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Oral history interview with Richard Haas

Interviewee:
Haas, Richard, 1936-  Search this
Interviewer:
Berman, Avis  Search this
Creator:
United States. General Services Administration. Design Excellence and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
United States. General Services Administration. Design Excellence and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Sound recording, master: 1 data compact disc (6 hr., 11 min.), digital, 4 WMA files)
133 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2009 Jan. 13 and Mar. 16
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Richard Haas conducted 2009 Jan. 13 and Mar. 16, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art's U.S. General Services Administration, Design Excellence and the Arts oral history project, at Haas' studio, in New York, N.Y.
Haas discusses his early interest in architecture; his family connection to Frank Lloyd Wright; attending Taliesin for two summers in 1955 and '56; Meeting Joseph Friebert while an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; taking studio classes and experimenting with different art styles and techniques; the influence of Abstract Expressionism and Post-Impressionism on his artworks; joining the ROTC program and painting his first mural at Fort Leonard Wood, MO; viewing the murals of Thomas Hart Benton and John Steurt Curry; going to graduate school at the University of Minneapolis, MN and meeting Jack Tworkov and Peter Busa; visiting Mexico on his honeymoon and viewing the murals of "Los Tres Grandes"; teaching art at Michigan State and developing his series, Boxes; the evolution of his art while teaching at Bennington college in Vermont and the shift from architectural drawings into murals; moreover, Haas speaks about the rise of street art in the 1970s and '80s in New York; his first mural at 112 Prince Street; his collaboration with Doris Freeman; the political challenges associated with doing public art; the collaborative process between the artist and architect; the importance of location when choosing a mural and the work's relationship to its environment; furthermore, Haas discusses his GSA projects in Kansas and West Virginia; his other mural commissions, particularly White House Detention Center, 1997; and the impact of technology on the medium. Throughout the conversation, Haas speaks about fellow artists Richard Serra, James Rosinquist, Malcolm Myers, as well as architects Philip Johnson, Grant Marani and Tim Vreeland.
Biographical / Historical:
Richard Haas (1936- ) is a trompe l'oeil muralist from New York, N.Y. Haas was educated at the University of Wisconsin and University of Minnesota.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Topic:
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Trompe l'oeil painting  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.haas09
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw94d27952d-47f7-48fa-bf05-c9090505a03d
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-haas09
Online Media:

Henry Varnum Poor papers

Creator:
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Names:
Montross Gallery  Search this
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Benton, William, 1900-1973  Search this
Biddle, George, 1885-1973  Search this
Billing, Jules  Search this
Burchfield, Charles Ephraim, 1893-1967  Search this
Caniff, Milton Arthur, 1907-1988  Search this
Ciardi, John, 1916-  Search this
Czebotar, Theodore  Search this
Deming, MacDonald  Search this
Dickson, Harold E., 1900-  Search this
Dorn, Marion, 1896-1964  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Esherick, Wharton  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Garrett, Alice Warder  Search this
Houseman, John, 1902-1988  Search this
Marston, Muktuk  Search this
Meredith, Burgess, 1907-1997  Search this
Mumford, Lewis, 1895-1990  Search this
Padro, Isabel  Search this
Poor, Anne, 1918-  Search this
Poor, Bessie Breuer  Search this
Poor, Eva  Search this
Poor, Josephine Graham  Search this
Poor, Josephine Lydia  Search this
Poor, Peter  Search this
Sargent, Elizabeth S.  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968  Search this
Watson, Ernest William, 1884-1969  Search this
Extent:
12.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Motion pictures (visual works)
Diaries
Drawings
Sketchbooks
Date:
1873-2001
bulk 1904-1970
Summary:
The papers of Henry Varnum Poor measure 12.9 linear feet and date from 1873-2001, with the bulk from the period 1904-1970. Correspondence, writings, artwork, printed material and photographs document Poor's work as a painter, muralist, ceramic artist and potter, architect, designer, writer, war artist, educator and a co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Also found is extensive information about the design and construction of Crow House, his home in New City, New York, commissions for other architectural projects, and his personal life.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Henry Varnum Poor measure 12.9 linear feet and date from 1873-2001, with the bulk from the period 1904-1970. Correspondence, writings, artwork, printed material and photographs document Poor's work as a painter, muralist, ceramic artist and potter, architect, designer, writer, war artist, educator and a co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Also found is extensive information about the design and construction of Crow House, his home in New City, New York, commissions for other architectural projects, and his personal life.

Henry Varnum Poor's correspondence documents his personal, family, and professional life. Correspondents include family and friends, among them George Biddle, Charles Burchfield, John Ciardi, Marion V. Dorn (who became his second wife), Philip Evergood, Lewis Mumford, John Steinbeck, David Smith, and Mrs. John Work (Alice) Garrett. Among other correspondents are galleries, museums, schools, organizations, fans, former students, and acquaintances from his military service and travels. Family correspondence consists of Henry's letters to his parents, letters to his parents written by his wife, and letters among other family members.

Among the writings by Henry Varnum Poor are manuscripts of his two published books, An Artist Sees Alaska and A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality. as well as the text of "Painting is Being Talked to Death," published in the first issue of Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions, April 1953, and manuscripts of other articles. There are also film scripts, two journals, notes and notebooks, lists, speeches, and writings by others, including M. R. ("Muktuk") Marston's account of Poor rescuing an Eskimo, and Bessie Breuer Poor's recollections of The Montross Gallery.

Subject files include those on the Advisory Committee on Art, American Designers' Gallery, Inc., William Benton, Harold Dickson, Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions Sales, and War Posters. There are numerous administrative files for the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Artwork by Henry Varnum Poor consists mainly of loose drawings and sketches and 45 sketchbooks of studies for paintings, murals, and pottery. There is work done in France, 1918-1919, and while working as a war correspondent in Alaska in 1943. There are commissioned illustrations and some intended for his monograph, A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality. Also found are a small number of watercolors and prints. Work by other artists consist of Anne Poor's drawings of her father's hands used for the Lincoln figure in The Land Grant Frescoes and interior views of Crow House by Ernest Watson.

Documentation of Poor's architectural projects consists of drawings and prints relating to houses designed and built for Jules Billing, MacDonald Deming, John Houseman, Burgess Meredith, Isabel Padro, and Elizabeth S. Sargent. Also found is similar material for the new studio Poor built in 1957 on the grounds of Crow House.

Miscellaneous records include family memorabilia and two motion picture films, Painting a True Fresco, and The Land Grant Murals at Pennsylvania State College.

Printed material includes articles about or mentioning Poor, some of his pottery reference books, family history, a catalog of kilns, and the program of a 1949 Pennsylvania State College theater production titled Poor Mr. Varnum. Exhibition catalogs and announcements survive for some of Poor's shows; catalogs of other artists' shows include one for Theodore Czebotar containing an introductory statement by Henry Varnum Poor. Also found is a copy of The Army at War: A Graphic Record by American Artists, for which Poor served as an advisor. There are reproductions of illustrations for An Artist Sees Alaska and Ethan Frome, and two Associated American Artists greeting cards reproducing work by Poor.

