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Charles C. Dawson papers, 1910-1980

Dawson, Charles C., 1889-1981

Curator, Painter, Designer, Engraver, Sculptor, Illustrator


Collection Information

Size: 2 Microfilm reels

Summary: This microfilm collection of the papers of African American artist and museum curator Charles C. Dawson dates from 1910 to 1980. It includes biographical material; a 536 page draft of an autobiography; and correspondence. Correspondence includes United States Infantry correspondence and records, 1912-1923; general correspondence, 1917-1980; correspondence and financial records dealing with Dawson's book ABCs of Great Negroes, 1932-1945; and drafts and fragments of letters written by Dawson. Also included in the collection are miscellaneous business and financial records; writings and notes, including rough drafts, notes, and typescripts; printed material inclduing news releases, newsletters, program notices, newspaper clippings, and miscellaneous published items; and photographs of Dawson, his family, friends, and others.

Biographical/Historical Note

Charles C. Dawson (1889-1981) was an African American painter, printmaker, and illustrator in Chicago, Illinois. He studied at the Tuskegee Institute, the Art Students League of New York, and at the Art Institute of Chicago and chronicled experiences as an art student in his unpublished autobiography. From 1919 to 1922 he worked for Chicago Engravers before leaving the firm to work as a freelance artist. Dawson also curated museum exhibitions to promote the work of other African American artists. He worked as the curator of the Museum of Negro Art and Culture and the George Washington Carver Museum from 1944 to 1951. In 1933 Dawson published a children's book, ABCs of Great Negroes which featured linoleum prints of 26 major figures in Black history.


Lent for microfilming by the DuSable Museum of African American History, Chicago, Illinois, 1988.

Language Note

English .

Location of Originals

  • Originals in the possession of DuSable Museum of African-American History.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels 4191-4192 available at all Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.

How to Cite This Collection

Charles C. Dawson papers, 1910-1980. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.