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Georgina Klitgaard Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Title: Georgina Klitgaard Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1910-2004
Quantity: 4.5 linear ft.
Abstract: Artwork, correspondence, photographs, and writings relating to the American painter and her youngest son, Wallace
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Georgina Klitgaard (1893-1976) was an American painter and artist. Born in Spuyten Duyvil, New York in 1893, she lived in Bearsville, New York for most of her life, which is two miles from Woodstock, New York's lively artists' colony. Klitgaard graduated from Barnard College in 1912 and studied at the National Academy of Design. Klitgaard's first exhibition in New York was held at the Whitney Studio Club in 1927, showcasing her panoramic bird's-eye views of the rural New York landscape. She exhibited throughout the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, with a retrospective exhibition presented two years before she died. Klitgaard and her husband were both awarded Guggenheim Fellowships in 1933 and 1937 respectively. She was a member of the Audubon Artists, American Society of Painters, Sculptors, and Gravers, and, as a keen recorder enthusiast, the American Recorder Society. As well as the Guggenheim fellowship, Klitgaard was a part of the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, Huntington Hartford Foundation, and the MacDowell Colony.

In 1919 Georgina married the Danish writer and artist Kaj Klitgaard. The couple had two sons, Pete and Wallace. Pete (1921-1976) and his wife Martha had three daughters, Jenni, Karen, and Kim, and possibly a son Jon. Wallace (b. 1937) attended Cornell University and the University of North Caroline, Chapel Hill. He went on to gain a PhD in biology. In the last few years of Klitgaard's life, Wallace lived with his mother. Wallace does not seem to have married or fathered any children.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

Note: NOTE: Many of the items in the collection have a musty smell and some soiling or damage.

The Georgina Klitgaard Collection contains material related to Georgina and her son Wallace, with most of the collection pertaining to Georgina.

Georgina Klitgaard's material contains artwork, correspondence, memorabilia, and writings.

Artwork contains original artwork (portraits and landscapes in watercolor, chalk, and pastels) and reproductions (photographs and images clipped from magazines).

A substantial part of the collection is Georgina’s Correspondence. Family correspondence is placed first (youngest son Wallace, older son Pete and his wife Martha, granddaughters Jenni, Karen, and Kim), followed by non-family. Notable correspondents include fellow artists and writers (Chrystal Corcos, Jean Gould, Dachine Rainer), foundations she was associated with (the Clark Foundation, The MacDowell Colony, the Huntington Hartford Foundation), and universities that held her work (University of Minnesota, University of Oregon). There are also many personal letters with friends and other family members such as Winifred Rorty, Jack Berrian, and Freda Giles.

Memorabilia contains photographs (both prints and negatives) and photo albums. Some interesting items are Klitgaard’s 1910-1911 Barnard College handbook, hand-drawn wedding invitations, a research examination, which used Klitgaard’s The Family as an optional topic, and an vocational aptitude form which occupations would be good for Klitgaard.

Writings includes notes from Georgina, husband Kaj’s typed manuscript of Norse lore for children, and seven folders of Klitgaard’s journals spanning from 1924 until 1972.

Wallace Klitgaard's material consists of correspondence and memorabilia.

Correspondence contains letters from his mother, niece Jenni (Pete's daughter), and friends who sent Wallace collections of their own poems. There are also multiple obituaries for Dachine Rainer (2000), which were sent to Wallace.

Memorabilia contains Wallace's grades from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, business cards, identifications cards, miscellaneous notes, and extensive hand-drawn diagrams of circuit boards.

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Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is divided into Georgina and Wallace. Correspondence within each series is arranged alphabetically then chronologically. The other sub series are arranged alphabetically by title, type, or topic.

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Access Restrictions

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

Access to audiovisual material requires advance notice to produce a use copy.

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

Medical records and related material found in the collection were destroyed. A falling apart German-English dictionary and a commercial VHS tape of Bruce Lee's Fist of Fear, Touch of Death were discarded.

Special Collections Research Center holdings also include Georgina Klitgaard's own papers, and the papers of her husband, Kaj Klitgaard.

