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Douglas Volk and Leonard Wells Volk papers, circa 1858-1965, bulk 1870-1935

Volk, Leonard Wells, 1828-1895

Sculptor

This site provides access to the papers of Douglas Volk in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2017, and total 15,065 images.

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

Collection Information

Size: 12.4 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of painter and teacher Douglas Volk (1856-1935) and his father, sculptor Leonard Wells Volk (1828-1895), measure 12.4 linear feet and date from circa 1858-1965, 2008, with the bulk of the material dating from circa 1870-1935. Douglas Volk's papers document his life and career through biographical material, family and professional correspondence, writings and notes, diaries and journals, financial records, printed material, scrapbooks, artwork and sketchbooks, and photographs of the artist, his family, friends, and artwork. The papers also provide documentation of the formation and operations of the Sabatos Handicraft Society established with Marion Volk from the Volk's summer home, Hewnoaks, in Center Lovell, Maine. Scattered documentation of the life and work of Leonard Wells Volk, is found in biographical material, land records, letters, memoirs, and photographs.

Biographical/Historical Note

Chicago sculptor Leonard Wells Volk (1828-1895) created one of only two life masks of Abraham Lincoln. His son, painter and teacher Douglas Volk (1856-1935), was known for his figure and portrait paintings. Douglas Volk and his wife Marion Larrabee Volk established the Sabatos Handicraft Society, producing homespun woolen rugs and textiles from their summer home in Center Lovell, Maine.

Provenance

The George Arents Research Library, Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York first lent material for microfilming in 1989. Most of the material was then donated in 20042005 by Jessie J. Volk, the daughter-in-law of Douglas Volk, who also bequeathed the Volk estate including additional Volk papers to the University of Maine. In 2006, University officials arranged for an auction of much of the property of the estate including the remaining family papers. The Volk Family estate auction was conducted by Cyr Auction Co., in Gray, Maine, on July 19, 2006. Several individuals purchased parts of the papers at that auction and subsequently donated them to the Archives. Those donors are: David Wright, who acquired the 1875 journal and Brush letters and donated them to the Archives in 2006; Dr. Christine Isabelle Oaklander, who purchased the account book, 18731875, and donated it to the Archives in honor of Judith Ellen Throm in 2007, and also donated additional letters and a photograph in 2008; and Mary K. and John F. McGuigan Jr., who purchased correspondence (1120 letters), speeches, lectures, articles, checks, check stubs and miscellaneous items and donated them to the Archives in 2015. In 2007, the University of Maine Foundation via Amos Orcutt donated the 1934 journal and 60 photographs. John F. McGuigan Jr. and Mary K. McGuigan have purchased and donated additional archival materials to the Archives, including the Mary K. McGuigan and John F. McGuigan Jr. artists' letters collection, and 69 letters now among the Sylvester Rosa Koehler papers. In 2007, the University of Maine Foundation via Amos Orcutt donated the 1934 journal and 60 photographs that were part of the Volk Family estate, but not included in the June 19, 2006 auction. In 2019 Dr. Christine Isabelle Oaklander donated additional material purchased at auction, primarily photographs and some printed material.

Related Materials

Language Note

Collection is in English.

Funding

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