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Olin Levi Warner papers, 1857-1962, bulk 1857-1899

Olin Levi Warner papers, 1857-1962, bulk 1857-1899

Warner, Olin Levi, 1844-1896

Sculptor

This site provides access to the papers of Olin Levi Warner in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2014, and total 2,299 images.

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Collection Information

Size: 1.9 linear feet

Summary: The papers of sculptor Olin Levi Warner measure 1.9 linear feet and date from 1857 to 1962 with the bulk of the materials dating from 1857 to 1899. The collection documents Warner's art student days in Paris and his career as a sculptor, primarily in New York City. Found are scattered biographical materials and writings, including a speech by Warner about the Paris Commune of 1871; personal and professional correspondence; clippings, catalogs, and other printed material; sculpture project files; and photographs of Warner, his studio, his family, and notable figures who sat for him, including artist J. Alden Weir, and his artwork.

Biographical/Historical Note

Olin Levi Warner (1844-1896) was a sculptor active in New York, London, and Paris.

Provenance

The Olin Levi Warner papers were donated in several accretions between 1972 and 1977 by his daughters Rosalie Warner Jones and Frances O. Warner, and Rosalie's daughter Frances Follin Jones. Additional materials were transferred to the Archives in 2005 from the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Related Materials

Funding

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

A Finding Aid to the Olin Levi Warner Papers,
1857-1962 (bulk 1857-1899)
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.warnolin
Author
Finding aid prepared by Vanessa Catanzaro and Erin Corley
Biographical Note
Olin Levi Warner was born in 1844 in Suffield, Connecticut and worked as an artisan and a telegraph operator before pursuing his art education and career. In 1869, Warner traveled to Paris to study under Francois Jouffroy at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He was in Paris when the Republic was declared and served in the French Foreign Legion for a short while before resuming his studies. In 1872 he returned to the United States and set up a studio in New York.
An early proponent of the French Beaux-Arts style, Warner was a founding member of the Society of American Artists in 1877 and joined the National Academy of Design in 1888. By the end of Warner's lifetime, he had become a well-known sculptor, helping to popularize bas-relief in the United States. A few of Warner's notable works include a series of medallions depicting Native American Indian Chiefs, an 1876 bust of President Rutherford B. Hayes, the 1883 nude
Diana
, a statue of judge and former U.S. Attorney General Charles Devens in Boston, and the design of the bronze doors of the Library of Congress. This last project was uncompleted at the time of Warner's death on August 14, 1896, as the result of a bicycle injury in Central Park.
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into five series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1863-1896 (Box 1, OV 4; 5 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1857-1962 (Box 1; 0.7 linear feet)
Series 3: Project Files, 1871-1936 (Box 1, OV 4; 6 folders)
Series 4: Printed Material, 1862-1950 (Boxes 1-2, OV 4; 6 folders)
Series 5: Photographs, 1870s-1890s (Box 2-3, OV 4; 0.7 linear feet)
Scope and Content Note
The papers of sculptor Olin Levi Warner measure 1.9 linear feet and date from 1857 to 1962 with the bulk of the materials dating from 1857 to 1899. The collection documents Warner's art student days in Paris and his career as a sculptor, primarily in New York City. Found are scattered biographical materials and writings, including a speech by Warner about the Paris Commune of 1871; personal and professional correspondence; clippings, catalogs, and other printed material; sculpture project files; and photographs of Warner, his studio, his family, and notable figures who sat for him, including artist J. Alden Weir, and his artwork.
Found are biographical materials, including a speech written by Warner about the Paris Commune of 1871, awards, and membership records for several art organizations, including the Fine Arts Federation of New York.
Personal and business correspondence written by Warner, his wife, and his daughter is with family and friends. Warner's correspondents include artists Albert Pinkham Ryder, Clarence Cook, and Wyatt Eaton, among others. Of note are letters written from Warner to his family during the time he spent in Paris from 1869 to 1872 studying art and serving in the Foreign Legion.
Also found are scattered project files for a few of his notable sculptural projects, including his statue of Massachusetts governor Charles Devens, the Hodgkins Medal designed as the Smithsonian Institution's seal, work for the Chicago World's Fair, and bronze work produced by the Jno. Williams Foundry.
Printed materials include clippings and exhibition catalogs for the Society of American Artists, the National Sculpture Society, and the World's Columbian Exposition.
Photographs in the papers are of Warner, his family, home, and studio, works of art, and a few notable sitters, including the artist J. Alden Weir.
Provenance
The Olin Levi Warner papers were donated in several accretions between 1972 and 1977 by his daughters Rosalie Warner Jones and Frances O. Warner, and Rosalie's daughter Frances Follin Jones. Additional materials were transferred to the Archives in 2005 from the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Separated Material
A portion of the Olin Levi Warner papers were originally loaned for microfilming in 1972 by Rosalie Warner Jones. All of the material was later donated, except for one sketchbook which was returned to the lender, and can be viewed on microfilm reel 270.
Processing Information
The bulk of the collection was microfilmed as separate accretions and loans on reels 270, 414, and 3746-3747, except for the materials transferred from the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2005. All earlier accessions were merged and re-processed by Vanessa Catanzaro, Joan Lord, and Erin Corley in 2004 and 2005, and a finding aid prepared as part of the Terra Foundation for American Art Digitization Project. The collection was scanned in 2013 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Additional Forms Available

The bulk of this collection was digitized in 2013 and is available on the Archives of American Art's website. Materials which have not been scanned include photographs of artwork, duplicates, blank pages in bound volumes, and blank versos of photographs. In some cases, exhibition catalogs and other publications have had their covers, title pages, and relevant pages scanned.

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

Olin Levi Warner papers, 1857-1962, bulk 1857-1899. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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