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Violet Oakley papers, 1841-1981

Oakley, Violet, 1874-1961

Muralist, Painter, Stained glass artist

Collection Information

Size: 56.4 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of painter, stained glass artist, and muralist Violet Oakley measure 56.4 linear feet and date from 1841-1981. Found within the papers are biographical materials; personal and business correspondence; writings, including essays, lectures, and project drafts; diaries and journals; financial material; artwork; printed material, including scrapbooks; and photographs, 3 albums, 322 glass plate negatives, and 1600 film negatives of Oakley, her family and friends, and her work.

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter, muralist, and stained glass designer Violet Oakley (1874-1961) lived and worked in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was known for her Renaissance-revival style of art and the series of murals she completed for the Pennsylvania State Capitol.


Violet Oakley first loaned the Archives of American Art materials for microfilming in 1959. Edith Emerson, Oakley's longtime friend and companion, donated and lent papers for microfilming in 1977 and 1984. The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, who had received the papers from Emerson's estate, donated two feet of materials in 1988.

Related Materials

Language Note

The collection is in English.


Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art. Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.