The papers of African American sculptor and painter Charles Searles measure 3.9 linear feet and date from 1953 to 2010. The collection documents his career through scattered biographical material, correspondence, personal business records, printed material, artwork, photographs, and a scrapbook.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of sculptor and painter Charles Searles measure 3.9 linear feet and date from 1953 to 2010. The collection documents his career through scattered biographical material, correspondence, personal business records, printed material, artwork, photographs, and a scrapbook.
Scattered biographical material includes legal papers, address books, transcripts, and awards. Correspondence includes correspondence with galleries, museums, and organizations. Personal business records consist of Searles' files on commissions, exhibitions, workshops and programs, and employment contracts. Printed material includes exhibition announcements, exhibition catalogs, as well as printed material of interest to Searles, but not directly documenting his career. Artwork consists of sketches, designs, flyers, a portrait of Kathleen Spicer by Russell Gordon, and a portrait of Searles by K. Spicer. Photographs depict Searles, Searles' artwork, and artist Walt Edmonds. Scrapbooks consist of news clippings and loose material that was originally inserted in between the pages in no particular order.
This collection is arranged as 7 series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1963-2004 (0.5 linear ft.; Boxes 1, 6)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1956-2004 (5 folders; Box 1)
Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1969-2007 (1.2 linear feet; Boxes 1-2,6)
Series 4: Printed Material, 1953-2010 (1.4 linear feet; Boxes 3-4, 6)
Series 5: Artwork, circa 1980s-2000 (9 folders; Box 5)
Series 6: Photographs, circa 1964-2000 (3 folders; Box 5)
Series 7: Scrapbooks, circa 1970s-2005 (0.3 linear ft.; Box 6)
Biographical / Historical:
Charles Robert Searles (1937-2004) was an African American sculptor, painter and muralist in Philadelphia, Pa. and New York, N.Y. Searles attended the University of Pennsylvania and graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1972. He was influenced by African art after traveling to Nigeria on the Ware Memorial Traveling Scholarship during his studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. During his career he participated in over 100 exhibitions in Denmark, Nigeria, and throughout the United States.
Searles taught art at several institutions including the Pratt Institute, the University of the Arts (Philadelphia College of Art), and the Philadephia Museum of Art. He also completed commission work for Newark Station, PATCO (Port Authority Transit Corporation), and MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority).
Searles moved to New York, NY in 1978 where he spent most of his career. He was married to artist Kathleen Spicer until his death on November 27, 2004.
Also at the Archives of American Art is an interview with Charles Searles conducted on June 13, 1991, by Cynthia Veloric, for the Archives of American Art Philadelphia Project.
Donated in 2012 by Kathleen Spicer Searles, Charles Searles' widow.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.