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Charles Searles papers, 1953-2010

Charles Searles papers, 1953-2010

Searles, Charles Robert, 1937-2004

Sculptor, Painter, Educator

Collection Information

Size: 3.9 linear feet

Summary: The papers of sculptor and painter Charles Searles measure 3.9 linear feet and date from 1953 to 2010. The collection documents his career through scattered biographical material, correspondence, personal business records, printed material, artwork, photographs, and a scrapbook.

Scattered biographical material includes legal papers, address books, transcripts, and awards. Correspondence includes correspondence with galleries, museums, and organizations. Personal business records consist of Searles' files on commissions, exhibitions, workshops and programs, and employment contracts. Printed material includes exhibition announcements, exhibition catalogs, as well as printed material of interest to Searles, but not directly documenting his career. Artwork consists of sketches, designs, flyers, a portrait of Kathleen Spicer by Russell Gordon, and a portrait of Searles by K. Spicer. Photographs depict Searles, Searles' artwork, and artist Walt Edmonds. Scrapbooks consist of news clippings and loose material that was originally inserted in between the pages in no particular order.

Biographical/Historical Note

Charles Robert Searles (1937-2004) was a sculptor, painter, and muralist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New York, N.Y.


Donated 2012 by Kathleen Spicer Searles, Charles Searles' widow.

Related Materials

A Finding Aid to the Charles Searles Papers, 1953-2010, in the Archives of American Art
Biographical/Historical note
Charles Robert Searles (1937-2004) was a sculptor, painter and muralist in Philadelphia, Pa. and New York, N.Y. Searles attended the University of Pennsylvania and graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1972. He was influenced by African art after traveling to Nigeria on the Ware Memorial Traveling Scholarship during his studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. During his career he participated in over 100 exhibitions in Denmark, Nigeria, and throughout the United States.
Searles taught art at several institutions including the Pratt Institute, the University of the Arts (Philadelphia College of Art), and the Philadephia Museum of Art. He also completed commission work for Newark Station, PATCO (Port Authority Transit Corporation), and MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority).
Searles moved to New York, NY in 1978 where he spent most of his career. He was married to artist Kathleen Spicer until his death on November 27, 2004.
Arrangement note
This collection is arranged as 7 series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1963-2004 (0.5 linear ft.; Boxes 1, 6)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1956-2004 (5 folders; Box 1)
Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1969-2007 (1.2 linear feet; Boxes 1-2,6)
Series 4: Printed Material, 1953-2010 (1.4 linear feet; Boxes 3-4, 6)
Series 5: Artwork, circa 1980s-2000 (9 folders; Box 5)
Series 6: Photographs, circa 1964-2000 (3 folders; Box 5)
Series 7: Scrapbooks, circa 1970s-2005 (0.3 linear ft.; Box 6)
Donated 2012 by Kathleen Spicer Searles, Charles Searles' widow.
Processing Information note
The collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid prepared by Sarah Mundy in 2014. The collection has been minimally rearranged and retains the existing/original folder titles when possible. All materials have been rehoused in archival folders and boxes for long-term stability, but often staples and other fasteners have not been removed. Materials within folders have not been rearranged.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Charles Searles papers, 1953-2010. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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