A Finding Aid to the Guy Pène Du Bois Papers in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.duboguyp
Creators:
Pène Du Bois, Guy , 1884-1958
Dates:
circa 1900-1963
bulk 1920-1963
Languages:
English
The collection is in English.
Physical Description:
2 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of painter and art critic Guy Pène Du Bois measure 2.0 linear feet and date from circa 1900 to 1963 with the bulk of the materials dating from 1920 to 1963. Found within the papers are biographical material; personal and professional correspondence, including letters from Royal Cortissoz and Edward Hopper; writings, including essays, journals, short stories, and drafts of the autobiography Artists Say the Silliest Things; personal business records; printed material; and artwork.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of painter and art critic Guy Pène Du Bois measure 2.0 linear feet and date from circa 1900 to 1963 with the bulk of the materials dating from 1920 to 1963. Found within the papers are biographical material; personal and professional correspondence, including letters from Royal Cortissoz and Edward Hopper; writings, including essays, journals, short stories, and drafts of the autobiography Artists Say the Silliest Things; personal business records; printed material; and artwork.
Biographical materials consist of certificates, a curriculum vitae, passport, and a photograph of two unidentified women.
Correspondence is primarily with Pène Du Bois' family, friends, and business associates. The series includes significant correspondence from fellow art critic Royal Cortissoz; artists Raphael Soyer and Edward Hopper; and writers Samuel Duff McCoy, Lincoln Isham, and Newton Booth Tarkington. Other correspondents of note include C.W. Kraushaar Art Galleries and Pène Du Bois' son, the children's book illustrator William Pène Du Bois.
Writings include book drafts of Pène Du Bois' autobiography, Artists Say the Silliest Things, journal entries, 35 essays, 8 short stories, and various writing fragments and notes.
Personal business records consist of account and sales records from C.W. Kraushaar Art Galleries, book and publishing contracts, and receipts for art supply purchases.
Printed material includes a brochure for the Guy Pène Du Bois School of Art, clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and miscellaneous printed material.
Artwork consists of pen and ink sketches by Pène Du Bois and a print by an unknown artist.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 6 series.
  • Biographical material, 1929-1954 (4 folders; Box 1)
  • Correspondence, 1908-1958 (0.5 linear feet; Box 1)
  • Writings, circa 1900-1954 (1.1 linear feet; Box 1-4)
  • Personal business records, circa 1920-1949 (3 folders; Box 3)
  • Printed material, circa 1920-1963 (0.3 linear feet; Box 3)
  • Artwork, circa 1920-1954 (2 folders; Box 3)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Painter and art critic Guy Pène Du Bois (1884-1958) lived and worked in New York City, New York and was known for his realist paintings, essays, and art reviews.
Pène Du Bois was born in Brooklyn, New York to the art critic Henri Pène Du Bois and his wife Laura. After he showed an early interest in art, his' family supported his decision to enroll in William Merritt Chase's New York School of Art at the age of 15. There, Pène Du Bois trained with the realist painters Robert Henri and Kenneth Hayes Miller along with fellow students George Bellows, Edward Hopper, and Rockwell Kent. In 1905, he traveled to Paris and studied briefly with the artist Thèophile Steinlen, but returned to New York the following year after the death of his father. To help support his family, he found work as an illustrator and cartoonist for the New York American, and was promoted to the position of art critic for the newspaper in 1909.
In 1911, Pène Du Bois married his wife, Florence Duncan, and became an assistant writer for the New York Tribune under Royal Cortissoz (1913). Pène Du Bois also wrote art reviews for the New York Post (1916-1918), and was a writer and later editor of Arts and Decoration (1913-1915, 1917-1921). During these years, Pène Du Bois also began to establish a career as a realist painter of note. His work was included in the 1913 Armory Show, after which he signed on as a member of the Kraushaar Gallery stable. Throughout the 1910s, Pène Du Bois exhibited in numerous galleries and museums, and held his first one-man show in 1918 at the Whitney Studio Club.
From 1920 to 1924, Pène Du Bois taught at the Art Students League, and spent the latter part of the 1920s in France with his family. After seven years, he moved his family back to Connecticut and opened the Guy Pène Du Bois School of Art in Stonington, Connecticut. Throughout the 1930s, Pène Du Bois continued painting and received commissions to design federal murals in upstate New York (1937) and Boston (1942). In 1940, Pène Du Bois published his autobiography, Artists Say the Silliest Things. After the death of his wife in 1950, Pène Du Bois lived and traveled with his daughter's family and died in her home in Boston in 1958.

Administration
Separated Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reel 28) including sketches and etching proofs. Lent material was returned to the lender and is not described in the collection container inventory.
Existence and Location of Copies
Portions of this collection and material lent for microfilming are available on 35mm microfilm reels 28-29 and 2008 at the Archives of American Art offices and though interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of material described in the container inventory does not reflect the arrangement of the collection on microfilm.
Processing Information
Materials received a preliminary level of processing at some point after donation and were microfilmed onto reel 28. All materials were fully processed and described by Judy Ng in 2013 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
The 2017 addition was processed by Ryan Evans in 2018.
Author
Judy Ng
Sponsor
Processing of this collection was funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Sketches and etching proofs were lent to the Archives of American Art in 1970 for microfilming by Pène du Bois' children, Yvonne McKenney and William Pène du Bois. Yvonne McKenney donated papers in 1971. In 1980, two journals dating from 1913 to 1955, were loaned for microfilming by Pène du Bois' daughter-in-law, Willa Kim. These journals were subsequently donated by Martha Fleishman in 2017.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Guy Pène Du Bois papers, circa 1900-1963, bulk 1920-1963. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Conditions Governing Use
The Guy Pène Du Bois 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.

Related Materials
The Archives also holds the Guy Pène Du Bois and Mary Lightfoot Tarleton correspondence.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Prints Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketches Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painting, American -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cortissoz, Royal, 1869-1948 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hopper, Edward, 1882-1967 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McCoy, Samuel Duff, 1882- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pène du Bois, William, 1916-1993 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Soyer, Raphael, 1899-1987 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tarkington, Booth, 1869-1946 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
C.W. Kraushaar Art Galleries Corporate 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/