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S. J. Woolf papers, 1835-1986, bulk 1880-1948

S. J. Woolf papers, 1835-1986, bulk 1880-1948

Woolf, S. J. (Samuel Johnson), 1880-1948

Journalist, Graphic designer, Illustrator

Collection Information

Size: 3.0 linear feet

Summary: Biographical material, letters, art works, 2 contracts, notes, writings, subject files, scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs document the journalism and portraiture of S.J. Woolf. His subjects included many of the twentieth century's most influential figures.

Biographical/Historical Note

S. J. Woolf (1880-1948) was a graphic artist, journalist, illusrator in New York, N.Y. Born into a family long active in the arts, Woolf studied at the Art Students League and at the National Academy of Design. He developed a reputation as a portraitist, primarily drawing celebrities for "Collier's", and, beginning in 1923, combining his portraits with his written accounts of his "personality interviews" for the "New York Times." Woolf also served as a special correspondent during both world wars.


Scrapbooks on reels 4065-4066 lent for microfilming, and remainder donated by Dr. Deborah Hobson, Woolf's granddaughter, through the National Portrait Gallery, which received the papers along with 107 drawings by Woolf of prominent Americans. The papers were transferred to the Archives of American Art, 1988 and 1992.

Location of Originals

  • Reels 4065-4066: Originals in the possession of Dr. Deborah Hobson, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Additional Forms Available

Microfilm reels 4065-4066 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

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

S. J. Woolf papers, 1835-1986, bulk 1880-1948. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.