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Oral history interview with Hale Woodruff

Creator:
Woodruff, Hale, 1900-1980  Search this
Interviewer:
Murray, Albert  Search this
Extent:
26 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Date:
1968 November 18
Scope and Contents:
Interview of Hale Woodruff conducted 1968 November 18, by Al Murray, for the Archives of American Art.
Biographical / Historical:
Hale Woodruff (1900-1980) was a painter and educator in New York, New York.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives' 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 others. Funding for this interview provided by the New York State Council on the Arts.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Educators -- Georgia -- Atlanta  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
African American artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.woodru68
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-woodru68

Hale Woodruff papers

Creator:
Woodruff, Hale, 1900-1980  Search this
Names:
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Extent:
0.6 Linear feet
0.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Interviews
Date:
1920-1977
bulk 1960s-1970s
1920-1977
bulk 1960s-1970s
Summary:
The papers of Hale Woodruff measure 0.6 linear feet and date from 1920 to 1977 with the bulk of the collection dating from the 1960s to the 1970s. The papers contain biographical material, professional files, writings, printed material, photographs, and photocopies of a scrapbook, and of artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Hale Woodruff measure 0.6 linear feet and date from 1920 to 1977, with the bulk of the collection dating from the 1960s to the 1970s. The papers contain biographical material, professional files, writings, printed material, photocopies of a scrapbook, photographs, and photocopies of artwork.

Biographical material includes a resume, awards and honorary degrees, and an interview transcript.

Professional files consist of correspondence, committee files, and materials related to exhibitions and projects.

Writings include an illustrated notebook; drafts and copies of lectures, statements, articles, book reviews, and exhibition text; and notes on note cards, as well as photocopies of notes Woodruff took in Mexico while studying with Diego Rivera.

Printed Material includes exhibition announcements, exhibition catalogs, publications in which Woodruff is featured, clippings, and other assorted printed material.

The scrapbook consists of photocopies of scrapbook pages. The originals do not appear in the collection, but mostly contained clippings and printed material, with some correspondence.

Photographs include black and white photographs with an accompanying piece of correspondence, and photocopies of photographs of artwork.

Artwork includes photocopies of sketches and drawings.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as seven series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1966-1977 (Box 1; 4 folders)

Series 2: Professional Files, 1944-1973 (Box 1; 4 folders)

Series 3; Writings, 1920-1977, undated (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 4; Printed Material, 1920s-1970s (Box 2, 4 folders)

Series 5: Scrapbook, 1927-1928, 1940-1960 (Box 2, 1 folder)

Series 6: Photographic Material, 1926-1977 (Box 2, 2 folders)

Series 7: Artwork, 1939-1952, undated (Box 2, 1 folder)
Biographical / Historical:
Hale Aspacio Woodruff (1900-1980) was a painter, muralist, and arts educator. His most well-known works are the Amistad murals, painted between 1939 and 1940 for Talladega College's Savery Library.

Woodruff was born in Cairo, Illinois, and grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. He studied at the John Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis, and at the Art Institute of Chicago. After winning an award from the Harmon Foundation, he traveled to Paris and attended the Academie Moderne and the Academie Scandinave. He also spent a summer studying mural painting in Mexico with Diego Rivera.

In 1931, Woodruff established one of the earliest art departments at a black college at Atlanta University – teaching classes at the University's Laboratory High School, Morehouse College, and Spelman College as well. He also established the Atlanta Annuals, one of the earliest national exhibition opportunities for African American artists. In 1946 he moved to New York and taught in the art department at New York University until his retirement in 1968.
Related Materials:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Hale Woodruff conducted by Al Murray, November 18, 1968.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American of Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reel 4222), the majority of which was included in subsequent donations. Loaned materials not donated at a later date remain with the lender and are not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Provenance:
The Hale Woodruff papers were lent for microfilming by Woodruff in 1970. Most of the material was subsequently donated in 1978, along with additional material.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Occupation:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Educators -- Georgia -- Atlanta  Search this
Topic:
Painting, American  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- United States  Search this
African American artists  Search this
Photographs  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Interviews
Citation:
Hale Woodruff papers, 1920-1977, bulk 1960s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.woodhale
See more items in:
Hale Woodruff papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-woodhale
Online Media:

