A Finding Aid to the Blanche Lazzell Papers, 1893-1956, bulk 1901-1940, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.lazzblan
Creators:
Lazzell, Blanche, 1878-1956
Dates:
1893-1986
bulk 1901-1940
Languages:
English
Collection is in English and French.
English; French
Physical Description:
4.6 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of printmaker, etcher, and painter Blanche Lazzell (1878-1956) measure 4.6 linear feet and date from 1893 to 1986, with the bulk of the material dating from 1901 to 1940. Found within the papers are biographical materials; correspondence with family, friends, and colleagues; writings; five diaries; scattered personal business records; printed material; artwork; photographs; and artifacts.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of printmaker, etcher, and painter Blanche Lazzell (1878-1956) measure 4.6 linear feet and date from 1893 to 1986, with the bulk of the material dating from 1901 to 1940. Found within the papers are biographical materials; correspondence with family, friends, and colleagues; writings; five diaries; scattered personal business records; printed material; artwork; photographs; and artifacts.
Biographical material includes school report cards, address books, obituaries, membership certificates, and travel documents from Blanche Lazzell's travels abroad in Europe.
Correspondence is with family, friends, and colleagues. Family correspondence is predominately with Lazzell's sisters, and a lesser amount with her brother Rufus and other relatives. Well over one-half of the correspondence is with friends and colleagues, including Arthur Lee Post and John O' Connor, and one or more letters from Oliver Chaffee, Andrew Dasburg, Robert Henri, and Ralph M. Pearson, among others.
Writings include notebooks, essays, and notes. Notebooks are primarily class notes, including one from Lazzells's studies in France during her second trip to Europe, and another maintained as a record of artwork. Also found are essays,including one about Provincetown; notes; biographical sketches; and lists of exhibitions and artwork. Five diaries document the late 1890s and Lazzell's trips to Europe in 1912-1913 and 1923-1924.
Scattered personal business records consist of 3 expense account ledgers and one sales ledger. Printed Material includes guest books, news clippings, exhibition catalogs, exhibition announcements, magazines, brochures, and newsletters. Artwork includes pencil drawings and sketches, mostly from studies with the artist Albert Gleizes in Paris. Photographic material consists of photographs, slides, and one lantern slide. The photographs are of Blanche Lazzell with artists and friends, her studio and the harbor in Provincetown, artwork, and travels in Italy.
Artifacts include 2 metal signs and 1 paint palette in a metal case.

Arrangement
Arrangement
This collection is arranged as 9 series.
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1894-1970 (0.3 linear feet; Box 1)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1897-1965 (1.2 linear feet; Box 1-2)
  • Series 3: Writings, 1893-1969 (1.2 linear feet; Box 2-3)
  • Series 4: Diaries, 1896-1924 (0.1 linear feet; Box 3)
  • Series 5: Personal Business Records, 1894-1916 (0.1 linear feet; Box 3)
  • Series 6: Printed Material, 1899-1986 (1 linear feet; Box 3-4)
  • Series 7: Artwork, 1924-circa 1940 (0.1 linear feet; Box 4)
  • Series 8: Photographic Material, 1897-1956 (0.5 linear feet; Box 5-6)
  • Series 9: Artifacts, circa 1910-1956 (0.1 linear feet; Box 6)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Blanche Lazzell (1878-1956) was a printmaker, etcher, painter, and rug designer who worked primarily in Provincetown, Massachusetts and Morgantwon, West Virginia.
Nettie Blanche Lazzell was born in Maidsville, West Virginia, in 1878, the daughter of Mary Prudence Pope and Cornelius Carhart Lazzell. At some point during her childhood, Lazzell became partially deaf. When Lazzell was fifteen, she enrolled in the West Virginia Conference Seminary, now West Virginia Wesleyan College and graduated in 1898.
