The Nancy Holt Estate records measure circa 42 linear feet and date from circa 1900-2014, with the bulk of the material dating from 1960-2000. The records include financial records, notebooks, project files including unrealized proposals, correspondence, calendars, and 9 linear feet of Holt's annotated library. Also included are the John Weber Gallery records concerning Robert Smithson that consist of the gallery's inventory and slide records of Robert Smithson's drawings and sculptures, including earthworks, and incorporate some slides from the James Cohan Gallery. James Cohan worked for John Weber before establishing his own gallery in 2001.
Scope and Contents:
The Nancy Holt Estate records measure circa 42 linear feet and date from circa 1900-2014, with the bulk of the material dating from 1960-2000. The records include financial records, notebooks, project files including unrealized proposals, correspondence, calendars, and 9 linear feet of Holt's annotated library. Also included are the John Weber Gallery records concerning Robert Smithson that consist of the gallery's inventory and slide records of Robert Smithson's drawings and sculptures, including earthworks. The records incorporate some slides from the James Cohan Gallery (1999-), an art gallery in Manhattan, New York, which represents the estate of Robert Smithson.
The Nancy Holt Estate records are arranged as 4 series.
Series 1: Project Files, circa 1900-2014, bulk 1970-2000 (12.8 linear feet; Boxes 3-10, OVs 11-31, RDs 32-39)
Series 2: Calendars and Notebooks, circa 1970s-2013 (2 linear feet; Boxes 40-42, OVs 43-44)
Series 3: John Weber Gallery Records Concerning Robert Smithson, circa 1960-circa 2001 (2 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)
Series 4: Unprocessed Papers, circa 1960s-circa 2014 (25.2 linear feet; Boxes 45-69, OVs 70-71)
Biographical / Historical:
Nancy Holt (1938-2014) was an environmental and installation artist, sculptor, filmmaker, and photographer, based in New York, New York. She was best known for her large-scale public land art installations including her seminal work Sun Tunnels (1973-1976) located in the Great Basin Desert, Utah. Her work engaged with the natural environment and the celestial realm, tracing the rotation of the earth and the movement of the sun and stars. Holt was also fascinated by mechanical systems such as those used for heating, drainage, and ventilation, and her functional sculptural installations explored the relationship between architecture and the built environment.
Holt was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, grew up in New Jersey, and graduated from Tufts University in 1960 with a degree in biology. She moved to New York City later that year where she met the artist Robert Smithson, to whom she was married from 1963 until Smithson's death in 1973.
Holt's landmark work Sun Tunnels was executed in 1973-1976 in Utah's Great Basin Desert, where Holt and Smithson had purchased surrounding land specifically to ensure an unimpeded view of the horizon. Holt went on to produce many site-specific outdoor works including 30 Below (1980), Dark Star Park (1984), Solar Rotary (1995), and Up and Under (1998). Her exploration of what she termed Systems Works included Catch Basin (1982), Flow Ace Heating (1985), and Spinwinder (1991).
Holt's photography was essential in the development of her ideas. In Missouri Ranch Locators: Vision Encompassed (1972) she used photography in her development of "seeing devices," creating eye-level steel pipes to direct viewers to a specific site in the surrounding landscape, and developing a concept that was central to Sun Tunnels and other works. Her book Ransacked, Aunt Ethel: An Ending (1980) documented through text and photographs the abuse and theft her aunt was subjected to at the end of her life. In Time Outs (1985) Holt used photographs of football games taken from a television screen to create a book born out of her childhood love of TV sporting events.
Holt's work can be found in the collections of major institutions including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, and the Museum für Gegenswartkunst, Germany. Her permanent installations can be found at public institutions including Miami University Art Museum, Southern Connecticut State University, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, Western Washington University, and University of South Florida.
In 2012 Nancy Holt was made a Chevalier of the of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government. In 2013 she was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Sculpture Center in New York. Holt received five National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two New York Creative Artist Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Florida, Tampa.