Hughie Lee-Smith papers

Creator:
Lee-Smith, Hughie  Search this
Names:
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.) -- Faculty  Search this
Audubon Artists (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Ira Aldridge Society  Search this
National Academy of Design (U.S.)  Search this
Bearden, Romare, 1911-1988  Search this
Goreleigh, Rex, 1902-  Search this
Correspondent:
Carter, Clarence Holbrook, 1904-2000  Search this
Gammon, Reginald, 1921-2005  Search this
Hirsch, Joseph, 1910-1981  Search this
Wald, Carol  Search this
Wessel, Sophie  Search this
Woodruff, Hale, 1900-1980  Search this
Extent:
33.7 Linear feet
0.381 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Scrapbooks
Interviews
Photographs
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Drawings
Date:
circa 1890-2007
bulk 1931-1999
Summary:
The papers of painter and educator Hughie Lee-Smith measure 33.7 linear feet and 0.381 GB and date from circa 1890 to 2007, with the bulk of the material dating from 1931 to 1999. The collection documents Lee-Smith's career through biographical material, personal and professional correspondence, writings by Lee-Smith and others, personal business records, exhibition files, organization records, printed material, scrapbooks, photographs, a small amount of artwork, numerous interviews, and recordings for a documentary film on Lee-Smith. Also found are the papers of artist Rex Goreleigh, a friend of Lee-Smith.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter and educator Hughie Lee-Smith measure 33.7 linear feet and 0.381 GB and date from circa 1890 to 2007, with the bulk of the material dating from 1931 to 1999. The collection documents Lee-Smith's career through biographical material, personal and professional correspondence, writings by Lee-Smith and others, personal business records, exhibition files, organization records, printed material, scrapbooks, photographs, a small amount of artwork, numerous interviews, and recordings for a documentary film on Lee-Smith. Also found are the papers of artist Rex Goreleigh, a friend of Lee-Smith.

Biographical material includes records of Hughie Lee-Smith's schooling, military service, and awards, as well as resumes, bibliographies, and biographical summaries. Also found are family records, including the papers of his mother, Alice Carroll.

Lee-Smith's correspondence is with family, students, arts and cultural organizations, as well as schools, galleries, and museums, primarily regarding his participation in events and exhibitions. He also corresponded with fellow artists, such as Clarence Holbrook Carter, Reginald Gammon, Joseph Hirsch, Carol Wald, and Hale Woodruff, among many others. He maintained extensive correspondence with artist Sophie Wessel.

Lee-Smith's writings include artist statements and personal writings on his history and early influences, as well as many draft lectures and speeches, school writings, notes, and untitled writing fragments. Writings by others primarily include student essays and articles on the topic of Lee-Smith's work. Personal business records include scattered financial documents, including artwork sales records, and contracts and agreements with various art galleries and other organizations. Also found are files regarding his art commissions, gifts, professional activities, and records of his employment at the Art Students League. Exhibition files document select exhibitions in which Hughie Lee-Smith participated, primarily during the 1980s and 1990s. Organization records were maintained by Lee-Smith to document his participation in various groups, such as the National Academy of Design, Ira Aldridge Society, and Audubon Artists.

Printed material consists primarily of exhibition announcements and invitations for exhibitions of Lee-Smith's work, as well as news clippings, magazines, press releases, and publications from various art organizations and schools. One scrapbook contains exhibition announcements additional loose scrapbook pages document his early career. Photographs include many portraits of Hughie Lee-Smith, Lee-Smith in his studio, at events, and with friends and family. Additionally there are many photographs, slides, and transparencies of Lee-Smith's artwork. Also found are five photograph albums. A small amount of original artwork includes drawings by Lee-Smith and two sketchbooks belonging to his wife Patricia.

The collection includes numerous interviews of Hughie Lee-Smith, recorded on 37 sound cassettes, one sound tape reel, and four video cassettes. One audio interview is in digital format. Also found are planning documents, research material, and video footage for a documentary about the life and work of Hughie Lee-Smith, produced by New Deal Films, Inc, but never completed. Footage includes interviews with artists and art historians regarding Lee-Smith, gallery events, and images of his paintings.

The papers of artist Rex Goreleigh primarily documents his later life and includes a letters, biographical documents, printed material, estate records, and photographs and slides depicting Goreleigh, his studio, and artwork. Hughie Lee-Smith was close friends with Goreleigh and served as executor of his estate.

