Karl Theodore Francis Bitter papers, 1887-circa 1977

Bitter, Karl Theodore Francis, b. 1867 d. 1915
Active in New York, N.Y.

Collection size: 2.5 linear feet

Collection Summary: The papers of sculptor Karl Bitter date from 1887 to circa 1977 and measure 2.5 linear feet. The bulk of the collection consists of photographs of works of art and commemorative medals from expositions. Also found are scattered biographical information, family correspondence, two diaries, printed materials, sketches, and sketchbooks.

Biographical material consists of one short biography of Karl Bitter. The bulk of the correspondence is to Bitter's children, Marietta (Mrs. Walter Abel) and Francis Bitter, and relates to the relocation of Bitter's caryatid sculptures on the St. Paul Building. There are typescripts of letters from Karl Bitter to sculptor Daniel C. French and from Marie Bitter to her children.

Two diaries from 1901 and 1909 kept by Bitter describe his trips abroad. The 1901 diary is similar to a scrapbook and was kept during his honeymoon with Marie Sherrill. Their travels through France and Italy are vividly described through prose, sketches, maps, postcards, and a photo of Bitter and Marie. A 1909 diary is from Bitter's first trip back to Austria since he left for the United States. Written in the form of letters to his wife, he describes his reactions to being back in Europe, seeing his family and sightseeing.

Scattered printed material includes a clipping, an exhibition announcement, a postcard, and reproductions of works of art by Bitter.

Photographs are of Bitter, his family and friends, studios, and sculpture. Also found are two photo albums containing many images of Bitter's sculptures throughout the country.

The are two sketchbooks and a print by Blanche Stollson, Also found are Bitter's commemorative medals from various international expositions.

Biographical/Historical Note: Austrian-born sculptor Karl Bitter (1867-1915) was active in New York City, New York.

The Karl Theodore Francis Bitter papers were donated by Marietta Bitter Abel (Mrs. Walter), Mr. Michael Abel, and Lt. Col. Jonathon F. Abel in several increments from 1970-2010. The commemorative medals were donated in 1975 by Walter Hancock, a friend of Bitter's son Francis.

How to Use this Collection

  • Portions of the collection is available on microfilm reels N70-8, N70-35, N70-40, and 673 and are available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
  • 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.
  • For more information on using the Archives’ resources, see the FAQ or Ask Us.

Also in the Archives

Related Materials

Also in the Archives are papers lent for microfilming (reels N/70-8 and N/70-35) including biographical material, correspondence, and photographs.

Make a Request

Reading Room Reproduction