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Kihn, Alfred C. and Carrie

Collection Creator:
Kihn, W. Langdon  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 25
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
before 1957
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:
W. Langdon Kihn papers, 1904-1990, bulk 1904-1957. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
W. Langdon Kihn papers
W. Langdon Kihn papers / Series 2: Correspondence / 2.1: General and Personal Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9177bde44-53d8-47b8-8653-9f79aaa6e3e3
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-kihnwlan-ref49

W. Langdon Kihn papers, 1904-1990, bulk 1904-1957

Creator:
Kihn, W. (Wilfred) Langdon, 1898-1957  Search this
Kihn, W. (Wilfred) Langdon, 1898-1957  Search this
Subject:
Wiggins, Guy C. (Guy Carleton)  Search this
Skinner, Constance Lindsay  Search this
Oakley, Thorton  Search this
Wellcome, Henry S., Sir (Henry Solomon)  Search this
Stirling, Matthew Williams  Search this
Lecomte du Noüy, Marie  Search this
Laubin, Reginald  Search this
Lecomte du Noüy, Pierre  Search this
Kihn, Helen Butler  Search this
Kihn, Alfred  Search this
Laubin, Gladys  Search this
Dale, Maud  Search this
Dixon, Maynard  Search this
Downs, Olin  Search this
Fisher, Franklin L.  Search this
Artzybasheff, Boris  Search this
Barbeau, Marius  Search this
Dale, Chester  Search this
National Geographic Society (U.S.)  Search this
Type:
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Sketches
Photographs
Poetry
Writings
Topic:
Book illustrators -- Connecticut  Search this
Indians of North America -- Pictorial works  Search this
Theme:
Diaries  Search this
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7081
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209214
AAA_collcode_kihnwlan
Theme:
Diaries
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209214
Online Media:

General and Personal Correspondence

Collection Creator:
Kihn, W. Langdon  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1916-1957
Scope and Contents note:
This subseries consists primarily of personal correspondence, including holiday cards and invitations, although letters related to commissions and exhibitions are scattered throughout.

This subseries includes the letters of W. Langdon Kihn, Alfred and Carrie Kihn (his parents), and Helen Kihn (his wife). Langdon Kihn's correspondence contains letters to his parents from his early trips out west, and drafts and fragments of letters to colleagues promoting his early exhibitions. There is also a selection of Christmas cards of his own design, which he sent to friends and family.

Notable correspondents, most of whom are also represented in the chronological correspondence, include the Canadian ethnographer, Marius Barbeau; well-known collectors, Dale and Maud Chester and Sir Henry Wellcome; artists Maynard Dixon and Guy Wiggins; French biophysicist and philosopher Pierre du Noüy; and military historian Captian Russell V. Steele, whose letters frequently include illustrations of soldiers in military uniforms.
Arrangement note:
Folders are arranged in alphabetical order by correspondent name. Letters and letter fragments with missing or illegible signatures have been filed in a folder titled "Unidentified," which is located at the end of this subseries.
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:
W. Langdon Kihn papers, 1904-1990, bulk 1904-1957. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kihnwlan, Subseries 2.1
See more items in:
W. Langdon Kihn papers
W. Langdon Kihn papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw906c91a1b-d992-4df5-babe-24c4d22b5ef7
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-kihnwlan-ref29

Chronological Correspondence

Collection Creator:
Kihn, W. Langdon  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1917-1959
Scope and Contents note:
Found in this subseries are letters to and from Kihn that document his career as an artist, illustrator, teacher, and writer. Scattered through out are personal correspondence, including letters addressed to his wife Helen from their mutual friends. There is also a cache of third party correspondence addressed to Marius Barbeau, a Canadian ethnologist who was a colleague and friend of Kihn's.

The earliest correspondence includes letters from his parents, particularly his father Alfred Kihn, who also trained as an artist and founded a steel engraving firm with his brother that specialized in bank note engraving. Kihn senior not only wrote proffering career advice, but also corresponded with his son's business and personal associates while Langdon Kihn was on extended trips. There are also letters from W. Langdon Kihn to his parents describing his trips, including his impressions of San Francisco, Glacier Park, experiences painting Indian portraits, as well as his 1929-1932 sojourn painting in Paris and Spain. These early letters also record exhibitions, primarily a traveling exhibition of his portraits of members of the Blackfeet Indian tribe, which was organized by the Brooklyn Museum of Art and traveled to over 40 institutions in the United States.

Letters to and from authors, publishers, advertisers, and collectors comprise a large amount of correspondence from late 1920s to the mid 1930s, which document his efforts at securing commissions for commercial work. During this time he also began to submit articles about his work and travels. Correspondents include the author Constance Lindsay Skinner; publishers Macmillan and Company; Little, Brown, and Company; Harcourt Brace and Company; and magazines including, Fortune and Story Parade.

