spohn Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-spohclay-ref30

Passport and Identity Card for Travel in France

Collection Creator:
Spohn, Clay Edgar, 1898-1977  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1925-1926
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use of unfilmed material requires an appointment.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Clay Spohn Papers, circa 1862-1985, bulk 1890-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Clay Spohn papers
Clay Spohn papers / Series 2: Clay Spohn Papers / 2.1: Biographical Material / Documents Concerning Clay Spohn
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-spohclay-ref35

Miscellaneous Identity Cards

Collection Creator:
Spohn, Clay Edgar, 1898-1977  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 8
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1958-1965
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use of unfilmed material requires an appointment.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Clay Spohn Papers, circa 1862-1985, bulk 1890-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Clay Spohn papers
Clay Spohn papers / Series 2: Clay Spohn Papers / 2.1: Biographical Material / Documents Concerning Clay Spohn
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-spohclay-ref40

Biographical Material

Collection Creator:
Solomon, Alan R., 1920-1970  Search this
Extent:
5 Folders (Box 1)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1938-1968
Scope and Contents:
Series comprises résumés; an engagement book and a monthly planning book from 1965, annotated with appointments and other information; and miscellaneous material including Solomon's high school diploma and report cards, his 1944 army honorable discharge papers, his 1947 Harvard College transcripts, two identity cards from Expo '67, and an astrological chart created for Solomon in 1967.
Collection 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.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Alan R. Solomon papers, 1907-1970, bulk 1944-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.soloalan, Series 1
See more items in:
Alan R. Solomon papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-soloalan-ref1

Biographical Material

Collection Creator:
Wiesenberg, Louis, 1893-1943  Search this
Extent:
(Box 1; 1 folder)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1916-1981
Scope and Contents note:
Biographical material consists of a National Academy of Design student identity card, a New York military census card, and a biographical manuscript written by Wiesenberg's wife, Raizel.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Louis Wiesenberg papers, 1913-1981. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.wiesloui, Series 1
See more items in:
Louis Wiesenberg papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-wiesloui-ref12

Identity Cards and Biographical Manuscript

Collection Creator:
Wiesenberg, Louis, 1893-1943  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1916-1981, undated
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Louis Wiesenberg papers, 1913-1981. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Louis Wiesenberg papers
Louis Wiesenberg papers / Series 1: Biographical Material
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-wiesloui-ref13

Biographical Material

Collection Creator:
Sander, Ludwig, 1906-  Search this
Extent:
(Box 1, 4; 9 folders)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1927-1969
Scope and Contents note:
Biographical material primarily consists of army records documenting Sander's service during World War II. School records reflect his studies in Europe and at New York University, and include a student identity card signed by Hans Hofmann. Also included are curriculum vitae and passports.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Patrons must use microfilm copy.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Ludwig Sander papers, 1910-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.sandludw, Series 1
See more items in:
Ludwig Sander papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-sandludw-ref12

Passport, identity card, French visa

Collection Creator:
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Container:
Box 31, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1932-1939
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use of unmicrofilmed portion requires an appointment.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers, 1891-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers
Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers / Series 22: Bettina Bedwell Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-rattabra-ref642

Alma Thomas papers

Creator:
Thomas, Alma  Search this
Names:
Art in Embassies Program (U.S.)  Search this
Martha Jackson Gallery  Search this
Bader, Franz, 1903-1994  Search this
Breeskin, Adelyn Dohme, 1896-1986  Search this
Johnson, Nathalie J. Cole  Search this
Sarg, Tony, 1882-1942  Search this
Tarbary, Celine  Search this
Taylor, Joshua Charles, 1917-  Search this
Thomas, J. Maurice (John Maurice), 1900 or 1901-  Search this
Extent:
5.5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Audiocassettes
Video recordings
Photographs
Date:
circa 1894-2001
Summary:
The papers of Washington, D.C. painter and art educator Alma Thomas, date from circa 1894-2001 and measure 5.5 linear feet. The papers document Thomas's work as a teacher, and her development and success as a painter of the Washington Color School, through biographical material, letters, notes and writings, personal business records, exhibition files, printed materials, scrapbooks, photographs, an audio recording, and two video recordings.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of Washington, D.C. painter and art educator Alma Thomas, date from circa 1894-2001 and measure 5.5 linear feet. The papers document Thomas's work as a teacher, and her development and success as a painter of the Washington Color School, through biographical material, letters, notes and writings, personal business records, exhibition files, printed materials, scrapbooks, photographs, an audio recording, and two video recordings.

