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Everett Shinn collection, 1877-1958

Everett Shinn collection, 1877-1958

Shinn, Everett, 1876-1953

Muralist, Painter, Designer, Illustrator

Representative image for Everett Shinn collection, 1877-1958

This site provides access to the papers of Everett Shinn in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2011. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 2,220 images.

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

Collection Information

Size: 3.0 linear ft.

Summary: The collected papers of Everett Shinn measure 3.0 linear feet and date from 1877 to 1958. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with friends and colleagues; personal business records; art work, including two sketchbooks of designs for Belasco's Stuyvesant Theatre; notes and writings; eight scrapbooks; printed material, and numerous photographs of Shinn, his colleagues, and his work.

Biographical/Historical Note

Everett Shinn (1876-1953) was a painter, muralist, illustrator, and theatrical scene designer who worked primarily in New York City. Shinn was a member of the group, "The Eight."

Provenance

The bulk of the Everett Shinn collection was acquired via purchase from art dealer Thurston Thatcher between 1958-1964. Art collector Howard Lipman donated additional material in 1962. Five negatives of Shinn's work were donated in 1969 by Dr. Milton Luria, an acquaintance of Shinn's son, Davidson. The photograph of Everett Shinn, John Sloan, and Robert Henri was donated on an unknown date by an unidentified donor. The handwritten draft of Shinn's play, "Hazel Weston or More Sinned Against Than Usual" was acquired via auction purchase in 2011.

