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Pierre Bourdelle Papers

An inventory of his Papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Bourdelle, Pierre
Title: Pierre Bourdelle Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1938-1966
Quantity: 34 linear ft.
Abstract: Personal papers including correspondence, 1948-1966; financial records; an address book, and a weekly time book, 1938. Artwork includes anatomical sketches, negatives, file photographs, and other sketches, both original and published.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Pierre Bourdelle ( 1903-1966) was a sculptor, painter, and muralist. He was born in 1903 in Paris. He was the son of Emile Antoine Bourdelle and Stephanie Van Parys Bourdelle, two French artists. Emile Bourdelle was the assistant of August Rodin, the famous French sculptor. Pierre was educated in his father's studio through an apprenticeship. Upon his father's death he immigrated to the United States where he became an artist in his own right. During what were to become the last years of his life, he taught at C.W. Post, which is part of the Long Island University, as an artist-in-residence. He died in 1966.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Pierre Bourdelle Papers consist of five parts: Artwork, Published Material, Subject Files, Writings, and Oversized Packages. Artwork includes actual paintings and sketches, as well as a comprehensive series of photgraphs of completed work. Published Material contains clippings of all sorts of subjects such as animals, science, people, and of course, art. Subject Files covers a wide range of material including correspondence with the American Battle Monuments Commission about Bourdelle's work for them on a war monument at St. Avold France. It also includes correspondence from between the years 1955-1966, and Bourdelle's fianancial records from his years in Haiti. Writings contains many of Bourdelle's notes as an art history teacher at C.W. Post. Oversized Packages include portfolios containing photographs of artwork, scrapbooks, paintings, prints, sketches, watercolors, murals, and posters.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Boxes 1-5 contain Bourdelle's Artwork, which has been divided loosely into sketches, photographs and negatives. The subject matter is listed alphabetically where applicable. Published Material can be found in box 6 and consists of various clippings. It is followed by the Subject Files (boxes 6-7) which are listed in alphabetical order. These contain a myriad of items such as address books, materials pertaining to Post College, correspondence, financial accounts and ledgers, and other writings. The Pierre Bourdelle Papers also include 43 Oversized Packages , which contain photographs, scrapbooks, prints, sketches, watercolors, posters, murals, and paintings, in no particular order.

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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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Subject Headings


Bourdelle, Pierre.


Art, Modern -- 20th century.
Artists -- United States.
Mural painting and decoration -- United States -- 20th century.
Sculptors -- United States.
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century.

Genres and Forms

Address books.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Notes (documents)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Pierre Bourdelle Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Ruth Bourdelle, 1969.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: -
Date: May 16, 2000
Revision history: 20 Aug 2007 - EAD file created (JPK); 24 Sep 2008 - boxes 11A, 11B (MRC)

