Skip to main content

Series 2 | A Finding Aid to the W. Langdon Kihn papers, 1904-1990, bulk 1904-1957

W. Langdon Kihn papers, 1904-1990, bulk 1904-1957

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1904-1959
(Boxes 1-5, 4.0 linear feet)

Personal and work-related correspondence is between Kihn and immediate family, close friends, and colleagues who shared his interest in American Indian culture. Kihn's outgoing correspondence is well-represented through handwritten drafts and carbon copies. Although the bulk of the incoming correspondence is addressed to Kihn, letters from mutual friends addressed to his wife Helen are scattered thoughout both the personal and chronological correspondence.
The Correspondence series is arranged into 2 subseries:
2.1: General and Personal Correspondence, circa 1916-1957
2.2: Chronological Correspondence, 1904-1959
2.1:General and Personal Correspondence, circa 1916-1957
This subseries consists primarily of personal correspondence, including holiday cards and invitations, although letters related to commissions and exhibitions are scattered throughout.
This subseries includes the letters of W. Langdon Kihn, Alfred and Carrie Kihn (his parents), and Helen Kihn (his wife). Langdon Kihn's correspondence contains letters to his parents from his early trips out west, and drafts and fragments of letters to colleagues promoting his early exhibitions. There is also a selection of Christmas cards of his own design, which he sent to friends and family.
Notable correspondents, most of whom are also represented in the chronological correspondence, include the Canadian ethnographer, Marius Barbeau; well-known collectors, Dale and Maud Chester and Sir Henry Wellcome; artists Maynard Dixon and Guy Wiggins; French biophysicist and philosopher Pierre du Noüy; and military historian Captian Russell V. Steele, whose letters frequently include illustrations of soldiers in military uniforms.
DescriptionContainer
General A, circa 1922-1950
Adams, C.
Adams, J Donald
Adams, Mrs. John Adams
Ament, Robert. S.
American Indian Defense Association
Armer, Ruth
Armer, Sidney
Armstead, George Brooks
Arnaud, Odette
Artic Institute of North America
Artzybasheff, Boris and Elizabeth
Austrain, H.
1
15
Bosworth, Tom, circa 1928-1930
1
16
General Ba-Boo, circa 1922-1950
Barbona, Ruth
Barbeau, Marius
Batchelor, J
Beau, Henri
Beck, Charles W. Jr.
Bernet-Rollande, L.
Bill, Edward Lyman
Black Hawk
Blassingame, Lurton
Bogree, Jane
Booth, Mr. and Mrs. John R. Jr.
1
17
General Bow-By, before 1957
Bowen, Catherine Drinker
Bowles, Dorothy and Chester
Bray, Muriel
Brooklyn Children's Museum
Brown, Sonia Gordon
Budlong, Mary
Butler, Margaret
Butler, William
Bye, George T.
1
18
General C, before 1957
Cadmen, Benaldine Noble
Cappius, E.
Cartier, Jacques
Caspanu [?], Millicent
Caskey, James F.
Charles Scribner's Sons
Chase, ?
Church, Esther
Clark, Allan
Clark, Joy
Clark, Margery
Clark, Mary Moore
Coburn, Mary
Continental Theater
Cookingham, Louise K.
Courtright, George and Eugenie
Crago, W. H.
Crussaire, Dr. and Mme.
1
19
General D, 1916, before 1957
D., Myrtle
Dale, Maud and Chester
De Bogory, Natalie
DeLeon, Bertha
Dixon, Maynard
Doolittle, Mary F.
Dow, Emily K.
Driemeyer, Betty
Dudley, Lillian
1
20
General E-F, before 1957
Eastern Association of Indian Affairs
Eaton, Earle Hooker
Emery, Roe
Ennis, Howard Jr.
Explorers Club
F., E.
First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia
Fisher, Franklin
Fitzpatrick, Lee ("Fitz")
Flandrau, Grace
1
21
General G, before 1957
Gallup, Anna Billings
Galvin, Bob
Gates, Allen H.
