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Alice Trumbull Mason papers

Creator:
Mason, Alice Trumbull, 1904-1971  Search this
Names:
American Abstract Artists  Search this
Kelpe, Paul, 1902-1985  Search this
Lassaw, Ibram, 1913-2003 -- Photographs  Search this
Extent:
1.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Poetry
Date:
1921-1977
Summary:
The papers of abstract artist Alice Trumbull Mason date from 1921 to 1977 and measure 1.3 linear feet. The collection documents her career as a painter, particularly her role as one of the founders of the American Abstract Artists group, through biographical materials; correspondence with family, friends, fellow artists, art galleries, museums, and organizations; writings and notes, including notebooks of poetry and other creative writings; a small amount of printed material; photographs of Mason, friends, and her artwork; and original artwork, including five sketchbooks.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of abstract artist Alice Trumbull Mason date from 1921 to 1977 and measure 1.3 linear feet. The collection documents her career as a painter, particularly her role as one of the founders of the American Abstract Artists group, through biographical materials; correspondence with family, friends, fellow artists, art galleries, museums, and organizations; writings and notes, including notebooks of poetry and other creative writings; a small amount of printed material; photographs of Mason, friends, and her artwork; and original artwork, including five sketchbooks.

Biographical material consists of resumes, passports, exhibition files, as well as documentation of her membership and active participation in art organizations, including her work as an officer in the American Abstract Artists group. Also found here are scattered personal financial and legal records. Personal and professional correspondence is with family members, including many detailed letters between her and her husband Warwood, fellow artists, including Paul Kelpe, art organizations, curators, museums, galleries, and others. Professional correspondence generally discusses selection of exhibition and awards, sale of artwork, and art events. Writings and notes, mostly from the 1920s and 1930s, consist of Mason's notes on art history and her creative writings, including poetry and "abstract writing." Also found are a few writings about abstract art and various notes and lists.

Printed material includes news clippings on topics of interest to Mason, and other miscellaneous items such as brochures, and exhibition announcements. Photographs include several portraits of Mason with her artwork, photographs of friends including artist Ibram Lassaw, photographs of an American Abstract Artists exhibition, and artwork by her and others. Original artwork found in this collection includes five sketchbooks belonging to Mason, including two that document her travels through Greece and Italy, and other loose drawings.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 6 series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1925-1968 (Box 1, OV 3; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1922-1977 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1921-1965 (Box 1; 6 folders)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1936-1974 (Box 1; 2 folders)

Series 5: Photographs, 1920s-1967 (Box 1, OV 3; 5 folders)

Series 6: Artwork, 1924-1963 (Box 1-2, OV 3; 0.4 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Alice Trumbull Mason was born in 1904 in Litchfield, Connecticut. Her mother, Anne Leavenworth Train, was an accomplished artist before she met Alice's father, William Trumbull, a descendent of the Revolutionary War era painter, John Trumbull. Alice spent much of her childhood in Europe with her family. From 1921 to 1922 they lived in Florence and Rome where she studied at the British Academy. In 1923 she continued her studies with painter Charles W. Hawthorne at the National Academy of Design in New York and from 1927 to 1928 attended courses at the Grand Central Art Galleries taught by Arshile Gorky. Gorky inspired her interest in abstract painting, and Mason painted her first non-objective works in 1929. In 1928 she returned to Italy and Greece and was greatly influenced by ancient art, Byzantium, and Italian primitives. She married Warwood Mason, a merchant seaman, in 1930 and her daughter Emily was born in 1932 and her son Jonathan in 1933. During this period she stopped painting and devoted her creative energy to writing poetry inspired by American avant-garde writers.

