Merritt, Francis Sumner, b. 1913 d. 2000
Painter, Arts administrator, Art teacher, Designer
Active in Me.; Nigeria
Collection size: 6.8 linear ft.
Collection Summary: Biographical material, undated and 1955-1977; correspondence (3.4 ft), undated and 1941-1979, mainly with students and friends regarding Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and Merritt's role as founder and director from its inception in 1951 through his retirement in 1977. Correspondence regarding Merritt's previous careers as director and instructor in other art schools and his involvement in the Maine arts community are included. Also notable are several personal letters from printmaker Fiske Boyd. Notes, undated and 1957-1978, include lecture notes and a day planner; also included are writings, undated and 1967-1974; a dismantled scrapbook, 1936-1960, which includes newspaper clippings about Merritt's early career as an artist; press releases, undated, 1958 and 1972; exhibition announcements and catalogs, undated and 1939-1979; other printed material, undated and 1931-1977; and exhibition and jury files, undated and 1949-1980, including price lists and documents about Merritt's jury work.
Subject files documenting Merritt's involvement with various school and associations (2 ft.), undated and 1948-1979, include financial material, notes, writings, press releases, brochures, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and general printed material for the Flint Institute of Arts in Michigan, where Merritt served as director and art instructor from 1947 to 1951, Bradford Junior College in Massachusetts, where he served as director and art instructor from 1953 to 1957, and Colby College in Maine where he served on the Friends of Art at Colby in the 1960's and 1970's. The majority of the subject files document the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, undated and 1948-1979, and its themed summer sessions. Within the Afro-American summer session files is a detailed diary written by Merritt of a 1974 trip to Nigeria. Also included in the subject files is information about the Hinkley School of Crafts, a Maine school associated with Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. Among the associations represented in the subject files is the Maine State Commission on the Arts and the Humanities, for which Merritt was Vice Chairman.
Artwork, undated and 1943-1976, includes original artwork by Merritt, and one pencil drawing of Merritt by Fiske Boyd. Two oversized posters advertising Haystack events by an unknown artist are also included. Photographs, undated and 1948-1974, are of Merritt, his family and friends, works of art, exhibition installations at the Flint Institute of Arts, and scenes from Haystack Mountain School of Crafts.
Biographical/Historical Note: Painter, designer and art administrator. Founder of Haystack Mountan School of Crafts, Deer Isle, Maine. Studied at the Vesper George School of Art, the San Diego Academy of Fine Arts, the Massachusetts School of Art, and the Yale Univ. School of Fine Arts. Taught at Bradford Junior College, was head of art department. Died Dec. 27, 2000, at age 87.
Donated 1980-1994 by Francis Sumner Merritt.
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