Gatewood, Bill
Gaultier de la Verendrye, Juliette
Gaza, Maria Josepha
Gibbs, A. Hamilton
Gibbs, Jeanette
Gliewe, Ramon
Goismsditch, Herbert B.
Goulding, Margaret
Gray, Fred
Green, W.W. and LuLu
Griffiths, Nellie
Griswold, Charlotte B.
Grosso, Alfonso
Grosvenor, Mr. And Mrs. Gilbert
1
22
General H, before 1957
Hamilton, Margaret
Hanson, Earl P.
Hartford Courant
Hartford Times
Harris, Walter A.
Hartman, Jennette (Mrs. E.R.)
Harper and Brothers
Hewitt, E. L.
Hill, Mr. and Mrs. Louis W.
Hinton, Harold B.
Holden, Frances
Holden, Lephe
Hopkins, Ellen
Hutchinson, Dorothy and James
Hutchinson, George
1
23
General J-L, circa 1920-1957
James, Will
Jason, T.
Keithahn, Edward and Marie Antoinette ("Nette")
Kirk, Ruth (Mrs. John)
Lasker, Bruno
Laubin, Reginald ("Redge") and Gladys
Lay, Charles D.
Leechman, Douglas
Lomen, Laura and Carl
Longheed, Sir James
Lowry, Royal
Lummis, Charles F.
Lyme Minute Men
1
24
Kihn, Alfred C. and Carrie, before 1957
1
25
Kihn, Helen, circa 1920-1957
1
26
Kihn, W. Langdon, circa 1920-1957
1
27
Lecompte du Noüy, Pierre and Marie (May), circa 1927-1947
(2 folders)
1
28-29
General M-N, circa 1920-1957
MacMillan Company
Mallory, Lenore
Manfred, Ernest
Marsh, ?
Mason, Charles and Rose
Matthias, Reva
McDonald, E.
Meistrell, Malcom
Morden, William and Florence
Morse, Harry
N., Frances
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
National Geographic Society
Newberry, Mary
Newsom, William ("Bill")
Niven, Pauline and Frederick
1
30
General O-R, circa 1920-1957
O'Neil, Henry
Paisano, Ulysses G. Sr.
Parsons, Sheldon
Pond, James B.
Post, Landgon
Price, Fred
Raynolds, Ellen
Reid, Russell
Reiss, Henrietta
Remington, Beatrice
Rindge, Dottie
Rosen, Elsie
Rungins, Carl
1
31
Skinner, Constance Lindsay, circa 1930s
1
32
Steele, Captain Russell V., circa 1940s
1
33
General S, circa 1920-1957
Salmagundi Club
Sawyer, Fannette
Schellbach, Don
Scott, Duncan Cambell
Seaman, Joseph H.
Shapiro, H.L.
Smith, Theodora
Soper, Mr. and Mrs. Ellis
Speer, Ella Post
Staats-Herold Corporation
Stevens, Harry
Stirling, Matt and Marion
1
34
General T-V, circa 1920-1957
Taber-Prang Co.
Taylor, Cecilia E and H. Peach
Thomas, Virginia
Tillon, Edith
Tompkins, V.
Treasury Department, Section of Painting and Sculpture
Tremaine, Mr. and Mrs. Burton
Trujillo, Mrs. M. H.
Tucker, Patricia
Tyler, Flora C.
Tyler, Gertrude
Voorhees, Aimée
1
35
Wiggins, Guy, circa 1930s
1
36
General W-Z, circa 1920-1957
W., Jess
Washburn, Tahoe and Linc
Watson, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin
Watson, Elmo Scott
Weems, Carrington
Wellcome, Sir Henry
White, Catherine F.
