Jayna M. Josefson
Scope and Contents
The papers of ceramicist, sculptor, and educator Frans Wildenhain measure 8.2 linear feet and date from circa 1890 to 1991. The papers document his career in Europe and the United States through biographical material, correspondence, diaries and notebooks, writings and notes, subject files, project files, printed material, three mixed media scrapbooks, artwork and sketchbooks, and photographic materials.
The bulk of Wildenhain's correspondence is from family and friends including Walter Herzger and Marguerite Wildenhain. Twelve diaries and notebooks include general diary entries but may include notes on art, sketches, kiln logs, and designs. Of note is a diary kepy by Wildenhain during his drive from New York City to Guerneville, California upon his arrival in the United States in 1937. Project files contain records relating to four murals completed by Wildenhain on the east coast. Three scrapbooks contain clippings, exhibition materials, and photographs concerning his teaching career at the School for American Craftsmen and exhibitions. Eleven sketchbooks date from the 1930s to 1979 and mostly contain pencil sketches. Photographs depict Wildenhain, family, his wives Marguerite, Marjorie, and Lili, homes, studios, exhibitions, and works of art by Wildenhain and others.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Elisabeth Wildenhain donated her husband's papers in 1989 and 1998.
The Archives of American Art also holds an oral history interview of Frans Wildenhain conducted 1978 April 10-1979 July 28, by Robert Brown for the Archives of American Art; the Marguerite Wildenhain papers, 1930-1982; a Frans Wildenhain grant application, 1974 for the National Endowment for the Arts; Letters from Frans Wildenhain to Virginia Cartwright Katz, 1968-1979; Robert Johnson slides of works by Frans Wildenhain, circa 1978; the Kitty C. L. Fischer papers relating to Frans Wildenhain, 1940-1981; and an interview with Elisabeth (Lili) Wildenhain conducted 1995 August 22, by Robert F. Brown. Also found are the Ron Meyers papers relating to Frans Wildenhain, circa 1967-1979; the Roy Cartwright letters from Frans Wildenhain, 1966-1979; and the Gerhard Marcks letters from Frans Wildenhain, 1950-1979 on reel 2435.
The collection was processed with a finding aid prepared by Jayna Josefson in 2019.