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Esther McCoy papers

Creator:
McCoy, Esther  Search this
Names:
Historic American Buildings Survey  Search this
Society of Architectural Historians  Search this
University of California, Los Angeles. School of Architecture and Urban Planning  Search this
Ain, Gregory, 1908-1988  Search this
Barragán, Luis, 1902-  Search this
Bradbury, Ray, 1920-  Search this
Davidson, Julius Ralph, b. 1889  Search this
Dreiser, Theodore, 1871-1945  Search this
Ellwood, Craig  Search this
Gill, Irving, 1870-1936  Search this
Grotz, Dorothy  Search this
Hollein, Hans, 1934-  Search this
Jones, A. Quincy (Archie Quincy), 1913-1979  Search this
Maybeck, Bernard R.  Search this
Neutra, Richard Joseph, 1892-1970  Search this
O'Gorman, Juan, 1905-  Search this
Rand, Marvin  Search this
Schindler, R. M. (Rudolph M.), 1887-1953  Search this
Shulman, Julius  Search this
Soriano, Rafael, 1920-  Search this
Watanabe, Makoto  Search this
Worlidge, T. (Thomas), 1700-1766  Search this
Extent:
44.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Diaries
Etchings
Photographs
Sound recordings
Interviews
Video recordings
Slides (photographs)
Transcripts
Drawings
Memoirs
Date:
circa 1876-1990
bulk 1938-1989
Summary:
The papers of Southern California architectural historian, critic, and writer Esther McCoy measure 44.4 linear feet and date from 1876 to 1990 (bulk 1938-1989). McCoy was interested in both Italian and Mexican architecture as well as the folk art and crafts of Mexico and South America. The collection documents McCoy's career, as well as her family and personal life through biographical material, extensive correspondence, personal and professional writings, project files, Southern California architects' files, clippings and other printed material, a large collection of photographs and slides, and taped interviews of Southern California modern architects.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Southern California architectural historian, critic, and writer Esther McCoy measure 44.4 linear feet and date from 1876 to 1990 (bulk 1938-1989). McCoy was interested in both Italian and Mexican architecture as well as the folk art and crafts of Mexico and South America. The collection documents McCoy's career, as well as her family and personal life through biographical material, extensive correspondence, personal and professional writings, project files, Southern California architects' files, clippings and other printed material, a large collection of photographs and slides, and taped interviews of Southern California modern architects.

Biographical and family material consists of awards, resumes, identification documents, and other documentation of McCoy's personal life. Included are a transcript of a 1984 interview of McCoy by Makoto Watanabe and material relating to her friend, Theodore Dreiser.

Correspondence focuses on her personal relationships with family, friends, and lovers, and general correspondence relating primarily to her work as a writer. McCoy's personal correspondence is valuable to researchers who are interested in her personal life, her struggles as a young writer, and the way in which her family, friends, lovers, mentors, and colleagues helped to shape her work and career. As documented in this correspondence, her life offers a glimpse into twentieth-century American social and political history, especially the radical leftist movements of the 1920s and 1930s. Researchers interested in the roots of feminism in the United States should also find these papers useful in documenting the life of a creative and productive woman who was successful in a field then almost entirely dominated by men. Correspondents of note include her husband Berkeley Tobey, lovers Geoffrey Eaton and Albert Robert, writers Ray Bradbury and Theodore Dreiser, and artists and architects, such as Dorothy Grotz, Craig Ellwood, A. Quincy Jones, Hans Hollein, and J. R. Davidson. General correspondence is primarily with researchers, professors, architects, publishers, and professional organizations.

Personal writings include McCoy's diaries, notebooks, and memoirs, and writings by others including friends, lovers, and colleagues. Also included are drafts of McCoy's fictional works, both published and unpublished, including short stories, teleplays, and novels.

The collection contains in-depth documentation of McCoy's pioneering study of the modernist work of twentieth-century architects in Southern California. The bulk of her papers consist of her writing files for books, exhibition catalogs, articles, and lectures on architecture. Because many of the architects about whom McCoy wrote were her contemporaries, she developed personal relationships with several of them through her research and writing. Her writing files include drafts, notes, research material, photographs, and correspondence. McCoy also traveled extensively, particularly in Italy and Mexico, and wrote about architecture, craft, and culture in those countries. Project files document McCoy's other activities related to architectural history, such preservation projects, juries, grants, the Dodge House Preservation Campaign and related film project, her work for the Society of Architectural Historians and the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), and her work at the UCLA School of Architecture and Urban Planning, compiling a slide library and cataloging the Richard Neutra's papers. McCoy also maintained architect files which may contain correspondence, notes, photographs, research material, interview transcripts, about architects and their works. Among these extensive records, the files documenting the careers of R. M. Schindler, Irving Gill, Richard Neutra, and Juan O'Gorman are particularly rich.

Printed material in this collection documents McCoy's career as well as her personal interests. Included are books, clippings, magazines, newsletters, press releases, as well as publications arranged by subject such as architecture, art, Italy, and Mexico. McCoy also collected literary and leftist publications. The small amount of artwork in this collection consists of artwork sent to her by friends, including a drawing of her by Esther Rollo and etchings by various artists including Thomas Worlidge.

There are personal photographs of family and friends and of McCoy at different times in her life, as well as photographs gathered during the course of her research on architecture. Found here are photographs of architects and their works, including a large number depicting the work of Gregory Ain, Luis Barragan, J. R. Davidson, Irving Gill, Bernard Maybeck, Juan O'Gorman, R. M. Schindler, and Raphael Soriano. Many of these photographs were taken by notable architectural photographers Julius Shulman and Marvin Rand. Also found are photographs of architecture designed for the Case Study House program of Arts & Architecture magazine; exhibition photographs, primarily for the exhibition "Ten Italian Architects" in 1967; and other research photographs primarily documenting architecture and craft in other countries and the history of architecture in California. This series also includes approximately 3,600 slides of architecture.

Audio and video recordings include a videocassette of McCoy's 80th birthday party and 55 taped interviews with architects, people associated with architectural projects, and artists.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 10 series:

Series 1: Biographical and Family Material, 1881-1989 (boxes 1, 48; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1896-1989 (boxes 1-6, 4.9 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Writings, 1919-1989 (boxes 6-14; 8.1 linear feet)

Series 4: Architectural Writings, 1908-1990 (boxes 14-24, 42, 49, 50; 10.2 linear feet)

Series 5: Projects, circa 1953-1988 (boxes 24-26, 47, FC 53-56; 2.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Architect Files, 1912-1990 (boxes 26-28, 42; 2.2 linear feet)

Series 7: Printed Material, circa 1885-1990 (boxes 28-31, 42; 2.9 linear feet)

Series 8: Artwork, 1924-1967, undated (box 31; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 9: Photographs and Slides, circa 1876-1989 (boxes 31-38, 41-46, 51; 8.7 linear feet)

Series 10: Audio and Video Recordings, 1930-1984 (boxes 38-40, 47; 2.5 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Esther McCoy (1904-1989) is remembered best for her pioneering work as an architectural historian, critic, and proponent of Southern California modern architecture of the early to mid-twentieth century. McCoy was interested in both Italian and Mexican architecture as well as the folk art and crafts of Mexico and South America. Although her professional interests ranged from writing fiction to studying the folk architecture and crafts of Mexico, McCoy achieved her most notable success for her numerous articles, books, and exhibitions about Southern California architecture and the architects associated with the modernist movement.

