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Charles E. Waltensperger papers, 1893-1931

Waltensperger, Charles E., 1871-1931

Painter, Printmaker, Illustrator

Collection Information

Size: 1.2 linear ft.

Summary: The papers of painter and illustrator Charles E. Waltensperger date from 1893-1931 and measure 1.2 linear feet. Biographical material includes passports and membership cards, including one for the Scarab Club. Letters are generally from members of the Waltensperger family discussing travels. One letter from Waltensperger briefly mentions his studies at the Académie des Beaux Arts and his instructor, Jean-Léon Gérôme, "who is perhaps the best that ever happened. He is very severe and no fancy stuff goes with him." Business records consists primarily of receipts, but also include account books documenting sales. Also found within the papers are annotated engagement diaries, notebooks that contain addresses, notes about art, and annonated sketches, and miscellaneous notes. There is one folder of Waltensperger's artwork consisting of sketches of the human form. Printed material including clippings and exhibition catalogs relating to Waltensperger and others. Photographs are of Waltensperger, his family and friends, and scenes from his travels.

Biographical/Historical Note

Charles E. Waltensperger (1871-1931) was a painter and illustrator from Detroit, Mich. Waltensperger attended Detroit Museum of Art, the Académie Julian in Paris, and Académie des Beaux Arts under Jean-Léon Gérôme; worked as an illustrator for the Detroit Free Press; was a member of a group of Detroit artists known as the Hopkin Club that held exhibitions at the Old Detroit Museum of Art before they established the Scarab Club.


The Charles E. Waltensperger papers were donated in 1973 by the artist's brother, George Waltensperger, through Mrs. Beverly Bassett who was conducting a survey of Michigan artists. In 1979, two photographs and two letters were donated.