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Xavier Gonzalez papers, 1908-1997

Gonzalez, Xavier, 1898-1993

Painter, Sculptor

Collection Information

Size: 14.1 linear feet

Summary: The papers of Xavier Gonzalez, a New York and Massachusetts painter, sculptor, educator, and owner of the Wellfleet Art Gallery, measure 14.1 linear feet and date from 1908 to 1997. The collection consists of biographical materials, correspondence, writings, commission project files, business records, printed materials, scrapbooks, photographs, and artwork.
Biographical materials include an address book and calendars, awards, passports, resumes, student rosters, and legal documents. Correspondence is with family, friends, and colleagues regarding Gonzalez's work and art school in Wellfleet, his uncle and artist Jose Arpa, and other personal and professional activities. Manuscripts for "Notes About Painting," unpublished books, and various essays by Gonzalez, along with manuscripts by other authors are in writings.
Commission project files are found for a U.S. Bicentennial monument, murals in New York and Texas, paintings commissioned by the Department of the Interior and "Life" magazine, and educational aids for the U.S. Navy.
Business records include sales and inventory records for Gonzalez's Wellfleet Art Gallery, The Spanish Institute, and other galleries. Printed materials consist of printed representations of artwork, clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, invitations, press releases, and books including "He Who Saw Everything," "The Epic of Gilgamesh," illustrated by Gonzalez.
The collection also includes 72 numbered scrapbooks that contain sketches, printed materials, project plans, photographs, writings, correspondence, and business records. One of the scrapbooks contains a notebook labeled "Notes of Paris, Visits with Picasso, 1936-1938". Photographs are of Gonzalez, his artwork and studio, his family and friends, Ethel Edwards, student artwork, composer Aaron Copeland, museum director Philip R. Adams, and Art Students League director Stewart Klonis. Artwork includes illustrated notes to Ethel Edwards, folded and cutout paper projects, and pencil and painted sketches.

Biographical/Historical Note

Xavier Gonzalez (1898-1993) was a painter, sculptor, and educator who was active in New York, New York and Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Born in Almeria, Spain. Became a United States citizen. Taught at Tulane University, the Brooklyn Museum, Art Students League, New York, New York and the Summer School of Art, Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Has done mural commissions in Alabama, Texas, and Louisiana.


A small amount of the Xavier Gonzalez papers were donated by Gonzalez in 1971. Additional papers were donated by the George Arents Research Library at Syracuse University in 1984 and 1992, and by the estate of Ethel Edwards Gonzalez in 1999.

Related Materials

Also found at the Archives of American Art are the papers of Xavier Gonzalez's wife, Ethel Edwards.


Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collections Care and Preservation Fund.

Location of Originals

  • Reels N68-113, N69-42, N69-43, N70-53: Originals returned to the lender, Xavier Gonzalez, after microfilming. Presumably, most has been subsequently donated in the 1999 addition, but the papers have not yet been compared to the film.