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La Vern Frank-Rush papers regarding the WPA Art Center in Sioux City, Iowa, 1936-2007, bulk 1936-1942

La Vern Frank-Rush papers regarding the WPA Art Center in Sioux City, Iowa, 1936-2007, bulk 1936-1942

Frank-Rush, La Vern, 1918-

Painter

Collection Information

Size: 0.2 linear ft.

Summary: The La Vern Frank-Rush papers regarding the WPA Art Center in Sioux City, Iowa, measure 0.2 linear feet and date from 1936 to 2007 with the bulk dated 1936 to 1942. Two scrapbooks compiled by Frank-Rush between 1936 and 1942 contain introductory and concluding statements added by her in 2006. A memoir, circa 2007, documents activities, achievements, staff, and participants of the WPA Art Center in Sioux City, Iowa. Also included is a CD-ROM with images of the scrapbooks and memoir.

Two scrapbooks document the Sioux City Art Center's founding by the WPA in 1938, its activities, and programs. The Center, which still exists today, is one of four WPA art centers in Iowa to survive without interruption. Photographs record exhibits, staff members, students, and work produced at the Art Center and also depict Frank-Rush's personal life.

The CD-ROM is a digitized version of the collection. Images on the CD-ROM do not completely reproduce the scrapbooks. For instance, although scrapbook volume 2 contains the complete script for The Shoe Bears, the entire play does not appear on the CD-ROM.

Frank-Rush's memoir and scrapbooks provide insight into how the WPA Art Center impacted her as well as the larger community. In her own words, the collection "reveals the personality of the Sioux City Art Center." A small selection of her artwork, preserved on CD-ROM, lends a view into the late 1930s.

Biographical/Historical Note

La Vern Frank-Rush (1918-2010) was a librarian, art teacher, and regionalist painter from Sioux City, Iowa. Frank-Rush was the librarian and art teacher at the WPA Art Center in Sioux City, Iowa from 1938-1942.

Provenance

Donated 2007 by LaVern Frank-Rush.

Related Materials

WPA Photograph Collection contains 18 photographs of the Sioux City Art Center, classes, projects, puppet workshops, exhibitions, and marionettes. (Reel 1178, frames 0011-0044)

Iowa Community Art Centers, 1938-1939, features 13 photographs of the Sioux City Art Center. (Reel NDA 16, frames 290-317)

A Finding Aid to the La Vern Frank-Rush papers regarding the WPA Art Center in Sioux City, Iowa,
1936-2007,
bulk 1936-1942
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.franla
Finding aid prepared by Jivan Kaur Soverall
Scope and Content Note
The La Vern Frank-Rush papers regarding the WPA Art Center in Sioux City, Iowa, measure 0.2 linear feet and date from 1936 to 2007 with the bulk dated 1936 to 1942. Two scrapbooks compiled by Frank-Rush between 1936 and 1942 contain introductory and concluding statements added by her in 2006. A memoir, circa 2007, documents activities, achievements, staff, and participants of the WPA Art Center in Sioux City, Iowa. Also included is a CD-ROM with images of the scrapbooks and memoir.
Two scrapbooks document the Sioux City Art Center's founding by the WPA in 1938, its activities, and programs. The Center, which still exists today, is one of four WPA art centers in Iowa to survive without interruption. Photographs record exhibits, staff members, students, and work produced at the Art Center and also depict Frank-Rush's personal life.
The CD-ROM is a digitized version of the collection. Images on the CD-ROM do not completely reproduce the scrapbooks. For instance, although scrapbook volume 2 contains the complete script for
The Shoe Bears
, the entire play does not appear on the CD-ROM.
Frank-Rush's memoir and scrapbooks provide insight into how the WPA Art Center impacted her as well as the larger community. In her own words, the collection "reveals the personality of the Sioux City Art Center." A small selection of her artwork, preserved on CD-ROM, lends a view into the late 1930s.
Biographical/Historical note
LaVern Frank-Rush (b. 1918) worked at the WPA Art Center in Sioux City, Iowa, from its opening in 1938 until 1941, first as a volunter and then as an employee. During this time, she compiled two scrapbooks about the Art Center; circa 2007, whe wrote a memoir that focused on the Art Center.
After finishing junior high school, La Vern Frank-Rush won a contest that enabled her to attend free summer art classes at the Sious City Public Library. The instructor, Roy Langley, had a lasting influence on the aspiring artist.
The WPA Art Center in Sioux City, Iowa, offered free exhibits, lectures, and art classes to a community which otherwise would not have had such opportunities. The Art Center organized plays, marionette shows, and exhibitions. It also provided classed in ceramics, puppetry, and watercolor painting. The weekly schedule included 32 different offerings and hundreds of children and adults were enrolled. Performances were always well received and record crowds gathered to view the exhibits.
Soon after it opened in1938, Frank-Rush started working as a volunteer at the WPA Art Center and egan compiling a scrapbook about Art Center activities. She studied painting and printmaking withthe various artists who taught there. After she became an employee, Frank-Rush served as an instructor, art teacher, and librarian until 1942.
LaVern Frank and George Rush, who also worked at the Art Center, married in 1943. Three days after their marriage, Rush was assigned to the Engineer Corps at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Frank-Rush served in the Civil Service War Department in Washington, DC, but soon was able to transfer to Fort Belvoir. In 1953 the couple moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where she taught art at the University of Nebraska from 1956 through 1966. Frank-Rush, who was certified to teach care and raising of houseplants, helped organize the Nebraska Herbal Society, and presented hebal and plant demonstrations at South East Community College in Lincoln. Since retiring in 1980, she has lived quietly in Oregon.
Arrangement
The collection is organized into 3 series:
Series 1: Scrapbooks, 1936-2007 (Box 1; 0.1 linear ft.)
Series 2: Memoir, circa 2007 (Box 1; 1 folder)
Series 3: CD-ROM, circa 2007 (Box 1; 1 folder)
Provenance
Donated 2007 by LaVern Frank-Rush.
Processing Information
The collection was processed by Jivan Kaur Soverall in June 2009.

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

La Vern Frank-Rush papers regarding the WPA Art Center in Sioux City, Iowa, 1936-2007, bulk 1936-1942. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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