A Finding Aid to the Charles Keck Papers, circa 1905-circa 1954, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.keckchar
Creators:
Keck, Charles, 1875-1951
Dates:
circa 1905-circa 1954
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
8.6 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of New York City sculptor Charles Keck (1875-1951) measure 8.6 linear feet and date from circa 1905-circa 1954. The papers provide scattered documentation of Keck's life through thirteen letters, two speeches, lists of artwork with price and sales information, printed material, and photographic material, including photos of Keck and his studio, and a collection of 1003 glass plate negatives, primarily of Keck's artwork, which document the wide range of work he produced throughout his prolific career.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of New York City sculptor Charles Keck (1875-1951) measure 8.6 linear feet and date from circa 1905-circa 1954. The papers provide scattered documentation of Keck's life through thirteen letters, two speeches, lists of artwork with price and sales information, printed material, and photographic material, including photos of Keck and his studio, and a collection of 1003 glass plate negatives, primarily of Keck's artwork, which document the wide range of work he produced throughout his prolific career.
Keck's thirteen letters include two from Alexander Stirling Calder and one from Homer Saint-Gaudens. His lists of artwork include details of contracts, payments, and prices.
Photographs include Keck, his wife, Anne Keck, two photos from a circa 1920 Beaux Arts ball, photographs of Keck at work in his studio, including one taken at the American Academy in Rome, three group photographs of Keck, Adolph Weinman, Milton Horn, and others, and photos taken at the unveiling of Keck's monument in Raleigh, North Carolina, that include President Harry S. Truman and Margaret Truman.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as two series.
  • Series 1: Personal Papers, 1920-circa 1954 (0.3 linear feet; Box 1)
  • Series 2: Photographic Material, circa 1905-circa 1948 (8.3 linear feet; Boxes 1-22)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
New York City sculptor Charles Keck (1875-1951) was known for his statuary and relief sculpture, including military and presidential statues, busts, and memorials, medal relief sculpture, and memorial tablets.
Keck was born in New York City, and began his art training at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League of New York. He also worked in the studio of Augustus Saint-Gaudens from 1893-1898. In 1899 he won the Prix de Rome and studied sculpture at the American Academy in Rome from 1901-1904. On returning to the United States in 1905, he opened a studio in New York City, from which he worked for the remainder of his life.
Keck's most famous works include a figure of Booker T. Washington at Tuskegee, Alabama (1922), a seated figure of Abraham Lincoln at Wabash, Indiana (1926), a statue of World War II chaplain, Father Francis D. Duffy in Times Square, New York (1937), and equestrian statues to Andrew Jackson in Kansas City (1934) and Independence (1949), Missouri. His relief work included designs of state medals, seals, and coins, memorial tablets such as his USS "Maine" tablet, and friezes for the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, and the Bronx Building in New York.
Keck received many awards during his career, including the Annual Gold medal for Sculpture of the Architectural League of New York (1926), and was a member of professional art organizations including the National Academy of Design, the National Sculpture Society, the American Federation of Arts, and others.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
The bulk of the collection was digitized in 2019 and is available on the Archives of American Art's website. Materials which have not been digitized include blank pages, the full text of a publication, blank versos of photographs, and duplicates including copy prints of glass plate negatives.
Processing Information
The papers in the collection received a preliminary level of processing after donation, between 1962 and 1972, and were microfilmed on Reels D105, 439, 441, and 2068. The glass plate negatives were re-housed in 2015 by Anna Rimel with a grant provided by the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund.
The collection was processed and described in a finding aid by Stephanie Ashley in 2018, and the collection was digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee, the Terra Foundation for American Art, and The Walton Family Foundation.
Separated Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reel D105) including scrapbooks containing clippings, speeches, photographs, and some correspondence. Items were returned to the donor after microfilming and are not further described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Author
Stephanie Ashley
Sponsor
Funding for the processing and digitization of portions of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art and The Walton Family Foundation. The glass plate negatives were digitized with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was loaned for microfilming, and the bulk of it was later donated, between 1962-1972 by Anne C. Keck, widow of Charles Keck.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Conditions Governing Use
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Preferred Citation
Charles Keck papers, circa 1905-circa 1954. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Weinman, Adolph A. (Adolph Alexander), 1870-1952 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Calder, Alexander Stirling, 1870-1945 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Saint-Gaudens, Augustus, 1848-1907 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/