Alexander, Hartley Burr, 1873-1939

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Hartley Burr Alexander taught philosophy at the University of Nebraska from 1908 until 1927 when he joined the Scripps College, Claremont, Calif., founding faculty as professor of philosophy, a position he held until his death in 1939. He wrote numerous books on poetry, history and philosophy and was a special advisor to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. He was an authority on architectural inscriptions and decoration, acting as consultant on the design of the Nebraska State Capitol in 1925, the Los Angeles Public Library, Fidelity Mutual Life Building in Philadelphia, Metropolitan Life Insurance Building in New York City, the Century of Progress International Exposition of Chicago in 1933, Dept. of Justice building in Washington, D.C. and Rockefeller Center in New York City.

From the description of Hartley Burr Alexander projects collection, 1929-1933 (bulk 1930-1933) (Claremont Colleges Library). WorldCat record id: 172902184

Professor of philosophy, University of Nebraska.

From the description of Papers, 1917-1926. (Nebraska State Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 28414566

Hartley Burr Alexander, anthropologist, poet, philosopher, educator and authority on North American Indian mythology, is perhaps best known as author of the symbolism and inscriptions on the Nebraska State Capitol and other buildings across the United States. He was born in Lincoln, Nebraska; raised in Syracuse, New York; and lived in Lincoln, where he was a professor of philosophy at the University of Nebraska. He was inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame in 1989.

From the guide to the Hartley Burr Alexander Letter, 1925, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

Hartley Burr Alexander was born in Lincoln, Neb. in 1873, graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1897, and received his doctorate from Columbia University in 1901. He taught philosophy at the University of Nebraska from 1908 until 1927, when he joined the Scripps College, Claremont, Calif. founding faculty as professor of philosophy, a position he held until his death in 1939. He wrote numerous books on poetry, history and philosophy and was a special advisor to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. He was an authority on architectural inscriptions and decoration, acting as consultant on the design of the Nebraska State Capitol in 1925, the Los Angeles Public Library, Fidelity Mutual Life Building in Philadelphia, Metropolitan Life Insurance Building in New York City, the Century of Progress International Exposition of Chicago in 1933, and Rockefeller Center in New York City.

From the description of Hartley Burr Alexander papers, 1897-2000 (bulk 1908-1938). (Claremont Colleges Library). WorldCat record id: 57600527

Biographies of the Artists

The following brief biographies refer to artists whose original works are deposited in this collection. In an attempt at consistency, names are listed and spelled as found in J.J. Brody, Pueblo Indian Painting: Tradition and Modernism in New Mexico, 1900-1930 (Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research, 1997). Researchers should be advised that artists' names (Native and/or European) and spellings may differ slightly from publication to publication.

Awa Tsireh (Alfonso Roybal) (San Ildefonso, 1898-1955) Awa Tsireh was influenced by his uncle, Crescencio Martinez, a key first-generation Native Modern artist. He received art training while at the San Ildefonso Day School, and the anthropologist Edgar Hewitt commissioned works from him. By the 1920s his work was receiving recognition on the art market. During his career he worked closely with Fred Kabotie (Hopi) as well as other San Ildefonso artists. See Molly Mullin, "Awa Tsireh," in American Indian Biographies: Revised Edition, ed. Carole Barrett and Harvey Markowitz (Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2005).

"San Juanito Garcia" (unknown) One item in the collection is attributed to this artist. See box 3, item 5: "Drawing by San Juanito Garcia, Santo Domingo, #24." The name has been placed in quotations because no published reference to this artist has been located. The name could refer to either Jose Garcia (Santo Domingo, 1914-?) or Lorenzo Garcia (Santo Domingo, ?-?).

Fred Kabotie (Naqavoy'ma) (Hopi, 1900-1986)Fred Kabotie is a central figure in Native American Modern painting. He attended the Santa Fe Indian School c. 1920 and received art instruction from Elizabeth DeHuff, the progressively-minded wife of the superintendent. He graduated from Santa Fe High School (a non-Indian school) in 1924. As a painter, Kabotie was very successful on the art market. He also worked as an art educator, muralist, and community leader. The two examples of his work in this collection are especially compelling.

