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John Weatherwax papers relating to Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, 1928-1988, bulk 1931-1933

John Weatherwax papers relating to Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, 1928-1988, bulk 1931-1933

Weatherwax, John M. (John Martin), 1900-1984

Author

This site provides access to the papers of John Weatherwax relating to Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2009. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 805 images.

Collection Information

Size: 0.4 linear ft.

Biographical/Historical Note

John M. Weatherwax (1900-1984) was a writer from San Francisco, Calif. He met Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in 1931 in San Francisco, where Rivera was working on a mural comminssion of the San Francisco Stock Exchange. At the time Weatherwax was working on an English translation of the Mayan story of creation, the Popol Vuh, entitled "Seven Times the Color of Fire" and enlisted Rivera to produce 24 watercolor illustrations for the text.

Provenance

Donated 1988 by Seema Weatherwax, the widow of John Weatherwax.

Scope and Contents

This small collection of scattered papers of American writer John Weatherwax (1900-1984) dates from 1928 to 1988 (bulk 1931-1933), and measures 0.4 linear feet.

The papers document Weatherwax's relationship with Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. In 1931, John Weatherwax approached Rivera to illustrate his English translation of the Mayan story of creation, the Popol Vuh. Rivera agreed and produced twenty-four watercolor illustrations for the text. The papers contain Weatherwax's translation, "Seven Times the Color of Fire," as well as manuscript versions of stories he wrote about Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, including one entitled "The Queen of Montgomery Street." Also found are several draft manuscripts of stories concerning Diego Rivera, which include "Diego," "Diego, Galka and Toby," the latter about art dealer Galka Scheyer's visit to Diego Rivera's studio in San Francisco containing references to the Blue Rider exhibition she organized in the early 1930s of the work of the artists collective, the "Blue Four" (Dar Blaue Vier).

Also found within the collection are scattered correspondence, including letters from painter, printmaker, and muralist Emmy Lou Packard concerning Diego and Frida, two telegrams from American novelist Upton Sinclair to John Weatherwax, and a letter from the Russian filmmaker, Sergei Eisenstein, to Rivera introducing Weatherwax; additional manuscripts and notes, printed materials, and photographs.

This collection has been digitized in its entirety and is available via the Archives of American Art's website.

This site provides access to the papers of John Weatherwax relating to Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2009. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 805 images.

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

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