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Oral history interview with Roland Reiss

Interviewee:
Reiss, Roland, 1929-  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J.  Search this
Names:
Scripps College -- Faculty  Search this
University of California, Los Angeles -- Students  Search this
Macdonald-Wright, Stanton, 1890-1973  Search this
Stussy, Jan, 1921-1990  Search this
Extent:
76 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1997 Aug.-1999 June
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Roland Reiss conducted 1997 Aug. 23-1999 June 11, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, in Reiss' studio, Los Angeles, Calif.
A fairly lengthy discussion of UCLA included an account of studying with Jan Stussy, a Stanton Macdonald-Wright disciple, and with Macdonald-Wright himself, who took a special interest in Reiss. He also singled out as a major influence Clinton Adams who, with Macdonald-Wright, served as a model of the intellectual artist who embodied rigorous thinking and a search for meaning through critique of language. Additional topics were the difference between the San Francisco and Los Angeles art worlds, the impact of abstract expressionism and of his own paper on the subject delivered to the UCLA faculty, which Reiss remembers as the introduction of abstract expressionism at the university. After a discussion of his teaching experience in Colorado and pioneering work with plastics, Reiss recalled his interaction there with leading artists including Joan Brown, Nancy Graves, David Hockney, Clyfford Still (with whom Reiss had daily conversations), and William T. Wiley. The third session focused on his long teaching career at Claremont and an in-depth discussion of various art programs in the country and the philosophies involved. In effect, this concluding part of the interview was a history of art education and the training of artists in California presented by someone whose entire career has been connected to educational institutions.
Biographical / Historical:
Roland Reiss (1929-) is a painter and sculptor from Los Angeles, Calif.
General:
Originally recorded on 7 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 11 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hr., 3 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. Funding for the transcription of this interview provided by Bente and Gerald E. Buck Collection.
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.reiss97
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-reiss97

Oral history interview with Neda Al-Hilali

Interviewee:
Al-Hilali, Neda, 1938-  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
California State University, Los Angeles -- Faculty  Search this
Claremont Graduate University -- Faculty  Search this
Hunsaker/Schlesinger Gallery  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Scripps College -- Faculty  Search this
Taliban  Search this
University of California, Los Angeles -- Faculty  Search this
University of California, Los Angeles -- Students  Search this
Bassler, James W., 1933-  Search this
Hunsaker, Joyce Badgley  Search this
Jacobs, Ferne K. (Ferne Kent), 1942-  Search this
Kester, Bernard  Search this
Simsar, Alice  Search this
Extent:
116 Pages (Transcript)
22 Items (Sound recording: 22 sound files (7 hr., 46 min.), digital, wav)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Afghanistan -- Description and Travel
Bavaria (Germany) -- Description and Travel
California -- description and travel
Czechoslovakia -- Description and Travel
England -- London -- Description and Travel
Iraq -- Description and Travel
Japan -- Description and Travel
Oaxaca (Mexico : State) -- Description and Travel
Date:
2006 July 18-19
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Neda Al-Hilali conducted 2006 July 18-19, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the artist's home, in Los Angeles, California.
Al-Hilali speaks of her childhood in Czechoslovakia and Bavaria; studying language in London; her experience living in Baghdad, Iraq with her first husband; moving to California and completing her undergraduate and graduate degrees at UCLA; teaching experiences at Scripps College, Claremont Graduate University, California State University Los Angeles, and UCLA; the installation processes of Beach Occurrence with Tongues, Black Passage, the Cassiopeia series, and others; frustrations she encountered with commission work; the rich history of the fiber tradition; travels to Afghanistan, Japan, and Oaxaca, Mexico; achieving gestural and painterly qualities with fiber; the importance of color in textile work in the Middle East; experiences with galleries, including the Hunsaker/Schlesinger Gallery in Santa Monica, California; utilizing a Ouija board for reflection and creative guidance; issues such as global warming and over-development; the status of women in Afghanistan under Taliban rule; the gratitude she feels at being a part of the fiber tradition; and plans for the future. Al-Hilali also recalls Bernard Kester, Jim Bassler, Fern Jacobs, Joyce Hunsaker, Alice Simsar, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Neda Al-Hilali (1938- ) is a fiber artist and weaver in Los Angeles, California. Mija Riedel (1958- ) is a curator and writer in San Francisco, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 22 digital wav files. Duration is 7 hr., 46 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.
Occupation:
Fiber artists -- California  Search this
Topic:
Art commissions  Search this
Climatic changes  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Fiberwork -- Technique  Search this
Textile crafts -- California  Search this
Women -- Afghanistan  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.alhila06
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-alhila06