Kills Two (Oglala Sioux, 1869-1927) Kills Two, who lived on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, worked primarily in watercolor on hide and muslin. According to various sources, he was employed as a police officer on the reservation. See Patrick D. Lester, "Kills Two," Biographical Directory of Native American Painters (Tulsa, OK: Sir Publications, 1995).

Julian Martinez (Po-Ca-No) (San Ildefonso, 1897-1943) In 1904, Julian Martinez married the internationally acclaimed San Ildefonso potter, Maria (Montoya) Martinez. Through their collective pottery production (Maria building the pots, Julian decorating them), they created some of the most influential and technically astounding works of Native American Modern art. Both artists were strongly influenced by the findings of early twentieth century archaeological excavations of pre-Columbian pottery in the San Ildefonso area. As seen in the examples in the Hartley Burr Alexander Collection, Julian Martinez was also an accomplished easel painter.

Oqwa Pi (Abel Sanchez) (San Ildefonso, 1899-1971) Oqwa Pi was educated at the Santa Fe Indian School, where he painted murals in addition to working with watercolors. According to one source, he "served as lieutenant governor, and later as governor, of his pueblo" (Jeanne Snodgrass, American Indian Painters: A Biographical Directory (New York: Museum of the American Indian, 1968), 135).

Tonita Peña (San Ildefonso, 1893-1949) Peña was a major figure in the Native American Modern painting movement. She began receiving art instruction at an early age at the San Ildefonso Day School (1899-1905). In addition to working as a painter, Peña was a mother and art educator, and was employed as a muralist by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s. She is primarily known for her works in watercolor, and painted domestic and dance scenes. Peña's work significantly influenced key artists of the Santa Fe school, including Pablita Velarde. See Cheryl Claassen, "Peña, Tonita," in American Indian Biographies: Revised Edition, ed. Carole Barrett and Harvey Markowitz (Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2005).

Otis Polelonema (Hopi, 1902-1981) A contemporary of Fred Kabotie, Polelonema attended the Santa Fe Indian School from 1914-1920 and graduated from Santa Fe High School. Like Kabotie, Polelonema received art instruction from Elizabeth DeHuff, wife of the school superintendant, who encouraged the students to draw on traditional knowledge and sources in their work. He was also employed by the Works Progress Administration.

Romando Vigil (Tse Ye Mu) (San Ildefonso, 1902-1978) Sources consulted for this project were in conflict as to Romando Vigil's art training. He is described as attending the Santa Fe Indian School (The Biographical Directory of Native American Painters), where he potentially could have received art training, and as having no formal art training (Margaret Archuleta and Rennard Strickland, Shared Visions: Native American Painters and Sculptors in the Twentieth Century (New York: The New Press, 1991)). He was apparently employed for a time by the Walt Disney Studios. See Patrick D. Lester, "Vigil, Romando," Biographical Directory of Native American Painters (Tulsa, OK: Sir Publications, 1995).

Thomas (Tomas) Vigil (Pan Yo Pin) (Tesuque, c. 1889-1960) Thomas Vigil was educated at St. Catherine's School from 1904 to 1907. See Patrick D. Lester, "Vigil, Thomas," Biographical Directory of Native American Painters (Tulsa, OK: Sir Publications, 1995).