Photographs are of Henry Varnum Poor's architectural work, artwork, people, places, and miscellaneous subjects. This series also contains negatives, slides, and transparencies. Images of architectural work include exterior and interior views of many projects; Poor's home, Crow House, predominates. Photographs of artwork by Poor are of drawings, fresco and ceramic tile murals, paintings, pottery and ceramic art. People appearing in photographs include Henry Varnum Poor, family members, friends, clients, juries, students, and various groups. Among the individuals portrayed are Milton Caniff, Marcel Duchamp, Wharton Esherick, M. R. ("Muktuk") Marston, and Burgess Meredith. Among the family members are Bessie Breuer Poor, Marion Dorn Poor, Anne Poor, Eva Poor, Josephine Graham Poor, Josephine Lydia Poor, Peter Poor, and unidentified relatives. Photographs of places include many illustrating village life in Alaska that were taken by Poor during World War II. Other places recorded are French and California landscapes, and family homes in Kansas. Miscellaneous subjects are exhibition installation views, scenes of Kentucky farms, and a photograph of Poor's notes on glazes.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1919-1987 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1, OV 18)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1873-1985 (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1944-1974 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 2-3)

Series 4: Subject Files, 1928-1975 (0.8 linear feet; Box 3, OV 23)

Series 5: Artwork, circa 1890s-circa 1961 (3.5 linear feet; Boxes 4-6, 9-10, OV 19-22)

Series 6: Architectural Projects, circa 1940-1966 (0.7 linear feet; Box 6, OV 24-26, RD 14-17)

Series 7: Miscellaneous Records, 1882-1967 (Boxes 6, 11, FC 30-31; 0.5 linear ft.)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1881-2001 (1.2 linear feet; Boxes 6-7, 11, OV 27-29)

Series 9: Photographs, 1893-1984 (2.3 linear feet; Boxes 7-8, 12-13)
Biographical Note:
Henry Varnum Poor (1888-1970), best known as a potter, ceramic artist, and a co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, was also an architect, painter, muralist, designer, educator, and writer who lived and worked in New City, New York.

A native of Chapman, Kansas, Henry Varnum Poor moved with his family to Kansas City when his grain merchant father became a member of the Kansas Board of Trade. From a young age he showed artistic talent and spent as much time as possible - including school hours - drawing. When a school supervisor suggested that Henry leave school to study at the Art Institute of Chicago, the family disagreed. Instead, he enrolled in the Kansas City Manual Training High School where he delighted in learning skills such as carpentry, forge work, and mechanical drawing. In 1905, he moved with his older brother and sister to Palo Alto, California and completed high school there. Because Poor was expected to join the family business, he enrolled at Stanford University as an economics major, but much to his father's disappointment and displeasure, soon left the economics department and became an art major.

Immediately after graduation in 1910, Poor and his major professor at Stanford, Arthur B. Clark, took a summer bicycling tour to look at art in London, France, Italy, and Holland. As Poor had saved enough money to remain in London after the summer was over, he enrolled in the Slade School of Art and also studied under Walter Sickert at the London County Council Night School. After seeing an exhibition of Post-Impressionism at the Grafton Galleries in London, Poor was so impressed that he went to Paris and enrolled in the Académie Julian. While in Paris, Poor met Clifford Addams, a former apprentice of Whistler; soon he was working in Addams' studio learning Whistler's palette and techniques.

In the fall of 1911, Poor returned to Stanford University's art department on a one-year teaching assignment. During that academic year, his first one-man show was held at the university's Old Studio gallery. He married Lena Wiltz and moved back to Kansas to manage the family farm and prepare for another exhibition. Their daughter, Josephine Lydia Poor, was born the following year. Poor returned to Stanford in September 1913 as assistant professor of graphic arts, remaining until the department closed three years later. During this period, Poor began to exhibit more frequently in group shows in other areas of the country, and had his first solo exhibition at a commercial gallery (Helgesen Gallery, San Francisco). In 1916, Poor joined the faculty of the San Francisco Art Association. He and his wife separated in 1917 and were divorced the following year. Poor began sharing his San Francisco studio with Marion Dorn.

During World War I, Poor was drafted into the U. S. Army, and in 1918 went to France with the 115th Regiment of Engineers. He spent his spare time drawing; soon officers were commissioning portraits, and Poor was appointed the regimental artist. He also served as an interpreter for his company. Discharged from the Army in early 1919, Poor spent the spring painting in Paris. He then returned to San Francisco and married Marion Dorn.

Once Poor realized that earning a living as a painter would be extremely difficult in California, he and his new wife moved to New York in the autumn of 1919. They were looking for a place to live when influential book and art dealer Mary Mowbray-Clarke of the Sunwise Turn Bookshop in Manhattan suggested New City in Rockland County, New York as good place for artists. In January of 1920, the Poors purchased property on South Mountain Road in New City. The skills he acquired at the Kansas City Manual Training High School were of immediate use as Poor designed and constructed "Crow House" with the assistance of a local teenager. Influenced by the farmhouses he had seen in France, it was made of local sandstone and featured steep gables, rough plaster, chestnut beams and floors, and incorporated many hand-crafted details. Poor designed and built most of their furniture, too. Before the end of the year, he and Marion were able to move into the house, though it remained a work in progress for many years. Additions were constructed. Over time, gardens were designed and planted, and outbuildings - a kiln and pottery, work room, garage, and new studio - appeared on the property.

In 1925, two years after his divorce from Marion Dorn, Poor married Bessie Freedman Breuer (1893-1975), an editor, short story writer, and novelist. Soon after, he adopted her young daughter, Anne (1918-2002), an artist who served as his assistant on many important mural commissions. Their son, Peter (b. 1926) became a television producer. Crow House remained in the family until its sale in 2006. In order to prevent its demolition, Crow House was then purchased by the neighboring town of Ramapo, New York in 2007.

Between 1935 and 1966 Poor designed and oversaw construction of a number of houses, several of them situated not far from Crow House on South Mountain Road. Poor's designs, noted for their simplicity, featured modern materials and incorporated his ceramic tiles. Among his important commissions were houses for Maxwell Anderson, Jules Billig, Milton Caniff, MacDonald Deming, and John Houseman.

Poor's first exhibition of paintings in New York City was at Kevorkian Galleries in 1920, and sales were so disappointing that he turned his attention to ceramics. His first pottery show, held at Bel Maison Gallery in Wanamaker's department store in 1921, was very successful. He quickly developed a wide reputation, participated in shows throughout the country, and won awards. He was a founder of the short-lived American Designers' Gallery, and the tile bathroom he showed at the group's first exposition was critically acclaimed. Poor was represented by Montross Gallery as both a painter and potter. When Montross Gallery closed upon its owner's death in 1932, Poor moved to the Frank K. M. Rehn Gallery.

Even though Poor's pottery and ceramic work was in the forefront, he continued to paint. His work was acquired by a number of museums, and the Limited Editions Club commissioned him to illustrate their republications of Ethan Frome, The Scarlet Letter, and The Call of the Wild.

Poor's first work in true fresco was shown in a 1932 mural exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. Between 1935 and 1949 he was commissioned to produce several murals in fresco for Section of Fine Arts projects at the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior, The Land Grant Frescoes at Pennsylvania State College, and a mural for the Louisville Courier-Journal. Ceramic tile mural commissions included: the Klingenstein Pavilion, Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York City; Travelers Insurance Co., Boston; the Fresno Post Office, California; and Hillson Memorial Gallery, Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, Mass.

