Beatrice Wood papers, 1852-1998

Wood, Beatrice, b. 1893 d. 1998
Educator, Author, Ceramicist
Active in Calif.

Collection size: 26.6 linear feet (partially microfilmed on 20 reels)

Collection Summary: Correspondence; biographical material; photographs; writings; financial material; art work; and printed material.

REEL 1236: 338 letters, many illustrated by Wood; 68 p. of diary entries, 1916-1954; 10 manuscripts of articles on art, and of stories and reminiscences; 4 watercolor sketches; a few snapshots of Wood's work and of friends; exhibition announcements and miscellaneous printed items, including a copy of The Blind Man, May 1917, and Rogue, 1916; and lists of food and clothing sent to friends in Paris. Among the correspondents are Denise and Henri-Pierre Roche, Marcel and Teeny Duchamp, and Louise and Walter Arensberg.

REELS 3483-3500: Papers of Wood, her husband Stephen Asa Hoag, 1878-1961, and her aunt, Esther Rosencrantz, 1876-1950, including baptismal certificates, passports, and wills; photographs, 1894-1971 & undated, of Wood, her family, friends and works of art; correspondence, 1906-1983 and undated; notes; writings, 1912-1975 and undated, including 4 drafts of Wood's autobiography; financial records, 1909-1974, including inventories and price lists for Wood's work, account books, and receipts; printed material; and art work, 1852-1959 and undated, including Esther Rosencrantz's collection of ca. 500 bookplates.

UNMICROFILMED: Correspondence files on John Waller of the Zachary Waller Gallery, 1972-1977, and John Waller, Fine Ceramics, 1978-1981; Garth Clark of the Garth Clark Gallery, 1986-1989; art historian and Wood agent Francis Naumann, 1976-1990, containing correspondence with Nauman, some illustrated, letters to museums regarding exhibitions of Wood's drawings and ceramics, and to publishers regarding publication of her writings; and general correspondence files, 1975-1990, containing letters from admirers, from friends on topics such as nuclear disarmament, the philosophies of Krishnamurti, and India, and from art historians, journalists and filmmakers, artists, and potters, among them Anna Bing Arnold, Ecko Bok, Robert A. Bryan, Rhea Case, Roger Conover, Ruth Dayan, Tom and Marge Dove, Teeny (Mrs. Marcel) Duchamp, Victor Erazo, Michael Hathaway, Stephen Huyler, Guy Murchie, Robert D. Murphy, Geesche Ninke, Col. Frank E. Noyes, and Hall Powell. Several of the copies of letters sent contain original drawings by Wood, added after photocopying. Also included are drafts of Wood's manuscripts, "A Torch in the Dark," "The Angel Who Wore Black Tights," and Indian Diary, 1972, containing 11 drawings and 2 lithographs; notes for her autobiography; and a file on the Museum and Library of World Folk Art, 1973-1977.

Diaries/line-a-day journals, 31 vol., 1915-1998, as well as typescripts of the diaries in 3-ring binders, 17 v.; drafts mss., galleys, notes and other material for Wood's autobiographies, "33rd Wife of a Maharajah," "I Shock Myself," "Pinching Spaniards: Letters to Steve," "Torch in the Dark," and "No Longer Shy: The Diary of Beatrice Wood"; other writings and publications; correspondence, 1939-1990 and 1997-1998, with Jack and Rhea Case, the Garth Clark Gallery, the Oakland Museum, and others; glaze log books, 1933-1998; printed material; calendars; and a drawing by Wood, "Brancusi and Bea in New York," ca. 1945 (misdated 1917), pencil, ink and watercolor wash on paper. Beatrice Wood, Ojai, California

Biographical/Historical Note: Ceramist, educator, artist, and writer; b. 1893; d. 1998.

Papers on reel 1236 were lent for microfilming in 1977, and subsequently donated 1978-1982 with additional material which was filmed on reels 3483-3500 in 1990. Further additions were donated 1986-1995 and in 1999 a final installment was received from the Beatrice Wood Personal Property Trust. Wood donated photocopies of many letters, and retained the originals; it is yet to be determined if any of the photocopies were returned in subsequent donations. The drawing, "Branscui and Bea" and the manuscript "Indian Diary" were received by Francis Naumann, who received them from Wood.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilmed portions must be consulted on microfilm. Use of unmicrofilmed material requires an appointment. Collection is being processed for digitization and is CLOSED to researchers.
  • For more information on using the Archives’ resources, see the FAQ or Ask Us.

Also in the Archives