Also of note is a scrapbook put together for Goreleigh's 70th birthday in 1972. Of note is one scrapbook which contains photographs, notes, and artwork by fellow artists and students, including drawings by Romare Bearden and Hughie Lee-Smith.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 13 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1890-2001 (1.7 linear feet; Box 1-2, 35, RD 38)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1931-2006 (6.1 linear feet; Box 2-8, 0.006 GB; ER01)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1934-1998 (0.8 linear feet; Box 8-9)

Series 4: Personal Business Records, 1934-2001 (1.6 linear feet; Box 9-11, 35)

Series 5: Exhibition Files, circa 1973-2001 (1.2 linear feet; Box 11-12)

Series 6: Organization Records, 1941-2005 (2.1 linear feet; Box 12-14)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1919, 1930-2007 (8.5 linear feet; Box 14-22, 34)

Series 8: Scrapbooks, circa 1938-1990s (0.2 linear feet; Box 22, 35)

Series 9: Photographs, circa 1890-2003 (4.4 linear feet; Box 22-26, 35, OV 37)

Series 10: Artwork, circa 1940s-1980s (0.2 linear feet; Box 26)

Series 11: Interviews, 1973-1998 (2.1 linear feet; Box 26-28, 0.375 GB; ER02)

Series 12: Documentary Film Materials, 1985-2004 (3.5 linear feet; Box 28-32)

Series 13: Rex Goreleigh Papers, 1935-1994 (0.9 linear feet; 32-33, 36)
Biographical / Historical:
Hughie Lee-Smith (1915-1999) was a painter and educator in Ohio, Michigan, and New York. Born in Eustis, Florida, he lived for a period of time with family in Atlanta before joining his mother in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1925. In 1934 he received a scholarship to attend the Art School of the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts, and in 1935 returned to Cleveland to attend the Cleveland School of Art. While in school he began exhibiting his paintings and teaching part-time at Karamu House. From 1938 to 1940 Lee-Smith completed lithography commissions for the Ohio WPA. In 1941 he moved to Detroit, married his first wife Mabel Louise Everett, and worked at a Ford automobile factory. He was then drafted into the U.S. Navy as a mural artist. After the war he briefly returned to factory work before enrolling at Wayne State University, earning a degree in Art Education in 1953. From 1953 to 1965 he taught summer art classes at the Grosse-Point War Memorial in Detroit.

In 1957 Lee-Smith moved to the East Village in New York City, signed with the Janet Nassler Gallery (Petite Gallery), exhibited his work extensively, and joined several art organizations. He also taught art at schools in Princeton, New Jersey. In 1967 he became the second African-American member of the National Academy of Design. He was visiting instructor and artist-in-residence at several art programs, including Howard University, and taught at the Art Students League from 1972 to 1988. In 1978 he married his third wife, Patricia. The New Jersey State Museum organized an extensive retrospective of Lee-Smith's work in 1988 which travelled nationally. Despite ill-health in the mid-1990s, he continued to create new paintings and exhibit his work. In 1997 he moved with his wife to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he lived until his death in 1999.
Related Materials:
Also found at the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Hughie Lee-Smith conducted by Carroll Greene in 1968.
Provenance:
A small amount of material was donated 1969-1981 by Hughie Lee-Smith. Additional papers were donated in 2011 by Patricia Lee-Smith, widow of Hughie Lee-Smith.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
Authorization to publish requires written permission from Robert Panzer, VAGA. The donor has retained all intellectual property rights, including copyright, that they may own. Contact Reference Services for more information.
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 -- Michigan -- Detroit  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- Ohio -- Cleveland  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Educators -- Michigan -- Detroit  Search this
Topic:
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
African American artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Interviews
Photographs
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Drawings
Citation:
Hughie Lee-Smith papers, circa 1890-2007, bulk 1931-1999. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.leeshugh
See more items in:
Hughie Lee-Smith papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-leeshugh

