The papers of painters Samuel Wood and Adelaide Lawson Gaylor measure 2.6 linear feet and date from circa 1849-1986. They illustrate the couple's careers and lives through biographical materials, correspondence, writings, subject files, printed and photographic material, and artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The Wood and Adelaide Lawson Gaylor papers measure 2.6 linear feet and date from circa 1849-1986. Biographical material consists of items related to Wood, Adelaide, and their daughter Isabel (Dale) including death certificates, birth certificates, and resumes. Also included are various art sales records. Correspondence is to and from the Gaylor's regarding personal and professional matters. Writings include journals, notebooks, and various autobiographical accounts about Wood's life and career, as well as writings about the Gaylor's and miscellaneous topics by others. Subject files consist of materials relating to the artistic careers of Wood Gaylor and Adelaide Lawson, to Gaylor's work as a fashion pattern designer, and, more broadly, to the New York art scene starting in 1930. Printed material includes exhibition announcements and catalogs, publications, news clippings, and picture postcards. Photographic material consists of photographs of Wood and Adelaide, their family and friends, and artworks. Artwork includes multiple sketchbooks and sketches by Wood, Adelaide, and their daughter Isabel (Dale).
This collection consists of seven series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1890-1979 (.1 Linear feet: Box 1)
Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1866-1986 (.23 Linear feet: Box 1)
Series 3: Writings, circa 1909-1979 (.7 Linear feet: Box 1)
Series 4: Subject Files, circa 1877-1976 (.5 Linear feet: Box 2)
Series 5: Printed Material, circa 1910-1984 (.5 Linear feet: Box 2, OV 4)
Series 6: Photographic Material, circa 1849-1970 (.4 Linear feet: Boxes 2-3, OV 5)
Series 7: Artwork, circa 1916-1940 (.2 Linear feet: Box 3)
Biographical / Historical:
Samuel Wood Gaylor (1883-1957) and Adelaide Lawson Gaylor (1889-1986) were husband and wife artists who worked primarily in New York.
Samuel Wood Gaylor was a painter and lithographer known for his colorful paintings and colored wood carvings. Wood Gaylor was born in Stamford, Connecticut and moved frequently throughout his childhood. When he turned sixteen, he left school to begin work creating sewing patterns at Butterick's. Wood continued to work in the sewing pattern industry where he advanced from designer to assistant manager for the Home Pattern Company, and finally to head of the Manhattan based locations of the New York Pattern Company.
In 1909, he married his first wife Ruth E. M. Lorick, with whom he had one daughter Ruth Wood Gaylor, and began his art training at the National Academy of Design. He continued in 1912 by taking instruction from Walt Kuhn at the New York School of Art in Fort Lee, New Jersey. In 1926, Wood married his second wife Adelaide Lawson, with whom he had two sons Wynn Lawson and Randall, and one daughter Isabel (Dale) Gaylor who died in 1955.
During his career Wood created artwork in several styles including the impressionist, abstract, and muralistic styles. He had works exhibited in the Armory Show, was a part of the Cooperative Mural Workshop for a short time, and had multiple solo exhibitions. In 1917, Wood joined the Penguin Club with Walt Kuhn and others. This club aimed to provide support for artists who rejected the conservative aesthetics of the National Academy. He exhibited at the Armory Show, the Penguin Club, and the Downtown Gallery and participated in many art organizations including the Kit-Kat Club, Modern Artists of America, American Society of Painters, and Sculptors and Engravers. He served on the board for the Salons of America, the Hamilton Easter Field Art Foundation, the New York City Municipal Art Committee, and the Museum of Art, Ogunquit, Maine.
Wood Gaylor died in 1957 at the age of seventy-three in Glenwood Landing, New York.
Adelaide Lawson Gaylor was a painter known for her modernist oil paintings of figures and landscapes. Adelaide Lawson was born in New York to her parents Simeon Levy and Belle Hart Lawson. She completed her artistic training at the Art Students League of New York under Kenneth Hayes Miller and also studied under Hamilton Easter Field at his Ogunquit School of Painting and Sculpture in Ogunquit, Maine.
Lawson's first public exhibition was at the MacDowell Club in 1916. In 1922, she contributed a painting to a group exhibition held at a segregated high school art studio in Washington D.C. organized and run by black artists. Lawson was a supporter of Black rights and because of her participation in this event her name can be found listed among other black artists. Other exhibitions and shows Lawson participated in were with the Whitney Studio Club, Society of Independent Artists, and the New York Society of Women Artists. She also joined and became a director of the Salons of America founded by Hamilton Easter Field. In 1925, Lawson had her first solo exhibition at Gallery 134.
Adelaide Lawson Gaylor died in 1986 at the age of 97 in Long Island, New York.
The Wood and Adelaide Lawson Gaylor papers were donated in several installments from 1958 to 2015. In 1958 material found on reel D9 was donated by T. J. McCormick. Material on reel D160 was donated in 1964 by Adelaide Lawson Gaylor and the remainder of the material was donated in 1986 by the Gaylors' sons, Wynn L. and Randall Gaylor. Sixteen items, mostly cards and letters to Gaylor were donated in 2008 by Christine Oaklander in honor of Dr. William Innes Homer, Art Historian and Professor Emeritus at the University of Delaware. Oaklander purchased the letters from Wynn Gaylor. An additional twenty-one documents, mostly cards and letters to Gaylor, were donated in 2015 by Wynn Gaylor.
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Wood and Adelaide Lawson Gaylor papers, circa 1849-1986, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund, administered by the National Collections Program and the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee.
The Dr. Paul Singer Collection of Chinese Art of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution Search this
The Dr. Paul Singer Collection of Chinese Art of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; a joint gift of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, Paul Singer, the AMS Foundation for the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities, and the Children of Arthur M. Sackler