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1 Item (Silver gelatin on paper., 9.6" x 7.3")
Box 14, Folder 2
Scope and Contents:
Spokes figure for Alka-Seltzer.
AC0184-0000001 (AC Scan No.)
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Collection consists of records documenting one of the oldest advertising agencies created in Philadelphia. The company then moves to New York and expanses to international markets. During its history NW Ayer & Sons acquires a number of other advertising agencies and is eventually purchased. The largest portion of the collection is print advertisements but also
includes radio and television. NW Ayer is known for some of the slogans created for major American companies.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists primarily of proof sheets of advertisements created by NW Ayer & Son, Incorporated for their clients. These materials are in series one through thirteen and consist primarily of print advertisements. There are also billboards, radio and television commercials. The advertisements range from consumer to corporate and industrial products. The majority of the advertisements were created for Ayer's New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and international offices. Printed advertisements created by Cunningham & Walsh, Hixson & Jorgensen and Newell-Emmett are also included among these materials. Researchers who are interested in records created by Ayer in the course of operating an advertising agency will find these materials in Series fourteen-nineteen.
Series fourteen consists of advertisements created by NW Ayer & Son to promote their services to potential clients.
Series fifteen are scrapbooks of some of the earliest advertisements created by the company. Series sixteen are publications. Some of the publications were created by Ayer while others were about Ayer or the advertising industry in general. Provides good background materials and puts the company in perspective. Series eighteen are the legal records. Materials relating to employees including photographs, oral histories etc. are found in series nineteen.
Series twenty is one of the smallest amounts of materials and includes information relating to the history of NW Ayer & Son.
The container lists for series one-thirteen are part of a database and are searchable. The list has been printed for the convenience of the researcher and is included in this finding aid. Series fourteen-twenty container lists are also a part of the finding aid but are not in a searchable format.
Series 1, Scrapbooks of Client Advertisements, circa 1870-1920, is arranged into three boxes by chronological date. There are two bound scrapbooks and one box of folders containing loose scrapbook pages. NW Ayer & Son compiled an assortment of their earliest ads and placed them into scrapbooks. Besides the earliest advertisements, the scrapbooks contain requests to run advertisements, reading notices and listings of papers Ayer advertised in. The early advertisements themselves range from medical remedies to jewelry to machines to clothing to education and more. Most of the advertisements in the bound scrapbooks are dated.
Series 2, Proofsheets, circa 1870-1930, NW Ayer was fond of creating scrapbooks containing proofsheets. The series contains proofsheets created between 1892 and 1930, organized into 526 boxes. For convenience of storage, access and arrangement, the scrapbooks were disassembled and the pages placed in original order in flat archival storage boxes. The proofsheets are arranged by book number rather than client name. Usually the boxes contain a listing of the clients and sometimes the dates of the advertisements to be found within the box.
Series 3, Proofsheets, circa 1920-1975, is organized into 532 oversize boxes, and contain proofsheets and tearsheets created between 1920 and 1972. Within this series, materials are arranged alphabetically by company name (occasionally subdivided by brand or product), and thereunder chronologically by date of production. Many major, national advertisers are represented, including American Telephone & Telegraph, Armour Company, Canada Dry, Cannon Mills, Carrier Corporation, Domino Sugar, Caterpillar tractor company, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, Goodyear, Hills Bros. Coffee, Ladies Home Journal, National Dairy, Plymouth (Chrysler Corporation), Steinway, TV Guide, United Airlines and the United States Army. Also contained in this series are three scrapbooks of client advertisements including Canada Dry, Ford Motor, and Victor Talking Machine.
Series 4, 2001 Addendum, circa 1976-2001, is organized into ninety three oversized boxes,one folder and contains proofsheets for select Ayer clients, created between 1975 and 2001. Within this series, materials are arranged alphabetically by client name and there under chronologically by date of production. Major national advertisers represented include American Telephone & Telegraph, Avon, the United States Army, DeBeers Consolidated Diamond Mines, Dupont, TV Guide, Sealtest, Kraft Foods, Gillette, General Motors, Cannon Mills.
Series 5, Billboards, circa 1952-1956, consists of mounted and un-mounted original art/mock-ups. Twenty-two pieces of original art created as mock-ups for Texaco billboards.
Series 6, Film and Video Commercials, 1967-1970,
Series 7, Radio and Television Materials, 1933-1993, undated, is arranged into eight boxes and includes radio scripts, television scripts, and story boards for commercials.
Subseries 7.1, Scripts and storyboards for Radio and Television Commercials, dates Scripts for radio and television commercials includes title, date, length of commercial, advertising agency, client information
NW Ayer's radio and television materials mainly focus on the American Telegraph and Telephone account. Some of Ayer's materials relate to Bell Telephone Hours.
Storyboards are used in television and film to assist the director in working with crew to tell the story. To show the viewer through the use of figures, visual effects and camera angles. When directors first start thinking about their storyboard they create a story in their mind. They think of all the camera angles, visual effects and how the figures will interact in their mind. They try to create an extraordinary story in their head to attract the viewer (YOU) In order for the storyboard to be entirely effective it can't be a passive document. When done properly, a storyboard serves as a central design, meeting the needs of many team members including graphics artists, video personnel and programmers.
Another function of a storyboard is to help the team communicate during the training development process. This communication is very important in working with a large team as in the movie King, produced in 1996. Figures help the director explain to the crew how they are going to record the film and how to present it to the audience. Sometimes the director wants special effects to be added to the film, but his budget might not be that big so the director will have to change the story to fit their budget.
The Visual Effects are an important part in the storyboards it adds a special touch of creativity to your film. Camera angles are an important expects in your film because the camera angles determine where the viewing audience will look. If you want your audience to look at a certain object you must turn their attention to it by focusing on that object and maybe you might try blocking something out. Then you will have your audience's attention and you may do whatever else you have to, it could be scaring them are just surprising them or whatever you do.
Also included is talent information and log sheets relating to the storage of the commercials.
Bell Telephone Hour Program, 1942-[19??], The Bell Telephone Hour, also known as The Telephone Hour, was a five minute musical program which began April 29, 1940 on National Broadcasting Company Radio and was heard on NBC until June 30, 1958. Sponsored by Bell Telephone showcased the best in classical and Broadway music, reaching eight to nine million listeners each week. It continued on television from 1959 to 1968.
Earlier shows featured James Melton and Francia White as soloists. Producer Wallace Magill restructured the format on April 27, 1942 into the "Great Artists Series" of concert and opera performers, beginning with Jascha Heifetz. Records indicate that the list of talents on the program included Marian Anderson, Helen Traubel, Oscar Levant, Lily Pons, Nelson Eddy, Bing Crosby, Margaret Daum, Benny Goodman, José Iturbi, Gladys Swarthout and .The series returned to radio in 1968-1969 as Bell Telephone Hour Encores, also known as Encores from the Bell Telephone Hour, featuring highlights and interviews from the original series.
National Broadcasting television specials sponsored by the Bell System, 1957-1987includes information relating to Science series, Bell system Theshold Series, Bell telephone hour and commercial and public sponsored programs
Series 8, Chicago Office Print Advertisements, 1954-1989, is arranged alphabetically by the name of the client in ninety boxes and six oversize folders. Clients include Illinois Bell Telephone (1955-1989), Microswitch (1969-1989), Teletype (1975-1984), John Deere (1974-1989) and Caterpillar (1966-1972) are particularly well represented. Other clients of interest include Dr. Scholl's shoes (circa 1968-1972), the Girl Scouts (1976-1980), Sunbeam Personal Products Company (1973-1981), Bell and Howell (1974-1983) and Alberto Culver shampoos (1967-1971), Honeywell, Incorporated, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Associations, Kraft, Incorporated, Sears, Roebuck and Company, and YMCA.
Series 9, Los Angeles Office Materials, 1950s-1987, include printed advertisements created by this office and information relating to the employees.
Subseries 9.1, Print Advertisements, 1977-1987, printed advertisements arranged in one box alphabetically by client. There is a sparse sampling of clients from this particular Ayer branch office. The majority of the advertisements contained within this series are from Pizza Hut (1986-1987). Also included are Computer Automation (1977-1978), State of the Art, Incorporated (1982) and Toshiba (1986).
Subseries 9.2, Personnel Files, 1950s-1970s, includes cards of employees who worked in the Los Angeles office. Information on the cards includes name, address, telephone number, birthday, date hired, departure date and why (retired, terminated, resigned, etc) and position. Not all cards have all information. There is also a photograph of the employees on the cards.
Series 10, Foreign Print Advertisements, 1977-1991, undated, NW Ayer maintained partnerships with international companies such as Sloanas Ayer in Argentina, Connaghan & May Paton Ayer in Australia, Moussault Ayer in Belgium, NW Ayer, LTD. in Canada, GMC Ayer in France, Co-Partner Ayer in Germany, Wong Lam Wang in Hong Kong, MacHarman Ayer in New Zealand, Grupo de Diseno Ayer in Spain, Nedeby Ayer in Sweden, and Ayer Barker in United Kingdom. This group of material is a small sampling of advertisements created from these International offices. It is arranged alphabetically by client. There are quite a few automobile advertisements (i.e. Audi, Fiat, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen). In addition there are numerous advertisements for various personal items from MacLean's toothpaste to Quick athletic shoes to Labello lip balm, etc. Most of the advertisements have the creator's name printed on the advertisements.
Series 11, Cunningham & Walsh, Incorporated Materials, 1915-1987, undated contains 98 boxes 11 folders materials from the New York advertising agency acquired by NW Ayer in the 1960s. The company began with Newel-Emmett, an agency of nine men which broke up in 1949. Two of the men Fred Walsh and Jack Cunningham formed this agency in bearing their names in 1950. The agency created "let your fingers for the walking campaign for American Telephone & Telegraph, Mother Nature for Chiffon, and Mrs. Olson for Folgers's coffee and let the good times roll for Kawasaki motorcycle. In 1986, NW Ayer Incorporated purchased Cunningham & Walsh Incorporated.
Subseries 11.1, Print Advertisements, 1915-1987, are contained in ninety eight boxes of primarily print advertisements arranged alphabetically by client name. Clients that are particularly well represented are Graybar (electrical implements, circa1926-1937), Johns-Manulle (circa1915-1971), Smith and Corono typewriters (circa 1934-1960), Sunshine Biscuit Company (circa 1925-1961), Texaco Company (circa 1936-1961), Western Electric (circa 1920- 1971) and Yellow Pages (circa 1936-1971). Cunningham and Walsh also represented several travel and tourism industry clients, including Cook Travel Services (circa 1951-1962), Italian Line (circa 1953-1961), Narragansett and Croft (circa 1956-1960) and Northwest Airlines (circa 1946-1955). There are photographs of Texaco advertisements dating from 1913-1962. There is also a scrapbook of advertisements from the Western Electric Company dating from 1920-1922.
Subseries 11.2, Radio and Television Advertisements, 1963-1967, consist of materials created for Western Electric. Materials are arranged in chronological order.
Subseries 11.3, Company Related Materials, 1962-1986, undated include client lists, information relating to NW Ayer purchase and annual report 1962.
