A Finding Aid to the Nell Blaine Papers, 1942-1985, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.blainell
Creators:
Blaine, Nell, 1922-1996
Dates:
1942-1985
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
2.9 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of painter Nell Blaine measure 2.9 linear feet and date from 1942 to 1985. Found are biographical material, scattered artwork, correspondence, writings, business records, printed material, and photographs. Also included are papers relating to the estate of Blaine's friend, Howard Griffin.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of painter Nell Blaine measure 2.9 linear feet and date from 1942 to 1985. Found are biographical material, scattered artwork, correspondence, writings, business records, printed material, and photographs. Also included are papers relating to the estate of Blaine's friend, Howard Griffin.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 6 series.
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1959-1980 (0.3 linear feet; Box 1, OV5)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1944-1985 (1.0 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)
  • Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1960s-1980s (4 folders; Box 2)
  • Series 4: Personal Business Records, 1949-1983 (0.5 linear feet; Box 2)
  • Series 5: Printed Material, 1940s-1980s (0.7 linear feet; Boxes 2-3, OV5)
  • Series 6: Photographs, 1942-1980s (0.4 linear feet; Boxes 3-4)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Nell Blaine (1922-1996) was a painter and illustrator from Richmond, Virginia, and was active in New York City.
Blaine was born in 1922 with severe visual impairments. She received corrective surgery as a child and quickly found a desire to draw and paint what she was finally able to see. Her art education began at the Richmond School of Art and later moved to New York City where she studied under Hans Hoffmann and joined the American Abstract Artists.
In the 1950s, Blaine moved to Paris where she lived with close friends including Larry Rivers. Blaine's early work was abstract, and later evolved to figurative and landscape painting--likely inspired by the 19th century painters of Europe. She was a close friend of poet and art writer Howard Griffin, and illustrated a limited edition of his Four Poems.
Nell Blaine died in 1996 in New York City. She was survived by her partner of thirty years, artist Carolyn Harris.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
Material lent for microfilming is available on 35mm microfilm reel D311 at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
Processing Information
The collection was processed with a finding aid prepared by Jayna Josefson in 2020.
Separated Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of scrapbooks lent for microfilming on reel D311. Loaned materials were returned to the donor and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Author
Jayna M. Josefson
Sponsor
Processing of this collection received Federal support from the Collections Care Initiative Fund, administered by the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative and the National Collections Program
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Nell Blaine lent a portion of her papers for microfilming on reel D311. She later donated her papers to the Archives of American Art in 1980 and 1985. The Howard Griffin papers included in the collection were received by Blaine as executrix of Griffin's estate.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Preferred Citation
Nell Blaine papers, 1942-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
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.

Related Materials
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an interview of Nell Blaine conducted 1967 June 15, by Dorothy Seckler, and the Nell Blaine letters to Robert A. Wilson, 1963-1995.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women painters Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Illustrators -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Griffin, Howard, 1915-1975 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Harris, Carolyn, 1937- 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/