Antonio Sotomayor papers, circa 1920-1988

A Finding Aid to the Antonio Sotomayor Papers, circa 1920-1988, in the Archives of American Art, by Stephanie Ashley

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Table of Contents:

Biographical Information

Antonio Sotomayor was born in Bolvia and came to San Francisco in 1923. He was educated at the Escuela de Belleas Arts in La Paz and the Hopkins Institute of Art in San Francisco. Primarily known for his murals and paintings, Sotomayor was also an illustrator, caricaturist, designer, ceramicist, and educator. Over the course of his career his work was exhibited in the United States, France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and South America and he became known as the popular "artist laureate" of San Francisco where he lived with his wife, Grace. He died of cancer in 1985 at the age of 82.

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Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

The collection consists primarily of correspondence, writings, artwork, printed material, and photographs documenting Sotomayor's career, his interest in Latin American art and artists, and his association with the San Francisco arts community.

Arrangement and Series Description

The collection is arranged as six series:

Subjects and Names

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

  • Delphic Studios
  • Entenza, John, 1903-
  • Farr, Fred, 1914-1973
  • Franco, Johan, 1908-
  • Fried, Alexander, 1902-1988
  • Gerstle, William Lewis, 1868-1947
  • Labaudt, Lucien, 1880-1943
  • Little, Philip, 1857-1942
  • Long, Emilie
  • Morley, Grace, 1900-1985
  • Moya del Pino, Jose, 1891-1969
  • Oldfield, Otis, 1890-1969
  • Orozco, Jos� Clemente, 1883-1949
  • Pan American Union
  • Pflueger, Timothy Ludwig, 1892-1946
  • Reed, Alma M.
  • Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957
  • Robinson, Elmer E. (Elmer Edwin), b. 1894
  • Salinger, Jehanne Bietry
  • Salinger, Pierre
  • Sauer, Carl Ortwin, 1889-
  • Sotomayor, Grace
  • Von Hagen, Victor Wolfgang, 1908-1985
  • Art, Modern--20th century--California--San Francisco
  • Caricatures and cartoons
  • Cartoonists--California--San Francisco
  • Hispanic American artists
  • Illustration
  • Illustrators--California--San Francisco
  • Mural painting and decoration--20th century
  • Muralists--California--San Francisco
  • Painters--California--San Francisco
  • Photographs
  • Sketchbooks
  • Sketches
  • Works of art


The Antonio Sotomayor papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Grace Sotomayor in 1998.

How the Collection was Processed

The collection was processed by Kim Wheeler in 1993.

How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

The collection is open for research. Patrons must use microfilm copy.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The Antonio Sotomayor 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.

Available Formats

The collection is available on microfilm reels 4792-4793. The microfilm is available for interlibrary loan.

How to Cite this Collection

Antonio Sotomayor papers, circa 1920-1988. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Correspondence and Biographical Material, 1931-1988, undated
(box 1, 21 folders)

This series contains correspondence relating to Sotomayor's mural commissions, paintings and caricatures, illustrations for various publications, exhibitions at museums and galleries, and lectures. Correspondents include John Entenza, Johan Franco, Emilie Long, Grace L. McCann Morley of the San Francisco Museum of Art, Jos� Moya del Pino, Jos� Clemente Orozco, the Pan American Union, Alma Reed of the Delphic Studios, San Francisco mayor Elmer Robinson, Carl Sauer, Grace Sotomayor, and ethnologist Wolfgang von Hagen. There is also a folder of biographical material containing lists of some of Sotomayor's work and exhibitions from the 1920s to circa 1963.

Box Reel
1 4792 Correspondence, 1931-1973, 1988, undated
(9 folders)
1 4792 Correspondence Re: Exhibitions and Lectures, 1938-1947
(5 folders)
1 4792 Correspondence Re: Book Illustrations, Magazines and Newspapers, 1938-1948
(6 folders)
1 4792 Biographical Material, circa 1963

Series 2: Writings, 1932-1946, undated
(box 1, 11 folders)

This series contains two notebooks of biographical notes on Latin American artists, manuscripts and copies of manuscripts on Hispanic American artists and caricature, and articles and lectures by Sotomayor. There are also writings by others on Sotomayor, and the transcript of an interview of Sotomayor conducted by Grace Moreley regarding Latin American Art.

