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Andrew Dasburg and Grace Mott Johnson papers, 1833-1980, bulk, 1900-1980

Dasburg, Andrew Michael, 1887-1979

Lithographer, Painter

The papers of Andrew Dasburg and Grace Mott Johnson in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2008.The bulk of the papers have been scanned and total 18,204 images.

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Collection Information

Size: 8.8 linear feet

Summary: The papers of painter Andrew Dasburg and sculptor Grace Mott Johnson date from 1833 to 1980, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1900 to 1980, and measure 8.8 linear feet. The collection is divided into the papers of Andrew Dasburg (6 linear feet) and the papers of Grace Mott Johnson (2.8 linear feet), and documents each artist's career and personal lives, including their brief marriage, and friendships with many notable artists in New Mexico and New York art colonies during the early twentieth century. Found are scattered biographical, legal, and financial materials. Extensive correspondence (particularly in Dasburg's papers) is with family, friends, and fellow artists, such as John F. Carlson, Florence Ballin Cramer, Mabel Dodge Luhan, Marsden Hartley, Henry Lee McFee, Vera Spier Kuhn, and Ward Lockwood. Dasburg's papers also include letters to Johnson and his two later wives.
Johnson's correspondence is also with numerous artist friends and others, including John F. and Margaret Carlson, Florence Ballin Cramer, Jo Davidson, Florence Lucius, Walter Frankl, Lila Wheelock Howard, Henry Lee McFee, Mary Riley, Lee Simonson, Lindsey Morris Sterling, Alice Morgan Wright, Mabel Dodge Luhan, and Vera Spier Kuhn. Letters to her son Alfred are quite detailed and revealing. Writings are by Dasburg, Johnson, and others. Johnson's writings include a very brief diary and her poetry. Writings by others are about the Taos and New Mexico art communities. Printed materials about both artists include clippings and exhibition catalogs. There are numerous photographs of Dasburg and Johnson, individually and together, and with friends and family. Of note are a group photograph of Birge Harrison's art class in Woodstock, New York, which includes Johnson and Dasburg, and a photograph of Dasburg with friends Konrad Cramer and John Reed. Dasburg's papers also include snapshots of Florence Lucius, Konrad and Florence Ballin Cramer, Frieda and D. H. Lawrence, and Mabel Dodge Luhan. Original artwork by the two artists include two sketchbooks by Johnson and three prints and two drawings by Dasburg.

Biographical/Historical Note

Andrew Dasburg (1887-1979) was a painter and lithographer in Taos, N.M. Studied at Art Students League, New York City, circa 1902, taking night classes with Robert Henri. He received a scholarship to the League's classes in Woodstock, N.Y., circa 1905, where he studied under Birge Harrison. In 1911, he made Woodstock his summer home, living and teaching there for many years. Dasburg was prominent in New York art circles, and was among the youngest artists who exhibited at the Armory Show in 1913. He also showed his work at Alfred Stieglitz's 291 Gallery. In 1916, he made the first of many visits to Taos, settling there permanently in 1930. He married painter Grace Mott Johnson in 1909. During the 1920s, Dasburg was influential in promoting primitive painter John Kane. Johnson and Dasburg were divorced in 1922.


Material on reels 2043-2054 and 2063 was donated by Dasburg's son Alfred in 1980. Material on reels 4276-4278 was lent for microfilming by Syracuse University's George Arents Research Library in March 1989. The photocopies of the ten Morgan Russell letters to Dasburg on reel 2803 were donated in 1978 by Syracuse University, and discarded after microfilming. The 1989 loan includes only the typescripts of those letters.

Related Materials

Additional Andrew Dasburg papers: Also located at New Mexico State Archives, Santa Fe.

Also found in the Archives of American Art are two oral history interviews with Andrew Dasburg, July 2, 1964 and March 6, 1974. Additional related collections at other repositories include the Andrew and Marina Wister Dasburg Papers at the New Mexico State Archives, the Andrew Dasburg Papers at Syracuse University Library, and the Grace Mott Johnson Papers at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.


Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Location of Originals

  • Reels 2803 and 4276-4278: Originals in Syracuse University, George Arents Research Library, Syracuse, New York.