The papers of Phillip Fike measure 2.2 linear feet and date from 1951-2010, with bulk dates from 1955-1997. The collection documents Fike's career as a metal-worker and professor through biographical material, correspondence, writings, professional files, printed materials, photographs and artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Phillip Fike measure 2.2 linear feet and date from 1951-2010, with bulk dates from 1955-1997. The collection documents Fike's career as a metal-worker and professor through biographical material, correspondence, writings, professional files, printed materials, photographs and artwork. Biographical material includes a master's degree diploma, awards from the American Craft Council and Wayne State University, resumes, and a family tree. Correspondence is with friends, family, professional associates, galleries, and universities. Notable correspondents include the American Craft Council, Wayne State University, and artist Sam Maloof, among others. Writings include studio notebooks, artist statements, speech drafts and poetry. Also found are extensive notes for Fike's chapter on niello that appeared in the monograph, Metals Technic: a Collection of Techniques for Metal Smiths, Brynmorgen Press, 1992. Professional Files document Fike's involvement in art organizations, his teaching career and various projects he worked on throughout his artistic career. Also found are financial documents related to the creation, sale and exhibition of his work. Documents include association meeting minutes, shipping and material sale receipts, fellowship applications and nominations, and project and workshop planning documents. Printed material includes small exhibition catalogs and announcements, and newspaper and magazine clippings representing all stages of Fike's career. Photographs are of Fike at work, in galleries, and his metal pieces. Works of art include annotated technical and design planning sketches of Fike's jewelry and sculptures, as well as niello prints.
The collection is arranged as eight series
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1951-1997 (7 Folders: Box 1)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1961-2010 (0.5 Linear feet: Box 1)
Series 3: Writings, 1955-1998 (0.5 Linear feet: Box 1)
Series 4: Professional Files, circa 1955-1998 (0.5 Linear feet: Box 1-2)
Series 6: Printed Material, 1956-1998 (0.4 Linear feet: Box 2)
Series 7: Photographic Material, circa 1963-1997 (7 Folders: Box 2)
Series 8: Artwork, circa 1955-1996 (0.2 Linear feet: Box 3)
Biographical / Historical:
Phillip Fike (1927-1997) was a metal-worker and art professor in Detroit, Michigan. Fike studied under the G.I. bill at the University of Wisconsin during which time he revived a decorative metal technique called niello, a method of filling designs that have been engraved on the surface of a metal (usually silver) objects with a black metallic alloy. His niello success prompted Fike to teach numerous niello workshops across the country. In 1953 Fike began teaching at Wayne University (now Wayne State University), and remained a professor there for 45 years. Fike is also known for the revival and improvement upon the fibula, a type of clasp used for jewelry and as a founding member of of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG).
His work has been widely exhibited in major venues for American metal work including the Renwick Gallery and the Gallery of the American Craft Council.
Professor Fike was a member of the College of Fellows of the American Craft Council and received numerous awards and prizes.
Donated 2013 by Clare Brackett Morison, Phillip Fike's partner, via Ayers Morison Jr., estate of Clare Brackett Morison.
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Phillip Fike papers, circa 1951-2010. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund, administered by the National Collections Program and the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee.