Beatrice Whitney Van Ness papers, 1883-1985

Van Ness, Beatrice Whitney, b. 1888 d. 1981
Active in Mass.

Collection size: 1.6 linear ft.

Collection Summary: Letters, writings and notes, art works, printed material and photographs.

Brief resumes, a genealogy of Van Ness' family and a citation from Beaver Country Day School for "Meritorious Service"; correspondence from family members, colleagues and friends includes 5 letters from Victor D'Amico and the Progressive Education Association regarding her participation in upcoming events; extensive notes and writings by Van Ness and others regarding art education theory and practice and a brief history of Beaver Country Day School written by Van Ness in 1981; teaching files, undated and 1932-1944, containing course outlines, exams and class assignments for courses taught at BCDS;

a notebook describing the dimensions, locations and types of various picture frames; a card file describing paintings by Van Ness; figure drawings, still lifes, contour drawings and charcoal studies done when she was a student; studies of people done in preparation for paintings, portrait sketches and 2 sketches of Van Ness done by her students; photographs of Van Ness, her family, models (for paintings), colleagues and teachers (includes a photo of Philip Hale and Edmund Tarbell, ca. 1905-1980), numerous photos of paintings by Van Ness, ca. 1910-1980, and photos of drawings by her students.

Printed materials include 2 articles by Van Ness on art education published in ART EDUCATION TODAY (1939) and HIGH SCHOOL JOURNAL (1940); exhibition catalogs, announcements, clippings and an essay by Hilla Rebay entitled "The Beauty of Non-Objectivity."

Biographical/Historical Note: Painter, educator; Chesnut Hill, Mass. Founder and head of the Art Department at Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill (1921-1949). She studied child and adolescent behavior as applied to art education practice. Through articles, essays and presentations she advocated a more vital and integral role for art education in overall curriculum strategy.

Donated 1983 by Van Ness's daughters Mary Crocker and Silvia Martin.

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