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William J. and Jane Brown papers, circa 1940-2014

More Information

Sarah Mundy
Scope and Contents
The papers of William J. and Jane Brown date from circa 1940-2014 and measure 7.9 linear feet. The collection is comprised of biographical material, correspondence, interviews, writings and notes, printed material and documentaries, photographs and moving images, and administrative records from the Penland School of Crafts where William served as director from 1962 to 1983.
Biographical materials consists of awards, business cards, annotated calendars, consignment forms, material from Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, resumes, sketches, and student documents. Correspondence is with artists, former students, instructors, local residents, Paulus Berensohn, Robert Ebendorf, Theodore Hallman, Lucy Morgan, Toshiko Takaezu, and others.
Sound and video recordings are of interviews with Bill and Jane Brown, Lucy Morgan, and "Flossie" Perisho regarding personal and Penland history. One transcript of Marvin Lipofsky's conversation with Bill is also included. Bill's writings are on industrial design, directing Penland, and mankind. Two notebooks contain daily logs, sketches, and other notes. Notes by Bill and Jane are on inventions, John Ehle, metal history, poems, and other topics. Other writings are about Bill and a manuscript on craftsman education by Harold J. Brennan.
Penland's administrative records contain files documenting the board of trustees, residents program, a special 2-week session, artwork, Bill Brown's Glass Studio dedication ceremony schedule, a certificate of incorporation, financial material, grant proposals, and maps. Also found are records of Penland's 50th birthday celebration, including a video recording of "A Quest" by Dan Bailey.
Books, booklets, four documentary video recordings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, flyers, pamphlets, periodicals, postcards, posters, and stickers and patches designed by Bill are in printed materials. Photographs and slides are of Bill and Jane; family and friends; works of art; and of Penland's grounds, students, and faculty along with photographs and video recordings documenting Penland's history.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The portions of the William J. and Jane Brown papers that were lent for microfilming in 1991 by Jane Brown were subsequently donated by Jane Brown 1995 and 2015 along with additional papers.
Related Materials
Also found at the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with William J. Brown and his wife Jane Brown conducted on January 19, 1991 and March 2, 1991 by Jane Kessler.
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Sarah Mundy in 2018. Born-digital materials were processed by Kirsi Ritosalmi-Kisner in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund.