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Charles Sheeler papers, circa 1840s-1966, bulk 1923-1965

Creator:
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Subject:
Bacon, Peggy  Search this
White, Minor  Search this
Weston, Edward  Search this
Williams, William Carlos  Search this
Arensberg, Louise S. (Louise Stevenson)  Search this
Sheeler, Musya  Search this
Waters, George  Search this
Halpert, Edith Gregor  Search this
Eidlitz, Dorothy  Search this
Rourke, Constance  Search this
Newhall, Nancy Wynne.  Search this
Newhall, Beaumont  Search this
Lane, William H.  Search this
Arensberg, Walter  Search this
Adams, Ansel  Search this
Archives of American Art  Search this
Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Type:
Artifacts
Awards
Photographs
Journals (accounts)
Scrapbooks
Writings
Topic:
Works of art  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Lithographers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Industrial designers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Theme:
Diaries  Search this
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Photography  Search this
Architecture & Design  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9401
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211598
AAA_collcode_sheechar
Theme:
Diaries
Lives of American Artists
Photography
Architecture & Design
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211598
Online Media:

Charles Sheeler papers

Creator:
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965  Search this
Names:
Archives of American Art  Search this
Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Arensberg, Louise S. (Louise Stevenson), 1879-1953  Search this
Arensberg, Walter, 1878-1954  Search this
Bacon, Peggy, 1895-1987  Search this
Eidlitz, Dorothy  Search this
Halpert, Edith Gregor, 1900-1970  Search this
Lane, William H.  Search this
Newhall, Beaumont, 1908-1993  Search this
Newhall, Nancy Wynne.  Search this
Rourke, Constance, 1885-1941  Search this
Sheeler, Musya, 1908-1981  Search this
Waters, George  Search this
Weston, Edward, 1886-1958  Search this
Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963  Search this
Photographer:
Sheeler, Musya, 1908-1981  Search this
White, Minor  Search this
Extent:
4.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Artifacts
Awards
Photographs
Journals (accounts)
Scrapbooks
Writings
Date:
circa 1840s-1966
bulk 1923-1965
Summary:
The papers of painter, photographer, lithographer and industrial designer Charles Sheeler measure 4.9 linear feet and date from circa 1840s to 1966, with the bulk of the material dating from 1923-1965. The collection documents Sheeler's family, personal life and career through financial and medical records, awards, correspondence, writings, an autobiography, journal and notebooks, scrapbooks, exhibition catalogs and announcements, printed materials, photographs, funeral records and artwork by Sheeler and others. The collection is particularly rich in Sheeler's writings, and also includes Sheeler's industrial designs and manufactured artwork. Notable photographs include Sheeler with Edward Weston, Edward Steichen, and John Marin.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter, photographer, lithographer and industrial designer Charles Sheeler measure 4.9 linear feet and date from circa 1840s to 1966, with the bulk of the material dating from 1923-1965. The collection documents Sheeler's family, personal life and career through financial and medical records, awards, correspondence, writings, an autobiography, journal and notebooks, scrapbooks, exhibition catalogs and announcements, printed materials, photographs, funeral records and artwork by Sheeler and others. The collection is particularly rich in Sheeler's writings, and also includes Sheeler's industrial designs and manufactured artwork. There are photographs of Sheeler with Edward Weston, Edward Steichen, and John Marin.

Biographical materials date from 1875, and 1928-1965, and include funeral records, medical records, insurance, tax, and scattered financial records. There is one folder of records relating to artwork and exhibitions, as well as Sheeler's numerous certificates, prizes and awards, and the condolence book used at his funeral.

Correspondence consists of Sheeler's personal and professional correspondence dating from 1937-1966 with friends, artists, dealers, collectors, photographers, and curators. Notable correspondents include Ansel Adams, Walter and Louise Arensberg, William Lane, Beaumont and Nancy Newhall, George Waters, William Carlos Williams, and Edward Weston. The series also includes correspondence with the Archives of American Art, Sheeler's biographer Constance Rourke, and with publishers, editors, children, and the general public. Lastly, there are condolence letters written to Musya Sheeler following Sheeler's death in May 1965.

