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Hugo Gellert papers

Creator:
Gellert, Hugo, 1892-1985  Search this
Names:
American Artists' Congress  Search this
Art of Today Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Artist's Committee of Action (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Artists Coordination Committee (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Artists Council  Search this
Artists for Victory, Inc.  Search this
Committee to Defend V.J. Jerome  Search this
Hungarian Word, Inc.  Search this
National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Derkovits, Gyula, 1894-1934  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Fast, Howard, 1914-  Search this
Fiene, Ernest, 1894-  Search this
Gellert, Ernest  Search this
Gellert, Lawrence, 1898-1979  Search this
Gottlieb, Harry, 1895-  Search this
Gropper, William, 1897-1977  Search this
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971  Search this
Lie, Jonas, 1880-1940  Search this
Refregier, Anton, 1905-  Search this
Reisman, Philip, 1904-  Search this
Sequenzia, Sofia  Search this
Extent:
6.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Photographs
Date:
1916-1986
Summary:
The papers of graphic artist, muralist, and activist Hugo Gellert measure 6.9 linear feet and date from 1916 to 1986. They document his career as an artist and organizer for the radical political left through an interview, legal papers, financial records, family papers, artifacts, correspondence, writings, organizational records, extensive printed materials (many of them illustrated by Gellert), photographs, and artwork.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of graphic artist, muralist, and activist Hugo Gellert measure 6.9 linear feet and date from 1916 to 1986. They document his career as an artist and organizer for the radical left through an oral interview conducted by Sofia Sequenzia, legal papers, financial records, family papers, artifacts, correspondence, writings, organizational records, clippings, exhibition catalogs, various printed materials illustrated by Gellert, pamphlets, periodicals, mass mailings, photographs, and artwork.

Biographical Material includes an audio interview with Gellert; official documents related to memberships, property, and legal matters; financial documents that include bills, receipts, and contracts related to professional activities; papers of Gellert's brothers, Lawrence and Ernest; and artifacts. Correspondence is with other artists, writers, publishers, activists, friends, and family, including Ernest Fiene, Rockwell Kent, Harry Gottlieb, William Gropper, Philip Evergood, Howard Fast, and Jonas Lie. Writings include essays, book projects, notes, and notebooks written by Gellert; and stories and articles by other authors, including typescripts of early twentieth-century Hungarian short stories collected by Gellert.

Organizational Records are related to political and art organizations in which Gellert was an active organizer, officer, and in some cases, a founder. Because of his central role in many of these organizations, records often contain unique documentation of their activities. Records are found for the American Artists Congress, the Art of Today Gallery, the Artists Committee of Action, the Artists Coordination Committee, the Artists Council, Artists for Victory, Inc., the Committee to Defend V.J. Jerome, Hungarian Word, Inc., the National Society of Mural Painters, and other organizations.

Printed materials include a variety of political publications and periodicals with illustrations by Gellert, including New Masses, Art Front, Magyar Szo, and American Dialog; clippings related to his career, exhibition catalogs, political pamphlets, Hungarian literature, and mass mailings received from political organizations. Photographs contain a few personal photographs but are mostly news and publicity photographs, many of which depict prominent Communists and other newsmakers. Artwork includes sketches, drawings, designs, prints, and production elements for Gellert's artwork, as well as prints and drawings by Philip Reisman, Gyula Derkovits, and Anton Refregier.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 7 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1917-1982 (Box 1 and OV 9; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1920-1986 (Boxes 1-2, 8; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1916-1970 (Boxes 2 and 8; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 4: Organizational Records, circa 1920-1977 (Boxes 3, 8, and OV 9; 1 linear foot)

Series 5: Printed Materials, circa 1920-1986 (Boxes 4-6, 8, and OV 9; 3 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1920-1959 (Boxes 6-7; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 7: Artwork, 1927-1981 (Box 7, OV 10; 0.4 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Graphic artist, muralist, and activist Hugo Gellert was born Hugo Grünbaum in Budapest, Hungary in 1892, the oldest of six children. His family immigrated to New York City in 1906, eventually changing their family name to Gellert.

