John Wilde papers, 1935-1991

Wilde, John, b. 1919 d. 2006
Painter, Art teacher, Draftsman (artist)
Active in Evansville, WI

Collection size: 7.4 linear ft. (partially microfilmed on 10 reels)

Collection Summary: Correspondence; writings; speeches; scrapbooks; journals; sketchbooks and sketches; notebooks; photographs; financial records; exhibition catalogs; and clippings.

REELS 1154-1157: Autobiographical material; correspondence with Arnold Dadian, Georges May, Sylvia Fein, Karl Priebe (over 1000 postcards, many with sketches), Gertrude Abercrombie, Elwyn Chamberlain, George Herring, Harry Willis, Dudley Huppler, Marshall Glasier, F. H. Bresler Co., Edwin Hewitt Gallery, Robert Isaacson Gallery, Durlacher Bros., Frank Oehlschlaeger, Banfer Gallery, and others; a photograph of Marshall Glasier and 1 of an unidentified painting; 14 sketches and drawings by Harry Willis and Marshall Glasier; price lists for works of art; bills and receipts; exhibition announcements; press releases; and miscellany.

REELS 2539-2540: Correspondence with Gertrude Abercrombie, Marshall Glasier, Jane Haslem, Lee Nordness, Everett Oehlschlaeger, Jim Ray, Karl Priebe, Robert A. Veldman, and others; essays on art, including Wilde's master's thesis, "A Survey of the Development of Surrealism in Painting and its Chief Innovations with Especial Emphasis on the Life and Work of Max Ernst"; unpublished writings, 1942-1978; journals, 1940-1967; sketchbooks, 1943-1950; notebooks containing an inventory of Wilde's paintings; photographs of Wilde, Karl Priebe, James Watrous, Sylvia Fein, Gertrude Abercrombie, family members, paintings and exhibition installations, 1940-1978; scrapbooks; exhibition catalogs; clippings; and miscellaneous printed matter.

REELS 2539a, 4710a, and 5661: Letters to Wilde from Walter Hamady, proprietor of the Perishable Press, Mt. Horeb, Wis., 1971-1998, (a few letters enclose printed material about Hamady and the Perishable Press).

REEL 4710: Journal with sporadic entries from Jan. 3, 1978 to Dec. 12, 1990, concerning work in progress, commissioned portraits, opposition to government funding of the arts, selling and exhibiting his paintings and drawings, and teaching.

UNMICROFILMED (2 ft.): Correspondence (1.25 ft.) with galleries, museums, curators, collectors, and friends, including David Findlay Jr., Inc., the Dorothy Bradley Galleries, Jane Haslem, Dudley Huppler, the Elvehjem Museum of Art, the Fanny Garver Gallery, the Madison Art Center, Georges May, the Schmidt Bingham Gallery, the University of Wisconsin--Madison, the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, and Theodore F. Wolff; appraisals; checklists of work; writings, including the edited manuscript and published volume by Wilde, What His Mother's Son Hath Wrought (W H M S H W) (1988) containing artwork and thoughts; speeches and lectures delivered by Wilde; a tape-recorded interview of Gertrude Abercrombie conducted by Studs Terkel for WFMT radio, Chicago, April 1959; newspaper and magazine clippings, exhibition catalogs, announcements and other printed material; and files relating to Marshall Glasier, a fellow artist and friend of Wilde's, containing letters, printed material, and photographs.

ADDITION (2 ft.): A vitae; correspondence regarding gifts and contributions to museums, charitable societies, and other organizations; correspondence with galleries, former students, artists, publishers, editors, and art critics, including Don LaViere Turner, William McClain, Paul Cummings, David Godine, Theodore Wolff and others; a statement from Schmidt Bringham concerning the theft of Wilde's paintings "Exotic II (Artichoke)" and "Artist Visited by an Angel," October 1990; writings including transcriptions of ten "Talking Drawings" in the Madison Art Center by Wilde and related correspondence; typescripts of Wilde's gallery talk in conjunction with the exhibit, "John Steuart Curry, Aaron Bohrod & John Wilde: Leaders in Wisconsin Art, 1936-1981," May 18, 1982; typescript of lecture by Wilde at the Elvehjem Museum of Art, December 2, 1984; notes, poems, and correspondence concerning Wilde's book with Reeve Lindbergh, "John Apples: Thirteen Paintings by John Wilde, Twelve Poems by Reeve Lindbergh,: (Perishable Press, 1995); inventories of works of art; sales and consignment records, and other financial statements; printed material including exhibition catalogs, announcements, programs, and clippings; photographs of works of art; files relating to Marshall Glasier; and miscellany.

Biographical/Historical Note: Graphic artist, painter, art instructor. b. 1919 d. 2006 Wilde specialized in silver point. He taught at the University of Wisconsin--Madison, 1948-198 .

Material on reels 1154-1157 and 2539, 2539a and 2540 donated 1975-1981 by Wilde, except for journals, sketchbooks, writings, notebooks and photos on reel 2540, which he lent for microfilming. In 1992 Wilde lent the material on reel 4710 and donated an additional 2 ft. of material (unmicrofilmed). Additional letters from Walter Hamaday on reel 5661 were lent December 1999.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reels 1154-1157, 2539-2540 and 4710 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
    Walter Hamady letters: microfilm reels 2539a, 4710a, and 5661 are access restricted; available for use only at Archives of American Art offices.
  • 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. Contact Reference Services for more information. Letters from Walter Hamady, reels 2539a, 4710a and 5661 are: ACCESS RESTRICTED; written permission required.
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