Skip to main content

Xavier Gonzalez papers, 1908-1997

More Information

Sarah Mundy
Scope and Contents
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 Manuscripts for Notes About Painting, unpublished books, and various essays by Gonzalez, along with manuscripts by other authors are in writings.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.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Xavier Gonzalez first loaned the Archives of American Art material for microfilming in 1968, most of which was included in the later 1999 gift. Gonzalez also donated a small amount of papers in 1971. Additional materials 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.
Separated Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming on reels N68-113, N69-42, N69-43, and N70-53. Most of this material was included in subsequent gifts, but a comparison of the film and papers was not completed. Loaned materials not donated at a later date remain with the lender and are not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
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
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Sarah Mundy in 2016 with funding from the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care Pool Fund, using accelerated processing strategies implemented by the Archives to increase information about and access to more of our collections. For this collection, accelerated processing included arrangement to the series, subseries and folder levels, adhering to the creator's original arrangement as much as possible. Generally, folder contents were simply verified with the original folder titles, but items within folders were not arranged further. All materials were rehoused in archival folders and boxes for long-term stability, but staples and other fasteners have not all been removed.