The bulk of the chronological correspondence records his association with the National Geographic magazine, spanning from 1935-1955. The National Geographic Society commissioned Kihn to paint historical and contemporary scenes of the lives of over 35 tribal nations from the continental United States, Alaska, and the Northwest Territories. Engraved illustrations of his paintings were published in the magazine's ongoing series on American Indians between 1937 and 1949. Most of the related correspondence was between Kihn, Franklin L. Fisher, Chief of National Geographic's Illustrated Division and Matthew W. Striling, Chief of the Bureau of American Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution, who also played an important role in this project.

See Appendix for a list of selected indivuduals, institutions, and organizations found in Series 2.2.
Arrangement note:
Letters have been arranged in folders in chronological order. However, there are examples of early correspondence in which the original letter and the later response letter have been glued together. No attempt has been made to separate them and in some cases they may disrupt the chronological arrangement.
Appendix: Selected Indivuduals, Institutions, and Organizations found in Series 2.2:
Ament, Robert S.

American Museum of Natural History, New York, N.Y.

American Federation of Arts, Washington, D.C.

Artzybasheff, Boris

Barbeau, Marius

Bill, Edward Lyman

Blassingame, Lurton

Bowles, Chester

Brooklyn Museum

Bye, George T.

Canadian Pacific Railway Company, Montreal

Cross, Wilbur L.

Dixon, Maynard

Eaton, Earle Hooker

Eggers, G. W.

Ennis, Howard

Explorers Club, New York, N.Y.

Fisher, Franklin

Gallup, Anna Billings

Great Northern Railroad Company, St. Paul, Minn.

Grosvenor, Gilbert

Halseth, Odd S.

Kihn, Alfred

Kihn, Helen

Kihn, W. Langdon

Kirk, Ruth

Laubin, Reginald and Gladys

Lecompte du Noüy, Marie (May)

Lecompte du Noüy, Pierre

Leechman, Douglas

Lummis Charles, F.

Macmillan Company

Museum of the American Indian

Niven, Frederick

Oakley, Thornton

Paisano, Ulysses

Reid, Russell

Schultz, Hart (Lone Wolf)

Skinner, Constance Lindsay

Standard, Paul

Steele, Captain Russell V.

Stefansson, Vilhjalmur

Stirling, Matthew W.

Watson, Elmo Scott

Wellcome, Sir Henry

White, D. Fedotoff

Wiggins, Guy

Ziegler, John
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:
W. Langdon Kihn papers, 1904-1990, bulk 1904-1957. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kihnwlan, Subseries 2.2
See more items in:
W. Langdon Kihn papers
W. Langdon Kihn papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9d13b087a-f919-4b26-846c-225725565fde
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-kihnwlan-ref69

W. Langdon Kihn papers

Creator:
Kihn, W. Langdon  Search this
Names:
National Geographic Society (U.S.)  Search this
Artzybasheff, Boris, 1899-1965  Search this
Barbeau, Marius, 1883-1969  Search this
Dale, Chester, b. 1883  Search this
Dale, Maud, 1875-1953  Search this
Dixon, Maynard, 1875-1946  Search this
Downs, Olin  Search this
Fisher, Franklin L.  Search this
Kihn, Alfred  Search this
Kihn, Helen Butler  Search this
Laubin, Gladys  Search this
Laubin, Reginald  Search this
Lecomte du Noüy, Marie  Search this
Lecomte du Noüy, Pierre, 1883-1947  Search this
Oakley, Thorton, 1881-1953  Search this
Skinner, Constance Lindsay, 1882-1939  Search this
Stirling, Matthew Williams, 1896-1975  Search this
Wellcome, Henry S., Sir (Henry Solomon), 1853-1936  Search this
Wiggins, Guy C. (Guy Carleton), 1883-1962  Search this
Extent:
8.5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Sketches
Photographs
Poetry
Writings
Date:
1904-1990
bulk 1904-1957
Summary:
The papers of painter and illustrator W. Langdon Kihn measure approximately 8.5 linear feet and date from 1904-1990, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1904-1957. Papers document Kihn's career and travels associated with his interests in documenting the native American tribal nations of the United States and Canada in portraiture and writings. Found here are biographical materials, voluminous correspondence, memoirs and writings, one travel diary, printed material, financial records, three sketchbooks, sketches, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter and illustrator W. Langdon Kihn measure approximately 8.5 linear feet and date from 1904-1990, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1904-1957. Papers document Kihn's career and travels associated with his interests in documenting the native American tribal nations of the United States and Canada in portraiture and writings. Found here are biographical material, voluminous correspondence, memoirs and writings, one travel diary, printed material, financial records, three sketchbooks, sketches, and photographs.

Biographical materials include address books, membership cards, exhibition and price lists, legal and travel documents, as well as biographical notes. Additional biographical sketches are found in the Writings and Notes series.

