- Collection ID:
- Physical Description:
The papers of self-taught artist Kate Lang consist of a biographical sketch; letters, cards, and instructions from a patron for paintings; notes and other writings; lists of sales and other financial records; newspaper articles about Lang; exhibition announcements; printed source material for paintings; and photographs and snapshots of Lang as a young girl as well as color photographs and snapshots of her artwork. The collection measures 1.1 linear feet and dates from 1921 to 1996.
Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The Kate Lang papers measure 1.1 linear feet and date from 1921 to 1996. The collection documents the artistic career and creative process of Arlington, Virginia-based self-taught painter Kate Lang. The collection contains a brief biographical account, scattered professional and personal correspondence, writings and notes with sketches by Kate Lang, financial records, clippings, exhibition announcements, and numerous photographs and snapshots of Kate Lang, her artwork, friends and family. The collection compliments the Archives' material on self-taught artists and provides some useful evidence of an alternative market for painting.
The collection is arranged as six series:
- Series 1: Biographical Material, 1992 (Box 1; 1 folder)
- Series 2: Letters, 1992-1996, undated (Box 1; 3 folders)
- Series 3: Writings, 1992-1994, undated (Box 1; 6 folders)
- Series 4: Financial Records, 1990-1996, undated (Box 1; 2 folders)
- Series 5: Printed Material, 1991-1996, undated (Box 1, OV 2; 5 folders)
- Series 6: Photographs, 1921-circa 1990s (Box 1, OV 2; 0.6 linear feet)
Kate Lang, born Kathryn Louise Barbour in 1910 in Mobile, Alabama, started painting at age 80. A self-taught artist, she sold her paintings at local flea markets (Washington, D.C.'s Eastern Market on Saturdays and Georgetown Market on Sundays) until her death in 1996. Lang excelled at celebrity and pet portraits painted in the style of contemporary folk art. She held exhibitions at Connection Gallery in Washington, D.C. and George Washington University's Dimrock Gallery in 1992 and at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1995.
The papers were processed in July 2004 by Jetta Samulski. The finding aid was updated to include the 2009 addition in July 2015 by Kimberley Henze.
The papers were donated in 2001 and 2009 by Richard Lang, the son of Kate Lang.
Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. research facility.
for additional information.
Kate Lang papers, 1921-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001