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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:

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
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kihnwlan

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

Creator:
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
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 J-L

Collection Creator:
Kihn, W. Langdon  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 24
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1920-1957
Scope and Contents note:
James, Will

Jason, T.

Keithahn, Edward and Marie Antoinette ("Nette")

Kirk, Ruth (Mrs. John)

Lasker, Bruno

Laubin, Reginald ("Redge") and Gladys

Lay, Charles D.

Leechman, Douglas

Lomen, Laura and Carl

Longheed, Sir James

Lowry, Royal

Lummis, Charles F.

Lyme Minute Men
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
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-kihnwlan-ref47

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
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-kihnwlan-ref69

Laubin, Reginald

Collection Correspondent:
Hanson, James A.  Search this
Conner, Stuart W.  Search this
Dempsey, Hugh A.  Search this
Brasser, Ted J.  Search this
DeMallie, Raymond  Search this
Schaeffer, Claude E.  Search this
Taylor, Colin F.  Search this
Collection Creator:
Ewers, John C. (John Canfield), 1909-1997  Search this
Container:
Box 14
Type:
Archival materials
Text
Date:
1960-1961, 1963, 1984
Collection Restrictions:
The John Canfield Ewers papers are open for research.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
John Canfield Ewers papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
John Canfield Ewers Papers
John Canfield Ewers Papers / Series 1: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-1998-35-ref1413

Laubin, Reginald and Gladys

Collection Creator:
Blue Eagle, Acee, 1907-1959  Search this
Container:
Box 55
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
There are no restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Literary property rights to unpublished material in the collection in the National Anthropological Archives has been given to the public.
Collection Citation:
Acee Blue Eagle Papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Acee Blue Eagle papers
Acee Blue Eagle papers / Series 6: Photographs / 6.6: Celebrities
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-1973-51-ref1035

Laubin, Reginald

Collection Creator:
Blue Eagle, Acee, 1907-1959  Search this
Container:
Box 24
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
There are no restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Literary property rights to unpublished material in the collection in the National Anthropological Archives has been given to the public.
Collection Citation:
Acee Blue Eagle Papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Acee Blue Eagle papers
Acee Blue Eagle papers / Series 2: Collections / 2.4: Other Printed Materials / Postcards
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-1973-51-ref612

Reginald and Gladys Laubin, American Indian dancers / Starr West Jones

Author:
Jones, Starr West  Search this
University of Illinois Foundation  Search this
Subject:
Laubin, Reginald  Search this
Laubin, Gladys  Search this
Physical description:
76 p. : ill. ; 21 cm
Type:
Biography
Place:
United States
North America
Date:
2000
C2000
Topic:
Dancers  Search this
Indian dance  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_604168

The Indian tipi : its history, construction, and use / by Reginald and Gladys Laubin ; with a history of the Tipi by Stanley Vestal

Author:
Laubin, Reginald  Search this
Laubin, Gladys  Search this
Vestal, Stanley 1887-1957  Search this
Physical description:
xviii, 350 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), ports. (some col.) ; 23 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1989
1977
Topic:
Homes and haunts  Search this
Call number:
E98.D9 L36 1989
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_459925

American Indian archery / by Reginald and Gladys Laubin ; photos. by Gladys Laubin ; drawings by Reginald Laubin

Author:
Laubin, Reginald  Search this
Laubin, Gladys  Search this
Physical description:
xii, 179 p. : ill. ; 26 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
North America
Date:
1980
C1980
Topic:
Indian weapons  Search this
Indian armor  Search this
Bow and arrow  Search this
Call number:
E98.A65 L38X
E98.A65L38X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_124258

The Indian tipi; its history, construction, and use, by Reginald and Gladys Laubin (Tatanka Wanjila na Wiyaka Wastewin) With a history of the tipi by Stanley Vestal

Author:
Laubin, Reginald  Search this
Laubin, Gladys  Search this
Physical description:
208 p. illus. 24 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1957
[1957]
Topic:
Homes and haunts  Search this
Call number:
E98.D9 L36
E98.D9L36
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_16425

Indian dances of North America : their importance to Indian life / by Reginald and Gladys Laubin ; with paintings, drawings, and photos. by the authors ; foreword by Louis R. Bruce

Author:
Laubin, Reginald  Search this
Laubin, Gladys  Search this
Physical description:
xxxviii, 538 p., [16] leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 26 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
North America
Date:
1977
C1977
Topic:
Indian dance  Search this
Call number:
E98.D2 L28X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_82576

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