As a member of the War Artists' Unit, Poor was a "war correspondent" with the rank of major in World War II, and for several months in 1943 was stationed in Alaska. An Artist Sees Alaska, drawing on Poor's observations and experiences, was published in 1945. A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality, his second book, was published in 1958. It remains a standard text on the subject. While on the faculty of Columbia University in the 1950s, Poor and other artists opposed to the growing influence of Abstract Expressionism formed the Reality Group with Poor the head of its editorial committee. Their magazine, Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions, first appeared in 1953 featuring "Painting is Being Talked to Death" by Poor as its lead article. Two more issues were published in 1954 and 1955.

Along with Willard Cummings, Sidney Simon, and Charles Cuttler, in 1946 Henry Varnum Poor helped to establish the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine. He served as its first president. Poor and his daughter, Anne, were active members of the Board of Trustees and were instructors for many years. The summer of 1961 was Henry Varnum Poor's last as a full-time teacher, though he continued to spend summers at Skowhegan.

Henry Varnum Poor exhibited widely and received many awards, among them prizes at the Carnegie Institute, Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Architectural League of New York. Poor was appointed to the United States Commission of Fine Arts by President Roosevelt in 1941 and served a five year term. He was elected a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1943. The National Academy of Design named him an Associate Artist in 1954 and an Academician in 1963. He became a trustee of the American Craftsman's Council in 1956. The work of Henry Vernum Poor is represented in the permanent collections of many American museums including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Addison Gallery of American Art, and Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts.

Henry Varnum Poor died at home in New City, New York, December 8, 1970.
Related Material:
An oral history interview with Henry Varnum Poor was conducted by Harlan Phillips for the Archives of American Art in 1964.
Provenance:
Gift of Henry Varnum Poor's son, Peter V. Poor, in 2007. A smaller portion was loaned to the Archives in 1973 by Anne Poor for microfilming and returned to the lender; this material was included in the 2007 gift.
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. Use of 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:
War artists  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Ceramicists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Designers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Architects -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Pottery -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Motion pictures (visual works)
Diaries
Drawings
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Henry Varnum Poor papers, 1873-2001, bulk 1904-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.poorhenr
See more items in:
Henry Varnum Poor papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw96265d653-098f-4ccc-abed-0bc649c50516
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-poorhenr
Online Media:

Kenneth Miller Adams papers, 1933-1938

Creator:
Adams, Kenneth M.  Search this
United States. Dept. of the Treasury. Section of Fine Arts  Search this
Subject:
Rowan, Edward Beatty  Search this
Jones, Cecil H.  Search this
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
Treasury Relief Art Project  Search this
Federal Art Project  Search this
Place:
United States -- Social conditions -- 1933-1945
United States -- Economic conditions -- 1918-1945
Citation:
Kenneth Miller Adams papers, 1933-1938. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Mural painting and decoration -- Kansas  Search this
Mural painting and decoration -- New Mexico  Search this
New Deal, 1933-1939 -- Kansas  Search this
New Deal, 1933-1939 -- New Mexico  Search this
Federal aid to the arts -- Kansas  Search this
Federal aid to the arts -- New Mexico  Search this
Art and state -- Kansas  Search this
Art and state -- New Mexico  Search this
Theme:
New Deal  Search this
Patronage  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)5613
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)208447
AAA_collcode_adamkenn
Theme:
New Deal
Patronage
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_208447

Ward Lockwood papers, 1913-1963

Creator:
Lockwood, Ward, 1894-1963  Search this
Subject:
Marin, John  Search this
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Dasburg, Andrew  Search this
Luhan, Mabel Dodge  Search this
Federal Art Project  Search this
Citation:
Ward Lockwood papers, 1913-1963. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Mural painting and decoration  Search this
Painting  Search this
Muralists  Search this
Theme:
Diaries  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)5635
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)208469
AAA_collcode_lockward
Theme:
Diaries
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_208469

Edwin H. Blashfield papers, 1850-1980

Creator:
Blashfield, Edwin Howland, 1848-1936  Search this
Type:
Drawings
Citation:
Edwin H. Blashfield papers, 1850-1980. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Muralists  Search this
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6763
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)208888
AAA_collcode_blasedwi
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_208888

Arthur Sinclair Covey papers, 1882-1960

Creator:
Covey, Arthur Sinclair, 1877-1960  Search this
Subject:
Bransom, Paul  Search this
Lenski, Lois  Search this
Penfield, Edward  Search this
Dunn, Harvey  Search this
Type:
Sketchbooks
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Sketches
Citation:
Arthur Sinclair Covey papers, 1882-1960. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Mural painting and decoration -- Buildings  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Illustrators -- Connecticut  Search this
Muralists -- Connecticut  Search this
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7531
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209690
AAA_collcode_covearth
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209690
Online Media:

Thomas Hart Benton papers, 1906-1975

Creator:
Benton, Thomas Hart, 1889-1975  Search this
Subject:
Pollock, Jackson  Search this
Wood, Grant  Search this
Craven, Thomas  Search this
Macdonald-Wright, Stanton  Search this
Place:
Middle west in art
Citation:
Thomas Hart Benton papers, 1906-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Art, American -- Middle West  Search this
Regionalism  Search this
Art, Regional -- Middle West  Search this
Mural painting and decoration -- Middle West  Search this
Theme:
Diaries  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)8882
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211067
AAA_collcode_bentthom
Theme:
Diaries
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211067

John Steuart Curry and Curry family papers, 1848-1999

Creator:
Curry, John Steuart, 1897-1946  Search this
Subject:
Curry, Kathleen  Search this
Type:
Scrapbooks
Video recordings
Photographs
Sketches
Interviews
Citation:
John Steuart Curry and Curry family papers, 1848-1999. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art -- Technique  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Regionalism  Search this
Muralists -- Wisconsin  Search this
Illustrators -- Wisconsin  Search this
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9459
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211657
AAA_collcode_currjohn
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211657
Online Media:

William Penhallow Henderson papers, 1876-1987, bulk 1876-1943

Creator:
Henderson, William Penhallow, 1877-1943  Search this
Subject:
Henderson, William Oliver  Search this
Henderson, Alice Corbin  Search this
Art in Embassies Program (U.S.)  Search this
Santa Fe Painters and Sculptors  Search this
Type:
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Citation:
William Penhallow Henderson papers, 1876-1987, bulk 1876-1943. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Architects -- New Mexico -- Santa Fe  Search this
Painters -- New Mexico -- Santa Fe  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Furniture designers -- New Mexico -- Santa Fe  Search this
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks  Search this
Craft  Search this
Architecture & Design  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9853
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212351
AAA_collcode_hendwill
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Craft
Architecture & Design
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_212351
Online Media:

Thomas Hart Benton miscellaneous printed material, 1935-1978

Creator:
Benton, Thomas Hart, 1889-1975  Search this
Place:
Middle west in art
Citation:
Thomas Hart Benton miscellaneous printed material, 1935-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Art, American -- Middle West  Search this
Regionalism  Search this
Art, Regional -- Middle West  Search this
Mural painting and decoration -- Middle West  Search this
Theme:
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10182
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213226
AAA_collcode_bentthoh
Theme:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_213226

Regional America

Collection Creator:
Smithsonian Institution. Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Introduction:
The first week of the 1975 Regional America program focused on the people of the Northern Plains (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas), particularly on the occupational life-styles related to agriculture and livestock. This is the region that is called the "breadbasket" and the economy of the area is based on grain crops, feed crops, and livestock production. The Smithsonian represented the agriculture of the area by growing on the Festival site wheat (the principal grain crop), alfalfa (a principal feed crop), and some typical plains grasses as well as sorghum and sunflowers. Livestock grazed on the National Mall and were used in demonstrations of herding techniques. Visitors saw varieties of threshing from individual manual techniques to modern mechanical combines. A daily tractor pull contest demonstrated not only the skills of the farmers in operating equipment, but also the pride they take in the power of their own carefully maintained machinery.

