Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.wilsjohn
Creators:
Wilson, John, 1922-2015
Dates:
circa 1939-1993
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
5 microfilm reels
1 Cassette
Sound recording
analog
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This microfilm collection of the papers of African American painter, sculptor, illustrator, printmaker, and educator John Woodrow Wilson contains biographical material such as autobiographical notes, school records, personal documents, and a bibliography; personal and business correspondence, undated and 1938-1993; files on the New York City Board of Education, 1959-1965, regarding his teaching; and project files, including Wilson's submission for the competition for a Frederick Douglass statue, Eternal Presence, Father and Child Reading, and Wilson's monuments and bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. Correspondents represented include the Albany Institute of History and Art, Atlanta University, Carnegie Institute, Ebony, David Porter of the G Place Gallery, the Institute of Moder Art, Alain Locke, Gloria May, the Museum of Modern Art, Frederick G. Rice, and Hale Woodruff.
Also included in the collection are files on exhibitions; notebooks, 1958-1960; lesson plans, 1959, 1963; notes, writings, and lectures, circa 1945-1993; transcripts of interviews of Wilson and related correspondence, 1978-1987; legal material, 1978; financial records 1944-1991, including a notebook of sales and expenses 1945-1950; photographs, 1940-1990, of Wilson, his work, sculpture, and exhibition installations; a scrapbook, 1939-1967; artwork, including sketchbooks, 1970-1992, life studies completed as a student, 1939-1947, and miscellaneous art work, 1939-1992; and printed material, 1939-1993, including exhibition catalogs, illustrated books and book jackets, and ephemera. The collection also includes a copy of a sound recording of an interview of Wilson conducted by Alan Trachtenberg, circa 1979 (untranscribed).

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
John Woodrow Wilson (1922-2015) was an African American painter, sculptor, illustrator, printmaker, and educator in Boston, Massachusetts. Wilson studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston under Ture Bengtz and Karl Zerbe, graduating in 1945. He lived in Paris through the MFA fellowship and studied with modern artist Fernand Leger. He then attended Tufts University, graduating in 1947. Wilson received a John Hay Whitney fellowship and lived in Mexico for five years with his wife, Julie Kowtich. After his return from Mexico in 1956, Wilson made artwork for Chicago labor unions and taught in New York City before returning to teach at Boston University in 1964. During his career, Wilson won competitions to execute statues of Martin Luther King, Jr. for the city of Buffalo, New York and for the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
35mm microfilm reels 4876-4880 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
Existence and Location of Originals
Originals returned to John Woodrow Wilson after microfilming.
Author
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Lent for microfilming 1993 by John W. Wilson, except for the 1979 sound recording which he lent for copying.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Microfilm portion must be consulted on microfilm. Use of untranscribed interview requires an appointment.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American artists as teachers Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Boston Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculptors -- Massachusetts -- Boston Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American artists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Educators -- Massachusetts -- Boston Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Trachtenberg, Alan 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/