Biographical material includes identity cards, chronologies, an audio recording including a biographical account, and scattered documentation of Thomas's education and teaching careers with D.C. Public Schools, Howard University, and Thomas Garrett Settlement in Wilmington, Delaware. Also found are records relating to Thomas's participation in a summer marionette class taught by Tony Sarg in 1934, and a tour of European art centers which Thomas took in 1958.

Letters relate primarily to the exhibition of Thomas's work and related events and are from galleries, museums, other art institutions, colleagues, and friends including Franz Bader, Adelyn Breeskin, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Howard University Gallery of Art, Martha Jackson Gallery, Nathalie J. Cole Johnson, Vincent Melzac, Celine Tabary, and Joshua Taylor.

Notes and writings include four notebooks and autobiographical writings by Thomas, a "Birthday Book," and an annotated engagement calendar. J. Maurice Thomas's writings about Alma Thomas, her research for a bibliography on James Weldon Johnson, and writings by others, including Jacob Kainen, about Alma Thomas, are also found here.

Exhibition files contain a wide variety of documentation for many group and solo exhibitions of Thomas's work from the early 1950s through a 1998-2000 traveling retrospective exhibition, including solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1972. The records include letters from Franz Bader Gallery, David Driskell at Fisk University, and Vincent Melzac. Photographs include Thomas with individuals including William Buckner, Jeff Donaldson, David Driskell, James W. Herring, and Vincent Melzac. Also found is a photograph of the 1951 Little Paris Studio Group picturing Lois Mailou Jones, Celine Tabary, Alma Thomas, and others. Two video recordings are of events related to the 1998-2000 retrospective at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and the Columbus Museum of Art. Records documenting a 1981-1982 exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art, A Life in Art: Alma Thomas, includes the script of a video written by Adolphus Ealey.

Personal business records include price lists, gift and loan receipts, and files concerning the Art in Embassies Program, the Martha Jackson Gallery, a benefit auction for the Corcoran School of Art, and the designation of the Thomas family home in Washington, D.C. as a historic property.

Eleven scrapbooks document Thomas's teaching career through the activities of the art classes she taught at Shaw Junior High School.

Printed materials include announcements and catalogs for exhibitions and other events; clippings which document Thomas's career and subjects of interest to her; Christmas cards featuring block prints designed by Thomas; and other programs and publications featuring Thomas.

Photographs are of Alma Thomas, family, and friends and colleagues including Sam Gilliam, James V. Herring, and Nathalie V. Cole Johnson; art classes taught by Thomas; Thomas's homes in Columbus, Georgia and Washington, D.C.; and exhibitions not documented in Series 4: Exhibition Files, including photographs of Alma Thomas at an opening at Barnett Aden Gallery with Alonzo Aden and others.
Arrangement note:
The papers have been arranged into 8 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1911-2001 (Box 1; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 2: Letters, circa 1930-2001 (Boxes 1-2; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 3: Notes and Writings, circa 1920s-circa 1998 (Box 2; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 4: Exhibition Files, 1951-2000 (Boxes 2-3, OV 7; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 5: Personal Business Records, circa 1950s-1994 (Box 3; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 6: Printed Material, circa 1908-2000 (Boxes 3-5, OV 7; 1.8 linear feet)

Series 7: Scrapbooks, 1930-1946 (Box 5; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1894-2001 (Boxes 5-6; 0.6 linear feet)
Biographical/Historical note:
Washington, D.C. painter and art educator Alma Thomas (1891-1978) was known for her abstract paintings filled with dense patterns of color, and was considered a major artist of the Washington Color School.

Thomas was born in Columbus, Georgia, in 1894, and was the eldest of the four daughters of John Harris Thomas and Amelia Cantey Thomas. The family moved to Washington, D.C. in 1906 and Thomas was first introduced to art classes at Armstrong Technical High School. Following her graduation in 1911 she took a course in kindergarten teaching at the Miner Normal School, and subsequently worked as a substitute teacher in the Washington, D.C. public school system until 1914, when she took a teaching position on the Eastern shore of Maryland. From 1916 to 1923 she taught kindergarten at Thomas Garrett Settlement House in Wilmington, Delaware.

Thomas originally enrolled at Howard University in Washington, D.C. as a home economics major in 1921, but after studying under Lois Mailou Jones amd James V. Herring in Herring's newly established art department, she earned a Bachelor's degree in Fine Art in 1924, and became the first person to graduate from the program. Thomas then began her teaching career at Shaw Junior High School in Washington, D.C. that lasted from 1924, until her retirement in 1960. During this time she established community arts programs that would encourage her students to develop an appreciation of fine arts. Activities included marionette programs, distribution of student-designed holiday menu cards for dinners given for soldiers at the Tuskegee Veterans' Hospital, art clubs, lectures, and student exhibitions. In 1943 she became the founding vice president of Barnett Aden Gallery, which was established by James V. Herring and Alonzo Aden and was the first integrated gallery in Washington, D.C.

