Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960

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Writer, art director.

From the description of Reminiscences of Holger Cahill : oral history, 1957. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 309729309

Art administrator; New York, N.Y. National director of Federal Art Project, administered under Federal Project No. 1 of the Works Progress Administration (later the Work Projects Administration). The FAP provided work to unemployed artists. Cahill was the director throughout its existence.

From the description of Holger Cahill interview, 1960 Apr. 12 and 15 [sound recording]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 82270008

Holger Cahill (born Sveinn Kristjan Bjarnarson in Iceland) was an American novelist, curator of important art exhibitions at the Newark Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, folklorist, and national director of the Federal Arts Project, 1935-1943.

From the description of Holger Cahill Papers, 1907-1983, bulk (1942-1959). (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122534365

From the guide to the Holger Cahill Papers, 1907-1983, 1942-1959, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)

Holger Cahill (1887-1960) was an art administrator from New York, N.Y.

Cahill was the National director of Federal Art Project, administered under Federal Project No. 1 of the Works Progress Administration (later the Work Projects Administration). The FAP provided work to unemployed artists. Cahill was the director throughout its existence.

From the description of Oral history interview with Holger Cahill, 1960 Apr. 12 and Apr. 15. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 646397219

Holger Cahill (1887-1960 )was the National Director, Federal Art Project (FAP); New York, N.Y.

Born Sveinn Kristjan Bjarnarson in St. Paul, Minn., of Icelandic-born parents, he took the name Edgar Holger Cahill around 1919, while working as a newspaper reporter. After working at the Newark Museum (1922-1931) and at the Museum of Modern Art (1932-1935), Cahill was appointed national director of the WPA Federal Art Project. He married Dorothy Canning Miller, his second wife, in 1938. The FAP fell under the jurisdiction of Federal project No. 1 of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to aid unemployed artists. Cahill was director of the FAP for its entire existence (1935-1943).

From the description of Holger Cahill papers, 1910-1993, bulk 1910-1960. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 84231666

Holger Cahill was born Sveinn Kristjan Bjarnarson in Iceland in a small valley near the Arctic Circle, on January 13, 1887. His parents, Bjorn Jonson and Vigdis Bjarnadottir, immigrated to the United States from Iceland sometime later in the 1880s. In 1904, his father deserted the family, forcing Sveinn to be separated from his mother and sister to work on a farm in North Dakota. He ran away and wandered from job to job until settling in an orphanage in western Canada, where he attended school and became a voracious reader.

As a young man, he worked at many different jobs and attended night school. While working on a freighter, he visited Hong Kong, beginning his life-long interest in the Orient. Returning to New York City, he eventually became a newspaper reporter, continued his studies at New York University, and changed his name to Edgar Holger Cahill. In 1919 he married Katherine Gridley of Detroit. Their daughter, Jane Ann, was born in 1922, but the couple divorced in 1927.

Cahill met John Sloan circa 1920, and they shared a residence. Cahill also wrote publicity (until 1928) for the Society of Independent Artists, through which he made many friends in the arts. From 1922 to 1931, he worked under John Cotton Dana at the Newark Museum, where he received his basic experience in museum work, organizing the first large exhibitions of folk art.

From 1932 to 1935, he was the director of exhibitions for the Museum of Modern Art. In 1935, Cahill was appointed director of the Works Progress/Projects Administration (WPA) Federal Art Project (FAP), until its end in June 1943. In 1938, Cahill organized a countrywide exhibition "American Art Today" for the New York World's Fair. He also married MoMa curator Dorothy Canning Miller in that year.

Profane Earth, Cahill's first novel, was published in 1927, followed by monographs on Pop Hart and Max Weber, miscellaneous short stories, and a biography of Frederick Townsend Ward, entitled A Yankee Adventurer: The Story of Ward and the Taiping Rebellion . Following the end of the Federal Art Project, Cahill wrote two novels, Look South to the Polar Star (1947) and The Shadow of My Hand (1956).

Holger Cahill died in Stockbridge, Massachusetts in July 1960.

