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W. L. (William Lees) Judson papers, 1861-1957

Judson, W. L. (William Lees), 1842-1928



Collection Information

Size: 0.7 Linear feet

Summary: Civil war diaries, letters, teaching materials, publications by Judson and pamphlets on early Los Angeles history.
The three diaries (1861-1864), consist of brief daily entries chronicling Judson's experiences as a private in Company C of the Twenty-first Regiment of Illinois Volunteers, moving through Illinois, Missouri, and Tennessee. The diaries from 1862 and 1863 are illustrated with small pencil sketches of faces, animals, and landscapes. The diaries are accompanied by a typewritten transcript and a 1957 clipping, "Judson Saw Debut of Tecumseh Park".
Letters consist of ten letters (1910-1941), primarily to and from ex-students concerning their coursework at the University of Southern California's College of Fine Arts. Also found are; a grade book (1902-1919) and 2 payment ledgers (1900-1910 and 1911-1919) from the Los Angeles College of Fine Arts; Judson's A Tour of the Thames (London, Ontario: Advertiser Steam Presses, 1881), written under the pseudonym of Professor Blot; the October 1909 issue of Arroyo Crafsman (v. 1); three pamphlets on Los Angeles history published by the Security First National Bank of Los Angeles, including The Five Friendly Valleys: The Story of Greater Highland Park (2nd ed., 1923), which briefly mentions Judson, Six Collegiate Decades: The Growth of Higher Educationin Southern California (1929), and La Reina: Los Angeles in Three Centuries (1931); and three blueprints of the Los Angeles College of Fine Arts and one of Judson Studios (1941).

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter and instructor William Lees Judson (1842-1928), born in Manchester, England, came to the U.S. in 1852 and later settled in California in 1893. Under his leadership a group of craftsmen and artists published the ARROYO CRAFTSMAN (1909). He also established the Los Angeles College of Fine Arts, forerunner of the University of Southern California's College of Fine Arts, where Judson later served as dean.


Diaries and related typescript and clipping were donated 1987 by Paul Judson, and the remainder in 1987 by Walter W. Judson, both great-grandsons of William Lees Judson.

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

W. L. (William Lees) Judson papers, 1861-1957. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.