Skip to main content

Guy Pène Du Bois papers, circa 1900-1963, bulk 1920-1963

More Information

Judy Ng
Scope and Contents
The papers of painter and art critic Guy Pène Du Bois measure 2.0 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, journals, 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 Pène 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 Pène Du Bois' son, the children's book illustrator William Pène Du Bois.
Writings include book drafts of Pène 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 Pène Du Bois and a print by an unknown artist.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Sketches and etching proofs were lent to the Archives of American Art in 1970 for microfilming by Pène du Bois' children, Yvonne McKenney and William Pène du Bois. Yvonne McKenney donated papers in 1971. In 1980, two journals dating from 1913 to 1955, were loaned for microfilming by Pène du Bois' daughter-in-law, Willa Kim. These journals were subsequently donated by Martha Fleishman in 2017.
Separated Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reel 28) including sketches and etching proofs. Lent material was returned to the lender and is not described in the collection container inventory.
Related Materials
The Archives also holds the Guy Pène Du Bois and Mary Lightfoot Tarleton correspondence.
Processing of this collection was funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art
Processing Information
Materials received a preliminary level of processing at some point after donation and were microfilmed onto reel 28. All materials were fully processed and described by Judy Ng in 2013 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
The 2017 addition was processed by Ryan Evans in 2018.