Adolf Dehn papers, 1912-1987

A Finding Aid to the Adolf Dehn Papers, 1912-1987, in the Archives of American Art, by Kathleen Brown

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Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art

Table of Contents:

Biographical Information

Adolf Dehn (1895-1968) was well-known for his drawings, lithographs and watercolors which satirically chronicled the social and political milieu of his times, as well as poetic landscapes, many of which depicted the rolling hills and farmlands of his native Midwest. Although he worked mostly in New York, Dehn also spent substantial time traveling and working in Europe, the Middle East, South America, and the American mid-west.

Dehn was born on a farm in Waterville, Minnesota on November 22, 1895, he began his formal art education in 1914 at the Minneapolis School of Art (currently known as the Minneapolis College of Art and Design). As a student, his drawings were featured in the school's humor journal, The Minne-Ha-Ha and by 1917 he had published his first drawing in one of his favorite political journals, The Masses. Later that year he and fellow Minneapolis School of Art student Wanda G�g were among a select group of art students nationwide who won scholarships to the Art Students League of New York. After only eight months in New York, however, Dehn was drafted into the Army to serve in the final months of World War I, but he proclaimed himself as a conscientious objector and was sent to Camp Wadsworth in South Carolina for several months.

Dehn returned to New York, where his friend and mentor Boardman Robinson introduced him to lithography through the master printer George Miller and brought him to the Weyhe Gallery to meet Carl Zigrosser, an avid supporter of American printmakers. However, he soon left New York for Europe in September 1921 where he spent most of the following eight years. There he traveled with his sketchbooks to the cafes and opera houses of Berlin, Paris, and Vienna, as well as on hiking trips in the Alps. He became friends with the poet E.E. Cummings, Scofield Thayer, editor of The Dial, who published many of his drawings, and met the German artist, George Grosz, whose work he so admired. In addition to The Dial, his satirical drawings of jazz-age entertainments and European cafe life also appeared in , The Liberator, Jugend, Vanity Fair, and Simplicissimus. Finally during his stint in Europe, Dehn met and married the Russian dancer Mura Tsiperovitch. They were married in Vienna in 1926, but divorced sometime in the early 1930s.

Unfortunately Dehn's return to the United States coincided with the Great Depression of 1929 and sales of his work were slim. However in the 1930s, The New Yorker and Vogue began to publish his work. He continued to work in lithography and returned to Paris to work at the Atelier Desjobert, the print studio with whom he worked most closely throughout his life. In the late 1930s, Dehn began working in watercolors, mostly rural landscapes, and had a one man show of works in his new medium at Weyhe Gallery in 1938. In 1939 Dehn traveled through the Southwest and Mexico on his first Guggenheim Fellowship (he was awarded his second in 1951).

By the 1940s Dehn was an active member of both the American Artists Group and Associated American Artists; both organizations sought to popularize contemporary American Art, primarily through reproductions of fine art prints and commercial use of artists' designs on greeting card, calendars, and even wall paper. Appreciation for his lithographs and watercolors grew, and along with it his recognition. He also taught art classes a few summers; in the late 1930s at Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri where his friend Albert Janner-Christ was head of the art department and in the early 1940s at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, where friend and mentor Boardman Robinson was the director. In 1955 he published Watercolor, Gouache, and Casein Painting, a manual on technique. Throughout the rest of his life he continued to travel, not only returning to Europe, but also visiting Afganistan, Cuba, Haiti, and a trip to Venuzuala on assignment from Standard Oil to document the oil industry there. On many of his later trips, he was accompanied by his wife, fellow artist, Virginia Engleman Dehn, whom he had married in November 1947.

Near the end of his long career, Dehn was elected in 1961 to the National Academy of Design as a full academician. He was later elected to the National Academy of Arts and Letters. After his death in 1968, his wife Virginia worked with the University of Missouri Press on the catalog Adolf Dehn Drawings (Columbia: University of Missouri, 1971).

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Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

The papers of printmaker and painter Adolf Dehn measure 6.6 linear feet and date from 1912-1987. The collection contains extensive correspondence, as well as writings, exhibition announcements, catalogs, clippings, invoices, receipts, legal documents, scrapbooks, artwork, and photographs. There is also scattered correspondence of Virginia Dehn, mostly concerning her husband Adolf Dehn.

Found within the biographical materials are several address books, official travel documents, exhibition price lists, and a biographical sketch.

Correspondence, both personal and business, makes up the bulk of this collection. Dehn maintained long friendships with many fellow artists and his correspondence includes letters from Aaron Bohrod, Federico Castellon, Albert Christ-Janer, Wanda G�g, Gustav Goetsch, George Grosz, Reginald Marsh, Elizabeth Olds, Abraham Rattner, Boardman Robinson, Frederick Shane, William Smith, and Benton Spruance. Additional notable correspondents include print dealer and curator Carl Zigrosser; journalists Max Eastman, Joseph Freeman, Frederick Kuh; editor Scofield Thayer, and his former wife, the Russian dancer Mura Dehn (ne� Tsiperovitch). Business correspondence includes letters from art schools, associations, museums, and galleries affiliated with Dehn, including the Weyhe Gallery; Associated American Artists, a gallery that promoted American art to the middle classes; and the Kennedy Gallery, which represented the Dehn estate upon the artist's death. There is also correspondence from companies and organizations that commissioned commercial work from Dehn, such as greeting card publisher, American Artists Group . Finally the correspondence of Virginia Dehn includes letters to and from the University of Missouri Press related to the publication of Adolf Dehn Drawings and condolence cards and letters from friends and associates after the Adolf Dehn's death in May 1968.

