Janet De Coux papers, 1895-2000

A Finding Aid to the Janet De Coux Papers, 1895-2000, in the Archives of American Art, by Jean Fitzgerald

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Biographical Information

Janet De Coux was born on October 5, 1904 in Niles, Michigan, the youngest of the five children of Bertha Wright De Coux and Rev. Charles John De Coux, an Episcopal clergyman. The family moved to Grand Rapids in 1908 and four years later to a farm in Gibsonia, outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

De Coux studied with Joseph Bailey Ellis at the Carnegie Institute of Technology from 1925 to 1927. She then apprenticed in the New York studio of C. Paul Jennewein for fifteen months, followed by a year at the Gorham Bronze Division learning architectural modeling. She also worked with Aristide Cianfarani in Providence, and for Alvin Meyer in Chicago. While serving her apprenticeships, she attended night school at the New York School of Industrial Arts, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Art Institute of Chicago. De Coux was then employed in James Earle Fraser’s studio where she had previously assisted Gozo Kawamura.

In 1932 De Coux met Eliza Miller in the sculpture department of Carnegie Tech, beginning a sixty-year relationship in which they shared a shop and adjoining studios in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania. For several months in 1935, De Coux traveled to Germany, Italy, and Switzerland, where she joined her friend Aly Moore, the wife of sculptor Bruce Moore. She first met longtime friend Father Hughson on a ship returning to the United States from Europe.

A Guggenheim Fellowship awarded to De Coux in 1938 was renewed for a second year. In 1943, she became resident instructor at Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Janet De Coux died in December 1999.

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Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

The papers of sculptor Janet De Coux measure 3.9 linear feet and date from 1895 to 2000. Found within the papers are scattered biographical material, including curriculum vitae and a file concerning De Coux's induction as a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania. Correspondence is primarily between family, friends, and colleagues. It includes letters from Carl Milles, Bruce Moore, C.P. Jennewein, the Guild of Liturgy, Art and Design (GLAD), the Liturgical Arts Society, Inc., sculptor James Earle Fraser, offering advice on various sculpture projects, his wife Laura Gardin Fraser, a letter of congratulations from Paul Manship on the occasion of de Coux's election to the National Academy of Design, and approximately fifty letters, 1944-1952, from Anne Morrow Lindbergh, writer and wife of aviator Charles Lindbergh. There are also one or two letters from Lu Duble, Joseph Bailey Ellis, Mark Tobey, and Albert Wein.

Found within the papers are a transcript of an interview of De Coux by George Gurney, and audio cassettes with transcripts of an autobiographical narrative by De Coux. Miscellaneous notes and writings include autobiographical accounts and poems by De Coux and miscellaneous writings by others. Seven of De Coux's sketchbooks and a folder of drawings by De Coux, as well as a portrait of De Coux by C. Paul Jennewein are found in the Artwork series. Project files contain letters, receipts, clippings, brochures, and photographs for sculpture projects primarily commissioned by religious organizations. Printed material includes clippings, exhibition catalogs, and miscellaneous brochures. Photographs are of De Coux, family members, friends including Anne Morrow Lindbergh and her children, colleagues including James Earle Fraser, Laura Gardin Fraser, Carl Milles, and Bruce Moore, and sculpture.

Arrangement and Series Description

The collection is arranged as 8 series:

Subjects and Names

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

Types of Materials:

  • Sound recordings
  • Interviews
  • Sketchbooks
  • Drawings
  • Photographs
  • Poetry

Names:

  • Milles, Carl, 1875-1955
  • Moore, Bruce, 1905-
  • Jennewein Carl Paul, 1890-
  • Fraser, James Earle, 1876-1953
  • Fraser, Laura Gardin, 1889-1966
  • Manship, Paul, 1885-1966
  • Lindbergh, Anne Morrow, 1906-
  • Gurney, George.
  • Guild of Liturgy, Art and Design
  • Liturgical Arts Society

Provenance

The Janet De Coux papers were donated in 1992 by the artist and in two later installments in 2000-2001 by her longtime companion, Eliza Miller.

Separated and Related Materials

Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Janet De Coux done by George Gurney, May 5, 1978.

