A Finding Aid to the John Battenberg Papers, 1936-2013, bulk 1950s-2012, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.battjohn
Creators:
Battenberg, John N., 1931-
Dates:
1936-2013
bulk 1950s-2012
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
9.4 Linear feet
1.41 Gigabytes
Repository:
The papers of sculptor and educator John Battenberg measure 9.4 linear feet and 1.41 GB and date from 1936 to 2013, with the bulk of the records dating from the 1950s to 2012. The records document Battenberg's career through biographical material, correspondence with artists, potential clients, and others, gallery and museum files documenting sales and exhibitions, and professional files related to Battenberg's participation in exhibitions, his teaching work, public art, and other activities. Also found are project files including digital and video recordings documenting specific projects in Arizona, California and elsewhere, in addition to personal business records, printed material, photographic material, and artwork including sketches and a sketchbook.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of sculptor and educator John Battenberg measure 9.4 linear feet and 1.41 GB and date from 1936 to 2013, with the bulk of the records dating from the 1950s to 2012. The records document Battenberg's career through biographical material, correspondence with artists, potential clients, and others, gallery and museum files documenting sales and exhibitions, and professional files related to Battenberg's participation in exhibitions, his teaching work, public art, and other activities. Also found are project files including digital and video recordings documenting specific projects in Arizona, California and elsewhere, in addition to personal business records, printed material, photographic material, and artwork including sketches and a sketchbook.
Biographical material contains writings; appointment books; education, military service, and organization membership records; family histories and genealogical surveys; addresses; and several audiovisual recordings.
Correspondence files consist of Battenberg's communications with other artists, potential clients, collectors, galleries, universities, and others interested in Battenberg's artwork, his exhibitions, commissions, and projects. Personal correspondents include Battenberg's family and friends.
Gallery and museum files document Battenberg's relations with various galleries and museums through correspondence, photographs, sales records, inventories, exhibition material, and some audiovisual recordings.
Professional files shed light on Battenberg's involvement in several group exhibitions; papers related to Battenberg's lectures and teaching activities as well as public art commission competitions.
Project files include correspondence, site plans, photographs and digital photographs, slide copies, sketches, contractual agreements, audiovisual recordings, and more related to projects taken on by Battenberg in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Nevada.
Personal business records contain studio inventories, records of auctions, donations, and sales, legal documents, financial papers, and papers related to Battenberg's San Francisco studio.
The collection's printed material consists of newspaper clippings and other articles reviewing Battenberg's work, exhibitions, and career; exhibition invitations, announcements, posters, catalogs, and books; copies of Battenberg's self-published books and promotional materials; and two scrapbooks.
Photographs depict models as well as friends and family who posed for Battenberg; his artwork; and personal photographs of Battenberg, his friends, other artists, and family. Artwork consists primarily of sketches, some of which include color, created by Battenberg for various projects and series of work.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 9 series.
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1952-2012 (Box 1; 0.8 linear feet)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1962-2008 (Box 1-2; 1 linear foot, ER01; 0.011 GB)
  • Series 3: Gallery and Museum Files, 1957-2006 (Box 2-3; 1.1 linear feet)
  • Series 4: Professional Files, 1969-2005 (Box 3-4; 1 linear foot)
  • Series 5: Project Files, 1983-2005 (Box 4-6; 1.1 linear feet, ER02-ER06; 0.381 GB)
  • Series 6: Personal Business Records, 1973-2008 (Box 6; 0.8 linear feet)
  • Series 7: Printed Material, 1956-2013 (Box 6-8, 10, OV 11, 1.8 linear feet)
  • Series 8: Photographic Material, 1936-2012 (Box 8-9; 0.9 linear feet, ER07; 1.01 GB)
  • Series 9: Artwork, circa 1950-2000s (Box 9-10; 0.7 linear feet)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
California and Arizona sculptor, painter, and educator John Battenberg (1931-2012) was known primarily for his sculptures of wildlife including wolves, birds, and bears, and was influential in establishing bronze casting on the West Coast of the United States in the 1960s.
Battenberg attended the University of Wisconsin (1949), St. Cloud State College, Minnesota (1954), and Oxford University in England (1955-1957). He received Master of Fine Arts degrees from both Michigan State University (1960) and California College of Arts of Crafts (1964).
Battenberg began exhibiting his work in the late 1940s as a participant in Wisconsin state fair exhibitions. He held had first solo show in 1955 at St. Cloud State College, and had multiple shows during his career including exhibitions at Temple Gallery, London, University of Nevada, Nevada Museum of Art, and the Fresno Art Museum. Group shows that exhibited Battenberg's work included New American Sculpture, U.S. Information Agency (1972), 15th Biennial Exhibit of Contemporary American Painting and Sculpture, University of Illinois (1974), Chicago International Art Show (1990), and many more.
Battenberg had several public art commissions throughout his career for projects in California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona. These projects led to the creation of his sculptures Mystical Bear (1992), Creatures of Nevada (1991), and Flying Pilots (1980). Battenberg's artwork can be found in private collections as well as public collections of the Commune di Pietrasanta, Italy, Royal British War Museum, England, San Diego Museum of Art, National Museum of Wildlife Art, Wyoming, and many more.
Battenberg was also a professor of art at San Jose State University from 1966-1985 and subsequently received the title of professor emeritus. He also worked as an instructor at Contra Costa College, California, California College of Arts and Crafts, and New Mexico Western University. Around 2007 Battenberg returned to painting after an injury prevented him from sculpting, and relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona where he remained for the rest of his life.

Administration
Author
Christopher DeMairo
Sponsor
The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund, administered by the National Collections Program and the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated in 2015 by Lynn Battenberg, John Batternberg's wife.
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Christopher DeMairo in 2021. Born-digital material was processed by Kirsi Ritosalmi-Kisner in 2021 with funding provided by Smithsonian Collection Care and Preservation Fund.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment, and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital and audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Preferred Citation
John Battenberg papers, 1936-2013. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Painters -- Arizona -- Scottsdale Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- California Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculptors -- Arizona -- Scottsdale Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculptors -- California Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diaries Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Educators -- California Occupation 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/