Writings include Sheeler's journal dating from the 1950s-1963 and two notebooks containing notes, addresses, recipes, etc. Also found are Sheeler's writings on artists, drafts for articles, and a manuscript and notes for an autobiography that Sheeler wrote for Harcourt Brace. The autobiography became the basis for Constance Rourke's biography Charles Sheeler: Artist in the American Tradition published in 1938. The writing series also includes a short story by Musya Sheeler, and an illustrated short story by friend Dorothy Eidlitz.

The scrapbook series contains two oversize scrapbooks dating from 1930s-1960s that include newspaper and magazine clippings about Sheeler and his artwork, exhibition announcements and brochures, a poem, and a thank you letter from Abby Aldrich Rockefeller.

Additional printed materials date from 1923-1966 and document Sheeler's numerous exhibitions, notably his partnership with Edith Halpert and the Downtown Gallery. Found here are clippings, copies of magazines, exhibition announcements and catalogs, museum bulletings, books, and miscellaneous items.

Photographs date from circa 1840s-1963 and include photographs of Sheeler's family, of Sheeler, and of Sheeler with friends and colleagues. There is one daguerreotype, two ambrotypes, and two tintypes of Sheeler's family and of Sheeler as a child. There are copyprints of these originals. Additional photographs are of Sheeler's mother and father (or possibly Sheeler's grandparent), of Sheeler, of Sheeler with his wife Musya, Sheeler with William Lane, Sheeler with Edward Weston, and Sheeler with Edward Steichen and John Marin. The series also includes photographs of Sheeler's collection of Shaker furniture, and photographs of exhibitions.

Artwork by Sheeler dates from circa 1930s-1960s and includes artifacts of manufactured pieces based on his industrial designs. Found are a glass tumbler, salt and pepper shakers, a tea spoon, fabrics designed by Sheeler, and sketches. The series also includes a drawing by Peggy Bacon and a photograph by Minor White.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into seven series. Materials are arranged by material type and chronologically or alphabetically thereafter:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1875, 1928-1965 (Boxes 1, 5, OV10; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1937-1966 (Box 1; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1930s-1965 (Boxes 1-2 ; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 4: Scrapbooks, 1930s-1960s (Boxes 2, 6; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1923-1966 (Boxes 2-4, 7; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1840s-1963 (Box 4, OV11; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1930s-1960s (Boxes 4-5, 8-9, OV12-OV14; 1.1 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Painter, photographer, lithographer and designer, Charles Rettew Sheeler Jr. was born on July 16, 1883 to Mary Cunningham Sheeler and Charles Rettew Sheeler in Philadelphia. He attended the School of Industrial Art in Philadelphia from 1900-1903 and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he studied under William Merritt Chase. He found early success as a painter and exhibited at the Macbeth Gallery in 1908.

Around 1910 Sheeler took up photography, and by 1912 financially supported himself photographing buildings for local Philadelphia architects. The following year, Sheeler exhibited six paintings at the 1913 Armory Show in New York. In the mid 1910s, Sheeler began to collect American antiques, and by the 1920s was actively acquiring Shaker crafts and furniture.

In 1916, Sheeler was hired by Marius de Zayas of the Modern Gallery in New York to photograph objects and artwork. From 1917-1924, he worked as the staff photographer for the Modern Gallery and moved to New York in 1918. In 1920, Sheeler was hired as a still photographer for The Arts Magazine.

In 1926, Sheeler was hired by Edward Steichen to work as a fashion and celebrity photographer for Conde Nast Publications. His photographs were regularly featured in Vogue and Vanity Fair, but Sheeler also worked as a still life photographer for numerous advertising agencies. The following year, he was commissioned by the advertising firm N.W. Ayer and Son to photograph Ford Motor Company's new plant at River Rouge.

