A Finding Aid to the Sylvia Fein Papers,
1936-2011
, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.feinsylv
Creators:
Fein, Sylvia
Dates:
1936-2011
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
5.9 linear feet
Repository:
The papers of painter and author Sylvia Fein measure 5.9 linear feet and date from 1936 to 2011. The papers primarily document her friendships with other artists from the Wisconsin-based Magic Realist group, including Dudley Huppler, John Wilde, Marshall Glasier, and Karl Priebe, as well as her career as a painter and her work on the books Heidi's Horse and First Drawings: Genesis of Visual Thinking. Documentation consists of scattered biographical material, extensive correspondence, project files, writings by Huppler and others, printed material, photographs, artwork by Wilde and Glasier, and scrapbooks.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The papers of painter and author Sylvia Fein measure 5.9 linear feet and date from 1936 to 2011. The papers primarily document her friendships with other artists from the Wisconsin-based Magic Realist group, including Dudley Huppler, John Wilde, Marshall Glasier, and Karl Priebe, as well as her career as a painter and her work on the books Heidi's Horse and First Drawings: Genesis of Visual Thinking. Documentation consists of scattered biographical material, extensive correspondence, project files, writings by Huppler and others, printed material, photographs, artwork by Wilde and Glasier, and scrapbooks.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 8 series:
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1936-2010 (Box 1, 8; 10 folders)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1941-2011 (Box 1-3; 2.3 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Project Files, 1970-2011 (Box 3-4, 8; 1.2 linear feet)
  • Series 4: Writings by Others, circa 1940s-1994 (Box 4; 4 folders)
  • Series 5: Printed Material, 1941-2010 (Box 4-5; 0.7 linear feet)
  • Series 6: Photographs, circa 1940-2000 (Box 5; 0.2 linear feet)
  • Series 7: Artwork, 1941-1947 (Box 5; 3 folders)
  • Series 8: Scrapbooks, circa 1940-2010 (Box 5-7; 0.8 linear feet)

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Sylvia Fein (1919- ) is a painter and author in Martinez, California. She is part of the Magic Realist Group of artists that originated at the University of Wisconsin.
Fein was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and from 1938 to 1942 she studied art at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. While there she became friends with fellow artists Marshall Glasier, John Wilde, Dudley Huppler, and Karl Priebe. In 1942 she married William Scheuber and briefly had a factory job in Milwaukee testing switches for naval planes. From 1944 to 1947 Fein lived and traveled throughout Mexico. Much of the work produced during this period was included in a solo exhibition of her paintings at the Perls Galleries in 1946. She and her husband then moved to northern California and had a daughter, Heidi. During the 1950s and 1960s, Fein continued to paint in her home studio.
In 1973 Fein decided to take a break from painting and published two books, Heidi's Horse (1976) and First Drawings: Genesis of Visual Thinking (1993). These works were greatly inspired by her friendship with art educator and researcher, Henry Shaefer-Simmern. In 2003 she resumed painting. She was featured in the group show, "With Friends: Six Magic Realists, 1940-1965" at the University of Wisconsin in 2005 and in a solo retrospective at the Bakersfield Art Museum in 2007. From 1970 to 2000 Fein was also active in the community of Pleasant Hill, California, as a member of several public services commissions.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed in 2012 by Erin Kinhart.
Author
Erin Kinhart
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
The collection was donated in 2011 by Sylvia Fein.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Sylvia Fein papers, 1936-2011. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Restrictions on Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Sylvia Fein 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
Painters -- California Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Magic realism (Art) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women artists -- California Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters-Wisconsin -- Madison Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women artists -- Wisconsin Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Authors -- Wisconsin Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Authors -- California Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wilde, John, 1919-2006 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Huppler, Dudley, 1917-1988 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Glasier, Marshall, 1902- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Priebe, Karl J., 1914-1976 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/