Born in Arkansas in 1904, Esther McCoy grew up in Kansas and attended various schools in the Midwest. In 1926 she left the University of Michigan to launch a writing career in New York, where she moved in avant-garde literary circles and conducted research for Theodore Dreiser. She began writing fiction in New York and continued to write after moving to Los Angeles in 1932, working on short stories, novels, and screenplays. She published numerous short stories between 1929 and 1962, with works appearing in the New Yorker, Harper's Bazaar, and university quarterlies. Her short story, "The Cape," was reprinted in Best Short Stories of 1950. Many of the novels that she wrote from the mid-1960s through the 1980s were related thematically to architects and architecture.

During the late 1920s and throughout the 1930s, McCoy participated in the politically radical movements of the period and wrote for leftist publications. Her interest in the lowcost housing projects of modern architects was prompted by one of her articles about slums for Epic News. During World War II she entered a training program for engineering draftsmen at Douglas Aircraft and in 1944 was hired as an architectural draftsman for the architect R.M. Schindler. As she became increasingly interested in modern architecture and design, she combined her two major career interests and began to focus her energies on architectural research, writing, and criticism. Her first article on architecture, "Schindler: Space Architect," was published in 1945 in the journal Direction.

McCoy began writing about architecture in earnest in 1950 as a free-lance contributor to the Los Angeles Times. From then until her death in 1989, she wrote prolifically for Arts & Architecture magazine, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Herald Examiner, Architectural Record, L'Architectura, Zodiac (Italy), Progressive Architecture, Lotus (Italy), and Architectural Forum. In addition to her numerous articles, McCoy wrote several books on Southern California modern architecture and architects. Her first major work, Five California Architects, published in 1960, is now recognized as a classic work in modern architectural history. It promoted a serious study of modern architecture in Southern California and introduced to the world several leading California architects and their work: Bernard Maybeck, Irving Gill, Charles and Henry Greene, and R.M. Schindler. That same year, she published another important book focusing on the work of the California architect Richard Neutra. Other books by McCoy include Modern California Houses: Case Study Houses (1962), Craig Ellwood (1968), Vienna to Los Angeles: Two Journeys (1979), and The Second Generation (1984).

In addition to these books, McCoy organized and wrote catalogs for several significant exhibitions focusing on contemporary architects. Her first was the R.M. Schindler Retrospective, a 1954 exhibition at the Landau Art Gallery in Los Angeles. Her other exhibitions and accompanying catalogs include Roots of California Contemporary Architecture, 1956, Los Angeles Municipal Art Department; Felix Candela, 1957, University of Southern California, Los Angeles; Irving Gill, 1958, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Juan O'Gorman, 1964, San Fernando Valley State College; and Ten Italian Architects, 1967, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Moreover, McCoy contributed numerous essays to other exhibition catalogs and publications, lectured at the University of Southern California, participated in preservation projects, organized tours for the Society of Architectural Historians, and contributed to a number of documentary films. Her energy and interests also led her to catalog and transcribe Richard Neutra's papers at the University of California Los Angeles Archives.

McCoy received national recognition from the American Institute of Architects for her seminal and prolific work in the field of Southern California modern architectural history and criticism. Her interests, however, were not exclusively bound to California. She traveled the world and was interested in both Italian and Mexican architecture as well as the folk art and crafts of Mexico and South America. She made five extended trips to Italy during the 1950s and 1960s, publishing regularly about the architecture there and curating the exhibition Ten Italian Architects. She was a contributing editor to two Italian journals, Zodiac and Lotus, and was awarded the Star of Order of Solidarity in 1960 by the Republic of Italy for her research and writing.

Esther McCoy died of emphysema on December 30, 1989, at the age of eighty-five. Her last contribution was an essay for the exhibition catalog Blueprints for Modern Living: History and Legacy of the Case Study House. The show opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles one month before her death.

1904 -- Born November 18 in Horatio, Arkansas. Raised in Kansas.

1920 -- Attended preparatory school at Central College for Women, Lexington, Missouri.

1922-1925 -- College education: Baker University, Baldwin City, Kansas; University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri; University of Michigan.

1924 -- Visited Theodore Dreiser in Michigan.

1926-1938 -- Began writing in New York City.

1926-1938 -- Researched and read for Theodore Dreiser.

1926-1938 -- Worked for editorial offices and publishers.

1926-1938 -- Traveled to write in Paris (1928), Key West, Florida (1930), and Los Angeles, California (1932-1935).

1938 -- Moved to Santa Monica, California.

1941 -- Married Berkeley Greene Tobey.

1942-1944 -- Employed as engineering draftsman at Douglas Aircraft.

1944-1947 -- Worked as architectural draftsman for R.M. Schindler.

1945 -- Began architectural writing career.

1950 -- Wrote script for film Architecture West.

1950 -- Joined editorial board of Arts & Architecture.

1950-1968 -- Worked as free-lance writer for the Los Angeles Times.

1951-1955 -- Traveled to, researched, and wrote about Mexico and Mexican art and architecture.

1954 -- R.M. Schindler Retrospective exhibition at the Landau Art Gallery, Los Angeles.

1956 -- Roots of California Contemporary Architecture exhibition, Los Angeles Municipal Art Department.

1957 -- Felix Candela exhibition, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

1958 -- Irving Gill exhibition, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Traveled to Italy.

1959-1968 -- Contributing editor to Italian periodicals Zodiac and Lotus.

1960 -- Five California Architects (New York: Reinhold).

1960 -- Richard Neutra (New York: G. Braziller).

1960 -- Awarded Star of Order of Solidarity by the Republic of Italy for reporting on arts and crafts in Italy.

1962 -- Death of Berkeley Greene Tobey.

1962 -- Modern California Houses: Case Study Houses (New York: Reinhold) (reprinted as Case Study Houses, Los Angeles: Hennessey and Ingalls, 1978).

1963 -- Resident Fellow at Huntington Hartford Foundation.

1964 -- Juan O'Gorman exhibition, San Fernando Valley State College, Northridge, Calif.

1965 -- Consultant for the California Arts Commission.

1965-1966 -- Wrote and produced the film Dodge House.

1965-1968 -- Lecturer at University of California at Los Angeles, School of Architecture and Urban Planning.

