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Gladys Edgerly Bates Papers

An inventory of her papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Bates, Gladys Edgerly.
Title: Gladys Edgerly Bates Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1913-1997
Quantity: 2 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American sculptor, born 1896. Collection includes correspondence (1924-1956); six sketchbooks (1913-1921); photographs of sculpture; a notebook containing an annotated list of works and biographical notes; personal photographs; clippings (1922-1961); and exhibition catalogs (1920s-1961). Notable correspondents include Dolores Bryant, Beatrice Cuming, sister Beatrice Edgerly, Katherine Forest, brother-in-law John Havard MacPherson, Mabel Pugh, Brenda Putnam, Abraham Rattner, Margaret Sanger, Susan Gertrude Schell, and a number of other artists.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Gladys Edgerly Bates (1896- ) was an American sculptor known for her figure carving. She worked in stone, terra-cotta, and wood. Born in Hopewell, New Jersey, she studied at the School of Industrial Arts in Trenton, New Jersey under Henry MacGinnis. In 1910, at MacGinnis' recommendation, she and her younger sister moved to Washington, D.C. to study at the Corcoran School of Art, where they remained for six years until 1916, when both sisters entered the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art.

In 1923 she married fellow artist Kenneth Bates (1895-1973), a painter known for his landscapes and still lifes. The couple had three children.

Most of Bates' career was spent in Mystic, Connecticut, but her work was exhibited in venues across the country, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Carnegie Institute, and Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York). She was a member of many professional societies including the Mystic Art Association, the National Association of Women Artists, and the National Sculpture Society.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Gladys Edgerly Bates Papers comprises correspondence, artwork, writings, and memorabilia of the American sculptor. The collection illuminates both her professional and personal career and personal life, as well as, to a lesser extent, that of her husband, painter Kenneth Bates.

Correspondence-subject files (Boxes 1-2) includes incoming family letters from sister Beatrice Edgerly and brother-in-law John Havard Macpherson, both painters, as well as other personal and business communication. Other correspondents include artists (Beonne and Lester Boronda, Clara Bratt, Sheila Burlingame, Doris Caesar, Cornalia Van A. Chapin, Beatrice Cuming, Katherine Forest, Sue May Gill, Genevieve Hamlin, Lucile Howard, Walt Killam, Agnes Lincoln, Arthur Meltzer, Mabel Pugh, Abraham Rattner, Susan Gertrude Schell, Paulette Van Roekens); authors (Faith Andrews, Dolores Bryant, Percy Mackaye); birth control advocate Margaret Sanger; a number of galleries and museums (Art Institute of Chicago, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia Art Alliance, Woodmere Art Gallery); and professional organizations (National Association of Women Artists, National Sculpture Society, Pen and Brush).

Six sketchbooks (1913-1921), photographs of sculpture arranged by title, and a self-generated catalog of Bates' work containing biographical highlights of her career constitute Artwork and Writings (Box 3).

Encompassing personal photographs and printed material, Memorabilia (Box 4) includes photocopies of clippings (1922-1961) from a scrapbook which was disassembled for preservation purposes, and exhibit catalogs.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence-subject files are arranged alphabetically. Artwork, Writings and Memorabila are arranged alphabetically by type of material.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

The collection originally contained numerous exhibit catalogs. The bulk of these have been removed from the collection and transferred to Rare Books for cataloging. A copy of Brackman: His Art and Teaching donated in 1997, written by Kenneth Bates and signed/inscribed by Brackman to both Kenneth and Gladys, has also been transferred to Rare Books for cataloging. Please refer to the Classic Catalog to locate these items.

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Subject Headings


Bates, Gladys Edgerly.
Bates, Kenneth, 1895-1973.
Bryant, Dolores Waldorf.
Cuming, Beatrice, 1903-1974.
Edgerly, Beatrice.
Forest, Katherine.
MacPherson, John Havard.
Pugh, Mabel, 1891-1986.
Putnam, Brenda, 1890-1975.
Rattner, Abraham.
Sanger, Margaret, 1879-1966.
Schell, Susan Gertrude.