Related Materials

Funding

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

A Finding Aid to the Everett Shinn Collection,
1877-1958
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.shinever
Author
Finding aid prepared by Jean Fitzgerald
Biographical/Historical note
Everett Shinn (1876-1953) was a painter, muralist, illustrator, and theatrical scene designer who worked primarily in New York City. Shinn was a member of "The Eight," a group of painters known for their realistic portrayal of American urban life.
Everett Shinn was born on November 6, 1876 in Woodstown, New Jersey, the son of Isaiah and Josephine Ransley Shinn. He attended Quaker schools until 1890 when he went to the Spring Garden Institute in Philadelphia, studying engineering and industrial design until 1893.
Shinn enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts between 1893 and 1897. During this time he was hired as an artist-reporter for the
Philadelphia Press
, the
Inquirer
, and the
Ledger
. He also forged his friendships with painters George Luks, John Sloan, William J. Glackens, and Robert Henri, all future members of "The Eight."
Shinn moved to New York City in 1897 and quickly found employment as an illustrator for the newspaper
The World.
In 1898, he married Florence Scovel, the first of his four wives. In 1900, he traveled to England and France, and was later employed by
Harper's Weekly
. Shinn befriended decorator Elsie De Wolf and architect Stanford White, and designed and executed murals for the homes of their clients. Shinn created eighteen mural panels for David Belasco's Stuyvesant Theatre that opened in 1907, and murals for the Council Room of the Trenton, New Jersey City Hall in 1911. His most notable murals were created for the Oak Room of New York's Plaza Hotel in the 1940s.
In 1908, Shinn participated in the seminal group exhibition of "The Eight" at Macbeth Gallery. In 1911, he was included in the Exhibition of Independent Artists, and was invited to send works to the International Exhibition of Modern Art, better known as the Armory Show, in 1913, but for an unknown reason, declined. Shinn exhibited regularly and his works are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Delaware Art Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others.
Throughout his career Shinn was fascinated by the theater and the act of performance, which he made the subject of many of his works. He also wrote, directed, and performed in his own plays. Between 1917 and 1920, Shinn worked as an art director for Sam Goldwin at Goldwyn Pictures. He also worked for Inspiration Pictures from 1920 to 1923, and for William Randolph Hearst at Cosmopolitan Pictures in 1923. He divorced Florence Scovel in 1912, and married Corinne Baldwin in 1913, with whom he had two children, Janet and Davidson. He divorced again in 1921, married Gertrude Chase in 1924, and divorced again in 1932. In 1933, Shinn married his fourth wife, Paula Downing; they divorced in 1942.
From 1935 to 1939, he covered a murder trial for the
Boston Traveler
, exhibited his work at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and won a prize for watercolor at an exhibition at the Chicago Art Institute. In the 1940s Shinn participated in exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and at the American-British Art Center. In 1949, Shinn was made an Academician of the National Academy of Design, and in 1951, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Everett Shinn died on May 1, 1953 in New York City.
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as 8 series:
Series 1: Biographical material, 1953 (Box 1; 2 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1899-1952 (Box 1, 4; 61 folders)
Series 3: Personal business records, 1898-1928 (Box 1; 3 folders)
Series 4: Artwork, 1893-1928 (Box 1, 4, OV 6; 10 folders)
Series 5: Notes and writings, 1922-1951 (Box 1; 9 folders)
Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1898-1952 (Box 1, 2, 4, BV 5; 21 folders)
Series 7: Printed material, 1894-1958 (Box 2, 4; 21 folders)
Series 8: Photographs, 1877-1950 (Box 2-4, OV 7; 1.3 linear feet)
Scope and Contents note
The collected papers of Everett Shinn measure 3.0 linear feet and date from 1877 to 1958. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with friends and colleagues; personal business records; art work, including two sketchbooks of designs for Belasco's Stuyvesant Theatre; notes and writings; eight scrapbooks; printed material; and numerous photographs of Shinn, his colleagues, and his work.
Biographical material includes miscellaneous biographical accounts and a membership certificate from the American Watercolor Society.
Correspondence consists of letters from Shinn's friends and colleagues, primarily from author Poultney Bigelow. There are also letters from decorator Elsie De Wolfe, dramatist Clyde Fitch, and artists Charles Dana Gibson, William Glackens, and George Luks, whose letters are illustrated. There are scattered letters from A. Stirling Calder, Theodore Dreiser, Robert Henri, Ernest Lawson, Julia Marlowe, Claude Rains, Ruth Warrick, Alexander Woollcott, and Mahonri Young.
Personal business records consist of two account books recording art work used in publications and loaned for exhibitions, and miscellaneous invoices.
Artwork consists of two sketchbooks of designs for the Stuyvesant Theatre murals and miscellaneous drawings by Shinn. Artwork by others, including H. B. Eddy, James Ben Ali Haggin, Colonel Hegan, Oliver Henfold, George Luks, and Philip Nolan, consist primarily of caricatures.
Notes and writings include a handwritten draft of Shinn's play
Hazel Weston or More Sinned Against Than Usual
, notes for a book on art, poems, and typescripts by Shinn including "Plush and Cut Glass," a book about George Luks.
Eight scrapbooks primarily contain clippings. Scrapbook 2 contains clippings, exhibition catalogs, a note from Stuart Benson, an illustrated postcard from Ed, and scattered photographs.
Additional printed material is primarily comprised of clippings, but there are also exhibition announcements and catalogs for Shinn, reproductions of art work, booklets, and miscellaneous printed material. Rare programs for plays written by Shinn list cast members, including Wilfred Buckland, Edith Glackens, William J. Glackens, James Ben Ali Haggin, Robert Henri, J. E. Laub, Thomas Newell Metcalf, James M. Preston, Florence Scovel Shinn, and John Sloan.
Numerous photographs are found within the collection and depict Shinn as a boy, in various Philadelphia newspaper offices, in costume for stage performances, at the easel, and with colleagues, including Robert Henri and John Sloan. Photographs of colleagues also include author Poultney Bigelow, decorator Elsie De Wolfe, portrait painter James Ben Ali Haggin, actress Julia Marlowe, and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts classmates William Glackens and Florence Scovel. There are also photographs of Shinn's residences, exhibition installations, set designs and stagings of plays, murals, and other art work.
Provenance
The bulk of the Everett Shinn collection was acquired via purchase from art dealer Thurston Thatcher between 1958-1964. Art collector Howard Lipman donated additional material in 1962. Five negatives of Shinn's work were donated in 1969 by Dr. Milton Luria, an acquaintance of Shinn's son, Davidson. The photograph of Everett Shinn, John Sloan, and Robert Henri was donated on an unknown date by an unidentified donor. The handwritten draft of Shinn's play, "Hazel Weston or More Sinned Against Than Usual" was acquired via auction purchase in 2011.
Related Archival Materials note
Additional Everett Shinn papers are available at the Helen Farr Sloan Library, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware.
Processing Information note
Accessions were microfilmed upon receipt on reels D179, 441, 899, 950, 952-953, 1118, 2917, and 3471-3472, except for the last acquisition in 2011, which was not microfilmed. Researchers should note that the arrangement of the collection as described in this finding aid does not reflect the order of the collection on microfilm due to reprocessing. All accessions were merged, arranged, and described by Jean Fitzgerald in September 2009. The papers were digitized in 2011 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Additional Forms Available

The bulk of this collection was digitized in 2011 and is available on the Archives of American Art's website. Materials which have not been scanned include photographs of works of art; duplicates; blank pages in bound volumes; blank versos of photographs; readily available copies of printed material, and oversized material too large to be scanned. In some cases, publications have had their covers, title pages, and relevant pages scanned.

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

Everett Shinn collection, 1877-1958. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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