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Kathleen Blackshear and Ethel Spears papers, 1920-1990

Blackshear, Kathleen, 1897-1988



Collection Information

Size: 8.4 Linear feet

Summary: Spears papers (ca. 0.5 ft.) include photographs of Spears and her work; writings about Spears; letters, 1935-1967; a file on the WPA; and travel notes. Blackshear's papers include: writings by and about Blackshear, including an unpublished manuscript by Blackshear, SURVEY OF ART, 1926, and an editor's proof of Helen Gardner's ART THROUGH THE AGES (3rd ed.); photographs of Blackshear and her work; travel diaries, 1920 and undated; ca. 80 sketches; a sketchbook; letters, 1925-1986; address books, 1947-1963 and undated; clippings, 1926-1967; exhibition announcements, 1929-1965; files on Gertrude Abercrombie, Alexander Archipenko, Florence Arquin, Helen Gardner, Whitney Halstead, Tom Kapsalis, Ray Yoshida, and others, containing letters, printed material, photographs of works of art, and personal photographs; and 2.0 ft. of notebooks on art.
Also included are 2.0 ft. of handmade Christmas cards to both Blackshear and Spears from Barbara Aubin, Fred Biesel, Frances Foy, Rockwell Kent, Ray Yoshida, and many others.

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter, lecturer, writer, educator; Chicago, Ill. As a graduate student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Blackshear worked as a teaching assistant under Helen Gardner and then continued to teach there for 35 years. She had a lifetime friendship with painter and instructor Ethel Spears.


Donated 1990 by William Terrell, Blackshears' nephew and executor.

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. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Kathleen Blackshear and Ethel Spears papers, 1920-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.