From the guide to the Hartley Burr Alexander Collection of American Indian Artwork, 1867 - 1979, (Claremont Colleges. Library.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn De Ris, George. George de Ris architectural drawings and papers, 1922-1983 (bulk 1922-1931). Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Marquis, Neeta. Papers of Neeta Marquis, 1862-1957. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company. Reader reports on manuscripts submitted for publication. 1882-1931. Houghton Library
creatorOf Alexander, Hartley Burr, 1873-1939. Hartley Burr Alexander papers, 1897-2000 (bulk 1908-1938). The Claremont Colleges, Claremont University Consortium
referencedIn Štěpánek, Olga Folda, 1906-1998. Papers, 1910-1960. University of Nebraska - Lincoln
creatorOf Kasper, Victor Hugo. Minnewakan : opera in three acts based upon an old Siouan legend / libretto by Hartley B. Alexander ; music by Victor Hugo Kasper. The Claremont Colleges, Claremont University Consortium
referencedIn Woodberry, George Edward, 1855-1930. Correspondence and compositions, 1859-1930. Houghton Library
creatorOf Alexander, Hartley Burr, 1873-1939. Minnewakan = spirit water : libretto in three scenes based upon an old Siouan legend / libretto by Hartley B. Alexander. The Claremont Colleges, Claremont University Consortium
creatorOf Alexander, Hartley Burr, 1873-1939. Priscilla : a prophetic episode of the founding of America at Plymouth about 1625 : typescript, ? / Hartley Burr Alexander. Lincoln City Library, Lincoln City Libraries
referencedIn Yaddo records, 1870-1980 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Olga Stepanek, Papers, 1910-1960 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library
creatorOf Hartley Burr Alexander Letter, 1925 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
referencedIn Pacific Geographic Society. Pacific Geographic Society records, 1927-1940. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company. Reader reports on manuscripts submitted for publication. 1882-1931. Houghton Library
creatorOf Alexander, Hartley Burr, 1873-1939. Hartley Burr Alexander projects collection, 1929-1933 (bulk 1930-1933) The Claremont Colleges, Claremont University Consortium
creatorOf Alexander, Hartley Burr, 1873-1939. Papers, 1917-1926. Nebraska State Historical Society, Nebraska History Library
referencedIn Abraham Aaron Roback papers, 1909-1965. Houghton Library
creatorOf Cardin, Fred. The great drum : for female chorus with dramatic reader / poem, God's drum, by Hartley B. Alexander ; composer, Fred Cardin. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Hartley Burr Alexander Collection of American Indian Artwork, 1867 - 1979 Claremont Colleges. Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Alden, John, 1599-1687 person
associatedWith American-French Children's League. corporateBody
associatedWith Cardin, Fred. person
associatedWith De Ris, George. person
associatedWith Houghton Mifflin Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Kasper, Victor Hugo. person
associatedWith La Flesche, Francis, d. 1932 person
associatedWith Los Angeles Public Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Marquis, Neeta. person
associatedWith Mullins, Priscilla, 1602-1651 person
associatedWith Nebraska State Capitol (Lincoln, Neb.) corporateBody
associatedWith Pacific Geographic Society. corporateBody
correspondedWith Roback, A. A. (Abraham Aaron), 1890-1965 person
associatedWith Rockefeller Center. corporateBody
associatedWith Scripps College corporateBody
associatedWith Standish, Myles, 1584?-1656 person
associatedWith Štěpánek, Olga Folda, 1906-1998. person
associatedWith United States. Dept. of Justice. corporateBody
correspondedWith Woodberry, George Edward, 1855-1930 person
associatedWith Yaddo (Artist's colony) corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
France
United States
United States
United States
United States
North America
Subject
Charities
War relief
Child welfare
Architecture--Slides
Oglala Indians--Pictorial works
Indian painting
Artwork. Native Americans
Western Americana, 1850-1999
World War, 1914-1918--Civilian relief
Operas--Librettos
Orphans
Architectural inscriptions
Religion and philosophy
Decoration and ornament, Architectural
Indian art
Native American arts
Pueblo art
World War, 1914-1918--Children
Pilgrims (New Plymouth Colony)--Drama
Sioux art
Musicals
Children
Siouan Indians--Folklore
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1873

Death 1939

Male

Americans

English

Information

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Ark ID: w6fj3fmz

SNAC ID: 1708940