Collection Stored Off-Site

All or portions of this collection are housed off-site. Materials can still be requested but researchers should expect a delay of up to two business days for retrieval.

Series 1
Correspondence and personal papers, 1913-1970
Boxes 1-12 and OP 1

Scope and Content Note

The series consists of James Porter's correspondence and personal papers from 1913-1970. Correspondence contains both personal and professional letters. Letters between Porter and his wife Dorothy document his artistic interests while travelling through France, Germany, and Italy in 1935; Cuba in 1945; Haiti in 1946; Belgium and London in 1955; and Vienna in 1968. Of note are letters from Porter while studying at the Sorbonne in 1935 and while in attendance at the Belgian Art Seminar in Brussels in 1955. Other notable correspondence includes several letters indicating Porter's intention to publish a follow up edition of Modern Negro Art which would include post-World War II artists.

Professional correspondence consists of letters relating to Porter's employment at Howard University; his various engagements with the Department of State and the Foreign Service; letters to and from the president of Howard University, Dr. Mordecai W. Johnson, and former students in their professional capacity, such as David C. Driskell and Leslie Garland Bolling. The series also includes correspondence with the president of the Guggenheim Museum, James Johnson Sweeney, and the curator of the National Gallery of Art, Erwin O. Christensen, as well as colleagues at the National Gallery of Art, The Smithsonian Society of Associates, the American Society of African Culture, Fisk University, the John J. Klejman Gallery in New York, and the Theodore Lyman Wright Art Center in Wisconsin. There are also letters detailing Porter's commissions and gifts to art schools, such as Howard University, The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Personal papers consist of Porter's academic records, including a report card from Armstrong Manual Training High School in Washington D.C., biographical information, and publication contracts. The series also contains personal materials relating to Porter's travels, such as diaries and notes documenting gallery visits and research in Europe and Africa.

Arrangement Note

Arranged in chronological and alphabetical order.

Scope and Content Note The series consists of James Porter's correspondence and personal papers from 1913-1970. Correspondence contains both personal and professional letters. Letters between Porter and his wife Dorothy document his artistic interests while travelling through France, Germany, and Italy in 1935; Cuba in 1945; Haiti in 1946; Belgium and London in 1955; and Vienna in 1968. Of note are letters from Porter while studying at the Sorbonne in 1935 and while in attendance at the Belgian Art Seminar in Brussels in 1955. Other notable correspondence includes several letters indicating Porter's intention to publish a follow up edition of Modern Negro Art which would include post-World War II artists. Professional correspondence consists of letters relating to Porter's employment at Howard University; his various engagements with the Department of State and the Foreign Service; letters to and from the president of Howard University, Dr. Mordecai W. Johnson, and former students in their professional capacity, such as David C. Driskell and Leslie Garland Bolling. The series also includes correspondence with the president of the Guggenheim Museum, James Johnson Sweeney, and the curator of the National Gallery of Art, Erwin O. Christensen, as well as colleagues at the National Gallery of Art, The Smithsonian Society of Associates, the American Society of African Culture, Fisk University, the John J. Klejman Gallery in New York, and the Theodore Lyman Wright Art Center in Wisconsin. There are also letters detailing Porter's commissions and gifts to art schools, such as Howard University, The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Personal papers consist of Porter's academic records, including a report card from Armstrong Manual Training High School in Washington D.C., biographical information, and publication contracts. The series also contains personal materials relating to Porter's travels, such as diaries and notes documenting gallery visits and research in Europe and Africa.
Correspondence
Box Folder Content
1 1 1927-1928
1 2 1929-1930
1 3 1931
1 4 1932-1933
1 5 1934
1 6 1935
1 7 1936-1937
1 8 1938-1939
1 9 1940-1941
2 1 1942
2 2 1943
2 3 1944
2 4 1945 January-September
2 5 1945 October-November
2 6 1945 December
3 1 1946 January
3 2 1946 February-December
3 3 1947
3 4 1948-1949
3 5 1950-1951
3 6 1952
3 7 1953
4 1 1954
4 2 1955 January-June
4 3 1955 July-December
4 4 1956
4 5 1957 January-August
4 6 1957 September-December
4 7 1958 January-June
5 1 1958 July-December
5 2 1959 January-June
5 3 1959 July-December
5 4 1960 January-May
5 5 1960 June-December
5 6 1961 January-May
5 7 1961 June-December
5 8 1962 January-July
6 1 1962 August-December
6 2 1963 January-May
6 3 1963 June-December
6 4 1964 January-May
6 5 1964 June-December
6 6 1965 January-May
7 1 1965 June-December
7 2 1966 January-May
7 3 1966 May-July
7 4 1966 August-December
7 5 1967 January-March
8 1 1967 April-July
8 2 1967 August-September
8 3 1967 October-December
8 4 1968 January-March
8 5 1968 April-May
9 1 1968 June-September
9 2 1968 October-December
9 3 1969 January-March
9 4 1969 April-May
9 5 1969 June-July
10 1 1969 August-September
10 2 1969 October-December
10 3 1970
10 4 Undated [1 of 2]
10 5 Undated [2 of 2]
Personal papers
11 1 Academic records, 1913-1926, 1935
11 2 Addresses, undated
11 3 Address book, undated
11 4 Affidavit of birth for passport application, 1936 August 3
11 5 Africa, travel documents, lists and maps, 1963-1964
11 6 Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity membership certificate, 1924 November 11
11 7 Alpha Phi Alpha, list of 25 year membership certificates, 1956
11 8 Appointment book, "African date book in Swahili," 1973
11 9 Art purchases, 1960-1970 [includes notes, prices and lists of items purchased]
11 10 Biographical information, 1930-1970
11 11 Ceremony of Installation of Chief Oloto, Lagos, Nigeria, 1964 January
11 12 Ceremony of Installation of the 13th Emir of Kano, Northern Nigeria, 1964 February
11 13 Checks, copies, 1938-1946
11 14 Contract, Afro-American Art, New York Graphic Society, 1969 New York Graphic Society, 1969
11 15 Contract, Negro Art in the Americas, The Dryden Press Inc., 1944 [photocopy] Dryden Press Inc., 1944 [photocopy]
11 16 Curriculum vitae, circa 1961
11 17 "Famous American Negros: Dr. James A. Porter," Voice of America, radio interview transcript, 1957 February 23
11 18 French certificate of identification, 1935 June 12
11 19 Funeral program and obituary, 1970 March
11 20 Haiti travel diary, 1945-1946 [photocopy]
11 21 Health insurance, 1955
11 22 Home insurance, 1939
11 23 Johns, Vernon, "The Romance of Death," funeral sermon, 1966 March
11 24 Membership and identification cards, 1943-1970
11 25 Modern Negro Art, statement of account, 1944
11 26 Nigerian child's bag, straw, 1963
12 1 Nigerian driver's license, 1963
12 2 Notice of Classification cards, 1994
12 3 Notebooks, undated
12 4 Passport and travel documents, 1945-1968
12 5 Service award, recognition of forty years of service to Howard University, 1967 October 23
12 6 Signature stamp, undated
12 7 Tax documents, 1957
12 8 Tax documents, 1958-1959
12 9 Travel documents and receipts, 1935-1938
12 10 Travel documents, itineraries and receipts, 1962-1968
12 11 Trip to Italy, notes, circa 1935?
OP1 - Unidentified scrapbook pages, circa 1890s
12 12 Wedding invitation, Lydia Peck and John Porter, 1891 October 7 [photocopy]
12 13 Wooden souvenir, "Salzburg," undated
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