Gellert attended art school at Cooper Union and the National Academy of Design. As a student, he designed posters for movies and theater, and also worked for Tiffany Studios. A number of student art prizes with cash awards enabled him to travel to Europe in the summer of 1914, where he witnessed the outbreak of World War I, an experience which helped shape his political beliefs. Aesthetically, he was also influenced by a folk revival among Hungarian artists at the time of his trip, and was more impressed, he later said, with the street advertising in Paris than he was with the cubism he saw in the Louvre.

Returning to the United States, Gellert became involved in the Hungarian-American workers' movement, and contributed drawings to its newspaper, Elöre (Forward). He remained involved in Hungarian-American art and activism throughout his life, including membership in the anti-fascist group, the Anti-Horthy League. When members of the fascist Horthy government unveiled a statue of a Hungarian hero in New York in 1928, Gellert hired a pilot and dropped leaflets on the group, a stunt for which he was arrested. In the 1950s, Gellert served as director of Hungarian Word, Inc., a Hungarian-language publisher in New York.

Gellert's political commitment and art remained deeply intertwined throughout his life, as he continually sought to integrate his commitment to Communism, his hatred of fascism, and his dedication to civil liberties. Throughout the 1910s and 1920s, he contributed artwork to several magazines of the radical left, including Masses and its successors Liberator and New Masses, both of which featured Gellert's artwork on their inaugural issue. Through Masses, he came to know other radicals such as Mike Gold, John Reed, Louise Bryant, Max Eastman, Floyd Dell, Anton Refregier, William Gropper, Harry Gottlieb, Bob Minor, and Art Young, and with them he followed the events of the Bolshevik revolution in Russia with sympathy and growing political fervor.

His brother, Ernest Gellert, also a socialist and activist, was drafted into the military but refused to serve. He died of a gunshot wound under suspicious circumstances while imprisoned at Fort Hancock, New Jersey, as a conscientious objector. Traumatized by this event, Gellert fled to Mexico to avoid conscription. In 1920 to 1922, he taught art at the Stelton School in New Jersey, a radical, utopian community school. He participated in the cultural scene of Greenwich Village, working on set designs, publications, and graphic art for political productions. He founded the first John Reed Club in 1929 with a group of Communist artists and writers including Anton Refregier, Louis Lozowick, and William Gropper. Initially, the group held classes and exhibitions, and provided services for strikes and other working-class activism. Later, John Reed Clubs formed around the country and became a formal arm of the United States Communist Party (CPUSA).

In the late 1920s, Gellert became a member of the National Society of Mural Painters (which, partly due to Gellert's activism in the group, became the Mural Artists' Guild local 829 of the United Scenic Artists Union of the AFL-CIO in 1937. Other members included Rockwell Kent, Anton Refregier, Arshile Gorky, and Marion Greenwood). In 1928, he created a mural for the Worker's Cafeteria in Union Square, NY. Later murals include the Center Theater in Rockefeller Center, the National Maritime Union Headquarters, the Hotel and Restaurant Workers' Union Building, NYC, the interior of the Communications Building at the 1939 World's Fair, and the Seward Park Housing Project in 1961.

In 1932, Gellert was invited to participate in a mural exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, and submitted a political mural about the robber barons of contemporary American politics and industry called Us Fellas Gotta Stick Together - Al Capone. The museum attempted to censor the mural, along with the murals of William Gropper and Ben Shahn. Other artists threatened to boycott the exhibition over the censorship and were successful in restoring them to the show.

The cooperation of artists in this controversy foreshadowed a larger protest in 1934, organized by Gellert, Saul Belman, Stuart Davis, and Zoltan Hecht, when Diego Rivera's pro-labor mural was destroyed at Rockefeller Center. After the incident, the group formed the Artists' Committee of Action and continued to fight censorship and advocate for artists' interests and welfare. They also co-published the magazine Art Front with the Artists' Union, a labor organization. Gellert served for a time as editor of Art Front, and chairman of the Artists' Committee of Action.

Gellert was active in producing both art and strategic policy for the cultural arm of the CPUSA, and he worked to mobilize the non-communist left, often referred to as the Popular Front. In 1933 he illustrated Karl Marx's Capital in Lithographs, and in 1935, he wrote a Marxist, illustrated satire called Comrade Gulliver, An Illustrated Account of Travel into that Strange Country the United States of America. Other published graphic works include Aesop Said So (1936) and a portfolio of silkscreen prints entitled Century of the Common Man (1943).

