Prentiss Taylor papers, 1885-1991.

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Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991. Prentiss Taylor papers, 1885-1991.

Prentiss Taylor papers, 1885-1991.

The collection measures 20.4 linear feet, dates from 1885 to 1991 (bulk dates 1908-1986) and documents the career of Harlem Renaissance lithographer, teacher, and painter Prentiss Taylor. The collection consists primarily of subject/correspondence files (circa 16 ft.), reflecting Prentiss' career as a lithographer and painter, his association with figures prominent in the Harlem Renaissance, notably Carl Van Vechten and Langston Hughes, his activities as president of the Society of Washington Printmakers and other art organizations, his work in art therapy treating mental illness, and his teaching position at American University. The subject files contain mostly correspondence, but many include photographs and printed material. Also included are biographical, financial, legal and printed material; several hundred photographs; notes and writings; sketchbooks, drawings and a few prints by Taylor; and scrapbooks dating from 1885-1956. The Langston Hughes files contain photocopies of letters from Hughes, greeting cards, ten original photographs of Hughes, and an autographed card printed with Hughes' poem, The Negro Speaks of Rivers. In addition, there is a contract between Hughes and Taylor, witnessed by Carl Van Vechten, forming the Golden Stair Press, through which many of Hughes' poems were printed with illustrations by Taylor. A rare edition of their first publication, The Negro Mother, is found here. Also found in this file is a 1932 final copy of Scottsboro Limited, another collaborative effort between Taylor and Hughes that focused on a case where nine black youths were falsely accused of raping two white women. The collection contains extensive correspondence about Taylor's lithograph of the same title and the printing of the publication. Other rare Harlem Renaissance publications found within Taylor's papers include Golden Stair Broadsides, Opportunity Journal of Negro Life, The Rebel Poet, and Eight Who Lie in the Death House, several of which were also illustrated by Taylor. Prentiss Taylor's long association with Langston Hughes and other figures of the Harlem Renaissance stemmed from his early friendship with Carl Van Vechten. Taylor's papers contain correspondence with Van Vechten, autographed copies of Van Vechten's booklets, and numerous photographs of notable Harlem Renaissance figures, many taken by Van Vechten, including Zora Neale Hurston, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Eugene O'Neill, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, Paul Robeson, and many others. Also found are period photographs of Charleston, South Carolina and Harlem street scenes. 95 letters from Rachel Field, 75 letters from Langston Hughes, 3 letters from Armin Landeck, 46 letters from Josephine Pinckney, 1 letter from Gertrude Stein, 7 letters from Alice B. Toklas, 1 postcard from Mark Van Doren, and 25 letters from Carl Van Vechten are photocopies. Originals of the Hughes and Toklas letters are located at the Yale University Library. Location of the remaining original letters are unknown. The Prentiss Taylor papers offer researchers insight into the rich cultural documentation of the Harlem Renaissance and the development of twentieth-century printmaking as an American fine art.

20.4 linear ft.

Related Constellations

There are 18 Constellations related to this resource.

Society of Washington Printmakers (Washington, D.C.)

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6pw2nmp (corporateBody)

Toklas, Alice B., 1877-1967

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6bw85rv (person)

Toklas was a writer and companion to Gertrude Stein. From the guide to the Alice B. Toklas letters to William Alfred, 1951-1961., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University) Biographical Note Alice B. Toklas (1877-1967) was an author and the life partner of Gertrude Stein. Don Frank is the son of one of Toklas' childhood friends. After his service in the armed forces, he met Toklas in Europe. ...

Van Doren, Mark, 1894-1972

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Correspondence to Lewis Mumford from Mark Van Doren and his wife, Dorothy Van Doren. From the description of Letters, 1965-1978, to Lewis Mumford. (University of Pennsylvania Library). WorldCat record id: 155877479 Mark Van Doren was an American author, scholar, and educator. He is probably best remembered for his long tenure as Columbia professor, where he was noted for his inspired Humanities courses and respect for students. His poetry was meticulously well-crafted and gr...

Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6v40wfj (person)

Mexican painter and muralist. From the description of Declaration in connection with a watercolor and a drawing sold to Mrs. Schwartz, 1934 March 7, Mexico City. (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 81939422 Diego Rivera, a renowned Mexican mural painter, was commissioned by Mrs. Samuel Strong in 1935 to paint a portrait of her friend, Kathleen Burke, of Cleveland, Ohio. From the description of Receipt from Diego Rivera, 1935 Mar. 5. (Unknown). WorldCa...

