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Jerry Farnsworth Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Farnsworth, Jerry, 1895-
Title: Jerry Farnsworth Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1956-1962
Quantity: 0.5 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American painter. Died 1982. Manuscripts, printed material.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Jerry Farnsworth (1895-1983) was an American painter. Born in Dalton, Georgia, he studied at the Corcoran School of Art and with Charles W. Hawthorne. He was a member of the National Arts Club, an Academican of the National Academy of Design, and the Salmagundi Club, all of which are located in New York City. He also belonged to the Washington Society of Art and the Provincetown Art Association. He received six art awards from the National Academy of Design and one from the National Arts Club in 1941, one from the Los Angeles Museum of Art in 1945 and one from the Grand Central Galleries in 1928. In 1942-1943 he was the Artist-in-Residence at the University of Illinois.

Mr. Farnsworth did not always make art his profession. He worked in cotton and steel mills, dispensed soda at a drug store, and was a Fuller Brush man and a Western Union messenger boy.

Jerry Farnsworth's work may be seen at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Mr. Farnsworth also wrote several books, including Painting with Jerry Farnsworth, Learning to Paint in Oil and Portrait and Figure Painting.

Mr. Farnsworth and his wife, painter Helen Sawyer, together ran a summer art school in North Truro, Massachusetts for many years. Their time was divided between there and Sarasota, Florida, where Mr. Farnsworth was the director of the Farnsworth School of Art.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Jerry Farnsworth Papers consist of a subject file, manuscripts and published material.

Subject files includes a slip granting permission to reproduce a Cezanne painting which is located in the National Gallery in Washington, and quotes from the book, Painting with Jerry Farnsworth. Manuscripts contains various manuscripts in original and typescript form for the book, Painting with Jerry Farnsworth. Published material consists of a Time editorial about Gilbert Stuart.

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Arrangement of the Collection

All series are arranged alphabetically.

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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

See also the papers of Farnsworth's wife, Helen Sawyer Farnsworth.

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Subject Headings


Farnsworth, Jerry, 1895-


Art, American -- 20th century.
Art, American.
Painters -- United States.
Painting -- Study and teaching.
Painting, American -- 20th century.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Manuscripts for publication.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Jerry Farnsworth Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: --
Date: Jun 1967
Revision history: 25 Apr 2008 - converted to EAD (MRC); 16 Nov 2017 - minor updates to inventory (MRC)

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Subject files
Box 1 Permission to reproduce painting in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. 1956
Box 1 Quotes from Painting with Jerry Farnsworth undated - subjects are figure, general, landscape, portrait, still life (5 folders)
Box 1 "An Approach to Painting" (typescript) undated (2 copies)
Box 1 "Basic Materials and Equipment" (original and typescript) undated
Box 1 "Beginners" (typescript) undated
Box 1 Captions for "Learning to P3int in Oil" (typescript) undated
Class notes
Box 1 Original undated
Box 1 Original and typescript undated
Box 1 Typescript undated (2 copies)
Box 1 Typescript and holograph undated (3 copies)
Box 1 "Head and the Figure, The" (typescript) undated
Box 1 "How to Get an Art Education for Nothing" (typescript) undated
Box 1 "Joy in Painting" (typescript) undated
Box 1 "Mouth, Ears and Eyes" (original and typescript) undated
Box 1 On Drawings by Farnsworth (original) undated
Box 1 Odd notes (original and typescript) undated
Box 1 "Painting the Portrait Head" (originals and typescript) undated
Painting with Jerry Farnsworth
Box 1 typescript and original of Entirety
Box 1 Preface and Chapter I (typescript)
Box 1 Chapter III (typescript) undated
Box 1 Chapter IV (typescript) undated
Portrait Painting as a Profession
Box 1 Entirety (typescript copy) undated
Chapters VII and VIII (typescript) [MISSING Nov 2017]" undated
Box 1 "Portrait Painting" (typescript) undated (2 copies)
Box 1 "Relationship between Fine Arts and Advertising and Illustration" (typescript) undated
Box 1 "So You Want to Be a Portrait Painter" (original and typescript) undated
Box 1 "Still-Life" (original and typescript) undated
Box 1 "Talens Page, The" from Painting with Jerry Farnsworth (original, typescript and final) undated
Box 1 "What Every Young Painter Should Know" (original) undated
Box 1 About Painting in General (original and typescript) undated
Box 1 About the Technical Side of Painting (original) undated
Box 1 Notebook undated
Box 1 Notes for Chapter on Landscape (original and Partial typescript) undated
Box 1 Subtitled "Do You Make These Common Mistakes?" (original and typescript) undated
Box 1 Supplementary Material for Chapter on Figure Drawing and Painting (original and typescript) undated
Box 1 (original) undated
Box 1 (original) undated
Articles about others
Box 1 Time September 21, 1962

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