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Violet Oakley papers, 1841-1981

Creator:
Oakley, Violet, 1874-1961  Search this
Subject:
Pennsylvania State Capitol (Harrisburg, Pa.)  Search this
Type:
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Topic:
Mural painting and decoration  Search this
Artists' materials  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9580
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211781
AAA_collcode_oaklviol
Theme:
Women
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211781
Online Media:

Violet Oakley papers

Creator:
Oakley, Violet, 1874-1961  Search this
Names:
Pennsylvania State Capitol (Harrisburg, Pa.)  Search this
Extent:
56.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Diaries
Glass plate negatives
Renderings
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Visitors' books
Sketches
Date:
1841-1981
Summary:
The papers of painter, stained glass artist, and muralist Violet Oakley measure 56.4 linear feet and date from 1841-1981. Found within the papers are biographical materials; personal and business correspondence; writings, including essays, lectures, and project drafts; diaries and journals; financial material; artwork; printed material, including scrapbooks; and photographs, 3 albums, 322 glass plate negatives, and 1600 film negatives of Oakley, her family and friends, and her work.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter, stained glass artist, and muralist Violet Oakley measure 56.4 linear feet and date from 1841-1981. Found within the papers are biographical materials; personal and business correspondence; writings, including essays, lectures, and project drafts; diaries and journals; financial material; artwork; printed material, including scrapbooks; and photographs, 3 albums, 322 glass plate negatives, and 1600 film negatives of Oakley, her family and friends, and her work.

Biographical materials include certificates, family records, curriculum vitae, and identification cards, and studio guest books. About one-half of the collection is comprised of correspondence with family, friends, and business associates. Writings include Oakley's notes, essays and lectures, and writings related to 16 of her major artworks and publications, including her work on the Pennsylvania Capitol murals in Harrisburg. Diaries and journals include Oakley's travel notes and research on planned artworks.

Financial materials include a catalog of artworks and price lists, accounting records, and art supply receipts. Artwork includes early childhood juvenilia, a sketchbook, sketches of travel and friends, architectural renderings, and artwork by others. Printed materials include books, clippings, exhibition catalogs, programs, and reproductions of artwork by Oakley and others. Photographic materials include photographs, albums, and negatives depicting Oakley, her friends and family, her studio at Cogslea, and reproductions of artwork.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 8 series. A comprehensive index of individidual correspondents for the chronological correspondence is found in the first folder of the chronological correspondence in box 5, folder 41. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers, but listed where they fall intellectually within the collection.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1841-1970 (2.8 linear feet; Boxes 1-3, OV 69, OV 71)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1857-1979 (26.7 linear feet; Boxes 3-30)

Series 3: Notes and Writings, 1899-1976 (10.6 linear feet; Boxes 30-38, 58-64, OV 66, OV 70)

Series 4: Diaries and Journals, 1891-1958 (0.9 linear feet, Boxes 38-39)

Series 5: Financial Material, 1874-1977 (3.1 linear feet; Boxes 39-42)

Series 6: Artwork, 1883-1955 (0.7 linear feet; Boxes 43-43, 64, OV 67, OV 71)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1866-1981 (7.3 linear feet, Boxes 43-50, 65, OV 67)

Series 8: Photographs, 1890-1980 (5.3 linear feet; Boxes 50-57, 65, OV 68)
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, muralist, and stained glass designer Violet Oakley (1874-1961) lived and worked in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was known for her Renaissance-revival style of art and the series of murals she completed for the Pennsylvania State Capitol.

Born in Bergen Heights, New Jersey, to a family of artists, both of Violet Oakley's grandfathers were painters and members of the National Academy. In 1892, she began her art studies at the Art Students' League and traveled abroad a year later to study in Paris at the Academie Montparnasse, and in England with Charles Lazar. Upon her return to the states in 1896, she continued her studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and at Drexel Institute with Howard Pyle.

For fourteen years, Oakley shared her early studios at Red Rose Inn and Cogslea Estate with fellow artists and illustrators Elizabeth Shippen Green and Jessie Willcox Smith. These two studio homes were managed by their friend Henrietta Cozens in a cooperative arrangement which allowed all three artists to focus on their work as commercial artists. Early in her career, Oakley designed covers for magazines such as Collier's Weekly and Century Magazine, and also found work as a stained glass designer for the Church Glass and Decorating Company of New York. In 1900, she received her first major commission to design and execute two large murals and six stained glass pieces for the All Angels' Church in New York City.

In 1902 Oakley was approached by architect Joseph Huston to design 13 murals for the Governor's reception room in the new Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg. She eventually completed two additional mural commissions for the Capitol's Senate (1911-1920) and Supreme Court (1917-1927) chambers. Her studies of William Penn in connection with her murals for the State Capitol inspired Oakley to work for international peace and eventually led to the publication of a portrait folio depicting League of Nations delegates (1932). Other significant works include murals, panels, and stained glass commissions completed for the Vassar College Alumni house, Charlton Yarnall house (Philadelphia), and Cuyuhoga County courthouse.

While working as an established artist, Oakley also taught courses at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, arranged a yearly lecture series, and published folios and other writings on topics ranging from art history to Christian Science under the Coslea Studios imprint. Her later studio, Lower Cogslea, was shared by artist and lifelong companion Edith Emerson, who after Oakley's death in 1961, established a memorial foundation in her name.

