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Research guide to manuscript / archival collections related to artists.
Last Updated: Nov 25, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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Table of Contents

Welcome! This guide is an introduction to the library's manuscript/archival collections relating to artists, including visual artists, whose mediums included painting, drawing, sculpture, and printmaking, art and activism, feminist artists, and curators and exhibit catalogs. 

It is meant to help you begin your research but it is not a complete list of relevant collections. Please Ask A Schlesinger Librarian if you have any questions or want further suggestions.


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Manuscript / Archival Materials

Many of our collections are stored offsite and/or have access restrictions, including most A/V material. Please Ask a Schlesinger Librarian in advance of your visit to check on the availability of materials.

  • Suzanne Benton
    Artist, feminist, and workshop leader Suzanne Benton (1936- ) graduated from Queens College, City University of New York (B.A. 1956). She is a printmaker, sculptor, and mask performance artist who has traveled widely, bringing her art to all corners of the world, exploring the healing and transformative power of art through mask making and story telling workshops. The author of Dear Friends and Allies: The Journey Letters of a Traveling Artist (2001), Benton has exhibited around the world and was awarded a Fulbright lectureship to India (1992-1993). She was a founding member of two Connecticut chapters of the National Organization for Women (1969) and served as president of Western Connecticut NOW (1970-1973).
  • June Blum
    Feminist artist and curator, June Blum (1929- ) studied at the Brooklyn Museum Art School and was active in the women's art movement in the New York City area in the late 1960s and early 1970s. As curator of contemporary art at the Suffolk Museum in Stony Brook, New York (1971-1975), Blum created "Unmanly Art," which was followed by "Works on Paper," a show for women artists at the Brooklyn Museum in 1975. In 1975 she found Women Artists Living in Brooklyn and in 1980 the East Central Women's Caucus for Art. Blum painted Betty Friedan for the "Sister Chapel." She has exhibited widely and has been instrumental in bringing the work of women artists to the public.
  • Jocelyn Brodie
    Artist and educator Jocelyn (Levine) Brodie was born in Brooklyn, New York, where she graduated from Brooklyn Ethical Culture School. She later attended Cooper Union Art School (1947-1949) and graduated from Bennington College (BA 1951) and Keene State College (M.Ed 1970). In the 1950s she studied, painted, and exhibited in Europe and New York, and in 1955 she married artist Gandy Brodie. They had one child, Shane; Gandy Brodie died in 1975. In 1961 they moved to Vermont, forming the Gandy Brodie School of Fine Arts. Jocelyn Brodie taught art and directed the Newfane Gallery in Newfane, Vermont, and the Thorne Memorial Art Gallery in Keene, New Hampshire, and was active in numerous cultural organizations in Vermont and New Hampshire. In 1967 Brodie began a correspondence with urbanist and cultural critic Lewis Mumford when she wrote him about creating a children's book based on his Sticks and Stones: A Study of American Architecture and Civilization.
  • Fay Chandler
    Artist Fay Martin Chandler was born in 1923. She graduated from Sweet Briar College in Amherst, Virginia (B.A. 1943), and the following year married Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., a Harvard College graduate who went on to become a professor of business history at the Harvard Business School. They had four children. Fay Chandler studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and earned an M.F.A. in painting in 1967 from the Maryland Institute of Art. She was a founder of the Art Connection, a Boston-based organization that places artwork in local hospitals, halfway houses, and schools. Chandler has had over 30 solo exhibitions and her work is included in the collections at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, and the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia.
  • Cornelia Chapin
    Sculptor. Chapin's work, notably stone models of birds and animals, was exhibited around the U.S. and in Paris beginning in 1930. She learned the art of direct carving from Mateo Hernandez in Paris in 1934, was the only foreign and female sculptor elected to the Societaire Salon d'Automne, Paris (1936), and was accepted as a member of the National Academy of Design in 1945. She won many awards and prizes for her sculpture in the 1930s and 1940s.
  • Judy Chicago