Writings include manuscripts for Adolf Dehn's manual on painting technique, Watercolor, Gouache, and Casein Painting (Studio Publications, 1955), as well as his entries on technique and watercolor painting for Encyclopedia Britannica. Writings by others includes the catalog Adolf Dehn Drawings, prepared by his wife Virginia Dehn, and published in 1971 by the University of Missouri Press. There is also a journal with handwritten poems attributed to Eileen Hall Lake.

Printed materials consists of exhibition announcements and catalogs from galleries featuring Dehn's work including the Weyhe Gallery and Associated American Artists; art school brochures and newsletters from programs which Dehn attended or taught; and newspaper and magazine clippings including examples of his editorial cartoons, which appeared in The Liberator, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair, among other publications as well as clippings of news items related to the artist. This series also includes examples of Dehn's commercial work, such as book covers, calendars, and Christmas cards. Additional similar printed materials can be found in the scrapbooks. Artwork consists of only a few sketches attributed to Dehn, others to Eileen Lake Hall, and an etching by S.W. Hayter.

Dehn is well documented through numerous photographs, both alone and with others, including a portrait by the renowned photographer Andr� Kert�sz. Additional vintage photographs include Dehn with family members, friends, and a series of photographs taken with his wife, Virginia Dehn at Atelier Desjobert, where he had been making lithographs since the 1920s.

Arrangement and Series Description

The collection is arranged into 8 series:

Subjects and Names

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

  • American Artists Group
  • Associated American Artists
  • Atelier Desjobert
  • Bohrod, Aaron
  • Castell�n, Federico, 1914-1971
  • Christ-Janer, Albert, 1910-1973
  • Dehn, Mura
  • Dehn, Virginia E. (Virginia Engleman), 1922-2005
  • Eastman, Max, 1883-1969
  • Freeman, Joseph
  • Gag, Wanda, 1893-1946
  • Goetsch, Gustav F.S (Gustav Frederick), 1877-1969
  • Grosz, George, 1893-1959
  • Hayter, Stanley William, 1901-1988
  • Kennedy Galleries
  • Kert�sz, Andr�, photographer
  • Kuh, Frederick, 1895-1978
  • Lake, Eileen Hall
  • Marsh, Reginald, 1898-1954
  • Mitchell, Olivia Dehn
  • Olds, Elizabeth, 1896-1991
  • Rattner, Abraham
  • Robinson, Boardman, 1876-1952
  • Shane, Fred, 1906-
  • Smith, William Arthur, 1918-1989
  • Spruance, Benton, 1904-1967
  • Thayer, Scofield, b. 1889
  • University of Missouri Press
  • Zigrosser, Carl, 1891-
  • Etchings
  • Graphic arts--New York (State)--New York
  • Manuscripts
  • Painters--New York (State)--New York
  • Painting--Technique
  • Photographs
  • Poems
  • Printmakers--New York (State)--New York
  • Scrapbooks
  • Sketches


The Adolf Dehn papers were donated in several installments from 1966 to 1985 by Adolf Dehn and his wife Virginia. Dehn's sisters, Viola Dehn Tiala and Olivia Dehn Mitchell, separately donated additional materials in 1971 and 1972 respectively. Finally in 1989, Lillian Morrison, a friend and editor, donated a published book of Mura Dehn's poetry and a four page draft of a letter signed by Adolf Dehn.

Separated and Related Materials

Printed materials, including exhibition announcements, catalogs, magazines, and newspaper and magazine clippings, were filmed on reel 287 and transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library in 1972.

Olivia Dehn Mitchell, Dehn's sister, loaned approximately 750 letters from Adolf Dehn to various family members, to the Archives of American Art for microfilming on reels 2938-2939. The original letters were returned and have not been described in the container listing of this finding aid. In 1976, Eve Peterson, a friend of the Dehn family, loaned a photograph of Adolf Dehn and friends at Dehn's studio in Paris for microfilming on reel 1817 (fr. 1336-1338.) The photograph was returned but may be viewed on microfilm.

How the Collection was Processed

Beginning with the first accession in 1966, each accession received preliminary processing sometime after receipt and portions were also also microfilmed reels 283, 287, 1048-1049, and 3134; this film is no longer in circulation. All accessions were merged, re-processed and described in this finding aid by Kathleen Brown in 2009 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

Use of originals requires an appointment.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The Adolf Dehn 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

Adolf Dehn papers, 1912-1981. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1920-1968
(Box 1; 10 folders)

This series includes address books, a biographical sketch, insurance policies, interview transcript, exhibition price lists, and leases. A folder of travel documents consists of correspondence, a set of fingerprints, and official government documents, obtained for a trip to Venezuela on assignment from Standard Oil to create art documenting the oil industry and contribution to the war efforts. Additionally there is a folder labeled government documents that contains a registration card and two affidavits signed by Dehn; one in connection with his 1926 marriage to Mura Dehn (ne� Tsiperovich) and the other is in support of a U.S. non-immigrant visa for Willis Bock. Notably, exhibition price lists includes a list of lithographs that Dehn made with the master printer Desjobert in Paris, between July 1 and October 23, 1961.

Folders in this series are arranged in alphabetical order by folder title.

Box Folder
1 1-2 Address Books, circa 1920-1968
(2 folders)
1 3 Biographical Sketch for Who's Who in Art, 1951
1 4 Interview Transcript - Adolf Dehn and K. Osis, 1963, March 21
1 5 Exhibition Price Lists, 1942-1965
1 6 Government Documents, 1926-1942
1 7 Insurance Policies, 1939-1942
1 8 Leases and Cornwall Town Deed, 1940-1944, circa 1968-1969
1 9 Medical Certificates, 1949
1 10 Travel Documents - Venezuela and Paris, 1944-1945, circa 1963

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1919-1982
(Boxes 1-4; 3.5 linear feet)

Series is comprised of Adolf Dehn's personal and professional correspondence, consisting of letters, postcards, greeting cards, and telegrams from family, close friends, artists, dealers, collectors and museum directors. Additionally there is a separate group of Virginia Dehn's correspondence. More detailed description is provided at the subseries level.

