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John St. John Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: --
Date: Jul 1967

Biographical History

John St. John (1911-1986) was an American painter, illustrator and muralist. Born in Oak Park, Illinois, he received his bacherlor's degreee from the University of Kentucky (1935) and was a Maxwell Fellow at Syracuse University, where he received his M.S. in Public Administration (1938). He worked in public administration and served in the military during World War II, and afterwards turned to a career in art. He studied at the Art Students' League in New York; at the Norton Gallery under the GI Bill in West Palm Beach, Florida; at the Ringling Center of Art in Sarasota, Florida; at Mexico City College and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Among the artists he studied with were Jerry Farnsworth, Eliot O'Hara, Doug Kingman, and Vaclav Vytlacil.

St. John's works have been shown at the Ringling Museum of Art (Sarasota, Florida), the Society of the Four Arts (West Palm Beach, Florida), the High Museum of Art (Atlanta, GA), the University of Puerto Rico, the Washington (DC) Gallery of Art, and the Eleventh House (Los Croabas, Puerto Rico). He is also known for "Epochs of Florida History," a 350-foot mural depicting the history of Florida at the University of Miami in Coral Gables. His work is in the permanent collections of both individuals and institutions, including the Musaeo De Arte, Ponce, Puerto Rico; Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel; Syracuse University; Palacio Nacional, Cartegena, Colombia; Knox College, Illinois; Palacio De Bellas Artes, Lima, Peru; Catholic University of Puerto Rico, Ponce, Puerto Rico; St. Xavier University, New Orleans; Instituto De Cultura Dominico-Americano, Dominican Republic; and Scripps College, Claremont, California.

In addition to lengthy painting sojourns in Mexico and Puerto Rico, he also painted in North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky and California, eventually opening his own gallery in Solvang, California. His autobiography, Visions of Reality, was published in 1981.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The John St. John Papers consist of biographical material, subject files, manuscripts, and published material.

Biographical material contains assorted biographical data and a compendium of critics' comments and remarks. Subject files include exhibit catalogs and photographs of St. John and his work. Manuscripts consists of three articles, one about St. John and two by him. Published material contains magazine articles about and by St. John, and newspaper clippings and pamphlets by and about him.

Arrangement of the Collection

All material is arranged alphabetically by subject or type.


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 bulk of St. John's estate, including much of his artwork, went to the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, headquartered in Santa Barbara, California.

Subject Headings


St. John, John, 1911-


Art, American -- 20th century.
Mural painting and decoration -- United States -- 20th century.
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:

John St. John Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Table of Contents

Biographical material

Subject files


Published material