White, Peter
Whitney, Carol
Women's Day
Zeusler
1
37
Unidentified, before 1957
1
38
2.2:Chronological Correspondence, circa 1917-1959
Found in this subseries are letters to and from Kihn that document his career as an artist, illustrator, teacher, and writer. Scattered through out are personal correspondence, including letters addressed to his wife Helen from their mutual friends. There is also a cache of third party correspondence addressed to Marius Barbeau, a Canadian ethnologist who was a colleague and friend of Kihn's.
The earliest correspondence includes letters from his parents, particularly his father Alfred Kihn, who also trained as an artist and founded a steel engraving firm with his brother that specialized in bank note engraving. Kihn senior not only wrote proffering career advice, but also corresponded with his son's business and personal associates while Langdon Kihn was on extended trips. There are also letters from W. Langdon Kihn to his parents describing his trips, including his impressions of San Francisco, Glacier Park, experiences painting Indian portraits, as well as his 1929-1932 sojourn painting in Paris and Spain. These early letters also record exhibitions, primarily a traveling exhibition of his portraits of members of the Blackfeet Indian tribe, which was organized by the Brooklyn Museum of Art and traveled to over 40 institutions in the United States.
Letters to and from authors, publishers, advertisers, and collectors comprise a large amount of correspondence from late 1920s to the mid 1930s, which document his efforts at securing commissions for commercial work. During this time he also began to submit articles about his work and travels. Correspondents include the author Constance Lindsay Skinner; publishers Macmillan and Company; Little, Brown, and Company; Harcourt Brace and Company; and magazines including,
Fortune
and
Story Parade
.
The bulk of the chronological correspondence records his association with the
National Geographic
magazine, spanning from 1935-1955. The National Geographic Society commissioned Kihn to paint historical and contemporary scenes of the lives of over 35 tribal nations from the continental United States, Alaska, and the Northwest Territories. Engraved illustrations of his paintings were published in the magazine's ongoing series on American Indians between 1937 and 1949. Most of the related correspondence was between Kihn, Franklin L. Fisher, Chief of National Geographic's Illustrated Division and Matthew W. Striling, Chief of the Bureau of American Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution, who also played an important role in this project.
DescriptionContainer
Correspondence, 1904-1916
1
39
Correspondence, 1917-1919
1
40
Correspondence, 1920 January-August
1
41
Correspondence, 1920 September-December
1
42
Correspondence, 1921 January-May
1
43
Correspondence, 1921 June-December
1
44
Correspondence, 1922 January-April
1
45
Correspondence, 1922 May
1
46
Correspondence, 1922 June
1
47
Correspondence, 1922 July
1
48
Correspondence, 1922 August
1
49
Correspondence, 1922 September
1
50
Correspondence, 1922 October
1
51
Correspondence, 1922 November-December
1
52
Correspondence, 1923 January-February
1
53
Correspondence, 1923 March-April
2
1
Correspondence, 1923 May-June
2
2
Correspondence, 1923 July-September
2
3
Correspondence, 1923 October-November
2
4
Correspondence, 1923 December
2
5
Correspondence, 1924 January-February
2
6
Correspondence, 1924 March-May
2
7
Correspondence, 1924 June
2
8
Correspondence, 1924 July-August
2
9
Correspondence, 1924 September-October
2
10
Correspondence, 1924 November-December
2
11
Correspondence, 1925 January-February
2
12
Correspondence, 1925 March-May
2
13
Correspondence, 1925 June-December
2
14
Correspondence, 1926 January-April
2
15
Correspondence, 1926 May-June
2
16
Correspondence, 1926 July-August
