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Olive Thompson Cowell papers, [ca. 1950-1982]

Cowell, Olive Thompson, 1887-1984

Educator, Art patron


Collection Information

Size: 0.3 Linear feet

Summary: A handwritten memoir, photographs, house plan, three cassette tapes related to Cowell's anniversary and birthday (1973), materials and a letter from sculptor Claire Falkenstein, and letters from California potters Frans and Marguerite Wildenhain. Also included is one spiral-bound photograph album containing ca. 40 photographs of Olive Cowell, her husband, Harry, and his son, pianist and composer Henry taken in their home in San Francisco, Calif., and a photograph of architect Lilian Bridgman taken in her studio.

Biographical/Historical Note

Art and music patron, professor of International Relations; San Francisco, Calif.; b. 1887; d. 1984 Olive Cowell was founder of the international relations department of San Francisco State University, where she taught until 1956.


Donated 1994 and 1998 by Alan W. Ford, who inherited and resided in Cowell's home and received the papers from Cowell. He destroyed all other Cowell papers at her request. Ford subsequently resided in a house designed by architect Lilian Bridgman, and donated a group of Bridgman's papers as well; these are cataloged separately.

Language Note

English .

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

Olive Thompson Cowell papers, [ca. 1950-1982]. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.