Other artist groups he helped to found and/or run include the American Artist's Congress, a Communist organization founded with Max Weber, Margaret Bourke-White, Stuart Davis, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Harry Sternberg, and others, which held symposia and exhibitions between 1936 and 1942; the Artists' Coordination Committee, an umbrella group of national organizations which sought protections for federally-employed and unionized artists; Artists for Victory, Inc., which formed in 1942 to mobilize artists in support of the war effort; and the Artists' Council, formed after the war to advocate for artists' welfare and employment.

Gellert maintained his loyalty to the Communist party throughout the post-war period despite growing disillusionment in the Popular Front over the actions of Josef Stalin, and despite the intense anti-communist crusades in the late 1940s and 1950s. He was investigated by the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and was nearly deported. He spent a number of years during this period in his wife's native Australia. Returning to the United States in the early 1950s, he threw his efforts into the defense of others who faced prison, deportation, and the blacklist following the HUAC hearings. He established The Committee to Defend V.J. Jerome in 1951 when Jerome, the cultural commissioner of CPUSA, was convicted under the Smith Act. The writer Dorothy Parker was the group's treasurer.

In 1954, Gellert established the Art of Today Gallery in New York City with Rockwell Kent and Charles White to provide an exhibition venue for blacklisted artists. Exhibitions included Maurice Becker, Henry Glintenkamp, Harry Gottlieb, Kay Harris, and Rockwell Kent. Gellert served as the gallery's secretary until it closed in 1957.

In the 1960s until his death in 1985, Gellert continued his activism through involvement in grassroots political organizations. Unlike many of his radical contemporaries, Gellert lived to see the revival of some of the ideas of the progressive era of the thirties in the countercultural years of the late 1960s and early 1970s. There were retrospectives of his work in Moscow in 1967 and in his native Budapest in 1968, and he appeared in Warren Beatty's film Reds in 1981.

Sources used for this essay include James Wechsler's 2003 dissertation "The Art and Activism of Hugo Gellert: Embracing the Spectre of Communism," his essay "From World War I to the Popular Front: The Art and Activism of Hugo Gellert," ( Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts number 24, Spring 2002), and Jeff Kisseloff's biographical essay for the 1986 Hugo Gellert exhibition at the Mary Ryan Gallery.
Related Material:
Among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are an oral history with Hugo Gellert from 1984, a recording of a lecture Gellert gave at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1985, and additional records of Artists for Victory, Inc., 1942-1946.

The Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University holds additional papers of Hugo Gellert.
Provenance:
A portion of the papers were donated in 1970 by Hugo Gellert. Additional papers were donated by Gellert and his wife, Livia Cinquegrana, in 1983 and 1986.
Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
Rights:
The Hugo Gellert papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Artists' writings  Search this
Politics in art  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Graphic artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Photographs
Citation:
Hugo Gellert papers, 1916-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.gellhugo
See more items in:
Hugo Gellert papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-gellhugo
Online Media:

Allyn Cox papers

Creator:
Cox, Allyn, 1896-1982  Search this
Names:
American Battle Monuments Commission  Search this
Art Commission of the City of New York  Search this
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Century Association (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Cosmos Club (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Dumbarton Oaks  Search this
George Washington Masonic National Memorial (Alexandria, Va.)  Search this
National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Park Club of Kalamazoo  Search this
Smithsonian Institution  Search this
United States Capitol Historical Society  Search this
Bayley, John Barrington, 1914-1981  Search this
Bishop, Warner  Search this
Cassio, Fabrizio  Search this
Conrad, Arthur  Search this
Cox, Ethel  Search this
Cox, Kenyon, 1856-1919  Search this
Cox, Louise Howland King, 1865-1945  Search this
DeWitt, Roscoe, 1894-1975  Search this
Frost, Stuart  Search this
Harbeson, John F., 1888-1986 ((John Frederick))  Search this
Keally, Francis, 1889-1978  Search this
Keller, Deane, 1901-1992  Search this
Lamb, Adrian  Search this
Laning, Edward, 1906-  Search this
Lay, Charles Downing, 1877-1956  Search this
MacDonald, Pirie, 1867-1942  Search this
Schwengel, Fred, 1907-1993  Search this
Shutze, Philip Trammell  Search this
Young, Clifford, 1905-  Search this
Extent:
11 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Diaries
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Place:
General Grant National Memorial (New York, N.Y.)
Date:
1856-1982
Summary:
The papers of New York, N.Y., and Washington, D.C. painter and muralist Allyn Cox measure 11 linear feet and date from 1856-1982. The collection documents Cox's personal and professional life through biographical material, family and general correspondence, writings and notes, research material, printed material, sketchbooks and loose sketches, and photographs. Photographs are of Cox at work, the Cox family, including Kenyon and Louise Cox, Cox's friends and colleagues, events, and Cox's artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York, N.Y., and Washington, D.C. painter and muralist Allyn Cox measure 11 linear feet and date from 1856-1982. The collection documents Cox's personal and professional life through biographical material, family and general correspondence, writings and notes, research material, printed material, sketchbooks and loose sketches, and photographs. Photographs are of Cox at work, the Cox family, including Kenyon and Louise Cox, Cox's friends and colleagues, events, and Cox's artwork.

