Henry Varnum Poor papers, 1873-2001, bulk 1904-1970

A Finding Aid to the Henry Varnum Poor Papers, 1873-2001, bulk 1904-1970, in the Archives of American Art, by Catherine S. Gaines

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Biographical Information

Henry Varnum Poor (1888-1970), best known as a potter and ceramic artist, was also an architect, painter, muralist, designer, educator and writer who lived and worked in New City, New York.

A native of Chapman, Kansas, Henry Varnum Poor moved with his family to Kansas City when his grain merchant father became a member of the Kansas Board of Trade. From a young age he showed artistic talent and spent as much time as possible - including school hours - drawing. When a school supervisor suggested that Henry leave school to study at the Art Institute of Chicago, the family disagreed. Instead, he enrolled in the Kansas City Manual Training High School where he delighted in learning skills such as carpentry, forge work, and mechanical drawing. In 1905, he moved with his older brother and sister to Palo Alto, California and completed high school there. Because Poor was expected to join the family business, he enrolled at Stanford University as an economics major, but much to his father's disappointment and displeasure, soon left the economics department and became an art major.

Immediately after graduation in 1910, Poor and his major professor at Stanford, Arthur B. Clark, took a summer bicycling tour to look at art in London, France, Italy, and Holland. Poor had saved enough money to remain in London after the summer was over. He enrolled in the Slade School of Art and also studied under Walter Sickert at the London County Council Night School. After seeing an exhibition of Post-Impressionism at the Grafton Galleries in London, Poor was so impressed that he went to Paris and enrolled in the Académie Julian. While in Paris Poor met Clifford Addams, a former apprentice of Whistler; soon he was working in Addams' studio learning Whistler's palette and techniques.

In the fall of 1911, Poor returned to Stanford University's art department on a one-year teaching assignment. During that academic year, his first one-man show was held at the university's Old Studio gallery. He married Lena Wiltz and moved back to Kansas to manage the family farm and prepare for another exhibition. Their daughter, Josephine Lydia Poor, was born the following year. Poor returned to Stanford in September 1913 as assistant professor of grahic arts, remaining until the department closed three years later. During this period, Poor began to exhibit more frequently in group shows in other areas of the country, and had his first solo exhibition at a commercial gallery (Helgesen Gallery, San Francisco). In 1916, Poor joined the faculty of the San Francisco Art Association. He and his wife separated in 1917 and were divorced the following year. Poor began sharing his San Francisco studio with Marion Dorn.

During World War I, Poor was drafted into the U. S. Army, and in 1918 went to France with the 115th Regiment of Engineers. He spent his spare time drawing; soon officers were commissioning portraits, and Poor was appointed the regimental artist. He also served as an interpreter for his company. Discharged from the Army in early 1919, Poor spent the spring painting in Paris. He then returned to San Francisco and married Marion Dorn.

Once Poor realized that earning a living as a painter would be extremely difficult in California, he and his new wife moved to New York in the autumn of 1919. They were looking for a place to live when influential book and art dealer Mary Mowbray-Clarke of the Sunwise Turn Bookshop in Manhattan suggested New City in Rockland County, New York as good place for artists. In January of 1920, the Poors purchased property on South Mountain Road in New City. The skills he acquired at the Kansas City Manual Training High School were of immediate use as Poor designed and constructed "Crow House" with the assistance of a local teenager. Influenced by the farmhouses he had seen in France, it was made of local sandstone and featured steep gables, rough plaster, chestnut beams and floors, and incorporated many hand-crafted details. Poor designed and built most of their furniture, too. Before the end of the year, he and Marion were able to move into the house, though it remained a work in progress for many years. Additions were constructed. Over time, gardens were designed and planted, and outbuildings - a kiln and pottery, work room, garage, and new studio - appeared on the property.

In 1925, two years after his divorce from Marion Dorn, Poor married Bessie Freedman Breuer (1893-1975), an editor, short story writer, and novelist. Soon after, he adopted her young daughter, Anne (1918-2002), an artist who served as his assistant on many important mural commissions. Their son, Peter (b. 1926) became a television producer. Crow House remained in the family until its sale in 2006. In order to prevent its demolition, Crow House was then purchased by the neighboring town of Ramapo, New York in 2007.

Between 1935 and 1966 Poor designed and oversaw construction of a number of houses, several of them situated not far from Crow House on South Mountain Road. Poor's designs, noted for their simplicity, featured modern materials and incorporated his ceramic tiles. Among his important commissions were houses for Maxwell Anderson, Jules Billig, Milton Caniff, MacDonald Deming, and John Houseman.

Poor's first exhibition of paintings in New York City was at Kevorkian Galleries in 1920, and sales were so disappointing that he turned his attention to ceramics. His first pottery show, held at Bel Maison Gallery in Wanamaker's department store in 1921, was very successful. He quickly developed a wide reputation, participated in shows throughout the country, and won awards. He was a founder of the short-lived American Designers' Gallery, and the tile bathroom he showed at the group's first exposition was critically acclaimed. Poor was represented by Montross Gallery as both a painter and potter. When Montross Gallery closed upon its owner's death in 1932, Poor moved to the Frank K. M. Rehn Gallery.

Even though Poor's pottery and ceramic work was in the forefront, he continued to paint. His work was acquired by a number of museums, and the Limited Editions Club commissioned him to illustrate Ethan Frome, The Scarlet Letter, and The Call of the Wild.

Poor's first work in true fresco was shown in a 1932 mural exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. Between 1935 and 1949 he was commissioned to produce several murals in fresco for Section of Fine Arts projects at the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior, The Land Grant Frescoes at Pennsylvania State College, and a mural for the Louisville Courier-Journal. Ceramic tile mural commissions included: the Klingenstein Pavilion, Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York City; Travelers Insurance Co., Boston; the Fresno Post Office, California; and Hillson Memorial Gallery, Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, Mass.

As a member of the War Artists' Unit, Poor was a "war correspondent" with the rank of major in World War II, and for several months in 1943 was stationed in Alaska. An Artist Sees Alaska, drawing on Poor's observations and experiences, was published in 1945. A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality, his second book, was published in 1958. It remains a standard text on the subject. While on the faculty of Columbia University in the 1950s, Poor and other artists opposed to the growing influence of Abstract Expressionism formed the Reality Group with Poor the head of its editorial committee. Their magazine, Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions, first appeared in 1953 featuring "Painting is Being Talked to Death" by Poor as its lead article. Two more issues were published in 1954 and 1955.

Along with Willard Cummings, Sidney Simon, and Charles Cuttler, in 1946 Henry Varnum Poor helped to establish the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine. He served as its first president. Poor and his daughter, Anne, were active members of the Board of Trustees and were instructors for many years. The summer of 1961 was Henry Varnum Poor's last as a full-time teacher, though he continued to spend summers at Skowhegan.

