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Robert Durant Feild papers, [ca. 1939-1972]

Feild, Robert Durant, 1893-1979

Painter, Educator, Art historian


Collection Information

Size: 10.3 Linear feet

Summary: Correspondence, files, notes, writings, photographs, slides, art work, and printed material.
Included are personal and professional correspondence; files of correspondence, arranged alphabetically; subject files; teaching files, containing notes on a variety of topics, including English painting and design; photographs of Feild and others, and of students in classroom activities; lecture notes for "The Disney Talk," 1938; miscellaneous writings; sketchbooks; drawings of shells; a student's report, with photographs, based on the study of the conch shell; typed annual reports of Newcomb College; a report on the Feild coat of arms; and printed material, including catalogs, clippings, a book by Feild, The Art of Walt Disney, and a copy photograph of Feild with Walt Disney and Leopold Stokowski; and 2 v. of Industrial Arts Magazine, 1936.

Biographical/Historical Note

Art historian, painter, educator; New Orleans, La. and Cambridge, Mass. Known as Robin Feild. Born in England of American parents. Taught at Harvard, ca. 1934-1941, where Arthur Pope was his principal mentor, and Edward Warburg was a pupil. Pioneered in the teaching of film. Went to Hollywood in 1949; wrote THE ART OF WALT DISNEY. Involved in trying to form a teachers' union at Harvard, ca. 1940, which cost Feild, Meyer Shapiro, and other faculty members their jobs. Dean, Sophie Newcomb Art School at Tulane University, ca. 1942-1950; removed from the deanship by Logan Wilson, a conservative president, but Feild refused to resign and stayed until his retirement. Returned to Cambridge, Mass. where W.G. Constable and Fritz Pappenheim became his good friends.


Donated in 1993 by Barry O'Connell, a friend of Feild. Feild designated him his intellectual heir before his death. At Feild's death O'Connell stored his papers, memorabilia, and works of art, and Mrs. Feild retained formal ownership of the material. After the death of Mrs. Feild, O'Connell received the material. The photograph of Feild with Disney and Stokowski donated 1994 by Kristin O'Connell, wife of Barry O'Connell.

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

Robert Durant Feild papers, [ca. 1939-1972]. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.