Withers, Margret Craver,
Arts administrator, Metalworker
New York, N.Y.; Boston, Mass.; West Newbury, Mass.
Collection size: 11.5 linear feet
Collection Summary: Biographical material, correspondence, business records, subject files, teaching files, exhibition files, writings, scrapbooks, photographs, works of art, printed material, and audio visual material relating to Margret Craver Withers career as a silversmith.
Biographical material includes certificates of merit, chronologies, and accounts of Withers career and transcriptions of interviews with Withers. Correspondence is with students, patrons, colleagues, arts organizations, customers, and vendors documenting the technical details of Withers' pieces as well as their exhibition and sale. Business records include patent records, invoices and receipts, and commission files. Subject files are on silversmiths and various organizations with which Withers was involved. Teaching files include curriculum written by Withers, in 1948, for a course in glass to be taught at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Mass. Also present are notes for various speaking engagements.
Exhibition files are from the 1950s and 1960s and concern exhibitions featuring Withers' works. Writings include essays and notes, some compiled for teaching, by Withers and others, on silversmithing, metalwork, and gems, and illustrated notebooks by Withers on metalworking techniques. Scrapbooks concern the Annual National Silversmithing workshop and Withers work for Handy & Harman as well as British silversmith, Reginald Hall. Photographs and slides are of Withers, her studio, colleagues, art-related events, works of art by Withers and her students, exhibition installations, and metalwork tools. Works of art include sketches and sketchbooks by Withers and others. Printed material includes exhibition catalogs, brochures, newspaper clippings, and published articles regarding Withers.
Audio visual material includes 8 phonograph records of interviews with Withers conducted by Nancy Craig, Irene Corbally Kuhn, and others, 1945-1948, three reels of 16mm motion picture film (transferred to VHS): "Living Silver", "Contemporary Silversmithing," and "Handwrought Silver," feature Withers and were produced by Handy & Harman and 2 reels 16mm motion picture film, one concerning Baron Erik Fleming's shop and the other unidentified.
Biographical/Historical Note: Margret Craver Withers (1907-2010) was a silversmith in Boston, Mass., New York, N.Y., and West Newbury, Mass. After graduating from the University of Kansas in 1929, Withers received technical training from Arthur Nevill Kirk and in 1938, from Baron Erik Fleming, silversmith to the King of Sweden. She worked for the firm of Handy & Harman in New York City, as head of its Craft Service Department, which produced and distributed films, booklets, and technical expertise on handwrought silver to craftsmen and teachers, and sponsored the Silversmithing Workshop Conferences to promote experimentation in design. From 1944-1946, Withers headed Handy & Harman's Hospital Service Department, which used silversmithing military hospital physical therapy programs. In 1950, she married Charles C. Withers, president of Towle Silversmiths. Professionally, she was known as Margret Craver.
Donated by Margret Craver Withers, 1971-1998, and in 2011 by Josephine Withers, Margret Craver Withers' daughter, except for 3 reels of motion picture film which were donated 1975 by Handy and Harman.
Funding for the preservation and transfer of motion picture film provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.
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