Box Reel
1 4792 Writings by Sotomayor
1 4792 Notebooks (in Spanish), undated
(1 folder, 2 notebooks)
1 4792 "Hispanic American Art,," undated
1 4792 Lecture to the Sigma Delta Pi, undated
1 4792 "Caricature and American Caricaturists,," 1941
1 4792 Newspaper Articles, 1932-1933, undated
1 4792 Radio Interview Transcript (in Spanish and English), circa 1939
1 4792 Writings by Others
1 4792 "Sotomayor" by Joe Danysh, undated
1 4792 Press Release by Edward Perkins, undated
1 4792 "Bolivia Speaks in the Art of Antonio Sotomayor," by Jehane Bi�try Salinger, undated
1 4792 "Antonio Sotomayor" for Bulletin of the Pan American Union, by Jehane Bi�try Salinger, 1933
1 4792 "Sotomayor, Pintor de Bolivia" for Bulletin of the Pan American Union, by Jos� Gom�z Sicre, 1946

Series 3: Artwork, 1935, undated
(box 1, 23 folders)

This series contains 130 sketches and 35 sketchbooks, mostly containing travel sketches done in South America, the Middle East, and Europe, particularly Italy. One volume contains caricatures of prominent architects. Sotomayor's mock up for the unpublished Where San Francisco Dines by Collier Connell can also be found here. See also Series 6: Oversized Material.

Box Reel
1 4792 Loose Sketches, undated
1 4792 Loose Travel Sketches, Europe, undated
1 4792 Sketchbook of Travel Sketches, Europe, undated
(1 folder, 2 sketchbooks)
1 4792 Sketchbook of Travel Sketches, Italy, undated
(4 folders, 7 sketchbooks)
1 4792 Sketchbook of Travel Sketches, Middle East, undated
1 4792 Sketchbook of Travel Sketches, South America, undated
(5 folders, 8 sketchbooks)
1 4792 Sketchbook of Travel Sketches, California, undated
(1 folder, 2 sketchbooks)
1 4792 Sketchbook, "AIA Building Production Exhibition,," undated
1 4793 Sketchbooks, Miscellaneous, undated
(5 folders, 11 sketchbooks)
1 4793 Book of Ink Drawings/Illustrations, undated
1 4793 Mock Up of Illustrations for Book Where San Francisco Dines by Collier Connell, 1935
1 4793 Artwork by Others, undated

Series 4: Printed Material, 1935-1987
(boxes 1-2, 12 folders)

This series contains clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, and several publications containing illustrations by Sotomayor.

Box Reel
1 4793 Clippings, circa 1942-1987
(2 folders)
Box Reel
2 (hol) 4793 Exhibition Catalog, San Francisco Museum of Art, 1935
2 (hol) 4793 Exhibition Catalog, M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, 1943
2 (hol) 4793 Exhibition Catalog, Cincinnati Art Museum, 1945
2 (hol) 4793 Exhibition Catalogs and Announcements, 1946-1978, undated
2 (hol) 4793 Publication Illustrations
2 (hol) 4793 The Coast, Sept., Oct., 1938
2 (hol) 4793 The Coast, Feb., Oct., Dec., 1939
2 (hol) 4793 Modern Music, 1945
2 (hol) 4793 La Revue Moderne, 1955
2 (hol) 4793 Publications, The Coast and Saturday Review, 1939, 1953
2 (hol) 4793 Publications, The Kerlan Collection, Walter Library, University of Minnestota, 1971

Series 5: Photographs, circa 1920-1984, undated
(box 2, 13 folders)

Photographs found here include portraits of Sotomayor, and photographs of the artist with family and friends, including Grace Sotomayor, Fred Farr, Al Fried, William Gerstle, Lucien Labaudt, Philip Little, Jos� Moya Del Pino, Otis Odfield, Timothy Pflueger, Diego Rivera, Pierre Salinger. There are also photographs of Sotomayor with members of the Pan American Union and the Bohemian Club, and of artwork, including some in the Sotomayor residence. See also Series 6: Oversized Material.

Box Reel
2 (hol) 4793 Portraits of Sotomayor, 1924-1984, undated
(2 folders)
2 (hol) 4793 Family and Friends, circa 1920-1983, undated
(3 folders)
2 (hol) 4793 Scrapbook of Family and Friends (loose pages), circa 1947
2 (hol) 4793 Group Photographs, 1974-1983, undated
2 (hol) 4793 Photographs of Artwork, 1952-1983, undated
(4 folders)
2 (hol) 4793 Photographs of Artwork in Sotomoyor Residence, circa 1952
2 (hol) 4793 Photograph of Bathroom Rug by Grace Sotomayor, undated

Series 6: Oversized Material, 1941, 1958, undated
(2 OV folders)

This series contains sketches, an exhibition poster, and several oversized photographs of artwork by Sotomayor and of Sotomayor with friends (duplicate of photograph in Series 5: Photographs).

Box Reel
3 (ov) 4792 Ink Drawing, "Peace is Sharing,," undated
3 (ov) 4792 Sketch of Union Square Office Mural and Related Letter, 1958
Box Reel
4 (ov) 4793 Exhibition Poster for Illinois Art Gallery, undated
4 (ov) 4793 Oversized Photographs, 1941, undated