A Finding Aid to the Arthur Sinclair Covey Papers,
1882-1960
, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.covearth
Creators:
Covey, Arthur Sinclair, 1877-1960
Dates:
1882-1960
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
5.7 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of mural painter and illustrator Arthur Sinclair Covey measure 5.7 linear feet and date from 1882 to 1960. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with art institutions, patrons, and colleagues; scattered business and financial records; notes and writings by Covey and others, including a transcript of an interview with Covey by a radio station; art work and sketchbooks by Covey and his colleagues including Paul Bransom, Harvey Dunn, and Edward Penfield; project files concering Covey's mural projects; a scrapbook of clippings; additional printed material; and photographs of Covey, family members, colleagues, and art work.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The papers of mural painter and illustrator Arthur Sinclair Covey measure 5.7 linear feet and date from 1882 to 1960. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with art institutions, patrons, and colleagues; scattered business and financial records; notes and writings by Covey and others, including a transcript of an interview with Covey by a radio station; art work and sketchbooks by Covey and his colleagues including Paul Bransom, Harvey Dunn, and Edward Penfield; project files concering Covey's mural projects; a scrapbook of clippings; additional printed material; and photographs of Covey, family members, colleagues, and art work.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into nine series according to type of material and further arranged in chronological order. Oversized material from various series has been housed in Boxes 6-8 and Oversized Folders 9-12, and is noted in the Series Descriptions/Container Listing section at the appropriate folder title with see also/see references.
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1925-1960, undated (Box 1, 6; 4 folders)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1915-1960, undated (Box 1, OV 9; 28 folders)
  • Series 3: Business Records, 1915-1958, undated (Box 1; 14 folders)
  • Series 4: Notes and Writings, 1923-1958, undated (Box 1; 10 folders)
  • Series 5: Art Work, 1921-1957, undated (Box 1, 6, OV 9-10; 23 folders)
  • Series 6: Project Files, 1916-1959 (Box, 1-2, 6, OV 9-12; 68 folders)
  • Series 7: Scrapbook, 1914-1960 (Box 8; 1 folder)
  • Series 8: Printed Material, 1882-1959, undated (Box 2-4, 7; 2.4 linear feet)
  • Series 9: Photographs, 1891-1959, undated (Box 5, 7-8; 21 folders)

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Arthur Sinclair Covey was born June 13, 1877 in Leroy, Illinois, son of Byron and Emeline Edwards Covey. His boyhood was spent in various small towns in Missouri and Kansas. As a teenager in 1893, Covey "made the run" to claim land at the opening of the Cherokee Strip in Oklahoma.
From 1895 to 1896, Covey attended Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, followed by three years of study under Frank Duveneck, among others, at the Chicago Art Institute, from which he graduated in 1899. From 1900 to 1901, he worked as a staff artist and art editor for the Indianapolis Press and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. For the next two years, he taught at the Chicago Art Institute and established his own studio.
In 1904, Covey traveled to the Royal Academy in Munich where he was a student of Karl Marr, and, from 1905 to 1908, served as assistant to British mural painter Frank Brangwyn and taught at the London School of Art. In 1908, Covey returned to New York and married Mary Dorothea Sale, with whom he had two children, Margaret Sale Covey and Laird Fortune Covey.
Covey received official recognition for his artwork when he assisted Robert Reid and Jules Guerin on murals for the 1914-1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition and received the Bronze Medal. The following year, Covey completed his first commission to paint murals for the Wichita, Kansas, Library, and continued to work steadily on mural projects for the rest of his career.
Following the death of his wife in 1917, Covey married children's book illustrator Lois Lenski in 1921. They had a son, Stephen John Covey.
In 1925, Covey received the Architectural League's Gold Medal of Honor in Painting for his murals at the Kohler Company. From 1926 to 1929, he served as President of the national Mural Painters Society, and from 1929 to 1942, he taught pictorial composition at the National Academy Schools in New York. From 1938 to 1939, Covey created pierced brass on redwood murals for the exterior of the Contemporary Arts Building at the New York World's Fair. In 1939, he decorated the dome and globe of the Land Plane Building at La Guardia Airport in New York.
In the 1950s, Lois Lenski Covey's failing health required that the couple move permanently to Florida's warmer climate.
Arthur Sinclair Covey died on February 5, 1960, in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Administration
Processing Information
The papers were processed in May 2006 by Jean Fitzgerald.
Author
Jean Fitzgerald
Provenance
The Arthur Sinclair Covey papers were donated from 1961 to 1965 by the artist's widow, Lois Lenski Covey.

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Arthur Sinclair Covey 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
Arthur Sinclair Covey papers, 1882-1960. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Sketchbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mural painting and decoration -- Buildings Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Works of art Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketches Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Illustrators -- Connecticut Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Muralists -- Connecticut Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bransom, Paul, 1885- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lenski, Lois, 1893- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Penfield, Edward, 1866-1925 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dunn, Harvey, 1884-1952 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/