Henry Varnum Poor exhibited widely and received many awards, among them prizes at the Carnegie Institute, Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Architectural League of New York. Poor was appointed to the United States Commission of Fine Arts by President Roosevelt in 1941 and served a five year term. He was elected a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1943. The National Academy of Design named him an Associate Artist in 1954 and an Academician in 1963. He became a trustee of the American Craftsman's Council in 1956. The work of Henry Vernum Poor is represented in the permanent collections of many American museums including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Addison Gallery of American Art, and Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts.

Henry Varnum Poor died at home in New City, New York, December 8, 1970.

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Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

The Henry Varnum Poor papers measure 11.1 linear feet and are dated 1873-2001, with the bulk from the period 1904-1970. Correspondence, writings, artwork, printed material and photographs document his work as a painter, muralist, ceramic artist and potter, architect, designer, writer, war artist, educator and a co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Also found is extensive information about the design and construction of Crow House, his home in New City, New York, commissions for other architectural projects, and his personal life.

Henry Varnum Poor's correspondence documents his personal life, his professional activities in a number of fields. and his artwork in several media. Correspondents include family and friends, among them: George Biddle, Charles Burchfield, John Ciardi, Marion V. Dorn (who became his second wife), Philip Evergood, Lewis Mumford, John Steinbeck, David Smith, and Mrs. John Work (Alice) Garrett. Other correspondents are individuals representing galleries, museums, schools, and organizations. There is fan mail from readers of his books, letters from former students and colleagues, as well as friends and acquaintances from his military service and travels.

Family correspondence consists mainly of incoming letters addressed to Albert J. and Josephine Poor from their son Henry about his education, travels, World War I experiences, and his teaching and painting career. Scattered throughout are letters from their daughter-in-law Bessie Breuer Poor, and grandchildren Anne and Peter. Correspondence between Albert and Josephine Poor was written in 1911 while she was traveling in Europe with Henry. Also found are letters from other relatives and friends. A few letters are addressed to Lena Wiltz, Henry Varnum Poor's first wife. After the death of Josephine Poor circa 1940, Poor's letters are addressed to his sister Eva and her husband Herbert Stone. Josephine Poor's relatives, the Graham family, are represented by a small number of 19th century letters.

Among the writings by Henry Varnum Poor are manuscripts of his two published books. Also found are the text of "Painting is Being Talked to Death," published in the first issue of Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions, April 1953, and manuscripts of other articles. Of particular interest are Poor's notes from his studies in London and Paris, including: "Drawing Ideas from Slade School and Walter Sickert in London," "The Whistler Palette and Notes Gathered from [Clifford] Addams," "Grafton Galleries Post-Impressionists." Writings by others include M. R. ("Muktuk") Marston's account of Poor rescuing an Eskimo, and Bessie Breuer Poor's recollections of The Montross Gallery.

Subject files include: Advisory Committee on Art, American Designers' Gallery, Inc., William Benton, Harold Dickson, Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions, Sales, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and War Posters.

Artwork by Henry Varnum Poor consists mainly of drawings and sketches - loose and in 45 sketchbooks - that include studies for paintings, murals, and pottery. Also found is work done in France, 1918-1919, and produced while a war correspondent in Alaska in 1943. There are commissioned illustrations and some intended for his monograph, A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality. Also found are a small number of watercolors and prints. Work by other artists consist of Anne Poor's drawings of her father's hands used for the Lincoln figure in The Land Grant Frescoes and interior views of Crow House by Ernest Watson.

Documentation of Poor's architectural projects consists of drawings and prints relating to houses designed and built for Jules Billing, MacDonald Deming, John Houseman, Burgess Meredith, Isabel Padro, and Elizabeth S. Sargent. Also found is similar material for the new studio Poor built in 1957 on the grounds of Crow House.

Miscellaneous records include family memorabilia and two motion picture films, Painting a True Fresco, and The Land Grant Murals at Pennsylvania State College.

Printed material includes articles about or mentioning Poor, some of his pottery reference books, family history, a catalog of kilns, and the program of a 1949 Pennsylvania State College theater production titled Poor Mr. Varnum. Exhibition catalogs and announcements survive for some of Poor's shows; catalogs of other artists' shows include one for Theodore Czebotar containing an introductory statement by Henry Varnum Poor. Also found is a copy of The Army at War: A Graphic Record by American Artists, for which Poor served as an advisor.

Photographs are of Henry Varnum Poor's architectural work, artwork, people, places, and miscellaneous subjects. This series also contains negatives, slides, and transparencies. Images of architectural work include exterior and interior views of many projects; Poor's home, Crow House, predominates. Photographs of artwork by Poor are of drawings, fresco and ceramic tile murals, paintings, pottery and ceramic art. People appearing in photographs include Henry Varnum Poor, family members, friends, clients, juries, students, and various groups. Among the individuals portrayed are Milton Caniff, Marcel Duchamp, Wharton Esherick, M. R. ("Muktuk") Marston, and Burgess Meredith. Among the family members are Bessie Breuer Poor, Marion Dorn Poor, Anne Poor, Eva Poor, Josephine Graham Poor, Josephine Lydia Poor, Peter Poor, and unidentified relatives. Photographs of places include many illustrating village life in Alaska that were taken by Poor during World War II. Other places recorded are French and California landscapes, and family homes in Kansas. Miscellaneous subjects are exhibition installation views, scenes of Kentucky farms, and a photograph of Poor's notes on glazes.

Arrangement and Series Description

The collection is arranged into 9 series:

Subjects and Names

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

Subjects:

  • Benton, William, 1900-1973
  • Caniff, Milton Arthur, 1907-1988
  • Dickson, Harold E., 1900-
  • Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968
  • Esherick, Wharton
  • Meredith, Burgess, 1907-1997
  • Montross Gallery
  • Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture

Subjects-Topical:

  • Architects--New York (State)--New York
  • Art--Study and teaching
  • Artists' studios
  • Authors--New York (State)--New York
  • Ceramicists--New York (State)--New York
  • Designers--New York (State)--New York
  • Educators--New York (State)--New York
  • Muralists--New York (State)--New York
  • Painters--New York (State)--New York
  • Pottery--New York (State)--New York
  • World War, 1914-1918

Types of Materials:

  • Drawings
  • Illustrations
  • Manuscripts
  • Motion pictures (visual works)
  • Photographs
  • Sketchbooks
  • Sketches
  • Watercolors

Names:

  • Biddle, George, 1885-1973
  • Burchfield, Charles Ephraim, 1893-1967
  • Ciardi, John, 1916-
  • Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973
  • Garrett, Alice Warder
  • Marston, Muktuk
  • Mumford, Lewis, 1895-1990
  • Smith, David, 1906-1965
  • Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968
  • Watson, Ernest William, 1884-1969

Provenance

Gift of Henry Varnum Poor's son, Peter V. Poor, in 2007.

