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Contents and Arrangement | A Finding Aid to the Charles Sheeler papers, circa 1840s-1966, bulk 1923-1965

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

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Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1875, 1928-1965
(Boxes 1, 5, OV10; 0.6 linear feet)

Biographical materials include funeral records from the Cunningham family--the family of Sheeler's mother, and a pathology report on Sheeler's father. Also found are a few scattered records concerning Sheeler's medical insurance, dietary meal plan, financial and tax records, property, and one folder concerning artwork and exhibitions. The series also includes Sheeler's numerous awards and prizes, and the condolence guest book used at his funeral.
Items are arranged by date.
DescriptionContainer
Cunningham Family Funeral Records 1875, 1928
1
1
Father's Pathology Report 1938
1
2
Artwork and Exhibition Records 1939, 1955, 1965
1
3
Awards and Prizes 1945, 1957, 1962
(See Box 5, and OV10)
1
4
Financial and Tax Records 1956-1957
1
5
Hallmark Art Award 1957
1
6
Press Release: Philadelphia Museum School of Art, Alumni Award 1957
1
7
Appeal to Congress: National Council on the Arts and Government circa 1957
1
8
Insurance and Medical Records circa 1957 1928
1
9
National Institute of Arts and Letters, Certificate of Membership 1963
1
10
National Institute of Arts and Letters, Member Handbook 1965
1
11
Funeral Condolence Guest Book 1965
1
12
The Norman Wait Harris Prize 1945
(medal)
5 (hol)
1
Alumni Award, Philadelphia Museum School of Art 1957
(trophy)
5 (hol)
2
American Academy of Arts and Letters 1962
(medal)
5 (hol)
3
Philadelphia Fine Arts Festival Award 1962
(silver plate)
5 (hol)
4
Philadelphia Fine Arts Festival Award 1962
(certificate)
OV10

Series 2: Correspondence 1937-1966,
(Boxes 1; 0.5 linear feet)

Sheeler's personal and professional correspondence from 1937-1966 includes correspondence with friends, artists, and collectors, including William Carlos Williams, Beaumont and Nancy Newhall, George Waters, Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, Walter and Louise Arensberg, and William Lane. The series also includes correspondence with Sheeler's biographer Constance Rourke, publishers, editors, curators, letters from children, letters from public, and television producers. There are condolence letters written to Musya Sheeler following Sheeler's death in May 1965.
Letters are arranged alphabetically by author. In a few cases, letters are grouped by subject.
DescriptionContainer
Adams, Ansel and Virginia 1956, 1958-1962
1
13
Archives of American Art 1957-1959, 1965
1
14
Arensberg, Walter and Louise 1938
1
15
Art in America
, Letter to the Editor 1955
1
16
Children's Letter to Sheeler 1964-1965
1
17
Craven, George 1957
1
18
Edwards, Ralph 1953
1
19
Friedman, Martin 1959
1
20
Harrison, Laurence 1949
1
21
Hayes, Bartlett Jr. 1952, 1966, 1968
1
22
Institution for Physical Medicine 1965
(thank you letters for donations in Sheeler's name)
1
23
Kepes, Gyorgy 1958-1959
1
24
Lane, William and Jean, circa 1954
1
25
Letter Drafts 1944, circa 1958-1959
1
26
Life Magazine
1938
1
27
Lipman, Jean 1959
1
28
McAlpin, David and Sally 1951
1
29
Meyer, Eugene and Agnes 1957-1958, 1964
1
30
Miscellaneous Sheeler circa 1938, 1951, 1955-1959
1
31
Newhall, Beaumont and Nancy 1957-1958
1
32
Rourke, Constance 1937-1938
(2 folders)
1
33-34
Royce, Doris 1958
1
35
Schoener, Allon 1951
1
36
Sheeler, Charles 1955
1
37
Charles Sheeler Death 1965 May-August
(8 folders)
1
38-45
Sheeler, Musya circa 1965
1
46
Sloan, Samuel 1937-1938
1
47
Time Magazine
1953
1
48
Warring, Helen circa 1958
1
49
Waters, George 1952, 1954, 1966
1
50
Wells, Donald 1958-1959
1
51
Weston, Edward circa 1950
1
52
Williams, William Carlos 1938, 1944, 1946, circa 1949, 1950, 1957-1959, 1960
1
53

