Wood and Adelaide Lawson Gaylor papers, 1866- [ca. 1986]

Gaylor, Wood, b. 1883 d. 1957
Painter, Etcher, Lithographer
Active in New York, N.Y.

Gaylor, Adelaide Lawson, b. 1889 d. 1986

Active in Long Island,N.Y.

Collection size: 2.5 linear feet (partially microfilmed on 1 reel)

Collection Summary: Biographical material, correspondence, journals, notebooks, address books, business records, writings, sketchbooks, exhibition announcements and catalogs, clippings, photographs, and subject files relating to the artistic careers of Wood Gaylor and Adelaide Lawson, to Gaylor's work as a fashion pattern desiger, and, more broadly, to the New York art scene from the 1913 Armory Show through the 1930s.

Included are reminiscences and biographical documents; letters and postcards, some illustrated, from family, friends, artists, galleries, museums, and art organizations; letters of condolence to Adelaide upon Gaylor's death and letters to her concerning his work; original Christmas cards to the Gaylors; a page from Wood's 1952 journal recording names of people attending Kenneth Hayes Miller's funeral and journals kept by Adelaide recording books read, plays attended, travels, and other activities, 1906, 1910 and 1915; a notebook kept by Gaylor regarding his work organizing the 1924 Women's Club exhibition in Jacksonville, Fla., listing artists (among them Pop Hart, Marsden Hartley, Picasso, and Kuniyoshi), titles, and prices of works shipped; business records, including receipts for Gaylor's work consigned or sold to the Downtown Gallery, 1929-1934, tax returns, and other business records, 1922-1979;

writings by Wood, including speeches, lectures, and articles on American art and commercial patterns, scripts for New York radio station programs, 1932 and 1949, including a discussion with Salons of America members Alexander Brook, Robert Laurent, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, David H. Morrison, and Peggy Bacon, 1932; writings by others, including 19 poems by Lillian Byrnes, the introduction to the Hamiliton Easter Field Memorial Exhibition catalog by Elsa Rogo, and an organizational memo for the Modern Artists of America with annotations by Wood; four sketchbooks by Wood, 1916, 1923, and undated, and four by Adelaide, 1920-1922 and undated, done while traveling through Europe; and loose sketches by Wood and Adelaide.

Also included are exhibition catalogs and announcements of Wood and Adelaide's group and one-person shows, among them the Wanamaker Gallery of Modern Decorative Art, Friends of the Young Artists, 1915, Thumb Box Gallery, 1916, the MacDowell Club, 1918, the Dialis at the Civic Club Gallery, 1922, the Colony Club, 1922, Gallery 134 W. 4th, 1925, Downtown Gallery, 1930 and 1932, First Municipal Art Exhibition, Rockefeller Center, 1934, Kew Gardens Art Center, 1951, and the initial exhibition of the Museum of Art of Ogunquit, 1953;

catalogs and announcements for other New York artists at Mrs. H. P. Whitney's Studio, 1917, Hamilton Easter Field Memorial Show at the American Art Galleries, 1922, Rockwell Kent at the M. Knoedler & Co., 1919, Walt Kuhn at the Grand Central Art Galleries, 1927, The Wanamaker Regional Art Exhibition, 1934, Yasuo Kuniyoshi at the Municipal Art Galleries, 1939, Kenneth Hayes Miller Commemoration Exhibit at the Art Students League 1949, a hand lettered announcement for the sale of George Overbury "Pop" Hart's watercolors by the Junior Art Patrons of America, undated, and catalogs from exhibitions held at the Gaylor's Barn; newspaper and magazine clippings, mostly photocopies, 1910-1979; a book, "The Technique of Oil Paintings and other Essays" by Hamilton Easter Field, 1913, and issues of the Pagan, 1918 and the Quill, 1918, containing drawings by Wood;

photographs, ca. 1887-1977, of Wood, Adelaide, family, homes, friends, travel, exhibitions, works of art and works of art by others, including a photograph of Wood by Emil Ganso, of Adelaide in an art class, possibly at the Art Students League, of Adelaide's art classes at the Gaylor Barn, of Jules Pascin, Hermine L. David-Pascin, Gustaw Gwozdecki, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Katherine Schmidt-Shubert, Robert Laurent, Frank and Alice Osborn and David H. Morrison, the Armory Show, the Carnegie Institute International in Pittsburgh, and the construction and installation of the Hamilton Easter Field Art Foundation Collection at the Museum of Art Ogunquit Maine;

subject files containing, correspondence, business records, writings, printed material, and photographs, on: Samuel Hawk, 1877; Penguin Club, 1917-1919; Wood's trusteeship of the Jules Pascin Estate, 1930-1956; Salons of America, 1923-1953 (including a group photo of Fiorella La Guardia, Holger Cahill, Robert Laurent, David H. Morrison, and Wood from the 1935 exhibition opening at Rockefeller Center); Hamilton Easter Field Art Foundation, 1930-1966; New York City Municipal Art Committee, 1934-1937; Armory Show 50th Anniversary Exhibition, 1962-1963; and the New York Society of Women Artists, 1928-1976. The collection also contains biographical documents and correspondence of and relating to the Gaylor's daughter, Isabel Dale Gaylor.

Among the correspondents are: Josephine Baker, Robert J. Coady, Evelyn Cutler, Margaret Di Silver, John and Betty Dos Passos, Hugo Gellert of the Artists Coordination Committee, Edith Halpert, Isabella Howland, Stefan Hirsch, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Robert Laurent, John Howard Lawson, Jonas Lie, Gus Mager, Alice Newton, William Schack, Henry Strater, and Dr. Martin G. Vorhaus. Also included are 15 greeting and holiday cards from Alfred Frueh to Mr.and Mrs. Wood Gaylor. Also included is one card from Robert Laurent to Adelaide Lawson Gaylor. Some cards are illustrated and inscribed.

REEL D9 (fr. 829-830): One postcard July 1916, sent from Charleston, S.C., from Jules Pascin To Samuel Wood Gaylor.

REEL D160: A ca. 100 page typescript of a record of reminiscences on Gaylor's early art career. This is one of 4 parts dictated by Gaylor in 1953. This recording was used as the basis for Jean Lipman's article "Wood Gaylor: Diary of the Carefree Years," published in Art In America, December 1963.

Biographical/Historical Note: Painter and lithographer Samuel Wood Gaylor (1883-1957) was born in Stamford, Conn. and studied at the National Academy of Design, New York, under Walt Kuhn. He exhibited at the Armory Show, the Penguin Club, and the Downtown Gallery and participated in many art organizations including the Kit-Kat Club, the Penguin Club, Modern Artists of America, American Society of Painters, Sculptors and Engravers. He served on the board for the Salons of America, the Hamilton Easter Field Art Foundation, the New York City Municipal Art Committee, and the Museum of Art, Ogunquit, Me.

Material on reel D9 donated in 1958 by T. J. McCormick and material on reel D160 donated in 1964 by Adelaide Lawson Gaylor. Unmicrofilmed material was donated 1986 by the Gaylors' sons, Wynn L. and Randall Gaylor. Additional 16 letters were donated in 2008 by Christine Oaklander in honor of Dr. William Innes Homer, Art Historian and professor Emeritus at the University of Delaware. Oaklander purchased the letters at an art fair.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reels D9 (fr. 829-830) and D160, frames 242-390 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