Craft presentations included associated occupational and domestic crafts. For example, livestock-related crafts such as those involved with maintenance, auctioneering, leatherworking, blacksmithing, wagon making and repair, and metal working were highlighted, as well as key occupational skills related to livestock include horse handling, sheep shearing, and ropework. Functional but decorative domestic crafts were also demonstrated: piece quilts, braided and rag rugs, corn husk and rag dolls, toys carved from chips, noisemakers, whimmy diddles.

Festival visitors could see and participate in a variety of folk dancing by different ethnic groups who settled in the Plains: Germans, Scandinavians, Ukrainians and Czechs. Northern Plains music is characteristically performed on instruments practiced in isolation such as the fiddle.These are usually played solo, but at the Festival they were also performed in combination.

The character of the California Heartland region (second week of the Festival) is expressed by its flamboyant image, diverse landscape, and - of utmost importance - a 'Mediterranean' climate that makes outdoor living possible. It is also an area rich in ethnic communities, and many of these were featured at the 1975 Festival.

Mexican American muralists from East Los Angeles completed a mural depicting their contribution to the Festival. Paper flower making and piñata making were demonstrated and taught to visitors, as were masa grinding and tortilla and tamale making. Chinese Americans from the San Francisco area performed a shadow puppet play twice daily. Various crafts including kite-making and the construction of paper ribbon fish welcomed audience participation. Three traditional games (an early form of yoyo, shuttlecock and cat's cradle) were demonstrated and taught.

Portuguese American fisherfolk demonstrated boat building as well as net and lure making accompanied by traditional sea chanteys. A highlight of the Portuguese community is the "Festa da Espiritu Santu", a celebration involving a parade of decorated cows, ceremonial milking, a milk and bread feast and a traditional contest between solo singers who improvise verses, enacted on the Festival site from July 2 to 4.

Unique to San Francisco is the tradition of cable car bell ringing. Cable car gripmen announced each session at the main California stage and dance floor, and competed for the bell ringing championship. A Greek father and son demonstrated traditional woven straw beehive construction and discussed bee-keeping and the agricultural use of bees. California Armenians wove rugs and spun wool.

The joys of sociable dancing were shared by square dances, Portuguese chamaritas, Phillippine tinakling and an evening of waltzes. There were also examples of solo singing by Portuguese, Anglo, French, and black singers and group singing by Molokans, Anglos, Chicanos and blacks.

Administrator for the Regional America program was William K. McNeil, with Charles Camp as Research Coordinator; Rayna Green served as Consultant.
Fieldworkers:
Northern Plains Researchers

Metha Bercier, John Carter, Carey Cook, Larry Danielson, Sister Stephanie Dolyniuk, Karen Heinzman, Lynn Ireland, Constance Kane, Jens Lund, Janet McDonnell, Gina Newbold, Douglas Parks, Marjorie Sackett, Earl Sampson, Darrel Sawyer, Dorothy Shonsey, Scott Sorensen, Kenneth Stewart, Sherry Stoskopf, Robert Thompson, Robert Webb

California Research Staff

Coordinator: Bess Lomax Hawes; Assistant Coordinator: Barbara LaPan Rahm; Researchers: Justin Bishop, Joyce P. Bynum, Nicola Marguerite Deval, Nicholas Hawes, Michael Korn, Marilyn Salvador, Daniel Sheehy; Advisors: Stephen P. and Ethel Dunn (Molokan presentation), Elaine Miller (Mexican American presentation), Joanne B. Purcell (Portuguese presentation)
Participants:
Northern Plains

Margaret Anderson, 1900-2002, singer, cook, Scandia, Kansas

August Anheluk, 1917-2001, musician

Leslie Anheluk, dancer

James Baker, dancer

Emerson Baker, singer

Norman Baker, singer

Wade Baker, dancer

Donna Baranko, dancer

Ann Basaraba, singer

Roy Basaraba, singer

Lydia Bears Tail, bead worker, cook & dancer

Saunders Bears Tail, 1934-1998, dancer

Linnea B. Briggs, 1893-1990, bobbin lace maker, Windom, Kansas

Connie Burian, dancer

Laudie Burian, 1915-2001, musician

Lewis Calwell, 1895-1978, horse trainer, Belle Fourche, South Dakota

Alvin Campbell, 1921-, fiddler, Omaha, Nebraska

Marlys Ciscar, singer

George Crow Flies High, agricultural implement maker, dancer

Dan Dasovich, musician, Omaha, Nebraska

Danny Dasovich, musician, Omaha, Nebraska

George Dasovich, 1942-, musician, Omaha, Nebraska

Peter Drakulich, 1926-1998, musician

Frances Driver, Jr., dancer

Harold C. Edwards, 1927-1992, sheep shearer, Edgemont, South Dakota

Jeanette Evoniuk, 1923-2005, dancer

Johnnie Evoniuk, dancer

Laurence Evoniuk, singer

Matt Evoniuk, dancer

Matt Evoniuk, Jr., dancer

Pearl Evoniuk, dancer

Celia Fliginger, 1907-2003, cook, Freeman, South Dakota

Jarle Foss, 1894-1992, fiddler, Scotland, South Dakota

Dean Fox, dancer

George B. German, 1902-1991, singer

Hilda Goering, 1916-, quilter, Moundridge, Kansas

Aaron Goertzen, 1921-1987, mandolin player, Aurora, Nebraska

Dick Goertzen, mandolin player, Henderson, Nebraska

Jacob C. Goertzen, 1919-1992, mandolin player, Henderson, Nebraska

Delwayne Good Iron, 1943-2014, singer, war bonnet maker

Velda Graber, 1912-1984, soap, sauerkraut maker, Marion, South Dakota

Darrell Griffith, 1930-, horse handler, Faith, South Dakota

Rose Hand, cook, quilter

John Hanzek, 1919-1997, musician

Elmus Henderson, 1908-1979, saddle, harness maker, Kearney, Nebraska

Lyle Henderson, 1947-, saddle, harness maker, Kearney, Nebraska

Mabel Howling Wolf, 1907-1989, cook, quitter

Leslie Jeffery, cattle crew, Sturgis, South Dakota

Margie Jeffery, ranch cook, Sturgis, South Dakota

Mitchel Jeffery, 1951-, cattle crew, Sturgis, South Dakota

William Jeffery, Jr., cattle crew foreman, Sturgis, South Dakota

Betty Johnson, 1927-, rosemaler, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Edward Johnson, singer, musician

Esther Jorgensen, 1908-1998, cook, Viborg, South Dakota

ArvelIa Kenaston, 1934-, musician, Springview, Nebraska

Robert Kenaston, 1928-2013, musician, Springview, Nebraska

Roger Kenaston, 1954-, musician, Springview, Nebraska

Donna Kordon, dancer

Mary Ann Krush, singer

Kathleen Laible, 1929-1996, canner, Howard, South Dakota

Ann Larson, 1914-2003, cook, Aberdeen, South Dakota

Bill Larson, 1896-1990, fiddler, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Luella Loganbill, 1928-, quilter, Moundridge, Kansas