Biographical material includes family birth, death, and marriage certificates, and passports for Cox and his wife Ethel, whom he married in 1927; professional membership cards, awards and certificates; records related to sales of furnishings from the Cox family home in Essex, Massachusetts; and an untranscribed interview of Cox by Tony Janak of NBC TV.

Cox's family correspondence is primarily with his mother, Louise Cox. Also found is correspondence with Cox's sister, Caroline Cox Lansing, and his brother Leonard Cox and Leonard's wife, Sylvia, and letters from Ethel Cox to her mother. Additional correspondence relating to the disposition of Kenyon Cox''s artwork and archives to various institutions, can also be found here.

General correspondence documents Cox's career and professional relationships with artists and architects, including John Barrington Bayley, Fabrizio Cassio, Arthur Conrad, Roscoe DeWitt, Stuart Frost, John Harbeson, Francis Keally, Adrian Lamb, Edward Laning, Charles Downing Lay, Deane Keller, Philip Trammell Shutze, and Cliff Young; art institutions and organizations including the Art Commission of the City of New York, the Art Students League, Dumbarton Oaks, the National Society of Mural Painters, and the Smithsonian Institution; federal, state and local government agencies including the American Battle Monuments Commission, the Architect of the Capitol, and the General Grant National Memorial; members of Congress including founder of the United States Capitol Historical Society, Representative Fred Schwengel; and private social clubs in which Cox was active, including the Century Association, the Cosmopolitan Club and the Cosmos Club. Correspondence documents Cox's most well known commissions including work for the George Washington Masonic National Memorial and the United States Capitol, as well as work for many private clients including banks and residences.

Also found are typescripts, manuscripts and notes for Cox's lectures, as well as Ethel Cox's diary from 1923-1936 and her diary excerpt from 1955. Ten folders of research files, consisting primarily of clippings, comprise Cox's source material. Additional printed material provides scattered documentation of Cox's career through announcements and catalogs, and magazine and newspaper articles written by him or about his work. Also found is one folder of clippings about Kenyon Cox.

Four sketchbooks and circa twenty-two loose animal, figure, architectural and landscape sketches comprise Cox's artwork, in addition to two 1943 sketches Cox entered into a War Department mural competition. Also found is an 1873 sketchbook of Kenyon Cox, with sketches of people and scenes in Ohio.

Photographs are of Cox from childhood to the 1980s; his family, including parents, siblings, and grandparents; friends including Philip Trammell Shutze and Warner Bishop; family residences; artist models; events; and artwork, including many of Cox's commissions. In addition to photographic prints, slides, and negatives, the series includes vintage formats such as an ambrotype, 8 tintypes, 2 cyanotypes, and a platinum print. Of particular note are circa 16 photos of Kenyon Cox, one taken by Pirie MacDonald and three of him teaching a class at the Art Students League, and a series of circa 1906 photos taken in a garden, of Louise and Kenyon Cox with their children and others. Also found are 10 glass plate negatives of artwork by Cox.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 7 series. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and are closed to researchers.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1916-1982 (0.33 linear feet; Boxes 1, 12)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1878-1982 (6.74 linear feet; Boxes 1-7, 12)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1919-1982 (0.58 linear feet; Boxes 7-8)

Series 4: Research Files, circa 1950s-circa 1970s (0.25 linear feet; Box 8)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1920s-1982 (0.5 linear feet; Boxes 8-9)

