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John Gaw Meem correspondence

Creator:
Meem, John Gaw, 1894-1983  Search this
Names:
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
Bisttram, Emil, 1895-1976  Search this
Bruce, Edward, 1879-1943  Search this
Nusbaum, Jesse L. (Jesse Logan)  Search this
Watson, Forbes, 1880-1960  Search this
Extent:
20 Items ((on partial microfilm reel))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Place:
United States -- Economic conditions -- 1918-1945
United States -- Social conditions -- 1933-1945
Date:
1933-1934
Scope and Contents:
Official correspondence of the Public Works of Art regional committee for New Mexico and Arizona. Correspondents include: Edward Bruce, Jesse L. Nusbaum, Forbes Watson, Emil Bisttram, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Architect, committee member of Public Works of Art regional committee--Region 13; Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Provenance:
Lent for microfilming 1965 by John Gaw Meem.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Arts administrators  Search this
Topic:
New Deal, 1933-1939 -- New Mexico  Search this
Federal aid to the arts -- New Mexico  Search this
Federal aid to the public welfare -- New Mexico  Search this
Art and state -- Arizona  Search this
Federal aid to the arts -- Arizona  Search this
Art and state -- New Mexico  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.meemjohn
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-meemjohn

Oral history interview with John Gaw Meem

Interviewee:
Meem, John Gaw, 1894-1983  Search this
Interviewer:
Loomis, Sylvia Glidden  Search this
Creator:
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
Extent:
13 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1964 Dec. 3
Scope and Contents:
An interview of John Gaw Meem conducted 1964 Dec. 3, by Sylvia Loomis for the Archives of American Art.
Gaw speaks of his background; moving to New Mexico; deciding to become an architect; architectural commissions he worked on; becoming involved with the Public Works of Art Project; his architectural philosophy; and his appointment to historic committees.
Biographical / Historical:
John Gaw Meem (1894-1983) was an arts administrator in the Public Works of Art Project from Santa Fe, N.M.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 1 digital wav file. Duration is 1 hr., 3 min.
Provenance:
Conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Arts administrators -- New Mexico -- Santa Fe -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Architects -- New Mexico -- Santa Fe -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.meem64
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-meem64

Ernest Blumenschein papers

Creator:
Blumenschein, Ernest Leonard, 1874-1960  Search this
Names:
Committee on Public Information  Search this
National Academy of Design  Search this
National Academy of Design (U.S.)  Search this
Salmagundi Club  Search this
Taos Society of Artists  Search this
Blumenschein, Helen G. (Helen Greene)  Search this
Blumenschein, Mary Greene  Search this
Gilbert, Cass, 1859-1934  Search this
Glackens, William J., 1870-1938  Search this
Kuhn, Walt, 1877-1949  Search this
Meem, John Gaw, 1894-1983  Search this
Sharp, Joseph Henry, 1859-1953  Search this
Tarkington, Booth, 1869-1946  Search this
Ufer, Walter, 1876-1936  Search this
Extent:
2.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Writings
Photographs
Date:
1873-1964
Summary:
The papers of southwest painter and illustrator Ernest Blumenschein measure 2.1 linear feet and date from 1873-1964. The collection documents Blumenschein's artistic career, his relationship with his wife and daughter, his love of the American southwest, and his involvement in the art community of Taos, New Mexico. Found are biographical materials, personal and professional correspondence, scattered personal business records, writings, a large amount of juvenilia artwork, and photographs of artwork.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of southwest painter and illustrator Ernest Blumenschein measure 2.1 linear feet and date from 1873-1964. The collection documents Blumenschein's artistic career, his relationship with his wife and daughter, his love of the American southwest, and his involvement in the art community of Taos, New Mexico. Found are biographical materials, personal and professional correspondence, scattered personal business records, writings, a large amount of juvenilia artwork, and photographs of artwork.

Biographical materials include biographical sketches, school notebooks and curriculum vita, family genealogical materials and other family records, certificates, diplomas, and materials commemorating Blumenschein's election to the National Academy of Design. Also found are scattered ephemera items, such as membership cards, tickets, and travel materials.

Correspondence consists primarily of letters between Blumenschein, his wife Mary, and his daughter Helen. These discuss Blumeschein's career, domestic life, financial matters, Helen's schooling, and travel. Blumenschein's activities during World War I are documented by correspondence with the Committee of Public Information, the Salmagundi Club, and with Aide de Camps of army bases. There are a few letters from other artists and writers including William Glackens, Walt Kuhn, Ward Lockwood, Booth Tarkington, and a long letter from Cass Gilbert.

Scattered personal business records consist of a guest list, a list of Blumenschein works in a private collection, a jury duty certificate, and a car payment record.

