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James House Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: [Summit record]
Date: 2001-01-01

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.

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.

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.


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

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.

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)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

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

Table of Contents

Original art


Published material

Subject files