Gallery 256 records

Creator:
Gallery 256 (Provincetown, Mass.)  Search this
Names:
Barnet, Will, 1911-2012  Search this
Botkin, Henry, 1896-1983  Search this
Browne, Byron, 1907-1961  Search this
Busa, Peter, 1914-1985  Search this
Campbell, Kenneth, 1913-  Search this
Candell, Victor, 1903-1977  Search this
Clendenin, Eve, 1900-  Search this
Kupferman, Lawrence Edward, 1909-1982  Search this
Manso, Leo  Search this
Moy, Seong  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Schwartz, Therese, 1927-  Search this
Stout, Myron, 1908-1987  Search this
Von Wicht, John, 1888-1970  Search this
Woodruff, Hale, 1900-1980  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1953-1955
Scope and Contents:
The scattered records of the Provincetown, Massachusetts cooperative art gallery Gallery 256 measure 0.2 linear feet and date from its founding in 1953 to its closing in 1955. Included are: a list of addresses of members Will Barnet, Henry A. Botkin, Byron Browne, Peter Busa, Kenneth Campbell, Victor Candell, Eve Clendenin, Lawrence Kupferman, Leo Manso, Seong Moy, Louise Nevelson, Therese Schwartz, Myron S. Stout, John Von Wicht and Hale Woodruff; a statement regarding the legal status of "group 256" as a voluntary association and its relationship to "gallery 256"; an account book of members' expenses, dues and commissions, 1954; a ledger of sales and attendance; a bank checkbook and deposit slip, 1954-1955; 4 cancelled checks; 2 invoices, 1955; 2 financial statements of receipts and disbursements, 1954; an attendance book containing names and addresses; and a file on Louise Nevelson containing a magazine clipping, and an exhibition announcement, both of 1954, and 1 photograph of each of the following sculptures: "The Figure that Walked on the Mt. Tops," "Figure from the Great Beyond," "Portrait of a Friend," and "Ancient Cat Form."
Biographical / Historical:
Gallery 256 (est. 1953-closed 1955) was a cooperative art gallery in Provincetown, Mass.
Provenance:
The donor, Myron Stout, was the secretary of Gallery 256.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Topic:
Artist-run galleries  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.gall256
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-gall256

James Mullen Christmas card collection

Creator:
Mullen, James M. (James Martin), 1935-  Search this
Names:
Blank, Tamara Kernozek  Search this
Brownell, Marilyn  Search this
Burmeister, Alyce  Search this
Callahan, Nancy  Search this
Case, Andrew  Search this
Downie, Janice  Search this
Downing, Elaine  Search this
Gloeckler, Raymond  Search this
Goodhill, Yvonne  Search this
Hathaway, James  Search this
Higgins, jane  Search this
Hnizdovsky, Jacques, 1915-  Search this
Holmes, David  Search this
Hubschmidt, William  Search this
Johnson, Roxanne  Search this
Kaufman, Glen  Search this
Larsen, Alan  Search this
Leiber, Gerson August, 1921-  Search this
Mahlke, Ernest  Search this
Marchese, Jeanne  Search this
Martin, Minnie S.  Search this
Mazarak, John  Search this
Mitchell, Bill  Search this
Mullen, Megan  Search this
North, Bruce  Search this
O'Connell, George  Search this
Parish, Jean  Search this
Pum, Robert  Search this
Romano, Clare  Search this
Ross, John, 1921-  Search this
Seawell, Tom, 1936-  Search this
Sheedy, Jill  Search this
Sheesley, Timothy  Search this
Shobaken, Bruce  Search this
Siegfried, Alice  Search this
Singer, Arnold, 1920-2005  Search this
Waddington, Margot  Search this
Wasserman, Burton  Search this
White, H. Donald  Search this
Wilcox, Ron  Search this
Woodruff, Hale, 1900-1980  Search this
Zimmerman, George  Search this
Zoller, Edwin W., 1900-1967  Search this
Zoretich, George Stephen, 1918-1995  Search this
van Vliet, Clair  Search this
vu-Cong, An-Khang  Search this
Extent:
0.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
[ca.1955]- 2003
Scope and Contents:
76 original Christmas cards and accompanying prints created by artists, consisting of etchings, drawings, silkscreen images, watercolors and collages. Sixteen of the cards were created by Mullen and sent to his colleagues. Also included are studies by Mullen and original accompanying zinc plate and linoleum blocks used to make his cards. Artists represented include Tamara Kernozek Blank, Marilyn Brownell, Alyce Burmeister, Nancy Callahan, Andrew Case, John DePol, Janice Dowine, Elaine Downing, Ray Gloeckler, Yvonne, Goodhill, James Hathaway, Jane Higgins, Jacques Hnizdovsky, David Holmes, William Hubschmidt, Roxanne Johnson, Glen Kaufman, Alan Larsen, Gerson Leiber, An-Khang-vu-Cong, Ernest Mahlke, Jeanne Marchese Minnie S. Martin, John Mazarak, Bill Mitchell, James Mullen, Megan Mullen, Bruce North, George O'Connell, Jean Paris, Robert Pum, Clare Romano Ross, John Ross, Thomas Seawell, Jill Sheedy, Timothy Sheesley, Bruce Shobaken, Alice Siegfried, Arnold Singer, Scott Sorrentino, Clair van Vliet, H. Donald White, Ron Wilcox, Hale Woodruff, George Zimmerman, Edwin Zoller and George Zoretich.
Biographical / Historical:
Professor; Oneonta, N.Y.
Provenance:
Donated 2003 and 2004 by James Mullen.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Topic:
Greeting cards  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.mulljame
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mulljame