Holt lived in Galisteo, New Mexico, from 1995-2013. She died in New York City in 2014.
The Archives of American Art also holds the Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt papers, an interview with Nancy Holt conducted 1992 July 6 by Scott Gutterman for the Archives of American Art, and an interview with Nancy Holt conducted 1993 August 3 by Joyce Pomeroy Schwartz for the Archives of American Art.
Bequest of Nancy Holt, 2014.
Portions of the collection are open for research. Series 4: Unprocessed Papers is currently closed for processing. Financial files, and Nancy Holt's annotated library of books are currently closed to researchers.
Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Items created by Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson copyright held by Holt/Smithson Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Requests for permission to reproduce should be submitted to ARS.
Collection contains a scrapbook that details the experiences and correspondence of Edith Lee, a student at Fairmount Seminary in the 1910s in Washington, DC.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of the loose pages and covers of the scrapbook Lee created using materials from her time at Fairmount seminary and is extremely fragile. The pages are not in chronological order, but for the most part have materials from 1912 to 1916. The scrapbook is annotated by Lee and filled with her drawings. It contains a wide range of correspondence, including telegrams and letters, photographs, postcards, watercolor paintings and other drawings, dance cards (including a metal bangle with a dance list), ribbons and other textiles, and a variety of three-dimensional objects. There are cartoons and fashion sketches, as well as watercolor paintings that she made. The scrapbook mainly focuses on recording the events Lee attended and messages she received, though there are many photographs of her and her friends in casual and costume dress. It includes photographs of Rock Creek Park in D.C. It includes tickets and a program for a women's suffrage march held in 1913 in D.C. There is also a Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) pamphlet. The scrapbook offers a look at society practices between women in Washington at the time.
Although limited, the scrapbook does have information on Fairmount Seminary itself, mostly relating to its teachers. Assistant Principal Judith Steele is noted most often, and the scrapbook includes an image of her. It also has several programs and booklets pertaining to the Naval Academy, including copies of the Log of the US Navy. It also has programs and invitations for Winter Hops and Middies Dances held at the academy. It contains materials from Triple 6 fraternity's Christmas balls. It also contains Lee's short correspondence with John Sharp Williams, a Representative from Tennessee. The collection provides insight for research on girls' education in the early 20th century, particularly the culture girls developed at boarding schools. It also has a unique lens on early 20th century history of Washington, D.C. The collection may also be useful in the study of the history of the Navy Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
The scrapbook is in poor condition as many of the pages are brittle, torn, and unable to support the weight of the objects attached. The pages are no longer bounded to the covers of the scrapbook. Scrapbook pages have been interleaved with paper to prevent the tranfer of acid from newspaper clippings, telegrams, etc. The scrapbook is also housed into two boxes to better manage the weight of the object. Researchers should handle the book with extreme caution and care.
Collection is arranged into one series.
Biographical / Historical:
This scrapbook belonged to Edith Youdale Lee and chronicles the time she spent at Fairmount Seminary in Washington, D.C. It was an Episcopal school for girls, offering two years worth of college work preparatory to college. It was located in Northwest Washington and ceased operation in the 1940s. For most of its life, the seminary was headed by Arthur Ramsay. Several influential figures spoke at the seminary during Edith's time, including Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan and eugenicist David Starr Jordan. The seminary offered women diplomas and certificates, with focus on literature, music, art, and some mathematics. It advertised itself as a "city school with country sports" where students would take trips into outdoor areas in Washington D.C. It also appears to have some loose connection to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, as Fairmount students frequently attended dances and events at the academy. Fairmount hosted students from across the South, Northeast, and Midwest, as well as the odd student from California.