From the guide to the Holger Cahill papers, 1910-1993 (bulk 1910-1960), (Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Baker, Jacob. Jacob Baker interview, 1963 Sept. 25 [sound recording]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Spivak, Max, 1906-. Max Spivak interview, [ca. 1963] [sound recording]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Danysh, Joseph A., 1906-. Joseph A. Danysh interview, 1964 Dec. 3. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Wolff, Robert Jay, 1905-. Robert Jay Wolff papers, 1926-1969. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf New York World's Fair (1939-1940). New York World's Fair 1939-1940 records, 1935-1945, bulk (1939-1940). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Baker, Jacob,. Oral history interview with Jacob Baker, 1963 Sept. 25 [sound recording]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Contreras, Belisario R., 1916-. Papers on New Deal art, 1860-1976; (bulk 1933-1942). University of New Mexico-Main Campus
referencedIn Belisario R. Contreras Papers on New Deal Art, 1860-1976 (bulk 1933-1942) University of New Mexico. Center for Southwest Research
referencedIn McMahon, Audrey, 1900?-1981. Audrey McMahon interview, 1964 Nov. 18. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn McMahon, Audrey, 1900?-1981,. Oral history interview with Audrey McMahon, 1964 Nov. 18 [sound recording]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Bartlett, Fred S. (Frederic Stewart), 1905-. Oral history interview with Frederic Stewart Bartlett, 1964 Nov. 11. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia Museum of Art selected records, 1874-1954. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Jerry, Sylvester, 1904-1990,. Oral history interview with Sylvester Jerry, 1965 June 11 [sound recording]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Constantine, Mildred. Mildred Constantine interview, 1965 Oct. 15. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Baker, Mildred, 1905-. Oral history interview with Mildred Baker, 1963 Sept. 21. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Haupers, Clement, 1900-. Oral history interview with Clement Haupers, 1965 June 15. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960. Holger Cahill Papers, 1907-1983, bulk (1942-1959). New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Adams, Charles C. (Charles Christopher), 1873-1955. Charles C. Adams papers, 1931-1948. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988. Oral history interview with Isamu Noguchi, 1973 Nov. 7-Dec. 26. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960. Correspondence with Carl Zigrosser, 1938. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn ACA Galleries. ACA Galleries records, 1917-1966. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Sunami, Soichi, 1885-1971. [Holger Cahill] / [graphic] Soichi Sunami. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Arnason, H. Harvard. H. Harvard Arnason interviews, 1970 Mar. 3 - 1970 Mar. 9. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Rothschild, Lincoln, 1902-. Lincoln Rothschild papers, 1920-1982. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Feitelson, Lorser, 1898-1978. Lorser Feitelson interviews, 1964 May 12-June 9 [sound recording]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Jerry, Sylvester, 1904-. Oral history interview with Sylvester Jerry, 1965 June 11. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Holt, Elizabeth Basye Gilmore. Elizabeth Basye Gilmore Holt papers, 1931-1987. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Spivak, Max, 1906-. Oral history interview with Max Spivak, [ca. 1963] [sound recording]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Dorothy C. Miller papers, circa 1912-1992, bulk 1959-1984 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
referencedIn Biddle, George, 1885-. Oral history interview with George Biddle, 1963. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988. Oral history interview with Isamu Noguchi, 1973 Nov. 7-1973 Dec. 26. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Crawford, Jack. Federal Art Project Artists [graphic]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960. Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
referencedIn Halpert, Edith Gregor, 1900-1970. Oral history interview with Edith Gregor Halpert, 1965 Jan. 20. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960. Holger Cahill interview, 1960 Apr. 12 and 15 [sound recording]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Carter, Clarence Holbrook, 1904-2000. Clarence Holbrook Carter papers, 1900-1979. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Nagler, Fred, 1891-1983. Fred and Edith Nagler papers, 1913-1979. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960. Oral history interview with Holger Cahill, 1960 Apr. 12 and Apr. 15. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Hirsch, Joseph, 1910-1981. Oral history interview with Joseph Hirsch, 1965. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Baker, Mildred, 1905-. Mildred Baker papers, [ca. 1930]-1987. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Miller, Dorothy Canning, 1904-2003. Oral history interview with Dorothy C. Miller, 1970 May 26-1971 Sept. 28. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Arnason, H. Harvard. Oral history interview with H. Harvard Arnason, 1970 Mar. 3-9. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Federal Art Project (U.S.). Federal Art Project of the Work Projects Administration records, 1935-1948. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Yaddo records, 1870-1980 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn The ACA Galleries records, 1917-1963 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
