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Alfred Vance Churchill Papers, 1828-1948
4 boxes (2 linear ft.)
Collection number: RG 42

Abstract:
Professor of Fine Arts. Contains biographical material, correspondence, material related to museum and art collecting, publications, and teaching materials.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The papers are open for research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives without any additional restrictions.

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.

Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Alfred Vance Churchill was born on August 14, 1864 in Oberlin, Ohio. He was the son of Charles Henry Churchill, a professor at Oberlin College and his second wife, Henrietta Vance Churchill. Alfred was the second child of Henrietta Vance Churchill, and was the sixth of Charles Henry Churchill's nine children. After studies at Oberlin, Alfred studied art in Berlin, Leipzig, and Paris from 1887-1890. He married Marie Marschall in 1890. Their son Louis Nelson Churchill was born in 1897. In 1892 Churchill directed the art department at Iowa College, Grinnell, Iowa. From 1893-1897, he taught art in the High and Normal Schools of St. Louis, Missouri. In 1897, he was made professor of art and Director of the Department of Fine Arts at Teachers College, Columbia University. He received the degree of Master of Arts from Oberlin College in 1898. Columbia University dismissed Churchill in 1904, but gave him a grant to study and paint in Paris 1904-1906. Smith College hired him in 1905 as the first resident professor in the appreciation and history of art. During his years at Smith, he expanded the Smith College Art Museum into one of the outstanding collections in the United States. A noted art critic, lecturer as well as a teacher and painter (whose work appeared in the Armory Show in Chicago in 1913), he influenced the standards of art teaching, especially as vice-president of the College Art Association. After 27 years of service to Smith, Churchill retired in 1932, staying in Northampton, Massachusetts, and devoting himself to painting and writing. He died on December 29, 1949.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

There is copious correspondence with important art collectors and figures in the history of Smith College, as well as other educational institutions such as Columbia University. Researchers interested in Oberlin College, family history and the social history of the Midwestern U.S. will find the manuscripts and typescripts of his unpublished book Midwestern of interest. Genealogists will find some mention and dating of family names coming out of New England such as Franklin and Churchill. Art historians will be interested to note Churchill's writings and lectures on the teaching of art, and his role in developing an American taste for French Romantic painters.

There is some overlap in categories, but in keeping with the "respect des fonds," it was thought best to retain where possible the arrangement of certain folders which Churchill himself devised.


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

The papers are open for research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives without any additional restrictions.

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.

Preferred Citation

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

Alfred Vance Churchill Papers, Box #, Smith College Archives.

History of the Collection

Alfred Vance Churchill donated letters, photographs, poems, etc. from his own papers in 1941. Later in the same year he donated more files for his biographical record. Two letters written to the Smith College Archivist in 1941 or 1942 substantiate this as the year of donation, although nothing precludes the possibility of donations at an earlier date. On April 26, 1966, Mrs. Bernard A. Churchill [daughter-in-law] donated on behalf of Mrs. A. V. Churchill, a "MS of Oberlin book-typescript and carbon," written by Alfred Vance Churchill, which corresponds to the folders titled "Midwestern."

Processing Information

Processed by Joel Tansey


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. Biographical Material
(1828-1942)


This series includes correspondence, news clippings, chronologies, obituary, and materials regarding retirement from Smith College and departure from Columbia University. This series also contains family history documents, including photographs, correspondence, and assorted other materials.

Letters to Smith College Archives.
1941-42

Box 708
Biographical materials and chronology. Includes obituary.


Box 708
Retirement from Smith College. (Includes letters from Stephan Bourgeois, Gordon B. Washburn, J. B. Neumann, Frank Jewett Mather, Daniel Catton Rich, Walter Pach, W. R. Valentiner, Edward Alden Jewell)
1931-35

Box 708
Columbia Teachers College. (Includes letters from John Dewey and James E. Russell)
1897-1939

Box 708
Photographs: Alfred Vance Churchill and family. (Includes Charles Henry Churchill and sister Lucretia Churchill in 1842, Henrietta Vance Churchill, Polly Franklin Churchill, Emilie von Zulich 1828, David Carroll Churchill)
1828-1932, n.d.

Box 708
Genealogy materials. (Includes letters from Mrs. William A. Whitney and Benjamin E. Franklin)
1936, n.d.

Box 708
Genealogy book: The Churchills of Oberlin
1965

Box 708
Genealogical materials: Henrietta Beach Vance [grandmother]. (Includes materials about and letters of Henrietta Beach Vance to Alfred and Marie Churchill, materials related to the Vance family in Lagrange County, and to Lewis Nelson Churchill)
1894-1936

Box 708
Will and account book of Henrietta Beach Vance [grandmother].
1886-1901

Box 708
Obituaries of Henrietta Vance Churchill [mother].
1898-99

Box 708
Letters and writings of Henrietta Vance Churchill [mother].
1858, 1892-93

Box 708
Letters of Charles Henry Churchill [father] to Alfred and Marie Churchill
1890-1904

Box 708
Letters to Charles Henry Churchill from family. (Includes photograph and postcard from Lyme, New Hampshire)
1838-43, n.d.

