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Werner Drewes papers, 1838-2015, bulk 1890-1990

Drewes, Werner, 1899-1985

Muralist, Painter, Printmaker

Collection Information

Size: 15.76 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of painter, printmaker, designer, and teacher, Werner Drewes, measure 15.76 linear feet and date from 1838-2015, with the bulk of the material dating from the 1890s-1990s. The papers document Drewes' life and career through biographical and family material; correspondence with family members, artists, galleries, and art institutions and organizations; scattered teaching notes and writings including a diary; catalogs and inventories of artwork; three scrapbooks; printed material; 38 sketchbooks, loose sketches, and prints; and photographs of Drewes, his family, friends and colleagues, exhibitions, travels, and works of art. Also found are scattered papers of Drewes' second wife, Maria Drewes.

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter, printmaker and designer Werner Drewes (1899-1985) was born in Canig, Germany, and immigrated to the United States in 1930. A student of the Bauhaus, and a prolific artist and teacher, Drewes worked with many kinds of media and produced numerous woodcuts, etchings, oils, watercolors, drawings and collages over the course of his life.


The Werner Drewes papers were donated in 2005 by Werner Drewes' sons Wolfram U. Drewes, Harald D. Drewes, and Bernard W. Drewes. 4 additional items were donated by Karen Seibert, Drewes granddaughter, in 2015. Some material had been previously loaned for microfilming in 1979, and was subsequently included in the 2005 gift.

Language Note

Collection is in English and German.


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.