Series 3: Writings, circa, 1930s-1965
(Boxes 1-2; 0.4 linear feet)

Writings date from circa 1930s-1965 and include Sheeler's journal dated from circa 1950s-1963. The journal includes poems, writings, transcribed correspondence, transcribed articles (which were later published), and a paper delivered at a symposium on photography held at the Museum of Modern Art in October 1950. Two notebooks dating from about the same time includes miscellaneous notes and writings, adresses, and recipes. Additional writings by Sheeler include an article that he wrote for
Arts Magazine
, writings on artists, and a manuscript version of his autobiography, along with notes and drafts. The autobiography manuscript was commissioned by publisher Harcourt Brace in 1937, in which Sheeler outlines his career from his time at the School of Industrial Art in Philadelphia though the mid 1930s. The manuscript was not published, but was used as the basis for Constance Rourke's biography
Charles Sheeler: Artist in the American Tradition
published by Harcourt the following year.
The series also includes a short story by Musya Sheeler, and a short story illustrated with photographs of the Sheelers' by friend Dorothy Eidlitz.
Items are arranged by date.
DescriptionContainer
Journal circa 1950s-1963
1
54
Notebook circa 1950s-1963
(contains addresses and food recipes)
1
55
Notebook circa 1950s-1963
(contains writings and notes)
1
56
Article for
Arts Magazine,
circa 1925
1
57
Autobiography Manuscript circa 1937
1
58
Autobiography Notes and Drafts circa 1937
(3 folders)
2
1-3
Writings on Brueghel and Mantegna circa 1940s-1950s
(2 folders)
2
4-5
Miscellaneous Writings circa 1930s-1950s
2
6
Writings by Musya Sheeler circa 1942-1960s
2
7
Writings by Dorothy Eidlitz 1953
(1 of 2)
2
8
Writings by Dorothy Eidlitz 1953
(2 of 2)
2
9

Series 4: Scrapbooks, 1930s-1960s
(Boxes 2, 6; 0.4 linear feet)

Two oversize scrapbooks dating from 1930-1960s contain newspaper clippings featuring Sheeler, his artwork or exhibitions, magazine clippings, and exhibition announcements, a poem, a thank you card from Abby Aldrich Rockefeller regarding Sheeler's commissioned painting of Bassett Hall, and a condolence letter from John Davidson Rockefeller regarding the death of Sheeler's father.
Items are arranged by date.
DescriptionContainer
Scrapbook Fragments circa 1930s-1960s
2
10
Scrapbook circa 1930s-1960s
(dismantled)
6 (sol)
Scrapbook circa 1930s-1960s
(dismantled)
6 (sol)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1923-1966
(Boxes 2-4, 7; 1.5 linear feet)