Box 708
Materials on Charles Henry Churchill [father].
1872-1936

Box 708
Letters from brothers and sisters.
1898-1941, n.d.

Box 708
Letters to family from Berlin.
1888-90

Box 708
Family letter.
1895

Box 708
Family letter about Edward [brother].
1933-34

Box 708
Series II. General and Professional Correspondence
(1889-1942)


This series contains correspondence relating to Churchill's research and and career at Smith College.

General correspondence.
1901-42

Box 708
Letters from Laurence Binyon
1914-34

Box 708
Correspondence with Marion LeRoy Burton
1914-17

Box 708
Letters from Charles Lang Freer
1913-16

Box 708
Letters to Grace Gilfillan
1901-04

Box 708
Correspondence with Laurenus Clark Seelye
1905-15

Box 708
Correspondence with Dwight William Tryon
1912-25

Box 708
Letters from Alice B. Tryon
1926, n.d.

Box 708
Letters from Hugh Walpole
1922-26

Box 708
Letters from Henry C. White
1929

Box 708
Series III. Museum and Art Collecting Materials
(1905-1941)


This series includes materials related to museum exhibitions and art collecting, and Churchill's own art work.

Gericault exhibit: brochure and correspondence
1929-36

Box 709
Booklet on art collecting: "Building a Collection" Full title: Building a Collection: Notes on the Work of Alfred Vance Churchill. Published by the American Association of University Women
[1937?]

Box 709
Catalogues of the Smith College Museum of Art. One of the two copies is annotated by Churchill.
1937

Box 709
Materials on Churchill's art and exhibits. Includes news clippings, brochure and correspondence.
1905-50, n.d.

Box 709
Silhouettes of Smith College presidents. Includes correspondence.
1938-39

Box 709
Series IV. Publications and Teaching Materials
(1900-1948)


This series includes professional publications, course syllabi, lecture notes, speeches on art education, and transcripts of Churchill's book Midwestern.

Prints used for courses Art 13 & 14
n.d.

Box 709
Lecture notes and outlines for art history. Materials are printed, handwritten, or typed.
1917-18, n.d.

Box 709
Materials on teaching art. Includes syllabi, correspondence.
1900-41

Box 709
Speeches and materials on art in education
1902-30, n.d.

Box 709
Article: "The Meaning and Aim of Art in Education"
1904

Box 709
Article: "Art in the College Course"
1915

Box 709
Booklet: "One Hour Course in Art Interpretation"
1907

Box 709
List of publications
1932

Box 709
Pamphlet: "Catalogue of Architects, Sculptors & Painters"
1907

Box 709
Pamphlet: "Italian Painters of the Renaissance"
1914

Box 709
Article: "Picasso's Failure"
1925

Box 709
Article: "On Cezanne"
1932

Box 709
Typescript: translations of German songs
1941-48

Box 709
Book: Golden Songs. Two copies, one annotated.
1947

Box 709
Carbon typescript bound: "The Thirteenth Century"
n.d.

Box 709
Manuscript: poems
1904, n.d.

Box 709
Midwestern



Background materials for Midwestern
1902-40

Box 709
Correspondence regarding families of Oberlin, Ohio.


Box 709
Background materials for Midwestern
1935-38

Box 709
Background materials for Midwestern. This folder was also arranged by Churchill himself.
1935-38

Box 710
Manuscript of Midwestern, first folder
n.d.

Box 710
Manuscript of Midwestern, second folder
n.d.

Box 710
Manuscript of Midwestern, third folder
n.d.

Box 710
Manuscript of Midwestern, fourth folder
n.d.

Box 710
Midwestern MS typed: Preface, Prelude, Chapters 1-7. Appears to be the latest and abridged version of the work. Includes table of contents and a photo of Mrs. Churchill.
March 1941

Box 710
Midwestern MS typed: Chapters 8-13
March 1941

Box 710
Midwestern MS typed: Chapters 14-17
March 1941

Box 710
Midwestern MS typed: Chapters 18-23
March 1941

Box 710
Typescript of Midwestern: Chapters 1-9
February 1941

Box 710
Note:

[See Churchill's note in front about the different versions.]

Typescript of Midwestern: Chapters 10-13
February 1941

Box 710
Typescript of Midwestern: Chapters 14-21
February 1941

Box 710
Typescript of Midwestern: Chapters 22-26
February 1941

Box 710

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--Massachusetts--Northampton.
  • Churchill family.
  • Churchill, Alfred Vance, 1864-1949.
  • Churchill, Charles H. (Charles Henry), 1824-1904.
  • Columbia University. Teachers College--Faculty.
  • Middle West--History.
  • Oberlin College--History--Sources.
  • Smith College--Faculty.
  • Smith College. Museum of Art.

Contributors
  • Binyon, Laurence, 1869-1943.
  • Burton, Marion Le Roy, 1874-1925.
  • Churchill, Charles H. (Charles Henry), 1824-1904.
  • Dewey, John, 1859-1952.
  • Freer, Charles Lang, 1856-1919.
  • Seelye, Laurenus Clark, 1837-1924.
  • Tryon, Dwight William, 1849-1925.
  • Walpole, Hugh, Sir, 1884-1941.
  • White, Henry Cooke, 1861-


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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