1966 -- Resident Fellow at MacDowell Colony, New Hampshire.

1967 -- Ten Italian Architects exhibition, Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

1967 -- Honorary Associate of the Southern California Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

1967 -- Regents' Lecturer at University of California, Santa Barbara.

1968 -- Craig Ellwood (New York: Walker).

1968 -- Distinguished Service Citation from the California Council of AIA.

1969-1970 -- Lecturer at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

1969-1989 -- Contributing editor of Progressive Architecture.

1971-1978 -- Graham Foundation Grants.

1974 -- Regents' Lecturer at the University of California,Santa Cruz.

1979 -- Vienna to Los Angeles: Two Journeys (Santa Monica, Calif.: Arts & Architecture Press).

1979 -- Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.

1981 -- Los Angeles Chapter Women's Architectural League Honorary Member.

1982 -- Los Angeles County Museum of Art's Modern and Contemporary Art Council Award for Distinguished Achievement.

1983 -- Home Sweet Home: The California Ranch House exhibition at California State University.

1984 -- The Second Generation (Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith Books).

1985 -- American Institute of Architects, Institute Honor.

1986 -- High Styles exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

1987 -- Vesta Award for outstanding scholarship.

1989 -- Award from the Historical Society of Southern California.

1989 -- Award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

1989 -- Blueprints for Modern Living: History and Legacy of the Case Study House exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Died in Santa Monica, California, December 30.
Related Material:
Also in the Archives of American Art are eight sound cassettes of a transcribed interview with Esther McCoy conducted by Joseph Giovannini, June 8-November 14, 1987.
Provenance:
The collection was given to the Archives of American Art by Esther McCoy in 1986. Before her death in 1989, McCoy assisted in the organization and identification of the papers. Original pre-print film elements for Dodge House 1916 were donated to the Archives of American Art by the Academy Film Archive in 2018.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of audiovisual recordings without access copies requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Architectural historians -- California  Search this
Art critics -- California  Search this
Topic:
Architecture, Modern -- 20th century -- Mexico  Search this
Architects -- Italy  Search this
Architecture, Domestic -- California  Search this
Authors -- California  Search this
Architecture, Modern -- 20th century -- California  Search this
Architecture, Modern -- 20th century -- Europe  Search this
Architects -- California  Search this
Feminism and art  Search this
Latino and Latin American artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Etchings
Photographs
Sound recordings
Interviews
Video recordings
Slides (photographs)
Transcripts
Drawings
Memoirs
Citation:
Esther McCoy papers, circa 1876-1990, bulk 1938-1989. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.mccoesth
See more items in:
Esther McCoy papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mccoesth
Online Media:

Fidel Danieli papers

Creator:
Danieli, Fidel  Search this
Names:
Almaraz, Carlos  Search this
Antin, David  Search this
Antin, Eleanor  Search this
Bell, Larry, 1939-  Search this
Berman, Wallace, 1926-1976  Search this
Bettelheim, Judith, 1944-  Search this
Brigante, Nicholas P., 1895-1989  Search this
Delano, Annita, 1894-  Search this
Feitelson, Lorser, 1898-1978  Search this
Flavin, Dan, 1933-  Search this
Graham, Robert, 1938-  Search this
Kaprow, Allan  Search this
Krasnow, Peter, 1886-1979  Search this
Langsner, Jules, 1911-1967  Search this
Lloyd, Gary, 1943-  Search this
McLaughlin, John, 1898-  Search this
Pettibone, Richard, 1938-  Search this
Pettibone, Shirley  Search this
Plagens, Peter  Search this
Rosenthal, Rachel, 1926-  Search this
Saar, Betye  Search this
Smith, Alexis, 1921-1993  Search this
Extent:
8.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Photographs
Interviews
Date:
1962-1987
Summary:
The papers of Los Angeles art critic and writer, art historian, professor, collector, and artist Fidel Danieli (1938-1988) measure 8.4 linear feet and date from 1962 to 1987. Found within the papers are writing and research files, and 108 sound recordings of interviews with or about 45 Los Angeles artists conducted by Danieli in 1974-1975 for the U.C.L.A. oral history project "L.A. Community Artists." There are also sound recordings of art performances and art talks, and printed materials, including numerous exhibition announcements.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Los Angeles art critic and writer, art historian, professor, collector, and artist Fidel Danieli (1938-1988) measure 8.4 linear feet and date from 1962 to 1987. Found within the papers are writing and research files, and 108 sound recordings of interviews with or about 45 Los Angeles artists conducted by Danieli in 1974-1975 for the U.C.L.A. oral history project "L.A. Community Artists." There are also sound recordings of art performances and art talks, and printed materials, including numerous exhibition announcements.

Writing and research files consist of articles and reviews written by Fidel Danieli and supporting documentation and printed material. Files cover individual artists, exhibitions, and other scattered topics. Files on reviews of artists Danieli wrote include typescripts and handwritten drafts, printed materials, and photographs. Artists covered include Carlos Almarez, Larry Bell, Wallace Berman, Lorser Feitelson, Dan Flavin, Robert Graham, Jules Langsner, Richard Pettibone, Rachel Rosenthal, Alexis Smith, and John White, among many others. The file for Richard Pettibone includes 2 original sound cassettes and duplicates. Writings for exhibition catalogs and reviews of exhibitions focus primarily on Los Angeles area exhibitions or exhibitions of California artists. These files include notes, typescripts, and printed materials. Also found are files for magazine articles written by Danieli. Research files include a set of index cards documenting a chronology of Los Angeles art and 9 sound cassettes of television shows that focus on California art.

Interviews of and performances by Los Angeles comprise 108 sound cassettes. The majority of the cassettes are artist interviews conducted by Danieli in 1974-1975 for the U.C.L.A. oral history project "L.A. Community Artists," but there are also scattered recordings of art talks, panel discussions, and performances. Artists include David Antin, Eleanor Antin, Judith Bettelheim, Nick Brigante, Annita Delano, Allan Kaprow, Peter Krasnow, Peter Plagens, Gary Lloyd, John McLaughlin, Shirley Pettibone, Betye Saar, and John White, among many others.

Printed material consists primarily of exhibition announcements about California artists and exhibitions.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 3 series.

Series 1: Writing and Research Files, 1962-1987 (3.2 linear feet; Boxes 1-4)

Series 2: Los Angeles Artist Interviews and Performances, 1974-1975 (3.1 linear feet; Boxes 4-7)

Series 3: Printed Material, 1969-1985 (2.1 linear feet; Boxes 7-9)
Biographical / Historical:
Fidel Danieli (1938-1988) was an art critic and writer, art historian, educator, and artist based in Los Angeles, California. Danieli received his B.A. in 1960 and M.A. in 1965 from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). For nearly 22 years, he taught at the Los Angeles Valley College in Van Nuys. He also taught and lectured at the California State College in Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley State College in Northridge.

