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Contents and Arrangement | A Finding Aid to the Ernest Blumenschein papers, 1873-1964 | Digitized Collection

Ernest Blumenschein papers, 1873-1964

Contents and Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 7 series:

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.

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1873-1971
17 folders
Box 1, OV 1

Included are certificates from art organizations, honorary diplomas from New Mexico institutions, and materials commemorating Blumenschein's election to the National Academy of Design. Family materials include genealogical records and his parents' wedding certificate. Found are many handwritten biographical sketches, and a typed copy of records kept by Blumenschein listing awards, memberships, patrons, dealers, sales, and exhibitions. School notebooks include notes on chemistry and "natural philosophy," creative writing, and many small sketches. Also found are loose notes, a tennis association membership card, and travel ephemera. Of special interest is a questionnaire about Blumenschein's artistic influences.
This series has been scanned in its entirety.

Series 2: Correspondence, 1891-1970
0.5 linear feet
Box 1

The bulk of correspondence is between Blumenschein, his wife Mary, and his daughter Helen. Mary's correspondence discusses domestic life, Blumenschein's artistic career, the Taos community, relationship issues, travel, and financial matters. Correspondence with Helen is about school, domestic life, travels in Europe, and discussion of art, movies, and books. Blumenschein sometimes refers to Helen by the nickname of "Bill." Helen's letters sometimes contain small sketches.
Found are letters from magazines, publishers, museums, galleries, and patrons that record the sale, exhibition, and publication of Blumenschein's artwork. Correspondence from sports organizations documents Blumenschein's interest and participation in athletics. World War I era correspondence is with the Committee of Public Information, the Treasury Department, the Salmagundi Club, and the Aide de Camps of military bases in Kansas and New Mexico.
Of special interest in this series are an 1891 letter from
Harper's Young People
evaluating Blumenschein's art submission, a letter from General John Pershing in regards to Blumenschein's portrait of Pershing, and a letter from Blumenschein to "a." discussing the conflict between artistic pursuits and Blumenschein's personal life. Also found are a few letters from artists and writers, including William Glackens, Walt Kuhn, Ward Lockwood, Booth Tarkington, and a long letter from Cass Gilbert.
This series has been scanned in its entirety.

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1918-1950s
4 folders
Box 1

The series consists of a guest list for an exhibition at the Grand Central Art Galleries, a list of Blumenschein works in a private collection, a certificate verifying Blumenschein's jury duty service, and a car payment record.
This series has been scanned in its entirety, except for the car payment receipt.

Series 4: Writings, 1880s-1959
0.5 linear feet
Boxes 1-2

Found in this series are writings by Blumenschein as well as a few scattered writings by others. Professional writings include Blumenschein's lectures delivered to art organizations, essays on John Gaw Meem and Joseph Henry Sharp, writings on the artistic community of Taos, and written discussions of select paintings. Personal writings are mostly about travel, including memoirs about Blumenschein's first trip to Taos, life in Paris, French churches and cemeteries, Switzerland, and Pittsburgh, Pensylvania.
Creative writings mostly explore the life and culture of the southwest. The manuscript for "Pablo, a Story Of a New Mexico Harvest" has an elaborately illustrated cover, while "The Channel Boys' Vacation" contains many illustrations. Additional sketches meant to accompany the manuscript "The Road to Milky," are filed in Series 5: Artwork. There is also a satirical piece about a janitor's thoughts on modern art.
Writings by others include a series of talks on Blumenschein related to a 1948 retrospective exhibition, an essay on Blumenschein by a Spanish scholar, and a memoir on Taos by Bert Phillips.
This series is arranged alphabetically by title, either given or supplied by the processing archivist. Writings by others follow Blumenschein's writings.
This series has been scanned in its entirety.

Series 5: Artwork, 1888-1925
0.25 linear feet
Boxes 2

This series consists primarily of printed issues of "Tomfoolery," a handwritten and hand drawn magazine created by Blumenschein and others during high school. Issues contain portraits, caricatures, sequential art, and lettering by Blumenschein signed "B" or "Shine." Writings by Blumenschein can also be found.
Also found are several small sketches by Blumenschein, and sketches for illustrating Blumenschein's manuscript "The Road to Milky's" (
see Series 4: Writings
). Artwork by others includes a work of juvenilia by Helen Blumenschein, and a small landscape sketch by Mary Worral-Wisca.
This series has been scanned in its entirety.

Series 6: Printed Materials, 1891-1964
0.5 linear feet
Box 2, OV1

Printed materials include clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, printed illustrations of Blumenschein's work, and ephemera mostly related to the Taos Art Colony. Topics covered are Blumenschein's exhibitions, published illustrations, early years in France, critical reception to his work, Taos Artists Society, the National Academy of Design, and sports. There is a small pamphlet for the Taos Heptagon, an "affiliation of painters" including Blumenschein, Dorothy Brett, and Ward Lockwood.
Also found are invitations, a program for a "vaudeville" performance at the Salmagundi Club, and two postcard reproductions of Blumenschein paintings that have annotations by Blumenschein on the verso. Of special interest are a 1915 menu from a National Academy of Design event signed by Gifford Beal, George Bellows, and Eugene Speicher among others, and a 1902 menu from a Salmagundi Club event honoring Bruce Crane with many signatures.
The bulk of this series has been scanned, except for news clippings printed reproductions of artwork and business cards. In some cases, only the covers and title pages for exhibition catalogs have been scanned.

Series 7: Photographs, 1880s-1955
0.5 linear feet
Box 2, OV1

Photographs include two portraits of Ernest Blumenschein, a photograph of Blumenschein with other members of the National Academy of Design, and exhibition/installation views at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Carnegie Institute, and a Colorado post office. The bulk of the photographs are of artwork by Blumenschein, including paintings, murals, and student work. Also found are photographs of artwork by others including Oscar Berninghaus and E. Martin Hennings.
Photographs of artwork have not been scanned.

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.