Letters, 1940-1981, are primarily from ceramist Frans Wildenhain to Kitty and Hermann Fischer. Thirteen of the letters are illustrated. Also included are a watercolor sketch, undated; 3 clippings and an announcement for Wildenhain's pottery in Putten, Holland; and photographs, 1944-1975, of Wildenhain with his third wife Lili and Fischer's friend Helen Weynerowsky, and of 3 pots by Wildenhain.
Biographical / Historical:
Kitty, a weaver, and Hermann Fischer, an architect, both of Holland, became acquainted with ceramist Frans Wildenhain as fellow students at the Bauhaus. They maintained their friendship throughout World War II via correspondence. Wildenhain established pottery workshops in Putten and Amsterdam, Holland before immigrating to the United States in 1947. After spending three years with the Pond Farm Workshops in Guerneville, California, he became an instructor at the School for American Craftsmen, Rochester Institute of Technology, N.Y. After his divorce from Marguerite Friedlaender Wildenhain in 1955, he was married to Marjorie McIlroy until her death in 1967. His third wife was Elisabeth (Lili) Wildenhain.
Donated 1981 by Kitty C. L. Fischer.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Smithsonian Institution. Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage Search this
The Cape Verdean Connection program provided an opportunity for Festival audiences to experience a culture that blends West African and Portuguese elements in unique and moving ways. It also provided a clear perspective on two important aspects of how culture is understood and made part of public discourse at the end of the 20th century. One is the idea of transnationalism - in a sense, the way that culture and community can be seen to be independent of territorial boundaries. The other is the opening of the Smithsonian and other national institutions to new cultural needs.
Cape Verdean culture is produced on both sides of the Atlantic, in communities in the Cape Verde Islands and in New England, California, the Netherlands, France, Senegal, Argentina, and elsewhere. Transnationalism in Cape Verdean society is determined, to be sure, in part by historical and environmental imperatives of dramatic proportions. But this condition is not unique. There are many other culture-bearing groups whose members find it necessary for survival to export their labor and themselves to another country, building new lives there but also sending support and maintaining ties to their old country through a variety of social and cultural organizations. Related cultures are often understood as offspring of an ancestral culture, their separate development explaining cultural differences.
But cultural relationships between such communities may sometimes be understood more concretely as being based in and built upon institutions. Cape Verdeans maintain ties through Cape Verdean-owned ships and shipping companies; family remittances and other economic exchange, such as banking and investments in the home country; print and electronic media that disseminate news of the communities; political parties, which were active in the anticolonial struggle and continue in post-independence politics; and international musical touring circuits and Cape Verdean-owned recording companies that are firmly grounded in Cape Verdean traditional musical genres. These are among this community's tools for cultural survival in a transcontinental context.
Cape Verdean American committees raised a substantial portion of the funds necessary for the Cape Verdean Connection program. In sponsoring the program, the Cape Verdean Americans are not only "discovering" the Smithsonian - that is, planting a Cape Verdean cultural flag and gaining international attention for their magnificent cultural achievements. They are also using institutional means to establish a unified yet richly diverse culture as the bedrock upon which to build a Cape Verdean identity - one that can help its bearers work together to meet the challenges presented by Cape Verdean history and its environment. The Festival, and the Smithsonian of which it is part, became an open forum for this kind of cultural exploration and discussion – amidst vibrant performances of Cape Verdean music and oral traditions and demonstrations of crafts and occupations, from both side of the Atlantic.
John W. Franklin and Peter Seitel were Curators, with Raymond A. Almeida as Senior Program Advisor & Fundraising Coordinator. In Cape Verde, John C. Wahnon was Coordinator of the Gabinete Smithsonian/Cape Verde, and at the Festival Jacqueline Schraad was Program Coordinator.
The Cape Verdean Connection was made possible with the support of the Government of Cape Verde on the occasion of its 20th anniversary of independence; Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation; Cape Verdean American community fundraising committees in Boston, Brockton, Cape Cod, New Bedford, Wareham, Providence/Pawtucket, Hartford, Norwich, Southern California, and Washington, D.C.; Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.; NYNEX; Luso-American Development Foundation; Fleet Charitable Trust; Raytheon Co.; the City of New Bedford, Massachusetts; the Town of Wareham, Massachusetts; Bell Atlantic; and the Cape Verdean-American Import/Export Company.
