McCausland, Elizabeth, 1899-1965

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Elizabeth McCausland (1899-1965) was an art critic, writer, lecturer, and exhibition organizer.

Taught at Barnard College, New School for Social Research, and Sarah Lawrence College; art critic for Springfield Sunday Union and Republican, late 1920s; author of text for Berenice Abbott's "Changing New York" (1939), "The Life and Work of Edward Lamson Henry, N.A., 1841-1919" (1945), "A. H. Maurer" (1951), "George Inness, An American Landscape Painter" (1946), "Charles W. Hawthorne, an American Figure Painter" (1947), "Careers in the Arts, Fine and Applied" (1950), "Art Professions in the United States," and other books, articles and catalogs. Organized Lewis Hine exhibition, 1939. She spent the last fifteen years of her life extensively researching painter Marsden Hartley.

From the description of Elizabeth McCausland papers, 1838-1980, bulk 1920-1960. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 613313842

Art critic, writer, lecturer, exhibition organizer.

b. 1899, Wichita, Kan.; d. May, 14, 1965; taught at Barnard College, New School for Social Research, and Sarah Lawrence College; art critic for Springfield Sunday Union and Republican, late 1920s; author of text for Berenice Abbott's "Changing New York" (1939), "The Life and Work of Edward Lamson Henry, N.A., 1841-1919" (1945), "A. H. Maurer" (1951), "George Inness, An American Landscape Painter" (1946), "Charles W. Hawthorne, an American Figure Painter" (1947), "Careers in the Arts, Fine and Applied" (1950), "Art Professions in the United States," and other books, articles and catalogs. Organized Lewis Hine exhibition, 1939. She spent the last fifteen years of her life extensively researching painter Marsden Hartley.

From the description of Elizabeth McCausland papers, 1838-1965 (bulk 1920-1960). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 317592352

Art critic, writer, lecturer, exhibition organizer.

Taught at Barnard College, New School for Social Research, and Sarah Lawrence College. Art critic for Springfield Sunday Union and Republican, late 1920s; moved to New York, 1936. Active in government art projects, 1930s and 1940s, and in art organizations. Author of text for Berenice Abbott's Changing New York (1939), The Life and Work of Edward Lamson Henry, N.A., 1841-1919 (1945), A.H. Maurer (1951), George Inness, An American Landscape Painter (1946), Charles W. Hawthorne, an American Figure Painter (1947), Careers in the Arts, Fine and Applied (1950), Art Professions in the United States, and other books, articles and catalogs. Organized Lewis Hine exhibition, 1939. She spent the last fifteen years of her life extensively researching painter Marsden Hartley.

From the description of Elizabeth McCausland papers, 1838-1965 (bulk 1920-1960). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 220157984

Elizabeth McCausland, the art critic and writer, was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1899. She attended Smith College, receiving her Bachelor's degree in 1920 and her Master's in 1922. Beginning in 1923, she worked as a general reporter for The Springfield Republican (Springfield, Massachusetts). After several years, she began to review art exhibitions and soon became an established art critic. In the course of her work, she began to develop friendships with artists, such as Alfred Stieglitz and Arthur Dove. During these early years, she also wrote poetry and designed and printed limited edition publications on her private press.

McCausland moved to New York in 1935, but continued to contribute a weekly art column to The Springfield Republican until it suspended publication in 1946. From the mid-1930s on, she worked primarily as a freelance writer and art critic, contributing articles to publications such as Parnassas, The New Republic, and Magazine of Art . In the latter part of her career, her writings focused more on art history and special studies on artists.

In the late-1930s, McCausland collaborated with the photographer Berenice Abbott on the Federal Art Project book, Changing New York, for which she provided the text to Abbott's now-famous photographs of New York City neighborhoods, architecture, and street scenes. She studied and wrote about photography, including numerous articles on the photographer Lewis Hine (of whose work she organized a retrospective exhibition at the Riverside Museum in 1939), and was appointed to the Advisory Committee of the Museum of Modern Art's Department of Photography in 1944.

McCausland went on to organize other exhibitions, including a show of contemporary work, "The World of Today" (Berkshire Museum, 1939), shows of silk screen prints (Springfield Museum of Fine Arts, March 1940 and New York State Museum, Summer 1940), and a photography show, "Photography Today" (A.C.A. Gallery, 1944). In the late 1930s, she embarked upon a study of "the status of the artist in America from colonial times to the present, with especial attention to the relation between art and patronage," which continued over twenty years (and was never completed) and for which she received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1943.

