A Finding Aid to the Ethel Edwards Papers, circa 1929-1999, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.edwaethe
Creators:
Edwards, Ethel, 1914-1999
Dates:
circa 1929-1999
Languages:
English
The collection is in English
Physical Description:
11.2 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of painter, illustrator, and educator Ethel Edwards (1914-1999) measure 11.2 linear feet and date from circa 1929 to 1999. The papers are comprised of biographical materials, correspondence, writings and notes, business records for the Wellfeet Art Gallery that she operated with her husband Xavier Gonzalez along with records for Edwards' personal business activities, printed materials, three scrapbooks, photographic materials, artwork, and 32 sketchbooks.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of painter, illustrator, and educator Ethel Edwards (1914-1999) measure 11.2 linear feet and date from circa 1929 to 1999. The papers are comprised of biographical materials, correspondence, writings and notes, business records for the Wellfeet Art Gallery that she operated with her husband Xavier Gonzalez along with records for Edwards' personal business activities, printed materials, three scrapbooks, photographic materials, artwork, and 32 sketchbooks.
Biographical materials consist of address, awards, membership documents, obituaries, resumes, and scattered teaching files for the Art Students League and the Truro Center for the Arts. Correspondence is with Xavier Gonzalez, galleries, and friends and colleagues including Franklin Backus, Sally Knudson Reynolds, Hall Groat, and Immi Storrs.
Writings and notes include a travel journal; various writings, essays, and notes about art by Edwards; a few writings about Edwards by others; and a speech transcript by Nelson A. Rockefeller. Business records consist of files for Wellfleet Art Gallery and Studio; documents concerning painting commissions for the Department of Interior Bureau of Reclamation; records of sales, inventory, and artwork donations; scattered exhibition files; and funding applications.
Printed materials include printed reproductions of artwork, brochures and clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, magazines and journals, posters, and press releases. There are three scrapbooks containing exhibition announcements, clippings, and photographs of artwork.
Photographs are of Edwards, her studio, family and friends, students, works of art, photographer Elaine Croce, and travel in Asia. Artwork includes sketches by Edwards, Ulrich Erben, and unidentified artists, as well as 32 sketchbooks by Edwards.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 9 series.
  • Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1936-1999 (0.5 linear feet; Box 1)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1940s-1990s (2.0 linear feet; Box 1-3)
  • Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1937-1980s (0.5 linear feet; Box 3)
  • Series 4: Business Records, 1949-1994 (0.5 linear feet; Box 3-4)
  • Series 5: Printed Materials, circa 1940s-1990s (2.0 linear feet; Box 4-6, 13)
  • Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1940s-1960s (0.2 linear feet; Box 6, 13)
  • Series 7: Photographic Materials, 1937-circa 1992 (3.0 linear feet; Box 6-9, 13)
  • Series 8: Artwork, circa 1929-1980s (0.2 linear feet; Box 9)
  • Series 9: Sketchbooks, circa 1936-circa 1994 (2.3 linear feet; Box 9-12, 14)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Ethel Edwards (1914-1999) was a painter, illustrator, and educator active in New Orleans, LA, New York City, Provincetown, RI, and Wellfleet, MA.
Ethel Edwards was born in New Orleans in 1914 and attended Newcomb College in 1933 on scholarship. Her instructor for life drawing, watercolor, and portrait drawing was painter Xavier Gonzalez, whom she married in 1936 in Texas, where Gonzalez ran a summer school. She studied in Paris from 1937 to 1938. She returned to Alpine, Texas where, in 1939, she won a national mural competition to paint a mural in the U.S. Post Office in Lampasas, Texas. In 1942 she completed a second post office in Lake Providence, Louisiana.
In 1942, Edwards and Gonzalez moved to New York City, where Edwards continued to paint, working with powdered color and egg-oil emulsion and experimenting with line in various media and surfaces. She also worked as a fashion illustrator for Town and Country and Fortune magazines in 1944 and 1945. In 1946, her illustrations for Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince were shown at the Museum of Modern Art. She regularly exhibited in New York City, Provincetown, and Wellfleet, Massachusetts on Cape Cod, where she and Gonzalez also operated the Wellfleet Art Gallery which served as a gallery, studio, and art school. For many years, she taught at the Art Students League and Truro Center for the Arts.
Edwards died in New York in 1999.

Administration
Processing Information
This collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Sarah Mundy in 2016 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collections Care and Preservation Fund. The Archives of American Art has implemented accelerated processing when possible to increase information about and access to more of our collections. For this collection, accelerated processing included arrangement to the series, subseries and folder levels, adhering to the creator's original arrangement as much as possible. Generally, folder contents were simply verified with the original folder titles, but items within folders were not arranged further. All materials were rehoused in archival folders and boxes for long-term stability, but staples and other fasteners have not all been removed.
Author
Sarah Mundy
Sponsor
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collections Care and Preservation Fund
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated in 1999 by the estate of Ethel Edwards Gonzalez.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Ethel Edwards papers, circa 1929-1999. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Use
The Ethel Edwards 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.
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. Research Center.

Related Materials
Also found at the Archives of American Art are the papers of Ethel Edwards' husband, Xavier Gonzalez.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Muralists -- United States Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists' studios -- Photographs Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art teachers -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Illustrators -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women artists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Travel diaries Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Transcripts Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Backus, Franklin T., 1813-1870 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wellfeet Art Gallery Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gonzalez, Xavier, 1898-1993 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Department of the Interior. Bureau of Reclamation Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Truro Center for Arts -- Faculty Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Storrs, Immi Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich), 1908-1979 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Reynolds, Sally K. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Croce, Elaine 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/