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Victor Candell Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: --
Date: Feb 1967

Biographical History

Artist Victor Candell (1903-1977) was born in Budapest, Hungary on March 11, 1903. By the age of fifteen he was a successful poster-maker and was beginning to branch out into caricatures and illustrations for theatrical journals and magazines. He came to the United States alone at age sixteen and studied in New York. From 1921 to 1928 he worked at a variety of artistic pursuits -- murals, portraits, illustrating childrens books -- while saving money to go to Paris. He spent three years (1928-1930) studying in Paris where he frequented the Louvre, joined a group of artists known as Les Surindependents, and began exhibiting his own works.

When he returned to the United States he embarked on several years of intensive study and practice to gain what he called "a painterly experience that is to be gotten [partly] from one's own talent plus its cultivation in museums to understand the historic values, but a far greater part of it [from] direct contact with nature, still-life, figure...the next period in this country until I was forty-three years old was nothing but one long and serious continuous process of studying and self-education" ("Victor Candell," Archives of American Art Oral History Interviews, During this period he supported himself by doing portraits and commission and participating in the WPA's "Easel Project." His first exhibit was at the Brandt Gallery in 1940; he remained with them until the gallery closed when he moved to Grand Central Moderns for many years.

His first teaching experience was in the 1940s at the Navy Hospital in Brooklyn. He participated in a Red Cross program of arts and crafts for battle fatigue patients, in which his method "was to try to find out what the individual differences among these men happened to be and what was a kind of aching core inside, and try to build their ego, try to make them, or guide them into a preoccupation away from that troubled core." Since then he has taught at the Brooklyn Museum School of Art, Cooper Union, and the Columbia School of Painting in New York City; the Silvermine School of Art in Norwalk, Connecticut; Ohio University School of Art; and Syracuse University School of Art in Syracuse, New York. He has exhibited his works at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Carnegie Institute. In 1958 he and Leo Manso started the Provincetown Workshop, a small art school modelled after Cooper Union that remained in operation for more than twenty years.

Mr. Candell received numerous awards for his art work, including prizes from the Museum of Modern Art and the Unites States Treasury Department, the Emily Lowe Award, the Lamont Prize, and the Audubon and Silvermine Awards.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Victor Candell Papers include incoming and outgoing correspondence, intaglio plates and linoleum cuts, a sketchbook, manuscripts, catalogs of Candell's work, and articles about other artists. Correspondence (1935-1951, undated) consists of incoming correspondence arranged alphabetically and outgoing correspondence arranged chronologically. Subject files (1928-1930) includes linoleum cuts, intaglio plates and a sketchbook, arranged by type. Manuscripts consists of a series of notes by Candell on various topics. Finally, Published material (1930-1964, undated) includes articles about others, catalogs of works by Candell and by others, and newspaper clippings about others. They are arranged by type and, within that, chronologically.


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.

Subject Headings


Candell, Victor Archives.


Art, American -- 20th century.
Artists, United States.
Illustrators, United States.
Painters, United States.
Painting, American -- 20th century.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Exhibition catalogs.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Victor Candell Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mr. Candell, 1964, 1969.

Table of Contents


Subject files


Published material