While working as a photographer, Sheeler continued to paint and used the subjects and composition of his photographs as a basis for his painting. His paintings Skyscrapers, 1922; Upper Deck, 1929; and American Landscape, 1930 are examples of Sheeler's technique of merging photographic imagery with painting and his overall precisionist style.

In 1931, upon the advice and guidance of Edith Halpert of the Downtown Gallery, Sheeler began to paint more often and to photograph less. Halpert became Sheeler's primarily dealer, and from 1931-1966 regularly exhibited his paintings and drawings. With Halpert's support, Sheeler produced Classic Landscape, 1931; American Interior, 1934; Silo, 1938; Amoskeag Canal, 1948; and Convolutions, 1952. In addition to Sheeler's partnership with Halpert, his work was exhibited by other galleries and museums throughout the United States and abroad.

In 1939, Sheeler married his second wife, Musya Metas Sokolova (1908-1981) and, in 1942, the couple moved to Irvington-on-Hudson, New York. Sheeler continued to paint and photograph until he suffered a debilitating stroke in 1959. After 1959, Sheeler remained active exhibiting his artwork until his death on May 7, 1965 in Dobbs Ferry, New York.
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art holds several collections that are related to Charles Sheeler.

There are two oral history interviews with Sheeler conducted by Mary Bartlett Cowdrey in December 1958, and by Martin Friedman in June 1959. The Archives also has the records of the Macbeth Gallery, which include a substantial amount of correspondence with Sheeler from 1907-1921, and the Downtown Gallery records, which also include correspondence with Sheeler, photographs of Sheeler and his artwork, exhibition publications, clippings, press releases, and audio visual materials dating from 1904-1972.

Also found in the the Archives is a loan of Charles Sheeler letters filmed on reel NY/59-5 containing letters written by Sheeler to his psychologist and art collector, Dr. Helen Boigon, art student George Craven, and friend William Carlos Williams, all dating from 1939-1958. There is a collection of six letters of Sheeler letters addressed to Doris Royce, possibly an art critic, dating from 1949-1957. Miscellaneous manuscript collections include one letter written by Sheeler to E.P. Richardson in 1958, and another letter written to Frank Crowninshield in September, 1939.
Separated Material:
Portions of Sheeler's papers that were originally loaned for microfilming were not included in the later gifts and are available only on microfilm reel NSH-1. A watercolor study microfilmed on reel 1811 was later transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum. These materials are not described in the container list of this finding aid.
Provenance:
Charles Sheeler's wife Musya initially loaned the papers to the Archives of American Art for microfilming in 1958, 1965, and 1966. In June, 1966, she donated most of the earlier loaned materials. In 1964, Sheeler's friend Howard Lipman donated three photographs of Sheeler with Edward Steichen and John Marin. The third accrual was transferred to the Archives by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery Library in June 1979.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use 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.
Topic:
Works of art  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Lithographers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Industrial designers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Artifacts
Awards
Photographs
Journals (accounts)
Scrapbooks
Writings
Citation:
Charles Sheeler papers, circa 1840s-1966, bulk 1923-1965. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.sheechar
See more items in:
Charles Sheeler papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-sheechar
Online Media:

Death Valley. Photos. by Ansel Adams. Story by Nancy Newhall. Guide by Ruth Kirk. Maps drawn by Edith Hamlin

Author:
Newhall, Nancy Wynne  Search this
Adams, Ansel 1902-1984  Search this
Physical description:
63 p. illus. (part col.), maps (on lining papers) 31 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Death Valley (Calif. and Nev.)
Date:
1970
Call number:
F868.D2 N4 1970X
F868.D2N4 1970X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_5919