Separated and Related Materials

An oral history interview with Henry Varnum Poor was conducted by Harlan Phillips for the Archives of American Art in 1964.

How the Collection was Processed

The collection was fully processed and a finding aid prepared by Catherine S. Gaines in 2008.


How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The Henry Varnum Poor 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

A small potion of this collection is available on 35 mm microfilm reels 644-634 at Archives of American Art offices, and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of the papers as described in this finding aid may not reflect the order on microfilm.

Location of Originals

How to Cite this Collection

Henry Varnum Poor papers, 1873-2001, bulk 1904-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1919-1987
(Box 1, OV 18; 0.2 linear ft.)

Poor's desk diary contains sporadic, sparse notes along with addresses and phone numbers. Awards and certificates document: Carnegie Institute Third Prize, 1933; Limited Editions Club Fellowship in Book Illustration, 1937; announcement of gold medal award from the Architectural League of New York, 1938; appointment to U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, 1941; and membership certificate, National Institute of Arts and Letters, 1943. The posthumous item is a proclamation of Henry Varnum Poor Centennial Month, Clarkstown, New York, 1987.

Box Folder
1 1 Address Book, undated
(1 volume)
1 2 Army Discharge, 1919
1 3 Awards and Certificates, 1933-1943
(oversized items housed in OV 18)
1 Biographical Notes and Reminiscences of Henry Varnum Poor
1 4 By Bessie Breuer Poor, undated
1 5 By Others, 1937, undated
1 6 Desk Diary, 1952
1 7 Genealogical Notes and Related Correspondence, 1961-1968, undated
1 8 Medical Reports, Notes and Bills, 1953-1968, undated
1 9 Proclamation of Henry Varnum Poor Centennial Month, Clarkstown, N.Y., 1987
1 10 Social Security Cards, undated
1 11 Will of Henry Varnum Poor and Directive to Family; Will of Bessie Breuer Poor, 1930-1959; 1974

Series 2: Correspondence, 1873-1985
(Boxes 1-2; 1.5 linear ft.)

Correspondence consists largely of incoming letters with a few copies of outgoing letters. It documents Henry Varnum Poor's personal life and his work as an educator, ceramicist, designer, military artist, and writer. Family correspondence, primarily addressed to Albert J. and Josephine Poor, includes many letters from their son Henry. Other relatives are also represented, and a few letters are addressed to Henry Varnum Poor's first wife, Lena Wiltz.

Nineteenth century letters are from Josephine Poor's relatives, the Graham family. Items post-dating Poor's lifetime consist of condolence letters, correspondence regarding Poor's papers and writings, estate matters, loans, and exhibitions.

Genealogical correspondence and related notes are found with biographical information (Series 1). Additional correspondence is included among the subject files (Series 4).

This series is arranged into 2 subseries:

2.1: Henry Varnum Poor Correspondence, 1910-1985

Poor's personal and professional correspondence includes letters from family, friends, colleagues, and former students. Correspondence with galleries, museums, schools, and organizations concern concerns exhibitions, loans, jury service, and sales, along with requests to speak, teach, or participate in events. Poor's letters to Marion V. Dorn, who became his second wife in 1919, are found in this series.

Box Folder
1 12-27 Correspondence, 1910-1970, undated
(26 folders)
1 28 Henry Varnum Poor to Marion Dorn, 1918-1919
1 29 Condolence Letters, Estate Matters, etc., 1970-1979
1 30 Estate Matters, Poor Exhibitions, Loans, etc., 1983-1985, undated

2.2: Family Correspondence, 1873-1965

Family corresponence includs a large number of letters from Henry Varnum Poor addressed to his parents. Also found are letters from Bessie Breuer, Anne and Peter Poor. Correspondence between his parents include letters his mother wrote in 1911 while traveling in Europe with Henry. After circa 1940, when both parents were deceased, Poor's letters are addressed to his sister Eva and her husband Herbert Stone. Also included are letters from Bessie Breuer, Anne, and Peter Poor. Many of the nineteenth century letters are photocopies.

Box Folder
1 31-41 Henry Varnum Poor to Family, 1904-1939, undated
(11 folders)
Box Folder
2 1-14 Henry Varnum Poor to Family, 1915-1939, undated
(14 folders)
2 15-22 Poor Relatives and Friends, 1882-1965, undated
(8 folders)
2 23 Graham Family Letters, 1873-1889, 1965
(many photocopies)
2 Empty Envelopes
2 24-27 To Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Poor, 1910-1939, undated
(4 folders)
2 28 To Eva and Herbert Stone, 1931-1954, undated

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1944-1974
(Boxes 2-3; 0.6 linear ft.)

Writings by Henry Varnum Poor include manuscripts, notes, speeches, journals, and four notebooks containing information about pottery, tile procedures, and glazes, etc. Among the writings by others are poems, notes, and reminiscences.

Among the writings by Henry Varnum Poor are manuscripts of his two published books, An Artist Sees Alaska and A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality. Also found are "Painting is Being Talked to Death," published in the first issue of Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions, April 1953, and manuscripts of other articles. Of particular interest are Poor's notes from his studies in London and Paris.

Other authors are M. R. ("Muktuk") Marston, Waldo Pierce, Bessie Brueuer Poor, and Josephine Poor.

Biographical materials (Series 1) include reminiscenses of Poor. Many sketchbooks (Series 5) contain various notes and a journal entry dated August 18, 1963 included in volume 26.

This series is arranged into 2 subseries:

3.1: By Henry Varnum Poor, circa 1944-1965

Volumes 1 and 2 of Poor's notebooks include pottery, tile, and glaze procedures; volume 3 is titled "Pottery." Volume 4 contains measurements and lists of supplies for building projects. Also found are notes from his studies in London at the Slade School and with Clifford Addams.