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Subject Headings


Asmar, Alice, 1929-
Bush, Martin H.
Corcos, Chrystal.
Gould, Jean, 1909-1993.
Klitgaard, Georgina, 1893-
Klitgaard, Kaj.
Klitgaard, Wallace.
Platov, Mariquita.
Rainer, Dachine.
Rorty, James, 1890-1973.

Corporate Bodies

American Federation of Arts.
American Recorder Society.
Barnard College.
Carnegie Institute. -- Museum of Art.
Cornell University.
Huntington Hartford Foundation.
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
MacDowell Colony, Inc.
Michigan State University.
Montclair Art Museum.
Syracuse University.
University of Minnesota.
University of Oregon.


Art, American -- 20th century.
Mural painting and decoration -- United States -- 20th century.
Mythology, Norse.
Painting, American -- 20th century.
Women artists -- United States.
Women painters -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Business cards.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Negatives (photographs)
Pastels (visual works)
Photograph albums.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Georgina Klitgaard Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Alex Cunningham, 2016.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 9 Jan 2017
Revision history: 17 Aug 2021 - processing complete (RMH)

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Georgina Klitgaard
Box 1 Artwork list
Box 1 Original artwork circa 1965, undated (3 folders)
Box 1 Reproductions
Box 1 Klitgaard, Jenni (granddaughter) 1967-1970, 1973-1976
Box 1 Klitgaard, Kaj (husband) 1940
Box 1 Klitgaard, Karen (granddaughter) 1967-1975
Box 1 Klitgaard, Kim (granddaughter) 1971-1975
Box 1 Klitgaard, Martha (daughter-in-law) 1955-1959, 1965-1971 (5 folders) >
Box 2 Klitgaard, Martha (daughter-in-law) 1972-1976 (2 folders)
Box 2 Klitgaard, Pete (eldest son) 1956-1958, 1965-1969, 1975
Box 2 Klitgaard, Pete and Martha (eldest son and daughter-in-law) 1956-1959, 1968-1969, 1975 - combined letters
Box 2 Klitgaard, Wallace (youngest son) 1955-1969 (6 folders)
Box 2 American Federation of Arts 1965
Box 2 American Recorder Society 1957-1958
Box 2 Audubon Artist, inc. 1975-1976
Box 2 Asmar, Alice 1965-1967, 1974
Box 3 Barnard College 1967-1968, 1976-1977
Box 3 Berrian, Jack 1953-1959
Box 3 Burt, Charles David 1966, 1976
Box 3 Bush, Martin H. 1973
Box 3 Carnegie Institute Museum of Art 1965
Box 3 Christensen, Ted 1968
Box 3 The Clark Foundation 1963-1965
Box 3 Corcos, Chrystal 1965-1967 (4 folders)
Box 3 Cornell University 1956
Box 3 Durkee, William 1966-1967
Box 3 Ellis, Anita 1969
Box 3 Fisher, Rea 1968, 1974-1976
Box 3 Friedman, Jacqueline 1957
Box 3 Giles, Freda 1975-1976
Box 3 Gould, Jean 1967-1975 (2 folders)
Box 4 Graham, Bishop 1976
Box 4 Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico 1965-1969
Box 4 Huntington Hartford Foundation 1965-1966
Box 4 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation 1963
Box 4 Knight, Fred 1963-1964
Box 4 The MacDowell Colony 1963-1974 (2 folders)
Box 4 Marken, Tom 1966-1967
Box 4 Michigan State University 1967
Box 4 Montclair Art Museum 1965
Box 4 Platov, Mariquita 1968, 1974-1976
Box 4 Plumb, Margaret 1973-1976
Box 4 The Newark Museum 1965
Box 4 Oakwood School 1965
Box 4 Ossabaw Island Project 1966-1967
Box 4 Rainer, Dachine 1961, 1972-1976 - includes poems and short stories by Rainer sent to Klitgaard (2 folders)
