A Finding Aid to the Avel de Knight papers, 1947-2003, bulk 1957-1968, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.deknavel
Creators:
De Knight, Avel, 1921-1995
Dates:
1947-2003
bulk 1957-1968
Languages:
Multiple languages
The collection is in English and French.
Physical Description:
0.6 Linear feet
Repository:
The Avel de Knight papers measure 0.6 linear feet and date from 1947 to 2003 with the bulk of the collection dating from 1957 to 1968. The collection includes professional files, writings, printed material, and photographic material.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The Avel de Knight papers measure 0.6 linear feet and date from 1947 to 2003 with the bulk of the collection dating from 1957 to 1968. The collection includes professional files, writings, printed material, and photographic material.
Professional files include biographies and chronologies, professional correspondence, and material related to de Knight's menu designs for l'Escargot Restaurant, a French restaurant in Chicago.
Writings make up the bulk of the collection and consist primarily of clippings of de Knight's critiques in France-Amérique. Filed within these critiques are occasional letters from artists whose shows de Knight reviewed in the paper. Also included in this series are artist statements and notes.
Printed material includes exhibition announcements, catalogs, and invitations; clippings and reviews; press releases and newsletters; and reproductions of de Knight's works of art.
Photographic material includes photographs and contact sheets of Avel de Knight and his work.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged in four series.
  • Series 1: Professional Files, 1966-1997 (Box 1; 3 Folders)
  • Series 2: Writings, 1957-1968, undated (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Printed Material, 1947, 1962-2003, undated (Box 2; 4 Folders)
  • Series 4: Photographic Material, circa 1959-1989 (Box 2; 3 Folders)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Avel C. de Knight (1921-1995) was an African American painter, educator, and art critic. His birth dates are also cited as 1923, 1925, 1931, and 1933. Born in New York to parents from Barbados and Puerto Rico, he attended Pratt Institute before serving in a segregated United States Army unit in World War II. After the war, he studied at the École de Beaux-Arts, the Grand Chaumière, and the Académie Julian in Paris under the G.I. Bill. He returned to the United States in 1956 and in 1957 began reviewing New York exhibitions for France-Amérique. He also taught at the Art Students League and later at the National Academy School of Fine Arts. De Knight was an Academician of the National Academy of Design and his works are held in collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, and the University of Richmond Museums.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Rayna Andrews in 2018 with funding from the Henry Luce Foundation.
Separated Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming on reels D388 and N69-111. This includes art criticism and Department of State correspondence, letters and certificates of award from the American Watercolor Society, notices of purchase and awards from the National Academy of Design, material from the National Institute of Arts and letters concerning grants, and photographs of de Knight with his work. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Existence and Location of Copies
Materials lent for microfilming are available on 35mm microfilm reels D388 and N69-111 at the Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
Author
Rayna Andrews
Sponsor
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Avel de Knight loaned materials for microfilming in 1969. Additional papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2003 by Stephen J. and Sunchita F. Tyson, executors of Avel de Knight's estate.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Preferred Citation
Avel de Knight papers, 1947-2003, bulk 1957-1968. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Avel de Knight conducted by Henri Ghent, 1968.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Hispanic American artists--New York (State)--New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Menus Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Educators Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American artists Topic 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/