Skip to main content

James Daugherty papers, 1904-1978

Daugherty, James Henry, 1889-1974

Muralist, Painter, Illustrator

Collection Information

Size: 6.5 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of painter, muralist, children's book author and illustrator James Daugherty measure 6.5 linear feet and date from 1904-1978. The papers document Daugherty's career and artistic process through a small amount of biographical material, correspondence, writings, printed material, and sketchbooks. The 150 sketchbooks span seven decades and are the bulk and highlight of this collection. They contain preparatory drawings and sketches for artworks, murals, and illustrations, as well mock-ups for books, travel sketches, and a good deal of writing. Daugherty worked in both a non-objective abstract style and in representational illustration. His illustrations depict biblical stories and familiar characters and caricatures from American folklore including Revolutionary War heroes, Native Americans, American explorers and frontiersman.

Biographical/Historical Note

James Daugherty (1889-1974) was a painter, muralist, children's book author and illustrator in Weston, Connecticut. Born in Asheville, North Carolina, the Daugherty family moved first to Ohio, then to Washington D.C. where Daugherty spent his adolescence. He studied art at the Corcoran Art Institute, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, the National Academy of Design in New York City, and with Frank Brangwyn in London. Daugherty was a member of the Society of Independent Artists and was featured in their 1917 exhibition. His artwork has also been featured in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. As part of the Public Works of Art Project, he created murals at the State Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio and at the Ferguson Library in Stamford, Connecticut. Daugherty also wrote and illustrated several children's books including Andy and the Lion , and Daniel Boone for which he won the Newberry medal in 1940.


Donated to the Archives of American Art in 1993 by Charles Daugherty, Daugherty's son, and in 2017 by the James Daugherty Foundation, via John Solum, Trustee.

Language Note

English .