The Correspondence series is arranged into 3 subseries:

2.1: General and Personal Correspondence, circa 1919-1982

Files consist of letters and cards that document his relationships with family, friends, artists and associates and to a lesser extent his work processes and travels. Letters written by Adolf Dehn are also included in this subseries, both in separate folders that primarily contain letters to his first wife Mura, and scattered throughout the subseries in the form of drafted responses to other correspondents.

Notable correspondents include fellow artists George Biddle, Aaron Bohrod, Albert Christ-Janer, Wanda G�g, Reginald Marsh, Abraham Rattner, Boardman Robinson and Frederick Shane; associates from political and literary magazines including Max Eastman, Joseph Freeman, Frederick Kuh, and Scofield Thayer; and former gallery director and print curator Carl Zigrosser. The letters of artist Federico Castellon may be of particular interest as they contain numerous mentions of printmaking processes and descriptions of working with Parisian master printers Desjobert and Dimitri, with whom Dehn also worked.

General and personal correspondence is arranged in alphabetical order by last name of the correspondent when it is known, and first name when it is not; there is also a file of unidentified correspondents. As a general rule, when extant, envelopes precede cards and letters and enclosures follow. Envelopes, which had at some earlier point been separated from correspondence, and get well cards are arranged in files at the end of the series.

Box Folder
1 11-14 Alexander, Sidney and Frances, circa 1951-1972
(4 folders)
1 15 A, 1941-1965
  • A., Ethel
  • Adler, Elmer
  • Adlerblum, Clara
  • Alpine Lodge Resort
  • American Consular Service
  • Arms, John Taylor
  • Audubon Artists, Inc.
  • Auerbach-Levy
1 16 Bock, Valeska, 1927-1947
1 17-21 Bock, Willis, circa 1930-1932, 1952
(5 folders)
1 22 Bohrod, Aaron, 1945-1968
1 23 Braun, Phyllis and Sidney, circa 1959-1968
1 24 Breitman, Bebik, 1951-1962
1 25 Bridgman, Mrs. Luther ("Boots"), 1963-1974
1 26 Butler, Joseph and Dorothy, circa 1963-1973
1 27 B, circa 1929-1968
  • Baker, Mildred
  • Barber, John
  • Barber, Joseph
  • Bassett, Lawrence
  • Bean, Marshall
  • Beecher, Catharine
  • Bendiner, Alfred
  • Benney, Robert
  • Berenda, Dr. Ruth
  • Berly, Rosario
  • Bernstein, Lumarie
  • Biddle, George
  • Biddle, Michael ?
  • Blanch, Arnold
  • Boni, charles
  • Booth, Cameron
  • Bowser, Frank
  • Brenner, Dan
  • Brown, Gladys
  • Bui[ck], Jacob
1 28-31 Castellon, Federico and Hilda, 1961-1974
(4 folders)
1 32 Christ-Janer, Albert, 1940-1971
1 33 Church, John and Noreen, circa 1961-1972
1 34 C, 1935-1967
  • California State Library
  • Calow, Richard
  • Canad�, Eugene
  • Chadeayne, Bob
  • Chambers, George
  • Chappell, Warren
  • Christ-Janer, Marylon and Ed
  • Clapp, Eleanor
  • Clements, Frank Milton
  • Clohset, Virginia
  • Cochran, Daisy Dehn
  • Cole, Sylvan
  • Cond� Nast
  • Crafts, James
  • Crowell, Robert
  • Crowninshield, Frank
  • Curry, William Lee
1 35-38 Dehn, Adolf (to Mura Dehn), circa 1928-1930
(4 folders)
1 39 Dehn, Adolf, circa 1922-1960
1 40 Dehn, Arthur and Emilie, 1922-1946, 1963
1 41 Dehn Family, 1940 and undated
1 42-44 Dehn, Mura, circa 1924-1939, 1969
(3 folders)
1 45 D, circa 1920-1968
  • Davidson, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur O.
  • De[l], Maggie
  • DeKnight, [Avel?]
  • DePeri, Jean
  • Desjobert, Nicole and Philippe
  • Diamond, Lillian
  • Diamond, Sigmund and Shirley
  • Dorne, Albert
  • Dorne, Edna
1 46 Eggers, Alleyene, circa 1933-1935
1 47 E, circa 1924-1967
  • Eastman, Max
  • Eberman, Edwin
  • Egilsrud, Johan S.
  • Eichenberg, Fritz
  • Elser, Helen
  • Elwell, Lulu (Mrs. Hector H.)
  • Er[?], A.
  • Eulau, Henrietta
1 48 Freeman, Joseph, 1925-1927
1 49 F, 1941-1968
  • Fitzpatrick, D.R.
  • Florsheim, Richard
  • Forni, Florence
  • Foster, Betty
  • Frickel, Genevieve
  • Fuller, Mary (Mrs. B. Frank)
1 50-51 G�g, Wanda, 1919-1927
(2 folders)
Box Folder
2 1-3 G�g, Wanda, 1919-1927
(3 folders)
2 4 Gundlach, Robert and Maggie, 1961-1968
2 5 G, circa 1921-1968
  • Gahn, Joseph A.
  • Garfield, George
  • Getlein, Frank
  • Geyer, Linda
  • Gibson, Lydia
  • Gille, Marjorie
  • Godfrey
  • Goebel, Dorothy
  • Goetsch, Gustav
  • Golden, Allen
  • Goldstein, Ben
  • Gonz�lez, Xavier
  • Goodridge, Elinor
  • Greathouse, W.S.
  • Greenstein, Ben
  • Greenwood, Marion
  • Griffel, Maurice
  • Grosz, George
  • Guitar, Mary Anne
2 6 Hempel, Mayra, 1936-1937
2 7 Heyman, Marcus, 1941, circa 1963-1968
2 8 Howland, Gareth, 1919-1925
2 9 Humans, Maria, 1945
2 10 H-J, 1922-1968
  • Hagerman, Percy
  • Hale, Robert B.
  • Hamaguchi, Yozo
  • Harbeson, John
  • Harrison, B[ob?]
  • Haskell, Helen (Mrs. Douglas)
  • Hechenbleikner, Louis
  • Hein
  • Helck, Peter
  • Hempel, Willy
  • Hendricks, Harry
  • Hennefrund, Elizabeth
  • Hodgins, Eric and Eleanor
  • Hoessein, M
  • Horner, Peter
  • Howell, A[?] (Mrs. Peter)
  • Humphreys, Earle
  • Huntley, Victoria
  • Inokuma, Genichiro
  • Jacobs, M.E.
  • Jensen, Karen Marie
  • Jolink, Bette
2 11 Kuh, Frederick and Renata, 1919-1969
2 12 K, 1940-1968
  • K., Homer[?]
  • Keady, Joe (G.J.)
  • Kent, Sally
  • Klau, Judy
  • Klein, Samuel
  • Klemm, Robert (Mrs. Douglas)
  • Knight, Eric
  • Knight, Jere
  • Kretzmann, Adalbert Raphael
  • Kruse, Vera
  • Kumar, Ravi
2 13-19 Lake, Eileen Hall, circa 1933-1943
(7 folders)
2 20 Larrabee, Harold, 1919-1927, 1965
2 21 Lee, Etta, 1932
2 22 Lull, Jeri (Mrs. E. E.), 1968-1972
