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Palmer C. Hayden papers, 1920-1970

Palmer C. Hayden papers, 1920-1970

Hayden, Palmer C., 1890-1973

Painter

Representative image for Palmer C. Hayden papers, 1920-1970

The papers of Palmer C. Hayden in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2007. The papers have been scanned in their entirety and total 4,060 images.

The collection was fully digitized in 2006 as part of the Terra Foundation for American Art Digitization Grant.

Collection Information

Size: 2.4 linear ft.

Summary: The papers of African-American painter Palmer C. Hayden date from 1920-1970 and measure 2.4 linear feet. The collection contains biographical material, including 32 diaries documenting Hayden's daily activities, scattered correspondence relating to art sales and Hayden's work for the Works Progress Administration, printed material, 47 sketchbooks compiled over a period of almost forty years, and photographs of Hayden and his artwork.

Biographical/Historical Note

Palmer C. Hayden (1890-1973) was a painter from New York, N.Y. He was born in Widewater, Va. First art instruction through correspondence courses. Studied 1925 with Asa Grant Randall at the Boothbay Art Colony, Maine, specialized in marine subjects. Lived in France, 1927-1932. Worked in the 1930s for easel painting divisions of federal art programs.

Provenance

Donated 1970 by Palmer C. Hayden.

Funding

The collection was fully digitized in 2006 as part of the Terra Foundation for American Art Digitization Grant.

A Finding Aid to the Palmer C. Hayden Papers,
1920-1970
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.haydpalm
Biographical/Historical note
Born Peyton Cole Hedgeman, in Widewater, Virginia in 1890, Palmer Hayden received his first art instruction through correspondence courses, then studied in 1925 with Asa Grant Randall at the Boothbay Art Colony, in Maine, specializing in marine subjects. In 1927, Hayden's seascape,
Schooners
, won first prize for "Distinguished Achievement in Fine Arts" in the Harmon Foundation's first awards ceremony. With that award, and an additional grant from a patron, Hayden was able to continue his studies in Paris, where he further developed his skills in seascapes and ethnic subject matter. Hayden was among the first African-American artists to use African-American subjects and designs in his painting.
Hayden returned to the United States in 1932 and worked steadily over the next several years for the United States government, including the Treasury Relief Art Project and the Works Progress Administration. In 1944 Hayden began work on his noted
Ballad of John Henry
series of twelve paintings that would occupy him for a decade. In his later work, Hayden continued to focus on African-American themes, capturing both rural gatherings in the South and the urban milieu of New York.
Palmer Hayden died in 1973.
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as 6 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1920-1969 (Box 1; 2 folders)
Series 2: Diaries, 1938-1967 (Boxes 1-2; 0.5 linear ft.)
Series 3: Correspondence, 1922-1967 (Box 2; 2 folders)
Series 4: Printed Material, 1926-1969 (Box 2; 2 folders)
Series 5: Sketchbooks and Sketches, 1924-circa 1960 (Boxes 2-6; 1.8 linear ft.)
Series 6: Photographs, 1932-1970 (Box 6; 4 folders)
Provenance
Donated 1970 by Palmer C. Hayden.
Processing Information note
The collection was microfilmed at some point after receipt on reels 43-47. It was fully processed, arranged, and described by Stephanie Ashley in October 2006, and scanned, with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Additional Forms Available

The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.

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

Palmer C. Hayden papers, 1920-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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