Glenn Lornev, tractor pull

Eugene Mack, dancer

George Mack, dancer

Joyce Mack, dancer

Verna Mack, dancer

Don Malnourie, 1939-2005, singer

Ben Makaruk, 1924-1999, singer

Marie Makaruk, singer

Bill Mastel, musician

Mack Medakovich, musician

Merle Messing, 1941-2007, tractor pull, Groton, South Dakota

Alex Morin, dancer, singer

Bill Nameniuk, musician

Debbie Painte, bead worker, shawl maker, dancer

Agnes Palaniuk, singer

Billy Palaniuk, dancer

Fred Penner, 1940-, musical saw player, Tyndall, South Dakota

D. Peter Plechas, musician, Omaha, Nebraska

Agnes Poitra, 1924-1999, dancer, Belcourt, North Dakota

Leon Poitra, 1922-2003, dancer, Belcourt, North Dakota

Harry Porter, 1902-1995, sheep shearer, Edgemont, South Dakota

Ken Putnam, 1955-, fiddler, Rapid City, South Dakota

Jean Roberts, 1932-, cornhusk doll maker, Axtell, Nebraska

Wayne Robinson, sausage maker

Alton Schlag, musician

James Schwab, musician

Larry Schwab, musician

Billy Marlene Short, cattle crew, Piedmont, South Dakota

Dennis Short, 1938-1984, cattle crew, Piedmont, South Dakota

Marlene Sitting Crow, cook, dancer

Murphy Sitting Crow, bustle maker, dancer

Johnny Smith, auctioneer

John E. Stratman, 1908-1989, agricultural spokesperson, Wilcox, Nebraska

Wilhelmine Thue, 1902-1989, cook, Howard, South Dakota

Joe Trottier, musician

Mary Wallette, dancer, cook

Earl Waltner, 1915-1979, blacksmith, Bridgewater, South Dakota

Douglas D. Weber, musician

Gene Weisbeck, musician

Donna Wilkie, dancer, cook

Edward Wilkie, dancer

Helen Wilkinson, quilter

Hugo Wuebben, 1910-1984, carver, Hartington, Nebraska

Alice Yellow Wolf, bead worker

Bert Yellow Wolf, 1939-1995, singer

Joe Zacharias, 1933-, accordion, Wagner, South Dakota

Marie Zaste, dancer, cook

California Heartland

Leslie Alamsha, dancer

Juan Alvarado, 1930-, -- pregonero -- , -- guitarrista -- , -- jaranero

Manuel Azevedo, caller, dancer, singer

Nora Bogdanoff, 1913-1981, Molokan singer

David Botello, muralist

Jane Botieff, Molokan singer

William J. Botieff, Molokan singer

Francisco Carrillo, -- guitarrista

Alfonso Chavez, charro

Kate Chernekoff, 1922-1999, Molokan singer

Peter Chernekoff, 1912-1988, Molokan singer

Jeoffrey Chiang, special Chinese consultant

Vivian Chiang, coordinator

Richard Ching, Chinese yo-yo, shuttlecock, cat's cradle

Dai T. Chung, musician, shadow player

Marilyn Cunningham Cleary, fiddler

Earl Collins, fiddler

Nemo Concepcion, yo-yo demonstrator

Danny Cruz, charro, Los Nietos, California

Jack Cunningham, fiddler

Van Cunningham, 1896-1984, fiddler, Bodfish, California

Antonio Garcia Da Rosa, mandolin player

Leonel Garcia Da Rosa, mandolin player

Al Figueroa, singer, guitarist, Blythe, California

Carmela Figueroa, singer

Alex A. Galkin, 1920-1976, Molokan singer

Juan Gandara, charro, vice president of La Alteña

Alicia Gonzalez, paper crafts, Los Angeles, California

Guadalupe D. Gonzalez, paper crafts, cook, Los Angeles, California

Jose Luis Gonzalez, muralist, Los Angeles, California

Rebecca Gonzalez, paper crafts, cook

Blanche Gonzalez, crafts, cook

Kenneth M. Hall, 1923-2013, mandolin player

Marta Louise Hall, musician assistant

Fermin Herrera, -- harpista

Jorge Herrera, -- jaranero

Maria Isabel Herrera, -- jaranera -- , -- requintera -- , dancer

Chi-mei Kao Hwang, Chinese craft assistant

Hubert Isaac, drummer

Rinold Isaac, dancer

Andrea Ja, shadow player

Robert Ernest Lee Jeffery, 1915-1976, blues pianist, San Diego, California

Kate Kalpakoff, Molokan singer

Craig Ernest Kodros, bee hive maker

George Harry Kodros, bee hive maker

Anna Koh, northern Chinese cook

David Koh, assistant northern Chinese cook

Jim A. Korneff, 1916-1994, singer

Julia Lazar, baker, spinner

Robert Lazar, dancer

Calvin E. Long, tinker, San Diego, California

Pauline Loo, Chinese craft assistant

Francisco Macias, charro

Eddie Martinez, muralist, Hacienda Heights, California

Heli Medeiros, 1921-2003, singer

Nellie Melosardoff, 1913-2007, Molokan singer

Anna Mendrin, Molokan singer

John Mendrin, 1923-1989, Molokan singer

Jonnie Kay Neavill, fiddler

David Page, uilleann bagpiper

Sara J. Patapoff, 1924-1993, Molokan singer

Jack Pavloff, 1919-2000, Molokan singers' director

Mary J. Pavloff, Molokan singer

Dolores Pequeño, singer

George M. Prohroff, 1937-2001, Molokan singer

Pamella Ramsing, shadow player

Rigoberto Rincon, charro, president of La Alteña

Victor Romero, -- guitarrista -- , -- vihuelo

Juanita Saludado, singer, Earlimart, California

Paul Saludado, singer, guitarist, Earlimart, California

Roy J. Samarin, 1920-1994, Molokan singer

Don Jesus Sanchez, 1910-1983, violinist, Los Angeles, California

Surma D'Mar Shimun, 1883-1975, dancer

Joel Silva, -- festa -- coordinator, dairyman

Jose V. Silva, tuna boat designer

Manuel Silva, -- guitarrista

Mary Silva, cook, flower maker

Julia Silveira, -- guitarrista

Rafael Furtado Simas, 1916-2006, violinist

Rosa Maria Simas, dancer, baker

João Soares, singer

Shirley Sun, presenter

Araks Talbert, baker, spinner

Anna Tarnoff, Molokan singer

Smith Tester, banjo player

Eugene Ung, assistant southern Chinese cook

Maizie Ung, kite making, paper folding, ribbon fish demonstration

Agostinho Valim, 1917-2000, singer

Laurindo Valim, dancer

Manuel Vasquez, 1935-, -- requintero

Moses A. Volkoff, 1892-1989, Molokan composer

Ossie White, guitarist, Lakewood, California

Roscoe White, 1923-2009, fiddler, Lakewood, California

Margaret L. Wong, southern Chinese cook

Judy Woo, assistant shadow player

Jesse Wright, singer

Jimmy Wright, singer, Fresno, California

Walter Wright, singer, Fresno, California

William Wright, 1914-1982, singer, Selma, California

Annie Zolnekoff, 1924-2010, Molokan singer

Paul Zolnekoff, 1919-2005, Molokan singer
Collection Restrictions:
Access to the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections is by appointment only. Visit our website for more information on scheduling a visit or making a digitization request. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies.
Collection Rights:
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections. Please visit our website to learn more about submitting a request. The Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections make no guarantees concerning copyright or other intellectual property restrictions. Other usage conditions may apply; please see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for more information.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 1975 Festival of American Folklife, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
CFCH.SFF.1975, Series 8
See more items in:
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 1975 Festival of American Folklife
Archival Repository:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/bk5900565d0-2672-465d-92db-bc8e8f08e0c1
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-cfch-sff-1975-ref1044