Field, Rachel, 1894-1942

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6jm286r (person)

Rachel Field, author, studied playwriting at Radcliffe, 1914-1918. She wrote plays, children's books, poetry, and novels. She received the Newberry medal for children's literature (1929) and the National Award for Fiction (1935). From the description of Papers, 1845-1942 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 232008513 Rachel Field, American novelist, poet, and author of children's fiction. From the guide to the Rachel Field collection, 1917-1942,...

Taylor, Prentiss, 1907-1991

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w65148rd (person)

Prentiss Taylor was born 1907 in Washington, D.C. He studied at the Art Students League in New York City and became a noted landscape painter. He spent four months in Charleston, South Carolina in 1933 doing sketches of rundown buildings. Working for the W.P.A., he made a series of lithographs from these drawings. He was also an illustrator about stories of blacks in the South. He served as president of the Society of Washington Printmakers for 34 years and did pioneering work in art theorapy wi...

Golden Stair Press.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6f82frm (corporateBody)

Hughes, Langston, 1902-1967

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6rn37qn (person)

Poet, author, playwright, songwriter. From the guide to the Langston Hughes collection, [microform], 1926-1967, (The New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.) From the description of Langston Hughes collection, 1926-1967. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 144652168 Langson Hughes: African-American poet and writer, author of Weary Blue (1926), The Big Sea (1940), and other works. ...

Robinson, Bill, 1878-1949

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Jazz dancer. From the description of Autograph card signed : [n.p.], [194-?]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270904716 ...

Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6kd21ds (person)

Carl Van Vechten was an American novelist, critic, essayist, book collector, and photographer. From the description of Carl Van Vechten collection of papers, 1922-1964. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122455166 From the guide to the Carl Van Vechten collection of papers, 1911-1964, (The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.) Carl van Vechten (1880-1964) was an American photographer, writer,...

Landeck, Armin, 1905-1984

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This print is based on a detail from Landeck's 1932 lithograph View of New York. From the description of [Manhattan vista] [graphic] / A. Landeck. 1934. (Boston Athenaeum). WorldCat record id: 45289291 A quote from Landeck in Kraeft's catalogue raisonneĢ states that the print was "done when they were building the F.D.R. Drive on the East Side [of New York]. The print shows the new road. Whiteness and no traffic. The old coal bunker in the foreground makes the picture." ...

Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946

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Gertrude Stein (b. February 3, 1874, Allegheny, PA-d. July 27, 1946, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France) was an American novelist, poet, playwright, and art collector. She moved to Paris and acquired a love for modern painting. Stein began building a personal collection of major artists, many of whom became her friends and formed the core of her regular salons. In 1907, as Stein was struggling to establish herself as a writer, she met Alice Babette Toklas, a fellow American who had come to P...

Kahlo, Frida

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w65x2jtt (person)

O'Neill, Eugene, 1888-1953

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6930vbg (person)

A biographical timeline is provided in the Eugene O'Neill Papers (YCAL MSS 123). From the guide to the Eugene O'Neill collection, 1912-1993, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library) American playwright. From the description of Papers, 1913-1986, 1913-1950 (bulk). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 155490040 From the description of Papers of Eugene O'Neill [manuscript], 1915-1940. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647810476 From the de...

Hurston, Zora Neale

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6p273w8 (person)

Author, folklorist, anthropologist. Born in Eatonville, Florida; educated at Barnard College and Colombia University. Did research on African-American folklore in the American South, Haiti, and the West Indies. Published works include: Of Mules and Men (1935); Jonah's Gourd Vine (1934); Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), Moses: Man of the Mountain (1939), Seraph on the Suwanee (1948); and her autobiography Dust Tracks on a Road (1943). Hurston also wrote short stories, plays, and non-fiction a...

Pinckney, Josephine, 1895-1957

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Robeson, Paul

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Paul Robeson was born April 9, 1898 in Princeton, New Jersey. Robeson entered Rutgers College in 1915, becoming a 12-letter athlete and two-time collegiate footbal All-American, a Phi Beta Kappa scholar, and valedictorian of his graduating class of 1919. He went on to receive a law degree from Columbia Law School in 1923, but chose acting over the practice of law. The year 1924 marked his Broadway and film debuts, beginning his career as a world renowned actor and singer. Robeson was one of the ...

American University (Washington, D.C.). Fine Arts Dept.

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