Ronald Barboza, John Braman, Paul Cyr, Maria Resurreição DaSilva, Jose Dias Evora, Ana Fidalgo, Manuel Da Luz Gonçalves, Ulisses Gonçalves, John "Joli" Gonsalves, Virginia Neves Gonsalves, Susan Hurley-Glowa, Joaquim Livramento, James Lopes, Andanilza F. Miranda, Alberto Torres Pereira, Laura Pires-Hester, Ken Semedo, Romana Ramos Silva, Yvonne Marie Smart
Research Team Leaders, Advisors, and Specialists for Gabinete Smithsonian/Cape Verde
Manuel Antonio Barbosa, Maria Alice Barbosa, Josefina A. Chantre, Maria Miguel Estrela, João Gomes, Humberto Lima, Maria Livromento Lima, Osvaldio Osório, José Aureliano Ramos, Joaquim Silva
Additional Research & Photo Documentation
Ray Almeida, Ron Barboza, Beverly Conley, Diana N'Diaye, Pete Reiniger, Peter Seitel, Gunga Tolentino
Access by appointment only. Where a listening copy or viewing copy has been created, this is indicated in the respective inventory; additional materials may be accessible with sufficient advance notice and, in some cases, payment of a processing fee. Older papers are housed at a remote location and may require a minimum of three weeks' advance notice and payment of a retrieval fee. Certain formats such as multi-track audio recordings and EIAJ-1 videoreels (1/2 inch) may not be accessible. Contact the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections at 202-633-7322 or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
Copyright and other restrictions may apply. Generally, materials created during a Festival are covered by a release signed by each participant permitting their use for personal and educational purposes; materials created as part of the fieldwork leading to a Festival may be more restricted. We permit and encourage such personal and educational use of those materials provided digitally here, without special permissions. Use of any materials for publication, commercial use, or distribution requires a license from the Archives. Licensing fees may apply in addition to any processing fees.
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 1995 Festival of American Folklife, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution.
The papers of artist and art patron Dorothea A. Dreier measure 2.6 linear feet and date from 1881-1941, with the bulk of the material dating from 1887-1923. The papers document the life and work of Dorothea Dreier and also contain the papers of and about members of her immediate family, particularly her sisters, Mary and Katherine Dreier, and Margaret Dreier Robins. Found are correspondence, printed materials, legal and financial records, photographs, and one sketchbook by Dreier.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of the painter Dorothea A. Dreier measure 2.6 linear feet and date from 1881 to 1941, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1887-1923. These papers document not only her life and work as an artist, but also the activities of her distinguished family in the realms of social reform, women's suffrage, and politics, through correspondence, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, broadsides, exhibition catalogs, publications, photographs, ephemera, a sketchbook, and legal and financial records.
Biographical materials include official documents, childhood writings, notes, ephemera, membership cards, invitations, programs, notes, lists, and legal and financial records.
Measuring 1.2 linear feet, correspondence is the largest and most extensive series and consists of letters from family and close friends as well as business correspondence. Although the letters in this series span from 1881-1925, a large number stem from Dorothea's 1913-1916 stay at Saranac Lake for treatment of her tuberculosis.
Family correspondents consist of members of Dorothea's immediate family as well as more distant relations, including those who resided in her parent's native Germany. Letters from her sisters Mary E. Dreier, and Margaret (Gretchen) Dreier Robins, her sister-in-law Ethyl Eyre Valentine Dreier and brother-in-law Raymond Robins provide some insight into the varied social reform and political movements, such as women's suffrage and the Bull Moose Party, with which they were allied. Additionally both Mary and Margaret were active in the Women's Trade Union League, Margaret having served as the League's president from 1907-1922. Therefore their correspondence is a rich resource for scholars interested in women's history and the history of the Progressive Era in the United States.
Due to their shared interest in the arts, her sister Katherine S. Dreier's letters provide information about her own work as an artist, particularly when she was studying abroad, exhibitions in which she participated or visited, and the Cooperative Mural Workshop, a combination art school and workshop that she ran from 1914-1917 with Walt Kuhn, with substantial financial help from Dorothea.
Additionally through her Brooklyn neighborhood, art classes, and support of numerous social causes, Dorothea had a large circle of friends. Frequent correspondents include the Bartlett sisters, Agnes, Mary, and Maud, Rebecca Forbes, Ellen Kuhn Mahan, and Charlotte Schetter. Notable art world correspondents include Vincent van Gogh's sister Elisabeth du Quesne van Gogh, the American Tonalist landscape painter Charles Harold Davis and Dreier's painting instructor and close friend, the painter Walter Shirlaw.
Printed materials reflect the varied interests and activities of Dorothea Dreier and select members of her immediate family through exhibition announcements, catalogs, including a numbered copy of the The Dorothea A. Dreier Exhibition from the memorial exhibition of her work at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 1925, newspaper clippings relating to her career, the activities of other members of the Dreier family, art and politics; as well as pamphlets, broadsides, brochures and blank postcards.
