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Houghton Cranford Smith papers, 1890-1991

Contents and Arrangement

As requested by the donor, the original arrangement has been maintained, but the collection has been rehoused for preservation purposes. The collection is arranged as 4 series.

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.

Series 1: Scrapbooks , 1890-1991
(Boxes 1-2; 1.5 linear feet)

This series contains materials from 1890-1991 and forms the bulk of the collection. The scrapbooks consist primarily of letters, photographs and memorabilia. Materials document Smith's travels and studies in France, New York, Bermuda, New Mexico, Jamaica and South America and include correspondence, photographs, travel documents, exhibition catalogs, newsletters, notes, sketches, student records and newspaper and magazine clippings. The arrangement of the material is generally chronological.
Description Container Select
Scrapbook 1: Biographical Materials, 1890-1926
A large portion of this scrapbook focuses on the period of Smith's life spent studying art at the Cape Cod School of Art in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Included are photographs of his artwork, friends and family in Provincetown and New Mexico, Smith as a child and young man and his first wife. A high school transcript, commencement program and other school pamphlets, autographed menus, correspondence, including postcards and letters to family, customs declarations, exhibition catalogs, newspaper clippings, a passport to Chile, newsletters and Smith's teaching contract from the University of Kansas are also included. Postcards from his first wife, Elena Peralta, discuss the beginning of their relationship.
1
1-21
Scrapbook 2: Letters from France, 1913-1914
This scrapbook is mostly comprised of Smith's correspondence from France, particularly letters written to family and friends, in 1913 and 1914. Smith traveled to France in 1913 to attend the Academie Julian, a Parisian art school. The letters remark on his studies and life in France. Also included in this scrapbook is a log from a tandem bicycle trip with classmate Harold P. Browne, an invitation to the Bal Randolphe, a Browne Art Class brochure and a narrative entitled "A Party of Fugitives from France". This final document describes Smith's forced fleeing from France after the French mobilization in 1914.
1
22-45
Scrapbook 3: Letters from Chile, 1916-1920
This scrapbook include notes and correspondence about Smith's travels in South America and home in Chile. He left for South America from Brooklyn on October 19, 1916 with his "Uncle" Steve, a family friend. Smith writes at length about his train trip across Argentina to Los Andes, Chile and about his explorations of Los Andes, Puerto Varas and Santiago. He also writes about his financial difficulties and his artwork.
1
46-57
Scrapbook 4: Letters from Spain and France, 1926-1933
This scrapbook contains Smith's passport, ship passenger lists and other travel documents, correspondence with family, French identification letters, exhibition catalogs, newspaper clippings and Academie Ozenfant list of classes and student card. Of particular note are correspondence from and a picture of Sir Walter Kitchener, governor of Bermuda, and letters from Elena to her parents-in-law. Topics covered in the correspondence include family life with sons Houghton Jr. and Gerrit and the birth of daughter Florence, financial difficulties, his art studies and the family's travels. During this period the family moved from New York to France in 1926, traveled in Spain, returned to New York in 1928, traveled in both Bermuda and Spain for several months before returning to France and settling in Paris. Smith attended the Academie Ozenfant and studied under Andre L'hote and Amadee Ozenfant.
1
58-70
Scrapbook 5: The Exhibition Years (1 of 2), 1940-1954
This scrapbook includes correspondence from Houghton to second wife Laura Gilbert Williams as well as their marriage certificate and passport papers for their honeymoon in Guatemala, sketches, exhibition catalogs, photographs, registers, correspondence and newspaper clippings of his wedding announcement and reviews received for his exhibited paintings. There are also congratulatory letters from family and friends about his successful exhibitions and significant correspondence with the Passedoit Gallery and Homer Saint-Gaudens of the Carnegie Institute regarding the exhibition and purchase of his artwork.
1
71-81
Scrapbook 5: The Exhibition Years (2 of 2), 1940-1954
2
1-10
Scrapbook 6: Letters and Printed Material, 1957-1991
This scrapbook is comprised mostly of correspondence from later in his life as well as newspaper clippings and exhibition programs. There is an especially large section of correspondence from fans and friends congratulating him on his feature article in The American Artist. There are also a substantial number of newspaper articles and correspondence about Houghton's gifted painting to the Butler Institute of American Art. Of note are biographical newspaper articles and a biographical sketch written by his wife, after his death.
2
11-20
Scrapbook 7: Charts and Notes on Color, circa 1920s
This scrapbook consists primarily of handwritten notes about painting with various colors and color charts from circa 1920s. Also included are related assignments from Smith's Color Theory Class and a signed copy of the book "Color" by E. Ambrose Webster, Smith's former art teacher.
2
21-30
Scrapbook 8: Class Sketches and Notes, circa 1920s
This scrapbook contains materials from circa 1920s which include pencil sketches, mostly of nude figures, handwritten art class notes and a price list for Rembrandt oil and water colors.
2
31-38

Series 2: Writings , 1963-1991
(Box 2; 2 folders)

Series II consists of writings from 1963 and 1991 which include Smith's handwritten manuscript and the published version of "The Provincetown I Remember". This memoir recalls the beginnings of the Provincetown artists' colony, c. 1908-1914. His family edited and published his recollections posthumously in conjunction with exhibitions of Smith's Provincetown paintings in New York and in Provincetown.
Description Container Select
Manuscript of "The Provincetown I Remember", 1963
2
39
Published Book "The Provincetown I Remember", 1991
2
40

Series 3: Printed Material , 1916-1991
(Box 2, OV 4; 6 folders)

The material in the Printed Matter series dates from 1944-1992. It includes exhibition catalogues from the Carnegie Institute and posthumous exhibitions in Provincetown and at the Grace Borgenicht Gallery in New York. Magazine articles, including the June 1976 American Artist magazine that features Smith, reviews of a posthumous exhibition and several exhibition announcement booklets form a substantial part of this series.
Description Container Select
Carnegie Institute Exhibition Catalogs, 1944-1947
2
41
Carnegie Institute Exhibition Catalogs, 1948-1949
2
42
Other Exhibition Catalogs, 1990-1991
2
43
Clippings, 1976-1990
2
44
Exhibition Announcements, 1990-1991
2
45
Oversize Newspaper Clipping, 1916
OV 4

Series 4: Miscellany , circa 1920s-1977
(Box 2, OV 3; 7 folders)

The papers in series IV date from circa 1920s to 1977. These include an address book, nude sketches, a Bulletin from the University of Kansas, a class notebook on lettering, a photograph of Smith taken in 1977 and the etching "The Crucifixion" by Oscar Gieberich.
Description Container Select
Class Notebook on Lettering, undated
2
46
Loose Materials from Notebook on Lettering, undated
2
47
University of Kansas Bulletin, 1922
2
48
Address Book, circa 1920s-1930s
2
49
Nude Sketches, undated
2
50
Photograph of Houghton Cranford Smith, 1977
2
51
Oversized Etching, "The Crucifixion", circa 1920s
OV 3
1

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.