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Karl Gruppe papers, 1900-1978

Gruppe, Karl, b. 1893


Collection Information

Size: 3.2 Linear feet, (partially microfilmed on 2 reels)

Summary: Correspondence, writings, art work, photographs, subject files, and printed material, relating to Gruppe's career as a sculptor, his involvement with the Public Works of Art Project, and his teacher Karl Bitter.
REEL 104: A list of monuments and fountains in New York City surveyed for renovation by Gruppe under the PWAP from 1934-1937. Each survey includes a general description, sometimes a photograph, a statement of its condition, repairs needed and renovation costs.
REEL N70-35: Correspondence, clippings, catalogs, 1920-1970, including items about the controversy over New York City's sculpture. Correspondents include Robert Moses, Edmond R. Amateis, Mary W. Harriman, Reginald Marsh, and Henry Wolf.
UNMICROFILMED: Biographies and resumes; correspondence, 1930-1976, concerning commissions and organizations; letters from Karl Bitter and family, 1905-1966; 21 sketches of designs for medals and coins; writings, including a report by Gruppe to the heads of the Pan-American Exposition, 1901, and "Art and the Church" by Lee Lawrie; and files (1.5 feet) on commissions, organizations, memorials, and other projects, containing printed material, business records, correspondence, writings and photographs. File headings include Alben W. Barkley Competition, American Federation of Arts, Architectural League, Art Commission Associates, Karl Bitter, Century Association, Commmittee on Government and Art, Competitions, Ecclesiastical Competion, Fine Arts Federation of N.Y.,
First Art Film Festival in America, Fort Clinton, Fund Raising, Henry Hudson Memorial, Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, Medallic Art Company, Medals & Memorials, Monumental Restoration Project, National Academy of Design, National Sculpture Society, Plaster Casts for Museums, Society of Medalists, U.S. Dept. of State, War Memorials, and William Rufus King Memorial.
Also included are a book, THE DREAM CITY, A PORTFOLIO OF PHOTOGRAPHIC VIEWS OF THE WORLDS COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION, 1893, [cover inscribed THE MAGIC CITY]; clippings, 1949-1978; photographs (0.5 ft.) of Gruppe, his family, and friends, including Laura Gardin (Fraser), Anthony de Francisci, Karl Bitter and the Bitter family, and of art works by Gruppe, Bitter, Daniel Chester French and others.

Biographical/Historical Note

Sculptor, medalist; New York, N.Y. Studied at the Royal Academy, Antwerp, Belgium and at the Art Students League of New York with Karl Bitter. Served as president of the National Sculpture Society, 1950-1951. He worked on the Monument Restoration Project, New York City Department of Parks, for the Public Works of Art Project from 1934-1937.


Material on reel N70-35 lent for microfilming by Gruppe, 1970; remainder donated by Gruppe 1970-1973, and by his daughter Elizabeth Gruppe Stover, 1986.

Language Note

English .

Location of Originals

  • Reel N70-35: Originals returned to the lender, Karl Gruppe, after microfilmimng.

How to Use This Collection

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

Karl Gruppe papers, 1900-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.