Oral history interview with Kiff Slemmons

Interviewee:
Slemmons, Kiff  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Scripps College -- Students  Search this
University of Iowa -- Students  Search this
Adams, Leo  Search this
Benjamin, Walter  Search this
Di Mare, Dominic, 1932-  Search this
Herman, Lloyd E.  Search this
Holshuh, Virginia  Search this
Höch, Hannah, 1889-1978  Search this
Knobel, Esther, 1949-  Search this
La Plantz, David  Search this
Messager, Annette, 1943-  Search this
Solberg, Ramona  Search this
Steffins, Ella  Search this
Toledo, Francisco, 1940-  Search this
Extent:
92 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2007 November 1-2
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Kiff Slemmons conducted 2007 November 1-2, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Slemmons' home and studio in Chicago, Illinois.
Slemmons speaks of her childhood growing up in a small town in Iowa; helping her mother in the town pharmacy; working the printing press with her dad, who published the town newspaper; taking art lessons in grade school; learning to play the piano; attending one year at Scripps College before living for a year in Paris; attending the University of Iowa majoring in French; taking basic art classes her senior year; a spring trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, with her future husband Rod; financing the trip by selling 150 pairs of earrings at the student art fair; visiting Monte Alban and being inspired by the ancient jewelry in Tomb 7; moving to Washington state; meeting Ella Steffins and doing jewelry repair work; a strong feeling of the maker's presence in work she repairs; the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi; imperfection as an attractive quality; the conscious decision made from jewelry making to art making, based more in ideas and concepts as opposed to simple decoration; series Hands of Heros, Figures of Speech; the importance of exhibiting her work as it would be seen worn as opposed to in cases under glass; the development of her breastplate pieces; the Top 10 Ethnic Hits; the layering of many meanings as well as materials in her work; her respect for the brevity of poetry and love of Emily Dickinson's work; the restraint of poetry in leaving things unsaid and her struggle to capture that essence; series Re:Pair and Imperfection coming out of her move to Chicago and the developing Iraq War; her workbench as an ever-changing sketchbook full of chaos, tension, and conversation; working with Francisco Toledo and the city of Oaxaca in developing paper jewelry; her travels to India, Africa, Mexico, and Japan; her piece Insectopedia and the great interest shown in it by entomologists; and her desire to send her work out in the world where it is seen and enjoyed. Slemmons also recalls Ramona Solberg, David LaPlantz, Leo Adams, Esther Knobel, Lloyd Herman, Dominic DiMare, Walter Benjamin, Hannah Hoch, Annette Messager, Virginia Holshuh, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Kiff Slemmons (1944- ) is a metal artist from Chicago, Illinois. Interviewer Mija Riedel is a curator and writer from San Francisco, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 13 digital wav files. Duration is 7 hr., 19 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:
Metal-workers -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews  Search this
Jewelry makers -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.slemmo07
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-slemmo07

Roi Partridge papers

Creator:
Partridge, Roi, 1888-1984  Search this
Names:
National Academy of Design (U.S.)  Search this
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Anderson, Sherwood, 1876-1941  Search this
Arms, John Taylor, 1887-1953  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Hunter, Dard, 1883-1966  Search this
Jacques, Bertha  Search this
Linsky, Elizabeth  Search this
Neuhaus, Eugen, 1879-1963  Search this
Partridge, Roi, 1888-1984  Search this
Extent:
1 Linear foot
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Travelogs
Scrapbooks
Christmas cards
Drafts (documents)
Photographs
Notes
Date:
1909-2003
bulk 1909-1984
Summary:
The papers of California printmaker and educator Roi Partridge measure 1.0 linear foot and date from 1909-2003, with the bulk of the material dated 1909-1984. Found here are scattered correspondence, notes and writings, a scrapbook, printed material, and photographs. Several of the documents date from the time Partridge was married to photographer Imogen Cunningham, particularly family correspondence and a travel log of family car camping trips to the west. The same travel log documents one sketching trip Partridge made with Eugen Neuhaus.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of California printmaker and educator Roi Partridge measure 1.0 linear foot and date from 1909-2003, with the bulk of the material dated 1909-1984. Found here are scattered correspondence, notes and writings, a scrapbook, printed material, and photographs. Several of the documents date from the time Partridge was married to photographer Imogen Cunningham, particularly family correspondence and a travel log of family car camping trips to the west. The same travel log documents one sketching trip Partridge made with Eugen Neuhaus.

