A Finding Aid to the Margret Craver Withers Papers, 1908-2016, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.withmarg
Creators:
Withers, Margret Craver, 1907-
Dates:
1908-2016
Languages:
Multiple languages
Some correspondence and printed material are in German and Russian.
Physical Description:
9.6 Linear feet
0.002 Gigabytes
Repository:
The papers of silversmith and arts administrator Margret Craver Withers measure 9.6 linear feet and 0.002 GB and date from 1908 to 2016. The papers document her career as an silversmith and jeweler through biographical material; correspondence with family, friends, colleagues, and art organizations; manuscripts, notes, lectures, and other writings; professional activity records with various organizations; photographs, printed material, correspondence related to specific subject materials such as individuals or organizations; exhibition catalogs, clippings, published articles, and other printed materials; designs, sketches, sketchbooks, and other artwork; and personal photographs, some in digital format, and photographs and slides of works and works by other artists.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of silversmith and arts administrator Margret Craver Withers measure 9.6 linear feet and 0.002 GB and date from 1908 to 2016. The papers document her career as an silversmith and jeweler through biographical material; correspondence with family, friends, colleagues, and art organizations; manuscripts, notes, lectures, and other writings; professional activity with various organizations; photographs, printed material, correspondence related to specific subject materials such as individuals or organizations; exhibition catalogs, clippings, published articles, and other printed materials; designs, sketches, sketchbooks, and other artwork; and personal photographs, some in digital format, photographs and slides of works and works by other artists.
Biographical material includes copies of a transcript for an oral history conducted by Columbia University, awards, and artist statements. Correspondence includes letters to friends, colleagues, and organizations. Also included are numerous personal letters between Craver and her husband. Writings include draft manuscripts for articles and booklets, transcripts for various lectures, and notes and notebooks.
Professional material includes film reels and corresponding transcripts, about sliversmithing techniques; grooved disk recordings of interviews with artists and silversmithing techniques; scrapbooks; invoices; commissioned work; and exhibition related materials for various museums.
Subject Files were organized by Craver on specific individuals or organizations. The files contain documents such as correspondence, printed material, and photographs. Printed material includes exhibition announcements and catalogs, newspaper and magazine clippings, a scrapbook, and published articles and booklets by Craver.
Artwork consists of sketches, designs, and sketchbooks by Craver. Included are some pieces by other artists. Photographic material consists of personal photographs and digital photographs of Craver with family and friends, photographs and slides of her artwork, and photographs of works by other artists.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 8 series.
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1945-1988 (0.1 linear feet; Box 1)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1935-2016 (1.7 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)
  • Series 3: Writings, 1929-1988 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 2-3)
  • Series 4: Professional Activity Files, 1941-1996 (1.6 linear feet; Boxes 3-4, 9, FC 14-20)
  • Series 5: Subject Files, 1926-1991 (0.7 linear feet; Box 4)
  • Series 6: Printed Material, 1935-1997 (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 4-5, 9-10)
  • Series 7: Artwork, circa 1937 (0.4 linear feet; Box 5, OV 11-13)
  • Series 8: Photographs, 1908-2002 (3.0 linear feet; Boxes 6-8, 0.002 GB; ER01)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Margret Craver Withers (1907-2010) was a silversmith and arts administrator in Boston, Massachusetts.
Withers was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1907. She became interested in metal working while studying at the University of Kansas. After graduation she traveled to Europe where she trained under Baron Erik Fleming, court silversmith to the King of Sweden. In 1935 Withers established the department of jewelry and metalsmithing at the Wichita Arts Association. In the 1940s and 1950s Craver developed and taught a series of workshops on metalsmithing as occupational therapy for wounded veterans. In 1949, she married Charles Withers. She continued to be known professionally under her unmarried name, Margret Craver. Withers is credited with reviving the technique of en resille, in which enamel-coated metal foil is embedded in glass. Withers died in 2010.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed, and a finding aid prepared by Ricky Gomez in 2020. Born-digital materials were processed by Kirsi Ritosalmi-Kisner in 2020 with funding provided by Smithsonian Collection Care and Preservation Fund.
Author
Ricky Gomez
Sponsor
The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund, administered by the National Collections Program and the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Margret Craver Withers papers were donated in several installments between 1971 and 2019. Donations between 1971 and 1998 were done by Marget Craver Withers. Three film reels were donated in 1975 by Handy and Harman. Donations in 2011 were by Josephine Withers, daughter of Margret Craver Withers. Donations between 2014 and 2019 were made by Judith Childs, friend of Margret Craver Withers.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Conditions Governing Use
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Preferred Citation
Margret Craver Withers papers, 1908-2016. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Margret Craver Withers conducted by Robert F. Brown between 1983 and 1985.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Arts administrators -- Massachusetts -- Boston Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Motion pictures Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
American studio craft movement Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Silversmiths -- Massachusetts -- Boston Occupation 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/