    Artist, feminist, and writer. Chicago is best known for The Dinner Party, a multi-media installation honoring the achievements of women in Western civilization. Executed between 1974 and 1979 with the participation of hundreds of volunteers, The Dinner Party was viewed by approximately one million people in exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad between 1979 and 1988.
  • Corita
    Serigraphic artist Corita Kent was born on November 20, 1918, in Fort Dodge, Iowa, as Frances Elizabeth Kent. In 1936, she joined the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Los Angeles, taking the name Sister Mary Corita. After graduating from the University of Southern California, where she studied art with Charles and Ray Eames, Corita began teaching art at the Immaculate Heart College (IHC), a Catholic liberal arts women's college in Hollywood, California, run by the Immaculate Heart Sisters of Los Angeles.
    She left the order in 1968 and moved to Boston to pursue a full-time career as an artist. She received commissions from Boston Gas to design a mural for their 150-ft gas tank, from the Physicians for Social Responsibility to design various peace billboards, and from the United States Postal Service to design the 22-cent Love Stamp. Corita died on September 18, 1986 in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Harriet Goodhue Hosmer
    Sculptor and inventor, Hosmer was a native of Watertown, Mass., studied anatomy, and spent much of her life in Rome, where she was at first the pupil of the English sculptor, John Gibson. Her works were exhibited and purchased in England and the United States. For further information, see Harriet Hosmer, Letters and Memories, edited by Cornelia Crow Carr (1912); Notable American Women (1971); and Hosmeriana: A Guide to Works by and about Harriet G. Hosmer, by Joseph L. Curran (1975).
  • Glenda F. Hydler
    Artist and photographer Glenda Hydler was born in Newark, N.J., and attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City (B.F.A.) and California State University at Northridge (B.A.). In the 1970s she began creating looseleaf books containing pages alternating between text and photographs which sought to capture the rhythm of her emotional and experiential life. The books are autobiographical, mirroring her developing feminism, and address social politics, sexuality, and relationships, among other things.
  • Kady
    Artist, writer, and lesbian activist Kady Vandeurs was born in Pensacola, Florida, the daughter of George and Ann Shepard Vandeurs. She published articles in Big Mama Rag, the New Women's Times, and Off Our Backs, and studied design, painting, and graphic art at Greenfield (Massachusetts) Community College. She participated in the Women's Pentagon Action (1980-1981) and at the Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace & Justice near Seneca Falls, New York (1983). Kady died in Greenfield, Massachusetts, in 2003.
  • Alma Kline
    Sculptor (Radcliffe, A.B., 1929), Kline has exhibited her work, primarily stone, wood and bronze animals, in many group shows and in two one-woman exibitions in N.Y.C.
  • Florence Cary Koehler
    Artist and jeweler, Koehler lived the second half of her life in Europe where she pursued her art and also purchased fine arts and furniture on commission for patrons in America. Her social circle included artists and writers such as Henry James, Augustus John, and Henri Matisse.
  • Marge
    Cartoonist best known as the creator of Little Lulu, who first appeared in the Saturday Evening Post in February 1935 and ran weekly for the next ten years. Merchandizing and advertising campaigns soon followed, especially in 1944 when Marge signed a contract with Kleenex. In 1943 the first of the twenty-eight animated cartoons appeared, followed by the first comic book, initially drawn and written by Western Publishing staff cartoonist John Stanley. By the late 1940s Marge continued to manage a merchandizing empire, approving all Lulu appearances although she only drew Lulu for the Kleenex campaign.
  • Ann P. Meredith
    Photographer, artist, film maker, and performance artist. Most of her career in photography was spent documenting the lives of women, gay and lesbian life, and her family.
  • Parallels : artists/poets.
    Parallels: Artists/Poets was an exhibition featuring work by women poets displayed with works on paper (collage, prints, watercolor, pastels, photography) by artisits Claire Heimarck, Oriole Farb Feshbach, and Lucy D. Rosenfeld. It traveled to New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut from 1993 to 1995, and explored the responses and affinities of the three artists to poems by 20th century women writers, some well known and others less so. The exhibition was shown at the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College, in June 1995.
  • I. Rice Pereira
