James Penney papers

Collection ID:
Penney, James, 1910-1982
Physical Description:
12.6 Linear feet
4.3 Linear feet

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Correspondence, writings and notes, diaries, scrapbooks, extensive sketchbooks and sketches, photographs and printed materials.
Scope and Contents
Correspondence (1918-1981) to and from family members, Paul Manner, Penney's teacher Albert Bloch, and others concerns plans for murals and Penney's ideas on art, among other topics. Diaries concern a European trip (1952). Two scrapbooks contain clippings, photographs, letters and exhibition catalogs documenting Penney's career. Fifty-four sketchbooks (1925-1950) contain figure studies, portraits and caricatures, ideas for murals, and scenes in New York City, Kansas, Missouri and elsewhere. Photographs show Penney, family, friends and his works. Printed material includes clippings, newsletters and brochures, and exhibition announcements and catalogs. Other materials include writings, notes, price lists, contracts and other financial material, biographical materials, a journal (1933-1940), notebooks and ca. 300 loose sketches.
Scope and Contents
ADDITION: Two volumes of lecture notes from art history classes taught by Albert Bloch, University of Kansas (1929-31); research material compiled by Penney relative to Albert Bloch exhibition, Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica, New York (1974); 53 volumes of sketchbooks and eighteen sketchbooks (1945-1976), which contain scenes of Nebraska, Italy, and Mexico; about 20 studies and sketches for federal government mural projects (1934-1942); loose sketches; slides of paintings, sketches, and mural studies for Flushing High School, the Nebraska Capitol, and Hamilton College mural projects; 52 oversize sketches and studies for federal and non-federal mural projects , including three rolled oil studies (1933-1970s);correspondence (1962-1984); exhibition announcements and catalogs (1930-1983); clippings (1962-1977); family photographs (1913-1982); photographs of works of art and negatives (n.d.) and a mural design show at Utica College (1972); three award medals; and diplomas (high school and university).

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Painter, educator; Clinton, N.Y. Died in 1982.

Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by James Penney, 1981, and subsequently by his widow, Rachel Penney, 1983-1998.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.

More Information

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Mural painting and decoration, American Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Public art -- United States Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Educators Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bloch, Albert 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