Isabel Peterson papers, 1942-1980

Peterson, Isabel
Active in Southbury, Conn.

Collection size: ca. 600 items (on microfilm reel)

Collection Summary: Materials relating to the annual art exhibitions of paintings by U.S. merchant seamen, organized and directed by Peterson. Included are: a 4 page typescript carbon describing Peterson's involvement with the exhibitions; rough drafts of her curriculum vitae and her resume; correspondence with museum directors, government agencies, artists, John Taylor Arms, Leon Kroll, Philip Kappel, and others; writings by Peterson and others; photographs of the seamen, their art work, and the exhibitions; a scrapbook with exhibition catalogs, announcements, clippings; photographs, and other material regarding the exhibitions; loose clippings and news releases; a book, ART IN THE ARMED FORCES, 1944, edited by Aimee Crane; and one issue of HERITAGE VILLAGER MAGAZINE, 1978.

Biographical/Historical Note: Curator, exhibition designer; Conn. Asked by Vice Admiral Emory S. Land, of the War Shipping Administration to establish a recreation department for wartime merchant seamen. Developed, organized, and directed 5 annual exhibitions of paintings of merchant seamen of the U.N. (1943-1946). Juries for these shows included John Taylor Arms, chairman, Leon Kroll, Reginald Marsh, Jo Davidson, Raphael Soyer, and other well-known artists. The exhibitions were shown in the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. and other museums around the country.

Donated 1983 by Isabel Peterson.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm roll 3770 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
    Selected items from this collection have been digitized and are available online via AAA's website.
  • Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm.
  • For more information on using the Archives’ resources, see the FAQ or Ask Us.

Make a Request

Reading Room Reproduction