Danieli was perhaps best known for his work as an art critic and writer, notably his reviews for Artforum from 1963-1968 that brought national recognition to many modern Southern California artists, such as Billy Al Bengston, Bruce Nauman, Robert Graham, and George Herms. Danieli was a member of the editorial committee of the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art's (LAICA) Journal, a contributing editor to Artweek, and writer and reviewer for ArtScene and Images and Issues.

Danieli's special interest was in the early Los Angeles Modernists and he received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant around 1974 to fund research on the subject. From 1974-1975, he was also an interviewer for the UCLA oral history project "Los Angeles Art Community." The project culminated in the 1974 exhibition Nine Senior Southern California Painters at LAICA.

Danieli was also a painter, sculptor, and collector. His extensive art collection included photographs, paintings, ceramics, and prints. He bequeathed the bulk of his collection to the Oakland Museum and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), and a few private collectors who were friends. His art library was donated to Los Angeles Valley College.

He was briefly married to Edie Ellis though they later separated. He suffered ill health for several years and passed away in North Hollywood on March 26, 1988, at the age of 49.
Provenance:
The Fidel Danieli papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 1990 by Sage Stormcreek, executor of Danieli's estate.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Authors -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Art historians -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Educators -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Art critics -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Photographs
Interviews
Citation:
Fidel Danieli papers, 1962-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.danifide
See more items in:
Fidel Danieli papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-danifide
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Michael C. McMillen

Interviewee:
McMillen, Michael C.  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J.  Search this
Extent:
5 Sound cassettes (Sound recording, master (5 hrs.), analog)
73 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound cassettes
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1997 Apr. 15-Dec. 8
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Michael C. McMillen conducted on 1997 Apr. 15-Dec. 8, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art.
Interview with McMillen begins with a discussion about growing up in post-war California, visiting television sets where his father was a scenic artist, and the beginning of an interest in illusion and other realities. He discusses how he became fascinated with ancient civilizations after a visit in 1957 to the Metropolitan Musuem of Art; from this experience he became interested in decay, change, and disintegration. He discusses the elements of open narrative, allowing the viewer to fill in the blanks. He acknowledges the influence of California assemblage movement, aerospace, and Hollywood as sources for his material and art practice.
McMillen explains his goal is to surround the viewer with a total expereince, including smell, sound, moisture, and temperature. He feels that art reflects time and place, a response to history, and a metaphor for events. He next recalls "Journey to the Surface," a submarine, incorporating stand-alone pieces in a large installation that uses historical objects as time markers. He feels that his work is an accumulation of "stuff" that is used as a source for personal identity and the viewer brings his own history pieces and markers of progress through life. He concludes with a discussion of the function of art, as a personal expression and self-validation rather than the political/social aspect of much contemporary art.
Biographical / Historical:
Michael C. McMillen (1946- ) is a painter and installation artist from Los Angeles, Calif. McMillen studied at Santa Monica City College and San Fernando Valley State College (now California State University at Northridge), with Hans Burkhardt. He spent his early career as a model builder for the movies which included making props for "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "Blade Runner".
General:
Originally recorded on 5 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 10 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hrs., 5 min.
Provenance:
This interview is 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 administrators.
Topic:
Painters -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews  Search this
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.mcmill97
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mcmill97

Oral history interview with Michael C. McMillen, 1997 Apr. 15-Dec. 8

Interviewee:
McMillen, Michael C., 1946-  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Painters -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews  Search this
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11912
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216256
AAA_collcode_mcmill97
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_216256
Online Media:

Fidel Danieli papers, 1962-1987

Creator:
Danieli, Fidel, 1938-1988  Search this
Subject:
Saar, Betye  Search this
Rosenthal, Rachel  Search this
Smith, Alexis  Search this
Pettibone, Richard  Search this
McLaughlin, John  Search this
Plagens, Peter  Search this
Pettibone, Shirley  Search this
Krasnow, Peter  Search this
Almaraz, Carlos  Search this
Lloyd, Gary  Search this
Langsner, Jules  Search this
Bell, Larry  Search this
Antin, David  Search this
Antin, Eleanor  Search this
Feitelson, Lorser  Search this
Delano, Annita  Search this
Berman, Wallace  Search this
Brigante, Nicholas P.  Search this
Bettelheim, Judith  Search this
Kaprow, Allan  Search this
Graham, Robert  Search this
Flavin, Dan  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Photographs
Interviews
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10221
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213297
AAA_collcode_danifide
Theme:
Art Theory and Historiography
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_213297
Online Media:

San Fernando Valley State College

Collection Creator:
De Swart, Jan, 1908-  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 6
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1974
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
Jan de Swart papers, 1916-1994. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Jan de Swart papers
Jan de Swart papers / Series 6: Photographs / 6.7: Negatives, Slides, Transparencies / Slides / Exhibition Installations
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-deswjan-ref135

Edmund Snow Carpenter papers

Creator:
Carpenter, Edmund, 1922-2011  Search this
Names:
De Menil, Adelaide  Search this
Flaherty, Robert Joseph, 1884-1951  Search this
Heye, George G. (George Gustav), 1874-1957  Search this
McLuhan, Marshall, 1911-1980  Search this
Schuster, Carl, 1904-1969  Search this
Extent:
26.25 Linear feet
Culture:
Arctic peoples  Search this
Iglulingmiut Inuit (Iglulik/Iglulirmiut Eskimo)  Search this
Inuit  Search this
Inuit -- Canada  Search this
Inuit -- Greenland  Search this
Iroquois  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Place:
Canada
Greenland
New Guinea (Territory)
Papua New Guinea
Date:
circa 1938-2011
Summary:
Edmund Snow Carpenter (1922-2011) was an archaeologist and visual anthropologist who worked extensively with the indigenous peoples of the Canadian Arctic as well as Papua New Guinea. With his colleague and close collaborator Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), he laid the groundwork for modern media theory. Carpenter is also known for his work as an ethnographic filmmaker and as a collector of Paleo-Eskimo art. The Papers of Edmund Carpenter, circa 1938-2011, document the research interests and projects undertaken by Carpenter in the fields of cultural anthropology, ethnographic filmmaking, media theory, archaeology, and indigenous art.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Edmund Carpenter, 1940-2011, document the research interests and projects undertaken by Carpenter in the fields of cultural anthropology, ethnographic filmmaking, media theory, archaeology, and indigenous art. Specific research projects and interests documented are: his 1950s fieldwork among the Aivilik Inuit in the Canadian Arctic as well as his studies into Inuit concepts of space, time, and geography; his partnership and collaboration with media theorist Marshall McLuhan and his ethnographic studies of Papua New Guinean tribal communities; his early-career archaeological digs at Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) burial mounds in Sugar Run, Pennsylvania, as well as later archaeological interest in Arctic peoples, Siberia, and the Norwegian artifact dubbed the "Norse Penny"; his reflections on the disciplines of anthropology and media studies; his editing and completion of the work of art historian Carl Schuster at the Museum der Kulturen (Museum of Ethnology) in Basel, Switzerland; his editing of The Story of Comock the Eskimo, as told to Robert Flaherty; and his museum exhibitions compiled on the topics of surrealist and tribal art. The collection also documents Carpenter's correspondence with fellow scholars, ethnographers, filmmakers, and colleagues; his published writings; and elements of his personal life, such as obituaries and personal photographs.

