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William J. and Jane Brown papers, 1948-1991

William J. and Jane Brown papers, 1948-1991

Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992

Designer, Arts administrator

Collection Information

Size: 10.8 linear feet

Summary: Biographical material, letters, legal documents, financial records, notes, writings, interviews, subject files, photographs, a scrapbook, printed material, and audio visual material, mostly concerning William Brown's tenure as director of the Penland School of Crafts.

Papers microfilmed in 1991. Included are letters written in support of William Brown after he resigned from Penland in 1983 from Rudy Kovacs, Lenore Tawney, Ke and Jean Francis, James Billington, Oscar Bailey, Douglas Sigler, Richardson Rice, Francis Sumner Merritt, Terry Al Smith, Linda Darty, and others; a certificate of incorporation for the Penland School; a contract with Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, 1977; Penland's financial reports, 1973-1982; grant proposals submitted, 1979-1980; a feasibility report on a development program, 1982; notes from Board of Trustees meetings, 1978, 1982-1983; a notebook concerning Penland's resident program, circa 1979; a notebook concerning Penland's 50th anniversary in 1979; transcripts of an interview of Bill Brown conducted by Marvin Lipofsky regarding Brown's work for Steuben Glass in 1949 and glass at Penland; clippings, 1949-1984; exhibition announcements and catalogs; and photographs of family, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Penland School and students, staff and faculty.

Audio visual material includes 4 VHS videotapes, "Old Crafts and New Horizons," "Patterns of Rural Art" by Allen Eaton," "Penland School of Handicraft" by Thor Behrens (silent) and "Penland Summer."

ADDITION: Biographical material, including awards, resumes and certificates for William; correspondence, both personal and professional of both Jane and William; subject files on the Bill Brown Scholarship Fund, Bill Brown Memorial, Board dismissal, Penland Board proceedings, Penland Overlook Exhibition, and journal/conference proceedings; photographs including large format family photographs (rolled), slides documenting Penland, black and white photographs and snapshots of family and friends, artwork, as well as Penland School and students, staff, faculty and residents; two scrapbooks of correspondence, printed material and photographs; printed material consisting of clippings, programs, catalogs, journals, exhibition publicity materials, a broadside for GAS, and conference proceedings; and audio visual material, including VHS videos and cassettes of interviews, discussions and programs about Penland School of Crafts.

Biographical/Historical Note

William J. Brown (1923-1992) was a designer, taught at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and the University of Delaware and was the second director of the Penland School of Crafts from 1962-1983. He was married to Jane Brown (1932- ), an arts administrator in Bakserville, North Carolina.


Papers on reels 4516-4518 were lent for microfilming in 1991 by Jane Brown. She subsequently donated the material lent along with additional papers in 1995 and 2015.

Alternative Forms Available

Microfilm reels 4516-4518 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.

How to Cite This Collection

William J. and Jane Brown papers, 1948-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.