creatorOf ACA Galleries. ACA Galleries records, 1917-1963. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Gaylor, Wood, 1883-1957. Wood and Adelaide Lawson Gaylor papers, 1866- [ca. 1986]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Glassgold, Adolph, 1899-. Oral history interview with Adolph Glassgold, 1964 Dec. 9 [sound recording]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Glassgold, Adolph, 1899-. Adolph Glassgold interview, 1964 Dec. 9. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960. Holger Cahill papers, 1910-1993, bulk 1910-1960. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Glassgold, Adolph, 1899-. Adolph Glassgold interview, 1964 Dec. 9 [sound recording]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Constantine, Mildred. Mildred Constantine interview, 1965 Oct. 15 [sound recording]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Miller, Dorothy Canning, 1904-2003. Oral history interview with Dorothy C. Miller, 1981 May 14. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Crawford, Phyllis. Phyllis Crawford papers concerning the Index of American Design, 1936-1963. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Baker, Jacob. Jacob Baker interview, 1963 Sept. 25. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn McMahon, Audrey, 1900?-1981. Audrey McMahon papers, 1935-1980. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Bartlett, Fred S. (Frederic Stewart), 1905-. Frederic Stewart Bartlett interview, 1964 Nov. 11 [sound recording]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Belisario Contreras Photograph Collection, 1930-1942 University of New Mexico. Center for Southwest Research
referencedIn Downtown Gallery records, 1824-1974, bulk 1926-1969 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
creatorOf Hirsch, Stefan, 1899-1964. Stefan Hirsch and Elsa Rogo papers, 1926-1985. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Miller, Dorothy Canning, 1904-2003. Dorothy C. Miller papers, circa 1912-1992, bulk 1959-1984. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Feitelson, Lorser, 1898-1978,. Oral history interview with Lorser Feitelson, 1964 May 12-1964 June 9 [sound recording]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Kleinholz, Frank, 1901-. Frank Kleinholz papers, 1930-1980. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Kleinholz, Frank, 1901-. Frank Kleinholz papers, 1930-1980. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Spivak, Max, 1906-1981,. Oral history interview with Max Spivak, [circa 1963] [sound recording]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Holger Cahill papers, 1910-1993 (bulk 1910-1960) Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
referencedIn Danysh, Joseph A., 1906-. Oral history interview with Joseph A. Danysh, 1964 Dec. 3. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Hirsch, Joseph, 1910-. Joseph Hirsch interview, 1965. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960. Reminiscences of Holger Cahill : oral history, 1957. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Audrey McMahon papers, 1935-1980 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
creatorOf Barker, Burt Brown, 1873-1969. Burt Brown Barker papers, 1935-1938. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Constantine, Mildred,. Oral history interview with Mildred Constantine, 1965 Oct. 15 [sound recording]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Haupers, Clement, 1900-. Oral history interview with Clement Haupers, 1965 June 15 [sound recording]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Jerry, Sylvester, 1904-. Sylvester Jerry interview, 1965 June 11. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Miller, Dorothy Canning, 1904-2003. Oral history interview with Dorothy C. Miller, 1970 May 26-1971 Sept. 28. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Holger Cahill Papers, 1907-1983, 1942-1959 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Haupers, Clement, 1900-. Clement Haupers interview, 1965 June 15. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Belisario Contreras photograph collectionContreras, Belisario (Collection) [Picture] University of New Mexico-Main Campus
creatorOf Siporin, Mitchell, 1910-1976. Mitchell Siporin papers, 1913-1990. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Abbott, Berenice, 1898-1991. person