Series 12, Hixson & Jorgensen Materials, 1953-1971, a Los Angeles advertising company, merged with Ayer in 1969. This series is housed in one box. Within the box are four scrapbooks and folders with a hodgepodge of materials relating to advertising. Of most interest are the scrapbooks. Two scrapbooks deal with Hixson and Jorgensen's self promotion ad campaign "the right appeal gets action" (1953-1957). The other two scrapbooks contain news clippings about the company and its activities (1959-1971).
Series 13, Newell-Emmet, 1942-1957, founded in 1919 and governed in the 1940s by a partnership of nine men. The partnership broke up in 1949 when the men went their separate ways. The materials consist of print advertisements for one of client, Permutit Company, a water conditioning company. The materials are arranged in one box in chronological order.
Series 14, House Print Advertisements, 1870-1991, 16 boxes consists of advertisements or self-promotion advertisements to campaign for new clients. The series is arranged chronologically by date into fifteen boxes. Within the series are two scrapbooks containing self promotion ads from 1888-1919 and 1892-1895. Numerous house ads relate to Ayer's "Human Contact" campaign. In addition to the self promotion ads, Ayer ran advertisements expounding about particular concepts or themes for example, one month the concept would "understand" while another month would be "teamwork" and yet another would be on "imagination". Some of the self promotion ads target specific groups like Philadelphia businessmen. Other advertisements incorporate the fine arts.
Series 15, Scrapbooks, 1872-1959, relates to company events, records and news clippings about Ayer's history. The six boxes are arranged by chronological date. Two of the boxes focus solely on the death of founder F.W. Ayer (1923). Another box houses a scrapbook that showcases Ayer's annual Typography Exhibition (1931-1959). One box contains a scrapbook that specifically deals with correspondences relating to Ayer's advertising. Yet another box's contents are folders of loose pages from scrapbooks that have newspaper clippings, order forms, correspondences and other company records. In one box, a bound scrapbook houses a variety of materials relating to Ayer and advertising (i.e. newspaper clippings, competitor's advertisements, NW Ayer's advertisements, correspondences for advertisements, clippings regarding the "theory of advertising."
Series 16, Publications, 1849-2006, are housed in thirty four boxes and are arranged into three main categories.
Subseries 16.1, House Publications, 1876-1994, covers diverse topics; some proscriptive works about the Ayer method in advertising, some commemorating people, anniversaries or events in the life of the agency. Materials consist of scattered issues of the employee newsletter The Next Step 1920-1921. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date of publication. Ayer in the News, The Show Windows of an Advertising Agency, 1915, book form of advertisements published on the cover of Printer's Ink, highlighting Ayer's relations with advertisers. The Story of the States, 1916, Reprint in book form of a series of articles published in Printer's Ink for the purpose of adding some pertinent fact, progressive thought and prophetic vision to the Nationalism of Advertising highlights major businesses, manufacturer, natural resources and other qualities or attractions of each state. The Book of the Golden Celebration, 1919, includes welcome address and closing remarks by founder F. Wayland Ayer, The Next Step, 1920 employee newsletter with photographs, employee profiles, in-house jokes, etc., Advertising Advertising: A Series of Fifty-two Advertisements scheduled one time a week. Twenty-seven, thirty and forty inches, a day of the week optional with publisher, 1924
Subseries 16.2, Publications about NW Ayer, 1949-2006, includes a book first published in 1939. Includes articles, documenting events and is arranged chronologically by date of publication.
Subseries 16.3, General Publications about Advertising, 1922-1974, are arranged chronologically by date of publication and relate primarily to the history of advertising.
Subseries 16.4, Publications about Other Subjects, 1948-1964, include four books about the tobacco industry primarily the history of the American Tobacco Company and Lorillard Company from the Cunningham and Walsh library.
Series 17, Business Records, circa 1885-1990s
Subseries 17.1, Contracts, 1885-1908, undated, are arranged alphabetically and span from 1885-1908. The majority of the contracts are with newspaper and magazine publishers from around the country.
Subseries 17.2, General client information, 1911-1999, undated, including active and cancelled lists with dates, client gains, historical client list, (should move this to series 20) Ayer Plan User Guide Strategic Planning for Human Contact, undated
Subseries 17.3, Individual Client Account Information, 1950s-1990s, undated, contain information used by Ayer to create advertisements for some of its clients. American Telephone &Telegraph Corporate Case History, American Telephone &Telegraph Corporate advertisement memo, commissioned artists for DeBeers advertisements, DeBeers information relating to the creative process and photography credits, a case history for DeBeers Consolidated Mines, Ltd., The Diamond Engagement Ring, Managing Communication at all levels, DuPont publications, JC Penny Marketing Communication Plan Recommendation, Leaf, Incorporated, Saturn presentation, and USAREC oral presentation.
Subseries 17.4, Potential Clients, 1993, includes grouping has a questionnaire sent to Ayer by a potential client. Questionnaire response for Prudential Securities, 1993 Prudential Securities advertising account review, 1993.
Subseries 17.5, Financial Records, 1929-1938, includes balance sheet, 1929 May 1 Balance sheet and adjustments Consolidated statement of assets and liabilities, Expenses 191936-37 Business review and expenses, 1937 and 1938 Business review and expenses comparative statement, 1937 and 1938.
Series 18, Legal Records, circa 1911-1982, Ayer's legal records are arranged by twelve subject groupings within four boxes. The twelve groupings are advertising service agreements (circa 1918-1982), bylaws, copyright claims, correspondences, international correspondences, dissolution of trusts, stock information, agreements between partners, incorporation materials, reduction of capital, property information and miscellaneous materials. The bulk of the materials are the advertising service agreements. These agreements are between Ayer and their clients and state the services Ayer will offer and at what cost. The bylaws are Ayer's company bylaws from 1969 and 1972. The copyright claims are certificates stating Ayer's ownership over certain published materials (i.e. "Policy", Media Equalizer Model, and Don Newman's Washington Square Experiment). The correspondences relate to either the voting trust and receipts for agreement or the New York Corporation. The international correspondences are from either Ayer's Canadian office or London office. The dissolutions of trusts contains materials about the dividend trust of Wilfred F. Fry, the investment trust of Winfred W. Fry, the voting trust, and the New York corporation. The stock information has stock certificates and capital stock information. The agreements between partners (1911-1916) specify the terms between F.W. Ayer and his partners. The incorporation materials (circa 1929-1977) deal with Ayer advertising agency becoming incorporated in the state of Delaware. The reduction of capital grouping is a notification that shares of stock have been retired. The property information grouping contains property deeds and insurance policy (circa 1921-1939), a property appraisal (1934), and a bill of sale (1948). The miscellaneous grouping contains a house memo regarding a set of board meeting minutes and a registry of foreign companies in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1929-1954).
Subseries 18.1, Advertising Service Agreements, 1918-1982
Subseries 18.2, Bylaw Materials, 1969-1972
Subseries 18.3, Copyright Claims, 1962-1969
Subseries 18.4, Correspondence, 1928-1933
Subseries 18.5, International Office Correspondence, 1947-1948
Subseries 18.6, Dissolution of Trusts, 1934-1937
Subseries 18.7, Stock Information, 1934-1974
Subseries 18.8, Agreements between Partners, 1911-1916
Series 19, Personnel Records, circa 1889-2001, are arranged into eight groupings within eight boxes. The groupings are employee card files, photographs, Ayer alumni, biographies, speeches, recollections, oral histories, and miscellaneous. Typed manuscript of book A Copy Writer Speaks by George Cecil, NW Ayer, Incorporated copy head 1920s-1950s
Subseries 19.1, Employee card files, circa 1892-1915; 1929-1963, consists of index cards with the name, age, job title, date and wage increases, date of hire/fire, as well as remarks about the employee's service and/or reasons for seeking or leaving the job. Materials are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the employee within three boxes.
Subseries 19.2, Photographs, circa 1924-1984, undated, are housed in two boxes. The photographs grouped together by subjects i.e. personnel, company events, Ayer buildings, and miscellaneous. This grouping primarily consists of personnel photographs. Includes a glass plate negative dated 1924 of NW Ayer.
Subseries 19.3, Ayer Alumni, circa 1989-98, include employees who have left Ayer. There is a listing of Ayer "graduates" and their current job. Emeritus, Ayer's alumni newsletter 1989-1996, makes up the majority of materials in this grouping. The newsletter keeps the alumni up to date with the happenings of Ayer and what has become of former Ayer employees. Emeritus is a quarterly newsletter devoted to the activities, thoughts and feelings of Ayer alumni a body of people who consists of retirees and former employees.
Subseries 19.4, Biographical Information, circa 1889-1994, undated, prominent members of Ayer's operations had biographical sketches completed of them. This was true for the bio sketches of Robert Ervin, Louis T. Hagopian, and George A. Rink. There is a substantial file on Dorothy Dignam ("Mis Dig"), a leading woman in the advertising world from the 1930s to the 1950s. Also of interest is a video ("The Siano Man") compiled by Ayer employees to commemorate Jerry Siano's retirement from Ayer in 1994. The series is arranged alphabetically by last name.
Subseries 19.5, Speeches, circa 1919-1931; 1975, contains speeches made by Wilfred W. Fry and Neal W. O'Connor. Wilfred W. Fry had various speaking engagements connected with Ayer. Contained in this group is a sampling of his speeches from 1919 to 1931. Neal O'Connor's speech "Advertising: Who Says It's a Young People's Business" was given at the Central Region Convention for the American Association of Advertising Agencies in Chicago on November 6, 1975. The speeches are arranged alphabetically by the speaker's last name.
Subseries 19.6, Recollections, 1954-1984, undated, are arranged alphabetically by last name. These are recollections from Ayer employees about the company and its advertisements. Some recollections are specifically about certain types of advertisements, like farm equipment while others reflect on F. W. Ayer and the company.
Subseries 19.7, Oral History Interview Transcripts, 1983-1985; 1989-1991, include interviews with key NW Ayer personnel, conducted by Ayer alumnae Howard Davis, Brad Lynch and Don Sholl (Vice President creative) for the Oral History Program. The materials are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the interviewee.
Subseries 19.8, Oral History Interview Audio Tapes, 1985-1990, include interviews on audiotape the materials are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the interviewee.
Subseries 19.9, Internal Communications, 1993-1999, includes information sent to employees relating to retirements, management changes, awards won by the company, promotions, potential new accounts, free items, grand opening of Ayer Café, donation events, sponsorship programs, holiday schedules, discounts for employees from clients, Ayer joins MacManus Group.