General and family correspondence consists largely of incoming letters with some copies and drafts of outgoing letters. General correspondence is mainly professional in nature and documents exhibitions, commissions, teaching, memberships in artists' organizations, and participation in the WPA Public Works of Art Project. A small number of letters from friends concerning personal and social matters are scattered throughout. Among the correspondents are Ansel Adams, Sherwood Anderson, John Taylor Arms, Hollywood Riviera Galleries, Dard Hunter, the Estate of Bertha Jacques [Elizabeth Linsky, executor], National Academy of Design, and Print Makers Society of California. Family correspondence includes letters to Roi Partridge from family members. Letters to Gryffyd's family are from Imogen Cunningham and Roi Partridge; letters from others about family members are also included.

Among the notes and writings are a travel log that documents car camping trips through California and New Mexico taken by Roi Partridge, Imogen Cunningham, and their three sons between 1924 and 1926. The volume also includes Roi's account of a 1926 sketching trip taken with Eugen Neuhaus along the California coast.

A scrapbook contains clippings and feature articles about Roi Partridge, along with exhibition announcements and reproductions. Additional printed material is about or mentions Roi Partridge and his family, Ansel Adams, and Imogen Cunningham. There are also family Christmas cards with reproductions of etchings and drawings by Roi Partridge.

Photographs are of people and art work, including photographs of Roi and May Ellen Partridge, and Donald Bear, the first Director of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (Janet Lineberger - later Mrs. Gryffyd Partridge - served as his assistant in the early 1940s). There are numerous photographs and negatives of art work by Roi Partridge (with appraisal and catalog information), and a photograph of Peter Blos' portrait of Partridge.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 5 series:

Series 1: Correspondence, circa 1909-1993 (Box 1; 0.3 linear ft.; reel 5028)

Series 2: Notes and Writings, 1924-1964 (Box 1; 5 folders.; reel 5028)

Series 3: Scrapbook, 1922-1977 (Box 1; 0.1 linear ft.)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1913-2003 (Box 1; 0.25 linear ft.; reel 5028)

Series 5: Photographs, 1940-1987 (Box 1; 0.3 linear ft.; reel 5028)
Biographical Note:
Roy George Partridge (later known as Roi) was born in Centralia, Washington, in 1888, the son of a newspaper publisher and a pianist mother who accompanied silent films in Seattle movie houses. His mother enrolled him in a drawing and painting course at age 10. By 1907, the family had moved to Kansas where Partridge enrolled in studio courses at the newly established Fine Arts Institute of Kansas City. From there he then went to New York City to study at the school of the National Academy of Design during 1909 and 1910.

In 1910, with an art student friend from Seattle and enough cash to last a month, Partridge traveled to Europe and through a severe economy and by selling his etchings, managed to stay for four years. Between 1910 and 1914, he studied etching with Brockhoff in Munich, and rented a studio in Paris from 1911-1914. Once he had produced a sufficient number of prints, his friends John Butler and Clare Shepard arranged for an exhibition of his work in Seattle. They were assisted by Imogen Cunningham who sent her photo to Partridge and began corresponding with him.

The outbreak of World War I forced Partridge's return to Seattle where he and Imogen Cunningham finally met face to face. They were married within a matter of months. In their early years together, Roi managed to earn a living selling his prints and Imogen worked for Edward S. Curtis, whose photographs of American Indians had not yet achieved recognition. The couple soon produced three sons, Gryffyd and twins Padraic and Rondal. The family soon moved to San Francisco where Partridge worked as an artist in an advertising agency that also employed Maynard Dixon. During this time, he became friendly with the young Dorothea Lange who worked at the shop where Partridge had his film developed. After their marriage, Dixon and Lange established a close, long term friendship with the Partridge family.