Mason began painting again in 1934 and was recognized as a key figure of American abstraction. In 1935 she met and became close friends with fellow artist Ibram Lassaw, and they, along with several other artists, began to meet on a regular basis which led to the first American Abstract Artists group exhibition in 1937. Mason remained very active in the group and served as treasurer in 1939, secretary from 1940 to 1945, and president from 1959 to 1963. She was also an activist for abstract art, protesting the decisions of the Museum of Modern Art several times for excluding abstract artists from exhibitions. During the 1940s her paintings and concept of "architectural abstraction" was influenced by the arrival of Piet Mondrian in New York. Also in the 1940s she had two one-woman shows, but throughout her career she felt there was a bias against women in the New York art world and most often she participated in AAA group shows. Her work would be viewed as an important bridge for future abstract and conceptualist artists. In 1958 her son died, and though she continued to paint and participate in exhibitions, she never recovered from this tragedy and in the late 1960s withdrew into seclusion until her death in 1971.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is a collection of interviews by Ruth Bowman of members of the American Abstract Artists group conducted between 1963-1965, that includes an interview with Alice Trumbull Mason. The Archives of American Art also houses 2.3 linear feet of the records of the American Abstract Artists group.
Separated Material:
A portion of the material donated by Alice Trumbull Mason in 1969 relating to her involvement with the American Abstract Artists was separated and filed with the American Abstract Artists records at the Archives of American Art. Files of news clippings and exhibition catalogs were transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery Library after microfilming.
Provenance:
A portion of this collection was donated by Alice Trumbull Mason in 1969. Additional material was donated from 1972 to 1977 by Mason's daughter, Emily Mason Kahn.
Restrictions:
The collection is partially microfilmed. Use of material not microfilmed 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.
Occupation:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Women authors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Poetry
Citation:
Alice Trumbull Mason papers, 1921-1977. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.masoalic
See more items in:
Alice Trumbull Mason papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw95e72c55c-ce27-48d3-a5d7-2904106402d0
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-masoalic
Online Media:

Play

Artist:
Agnes Martin, American, b. Macklin, Canada, 1912–2004  Search this
Medium:
Acrylic on canvas
Dimensions:
72 1/8 x 72 in. (183 x 182.9 cm)
Type:
Painting
Date:
1966
Credit Line:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1974
Accession Number:
74.100
See more items in:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection
School:
Contemporary American Abstraction
Data Source:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/py26b51d732-8178-44e9-8982-84d40a1d01af
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hmsg_74.100

Exhibition photography for "Woodenworks: Furniture Objects by Five Contemporary Craftsmen," [photographs]

Physical description:
0.5 linear feet (1 document box)
Type:
Exhibition catalogs
Photographs
Slides (photographs)
Date:
Ca. 1972
Topic:
Art museums--Exhibitions  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Image number:
EXH E0000467
See more items in:
Photograph Study Collection
Data Source:
Photograph Study Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_143132

Mirror or plate

Medium:
Glass
Dimensions:
H x W x D: 14.1 x 14.1 x 1.1 cm (5 9/16 x 5 9/16 x 7/16 in)
Type:
Unclassified
Origin:
Syria
Date:
1-100
Period:
Roman period
Topic:
Roman Period (30 BCE - 395 CE)  Search this
Syria  Search this
Ancient Near Eastern Art  Search this
Gellatly collection  Search this
Credit Line:
Long-term loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum; gift of John Gellatly, 1929.8.147.20
Accession Number:
LTS1985.1.147.20
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection
Data Source:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ye3aa261ea6-ef35-4b6f-b7f5-be945a44e24e
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:fsg_LTS1985.1.147.20

Jar

Medium:
Glass
Dimensions:
H x Diam (overall): 11.1 x 6.9 cm (4 3/8 x 2 11/16 in)
Type:
Vessel
Origin:
Syria
Date:
200-300
Topic:
Roman Period (30 BCE - 395 CE)  Search this
Syria  Search this
Ancient Near Eastern Art  Search this
Gellatly collection  Search this
Credit Line:
Long-term loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum; gift of John Gellatly, 1929.8.147.23
Accession Number:
LTS1985.1.147.23
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection
Data Source:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ye34ccac462-cf0d-4e44-9fbf-d6530806159f
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:fsg_LTS1985.1.147.23

