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Priscilla Van der Poel Papers, 1926-1994
4 boxes (1.25 linear ft.)
Collection number: RG 42

Abstract:
The Priscilla Van der Poel Papers contain materials primarily concerned with the professor's teaching career at Smith, but also reveal much about her social life. Material includes correspondence, programs, writings, photographs, diaries, and collected ephemera.

Terms of Access and Use: Restrictions on use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the documents must be requested from the Smith College Archives. Smith College owns copyright to any published material relating to college events and activities. Provenance and copyright ownership of other materials is unknown and researchers are responsible for determining any question of copyright. When requesting material at the Smith College Archives, see the printed finding aid for specific instructions on completing the call slip.

Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Priscilla Paine was born on April 9, 1907, in Brooklyn, New York, to Frederick H. and Mary (Tillinghast) Paine. She graduated from Smith College in 1928 and went to Europe to continue her artistic development. In Rome she attended the British Academy before returning to New York City to participate in the Art Students League. She also studied interior design at the New York School of Interior Decoration, and completed several decorating jobs in New York and later Northampton (including a few Smith College buildings). Van der Poel wrote in her resume that she left a "salary offer of $3900 in New York for one of $600 here at Smith, because she cared about art, about studying, about teaching, and about Smith College, more than about New York business." She joined the faculty of the Department of Art in 1934. In 1937, she completed a master's degree, also from Smith. It appears Paine married around 1938, when she begins to be listed as Mrs. Van der Poel in the course catalogs, but there does not seem to be any mention of her husband in this collection of papers.

Van der Poel's main professional interests were modern art, design and decoration, and Latin-American art. Early in her teaching career, she was assigned introductory studio art and design courses. Later, in addition to the design courses, she taught modern art and art theory courses. In 1945 she was promoted from assistant to associate professor. Van der Poel also held many administrative positions, but she remained adamant that teaching, not administrative work, was her passion. Besides a prominent role as the Dean of the Class of 1949, she served on the college admission board, the scholarship committee, the Administrative Board, the Conference Committee, the Honors Committee, the Committee in Honorary Degrees, and was chairman of the Lecture Committee from 1950-52. She also served a distinguished term as chairman of the Art Department from 1955 to 1958. She retired in 1972.

Van der Poel traveled abroad frequently throughout her life. She often went to Europe for the summer to conduct special studies and collect photographs and materials for Smith courses. She collected modern art and donated her entire collection to the Smith College Museum of Art before her death. Her active social life revolved around dinner parties that she hosted almost weekly during the latter part of her career. A colleague remembers, "Her elegance was striking, and so were the style and generosity of her hospitality, which was often displayed at gatherings at her apartment." She died on March 19, 1994 at the age of 86.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Priscilla Van der Poel Papers, 1926-1994, contain materials primarily concerned with the professor's teaching career at Smith, but also reveal much about her social life. Types of materials include correspondence, clippings, programs, notes, typescripts, photographs, diaries, and collected ephemera.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the documents must be requested from the Smith College Archives. Smith College owns copyright to any published material relating to college events and activities. Provenance and copyright ownership of other materials is unknown and researchers are responsible for determining any question of copyright. When requesting material at the Smith College Archives, see the printed finding aid for specific instructions on completing the call slip.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Priscilla Van der Poel Papers, Box #, Smith College Archives.

History of the Collection

The Priscilla Van der Poel Papers were donated by Mrs. Elliott Carlisle in April 1988.

Processing Information

Processed by Christina Lehman '03.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List
SERIES I. BIOGRAPHY



General
1994, n.d.

Box 1039.1: folder 1
Education, Smith Class of 1928
1926-28, 1953

Box 1039.1: folder 2
SERIES II. PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES



Artwork
1944-46, n.d.

Box 1039.1: folder 3
Career Highlights
1935-72, n.d.

