Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.biesfami
Creators:
Biesel family
Dates:
1859-1983
bulk 1915-1983
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
3.1 Linear feet
(partially microfilmed on 3 reels)
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Correspondence, essays, subject files, art work, clippings and other materials documenting the activities of a Chicago family of artists, the 57th Street Art Colony and the Chicago art world in the early twentieth century.
Scope and Contents
REELS 4207-4209: Biographical materials, including seven biographical accounts, a 1960 program and a 1961 certificate of honor for Frances Strain Biesel and four biographical accounts of Fred Biesel; correspondence, 1927-1963, primarily concerning activities of Fred and Frances; price lists for works of art; a 1955 estate list of the works of Charles Biesel; mailing lists; miscellaneous receipts, 1928-1961; a notebook, 1931-1934, containing addresses and financial notations concerning the sale of works of art.
Scope and Contents
writings, including two essays, "Is It Futuristic or Cubistic?" and "The 57th Street Colony," 2 untitled essays concerning the perception of modern art, a short story about an appointment with Charles Biesel, lecture notes by Fred Biesel, "War and Arts Exhibition" (Renaissance Society), an untitled lecture at the University of Chicago Art Gallery, "The Story of Modern Art" (Beverly Hills, 1957), lecture notes concerning printmaking, and a 1945 typescript annotated as the "Bohrod talk." Also included are
Scope and Contents
subject files, 1939-1962, containing correspondence and printed material on the Federal Art Project (Index of American Design), Renaissance Society, Artists Equity Association, Artists Union of Chicago, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago Society of Artists, and the 1020 Club; art works, including six sketchbooks and miscellaneous drawings, 1907-1919, by the Biesels, a sketchbook, 1859-1878, by William T. Richards, 3 prints, 1928-1932, by Emil Armin, and a 1930 print by Frances Foy;
Scope and Contents
photographs, 1919-1960, of Biesel family members, friends, a costume party with John Sloan (2), art classes,1920 and 1950, at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Layton School of Milwaukee, "The Ten" opening reception at the Marshall Field Galleries, 1929 (2), Artists Equity members and activities, 1947-1948 (3), and of works of art;
Scope and Contents
and printed materials, including a scrapbook of clippings, 1915-1916, compiled by Charles Biesel, a scrapbook, 1926-1931, concerning "Ten Artists", clippings, 1897-1962, exhibition announcements and catalogs, 1921-1983, for Biesel and others, including 11 catalogs from the Chicago No-Jury Society of Artists, a 1923 souvenir program for the No-Jury Artists "Cubist Ball", and miscellany.
Scope and Contents
UNMICROFILMED: Papers, 1934-1944, relating to Fred Biesel's work for the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project in Illinois, including correspondence with John Walley, Increase Robinson, George Thorp, Franklin D. Roosevelt and others; printed material, 1934-1941, including the newsletter "Chicago Artist," 1937, published by the Artists Union of Chicago, and several exhibition catalogs of the National Exhibition of the Index of American Design; a 25 p. typescript of a speech by Holger Cahill; a teachers handbook with silk-screen illustrations of "Let the Artist Speak"; business records including project proposals for the W.P.A.; and Biesel's letter of resignation, 1943.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Family of artists. Charles Biesel: marine painter, student of William Trost Richards; his son, Fred Biesel, a painter and art administrator; and Fred's wife, Frances Strain Biesel, a painter and director of the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago for many years.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
35mm microfilm reels 4207-4209 available at Archives of American Art offices, through interlibrary loan and at the Art Institute of Chicago Ryerson Library.
Author
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Microfilmed material donated 1985 by Garnett Biesel, son of Fred Biesel; he donated unmicrofilmed material in 1990, after it had been used in preparation for the book The Federal Art Project in Illinois, 1935-1943 (1990), by George Mavigliano and Richard Lawson.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Modernism (Art) -- Illinois -- Chicago Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women painters -- Illinois -- Chicago Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Illinois -- Chicago Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Marine painters -- Illinos -- Chicago Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- Illinois -- Chicago Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Armin, Emil, 1883- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bohrod, Aaron Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Foy, Frances M., 1890-1963 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Richards, William Trost, 1833-1905 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Biesel, Charles, 1865-1945 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Biesel, Fred, 1893-1954 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Biesel, Frances Strain, 1898-1962 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Works Progress Administration Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists Equity Association Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chicago No-Jury Society of Artists Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Index of American Design Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
University of Chicago. Renaissance Society Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Federal Art Project (Ill.) Corporate 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/