In 1920, Partridge joined the faculty of Mills College as an art instructor, teaching design, painting, printmaking, lettering, and photography for 26 years. Partridge was such a popular teacher that the number of art students rose sharply and, for a time, art became the institution's most popular major. He was named chairman of the Art Department in 1923, and served as the first director of the college's art gallery from 1925 through 1935.

While teaching, Partridge remained an active artist and participated in exhibitions throughout the country at venues such as the Honolulu Art Academy, de Young Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Toronto Art Gallery, and the Museum of Modern Art. Among the prizes and medals awarded him were: Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, Seattle (1909), National Academy of Design (1910), Panama Pacific Exposition (1915), Art Institute of Chicago (191), Brooklyn Museum (1921), San Francisco Museum (1921), Los Angeles Museum of Art (1922, 1925, 1929), California Society of Print Makers (1929), and Library of Congress (1943). Partridge is represented in the permanent collections of many museums, colleges, and libraries, among them: Walker Art Gallery, Honolulu Academy of Art, San Diego Fine Arts Society, Milwaukee Art Gallery, Mills College, Scripps College, New York Public Library, and Library of Congress. Partridge also illustrated several books, and The Graphic Art of Roi Partridge: a Catalogue Raisonné by Anthony R. White was published in 1988.

Imogen Cunningham and Roi Partridge, both strong-willed and not given to compromise, divorced in 1934. They reconciled in the 1960s and remained on friendly terms until her death in 1976. Partridge's second wife, Marian Lyman, died in 1940. The following year, he married May Ellen Fisher, a teacher, who survived him.

In addition to his professional activities, Partridge pursued a wide variety of other interests. During the 1920s, he, Imogen, and their boys took numerous camping trips throughout California and New Mexico. With his third wife, May Ellen, he became an avid folk dancer and enthusiastic gardener, raised chickens and chinchillas, and kept bees. They had the opportunity to travel to Hawaii and Japan. In Japan, Partridge expanded his Japanese print collection which was eventually donated to the Mills College Art Gallery.

Roi Partridge died in Walnut Creek, California, on January 25, 1984.
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art holds the papers of Imogen Cunningham, Partridge's first wife, which contain additional Partridge family correspondence and photographs. An untranscribed oral history interview of Roi Partridge conducted by Steve Steinberg in 1980 is also available.
Separated Material:
A portion of the gifts received from Gryffyd Partridge were separated and filed with the Imogen Cunningham papers, some of which had been earlier donated by Gryffyd.
Provenance:
Gryffyd Partridge donated his father's papers to the Archives of American art in 1992 and 1995. A final gift was received from Janet [Mrs. Gryffyd] Partridge in 2003.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Patrons must use microfilm copy. Use of the unmicrofilmed portion requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Printmakers -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Etchers -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Genre/Form:
Travelogs
Scrapbooks
Christmas cards
Drafts (documents)
Photographs
Notes
Citation:
Roi Partridge papers, 1909-2003 (bulk 1909-1984). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.partroi
See more items in:
Roi Partridge papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-partroi

Correspondence (includes student letters)

Collection Creator:
Woman's Building (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Container:
Box 11, Folder 46
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1979-1981
Collection Citation:
Woman's Building records, 1970-1992. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Woman's Building records
Woman's Building records / Series 2: Education Programs / 2.2: Feminist Studio Workshop
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-womabuil-ref535
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Millard Sheets papers

Creator:
Sheets, Millard, 1907-1989  Search this
Names:
Dalzell Hatfield Galleries  Search this
Millard Sheets & Associates Designs  Search this
Sheets, Mary Baskerville  Search this
Extent:
27.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Slides (photographs)
Photographs
Date:
circa 1907-2000
Summary:
The Millard Sheets papers comprise 27.6 linear feet of material dating from circa 1907 to 2000 with bulk dates spanning 1956 to 1981. The collection documents Sheets's career as a designer, painter, and muralist, and his personal and professional interests through correspondence, writings, lectures, printed material, drawings, slides, photographs, and ephemera. A small addition donated 2018 by Carolyn Owen-Toole, Sheet's daughter. There is a 4.6 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated 2018 that includes writings; sketchbooks and sketches; photographs and negatives of works of art, images of Millard Sheets and others; printed material, including two scrapbooks; and scattered correspondence regarding Sheet's projects.
Scope and Content Note:
The personal papers of Millard Sheets (1907-1990) measure 27.6 linear feet and date from circa 1907-2000, with bulk dates of 1956-1981. The collection reflects Sheets's career as a designer, painter, and muralist, as well as his other personal and professional interests, through correspondence, writings, lectures, clippings, blueprints, drawings, slides, photographs, and ephemera.