Subseries 19.10, General Materials, 1940; 1970, includes agency directory entry including a list of the employees, 1970s, annual banquet program for the Curfew Club May 22, 1940 a group formed by the Philadelphia employee in 1938. It sponsored numerous sports, social and educational activities. Groups were formed in public speaking, music appreciation and a series of talks on Monday evenings title the modern woman. The front page was a series of talks for general interest. A list of officers, 1991, Twenty five year club membership, 1973 December 1, List of NW Ayer graduates, 1970, List of Officers, 1991 May 31, Obituary for Leo Lionni, 1999 October 17, List of photographers of advertisements, 2001
Series 20, Background and History Information, 1817-1999, undated includes a chronology, 1817-1990, quick reference timeline, 1848-1923, loose pages from a scrapbook containing examples of correspondence, envelopes, advertisements dating from 1875-1878; slogans coined by NW Ayer & Sons, Incorporated, 1899-1990, history of management, 1909-1923, articles and photographs about the building and art galleries, 1926-1976, publications about the Philadelphia building, 1929, pamphlet relating to memories of NW Ayer & Sons, Incorporated, 1930s-1950s, television history, 1940-1948, Article about the history of the company, 1950 January, pocket guide, 1982, AdWeek reports about standings for advertising agencies, information relating to Human Contact which is NW Ayer's Information relating to Human Contact, undated which is their philosophy on advertising.
Series 21, Materials Created by other Advertising Agencies, 1945-1978, undated, consists of print advertisements collected by Ayer from other major advertising companies. The companies include Doyle Dane Bernback, Incorporated, Leo Burnett Company, Grey Advertising Agency, D'Arcy Ad Agency, Scali, McCabe, Sloves, Incorporated and Erwin Wasey Company. The materials are arranged in alphabetical order by client and include products from Ralston Purina and Van Camp (Chicken of the Sea), Kellogg, American Export Lines and No Nonsense Fashions.
Series 22, 2010 Addendum of Print Advertisements, circa 1879s-1999, undated, includes material given to the Archives Center in 2010. It is organized into seventy one oversized boxes and contains proofsheets of print advertisements for select Ayer clients. These are arranged alphabetically by client name and include substantial quantities of materials from American Telephone &Telegraph (1945-1996), Bahamas Ministry of Tourism (1967-1987), Carrier (1971-1981), Citibank (1973-1991), DeBeers (1940s-1960s and1990s), Electric Companies Advertising Program [ECAP] (1942-1970s), General Motors (1989-1998), J.C. Penney (1983-1986), Newsweek (1966-1975), and Proctor and Gamble (1980s-1890s). There are also numerous other clients represented by smaller quantities of materials.
Subseries 22.2, Print Advertisements on Glass Plate Negatives, 1879-1881, undated, include Cannon towels, Cheny Brothers silks, Cornish & Company organs and pianos, Enterprise Manufacturing Company, 1879 sad iron, an ad from Harper's Weekly 1881 for ladies clothing, Ostermoor & Company mattresses, Pear's soap, Porter's cough balsam, Steinway pianos.
Series 23, Microfilm of Print Advertisements, circa 1908-1985, consists of three boxes of printed advertisements for the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. Some of the same advertisements might also be found in series two, three and four.
The collection is arranged into twenty-three series.
Series 1: Scrapbooks of Client Print Advertisements, circa 1870-1920
Series 2: Proofsheets, circa 1870-1930
Series 3: Proofsheets, circa 1920-1975
Series 4: 2001 Addendum, circa 1976-2001
Series 5: Billboards, circa 1952-1956
Series 6: Audiovisual Materials
Series 7: Radio and Television Materials, 1933-1993, undated
Series 8: Chicago Office Print Advertisements, 1954-1989
Series 9: Los Angeles Office Materials, 1950s-1987
Subseries 9.1: Printed Advertisements, 1977-1987
Subseries 9.2: Personnel Files, 1950s-1970s
Series 10: Foreign Print Advertisements, 1977-1991, undated
Series 11: Cunningham & Walsh Incorporated Materials, 1915-1987, undated
Subseries 11.1: Printed Advertisements, 1915-1987
Subseries 11.2: Radio and Television Advertisements, 1963-1967
Subseries 11.3: Company Related Materials, 1962-1986, undated
Series 12: Hixson & Jorgensen Materials, 1953-1971, undated
Series 13: Newell-Emmet, 1942-1957
Series 14: House Print Advertisements, 1870-1991
Series 15: Scrapbooks, 1872-1959
Series 16: Publications, 1849-2006
Subseries 16.1: House Publications, 1876-1994
Subseries 16.2: Publications about NW Ayer, 1949-1995
Subseries 16.3: General Publications about Advertising, 1922-2006
Subseries 16.4: Publications about other Subjects, 1948-1964
Series 17, Business Records, circa 1885-1990s
Subseries 17.1: Contracts, 1885-1908, undated
Subseries 17.2: General Client Information, 1911-1999, undated
Subseries 22.2: Print Advertisements on Glass Plate Negatives, 1879-1881, undated
Series 23: Microfilm of Print Advertisements, circa 1908-1985
Biographical / Historical:
Founded in Philadelphia in 1869, NW Ayer & Son is one of the oldest and largest advertising agencies in America. For most of its history, it was the undisputed leader and innovator in the field of advertising. In 1876, NW Ayer & Son pioneered the "open contract", a revolutionary change in the method of billing for advertising which became the industry standard for the next hundred years. NW Ayer pioneered the use of fine art in advertising and established the industry's first art department. It was the first agency to use a full-time copywriter and the first to institute a copy department. The agency relocated to New York City in 1974. During its long history, the agency's clients included many "blue-chip" clients, including American Telephone & Telegraph, DeBeers Consolidated Diamond Mines, Ford Motor Company, Nabisco, R. J. Reynolds and United Airlines. However, in later years, the Ayer's inherent conservatism left the agency vulnerable to the creative revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, the advertising industry restructuring of the 1980s and the economic recession of the early 1990s. The agency was bought out by a Korean investor in 1993. In 1996, NW Ayer merged with another struggling top twenty United States advertising agency, Darcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles, under the umbrella of the McManus Group. Ayer continues to operate as a separate, full-service agency.
Through a series of buyouts and mergers, Ayer traces its lineage to the first advertising agency founded in the United States, a Philadelphia agency begun by Volney Palmer in 1841. Palmer began his career in advertising as a newspaper agent, acting as middleman between newspaper publishers and advertisers across the country. By 1849, Palmer had founded his own newspaper, V. B. Palmer's Register and Spirit of the Press, and had developed a complete system of advertising which included securing advertising space and placing ads in scores of commercial, political, religious, scientific and agricultural journals across the country. Palmer went one step further than the "space jobbers" of the day when he began offering "advertisements carefully drawn for those who have not the time to prepare an original copy." Always an enthusiastic promoter of advertising as an incentive to trade and American economic growth, Palmer promised advertisers that "every dollar paid for advertising in country newspapers will pay back twenty-fold" and encouraged skeptical consumers that "he who wishes to buy cheap should buy of those who advertise." When Palmer died in 1863, the agency was bought by his bookkeeper, John Joy, who joined with another Philadelphia advertising agency to form Joy, Coe & Sharpe. That agency was bought out again in 1868 and renamed Coe, Wetherill & Company. In 1877, Coe, Wetherill and Company was bought out by the newly formed NW Ayer & Son.
Francis Wayland Ayer was an ambitious young schoolteacher with an entrepreneurial streak. Having worked for a year soliciting advertisements on a commission basis for the publisher of the National Baptist weekly, Francis Ayer saw the potential to turn a profit as an advertising agent. In 1869, Ayer persuaded his father, Nathan Wheeler Ayer, to join him in business, and with an initial investment of only $250.00, NW Ayer & Son was born. Notwithstanding a smallpox epidemic in Philadelphia in 1871 and the general economic depression of the early 1870s, the agency flourished. The senior Ayer died in 1873, leaving his interest in the agency to his wife, but Francis W. Ayer bought her out, consolidating his interest in the company's management. In 1877, with Coe, Wetherill & Company (the successor to Palmer's 1841 agency) on the verge of bankruptcy and heavily indebted to Ayer for advertising it had placed in Ayer publications, Ayer assumed ownership of that agency. Thus did NW Ayer lay claim to being the oldest advertising agency in the country.
Both Nathan Wheeler and Francis Wayland Ayer began their careers as schoolteachers, and one of their legacies was a commitment to the cause of education: correspondence schools and institutions of higher learning were historically well-represented among Ayer clients. Just after World War I, the agency was heralded as "co-founder of more schools than any citizen of this country" for its conspicuous efforts to advertise private schools. Well into the 1960s, an "Education Department" at Ayer prepared advertisements for over three hundred private schools, camps and colleges, representing almost half the regional and national advertising done for such institutions. In fact, to its clients Ayer presented advertising itself as being akin to a system of education. In 1886, Ayer began promoting the virtues of the Ayer way advertising with the slogan, "Keeping Everlastingly at It Brings Success."
The agency's goals were simple: "to make advertising pay the advertiser, to spend the advertiser's money as though it were our own, to develop, magnify and dignify advertising as a business." Initially, Ayer's fortunes were tied to newspapers, and the agency began to make a name for itself as compiler and publisher of a widely used American Newspaper Annual. During the first years, Ayer's singular goal was "to get business, place it [in newspapers] and get money for it"; after several years as an independent space broker, however, Francis Ayer resolved "not to be an order taker any longer." This decision led NW Ayer and Son to a change in its mode of conducting business which would revolutionize the advertising industry: in 1876, Ayer pioneered the "open contract" with Diggee & Conard, Philadelphia raised growers and agricultural suppliers. Prior to the open contract, NW Ayer & Sons and most agencies operated as "space-jobbers," independent wholesalers of advertising space, in which the opportunities for graft and corrupt practices were virtually unlimited. In contrast, the open contract, wherein the advertiser paid a fixed commission based on the volume of advertising placed, aligned the advertising agent firmly on the side of the advertiser and gave advertisers access to the actual rates charged by newspapers and religious journals. The open contract with a fixed commission has been hailed by advertising pioneer Albert Lasker as one of the "three great landmarks in advertising history." (The other two were Lasker's own development of "reason-why" advertising copy and J. Walter Thompson's pioneering of sex appeal in an advertisement for Woodbury's soap.) Although the transition to the open contract did not happen overnight, by 1884, nearly three-quarters of Ayer's advertising billings were on an open contract basis. Since Ayer was, by the 1890s, the largest agency in America, the switch to direct payment by advertisers had a significant impact on the advertising industry, as other agencies were forced to respond to Ayer's higher standard. Just as important, the open contract helped to establish N W Ayer's long-standing reputation for "clean ethics and fair dealing" -- a reputation the agency has guarded jealously for over a century.
The open contract also helped to establish Ayer as a full service advertising agency and to regularize the production of advertising in-house. From that point forward, Ayer routinely offered advice and service beyond the mere placement of advertisements. Ayer set another milestone for the industry in 1888, when Jarvis Wood was hired as the industry's first full-time copywriter. Wood was joined by a second full time copywriter four years later, and the Copy Department was formally established in 1900. The industry's first Art Department grew out of the Copy Department when Ayer hired its first commercial artist to assist with copy preparation in 1898; twelve years later Ayer became the first agency to offer the services of a full time art director, whose sole responsibility was the design and illustration of ads.