How the Collection was Processed

Letters received in 1992 were microfilmed upon receipt on Reel 4909. Later additions were merged with the letters and processed as one collection in June 2007 by Jean Fitzgerald.


How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The Janet De Coux 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

Portions of this collection are available on 35mm microfilm reel 4909 at Archives of American Art offices, and through interlibrary loan.

How to Cite this Collection

Janet De Coux papers, 1895-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1895-1993
(Box 1; 13 folders)

Biographical material includes curriculum vitae, report cards, and passports. A file for the Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania Medal contains letters, a transcript of the ceremony, programs, directories, and photographs of the ceremony and other recipients including actress Grace Kelly. Miscellaneous family material includes a funeral card for De Coux’s aunt Minnie, miscellaneous genealogical notes, and locks of De Coux’s hair and her mother’s hair.

Box Folder
1 1-2 Curriculum Vitae, 1944-1993
(2 folders)
1 3 Report Cards, 1926
1 4-5 Passports, 1935-1984
(2 folders)
1 6 Award Certificates, 1954-1989
1 7-11 File for Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania Medal, 1954-1955
(5 folders)
1 12-13 Miscellaneous Biographical Material, 1895-1969, undated
(2 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1895-2000
(Boxes 1-2; 1.0 linear feet)

Correspondence is primarily between De Coux and family members, friends including Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and colleagues including Abastenia St. Leger Eberle, James Earle Fraser, Laura Gardin Fraser, Camille Grapin, Carl Milles, and Bruce Moore. There are one or two letters each from Lu Duble, Joseph Bailey Ellis, Mark Tobey, and Albert Wein.

Eleven letters from James Earle Fraser, two letters from Laura Gardin Fraser, and one letter from Paul Manship have been microfilmed on reel 4909, and are arranged together in one folder.

Box Folder
1 14 Eleven Letters from James Earle Fraser, Laura Gardin Fraser, and Paul Manship, 1935-1946
(see also reel 4909)
1 15-17 Correspondence, undated
(3 folders)
1 18 Correspondence, 1895-1919
1 19 Correspondence, 1927
1 20 Correspondence, 1928
1 21-23 Correspondence, 1929
(3 folders)
1 24 Correspondence, 1930
1 25-26 Correspondence, 1931
(2 folders)
1 27 Correspondence, 1932
1 28 Correspondence, 1933
1 29-33 Correspondence, 1934
(5 folders)
1 34-39 Correspondence, 1935
(6 folders)
1 40-41 Correspondence, 1936
(2 folders)
1 42 Correspondence, 1937
1 43-44 Correspondence, 1938
(2 folders)
1 45 Correspondence, 1939
1 46 Correspondence, 1940-1941
1 47 Correspondence, 1942
1 48 Correspondence, 1943
1 49-52 Correspondence, 1944
(4 folders)
1 53-54 Correspondence, 1945
(2 folders)
1 55 Correspondence, 1946
1 56 Correspondence, 1947
1 57 Correspondence, 1948-1949
1 58 Correspondence, 1950
1 59 Correspondence, 1951-1952
1 Correspondence, 1953-1959
1 61 Correspondence, 1960
1 62-64 Correspondence, 1962
(3 folders)
1 65 Correspondence, 1964-1967
1 66 Correspondence, 1968
1 67 Correspondence, 1969
1 68 Correspondence, 1970
1 69 Correspondence, 1971
1 70 Correspondence, 1972-1973
1 71 Correspondence, 1974-1975
1 72 Correspondence, 1976-1979
1 73 Correspondence, 1980-1981
1 74 Correspondence, 1983
1 75 Correspondence, 1984-1986
1 76 Correspondence, 1988
1 77 Correspondence, 1989
Box Folder
2 1 Correspondence, 1990
2 2 Correspondence, 1991
2 3 Correspondence, 1992-1993
2 4 Correspondence, 1995
2 5 Correspondence, 1996
2 6 Correspondence, 1997
2 7 Correspondence, 1998
2 8 Correspondence, 1999
2 9 Correspondence, 2000

Series 3: Interviews, 1978, 1990
(Box 2; 3 folders)

This series consists of a transcript of an interview of De Coux conducted by George Gurney on May 5, 1978, and audiocassettes with transcripts of an autobiographical narrative by De Coux.

