Lev T. Mills papers, 1955-2015

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322


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Descriptive Summary

Creator: Mills, Lev T. (Lev Timothy), 1938-
Title: Lev T. Mills papers, 1955-2015
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 1406
Extent: 2 linear feet (3 boxes) and 3 oversized papers boxes (OP)
Abstract:Papers of African American artist and educator Lev T. Mills, including correspondence, photographs, and promotional material.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


Purchased from Lev T. Mills, 2017.


[after identification of item(s)], Lev T. Mills papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Arranged and described at the folder level by Sarah Quigley, July 2017. The collection arrived at the Rose Library primarily arranged into binders, photograph albums, and portfolios by Lev Mills. Rose Library staff retained this arrangement but removed the material from the original enclosures for preservation. The items remain in their original order, and many include captions with additional descriptive information provided by Mills.

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Collection Description

Biographical Note

Lev Timothy Mills was born in Florida in 1938, the only child of his parents, who owned a store. He graduated from Florida A&M University (Tallahassee) in 1962 and attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison, for graduate school. There he studied printmaking with Dean Meeker, receiving a Master of Arts degree in 1968 and a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1970. In 1970, he received a fellowship to attend the Slade School of Art in London, receiving a diploma in 1972. During his time living in England, he exhibited his work throughout the country, as well as in France, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, and Madagascar. When Mills returned to the United States, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and began teaching printmaking at Clark College (1973-1978). He has taught art at Spelman College (Atlanta, Georgia) since 1978.

In addition to intaglio and silk screen printing, Mills also creates tile murals and sculpts. He has created numerous public works, including tile murals in a Metro Atlanta Regional Transit Authority (MARTA) train station and Atlanta City Hall, and a sculpture (co-created with Charnelle Holloway) in Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. In 1974, he designed the seal for the American Library Association's National Coretta Scott King Book Award. Mills' work can be found in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the British Museum, London; the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh; The Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; the Library of Congress, Washington D.C.; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the papers of Lev T. Mills from 1955-2015, including awards and plaques, binders, portfolios, and a photograph album. The awards and plaques are primarily for achievement in teaching. Binders contain correspondence, exhibit and price lists, receipts for purchases of Mills' artwork, and a small amount of printed material relating to exhibitions. Correspondence includes letters to or from Mills' wife Joyce, Elizabeth Catlett, Benny Andrews, Maya Angelou, Andrew Young, Jessie Hill, Samella Lewis, Romare Bearden, Hale Woodruff, Coretta Scott King, and David Driskell. There is not a significant volume of correspondence from any one individual. There is also correspondence with galleries and universities, especially memoranda relating to Mills' career as a professor at Spelman College. Portfolios primarily contain printed and promotional material, including fliers and programs advertising Mills' exhibitions, exhibition catalogs, and clippings about Mills. The portfolios also contain numerous photographs of Mills teaching, creating artwork, and attending events. The photograph album documents some of Mills' international exhibitions in the early 1970s and contains both photographs and promotional material.

Arrangement Note

Arranged in alphabetical order.

Selected Search Terms

Personal Names

Topical Terms

Form/Genre Terms

Container List

Box Folder Content
3 - Awards and plaques, 1966-2001 [1]
OP3 1 Awards and plaques, 1966-2011 [2]
1 1 Binder, 1970-1975 [1 of 2]
1 2 Binder, 1970-1975 [2 of 2]
1 3 Binder, 1975-1984
1 4 Binder, 1984-1988
1 5 Binder, 1983-2012 [1 of 2]
1 6 Binder, 1983-2012 [2 of 2]
1 7 Book cover [photocopy], Sharon Bell Mathis, Ray Charles, undated

This item was loose in the box of binders and could not be connected to a particular binder. It features the seal for the National Coretta Scott King Book Award.

2 1 Photograph album, 1969-1975
2 2 Portfolio, 1955-1969
OP1 1 Portfolio, 1970-1975
OP2 1 Portfolio, 1976-1984
2 3 Portfolio, 1985-2015 [1 of 5]
2 4 Portfolio, 1985-2015 [2 of 5]
2 5 Portfolio, 1985-2015 [3 of 5]
2 6 Portfolio, 1985-2015 [4 of 5]
2 7 Portfolio, 1985-2015 [5 of 5]