Abraham Joel Tobias papers

Creator:
Tobias, Abraham Joel, 1913-1996  Search this
Names:
Congress of Industrial Organizations (U.S.)  Search this
Fine Arts Federation of New York  Search this
United States. Work Projects Administration  Search this
Block, Irving  Search this
Brooks, James, 1906-1992  Search this
Caswell, Edward C.  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Gaber, George  Search this
Gill, Brendan, 1914-1997  Search this
La Gambina, Vincent, 1909-1994  Search this
Lishinsky, Abraham  Search this
Orozco, José Clemente, 1883-1949  Search this
Spivak, Max, 1906-1981  Search this
Tobey, Alton S. (Alton Stanley), 1914-2005  Search this
Extent:
2.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Video recordings
Photographs
Date:
1913-2000
Summary:
The Abraham Joel Tobias papers date from 1913 to 2000 and measure 2.8 linear feet. Through project and exhibition files, printed material, correspondence, and photographs, the collection provides an overview of Tobias's career as a painter and muralist in New York City.
Scope and Content Note:
The Abraham Joel Tobias papers date from 1913 to 2000 and measure 2.8 linear feet. Through project and exhibition files, printed material, correspondence, and photographs, the collection provides an overview of Tobias's career as a painter and muralist in New York City.

General correspondence regards mural proposals, exhibitions, professional activities, and museums' acquisitions of artwork by Tobias. A file of correspondence with the Fine Arts Federation of New York concerns efforts to recognize murals by Irving Block, James Brooks, Philip Evergood, Abraham Lishinsky, José Clemente Orozco, and Max Spivak as landmarks; it also includes minutes of meetings, 1988-1995, that reflect Tobias's service as a board member. Other correspondence is with friends and artists including Edward Caswell, George Gaber, Filia Holtzman, Vincent La Gambina, and Alton S. Tobey.

Project files document murals such as: The Four Freedoms, Midwood High School, Brooklyn, New York, honoring students and teachers who died in World War II (circa 1946); Birth for the maternity ward at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City (1951-1953); and Medical Science and Medical Research, Long Island Jewish Hospital (1954). The Science and Engineering project file (1958) contains a patent certificate for striated plastic, a material Tobias used in two murals. Also of interest is correspondence with the Harman Foundation regarding a documentary film about Tobias's use of ethyl silicate for outdoor murals. Among the exhibitions documented are: "Plastics U.S.A.," "New York WPA Artists Then and Now," and "Abraham Joel Tobias: Sculptural Paintings of the 1930s."

Printed material consists of announcements, invitations, solo and group exhibition catalogs, and clippings relating to Tobias's artistic career. Also found are pamphlets he designed for the Congress of Industrial Organizations. Photographs are of Tobias's artwork and the artist with friends and family. There is a video recording of an interview with Tobias conducted by Brendan Gill in 1995.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 8 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1913-1996 (Boxes 1, 4; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1933-1997 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 3: Project and Exhibition Files, 1938-2000 (Boxes 1, 2, 4, OV 5; 1.6 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings, circa 1928-1992 (Box 2; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1913-1999 (Boxes 3, 4; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Artwork, circa 1990s (Box 3; 1 folder)

Series 7: Photographs, 1929-1970 (Box 3; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 8: Video Recording, 1995 (Box 3, 1 folder)
Biographical Note:
Abraham Joel Tobias (1913-1996) was a painter, muralist, and educator in New York City. He was a pioneer in the use of shaped canvases.

A native of Rochester, New York, Tobias came to New York City to study at the Cooper Union School of Art, 1930-1931, and at the Art Students League, 1930-1933. He worked for the Federal Arts Project,1938-1940, where he continued his training as a muralist, working with artist and technicians.

During World War II, Tobias served in the armed forces. He was an art director with the Intelligence Division, Army Air Force, and in 1945 was employed as a graphic designer for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Tobias was artist-in-residence and served as instructor in painting and drawing at Adelphia College, Garden City, Long Island, 1947-1957. He also was was a visiting lecturer at various schools including Howard University, Brooklyn Museum Art School, Pratt Institute Art School, as well as at colleges in Illinois and Kansas.

Tobias completed over ten mural commissions for governmental agencies and educational institutions, including: United States Post Office, Clarendon, Arkansas; Howard University, Washington, D.C.; James Madison High School, Brooklyn, New York; Beth Israel Hospital, New York City; Domestic Relations Court Building, Brooklyn, New York; and Adelphi College, Garden City, New York. In 1962, Tobias began The History of Science mural for the lobby of the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn; it was never completed.

Tobias experimented with diverse materials such as terrazzo and mosaic for mural application. He also broke new ground with the use of ethyl silicate paint as a permanent medium for outdoor murals. In 1958, he patented striated plastic, a pliable material used to achieve an effect similar to stained glass.

He participated in many solo and group exhibitions. In 1935, Tobias presented his shaped canvas painting in the "Sculptural Painting" exhibition at Delphic Studios in New York City. In 1987, Tobias was recognized for his earlier pioneering work with a retrospective exhibition, "Abraham Joel Tobias: Sculptural Paintings" at The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum of Rutgers University. Other exhibitions included: "Plastics U.S.A.," the United States Information Service's exhibition in Moscow (1961); "New York City WPA Art," Parsons School of Design, New York City (1977); "For a Permanent Public Art," Tweed Gallery, New York City (1989); and "The Technological Muse," Katonah Museum of Art, New York (1991).

Tobias's professional memberships included the Architectural League of New York, National Society of Mural Painters, and New York Artists Equity Association. He served on the Board of Directors for the Fine Arts Federation of New York from 1988-1996. He won the Architectural League Award in 1952. The Art Commission of the City of New York recognized Tobias, posthumously, for distinguished service to public art.

Abraham Joel Tobias married Carolyn Pratt in 1949; the couple had one daughter. Abraham Joel Tobias died in Rego Park, New York, in 1996 at the age of 82.
Provenance:
The papers were donated in 2001 by Carolyn Tobias, the widow of Abraham Joel Tobias.
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.
Topic:
Mural painting and decoration  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Video recordings
Photographs
Citation:
Abraham Joel Tobias papers, 1913-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.tobijoel
See more items in:
Abraham Joel Tobias papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw98be0c478-da69-4155-9f53-1ac5d5ac617b
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-tobijoel

John Steuart Curry

Artist:
John Steuart Curry, 14 Nov 1897 - 29 Aug 1946  Search this
Sitter:
John Steuart Curry, 14 Nov 1897 - 29 Aug 1946  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
Dimensions not recorded
Type:
Painting
Date:
1927-29
Topic:
Artwork\Painting  Search this
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Seating\Chair\Armchair  Search this
Artist's Effects\Paintbrush  Search this
Symbols & Motifs\Flag  Search this
Home Furnishings\Mirror  Search this
Self-portrait  Search this
John Steuart Curry: Visual Arts\Artist  Search this
John Steuart Curry: Male  Search this
John Steuart Curry: Visual Arts\Artist\Painter  Search this
John Steuart Curry: Visual Arts\Artist\Illustrator  Search this
John Steuart Curry: Visual Arts\Art instructor  Search this
John Steuart Curry: Visual Arts\Artist\Painter\Muralist  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
Owner: Kansas Museum of History
Object number:
KS020023
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Catalog of American Portraits
Data Source:
Catalog of American Portraits
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm4c018743c-00a4-47b3-93d9-308f28aaed1e
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_KS020023

