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More Information | A Finding Aid to the Beatrice Fenton papers, 1836-1984, (bulk 1890-1978)

Beatrice Fenton papers, 1836-1984, (bulk 1890-1978)

More Information

A Finding Aid to the Beatrice Fenton Papers, 1836-1984, bulk 1890-1978, in the Archives of American Art
Finding aid prepared by Jean Fitzgerald
Scope and Content Note
The papers of sculptor Beatrice Fenton date from 1836-1984 (bulk 1890-1978) and measure 9.3 linear feet. The collection documents Fenton's career as a sculptor and art instructor, as well as her life-long friendships with artist Emily Clayton and art educator Marjorie Martinet. Found are scattered biographical materials, correspondence primarily between Fenton and Martinet (approximately 1/2 of the collection), business records, notes and writings, scattered records of arts organizations, transcripts of interviews with Fenton, sketches and sketchbooks, a scrapbook, brochures, clippings, postcards, reproductions of artwork, and photographs of friends and family, travels, and artwork.
The collection includes scattered biographical material for Fenton, Emily Clayton Bishop, and Marjorie Martinet, such as biographical accounts, membership cards, and a diploma. The correspondence is primarily between Fenton and Martinet and documents the development of their close friendship and professional concerns. There are also scattered letters from Fenton's instructor, Alexander S. Calder and Emily Clayton Bishop. Personal business records include those of Fenton and Martinet and include wills, estate papers, insurance and banking records, price lists, receipts, and records from the Oldfields School where Marjorie Martinet taught for 36 years. Found within the Notes and Writings series are address books, hand-made illustrated booklets of poems by Emily Clayton Bishop, lecture manuscripts, and notes and typescripts on various topics, including a file Fenton created to promote Bishop's artwork following Bishop's death.
There is a series of scattered records of arts organizations to which Fenton belonged, including the Charcoal Club, the Three Arts Club, Lizette Wood Reese Memorial Association, and the Maryland Institute Alumni Association. Also found in the papers are interview tapes and transcripts of interviews conducted with Fenton by Mary Hamel-Schwulst and Marlene Obarzaneck, artwork consisting primarily of sketchbooks and loose drawings by Fenton and Bishop, a scrapbook concerning Martinet, additional printed material, and photographs and photograph albums depicting Fenton, Martinet, Bishop, other family, colleagues, studios, artwork, and travel destinations.
The Beatrice Fenton papers were donated from 1987-1991 by Joan Martin, a sculptor and former Fenton student, who inherited Fenton's studio and its contents.
Processing Information
The papers were processed in September 2006 by Jean Fitzgerald. Glass plate negatives were re-housed in 2015 with a grant provided by the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund.