A Finding Aid to the Charles Culver Papers, 1920-1997, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.culvchar
Creators:
Culver, Charles B. (Charles Beach), 1908-1967
Dates:
1920-1997
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
3.5 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of Charles Culver measure 3.5 linear feet and date from 1920-1997. This material documents his personal life and career as a watercolorist and art critic for The Detriot Free Press from the late 1930s-1967. The collection includes biographical material, correspondence, writings, business files, artwork, photographs, printed material and artifacts.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of Charles Culver measure 3.5 linear feet and date from 1920-1997. This material documents his career as a watercolorist and art critic for the Detroit Free Press. The collection includes biographical materials, correspondence, writings, business files, artwork, photographs, printed material, and artifacts. Correspondence consists of letters exchanged with family and colleagues, including E.P. Richardson, Director of the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The Charles Culver papers are organized into 8 series.
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1926-1974 (4 Folders; Box 1)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1920-1982, bulk 1920-1966 (1.1 Linear feet; Boxes 1-2, 5)
  • Series 3: Writings, circa 1928-1984 (1.1 Linear feet, Boxes 2-3, 5)
  • Series 4: Business Files, circa 1967-2000 (4 Folders, Box 3)
  • Series 5: Artwork, 1955, undated (0.5 Linear feet; Boxes 3, 5)
  • Series 6: Photographs, circa 1923-1952 (8 Folders; Boxes 3, 5)
  • Series 7: Artifacts, undated (2 Folders; Box 3)
  • Series 8: Printed Material, circa 1930-1977 (0.4 Linear feet; Boxes 3-4)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Charles Culver (1908-1967) was a Detroit-based watercolorist, critic, and teacher. Culver was very active in the Detroit arts community beginning in the late 1930s. He participated in many solo and group exhibitions in Detroit. His works are in museum collections, including the Detroit Institute of Arts and Whitney Museum in New York. Culver had exhibited in 5 solo exhibitions in New York. He was primarily known for his watercolor paintings of animals, a subject he studied and painted for the remainder of his life. Culver established the Watercolor Department at the Art School of Society of Arts and Crafts, later known as the College for Creative Studies, in Detroit; he taught at the school from 1960 until his death in 1967. In 1966 he became an art critic at the Detroit Free Press.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed to a minimum level and a finding aid prepared by Justin Brancato in June of 2007. The Archives of American Art has implemented minimal processing tactics when possible in order to increase information about and access to more of our collections.
Minimal processing included arrangement to the series, subseries, and folder levels. Generally, items within folders were simply verified with folder titles, but not arranged further. Folders within boxes may not be numbered. The collection was rehoused in archival containers and folders, but not all staples and clips were removed.
Separated Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reels D365-D367, and 3) including correspondence, journals and notebooks, writings, drawings, and a scrapbook. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and while some of these materials were included in subsequent gifts, the items not donated are not described in the collection container inventory.
Existence and Location of Copies
Materials lent for microfilming are available on 35mm microfilm reels D365-D367, and 3 at the Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
Author
Justin Brancato
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers loaned for microfilming by Mrs. Charles Culver in 1969. Sarah C. Weiss, the daughter of Charles Culver, donated most of this material and additional papers to the Archives of American Art in 2004.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Charles Culver papers, 1920-1997. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Conditions Governing Use
The Charles Culver 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.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art, American -- Michigan Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- Michigan -- Detroit Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art critics -- Michigan -- Detroit Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art teachers -- Michigan Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Watercolorists -- Michigan Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Detroit free press Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Richardson, Edgar Preston, 1902-1985 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/