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Georgina Klitgaard Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 9 Jan 2017

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.



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.

Table of Contents

Georgina Klitgaard

Wallace Klitgaard