In 1934 Thomas earned an M.A. degree in Art Education from Columbia University. At American University in Washington, D.C., she studied creative painting under Joe Summerford, Robert Gates, and Jacob Kainen from 1950 to 1960, and began to break away from representational painting and experiment more seriously with Abstract Expressionism. In 1958 she participated in a tour of the art centers of Western Europe under the auspices of the Tyler School of Fine Arts at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Following her retirement from teaching in 1960, Thomas devoted herself full-time to painting, and continued to develop her signature style. She was inspired by nature and the desire to express beauty through composition and color, and refused to be constrained by societal expectations related to her race, gender, and age, achieving her greatest success in the last decade of her life. Her work was exhibited at the Dupont Theatre Art Gallery, Franz Bader Gallery, and the Howard University Gallery of Art, before she was honored in 1972 with exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Thomas's work has been exhibited at the White House and can be found in the permanent collections of major museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Separated Materials note:
In 1979, J. Maurice Thomas loaned papers for microfilming. Most, but not all, of the loaned material was later donated and is described in this finding aid. Loaned materials not donated at a later date are available on reels 1541-1543 and are not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Provenance:
J. Maurice Thomas, the artist's sister, loaned portions of the collection for microfilming in 1979. Most, but not all of this material was then later donated in several accretions by J. Maurice Thomas, between 1979 and 2004. Charles Thomas Lewis, Thomas' nephew, gave additional papers in 2010.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies 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 -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Educators -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Topic:
Painting, American  Search this
African American artists  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Washington Color School (Group of artists)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Audiocassettes
Video recordings
Photographs
Citation:
Alma Thomas papers, circa 1894-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.thomalma
See more items in:
Alma Thomas papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-thomalma
Online Media:

Biographical Material

Collection Creator:
Thomas, Alma  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Linear feet (Box 1)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1911-2001
Scope and Contents:
This series includes awards, biographical accounts, chronologies of Thomas's life and career, guest books from two unidentified events, identity cards, Thomas's death certificate, and a sketch, clippings, and playbills relating to Thomas's painting of Pearl Bailey in Hello Dolly for Scott Kirkpatrick. Also found is an audio recording produced by Guidance Associates to accompany an educational filmstrip from their Profiles of Black Achievement series, in which Thomas provides an autobiographical account.

Records relating to Thomas's education include scattered programs and other printed material; report cards relating to her high school and college education; and letters, a notebook, printed material, an illustrated diploma, and Thomas's sketch of a skeleton marionette, documenting her participation in Tony Sarg's marionette class in 1934.

Thomas's teaching career is briefly documented through school employment and promotion records; teacher rating sheets from her career at Shaw Junior High School; clippings and photographs recording her work at the Thomas Garrett Settlement in Wilmington, Delaware; and Thomas's passport, receipts, notes, and printed material from a study abroad trip which she took as a professional development opportunity offered by Temple University, in 1958.

At the end of the series is a group of files related to Thomas's younger sister, J. Maurice Thomas.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Alma Thomas papers, circa 1894-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.thomalma, Series 1
See more items in:
Alma Thomas papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-thomalma-ref688

Identity Cards

Collection Creator:
Thomas, Alma  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 15
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1920s-circa 1970s
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Alma Thomas papers, circa 1894-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Alma Thomas papers
Alma Thomas papers / Series 1: Biographical Material
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-thomalma-ref713

Biographical Material

Collection Creator:
Tanner, Henry Ossawa, 1859-1937  Search this
Extent:
(Box 1, 4, OV 5; 0.8 linear feet)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1890-1937
Scope and Contents note:
Found here are published biographies, including Tanner's 1937 obituary; identification documents, such as passports and Red Cross identity card; a one-page handwritten record of Tanner family marriages, possibly removed from a family bible; a small personal bible and larger family bible; membership documents for the Societe Artistique de Picardie, and the American Expeditionary Forces. A few documents concern his father Benjamin Tucker Tanner's estate. There is one file regarding a lawsuit with the Bethel A. M. E. Church over the church's failure to pay for a commissioned work of art by Tanner. Also found are three of Tanner's address books, loose addresses, scattered notes, lists, and a few receipts regarding the sale of his paintings. Award certificates and medals include his Legion of Honor medal and National Academy of Design membership certificate.
Arrangement note:
Items are arranged in chronological order within each folder.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Henry Ossawa Tanner papers, 1860s-1978 (bulk 1890-1937). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.tannhenr, Series 1
See more items in:
Henry Ossawa Tanner papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-tannhenr-ref15

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