Writings include personal, critical, and creative writings. There are writings by Blumenschein about the founding of the Taos Society of Artists and the artistic community of Taos and his memoirs about his first trip to Taos. Additional writings include a satirical discussion of modern art, and essays about artists John Gaw Meem, Joseph Henry Sharp, and Walter Ufer, and discussions of select paintings. Blumenschein also wrote of his travels in Paris, Switzerland, and Pittsburgh, as well as about French churches and cemeteries. Creative writings explore the landscape, life and culture of the American southwest.

Artwork consists primarily of fourteen folders of Blumenschein's illustrations for "Tomfoolery," a handwritten and hand drawn magazine that Blumenschein contributed to in high school. His illustrations for "Tomfoolery" include portraits, caricatures, and sequential art. Also found is one folder of small sketches.

Printed materials about Blumenschein include clippings, exhibition announcements, and exhibition catalogs. There are also brochures related to the Taos Art Colony and a 1902 menu for a Salmagundi Club program/dinner Also found here is a 1915 signed menu from a National Academy of Design event signed by Gifford Beal, George Bellows, and Eugene Spiecher among others.

Photographs include two portraits of Blumenschein and a group portrait of National Academy of Design members that includes Blumenschein. There are also photographs of Blumeschein's artwork and installation views of Blumenschein exhibitions.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 7 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1873-1971 (Boxes 1, OV1; 17 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1891-1970 (Box 1; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1918-1950s (Box 1; 4 folders)

Series 4: Writings, 1880s-1959 (Box 1-2; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 5: Artwork, 1888-1925 (Box 2; 0.25 linear feet)

Series 6: Printed Materials, 1891-1964 (Box 2, OV1; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 7: Photographs, 1880s-1955 (Box 2, OV1; 0.25 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Ernest Blumenschein was born on May 26th, 1874 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He moved to Dayton, Ohio at the age of four, the same year his mother died. His father was a professional musician and composer, who chiefly made his living as a conductor of large choruses. During high school he contributed illustrations to "Tomfoolery," a handwritten and hand drawn weekly humor magazine. Besides his artistic talents, Ernest Blumenschein was a skilled violin player, and was awarded a scholarship to the Cincinnati College of Music. In 1892, Blumenschein auditioned for the New York National Conservatory, and was chosen by Anton Dvorak for the role of first violin. With the income from playing violin, Blumenschein attended classes at the Art Students League.

In 1892, Ernest Blumenschein first traveled to Paris to study at the Académie Julian. While in Paris, he met Joseph Henry Sharp who inspired Blumenschein with his stories and sketches of the American southwest, particularly the Taos area. He returned to American in 1896, rented a studio with another Académie Julian student Bert Phillips, and began a successful career as a commercial illustrator working for magazines such as Century, Harper's, Scribner's, and McClure's.

Blumenschein first visited Taos in the fall of 1898 while traveling en route to Mexico on a sketching trip with Phillips. A wheel on the wagon carrying their belongings broke and they took it to the nearest blacksmith in the area, which was in Taos. Upon arriving at Taos, Blumenschein was struck by the "the superb beauty and serenity" of the landscape and was "stirred deeply." The town made a strong impact on both Blumenschein and Phillips, but while Phillips decided to stay, Blumenschein returned to New York for a short while and continued working as an illustrator. The following year Blumenschein decided to concentrate on painting, and re-enrolled at the Académie Julian while supporting himself with his commercial work. In 1903, he met Mary Greene, an American painter living in Paris and they married in 1905, and began sharing a Paris studio. Their daughter and only child, Helen, was born in November of 1909.

While Ernest Blumenschein continued to study in Paris, he also kept working as an illustrator, supporting himself easily. His illustration work was much in demand by American magazines and book publishers. Blumenschein was commissioned to illustrate Jack London's first book, Love of Life, in 1904. He also worked with other famous writers such as Stephen Crane, Willa Cather, and Joseph Conrad.

Upon returning to New York after the birth of their daughter, Ernest and Mary taught at the Pratt Institute. Ernest spent every summer in Taos. In 1919, the family moved permanently to Taos, with Helen returning to New York for school. It was during this time that Blumenschein co-founded the Taos Society of Artists and became part of the Taos art colony. For four decades, Blumenschein created paintings of the landscape, local inhabitants, the Taos Pueblo culture, and city skylines. He won numerous awards for his work and exhibited widely. His work was responsible for changing perceptions about the native culture and peoples of the area - the Navajo and Pueblo Indians. Blumenschein also indulged his love of the outdoors and sports. He avidly camped, played tennis, and was part of the Taos amateur baseball team. His artistic output in the 1950s was hampered by his declining health, and the death of Mary in 1958. Blumenschein died in June of 1960, and his ashes are repositioned at the Taos Pueblo Reservation.
Related Material:
Found in the Archives of American Art is a small collection of "Ernest Blumenschein letters and transcripts", available on microfilm reel 3281, and consisting of eleven letters between Blumenschein and Thomas Gilcrease, a letter between Helen Blumenschein and Gilcrease, and the transcript of a 1958 radio interview with Blumenschein.

