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Willard Warren Cummings papers, 1911-1997, bulk 1930-1975

Contents and Arrangement

The collection is arranged as seven series.

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  • 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.
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Series 1: Biographical Materials , 1930-1997
1.2 Linear feet
Box 1, 18, OVs 20-22

Biographical materials include addresses, five appointment books, architectural plans, awards and certificates, biographical sketches and chronology, material documenting Cummings's relationship with the Colby College Art Gallery, family documents, a guest book from 1957, an interview transcript, a few legal papers, and membership cards. Also included are sketches, photographs, clippings of advertisements, templates, and source material for a mural commissioned by the Warner Brothers Company in Connecticut to document their history as a women's clothing company. Also found are Cummings's War Art Unit notebook containing administrative records; and memorial records containing a guest book, eulogy by John I.H. Baur, and obituaries.
Description Container Select
Address Books, circa 1960s
1
1-2
Addresses, circa 1960s
1
3
Appointment Books, 1967-1974
1
4-5
Architectural Plans, undated
20
Awards and Certificates, circa 1970
Includes an exhibition catalog for the Fourth Annual Exhibition of Artists of Northern Westchester where Cummings won the Junior League Prize for Oils.
1
6
Awards and Certificates, 1969
20
Biographical Sketches and Chronology, circa 1950-1972
1
7
Colby College Art Gallery, 1959-1963
Includes a project proposal for the college's art collection, material for the Friends of Art at Colby College, printed materials, and lists of paintings in the art collection.
1
8
Family Documents, circa 1950s
Includes school work and drawings by Cummings's children.
1
9
Guest Book for Unidentified Event, 1957
1
10
Identification Documents, 1944-1964
1
11
Interview Transcript, circa 1941
Transcript is of a WBZ-WBZA broadcast about Vose Galleries history.
1
12
Legal, 1930-1970
1
13
Membership Cards, 1944-1971
1
14
Memorial Records, 1975
Includes one guest book, a transcript of a eulogy given by John I.H. Baur at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and obituaries.
1
15-16
Mural Project for Warner Brothers Company, circa 1965
1
17-23
Mural Project for Warner Brothers Company, circa 1965
18
1
Mural Project for Warner Brothers Company, circa 1965
21
Mural Project for Warner Brothers Company, circa 1965
22
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Records, 1957-1997
Includes a photocopy of a letter from Janet Van Hise Davidson donating her childhood portrait by Cummings to Skowhegan School, financial records, and material regarding fundraising.
1
24-25
War Art Unit Notebook, 1943
The notebook includes material on directives, orders, financial information, and supply and shipping records that Cummings collected as 2nd Lt. in the Corps of Engineers, War Art Unit.
1
26-27

Series 2: Correspondence , 1911-1975
12 Linear feet
Boxes 2-13, OVs 20, 23

Correspondence is between Cummings and his wife Mildred or "Milly", daughter Daphne, son William, brother King, other family members, friends and colleagues, and clients such as politicians Margaret Chase Smith and Adlai Stevenson. While early general correspondence is more personal in nature, post World War II correspondence typically concerns Cummings's professional career and dealings at Skowhegan School. Also included are Christmas and greeting cards, Christmas cards created by artists, get-well cards, and sympathy letters to Cummings's family after his death in 1975. Correspondence dating circa 1970 relates to a studio at the Carnegie Center in New York City.
Description Container Select
Willard and Mildred "Milly" Cummings (Wife), 1962-1964
2
1
Daphne and Will Cummings (Daughter and Son), 1962-1964
2
2
Family, A-K, circa 1935-circa 1965
2
3
Family, L-W, circa 1935-circa 1965
2
4
First Names, A-F, circa 1935-circa 1965
2
5-6
First Names, F, circa 1935-circa 1965
2
7-8
Last Names, A-E, circa 1935-circa 1965
2
9
Last Names, E-M, circa 1935-circa 1965
2
10
Last Names, M-Z, circa 1935-circa 1965
2
11-12
Christmas Cards by Artists, circa 1960s
Includes cards from William and Marguerite Zorach, Al Blaustein, Chaim Gross, and other artists.
2
13-18
Christmas Cards by Artists, circa 1960s
23
Christmas Cards, General, circa 1960s
23
Christmas Cards, General, 1960s-1970s
3
1-16
Christmas Cards, General, 1960s-1970s
4
1-17
Christmas Cards, General, 1960-1970s
5
1-4
Envelopes Only, 1930s-1940s
The envelopes were received by the archivist without their original letters. The letters may be included in the chronological correspondence.
5
5-10
Envelopes Only, 1970s
5
11
Get-Well Cards, 1975
5
12
Greeting Cards, 1960s
5
13-16
Greeting Cards, 1960s
Contains a poster from William Pahlmann.
23
Sympathy Letters, 1975
5
17-19
General, 1911-1930
6
1
General, 1931-1935
6
2-15
General, 1931-1935
20
General, 1936-1939
7
1-3
General, 1940-1943
7
4-19
General, 1943-1944
8
1-16
General, 1944-1949
9
1-9
General, 1950-1958
9
10-19
General, 1958-1959
Folder 3 contains Sidney Simon's resignation letter from Skowhegan School dated October 15, 1959.
10
1-5
General, 1959
23
General, 1960
23
General, 1960-1962
10
6-16
General, 1961-1962
23
General, 1962-1966
11
1-17
General, 1966-1969
12
1-11
General, 1970-1971
12
12-16
General, 1972-1974
13
1-10
General, 1975
Includes childhood photographs of Cummings and of the artist painting a portrait.
13
11-15
General, undated
13
16-17