Box Folder
2 Articles
2 29 "Painting is Being Talked to Death" and item for "Notes on Art Education" (both published in Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions), 1953-1954
2 30 "The Relation of Art to Life," undated
2 Books, An Artist Sees Alaska (manuscript)
2 31 Table of Contents and Introduction, circa 1944
2 32 "Penn Station," circa 1944
2 33 "San Francisco," circa 1944
2 34 "Seattle," circa 1944
2 35 "The Turner Passage," circa 1944
2 36 "Fort Richardson," circa 1944
2 37 "Days from My Diary at Ladd Field," circa 1944
2 38 "Two Days on the Yukon," circa 1944
2 39 "Nome," circa 1944
2 40 "Golovin," circa 1944
2 41 "Unalakleet," circa 1944
2 42 "Nome Again," circa 1944
2 43 "Bering Strait," circa 1944
2 44 "Teller," circa 1944
2 45 "Cape Prince of Wales," circa 1944
2 46 "Little Diomede," circa 1944
2 47 "Shishmareff," circa 1944
2 48 "Kotzebuu - Seat of Empire," circa 1944
2 49 "Kotzebue," circa 1944
2 50 "Point Hope," circa 1944
2 51 "The Arctic Ocean," circa 1944
2 52 "Wainwright," circa 1944
2 53 "Point Barrow," circa 1944
2 54 "Journey Back," circa 1944
Box Folder
3 Books, A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality
3 1 Outlines, circa 1954-1958
3 2-3 Longhand Draft of Chapters 2-11, and Fragments, circa 1954-1958
(2 folders)
3 4-5 Typescript Draft of Chapters 1-11, and Fragments, circa 1954-1958
(2 folders)
3 6 Film Script, "Painting in True Fresco," undated
3 7 Fragments, undated
3 Journals
3 8 March 9-June 11 , 1963
(1 volume)
3 9 May 27-Sept. 20, 1965
(photocopy)
3 10 Lists, Miscellaneous, 1952, undated
3 11 Notebooks, 1921-1960, undated
(4 volumes)
  • Volume 1, 1921
  • Volume 2, 1927-1955
  • Volume 3, "Pottery, Nov. 1955"
  • Volume 4, undated
3 Notes
3 12 "Drawing Ideas from Slade School and Walter Sickert in London," "The Whistler Palette and Notes Gathered from [Clifford] Addams," "Grafton Galleries Post-Impressionists," and Untitled Miscellaneous Notes, circa 1910-1911
3 13 "Painting Points to Remember from Henry Varnum Poor," 1962
(mimeographed sheet)
3 14 Miscellaneous Notes, undated
3 15 Report, "Virgin Island Clays," undated
3 16 Speeches, "Remarks on the Frescoes in Old Main at the Pennsylvania State College" and "Painting, Sculpture, and People," 1949, 1964[?]

3.2: By Other Authors, 1974,

Other authors are M. R. ("Muktuk") Marston, Waldo Peirce, Bessie Brueuer Poor, Josephine Poor, and unidentified individuals. The unsigned "Outline for a Proposed Artists Corps," circa 1942, is probably by Olin Dows or George Biddle.

Arranged alphabetically by author.

Box Folder
3 17 Marston, M. R. ("Muktuk"). Account of Henry Varnum Poor Rescuing an Eskimo, circa 1943
3 18 Peirce, Waldo. "A Tribute to My Mother-in-Law," undated
3 19 Poor, Bessie Breuer. "The Montross Gallery," "The Gobbleless Gobbler, A Tale of Manhood," and Lament ("I cannot survive the agony and grief of my days…"), 1974
3 20 Poor, Josephine. Poem, undated
(photocopy)
3 21 Unidentified (probably Olin Dows or George Biddle). "Outline for a Proposed Artists Corps," circa 1942
3 Unidentified
3 22 "The Dolphin Passed Last Night: A Mural Drama," undated
3 23 Notes on "Rakku" and "Painting w/ Ethyl Sillicate," undated
3 24 Poem, "The New Moon of our Incoherence," undated

Series 4: Subject Files, 1928-1975
(Box 3, OV 23; 0.8 linear ft.)

Subject files contain correspondence, printed material, and photographs in varying combinations. They appear to have been established by Poor, though some may have been constructed at a later date for unknown purposes.

Arrangement is alphabetical.

Box Folder
3 25 Advisory Committee on Art, Division of Cultural Cooperation, Department of State, 1945
3 26 American Designers' Gallery, Inc., 1928-1929
(oversized material housed in OV 23)
3 27 Automobile, 1946-1947
3 28 Benton, William, 1966-1971
3 29 A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality (Prentice-Hall), 1954-1975, undated
3 30 Dickson, Harold (Pennsylvania State College), 1952-1967
3 Frank K. M. Rehn, Inc.
(see: Box 3, folder 38)
3 31 Insurance, 1937-1970
3 32 Marston, M. R. ("Muktuk"), 1943-1972
3 33 Pennsylvania State College, The Land Grant Frescoes, 1939-1940, undated
3 Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions
3 34 Correspondence, 1953-1955, undated
3 35 Reality, Nos. 1-3, 1953-1955
3 36 Articles, Editorials, Letters to the Editor Published in Other Periodicals, 1953
3 Sales
3 37 Auctions and Miscellaneous Galleries, 1968-1969, undated
3 38 Frank K. M. Rehn, Inc. 1943-1970, undated
3 39 Sales and Consignments, Market Fair, 1961-1965
3 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture
3 40 Budgets and Financial Reports, 1960-1970
3 41 By-Laws, 1956-1961
3 42 Correspondence of Anne Poor, 1959-1970, undated
3 43 Correspondence of Henry Varnum Poor, 1959-1970, undated
3 44 Grant Proposal, Old Dominion Foundation, circa 1969
3 45 Leases, 1955-1965
3 46 Master Plans, 1966-1974
3 47 Minutes of Board of Directors, 1961
3 48 Minutes of Board of Governors, 1961-1972, undated
3 49 Minutes of Board of Trustees, 1963-1984
3 50 Minutes of Faculty Meetings, 1970
3 51 Minutes of Officers' Meetings, 1961
3 52 Notes and Lists, circa 1961-1966, undated
3 53 Poor Scholarship Fund, 1972-1975
3 54 Printed Material, 1946-1967, undated
3 55 Reports and Recommendations, 1951-1971, undated
3 56 Scholarships, 1968-1969, undated
3 57 Sixteen Year Survey and Evaluation, 1962
3 58 Taxes, 1961-1970
3 59 Truro, Massachusetts Property, 1952-1955, undated
3 60 Utilities, 1961-1964, undated
3 61 War Posters, 1942

Series 5: Artwork, circa 1890s-circa 1961
(Boxes 4-6, 9-10, OV 19-22; 3.5 linear ft.)

Artwork by Henry Varnum Poor consists mainly of drawings and sketches, loose and in 45 volumes. Many are studies for paintings, murals, and pottery. Included is work done in France, 1918-1919, and produced in Alaska while a war correspondent in 1943. Also found are illustrations, designs, watercolors and prints. Other artists represented are Anne Poor and Ernest Watson.

This series is arranged into 2 subseries:

5.1: By Henry Varnum Poor, circa 1890s-circa 1961

Some of the unidentified figure studies, portraits, and heads of women are probably Bessie and Anne Poor. Illustrations include those produced for Ethan Frome and The Scarlet Letter, and some that may have been intended for A Book of Pottery. Drawings produced in 1943 while Poor was a war correspondent in Alaska may have served as visual notes or illustrations for An Artist Sees Alaska. Also found are a small number of watercolors and prints. Most prints show the aftermath of World War I in France, and a Christmas Card sent by Henry Varnum and Marion Dorn Poor features a print.