The Project Files comprise the largest group of materials in the collection and document design work undertaken by Sheets through his company Millard Sheets & Associates Designs. Sheets and his associates produced concept drawings and blueprints and supervised the construction for a wide range of design projects that ranged in scale from architectural plans for private residences to bid proposals for shopping malls and financial institutions located in California and the Southwest.

Sheets designed interior and exterior plans for over forty Home Savings and Loan bank branches in California. The distinctive modular design which Sheets created and then customized by integrating interior and exterior art elements that highlighted local historical events or natural features became synonymous with the image of Home Savings and Loan. Sheets also teamed up with the architect Edward Durrell Stone to produce a proposal for the Capitol Mall Project, an urban renewal project for the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Sacramento. Researchers will find correspondence, job costs and billing statements, and notes that trace the development of these and other building construction projects. In some instances the documents are supplemented by blueprints, photographs, and/or drawings of the project, but in many cases, visual documentation is missing.

The Project Files also document work done by Millard Sheets on public projects such as the Family of Man mural in the Los Angeles City Hall Annex, a mosaic dome in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., and the Word of Life mural at the University of Notre Dame, Ind., along with numerous other murals and mosaics created for private individuals and corporations.

The Correspondence Series primarily reflects the interaction between Sheets and his clients, colleagues, and personal acquaintances. These files will prove valuable to researchers who are interested in the way that Sheets's beliefs about the role of art in everyday life impacted the way he conducted business and managed both large and small design projects. The correspondence also reflects Sheets's interest in popular American culture, travel, political issues of the day, and art collecting.

The Membership Files document the wide variety of interests that Sheets maintained through active membership in associations and organizations. The material in this series consists primarily of correspondence, minutes of meetings, and notes which Sheets created or used as he served as a board member or trustee on a number of organizational boards, such as the California Institute of the Arts, the Claremont Colleges, Virginia Steele Scott Foundation, Webb School of California, and Goodwill Industries of Southern California.

Also found in this series is material that documents his interest and participation in various recreational and professional organizations. Sheets maintained a long association with the Economic Roundtable, a group of businessmen who met regularly to give presentations and share discussion on contemporary political and social issues. Sheets was a frequent speaker and his talks given at the Economic Roundtables can be found in Lectures and Speeches, a subseries of the Writings Series.

Included in the Millard Sheets & Associates Designs, Inc. series are records that reflect the day-to-day operations of Sheets's design firm. Found here are chronological copies of correspondence that were sent out, files Sheets maintained on various independent contractors that the design firm frequently used, resumes and letters of recommendation that Sheets received regarding potential employees, as well as records relating to the cost and maintenance of Sheets's office building.

The Teaching and Workshop Files document the instructional activities undertaken by Sheets throughout his career in the arts. Although Sheets became pivotal in establishing a regionally recognized art department at Scripps College in Claremont, California, the files that reflect his academic position there are limited in scope and depth. Researchers will find more substantive the files that he maintained on the numerous art demonstrations and paintings workshops that he conducted privately throughout his career. Sheets traveled extensively around the world through his teaching activities and the files in this series track his path.

Closely related to the Teaching and Workshop Files is the Painting Trips series. The material in these files document Sheets's service as an American Specialist in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the USIS, Department of State. Sheets served two times as a cultural arts representative in Turkey in 1960 and in the former USSR in 1961. Sheets also made numerous trips to South East Asia, which had proved an area of fascination for him since his experiences as a war correspondent in Burma and India in World War II. The files in this series document his painting trips to Tahiti, the Pacific Ocean Rim, and Hawaii. Also found are files that detail his painting activities in Mexico.

The Exhibition Files reflect the records that Sheets maintained regarding his participation in art exhibitions, as well as his files on art shows that he personally directed or organized for public or private groups or organizations. Although Sheets exhibited his work predominantly in the West and Southwest, the files in this series demonstrate that he exhibited both nationally and internationally as well.