Ayer's leadership in the use of fine art in advertising has roots in this period, but achieved its highest expression under the guidance of legendary art director Charles Coiner. Coiner joined Ayer in 1924, after graduating from the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. Despite early resistance from some clients, Coiner was adamant that "the use of outstanding palette and original art forms bring a greater return in readership, in impact and prestige for the advertiser." To this end, Coiner marshaled the talents of notable painters, illustrators and photographers, including N.C. Wyeth and Rockwell Kent (Steinway), Georgia O'Keefe (Dole), Leo Lionni (DuPont), Edward Steichen (Steinway, Cannon Mills), Charles Sheeler (Ford), and Irving Penn (DeBeers). Coiner believed that there was a practical side to the use of fine art in advertising, and his success (and Ayer's) lay in the marriage of research and copywriting with fine art, an arrangement Coiner termed "art for business sake." Coiner's efforts won both awards and attention for a series completed in the 1950s for the Container Corporation of America. Titled "Great Ideas of Western Man" the campaign featured abstract and modern paintings and sculpture by leading U.S. and foreign artists, linked with Western philosophical writings in an early example of advertising designed primarily to bolster corporate image. In 1994, Charles Coiner was posthumously named to the American Advertising Federation's Hall of Fame, the first full time art director ever chosen for that honor.
Coiner and fellow art director Paul Darrow also created legendary advertising with the "A Diamond Is Forever" campaign for DeBeers; ads featured the work of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and other modernist painters. The "A Diamond is Forever" tagline was written in 1949 by Frances Gerety, a woman copywriter at Ayer from 1943 to 1970. In 1999, Ad Age magazine cited "A Diamond is Forever" as the most memorable advertising slogan of the twentieth century.
Coiner also earned respect for his volunteer government service during World War II; he designed the armbands for civil defense volunteers and logos for the National Recovery Administration and Community Chest. As a founding member of the Advertising Council in 1945, Ayer has had a long-standing commitment to public service advertising. In the mid-1980s, Ayer became a leading force in the Reagan-era "War on Drugs". Lou Hagopian, Ayer's sixth CEO, brokered the establishment of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, a media coalition which generated as much as a million dollars a day in donated advertising space and time to prevent the use and abuse of illegal drugs. Famous names appear among NW Ayer's clientele from the very earliest days of the agency. Retailer John Wanamaker, Jay Cooke and Company, and Montgomery Ward's mail-order business were among the first Ayer clients. The agency has represented at least twenty automobile manufacturers, including Cadillac, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Plymouth, and Rolls-Royce. Other major, long-term clients through the years have included American Telephone & Telegraph, Canada Dry, Cannon Mills, Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Kellogg's, R. J. Reynolds, Steinway and Sons, United Airlines, and the United States Army. By the time of Ayer's hundredth anniversary in 1969, some of these companies had been Ayer clients for decades if not generations, and the longevity of those relationships was for many years a source of Ayer's strength.
But the advertising industry began to change in the late 1960s and 1970s, due in part to a "creative revolution." Small advertising agencies won attention with provocative copywriting and art direction that more closely resembled art than advertising. Advances in market research allowed clients to more narrowly tailor their advertising messages to distinct groups of consumers, and this led to a rise in targeted marketing which could more readily be doled out to specialized small agencies than to larger, established firms like NW Ayer & Son. The civil rights and anti-war movements also contributed to increasing public skepticism with the values of corporate America, and by extension, with some national advertising campaigns. Older, more conservative firms like Ayer were hard pressed to meet these new challenges.
About 1970, in an effort to meet these challenges and to establish a foothold on the West Coast, Ayer bought out two smaller agencies--Hixson & Jorgenson (Los Angeles) and Frederick E. Baker (Seattle). The agency relocated from Philadelphia to New York City in 1974 in an attempt both to consolidate operations (Ayer had operated a New York office since the 1920s) and to be closer to the historic center of the advertising industry. Riding the wave of mergers that characterized the advertising industry in the late 1980s and 1990s, Ayer continued to grow through the acquisition of Cunningham & Walsh in 1986 and Rink Wells in 19xx.
During this transitional period, Ayer received widespread acclaim for its work for the United States Army, which included the widely recognized slogan "Be All You Can Be". Ayer first acquired the Army recruitment account in 1967 and with help from its direct marketing arm, the agency was widely credited with helping the Army reach its recruitment goals despite an unpopular war and plummeting enlistments after the elimination of the draft in 1973. Ayer held the account for two decades, from the Vietnam War through the Cold War, but lost the account in 1986 amid government charges that an Ayer employee assigned to the account accepted kickbacks from a New York film production house. Despite Ayer's position as the country's 18th largest agency (with billings of $880 million in 1985), the loss of the agency's second largest account hit hard.
NW Ayer made up for the loss of the $100 million dollar a year Army account and made headlines for being on the winning end of the largest account switch in advertising history to date, when fast food giant Burger King moved its $200 million dollar advertising account from arch-rival J. Walter Thompson in 1987. Burger King must have had drive-thru service in mind, however, and Ayer made headlines again when it lost the account just eighteen months later in another record-breaking account switch. Another devastating blow to the agency was the loss of its lead position on the American Telegraph and Telephone account. Ayer pioneered telecommunications advertising in 1908, when the agency was selected to craft advertising for the Bell System's universal telephone service. Despite valiant efforts to keep an account the agency had held for most of the twentieth century, and for which they had written such memorable corporate slogans as American Telephone &Telegraph "The Voice with a Smile" and "Reach Out and Touch Someone", the agency lost the account in 1996.
After a wave of mergers and acquisitions in the late 1980s, the economic recession of the early 1990s hit Madison Avenue hard, and Ayer was particularly vulnerable. Despite the agency's long history and roster of "blue-chip" clients, Ayer was not known for cutting-edge creative work. Moreover, though the agency had offices overseas, Ayer had never built a strong multinational presence, and many of the smaller international offices were sold during the financial turmoil of the 1980s. This left a real void in the new climate of global marketplace consolidation. By about 1990, earnings were declining (although Ayer was still among the top twenty United States agencies in billings), and the agency was suffering from client defections, high management turnover, expensive real estate commitments and deferred executive compensation deals, all fallout of the high-flying 1980s. This was the atmosphere in 1993, when W.Y. Choi, a Korean investor who had already assembled a media and marketing empire in his homeland, began looking for an American partner to form an international advertising network. Jerry Siano, the former creative director who had recently been named Ayer's seventh CEO, was in no position to refuse Choi's offer of $35 million to buy the now floundering agency. The infusion of cash was no magic bullet, however. Choi took a wait-and-see approach, allowing his partner Richard Humphreys to make key decisions about Ayer's future, including the purging of senior executives and the installation of two new CEOs in as many years.
The agency's downward trend continued with the loss of another longtime client, the DeBeers diamond cartel in 1995. Adweek reported that Ayer's billings fell from $892 million in 1990 to less than $850 million in 1995. Several top executives defected abruptly, and the agency failed to attract major new accounts. Ayer was facing the loss not merely of revenue and personnel, but the loss of much of the respect it once commanded. Ayer remained among the twenty largest U.S. agencies, but an aura of uncertainty hung over the agency like a cloud. A new CEO was appointed, and Mary Lou Quinlan became the agency's first woman CEO in 1995. A year later, Ayer and another struggling top twenty agency, D'arcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles, combined as part of the McManus Group of companies. In 1998, the McManus Group had worldwide billings of more than $6.5 billion.
Under the McManus Group, Ayer was able to expand its international operations and begin to rebuild a stronger global presence. Several important new clients were won in 1997 and 1998, including Avon, General Motors, Kitchenaid, several Procter & Gamble brands and, most notably, Continental Airlines worldwide accounts. Born in the nineteenth century, Ayer may be one of a very few advertising agencies to successfully weather the economic and cultural transitions of both the twentieth and twentieth first centuries. Ayer was eventually acquired by the Publicis Groupe based in Paris, France which closed down the N.W. Ayer offices in 2002.
Materials in the Archives Center
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana (AC0060)
Hills Bros. Coffee Incorporated Records (AC0395)
The collection was donated by N W Ayer ABH International, April 15, 1975 and by Ayer & Partners, October 30, 1996.
The collection is open for research use.
Physical Access: Researchers must use microfilm copy. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. Researchers must use reference copies of audiovisual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow.
Technical Access: Viewing the film portion of the collection without reference copies requires special appointment, please inquire; listening to audio discs requires special arrangement. Do not use original materials when available on reference video or audio tapes.
Publication and production quality duplication is restricted due to complex copyright, publicity rights, and right to privacy issues. Potential users must receive written permission from appropriate rights holders prior to obtaining high quality copies. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
The papers of African American graphic artist and arts educator Calvin Burnett measure 6.1 linear feet and date from 1920 to 1979, with the bulk of the collection dating from the 1960s to the 1970s. The papers contain biographical material, correspondence, writings, material related to his education and professional activities, personal business records, printed material, a scrapbook, and a small amount of photographs and artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of graphic artist and arts educator Calvin Burnett measure 6.1 linear feet and date from 1920 to 1979, with the bulk of the collection dating from the 1960s to the 1970s. The papers contain biographical material, correspondence, writings, material related to his education and professional activities, personal business records, printed material, a scrapbook, and a small amount of photographs and artwork.
Biographical material consists of resumes, biographical notes/drafts, certificates from volunteer organizations, an interview transcript, and personal calendars.
Correspondence consists of letters and drafts of letters to and from Burnett. Some partial fragments of letters are housed with the undated correspondence.
Writings consist of two subseries and includes both materials related to Burnett's book, Objective Drawing, as well as notes, notecards, poetry, and some class assignments.
Education and professional activities also includes two subseries. Teaching and education files consist of materials related to Burnett's time as both a student and an instructor. These include class notes, assignments, course materials, correspondence, etc. Black Artists Union, committee work, and related materials include materials related to the Black Artists Union (BAU), the Committee on Urban Education (CUE), and the Committee on Minority Affairs, and their work. These items include memos, printed materials, reports, and other documentation.
Personal business records consist of correspondence, financial documents, printed material, and notes related to commercial art jobs, consultations, sales, loans, and exhibitions.
Photographs are of Burnett, other individuals, and works of art. Not all of the works of art appear to be by Burnett.
Artwork includes drawings and three small sketchbooks.
The collection is arranged as nine series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1947-1979 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1941-1979 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)
Series 3: Writings, 1950s-1970s (Boxes 1-2; 0.9 linear feet, OV 7)
Series 4: Education and Professional Activities, 1920-1970s (Boxes 2-5; 2.5 linear feet)
Series 5: Personal Business Records, 1947-1979 (Box 5; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 6: Printed Material, 1938-1979 (Boxes 5-6; 0.5 linear feet, OV 7)
Series 7: Scrapbook, 1937-1951 (Box 6; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 8: Photographs, 1946-1972 (Box 6; 1 folder)
Series 9: Artwork, 1941-1942 (Box 6; 2 folders)
Biographical / Historical:
Calvin Burnett (1921-2007) was an African American graphic artist, illustrator, and arts educator. He graduated from the Massachusetts School of Art (also known as MassArt; now the Massachusetts College of Art and Design) in 1942, and earned his MFA from Boston University in 1960. He later received another degree in arts education. Burnett taught at a number of institutions in the Northeast, including the DeCordova Museum and the Massachusetts School of Art, where he was the first African American to be appointed to the faculty, and where he taught for 33 years.