Box Folder
2 10 Transcript of Interview of Janet De Coux by George Gurney, 1978
2 11 Audiocassettes of Autobiographical Narrative by De Coux, 1990
2 12 Transcript of Autobiographical Narrative by De Coux, 1990

Series 4: Notes and Writings, 1937-1996
(Box 2; 23 folders)

This series includes miscellaneous notes and writings including autobiographical accounts and poems by De Coux. Miscellaneous writings by others include poems and a prayer written by De Coux's father, Charles J. De Coux.

Box Folder
2 13 Lists of Artwork, undated
2 14 Pages from Exhibition Guest Book, 1996
2 15 Miscellaneous Notes, undated
2 16 Autobiographical Writings by Janet De Coux, undated
2 17-24 Poems by De Coux, 1937-1938, undated
(8 folders)
2 25 Notebook of Poems by De Coux, 1993
2 26 Book Reviews by De Coux, undated
2 27-29 Miscellaneous Writings by De Coux, 1937-1991, undated
(3 folders)
2 30 Poems by Charles J. De Coux, undated
2 31 Prayer by Charles J. De Coux, undated
2 32 Autobiographical Typescript by Bertha Wright De Coux, undated
2 33 Typescript “Beloved and Lovely” by Charles P. Price, 1989
2 34 Typescript “The Liberal Tradition of the Gospel” by Charles P. Price, 1989
2 35 Miscellaneous Writings by Others, undated

Series 5: Artwork, 1928-1929
(Boxes 2, 6; 9 folders)

Artwork consists of sketchbooks and drawings including a pencil portrait of De Coux by C. Paul Jennewein.

Box Folder
2 36 Sketchbook 1, undated
2 37 Sketchbook 2, undated
2 38 Sketchbook 3, undated
2 39 Sketchbook 4, undated
2 40 Sketchbook 5, undated
2 41 Sketchbook 6, 1928
2 42 Sketchbook 7, 1929
2 43 Miscellaneous Drawings, 1928, undated
(see also Box 6)
Box
6 (sol) Oversized Pencil Portrait of Janet De Coux by C. Paul Jennewein, 1928

Series 6: Project Files, 1942-1982
(Boxes 2-3, 6; 36 folders)

Project files contain letters, receipts, clippings, brochures, and photographs concerning sculpture projects primarily commissioned by religious organizations.

Box Folder
2 44 Bas-Relief for Post Office, Girard, Pennsylvania, 1942
2 45-48 Statue of the Madonna, St. Mary Roman Catholic Church, Manhasset, New York, 1943-1946
(4 folders; see also Box 6)
2 49-52 Statue of St. Benedict, St. Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, Pennsylvania, 1947-1949
(4 folders)
2 53 “Luce Doors,” St. Ann Chapel, Palo Alto, California, 1952
(see also Box 6)
2 54-55 Statue of the Madonna, Roman Catholic Church, Fishers Island, New York, 1955-1958
(2 folders)
2 56-63 Altar, Crucifix, and Pyx for Order of St. Helena, Vails Gate, New York, 1959-1962
(8 folders)
2 64-70 Statue of William Penn, William Penn Memorial Museum, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1962-1970
(7 folders)
Box Folder
3 1-4 Altar, Baptismal Font, and Crucifix, St. Stephen and Incarnation Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C., 1964-1967
(4 folders)
3 5-6 Statue of St. Stephen, St. Stephen Episcopal Church, Sweickley, Pennsylvania, 1968-1970
(2 folders)
3 7 Bell Tower, Convent of St. Helena, Vails Gate, New York, 1982
Box
6 (sol) Two Oversized Photographs of Statue of the Madonna, St. Mary Roman Catholic Church, Manhasset, New York, 1943-1946
6 (sol) Two Oversized Reproductions of Elevation Drawings, St. Ann Chapel, Palo Alto, California, 1952

Series 7: Printed Material, 1906-2000
(Box 3; 20 folders)

Printed material includes clippings, exhibition catalogs, reproductions of artwork, programs, a passenger list from De Coux’s European trip, a high school yearbook, and miscellaneous brochures.

