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Merrell Gage papers, 1911-1982

Gage, Merrell, 1892-1981

Art teacher, Sculptor


Collection Information

Size: 0.6 Linear feet

Summary: Letters, writings, art work, photographs, clippings, and printed material regarding the career of sculptor and art teacher, Merrell Gage.
Among the letters are one from A.S. Baylinson regarding an event at the Robert Henri School of Art, 1912, two from Gutzon Borglum (one addressing Gage as "Bud"), 1916 and 1920, and one to Gage regarding Borglum, 1966. Writings include an essay by Gage "A Shrine to Democracy," 1938, and his two part memoir, "My Years with Gutzon Borglum," (Pt.1), and "Lincoln Monument, Kansas," (Pt.II) covering the years 1912-1923. He recounts his personal and professional relationship with Gutzon Borglum, his commission of a memorial to Abraham Lincoln in Topeka, Kansas, his teaching positions in Kansas, move to Conn. and later Santa Monica, Calif., and his later encounters with Borglum.
Art work consists of three pencil sketches of Borglum by Gage, ca. 1915.
The bulk of the photos (loose and in a scrapbook), ca. 1911-1962, are of Gage's sculptures, including portraits, monuments and memorials, architectural panels, and ecclesiastical subjects. One photograph shows Gage and fellow students at the Robert Henri School of Art, 1911, and several are of Gage posing with his sculptures.
A file regarding Gage's sculpture of Justice Sherman Minton includes photographs, a program from the dedication of the portrait, and clippings, ca. 1957. The printed material, ca. 1916-1940, including clippings and exhibition catalogs, is partially contained in a scrapbook.

Biographical/Historical Note

Sculptor, educator; full name Robert Merrell Gage. Gage was born in Topeka, Kansas in 1892. He studied at the Art Students League in 1911 and at the Robert Henri School of Art and also served as an apprentice to Gutzon Borglum from 1914 to 1916 and again from 1921 to 1923. Gage taught at Washburn College in Kansas, ca. 1915-1916; the Kansas City Art Institute, 1915-1916 and 1919-1921; and the University of Southern California at Los Angeles, ca. 1925-1958. In 1955, Gage's film, "The Face of Lincoln," won an Academy Award in the two-reel short subject category. Died 1981.


Donated 1995 by Jean Gage, daughter of Merrell Gage.

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

Merrell Gage papers, 1911-1982. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.