Photographs include both studio portraits and informal snapshots of Dorothea and Katherine Dreier; group photographs including Dorothea; travel photographs, many of which appear to have been taken in the Netherlands; and photographs of Teddy Roosevelt giving a speech at a railway station. Artworks include a sketchbook by Dreier, five sketchbooks by friend and teacher, Walter Shirlaw, and an unidentified artist, a pencil drawing by Shirlaw, an engraving by Huquier and an etching by Ernest D. Roth.
The collection is arranged into 5 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1884-1923 (Box 1; 0.75 linear feet)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1881-1925 (Boxes 1-2; 1.2 linear feet)
Series 3: Printed Material, 1883-1916 (Boxes 2-3; 0.5 linear feet)
Series 4: Photographs, circa 1900-1923 (Box 3; 7 folders)
Series 5: Artwork, circa 1885-1941 (Boxes 3-4; 9 folders)
Dorothea A. Dreier was born on December 8, 1870, in Brooklyn, New York to German immigrant parents. The second of five children in a close knit, socially progressive family, her siblings include the social reformers and suffragettes Mary E. Dreier and Margaret Dreier Robins. However she was closest to her youngest sister, Katherine S. Dreier, fellow artist, patron of modern art and cofounder of the Société Anonyme, an organization dedicated to the promotion of modern art in the United States. Her sole brother, H. Edward Dreier, followed his father into business and managed the family investments.
Of all the Dreier sisters, Dorothea is the least well-known and there is scant information about her artistic career. It appears that she began her formal art training with John Twachtman and William Merritt Chase, although accounts disagree as to whether it took place at the Art Students League or the National Academy of Design. In 1904 Dorothea and her sister Katherine began studying with the painter Walter Shirlaw, with whom they developed a close friendship. Both sisters also traveled abroad frequently as the family maintained close ties with their German relatives and they combined these visits with trips to museums and galleries throughout Europe where they studied the works of the Old Masters as well as more contemporary artists. As evidenced by her series of oil paintings of Dutch weavers of 1908, Dorothea was greatly influenced by Van Gogh's early paintings of rural Dutch peasant life and she spent long periods abroad living and painting in Laren, The Netherlands. Her later paintings depicted landscapes, both in The Netherlands and the Adirondacks, as well as a series of New York street scenes.
Unfortunately, during a 1913 sojourn in Laren, Dorothea contracted tuberculosis. She remained at Saranac Lake, a renowned treatment center in the Adirondacks from late December 1913 to sometime in 1916. During her convalescence, Dorothea remained actively involved in the arts as she continued to paint and draw and supported her sister Katherine's work at the Cooperative Mural Workshop, a short-lived combination art school and workshop that focused on the decorative arts.
In 1920, Dorothea supported Katherine's decision to champion modern art and made generous financial contributions toward the establishment of the Société Anonyme, where Dorothea's first solo exhibition took place in 1921. This was her only solo exhibition prior to her untimely death in 1923. In the spring of 1925, Christian Brinton of the Brooklyn Museum of Art organized a memorial exhibition for which Katherine Dreier privately published a limited edition catalogue.
The papers of Katherine S. Dreier related to the Société Anonyme Archives are located at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.
The Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute of Harvard University holds the papers of Mary E. Dreier
The bulk of the collection was donated to the Archives of American Art in 1959 by Mrs. Peter Voorhees, Dorothea A. Dreier's neice. Additional materials were donated in 2007 by Theodore and Barbara Dreier, Dreier's great-nephew and great-neice.
The bulk of this collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art's website.
Collection is open for research but negatives and audiovisuial materials are stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Some papers of living persons are restricted. Access to restricted portions may be arranged by request to the donor. Gloves required for unprotected photographs. Viewing film portions of the collection and listening to LP recording requires special appointment. Contact the Archives Center for information at email@example.com or 202-633-3270.
The Archives Center does not own exclusive rights to these materials. Copyright for all materials is retained by the donor, Franklin A. Robinson, Jr.; permission for commercial use and/or publication may be requested from the donor through the Archives Center. Military Records for Franklin A. Robinson (b. 1932) and correspondence from Richard I. Damalouji (1961-2014) are restricted; written permission is needed to research these files. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
The Robinson and Via Family Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Preservation of the 8mm films in this collection was made possible, in part, by a grant from the National Film Preservation Fund.
Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Collection, Acc. 1992.0023, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
No restrictions. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by the Smithsonian Institution Archives. Contact SIA Reference Staff for further information (email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Smithsonian Institution Archives
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