Correspondence is the largest series in the collection, almost half of the papers. In addition to letters to W. Langdon Kihn, this series include both originals and drafts of his outgoing letters; letters to his wife Helen from friends; third party business correspondence between his father, Alfred Kihn, and various parties undertaken on his son's behalf; and third party correspondence addressed to his friend and colleague, the Canadian ethnographer, Marius Barbeau. In addition to Barbeau, significant correspondents include Constance Lindsay Skinner, Chester and Maud Dale, Sir Henry Wellcome, Pierre and Marie "May" Lecompte du Noüy, and Reginald and Gladys Laubin. Although there is little correspondence with other artists, those represented with cards and letters in this collection include Boris Artzybasheff, Maynard Dixon, Olin Dows, Thornton Oakley, and Kihn's summer art school partner, Gus Wiggins. Correspondence with Franklin L. Fisher, Chief of National Geographic Magazine's Illustrated Division and Matthew W. Striling, Chief of the Bureau of American Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution dominate the period spanning from 1935 - 1952, the years of Kihn's close association with the National Geographic Society.

Writings and notes includes manuscripts and typescripts of articles, poems, lectures, memoirs, and other writings by Kihn and others. There is one travel diary dated circa 1924-1925, and numerous writings about Kihn's travels and documentation of native American Indians.

Printed materials include exhibition catalogs, travel brochures, and magazine and newspaper clippings. Also found here are copies of Kihn's illustrations for books by other authors, including Beaver, Kings and Cabins, by Constance Lindsay Skinner, as well as proofs from the National Geographic series on American Indians arranged by geographic location. Financial records consist of invoices and receipts related to Kihn's artwork, traveling, and exhibitions.

Three sketchbooks and loose sketches include illustrated field notes and other drawings that document Kihn's travels and of native Americans. Photographs are of Kihn, and of Kihn at work. There are also photographs of Kihn's artwork.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 7 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1916-1957 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1904-1959 (Boxes 1-5; 4.0 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1920-1990 (Box 5-6; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 4: Printed Material, circa 1920-1957 (Boxes 6-8, OV 10; 2.2 linear feet)

Series 5: Financial Records, 1920-1955 (Box 8; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Sketchbooks and Sketches, circa 1922-1955 (Boxes 8-9, OV 10; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 7: Photographs, circa 1920-1955 (Box 9; 5 folders)
Biographical Note:
Born in Brooklyn, New York, W. (Wilfred) Langdon Kihn (1898-1959) is best known for his portraits of American Indians and illustrations of their history, culture and rapidly disappearing way of life. In 1919, Kihn joined his art teacher Winold Reiss on a trip to the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana where he completed his first series of portraits. This marked the beginning of his lifelong career of documenting the tribal nations of the United States and Canada. Through commissions from Canadian and American Railroad companies, Kihn spent much of the 1920s traversing both the United States and Northwest Canada where he had the opportunity to record the members and lives of various tribes. During this period, his paintings also traveled the country in a one man exhibition of his American Indian portraits, which was arranged by the Brooklyn Museum, and traveled to about 40 institutions in the United States. However his largest and best known commission was a project to research and paint North American Indians for serial publication in National Geographic. Kihn received the commission in 1935 and his association with the organization spanned two decades, culminating in the 1955 exhibition of his work at the National Geographic Museum, Washington, D.C, and the publication Indians of the Americas, with copius illustrations derived from Kihn's paintings and drawings.

In addition to his travels and work in North America, Kihn enjoyed a brief stint between 1929-1932 painting in France and Spain. Upon his return he focused upon obtaining commercial work and enjoyed success as an illustrator, whose work was featured in Beaver, Kings and Cabins (1933) and Flat Tail (1935), among other books. Kihn also wrote articles about his travels; amateur painters, whom he specialized in teaching; and American Indian legends and tribal cultures. Between 1948-1951 he was a partner in the Guy Wiggins-W. Langdon Kihn Art School in Essex, Connecticut. He married Helen Butler in 1920 and in between their travels the couple eventually settled in East Haddam, Connecticut. W. Langdon Kihn died in 1957.
Provenance:
Helen Kihn, W. Langdon Kihn's widow, donated the bulk of the collection in 1959. In 1994 Phyllis Kihn, the artist's daughter, donated pages 1-8 of Kihn's original manuscript of his memoirs and a transcript of the complete memoirs.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
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 -- Connecticut  Search this
Topic:
Book illustrators -- Connecticut  Search this
Indians of North America -- Pictorial works  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Sketches
Photographs
Poetry
Writings
Citation:
W. Langdon Kihn papers, 1904-1990, bulk 1904-1957. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kihnwlan
See more items in:
W. Langdon Kihn papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw93f008482-8b83-4adf-8682-b122de614058
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kihnwlan
Online Media:

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