Masters of photography; edited and with an introd. by Beaumont and Nancy Newhall

Author:
Newhall, Beaumont 1908-1993  Search this
Newhall, Nancy Wynne  Search this
Physical description:
192 p. (chiefly illus., ports.) 30 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1958
Topic:
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Photographers  Search this
Call number:
TR650 .N47
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_669314

Twelve days at Santa Cruz : an American city on the coast of northern California / the project as seen, photographed, written, and designed by the workshop Images and Words: the making of a photographic book, University Extension, the University of California at Santa Cruz, conducted by Ansel Adams, Beaumont and Nancy Newhall, June 26-July 8, 1967

Author:
Adams, Ansel 1902-1984  Search this
Newhall, Beaumont 1908-1993  Search this
Newhall, Nancy Wynne  Search this
University of California Extension (Santa Cruz)  Search this
Physical description:
40 p. ill. ; 28 cm
Type:
Books
Pictorial works
Place:
Santa Cruz (Calif.)
Date:
1968
1968]
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_691856

Alvin Langdon Coburn : photographs 1900-1924 / edited by Karl Steinorth ; essay by Nancy Newhall ; texts by Anthony Bannon ... [et al.]

Author:
Coburn, Alvin Langdon 1882-1966  Search this
Steinorth, Karl  Search this
Newhall, Nancy Wynne  Search this
Bannon, Anthony  Search this
International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House  Search this
Subject:
Coburn, Alvin Langdon 1882-1966 Exhibitions  Search this
Physical description:
208 p. : ill. ; 30 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1998
C1998
Call number:
TR647.C62 S84 1998
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_552835

The daybooks of Edward Weston / edited by Nancy Newhall ; foreword by Beaumont Newhall

Author:
Weston, Edward 1886-1958  Search this
Newhall, Nancy (Wynne) 1908-1974  Search this
Subject:
Weston, Edward 1886-1958  Search this
Physical description:
xxiii, 202, 310 p., [64] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1990
Call number:
TR647.W534 A1d 1990
TR647.W534A1d 1990
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_410197

This is the Photo League

Author:
Photo League  Search this
Newhall, Nancy Wynne  Search this
Subject:
Photo League Exhibitions  Search this
Physical description:
[24] p. : chiefly ill. ; 23 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
1948
1948?]
Topic:
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Call number:
TR646.U6 N4845 1948
TR646.U6N4845 1948
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_439878

Ansel Adams : the eloquent light : his photographs and the classic biography / by Nancy Newhall

Author:
Newhall, Nancy Wynne  Search this
Subject:
Adams, Ansel 1902-1984  Search this
Physical description:
175 p. : ill. ; 35 cm
Type:
Biography
Place:
United States
Date:
1980
[1980], c1963
Topic:
Photographers  Search this
Call number:
TR647.A21 N52 1980
TR647.A21N52 1980
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_443983

A celebration without shadows : Ansel Adams's and Nancy Newhall's collaborations on The pageant of history in Northern California and Fiat lux : the University of California / by Louise Stover

Author:
Stover, Louise  Search this
Subject:
Adams, Ansel 1902-1984 Pageant of history and the panorama of today in northern California  Search this
Adams, Ansel 1902-1984 Fiat lux  Search this
Newhall, Nancy Wynne  Search this
University of California (System)  Search this
Physical description:
81 leaves : ill
Type:
Manuscripts
Pictorial works
Place:
California
Date:
1992
Topic:
Artistic collaboration  Search this
Photography, Artistic--History and criticism  Search this
Call number:
TR647.A21 S88 1992a
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_460218

The daybooks of Edward Weston. Edited by Nancy Newhall

Author:
Weston, Edward 1886-1958  Search this
Newhall, Nancy Wynne  Search this
Subject:
Weston, Edward 1886-1958  Search this
Physical description:
2 v. illus. 27 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1973
1973]
Topic:
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Call number:
TR647.W534 A1d 1973
TR647.W534A1d 1973
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_380773

