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Albert Christ-Janer papers, 1915-circa 1993, bulk 1930-1981

More Information

Anna Rimel
Scope and Contents
The papers of art historian, educator, painter, and printmaker Albert Christ-Janer measure 56.3 linear feet and date from 1915 to circa 1993, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1930 to 1981. The papers include biographical materials, personal and professional correspondence, writings, professional files, project files, teaching files, exhibition files, financial and estate records, printed material, scrapbooks and scrapbook material, photographs, artwork, and artifacts.
Biographical material includes address books; awards, certificates and diplomas; chronologies, biographies, and resumes; material relating to Albert Christ-Janer's death, including memorial services and a sound tape reel memorial; and information and blueprints for residences, among other materials.
Correspondence includes Christmas cards from other artists and professional correspondence, much of it relating to his work at various institutions, including Michigan State University, New York University, Pennsylvania State University, Pratt Institution, and foundations. Also included is Virginia Christ-Janer's correspondence regarding Christ-Janer's artwork and career, his death in Italy, as well as general correspondence and letters between Virginia and Albert. Additional correspondence is found within the Professional Files, Project Files, and Teaching Files.
Writings by Christ-Janer include articles, book reviews, essays, notes, and eleven notebooks. There are also a few miscellaneous articles and writings about Christ-Janer written by others. There are 38 annotated appointment notebooks and five of Virginia Christ-Janer's annotated appointment books. Annotations are about meetings, travel, and general thoughts.
Albert Christ-Janer's book projects are documented in the Project Files series. There are drafts, manuscripts, research, and correspondence relating to the research, writing, and publication of five of his books, including George Caleb Bingham of Missouri (Dodd, Mead and Company, 1940), Boardman Robinson (Unversity of Chicago Press, 1946), Eliel Saarinen (University of Chicago Press, 1948), and Modern Church Architecture, with Mary Mix Foley (McGraw-Hill, 1962), and Modern Hymns (1980). Project files also include files regarding proposed projects.
Professional files document Christ-Janer's work at various institutions, as a consultant, on juried art exhibitions, memberships in arts associations, activities at conferences and committees, and the development of art centers in cities and educational institutions. There is significant documentation of his work planning and developing an arts center in New York City and at New York University, as well as his positions at Pennsylvania State University, Pratt Institute, University of Chicago, and University of Georgia. Also found are materials relating to professional trips taken to El Paso, Italy, Scandinavia, and other parts of Europe.
Teaching files consist of syllabi, lecture notes and course materials, class record books, and other documents for positions at New York University, Pennsylvania State University, Stephens College, University of Georgia, and other institutions. Exhibition files are comprised of lists, prizes and awards, and other scattered documentation of Christ-Janer's solo and group exhibitions.
Financial and estate records include five account books, miscellaneous bills and receipts, a will and estate taxes and financial papers, and files for gallery transactions, lists of galleries representing Christ-Janer, lists of museum and private collectors of Christ-Janer's artwork. Printed materials include exhibition catalogs and announcements, published versions of Christ-Janer's books, books written by others and annotated by Christ-Janer, clippings, magazines, reviews, and printed material relating to Pratt Institute. There is one bound scrapbook and several files of loose scrapbook materials.
The scrapbooks series consists of one completed scrapbook concerning Christ-Janer's book on George Caleb Bingham, as well as several folders of general scrapbook files.
Photographs and slides depict Albert Christ-Janer, family, friends, artists, colleagues, exhibitions, and also include photographs compiled for published books.
Artwork includes numerous drawings, sketches, one sketchbook, and 111 lithographs by Albert Christ-Janer. There are also sketches and drawings by Charles Massey, John D. Whiting, Edwin Zoller, and others. Miscellaneous artifacts include a business card die, exhibition medals and trophy, handmade paperweight, a block-printed piece of fabric, and three graduation hoods.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Albert Christ-Janer papers were donated by Virginia Christ-Janer in 1980-1981 and 1994.
Related Materials
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Albert Christ-Janer conducted by Dorothy Seckler, March 21, 1964.
Albert Christ-Janer's research materials for his book American Hymns Old and New (1980) are found at the St Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, a center for the study of hymns.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collections Care and Preservation Fund.
Processing Information
Multiple accessions were merged and archivally processed and a finding aid prepared by Anna Rimel in 2015 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund. The Archives of American Art has implemented accelerated processing when possible to increase information about and access to more of our collections. For this collection, accelerated processing included arrangement to the series, subseries and folder levels, adhering to the creator's original arrangement as much as possible. Generally, folder contents were simply verified with the original folder titles, but items within folders were not arranged further. All materials were rehoused in archival folders and boxes for long-term stability, but staples and other fasteners have not all been removed. Boxes found after processing have been integrated into the finding aid.