Brents Carlton papers, 1921-1987

A Finding Aid to the Brents Carlton Papers, 1921-1987, in the Archives of American Art, by Jean Fitzgerald

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Table of Contents:



Biographical Information

Brents Carlton was born October 31, 1903, in Roswell, New Mexico. After a few years, his family moved to Arkansas. In 1923, Carlton moved to San Francisco to attend the California School of Fine Arts for four years. From 1928 to 1929, he studied under a scholarship at the Art Students' League in New York, after which he returned to San Francisco and established his own studio. In order to support his family, Carlton was also employed as a pharmacist for 30 years.

In 1938, Carlton created several of his most notable works, two large cast concrete figures for the Fountain of Western Waters Polynesian Group at the Golden Gate international Exposition and two eighteen-foot figures for the fa├žade of the California State Building. His works have been exhibited in the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, the Oakland Art Gallery, and the San Francisco Museum. Due to failing health in the late 1950s, Carlton switched from sculpture to painting.

Brents Carlton died September 6, 1962 in San Francisco.

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Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

The Brents Carlton papers span the years 1921 to 1987 and measure 2.0 linear feet. They consist of biographical material, correspondence, personal business records, notes, a scrapbook, exhibition files, art work, photographs, and printed material that document his career as a sculptor.

Biographical materials include several autobiographical accounts, school-related materials, a student card from the Art Students' League, and other identification cards. Correspondence consists primarily of letters from family members and colleagues, including letters from Victor Arnautoff, H. Mallette Dean, Margaret De Patta, Eugen Neuhaus, Dale Nichols, and Judson T. Smith.

Personal business records include bank passbooks, pharmacy licensing records, receipts, income tax records, and ledgers of income, expenses, and art work sold. The papers also contain notes, an address book, notebooks, meeting minutes, exhibition files, a scrapbook, sketches and prints by Carlton, and numerous photographs of Carlton's works of art.

Arrangement and Series Description

The collection is arranged into nine series according to material type. Material within each series is arranged chronologically.

Subjects and Names

This collection is indexed in the online catalog of the Archives of American Art under the following index terms. People, families and organizations are listed under "Names" when they are creators or contributors and under "Subjects" when they are the topic of collection contents.

Subjects-Topical:

  • Sculptors -- California

Types of Materials:

  • Photographs

Names:

  • Smith, Judson, 1880-1962
  • De Patta, Margaret, 1903-1964
  • Arnautoff, Victor Michail, 1896-1979
  • Neuhaus, Eugen, 1879-1963
  • Nichols, Dale, 1904-
  • Dean, Mallette, 1907-

Provenance

The Brents Carlton papers were donated by the artist's daughter Carrie Carlton Helser to the Archives of American Art in 1991.

How the Collection was Processed

Processing of the Brents Carlton papers was completed by Jean Fitzgerald in 2004.


How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

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

Ownership & Literary Rights

The Brents Carlton 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 microfilmed on reels 5873-5874 and is available for interlibrary loan.

How to Cite this Collection

Brents Carlton papers, 1921-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1921-1944
(Box 1; 4 folders; reel 5873)

Biographical material consists of several autobiographical accounts, school-related material and miscellaneous identification cards.

Box Reel
1 5873 Autobiographical Accounts, 1939-1942
1 5873 School-Related Material, 1921-1938
(2 folders)
1 5873 Driver's License; Selective Service Cards, 1924-1944

Series 2: Correspondence, 1922-1987, undated
(Box 1, 3; 23 folders; reel 5873)

Correspondence consists primarily of letters and greeting cards from family members and at least one letter each from colleagues including Victor Arnautoff, Margaret De Patta, Eugen Neuhaus, and Judson T. Smith. Letters are also found in the scrapbook filed in Series 5.

Box Reel
1 5873 Correspondence, undated
1 5873 Correspondence, 1922-1924
1 5873 Correspondence, 1925
1 5873 Correspondence, Jan-Sep 1926
1 5873 Correspondence, Oct 1926
1 5873 Correspondence, Nov-Dec 1926
1 5873 Correspondence, Jan-Aug 1927
1 5873 Correspondence, Sep-Dec 1927
1 5873 Correspondence (See Also Box 3), 1928-1929
1 5873 Correspondence, 1930
1 5873 Correspondence, 1931
1 5873 Correspondence, 1932-1935
1 5873 Correspondence, 1936
1 5873 Correspondence, 1937
1 5873 Correspondence, 1938
1 5873 Correspondence, 1939
1 5873 Correspondence, 1940
1 5873 Correspondence, 1941
1 5873 Correspondence, 1942-1943
1 5873 Correspondence, 1944-1949
1 5873 Correspondence, 1950-1959
1 5873 Correspondence, 1960-1965
1 5873 Correspondence, 1983-1987
Box Reel
3 5873 Oversize Christmas card, 1929

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1924-1959, undated
(Box 1;18 folders; reel 5873)

Personal business records consist of bank passbooks, pharmacy licensing records, ledgers of income and expenses, a ledger of art work sold, receipts for school, art sales, shipping, rent, utilities, and supplies, and income tax records.