Series 3: Writings , 1928-1974
0.8 Linear feet
Box 14

Writings consist of several essays by unidentified authors, Cummings's journal from his time in Paris, lists and notes, poems by Mildred Cummings and others, a statement by Cummings regarding his portrait of Margaret Chase Smith, and student work that includes Cummings's "Pictorial Art Notebook," a notebook containing handwritten text and clippings of artwork produced while studying at Yale University.
Description Container Select
Essays by Unidentified Authors, circa 1950s
14
1
Journal, 1928
14
2
Lists, circa 1950-circa 1970
Includes price lists for artwork.
14
3-4
Notes, circa 1950-circa 1970
Includes three notebooks with notes on purchases of produce and names along with budget notes, edits to an administrative report, and other annotations.
14
5
Play Transcript, "Bringing Up Father" by Unidentified Author, undated
14
6
Poems, circa 1935-circa 1970
Includes one notebook and poems by Mildred Cummings.
14
7-8
Statement Regarding Margaret Chase Smith's Portrait by Cummings, 1974
14
9
Student Work, circa 1930
Includes four notebooks and one music writing book from Cummings's studies in Paris.
14
10-12
Student Work, Yale, 1934
Includes essays on 15th century engraving and Albrecht Dürer.
14
13
Student Work, Yale - "Pictorial Art Notebook", 1933
The notebook includes a mixture of writings, clippings, and documents on art history.
14
14-21

Series 4: Printed Materials , 1928-1996
1.9 Linear feet
Boxes 14-16, 18

The series includes art reproductions, booklets and pamphlets, calendars, event programs, exhibition announcements and catalogs, flyers, and periodicals featuring Cummings, his artwork, Colby College, and other artists. Also included are two copies of the book Soldier Art, invitations, and postcards.
Description Container Select
Art Reproductions, circa 1950-circa 1970
14
22
Books, Soldier Art, 1945
Includes two copies.
14
23
Booklets and Pamphlets, 1936-1972
14
24-25
Booklets and Pamphlets, 1934-1973
15
1
Calendars, 1961-1969
15
2
Clippings, circa 1935-circa 1970
15
3-14
Event Programs, 1928-1996
15
15
Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, circa 1937-1973
15
16-20
Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, circa 1937-1973
16
1-3
Flyers, 1933-1936
16
4
Invitations, circa 1940-circa 1960
16
5
Periodicals, 1932-1965
16
6-8
Periodicals, 1946
18
2
Postcards, circa 1930s, 1960s
Includes two books of postcards from the Vatican in Rome.
16
9

Series 5: Scrapbooks , circa 1930-circa 1960
0.4 Linear feet
Boxes 16, 19, OV 33, BV 35

