The microfilmed Norman Bassett papers consist of files on Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, Rockwell Kent and Reginald Marsh containing correspondence and drafts of articles for special issues of Demcourier.
Biographical / Historical:
Norman Bassett (1891-1980) studied literature and art at the University of Wisconsin, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1914. In 1931 he bought the Democrat Printing Company and incorporated it as Demco Library Supplies, Inc. In 1932 Demco began publishing Demcourier, primarily an advertising journal, but one which also published a variety of articles, including a special series "American Authors as Printers." In 1935 Demcourier featured a Mark Twain centennial edition which proved popular, prompting Bassett to run regular issues featuring notable Americans. The first of these (1937) featured Rockwell Kent. Demcourier was discontinued in 1943. Bassett retired from Demco in 1972, and the company was sold to George Banta Company of Menasha, Wisconsin. Bassett became a director of Banta at that time.
Bassett retired from Demco in 1972, and the company was sold to George Banta Company of Menasha, Wisconsin. Bassett became a director of Banta at that time.
The Wisconsin Historical Society, Division of Library, Archives, and Museum Collections holds the Norman Bassett Papers, 1932-1956.
The Norman Bassett papers were presented to the State Historical Society of Wisconsin by him in 1954 and 1974. Only a small portion of the papers were microfilmed by the Archives of American Art in 1985. A complete bound set of DEMCOURIER can be found in the Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin.
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Authorization to quote or reproduce for the purposes of publication requires written permission from State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Contact Reference Services for more information.
An interview of George Biddle conducted in 1963, by Harlan Phillips, for the Archives of American Art.
Biddle speaks of his background in Philadelphia; his Harvard education in preparation for a law career; literary acquaintances; travel; the beginning of his art career; his preoccupation with portraiture; his tragic and pleasant works; the importance of mood; his drawing techniques; drawing from nature; color experimentation; Stieglitz's circle; the susceptibility of artists to change during the 1930s; his involvement with the Public Works of Art Project; government censorship of his murals; his involvement with artists overseas during World War II; and his aesthetic philosophy. He recalls Max Weber, Maurice Sterne, George Grosz, William Zorach, Kenneth Hayes Miller, Peggy Bacon, Marsden Hartley, Charles Demuth, Edith Halpert, Boardman Robinson, Reginald Marsh, Thomas Hart Benton, Henry Billings, Ned Bruce, Holger Cahill, Philip Evergood, Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, David Siqueiros, and Rufino Tamayo.
Biographical / Historical:
George Biddle (1885-1973) was a painter and sculptor, in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.
Originally recorded 3 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 13 hr., 56 min.
Conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.