Oakley was the first woman elected to the National Society of Mural Painters, was a recipient of the Gold Medal of Honor of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and was the first woman to receive the Gold Medal of Honor from the Architectural League of New York. Her writings include The Holy Experiment: A Message to the World from Pennsylvania (1922) and Law Triumphant: The Opening of the Book of Law (1933).
Related Materials:
Also found among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are the Violet Oakley Memorial Foundation records and the Violet Oakley autograph and photograph. The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts holds the Violet Oakley Foundation Art Collection, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art holds the Violet Oakley Collection.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reels 1204, P12, 1187-1188, 1272, and 1194-1195).

Reel 1204 consists of two scrapbooks (circa 1896-1952) containing clippings from magazines of illustrations by Violet Oakley and her sister, Hester, and of Violet's murals for the State Capitol at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Reel P12 is of a scrapbook (1898-1936) containing a photograph of Oakely at her easel, clippings, and letters. Reels 1187-1188 consist of five scrapbooks (1920-1962) containing letters, clippings, exhibition announcements, catalogs, and awards. One of the scrapbooks is devoted to "The Holy Experiment", a limited edition publication by Oakley which commemorating William Penn, and which includes reproductions of Oakley's capitol murals in Harrisburg.

Reel 1272 contains two albums (circa 1900-1949) containing photos of Oakley working on murals in her studio, as well as her works of art, including stained glass windows at the Church of All Angels, New York; murals at the Harrisburg State Capitol; preliminary drawings and site photographs of "Dante's Window"; the lunettes and window for the Yarnall House; murals and preliminary drawings for the Cuyahoga Court House; the mural and dedication ceremonies for the Vassar Alumnae House; and photos and printed material on "Divine Presence--Christ at Geneva," "The Life of Moses," "Great Women of the Bible," and triptychs for the Army and Navy.

Reels 1194-1195 cobsist of photograph albums (circa 1870-1960) containing photographs of the Oakley and Swain families, of Violet Oakley, Edith Emerson, Jessie Willcox Smith, Elizabeth Shippen Green, friends, her home, Oakley's "Red Rose" studio in Villanova, Pennsylvania, her "Cogslea" studio in Philadelphia, and of her works of art, mainly portraits of her friends and of delegates to the League of Nations.

Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Violet Oakley first loaned the Archives of American Art materials for microfilming in 1959. Edith Emerson, Oakley's longtime friend and companion, donated and lent papers for microfilming in 1977 and 1984. The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, who had received the papers from Emerson's estate, donated two feet of materials in 1988.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' research center in Washington, D.C.
Rights:
The Violet Oakley papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Occupation:
Women artists -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Stained glass artists -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Muralists -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Topic:
Artists' materials  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Mural painting and decoration -- United States  Search this
Painters -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Diaries
Glass plate negatives
Renderings
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Visitors' books
Sketches
Citation:
Violet Oakley papers, 1941-1981. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.oaklviol
See more items in:
Violet Oakley papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-oaklviol
Online Media:

Library Company of Philadelphia Print Dept. photograph collection, [ca. 1850]-1890

Creator:
Library Company of Philadelphia. Print Dept  Search this
Subject:
Moran, John  Search this
Waugh, Samuel Bell  Search this
Sartain, William  Search this
Sartain, family  Search this
Lewis, Edmund Darch  Search this
Read, Thomas Buchanan  Search this
Richards, Frederick de Bourg  Search this
Moran, Edward  Search this
Sartain, Samuel  Search this
Rothermel, Peter Frederick  Search this
Richards, William Trost  Search this
Wood, George Bacon  Search this
Sartain, John W.  Search this
Peale, Rembrandt  Search this
Sartain, Emily  Search this
Eakins, Thomas  Search this
Sully, Thomas  Search this
Lambdin, James Reid  Search this
Williams, Isaac  Search this
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts  Search this
Artists' Fund Society  Search this
James S. Earle & Son  Search this
United States Sanitary Commission  Search this
Pennsylvania State Capitol (Harrisburg, Pa.)  Search this
Great Central Fair for the U.S. Sanitary Commission  Search this
Topic:
Photography  Search this
Artists  Search this
Photograph collections  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10147
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213118
AAA_collcode_librcomp
Theme:
Audio - Visual
Photography
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_213118

Literature in stone : the hundred year history of Pennsylvania's state capitol / Pennsylvania Capitol Preservation Committee; [book design by Amanda J. DeLorenzo ; editors, Ruthann Hubbert-Kemper and Jason L. Wilson]

Title:
Hundred year history of Pennsylvania's state capitol
Author:
DeLorenzo, Amanda J  Search this
Hubbert-Kemper, Ruthann  Search this
Wilson, Jason L (Jason Lee) 1977-  Search this
Pennsylvania Capitol Preservation Committee  Search this
Subject:
Pennsylvania State Capitol (Harrisburg, Pa.) History  Search this
Pennsylvania State Capitol (Harrisburg, Pa.) History  Search this
Physical description:
384 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 29 cm
Type:
Pictorial works
Place:
Pennsylvania
Harrisburg
Harrisburg (Pa.)
Date:
2006
C2006
Topic:
Historic buildings  Search this
Architecture  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_895166

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