Lady in White (No. 2)

Artist:
Thomas Wilmer Dewing, born Boston, MA 1851-died New York City 1938  Search this
Medium:
oil on canvas
Dimensions:
22 3/8 x 21 1/4 in. (56.7 x 54.1 cm)
Type:
Painting
Date:
ca. 1910
Topic:
Figure female\full length  Search this
Object\flower  Search this
Object\other\vase  Search this
Object\furniture\table  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of John Gellatly
Object number:
1929.6.30
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Painting and Sculpture
On View:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2nd Floor, East Wing
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk74e7142f0-a819-431a-8357-d154668d42ad
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1929.6.30

The Necklace

Artist:
Thomas Wilmer Dewing, born Boston, MA 1851-died New York City 1938  Search this
Medium:
oil on wood
Dimensions:
20 x 15 3/4 in. (50.7 x 39.9 cm)
Type:
Painting
Date:
ca. 1907
Topic:
Figure female\full length  Search this
Dress\accessory\jewelry  Search this
Object\other\vase  Search this
Architecture Interior\domestic\bedroom  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of John Gellatly
Object number:
1929.6.40
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Painting and Sculpture
On View:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2nd Floor, East Wing
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk70297a82e-ddb1-4a4b-a520-b9bab08953e6
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1929.6.40

Head of a Jew in Palestine

Artist:
Henry Ossawa Tanner, born Pittsburgh, PA 1859-died Paris, France 1937  Search this
Medium:
oil on canvas
Dimensions:
24 x 21 1/4 in. (61 x 53.9 cm)
Type:
Painting
Date:
1899, reworked ca. 1918-1920
Topic:
Figure male\elderly\waist length  Search this
Hebrew  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Robbins
Object number:
1983.95.189
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Painting and Sculpture
On View:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2nd Floor, East Wing
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk7fddb77b3-54f9-4e8a-89b2-4305de1bc854
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1983.95.189

Buffalo (model for Q Street Bridge)

Artist:
A. Phimister Proctor, born Bozanquit, Ontario, Canada 1860-died Palo Alto, CA 1950  Search this
Medium:
bronze
Dimensions:
13 1/2 × 19 × 9 3/4 in. (34.3 × 48.3 × 24.8 cm)
Type:
Sculpture
Date:
1912
Topic:
Animal\buffalo  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Rudolf and Gabrielle Bekink, and Phimister P. and Sally L. Church
Object number:
2017.26
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Painting and Sculpture
On View:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2nd Floor, South Wing
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk7da026f5e-d2b7-42a4-a551-2fdcd523f3b4
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_2017.26

Dinner time... hard work makes for hearty appetites, Edwardsville

Artist:
Sid Grossman, born New York City 1913-died New York City 1955  Search this
Medium:
gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
8 x 10 in.
Type:
Photography
Date:
ca. 1940s, printed ca. 1940s
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Howard Greenberg
Object number:
2020.67.3
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk79ba9f848-c4f5-4aa1-ad06-88825ffa610d
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_2020.67.3

Feeding the Thresher, Edwardsville, Illinois

Artist:
Sid Grossman, born New York City 1913-died New York City 1955  Search this
Medium:
gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
8 x 10 in.
Type:
Photography
Date:
1940, printed ca. 1940
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Howard Greenberg
Object number:
2020.67.4
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk7debcd508-9f2b-4ffc-987e-e9eb631de0a8
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_2020.67.4

Farmer and Silos, Iowa

Artist:
Arthur Rothstein, born New York City 1915-died New Rochelle, NY 1985  Search this
Medium:
gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
image: 13 1/2 × 10 1/2 in. (34.3 × 26.7 cm) sheet: 14 × 11 in. (35.6 × 27.9 cm)
Type:
Photography
Date:
1941
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Howard Greenberg
Object number:
2020.67.46
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk7e2944bfa-dd62-490f-b6b4-51f0cb230cf5
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_2020.67.46