Additionally, the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library in Santa Fe, New Mexico holds papers related to Ernest Blumenschein, Mary Greene Blumenschein, and Helen Greene Blumenschein.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art by Helen Greene Blumenschein, Ernest Blumenschein's daughter, in 1971.
Restrictions:
Use of the 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 -- New Mexico -- Taos  Search this
Topic:
World War I, 1914-1918  Search this
Illustrators -- New Mexico -- Taos  Search this
Taos School of Art  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Painting -- New Mexico -- Taos  Search this
Genre/Form:
Writings
Photographs
Citation:
Ernest Blumenschein papers, 1873-1964. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.blumerne
See more items in:
Ernest Blumenschein papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-blumerne
Online Media:

Oral history interview with John Gaw Meem, 1964 Dec. 3

Interviewee:
Meem, John Gaw, 1894-1983  Search this
Interviewer:
Loomis, Sylvia Glidden  Search this
Subject:
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Architects -- New Mexico -- Santa Fe -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12968
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213659
AAA_collcode_meem64
Theme:
Architecture & Design
New Deal
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_213659
Online Media:

Colorado Springs -- Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

Former owner:
Penrose, Spencer, 1865-1939  Search this
Penrose, Julie  Search this
Architect:
Meem, John Gaw, 1894-1983  Search this
Collection Creator:
Garden Club of America  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Place:
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
United States of America -- Colorado -- El Paso County -- Colorado Springs
Scope and Contents:
The folder includes worksheets, a 1969 design for the sculpture garden, photocopies of book excerpts about the museum and its grounds, and a 1987 list of works of art found in the sculpture garden.
General:
In 1919 the home of Spencer and Julie Penrose became the Broadmoor Art Academy. It was razed for an elaborate new cultural center, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, designed by John Gaw Meem, which opened in 1936. The innovative design of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (CSFAC) brought national and international recognition and established Meem as the Southwest's leading architect. The CSFAC was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. Its sculpture garden is an integral part of the building's overall design and rests on the site of the former Penrose gardens.
Persons associated with the property include: Julie and Spencer Penrose (former owners); and John Gaw Meem (architect, 1932-1936).
Related Materials:
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center related holdings consist of 1 folder (8 35 mm. slides)
Collection Restrictions:
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.
Topic:
Gardens -- Colorado -- Colorado Springs  Search this
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, The Garden Club of America collection.
Identifier:
AAG.GCA, File CO018
See more items in:
The Garden Club of America collection
The Garden Club of America collection / Series 1: United States Garden Images / Colorado
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Gardens
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aag-gca-ref5727

John Gaw Meem correspondence, 1933-1934

Creator:
Meem, John Gaw, 1894-1983  Search this
Subject:
Nusbaum, Jesse L. (Jesse Logan)  Search this
Bisttram, Emil  Search this
Bruce, Edward  Search this
Watson, Forbes  Search this
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
Place:
United States -- Economic conditions -- 1918-1945
United States -- Social conditions -- 1933-1945
Topic:
New Deal, 1933-1939 -- New Mexico  Search this
Federal aid to the arts -- New Mexico  Search this
Federal aid to the public welfare -- New Mexico  Search this
Art and state -- Arizona  Search this
Federal aid to the arts -- Arizona  Search this
Art and state -- New Mexico  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9851
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212346
AAA_collcode_meemjohn
Theme:
Government Sponsorship of the Arts
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_212346

Churches for the southwest : the ecclesiastical architecture of John Gaw Meem / Stanford Lehmberg

Author:
Lehmberg, Stanford E  Search this
Meem, John Gaw 1894-1983  Search this
Subject:
Meem, John Gaw 1894- Criticism and interpretation  Search this
Physical description:
128 p. : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 27 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Southwest, New
Date:
2005
C2005
Topic:
Church architecture  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_776150

John Gaw Meem, southwestern architect / Bainbridge Bunting ; foreword by Paul Horgan

Author:
Bunting, Bainbridge  Search this
Subject:
Meem, John Gaw 1894-1983  Search this
Physical description:
xvi, 177 p. : ill. ; 27 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Southwest, New
Date:
1983
C1983
20th century
Topic:
Architecture--History  Search this
Call number:
NA737.M438B8 1983X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_197530

Modern deco : an architectural guidebook for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center / published on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

Author:
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center  Search this
Turner, David G. 1948-  Search this
Harris, Robert Mark  Search this
Subject:
Meem, John Gaw 1894-1983  Search this
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center  Search this
Physical description:
[iv], 36 p. : ill., 1 folded plan ; 21 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Colorado
Colorado Springs
Date:
1996
Topic:
Art deco (Architecture)  Search this
Call number:
N552.5 .A85 1996
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_972657

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