2 23 L, circa 1920-1968
  • L[?], Jo Ouren
  • La Steed, G[?]
  • Lall, Kiran ("Tookie")
  • Lamping, Mrs. Bernard
  • Landau, Fran
  • Lauritz, Paul
  • Lebeau, Frank (Mrs. Douglas)
  • Lee, Doris
  • Lewis, Sinclair
  • Lie, Jonas
  • Lichtenstein, Samuel
  • Litchfield, Donald
  • Logue, Alberta
  • Lotos Club
  • Luid, Helen
2 24 McBride, Irene, 1937
2 25 Mitchell, Olivia Dehn, 1922 and undated
2 26 M, 1926-1968
  • MacGregor, Robert
  • Mack, Caroline
  • Magill, Wallace
  • Malkin, Jean
  • Malkine, Yvette Ledoux
  • Mandel, Estelle
  • Manuelito, Dennis
  • Marbury, Elizabeth
  • Marks, Gerald
  • Marsh, Felicia
  • Marsh, Reginald
  • M�rtens, Klaus
  • Mayers, Ralph and Bena
  • Maxwell, Donald
  • McBride, Henry
  • McCue, Lillian
  • McGee, Olivia
  • McGeeney, Joe
  • McIntyre, Jen and Bob[?]
  • McPhill, Peter
  • Milch, Harold and Harriet
  • Miller, Charles
  • Moe, Vesta (Mrs. Lester)
  • Monahan, Gene
  • Moore, Douglas
  • Moore, Ruth
  • Moyer, Verna
  • Muench, Jack
  • Muir, Willa
  • Mulloy, John
2 27 N-O, circa 1941-1967
  • Nash, William
  • Navas, Elizabeth
  • Nuessle, Amelia
  • Nuessle, William "Bill"
  • Oldfield, E.
  • Olds, Elizabeth
  • Olesen, Anna Dickie
  • Orloff, Arthur
2 28-29 Orcutt, Lillian, 1919-1968
(2 folders)
2 30 Pracht, Gretchen, 1954-1973
2 31 P, 1941-1965
  • Pearson, John
  • Peters, Carol
  • Pfister, Ed
  • Pierce, Bruce
  • Plyer, Freddy
  • Polk, R. Brooke
  • Pritchard, Beth
  • Pollack, Raphael
  • Pollak, D.
2 32 Rattner, Abraham and Esther, circa 1965-1967
2 33-34 Robinson, Boardman "Mike," 1920-1946
(2 folders)
2 35 R, circa 1919-1966
  • R[?bert], Janice
  • Reinhardt, Ed
  • Riccius, Hermann
  • Richardson, Rebecca
  • Roesler, Nora (Mrs. C.G.)
  • Rose, Dorothy
  • Rosenhauft, Hans
  • Rosenev, Simon
  • Ruotolo, Onorio
  • Ryan, Marion
2 36 Schreiber, Georges, 1944, 1961-1972
2 37 Shane, Frederick, 1941-1944
(5 of the 6 letters are illustrated)
2 38-42 Smith, William, 1958-1974
(5 folders)
2 43-44 S, circa 1919-1968
(2 folders)
  • S., Ellen
  • Salinas, Marcel and Sue
  • Sargent, Lynda
  • Sch[?], Sonia
  • Scherman, Harry
  • Schlesinger, Edward
  • Schless, G.
  • Schmelkebier, Alexandra
  • Schoenberg, Carolyn
  • Scholl, Phoebe K.
  • Schwedel, J. B. Dr.
  • Scott, Hugo
  • Seem, Martha
  • Seldes, Gilbert
  • Seldes, Helen and George
  • Seward, William
  • Shelly, Charlotte
  • Shufelt, Velra Hutchinson
  • Shweig, Martye
  • Slidell, Mrs. John (Hallie Brooke)
  • Slotnick, M.
  • Smalley, Ernest
  • Smith, Bill
  • Smith, M
  • Smith, Maghe
  • Sparks, Maebelle
  • Spicer, Alice
  • Spruance, Benton
  • Steffe[ri?], B.
  • Stengel, Leni
  • Stephen, Harry
  • Stuart, Bruce
  • Swift, Dick
2 45 Thayer, Scofield, circa 1923-1926
2 46 Tiala, Viola Dehn, 1919-1942, 1968
2 47 Timberman, Elizabeth ("Timmy"), 1943-1945
Box Folder
3 1-2 Timberman, Elizabeth ("Timmy"), 1943-1945
(2 folders)
3 3 T, circa 1926-1965
  • Thayer, Ellen
  • Thompson, Nat
  • Tiala, Al
  • Trounstine, John
  • Tsiperovitch, Boris
  • Tsiperovitch, David
  • Tuckerman, Elise
3 4 U-V, circa 1936-1964
  • Uhry, Alene
  • Ultes, Elizabeth
  • Untermeyer, Louis
  • Van Veem, Felicia
  • Veltman, Joyce
  • Vereisky, Orest
  • Vroom, Peter
3 5-8 Woodul, Sallie
(4 folders)
3 9 W, circa 1931-1968
  • Wakita, Kazu
  • Weedon, Ella Howell
  • Weinstein, Max
  • Weithman, Joan
  • Wengenroth, Stow
  • West, Clifford
  • Wilder, M.A.
  • Wilke, Wyert[?]
  • Wunderlich, Paul
3 10 Zigrosser, Carl, 1926-1966
3 11 Zinker, Ann, 1932
3 12 Z, circa 1960-1968
  • Zecher, Alice
  • Zellmer, Rev. N.W. (Nel)
  • Zeitt, Elizabeth
  • Zinders, Earl
  • Zucker, Paul
  • Zuckers, Jacques and Nina
3 13 First Name Only-"A-B,," circa 1960-1968
3 14 First Name Only-"C-I,," circa 1926-1968
3 15 First Name Only-"J-N,," circa 1920-1968
3 16 First Name Only-O-S, circa 1927-1968
3 17 First Name Only-V-Y, 1925, 1962
3 18 Unidentified, circa 1920-1968
3 19-20 Get Well Cards, circa 1968
(2 folders)
3 21 Envelopes, circa 1919-1946