While on the faculty at the Massachusetts School of Art, Burnett was involved with the Black Artists Union, the Committee on Urban Education, and the Committee on Minority Affairs. Among their many functions, these groups advocated for more diverse representation in faculty and more funding for minority and disadvantaged students.
In 1966, Burnett published the book, Objective Drawing, about perspective. His interest in the subject and the idea for the book grew out of his teaching the perspective course at the Massachusetts School of Art (Oral history interview with Calvin Burnett, 1980 June 13-1981 January 6. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Transcript p.41).
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Calvin Burnett conducted by Robert Brown, June 13, 1980-January 6, 1981.
The papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Calvin Burnett in 1990.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Authorization to publish, quote or reproduce requires written permission from Calvin Burnett or his heirs. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The records of the New York City gallery James Graham & Sons measure 103.6 linear feet and date from 1815, 1821, circa 1896-2011 (bulk 1950s-1980s). The collection generally documents the gallery's contemporary art department during the time in which Robert Claverhouse Graham, Sr. worked at the gallery (1940-1979); records prior to 1954 are sparse and scattered. Gallery records include artist files; correspondence; exhibition files; financial records; inventory records; printed materials; sales, loans, and consignment records; scrapbooks; and photographic materials. Also found are records from Coe Kerr Gallery regarding exhibitions.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of the New York City gallery James Graham & Sons measure 103.6 linear feet and date from 1815, 1821, circa 1896-2011 (bulk 1950s-1980s). The collection generally documents the gallery's contemporary art department during the time in which Robert Claverhouse Graham, Sr. worked at the gallery (1940-1979); records prior to 1954 are sparse and scattered. Gallery records include artist files; correspondence; exhibition files; financial records; inventory records; printed materials; sales, loans, and consignment records; scrapbooks; and photographic materials. Also found are records from Coe Kerr Gallery regarding exhibitions of artwork by Jamie Wyeth, and to a lesser extent, Andrew and N.C. Wyeth.
Over the years, the gallery changed names and established contemporary art departments. In addition to records of James Graham & Sons, the collection holds the records of Duveen-Graham Modern Art (in partnership with Albert Duveen), Graham Gallery, Graham Modern, JG|Contemporary, and, to a lesser extent, The Clapp and Graham Co.
Alphabetical files are a mix of business correspondence and business records. The bulk of the series contains correspondence with galleries, museums, other institutions, and, to a lesser extent, clients regarding sales, consignments, and loans of artwork. Also found are materials relevant to the daily operations of the gallery, including correspondence, subject files, and scattered financial, business and legal records.
Exhibition files provide scattered documentation of the gallery's exhibitions through catalogs, clippings, correspondence, guest books, notes, photographs, press materials, price lists, and sales receipts and other financial records.
Artists' Files document the numerous artists who have been represented by the gallery, especially modern American artists. Folders for each artist can contain a variety of materials, including correspondence with the artist or with institutions regarding consignments, loans, sales and exhibitions; photographic materials primarily of artwork; sales invoices; exhibition catalogs, postcards, and other printed materials; press releases; magazine and newspaper clippings; price lists; artist binders; and research materials on artists and artwork. Also found are some subject files, per original arrangement. There is extensive material related to artists Carmen Cicero, Susan Crile, Elaine De Kooning's portrait of President John F. Kennedy, Edwin Dickinson, muralist Seymour Fogel, Nancy Fried, Irving Kriesberg, Gari Melchers, Jonathan Santlofer, Reeve Schley, Peter Stevens, Joan Thorne, and Selina Trieff.
Artwork files document sales, consignments, and loans of artwork primarily from the mid-1980s to 2000s. Materials include agreements and contracts; condition reports; correspondence; invoices and receipts; photographs of artwork; shipping records; and photocopied printed material and other documentation. This series requires written permission from the donor in order to access.
Sales records from 1959-1984 (missing 1974) are found in the Financial Records series. Also found are check stub books from the mid-late 1950s; price lists; records for the Four Seasons Charter Corp.; and scattered banking, consignment, tax, and other financial records. Inventory cards from mid-1950s-1970s and inventory lists, often with notations and prices, are found in the series Inventory Records.
Coe Kerr Gallery Records regarding the Wyeths document Jamie Wyeth's exhibitions primarily from the mid-1970s-early 1980s. Also found is limited material regarding Andrew Wyeth and N.C. Wyeth. Materials include correspondence, photographs, exhibition printed materials, and extensive newspaper clippings.
There are exhibition catalogs, books, announcements, magazines, clippings, postcards, posters and other printed materials related to artists, John Graham & Sons exhibitions, and exhibitions by Graham artists held at other galleries and museums. Also found is an 1815 fifty cent note which was redeemed in 1821.
Seven scrapbooks document discrete aspects of the business, including the gallery's advertising, participation in an art fair, and the careers of artists Guy Coheleach and Van Dearing Perrine. Materials housed in the scrapbooks include clippings, catalogs, photographs, and other printed materials.
Photographic Materials include mostly black and white photographs, negatives, slides and transparencies of artwork; scattered photographs of installations, artists, and the gallery; and a handful of personal snapshots. The bulk of the photographs are undated, but were likely printed between 1950s-1990s.
The collection is arranged as ten series:
Series 1: Alphabetical Files, circa 1896, 1902-1999, bulk 1955-1986 (Boxes 1-15, 102; 15 linear feet)
Series 2: Exhibition Files, 1912, 1947-2004 (Boxes 16-24, 102; 8.1 linear feet)
Series 3: Artists' Files, circa 1907-2006, bulk 1955-1999 (Boxes 24-62, 95-96, 102-110; 47.5 linear feet)
Series 4: Artwork Files, circa early 1900s-2011, bulk mid-1980s-2009 (Boxes 63-71, 94, 101; 9.3 linear feet)
Series 5: Financial Records, circa 1937-1993 (Boxes 72-76, 96; 4.5 linear feet)
Series 6: Inventory Records, circa 1954-1993 (Boxes 76-78, 96; 2.1 linear feet)
Series 7: Coe Kerr Gallery Records Regarding Wyeths, 1964-1988 (Boxes 78-80, 97; 2.7 linear feet)
Series 8: Printed Materials, 1815, 1821, 1949-2006 (Boxes 81-82, 97; 2.1 linear feet)
Series 9: Scrapbooks, 1897-1990s (Boxes 82, 98-100; 0.9 linear feet)
Series 10: Photographic Materials, 1929-1990s (Boxes 83-93, 96, 100-101, 110; 11.5 linear feet)
The James Graham & Sons gallery has been owned and managed by the Graham family in New York City since 1857. Throughout its history, the gallery has specialized in decorative arts, antiques, and 19th-early 20th century and contemporary American art.
In 1857, Samuel Graham founded a gallery at 66 Third Street and specialized in furniture. Graham was joined by his son James in the 1880s and expanded the business to include antiques and decorative arts. James A. Graham, the third generation Graham, joined the gallery in the early 20th century. James Graham and antiques dealer Marshall Clapp created Clapp & Graham in 1914, a partnership which was dissolved around 1940.
James R. Graham, the fourth generation Graham, joined the gallery in 1937, followed by his brother Robert Claverhouse Graham, Sr. in 1940. The gallery was then named James Graham & Sons and was located at 514 Madison Avenue. At this time, the gallery specialized in bronzes, ceramics, silver, sculptures, and 19th-early 20th century American art. Robert C. Graham, Sr. introduced modern American art, especially The Eight, into the gallery's inventory.
In 1955, the gallery moved to 1014 Madison Avenue, where it remained until the late 2000s. That same year, Graham opened its first contemporary department with Albert Duveen. Duveen-Graham Modern Art gallery was based on the third floor of the Madison Avenue building and dealt solely in contemporary art until its closing in 1958. Robert C. Graham, Jr. (Robin) joined the gallery in 1963, becoming the fifth generation Graham to run the family business. The gallery is currently located at 32 East 67th Street.
Betsy Fahlman's "James Graham & Sons: A Century and a Half in the Art Business" (2007) was a valuable resource in constructing this Historical Note.
Among the other resources relating to James Graham & Sons in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Robert Claverhouse Graham, November 19, 1976, and the David Herbert papers, 1950-1995.
The James Graham & Sons records were donated in 2007, 2008, and 2012 by Priscilla Caldwell and Jay Grimm of James Graham & Sons and in 2018 by Cameron Shay of James Graham & Sons.
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
The papers of artist and arts administrator Roy Moyer measure 2.8 linear feet and date from 1923 to 2013, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1950 to 2000. The materials also concern to a limited degree Moyer's life partner, artist and art historian, Karl Lunde. Moyer's career is documented by writings, photographs of his artwork and exhibiton installations, as well as printed materials concerning exhibitions and his participation in cutural and community activities. There is limited correspondence or material of a personal nature.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of artist and arts administrator Roy Moyer measure 2.8 linear feet and date from 1923 to 2013, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1950 to 2000. The materials also conern to a limited degree Moyer's life partner, artist and art historian, Karl Lunde. Moyer's career is documented by writings, photographs of his artwork and exhibiton installations, as well as printed materials concerning exhibitions and his participation in cultural and community activities. There is limited correspondence or material of a personal nature.
Biographical materials consist of biographical sketches of Moyer, hand written lists of sold paintings and purchasers, Moyer's diploma from Columbia University (M.A.,1947), and a 1977 award from the National Academy of Design in New York. Scattered letters concern Moyer's exhibited paintings and his participation at art related conferences.
Subject files include multiple exhibitions at galleries, materials concerning Karl Lunde, Moyer's employment at the American Federation of Arts and UNICEF, and his contributions to book projects. Writings include an essay, short articles, and student papers.
Printed materials document Moyer's exhibition history and his participation as speaker or panelist at cultural events in the capacity of art critic or art historian. Some items mention Moyer as director of the American Federation of Arts in an endorsement capacity.
Original artwork by Moyer includes pencil drawings and a small sketchbook, including figures and still lifes in color. There are two drawings of unknown origin, one of Moyer and one which appears to be Moyer and Lunde together.
Photographs are of Moyer, Moyer with Lunde, their apartment, and Moyer with colleagues. Also found are photographs of Moyer's artwork and exhibition installations.
The collection is arranged in 7 series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1947-2008 (Box 1; 1 folder)
Series 2: Letters, circa 1960s-1998 (Box 1; 1 folder)
Series 3: Writings, 1950-2007 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)
Series 4: Subject Files, 1950-2013 (Boxes 1-2; OV 5; 1.2 linear feet)
Series 5: Printed Material, 1959-2010 (Box 2; OV 5; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 6: Artwork, 1950s-1970s (Box 2; 0.1 linear feet)
Series 7: Photographs, 1923-2000 (Boxes 2-4; OV 5; 0.7 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Artist and arts administrator Roy Moyer (1921-2007) and his life partner, artist and art historian Karl Lunde (1931-2009), lived and worked in the New York City area.