Printed materials are extensive and dates from 1923-1966. Found are exhibition catalogs, announcements, brochures and museum bulletins that document the numerous exhibitions in which Sheeler participated. The series also includes art journals and magazines that featured Sheeler's artwork or published his writings. The newspaper clippings are also extensive, and document Sheeler's career and personal interests. The clippings often featured Sheeler's wife Musya and friends including William Carlos Williams and Agnes Meyer.
Books in the series include
Egyptian Statues
, and
The Great King?King of Assyria
, published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan publications are illustrated with Sheeler's photography and examples of his work as a still photographer.
Miscellaneous printed materials include a publicity packet for the television program "The Artists Eye" which featured Sheeler in 1963, an invitation to John Fitzgerald Kennedy's Presidential Inaugural and the funeral eulogy for his friend Eugene Meyer.
The series is arranged into seven subseries:
Subseries 5.1: Exhibition Catalogs, 1946-1966
Subseries 5.2: Exhibition Announcements, 1946-1966
Subseries 5.3: Museum Bulletins, 1949-1963
Subseries 5.4: Books, 1945-1946, 1959
Subseries 5.5: Journals and Magazines, 1923-1966
Subseries 5.6: Newspaper Clippings, 1931-1966
Subseries 5.7: Miscellaneous Printed Materials, 1959-1965
5.1:Exhibition Catalogs 1946-1966
DescriptionContainer
Contemporary American Painting,
Whitney Museum of American Art 1949-1950
2
11
40 American Painters: 1940-1950,
University of Minnesota 1951
2
12
Sheeler: Retrospective Exhibition,
University of California Art Galleries 1954
2
13
Creative Photography,
University of Kentucky 1956
2
14
American Artists Paint the City,
Art Institute of Chicago 1956
2
15
Contemporary American Painting and Sculpture,
University of Illinois 1957
2
16
Edward Wales Root: 1888-1956 An American Collector,
Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute 1957
2
17
William Merritt Chase: A Retrospective Exhibition,
Parish Art Museum 1957
2
18
Seventy Photographers: Look at New York,
Museum of Modern Art 1957-1958
2
19
1913 Armory Show: In Retrospect,
Amherst College 1958
2
20
American Art: From the William Lane Foundation,
Currier Gallery of Art 1958
2
21
Cinquante-Cinq ans de la Peniture Contemporaine Americaine,
Meltzer Gallery 1958
(French)
2
22
Realisme Americain,
Whitney Museum of American Art 1958
(French)
2
23
Sheeler: Recent Paintings,
Downtown Gallery 1958
2
24
American Line: 100 Years of American Drawing,
Addison Gallery of American Art 1959
2
25
American Painting and Sculpture,
Exhibited in Moscow 1959
(Russian)
2
26
Contemporary American Painting and Sculpture
1959, University of Illinois,
2
27
Sheeler: A Retrospective Exhibition,
New Gallery, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1959
2
28
The Precisionist View in American Art,
Walker Art Center 1960
2
29
64th American Exhibition: Painting and Sculpture,
Art Institute of Chicago 1961
2
30
Charles Sheeler, Retrospective Exhibition,
Allentown Art Museum 1961
2
31
Art Since 1950,
Seattle's World's Fair 1962
2
32
1913 Armory Show: 50th Anniversary Exhibition 1963,
Munson-Williams Proctor Arts Institute 1963
2
33
New Tradition: Modern Americans Before 1940,
Corcoran Gallery 1963
2
34
In Focus: A Look at Realism in Art,
Memorial Gallery, Rochester 1964-1965
2
35
Art in the Home,
Loch Haven Art Center, Orlando Florida 1965
2
36
Six Decades of American Art,
Leicester Galleries, London 1965
2
37
Art of the United States: 1670-1966,
Whitney Museum of American Art 1966
2
38
5.2:Exhibition Announcements 1946-1966
DescriptionContainer
Charles Sheeler: Recent Paintings
,
Downtown Gallery 1946
2
39
Sheeler: From the William Lane Foundation
,
Downtown Gallery 1956
2
40
Charles Sheeler,
Katonah Gallery 1960
2
41
Charles Sheeler: Tempera on Plexiglas,
Downtown Gallery 1965
2
42
Sheeler: (1883-1965) Exhibition,
Downtown Gallery 1966
2
43
5.3:Museum Bulletins 1949-1963
DescriptionContainer
The Currier Gallery of Art
1949 April
2
44
Archives of American Art
1960-1963
2
45
Philadelphia Museum Bulletin: The Shakers and Their Crafts
1963
2
46
5.4:Books 1945-1963
DescriptionContainer
Egyptian Statues,
Metropolitan Museum of Art 1945
2
47
Egyptian Statues,
Metropolitan Museum of Art 1946
2
48
The Great King...King of Assyria,
Metropolitan Museum of Art 1946
(See Box 7)
2
49
Sight and Insight
1956
(by Alexander Eliot)
2
50
The Great King...King of Assyria,
Metropolitan Museum of Art 1946
(2 copies)
7 (sol)
1-2
5.5:Journals and Magazines 1923-1966
DescriptionContainer
The Arts
1923 May
(See Box 7)
2
51
Life Magazine,
1938 August
(See Box 7)
2
52
Fortune Magazine
1939 April
(See Box 7)
2
53
Fortune Magazine
1940 December
(See Box 7)
2
54
"Power: Six Paintings by Charles Sheeler,"
Fortune Magazine
1940 December
(See Box 7)
2
55
Pageant
1947 June
2
56
Reader's Digest
1951 February
2
57
Art in America
1954 October
3 (hol)
1
Art in America
1955 October
3 (hol)
2
Art News
1955 Summer
3 (hol)
3
Aperture
1956 Vol. 4 No. 3
3 (hol)
4
Art in America
1956 Spring
3 (hol)
5
American Artist
1959 January
3 (hol)
6
Art in America
1960 No. 3
3 (hol)
7
Art in America
1965 No. 1
3 (hol)
8
Journal of the Archives of American Art,
1965 April
3 (hol)
9
New Hampshire Profiles
1966 May
3 (hol)
10
Life Magazine,
1938 August
7 (sol)
3
Fortune Magazine
1939 April
7 (sol)
4
Fortune Magazine
1940 December
7 (sol)
5
"Power: Six Paintings by Charles Sheeler,"
Fortune Magazine
1940 December
7 (sol)
6
5.6:Newspaper Clippings 1931-1966
DescriptionContainer
Clippings 1931, 1938
3 (hol)
11
Clippings 1947, 1953-1954
3 (hol)
12
Clippings 1955-1958
3 (hol)
13
Clippings 1959
3 (hol)
14
Clippings 1960-1962
3 (hol)
15
Clippings 1963
3 (hol)
16
Clippings 1965-1966
3 (hol)
17
5.7:Miscellaneous Printed Material 1959-1965
DescriptionContainer
Eugene Meyer Eulogy 1959
4 (hol)
1
John Fitzgerald Kennedy Presidential Inaugural Invitation 1961
4 (hol)
2
America: The Artists Eye
1963
(publicity packet)
4 (hol)
3
Unused Appointment Calendar 1963
4 (hol)
4
Rockefeller Memorial Windows Brochure circa 1965
4 (hol)
5