Edith Youdale Lee (later Brown) was born in 1898 in Memphis, Tennessee to Anna Youdale Lee (1860-?) and Robert Edward Lee. Her father died shortly after her birth in 1900. She was the youngest of three siblings, and her oldest brother Everett Dean Lee was involved in the cotton linting business. Her sister Louise (1887-1952) married Wilkie C. Thacker (1890-1956). She and her mother, Anna, lived in several locations in Memphis but spent extended time living in the Gayoso Hotel. Her mother is listed as the head of household for much of Edith's young life, and they were wealthy enough to employ a servant. In 1912, she began studying at Fairmount Seminary, where she graduated with a certificate in 1916. She met her future husband Midshipman Leon Fredrick Brown (1895-?) while living in D.C. They were married in 1917 and had a daughter, Edith, in 1918. Brown remained in the Navy for some time, before the family moved to Los Angeles, CA, where he worked for an insurance company. Information on Edith herself is unfortunately limited.
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Archives Center Scrapbook Collection, NMAH.AC.0468
Celia K. Erskine Scrapbook of Valentines, Advertising Cards, and Postcards, NMAH.AC.0136
Donated to the Archives Center in 2017 by Carol Jarvis, who acquired it from a family member, who acquired it from a thrift store.
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Acee Blue Eagle was a Pawnee-Creek artist, poet, dancer, teacher, and celebrity. The papers relate to both Blue Eagle's personal and professional life. Also included are some materials of Blue Eagle's friend Mae Abbott and a collection of art by other Indians.
Scope and Contents:
This collection reflects the life and work of Acee Blue Eagle, internationally famed Indian artist of Oklahoma. Identified for his brilliant paintings of tribal ceremonies, legend and dance, Blue Eagle's work is represented in numerous private collections and museums both in this country and abroad.
A portion of the papers contains correspondence. Fan mail written by school children to Chief Blue Eagle of the Chief Blue Eagle television program is included. Letters regarding Blue Eagle's participation in Indian festivals and events, art shows and exhibitions, speaking engagements on Indian life and culture are found in the collection. Personal correspondence is included; most frequent correspondents are Devi Dja, Mae Abbott, and Charles E. Pond. There are approximately 100 letters from Devi Dja, approximately 90 to or from Mae Abbott, and approximately 36 from Charles E. Pond. Some letters addressed to these individuals from other friends and acquaintances are also within this collection.
Photographs comprise a large portion of the Blue Eagle collection. Included are not only portraits of the artist himself and photographs of his art work, but a large number of prints of Blue Eagle in full costume and other Indians engaged in tribal ceremonies, identified by tribe, whenever possible. Photographs of Mae Abbott, Devi Dja and the latter's Balinese dance troupe are identified. A file of negatives is arranged in the same subject order as the prints. Newspaper and magazine clippings regarding Blue Eagle's work and activities are also included in the collection. These clippings have not been arranged. In addition, Mae Abbott's recipes and notes for her cookbook, wood blocks, greeting cards and other miscellaneous publications can be found in the collection. These items have been sorted but not arranged.
Within the collection are also over 600 pieces of artwork. A good number are by Blue Eagle while most are by other Native artists. Artists whose are work are represented in the collection include Fred Beaver, Harrison Begay, Archie Blackowl, Woodrow Crumbo, Allan Houser, Ruthe Blalock Jones, Quicy Tahoma, Pablita Verde, and members of the Kiowa Five (Spencer Asah, James Auchiah, Stephen Mopope, Monroe Tsatoke).
The collection is arranged into six series: 1) Personal; 2) Collections; 3) Artwork; 4) Television; 5) Correspondence; 6) Photographs.
Biographical / Historical:
Acee Blue Eagle was an artist, poet, dancer, teacher, and celebrity. Born Alex C. McIntosh in 1907, Blue Eagle attended Indian schools in Anadarko, Nuyaka, and Euchee, Oklahoma, and the Haskell and Chilocco Indian schools. Advanced study came at Bacone Indian College and the University of Oklahoma. At the latter, he studied with Oscar B. Jacobson. Privately he studied with Winold Reiss. Discrepancies exist in the records regarding his early life: born in either Anadarko or Hitchita, Oklahoma; he's cited as both Pawnee-Creek and 5/8 Creek without any Pawnee blood; his mother is either Mattie Odom, the first wife of Solomon McIntosh or Ella Starr, McIntosh's second wife.