Moyer worked as the director of the American Federation of Arts for nine years, curating traveling art exhibitions, including the noted 50th anniversary re-creation of the 1913 New York Armory Show. During this period he also worked with art theorist Rudolph Arnheim on films relating to visual perception. Moyer then served as chief of art and design at UNICEF until 1986. He later devoted his time to painting and continued to exhibit until his death in 2007 following a hear attack.
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Roy Moyer conducted by Paul Cummings in 1975.
The papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2011 by Karl Lunde.
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Arts administrators -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Roy Moyer papers, 1923-2013. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The papers of sculptor, painter, and author Robert Smithson and sculptor, filmmaker, and earthworks artist Nancy Holt measure 18.9 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1987, with the bulk of the material dating from 1952 to 1987. Also included is Smithson's personal library of books, vinyl records, and magazine, measuring 48.4 linear feet. The papers consist of Smithson's biographical material; business and personal correspondence, much of it with artists; interview transcripts; extensive writings and project files; financial records; printed material; a scrapbook of clippings; holiday cards with original prints and sketches; photographic material; and artifacts. Also found are project files related to Nancy Holt's motion picture film Pine Barrens and her seminal environmental work of art Sun Tunnels, including a video documentary about Sun Tunnels.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of sculptor, painter, and author Robert Smithson and sculptor, filmmaker, and earthworks artist Nancy Holt measure 18.9 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1987, with the bulk of the material dating from 1952 to 1987. Also included is Smithson's personal library of books, vinyl records, and magazine, measuring 48.4 linear feet. The papers consist of Smithson's biographical material; business and personal correspondence, much of it with artists; interview transcripts; extensive writings and project files; financial records; printed material; a scrapbook of clippings; holiday cards with original prints and sketches; photographic material; and artifacts. Also found are project files related to Nancy Holt's film Pine Barrens and her seminal environmental work of art Sun Tunnels, including a video documentary about Sun Tunnels.
Biographical material includes Robert Smithson's curriculum vitae, personal identification and medical documents, eight engagement/day planners Smithson and Holt maintained from 1966 to 1973, and Smithson's funeral register.
Correspondence is primarily with Smithson's family, friends, fellow artists, and business associates discussing personal relationships, proposed art projects, and exhibitions. Correspondents of note include Carl Andre, the Dwan Gallery (Virginia Dwan), Dan Graham, Will Insley, Ray Johnson, Gyorgy Kepes, Sol Lewitt, Lucy Lippard, and Dennis Wheeler. There is also substantial correspondence received by Holt upon Smithson's death in 1973, and between Holt and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art regarding Smithson's retrospective exhibition in 1982.
There are nine interview transcripts with Smithson discussing his works and his general philosophy on art, and one transcript of the Andrew Dickson White Museum's Earth Art Symposium (1969) featuring the following artists: Mike Hiezer, Dennis Oppenheim, Robert Smithson, Neil Jenney, Gunther Uecker, Jan Dibbets, Richard Long, and Hans Haacke.
Writings are substantial and include 73 drafts of published and unpublished essays by Smithson on art, artists, and works in progress. The series also includes poems by Smithson, six notebooks containing notes and sketches by Smithson, and drafts of writings sent to Smithson and Holt by friends and colleagues, including Carl Andre, Terry Atkinson, Dan Flavin, Dan Graham, and Jack Thibeau.
Project files contain correspondence, project instructions, diagrams and sketches, research materials, photographic material, and maps related to over 50 of Smithson's artworks. These include concepts, proposed projects, sculptures, non-sites, and earthwork projects, including Spiral Jetty, Broken Circle, and Spiral Hill.
Personal business records include gallery related loan arrangements and receipts for miscellaneous art supplies. Financial records include tax forms and preparation documents, including cancelled checks, receipts, statements, and related correspondence.
Printed materials include books, clippings, and periodicals related to Smithson, either containing writings or sketches by him, or containing articles reviewing his work. There are also exhibition announcements and catalogs of Smithson's group and solo shows from 1959 to 1985.
The scrapbook contains clippings of Smithson's published articles from 1966 to 1973 with annotated shorthand notes.
Artwork consists of Christmas cards collaged by Smithson, and sketches by Smithson and Leo Valledor.
Photographic materials include prints and negatives of Smithson with friends, promotional Hollywood movie stills, and original prints and copyprints of other artists' artwork.
Artifacts consist of a paper bag silkscreened with a Campbell's soup can (Warhol), promotional buttons (N.E. Thing Co.), various organic materials, and two art kits.
Nancy Holt's papers consist of correspondence, a grant application, printed materials, and project files and audio visual material related to her motion picture film Pine Barrens (1975) and her seminal environmental work of art Sun Tunnels (1975).
The collection is arranged as 14 series:
Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1905-1974 (Box 1; 14 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1959-1987 (Boxes 1-2, OV 21; 1.7 linear feet)
Series 3: Interview Transcripts, 1966-1973 (Box 2; 11 folders)
Series 4: Writings, 1959-1975 (Boxes 2-3; 1.1 linear feet)
Series 5: Project Files, circa 1950s-1982 (Boxes 4-5, Boxes 17-18, OV 20, OV 22-26, OV 36, RD 28-30, RD 32-35; 6.5 linear feet)
Series 6: Personal Business Records, circa 1967-1970s (Box 5; 4 folders)
Series 7: Financial Records, 1962-1972 (Box 6-7; 0.4 linear feet)
Series 8: Printed Material, 1955-1985 (Boxes 7-11, Box 18, RD 31; 5.6 linear feet)
Series 9: Scrapbook, 1966-1973 (Box 11, Box 16; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 10: Artwork, circa 1950s-1970s (Box 11; 4 folders)
Series 11: Photographs, circa 1950s-1970s (Box 11, Box 18; 5 folders)
Series 12: Artifacts, circa 1950s-1970s (Box 11, Box 14, OV 19; 0.5 linear feet)
Series 13: Nancy Holt Papers, circa 1960s-1980s (Box 12-13, 15, OV 27, FC 37-38; 1.9 linear feet)
Series 14: Robert Smithson Personal Library (Boxes 39-87; 48.4 linear feet)
Robert Smithson (1938-1973) was a sculptor, painter, author, and lecturer who was known as a pioneer of land and earthworks art, based primarily in New York City. Nancy Holt (1938-2014) was a land artist, conceptual artist, and filmmaker. Smithson and Holt were married from 1963 until Smithson's death in 1973.
Born in Passaic, New Jersey, Smithson expressed an early interest in art, enrolling in classes at the Brooklyn Museum School and the Art Student's League in New York while still attending high school. Smithson's early works were primarily paintings, drawings, and collages. In 1959, he exhibited his first solo show of paintings at the Artists' Gallery in New York and had his first solo international show in Rome with the Galleria George Lester in 1961.
During the early to mid-1960s, Smithson was perhaps better known as a writer and art critic, writing numerous essays and reviews for Arts Magazine and Artforum. He became affiliated with artists who were identified with the minimalist movement, such as Carl Andre, Donald Judd, Nancy Holt, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris and others. In 1963, Smithson married sculptor and filmmaker Nancy Holt and a year later started to create his first sculptural works. In 1966, Smithson joined the Dwan Gallery, whose owner Virginia Dwan was an enthusiastic supporter of his work.
Smithson's interest in land art began in the late 1960s while exploring industrial and quarry sites and observing the movement of earth and rocks. This resulted in a series of sculptures called "non-sites" consisting of earth and rocks collected from a specific site and installed in gallery space, often combined with photographs, maps, mirrors, or found materials. In September 1968, Smithson published the essay "A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects" in Artforum that promoted the work of the first wave of land art artists. Soon thereafter, he began creating his own large scale land art and earthworks.
From 1967 to 1973, Smithson's productivity was constant as he wrote, lectured, and participated in several solo and group shows a year, both at home and abroad. He explored narrative art as essay in "The Monuments of Passaic" and fully committed to his idea of visiting sites and using them as the basis for creating non-sites, Non-Site, Pine Barrens, (1968); incorporated and documented the use of mirrors at sites in Mirror Displacement, Cayuga Salt Mine Project (1968-1969); and created his first site-specific works through liquid pours of mud, asphalt, and concrete, including Asphalt Rundown (1969). In 1969, he also completed his first earth pour at Kent State University with his project Partially Buried Woodshed. Later that year, he created the sculptural artwork for which he is best known, Spiral Jetty (1969) on the Great Salt Lake in Utah. This was the first of his pieces to require the acquisition of land rights and earthmoving equipment, and would be followed two years later by Broken Circle and Spiral Hill in 1971.
On July 20, 1973, while surveying sites in Texas for the proposed Amarillo Ramp, Smithson died in a plane crash at the age of 35. Despite his early death, Smithson's writings and artwork had a major impact on many contemporary artists.
Nancy Holt began her career as a photographer and video artist. Today, Holt is most widely known for her large-scale environmental works, Sun Tunnels and Dark Star Park. Holt has also made a number of films and videos since the late 1960s, including Mono Lake (1968), East Coast, West Coast (1969), and Swamp (1971) in collaboration with her late husband Robert Smithson. Points of View: Clocktower (1974) features conversations between Lucy Lippard and Richard Serra, Liza Bear and Klaus Kertess, Carl Andre and Ruth Kligman and Bruce Brice and Tina Girouard. In 1978, she produced a film about her seminal work Sun Tunnels.
The Archives also holds several collections related to Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt, including an oral history interview with Robert Smithson conducted by Paul Cummings in 1972; an interview with Robert Smithson conducted by Tony Robbin in 1968; Robert Smithson letters to George B. Lester, 1960-1963; an oral history interviews with Nancy Holt conducted by Scott Gutterman in 1992 and Joyce Pomeroy Schwartz in 1993; and the Nancy Holt Estate records, circa 1960-2001.
The papers of Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt were donated by Nancy Holt in several accretions between 1986 and 2011.
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
The Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, holds the intellectual property rights, including copyright, to all materials created by Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt with the exception of the following items: two holiday cards found in box 11, folders 22-23. For these two items, copyright held by Holt/Smithson Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Requests for permission to reproduce should be submitted to ARS.
Conceptual artists -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
The papers of San Francisco Beat era photographer, journalist, and poet Mark Green consist of correspondence, biographical information, photographs, Nanny Goat Hill Gallery exhibition announcements, printed materials, and exhibition files for "Rolling Renaissance" (1968) and "A Kind of Beatness: Photographs of a North Beach Era, 1950-1965" (1975) exhibitions that Green helped to organize. Photographs by Mark Green are of notable figures and places in the Beat movement, including Allen Ginsberg, Robert Rauschenberg, and Clyfford Still, as well as photographs by others of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Mark Green, and Jack Kerouac among others.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of San Francisco Beat photographer, journalist, and poet Mark Green consist of biographical information, correspondence, exhibition files, printed materials, scattered writings, and photographs. Photographs by Mark Green are of notable figures and places in the Beat movement, including Allen Ginsberg, Robert Rauschenberg, and Clyfford Still, as well as photographs by others of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Mark Green, and Jack Kerouac among others.