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1840s-1963
(Box 4, OV11; 0.4 linear feet)

Photographs date from circa 1840s-1963 and include photographs of Sheeler's family, of Sheeler, and of Sheeler with friends and colleagues. There is one daguerreotype and two ambrotypes of unidentified women (possibly Sheeler's relatives) and of a young child (possibly Sheeler). Two tintypes depict unidentified woman and Charles Sheeler as a child. There are copyprints of these originals.
Additional photographs are of Sheeler's mother and father (or possibly Sheeler's grandparents), of Sheeler, of Sheeler with his wife Musya, Sheeler with William Lane, Sheeler with Edward Weston, and Sheeler with Edward Steichen and John Marin. The series also includes photographs of Sheeler's collection of Shaker furniture, and photographs of exhibitions.
Items are arranged by subject and date.
DescriptionContainer
Unidentified Women (possibly Sheeler's relatives), circa 1840s-1880s
4 (hol)
6
Sheeler Parents or Grandparents, circa 1880s-1900s
4 (hol)
7
Sheeler's Boyhood Home, circa 1800s-1910s
4 (hol)
8
Charles Sheeler, circa 1883-1958
4 (hol)
9
Sheeler with Wife Musya, 1947, 1961
4 (hol)
10
Unidentified Friends, circa 1950s
4 (hol)
11
Sheeler with Edward Weston, 1954
(photographs by George Waters)
4 (hol)
12
Sheeler with William Lane, 1958
(photographs by Musya Sheeler)
4 (hol)
13
Sheeler with Edward Steichen and John Marin, 1958
(see OV11)
4 (hol)
14
Sheeler with Others, 1961
4 (hol)
15
Sheeler's Shaker Furniture Collection, 1962
The Shakers: Their Arts and Crafts)
4 (hol)
16
Exhibition Photographs,
The Shakers: Their Arts and Crafts
, 1962
(exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art)
4 (hol)
17
Photographs of a Sheeler Exhibition, circa 1963
(possibly a retrospective)
4 (hol)
18
Sheeler with Edward Steichen and John Marin, 1958
(three photographs)
OV 11
Unidentified Older Woman, circa 1840s-1880s
(daguerreotype)
Photo Drawer 8
Unidentified Woman, circa 1840s-1880s
(ambrotype)
Photo Drawer 8
Unidentified Woman, circa 1840s-1880s
(ambrotype)
Photo Drawer 8
Unidentified Woman, circa 1840s-1880s
(tintype)
Photo Drawer 8
Young Child (possibly Charles Sheeler), circa 1884
(ambrotype)
Photo Drawer 8
Charles Sheeler as a Boy, circa 1886
(tintype)
Photo Drawer 8

