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National Society of Mural Painters records, 1895-2007

National Society of Mural Painters records, 1895-2007

National Society of Mural Painters (New York, N.Y.)

Collection Information

Size: 13.1 linear feet

Biographical/Historical Note

The National Society of Mural Painters (established 1895) is an art society in New York, New York. Originally called Mural Painters, the name changed to National Society of Mural Painters in 1936.

Provenance

The records of the National Society of Mural Painters were donated to the Archives of American Art by the society in 1965-1966. A later group of records was donated by the National Society of Mural Painters via president Jeff Greene in 2009.

Related Materials

Funding

Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund.

Scope and Contents

The records of the National Society of Mural Painters measure 13.1 linear feet and date from 1895 to circa 2007. The activities of the society are documented through administrative files, membership files, correspondence, committee files, exhibition and competition files, artist files, financial and legal records, printed material, a scrapbook, and photographic materials.

Administrative files include meeting minutes and agendas, historical information, and newsletter drafts, and the organization's constitution and by-laws. Membership files contain correspondence with members about their applications and acceptance or denial of membership, member voting ballots, and lists of members. General correspondence is with artists, members, organizations, universities, and federal commissions, and documents a wide varity of NSMP activities; additional correspondence is scattered throughout other series. Correspondence is with Charles Baskerville, Arthur Covey, Allyn Cox, Dean Fausett, Ruth Fortel, Edward Lanning, Everett Molinari, Jack Stewart, and Helen Tredwell, as well as with the American Federation of Arts, the Commission of Fine Arts on War Memorials, Fine Arts Federation, and the U. S. Capitol Historical Society.

Committee files document the work of various NSMP standing and ad hoc committees. Exhibition and competition files include correspondence, photographs, catalogs, itineraries, and printed materials for the NSMP's 1976 U.S. Bicentennial celebration projects, including the "Freedom Murals" "Caravan of Freedom", and "Momentous Events in American History". Additional files document the Red Cross Canteen Project, Federal Art Project, the Municipal Art Society exhibition in 1940, New York City subway murals, and other competitions and public art mural projects.

Artist files primarily date from the 1960s through the 1990s and often include biographies, resumes, correspondence, and photographs of works of art. Financial and legal records include the NSMP treasurer's files, ledgers, and miscellany. Also found in the records are printed materials; a mixed media scrapbook dating from 1923-1935; photographs of meetings, events, exhibitions, and works of art; photo collages of members with examples of their works of art. There are also lantern slides of Francis D. Millet in his studio and with his murals, and of J. Scott Williams with his art work.

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice. Contact Reference Services for more information.

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