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Charles Sheeler papers, circa 1840s-1966, bulk 1923-1965

Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965

Photographer, Lithographer, Painter

Collection Information

Size: 4.9 linear feet

Summary: The papers of painter, photographer, lithographer and industrial designer Charles Sheeler measure 4.9 linear feet and date from circa 1840s to 1966, with the bulk of the material dating from 1923-1965. The collection documents Sheeler's family, personal life and career through financial and medical records, awards, correspondence, writings, an autobiography, journal and notebooks, scrapbooks, exhibition catalogs and announcements, printed materials, photographs, funeral records and artwork by Sheeler and others. The collection is particularly rich in Sheeler's writings, and also includes Sheeler's industrial designs and manufactured artwork. There are photographs of Sheeler with Edward Weston, Edward Steichen, and John Marin.

Biographical/Historical Note

Charles Sheeler (1883-1965) was a painter, lithographer, and photographer from Irvington-on-Hudson, N.Y.


Charles Sheeler's wife Musya initially loaned the papers to the Archives of American Art for microfilming in 1958, 1965, and 1966. In June, 1966, she donated most of the earlier loaned materials. In 1964, Sheeler's friend Howard Lipman donated three photographs of Sheeler with Edward Steichen and John Marin. The third accrual was transferred to the Archives by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery Library in June 1979. Watercolor study on reel 1811 (fr. 972-973), "American Interior 1934" transferred to NMAA Prints and Drawings Department.

Related Materials

There are two oral history interviews with Sheeler conducted by Mary Bartlett Cowdrey in December 1958, and by Martin Friedman in June 1959. The Archives also has the records of the Macbeth Gallery, which include a substantial amount of correspondence with Sheeler from 1907-1921, and the Downtown Gallery records, which also include correspondence with Sheeler, photographs of Sheeler and his artwork, exhibition publications, clippings, press releases, and audio visual materials dating from 1904-1972.

Also found in the the Archives is a loan of Charles Sheeler letters microfilmed on reel NY/59-5 containing letters written by Sheeler to his psychologist and art collector, Dr. Helen Boigon, art student George Craven, and friend William Carlos Williams, dating from 1939-1958. There is a collection of six letters from Sheeler addressed to Doris Royce, possibly an art critic, dating from 1949-1957. Miscellaneous manuscript collections include one letter written by Sheeler to E.P. Richardson in 1958, and another letter written to Frank Crowninshield in September, 1939.


Funding for processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Location of Originals

  • Portions of NSH1: Originals returned to lenders after microfilming.