Also found within the records for this series are files relating to Sheets's representation of his artwork through established galleries and art agents. The Dalziel Hatfield Galleries of Los Angeles, California, served as his primary agent for most of his painting career. Correspondence between Sheets and the Hatfields provide insight into Sheets's development into a regionally and nationally significant watercolorist and painter. The files relating to the Kennedy Galleries in New York and the Circle Gallery in Chicago reflect Sheets's efforts to maintain a national presence in the arts community.

The Jury Files document Sheets's involvement as a juror in regional, as well, as national shows. The files reveal the great variety of professional watercolor and painting exhibitions in which Sheets participated as either a jury panelist or solo judge.

The Writings Files provide an excellent source for researchers interested in Sheets's philosophical beliefs about the relationship between art and everyday life. His articles, lectures, and speeches predominantly address the role of the artist, the relationships that exist between artists and the community, and the role that art can play in making a fuller, more productive life. Also found in the files of this series are articles written by others about Sheets.

The Biographical Material series provides a short introduction to Millard Sheets. The files consist of the calendars maintained by Sheets and his wife and staff, which were used to coordinate his many commitments and appointments. Also found in the files of this series are family chronologies that were created by Mary Baskerville Sheets. Medical records and resumes provide personal information about Sheets's background and health. A small file of military memorabilia provides information about Sheets's contributions to the war effort in World War II.

The Printed Matter series documents family activities and personalities through publicity clippings. Also found are exhibition catalogs and announcements that Sheets saved regarding other artists. Miscellaneous interests and activities of Sheets are found through magazine articles, brochures, and flyers.

The Photographs series includes photographic documentation for Sheets's artwork, horses, and major projects. A small group of photographs of Sheets are also in this series.

The files in the Artwork series include original drawings by Mary Baskerville Sheets and Millard Sheets.

There is a 4.6 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated 2018 that includes writings; sketchbooks and sketches; photographs and negatives of works of art, images of Millard Sheets and others; printed material, including two scrapbooks; and scattered correspondence regarding Sheet's projects.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into fifteen series. Small series, such as Biographical Material are generally based on type of document. Larger series, such as Correspondence or Project Files, are arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent or project. General correspondence has been made into its own series, but other series or subseries may also contain some correspondence. Within particular series, materials have been further divided into subseries which represent particular aspects of the project or event. For example, the Writings Series is further divided into subseries of books and articles, eulogies, and lectures and speeches. An outline listing series and subseries titles and dates follows.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1907-1982, undated (boxes 1-2; 1.25 linear ft.)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1929-1990, undated (boxes 2-4; 2.75 linear ft.)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1933-1980, undated (boxes 5-6; 1.25 linear ft.)

Series 4: Membership Files, 1946-1982, undated (boxes 6-8; 2.5 linear ft.)

Series 5: Millard Sheets & Associates Designs, 1934-1982, undated (boxes 8-9; 1.0 linear ft.)

Series 6: Project Files, 1956-1981, undated (boxes 9-18; 8.25 linear ft.)

Series 7: Teaching and Workshop Files, 1932-1982 (box 18; 0.5 linear ft.)

Series 8: Painting Trips, 1959-1980, undated (box 18; 16 folders)

Series 9: Exhibition Files, 1932-1937, 1951-1988, undated (box 19; 0.75 linear ft.)

Series 10: Jury Files, 1941-1982 (boxes 19-20; 42 folders)

Series 11: Writings, 1936-1988, undated (boxes 20-22; 2.5 linear ft.)

Series 12: Printed Matter, 1936-1922, undated (boxes 22-23; 20 folders)

Series 13: Photographs, 1934-1983, undated (box 23; 17 folders)

Series 14: Artwork, circa 1929, undated (box 23; 2 folders)

Series 15: Unprocessed Addition, circa 1930-2000 (boxes 24, 26-30, OV25: 4.6 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
"Your painting is a measure of your mind"-Millard Sheets

Millard Sheets, as one of the founding members of the "California Scene Painters," exerted a lasting influence upon subsequent generations of Western painters. He and the small group of painters who worked in California during the 1930s and 1940s, developed a new style of watercolor painting that was at the forefront of the American watercolor movement of the time, and that later gave rise to a subsequent generation of painters who became known as the California Regionalist school.

