Adela Akers papers, 1960-2009

A Finding Aid to the Adela Akers Papers, 1960-2009, in the Archives of American Art, by Erin Kinhart

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Table of Contents:

Biographical Information

Adela Akers (1933- ) is a fiber artist and educator living and working in Guerneville, California.

Akers was born in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and was raised in Havana, Cuba. She came to the United States as a student in 1957 and studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Cranbrook Academy of Art. In 1965 she served as a weaving advisor in Peru for the Alliance for Progress and was an artist in residence at Penland School of Crafts from 1968-1970. From 1972 to 1995 Akers was a professor and chair of fiber arts at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia. Her weavings consist of zigzags, checkerboard patterns, and simple geometric shapes.

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Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

The papers of fiber artist and educator Adela Akers measure 2.6 linear feet and date from 1960 to 2009. Her career as an artist and her tenure at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, are documented through scattered biographical material; correspondence; subject files on galleries, projects, weaving technique, research, workshops, and fiber arts organizations; writings; exhibition announcements, clippings, and other printed material; photographs; and artwork, including one sketchbook.

Arrangement and Series Description

The collection is arranged as 7 series:

Subjects and Names

This collection is indexed in the online catalog of the Archives of American Art under the following terms:


  • Fiber artists--California
  • Educators--California
  • Weaving--Technique

Types of Materials:

  • Sketchbooks
  • Photographs


  • Tyler School of Art


The collection was donated in 2009 and 2011 by Adela Akers.

Separated and Related Materials

Also found at the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Adela Akers, 2008 Mar. 4-6, conducted by Mija Riedel.

How the Collection was Processed

The collection was processed to a minimal level in 2012 by Erin Kinhart.

How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

Use of original papers requires an appointment.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The Adela Akers papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.

How to Cite this Collection

Adela Akers papers, 1960-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1970s, 1991-1998
(Box 1; 3 folders)

Found here are scattered employment records from Akers's tenure in the Craft Department at Tyler School of Art, one award certificate, and several draft versions of her resume.

Box Folder
1 1 Employment Records, Tyler School of Art, 1991-1997
1 2 Resume, 1970s
1 3 Temple University Faculty Award for Creative Achievement, 1995, 1998

Series 2: Correspondence, 1985-1987
(Box 1; 3 folders)

Correspondence documents Akers's professional dealings with art galleries, museums, organizations, and services, from 1985-1987. Researchers should note that additional correspondence is included in Series 3: Subject Files.

Correspondence is arranged in rough chronological order.

Box Folder
1 4-6 Correspondence, 1985-1987
(3 folders)

Series 3: Subject Files, 1960-2007
(Box 1; 0.6 linear feet)

Found here are subject files which Akers maintained to document her work with galleries and fiber arts organizations, exhibitions, lectures and workshops, and commissioned projects. Also found are files on weaving technique and research on other fiber artists. Files may include correspondence, notes, printed material, agreements, lists of artwork, and a few scattered photographs.

Files are arranged alphabetically. Akers's original folder titles were maintained.

Box Folder
1 7 Adelle M. Fine Arts, 1978-1989
1 8 Advanced Weaving, circa 1987
1 9 American Craft Museum, 1985-1993
1 10 The Art Exchange, 1989-1994
1 11 Arts Benicia, 1996-1997
1 12 Columbus Cultural Arts Center, 1988-1989
1 13 Connecticut Commission on the Arts, 1984-1989
1 14 Crieger Associaties, 1982-1989
1 15 Double Weave, 1960-1970s
1 16 Felting, circa 1970s-1993
1 17 Fiberworks, Center for the Textile Arts, 1979-1981
1 18 Fiberworks Symposium, 1978-1979
1 19 Galman Lepow Associates, 1989-1993
1 20 Guatemala, circa 1970s
1 21 Helen Drutt Gallery, 1987-1992
1 22-23 Lectures and Workshops, 1967-1971, circa 1979
(2 folders)
1 24 Library Tapestry, 2000
1 25-26 Lonny Gans and Associates, 1982-1990
(2 folders)
1 27 NEA International Fellowships, 1995-1996
1 28 Netting, circa 1980s-1990s
1 29-30 Patrick King Contemporary Art, 1981-1991
(2 folders)
1 31 Plaiting, circa 1970s-1980s
1 32 Rhode Island School of Design, 1980-1981
1 33 Study Leave Research, Neda Al-Hilali, circa 1982
1 34 Study Leave Research, Francoise Grossen, 1976-1978
1 35 Study Leave Research, Cynthia Schira, 1988
1 36 Study Leave Research, Joanne Segal Brandford, circa 1979
1 37 Temple University Research Grants, 1975-1994
1 38-39 Thirteen Moons Gallery, 2002-2007
(2 folders)
1 40 Tyler School of Art Grant Reports, 1979-1989
1 41 University Hospital of Cleveland, 1990-1991
1 42 Weaving Techniques, circa 1970s

Series 4: Writings, 1973-1995
(Box 1; 3 folders)

Writings consist of loose notes on weaving and one weaving notebook. Both contain notes, diagrams, illustrations, and lists. The weaving notebook also includes attached fiber samples.

The weaving notebook was removed from a three-ring binder and the original order of the pages has been maintained.

Box Folder
1 43 Notes, 1973-1984
1 44-45 Weaving Notebook, 1985-1995
(2 folders)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1962-2009
(Box 1-2, 6; 6 folders)

Printed material consists of exhibition catalogs and announcements, news clippings and magazines containing mentions of Akers, and one publication regarding Akers's work for the Alliance for Progress program in Peru.

Box Folder
1 46 Catalogs, 1968, 1994-2006
Box Folder
2 1 Exhibition Announcements, circa 1986-2009
2 2 Magazines, 1966-2006
2 3-4 News Clippings, 1962-1995
(2 folders)
Box Folder
6 2 "Adela Akers and the Weavers of Huhi," 1966

Series 6: Photographic Materials, 1960-2008
(Box 2-3; 0.4 linear feet)

Photographs depict Adela Akers working in her studio, an exhibition installation and opening at Shop One Gallery, artworks in progresss, and weavings by Akers. Also found are digital photographs, negatives, transparencies, and slides of her artwork.

Box Folder
2 5 Photographs of Adela Akers, 1960-1990
2 6 Photographs of Home and Studio, 1972-1981
2 7 Photographs of Shop One Gallery, 1971
2 8 Photographs of Works in Progress, 2007-2008
2 9-11 Photographs of Artwork, 1967-1990
(3 folders)
2 12 Digital Photographs of Artwork, 2004-2007
(six data disks)
2 13 Negatives and Transparencies, circa 1970s-1980s
Box Folder
3 1-3 Slides, 1970s-2006

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1960s-1980s
(Box 3-6, OV 7; 1.1 linear feet)

Artwork by Akers consists of one bound sketchbook, three three-dimensional studies, and 32 color studies for her weavings.

Box Folder
3 4 Sketchbook, circa 1960s-1970s
Box Folder
4 1 "Proposal #1," circa 1980s
Box Folder
5 1 "Proposal #2," circa 1980s
Box Folder
6 1 "Proposal #1," circa 1980s
OV 7 Color Studies, circa 1980s