Series 6: Sketchbooks and Sketches, 1873-circa 1978 (0.25 linear feet; Box 9, OVs 13-14)

Series 7: Photographs, 1856-circa 1980 (2.25 linear feet; Boxes 9-12, OV 13)
Biographical / Historical:
New York, N.Y. and Washington, D.C. painter and muralist, Allyn Cox (1896-1982), was born in New York City to artists Kenyon and Louise Cox. Cox first trained as his father's assistant, serving as an apprentice to Kenyon Cox during the painting of the murals at the Wisconsin State Capitol, circa 1912. He attended the National Academy of Design from 1910-1915, and the Art Student's League with George Bridgman in 1915. In 1916 he was awarded the Prix de Rome and subsequently studied at the American Academy in Rome for 2 years before returning to New York City to begin a career in mural painting.

Cox completed numerous murals and decorative paintings for private residences, businesses, churches, and public buildings. Some of his most famous commissions included murals for the Royal Arch Room and Memorial Hall of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia; the Law School at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville; and the William A. Clark Memorial Library at the University of California, Los Angeles; panels for the National City Bank, the Continental Bank, and the Guaranty Trust Company in New York; and glass mosaics and inlaid stone maps for the United States Military Cemetery in Hamm, Luxembourg.

Cox is best known for his work in the United States Capitol, beginning in 1952 when he undertook a congressional commission to restore and complete the murals in in the Capitol rotunda begun by Constantino Brumidi and Filipo Costaggini in 1878. Over the course of the next two decades Cox, now residing in Washington, D.C., restored the Frieze of American History and the Apotheosis of Washington in the Rotunda, and designed murals for three first-floor corridors in the Capitol's House wing, now known as the Cox Corridors. Assisted by Cliff Young, Cox completed painting for two of these corridors before his death. In 1958 Cox also painted a portrait of Henry Clay for the Senate Reception Room and in 1975 completed a mural depicting the 1969 moon landing in the Brumidi Corridor.

Cox taught at the Art Students League in 1940 and 1941, and was active in professional organizations throughout his career. He served as President of the American Artists Professional League and the National Society of Mural Painters, and Vice President of both the Fine Arts Federation and the New York Architectural League. He was a member of the board of the New York Municipal Art Society and served on the the New York City Art Commission.

Cox retired in March 1982 at the age of 86 and died the following September.
Related Materials:
Also found in the Archives of American Art are the Allyn Cox papers relating to U.S. Capitol murals, 1970-1974, donated by the Committee on House Administration, via Cindy Szady in 1981. Papers include a resume; a cost estimate by Cox for designing and executing mural decorations in the U.S. Capitol, 1970; a letter, 1974, from the Office of the Architect of the Capitol to the Capitol Historical Society enclosing photocopies of printed material pertinent to the unveiling and dedication of the Capitol rotunda frieze in 1954; miscellaneous printed material, 1971-1974; and 15 photographs of the murals in the Capitol.
Provenance:
The bulk of the Allyn Cox papers was donated in 1977 and 1983 by the Estate of Allyn Cox, Stephen M. Pulsifer, Exectuor, including material that had been loaned for microfiliming in 1969. Two mural sketches were donated by the Essex County Greenbelt Association in 1984.
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. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and are closed to researchers,

Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Allyn Cox papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Muralists -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Painters -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Diaries
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Citation:
Allyn Cox papers, 1856-1982. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.coxally
See more items in:
Allyn Cox papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-coxally
Online Media:

Helen Treadwell papers

Creator:
Treadwell, Helen, 1902-  Search this
Names:
Committee for the Beautification of New York  Search this
International Association of Art. United States Committee  Search this
International Association of Art. United States Committee  Search this
National Council on the Arts and Government  Search this
National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Extent:
4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1952-1968
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence, financial statements, account books, receipts, membership applications, minutes, reports, press releases, printed materials, a photo of Treadwell presenting Julien Levy with a birthday cake, and photos of art work for the following organizations in which Treadwell was an officer: National Society of Mural Painters, National Council on the Arts and Government, Committee for the Beautification of New York, The United States Committee of the International Association of Art, and the International Association of Plastic Arts (UNESCO).
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, mural painter, designer; New York.
Provenance:
Donated March 1979 by Helen Treadwell.
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.
Occupation:
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Societies, etc. -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.treahele
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-treahele