Materials in this collection include artifact and burial records; correspondence; drawings and illustrations; essays; interviews and oral histories; inventories and catalogues; manuscripts and drafts, and fragments of drafts; maps; memoranda and meeting minutes; notes, notebooks, and data analysis; obituaries and memorials; photographic prints, slides, and negatives, including personal photographs and portraits; proposals and plans for museum exhibits; reports; resumes and bibliographies; reviews; and sound recordings on CD-Rs and audio cassettes. Additional materials include books and book chapters; journal copies and journal excerpts; magazine, newspaper, and article clippings and excerpts; museum and gallery catalogues, brochures, and guides; pamphlets; and reprints. A portion of the material collected here consist of consolidated research into specific topics, gathered from archival repositories, museums, correspondence, and published works. This material consists of research reprints and archival reference photocopies and photographic prints from various repositories.

Items worthy of special mention in this collection include: annotated draft chapters from Marshall McLuhan's seminal work on media theory, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (Series 2); a 1957 letter from e. e. cummings to Carpenter, written in verse (Series 3); an undated thank-you note addressed to "Sadie" from Helen Keller (Series 3); and a transcript of an interview of Carpenter by his former student, Harald Prins (Series 2).

Audiovisual material in this collection is currently undergoing processing.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into the following 7 series:

Series 1. Fieldwork and drafts, 1940-2011 (bulk 1940-1959)

Series 2. Research and project files, 1940-2011

Series 3. Correspondence, circa 1938-2011

Series 4. Publications and lectures, circa 1942-circa 2006

Series 5. Personal, 1942-2011

Series 6. Film and visual material (in-process)

Series 7. Writings by others, 1960-2009, undated
Biographical Note:
Edmund Snow Carpenter (1922-2011) was an archaeologist and visual anthropologist who worked extensively with the indigenous peoples of the Canadian Arctic and Papua New Guinea. With his colleague and close collaborator Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), he laid the groundwork for modern media theory. Carpenter is also known for his work as an ethnographic filmmaker and as a collector of Paleo-Eskimo art.

Born in 1922 in Rochester, New York, Edmund (nicknamed "Ted") Carpenter served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II before receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1950 under Frank Speck for work on Iroquoian prehistoric archaeology. Carpenter began teaching at the University of Toronto in 1948 while simultaneously working as a programmer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). In the 1950s, he undertook fieldwork in the Canadian Arctic among the Aivilik (an Inuit Igloolik subgroup). This fieldwork resulted in several publications in the field of cultural anthropology, including Time/Space Concepts of the Aivilik (1955), Anerca (1959), and Eskimo (1959, republished as Eskimo Realities in 1973).

Also in the 1950s, Carpenter began a working relationship with media theorist Marshall McLuhan. Together, they received a Ford Foundation grant (1953-1955) for an interdisciplinary media research project into the impact of mass communications and mass media on culture change. Carpenter and McLuhan's partnership resulted in the Seminar on Culture and Communication (1953-1959) and the journal series Explorations. In 1957, Carpenter was the founding chair in the interdisciplinary program "Anthropology and Art" at San Fernando Valley State College (now California State University, Northridge). There, he collaborated with Bess Lomax Hawes and other colleagues in the production of several ethnographic films, including Georgia Sea Island Singers about Gullah (or Geechee) songs and dances. During this period, Carpenter worked with McLuhan on the latter's seminal book Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964). The article published as "Fashion is Language" in Harper's Bazaar under McLuhan's name (1968) was actually written by Carpenter. It was later published in book form under Carpenter's name, with the title They Became What They Beheld (1970).

In 1969, Carpenter took a research professorship at the University of Papua and New Guinea sponsored by the government of Australia. Alongside photographer Adelaide De Menil (whom he would later marry), he applied many of the ideas about media literacy and culture change to indigenous communities of Papua New Guinea. These activities led to developments in the field of media ecology, as well as the publication of Carpenter's best-known work, Oh, What a Blow the Phantom Gave Me! (1976).

Carpenter taught intermittently at various universities throughout his career, including Fordham University, the University of California-Santa Cruz, Adelphi University, Harvard University's Center for Visual Anthropology, the New School for Social Research, and New York University. He spent eight years associated with the Museum of Ethnology in Basel, Switzerland (1973-1981), editing art historian Carl Schuster's research.

In addition to his teaching and research, Carpenter, with his wife Adelaide De Menil, collected tribal art, eventually amassing the largest private collection of Paleo-Eskimo art in the United States. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Carpenter curated various exhibitions on art and visual culture, including the Menil Collection's Witness to a Surrealist Vision and the Musée du Quai Branly's Upside Down (later reconstructed at the Menil Collection). In later years, Carpenter resumed his archaeological interest in Arctic peoples, researching and collaborating on the Zhokhov Island Mesolithic site in the Russian Arctic with Russian scientists from the Institute for the History of Material Culture and archaeologists from the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History.

Carpenter died on July 1, 2011 at his home in New York.

Sources consulted:

"Edmund Snow Carpenter." https://edmundsnowcarpenter.com/about

Grimes, William. "Edmund Carpenter, Archaeologist and Anthropologist, Dies at 88." The New York Times. 2011 July 7. https://www.nytimes.com

Prins, Harald E. L. and John Bishop. "Edmund Carpenter: Explorations in Media and Anthropology." Visual Anthropology Review 17:2 (Fall-Winter 2001-2002): 110-140.

Chronology

1922 September 2 -- Born in Rochester, New York

circa 1940-1941 -- Archaeological field work, Sugar Run mounds, Pennsylvania

1942-1946 -- Served in the United States Marine Corps

1948-1957 -- Anthropology Department, University of Toronto

circa 1950 -- Began work for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)

1950 -- Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania (Anthropology)

1950s -- Fieldwork among the Aivilik Inuit

1953-1959 -- Ran the Seminar on Culture and Communication with Marshall McLuhan

1957-1967 -- "Anthropology and Art" program at San Fernando Valley State College (California State University, Northridge)

1967-1968 -- Schwitzer Chair, Fordham University (with Marshall McLuhan)

1968-1969 -- Carnegie Chair in Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz

1969-1970 -- Research Professor, University of Papua and New Guinea

1973-1981 -- Associated with the Museum of Ethnology in Basel, Switzerland for Carl Schuster papers project

circa 1989-2005 -- Collaboration regarding Zhokov Island archaeological site

2011 July 1 -- Died in East Hampton, New York
Separated Materials:
Film and video recordings are retained by the Human Studies Film Archives (HSFA) as the Edmund Carpenter-Adelaide de Menil Collection (HSFA 2004-04). Once processing is complete, they will be described in the following finding aid in Series 6.
Provenance:
The Edmund Snow Carpenter papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives in 2017 by Adelaide de Menil on behalf of the Rock Foundation.
Restrictions:
The Edmund Snow Carpenter papers are open for research.

Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice. Please contact the archives for information on availability of access copies of audiovisual recordings. Original audiovisual material in the Human Studies Film Archives may not be played.

Digital media in the collection is restricted for preservation reasons.

Access to the Edmund Snow Carpenter papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Topic:
Archaeology  Search this
Cartography  Search this
Ethnographic films  Search this
Indigenous art  Search this
Inuit art  Search this
Menil Collection (Houston, Tex.)  Search this
Museum exhibits  Search this
Paleo-Eskimos  Search this
Visual anthropology  Search this
Citation:
Edmund Snow Carpenter papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NAA.2017-27
See more items in:
Edmund Snow Carpenter papers
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-naa-2017-27
Online Media:

James A. Peters Papers, and Records of the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians

Topic:
Smithsonian herpetological information services
Creator::
Peters, James Arthur, 1922-1972  Search this
Extent:
24.25 cu. ft. (48 document boxes) (1 half document box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Manuscripts
Picture postcards
Clippings
Field notes
Floor plans
Black-and-white photographs
Black-and-white negatives
Black-and-white transparencies
Color photographs
Color transparencies
Lantern slides
Date:
1927-1973 (Papers), 1927-1966 (Records)
Descriptive Entry:
These papers include both personal and professional correspondence and documents relating to Peters' academic and curatorial careers. Also included are files of the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians maintained by Peters' predecessor, Doris Mable Cochran (1898-1968). Correspondents include Jorge W. Abalos, M. Acosta-Solis, Kraig Kerr Adler, Villy Aellen, E. Ross Allen, American Institute of Biological Sciences, American Medical Association, American Museum of Natural History, American Society of Icthyologists and Herpetologists, Steven C. Anderson, Attilio Arillo, Ralph W. Axtell, James P. Bacon, Jr., Gladys C. Banks, Benjamin Harrison Banta, Avelino Barrio, J. C. Battersby, Nina Battersby, Pauline Becker, William Beebe, Beitrage Zur Neotropischen Fauna, Ronald E. Beltz, Paul A. Benson, Frederick Henry Berry, Bio Instrumentation Advisory Council, Sherman Chauncey Bishop, Richard Eliot Blackwelder, Frieda Cobb Blanchard, Ellen Gillespie Block, Charles Mitchell Bogert, James Erwin Bohlke, Werner C. A. Bokermann, Donald D. Brand, Ronald A. Brandon, Bayard Holmes Brattstrom, British Herpetological Society, Donald G. Broadley, L. D. Brongersma, Garnett Ryland Brooks, Jr., John Langdon Brooks, Bryce Cardigan Brown, Frederick Martin Brown, Brown University, Walter Creighton Brown, Maria Buchinger, W. Leslie Burger, A. C. J. Burgers, Charles Earle Burt, William Henry Burt, Robert A. Burton, R. Bruce Bury, Fred Ray Cagle, Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Society, Luis F. Capurro, Dennis S. Carlson, Nan V. Carson, Center for Tropical Studies, University of Michigan, Herman Burleigh Chase, The Chicago Herpetological Society, William M. Clay, Doris Mable Cochran, Nathan Wolf Cohen, Roger Conant, John M. Condit, Congreso Latinamericano de Zoologia, Joseph F. Copp, Robert Copping, Raymond B. Cowles, David Crane, John Davis, Paul E. P. Deraniyagala, Philip H. Derse, Michael W. Dix, James R. Dixon, Roberto Donoso-Barrios (Ref.), Armando Dugand, Roy Frederick Dulin, Jr., Ann Dunham, Emmet Reid Dunn, Delbert G. Easton, Richard A. Edgren, Jr., Lloyd C. Emmons, Francis Cope Evans, Lee C. Finneran, Harvey Irvin Fisher, Henry Sheldon Fitch, Alvin Godfrey Flury, William I. Follett, Keith E. Friedel, John W. Funkhouser, Jose M. Gallardo, Sidney Roland Galler, Carl Gans, Joseph Francis Gennaro, Jr., Howard Kay Gloyd, Coleman Jett Goin, Stanley W. Gorham, Joseph B. Gorman, Chapman Grant, Arthur Merwin Greenhall, Arnold B. Grobman, Eugene Raymond Hall, Rogers D. Hamilton, William John Hamilton, Jr., Garry P. Harned, Francis Harper, Ernest William Hartung, Norman Edouard Hartweg, Werner George Heim, Herpetologists' League, William Atwood Hilton, Richard L. Hoffman, Alphonse Richard Hoge, Theodore Huntington Hubbell, Carl Leavitt Hubbs, Richard G. Hubler, Don Hunsaker II, Victor H. Hutchinson, Robert F. Inger, Instituto Butantan, Instituto Panamericano de Geografia e Historia, International Association For Systematic Zoology, International Biological Programme, International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, International Congress of Systematic and Evolutionary Biology, International Herpetology Society, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Hernando de Irmay, David Lee Jameson, Rolf A. Jensen, Junior Herpetological Society, Brahma S. Kaushiva, Hugh Lawrence Keegan, Laurence Monroe Klauber, Robert Elroy Kuntz, Ernest Albert Lachner, Abdem Ramon Lancini, David A. Langebartel, Carlos M. Larrea, Ronald Lawson, David S. Lee, Donald L. Lehmann, Roberto Levi-Castillo, Alan E. Leviton, Lizard Ecology Symposium, Long Island Herpetological Society, Richard Biggar Loomis, Francis X. Lueth, Douglas MacGregor, Thomas J. McIntyre, Rogers McVaugh, Beni Charan Mahendra, M. Maldonado-Koerdell, Guillermo Mann, Romeo John Mansueti, Paul Schultz Martin, Kevin W. Marx, The Maryland Herpetological Society, Ernst Mayr, Giles W. Mead, John Stephen Mecham, Daniel Merriman, Robert Rush Miller, Eunice Thomas Miner, Francis J. Mitchell, Erna Mohr, John Alexander Moore, George Sprague Myers, National Geographic Society, Walter Ludwig Necker, Wilfred T. Neill, Morris Graham Netting, New York Herpetological Society, Norman Dennis Newell, Clifford Raymond Noll, Jr., Kenneth Stafford Norris, The Ohio Herpetological Society, James Arthur Oliver, The Orange County Herpetological Society, Gustavo Orces, Braulio Orejas-Miranda (Ref.), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (Paris), Organization of American States, Lourdes G. Ortega, Juan Jose Parodiz, Georges Pasteur, Dennis R. Paulson, Raymond Andrew Paynter, Jr., James A. Peters, Philadelphia Herpetological Society, David Pimentel, Richard A. Pimentel, Ivo Poglayen-Neuwall, Friedrich Polz, Clifford Hillhouse Pope, Primer Congreso Sudamericano de Zoologia, George B. Rabb, A. Stanley Rand, Neil Dwight Richmond, William J. Riemer, Philip C. Ritterbush, Robert Maar Roecker, Alfred S. Romer, Douglas Anthon Rossman, Barry Rothman, Norma Rothman, Janis A. Roze, Rodolfo Ruibal, Findlay Ewing Russell, Richard W. Russell, Jay M. Savage, Scandinavian Herpetological Society, Herbert Schifter, Karl Patterson Schmidt, Waldo Lasalle Schmitt, Albert Schwartz, Frederick A. Shannon, Charles E. Shaw, Hurst Hugh Shoemaker, R. K. Shrivastava, Charles Gald Sibley, Allan J. Sloan, Paul Slud (Ref.), Hobart Muir Smith, Philip W. Smith, Richard Craine Snyder, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Society for the Study of Evolution, Society of Systematic Zoology, Paul Soderberg, The Southern California Academy of Sciences, Southwestern Herpetologists Society, James Juan Spillett, Leonhard Stejneger, Othmar Stemmler, Terry B. Stevenson, William H. Stickel, Laurence Cooper Stuart, Bogdan Sturgen, The Systematics Association, Michael J. Takos, James R. Tamsitt, Wilmer W. Tanner, Aaron M. Taub, Edward H. Taylor, The Tennessee Herpetological Society, E. Titschack, Enrico Tortonese, Robert G. Tuck, Jr., Frederick Brown Turner, Michael J. Tyler, Emil K. Urban, Thomas Marshall Uzzell, Jose Valencia, Stefan Vancea, Paulo Emilio Vanzolini, Jaime D. Villa, Virginia Herpetological Society, John Visser, Zdenek Vogel, Harold K. Voris, Helmuth O. Wagner, David Burton Wake, Charles Frederic Walker, Warren Franklin Walker, Jr., Harlan D. Walley, The Washington Biologists' Field Club, Inc., Robert G. Webb, William Weber (Ref.), John E. Werler, Heinz Wermuth, Yehudah L. Werner, Dawn Xavier Weston, Jr., Kenneth L. Williams, Richard Willnow, James Walter Wilson, Larry David Wilson, Gaston-Francois de Witte, Allyn L. Wood, Lindsay W. Wood, Albert Hazen Wright (Ref.), John W. Wright, David Zaid, William Zipperer, The Zoological Society of London, George R. Zug, Richard George Zweifel.
Historical Note:
James A. Peters was born in Durant, Iowa on July 13, 1922. He developed an interest in herpetology as a teenager, which culminated in the acquisition of three academic degrees from the University of Michigan (B.S., 1948; M.A., 1950; Ph.D., 1952). While at the University of Michigan he served as a research assistant in the Museum of Zoology (1946-1952) and as a teaching assistant for the Department of Zoology (1952). After receiving his Ph.D., Peters joined the staff of Brown University (1952-1958), advancing from instructor to assistant professor. During the summer of 1956 he was a research associate at Stanford University. From 1958 to 1959 Peters was a Fulbright Lecturer at the Universidad Centrale de Ecuador; he was a visiting professor at Southern Illinois University for the summer of 1959 and accepted an associate professorship at San Fernando Valley State College (SFVSC) in the fall of that year. Peters advanced to full professor at SFVSC, remaining there until February 1964 when he accepted the position of associate curator in the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians of the United States National Museum. He assumed the title "supervisor and curator" of the Division in FY 1967, a title he held until FY 1971. He was named curator, Division of Reptiles and Amphibians in FY 1971 and held that position until his death on December 18, 1972.