2.2: Business Correspondence, circa 1923-1982

Business correspondence documents Dehn's career and professional associations. Files consist of letters from galleries, museum directors, collectors, publishers, researchers, greeting card companies, researchers, and government officials.

Gallery correspondence includes exhibitions lists, consignment lists, sales invoices and accounts and records galleries from across the United States that sold Dehn's prints and watercolors. Business correspondence documents early representation of his work by the Weyhe Gallery and his long association with both Associated American Artists, an art gallery that marketed art, primarily prints, to the middle class; and American Artists Group, a greeting card company, an organization created to provide work for artists during the Depression by commissioning original artwork. Generally, correspondence from museums and universities contains information about exhibitions of Dehn's work.

Files are arranged in alphabetical order by name of organization. Individuals, most of whom contacted Dehn to purchase prints or request information, are listed by their last names.

Box Folder
3 22 A. Lubin, Inc., circa 1964-1966
3 23-24 American Artists Group, 1943-1982
(2 folders)
3 25 American Watercolor Society, 1955-1969
3 26 Art Source, 1968-1969
3 27-28 Associated American Artists, 1936-1974
3 29 A, 1942-1973
  • A.B. Closson, Jr. Co.
  • Abbott Laboratories
  • Addison Gallery of American Art
  • Allentown Art Museum
  • Allied Publications, Inc.
  • American Federation of Arts
  • American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA)
  • American National Red Cross
  • Amon Carter Museum of Western Art
  • Archives of American Art
  • Argus Gallery
  • Art Directors Club
  • Art Museum of the New Britain Institute
  • Art Students League of New York
  • Associated Artists of Pittsburgh
  • Audobon Artists
3 30 Boro Art Center, 1963-1968
3 31 B, 1950-1966
  • Bay Head Cultural Center
  • Balfe, Jim
  • Baltimore Museum of Art
  • Birmingham Museum of Art
  • Bisonte
  • Book-of-the-Month Club
  • Brooklyn Museum
  • Brown and Bigelow
  • Brown, Gladys
  • Butler Institute of American Art
3 32-35 Carlin Galleries, circa 1962-1977
(4 folders)
3 36 Century Association, circa 1959-1968
3 37 Claire Fox Art Gallery, circa 1962-1967
3 38 C-D, 1941-1981
  • Capricorn Galleries
  • Cargill, Incorporated
  • Carnegie Institute
  • Carter Travel Service
  • Charles and Emma Frye Free Public Art Museum
  • Charles E. Slatkin Galleries
  • Chase Gallery
  • Chemstrand
  • Cincinnati Art Museum
  • Clarkson N. Potter, Inc.
  • Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Clugston, Sue
  • Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
  • Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company
  • Copins, Edna
  • Country Beautiful
  • Cushing Galleries
  • Daytons Department Store
  • DePauw University (John Cain)
  • Doeskin Products
  • Drake, Lawrence
3 39 E-F, 1937-1968
  • Edmond et Jacques Desjobert
  • Embassy of the United States - Athens, Greece
  • Encyclopedia Britannica
  • Estelle Mandel
  • Famous Artists Schools
  • Farrar and Rinehart
  • Federal Support for the Visual Arts
  • Fendrick Gallery
  • Field Enterprises Educational Corporation
  • Fine American Art Calendar Program
  • Fine Arts Associates
  • Finlandia Foundation
  • Fireman's Fund American Insurance Companies
  • Fischer, Rosamond
  • Ford Foundation
  • Fortune
  • Frank Partridge Gallery of Contemporary Artists
3 40-42 Gallery 10, circa 1959-1967
(3 folders)
3 43 Grinnell Galleries, 1965-1970
3 44 G, circa 1956-1966
  • Gallant, Mrs. W.E.
  • Gallery of Modern Art
  • General Theological Seminary
  • Geo. Nix Gallery
  • Gimbel Brothers
  • Glassboro State College
  • Granrud, Carl F.
  • Grier, William H.
Box Folder
4 1 Heath Gallery, 1968-1968
4 2 H, circa 1929-1968
  • Haley, Anne
  • Harmon Foundation
  • Harry Salpeter Gallery, Inc.
  • Hendrika Hobbelink Kaastra Gallery
  • Horner, Peter
  • Houghton Mifflin Company
  • Huntington Township Art League
4 3 I.F.A. Galleries, 1962-1964
4 4 International Graphic Arts Society (IGAS), 1961-1967
4 5 I-J, 1958-1968
  • Indiana Bank and Trust Company
  • International Art Publishing Co.
  • Ithaca College
  • J.J. Little and Ives Co.
  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
  • John Price Jones Company
4 6-7 Kennedy Galleries, circa 1969-1975
(2 folders)
4 8 K-L, 1923, 1943-1970
  • Keady, Joseph (G.J.)
  • Kenneth W. Brooks, A.I.A.
  • Ketterlinus Lithographic Manufacturing Company
  • Kircher, Helton and Collett, Inc.
  • Krasner Gallery
  • Le Sueur Country Historical Society
  • Lezius and Hiles Co.
  • The Liberater
  • Library of Congress
  • Living American Art
  • Look
  • Loring's Art Gallery
  • Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation
  • Louisiana State University
  • Low, Sanford B.
  • Lutheran Brotherhood
4 9 McKnight, Henry T., 1960-1961
4 10 M, 1945-1968
  • Macy's New York
  • Mark Twain Journal
  • Maxwell Galleries
  • McCormick, Madelaine
  • Michigan State College
  • Mickelson Gallery
  • Milch Galleries
  • Miller, Frank
  • Minneapolis (City of)
  • The Minneapolis Star and Tribune
  • Minneapolis School of Art
  • Minnetonka Center of Arts and Education
  • Mitch Morse Gallery
  • Montclair Art Museum
  • Mostro Internazionale di Lugano di Bianco e Nero
  • Mulert, Johan
  • Museum of Modern Art, New York
4 11 National Academy of Design, 1960-1966
4 12 National Institute of Arts and Letters, 1961-1968
4 13 N-O, circa 1939-1966
  • The Nation
  • National Arts Club
  • National Council of Jewish Women
  • National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
  • New Britain Museum of American Art
  • New York Times (John Canaday)
  • Newark Museum
  • New York World's Fair
  • Nina Kaiden Ruder and Finn
  • O'Dwyer and Bernstien
  • Office of the Postmaster, New York
  • Ohio Expositions Commission
  • Ohio State Fair
  • Ohio University
  • Optometric Center of New York
4 14 Print Club (Philadelphia), 1954-1977
4 15 Print Council of America, 1957-1963
4 16 P-R, 1934-1974
  • Pepsi-Cola
  • Palm Springs Desert Museum
  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
  • Peter M. David Gallery
  • Philadelphia Art Alliance
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Pratt Center for Contemporary Printmaking
  • Prentice-Hall
  • Print Club of Rochester
  • Rochester Art Center
  • Rockefeller University
  • Rosenwald, Lessing J.
  • Roth and Riseman
  • Rudolph Galleries
4 17 Society of American Graphic Artists, 1948-1972
4 18 State of New York - Department of Taxation and Finance, 1955-1960
4 19 Studio North, 1968-1970
4 20 S, 1951-1967
  • Sachs Quality Stores
  • St. Peter's Episcopal Church
  • Seward, William W.
  • Sigmund Freud Archives, New York
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Stamford Museum and Nature Center
  • State Historical Society of Missouri
  • Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences
  • Styline
  • Syracuse University
4 21 Tahir Gallery, 1974
4 22 T-U, 1949-1966
  • Temple University
  • Thieme, Lillian B.
  • University of Maine
  • University of Minnesota
  • Union Tipografica Editorial Hispano Americana (UTEHA)
4 23 United States Department of State, 1949-1964
4 24 United States Gypsum Company, 1964
4 25 United States Information Agency, 1964
4 26 University of Missouri, 1960-1962
4 27 Veltman Gallery, 1960-1964
4 28-29 Vera Lazuk Gallery, circa 1952-1968
(2 folders)
4 30 Viking Press, 1953-1972
4 31 V-Y, 1947-1966
  • Verlag Mensch und Arbeit
  • Village Art Center
  • Voice of American
  • Wadsworth Atheneum
  • Wagner College
  • Waldemar Medical Research Foundation
  • Walker Art Center
  • WCET
  • Weddige, Emil
  • Werner, Alfred
  • Who's Who
  • Woodmere Art Festival
  • World Biography
  • York Art Center

2.3: Virginia Dehn Correspondence, 1968-1979

Files consist of the general, personal and business correspondence of Virginia Dehn. General A-Z correspondence includes both personal letters, including notes her sister-in-law Viola Tiala recalling Dehn's early years and business letters, primarily from galleries and museums concerning her or her late husband's art work. There are separate files of condolence letters and cards received from friends and associates. Additionally there are several files of correspondence with the University of Missouri Press related to the publication of a book on the prints and drawings of Adolf Dehn, which includes signed contracts and third-party correspondence with Dehn collectors.

While additional Virginia Dehn correspondence is scattered throughout the other correspondence subseries, this grouping was established, presumably by the creator, and has been retained. General correspondence is arranged alphabetically; insurance and University of Missouri Press correspondence is arranged chronologically; and condolence cards and letters are in no specific order.