From Adams to Stieglitz : pioneers of modern photography / Nancy Newhall ; introduction by Beaumont Newhall ; foreward by Michael E. Hoffman

Author:
Newhall, Nancy Wynne  Search this
Physical description:
172 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
Type:
Biography
Place:
United States
Date:
1989
C1989
20th century
Topic:
Photography--History  Search this
Photographers  Search this
Call number:
TR139 .N54 1989
TR139.N54 1989
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_391798

A portfolio of sixteen photographs by Alvin Langdon Coburn. Introd. by Nancy Newhall

Author:
Coburn, Alvin Langdon 1882-1966  Search this
Newhall, Nancy Wynne  Search this
Subject:
Coburn, Alvin Langdon 1882-1966  Search this
Physical description:
21 p. 16 plates (incl. ports.) 36 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1963
[1963], c1962
Call number:
TR647.C62 N54 1962
TR140.C56A3X
TR647.C62N54 1962
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_250431

Masters of photography; edited and with an introd. by Beaumont and Nancy Newhall

Author:
Newhall, Beaumont 1908-1993  Search this
Newhall, Nancy Wynne  Search this
Physical description:
192 p. (chiefly illus., ports.) 30 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1958
[c1958]
Topic:
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Photographers  Search this
Call number:
TR650 .N47 1958Z
TR650.N47 1958Z
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_250472

Time in New England / photos. by Paul Strand ; text selected and edited by Nancy Newhall ; pref. by Paul Metcalf ; afterword by Beaumont Newhall

Author:
Strand, Paul 1890-1976  Search this
Newhall, Nancy Wynne  Search this
Physical description:
256 p. : ill. ; 31 cm
Type:
Books
Pictorial works
Place:
New England
Date:
1980
[1980] c1950
Topic:
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Call number:
TR647.S89 N5
TR647.S89N5
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_253229

Yosemite Valley / by Ansel Adams ; edited by Nancy Newhall

Photographer:
Adams, Ansel 1902-1984  Search this
Editor:
Newhall, Nancy Wynne  Search this
Publisher:
5 Associates  Search this
Physical description:
64 unnumbered pages : 45 illustrations ; 31 cm
Type:
Books
Pictorial works
Place:
Yosemite Valley (Calif.)
Date:
1959
Call number:
F868.Y6 A36X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_255679

Death Valley. Photos. by Ansel Adams, story by Nancy Newhall, guide by Ruth Kirk, maps drawn by Edith Hamlin

Author:
Newhall, Nancy (Wynne) 1908-1974  Search this
Adams, Ansel 1902-1984  Search this
Physical description:
55 p. illus. 31 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Death Valley (Calif. and Nev.)
Date:
1963
Call number:
TR654.A3 N354d 1963Z
TR654.A3N354d 1963Z
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_255681

Colorful California names : their history and meaning. / Compiled by Thomas P. Brown ; with a foreword by Nancy Newhall

Author:
Brown, Thomas P (Thomas Pollok) b. 1879  Search this
Newhall, Nancy (Wynne) d.1974  Search this
Wells Fargo Bank American Trust Company, San Francisco  Search this
Physical description:
45 p. 20 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
California
Date:
1957
C1957
Topic:
Names, Geographical  Search this
Call number:
F859 .B768Z
F859.B768Z
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_256035

Photographs, 1915-1945; Paul Strand by Nancy Newhall

Author:
Strand, Paul 1890-1976  Search this
Newhall, Nancy Wynne  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Physical description:
32 p. illus. 26 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1948
[1948]
Topic:
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Call number:
TR647.S89 N5p
TR647.S89N5p
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_267686

Photographs, 1915-1945: Paul Strand, by Nancy Newhall

Author:
Strand, Paul 1890-1976  Search this
Newhall, Nancy Wynne  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Physical description:
32 p. illus. 26 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1945
[1945]
Topic:
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Call number:
N40.1.S887N5
TR650.S76X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_185382

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