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James House Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: House, James,1902-
Title: James House Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1928-1965
Quantity: 1.75 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American sculptor, caricaturist. Collection includes drawings; exhibition catalogs (1932-1965); book manuscript and lectures; photographs of sculpture (1929-1965); articles and clippings about House (1928-1963); and published caricatures (1947-1955).
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

James Charles House, Jr. (1902- ) is an American artist best known for his sculpture and caricature work.

Born January 19, 1902 in Benton Harbor, Michigan, House studied at the University of Michigan and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, and received his Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania.

House's sculpture has been exhibited in numerous venues, including the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Brooklyn Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Detroit Institute of Art, and the Kansas City Art Institute. His commissions include work for the Whitney Museum of Art, St. Clements Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, Norfolk Medical Tower, Government Employees Insurance Company in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and the Medical School at the University of Pennsylvania.

His caricature work earned him the John Frederick Lewis first prize for caricature from the Pennsylvania Academy in 1927, and from 1925 to 1954 he did freelance caricatures for newspapers including the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin and the New York Post.

Beginning in 1936, House was Associate Professor of Sculpture and Drawing at the University of Pennsylvania. During the summer of 1956 he also held the position of School Educator at San Diego State College.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The James House Papers are divided into original art, photographs, published material, subject files and writings.

Original art contains a number of original drawings and blueprints for sculpture work, including a St. Christopher wall relief and a detailed, multi-part sculpture using several different types of wood, depicting the traditional medical emblems of serpent and staff.

Photographs consists primarily of photographs of House's work, but there are a few photographs of House himself as well.

Published material comprises magazine articles both by and about House, several folders of published caricatures, a copy of House's book Fifty Drawings, and newspaper clippings about House and his work.

Subject files consist of published material, including exhibition catalogs and programs.

Writings contains the manuscript of an unpublished book of theatre caricature and notes for several lectures on sculpture, painting and caricature, including complete layouts and preface.

Of the unpublished book, House's notes (included in the folder) have this to say: caricatures [were] done on opening night assignments for Phila Evening Bulletin. Drawings made by 2AM deadline on same night, caption written to make 11AM edition of paper. The toughest spot for production -- because of time -- I know of any caricaturist ever having.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Original art is arranged alphabetically by project. Photographs of sculpture are arranged chronologically with some overlapping of dates in order to adhere to Mr. House's original arrangement. Published material and Subject files are each arranged alphabetically by subject.

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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

Special Collections Research Center holds the papers of a number of sculptors and cartoonists. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

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Subject Headings


House, James, 1902-


Art, American -- 20th century.
Art, American.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Sculptors -- United States.
Sculpture, American -- 20th century.
Sculpture, American.

Genres and Forms

Layouts (printed matter)
Blueprints (reprographic copies)
Drawings (visual works)
Exhibition catalogs.
Lecture notes.
Manuscripts for publication.
Programs (documents)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

James House Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: [Summit record]
Date: 2001-01-01
Revision history: 20 Mar 2007 - converted to EAD (MRC); 11 Sep 2010 - processed, updated (MRC)

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Original art
Map-Case 107 Bustleton Branch Library circa 1965 - drawings of carved wood wall piece, "Man's Learning Preserved" (13 items)
Map-Case 107 Government Employees Insurance Co. - drawings of wooden sculpture of eagle; blueprint for sculpture installation (4 items)
Map-Case 107 Norfolk Medical Tower circa 1962 - detailed drawings of multi-piece wooden sculpture of medical shield (serpent and staff), including types of wood to be used; blueprint for sculpture installation (5 items)
Map-Case 107 St. Clement's Church, Philadelphia - drawings for St. Christopher relief (1 item)
Map-Case 107 Swarthmore Presbyterian Church 1959 - working drawing for memorial to James Reed Fry (1 item)
Of sculpture
Box 1 Loose photos 1929-1935
Box 1 Loose photos 1936-1941
Box 1 Loose photos 1942-1965
Box 1 "Sculpture book" photo album 1931-1955
Box 1 Of House
Published material
Box 1 Articles about
Box 1 Articles by
Box 2 Fifty Drawings, by James House, Jr.
Box 2 1924-1932
Box 2 1947-1952 (6 folders)
Box 3 1953-1955
Box 3 Newspaper clippings about House's work 1928-1963
Subject files
Box 3 Exhibitions 1932-1965, undated (4 folders)
Box 3 International Sculpture Show
Box 3 Programs
Box 4 Two Columns at Midnight - unpublished book of theatre caricaturesketches, mockups of book pages (2 folders)
Box 4 Lecture notes on sculpture
Box 4 Lecture notes on painting and sculpture
Box 4 Lecture and notes on caricature

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