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More Information | A Finding Aid to the Karl Theodore Francis Bitter papers, 1887-circa 1977 | Digitized Collection

Karl Theodore Francis Bitter papers, 1887-circa 1977

More Information

A Finding Aid to the Karl Theodore Francis Bitter Papers, 1887-circa 1977, in the Archives of American Art
Jayna M. Josefson
Scope and Contents
The papers of sculptor Karl Bitter date from 1887 to 1977 and measure 2.5 linear feet. The bulk of the collection consists of photographs of works of art and commemorative medals from expositions. Also found are scattered biographical information, family correspondence, two diaries, printed materials, sketches, and sketchbooks.
Biographical material consists of one short biography of Karl Bitter. The bulk of the correspondence is to Bitter's children, Marietta (Mrs. Walter Abel) and Francis Bitter, and relates to the relocation of Bitter's caryatid sculptures on the St. Paul Building in New York City. There are typescripts of letters from Karl Bitter to sculptor Daniel C. French and from Marie Bitter to her children.
Two diaries from 1901 and 1909 kept by Bitter describe his trips abroad. The 1901 diary is similar to a scrapbook and was kept during his honeymoon with Marie Sherrill. Their travels through France and Italy are vividly described through prose, sketches, maps, postcards, and a photo of Bitter and Marie. A 1909 diary is from Bitter's first trip back to Austria since he left for the United States. Written in the form of letters to his wife, he describes his reactions to being back in Europe, seeing his family, and sightseeing.
Scattered printed material includes a clipping, an exhibition announcement, a postcard, and reproductions of works of art by Bitter.
Photographs are of Bitter, his family and friends, studios, and sculpture. Also found are two photo albums containing many images of Bitter's sculptures throughout the country.
There are two sketchbooks and a print by Blanche Stollson. Also found are Bitter's commemorative medals from various international expositions.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Karl Theodore Francis Bitter papers were donated by Marietta Bitter Abel (Mrs. Walter), Mr. Michael Abel, and Lt. Col. Jonathon F. Abel in several increments from 1970-2010. The commemorative medals were donated in 1975 by Walter Hancock, a friend of Bitter's son Francis.
Separated Materials
Originals of material loaned for microfilming, which consist of biographical material, correspondence, and photographs, were returned to Marietta Bitter Abel. Loaned material is available on reels N70-8 and N7-35 but is not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Processing Information
Portions of the collection were previously microfilmed on reels N70-35, N70-40, and 673. Microfilmed portions were merged, processed, and arranged by Jayna Josefson in 2013 and digitized in 2014 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.