Sheets was born in Pomona, California on June 24, 1907. His mother died in childbirth, and his father, John Sheets, unprepared to raise a baby alone, sent Millard to Pomona, California to be raised by his maternal grandparents, Lewis and Emma Owen. Sheets's grandfather proved to be a guiding force in his life, and when Sheets's father remarried and offered Millard the opportunity to return to the Sheets household, Millard chose instead to remain with his grandparents.

Sheets's love of horses can be directly traced back to his childhood years spent living at his grandfather's horse ranch. Millard rode his first horse when he was three years old. Throughout his life, Sheets returned to the theme of horses in his paintings, as well as maintaining a private stable of horses, and raising and breeding racehorses.

His interest in art also began in childhood. When he was still a young boy, his two maternal aunts encouraged him to play with crayons and pencils. Sheets took his first painting lesson from a neighbor at the age of seven, and by 1919 he had already submitted artwork to the copy division of the Los Angeles County Fair fine arts show competition. He submitted a drawing he had copied of a tinted photograph of Lake KIlarney, California. Sheets won first prize in his division.

It was through this competition that Millard met Theodore B. Modra, a Polish artist who had retired to the Pomona area. After giving Sheets a lecture on the evils of copying art, Modra offered to give him art lessons.

Sheets continued to pursue his interest in art and enrolled in the Choinard School of Art in Los Angeles, California. By the time that he graduated in 1929, Sheets had also managed to come to the attention of Dalzell and Ruth Hatfield of the Dalzell Hatfield Galleries in Los Angeles, California. The Hatfields were one of the most influential art dealers in Southern California, and that same year, they sponsored Sheets in his first one-man exhibition in 1929. The exhibition brought Sheets to the attention of Western Coast art critics and launched Sheets on his painting career.

In 1929 Sheets also learned that he had won second place in the annual Edgar B. Davis art competition held in San Antonio, Texas. The award came with a cash prize and Sheets made plans to travel to Europe to study and paint. Shortly before his departure, however, he met an art student, Mary Baskerville, and they began a whirlwind romance. With Baskerville's enthusiastic support for European plans, and with her promise that she would wait for him, Sheets departed for New York and then Europe.

While overseas during 1929 and 1930, Sheets studied under Dorfinant, a master printer in Paris. Through his work at this studio workshop, he met Henri Matisse.

Five months after Millard returned to the California in 1930, Sheets and Mary Baskerville married. Sheets worked as the director of the Fine Arts Exhibition of the Los Angeles County Fair. In 1932 Sheets returned to school to study art and humanities at Scripps College in Claremont, California. After graduating from Scripps, school officials approached Sheets with an offer to set up a separate fine arts program and asked him to chair the new department. This was the beginning of a twenty year association with the school. In 1938, he also became the Director of Art at Claremont Graduate School.

Sheets left the school during the years of World War II to serve as a war-time artist and journalist for Life magazine, and from 1943-1944 was stationed on the Burma-India Front. His experiences in Asia appeared to affect him deeply. In contrast to his earlier works which featured backgrounds with neutral tones and brilliant shades that highlighted and punctuated the compositions, the paintings from the wartime featured somber tones. Sheets remarked of this time:

During the fighting and the time I spent in the C-B-1 theater, I was too shaken and intellectually stunned to do any complete paintings. I made many, many sketches, though, as well as a real effort to remember each scene that particularly affected me. Then, once I returned to America, I painted frantically, for months, exorcising demons. [Lovoos, Janice and Edmund F. Penney, Millard Sheets: One-Man Renaissance, Northland Press, Flagstaff, AZ, 1984]

Sheets returned from the war in 1944 and resumed his position at Scripps College until 1955 when he was approached by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and asked to overhaul the fledgling Los Angeles County Art Institute. Sheets accepted the position and spent the next five years reshaping the mission and format of the school, renaming it the Otis Art Institute. In the years after Sheets left the directorship, the school eventually became part of the Parson's School of Design on the West Coast.

