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Dixie Selden papers, 1837-1936, 1993-2001

Dixie Selden papers, 1837-1936, 1993-2001

Selden, Dixie, 1868-1935

Painter

Collection Information

Size: 4.3 linear feet

Summary: The papers of artist Dixie Selden measure 4.3 linear feet and date from 1837-1936 and 1993-2001. The collection documents the life, world travels, and professional career of the Impressionist painter from Cincinnati, Ohio, through biographical material, correspondence, writings, diaries, printed material, a scrapbook, photographs, artwork, sketchbooks, and artifacts.

Biographical/Historical Note

Dixie Selden (1868-1935) was an American Impressionist painter working in Kentucky and Ohio.

Provenance

The Dixie Selden papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Marcia Goldman Widenor in 2014. Marcia Widenor's grandfather was married to Minnie Schaffer Goldman, Dixie Selden's first cousin.

A Finding Aid to the Dixie Selden papers, 1837-1936, 1993-2001, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.selddixi
Author
Finding aid prepared by Hilary Price
Biographical/Historical note
Dixie Selden (1868-1935) was an American Impressionist painter working in Kentucky and Ohio. Born to wealthy parents in Cincinnati, Ohio, Selden moved with her family to Covington, Kentucky when she was two years old. Her parents, John Roger Selden and Martha Peyton McMillon Selden were active in Cincinnati and Covington social circles and societies. Dixie’s parents nurtured her artistic abilities early on, building her a studio, and taking her on two tours of Europe.
Selden studied art at the Art Academy of Cincinnati off and on from 1884, when it was called the McMicken School of Design, until 1912. While there she was a student of Fernand H. Lungren and Frank Duveneck. In 1913, Selden traveled to Venice to study painting with William Merritt Chase. She exhibited regularly in the Midwest, and created a professional career as a portrait and landscape painter.
Selden traveled extensively throughout her life, frequently with her close friend and fellow artist Emma Mendenhall. Her travels to Europe, Mexico, China, Japan, the Middle East, as well as sights across the United States served as inspiration for her art, as she took many photographs, collected postcards, and created sketches and paintings.
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as 10 series
Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1890s-1930s (0.1 linear foot; Box 1)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1837-1935, 1998 (0.6 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 3: Writings, circa 1890s-1930s (0.1 linear foot; Box 1)
Series 4: Diaries, 1878-circa 1934 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 5: Printed Material, circa 1850-1926, 1993-2001 (1.7 linear feet; Box 2, 4, OV 5, OV 7)
Series 6: Scrapbook, circa 1889 (0.1 linear foot; Box 2)
Series 7: Photographs, circa 1860s-1935, 1995 (0.6 linear feet; Box 2-3)
Series 8: Artwork, circa 1900s-1920s (0.3 linear feet; Box 3, OV 6)
Series 9: Sketchbooks, circa 1900s-1931 (0.3 linear feet; Box 3)
Series 10: Artifacts, circa 1890s-1930s (0.3 linear feet; Box 3)
Scope and Contents note
The papers of artist Dixie Selden measure 4.3 linear feet and date from 1837-1936 and 1993-2001. The collection documents the life, world travels, and professional career of the Impressionist painter from Cincinnati, Ohio, through biographical material, correspondence, writings, diaries, printed material, a scrapbook, photographs, artwork, sketchbooks, and artifacts.
Correspondence makes up a significant part of the collection and includes frequent letters sent to her parents while traveling abroad. Selden’s travels are also documented in seven diaries, with daily descriptions of events and sights, and nine sketchbooks containing pencil and pastel sketches. Printed material makes up another large part of the collection and primarily includes items that document Selden’s career and exhibitions, in addition to her frequent travels. Extensive photographs also document her travel, as well as her artwork, friends and family, and portraits of Selden. Artwork includes pencil sketches and prints by Selden and others. The remainder of the collection includes biographical material, writings, a scrapbook, and artifacts.
Provenance
The Dixie Selden papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Marcia Goldman Widenor in 2014. Marcia Widenor's grandfather was married to Minnie Schaffer Goldman, Dixie Selden's first cousin.
Processing Information note
The collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid prepared by Hilary Price in 2015.

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

Dixie Selden papers, 1837-1936, 1993-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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