Geoffrey Norman papers relating to the Federal Art Project

Creator:
Norman, Geoffrey, 1899-  Search this
Names:
Federal Art Project (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Fine Arts Federation of New York  Search this
National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Extent:
80 Items ((on partial microfilm reel))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Place:
United States -- Economic conditions -- 1918-1945 -- New York (N.Y.)
United States -- Social conditions -- 1933-1945 -- New York (N.Y.)
Date:
1934-1940
Scope and Contents:
Official correspondence consisting mainly of letters received by Norman while he was president of the Society of Mural Painters and chairman of the Committee on Mural Painting for the Fine Arts Federation of New York; membership lists; agenda; press releases; newsletters; and clippings relating to the National Society of Mural Painters and the Federal Art Project in New York City.
Biographical / Historical:
Mural and portrait painter, London, England and New York City. Painted murals for the Federal Art Project of the Work Projects Administration.
Provenance:
The lender, Geoffrey Norman, lent his papers for microfilming.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Portrait painters  Search this
Topic:
New Deal, 1933-1939 -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Federal aid to the arts -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Federal aid to public welfare -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art and state -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Mural painting and decoration, American  Search this
Muralists  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.normgeof
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-normgeof

National Society of Mural Painters records

Creator:
National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Names:
American Federation of Arts  Search this
Federal Art Project  Search this
Fine Arts Federation of New York  Search this
Municipal Art Society of New York  Search this
Red Cross  Search this
United States Capitol Historical Society  Search this
Baskerville, Charles, 1896-  Search this
Covey, Arthur Sinclair, 1877-1960  Search this
Cox, Allyn, 1896-1982  Search this
Fausett, Dean, 1913-  Search this
Fortel, Ruth  Search this
Lanning, Edward P.  Search this
Millet, Francis Davis, 1846-1912  Search this
Molinari, Everett  Search this
Stewart, Jack, 1926-2005  Search this
Treadwell, Helen, 1902-  Search this
Williams, J. Scott (John Scott), b. 1877  Search this
Extent:
13.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Lantern slides
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Date:
1895 - circa 2007
Summary:
The records of the National Society of Mural Painters measure 13.1 linear feet and date from 1895 to circa 2007. The activities of the society are documented through administrative files, membership files, correspondence, committee files, exhibition and competition files, artist files, financial and legal records, printed material, a scrapbook, and photographic materials.
Scope and Contents:
The records of the National Society of Mural Painters measure 13.1 linear feet and date from 1895 to circa 2007. The activities of the society are documented through administrative files, membership files, correspondence, committee files, exhibition and competition files, artist files, financial and legal records, printed material, a scrapbook, and photographic materials.

Administrative files include meeting minutes and agendas, historical information, and newsletter drafts, and the organization's constitution and by-laws. Membership files contain correspondence with members about their applications and acceptance or denial of membership, member voting ballots, and lists of members. General correspondence is with artists, members, organizations, universities, and federal commissions, and documents a wide varity of NSMP activities; additional correspondence is scattered throughout other series. Correspondence is with Charles Baskerville, Arthur Covey, Allyn Cox, Dean Fausett, Ruth Fortel, Edward Lanning, Everett Molinari, Jack Stewart, and Helen Tredwell, as well as with the American Federation of Arts, the Commission of Fine Arts on War Memorials, Fine Arts Federation, and the U. S. Capitol Historical Society.

Committee files document the work of various NSMP standing and ad hoc committees. Exhibition and competition files include correspondence, photographs, catalogs, itineraries, and printed materials for the NSMP's 1976 U.S. Bicentennial celebration projects, including the "Freedom Murals," "Caravan of Freedom," and "Momentous Events in American History." Additional files document the Red Cross Canteen Project, Federal Art Project, the Municipal Art Society exhibition in 1940, New York City subway murals, and other competitions and public art mural projects.

Artist files primarily date from the 1960s through the 1990s and often include biographies, resumes, correspondence, and photographs of works of art. Financial and legal records include the NSMP treasurer's files, ledgers, and miscellany. Also found in the records are printed materials; a mixed media scrapbook dating from 1923-1935; photographs of meetings, events, exhibitions, and works of art; photo collages of members with examples of their works of art. There are also lantern slides of Francis D. Millet in his studio and with his murals, and of J. Scott Williams with his art work.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 10 series reflecting the original order of the records.