Box Reel
1 5873 Savings Account Passbooks, 1924-1930
(2 folders)
1 5873 Pharmacy Licensing Records, 1926-1939
1 5873 Ledgers of Income and Expenses, 1925-1937
(3 folders)
1 5873 Ledger of Art Work Sold and Prices, 1942-1943
1 5873 Receipts for California School of Fine Arts, 1924-1954
1 5873 Receipts for Art Sales, 1936-1944, undated
1 5873 Receipts for the Shipping of Sculpture, 1937-1940
1 5873 Receipts for Photography, 1936-1959
1 5873 Receipts for Room Rent (domicile), 1924
1 5873 Receipts for Studio Rent, 1931-1940
(2 folders)
1 5873 Receipts for Studio Telephone, 1937-1940
1 5873 Receipts for Art Supplies, 1931-1951
1 5873 Miscellaneous Receipts, 1928-1943
1 5873 Income Tax Records, 1934-1940

Series 4: Notes, 1931, undated
(Box 1, 3; 5 folders; reel 5873)

Notes consist of an address book, notebooks recording friends' names and art media, minutes of meetings, and miscellaneous notes.

Box Reel
1 5873 Address Book, undated
1 5873 Notebook Listing Names of Friends, undated
1 5873 Notebook Concerning Art Media, undated
1 5873 Minutes of Meetings, 1931, undated
1 5873 Miscellaneous Notes, undated
Box Reel
3 (sol) 5873 Oversize Miscellaneous Note, undated

Series 5: Scrapbook, 1928-1962
(Box 3; 0.1 linear feet; reel 5873)

The scrapbook contains clippings, including Carlton's obituary, an exhibition catalog, and 14 letters from colleagues including Eugen Neuhaus and Dale Nichols.

Box Reel
3 (sol) 5873 Scrapbook containing Clippings, an Exhibition Catalog, and Letters, 1928-1962

Series 6: Exhibition Files, 1927-1983, undated
(Box 1, OV 5; 16 folders; reel 5873)

Letters, notes, receipts, photographs, and printed material relating to Carlton's participation in exhibitions at art organizations and galleries.

Box Reel
1 5873 San Francisco Art Association, 1927-1955
1 5873 California Palace of the Legion of Honor, 1929-1983
1 5873 The Art Center Gallery, 1930-1950, undated
1 5873 Foundation of Western Art, 1935-1938
1 5873 San Francisco Museum of Art, 1935-1983
1 5873 Amberg-Hirth Gallery, 1936-1954
1 5873 Oakland Art Gallery, 1936-1973
1 5873 Sacramento Junior College Solo Exhibition, 1937-1938
1 5873 Golden Gate International Exposition (See Also OV 5), 1937-1940
(5 folders)
1 5873 Architectural League of New York, 1938
1 5873 First California Ceramic Exhibition, 1938-1940
1 5873 National Sculpture Society Festival, 1940-1983
Box Reel
OV 5 5873 Oversize Blueprint for Sculpture on California State Building, circa 1938

Series 7: Art Work, 1924-1941, undated
(Box 1, 3, OV 5; 7 folders; reel 5873)

Art work by Carlton consists of 2 sketchbooks, drawings, prints, a tempera sketch, and Christmas cards. Art work by others includes woodcuts by H. Mallette Dean and a portrait drawing of Carlton by Victor Arnautoff.

Box Reel
1 5873 Annotated Sketchbook, undated
1 5873 Sketchbook, 1924-1925
1 5873 Drawings (See Also Box 3), undated
1 5873 Prints, undated
1 5873 Tempera Sketch, undated
1 5873 Christmas Cards Created by Carlton, undated
1 5873 Art work by Others (See Also OV 5), 1928-1941, undated
Box Reel
3 (sol) 5873 Oversize Drawings, undated
Box Reel
OV 5 5873 Oversize Portrait Drawing of Carlton by Victor Arnautoff, 1931

Series 8: Photographs, 1923-1952, undated
(Box 1-4; 36 folders; reels 5873-5874)

Photographs are of Carlton, his family, friends, colleagues, studios, classrooms, and art work. There are also photographs of art work by others including Victor Arnautoff and Margaret De Patta.

Box Reel
1 5873 Photographs of Carlton and Family Members, 1923-1952, undated
(5 folders)
1 5873 Photographs of Carlton with Friends and Colleagues including Victor Arnautoff, 1927-1941, undated
(3 folders)
1 5873 Photographs of Ney Street home, undated
1 5873 Photographs of Montgomery Street Studio, undated
1 5873 Photographs of Polk Street Studio, 1931-1935
1 5873 Photographs of Liberty Street Apartment, 1945-1948
1 5873 Photographs of Art Classroom, 1927
(3 folders)
Box Reel
2 (hol) 5873 Photographs of Sculpture (See Also Box 4), 1927-1944, undated
(14 folders)
2 (hol) 5873 Photographs of Drawings and Paintings (See Also Box 4), 1932, undated
(3 folders)
2 (hol) 5873 Photographs of Designs by Margaret De Patta, 1932, undated
2 (hol) 5874 Photographs of Art work by Others including Victor Arnautoff, 1927, undated
2 (hol) 5874 Miscellaneous Photographs, undated
Box Reel
3 (sol) 5874 Photograph Album of Carlton's Art Work, undated
Box Reel
4 (sol) 5874 Oversize Photographs of Sculpture, 1927-1944, undated
4 (sol) 5874 Oversize Photographs of a Painting, undated

Series 9: Printed Material, 1923-1979, undated
(Box 2; 17 folders; reel 5874)

Printed material consists of clippings, exhibition catalogs, brochures, and miscellaneous printed items.

Box Reel
2 5874 Clippings, 1926-1979, undated
(9 folders)
2 5874 Exhibition Catalogs for Carlton, 1930-1951
(3 folders)
2 5874 Exhibition Catalogs for Others, 1949, undated
2 5874 Brochures for the California School of Fine Arts, 1923-1942
(2 folders)
2 5874 Brochure for the Art Students' League, 1928-1929
2 5874 Miscellaneous Printed Material, 1964, undated