The series consists of six scrapbooks containing printed material, a small amount of correspondence, and photographs relating to art history, Cummings's exhibitions, and his military service during World War II.
Description Container Select
Scrapbook 1, circa 1940-circa 1960
16
10
Scrapbook 2, circa 1930s
19
1-2
Scrapbook 3, An Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings by Willard W. Cummings, 1935
16
11
Scrapbook 4, Clippings Regarding Exhibitions, 1937-1941
The scrapbook contains clippings of reviews and articles about exhibitions of Cummings's artwork.
19
3
Scrapbook 5, 1938-1958
The scrapbook contains clippings, exhibition catalogs, Army certificates, and forms to become 1st lieutenant.
19
4
Scrapbook 6, World War II, circa 1943
16
12
Scrapbook 6, World War II, circa 1943
33
Scrapbook 6, World War II, circa 1943
BV 35

Series 6: Artwork , 1929-circa 1965
1 Linear foot
Boxes 16, 18, OVs 24-32

Artwork includes drawings, a few paintings, six sketchbooks, watercolors, and student artwork of landscapes, figure drawings, and still lifes, as well as preparatory drawings for portraits and mural mockups for student projects at Yale University.
Description Container Select
Drawings, General, 1929, undated
16
13
Drawings, General, circa 1940-circa 1965
18
3-6
Drawings, General, circa 1945-circa 1965
24
Drawings, General, circa 1945-circa 1965
25
Drawings, General, circa 1945-circa 1965
26
Drawings, General, circa 1945-circa 1965
Includes a few painted sketches.
27
Drawings, Children's, circa 1920-1960
Includes drawings by Cummings's children. Some drawings may be childhood drawings by Cummings.
16
14
Drawing, Portraits, circa 1940-circa 1965
16
15
Drawings, Portraits, circa 1940-circa 1965
18
3
Drawings, Studies for Skowhegan School Solon House Fresco, circa 1950s
28
Drawing of Cummings by Allan Kleinwaks, 1931
16
16
Drawing of Outdoor Scene by Guy Chapman, circa 1933
16
17
Paintings, circa 1945-circa 1965
Includes artwork in mixed media.
32
Sketchbooks, circa 1963, undated
Four sketchbooks include figure drawings, still lifes, and some notes.
16
18-20
Sketchbook, undated
18
7
Sketchbook, undated
31
Student Work, circa 1934
Includes portrait and figure drawings in various media, as well as painted mural mockups.
29
Student Work, circa 1934
30
Watercolors, circa 1933, undated
Includes landscapes, still lifes, and student work at Yale University.
16
21-22

Series 7: Photographic Materials , circa 1930-circa 1970
2 Linear feet
Boxes 16-18, OV 34

The series contains photographs, negatives, and slides, including two glass slides, of Cummings, his family, friends and colleagues, landscapes, images of the grounds and people at the Skowhegan School, works of art by Cummings and others, and his surroundings while serving in the military during World War II.
Description Container Select
Cummings, circa 1930-circa 1970
Includes photographs of Cummings in the military, portraits, at events, in the studio, and with his artwork.
16
23-25
Cummings, circa 1930
Contains two photographs by Paul Cordas.
34
Family, circa 1930-circa 1970
Includes photographs of Cummings's wife Mildred, children Daphne and William, brother H. King, and parents Willard H. and Helen Cummings.
16
26
Others, circa 1950-circa 1970
Includes photographs and negatives of friends, colleagues, and subjects of Cummings's portraits.
17
1-5
Landscapes, circa 1960s
17
6
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Grounds and People, 1952-circa 1970
Includes digital prints of photographs of the Solon House originally taken in the 1950s and two postcards picturing the school.
17
7-8
Works of Art by Cummings, circa 1950-circa 1960s
Includes photographs of portraits, a few photographs of Cummings painting, and a photograph of cellist Pablo Casals.
17
9-15
Works of Art, Drawings of Building Interiors, circa 1965
17
16
Works of Art, General, circa 1950s
Includes photographs of a mural and portraits that may be by Cummings.
17
17
Works of Art by Others, circa 1950-circa 1960s
Includes works by Ethel Edwards, Ben Shahn, Rico Lebrun, and others. Two glass slides are also included.
17
18-21
Works of Art, Student Work, circa 1934
18
8
World War II Military Service, circa 1943
The photographs depict soldiers, barracks, and landscapes during World War II.
17
22-26

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.