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Janet De Coux papers, 1895-2000

Janet De Coux papers, 1895-2000

De Coux, Janet, 1904-1999


Collection Information

Size: 3.9 linear ft. (partially microfilmed on 1 reel)

Summary: Found within the papers are scattered biographical material, including curriculum vitae and a file concerning De Coux's induction as a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania. Correspondence is primarily between family, friends, and colleagues. It includes letters from Carl Milles, Bruce Moore, C.P. Jennewein, the Guild of Liturgy, Art and Design (GLAD), the Liturgical Arts Society, Inc., sculptor James Earle Fraser, offering advice on various sculpture projects, his wife Laura Gardin Fraser, a letter of congratulations from Paul Manship on the occasion of de Coux's election to the National Academy of Design, and approximately fifty letters, 1944-1952, from Anne Morrow Lindbergh, writer and wife of aviator Charles Lindbergh. There are also one or two letters from Lu Duble, Joseph Bailey Ellis, Mark Tobey, and Albert Wein.

Found within the papers are a transcript of an interview of De Coux by George Gurney, and audio cassettes with transcripts of an autobiographical narrative by De Coux. Miscellaneous notes and writings include autobiographical accounts and poems by De Coux and miscellaneous writings by others. Seven of De Coux's sketchbooks and a folder of drawings by De Coux, as well as a portrait of De Coux by C. Paul Jennewein are found in the Artwork series. Project files contain letters, receipts, clippings, brochures, and photographs for sculpture projects primarily commissioned by religious organizations. Printed material includes clippings, exhibition catalogs, and miscellaneous brochures. Photographs are of De Coux, family members, friends including Anne Morrow Lindbergh and her children, colleagues including James Earle Fraser, Laura Gardin Fraser, Carl Milles, and Bruce Moore, and sculpture.

Biographical/Historical Note

Sculptor; Gibsonia, Pa.


Letters on reel 4909 donated 1992 by de Coux, the remainder donated 2001 by her longtime companion, Eliza Miller. Mechanical printing plates received with the collection were returned to donor.

Related Materials

A Finding Aid to the Janet De Coux Papers,
, in the Archives of American Art
Biographical Note
Janet De Coux was born on October 5, 1904 in Niles, Michigan, the youngest of the five children of Bertha Wright De Coux and Rev. Charles John De Coux, an Episcopal clergyman. The family moved to Grand Rapids in 1908 and four years later to a farm in Gibsonia, outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
De Coux studied with Joseph Bailey Ellis at the Carnegie Institute of Technology from 1925 to 1927. She then apprenticed in the New York studio of C. Paul Jennewein for fifteen months, followed by a year at the Gorham Bronze Division learning architectural modeling. She also worked with Aristide Cianfarani in Providence, and for Alvin Meyer in Chicago. While serving her apprenticeships, she attended night school at the New York School of Industrial Arts, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Art Institute of Chicago. De Coux was then employed in James Earle Fraser's studio where she had previously assisted Gozo Kawamura.
In 1932 De Coux met Eliza Miller in the sculpture department of Carnegie Tech, beginning a sixty-year relationship in which they shared a shop and adjoining studios in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania. For several months in 1935, De Coux traveled to Germany, Italy, and Switzerland, where she joined her friend Aly Moore, the wife of sculptor Bruce Moore. She first met longtime friend Father Hughson on a ship returning to the United States from Europe.
A Guggenheim Fellowship awarded to De Coux in 1938 was renewed for a second year. In 1943, she became resident instructor at Cranbrook Academy of Art.
Janet De Coux died in December 1999.
The collection is arranged as 8 series. Glass plate negative housed separately and closed to researchers.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1895-1993 (Box 1; 13 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1895-2000 (Boxes 1-2; 1.0 linear feet)
Series 3: Interviews, 1978, 1990 (Box 2; 3 folders)
Series 4: Notes and Writings, 1937-1996 (Box 2; 23 folders)
Series 5: Artwork, 1928-1929 (Boxes 2, 6; 9 folders)
Series 6: Project Files, 1942-1982 (Boxes 2-3, 6; 36 folders)
Series 7: Printed Material, 1906-2000 (Box 3; 20 folders)
Series 8: Photographs, 1926-1996 (Boxes 3-6, MGP 1; 1.3 linear feet)
Letters on reel 4909 donated 1992 by de Coux, the remainder donated 2001 by her longtime companion, Eliza Miller. Mechanical printing plates received with the collection were returned to donor.
Processing Information
Letters received in 1992 were microfilmed upon receipt on Reel 4909. Later additions were merged with the letters and processed as one collection in June 2007 by Jean Fitzgerald. Glass plate negative re-housed with a grant provided by the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund.

Additional Forms Available

Portions of this collection are available on microfilm reel 4909 at Archives of American Art offices, and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Janet De Coux papers, 1895-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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