One folder of correspondence includes letters from Jay DeFeo, Wallace and Shirley Berman, and Robert Emory Johnson. Exhibition files are found for two Beat exhibitions that Mark Green assisted in organizing: "Rolling Renaissance", 1968 and "A Kind of Beatness: Photographs of a North Beach Era, 1950-1965", 1975. Exhibition files contain correspondence, photographs of work exhibited and installation views, clippings, announcements and catalogs. Photographs are of Thomas Albright, Francis Ford Coppola, Allen Ginsberg, Leonard Hull, Robert Emory Johnson, Bob Kauffman, J. Oliver Mitchell, Francis Rigney, Jerome Stauber, and Edward Silverstone Taylor. Correspondents include include Thomas Albright, Wallace Berman, Bill Eisenlord, Alfred Frankensten, Allen Ginsberg, Helen Johnson of the Focus Gallery, Robert Emory Johnson, Chester Kessler, and Philip Whalen.
Mark Green's writings include a history of the Nanny Goat Hill Gallery, a statement about his photography, and various notes.
Printed materials consist of clippings, exhibition announcements for the San Francisco area and Nanny Goat Hill Gallery, and comic books.
The series of photographs is particularly rich due to Green's thoughtful and informative reflections written on the back of many of the photographs. The majority of the photographs identify the photographer, sitter, date, and place. Many times, Green included his own recollections of the particular sitter or photographer as well. In addition to photographs of Mark Green, there are photographs taken by Green and others of important Beat Movement figures. There are also photographs of beatnick "hot-spots" including the Co-Existence Bagel Shop, The Cellar, and The Place.
The collection is arranged into 6 series:
Series 1: Biographical Information, 1967-1970s (Box 1; 1 folder)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1959-1976 (Box 1, 3; 1 folder)
Series 3: Exhibition Files, 1954-1975 (Box 1, 3; 13 folders)
Series 4: Writings and Notes, 1974-1978 (Box 1; 3 folders)
Series 5: Printed Material, 1959-1978 (Box 1-3; 8 folders)
Series 6: Photographs, 1950s-1970s (Box 2-3; 0.3 linear feet)
Mark Green (1932-) moved to San Francisco and became active in the "Beat Movement" as a photographer, writer, and arts advocate. He helped organize two major group exhibitions of beat-era arts and also founded the Nanny Goat Hill Gallery in San Francisco.
Green was born in Cleveland Heights, Ohio in 1932, and attended the University of Miami, Florida from 1950-1952. After taking classes in journalism and philosophy, Green began a career in media and worked as a copy-boy, reporter, and correspondent at various newspapers throughout the United States until 1956.
In 1957, Green moved to San Francisco and worked as a bartender at the Co-Existence Bagel Shop, a local spot for Beat gatherings. It was during this time that Green became involved with the Beat Movement and the San Francisco Renaissance. Green became friends with "Beatnick" figures including Edward Silverstone Taylor and Patricia Marx who encouraged him to take up photography. Green's poems were published in Beatitude and The Real Bohemia.
A more prolific photographer than poet, Mark Green exhibited his photographs at Seven Arts Gallery, the Critic's Choice San Francisco Art Festival (1964), the Focus Gallery, and the "San Francisco Renaissance" at the Gotham Book Mart and Gallery (1975). He was active in organizing group exhibitions including the "Rolling Renaissance" (1968) and "A Kind of Beatness: Photographs of a North Beach Era, 1950-1965" (1975). Additionally, Green founded the Nanny Goat Hill Gallery (1972-1974) to give little-known artists an outlet to exhibit their works.
The Archives of American Art holds an oral history interview with Robert Emory Johnson by Paul Karlstrom on March 14, 1975 that details the history of the Rolling Renaissance exhibition organized in part by Mark Green.
Mark Green donated his papers in 1974, 1976, 1979, and 1991.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
The records document the work of consulting engineers and bridge builders, Ralph Modjeski (1861-1940) and Frank Masters (1883-1974) of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Scope and Contents:
This collection documents the civil engineering career of Ralph Modjeski (1861-1940) and Frank masters (1883-1974). The materials include bound volumes and loose photographs of bridge work-in-progress; printed reports; articles, pamphlets; drawings, blue prints and tracings of bridges; letterpress books of correspondence; contracts; reports; studies of bridge materials; and glass plate negatives and lantern slides depicting bridges.
The collection is arranged into ten series.
Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1915-1986
Series 2: Letter Press Books, 1898-1906
Series 3: Photographs, 1878-1979
Series 4: Contracts, 1895-1960
Series 5: Printed Materials, 1862-1969
Series 6: Newspaper Clippings, 1924-1941
Series 7: Lantern Slides, undated
Series 8: Glass Plate Negatives, 1906-1926
Series 9: Film Negatives, 1924, undated
Series 10: Drawings, 1901-1952
Biographical / Historical:
Rudolphe Modrzejewski was born to Helena Jadwiga Opid (d.1909) and Gustav Sinnmayer Modrzejewski (d. 1901) on January 27, 1861, in Cracow, Poland. His mother was an internationally known stage actress who went by the name Helena Modrzejewska. In 1868, Helena married Count Karol Bożenta Chłapowski. In July 1876, Helena and Rudolphe emigrated to America, where, for purposes of American citizenship, the Polish form of their surname was later changed to Modjeski (feminine form Modjeska). Modjeski became a naturalized citizen in 1883 in San Francisco, California.
In 1882, Modjeski returned to Europe to study at the Ecole Des Ponts et Chaussees and graduated in 1885 with a degree in civil engineering. Modjeski worked with prominent civil engineer and "Father of American Bridge Building," George S. Morison, on the Union Pacific Railroad Bridge over the Missouri River at Omaha as an assistant engineer. He remained with Morison from 1885 to 1892. Some of his assignments included working in the shops which produced steel sections; the design office where he advanced to chief draftsman; and as an inspector of quality control in shops that fabricated steel elements. Modjeski worked with Morison on his Willamette, Nebraska City, Sioux City, Winona, Cairo, and Memphis bridges across the Mississippi River. The Memphis bridge was the longest span cantilever in the country at the time.
In 1893, Modjeski opened a civil engineering practice in Chicago with S. Nicholson. After some financial difficulties, Nicholson and Modjeski dissolved their partnership. Modjeski's first individual large commission was the bridge at Rock Island, Illinois (1895) across the Mississippi River where he designed and supervised the construction of the bridge for the federal government and the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company.
In 1902, Modjeski went into partnership with fellow civil engineer, Alfred Noble (1844-1914) forming the firm of Noble and Modjeski. He went into partnership with Walter Angier, under the name Modjeski and Angier, civil and inspecting engineers, between 1912 and 1924 with several offices around the United States. Angiers had worked with him beginning in 1902 on the bridge across the Mississippi at Thebes, Illinois. Modjeski partnered, in 1924, with Frank Masters (1883-1974), who had worked with him and Angiers between 1904 and 1914 on the Memphis and Louisville Bridges, forming Modjeski and Masters. Clement E. Chase and Montgomery B. Case later joined the firm as partners. In 1937, Masters assumed full control and ownership of the firm which specialized in the design and construction supervision of large bridges and other structures, rehabilitation and reconstruction of existing bridges, the design of highways and expressways, subways and wharves, the design of large and complex foundations, inspection of construction materials, and the creation of surveys, investigations and reports.
Modjeski built and/or consulted on over forty bridges in his lifetime. He built truss, steel arch, and suspension bridges. He introduced steel tower pylons in place of masonry towers and he used better grades of steel, such as new steel alloys with improved strength and durability. He also introduced advancements in the design of cable configurations and deck-stiffening beams. Some of his major projects included: the Columbia River and Willamette bridges, McKinley Bridge at St. Louis; the Celilo Railroad Bridge at Celilo, Ohio; the Thebes Bridge over the Mississippi; the Quebec Bridge over the St. Lawrence River; the Delaware River Bridge; the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, and the Mid-Hudson Bridge.
On December 28, 1885, Modjeski married Felicie Benda (d. 1936) in New York and the couple had three children: Felix Bozenta Modjeski (1887); Marylka Stuart Modjeski (1894) and Charles Emmanuel John Modjeski (1896-1944). Ralph and Felicie divorced in 1931. He later married Virginia Giblyn on July 7, 1931. Modjeski died in Los Angles on June 26, 1940.
Raymond E. Wilson Covered Bridge Collection, 1958-1974 (AC0999)
Materials at Other Organizations
Southern Illinois University, Morris Library Special Collections
Walter E. Angier photograph collection, 1901-1915
Walter E. Angier Vertical File Manuscript, 1924
Michigan Historical Collections, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan
Alfred Noble Papers, 1862-1922
The collection was donated by Modejeski and Masters Consulting Engineers, through Joseph J. Scherrer, October 2, 1990.
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
The papers of painter Ernest Briggs measure 2.4 linear feet and date from circa 1900-2013, bulk 1940-1983. The collection documents the life and career of this second generation abstract expressionist through biographical material; correspondence with artists and critics; writings and five diaries that chronicle the changing art world from 1950s-1970s; personal business records; printed material; and a significant amount of photographic material documenting the artist and his work.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter Ernest Briggs measure 2.4 linear feet and date from circa 1900-2013, bulk 1940-1983. The collection documents the life and career of this second generation abstract expressionist through biographical material; correspondence with artists and critics; writings and five diaries that chronicle the changing art world from 1950s-1970s; personal business records; printed material; and a significant amount of photographic material documenting the artist and his work. Papers dating from after Briggs's death were created and kept by Anne Arnold.
Notable correspondents include Hubert Crehan, Mary McChesney, Dorothy Miller, Clyfford Still, and Howard Wise. One outgoing letter to Clement Greenberg offers Briggs's criticism of Art and Culture.
The collection is arranged as seven series
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1942-1984 (1 folder; Box 1)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1950s-2001 (0.4 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 3: Writings, 1960-19854 (5 folders; Box 1)
Series 4: Diaries, 1976-1984 (0.3 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 5: Personal Business Records, 19460s-2000s (0.2 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 6: Printed Material, 1949-2013 (0.6 linear feet; Box 1-2, OV 4)
Series 7: Photographic Material, circa 1900-1990, bulk 1940-1984 (0.8 linear feet; Box 2-3, OV 5)
Biographical / Historical:
Ernest Briggs (1923-1984) was a second generation abstract expressionist painter working in New York City and Maine. He was born in San Diego, California and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After returning home, Briggs studied at the California College of Fine Art in San Francisco from 1947-1951 under Clyfford Still, Ad Reinhardt, David Park, and Mark Rothko. He moved to New York in 1953 and began exhibiting at the Stable Gallery. In 1956 Briggs was included in the Museum of Modern Art's exhibition, 12 Americans curated by Dorothy Miller. Briggs taught at Pratt Institute from 1961-1984. He was married to the sculptor Anne Arnold.
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Ernest Briggs conducted by Barbara Shikler in 1982 and the papers of sculptor, Anne Arnold, Briggs' wife.
Ernest Briggs donated papers in 1980 with the bulk of the collection donated in 2015 by the Anne Arnold Estate, via Robert Brooks and Janice Kasper, executors.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The collection consists primaily of photographs and films created by the National Cotton Council of America (NCC) to document cotton production and use and to support the advocacy and educational work of the organization.
