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Contents and Arrangement | A Finding Aid to the Charles Henry Alston papers, 1924-1980 | Digitized Collection

Charles Henry Alston papers, 1924-1980

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.

Series 1: Biographical Information, 1924-1977
3 folders
Box 1

Found here are Charles Henry Alston's resumes, vital information, a copied marriage certificate, memorial information, and educational records from Dewitt Clinton High School and Columbia University. Also found are financial notes from the 1970s which consist of handwritten tax and self-employment records.
The bulk of this series has been scanned. Sensitive health records and financial notes have not been scanned.

Series 2: Correspondence, 1931-1977
7 folders
Box 1

Scattered correspondence includes general correspondence, letters concerning Alston's art, illustrations, exhibitions, and personal letters from friends and family. Found is a copy of a thank you note from Eudora Welty to John Woodburn for a jacket design presumably by Alston; letters from Harlem Renaissance figures and personal friends Romare Bearden, Byron Brown, Jacob Lawrence, and Hale Woodruff.
This series has been scanned in its entirety with the exception of duplicates.

Series 3: Commission and Teaching Files, 1947-1976
4 folders
Box 1

This series includes materials documenting Alston's mural commissions including those in the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance building in Los Angeles, California (1947) which consists of a reproduction of the murals with a description key and a few pieces of correspondence; the expansion in the Harlem Hospital (1965) which consists of a legal agreement and correspondence; and the Family and Criminal Courts Building in the Bronx, New York (1976) which contains correspondence, memoranda, legal agreements, financial materials such as bills, and proposals. There is one file concerning teaching at City College New York (CUNY).
This series has been scanned in its entirety with the exception of duplicates.

Series 4: Writings and Notes, circa 1940s-1970s
4 folders
Boxes 2-3

This series consists of short stories probably written by Alston and scattered notes. Also found is a handwritten draft of "Bitsy O'Wire" with a few illustrations.
This series has been scanned in its entirety.

Series 5: Printed Material, 1928, 1946-1980
5 folders
Boxes 2-3

Found are exhibition press releases, announcements and invitations, and newspaper clippings about Alston, copies of Alston's illustrations for Columbia University's literary magazine
The Morningside
and a medical journal featuring drawings done for Louis T. Wright by Alston, and a report for the First Conference on Aesthetic Responsibility which has an inscription from Dr. Wright.
The bulk of this series has been scanned with the exception of the medical journal of which only the front cover has been scanned.

Series 6: Photographs, 1925-1968
2 folders
Box 2

Photographs are of Charles Henry Alston, his wife Myra Logan, Romare Bearden, Hale Woodruff, Anna Alston Bearden, and other members of Alston's family, friends, and colleagues. Photographs of note include two photos of Alston with his works of art--one of which may be of his WPA murals dated 1937. Also found are photographs of works of art by Charles Alston.
This series has been partially scanned, photographs of works of art have not been scanned.

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.