associatedWith ACA Galleries. corporateBody
associatedWith Adams, Charles C. (Charles Christopher), 1873-1955. person
associatedWith American Artists' Congress. corporateBody
associatedWith American Council of Learned Societies. corporateBody
associatedWith American Federation of Arts. corporateBody
associatedWith Arnason, H. Harvard person
associatedWith Artists' Union (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Baker, Jacob. person
associatedWith Baker, Mildred, 1905- person
associatedWith Barker, Burt Brown, 1873-1969. person
associatedWith Barr, Alfred Hamilton, 1902-1981. person
associatedWith Bartlett, Fred S. (Frederic Stewart), 1905- person
associatedWith Biddle, George, 1885- person
associatedWith Brown, Samuel Joseph, 1907- person
associatedWith Carter, Clarence Holbrook, 1904-2000. person
associatedWith Cartoonists Guild. corporateBody
associatedWith Constantine, Mildred. person
associatedWith Contreras, Belisario R., 1916- person
associatedWith Crawford, Jack. person
associatedWith Crawford, Phyllis. person
associatedWith Danysh, Joseph A., 1906- person
associatedWith Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964. person
associatedWith Day, Dorothy, 1897-1980. person
associatedWith De Rivera, José Ruiz, 1904-1985. person
associatedWith Downtown Gallery corporateBody
associatedWith Federal Art Project (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Federal Music Project (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Federal Theatre Project (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Feitelson, Lorser, 1898-1978, person
associatedWith Flanagan, Hallie, 1890-1960. person
associatedWith Flanagan, Hallie, 1890-1969 person
associatedWith Gaylor, Wood, 1883-1957. person
associatedWith Glassgold, Adolph, 1899- person
associatedWith Gold, Michael, 1894-1969. person
associatedWith Halpert, Edith Gregor, 1900-1970 person
associatedWith Haupers, Clement, 1900- person
associatedWith Herbst, Josephine, 1897-1969. person
associatedWith Hirsch, Joseph, 1910- person
associatedWith Hirsch, Stefan, 1899-1964. person
associatedWith Holt, Elizabeth Basye Gilmore. person
associatedWith Hopkins, Harry Lloyd, 1890-1946. person
associatedWith Index of American Design. corporateBody
associatedWith Jerry, Sylvester, 1904- person
associatedWith Jerry, Sylvester, 1904-1990, person
associatedWith Kleinholz, Frank, 1901- person
associatedWith Knaths, Karl, 1891- person
associatedWith Knaths, Karl, 1891-1971. person
associatedWith Laning, Clair. person
associatedWith Macdonald-Wright, Stanton, 1890-1973. person
associatedWith McMahon, Audrey, 1900?-1981, person
associatedWith Miller, Dorothy Canning person
associatedWith Miller, Dorothy Canning, 1904-2003 person
associatedWith Morris, Carl, 1911-1993. person
associatedWith Morse, John D., 1906- person
associatedWith Nagler, Fred, 1891-1983. person
associatedWith New York World's Fair (1939-1940) corporateBody
associatedWith Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988 person
associatedWith Olds, Elizabeth, 1896- person
associatedWith Olds, Elizabeth, 1896-1991. person
associatedWith Pevsner, Nikolaus, Sir, 1902- person
associatedWith Philadelphia Museum of Art. corporateBody
associatedWith Pollack, Peter, 1909-1978 person
associatedWith Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956. person
associatedWith Pring, Joan, person
associatedWith Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962. person
associatedWith Rothschild, Lincoln, 1902- person
associatedWith Rowan, Edward Beatty, 1898-1946. person
associatedWith Sandoz, Mari, 1896-1966. person
associatedWith Scaravaglione, Concetta, 1900-1975. person
associatedWith Segal, George, 1924-2000. person
associatedWith Shakers. corporateBody
associatedWith Siporin, Mitchell, 1910-1976. person
associatedWith Speck, Walter, 1895- person
associatedWith Spivak, Max, 1906- person
associatedWith Spivak, Max, 1906- person
associatedWith Sunami, Soichi, 1885-1971. person
associatedWith The Design Laboratory (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Treasury Relief Art Project. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Work Projects Administration. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Works Progress Administration. corporateBody
associatedWith Ward, Lynd, 1905- person
associatedWith Weisenborn, Rudolph, b. 1881. person
associatedWith Wolff, Robert Jay, 1905- person
associatedWith Yaddo (Artist's colony) corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
United States
New York (State)--New York
United States
United States
New York (State)--New York
Subject
Arts administrators
Art, Modern--20th century
Federal aid to the arts
Authors--Interviews
Art centers
Icelandic Americans
New Deal, 1933-1939
Authors, American
Public officers
Arts administrators--Interviews
Federal aid to the public welfare
Journalism
Art and state
Art, American
Arts
Depressions--1929
Icelanders--United States
Icelanders
Occupation
Intellectuals
Authors
Critic
Function

Person

Birth 1887-01-13

Death 1960-07-08

Icelanders

English,

Icelandic

Information

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