Art, American -- 20th century.
Art, American.
Sculptors -- United States.
Sculpture, American -- 20th century.
Sculpture, American.
Women artists -- United States.
Women sculptors -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Exhibition catalogs.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Gladys Edgerly Bates Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Gladys E. Bates, 1965, 1997.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: KM
Date: Jun 1994
Revision history: 25 Jul 2007 - converted to EAD (MRC); 5 Sep 2014 - additions processed, removal of exhibit catalogs noted (MRC)

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Correspondence-subject files
Box 1 Ames, Winslow 1934
Box 1 Andrews, Faith and Jed 1947
Box 1 Art Institute of Chicago 1928-1942
Box 1 Babcock, Elizabeth Jane 1939
Box 1 Boronda, Beonne 1935-1945
Box 1 Boronda, Lester 1943, 1948
Box 1 Bratt, Clara 1935, 1948
Box 1 Braught, Eugenia 1924-1937, undated
Box 1 Braught, Ross 1936
Box 1 Brown, Clara H. 1925-1926
Box 1 Bryant, Dolores Waldorf 1924-1938
Box 1 Burlingame, Sheila 1949-1950
Box 1 Caesar, Doris 1939
Box 1 Carnegie Institute (Pittsburgh, PA) 1938
Box 1 Chapin, Cornelia Van A. 1945
Box 1 Cuming, Beatrice 1942, undated
Box 1 Edgerly, Beatrice (sister) 1938-1948 (10 folders)
Box 2 Edgerly, Beatrice (sister) 1950-1957, undated (6 folders)
Box 2 Forest, Katherine 1938, 1950, undated
Box 2 Gill, Sue May 1937
Box 2 Hamlin, Genevieve Karr 1939
Box 2 Hancock, Walker 1937
Box 2 Hatch, Emily Nichols 1944
Box 2 Howard, Lucile 1945
Box 2 Kelsey, Dorothy undated
Box 2 Killam, Walt 1935-1946
Box 2 Lawton, Alice 1934
Box 2 Lincoln, Agnes 1938, 1942, 1949
Box 2 Mackaye, Percy undated
Macpherson, Beatrice Edgerly
See Edgerly, Beatrice (sister)
Box 2 Macpherson, John Havard (brother-in-law) 1940-1956 (2 folders)
Box 2 Meltzer, Arthur and Paulette Van Roekens 1925-1926, 1939-1954
Box 2 Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.) 1942-1943
Box 2 Miller, Mildred 1931, undated
Box 2 National Association of Women Artists 1933-1952
National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors
See National Associaton of Women Artists
Box 2 National Sculpture Society 1941-1951
Box 2 State of New Jersey 1938, 1952-1962
Box 2 The New Yorker 1951
Box 2 Paxton, Elizabeth 1933
Box 2 Peabody, Evelyn 1924
Box 2 Pen and Brush (New York, N.Y.) 1942-1949
Box 2 Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts 1939-1951
See also Memorabilia: Printed Material: School Circular (Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts)
Box 2 Philadelphia Art Alliance 1936-1950
Box 2 Price, M. Elizabeth 1935
Box 2 Pugh, Mabel 1924-1951
Box 2 Putnam, Brenda 1934
Box 2 Rattner, Abraham 1948
Roberts, Lucile Howard
See Howard, Lucile
Box 2 Sanger, Margaret 1943, 1945
Box 2 Schell, Susan Gertrude 1926-1940
Slee, Margaret Sanger
See Sanger, Margaret
Box 2 Southard, Frank Randolph 1950-1956
Box 2 Triplett, Margaret L. 1946
Box 2 Turnbull, Grace H. 1943
Van Roekens, Paulette
See Meltzer, Arthur and Paulette Van Roekens
Box 2 Webb, Elisabeth Holden 1933-1934, undated
Box 2 Wood, Harrie 1932
Box 2 Woodmere Art Gallery (Philadelphia, PA) 1943-1948
Box 2 A-Z (2 folders)
Box 3 Sketchbooks 1913-1921 (6 books)
Box 3 Photographs by title, A-Z (4 folders)
Box 3 Catalog of Bates' work, biographical highlights
Box 3 Poems
Box 4 Kenneth Bates catalog of paintings - handwritten sheets in small 3-ring binder
Box 4 Photographs - personal, studio, residence, exhibitions
Printed material
Box 4 Clippings 1922-1961
Box 4 Exhibition catalogs 1920s-1960s (5 folders)
Most of the exhibit catalogs have been transferred to Rare Books for cataloging. Please refer to the Classic Catalog to locate these items.
Box 4 Exhibition catalogs, joint shows with Kenneth 1961, 1985
Box 4 School circular, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts 1916-1924 (3 folders)
Box 4 Who's Who listing 1983, 1997 - photocopies of entries for Gladys and Kenneth

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