Box Folder
4 31-32 General A-Z, 1966-1979
(2 folders)
  • Artists Equity Association
  • Biddle, George
  • Bohrod, Aaron
  • Bowser, Frank
  • Chelsea Art Festival
  • Constantine, Mildred
  • Dasburg, Al and Ann
  • Eastern States Art Exhibition
  • Fiene, Ernest
  • Gareck, Mr. and Mrs. Robert
  • Granrud, Carl
  • International Exhibitions Foundation
  • Larcada Gallery
  • Lewis
  • Oehlschlaeger, Everett
  • Ogg, Oscar
  • Perls, Frank
  • Peter M. David Gallery
  • Phamp, Evelyn
  • Pope, Mrs. John
  • Preventive Medicine Institute-Strang Clinic
  • Smith, Kim
  • Solomon, Elke
  • Sussman, Bonnie K.
  • Tiala, Violet
  • Zigrosser, Carl
4 33 General - First Names Only, circa 1966-1974
4 34-37 Condolence Letters, 1968
(4 folders)
4 38 Condolence Cards, 1968
4 39 Insurance Companies, 1968-1979
4 40-43 University of Missouri Press, 1968-1976
(4 folders)
4 44 University of Missouri Press - Insurance, 1970

Series 3: Writings, circa 1920-1971
(Boxes 4-5; 0.25 linear feet)

Found in this series are manuscripts, typescripts, and author's proofs of works written by Dehn and others. The bulk of this series consists of professional writings by Dehn including a drafts of articles on watercolor paintings and techniques for the Encyclopedia Britannica; the typescript and author's proof's for his book Watercolor, Gouache, and Casein Painting (1955); and profiles of artists Alois Lang and Boardman Robinson. Writings by others include a draft for Adolf Dehn Drawings, which was published by the University of Missouri Press, as well as poetry attributed to Eileen Hall Lake.

Files in this series are arranged alphabetically by title; supplied titles and author attributions were derived from creator's file titles. The Writing series is arranged into two subseries:

3.1: Writings, circa 1920-1968

Box Folder
4 45 "Boardman Robinson as I Know Him," circa 1952-1968
4 46 Famous Artists School - Painting Techniques, 1956
4 47 "Looking for E. Dreams,," undated
4 48 "Portrait of Alois Lang at Oberammergau,," circa 1920s
4 49 "Technique" for Encyclopedia Britannica, circa 1955
4 50-51 Watercolor, Gouache, and Casein Painting, 1954-1955
(2 folders)
4 52 "Watercolor Painting in the United States" for Encyclopedia Britannica, 1955

3.2: Writings by Others, circa 1924-1971

Box Folder
4 53-54 Adolf Dehn Drawings by Virginia Dehn, circa 1970-1971
(2 folders)
4 55 Art Criticism (about Dehn), circa 1940-1968
4 56 Poems by Eileen Hall Lake, circa 1930s
Box Folder
5 1 Poetry Journal (attributed to Eileen Hall Lake), 1924-1936

Series 4: Financial Records, 1936-1965
(Box 5; 0.45 linear feet)

Found in this series are invoices and receipts, the bulk of which are from Associated American Artists, which document works on consignment, artist account information, as well as receipts for framing and photography services, There is also a file of travel related receipts and another of receipts for medical treatment. Federal and state income tax returns for the years 1940-1942 are also included in this series.

Documents are arranged by in chronological order by type.

Box Folder
5 2-4 Invoices and Receipts (Associated American Artists), 1937-1947
(3 folders)
5 5-6 Invoices and Receipts, 1936-1965
(2 folders)
5 7 State and Federal Income Tax Returns, 1940-1942

Series 5: Printed Materials, circa 1915-1987
(Boxes 5-6; 1.2 linear feet)

Items in this series include exhibition announcements, catalogs, brochures, clippings, article reprints, programs, and other publications. There are also examples of Dehn's commercial work, including Christmas cards, calendars featuring Dehn's watercolor scenes, and a sample of wallpaper, as well as reproductions of his fine art work.

Exhibitions announcements and catalogs are for one-man exhibitions and group shows that featured his art, with scattered announcements and catalogs for other artists work, including his wife Virginia Dehn. Catalogs and announcements from Associated American Artists document limited edition prints, Christmas cards, and other object by their artist members that were available for sale. Included was a catalog of Dehn prints and portfolios to mark his twenty fifth year as a celebrated printmaker; this catalog is a source of valuable information about Dehn's print oeuvre as it includes image, titles, creation dates, plate dimensions and prices. There is also announcements and brochures from The Adolf Dehn Print Club, a print society established by the artist in 1934 to promote and distribute his work.

Clippings are primarily about Dehn and his work, but there are also scattered articles on other artists, art criticism and general news items. Publications include two issues of Improvisations, a journal published in conjunction with the Artists Equity Associations annual Spring Fantasia, in which the artists contributed illustrations for sympathetic advertisers and a book of poetry by Mura Dehn, the artists first wife.

Other printed materials found in this series include publishers catalogs that contained books illustrated by Dehn, art school brochures and newsletters from programs at which Dehn taught or attended, event programs, and an annotated insurance company calendar. Additional printed materials can be found in Dehn's scrapbooks.

Items have been grouped together by document type; within files documents are in rough chronological order.

