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Abril Lamarque papers, 1883-2001, bulk 1904-1999

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Rosa M. Fernandez and Megan Burdi
Scope and Contents
The papers of Cuban born cartoonist, caricaturist, graphic designer, illustrator, and art director Abril Lamarque papers date from 1883-2001, with the bulk of the material ranging from 1904-1999, and measure 6.8 linear feet. His papers contain biographical material; correspondence; writings; files on the many seminars and workshops he taught; scattered financial records; files concerning his business Abril Lamarque Creations; subject files; clippings; printed illustrations of his comics, designs, illustrations, and other work; seven scrapbooks; two sketchbooks, sketches and drawings by him, and others, including his sister, his brother, Paul Hoffmaster, Enrique Riverón, and H. Portell Vilá; and photographs and negatives depicting Lamarque, Lamarque at work, Lamarque's magic shows, examples of advertising, and friends and colleagues.
Biographical materials include of materials related to Abril Lamarque's many professional and personal associations, including the Art Directors Club, the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the National Press Club, the New York University Club, the Society of American Magicians, and the Society of Illustrators. Material types include membership cards, documents, event posters, and yearbooks. Also included are some personal documents, information on Abril Lamarque and his family, Lamarque's collection of humorous business cards, and eulogies written about Lamarque.
Correspondence is generally scattered, but includes letters to and from illustrators and artists including Ernesto Garcia Cabral, Paul Hoffmaster, Conrado Massaguer, and Lamarque's brother, Juan Abril Lamarque. Some letters are illustrated. Also included is business correspondence, subjects and correspondents including the Dell Publishing Company, the New York Times, and correspondence related to workshops and lectures, including his work at Iowa State University and Oklahoma State University.
Writings chiefly document Lamarque's career in graphic and publication design, and consist of articles, an unpublished draft on publication design, manuals, and book reviews. Also included are scripts for magic shows performed by Lamarque. Writings by others are present, and include limericks written about Lamarque by friends and an autobiography of Lamarque's wife, Milagros Abril Lamarque.
The Workshops series consists of advertisements, press releases, handbooks, publication design layout examples, and other materials related to Lamarque's career in teaching publication design workshops and seminars. Also present within the collection are various financial materials. Abril Lamarque Creations materials document Lamarque's design firm, active 1940-1941, which focused on the design and manufacture of modern decorative accessories for the home, such as serving trays, cigarette holders and jewelry. Photographs, drawings, and advertisements in this series document the product design and sales.
The collection includes several subject files concerning the Bacardi Company, the Dell Publishing Company, and Cuban caricaturist and publisher Conrado Massaguer. Files on Massaguer include illustrations, posters, magazines, clippings, and articles. The Subject Files also include materials collected about Mexican caricaturist Ernesto García, self-taught Polish painter Karol Kozlowski, and several other illustrators and political figures of interest to Lamarque.
Printed materials make up the bulk of the collection. Found are numerous examples of his design work for the New York World-Telegram and Evening Mail, the New York Daily News, the New York Times, US News-World Report, Dell Publishing Company, and others; as well as cartoons, caricatures, and illustrations by Lamarque. Clippings of the comic strip Monguito and editions of the Havana newspaper Lunes de Diario de Cuba are present. Printed material also includes posters, including Lamarque's designs for the "Aluminum for Britain" project, which he was asked to discontinue by the U.S. State Department. Also found in this collection are graphic design and illustration clippings collected by Lamarque.
Also found within the collection are seven scrapbooks containing clippings and articles, illustrations, scattered letters, photographs, invitations, artwork, and other materials detailing Lamarque's extensive artistic career and his amateur magic performances.
Original artwork includes drawings, sketches, prints, and design by-products by Abril Lamarque. Artwork by Lamarque includes silkscreens of dictators; drawings and printing plates for Monguito comics; page banners for Film Fun and other publications; and design paste-ups. Artwork created by others found within the series includes caricatures of Lamarque, sketches by Juan Abril Lamarque, and prints by Paul Hoffmaster.
Photographs included in the collection document Abril Lamarque's life and career, and show Lamarque with friends and colleagues, and performing as an amateur magician for both children and adult audiences.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Martha Lamarque Sarno and Lita M. Elvers assembled and donated their father's papers to the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, in 2001.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by The Walton Family Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Processing Information
The Abril Lamarque papers were processed by Rosa M. Fernandez, July, 2002. In 2016, the collection was prepared for digitization, and the arrangement and description was revised by Megan Burdi. The collection was scanned in 2016. Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by The Walton Family Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.