Box Folder
3 8 Clippings, undated
3 9 Clippings, 1906-1944
3 10 Clippings, 1952-1969
3 11 Clippings, 1971-1978
3 12 Clippings, 1980-1989
3 13 Clippings, 1990-1996
3 14 Clippings, 1997
3 15 Clippings, 2000
3 16 Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1944-1978
3 17 Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1987
3 18 Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1996
3 19 Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1997
3 20 Reproductions of Artwork by De Coux, undated
3 21 Reproductions of Artwork by Others, undated
3 22 Programs, 1911-1989
3 23 Passenger List from the S. S. Washington, 1935
3 24 Booklet of Transcript of Informal Talk by Carl Milles, 1945
3 25 Book, The Poetry and Drawings by Janet De Coux, undated
3 26 High School Yearbook, 1921
3 27 Brochures, 1956-1989

Series 8: Photographs, 1926-1996
(Boxes 3-6; 1.3 linear feet)

Photographs are of De Coux, family members, friends including Anne Morrow Lindbergh and her children, colleagues including James Earle Fraser, Laura Gardin Fraser, Henry Kreis, Carl Milles, Bruce Moore, and students at Cranbrook Academy of Art, residences, De Coux’s studio, and of an exhibition at the Carnegie Institute. Photographs are also of artwork for which project files were not created.

