Size: 0.76 Linear feet
Summary: The papers of New York painter and muralist George Biddle (1885-1973), measure 0.76 linear feet and date from circa 1910-1970. The collection includes a certificate signed by President Harry Truman, transcripts of Biddle's diaries, a manuscript of a memoir about meeting President Franklin Roosevelt, three letters from William Hunt Diederich's daughter, transcripts of letters from Bernard Berenson, sketches and mural studies, and two glass plate negatives.
New York painter and muralist George Biddle (1885-1973) proposed to President Franklin Roosevelt the establishment of a federal relief program for artists during the Depression, and subsequently painted a number of government murals under the auspices of the Federal Art Project, including murals for the Department of Justice in 1935.
The papers on reels P12-P18 were loaned for microfilming in 1954 by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, PA. George Biddle lent the material on reel D127 in 1963 and donated the rest of the collection to the Archives of American Art between 1966-1970. In 1972, Michael Biddle, George Biddle's son, gifted a photocopy of an inventory notebook that was discarded after microfilming.
Originals of the edited diary transcripts in this collection are in the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division. The unedited diary has many more entries than the edited version and includes more details about Biddle's daily life and work, versions of articles by Biddle, and lists of his works of art through 1934. The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming, including one of Biddle's original diaries, 1933-1935 (reel D127), records from the Federal Art Project, personal correspondence, articles and talks relating to Artists Equity (reels P17-P18), and a photocopy of Biddle's inventory notebook listing artwork and exhibitions (reel 4909). While the inventory notebook was discarded after microfilming, all other loaned materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.