Box 4 Reinberg, Ethel 1975
Box 4 Resnick, Joseph 1965
Box 4 Rorty, James 1965-1968
Box 4 Rorty, Winifred 1965, 1968, 1974-1975
Box 4 Salter, John, Marge, and William 1974-1976
Box 4 Springville High School Art Association 1967
Box 4 Summer, Cid R. 1966
Box 4 Syracuse University 1964-1968
Box 4 Turner, Jerre 1965-1966
Box 4 University of Minnesota 1967
Box 4 University of Oregon 1968
Box 4 Wehle, Harry and Kate 1963
Box 4 Woodstock Artist Association 1961, 1968, 1975-1976
Box 5 Miscellaneous, A-Z 1959-1976 (4 folders)
Box 5 Miscellaneous, first name only 1964-1976 (3 folders)
Box 5 Miscellaneous, unidentified 1934, 1966, 1974
Box 10 Georgina Klitgaard 10-10-1974 (1/4 inch audio tape; running time 20:00) (ID#: klitgaard_g_coll_001)
Box 10 Georgina Klitgaard (Chapter from Journal) 04-12-1975 (1/4 inch audio tape; running time 20:00) (ID#: klitgaard_g_coll_002)
Box 10 [Untitled] 04-12-1975 (1/4 inch audio tape) (ID#: klitgaard_g_coll_003)
1: Two improvisations for piano; done in Monroe County, Iowa in October, 1963. 2: Two small improvisations for Shield Viol; done by Jack Drake in Pacific Palisades, California, January, 1965. 3: Psalm 150. 4: Hummingbirds. 5: Overture in the Italian Style
Box 5 Barnard College Blue Book 1910-1911 - college handbook
Box 5 Berrian genealogy
Box 5 Clippings about Klitgaard 1964-1965
Box 5 Clippings, miscellaneous 1964-1965, 1974-1976 - Huntington Hartford Foundation, Whitney Museum, and Jean Gould
Box 5 Invitations 1935, 1951, 1974-1975 - includes exhibitions, weddings, and musical concerts
Box 5 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation: reports of the president and the treasurer 1963-1964, 1973 (2 folders)
Box 6 Phone message book
Photographs - candid shots of family gatherings, her in the studio, and of her work
Box 6 Photo albums (2 volumes)
Box 6 Photographs (4 folders)
Oversize 1 Photographs 1937
Box 6 Photograph negatives
Box 7 Portraits of Georgina - pen and ink; artists unknown
Box 7 Postcards - collected as souvenirs
Box 7 Printed material 1957, 1961-1963, 1973 undated (2 folders)
Box 7 Research examination - her work used on a test
Oversize 2 Tapestry - hand embroidered tapestry from Middle East or South East Asia
Box 7 Woodstock: an essay by Richard le Gallienne 1923 - features Klitgaard's work
Box 7 Miscellaneous - identification cards, gingerbread recipe, receipts, stamps, occupational aptitude form, etc.
Box 7 Journal 1924, Jul-Dec 1933 (3 folders)
Box 8 Journal May-Nov 1954; Mar 1956-May 1968; Apr-May, Sep-Oct 1957; 1971-1972 (4 folders)
Box 8 Notes
Box 8 Norse Lore retold and illustrated for children by Kaj Klitgaard
Box 8 Miscellaneous by others 1941, 1955, 1964 - includes discussions of Klitgaard and her work, a poem, etc.
Wallace Klitgaard
Box 8 Klitgaard, Georgina 1972
Box 8 Klitgaard, Jenni
Box 8 Liljeblad, Fredrick - includes a collection of Liljeblad's typed poems
Box 8 Rainer, Dachine 1984, 2000 - includes Rainer's obituaries and funeral details
Box 8 Tisch, Ed 2004 - includes collection of Tisch's published poems
Box 8 Miscellaneous 1977, 1994-1996 2000
Box 9 Circuit board diagrams (2 folders)
Box 9 Notes - lists, notes, etc.
Box 9 Miscellaneous - business cards, identification cards, and envelope for Wallace's research unit

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