A fair number of drawings and sketches are on sheets of paper with images on both sides; often, they are very different subjects. Since item level description with cross referencing is not provided, researchers conducting exhaustive studies of specific categories or subjects of Poor's works on paper are advised to examine all.

Loose drawings and sketches are arranged by subject.

Box Folder
4 1-2 Drawings and Sketches, Animals, 1918, undated
(2 folders; oversized material housed in Box 9, folder 2)
4 3 Drawings and Sketches, Birds and Fish, undated
(oversized material housed in Box 9, folder 2)
4 Drawings and Sketches, Designs
4 4 Bathroom Fixtures and Tiles, 1929, undated
4 5 Ceiling Tiles, Union Dime Savings Bank, 1924
4 6 Covers of Skowhegan School Publications, circa 1946-1961
4 7 Exhibition Announcement, Montross Gallery, 1923
4 8 Fireplaces, undated
4 9 Furniture, 1924, undated
4 10 Miscellaneous, undated
(oversized material housed in box 9, folder 3 and OV 19)
4 Tiles (Philip L. Goodwin Pool Shelter?)
(see: Box 9, folder 5)
4 11-16 Drawings and Sketches, Figures, circa 1890s-1946, undated
(6 folders; oversized material housed in Box 9, folder 4)
4 17-20 Drawings and Sketches, Figures, Nude, undated
(4 folders; oversized material housed in Box 9, folder 6)
4 21 Drawings and Sketches, Figure Studies (hands and feet), undated
4 Drawings and Sketches, Illustrations
4 22-25 A Book of Pottery by Henry Varnum Poor, circa 1954-1958
(4 folders; oversized material in Box 10, folder 8)
4 26 Miscellaneous Illustrations of Pottery Construction Techniques (possibly for A Book of Pottery, by Henry Varnum Poor), circa 1954-1958
4 27 Ethan Frome, 1939
4 28 The Scarlet Letter, circa 1941
4 29-36 Drawings and Sketches, Landscapes, 1918-1919, 1939, 1943, undated
(8 folders; oversized materials housed in Box 9, folders 7-9 and OV 20)
4 37-38 Drawings and Sketches, Miscellaneous Subjects, (2 folders; oversized material housed in Box 9, folder 10) circa 1918-1919, 1943, undated
4 Drawings and Sketches, Mural Studies
4 "Ben Hecht Leda and Swan," undated
(oversized material housed in OV 21
4 39 Unidentified, undated
Box Folder
5 1 Drawings and Sketches, Plants, undated
(oversized material housed in Box 10, folder 1)
5 Drawings and Sketches, Portraits and Heads (unidentified)
5 2-3 Children, 1943, undated
(2 folders; oversized material housed in Box 10, folder 2)
5 4-6 Men, 1918-1919, 1943, undated
(3 folders; oversized material housed in Box 10, folders 3-4)
5 7-10 Women, 1943, undated
(4 folders; oversized material housed in Box 10, folder 5))
5 11 Drawings and Sketches, Portraits (identified), undated
  • Breuer, Bessie
  • Fickes, Jim
  • Hecht, Ben
  • Hayes, Helen
  • Peters, DeWitt
  • Poor, Alfred
  • Poor, Bessie Breuer (see: Breuer, Bessie)
  • Poor, Henry Varnum (see: Box 5, folder 12)
  • Poor, Herbert
  • Rowan, Ed
  • Scaravaglione, Concetta
5 12 Drawings and Sketches, Portraits (self-portraits), undated
(oversized material housed in Box 10, folder 6)
5 Drawings and Sketches, Pottery
5 13 Plates, undated
5 14 Vessels and Birdhouses, undated
5 15 Drawings and Sketches, Still Life, undated
oversized material housed in Box 10, folder 10)
5 16 Prints, 1918-1923, undated
(oversized material housed in Box 10, folder 11 and OV 22)
5 Sketchbooks
5 17 Volume 1 (France) and Volume 2: (France), 1918-circa 1919
(2 volumes)
5 18 Volume 3 (includes notes and pottery sketches) and Volume 4 "Early Pottery Drawings," circa 1920s
(2 volumes)
5 19 Volume 5 (includes sketch of Wharton Esherick plate), circa 1924-1929
(1 volume)
5 20 Volume 6 (includes notes on pottery glazes), 1925
(1 volume)
5 21 Volume 7 "Pottery/Sketches/Peter in Hat," circa 1929
(1 volume)
5 22 Volume 8, circa 1929
(1 volume)
5 23 Volume 9 and Volume 10, circa 1929
(1 volume)
5 24 Volume 11 (includes pottery sketches and notes), circa 1929
(1 volume)
5 25 Volume 12 "South West Sicily" and Volume 13 (includes notes on art seen in Italy), 1936
(2 volumes)
5 26 Volume 14 "Pitigliano/Grotto di Castri," 1936
(1 volume)
5 27 Volume 15 Colorado Springs, 1937
(1 volume; in old sketchbook,"Gedney and Dominick," that also contains a few 19th century drawings)
5 28 Volume 16 "Interior Dept. Mural/Statement re: Art," circa 1937-1938
(1 volume)
5 29 Volume 17 "Penn State Mural," circa 1938-1949
(1 volume)
5 30 Volume 18 (includes The Scarlet Letter illustrations), 1941
(1 volume)
5 31 Volume 19 (Alaska) and Volume 20 (Alaska), 1943
(2 volumes)
5 32 Volume 21 (Alaska), 1943
(1 volume)
Box Folder
6 1 Volume 22, 1946
(1 volume)
6 2 Volume 23, 1946 or later
(1 volume)
6 3 Volume 24 "Studio Sketch Class/State College Drawings," circa 1946-1949
(1 volume)
6 4 Volume 25, 1957[?]
(1 volume)
6 5 Volume 26 (includes journal entry dated Aug. 18, 1962), circa 1960s
(1 volume)
6 6 Volume 27 "Early Truro/Florida" and Volume 28 "Truro," 1964-1965 and circa 1960s
(2 volumes)
6 7 Volume 29 (includes notes), Volume 30 (includes pottery sketches and notes), and Volume 31 (includes notes and lists), undated
(3 volumes)
6 8 Volume 32 (includes pottery sketches and notes) and Volume 33 (includes bibliographical notes), undated
(2 volumes)
6 9 Volume 34 and Volume 35, undated
(2 volumes)
6 10 Volume 36 and Volume 37, undated
(2 volumes)
6 11 Volume 38 and Volume 39, undated
(2 volumes)
6 12 Volume 40, undated
(1 volume)
6 13 Volume 41, undated
(1 volume)
6 14 Volume 42, undated
(1 volume)
6 15 Volume 43, undated
(1 volume)
6 16 Volume 44, undated
(1 volume)
6 17 Volume 45, undated
(1 volume)
6 18 Watercolors, undated
(oversized material housed in Box 10, folder 12)
Box Folder
9 Artwork by Henry Varnum Poor - Drawings and Sketches
9 1 Animals, 1969, undated
(from Box 4, folder 2)
9 2 Birds, undated
(from Box 4, folder 3)
9 3 Designs, Miscellaneous, undated
(from Box 4, folder 10; See also: OV 19)
9 4 Designs, Tiles (Philip L. Goodwin Pool Shelter; with "tile schedule"), undated
9 5 Figures, undated
(from Box 4, folder 16)
9 6 Figures, Nude, undated
(from Box 4, folder 20)
9 7-9 Landscapes, 1918-1919, 1943, 1965, undated
(3 folders; from Box 4, folders 29-36; see also: OV 20)
9 10 Miscellaneous Subjects, 1967, undated
(from Box 4, folder 38)
Box Folder
10 1 Drawings and Sketches, Plants, undated
(from Box 5, folder 1)
10 Drawings and Sketches, Portraits and Heads
10 2 Children, undated
(from Box 5, folder 3)
10 3-4 Men, 1918-1919, 1943, undated
(from Box 5, folders 4-6)
10 5 Women, 1943, undated
(from Box 5, folders 7-10)
10 6 Drawings and Sketches, Portraits (identified), undated
(from Box 5, folders 11-12)
  • Duback, Charles
  • Friedenthal, David
  • Frost, Stuart
  • Peters, Rollo
  • Poor, Henry V.
  • Poor, Peter V.
  • Steinbeck, John, Gwen, and family
10 7 Drawings and Sketches, Portraits and Heads (self-portraits), 1918, undated
10 Drawings and Sketches, Pottery
10 8 Pottery (possibly illustrations for A Book of Pottery…), circa 1954-1958
(from box 4, folders 22-25)
10 9 Pottery Designs (many plates; studies for 1928 Ellison bowl), 1928, undated
10 10 Drawings and Sketches, Still Life, undated
(from Box 5, folder 15)
10 11 Prints, 1918-1919
(from Box 6, folder 16; see also: OV 22)
10 12 Watercolors, 1919, undated
(from Box 6, folder 18)

