A Finding Aid to the John Weatherwax Papers Relating to Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, 1928-1988, bulk 1931-1933, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.weatjohn
Creators:
Weatherwax, John M. (John Martin), 1900-1984
Dates:
1928-1988
bulk 1931-1933
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
0.4 linear feet
Repository:
This small collection of scattered papers of American writer John Weatherwax (1900-1984) dates from 1928 to 1988 (bulk 1931-1933), and measures 0.4 liner feet. The papers document Weatherwax's relationship with Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. In 1931, John Weatherwax approached Rivera to illustrate his English translation of the Mayan story of creation, the Popol Vuh. Rivera agreed and produced twenty-four watercolor illustrations for the text. The papers contain Weatherwax's translation, "Seven Times the Color of Fire", as well as manuscript versions of two short stories he wrote about Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo entitled "The Queen of Montogomery Street" and "Diego". Also found within the collection are correspondence, manuscripts and notes, printed materials, and photographs.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
This small collection of scattered papers of American writer John Weatherwax (1900-1984) dates from 1928 to 1988 (bulk 1931-1933), and measures 0.4 liner feet. The papers document Weatherwax's relationship with Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. In 1931, John Weatherwax approached Rivera to illustrate his English translation of the Mayan story of creation, the Popol Vuh. Rivera agreed and produced twenty-four watercolor illustrations for the text. The papers contain Weatherwax's translation, "Seven Times the Color of Fire", as well as manuscript versions of stories he wrote about Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, including one entitled "The Queen of Montgomery Street". Also found are several draft manuscripts of stories concerning Diego Rivera, which include "Diego", "Diego, Galka and Toby", the latter about art dealer Galka Scheyer's visit to Diego Rivera's studio in San Francisco containing references to the Blue Rider exhibition she organized in the early 1930s of the work of the artists collective, the "Blue Four" (Dar Blaue Vier).
Also found within the collection is scattered correspondence, including letters from painter, printmaker, and muralist Emmy Lou Packard concerning Diego and Frida, two telegrams from American novelist Upton Sinclair to John Weatherwax, and a letter from the Russian filmmaker, Sergei Eisenstein, to Rivera introducing Weatherwax. Additional manuscripts and notes, printed materials, and photographs are also found within the papers.

Arrangement
Arrangement
Series 1: Correspondence, 1928-1988 (Box 1, 5 folders)
Series 2: Manuscripts and Notes, circa 1930-1971 (Box 1, 14 folders)
Series 3: Printed Material, 1931-1987 (Box 1, 4 folders)
Series 4: Photographs, circa 1930s, 1974 (Box 1, 3 folders)

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
American writer John Weatherwax (1900-1984) was born in Aberdeen, Washington, and attended the University of Washington in Seattle for two years before going to Harvard College in 1921. His studies focused on English literature, business, mythology, and world literature. Weatherwax wrote a number of children's stories and, in 1934, co-authored with his sister and brother-in-law Gerald Strang, The Coming of the Animals, a series of California Native American stories.
Weatherwax met Mexican muralist Diego Rivera and painter Frida Kahlo in San Francisco when the couple stayed with sculptor Ralph Stackpole in his studio on Montgomery Street. Rivera was there to work on a commission to paint a mural for the San Francisco Stock Exchange. At the time Weatherwax was working on an English translation of the ancient Mayan codex, Popol Vuh, and asked Rivera if he would provide illustrations for the manuscript. Although the translation was never published, Rivera agreed and produced twenty-four watercolor illustrations for the text.
Weatherwax revealed his admiration for Diego and Frida by writing a manuscript entitled "The Queen of Montgomery Street" , a clever short story about Frida's and Diego's experiences in San Francisco. Probably written as a gift to the Rivera's, the central figures of "The Queen of Montgomery Street" where Diego as King and Frida as Queen. He also wrote a story entitled "Diego".

Administration
Alternative Forms Available
This site provides access to the papers of John Weatherwax relating to Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in
2009
, and total
805
images.
Processing Information
Processing was completed and the finding aid written by Rosa M. Fernandez in July, 2002, and updated in 2009 by Erin Corley. The collection was digitized in 2009 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Author
Rosa Fernandez and Erin Corley
Sponsor
Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Provenance
Seema Weatherwax donated her husband's papers to the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution in 1988.

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The John Weatherwax papers relating to Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Preferred Citation
John Weatherwax papers relating to Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, 1928-1988, bulk 1931-1933. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Popol vuh Title Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists -- California -- San Francisco Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mural painting and decoration, Mexican -- Influence Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mural painting and decoration, American -- Foreign influences Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mayas Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scheyer, Galka E. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Packard, Emmy Lou, 1914-1998 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kahlo, Frida Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/