Skip to main content

Alfred James Tulk papers, 1923-1986

Tulk, Alfred James, 1899-1988

Muralist, Painter


Collection Information

Size: 1.5 Linear feet

Summary: Photographs, artwork, scrapbooks, and Tulk's autobiography document his career as an artist. Over 160 photographs (ca. 1920's-1980's) depict Tulk and his work. Eighty-three drawings and paintings range from student work at Yale to professional designs for the Rambusch Company and other design firms. Two scrapbooks assembled by Tulk contain reviews and exhibit announcements. His autobiography, describing his two-year residence in West Africa in the 1930's, and a descriptive list of murals painted between 1925-1960 are included among his notes and writings. Letters (1940-1986) are mostly business-related correspondence between Tulk and the Rambusch Company. Clippings (1936-1984) discuss the altar designs Tulk created for ships and camps during World War II and his work for the Rambusch Company. Other materials include a 1985 video-taped interview with Tulk and many copyright certificates for his designs.

Biographical/Historical Note

Born in London, England. Tulk received his Bachelors Degree from Yale University in 1923 and his Masters Degree from the University of Guanajualo, Mexico. Mural painting occupied most of his earlier years with commissions in painting, stained glass, and mosaics. He painted over 300 large murals between 1925 and 1954 for theatres, churches, hotels, restaurants, and private homes. During World War II Tulk worked with camouflage and the painting of altar triptychs for U.S. Chaplains in camps and on battleships. From 1960 to 1987 he painted landscapes, portraits, and abstract paintings.


Papers were bequeathed to Tulk's daughter, Sheila Tulk Payne, who donated them to the Archives.

Language Note

English .

How to Use This Collection

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Alfred James Tulk papers, 1923-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.