In addition to her other writing, during the 1940s, McCausland carried out studies on the artists, E. L. Henry and George Inness, which resulted in exhibitions at the New York State Museum in 1942 and the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum in 1946, respectively and publications (a report on Henry and a book on Inness). From 1948 to 1949, she carried out an extensive study of the painter, Alfred H. Maurer, organizing an exhibition, "A. H. Maurer: 1868-1932," which showed at the Walker Art Center and the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1949, and publishing the biography, A. H. Maurer, in 1951. In 1950, she worked as a special consultant on the American Processional exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery and as editor of the accompanying book. Shortly thereafter, she began a study of Marsden Hartley for a monograph, which was published in 1952, and she helped organize the Hartley exhibition at the University of Minnesota that same year. She continued the Hartley study on larger scale for a planned biography and catalogue raisonne; although she continued to work on it off and on for the next decade, the project was never completed.

McCausland published other books, including Careers in the Arts (1951), and undertook other research and consulting projects, such as photo-editing Carl Sandburg's Poems of the Midwest (1946), conducting surveys of art and advertising for an article in Magazine of Art and of art education for Cooper Union Art School, and contributing yearly articles on art to various encyclopedias. At different times throughout her career, she supplemented her income by taking teaching positions. She taught courses on art history at Sarah Lawrence College from 1942 to 1944 and at Barnard College in 1956, as well as courses at the Design Laboratory (1939) and the New School for Social Research (1946). She also gave numerous lectures and speeches on various art topics, and regularly participated in conferences and symposiums. Towards the end of her career, she was publishing less, but was still involved in many projects, most notably the Hartley study.

McCausland was a tireless promoter of the arts, and often an advocate for artists. Even though her work was well-known among certain art circles, she never received the recognition as a writer that she deserved. Nor was she ever able to free herself from the pressure of writing for a living. Continually suffering from poor health, she died on May 14, 1965.