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1930s-1960s
(Boxes 4-5, 8-9, OV12-OV14; 1.1 linear feet)

The artwork series consists of art works by Sheeler and others, which date from circa 1930s-1960. The series is particularly rich documenting Sheeler's industrial designs, fabrics and manufactured objects. Artwork by Sheeler includes oversize sketches, industrial designs, fabrics and manufactured objects. The series also includes a drawing by Peggy Bacon (a gift for Sheeler's birthday), and an art photograph by Minor White. There is also a copy negative and copy print for this photograph.
The industrial designs are dated circa early 1930s, and were possibly commissioned by Samuel M. Kootz Associates. They include designs for a flower pot stand, cream and sugar set, sandwich tray, smoking stand, and a wood rack. The fabrics are in a variety of types and patterns including, knitted wool, linen, and printed rayon (or silk). The objects include a glass tumbler manufactured by the Steuben Glass Company, and a salt and pepper shaker set and silver tea spoon, both possibly manufactured by Revere Copper and Brass Inc. The fabrics and manufactured objects were exhibited at the Downtown Gallery's
Practical Manifestations in Art
, in December 1934.
A copy negative and copy print have been created for Minor White's photograph, which are filed with the original.
The series is arranged into two subseries:
Subseries 7.1: Artwork by Sheeler, circa 1930s-1960s
Subseries 7.2: Artwork by Others, circa 1940s-1960s
7.1:Artwork by Sheeler circa 1930s-1960s
DescriptionContainer
Industrial Designs, circa 1930s
(See OV 12-OV 13)
4 (hol)
19
Glass Tumbler, circa 1934
(See Box 5)
4 (hol)
20
Salt and Pepper Shaker Set circa 1934
(See Box 5)
4 (hol)
21
Silver Tea Spoon, circa 1934
(See Box 5)
4 (hol)
22
Fabrics, circa 1933-1934
(See Boxes 8-9)
4 (hol)
23
Pen and Ink Sketch (probably by Sheeler), circa 1940s-1960s
4 (hol)
24
Sketches, circa 1950s-1960s
(See OV14)
4 (hol)
25
Glass Tumbler, circa 1934
5 (hol)
5
Salt and Pepper Shaker Set circa 1934
5 (hol)
6
Silver Tea Spoon, circa 1934
5 (hol)
7
Fabrics, circa 1933-1934
8 (sol)
Fabrics, circa 1933-1934
9 (sol)
Design for a Flower Pot Stand, circa 1930s
OV 12
Design for a Cream and Sugar Set, circa 1930s
OV 13
Design for a Sandwich Tray, circa 1930s
OV 13
Design for a Smoking Stand, circa 1930s
OV 13
Design for a Wood Rack circa 1930s
OV 13
Sketches, circa 1950s-1960s
OV 14
7.2:Artwork by Others circa 1930s-1960s
DescriptionContainer
Drawing by Peggy Bacon, circa 1940s-1960s
4 (hol)
26
Photograph by Minor White, circa 1940s-1950s
4 (hol)
27

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.