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Alice Trumbull Mason papers, 1921-1977

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Series 2: Correspondence , 1922-1977
(Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)

This series contains Alice Trumbull Mason's personal and professional correspondence. Almost all of the letters prior to 1940 are to and from family and friends; the earliest are from friends she made while in Europe during 1921 and 1922. Also found is correspondence with her sister Edith, also known as "Edi" and "Buddah", her brother Jack, and her parents, sharing family news during Mason's travels abroad. There are letters to and from her sister Margaret (Margie), also an artist, discussing Mason's views on art, including her opinions on surrealism, her desire to paint, and other intimate thoughts. Also found here are numerous letters between Mason and her husband Warwood written while he was working as a merchant seaman. These very detailed letters discuss news of their children Emily and Jonathan (Jo), her current paintings, early meetings of the American Abstract Artists group in 1937, political problems within the group, and her participation in exhibitions. One interesting letter describes her reaction to Orson Welles 1938 broadcast of War of the Worlds. In their later correspondence, Warwood is often called "Po".
Professional correspondence includes some letters regarding Mason's work within the American Abstract Artists Group, including two letters from Josef Albers about AAA exhibitions. Other letters concern the selection of her artwork for exhibitions or prizes, exhibition venues and schedules, curators' visits to her studio, and the sale of her artwork to galleries and museums. Additional correspondence also discusses her participation in other art organizations, such as the Society of American Graphic Artists and the Print Club. Also found are numerous letters from friend and fellow founding member of the American Abstract Artists, Paul Kelpe, dating from 1953 to 1970. In these letters Kelpe discusses his current artwork, his teaching career, participation in exhibitions, and professional and financial struggles. Most of the correspondence after 1967 is of a personal nature with Kelpe, her husband, and her daughter Emily. There are many letters between Mason and her daughter Emily and son Jonathan, discussing their activities, including Emily's early career as an artist.
Correspondence is arranged chronologically. Microfilm reel and frame numbers are noted at folder headings.
Description Container Select
Correspondence, 1922-1970
(14 folders; reel 629:275-906)
1
14-27
Correspondence, Undated, circa 1922-1970
(Reel 629:907-995)
1
28
Emily Mason letter to the New York Times, 1977
(Reel 3134:1044-1046)
1
29

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.