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Olin Levi Warner papers, 1857-1962

Olin Levi Warner papers, 1857-1962

Warner, Olin Levi, 1844-1896

Sculptor

Collection Information

Size: 1.9 linear feet

Summary: 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, notable figures who sat for him, including artist J. Alden Weir, and his artwork.

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.

Printed materials include clippings and exhibition catalogs for the Society of American Artists, National Sculpture Society, and the World's Columbian Exposition. 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. 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.

Also in the Archives is a sketchbook that was lent for microfilming (reel 270).

Biographical/Historical Note

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

Provenance

Donated by Rosalie Warner Jones and daughter Frances Follin Jones, 1972 through 1977. Portions of the materials that were originally lent by Rosalie Warner Jones were donated in subsequent gifts with the exception of the Olin Warner sketchbook (reel 270, frames 933-975) which remains in the possession of the Warner family. Materials previously microfilmed on reels 414 and 3746-3747 were merged and reprocessed, with a finding aid, in 2005, along with additional material transferred from the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2005.

A Finding Aid to the Olin Levi Warner Papers,
1857-1962 (bulk 1857-1899)
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.warnolin
Finding aid prepared by Vanessa Catanzaro and Erin Corley
Scope and Content Note
The papers of sculptor Olin Levi Warner date from 1857 to 1962 (bulk 1857-1899) and measure 1.9 linear feet. 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, 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.
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)
Provenance
Donated by Rosalie Warner Jones and daughter Frances Follin Jones, 1972 through 1977. Portions of the materials that were originally lent by Rosalie Warner Jones were donated in subsequent gifts with the exception of the Olin Warner sketchbook (reel 270, frames 933-975) which remains in the possession of the Warner family. Materials previously microfilmed on reels 414 and 3746-3747 were merged and reprocessed, with a finding aid, in 2005, along with additional material transferred from the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2005.
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

Portions: microfilm reels 414, 3746-3747, and 270 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of the collection as described in the finding aid does not reflect the order of the collection on microfilm.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

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

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