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Francis Criss papers, 1916-1975, bulk 1940-1969

Contents and Arrangement

The collection is arranged in two parts. Part 1 represents the papers originally microfilmed as a loan in 1970 on reel N70-34. Part 2 is comprised of the 1976 gift.

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  • 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: Papers filmed as a loan on Reel N70-34 , 1916-1969
0.4 Linear feet
Box 1, Reel N70-34

Found here are biographical data; teaching and lecture notes and data compiled by Criss for courses he taught at several New York art schools, including the New School and the School of Visual Arts. Topics include particular styles of teaching and his personal philosophy on art; general correspondence with museums and magazines; correspondence with Cornell University, the Henry McCarter Estate, and Theodore L. Shaw; exhibition announcements and catalogs; exhibition files and photographs for the Philadelphia Art Alliance exhibition in 1953 and the Visual Arts Gallery Retrospective in 1966; a record of paintings, murals, and projects; personal photographs and photographs of works of art; reproductions of Criss' commercial work for Abbott Laboratories and others; and clippings. The folders have been arranged in the order as they were filmed in 1970. Materials on microfilm only appear as See or See Also references.
Description Container Select
Biographical Data and Memorabilia, 1939-1945, 1969
1
1
Education Notes, undated
1
2
Learning to See Notes, 1936, undated
1
3
Character Analysis, Philosophy of Art Notes, 1960, 1966, undated
1
4
Education Notes (See Reel N70-34), undated
1
Learning to See Notes, undated
1
5
General Business and Personal Correspondence, 1937-1965, undated
1
6
Cornell University Correspondence, 1941
1
7
Henry McCarter Estate Correspondence, 1943-1944
1
8
Theodore L. Shaw Correspondence(includes Today's Art Gallery and Stuart Art Gallery), 1944-1946, undated
1
9
Notes (See Reel N70-34), undated
1
Teaching Data (notes and letters), 1945-1949, 1956, 1965, undated
1
10
Exhibition Data, Catalogs, Announcements, and Lists (See Reel N70-34), 1933-1969
1
Philadelphia Art Alliance Exhibition File, 1952-1954, undated
1
11
Visual Arts Gallery Retrospective (1966) Exhibition File(See Also Reel N70-34), 1966, undated
1
12
Record of Paintings, Murals, Projects, 1931-1939, undated
1
13
Photographs of Works of Art (See Also Reel N70-34), 1941-1946, undated
(4 folders)
1
Personal Photographs, Snapshots, Group Photos, circa 1920-1966
1
14-15
Photographs of U.S. Government, Army Medical Corps Works of Art, circa 1942-1945
1
16
Photographs, Francis Criss Retrospective, Visual Arts Gallery (See Reel N70-34), 1966
1
Printed Material, Reproductions of Works, Abbott Laboratories, undated
1
17
Photographs and Reproductions of Commercial Work, undated
1
8
Clippings and Scrapbook (See Reel N70-34), 1916, 1931-1954, 1967
1

Series 2: 1976 Gift , 1935-1975, undated
1.5 Linear feet
Boxes 2-6

Part 2 includes business correspondence regarding finances, contract work and membership in several arts organizations and with government agencies including the Works Project Administration that document Criss' involvement with the Federal Art Project during the 1930s and 1940s. Personal correspondence includes handwritten notes and greeting cards from students and colleagues expressing their get well wishes during Criss' illness in 1965. Also found are several letters of condolences to Criss' wife, Miriam after her husband's death in 1973. Writings consist of loose pages of Criss' handwritten notes for his art lectures and syllabi for illustration courses he taught between 1953 and 1957. Included are exhibition announcements and invitations from several art museums and galleries including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, National Gallery of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and other art institutions. Exhibition catalogs include Painting in the United States from a show hosted by the Carnegie Institute in 1944 and Eric Isenburger, an exhibition at M. Knoedler and Company in 1950. Also included is a list of works for an unidentified exhibition in which Criss' painting Fascism was among the works shown. Color and black and white photographs are of Criss' wife Miriam and their children and of work Criss created for the U.S. Army Medical Corps.
Found are three dismantled scrapbooks. Scrapbook #1 documents Criss' commercial art in the 1940s and contains a series of large scale reproductions of his illustrations. Scrapbooks #2 and #3 also include examples of Criss' commercial work, as well as illustrations by other artists, and Criss' handwritten notes and instructions on drawing and painting techniques. Miscellany includes several ledger pages detailing art supply expenses, a small unidentified collage, a copy of a 1957 appraisal report titled The Role of the School of Visual Arts, and other miscellaneous items.
Description Container Select
Business Correspondence, 1938-1970, undated
2
1
Personal Correspondence (Oversized in Box 6), 1948-1975, undated
2
2-4
Syllabi, 1953-1957, undated
2
5
Writings On Painting, 1957, undated
2
6-7
Exhibition announcements and invitations, 1941-1950, undated
3
1
Exhibition catalogs and lists of titles, 1944,1950, undated
3
2
Photographs (Oversized in Box 6), 1935-1973, undated
3
3-4
Miscellany, 1940-1959, 1965, undated
3
5
Scrapbook #1, circa 1940s, undated
4
Scrapbook #2, circa 1940s-1950s, undated
5
Scrapbook # 3, undated
6
Oversized Mounted Christmas Card from Box 2, undated
6
Oversized Photographs from Box 3, 1935-1973, undated
6

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.