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Series 7 | A Finding Aid to the John White Alexander papers, 1775-1968, bulk 1870-1915 | Digitized Collection

John White Alexander papers, 1775-1968, bulk 1870-1915

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Series 7: Artwork, circa 1875-1915
1.5 linear feet
Boxes 2-3, 6, 14-16, OV 23

This series contains 14 sketchbooks, sketches and drawings on loose paper, and reproductions of John White Alexander's artwork in a variety of print media, including fine prints by various printmakers. An engraved portrait of Alexander by Arthur G. Learned is also found at the end of the series.
Sketchbooks contain drawings, sketches, cartoons, and illustrations in pencil, ink, wash, and gouache. A few are dated in the original. Others have been assigned dates during processing based on their content: cartoons and illustrations are dated to Alexander's main period of newspaper and magazine work (1873-1899), and sketches related to murals are dated to the murals' years of execution (Library of Congress, 1896; Carnegie Institute, 1905-1908). Additional notes on sketchbook content are found in the folder listing.
Loose sketches are filed by media, including charcoal, pencil, wash, and ink. Most of the pencil sketches are preliminary studies of allegorical figures and appear to relate to mural projects. Wash and ink drawings are more finished in appearance and were executed on Bristol board, and may have been published illustrations.
Reproductions of artwork consist of halftone prints, etchings, and engravings of Alexander's cartoons, paintings, murals, and illustrations. Reproductions are found on loose pages and in two oversized volumes. Many of the reproductions are fine prints and are signed by the printmaker. Names include George Bartle, John William Evans, Thomas Heard, William Fowler Hopson, Thomas Johnson, Frederick Juengling, W.H. Morse, Caroline A. Powell, Harry Elliott Sylvester, John H.E. Whitney, and Henry Wolf.
The second volume of reproductions also contains other types of materials, including six photographs of artwork, one sketched caricature of Alexander dated 1885, and five photographs picturing Alexander around 1903 to 1913. Among the loose reproductions are two large color prints are signed by Alexander, and installation views of the 1915 memorial exhibition at Arden Galleries.
Additional sketches and illustrated letters are found in Correspondence and Notes and Writings series, and additional art reproductions are found in Scrapbooks and Photographs. This series has been scanned in its entirety except for one sketchbook from 1882 which was donated in 2017 and added to the collection.
DescriptionContainer
Sketchbooks, circa 1873-1899
3 folders
(oversized items housed in box 14)
(sketchbooks contain primarily cartoons and illustrations and are dated to Alexander's main years of newspaper and magazine work)
2
31-33
Sketchbook, 1882
(contains six sketches, July 31-August 5, 1882, Port Jefferson, Long Island)
6
41
Sketchbook, circa 1880-1881
(inscribed July 1880; contains sketches from life; also contains sketches of illustrations depicting African Americans)
3
1
Sketchbook, 1884
(travel sketchbook with dated sketches, one of which is labeled "Tangier")
3
2
Sketchbook, circa 1891
(cover reads "B. Alexander, 1891"; may have belonged to Elizabeth Alexander, who went by the name Betsy or Bessie; contains seascapes, figures and a page of text)
3
3
Sketchbooks, circa 1896
2 folders
(contain pencil sketches of figures, landscapes, and several lunettes that appear to be related to Alexander's Library of Congress murals, executed 1896)
3
4-5
Sketchbook, circa 1905-1908
Oversized items housed in Box 14
(among the work in this volume are sketches from Alexander's murals at the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, executed 1905-1908)
3
6
Sketchbooks, undated
4 folders
(five undated volumes containing a variety of work in pencil, wash, gouache, and ink; two volumes were purchased in Europe.)
3
7-10
Charcoal Sketch, undated
3
11
Pencil Sketches, circa 1896-1909
5 folders
(oversized items housed in OV 23)
(loose sketches in these folders are mainly of allegorical figures; many are recognizable from Alexander's murals at the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, executed 1905-1908; a few cartoons are found; folders are dated to the period of Alexander's mural projects)
3
12-16
Wash and Ink Drawings, circa 1873-1899
(contains a series of maritime scenes in wash and gouache on Bristol board, and a single figure in period costume; assuming these are illustrations, they are dated to Alexander's main period of illustration.)
3
17
Etchings, Engravings, and Reproductions of Artwork
Bound Volume 1, circa 1886-1894
Oversized items housed in Box 15
3
18
Items Removed from Bound Volume 1, circa 1886-1894
3
19
Bound Volume 2, circa 1885-1996
Oversized items housed in Box 16, sol
3
20
Loose Items, circa 1886-1915
(4 folders; oversized items housed in OV 23)
3
21-24
Etched Portrait of John White Alexander by A.G. Learned, undated
Oversized items housed in OV 23
3
25
Oversized Sketchbooks, circa 1873-1908
(Items scanned with Box 2, folders 31-32 and Box 3, folder 6)
14 (sol)
Bound Volume 1 of Art Reproductions, circa 1896-1909
Items scanned with Box 3, folder 18
15 (sol)
Bound Volume 2 of Art Reproductions, circa 1886-1894
Items scanned with Box 3, folder 20
16 (sol)
Oversized Sketch, circa 1885-1896
Item scanned with box 3, f12
23 (OV)
Oversized Etchings, Engravings, and Reproductions of Artwork, Loose Items, circa 1886-1915
Items scanned with Box 3, folder 21
23 (OV)
Oversized Etched Portrait of Alexander by A.G. Learned, undated
Item scanned with Box 3, f25
23 (OV)

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.