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Robert W. White papers, 1889-2003, bulk circa 1920s-2003

White, Robert W. (Robert Winthrop), 1921-2002

Sculptor, Educator

Collection Information

Size: 8.4 linear ft.

Summary: The papers of New York sculptor and educator Robert White measure 8.4 linear feet and date from 1889-2003, with the bulk of the material dating from circa 1920s-2003. Extensive correspondence chronicles Robert White's relationships with family and friends, and his professional activities spanning over a seventy year period. The collection also includes biographical material, project files, personal business records, notes and writings, artwork, printed material, artifacts, and photographs.
Biographical materials include a curriculum vita, documentation relating to White's service in the U.S. Coast Guard, and a memorial card for White's daughter, Natalie Laura White.
Correspondence contains mostly incoming letters from family and friends, and from clients, galleries, museums, arts organizations, university administrators, and students. Letters from Robert White's parents, Lawrence Grant White and Bessie Chanler White, and from Claire Nicolas White and her family provide a detailed portrait of the White family and their extended circle of friends, artists, writers, and other prominent individuals in the arts. Other personal correspondence reflects White's long term friendships with Jim Harrison, Peter Matthiessen, and William Styron. Many of White's friends were also connected to the artist through professional ties and their letters can be found in family and friends correspondence, and in general correspondence: correspondents include Gil Franklin, Walker Hancock, Willard R. Huntington, Ben La Farge, Ward Lamb, Walker O'Cain, Mark and Katja Oxman, Frank C. Platt, Paul and Ellen Resika, Paul Russotto, and Sidney Simon.
General correspondence mainly centers on Robert White's exhibitions, commissioned projects, and his teaching positions. Included are letters from Amyas Ames, Theodore Cremer, Davis Galleries, Patricia Fleischman, Hugh Fosburgh, Rebekah Harkness Kean, David Garrard Lowe, Parsons School of Design, Laura Spencer Pope, S. Dillon Ripley, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Steuben Glass, and the Suffolk Museum and Carriage House. Robert White had a long term affiliation with several professional associations and there are letters from professional associations: American Academy in Rome, the Augustus Saint Gaudens Memorial, Century Association, National Academy of Design.
Project files mostly concern Robert White's exhibitions and his commissioned work. Exhibition materials relate to White's business dealings with galleries and museums, particularly with Davis Galleries, Graham Gallery, and Graham Modern. There are substantive files on several of White's public and private commissions: American Battle Monuments Commission, Peabody Museum, and Steuben Glass.
Personal business records are scattered in content. Files contain materials relating to Robert White's participation in professional associations. Also found are files concerning his teaching appointments and business transactions with foundries, particularly the casting done by Modern Foundry for some of White's commissioned sculptures.
Notes and writings by Robert White include diaries, artist's statements, notebooks, essays on art, and notes. Notebooks contain Robert White's notes or drafts of his classroom lectures.
Sketchbooks include White's studies for his drawings. Printed material contains newspaper clippings and periodicals; exhibition announcements, catalogs, brochures, and posters, press releases and newsletters; and miscellaneous printed material. Clippings provide an overview of Robert White's activities as an artist.
Photographs house portrait shots of Robert White, White in his studio, and photographs of his artwork. Also found are photographs of Claire Nicolas White.

Biographical/Historical Note

Robert W. White (1921-2002) was a sculptor and educator from New York, N.Y. and St. James, N.Y.


The Robert W. White Papers were donated in 2003 by Claire Nicolas White, widow of Robert White.

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