2
17
Correspondence, 1926 September-October
2
18
Correspondence, 1926 November-December
2
19
Correspondence, 1927 January-April
2
20
Correspondence, 1927 May-December
2
21
Correspondence, 1928 January-March
2
22
Correspondence, 1928 April-December
2
23
Correspondence, 1929 January-May
2
24
Correspondence, 1929 June-December
2
25
Correspondence, 1930 January-February
2
26
Correspondence, 1930 March-April
2
27
Correspondence, 1930 May-August
2
28
Correspondence, 1930 September-December
2
29
Correspondence, 1931 January-July
2
30
Correspondence, 1931 August-December
2
31
Correspondence, 1932 January-June
2
32
Correspondence, 1932 July-December
2
33
Correspondence, 1933 January-June
2
34
Correspondence, 1933 July-December
3
1
Correspondence, 1934 January-August
3
2
Correspondence, 1934 September-December
3
3
Correspondence, 1935 January-April
3
4
Correspondence, 1935 May-September
3
5
Correspondence, 1935 October-December
3
6
Correspondence, 1936 January-February
3
7
Correspondence, 1936 March-July
3
8
Correspondence, 1936 August-December
3
9
Correspondence, circa 1937
3
10
Correspondence, 1937 January-May
3
11
Correspondence, 1937 June-July
3
12
Correspondence, 1937 August-December
3
13
Correspondence, 1938 January-June
3
14
Correspondence, 1938 July-December
3
15
Correspondence, 1939 January-March
3
16
Correspondence, 1939 April-May
3
17
Correspondence, 1939 June-August
3
18
Correspondence, 1939 September-December
3
19
Correspondence, circa 1940 January-April
3
20
Correspondence, 1940 May-December
3
21
Correspondence, circa 1941 January-June
3
22
Correspondence, 1941 July-December
3
23
Correspondence, 1942 January-March
3
24
Correspondence, 1942 April-May
3
25
Correspondence, 1942 June-July
3
26
Correspondence, 1942 August-December
3
27
Correspondence, 1943 January-March
3
28
Correspondence, 1943 April-June
3
29
Correspondence, 1943 July-December
3
30
Correspondence, circa 1944 January-March
3
31
Correspondence, 1944 April-July
3
32
Correspondence, 1944 August-December
3
33
Correspondence, 1944 November-December
4
1
Correspondence, 1945 January
4
2
Correspondence, 1945 February-March
4
3
Correspondence, 1945 April-June
4
4
Correspondence, 1945 July-October
4
5
Correspondence, 1945 November-December
4
6
Correspondence, 1946 January-May
4
7
Correspondence, 1946 June-September
4
8
Correspondence, 1946 October-December
4
9
Correspondence, circa 1947 January-March
4
10
Correspondence, 1947 April-June
4
11
Correspondence, 1947 July-October
4
12
Correspondence, 1947 November-December
4
13
Correspondence, circa 1948 January-February
4
14
Correspondence, 1948 March-April
4
15
Correspondence, 1948 May-August
4
16
Correspondence, 1948 September-December
4
17
Correspondence, 1949 January-April
4
18
Correspondence, 1949 May
4
19
Correspondence, 1949 June-July
4
20
Correspondence, 1949 August-September
4
21
Correspondence, 1949 October
4
22
Correspondence, 1949 November-December
4
23
Correspondence, 1950 January
4
24
Correspondence, 1950 February
4
25
Correspondence, 1950 March
4
26
Correspondence, 1950 April
4
27
Correspondence, 1950 May
4
28
Correspondence, 1950 June-July
4
29
Correspondence, 1950 August
4
30
Correspondence, 1950 September-October
4
31
Correspondence, 1950 November
4
32
Correspondence, 1950 December
4
33
Correspondence, 1951 January-February
4
34
Correspondence, 1951 March-April
4
35
Correspondence, 1951 May-June
4
36
Correspondence, 1951 July-August
4
37
Correspondence, 1951 September-October
4
38
Correspondence, 1951 November-December
4
39
Correspondence, 1952 January-May
4
40
Correspondence, 1952 June-December
4
41
Correspondence, 1953 January-February
5
1
Correspondence, 1953 March-December
5
2
Correspondence, 1954 January-June
5
3
Correspondence, 1954 July-December
5
4
Correspondence, 1955
5
5
Correspondence, 1956-1959
5
6

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.