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

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Rosa Fernandez and Erin Corley
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 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 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 is 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 are also found within the papers.
Seema Weatherwax donated her husband's papers to the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution in 1988.
Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Processing Information
Processing was completed and the finding aid written by Rosa M. Fernandez in July, 2002, and updated in 2009 by Erin Corley. The collection was digitized in 2009 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.