Series 1: Administrative Files, 1895-circa 2007 (2.2 linear feet; Boxes 1-3)

Series 2: Membership Files, 1915-2001 (1.1 linear feet; Boxes 3-4)

Series 3: Correspondence, 1912-2001 (1.0 linear feet; Boxes 4-5)

Series 4: Committee Files, 1909-1960s (0.3 linear feet; Box 5)

Series 5: Exhibition and Competition Files, 1917-1998 (2.0 linear feet; Boxes 5-7)

Series 6: Artist Files, 1915-1990s (1.3 linear feet; Boxes 7-8, 18)

Series 7: Financial and Legal Records, 1895-1996 (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 8-10)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1915-2000 (0.9 linear feet; Boxes 10-11)

Series 9: Scrapbook, 1923-1935 (0.2 linear feet; Box 11)

Series 10: Photographic Material, circa 1900-1997 (2.5 linear feet; Boxes 12-18)
Biographical / Historical:
Originally named The Mural Painters, the National Society of Mural Painters (NSMP) was founded in 1895 in New York City by a group of artists, including John W. Alexander, Kenyon Cox, Edwin Blashfield, and John LaFarge, who were concerned with the design and execution of mural art for architecture in the United States. The organization's first president was Frederic Crowninshield. For well over one hundred years members of NSMP have created significant and monumental works of art across the country. Many significant American artists have been members and served as past presidents, such as George Biddle, Hildreth Meiére, Arthur S. Covey, Allyn Cox, Helen Treadwell, and Xavier Gonzales, among many others.

Since its founding, the NSMP has collaborated with the Fine Arts Section of the Treasury Department, the federal WPA Arts Project, and the design boards of several World's Fairs. As a member of Artists for Victory, NSMP coordinated the execution of murals for barracks and camps, as well as many triptych alterpieces.

NSMP organizes exhibitions and conductes competitions. In celebration of its one hundredth anniversary, a centennial exhibition was held in October 1995 at the Art Students League. Society members work with other organizations, actively sponsoring legislation for the development and commission of public works of art. Still active today, the current president is Jeff Greene.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reel NSM1) including 83 photographs of mural paintings and mural studies, and 25 exhibition boards showing sculptures, mosaics, and mural paintings with the artist's name, medium, title, and location listed. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
The National Society of Mural Painters lent materials for microfilming in 1963 and donated records in 1965-1966. The National Society of Mural Painters, via President Jeff Greene, gave papers in 2009.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The National Society of Mural Painters records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as posessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Occupation:
Muralists -- United States  Search this
Topic:
Subways -- New York (N.Y.)  Search this
American Revolution Bicentennial, 1776-1976  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Mural painting and decoration -- 19th century -- United States  Search this
Mural painting and decoration -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Lantern slides
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Citation:
National Society of Mural Painters records, 1895 - circa 2007. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.natimurp
See more items in:
National Society of Mural Painters records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-natimurp

Administrative Files

Collection Creator:
National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Extent:
2.2 Linear feet (Boxes 1-3)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1895-circa 2007
Scope and Contents:
Administrative files contain material regarding the society's activities, founding, and history and include meeting minutes and agendas, drafts of newsletters, constitution and by-laws, and other miscellaneous documents and one videocassette. Files labeled miscellaneous likely contain duplicates of other material documented throughout the collection.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The National Society of Mural Painters records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as posessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
National Society of Mural Painters records, 1895 - circa 2007. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.natimurp, Series 1
See more items in:
National Society of Mural Painters records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-natimurp-ref1

Photographic Material

Collection Creator:
National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Extent:
2.5 Linear feet (Boxes 12-18)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1900-1997
Scope and Contents:
Photographic materials consists of scattered photographs, transparencies, lantern slides, and photo collages of members, artwork, members with their artwork, meetings, exhibitions, and events. The photo collages typically include a photo of the artist and examples of their work. Also found are lantern slides, mostly of works of art, and of Francis D. Millett in his studio and with his murals and of J. Scott Williams with his art. A list of the lantern slides is found within the records, but it is unclear whether the list corresponds to all or some of the lantern slides.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The National Society of Mural Painters records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as posessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
National Society of Mural Painters records, 1895 - circa 2007. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.natimurp, Series 10
See more items in:
National Society of Mural Painters records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-natimurp-ref10