Oral history interview with Kathleen Curry relating to John Steuart Curry

Interviewee:
Curry, Kathleen, 1899-  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Curry, John Steuart, 1897-1946  Search this
Extent:
39 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
1990 and 1992
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Kathleen Curry regarding John Steuart Curry, conducted on 1990 and 1992, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Curry discusses her childhood; meeting John Steuart Curry and their subsequent marriage; their friends; his work; his temperment; their relationship; moving to Wisconsin where he became the artist in residence in the School of Agriculture at the University of Wisconsin; his major mural projects; Laurence Schmeckebier's writing of "John Steuart Curry's Pageant of America"; J. S. Curry's death and the hardships that followed.
Biographical / Historical:
Katleen Curry (1899-) is the wife of regionalist painter John Steuart Curry.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 19 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Occupation:
Painters -- Kansas  Search this
Muralists -- Kansas  Search this
Topic:
Mural painting and decoration  Search this
Regionalism  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.curry90
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9574f6aad-759f-40ac-81c5-6dcb1e52d0cd
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-curry90
Online Media:

Self-Portrait

Alternate Title:
Aaron Douglas
Artist:
Aaron Douglas, 26 May 1899 - 2 Feb 1979  Search this
Sitter:
Aaron Douglas, 26 May 1899 - 2 Feb 1979  Search this
Medium:
Red Conte crayon on paper
Dimensions:
Sight: 31.8 × 23.2 cm (12 1/2 × 9 1/8")
Frame: 52.5 × 44 cm (20 11/16 × 17 5/16")
Type:
Drawing
Place:
United States\New York\Kings\New York\Manhattan Island\Harlem
Date:
1925
Topic:
Self-portrait  Search this
Aaron Douglas: Male  Search this
Aaron Douglas: Education and Scholarship\Educator\Professor\University  Search this
Aaron Douglas: Visual Arts\Artist\Illustrator  Search this
Aaron Douglas: Visual Arts\Art instructor  Search this
Aaron Douglas: Visual Arts\Artist\Painter\Muralist  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Abraham and Virginia Weiss Charitable Trust, Amy and Marc Meadows, in honor of Wendy Wick Reaves
Object number:
NPG.2017.73
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
Copyright:
© Heirs of Aaron Douglas / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm4a4d7112a-faa3-42d6-9fdf-ea405e95a94a
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_NPG.2017.73

Oral history interview with Thomas Hart Benton, 1973 July 23-24

Interviewee:
Benton, Thomas Hart, 1889-1975  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul, 1933-1997  Search this
Subject:
Craven, Thomas  Search this
Ingram, Rex  Search this
Macdonald-Wright, Stanton  Search this
Pollock, Jackson  Search this
Reed, Alma M.  Search this
Robinson, Boardman  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred  Search this
Weichsel, John  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Thomas Hart Benton, 1973 July 23-24. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Mural painting and decoration -- 20th century  Search this
Regionalism  Search this
Synchromism (Art)  Search this
Muralists -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12796
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212013
AAA_collcode_benton73
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212013

Oral history interview with Henry Varnum Poor, 1964

Interviewee:
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Interviewer:
Phillips, Harlan B. (Harlan Buddington),, 1920-  Search this
Subject:
Bruce, Edward  Search this
Cézanne, Paul  Search this
Sickert, Walter  Search this
Stanford University  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Henry Varnum Poor, 1964. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Mural painting and decoration -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Theme:
New Deal  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12762
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213729
AAA_collcode_poor64
Theme:
New Deal
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_213729

Oral history interview with Richard Haas, 2009 Jan. 13 and Mar. 16

Interviewee:
Haas, Richard, 1936-  Search this
Interviewer:
Berman, Avis, 1949-  Search this
Subject:
United States. General Services Administration. Design Excellence and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Richard Haas, 2009 Jan. 13 and Mar. 16. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Trompe l'oeil painting  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)15677
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)282736
AAA_collcode_haas09
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_282736
Online Media:

Peter Hurd

Artist:
Henriette Wyeth, 22 Oct 1907 - 3 Apr 1997  Search this
Sitter:
Peter Hurd, 22 Feb 1904 - 9 Jul 1984  Search this
Medium:
Oil on board
Type:
Painting
Date:
20th century
Topic:
Peter Hurd: Male  Search this
Peter Hurd: Visual Arts\Artist\Printmaker\Etcher  Search this
Peter Hurd: Visual Arts\Artist\Portraitist  Search this
Peter Hurd: Visual Arts\Artist\Illustrator  Search this
Peter Hurd: Visual Arts\Artist\Painter\Landscape painter  Search this
Peter Hurd: Visual Arts\Artist\Painter\Muralist  Search this
Peter Hurd: Journalism and Media\Journalist\Correspondent  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
Owner: United Missouri Bank of Kansas City
Object number:
438 UMB
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Catalog of American Portraits
Data Source:
Catalog of American Portraits
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm4efa56b8e-d1a6-4f07-95df-f5d160075765
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_438_UMB

John Steuart Curry and Curry family papers

Creator:
Curry, John Steuart, 1897-1946  Search this
Names:
Curry, Kathleen, 1899-  Search this
Extent:
10.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Video recordings
Photographs
Sketches
Interviews
Date:
1848-1999
Summary:
The papers of painter, muralist, and illustrator John Steuart Curry, and Curry family papers, measure 10.1 linear feet and date from 1848 to 1999. Papers document his career and family history through certificates, correspondence, photographs, clippings, contracts, receipts, inventories, writings, notes, and other materials. The papers contain particularly rich documentation of Curry's period as artist-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin, from 1936 to 1946. Mural projects in Kansas, Washington, DC, and Wisconsin are also documented.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter, muralist, and illustrator John Steuart Curry, and Curry family papers, measure 10.1 linear feet and date from 1848 to 1999. Papers document his career and family history through certificates, correspondence, photographs, clippings, contracts, receipts, inventories, writings, notes, and other materials. The papers contain particularly rich documentation of Curry's period as artist-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin, from 1936 to 1946. Mural projects in Kansas, Washington, DC, and Wisconsin are also documented.

Biographical Materials include chronologies, biographical narratives, genealogical notes, certificates and awards, and other ephemera related to Curry and his family. Family Correspondence includes the earliest records created by Curry himself, including letters home from art school and from the East Coast during his early career.

Correspondence and Project files document mural projects, appearances, gallery relationships, and other activities from the early 1930s until his death in 1946 with correspondence, photographs, clippings, contracts, writings, and other miscellany. Subject files include pictorial reference and research files created by Curry for subjects depicted in his murals and paintings. Curry's writings include essays, lectures, interviews, and notes related to his technical and philosophical approach to art, as well as notes from his various travels, and essays by others about Curry. Personal Business Records contain records of artwork, business transactions, and personal finances.

