Scope and Contents
The papers of arts administrator Mildred Baker measure 2.7 linear feet and date from 1882 to 1997, with the bulk of the material dating from 1923 to 1997. Found within the papers are biographical materials; personal and professional correspondence; writings; files related to her work on the WPA Federal Art Project and other institutional art projects; printed material; photographs of Baker; and photographs and papers related to the work of her husband, Jacob Baker, who also administered programs for the WPA.
Biographical materials include birth and award certificates, curriculum vitae, divorce documents, an oral history transcript, and genealogical research and information on Baker's family, including her brother, the composer and bassoonist Adolph Weiss.
Correspondence is primarily with Baker's friends, business associates, researchers, and art institutions discussing personal relationships, research inquiries into the administration of the Federal Art Project, and loans and gifts of artwork to various institutions. The series includes Baker's responses to researcher requests regarding FAP exhibitions, programs, artists, and recollections of her fellow administrators.
Writings by Baker consist of reminiscences, 8 travel diaries, 3 essays, an exhibition catalog introduction, 4 lectures, and miscellaneous notes. Writings by others consist of 4 essays on contemporary art and art administration.
Federal Art Project files include correspondence; artist and exhibition lists; memoranda and general information; reports; speeches; information and photographs related to regional art centers and black artists; printed material; and miscellaneous material related to the Index of American Design, Southern California Art Project, and the Technical Services Laboratory.
General project files include information for 4 exhibitions, including the 1934 First Municipal Art and Salon of America Exhibitions; reports and speeches for the Newark Museum; information on the commissioning of the New Jersey Council on the Arts; and member information from the Woman Pays Club.
Printed material includes clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, newsletters, press releases, and a commercial recording of Alice Tully Hall.
Photographs are of Mildred Baker, including photos during her tenure at the Federal Art Project and Newark Museum. There is also a photograph of fellow FAP administrator Audrey McMahon.
Materials related to Jacob Baker include interview recordings and transcripts; personal correspondence with friends and business associates; writings and speeches; information related to Baker's work for the United Federal Workers of America; printed materials; and photographs of Baker.