Amend By-Laws and Constitution

Collection Creator:
National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Container:
Box 5, Folder 19-20
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1921-1936
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The National Society of Mural Painters records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as posessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
National Society of Mural Painters records, 1895 - circa 2007. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
National Society of Mural Painters records
National Society of Mural Painters records / Series 4: Committee Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-natimurp-ref100

Beautify New York City

Collection Creator:
National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Container:
Box 5, Folder 21
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1960s
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The National Society of Mural Painters records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as posessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
National Society of Mural Painters records, 1895 - circa 2007. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
National Society of Mural Painters records
National Society of Mural Painters records / Series 4: Committee Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-natimurp-ref101

Buildings and Sites

Collection Creator:
National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Container:
Box 5, Folder 22
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1943
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The National Society of Mural Painters records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as posessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
National Society of Mural Painters records, 1895 - circa 2007. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
National Society of Mural Painters records
National Society of Mural Painters records / Series 4: Committee Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-natimurp-ref102

Coordination

Collection Creator:
National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Container:
Box 5, Folder 23
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1938-1940
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The National Society of Mural Painters records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as posessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
National Society of Mural Painters records, 1895 - circa 2007. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
National Society of Mural Painters records
National Society of Mural Painters records / Series 4: Committee Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-natimurp-ref103

Current Work

Collection Creator:
National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Container:
Box 5, Folder 24
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1917-1920
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The National Society of Mural Painters records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as posessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
National Society of Mural Painters records, 1895 - circa 2007. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
National Society of Mural Painters records
National Society of Mural Painters records / Series 4: Committee Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-natimurp-ref104

Dinners

Collection Creator:
National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Container:
Box 5, Folder 25
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1921
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The National Society of Mural Painters records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as posessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
National Society of Mural Painters records, 1895 - circa 2007. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
National Society of Mural Painters records
National Society of Mural Painters records / Series 4: Committee Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-natimurp-ref105

Education

Collection Creator:
National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Container:
Box 5, Folder 26-28
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1917-1940
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The National Society of Mural Painters records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as posessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
National Society of Mural Painters records, 1895 - circa 2007. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
National Society of Mural Painters records
National Society of Mural Painters records / Series 4: Committee Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-natimurp-ref106

Executive Committee

Collection Creator:
National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Container:
Box 5, Folder 29
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1917-1921
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The National Society of Mural Painters records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as posessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
National Society of Mural Painters records, 1895 - circa 2007. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
National Society of Mural Painters records
National Society of Mural Painters records / Series 4: Committee Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-natimurp-ref107

Fine Arts Federation

Collection Creator:
National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Container:
Box 5, Folder 30
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1939-1940
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The National Society of Mural Painters records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as posessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
National Society of Mural Painters records, 1895 - circa 2007. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
National Society of Mural Painters records
National Society of Mural Painters records / Series 4: Committee Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-natimurp-ref108

Government and Art

Collection Creator:
National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Container:
Box 5, Folder 31-33
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1940-1954
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The National Society of Mural Painters records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as posessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
National Society of Mural Painters records, 1895 - circa 2007. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
National Society of Mural Painters records
National Society of Mural Painters records / Series 4: Committee Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-natimurp-ref109

Annual Dinner and Meeting

Collection Creator:
National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 1-2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1910-1943
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The National Society of Mural Painters records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as posessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
National Society of Mural Painters records, 1895 - circa 2007. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
National Society of Mural Painters records
National Society of Mural Painters records / Series 1: Administrative Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-natimurp-ref11

Large Canvases

Collection Creator:
National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Container:
Box 5, Folder 34
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1920-1921
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The National Society of Mural Painters records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as posessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
National Society of Mural Painters records, 1895 - circa 2007. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
National Society of Mural Painters records
National Society of Mural Painters records / Series 4: Committee Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-natimurp-ref110

Legislation

Collection Creator:
National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Container:
Box 5, Folder 35-36
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1938-1939
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The National Society of Mural Painters records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as posessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
National Society of Mural Painters records, 1895 - circa 2007. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
National Society of Mural Painters records
National Society of Mural Painters records / Series 4: Committee Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-natimurp-ref111

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