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Gladys Edgerly Bates Papers

An inventory of her papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: KM
Date: Jun 1994

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.

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.

Arrangement of the Collection

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


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.

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.

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.



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.

Table of Contents

Correspondence-subject files