In 1953 Sheets founded the Millard Sheets Designs company. He hired between twenty-five and thirty artisans for large projects, with Susan Hertel, a former student of his, serving as his assistant in all the operations of the design studio. The working staff included engineers, registered architects, draftsmen, and artists, and the projects that the firm produced included murals, mosaics, stained glass, and sculpture for private homes and public and commercial businesses.

The design studio completed several major architectural projects throughout the late 1950s through the mid 1970s, including the design and construction of Cal Aero, a flight training school for the US Air Force, the National American Insurance Company offices for the California financier, Howard Ahmanson, Ahmanson Bank and Trust Company in Beverly Hills, many Home Savings and Loan Association Buildings, private residences, and the Scottish Rite Memorial Temples in Los Angeles and San Francisco, among many other projects.

Sheets also designed and completed mural and mosiac work for numerous public buildings in the Los Angeles area, as well as across the nation. Many of the murals and mosiacs were for those buildings designed by his firm while others were done as independent commissions.

In 1968 Sheets first proposed the murals he designed for the Los Angeles City Hall. His design was approved and he was awarded a commission to complete The Family of Man murals over the two main entrances to the Los Angeles City Hall. The murals were completed in 1971 and installed in 1972. Sheets also designed mosiacs and murals for the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, the Library at Notre Dame University, the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple in Los Angeles, several Home Savings and Loan Association buildings in the Los Angeles area, the Detroit Public Library, and the Dome of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.

During the early 1960s Sheets participated in the American Specialist Program of the US Department of State. His first assignment was to Turkey in 1960, where he served as a visiting artist. The following year he went to the USSR in the same capacity.

During the early to mid 1950s Sheets became involved with Columbia Pictures and was technical advisor and production designer for a few years.

Millard Sheets was a member of the National Watercolor Society, the American Watercolor Society, the National Academy of Design, the Society of Motion Picture Art Directors, and the Century Association. Sheets actively promoted his own work and was a businessman, an active and prolific artist, instructor, and designer. Millard Sheets died on March 31, 1989 in Gualala, California.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reels LA 10) including a biographical sketch, career resume, and a list of sheets' work prepared in 1964. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Millard Sheets lent material for microfilming in 1965. Mary B. Sheets, Millard's widow, donated the papers to the Archives of American Art in 1992. Carolyn Owen-Toole, Sheet's daughter, gave a small addition of material in 2018.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art -- California  Search this
Art and society  Search this
Horses -- Breeding  Search this
Watercolorists -- California  Search this
Muralists -- California  Search this
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Designers -- California  Search this
Genre/Form:
Slides (photographs)
Photographs
Citation:
Millard Sheets papers, circa 1907-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.sheemill
See more items in:
Millard Sheets papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-sheemill
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Kiff Slemmons, 2007 November 1-2

Interviewee:
Slemmons, Kiff, 1944-  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Subject:
Solberg, Ramona  Search this
Steffins, Ella  Search this
Toledo, Francisco  Search this
Herman, Lloyd E.  Search this
Di Mare, Dominic  Search this
Adams, Leo  Search this
Benjamin, Walter  Search this
Knobel, Esther  Search this
La Plantz, David  Search this
Höch, Hannah  Search this
Holshuh, Virginia  Search this
Messager, Annette  Search this
University of Iowa  Search this
Scripps College  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Metal-workers -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews  Search this
Jewelry makers -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13662
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)273941
AAA_collcode_slemmo07
Theme:
Craft
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_273941
Online Media:

Honoring Ralph Rinzler and Pete Seeger at the 2014 Folklife Festival

Creator:
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Tue, 24 Jun 2014 12:03:00 GMT
Topic:
Cultural property  Search this
See more posts:
Festival Blog
Data Source:
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_488181a5531ede8d8ac1170220c752e6

In Its Layers, This Stunning Pink Coralline Algae Holds Secrets of Climates Past

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Wed, 08 Mar 2017 21:25:38 +0000
Topic:
Search this
See more post:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_136d31357b5a40381c9f1c60605e35e0

International graphics invitational : an exhibition presented in the Lang Gallery, Scripps College, Nov. 17 to Dec. 11, 1970

Author:
Lang Art Gallery  Search this
Physical description:
[20] p. : ill. ; 27 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
1970
Topic:
Graphic arts  Search this
Call number:
NC95 .I61 1970
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_384777

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