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Guy Pène Du Bois papers, circa 1900-1963

Guy Pène Du Bois papers, circa 1900-1963

Du Bois, Guy Pène, 1884-1958

Painter, Art critic

Collection Information

Size: 1.8 linear feet

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter and art critic Guy Pène Du Bois (1884-1958) lived and worked in New York City, New York and was known for his realist paintings, essays, and art reviews.


The Guy Pène Du Bois papers were donated by Du Bois' daughter, Yvonne McKenney, in 1971.

Related Materials

The Archives also holds the Guy Pßene Du Bois and Mary Lightfoot Tarleton correspondence.


Processing of this collection was funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Location of Originals

  • Sketches and etching proofs, Reel 29: Originals returned to Yvonne McKenney and William Pene du Bois after microfilming.
  • Diaries, Reel 2008: Originals returned to Willa Kim after microfilming.

Scope and Contents

The papers of painter and art critic Guy Pène Du Bois measure 1.8 linear feet and date from circa 1900 to 1963 with the bulk of the materials dating from 1920 to 1963. Found within the papers are biographical material; personal and professional correspondence, including letters from Royal Cortissoz and Edward Hopper; writings, including essays, short stories, and drafts of the autobiography "Artists Say the Silliest Things"; personal business records; printed material; and artwork.

Biographical materials consist of certificates, a curriculum vitae, passport, and a photograph of two unidentified women.

Correspondence is primarily with Du Bois' family, friends, and business associates. The series includes significant correspondence from fellow art critic Royal Cortissoz; artists Raphael Soyer and Edward Hopper; and writers Samuel Duff McCoy, Lincoln Isham, and Newton Booth Tarkington. Other correspondents of note include C.W. Kraushaar Art Galleries and Du Bois' son, the children's book illustrator William Pène Du Bois.

Writings include book drafts of Du Bois' autobiography, "Artists Say the Silliest Things", journal entries, 35 essays, 8 short stories, and various writing fragments and notes.

Personal business records consist of account and sales records from C.W. Kraushaar Art Galleries, book and publishing contracts, and receipts for art supply purchases.

Printed material includes a brochure for the Guy Pène Du Bois School of Art, clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and miscellaneous printed material.

Artwork consists of pen and ink sketches by Du Bois and a print by an unknown artist.

Portions of this collection are available on microfilm reel 28 at the Archives of American Art offices, and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of the papers as described in the finding aid does not reflect the order of the collection on microfilm due to reprocessing.

Diaries, Reel 2008: Permission to authorize, quote, reproduce must be obtained from: Willa Kim, 250 West 82nd St., New York, N.Y.

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

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