Farmer resettled at Douglas County Farmstead, Nebraska

Artist:
Arthur Rothstein, born New York City 1915-died New Rochelle, NY 1985  Search this
Medium:
gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
image: 13 1/2 × 10 3/8 in. (34.3 × 26.4 cm) sheet: 14 × 11 in. (35.6 × 27.9 cm)
Type:
Photography
Date:
n.d.
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Howard Greenberg
Object number:
2020.67.48
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk7c5478443-c354-4957-a2a0-3a3245ba5501
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_2020.67.48

Political Demonstration, Galena, Kansas

Artist:
Arthur Rothstein, born New York City 1915-died New Rochelle, NY 1985  Search this
Medium:
gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
image: 10 3/8 × 13 3/8 in. (26.4 × 34 cm) sheet: 11 × 14 in. (27.9 × 35.6 cm)
Type:
Photography
Date:
1936
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Howard Greenberg
Object number:
2020.67.49
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk716d4f686-f8d3-4ad1-88fa-46cee217102f
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_2020.67.49

Illinois (bringing the wheat in from the fields)

Artist:
Sid Grossman, born New York City 1913-died New York City 1955  Search this
Medium:
gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
8 x 10 in.
Type:
Photography
Date:
1940, printed ca. 1940
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Howard Greenberg
Object number:
2020.67.5
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk7e72a03e7-fd70-44d3-a56f-80eff09f897d
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_2020.67.5

Sharecropper's child, North Carolina

Artist:
Arthur Rothstein, born New York City 1915-died New Rochelle, NY 1985  Search this
Medium:
gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
image: 13 1/8 in. × 11 in. (33.3 × 27.9 cm) sheet: 14 × 11 in. (35.6 × 27.9 cm)
Type:
Photography
Date:
1935, printed ca. 1935
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Howard Greenberg
Object number:
2020.67.51
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk7540a36de-8aad-4855-9f82-7bf157abcc48
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_2020.67.51

Untitled (Jack's Billiard Parlor)

Artist:
Arthur Rothstein, born New York City 1915-died New Rochelle, NY 1985  Search this
Medium:
gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
image: 10 3/8 × 13 3/8 in. (26.4 × 34 cm) sheet: 11 × 14 in. (27.9 × 35.6 cm)
Type:
Photography
Date:
n.d.
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Howard Greenberg
Object number:
2020.67.54
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk732a176b0-68dd-4bf0-92a0-bfe664940111
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_2020.67.54

Will Rogers Memorial, Oklahoma

Artist:
Arthur Rothstein, born New York City 1915-died New Rochelle, NY 1985  Search this
Medium:
gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
overall: 14 × 11 in. (35.6 × 27.9 cm)
Type:
Photography
Date:
n.d.
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Howard Greenberg
Object number:
2020.67.56
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk78fcb2d94-6211-4ad0-b102-ceec5ae32134
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_2020.67.56

Illinois (bringing the wheat in from the fields)

Artist:
Sid Grossman, born New York City 1913-died New York City 1955  Search this
Medium:
gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
8 x 10 in.
Type:
Photography
Date:
1940, printed ca. 1940
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Howard Greenberg
Object number:
2020.67.6
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk720f4f46e-3647-4071-8b31-767cde119493
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_2020.67.6

Illinois (bringing the wheat in from the fields)

Artist:
Sid Grossman, born New York City 1913-died New York City 1955  Search this
Medium:
gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
8 x 10 in.
Type:
Photography
Date:
1940, printed ca. 1940
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Howard Greenberg
Object number:
2020.67.7
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Graphic Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk72afebc93-f5df-46dc-9532-7e31c44a8dc8
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_2020.67.7

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