James A. Peters' professional responsibilities included membership in many scientific societies. He attended his first meeting of the American Society of Icthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH) in 1939. He later served on the Board of Governors and various committees. He also served as ASIH secretary (1960-1966); vice-president (1967); and president (1970). He also held advisory or elected positions with the Society of Systematic Zoology, the Southern California Academy of Sciences, the Society for the Study of Evolution, and the Biological Society of Washington. Within the Smithsonian Peters continued his professional responsibilities by service on the Zoo Research Advisory Committee (National Zoological Park), the Planning Committee for Summer Seminar in Systematics, the Steering Committee for the First International Congress of Systematic Zoology, the International Congress of Systematic and Evolutionary Biology, the Reptile Group of the Survival Service Commission of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the American Alligator Council, and the Rare and Endangered Species Committee of the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife. In 1965 he inaugurated the Smithsonian Herpetological Information Services, which distributed informative material deemed useful to herpetologists but unsuitable for publication, e.g., bibliographies, indices, etc.

The herpetology and zoogeography of Latin America became main subjects of interest for Peters after he did field work on the Mexican Plateau in 1949 and in Michoacan in 1950. His concentration on Ecuador was largely due to the wide scope of biogeographical faunal comparisons available in the Andes Mountains. While completing his doctoral work on the snakes of the subfamily Dipsadinae, he embarked in 1952 upon a long-term research project on the herpetology of Ecuador that resulted in twenty-one published papers. The culmination of his Latin American work was the two-volume Catalogue of the Neotropical Squamata co-authored with Braulio Orjas-Miranda and Roberto Donoso-Barrios (1970). Over 100 scientific publications are attributed to James A. Peters, including two books, Classic Papers in Genetics (ed., 1959) and Dictionary of Herpetology (1964). He described seventeen new species or subspecies and had five taxa, four Neotropical amphibians and reptiles, and one snake named for him.

