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

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


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.

Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Collection Information

Size: 0.4 Linear feet

Summary: 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 liner 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 two short stories he wrote about Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo entitled "The Queen of Montogomery Street" and "Diego". Also found within the collection are correspondence, manuscripts and notes, printed materials, and photographs.

Biographical/Historical Note

American writer John Weatherwax (1900-1984) was born in Aberdeen, Washington, and attended the University of Washington in Seattle for two years before going to Harvard College in 1921. His studies focused on English literature, business, mythology, and world literature. Weatherwax wrote a number of children's stories and, in 1934, co-authored with his sister and brother-in-law Gerald Strang, The Coming of the Animals , a series of California Native American stories.


Seema Weatherwax donated her husband's papers to the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution in 1988.

Language Note

English .


Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.