A Finding Aid to the Thomas Craven Papers,
1919-1949, 1975
, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.cravthom
Creators:
Craven, Thomas, b. 1889
Dates:
1919-1949, 1975
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
0.7 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of art critic Thomas Craven measure approximately .7 linear feet and date from 1919 through 1949 and 1975. The collection consists primarily of a dismantled scrapbook (1925 1949; 1975) containing newspaper clippings of Craven's articles and writings which span his career. Also found within the scrapbook are reviews by Oscar Bluemner and Byron Browne of Craven's two anti-modernist books, Men of Art and Modern Art. The collection also contains four letters concerning publications, a typescript essay about Thomas Craven's early career, two files of scattered writings in manuscript form, two bound handwritten manuscript versions of A Treasury of Art Masterpieces (1939), and Greek Art (1950), and miscellaneous loose newsclippings.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The papers of art critic Thomas Craven measure approximately .7 linear feet and date from 1919 through 1949 and 1975. The collection consists primarily of a dismantled scrapbook (1925 1949; 1975) containing newspaper clippings of Craven's articles and writings which span his career. Also found within the scrapbook are reviews by Oscar Bluemner and Byron Browne of Craven's two anti-modernist books, Men of Art and Modern Art. The collection also contains four letters concerning publications, a typescript essay about Thomas Craven's early career, two files of scattered writings in manuscript form, two bound handwritten manuscript versions of A Treasury of Art Masterpieces (1939), and Greek Art (1950), and miscellaneous loose newsclippings.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into six series:
    Missing Title
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, undated (Box 1; 1 folder)
  • Series 2: Letters, 1919-1956, undated (Box 1; 1 folder)
  • Series 3: Writings, 1920-1949 (Box 1; 2 folders)
  • Series 4: Manuscripts, 1939, 1950 (Box 1; 2 folders)
  • Series 5: Loose Newsclippings, 1941 (Box 1; 1 folder)
  • Series 6: Scrapbook, 1925-1941, 1975 (Box 2; 5 folders)

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Author, art critic, and lecturer Thomas Craven (b.1888) was dubbed the "the principal ideologue of the American Scene" movement by the art historian Matthew Baigell. Craven wrote numerous articles, essays, criticisms, and reviews for Scribners, Harpers, The Dial, The Nation, The New Republic and The Forum. He was art critic for the New York American, the Hearst Paper. After graduating from Kansas Wesleyan University in 1908, Craven lived in Paris for a time. Upon his return to the United States, he settled in Greenwich Village where he began his reaffirmation of American art and culture. He roomed with American painter Thomas Hart Benton and was friends with John Steuart Curry, George Grosz, Reginald Marsh and Grant Wood. Craven's first book, Men of Art, was published in 1931. The book was an art historical survey of painting in the Western world and described as a combination of social history, biography and description and criticism. Craven also wrote Modern Art, A Treasury of Art Masterpieces, and Greek Art. Craven was noted for his often caustic reviews and criticisms of the modernistic movement. He died in 1969 at the age of 81.

Administration
Alternative Forms Available
A portion of this collection is available on 35 mm microfilm reel 5670 at the Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of the material described in the container inventory does not reflect the arrangement of the collection on microfilm.
Processing Information
The collection was processed by Rosa Fernandez in June, 2000. The scrapbook was microfilmed in 2000.
Author
Rosa M. Fernandez
Provenance
The collection was donated in 1999 by Richard Craven, Thomas Craven's son.

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. research facility. Patrons must use microfilm copy for portions on microfilm.
Terms of 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.
Preferred Citation
Thomas Craven papers, 1919-1949, 1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Accruals
Accruals
Additional donations of Thomas Craven papers are expected.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Manuscripts Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, Modern Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art criticism Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Genre Form 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/