In 1899, Lazzell continued her studies at the South Carolina Co-educational Institute and graduated that same year. She later matriculated into the West Virginia University (1901-1905) where she took drawing and art history classes with William J. Leonard and earned a degree in fine arts. After graduation, Lazzell periodically studied at the university until 1909. Lazzell moved to New York City in 1907 and enrolled in the Art Students League of New York in 1908 where she studied under William Merritt Chase.
Lazzell travelled to Europe during the summer of 1912. After visiting several cities, Lazzell went to Paris and stayed beyond the tour to attend classes at the Académie Julian and the Académie Moderne where she studied with painter Charles Guérin. Lazzell returned to the United States in the fall of 1913 and stayed in West Virginia with her sister Bessie. She held a solo exhibition of her sketches and paintings in 1914. Lazzell moved to the thriving art colony at Provincetown, Massachusetts in 1915. There, she studied with Charles Webster Hawthorne, who founded the Cape Cod School of Art, and Oliver Chaffee, who taught her the technique for white-line woodcuts. Lazzell quickly adopted and excelled at making white-line woodblock prints, joined the Provincetown Printers, an art collective, and regularly exhibited with them.
n 1918, Lazzell converted an "old fish house" overlooking the Provincetown harbor into her studio and summer home. She planted a lush garden that became a tourist attraction where she often hosted teas and taught classes on painting and woodblock printing. The studio became her primary summer residence, though she often returned to Morgantown, West Virginia. Lazzell also visited other artist colonies during this time, including one in Woodstock, New York where she studied with Andrew Dasburg.
In 1919 Lazzell was featured in an exhibition at Touchstone Gallery in New York City. Later that year, the Provincetown Printers were featured at the Detroit Institute of Arts exhibition "Wood Block Prints in Color by American Artists". That show included Lazzell's depiction of the Monongahela River in Morgantown.
From 1923 to 1924, Lazzell travelled again to Europe and studied with Fernand Legér, André Lhote, and Albert Gleizes in Paris. Lazzell studied Cubism and took a class with Gleizes and her work became more abstract. When she returned to Provincetown, she had her studio rebuilt so it was more comfortable during the winter. She continued to teach art at her studio and participate in exhibitions.
In addition to her woodblock prints, Lazzell also worked with batik, rug design, and hand-painted china. She was a member of numerous arts organizations such as the Société Anonyme, New York Society of Women Artists, Provincetown Art Association, the Sail Loft Club (a Provincetown women's art club), and the Society of Independent Artists. In 1934, Lazzell received a Federal Art Project grant through the Works Progress Administration and created a mural titled Justice for the Morgantown courthouse.
Lazzell died in Morgantown, West Virginia in 1956.

Administration
Separated Materials
The papers were originally loaned for microfilming on reels 2988-2991 and most of them, but not all, were included in a later donation. The papers not included in the later donation are only available on microfilm.
Existence and Location of Copies
The collection is available on 35 mm microfilm reels 2988-2991 at the Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of the material described in the container inventory does not reflect the arrangement of the collection on microfilm.
Processing Information
This collection was fully processed by Rihoko Ueno in October 2014 with funding provided by Leslie J. and Johanna Garfield.
Separated Materials
Portions of the microfilmed material were retained by the donor.
Author
Rihoko Ueno
Sponsor
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by Leslie J. and Johanna Garfield.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Blanche Lazzell papers were anonymously donated to the Archives of American Art in 1987, including most of the materials that had been earlier loaned for microfilming in 1983.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Conditions Governing Use
The Blanche Lazzell 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.
Preferred Citation
Blanche Lazzell papers, 1893-1986, bulk 1901-1940. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Sketches Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Visitors' books Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists' studios -- Photographs Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Etchers Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painting -- Massachusetts -- Provincetown Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Printmakers Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Etching -- Massachusetts -- Provincetown Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women artists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diaries Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gleizes, Albert, 1881-1953 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Henri, Robert, 1865-1929 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
O'Connor, John Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pearson, Ralph M., 1883-1958 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dasburg, Andrew, 1887-1979 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chaffee, Oliver Newberry, 1881-1944 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/