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Photographs and letters relating to Mark Tobey murals, [ca. 1933]-1988

Straight, Michael Whitney, 1916-2004

Author, Publisher, Art patron


Collection Information

Size: 11 Items (on a partial microfilm reel)

Summary: Nine photographs (ca. 1933) of murals of dancers by Mark Tobey at the Dartington Hall dance center in Devonshire, England; 1988 letters from Mary Bride Nicholson, the archivist at Dartington Hall, and donor Michael Straight discussing the mural; and photographs of Mark Tobey and dancer Paula Morel.

Biographical/Historical Note

The donor, Michael Straight, grew up at Dartington Hall, Devonshire, England, an experimental community founded by his mother, Dorothy Whitney Straight and her second husband Leonard K. Elmhirst. The community included a progressive coeducational boarding school and a cluster of art centers. In the early 1930s, Straight's sister, Beatrice, returned from the Cornish School in Seattle, where she had studied drama, with Mark Tobey. He became an artist-in-residence and, around 1933, was commissioned to paint a series of murals in the Dartington dance center. In the following decade, the murals were damaged beyond repair and the walls were painted over.


The donor, Michael Straight, found the photographs in the Dartington Hall archives.

Location of Originals

  • Letters: Originals in the AAA collection file.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reel 4283 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Letters are photocopies.

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

Photographs and letters relating to Mark Tobey murals, [ca. 1933]-1988. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.