Box 1039.1: folder 4
Dean of the Class of 1949
1945-1949

Box 1039.1: folder 5
Exhibitions and Events
1948-77

Box 1039.1: folder 6
Interior Decoration
1944, 1949, n.d.

Box 1039.1: folder 7
Speeches - Clippings
1947-64, n.d.

Box 1039.1: folder 8
Speeches - Programs
1938-56

Box 1039.1: folder 9
Teaching - General
1939-62, n.d.

Box 1039.1: folder 10
Teaching - General course materials
1947-51, n.d.

Box 1039.1: folder 11
Teaching - Lecture Notes
1944-49, n.d.

Box 1039.1: folder 12
Miscellaneous
1929-68

Box 1039.1: folder 13
SERIES III. CORRESPONDENCE



A-B


Box 1039.1: folder 14
C


Box 1039.1: folder 15
D


Box 1039.1: folder 16
E-G


Box 1039.1: folder 17
H-K


Box 1039.1: folder 18
L


Box 1039.1: folder 19
M


Box 1039.1: folder 20
N-O


Box 1039.1: folder 21
P-R


Box 1039.1: folder 22
S


Box 1039.1: folder 23
T-W


Box 1039.1: folder 24
Unidentified
1947-76

Box 1039.1: folder 25
Unidentified
n.d.

Box 1039.1: folder 26
Alumnae Association
1946-60, n.d.

Box 1039.1: folder 27
69th Birthday - April 9, 1976
1976

Box 1039.1: folder 28
Blank Postcards


Box 1039.1: folder 29
SERIES IV. TRAVEL



England


Box 1039.2: folder 1
France


Box 1039.2: folder 2
Greece and Turkey


Box 1039.2: folder 3
Italy


Box 1039.2: folder 4
New York City


Box 1039.2: folder 5
Miscellaneous


Box 1039.2: folder 6
SERIES V. WRITINGS



Master's Thesis
1937

Box 1039.2: folder 7
Personal Notes, Miscellaneous


Box 1039.2: folder 8
Reviews
n.d.

Box 1039.2: folder 9
Address Book


Box 1039.3
Travel Diary (line-a-day)
1949

Box 1039.3
Travel Diary (line-a-day)
1952

Box 1039.3
Travel Diary (line-a-day)
1954

Box 1039.3
Travel Diary (line-a-day)
1960

Box 1039.3
Travel Journal
1955-57

Box 1039.3
SERIES VI. SOCIAL ACTIVITIES



Club Membership cards
n.d.

Box 1039.4: folder 1
Dinner parties
1958-62

Box 1039.4: folder 2
Dinner parties
1963-64

Box 1039.4: folder 3
Dinner parties
1965

Box 1039.4: folder 4
Dinner parties
1966

Box 1039.4: folder 5
Dinner parties
1967

Box 1039.4: folder 6
Dinner parties
1968

Box 1039.4: folder 7
Dinner parties
1969-70

Box 1039.4: folder 8
Dinner parties
1971

Box 1039.4: folder 9
Dinner parties
1972-74

Box 1039.4: folder 10
Dinner parties
1975-76, 1979

Box 1039.4: folder 11
Dinner parties - Miscellaneous
n.d.

Box 1039.4: folder 12
SERIES VII. PHOTOGRAPHS



Priscilla Van der Poel


Box 1039.4: folder 13
General


Box 1039.4: folder 14
Student Artwork


Box 1039.4: folder 15
Unidentified


Box 1039.4: folder 16
SERIES VIII. OVERSIZE MATERIALS



Artwork


Box 1039.5

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Art--Study and teaching (Higher)--Massachusetts --Northampton.
  • Smith College--Faculty.
  • Van der Poel, Priscilla Paine.

Contributors
  • Chase, Mary Ellen, 1887-1973.
  • Duckett, Eleanor Shipley.
  • Mendenhall, Cornelia.
  • Mendenhall, Thomas Corwin.


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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