Box Folder
5 8 Adolf Dehn Print Club Materials, circa 1934-1937
5 9-10 Announcements and Catalogs - Associated American Artists, crica 1940s-1979
(2 folders)
5 11-17 Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1924-1982
(7 folders)
5 18 Exhibition Annoucements and Catalogs - Virginia Dehn, 1961-1980
5 19 General Catalogs and Programs, circa 1922-1970
5 20 Art School Brochures and Newletters, 1942-1971
5 21 Ephemera, circa 1930, 1962
5 22 Commercial Work, 1950-1968
5 23 Reproductions of Artwork, circa 1950 and undated
5 24 Magazine Clippings, circa 1929-1977
5 25 Magazine Clippings - The Minne-Ha-Ha, 1915-1916
5 26-28 Newspaper Clippings, circa 1920-1970
(3 folders)
Box Folder
6 1 Improvisions, 1953
6 2 Improvisions, 1954
6 3 Lion Tamer and Other Poems by Mura Dehn, 1987
6 4 Object: Every American an Art Patron, 1945
6 5 Red Cartoons from the Daily Worker, 1926

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1912-1968
(Boxes 6-7: 0.5 linear feet)

This series consists of three scrapbooks. One scrapbook contains clippings of editorial cartoons by Dehn's mentor and friend, the artist Boardman Robinson; the other two scrapbooks contain clippings, editorial cartoons, and exhibition announcements related to Dehn. Additionally there are several files of loose items that have become separated from the scrapbooks that contained them. There is a file of loose items that has been labeled "Extra Items from Scrapbook," a title provided by an earlier processor for a discrete group of documents that consist of a handwritten biographical note, photographs, and clippings. It is not known which scrapbook originally contained these items.

One of the Dehn scrapbooks (Scrapbook I) is comprised of large loose sheets on which clippings, editorial cartoons, telegrams, programs, and exhibition announcements have been affixed. Included among the files of loose items are two early ink drawings of Gibson Girls by Dehn, posters, examples of his Christmas cards, as well as additional clippings and exhibition announcements.

The other scrapbook (Scrapbook II) contains similar items, the bulk of which have remained affixed to the pages. Although unbound, the pages are stored within the front and back covers. Dehn's faded monogram is visible on the front cover. This scrapbook begins with a high school graduation announcement from 1914 and contains clippings and exhibition announcements that span from that early date to 1942. It also includes a loose 1929 announcement from the Weyhe Gallery, which contains a brief note to his mother and sister reporting early sales of his work form the exhibition.

Additional clippings, exhibition announcements, as well as examples of Dehn's editorial cartoons, magazine covers, and Christmas card designs can be found in the Printed Materials series.

The large sheets of Scrapbook I, as well as oversize loose items, have been arranged in rough chronological order. The clippings and other detached items from Scrapbook I have been arranged by format and date into several standard sized files. Due to the presence of adhesive residue, these files are heavily interleaved.

Box Folder
6 6 Scrapbook - Boardman Robinson Editorial Cartoons, 1912-1914
6 7 Scrapbook I, circa 1912-1945
(Comprised of loose oversize sheets, distributed amongst 6 folders, located in Box 7)
6 8-13 Scrapbook I - Loose Items, circa 1912-1945
(6 folders; oversize loose items are located in Box 7)
6 14 Scrapbook II, circa 1914-1942
(Oversize scrapbook is located in Box 7)
6 15 Extra Items from Scrapbook, circa 1917-1968
7 (sol) Oversize Scrapbook I Sheets and Loose Items, circa 1912-1945
(related items located in Box 6, Folders 8-13)
7 (sol) Oversize Scrapbook II, circa 1914-1942

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1920-1945
(Box 6; 3 folders)

This series contains sketches and artwork by Dehn and others. Items include 4 sketches attributed to Adolf Dehn; graphite and ink sketches attributed to Eileen Hall Lake, which were originally stored with her poetry journal that can be found in the subseries Writings by Others; and an etching by S.W. Hayter.

Artwork files are arranged in alphabetical order by the artist's last name.

Box Folder
6 16 Sketches attributed to Adolf Dehn, 1929-1935 and undated
6 17 Etching by S.W. Hayter, 1944
6 18 Sketches attributed to Eileen Hall Lake, circa 1920s-1930s

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1912-1961
(Boxes 6 and 8; 8 folders)

Photographs in this series include a vintage gelatin silver print portrait of Adolf Dehn by Andr� Kert�sz;, vintage photographs of Dehn with family members; Dehn with friends, including Lawrence Barnett, Federico Castellon, Albert Christ-Janer; with his former wife Mura; two sets of photobooth photographs taken on separate occasions with Eileen Hall Lake and Willis Bock; and a series of photographs of Adolf and Virginia taken at Atelier Desjobert. Many of these vintage photographs are annotated on the verso. There is also a panoramic view of Camp Wadsworth, Spartenburg, South Carolina, where Dehn was detained as a conscientious objector of World War I. Also found are several photographic reproductions of Dehn's drawings, lithographs, and watercolors.

Box Folder
6 19 Adolf Dehn Portrait by Andr� Kert�sz, circa 1928
(copy print and negative in folder; matted vintage print is located in Box 8)
6 20 Adolf Dehn Portraits, circa 1920-1950
(2 vintage portraits)
6 21 Adolf Dehn Alone and With Others, circa 1912-1961
(97 vintage photographs)
6 22 Willis Bock Portraits, circa 1930s
(4 studio portraits of Willis Bock)
6 23 Eileen Hall Lake and others, circa 1934-1943
(27 photographs)
6 24 Etta Lee, Yo-Hay-Tong, and Unidentified People, circa 1920s-1930s
(6 photographs)
6 25 Panoramic View of Camp Wadsworth, Spartanburg, South Carolina, 1918
(Oversize photograph torn in 4 pieces; located in Box 7)
6 26 Reproductions of Artwork, circa 1929-1958
(16 photographs)
8 Oversize Adolf Dehn Portrait by Andr� Kert�sz, circa 1928
8 Oversize Panoramic View of Camp Wadsworth, Spartanburg, South Carolina, 1918