A prolific painter who, for the sake of authenticity, carried out research in libraries and museums, Blue Eagle was an outstanding American Indian artist of the 1930s-1950s. His paintings hung in many exhibits, including the Exposition of Indian Tribal Arts, 1932-1933; International Art Exhibition of Sport Subjects at Los Angeles, 1932; Chicago Century of Progress Exposition, 1934; a one-man show at the Young Galleries in Chicago; National Exhibition of Art at the Rockefeller Center in New York, 1936; a one-man show at the Washington, D.C., Arts Club, 1936; Museum of Modern Art, 1941; Northwest Art Exhibition at Spokane, Washington, 1944; a one-man show at the Gilcrease Institute in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1953; An Exposition of American Indian Painters in New York, 1955; and a one-man show at the Philbrook Art Center in Tulsa, 1957. Between 1946 and 1965, over fifty galleries hung his paintings. Some pieces are among the permanent holdings of many institutions.
In 1934, Blue Eagle joined the Work Projects Administration (WPA) Public Works of Art Project, painting murals in public buildings. In 1935 at Oxford University, he participated in a program of the International Federation of Education and lectured on Indian art. A tour of Europe followed. He taught at Bacone Indian College from 1935-1938 where he founded the art program and became Director of Art. He also taught at the University of Kansas extension division in 1949 and Oklahoma State Technical College beginning in 1956. During World War II, he served in the United States Army Air Force; and, following the war, he spent a few years attempting to get into the movies. During 1946-1952, he was married to his second wife, a famous Balinese dancer, Devi Dja, and became involved in her career, an involvement that was briefly reflected in his art. However, Dja and Blue Eagle divorced and Blue Eagle lived with Mae Wadley Abbott for the last years of his life. During the 1950s, he had a television show for children on a Tulsa-Muskogee station. Acee Blue Eagle died on June 18, 1959 of a liver infection.
Martindale, Rob. Muskogee Paying Tribute to Blue Eagle. Biographical/Genealogical data, Box 1, Acee Blue Eagle Collection, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
West, Juanita W. 1967. Acee Blue Eagle: A.C. McIntosh. Biographical/Genealogical data, Box 1, Acee Blue Eagle Collection, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
1907 -- Born August 17, 1907 on the Wichita Reservation, north of Anadarko, Oklahoma
1928 -- Graduated Chilocco High School
1929-1934 -- Attended Bacone College, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State Tech
1935 -- Toured United States and Europe giving lecture-exhibition program, "Life and Character of the American Indian"
1935-1938 -- Established and headed art department at Bacone College at Muskogee
1936 -- Exhibited at the National Exhibition of Art, Rockefeller Center, New York
1942-1945 -- World War II, U.S. Air Force (Army)
1947-49 -- Free-lance work in New York and Chicago
1951-52 -- Artist-in-residence at Oklahoma Tech
1950-54 -- Conducted TV program, Muskogee, OklahomaToured U.S. West Coast exhibiting and lecturing about ways to improve TV programs for children
1958 -- Named Indian-of-the-Year by the American Indian Expostion at Anadarko, Oklahoma
1959 -- Died June 18, 1959
Other materials relating to Acee Blue Eagle at the National Anthropological Archives include correspondence in the Solomon McCombs papers, 1914-1972, and correspondence with Betty Meilink under Manuscript 2011-20.
Acee Blue Eagle's private papers and collection of paintings were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Mrs. Mae Abbott of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
There are no restrictions on access.
Literary property rights to unpublished material in the collection in the National Anthropological Archives has been given to the public.