A Finding Aid to the James W. Washington, Jr. papers, 1938-1989, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.washjame
Creators:
Washington, James W., 1911-2000
Dates:
1938-1989
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
2.3 Linear Feet
Repository:
The papers of artist James W. Washington, Jr. measure 2.3 linear feet and date from 1938 to 1989. The collection includes biographical material, correspondence, writings, professional records, material related to the Artists Equity Association, printed material, and photographic material.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of artist James W. Washington, Jr. measure 2.3 linear feet and date from 1938 to 1989. The collection includes biographical material, correspondence, writings, professional records, material related to the Artists Equity Association, printed material, and photographic material.
Biographical material includes resumes, a short biographical sketch, and the transcript of an interview conducted by Cindy Huetter.
Correspondence makes up the bulk of this collection and consists of letters to Washington from family and friends expressing admiration for his work, writings, and lectures. Also documented is his involvement in organizations including the Pacific Arts Center, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, and the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. Correspondents include Kenneth Callahan, Anne Gould Hauberg, Val M. Laigo, and George Tsutakawa. This series also includes a file of correspondence related to Washington's articles for the Seattle Post Intelligencer.
Writings include articles for Zionews, the Mt. Zion Baptist Church newsletter; the Seattle Post Intelligencer; and the Puget Sounding related to Washington's artwork; his thoughts on race; his teacher, Mark Tobey; and his strong religious beliefs. Also included are an unidentified editorial and assorted notes.
Professional records include material related to committees and professional groups, financial records, materials related to commissions and sculptures, materials related to Mark Tobey works loaned for exhibition, teaching files, and legal files.
Artists Equity Association files consist of correspondence, membership information, constitution and by-laws, reports and meeting minutes, proposals, newsletters, and clippings.
Printed material includes exhibition announcements, exhibition catalogs, newsletters and bulletins, magazine and newspaper clippings, programs, and religious material.
Photographic material consists of photographs of artwork, photographs of Washington with his work, and one oversized portrait of Washington.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged in seven series.
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1970-1989 (Box 1; 2 folders)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1938-1988 (Boxes 1-2; 1.4 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Writings, 1958-circa 1986 (Box 2; 0.2 linear feet)
  • Series 4: Professional Records, 1950-1983 (Box 2; 7 folders)
  • Series 5: Artists Equity Association Files, 1948-1963 (Box 2; 0.3 linear feet)
  • Series 6: Printed Material, 1946-1989 (Boxes 2-3; 0.3 linear feet, OV 4)
  • Series 7: Photographic Material, 1951, 1964-1969, 1980s (Box 3; 2 folders, OV 4)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
James W. Washington, Jr. (1909-2000) was an African American painter and sculptor prominent in the Seattle, Washington art community. Religion was an important part of his life and he considered his art to be a spiritual undertaking. In addition to being active in his church community, he was a member of the Artists Equity Association, serving as the Seattle Chapter secretary from 1950 to 1960, and then as the president from 1960 to 1962. In 1990 the City of Seattle's Historic Landmark and Preservation Board designated Washington's home and studio at 1816 26th Avenue a cultural landmark.

Administration
Existence and Location of Originals
The majority of the clippings in this collection are photocopies. The location of original clippings is not known.
Processing Information
The collection was minimally processed and a finding aid prepared by Rayna Andrews with funding from the Henry Luce Foundation in 2018.
Author
Rayna Andrews
Sponsor
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The James W. Washington, Jr. papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by James. W. Washington, Jr. in two accessions in 1984 and 1989.

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
James W. Washington, Jr. papers, 1938-1989. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
Also found in the Archives of American Art are two oral history interviews with James W. Washington, Jr., one conducted by Dorothy Bestor, October 13, 1965, the other by Paul Karlstrom, June 29, 1987.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
African American artists -- Washington (State) -- Seattle Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- Washington (State) -- Seattle Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African Americans -- Race identity Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Race awareness Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculptors -- Washington (State) -- Seattle Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Transcripts Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Callahan, Kenneth, 1905-1986 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Huetter, Cindy Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hauberg, Anne Gould Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Laigo, Val M., 1930-1992 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tobey, Mark Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tsutakawa, George Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists Equity Association Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mount Zion Baptist Church (Seattle, Wash.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scottish Rite (Masonic order) Corporate 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/