A Finding Aid to the Bernice West Beyers Papers,
1912-1987
, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.beyebern
Creators:
Beyers, Bernice West, 1906-1987
Dates:
1912-1987
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1.7 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of sculptor Bernice West Beyers measure 1.7 linear feet and date from 1912-1987. Found within the papers are biographical material; letters that discuss sculpture commissions and exhibitions; scattered business and financial records; notes and writings; a sketchbook; printed material, including 3 scrapbooks of clippings; and photographs of Beyers and photograph albums of her art work.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The papers of sculptor Bernice West Beyers measure 1.7 linear feet and date from 1912-1987. Found within the papers are biographical material; letters that discuss sculpture commissions and exhibitions; scattered business and financial records; notes and writings; a sketchbook; printed material, including 3 scrapbooks of clippings; and photographs of Beyers and photograph albums of her art work.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 7 series. All series are arranged chronologically. All oversized material has been housed in Box 3 (sol) and is referenced in the folder headings of the Series Description/Container Listing.
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1923-1935, undated (Box 1; 2 folders)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1928-1974, undated (Box 1; 16 folders)
  • Series 3: Business Records, 1923-1960, undated (Box 1; 11 folders)
  • Series 4: Notes and Writings, 1925-1967, undated (Box 1, 3; 10 folders)
  • Series 5: Art Work, undated (Box 1; 2 folders)
  • Series 6: Printed Material, 1912-1987, undated (Box 1, 3; 33 folders)
  • Series 7: Photographs, 1937-1956, undated (Box 1, 2, 3; 29 folders)

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Berenice West Byers (1906-1987)worked as as sculptor in the New York and New England area. Later in life, she became a patron of the arts in Dallas, Texas.
Bernice Delemar West was born on April 26, 1906 in New York City, the daughter of Abigail Palmer and E. Lovette West, an engineer. In 1925 she graduated from the Bennett School in Millbrook, New York, where she took diplomas in both drama and fine arts. After a summer trip to Europe with classmates, she spent the next year studying drama with Winifred Lenihan at the Theatre Guild. In the summer of 1926, she did summer stock in Binghamton as a member of Actors Equity. In 1927 she began to pursue a career in sculpture and pottery.
She first worked in the studio of Lu Duble, her former teacher at the Bennett School. From 1927 to 1929, she also studied under Alexander Archipenko, Edmond R. Amateis, and Winold Reiss. In the fall of 1929, West began studies at the Art Students League under William Zorach.
Beginning in 1934, she exhibited primarily in New England and Florida. She was later influenced by the Haitian and Mayan art work she encountered while on a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1937-1938.
West was married in March 1940 to Robert Arthur Beyers, and their family moved permanently to Dallas, Texas, where they were primarily patrons of the arts.
Bernice West Beyers died in 1987.

Administration
Processing Information
The papers were processed in November 2005 by Jean Fitzgerald.
Author
Jean Fitzgerald
Provenance
The Bernice West Beyers papers were donated in 1988 by Robert West Beyers, the artist's son.

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Bernice West Beyers papers 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
Bernice West Beyers papers, 1912-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Works of art Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculptors -- New York (State) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women sculptors -- New York (State) Topic 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/