5.2: By Other Artists, circa 1938-circa 1949

The other artists represented in this subseries are Anne Poor and Ernest Watson.

Box Folder
10 13 Poor, Anne. Drawings of Henry Varnum Poor's Hands for the Lincoln Figure in The Land Grant Frescoes, Pennsylvania State College, circa 1938-1949
Box Folder
6 19 Watson, Ernest. Sketch of Crow House Interior, undated

Series 6: Architectural Projects, circa 1940-1966
(Box 6, OV 24-26, RD 14-17; 0.7 linear ft.)

Drawings and architectural prints document houses designed and built by Poor and a new studio for himself.

Among the photographs (Series 9) are exterior and interior views of some of the resulting houses.

Box Folder
6 20 Drawings, Unidentified, undated
Architectural Drawings and Prints

Series 7: Miscellaneous Records, 1882-1967
(Boxes 6, 11; 0.25 linear ft.)

Family memorabilia consists of the autograph book belonging to Josie Graham Poor and a stored wheat account sheet from the Poor Elevator business.

The script of the film "Painting a True Fresco" is among Poor's writings (Series 3).

Box Folder
6 21 Family Memorabilia, 1882, undated
6 22 Guest Book Pages (unidentified events), 1967, undated
6 23 Motion Picture Film, Penn State College Land Grant Murals undated
Box Folder
11 1 Motion Picture Film, Painting a True Fresco , undated
(1 reel: 16-mm color)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1881-2001
(Boxes 6-7, 11, OV 27-29; 1.25 linear ft.)

Family history includes Poor-Poore Family Reunion, a publication containing significant background information. Among the travel souvenirs are a few items that may have been saved by his mother from their 1911 trip to Europe together.

Also included are a copy of Jack London's The Call of the Wild illustrated by Poor, reproductions of illustrations for An Artist Sees Alsaska and Ethan Frome, and two Associated American Artists greeting cards reproducing work by Poor.

Additional printed material is found among the subject files (Series 4).

Box Folder
6 Articles
6 24-30 About and/or Mentioning Henry Varnum Poor, 1913-1985, undated
6 31-32 Henry Varnum Poor's House (includes "My Kitchen" by Bessie Breuer), 1925-1933
6 33 Art Topics, 1938-1968, undated
6 34 Miscellaneous Subjects (not art-related), 1942-1970
Box Folder
7 Book Reviews
7 1 An Artist Sees Alaska by Henry Varnum Poor (with advertisement), 1945-1946
7 2 A Book of Pottery by Henry Varnum Poor, 1958
7 3 Book, The Call of the Wild by Jack London, illustrated by Henry Varnum Poor, Limited Editions Club, 1960
7 Books, Pottery Reference Books used by Henry Varnum Poor
7 4 Barber, Edwin Atlee. Lead Glazed Pottery: Part First Common Clay, , 1907
7 5 Binns, Charles F. The Potter's Craft, 1910
7 6 Cox, George F. Pottery for Artists, Craftsmen and Teachers, 1914
7 7 Searle, Alfred B. Kilns and Kilnbuilding, 1916
7 8 Catalogs of Kilns, undated
7 Exhibition Catalogs and Announcements
7 9-13 Henry Varnum Poor Solo and Group Shows, 1912-1999, undated
7 14-15 Other Artists, circa 1940s-2001, undated
7 16 Family History, 1881-1946
7 Maps
7 Anson Quadrangle, Somerset County, Maine, 1945
(see: Box 11, folder 2)
7 Clarkstown, N.Y., showing Poor property, circa 1927-1967, undated
(see: OV 27)
7 Miscellaneous Printed Items
7 17 Book Announcement, Brochures, Menu, circa 1910s-1994, undated
7 18 Mentioning and/or Belonging to Mrs. A. J. Poor, 1910-1925, undated
7 Portfolio, Ceramic Art in America, edited by Richard B. Peterson, 1969
(see: Box 11, folder 3)
7 Posters illustrated by V. Prouvé, 1917
(see: OV 29)
7 Reproductions of Work by Henry Varnum Poor
7 19 American Artists Group Greeting Cards and Other Reproductions, circa 1940s, undated
(oversized material housed in Box 11, folders 4-6)
7 20 Illustrations, An Artist Sees Alaska (proofs), circa 1944
(oversized material housed in OV 28)
7 The Call of the Wild, circa 1961
(oversized material housed in OV 28)
7 21 Ethan Frome, circa 1939
7 22 Theater Program from Pennsylvania State College production of Poor Mr. Varnum, 1949
7 23 Travel Souvenirs, 1910-1916, undated
Box Folder
11 2 Map of Anson Quadrangle, Somerset County, Maine, 1955
Box Folder
11 (sol) 3 Portfolio, Ceramic Art in America, edited by Richard B. Peterson, 1969
Box Folder
11 Illustrations
11 4 Life Article on Alaska, circa 1944-1950
(proofs)
11 5 The Scarlet Letter, circa 1941
(proofs)
11 6 Reprint from Woman's Day, 1944

Series 9: Photographs, 1893-1984
(Boxes 7-8, 12-13; 2.3 linear ft.)