Robert P. Johnston papers

Creator:
Johnston, Robert P., 1924-  Search this
Names:
Artis, William Ellisworth, 1914-1977  Search this
Knaths, Karl, 1891-1971  Search this
Woodruff, Hale, 1900-1980  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1967-1982
Scope and Contents:
Material compiled by Johnston relating to ceramicist and sculptor William Ellisworth Artis and painter Hale Woodruff and one letter to Johnston from Karl Knaths.
Artis material includes copies of letters to Artis, 1947-1970, from museums, universities, foundations and others regarding lending his work, awarding of prizes or fellowships and other topics; Johnston's correspondence with Artis regarding Johnston's research on Artis; writings by Johnston on Artis; and printed material. Woodruff material includes copies of letters from Woodruff to Johnston, 1971; a copy of Woodruff's diagram of panel no. 6 of his mural for the Atlanta University Library, and "identifying individual famous negro artists portrayed in the mural panel; an issue of Raven New York, June 1, 1971, with an article on Woodruff; an exhibition catalog of an exhibit of Woodruff's work held at NYU, May 15-June 8, 1967; and Woodruff's vitae, 1971.
Biographical / Historical:
Robert P. Johnston was a professor of art at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Provenance:
Donated 1982 by Robert P. Johnston.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Identifier:
AAA.johnrobe
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-johnrobe

The return to subject matter : sound recording

Creator:
College Art Association of America  Search this
Names:
Folds, Thomas McKey, 1908-  Search this
Greene, Stephen, 1918-1999  Search this
Margo, Boris, 1902-1995  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Woodruff, Hale, 1900-1980  Search this
Extent:
4 Items (sound cassettes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Date:
1960 Jan. 28
Scope and Contents:
A panel discussion "The Return to Subject Matter," held at an annual meeting of the College Art Association in New York City, and taped by an unidentified member of the Archives of American Art staff. Participants are Thomas McKey Folds, Stephen Greene, Boris Margo, and Ad Reinhardt, with Hale Woodruff as moderator. Portions of the discussion, particularly the question and answer segment, are inaudible.
Provenance:
Provenance unknown.
Restrictions:
Untranscribed; use requires an appointment.
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.collart
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-collart

Charles Henry Alston papers

Creator:
Alston, Charles Henry, 1907-1977  Search this
Names:
City University of New York. City College -- Faculty  Search this
Bearden, Anna Alston  Search this
Bearden, Romare, 1911-1988  Search this
Browne, Byron, 1907-1961  Search this
Lawrence, Jacob, 1917-2000  Search this
Logan, Myra, 1909-1977  Search this
Welty, Eudora, 1909-2001  Search this
Woodruff, Hale, 1900-1980  Search this
Wright, Louis T. (Louis Tompkins), 1891-1952  Search this
Extent:
0.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1924-1980
Summary:
The scattered papers of African-American and Harlem Renaissance painter, muralist, illustrator, sculptor, and educator Charles Henry Alston measure 0.9 linear feet and date from 1924-1980. Included are biographical materials, correspondence, commission and teaching files, writings and notes, printed materials, and photographs. Notable correspondents include Romare Bearden, Byron Browne, Jacob Lawrence, and Hale Woodruff.
Scope and Content Note:
The scattered papers of African-American and Harlem Renaissance painter, muralist, illustrator, sculptor, and educator Charles Henry Alston (1907-1977) measure 0.9 linear feet and date from 1924-1980. The bulk of the collection documents his personal and professional relationships with figures of the Harlem Renaissance. Researchers should note that this collection contains very little documentation on Alston's actual federal WPA work with the Harlem Art Workshop, the Harlem Artists Guild, or his Harlem Hospital murals completed in 1940. A photograph of Alston in 1937 is likely the only reference to the actual WPA murals in this collection.

