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Walter Tandy Murch papers, 1880-1970

Murch, Walter Tandy, 1907-1967


Collection Information

Size: 8.2 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of New York City still life painter and art instructor Walter Tandy Murch date from 1880-1970 and measure 8.2 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical materials, four diaries, correspondence with colleagues and family members, personal business records, exhibition files, notes and writings, two sketchbooks and additional art work, printed material, and photographs of Murch, family members, and art work.
Biographical material includes registration documents for births, marriages, and naturalization of Murch family members, biographical accounts, resumes, school and award certificates, passports, Selective Service records, and address books.
One diary by Walter Murch and three diaries by Katharine Murch contain sporadic entries briefly describing daily activities.
Correspondence primarily consists of letters exchanged between Murch, art schools and universities, arts organizations, galleries including the Betty Parsons Gallery, miscellaneous companies and publishers that commissioned commercial art work, and students. There are scattered letters from Isabel Bishop, Leonard Bocour, Xavier Gonzales, and Gyorgy Kepes. There is also correspondence with miscellaneous family members and letters to Katharine Scott.
Personal business records include organizational membership records, family legal documents, insurance records, leases, loan and consignment records, contracts and invoices for art work sold by the Betty Parsons Gallery, expense notebooks, and other routine financial documents.
Exhibition files include documentation of miscellaneous exhibitions of Murch's art work and of exhibitions juried and organized by Murch, including the Jean Dubuffet exhibition organized by Murch and retrospectives of Murch's art work at the Rhode island School of Design and at the Brooklyn Museum.
Notes and writings include the funeral register for Murch, miscellaneous address lists, travel notebooks of Murchs' 1934 trip to Mexico, miscellaneous notebooks concerning various art-related topics, classroom lectures and notes, and miscellaneous writings by others.
Art work includes two sketchbooks, drawings and sketches, woodcuts, sketches for "Novel in Woodcut," an oil portrait of a woman, a mock-up for book Notes on the Hound of Heaven, and art work by others including a sketchbook by Murch's son, Walter Scott Murch.
Printed material includes clippings, a copy of a handmade Collegiate School magazine The New Thinker, and exhibition announcements and catalogs. for Murch and others, press releases, prospectuses, reproductions of art work and book jackets designed by Murch, programs, brochures, a book about Pierre Bonnard, and miscellaneous printed material.
Photographs are of Murch, family members, travel, buildings, Murch's studio, Murch with colleagues, And art work by Murch and others. There are also photographs of various resource subjects.

Biographical/Historical Note

Walter Tandy Murch (1907-1967) of Toronto, Canada, was a painter and art teacher. His painting were primarily of still life subjects including machine parts, tools, broken dolls, and scientific equipment mingled with fruit, bread and fragments of rock as if seen through frosted glass.


In 1967-1968, Walter Tandy Murch loaned the Archives of American Art material for microfilming. The artist's widow, Katharine Scott Murch, donated papers 1969.

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