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Harold Helwig and Lenore Davis papers, 1940-2013

Davis, Lenore, 1936-1995


Collection Information

Size: 14.5 Linear feet; 7.85 Gigabytes

Summary: The papers of artists and art educators Harold Helwig and Lenore Davis measue 14.5 linear feet and 7.85 GB and date from 1940 to 2013. The papers document Davis' career and personal life more heavily than Helwig's, however, material related to both individuals are present. Included is biographical information; correspondence; exhibition and business files; research and printed material; artwork and sketches; photographs; and papers and digital material related to both Helwig and Davis' teaching endeavors.

The papers of artists and art educators Harold Helwig and Lenore Davis measue 14.5 linear feet and 7.85 GB and contains correspondence, video recordings, some in digital format, photographs and slides, exhibition ephemera, clippings and various other printed material, and artwork.

Biographical material includes resumes, school papers, artist inventories, and contacts lists. The collection's correspondence is both personal and business related, and includes a series of letters from Davis' mother, Mary Shope Davis, to her brother and sister-in-law from the 1940s. Other material found in this collection documents Helwig's and Davis' involvement in exhibitions; national and local craft-related guilds and associations, education; sale of artwork and services; research material; and printed ephemera. The collection's photographs include the personal and professional side of Helwig and Davis' life.

Biographical/Historical Note

Harold "Bill" Helwig (1938-2012) was an enamel artist and educator born in Wellington, Kansas in 1938. Helwig received his MS in watercolor from Fort Hayes Kansas State College in 1961. After a short stint in the military, Helwig became the assistant director of the Creative Craft Center at the State University of New York, Buffalo (he served as an assistant professor in the design department there as well). In 1977, Helwig took the position of director at Vitrearc, a division of Ceramic Coating Co., in Newport, Kentucky. After Vitrearc, Helwig's primary focus shifted towards creating enamel art and teaching its process. Included in Helwig's artistic accomplishments was a selection in the international exhibition "Objects: USA" (1969), exhibitions in the Ornamental Metals Museum in Memphis, Museum of Contemporary Crafts in New York City, and the CCA Galleries in Cambridge, England. Helwig was an active member of the American Craft Council as co-founder and editor of Glass On Metal . He received the Enamellist Society's Creative Arts Award in 2001.


This collection was donated in 2017 by Arnelle Dow, executor of Harold Helwig's estate.


The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund, administered by the National Collections Program and the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee.

How to Use This Collection

Restrictions on Access

The collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment, and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.

Restrictions on Use

The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.

How to Cite This Collection

Harold Helwig and Lenore Davis papers, 1940-2013. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.