Scope and Contents
The papers of photographer, painter, sculptor, and educator William Christenberry (1936-2016) measure 7.3 linear feet and 14.76 GB and date from circa 1917-2018, with the bulk of the records dating from 1960-2018. The collection sheds light on Christenberry's career through personal papers, gallery and museum files, professional files, personal business records, printed and digital material, photographs, artwork, and sound and video recordings about his work.
Personal papers include personal correspondence with friends and family and transcripts of interviews with Christenberry. Gallery and museum files mostly consist of correspondence, price lists, and records of exhibitions. Professional files shed light on Christenbery's relationship with various foundations, colleges and universities, his involvement in the renovation of the John A. Wilson Building in Washington, D.C., and his teaching tenure at the Corcoran College of Art and Design.
Personal business records document purchase of art supplies, and also include correspondence with collectors, sales records, permission forms, and papers concerning fellowships that Christenberry received. Printed materials include newspaper clippings and articles, solo and group exhibition material, and reproductions of Christenberry's work.
Photographs include several series of Christenberry's work and publicity photos of Christenberry. Artwork includes one sketchbook, and project sketches.
Recorded materials consist of sound, video, and digital recordings primarily of footage compiled during the creation of William A. Christenberry, Jr.: A Portrait (1997), produced by Stanley J. Staniski, and the making of The Place I know, Visions of the South (2003).
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated in 2019 by Sandra Christenberry, William Christenberry's widow.
Also found in the Archives of American Art are an oral history interview with William Christenberry conducted by Merry Foresta, March 3 and 31, 2010, and an oral history interview of William Christenberry conducted by Buck Pennington, January 17, 1983.
The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund, administered by the National Collections Program and the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee.
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Christopher DeMairo in 2021. Born-digital materials were processed by Kirsi Ritosalmi-Kisner in 2021 with funding provided by Smithsonian Collection Care and Preservation Fund.