Helen Sawyer and Jerry Farnsworth papers

Collection ID:
Sawyer, Helen
Farnsworth, Jerry, 1895-1982
Physical Description:
4.6 Linear feet
4.5 Linear feet

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Correspondence, writings, photographs, art works, exhibition catalogs and clippings.
Scope and Contents
Correspondence includes letters from Mr. and Mrs. E.B. White and John Dos Passos. Material on Helen includes photographs of installations of her work and of her, reproductions of her work, clippings, exhibition material, part of a journal kept in France (published by Scribner's) and a handwritten copy of part of the same journal. Material on Jerry includes photographs of his work and of him, clippings, a scrapbook of letters and clippings, exhibition material, and proofs and original drawings by him for a book.
Scope and Contents
ADDITION: Biographical and genealogical information; correspondence between Helen and Jerry; numerous letters from Wells Sawyer and some from Helen's mother, Kathleen; letters from colleagues and friends, including MacKinlay Kantor, 1960; exhibition announcements and catalogs; price lists for Helen's work and bills for her supplies; notes and a poem from Jerry to Helen; draft of a speech by Helen; impressions of her by a graphologist; booklet of poems by Robert Nathan inscribed to the Farnsworths; photographs of Helen and Jerry and of the Farnsworth Art School in Florida; and clippings.
Scope and Contents
ADDITION II: Helen's journals and copies of those at George Arents Library, Syracuse University, and other mss. and publications by Helen; letters to Helen from her brother, Bailey Middlebrooks Sawyer; childhood journals; juvenilia; early work; sketches and drawings; exhibition material; greeting cards; clippings; photographs of work; joint exhibition material and Farnsworth School of Art material for Jerry and Helen; and a batik cloth.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Artists and writers; North Truro, Mass. and Sarasota, Fla. Helen, born 1898 in Washington, D.C., was the daughter of painter Wells Sawyer, and used the name Helen Sawyer as her professional name. [She died Dec. 10, 1999 at the age of 102 in Sarasota, Fla.]

Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated 1972-1993 by Jerry and Helen Sawyer Farnsworth. Wells Sawyer papers received with the collection have been removed and described separately. An additional 4 ft. of papers, including ca. 2.5 ft. of Wells Sawyer papers were donated in 1996 by Helen; the Wells Sawyer related material in this donation has yet to be separated.

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.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Painting, American -- Massachusetts Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women painters -- Massachusetts Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- Massachusetts Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sawyer, Kathleen Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sawyer, Wells, 1863-1960 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kantor, MacKinlay, 1904- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nathan, Robert, 1894- 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