Scattered correspondence includes general correspondence; letters concerning Alston's artistic endeavors; and personal letters from friends and family. Found is a copy of a thank you note from Eudora Welty to John Woodburn for a jacket design presumably by Alston; letters from Harlem Renaissance figures and personal friends Romare Bearden, Byron Brown, Jacob Lawrence, and Hale Woodruff.

Commission files are for Alston's murals including those in the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance building in Los Angeles, California (1947); and the addition to the Harlem Hospital (1965); and the Family and Criminal Courts Building in the Bronx, New York (1976). There is one file concerning teaching at City College New York (CUNY).

Writings and notes includes scattered notes and three short stories probably by Alston entitled "Bitsy O'Wire," "Body and Soul," and "Gigi."

Printed materials include illustrations by Alston in the Columbia University literary magazine, The Morningside, and medical illustrations done for Dr. Louis T. Wright. Also found are scattered clippings, exhibition announcements, press releases, and materials from the First Conference on Aesthetic Responsibility.

Photographs are of Alston, Alston with his wife, Myra Logan, his mother Anna Alston Bearden, Romare Bearden, and Hale Woodruff. Photographs of note include one of Alston holding a self-portrait, and one of the artist in 1937 with works that are most likely preliminary sketches of his WPA murals at Harlem Hospital. There are also photographs of Alston's works of art.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 6 series:

Series 1: Biographical Information, 1924-1977 (Box 1; 3 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1931-1977(Box 1; 7 folders)

Series 3: Commission and Teaching Files, 1947-1976 (Box 1; 4 folders)

Series 4: Writings and Notes, circa 1940s-1970s (Box 2-3; 4 folders)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1928, 1946-1980(Box 2-3; 5 folders)

Series 6: Photographs, 1925-1968 (Box 2; 2 folders)
Biographical Note:
Charles Henry Alston (1907-1977) worked primarily in New York city as a painter, muralist, illustrator, and educator. He was part of the Harlem Renaissance movement in the 1930s and helped form the Harlem Art Workshop and the Harlem Artists Guild.

Charles Henry "Spinky" Alston was born in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 28th, 1907. His parents were the Reverend Primus Priss and Anna Miller. After the death of his father, Alston's mother married Henry Pierce Bearden (Romare Bearden's uncle) in 1913 and the family moved to New York City.

At DeWitt Clinton High School in New York, Alston served as art editor of the school's literary magazine. Alston majored in fine arts and history at Columbia University, graduating in 1929. He became active in the Harlem community and accepted a position as director of Utopia House, a boy's camp, where he started an art program. He returned to Columbia and recieved a Masters degree in art education from Columbia's Teachers College. While still a student, he illustrated album covers for jazz musician Duke Ellington and book covers for poet Langston Hughes.

Alston played a major role in the Harlem Renaissance Movement of the period. During the Great Depression, he and sculptor Henry Bannarn directed the Harlem Art Workshop which was funded by the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project. There he taught and mentored African-American painter Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden, among others.

In the 1950s, Alston embarked on a series of portraits of African-American figures. He also taught at the Art Students League and later with the City College of New York (CUNY). Along with his wife, Myra Logan, a surgeon at Harlem Hospital, Alston lived in Harlem and remained an active member of the community until the end of his life. Charles Alston died in 1977.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art are two oral history interviews with Charles Henry Alston, one conducted by Harlan Phillips on September 28, 1965 and another by Al Murray on October 19, 1968.

