Scope and Contents
The papers of artist James W. Washington, Jr. measure 2.3 linear feet and date from 1938 to 1989. The collection includes biographical material, correspondence, writings, professional records, material related to the Artists Equity Association, printed material, and photographic material.
Biographical material includes resumes, a short biographical sketch, and the transcript of an interview conducted by Cindy Huetter.
Correspondence makes up the bulk of this collection and consists of letters to Washington from family and friends expressing admiration for his work, writings, and lectures. Also documented is his involvement in organizations including the Pacific Arts Center, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, and the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. Correspondents include Kenneth Callahan, Anne Gould Hauberg, Val M. Laigo, and George Tsutakawa. This series also includes a file of correspondence related to Washington's articles for the Seattle Post Intelligencer.
Writings include articles for Zionews, the Mt. Zion Baptist Church newsletter; the Seattle Post Intelligencer; and the Puget Sounding related to Washington's artwork; his thoughts on race; his teacher, Mark Tobey; and his strong religious beliefs. Also included are an unidentified editorial and assorted notes.
Professional records include material related to committees and professional groups, financial records, materials related to commissions and sculptures, materials related to Mark Tobey works loaned for exhibition, teaching files, and legal files.
Artists Equity Association files consist of correspondence, membership information, constitution and by-laws, reports and meeting minutes, proposals, newsletters, and clippings.
Printed material includes exhibition announcements, exhibition catalogs, newsletters and bulletins, magazine and newspaper clippings, programs, and religious material.
Photographic material consists of photographs of artwork, photographs of Washington with his work, and one oversized portrait of Washington.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The James W. Washington, Jr. papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by James. W. Washington, Jr. in two accessions in 1984 and 1989.
Also found in the Archives of American Art are two oral history interviews with James W. Washington, Jr., one conducted by Dorothy Bestor, October 13, 1965, the other by Paul Karlstrom, June 29, 1987.
Existence and Location of Originals
The majority of the clippings in this collection are photocopies. The location of original clippings is not known.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.
The collection was minimally processed and a finding aid prepared by Rayna Andrews with funding from the Henry Luce Foundation in 2018.