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Charles W. and Frances White letters and photographs to Melvin and Lorraine Williamson, 1956-1961

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Rayna Andrews
Scope and Contents
The Charles W. and Frances White letters and photographs to Melvin and Lorraine Williamson measure 0.2 linear feet and date from 1956 to 1961. The collection includes twenty-eight letters written by Charles and Frances White to Melvin (Mel) and Lorraine Williamson shortly after their arrival in California. The letters refer to financial and personal struggles, as well career triumphs and current events. In addition to their shared Chicago background, both the Whites and Williamsons were interracial couples. The letters include references to racial and social dynamics, especially comparing California to New York. Approximately half of the letters are written by Charles, the other half by Frances, and two letters are written jointly. Most are signed from "Chas & Fran."
The collection also contains photographs, negatives, and slides depicting Charles and Frances with friends, their home, and Charles' studio. Many photographs include explanatory notes. Also included are clippings and exhibition brochures for Charles White's 1958 exhibition at ACA Gallery, as well as Anton Refregier's Recent Paintings exhibition.
Language
English
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Charles W. and Frances White letters and photographs to Melvin and Lorraine Williamson were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2019 by Lisa Rosenburg, Melvin and Lorraine Williamson's daughter.
Related Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds the Charles W. White papers, the Lucinda H. Gedeon research material on Charles White, and an oral history interview with Charles W. White conducted by Betty Hoag, March 9, 1965.
Funding
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.
Processing Information
The collection was minimally processed and a finding aid prepared by Rayna Andrews in 2019 with funding from the Henry Luce Foundation.