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Rhys Caparn Papers

An inventory of her papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: ASE
Date: Nov 1993

Biographical History

American sculptor, illustrator, former president of the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Spanning 1932 to 1973, the Rhys Caparn Papers comprises biographical material, correspondence, artwork, writings, and memorabilia of the American sculptor, educator, and former president of the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors (b. 1909). The collection illuminates Caparn's personal life and the evolution of her artistic career.

Arranged alphabetically, the Correspondence-subject files (Boxes 1-3) consists of incoming letters and outgoing holograph drafts and typescript carbons, as well as other documents relating to artwork. Among the correspondents are the architectural firm R. B. O'Connor and W. H. Kilham, Jr.; fellow artists (Rifka Angel, Alexander Archipenko, Helen Beling, Doris Caesar, George Constant, Paula Eliasoph, Dorothy Lubell Feigin, Lyonel Feininger, Perle Fine, Sidney Gordin, Joseph Konzal, Pauline Elizabeth Law, Naomi Lorne, Leon Gordon Miller, Paul Mommer, Edouard Navellier, Marianna Pineda, Edward Renouf, Theodore J. Roszak, Henry Schonbauer, Helena Simkhovitch, Mitzi Solomon, Beulah Stevenson, Challis Walker, Jane Wasey, Arline Wingate); clients (Barnard College, H. Bittner and Company, Campagna Construction Corporation, Farrar, Straus & Young, Otto Gerson, Mildred Gosman, Elizabeth Huston, Irene Kraft, Morton D. May, Alice Rosenfeld, Jimmie Savo, William R. Scott, Inc., Sculpture-in-Replica, Ralph Walker); and museum directors (John Phillips Coolidge, Bartlett Harding Hayes, James Johnson Sweeney). Organizational correspondence includes that of art associations (American Artists' Congress, American Federation of Arts, Artists for CORE, Artists for Victory, Brooklyn Society of Artists, Committee of Artists' Societies, Fairmount Park Art Association, Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors, National Association of Women Artists, School Art League of New York City, Sculptors Guild); art galleries and museums (American Museum of Natural History, Arden Galleries, Art Center in La Jolla, Bonestell Gallery, Brooklyn Museum, Country Art Gallery, Gotham Gallery of Contemporary Art, Guild Hall, Hansa Art Gallery, John Heller Gallery, Tirca Karlis Gallery, Meltzer Gallery, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Museum of Modern Art, New York State Fair Art Center, Norfolk Museum, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Petit Palais, Riverside Museum, Silvermine Guild of Artists, Whitney Museum of American Art, Wildenstein & Co.); educational institutions (Adelphi College, Dalton Schools, Dartmouth College, Philadelphia Museum College of Art, Smith College, Syracuse University, University of Nebraska); and government agencies (New York City Office of Cultural Affairs, United States Department of State).

Artwork (Box 4) encompasses original sketches, photographs, and reproductions of Caparn's works. Photographs include those of drawings (arranged by title when available), exhibitions (1950-1970), and sculpture, which is subdivided by general works (in alphabetical order by title provided by Caparn), and portraits (arranged by name of person). Essays written for an art column, Notes pertaining to exhibitions, and miscellaneous Essays and Notes on art constitute Writings (Box 4).

Memorabilia (Boxes 5-6) consists of membership cards, miscellaneous receipts, a partial inventory of artwork (with prices), photographs of Caparn, and printed material. Printed material comprises articles and reviews about Caparn (1933-1963), newspaper clippings (1935-1970), exhibition catalogs and invitations for group (1939-1970) and one-person shows (1947-1973), as well as several exhibition posters. There is a also one audiorecording.


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


Archipenko, Alexander, 1887-1964.
Caesar, Doris, 1893-1971.
Caparn, Rhys, 1909-1997.
Constant, George, 1892-
Cunliffe, Mitzi Solomon, 1918-
Feininger, Lyonel, 1871-1956.
Gordin, Sidney, 1918-
Konzal, Joseph.
Roszak, Theodore, 1907-1981.
Simkhovitch, Helena.

Corporate Bodies

Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors.


Art, American -- 20th century.
Art, American.
Illustrators -- United States.
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.
Sound recordings.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Rhys Caparn Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Rhys Caparn, 1964, 1971, 1972.

Table of Contents

Biographical material

Correspondence-subject files