A Finding Aid to the Glen Lukens Papers, 1920-1983, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.lukeglen
Creators:
Lukens, Glen
Dates:
1920-1983
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1.6 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of ceramicist Glen Lukens measure 1.6 linear feet and date from 1920 to 1983. The bulk of the papers consist of letters from Lukens to family members, and other correspondence with family, friends, and colleagues. Notably, letters describe Lukens' time working in Haiti to establish a ceramic industry, his views on United States involvement in World War II, and the Watts Riots in Los Angeles in 1965. Also found are biographical materials, scattered writings and notes on ceramics and other subjects, printed materials, and photographs.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of ceramicist Glen Lukens measure 1.6 linear feet and date from 1920 to 1983. The bulk of the papers consist of letters from Lukens to family members, and other correspondence with family, friends, and colleagues. Notably, letters describe Lukens' time working in Haiti to establish a ceramic industry, his views on United States involvement in World War II, and the Watts Riots in Los Angeles in 1965. Also found are biographical materials, scattered writings and notes on ceramics and other subjects, printed materials, and photographs.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as five series.
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1920-1977 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1933-1983 (1.0 linear feet; Boxes 1-2, OV5)
  • Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1937-circa 1960 (0.2 linear feet; Box 2)
  • Series 4: Printed Material, 1940s-1960s (0.1 linear feet; Box 2)
  • Series 5: Photographs, circa 1936-1966 (0.6 linear feet; Box 3-4)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Glen Lukens (1887-1967) was a ceramicist, educator, and writer active in Southern California. He taught at the University of Southern California where he founded the school's ceramics department and later established the ceramics industry in Haiti.
Glen Lukens was born in Missouri and attended the Oregon State Agricultural School where he was introduced to ceramics. He proved to be an innovator and created a blue glaze made out of metals he found in the Mojave desert. Lukens was active with a group of studio ceramicists, including Beatrice Wood, who elevated the artform through writing, innovation, and teaching. Lukens created simple pottery with bold color and glazing techniques. He spent much of his career teaching ceramics at the University of Southern California but also worked with glass and created jewelry.
In the 1940s, Lukens traveled to Haiti to teach ceramics and establish an industry for the creation of pottery on the island. Lukens was focused on teaching Haitians to use sanitary clay vessels for food rather than gourds. He formed friendships with many of his students and encouraged their further study of ceramics in the United States.
Glen Lukens died in Los Angeles in 1967.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
The collection is available on 35mm microfilm reels 5662-5663 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 order of the material on microfilm.
Processing Information
The collection was arranged upon receipt and microfilmed onto reels 5662-5663 in 2000. The papers were processed and a finding aid prepared by Jayna Josefson in 2018.
Author
Jayna M. Josefson
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Glen Lukens papers were donated by his niece, Vera O'Dell 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.
Preferred Citation
Glen Lukens papers, 1930-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds the Glen Lukens letters to Roy Walker, circa 1930-1945. The collection contains about 150 letters from Lukens to Roy Walker.

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/