Scope and Contents:
Collection consists of photographs, slides, and 16mm films created by the National Cotton Council of America (NCC) to document cotton production and use and to support the educational and advocacy work of the organization. It is arranged into four series.
Series one contains black and white photographic prints dating primarily from the 1950s-1970s. The photographs document every aspect of cotton farming, from before the seed is planted to the production of finished cloth. Most of these prints illustrate agricultural practices, including land preparation, planting, bedding, plowing, harrowing, drainage, cultivation, stripping, and harvesting. Another group documents pests and infestations – boll weevils, fleas, mites, pink bollworm, hoppers - and the methods of countering them with insecticide and herbicide applications. Other photographs illustrate more general topics, including the history of cotton, research programs, trading, foreign cotton farming, printing, spinning, and weaving. There are also photographs of agricultural equipment manufactured by International Harvester. In addition, a small group of photographs consist of images from movies produced by the National Cotton Council of America (NCC). The photographs were maintained in the order that was created by the National Cotton Council of America (NCC).
Series two include slides and color photographs which date from the 1980s-early 2000s. These materials document many of the same topics as the black and white photographic prints during a later time. Many of the slides were created and assembled for use in presentations. In addition, there are slides of individuals and activities from the National Cotton Council of America (NCC) board meetings and conferences.
Series three consists of publications and reference materials.
Series four contains two hundred and fourteen films that were created by the National Cotton Council of America (NCC) and date from the 1960s-1980s. Films primarily document cotton farming and its versatility and use in consumer goods. A consistent theme and message are to promote cotton to the fashion industry and for home use.
The collection is arranged into four series.
Series 1, Black and White Photographic Prints, 1945-1970s, undated
Subseries 1.1, Cultivation and Production of Cotton, 1950s-1970s
Subseries 1.2, Film Stills, 1956-1971, undated
Subseries 1.3, Subjects and Events, 1945-1965
Series 2, Slides, 1979-1999, undated
Series 3, Publications, 1954-1981
Series 4, Films, 1953-1996, undated
Biographical / Historical:
The National Cotton Council of America (NCC) is the official trade association of the cotton industry. The NCC was founded in 1939 to promote the interests of cotton farmers, ginners, brokers, and manufacturers from the Southern, cotton-growing states. Its mission evolved over the years as new uses for cotton and its byproducts were found; as synthetic fibers were developed; as fashion tastes changed; as government regulation increased; and as foreign competition in farming and manufacturing grew. The National Cotton Council's website states that its current mission is "to ensure the ability of all United States cotton industry segments to compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and United States-manufactured product markets at home and abroad." Throughout its existence, the NCC has been the contact point for industry issues affecting its members, legislators in Congress, allied agribusinesses, and consumers.
The National Cotton Council of America (NCC) initially gave this collection to the Cotton Museum at the Memphis Cotton Exchange early in 2008, during the move of the Memphis-based NCC's corporate offices into a much smaller facility. Calvin Turley, president of the Board of the Cotton Museum, accepted the materials with the understanding that he could do with them as he wished. Ultimately, he decided that the collection was outside the scope of the Cotton Museum's mission. Turley offered the collection to the National Museum of American History in the belief that this was "the best possible place in the whole world for it."
Materials in the Archives Center
Maid of Cotton Records (NMAH.AC.1176)
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana (NMAH.AC.0060)
Peter Paul Haring Papers (NMAH.AC.1014)
Sally Fox Innovative Lives Presentation (NMAH.AC.0646)
William Mason Papers (NMAH.AC.0045)
Anne E. Peterson Stereograph Collection (NMAH.AC.0402)
Southern Agriculture Oral History Project Records (NMAH.AC.0773)
Uriah A. Boyden Papers (NMAH.AC.0982)
Donated to the Archives Center in 2009 by the Cotton Museum.
Collection is open for research.
Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Whipple, Fred L. (Fred Lawrence), 1906-2004, interviewee Search this
4 audiotapes (Reference copies).
The Smithsonian Institution Archives began its Oral History Program in 1973. The purpose of the program is to supplement the written documentation of the Archives'
record and manuscript collections with an Oral History Collection, focusing on the history of the Institution, research by its scholars, and contributions of its staff. Program
staff conducts interviews with current and retired Smithsonian staff and others who have made significant contributions to the Institution. There are also interviews conducted
by researchers or students on topics related to the history of the Smithsonian or the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.
Whipple was interviewed for the Oral History Collection because of his central role in the modernization of the SAO and his outstanding contributions to science. For additional
information, see the following related collections in Smithsonian Archives: the records of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory; the Fred Lawrence Whipple Papers; and
Record Unit 9542, Multiple Mirror Telescope videohistory interviews.
Whipple was interviewed on June 24 and 25, 1976 by Pamela M. Henson. The interviews cover his education; radar countermeasure work during World War II; role in the development
of national programs for astrophysics and space exploration; research program on comets, meteors, and interplanetary material; administration of SAO; development of Mt. Hopkins,
MMT, and optical tracking programs; and reminiscences of colleagues such as Imre G. Izsak, Craig M. Merrihue, and Carlton W. Tillinghast.
Fred Lawrence Whipple (1906-2004), received the B.A. in mathematics with a minor in physics and astronomy from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1927 and
the Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California at Berkeley in 1931. His early training focused on comet orbits. After teaching for a year at Stanford University,
he joined the staff of the Harvard College Observatory in 1931 and remained in Cambridge throughout his career. During the 1930s his work focused on double station meteor
research. From 1943 to 1945, he developed radar countermeasures for the U. S. Army Radiation Laboratory of the Office of Scientific Research and Development. After World War
II he worked on development of the Super-Schmidt cameras to photograph meteors and continued research on the influx of material from comets into the interplanetary medium.
His comet research culminated in publication of the Icy Comet Model in 1950. During the forties he also conducted studies of meteor hazards to spacecraft, inventing the meteor
bumper, and served on the Rocket and Satellite Research Panel. In the early fifties, with Wernher von Braun and Cornelius J. Ryan, he coauthored a series of popular articles
on the conquest of the space frontier.
His teaching career at Harvard University progressed from Instructor, 1932-1938; Lecturer, 1938-1945; Associate Professor, 1945-1950; Professor, 1950-1970; Chairman of
the Department of Astronomy, 1949-1956; to Phillips Professor of Astronomy, 1970-1977. Thus when Whipple was appointed Director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
(SAO) in July 1955, he moved its headquarters to the Cambridge campus and continued as Professor and member of the Harvard College Observatory staff. He reorganized the Smithsonian's
observatory and reoriented its research program. Under his directorship, the staff grew from a handful to more than five hundred, including over sixty scientists.
At the request of the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences, Whipple began development of Baker-Nunn cameras to track artificial satellites during
the International Geophysical Year (1957-1958). With the help of Armand N. Spitz, he also developed the Moonwatch optical tracking program, which utilized teams of volunteers
observing satellites with hand-held telescopes. When Sputnik was launched in October of 1957, the Moonwatch teams were the only U. S. mechanism available to track the Russian
satellite. The SAO subsequently received large contracts from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to operate the Satellite Tracking Program (STP), an optical
tracking system with Baker-Nunn camera stations located all over the globe. Whipple's satellite tracking work earned him the 1963 Distinguished Civilian Service Award from
President John F. Kennedy.
The Prairie Network, an optical tracking system designed to photograph meteorites and fireballs in order to calculate their orbits, created by Whipple and Richard E. McCrosky,
began observations in 1964. Coordination of STP camera observations with Jodrell Bank Observatory radio data on flare stars led to the first identification of radio noise
from any star besides the sun.
SAO relied on early computers such as the Mark IV, IBM 7090, and CDC 6400 for rapid processing of massive quantities of data. Baker-Nunn and Super-Schmidt camera data were
directly processed by automated means, which made possible the 1966 SAO Star Catalog, coordinated by Katherine L. Haramundanis. Whipple required direct publication from computer
tapes, a first for the U. S. Government Printing Office. Observations from the STP were progressively refined during the sixties through new laser tracking techniques and
advances in automated data processing, to provide improved geodetic and geophysical data. In the early sixties, stellar atmosphere models were developed with the aid of an
IBM 7090 and after 1966 a CDC 6400, in anticipation of far ultraviolet light data from orbiting observatories. Based on this experience in upper atmosphere research, Whipple
was appointed project director for the orbiting astronomical observatories from 1958 to 1972.
The telegraph service of the International Astronomical Union came to the SAO in 1965 under the coordination of Owen J. Gingerich and later Brian G. Marsden. It utilized
SAO's sophisticated communications network and led eventually to the creation of the Center for Short-Lived Phenomena by Robert A. Citron.
Development of an observatory site at Mt. Hopkins, Arizona, began in 1966. Chosen by Whipple for its altitude and seeing conditions, the site was dedicated in 1981 as the
Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory. On this site, in conjunction with the U. S. Air Force and University of Arizona, he developed the technically innovative Multiple Mirror
Telescope (MMT), which commenced observations in May of 1979.
In addition to his own research program on comets, meteors, and interplanetary materials, Whipple coordinated the SAO research programs in celestial mechanics, geodesy,
meteoritics, radio astronomy, neutrino searches, stellar atmosphere models, and the atomic clock project to test the theory of relativity. He encouraged NASA's lunar program
and development of the space telescope.
Whipple was distinguished both for his theoretical work in astrophysics and his technical innovations in such areas as tracking cameras, multiple mirror telescopes, and
meteor bumpers. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Whipple received the Academy's J. Lawrence Smith Medal in 1949 for his meteor research. He was awarded the Kepler
Medal by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1971 and the Joseph Henry Medal of the Smithsonian Institution in 1973. Through his work on numerous federal
and private boards, panels, and commissions, Whipple was influential in the development of national programs for research in astrophysics and creation of a space exploration
Whipple retired from administration of SAO in 1973 but continued active research as a Senior Scientist from 1973 to 1977. Upon his retirement in 1977, he was appointed
Emeritus Phillips Professor of Astronomy at Harvard.
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Photographic History Search this
28 Sound tape reels (1/4"audio tapes, open reel)
0.66 Cubic feet (2 boxes )
Sound tape reels
Iwo Jima (Japan)
Scope and Contents:
Includes conversations with significant photographers and their experiences documenting historic events. Some of the material is associated with John Faber's book, "Great Moments in News Photography" (New York: T. Nelson, 1960). Includes Faber's interview with photographer Joe Rosenthal about his famed Iwo Jima photograph.
Biographical / Historical:
National Press Photographers Association Oral Histories
Photographic History Collection, NMAH.,Transfer.,1997/10/08.,1981.0483.
Collection is open for research and use on site. Reference copies are not available.
CCollection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
An interview with Denny Winters conducted 1980 February 7-October 28, by Robert Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Winters speaks of her training at the Art Institute of Chicago; WPA projects; the development of Maine Coast Artists, a cooperative gallery, during the 1950s-1970s; and her work.
Biographical / Historical:
Denny Winters (1907-1985) was a painter from Rockport, Maine.
Originally recorded on 2 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 41 min.
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 others.