    Abstract painter, poet, and philosopher, Pereira was a major figure in the art world from 1930. She worked with the WPA Federal Art Project in New York, 1935-1939; in the 1940s she experimented with new media (glass, plexiglass, and plastic) of the constructivist school; and in the 1950s she returned to paint and canvas. She published numerous books on aesthetics and the philosophy of art. For further biographical information, see Notable American Women: The Modern Period (1980).
  • Louise Kidder Sparrow
    Sculptor and poet. Collection contains diaries, poems and translations by Sparrow of foreign poetry, manuscripts of autobiographical novels and other writings, photos and sketches of her sculpture, and correspondence pertaining to her sculpture and writing. Also includes some family correspondence and photos, genealogical information, scrapbooks, albums and memorabilia, and material concerning her escape from France prior to the German occupation during WWII.
  • Katharine Beecher Stetson
    Sculptor and landscape painter Katharine Beecher Stetson was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the daughter of feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman and artist Charles W. Stetson. She studied in Rome, at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and with sculptor Frank Tolles Chamberlin, whom she later married. The couple lived in Pasadena, California, and had two children, Dorothy and Walter.
  • Visible for a change : contemporary lesbian artists, U.S.A. 1991
    Visible for a Change: Contemporary Lesbian Artists, U.S.A., was a slide-show installation that was part of the Sixth Annual Colloquium Series on Gender, Culture, and Society sponsored by the Committee on Degrees in Women's Studies, Harvard University, February 6 - March 3, 1991.
  • Katharine Lane Weems
    Animal sculptor. She attended Miss May's School for Girls, and studied sculpting at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts with Frederick Allen and Charles Grafly. She also received criticism and encouragement from animal sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington. Weems was elected to the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors in 1925 and to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1952. She began to show her work in 1920 and gained a national reputation when Narcisse Noir, a whippet, won the George D. Widener Memorial Gold Medal.
  • Sarah Wyman Whitman
    Sarah Wyman Whitman, artist and civic volunteer, studied art in Boston under William Morris Hunt. Her stained glass, book cover designs, and paintings were exhibited widely in Massachusetts and New York. She was active in guiding the development of Radcliffe College, served on the council of the Museum of Fine Arts School, Boston, and was president of the Woman's Auxiliary of the Massachusetts Civil Service Reform Association.
  • Helen Augusta Whittier
    The daughter of Moses and Lucinda (Blood) Whittier, Helen Augusta Whittier was born in Lowell, Mass., where her father ran Whittier Mills. She attended Lowell High School and Lasell Seminary (in Auburndale, Mass.), and taught china painting at the Lowell Evening Drawing School. She was also a founder of a club of 15 friends known as XV, a group that pursued home-study courses under the guidance of Anna E. Ticknor. Whittier went on to be an active member of many organizations, including the Middlesex Women's Club of Lowell, the New England Women's Club, and the Massachusetts Federation of Women's Clubs.
  • Ann Sayre Wiseman
    Artist, writer, teacher, and therapist. She has taught art and led art workshops for numerous institutions including the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, Massachusetts), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City), and the DeCordova Museum School (Lincoln, Massachusetts). She was program director at Boston's Children's Museum and taught for twelve years in the Department of Expressive Therapies at Lesley College.
    Wiseman is known for her rag tapestries, kinetic sculptures, illustrated travel journals, and craft and activity books. Her work is part of the collections of the Hirschhorn Museum and Chase Manhattan Bank. Wiseman travels and lectures widely on creativity, dreams as metaphor, and body work. She is the director/designer for Ansayre Press, and the mother of two sons.
  • Woman's Building (Los Angeles, Calif.)
    The Woman's Building was founded in 1973 by artist Judy Chicago, graphic designer Sheila de Bretteville, and art historian Arlene Raven. Taking its name and inspiration from the Woman's Building at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the Los Angeles Woman's Building was the first independent institution dedicated to women's cultural activities. Seeking to provide a public arena for sharing and honoring the artistic achievements of women, it offered studio space and classes in graphics and writing, and sponsored lectures, exhibitions, conferences, and performances. The Woman's Building closed in 1992.

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