Photographs record exterior and interior views of Henry Varnum Poor's architectural work, artwork by Poor and others, people, places, and miscellaneous subjects. This series also contains negatives, slides, and color transparencies.

9.1: Architectural Work, 1966

Among the photographs of architectural work are views of Poor at the building sites of the Jules Billig and Milton Caniff houses. Many views of Poor's own home, Crow House, show the original portion under construction as well as a later addition; also included are views of the grounds and outbuildings such as Poor's new studio, workroom, and garage.

Arranged alphabetically by family name.

Box Folder
7 Maxwell Anderson House, undated
(see: Box 12, folder 1)
7 24 Jules Billig House, 1966, undated
(oversized material housed in Box 12, folder 2)
7 25 Milton Caniff House, circa 1941
(oversized material housed in Box 12, folder 3)
7 Crow House
(see: Henry Varnum Poor House, Box 7, folders 28-41)
7 MacDonald Deming House
(oversized material housed in Box 12, folder 4)
7 26 Ben Hecht Poker Room, undated
7 John Houseman House
(see: Box 12, folder 5)
7 27 Burgess Meredith House and Bathing Pavilion, undated
7 Henry Varnum Poor House (Crow House)
7 28-29 Construction (Poor and Marion Dorn in some views), 1920, undated
(oversized material housed in Box 12, folder 7)
7 30-31 Exterior (some by Marjorie Content Toomer), undated
7 32 Exterior of House and Interior of Studio and Pottery (Ed McCarthy, photographer), 1973
7 33-34 Interior (all 1973 photographs by Ed Hausner of living and dining rooms include Anne Poor), 1973, undated
(2 folders)
7 35 Garden (Henry and Bessie Poor in some views), undated
7 36 Garage, undated
7 37 Pottery Interior, undated
7 38 Studio [new], Exterior, 1957 or later
7 39 Studio [new], Interior, (see also: Exterior of House, Interiors of Studio and Pottery (Ed McCarthy, photographer)) circa 1960s, undated
7 40 Studio [old], Interior, undated
7 41 Work Room (Marjorie Content Toomer, photographer), undated
7 42 Various Projects, Multiple Location, undated
Box Folder
12 1 Maxwell Anderson House, undated
12 2 Jules Billig House, undated
(oversized material from Box 7, folder 33)
12 3 Milton Caniff House, undated)
(oversized material from Box 7, folder 34)
12 4 MacDonald Deming House, undated
(oversized material from Box 7, folder 35)
12 5 John Houseman House, undated
(oversized material from Box 7, folder 38)
12 6 Burgess Meredith House, undated
(oversized material from Box 7, folder 38
12 Henry Varnum Poor House
12 7 Construction (1920), undated
(oversized material from Box 7, folders 39-40)
12 8 Exterior (with Marion Dorn in one view), circa 1920, undated
(oversized material from Box 7, folder 41)
12 9 Interior (includes ceramic tile bathroom from 1920 American Designers' Gallery exhibition, installed at Crow House in 1931), undated
(oversized material from Box 7, folder 44)
12 10 Garden, undated
(oversized material from Box 7, folder 46)
12 11 Studio [new], Exterior, undated
(oversized material from Box 7, folder 49)
12 12 Studio [new], Interior, undated
(oversized material from Box 7, folder 50)
12 13 Various Projects, undated
(oversized material from Box 7, folder 53)

9.2: Artwork, circa 1908-1948

Photographs of Poor's artwork include drawings and sketches, murals, paintings, pottery and ceramics. they are organized by medium. Also among the photographs of works of art are pieces by Willard W. Cummings, Wharton Esherick, unidentified artists, and pottery from the collections of the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (possibly research material for A Book of Pottery by Henry Varnum Poor).

Among the photographs of architectural work are views of Poor at the building sites of the Jules Billig and Milton Caniff houses. Many views of Crow House show the original portion under construction, as well as a later addition; also included are views of the grounds and outbuildings such as Poor's new studio, workroom, and garage. Some Crow House photographs are by Marjorie Content Toomer.

Images of Poor's artwork are arranged by medium and subject.

Box Folder
7 By Henry Varnum Poor, Drawings
7 43 Figures, 1911, undated
7 44 Landscapes, 1943, undated
7 45 Mural Studies for Pennsylvania State College Land Grant Frescoes and Unidentified Ceramic Tile Mural, 1940s, undated
7 46 Portraits, circa 1918-1919, 1943
7 By Henry Varnum Poor, Murals (fresco)
7 47 Department of the Interior, circa 1938
7 48 Department of Justice, circa 1936
7 49 Louisville Courier-Journal
(oversized material housed in Box 13, folder 3)
7 50 Pennsylvania State College, The Land Grant Frescoes, circa 1940-1948
7 By Henry Varnum Poor, Murals (ceramic)
7 51 Fresno Post Office and Court House, circa 1942
7 52 Klingenstein Pavilion, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City, circa 1954
7 53 Unidentified, undated
7 By Henry Varnum Poor, Paintings
7 54-55 Figures, 1943, undated
7 56 Landscapes, circa 1908-1917, undated
7 57-58 Portraits, 1943, undated
7 59 Self-Portraits, undated
7 60 Still Lifes, undated
Box Folder
8 By Henry Varnum Poor, Pottery and Ceramics,
8 1 Figures, undated
8 2 Fountain (Leda and the Swan for Helen Hayes and Charles McArthur), undated
(oversized material housed in Box 13, folder 2)
8 3 Heads, undated
8 4 Miscellaneous Objects, undated
8 5 Plates, undated
8 6 Plates and Other Objects, undated
8 Tile Screen for Abraham Lincoln High School Auditorium, undated
(see: Box 13, folder 1)
8 7 Tiles, undated
8 8 Vessels, undated
8 By Other Artists
8 9 Cummings, Willard W., 1940s, undated
8 10 Esherick, Wharton, circa 1928
8 11 Pottery from the collections of American Museum of Natural History and Metropolitan Museum of Art (for A Book of Pottery by Henry Varnum Poor?), circa 1950s
8 12 Unidentified, undated
Box Folder
13 By Henry Varnum Poor, Ceramics
13 1 Tile Screen for Abraham Lincoln High School Auditorium, undated
13 2 Fountain, Leda and the Swan for Helen Hayes and Charles McArthur, undated
(from Box 8, folder 2)
13 3 By Henry Varnum Poor, Mural, Louisville Courier-Journal (H. Harold Davis, photographer), 1948
(from box 7, folder 49)

9.3: People, circa 1893-1967

Pictures of people include portraits and informal views of Henry Varnum Poor, Poor at work, and making a life mask. Among the views of Poor are several by photographer Marjorie Content Toomer, including one of the artist's hands holding brushes and a palette. Other photogaphs are of Poor with friends, clients, juries, students, various groups, and family members. Photographs of individuals include friends, immediate family, and various relatives.