The computer analysis of biogeographic data greatly enhanced Peters' study of the systematics and ecology of reptiles and amphibians. An effective use of this technique was the gathering of comparative cardiac physiology of Ecuadorian snakes and lizards using data obtained from an electrocardiograph. Identification of specimens was another field adaptable to the use of computer technology. In this area of interest Peters developed computer programs that facilitated the identification process by searching on a larger constellation of characters than had previously been employed. Eleven papers were published from 1968 to 1973 on the subject of computer usage. He also founded the newsletter MUDPIE (Museum and University Data Program and Information Exchange) which contained information about computer programs, references, grants, meetings, and related news.
Topic:
Herpetology  Search this
Herpetologists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Picture postcards
Clippings
Field notes
Floor plans
Black-and-white photographs
Black-and-white negatives
Black-and-white transparencies
Color photographs
Color transparencies
Lantern slides
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7175, James A. Peters Papers, and Records of the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians
Identifier:
Record Unit 7175
See more items in:
James A. Peters Papers, and Records of the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru7175

CalBioChem (California Foundation for Biochemical Research, Undergraduate Research Grant, San Fernando Valley State College), 1961

Collection Creator::
Peters, James Arthur, 1922-1972  Search this
Container:
Box 39 of 49
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7175, James A. Peters Papers, and Records of the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians
See more items in:
James A. Peters Papers, and Records of the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians
James A. Peters Papers, and Records of the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians / Series 8: NON-SMITHSONIAN FILES, 1937-1966. ARRANGED ALPHABETICALLY. / Box 39
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru7175-refidd1e7234

Examination Papers (Exams given by Peters while at San Fernando Valley State College), 1960-1964

Collection Creator::
Peters, James Arthur, 1922-1972  Search this
Container:
Box 39 of 49
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7175, James A. Peters Papers, and Records of the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians
See more items in:
James A. Peters Papers, and Records of the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians
James A. Peters Papers, and Records of the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians / Series 8: NON-SMITHSONIAN FILES, 1937-1966. ARRANGED ALPHABETICALLY. / Box 39
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru7175-refidd1e7245

Latin American Studies Program, San Fernando Valley State College, 1960-1961

Collection Creator::
Peters, James Arthur, 1922-1972  Search this
Container:
Box 39 of 49
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7175, James A. Peters Papers, and Records of the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians
See more items in:
James A. Peters Papers, and Records of the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians
James A. Peters Papers, and Records of the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians / Series 8: NON-SMITHSONIAN FILES, 1937-1966. ARRANGED ALPHABETICALLY. / Box 39
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru7175-refidd1e7312

San Fernando Valley State College, 1959-1965

Collection Creator::
Peters, James Arthur, 1922-1972  Search this
Container:
Box 40 of 49
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7175, James A. Peters Papers, and Records of the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians
See more items in:
James A. Peters Papers, and Records of the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians
James A. Peters Papers, and Records of the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians / Series 8: NON-SMITHSONIAN FILES, 1937-1966. ARRANGED ALPHABETICALLY. / Box 40
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru7175-refidd1e7391

San Fernando Valley State College, Curriculum Forums, c. 1960

Collection Creator::
Peters, James Arthur, 1922-1972  Search this
Container:
Box 40 of 49
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7175, James A. Peters Papers, and Records of the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians
See more items in:
James A. Peters Papers, and Records of the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians
James A. Peters Papers, and Records of the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians / Series 8: NON-SMITHSONIAN FILES, 1937-1966. ARRANGED ALPHABETICALLY. / Box 40
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru7175-refidd1e7402

San Fernando Valley State College

Collection Creator:
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.). Department of Anthropology  Search this
Smithsonian Institution. Department of Anthropology  Search this
Smithsonian Institution. United States National Museum. Department of Anthropology  Search this
Container:
Box 57
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Some materials are restricted.

Access to the Department of Anthropology records requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Department of Anthropology Records, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Department of Anthropology records
Department of Anthropology records / Series 24: Antiquities Act Permits / 24.3: Antiquities Act Permits – Post 1960
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-xxxx-0311-ref13236

San Fernando Valley State College

Collection Creator::
Smithsonian Institution. International Exchange Service  Search this
Container:
Box 9 of 21
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 502, Smithsonian Institution, International Exchange Service, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Series 1: Director's domestic correspondence, arranged alphabetic by organization/person. / Box 9
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0502-refidd1e27492

Folder 12 Employment Possibilities, 1965: correspondents include Donald E. Bianchi of San Fernando Valley State College, B[illie] L[ee] Turner of the University of Texas, William B. Drew of Michigan State University.

Collection Creator::
Ernst, Wallace Roy, 1928-  Search this
Container:
Box 1 of 4
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7096, Wallace Roy Ernst Papers
See more items in:
Wallace Roy Ernst Papers
Wallace Roy Ernst Papers / Series 1: GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1956-1971. / Box 1
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru7096-refidd1e387

James Arthur Peters Papers

Creator::
Peters, James Arthur, 1922-1972  Search this
Extent:
0.5 cu. ft. (1 document box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Books
Manuscripts
Date:
1965-1971
Descriptive Entry:
This accession consists of correspondence, memoranda, reports, and published materials documenting Peters' work on the Rare and Endangered Species Committee of the Bureau of Sports Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Historical Note:
James A. Peters (1922-1972) was born in Iowa and educated at the University of Michigan. He held teaching positions at Brown University, 1952-1958; Universidad Centrale de Ecuador, Fulbright Lecturer, 1958-1959; Southern Illinois University, 1959; and San Fernando Valley State College, 1959-1964. In 1964 Peters joined the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians, United States National Museum, and served as Associate Curator, 1964-1967, and Curator, 1967-1972.

Peters' professional activities included membership in a number of scientific societies, notably the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH). He served the ASIH as Secretary, 1960-1966; Vice-President, 1967; and President, 1970. In 1965, he inaugurated the Smithsonian Herpetological Information Services which distributed material to herpetological labs and individual herpetologists.
Topic:
Herpetology  Search this
Herpetologists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Books
Manuscripts
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 85-186, James Arthur Peters Papers
Identifier:
Accession 85-186
See more items in:
James Arthur Peters Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-fa85-186

Interview with Fred Katz

Creator:
Katz, Fred  Search this
Saltman, Molly, 1915-2010  Search this
Subject:
KPAL (Radio station : Palm Springs, California)  Search this
San Fernando Valley State College  Search this
Type:
Sound Recording
Date:
1966-1967
Topic:
Musicians  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)20866
See more items in:
Molly Saltman "Art and Artists" interviews, 1966-1967
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_20866

Elgaria multicarinata webbii

Preparation:
Ethanol
Place:
San Fernando Valley State College campus, Los Angeles, California, United States, North America
Collection Date:
Nov 1959
Taxonomy:
Animalia, Chordata, Vertebrata, Reptilia, Squamata, Sauria, Gerrhonotinae
Published Name:
Elgaria multicarinata webbii
Accession Number:
000000
Other Numbers:
Field Number : JAP 4360
USNM Number:
196340
See more items in:
Vertebrate Zoology
Amphibians & Reptiles
Data Source:
NMNH - Vertebrate Zoology - Herpetology Division
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/3e0ccd380-d9da-4907-865f-d336b4b994e7
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhvz_6315486

Peters, James Arthur, 1922-1972

Alternate Name:
Peters, James A.  Search this
Forename:
James  Search this
Middle Initial:
Arthur  Search this
Surname:
Peters  Search this
Occupation:
Herpetologists
Zoologists
Record type:
Personal name
Birth Date:
1922
Death Date:
1972
See more records related to affiliations:
United States National Museum
See more records associated with this person:
Peters, James Arthur, 1922-1972
Data Source:
Smithsonian Field Book Project
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:auth_per_fbr_EACP13

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