Olive Rush papers, 1879-1967

Rush, Olive, b. 1873 d. 1966
Painter, Muralist, Illustrator, Portrait painter
Active in Santa Fe, N.M.

The papers of Olive Rush in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2004. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 9,064 images.

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.


Collection size: 5.7 linear ft.

Collection Summary: The records of Olive Rush measure 5.7 linear feet and date from 1879 to 1967. They contain correspondence, artwork, photographs, writings, and other personal papers documenting Rush's education and career as an illustrator, portraitist, muralist, painter, teacher, and promoter of Native American art.

Biographical/Historical Note: Olive Rush (1873-1966) was a painter, illustrator, and muralist from Sante Fe, N.M. Studied at the Art Students League with Twatchman and Mowbray and the Howard Pyle School. Muralist for the La Fonda Hotel and Public Library, Sante Fe; WPA murals: United States Post Office, Florence, Colo. and Pawhuska, Okla. Illustrator for Collier's, & Scribners. Specialities: women, children, American Indians, frescos.

Diaries and some sketches donated by an anonymous donor, 1970. Other materials donated by Olive Rush, 1964 and 1970. Material on reel SW 4 lent for microfilming by the Olive Rush Memorial Studio, 1970.

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

How to Use this Collection

  • Read the Finding Aid for this digitized collection
  • The collection has been partially digitized and is available online via AAA's website. Materials which have not been scanned include art reproductions, programs for cultural events, and photographs of works of art. Exhibition catalogs and periodicals that refer to Rush or to her work with Native American artists have had their covers and those references scanned, and other periodicals and pamphlets have had only covers scanned. Photographs of works of art have not been scanned, except for installation views and photographs of murals and frescoes in situ.
    Materials loaned by the Olive Rush Memorial studio in 1970 were microfilmed on reel SW4 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. 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

Materials loaned by the Olive Rush Memorial studio in 1970 were returned after microfilming on reel SW4. The portion that was not later donated is not described in this finding aid.
The Archives of American Art holds a brief oral history interview with Olive Rush concerning her involvement with Federal Art Projects.