Additional Charles Henry Alston papers are located at the University of North Carolina's Southern Historical Collection at the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library.
Separated Material:
In 1970, Charles Alston loaned materials for microfilming, including correspondence with Henry Epstein, Langston Hughes, Robert Riggs, Harry Sternberg, J. Johnson Sweeney, Hale Woodruff and others. Also loaned for microfilming were sketchbooks, printed materials, and photographs. Subsequently, some of the photographs were later donated by Alston's sisters. The loaned materials are available only on microfilm reel N70-23 at Archives of American Art offices, and through interlibrary loan. These materials are not included in the container listing of this finding aid.
Provenance:
Charles Alston lent portions of the collection for microfilming in 1970. Aida Winters and Rousmaniere Alston Wilson, Charles Alston's sisters, donated additional materials to the Archives of American Art in 1982 and 1984.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers 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
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Harlem Renaissance  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
African American artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Charles Henry Alston papers, 1924-1980. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.alstchar
See more items in:
Charles Henry Alston papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-alstchar
Online Media:

Lecture at NYU and an evaluation of the Hunter College Masters degree program in studio art

Collection Creator:
Woodruff, Hale, 1900-1980  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 16
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1971
1974
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Hale Woodruff papers, 1920-1977, bulk 1960s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Hale Woodruff papers
Hale Woodruff papers / Series 3: Writings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-woodhale-ref23

Preface to Romare Bearden's show at Nassau Community College

Collection Creator:
Woodruff, Hale, 1900-1980  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 17
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1977
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Hale Woodruff papers, 1920-1977, bulk 1960s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Hale Woodruff papers
Hale Woodruff papers / Series 3: Writings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-woodhale-ref24

Introduction to an exhibit of the works of Kofi Antubam

Collection Creator:
Woodruff, Hale, 1900-1980  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 18
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Hale Woodruff papers, 1920-1977, bulk 1960s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Hale Woodruff papers
Hale Woodruff papers / Series 3: Writings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-woodhale-ref25

Statements and proposals

Collection Creator:
Woodruff, Hale, 1900-1980  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 19
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Hale Woodruff papers, 1920-1977, bulk 1960s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Hale Woodruff papers
Hale Woodruff papers / Series 3: Writings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-woodhale-ref26

Note cards - Outline for a lecture on African art, given at Detroit Institute of Art

Collection Creator:
Woodruff, Hale, 1900-1980  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 20
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1969
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Hale Woodruff papers, 1920-1977, bulk 1960s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Hale Woodruff papers
Hale Woodruff papers / Series 3: Writings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-woodhale-ref27

Note cards

Collection Creator:
Woodruff, Hale, 1900-1980  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 21
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Hale Woodruff papers, 1920-1977, bulk 1960s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Hale Woodruff papers
Hale Woodruff papers / Series 3: Writings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-woodhale-ref28

Note cards

Collection Creator:
Woodruff, Hale, 1900-1980  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 22
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Hale Woodruff papers, 1920-1977, bulk 1960s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Hale Woodruff papers
Hale Woodruff papers / Series 3: Writings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-woodhale-ref40

Note cards

Collection Creator:
Woodruff, Hale, 1900-1980  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 23
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Hale Woodruff papers, 1920-1977, bulk 1960s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Hale Woodruff papers
Hale Woodruff papers / Series 3: Writings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-woodhale-ref41

Note cards

Collection Creator:
Woodruff, Hale, 1900-1980  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 24
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Hale Woodruff papers, 1920-1977, bulk 1960s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Hale Woodruff papers
Hale Woodruff papers / Series 3: Writings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-woodhale-ref42

Carnegie Institute Division of Education, Hale Woodruff Award

Collection Creator:
Woodruff, Hale, 1900-1980  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 3
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1971
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Hale Woodruff papers, 1920-1977, bulk 1960s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Hale Woodruff papers
Hale Woodruff papers / Series 1: Biographical Material
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-woodhale-ref10

Interview transcript

Collection Creator:
Woodruff, Hale, 1900-1980  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1969
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Hale Woodruff papers, 1920-1977, bulk 1960s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Hale Woodruff papers
Hale Woodruff papers / Series 1: Biographical Material
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-woodhale-ref11

Correspondence

Collection Creator:
Woodruff, Hale, 1900-1980  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 5
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1944-1973
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
Hale Woodruff papers, 1920-1977, bulk 1960s-1970s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Hale Woodruff papers
Hale Woodruff papers / Series 2: Professional Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-woodhale-ref12

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