Box Folder
3 28-32 Photographs of Janet De Coux, 1926-1996, undated
(5 folders)
3 33 Photographs of Family Members, undated
(see also Box 6)
3 34 Photographs of Family Grave Sites, undated
3 35 Photographs of James Earle Fraser, Fraser’s Studio, Laura Gardin Fraser, Bruce Moore, and Henry Kreis, undated
3 36 Photographs of Anne Morrow Lindbergh and Children, undated
3 37 Photographs of Carl Milles, 1943, undated
3 38-39 Photographs of Miscellaneous Friends and Colleagues, 1943-1963, undated
(2 folders)
3 40-42 Photographs of Residences, 1953, undated
(3 folders)
3 43 Photographs of Studio, 1947, undated
3 44 Photographs of Exhibition at Carnegie Institute, 1946
3 45 Photographs of Bust Aaron, undated
(see also Box 6)
3 46 Photographs of Altar, Methodist Church, Brooklyn, Pennsylvania, undated
3 47 Photographs of Aumbry, Christ Church, undated
3 48 Photographs of Sculpture Christ and St. Paul, undated
3 49 Photographs of Sculpture Christ in the Garden, undated
3 50 Photographs of Busts Boy and Girl, undated
3 51 Photographs of Statue Conversion of St. Paul, undated
(see also Box 6)
3 52 Photographs of Aluminum Crucifix, undated
3 53 Photographs of Cherrywood Crucifix, undated
3 54 Photographs of Sculpture Dancers, undated
3 55 Photographs of Sculpture Deposition of Christ, undated
3 56 Photographs of Sculpture Doubting Thomas, undated
(see also Box 6)
3 57 Photograph of Sculpture Eve, undated
3 58 Photographs of Model for a Fountain, undated
3 59-60 Photographs of Sculpture for the Hamm Memorial, undated
(2 folders)
3 61 Photographs of Relief Sculpture Jacob’s Dream, undated
3 62 Photographs of Sculpture Jesus and St. John, undated
3 63 Photographs of Bust John Lindsay, undated
(see also Box 6)
3 64 Photographs of Sculpture Judas, undated
3 65 Photographs of Sculpture Madonna and Child, undated
3 66 Photographs of Sculpture Mother Earth, undated
3 67 Photographs of Sculpture Mother Seton, undated
3 68 Photograph of Relief Sculpture The Poet, undated
3 69 Photographs of Incised Drawing on Slate Prodigal Son, undated
3 70 Photographs of Sculpture Prophet, undated
3 71 Photographs of Relief Sculpture Resurrection, undated
3 72 Photographs of Sculpture Ruth and Naomi, undated
3 73 Photographs of Relief Sculpture St. David and St. Paul, undated
3 74 Photographs of Sanford Table, undated
3 75 Photographs of Relief Portrait Sarah Campbell De Coux, undated
3 76 Photographs of Relief Sculptures The Swimmers or Night and Day, undated
3 77 Photographs of Sculpture Woman Touching Christ’s Garment, undated
Box Folder
4 (hol) 1 Photographs of Sculpture John the Baptist, 1933
4 (hol) 2 Photographs of Sculpture Savanarola, 1933
4 (hol) 3-4 Photographs of Sculpture Deborah’s Song, 1938
(2 folders; see also Box 6)
4 (hol) 5 Photographs of Relief Sculpture St. Angela and the Young Girl for the College of New Rochelle, New York, 1938
(see also Box 6)
4 (hol) 6 Photographs of Relief Sculpture for the Food Building, New York World’s Fair, 1939
4 (hol) 7 Photographs of Medal Thou Sluggard, 1942-1966
4 (hol) 8 Photographs of Relief Portrait Elizabeth Morrow, 1945
4 (hol) 9 Photographs of Relief Sculpture Christ with the Children, Sacred Heart Primary School, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1947
(see also Box 6)
4 (hol) 10-16 Photographs of Miscellaneous Sculpture, St. Scholastica Roman Catholic Church, Aspinwall, Pennsylvania, 1949-1950
(7 folders; see also Box 6)
4 (hol) 17 Photographs of Charles Martin Hall Monument, 1953
4 (hol) 18 Photographs of Sculpture Crucifixion Group, 1953
4 (hol) 19-20 Photographs of Altar and Candlesticks, St. Margaret’s Hospital Chapel, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1955-1984
(2 folders)
4 (hol) 21-23 Photographs of Altar and Crucifix, St. Barnabas Chapel, Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, 1956-1960
(3 folders)
4 (hol) 24 Photographs of Altar and Hanging Cross, St. James Episcopal Church, Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, 1957
4 (hol) 25-26 Photographs of Sculpture for St. Thomas-in-the-Field Episcopal Church, Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, 1959
(2 folders)
Box Folder
5 (pam) 1 Photographs of Sculpture Christ Sleeping in the Wilderness, Heckett Grave Marker, Butler, Pennsylvania 1960
5 (pam) 2 Photographs of Sculpture Moses, 1960
5 (pam) 3 Photographs of Sculpture Head of Young Christ, St. Germaine Roman Catholic Church, Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, 1961
5 (pam) 4 Photographs of Sculpture St. Boniface, Servants of the Most Holy Trinity Church, Silver Spring, Maryland, 1961
5 (pam) 5 Photographs of Altar Cushions, 1962
5 (pam) 6 Photographs of Altar, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Southington, Connecticut, 1965
5 (pam) 7 Photograph of Neil Riley Vietnam Monument, 1966
5 (pam) 8 Photographs of Marion and Paul Chalice and Pendant, 1968-1977
5 (pam) 9 Photographs of Relief Sculpture, Mars Middle School, Mars, Pennsylvania, 1970-1974
5 (pam) 10 Photographs of Ceiling Sculpture, Architect’s Club, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1971
5 (pam) 11 Photographs of Relief Sculpture, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 1979
5 (pam) 12 Photographs of Medal for the Society of Medalists, 1980
5 (pam) 13 Photographs of Sculpture Sarah and Abraham, 1986, undated
5 (pam) 14-15 Photographs of Miscellaneous Artwork by De Coux, 1960-1984, undated (2 folders) (See Also Box 6)
5 (pam) 16 Photographs of Artwork by Others, undated
5 (pam) 17 Miscellaneous Photographs, undated
Box
6 (sol) Oversized Photograph of the De Coux Family, undated
6 (sol) Oversized Photograph of Bust Aaron, undated
6 (sol) Oversized Photograph of Statue Conversion of St. Paul, undated
6 (sol) Two Oversized Photographs of Statue Doubting Thomas, undated
6 (sol) Two Oversized Photographs of Bust John Lindsay, undated
6 (sol) Oversized Photograph of Deborah’s Song, 1938
6 (sol) Two Oversized Photographs of Relief Sculpture St. Angela and the Young Girl for the College of New Rochelle, New York, 1938
6 (sol) Oversized Photograph of Relief Sculpture Christ with the Children, Sacred Heart Primary School, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1947
6 (sol) Five Oversized Photographs of Sculpture, St. Scholastica Roman Catholic Church, Aspinwall, Pennsylvania, 1949-1950
6 (sol) Oversized Photograph of Miscellaneous Artwork, Unidentified Sculpture by De Coux, undated