From the guide to the Elizabeth McCausland papers, 1838-1965, bulk 1920-1960, (Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn James, Rebecca Salsbury, 1891-1968. Rebecca Salsbury James papers, 1924-1967 (bulk 1930-1939). Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf McCausland, Elizabeth, 1899-1965. Elizabeth McCausland papers, 1838-1965 (bulk 1920-1960). Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn The ACA Galleries records, 1917-1963 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
creatorOf Elizabeth McCausland papers, 1838-1965, bulk 1920-1960 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
referencedIn Kleinholz, Frank, 1901-. Frank Kleinholz papers, 1930-1980. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf ACA Galleries. ACA Galleries records, 1917-1963. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Elizabeth McCausland with Gertrude Stein [graphic]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Pereira, I. Rice (Irene Rice), 1902-1971. Papers, 1929-1976 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Crichlow, Ernest, 1914-2005. Ernest Crichlow papers, [ca. 1941-1963]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Walker Art Center. Correspondence with Carl Zigrosser, 1948-1949. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Portland Art Museum (Or.). Marsden Hartley symposium : sound recording, 1961 Aug. 24. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Landgren, Marchal E. Marchal Landgren papers, 1928-1983. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Berenice Abbott papers, 1927-1992, 1960-1992 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Martha Dickinson Bianchi correspondence concerning publication of the poetry of the American poet, Emily Dickinson:, 1881-1943 (inclusive), 1925-1937 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Papers, 1929-1976 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973. Philip Evergood papers, 1910-1970. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Abbott, Berenice, 1898-1991. Berenice Abbott papers, 1927-1992 (bulk 1960-1992). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Kleinholz, Frank, 1901-. Frank Kleinholz papers, 1930-1980. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Rebecca Salsbury James papers, 1924-1967, 1930-1939 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Ward, Lynd, 1905-. Lynd Ward and May McNeer papers, 1929-1981. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Grotz, Dorothy. Dorothy Grotz papers, 1933-1975. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Cohn, Max Arthur, 1903-. Max Arthur Cohn papers, 1928-1978. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn J. B. Matthews Papers, 1862-1986 and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
creatorOf Adams, Charles C. (Charles Christopher), 1873-1955. Charles C. Adams papers, 1931-1948. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Cabell, James Branch, 1879-1958. Papers of James Branch Cabell, 1919-1954. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf McCausland, Elizabeth, 1899-1965. Elizabeth McCausland papers, 1838-1980, bulk 1920-1960. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf McCausland, Elizabeth, 1899-1965. Elizabeth McCausland papers, 1838-1965 (bulk 1920-1960). Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Walker, Hudson D. (Hudson Dean), 1907-1976. Hudson D. Walker papers, 1920-1982. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Chidsey, G. Alan. G. Alan Chidsey papers, 1920-1979. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn ACA Galleries. ACA Galleries records, 1917-1966. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Abbott, Berenice, 1898- person
associatedWith ACA Galleries. corporateBody
associatedWith Adams, Charles C. (Charles Christopher), 1873-1955. person
associatedWith American Artists' Congress. corporateBody
associatedWith Artists' League of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Artists Societies for National Defense. corporateBody
associatedWith Baron, Herman, 1892-1961. person
associatedWith Baumann, Gustave, 1881-1971. person
associatedWith Beard, Mary Ritter, 1876-1958. person
associatedWith Bianchi, Martha Dickinson, 1866-1943 person
associatedWith Blatas, Arbit. person
associatedWith Blume, Peter, 1906- person
associatedWith Brainard, George. person
associatedWith Cabell, James Branch, 1879-1958. person
associatedWith Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976. person
associatedWith Chidsey, G. Alan. person
associatedWith Citizens' Committee for Government Arts Projects. corporateBody
associatedWith Cohn, Max Arthur, 1903- person
associatedWith Cook, Howard Norton, 1901-1980. person
associatedWith Cowdrey, Mary Bartlett, 1910-1974. person
associatedWith Crichlow, Ernest, 1914-2005. person
associatedWith Crichlow, Ernest T., 1914- person
associatedWith Decker, Alice, 1901- person
associatedWith Dove, Arthur Garfield, 1880-1946. person
associatedWith Eilshemius, Louis M. (Louis Michel), 1864-1941. person
associatedWith Enters, Angna, 1897-1989. person
associatedWith Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973. person
associatedWith Federal Art Project. National Art Week. corporateBody
associatedWith Federal Art Project (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Gibran, Kahlil, 1922- person
associatedWith Golden, Samuel, 1895-1963. person
associatedWith Graham, Martha. person
associatedWith Grand Central Art Galleries. corporateBody
associatedWith Grotz, Dorothy. person
associatedWith Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943. person
associatedWith Hawthorne, Charles Webster, 1872-1930. person
associatedWith Heade, Martin Johnson, 1819-1904. person
associatedWith Henri, Robert, 1865-1929. person
associatedWith Henry, Edward Lamson, 1841-1919. person
associatedWith Hine, Lewis Wickes, 1874-1940. person
associatedWith Inness, George, 1825-1894. person
associatedWith Irene Rice Pereira, 1902-1971 person
associatedWith James, Rebecca Salsbury, 1891-1968. person
associatedWith Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971. person
associatedWith Kiesler, Frederick. person
associatedWith Kirstein, Lincoln, 1907- person
associatedWith Kleinholz, Frank, 1901- person
associatedWith Kollwitz, Käthe, 1867-1945. person
associatedWith Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953. person
associatedWith Kuntz, Adelaide. person
associatedWith Landgren, Marchal E. person
associatedWith Landon, Edward, 1911-1984. person
associatedWith Lawrence, Jacob, 1917- person
associatedWith League of American Writers. corporateBody
associatedWith Lipchitz, Jacques, 1891- person
associatedWith Lipton, Norman. person
associatedWith Matthews, J. B. (Joseph Brown), 1894-1966 person
associatedWith Maurer, Alfred Henry, 1868-1932. person
associatedWith Morgan, Barbara Brooks, 1900- person
associatedWith Morgan, Willard D. (Willard Detering), 1900-1967. person
associatedWith Morse, Samuel Finley Breese, 1791-1872. person
associatedWith Mount, William Sidney, 1807-1868. person
associatedWith Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Newhall, Beaumont, 1908- person
associatedWith New York World's Fair (1939-1940) corporateBody
associatedWith O'Keeffe, Georgia, 1887-1986. person
associatedWith Pereira, I. Rice (Irene Rice), 1902-1971. person
associatedWith Portland Art Museum (Or.) corporateBody
associatedWith Rebay, Hilla, 1890-1967. person
associatedWith Royce, William H. person
associatedWith Schwimmer, Rosika, 1877-1948. person
associatedWith Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946. person
associatedWith Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946. person
associatedWith Toklas, Alice B. person
associatedWith Wald, Sylvia, 1915- person
associatedWith Walker Art Center. corporateBody
associatedWith Walker, Hudson D. (Hudson Dean), 1907-1976. person
associatedWith Ward, Lynd, 1905- person
associatedWith Weegee, 1899-1968. person
associatedWith Weston, Edward, 1886-1958. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
New York N.Y.
New York N.Y
New York (State)--New York
New York N.Y
New York (State)--New York
United States
United States
New York (State)--New York
New York N.Y
Subject
Art historians
Documentary photography
Art historians--New York (State)--New York
Photographic criticism
Art--Exhibitions--United States
Documentary photography--United States
Art--Societies, etc
Authors
Federal aid to the arts
Art criticism--United States
Art criticism
Art--Exhibitions
Nude in art
Art critics--New York (State)--New York
Art critics
Authors--New York (State)--New York
Art--Societies, etc.--United States
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1899

Death 1965

Americans

English

Information

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SNAC ID: 62054468