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Thomas Craven papers, 1919-1949, 1975

Thomas Craven papers, 1919-1949, 1975

Craven, Thomas, 1889-1969

Art critic

Collection Information

Size: 0.7 linear ft. (partially filmed on 1 microfilm reel)

Summary: Dismantled scrapbook (1925-1949, 1975), containing newspaper clippings of Craven's articles and writings which span his career. Also found within the scrapbook are reviews by Oscar Bluemner and Byron Browne of Craven's two anti-modernist books, "Men of Art" and "Modern Art". The collection also contains four letters concerning publications, a typescript essay about Thomas Craven's early career, two files of scattered writings in manuscript form, two bound, handwritten, manuscript versions of "Treasury of Art Masterpieces" (1939), and "Greek Art" (1950), and miscellaneuos loose newsclippings.

Biographical/Historical Note

Art critic; New York City; b. 1888; d. 1969 Craven wrote numerous articles, essays, criticisms, and reviews for Scribners, Harpers, The Dial, The Nation, The New Republic, and The Forum. He was art critic for the New York American, the Hearst Paper. After graduating from Kansas Wesleyan University in 1908, Craven lived in Paris for a time. He roomed with American painter Thomas Hart Benton and was friends with John Steuart Curry, George Grosz, Reginald Marsh and Grant Wood. Craven wrote several books including "Men of Art," "Modern Art," "A Treasury of Art Masterpieces," and "Greek Art". Craven was noted for his often caustic reviews and criticisms of the modernistic movement. He died in 1969 at the age of 81.

Provenance

Donated 1999 by Richard Craven, Thomas Craven's son.

A Finding Aid to the Thomas Craven Papers,
1919-1949, 1975
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.cravthom
Finding aid prepared by Rosa M. Fernandez
Scope and Content Note
The papers of art critic Thomas Craven measure approximately .07 linear feet and date from 1919 through 1949 and 1975. The collection consists primarily of a dismantled scrapbook (1925 1949; 1975) containing newspaper clippings of Craven's articles and writings which span his career. Also found within the scrapbook are reviews by Oscar Bluemner and Byron Browne of Craven's two anti-modernist books, Men of Art and Modern Art. The collection also contains four letters concerning publications, a typescript essay about Thomas Craven's early career, two files of scattered writings in manuscript form, two bound handwritten manuscript versions of A Treasury of Art Masterpieces (1939), and Greek Art (1950), and miscellaneous loose newsclippings.
Biographical Note
Author, art critic, and lecturer Thomas Craven (b.1888) was dubbed the "the principal ideologue of the American Scene" movement by the art historian Matthew Baigell. Craven wrote numerous articles, essays, criticisms, and reviews for Scribners, Harpers, The Dial, The Nation, The New Republic and The Forum. He was art critic for the New York American, the Hearst Paper. After graduating from Kansas Wesleyan University in 1908, Craven lived in Paris for a time. Upon his return to the United States, he settled in Greenwich Village where he began his reaffirmation of American art and culture. He roomed with American painter Thomas Hart Benton and was friends with John Steuart Curry, George Grosz, Reginald Marsh and Grant Wood. Craven's first book, Men of Art, was published in 1931. The book was an art historical survey of painting in the Western world and described as a combination of social history, biography and description and criticism. Craven also wrote Modern Art, A Treasury of Art Masterpieces, and Greek Art. Craven was noted for his often caustic reviews and criticisms of the modernistic movement. He died in 1969 at the age of 81.
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into six series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, undated (Box 1; 1 folder)
Series 2: Letters, 1919-1956, undated (Box 1; 1 folder)
Series 3: Writings, 1920-1949 (Box 1; 2 folders)
Series 4: Manuscripts, 1939, 1950 (Box 1; 2 folders)
Series 5: Loose Newsclippings, 1941 (Box 1; 1 folder)
Series 6: Scrapbook, 1925-1941, 1975 (Box 2; 5 folders)
Provenance
Donated 1999 by Richard Craven, Thomas Craven's son.
Processing Information
The collection was processed by Rosa Fernandez in June, 2000. The scrapbook was microfilmed in 2000.

Additional Forms Available

Microfilm reel 5670 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. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Thomas Craven papers, 1919-1949, 1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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