Print Materials include print copies of published artwork by Curry, including magazine illustrations from Curry's early career. Extensive clippings, exhibition catalogs, and a scrapbook created by Curry as a youth are also found. Photographs depict Curry throughout his life in formal portraits, candid snapshots, and publicity photographs, with a significant number of photographs depicting Curry creating and posing with his artwork. The Artwork series contains a few sketches by Curry and seven canvases used for testing art materials. Additional sketches are found in Subject Files and scrapbooks.

Estate Papers contain materials dated after Curry's death in 1946 and mainly document the activities of Kathleen Curry in managing her husband's estate from 1946 until her death in 2001. Estate papers contain writings about Curry, correspondence, inventories of artwork, and alphabetical files documenting sales, exhibitions, and other projects.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into ten series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1911-1993 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 2: Family Correspondence, 1916-1946 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 3: Correspondence and Project Files, 1928-1946 (Boxes 1-3, OV 11; 2.3 linear feet)

Series 4: Subject Files, 1848-1946 (Boxes 3-4, OV 11-12; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 5: Notes and Writings, circa 1911-1946 (Box 4; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Personal Business Records, 1916-1952 (Box 4, OV 13; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 7: Print Materials, 1918-1985 (Boxes 4-5, 10; OV 12-13; 1.6 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1900-1998 (Boxes 5-6, OV 14; 1.1 linear feet)

Series 9: Artwork, 1941, undated (Box 7, OV 12, 14, 15; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 10: Estate Papers, circa 1946-1999 (Boxes 7-9 and rolled document; 2.3 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Painter, muralist, and illustrator John Steuart Curry is considered one of the three important painters of the American Regionalist movement, along with Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri and Grant Wood of Iowa. Curry was born in north-eastern Kansas in 1897, and grew up on his family's farm. Curry left high school to attend the Kansas City Art Institute briefly, and then studied at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1916 with Edward J. Timmons and John Norton. Curry later spent a year in Paris studying with Basil Schoukhaieff in 1926 and 1927.

Curry began his career as a freelance illustrator in Leonia, New Jersey, under the influence of Harvey Dunn. Curry's illustrations were widely published in illustrated magazines such as Boy's Life, Country Gentleman, and Saturday Evening Post in the early 1920s. He married Clara Derrick in 1923 and lived in Greenwich Village, and then Westport, Connecticut, from 1924 to 1936. Derrick died in 1932, and in 1934 Curry married Kathleen Gould.

Curry's career shifted from illustration to painting during the 1920s and 1930s, bolstered by success in exhibitions and sales. Exhibits included the National Academy of Design (1924), the Corcoran Gallery (1927-1928), a solo exhibition at the Whitney Studio Club (1930), and the Carnegie International Exhibition (1933). Early sales include Baptism in Kansas, purchased by the Whitney in 1930, and Spring Shower, purchased by the Metropolitan Museum in 1932. Curry taught at Cooper Union (1932-1934) and the Art Student's League (1932-1934), and painted his first murals in Westport under the Federal Art Project in 1934.

In 1936, he was appointed artist-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin College of Agriculture as part of a rural art program developed by rural sociologist John Burton. The purpose of his residency was to serve as an educational resource for rural people of the state. Curry stayed in this position until his death in 1946, carrying out the program's mission through lectures and visits with dozens of art and civic groups around the state, and by making himself available to rural artists through correspondence and guidance in his studio. He also helped to organize annual rural art exhibitions for UW's Farm and Home Week beginning in 1940. In return for his work, he was given a salary and a studio on campus and the freedom to execute his own work as he chose.

Under the Federal Art Program's Section of Painting and Sculpture, Curry completed two murals in the Justice Department building in Washington in 1936, Westward Migration and Justice Defeating Mob Violence, and two murals in the Department of the Interior building in 1938, The Homestead and The Oklahoma Land Rush. A design that was rejected by the government for the Justice building, a mural entitled Freeing of the Slaves, was later executed at the University of Wisconsin in their law library. From 1938 to 1940, Curry worked on murals for the state house rotunda in Topeka, Kansas admist a stormy, public controversy over his dramatic depiction of Kansas history. The legislature effectively blocked Curry's completion of the project through a formal resolution not to remove marble that was blocking areas that were part of Curry's design. Infuriated, Curry left the unfinished murals unsigned, and later derided the state frequently for the treatment he received. The Kansas State legislature issued a formal apology and appreciation of the completed murals in the 1990s.

Despite the lack of appreciation of his home state, Curry did receive recognition elsewhere during his lifetime as an artist of national importance. He continued to paint and exhibit in the art centers of the East Coast. In 1941, he won the Gold Medal Award at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts exhibition, and in the 1942 Artists For Victory exhibition, he won the top prize for Wisconsin Landscape. Curry's book illustrations were in high demand, and he contributed to books such as My Friend Flicka, editions of Lincoln's and Emerson's writings, and Wisconsin writer August Derleth's The Wisconsin. A biography of Curry written by Laurence Schmeckebier was published in 1942.

Curry died in 1946 of heart failure. A retrospective that had been planned for the living artist opened less than a month after his death at the Milwaukee Art Institute. His wife, Kathleen Curry, maintained his estate until her death, in 2001, at the age of 102. Additional retrospective exhibitions were held at Syracuse University in 1956 and in the Kansas State Capitol in 1970. In 1998, the exhibition "John Steuart Curry: Inventing the Middle West" was organized at the University of Wisconsin and traveled to the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum and the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art.
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art holds an oral history interview with Kathleen Curry regarding John Steuart Curry conducted in 1990 and 1992.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reels 164-168 and 4574-4576) including 98 sketchbooks, 1919-1942; a ledger, 1938-1946, of expenses with four loose letters to John Steuart Curry in Italian and Spanish; a notebook, 1932-1938, titled "Account and records of works, etc."; a journal, undated, of drafts of poems, and approximately 50 sketches. Loaned materials were returned to the lender some of which were subsequently donated to the Worcester Museum of Art in Worcester, Massachusetts. This material is not described in the collection container inventory.

John Steuart Curry memorabilia received with the Kathleen Curry's donation in 1979 (baby cup, baby dress, overalls, medals, paint box, watercolor box, 2 photographs) were transferred to the Spencer Museum of Art in 1985.
Provenance:
John Steuart Curry's widow, Kathleen Curry, lent materials on reels 164-168 for microfilming in 1971. In 1979, she subsequently donated portions of the material lent, along with additional items, some of which were transferred to Spencer Museum of Art. In 1972, Mildred Curry Fike, John Steuart Curry's sister, gave material and R. Eugene Curry, a brother, donated more material in 1975 and 1993. Ellen Schuster, John Steuart Curry's daughter, donated the home movies in 1973 and Daniel Schuster, John Steuart Curry's son-in-law, gave additional papers in 1991 in 1992, 1995, and 1999. In 1992, 1999 and 2000, additions were received from Kathleen Curry that may contain material previously filmed as a loan on reels 164-168.
Restrictions:
The bulk of the collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website. Access to undigitized portions 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 -- Wisconsin  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art -- Technique  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Regionalism  Search this
Muralists -- Wisconsin  Search this
Illustrators -- Wisconsin  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Video recordings
Photographs
Sketches
Interviews
Citation:
John Steuart Curry and Curry family papers, 1900-1999. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.currjohn
See more items in:
John Steuart Curry and Curry family papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9943b22b6-7e9f-4538-b0aa-808dbe459e9d
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-currjohn
Online Media:

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