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Box 1 Anatomical sketches - forearm (1 folder)
Box 1 Birth announcement (1 folder)
Canadian pacific railroad
Box 1 #154 A Industries - paper, oil, textiles, steel, et. (1 folder)
Box 1 #154 B Nature - flowers, leaves, wildlife (1 folder)
Box 1 #154 C Out of doors work - formaing, fishing, lumbering (1 folder)
Box 1 #154 D Sports - skiing, fishing, riding (1 folder)
Box 1 #154 E Boating - fishing, sailing, ship building (1 folder)
Box 1, 2 Booklet and slides (4 folders, 2 in each box)
Box 1, 2 Color slide sheets (6 folders, 3 in each box)
Box 1, 2 Color transparencies (2 folders, 1 in each box)
Box 1, 2 Black and white strips (2 small boxes, 1 in each main box)
Box 1, 2 Color singles (2 small boxes, 1 in each main box)
See also Subject Files in Box 6 and Oversized Packages for more photographs.
Box 2 Bas-relief, sculpture, N.S. Savannah
Box 2 Assorted metal works
Box 3 Sculpture and metal sculpture photos
Box 3 Cement and wood abstracts
Box 3 Face sculptures
Box 3 Photos of drawings
Box 3 Photos of drawings, abstracts and cultures
Box 4 File prints
Box 4 5 albums
Box 5 General (4 folders)
Box 5 Harlequin, metal and glass
Box 5 Kohlev Auditorium; metal
Box 5 Latest prints
Box 5 Lykes cabins
Box 5 Lykes lounge panel
Box 5 Nature
Box 5 Plexiglass works
Box 5 St. Dominic, lacquer relief
Box 5 Sciences; metal
Box 5 Sculpture portraits
Box 5 Steph's head; sculpture
Box 5 Stone sculpture
Box 5 Sculptured heads
Box 5 Sundial; metal
Box 5 Railroad car decoration
Box 5 Taurus - wine - centaur
Box 5 Tiger mosaic; head
Box 5 Working associates
Box 5 Sketches
See also Oversized Packages for more sketches.
Published Material
Box 6 Clippings #1
Box 6 Clippings #2
Box 6 Clippings #3
Box 6 Clippings
Box 6 Magazines
Subject Files
Box 6 Assorted unidentified photographs
Box 6 Address books (2)
Box 6 Art course
Box 6 Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft
Box 6 Caracas
Correspondence, general
Box 6 1955
Box 6 1948-1954
Box 6 1956-1957
Box 6 1958-1966
Box 6 Undated
Box 6 Heaney
Box 6 Crystallography
Box 6 C. W. Post College
Box 7 Dana 1962
Box 7 Financial
Box 7 First National Bank, Dallas
Box 7 Index cards (card file) of works
Box 7 Ledgers (expenses) 1946, 1950
Box 7 L'Oiseau qui n'existe pas 1965
Box 7 Mercantile bank
Box 7 Miscellaneous
Box 7 Notebook "Where things are in house"
Box 7 Notebook contents
Box 7 St. Arold Monument - map for military cemetery
Box 7 St. Dominic's Priory
Box 7 Standard Bank of South Africa, Ltd. 1964
Box 7 Stock reports 1949-1951
Box 7 Student writings
Box 7 Travelogue - only partial Haiti expenses inside
Box 7 Weekly time book 1938
Box 7 Art-related (2 folders)
Oversized Packages
Oversize 1, 2 Scrapbooks - photographs, clippings, and articles
Oversize 3-7 Boxes of photographs - artwork
Oversize 8-10 Portolio case - photographs of artwork
Oversize 11A, 11B, 12 Scrapbooks - photographs of artwork
Oversize 13 Prints, sketches and watercolors - Canada crests, figure studies, wildlife
Oversize 14 Mural panels, prints and watercolors - technology, Greek myths (?)
Oversize 15 Prints, watercolors - technology, Greek myths, birds
Oversize 16 Prints in portfolios, prints, watercolors loose - technology, WW II map, myths
Oversize 17 Murals, sketches - technology, laborers, "Sky Room"
Oversize 18 Prints, sketches
Oversize 19 Small paintings and pastels - "Pan American Petroleum and Transport Co., Inc. 1953 Annual Report," "Decibel Ceiling Tile Co. Catalog," paperboard animal sketches
Oversize 20 Blueprints, paintings, posters - WW II maps, "Great Lakes," "St. John, St. Peter," "Prometheus and Electricity," "Riggers and Builders," "The Great Lakes," "Copper," "Chapel Blueprint"
Oversize 21 Paintings, prints and sketches - "War," "Project for map 1/5," Bullfight (?), Laborers (?)
Oversize 22 Small paintings - "Dogwood," "Chipmunk," "Coyote," "Cornstalk," "Cotton Bloom and Bole," "Antlered Buck"
Oversize 23 Seashells and other prints
Oversize 24 Prints - "Artillery," "Cavalry," Zodiac (?)
Oversize 25 Watercolors, Ink Sketches - Landscapes, Abstract, Collage
Oversize 26 Paintings, watercolors - cityscape, seascape, crucifix, figures, "Dieu," "The Miraculous Fishing," "The Miracle of Wine Jugs"
Oversize 27 Pencil sketches - figures, blueprint sketch of airport (?), abstracts, women figures (?), Jesus (?)
Oversize 28 Paintings, pencil sketches, wood puzzle figure - God Loves Texas (?), "Midsummer Night's Dream," "Sirens Creating the Motion of Waters that Determined the Consutruction of the Corresponding Seashells"
Oversize 29 Murals, Paintings - "Braques Bird (?)," "Fiestas (?)," "Progress of the Worker"
Oversize 30 Mural panel - Zodiac (?), Portfolio of 51 designs on canvas
Oversize 31 2 panel painting, published collection of Prints on WW II - Firing Squad (?), "Folio no. 143 of 250"
Removed for separate cataloguing, 4/2004
Oversize 32 6 panel mural - Civilization (?)
Oversize 33 Illustrations for O. Wilde - "The Sphinx"
Oversize 34 Painting - Cowboy (?), Negative slide of painting of cowboy
Oversize 35 Metal mural - Ship
Oversize 36 2 paper and ink sketches - rolls
Oversize 37 2 canvas paintings - rolls
Oversize 38 3 paper paintings - rolls
Oversize 39-41 Boxes of photographs - artwork
Oversize 42 Scrapbooks of photographs - artwork
Oversize 43, 44 Photographs of artwork

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