Box Folder
8 Henry Varnum Poor Portraits
8 13-14 Henry Varnum Poor, circa 1905-1940s
8 15 Henry Varnum Poor in World War II, 1943
8 16-17 Henry Varnum Poor, circa 1940s-1960s
(oversized material housed in Box 13, folder 4)
8 18 Henry Varnum Poor (Marjorie Content Toomer, photographer), undated
8 Henry Varnum Poor at Work
8 19 In the Pottery, circa 1940s-1960s
8 20 Making a Life Mask, 1958
8 21 Painting, circa 1910s
8 22 Painting Murals, Department of the Interior (with Anne Poor), 1938
8 23 Painting Murals, Pennsylvania State College, circa 1940-1948
8 Henry Varnum Poor with Others
8 24 Alaska (with M. R. ("Muktuk") Marston and Alaskans; aboard the Ada), 1943
8 25 California, circa 1908-1917
8 26 Clients (representative of Rockefeller Center, Mr. Billig, unidentified woman), circa 1933, circa 1965, undated
8 27 Friends (including Milton Caniff, Marcel Duchamp, Wharton Esherick, Burgess Meredith, and unidentified), circa 1926, undated
(oversized material housed in Box 13, folder 6)
8 28 Groups (high school class, Académie Julian [?], Town and Country dinner), 1905-circa 1910, undated
8 29 Juries (Art Institute of Chicago, Carnegie Institute, Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts, and unidentified), 1935-1937, undated
8 30 Parties at Crow House, 1965, undated
8 Stanford University (see: Box 8, folders 14-26)
8 31 Students (Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and unidentified), 1937, undated
8 32 Students with Poor's Ceramic Tile Mural at Unidentified School, 1956
8 Henry Varnum Poor with Family
8 33 Sister, Mother and Other Relatives, circa 1893; 1937
8 34 Family Groups (with Bessie Breuer, Marion Dorn, Anne Poor, Josephine Lydia Poor, and Peter Poor), 1913-1960s
8 Family
8 35 Breuer, Bessie, circa 1940s-1960s
8 36 Dorn, Marion Victoria, circa 1910s-1923
8 37 Poor, Anne, circa 1920s-1960s
8 38 Poor, Josephine Graham, undated
8 39 Poor, Josephine Lydia, 1951
8 40 Poor, Peter, 1926-1930s
8 41 Relatives [?], Unidentified, 1919, undated
8 42 Individuals, Identified, 1912, 1967, undated
  • Terry Anderson
  • Mayfield
  • Martha Rhyter
  • Rosse children
  • Marjorie Content Tooner
8 43 Individuals, Unidentified, undated
  • Man
  • Children
8 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture
8 44-45 Classes and Students, circa 1946-1960s
8 46 Faculty and Visitors, circa 1946-1960s
Box Folder
13 Henry Varnum Poor
13 4 Portraits, circa 1940s-1960s
(from Box 6, folders 16-17)
13 5 At Pennsylvania State College, 1940s
13 6 With Family and Friends, circa 1930s, undated
(from box 8, folder 27)
13 7 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Faculty and Students, circa 1946-1960

9.4: Places, circa 1906-1943

There are many photographs of Alaska taken in 1943 when Poor was a war correspondent. Landscapes and aerial views of the territory, boats and boatbuilding, dogs, airplanes, buildings, and other subjects illustrate village life. Some illustrations for An Artist Sees Alaska are based on these photographs.

Photographs of places do not include houses designed and built by Henry Varnum Poor.

Box Folder
8 Alaska
8 47 Aerial Views, 1943
8 48 Airplanes (Ft. Richardson and/or Ft. Ladd?), 1943
8 49 Boats and Boatbuilding, 1943
8 50 Buildings, 1943
8 51 Dogs, 1943
8 52 Landscapes, 1943
(oversized material housed in Box 13, folder 8)
8 53 Miscellaneous Subjects, 1943
8 54-56 People, 1943
8 57 Various Subjects, 1943
(contact sheets)
8 58 California, circa 1906-1917
8 59 France (landscape, Institut militaire) circa 1911; 1917-1918
8 60 Kansas (Poor and Graham family houses in Chapman and Bonner Springs), 1939, undated
8 Unidentified
8 61 Buildings, undated
8 62 Landscape, undated
Box Folder
13 8 Unidentified Landscape, undated

9.5: Miscellaneous Subjects, 1946-1984

Miscellaneous subjects include exhibition installations and photographs of Poor's notes on glazes. The Kentucky farm scenes may have been used as research material for a mural commissioned by the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Box Folder
8 Exhibition Installations
8 63 Carnegie Institute, Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries, and Unidentified Location, 1946-1976, undated
8 64 National Academy of Design, 1984
8 65 Kentucky Farm Scenes, undated
8 66 Notes on Glazes by Henry Varnum Poor, undated
8 67 Nude Models, circa 1908

9.6: Negatives, Slides, and Transparencies, circa 1938-1975

Negatives, slides, and transparencies are of architectural work and artwork by Poor, people, places and miscellaneous subjects.

Box Folder
8 Negatives, Architectural Work
8 68 Varnum Poor House (exterior), undated
8 69 Henry Varnum Poor Studio [new] (exterior), 1957 or later
8 70 Unidentified Exteriors, undated
8 71 Unidentified Interiors, undated
8 Negatives, artwork by Henry Varnum Poor
8 72 Paintings, undated
8 73 Tiles, undated
8 74 Miscellaneous Subjects (Fireplace), undated
8 Negatives, People
8 75 Henry Varnum Poor; Poor with others including family and Marcel Duchamp, undated
8 76 Family, undated
8 Slides
8 77 Artwork by Henry Varnum Poor, Pottery, undated
8 78 Places, Alaska (various subjects, including people), 1943
8 79 Miscellaneous Subjects, Rockland County Center for the Arts, Retrospective Exhibition, 1975
8 Transparencies, Artwork by Henry Varnum Poor
8 80 Department of the Interior Mural (Henry Varnum Poor and Anne Poor at work), circa 1938
8 81 Pottery, undated