Rare Book & Manuscript Library

View Series XVIII. "Random Notes" and "Personalia"

Series XIX. Photographs and Art Work

4 boxes.

The Mumfords were not avid photographers, and the two boxes of general photographs consist primarily of snapshots given to the Mumfords by friends and associates. The few small portraits (of others) are for the most part the earlier items in the collection; most of the photographs are relatively recent. There are just a few family and travel snapshots, probably taken by Mumford. Researchers seeking publishable photographs of Mumford should investigate other sources. In particular, Monmouth College has recent portrait photographs of good quality, as well as some older photographs.

All photographs which Mumford filed with book research materials have been left in place. Most of those items were obtained from archives and commercial sources. However, there are snapshots of American architecture, apparently by Mumford, filed with Sticks and Stones and photographs of Mediterranean structures with The City in History .

Lewis Mumford's output as a visual artist ran somewhat parallel to his work in creative writing. In both cases, he was most productive as a young man, and the work dwindled to almost nothing in his later years. His art work was done as part of his note-taking and/or simply for his own pleasure. He never studied formally or pursued the idea of a career as a painter, but obviously possessed a natural talent.

There are eighty-three works of art by Mumford in the collection, contained in one box. Almost all are on paper, and the various media include watercolor, pastel, crayon, ink, and graphite. The content is primarily architecture, landscapes, portraits, and cartoons. None of the pieces is larger than approximately 8x10 inches, a fact that is also true for the collection of Mumford's art work held by Monmouth College. Many of the drawings at Monmouth College have been exhibited there as well as in several other locations, including the University of Pennsylvania. Some of the same drawings were published in Sketches from Life .

The items at the University of Pennsylvania arrived as part of Mumford's papers. In many of the series containing notes by Mumford, there are note sheets which include very small drawings. In these cases it was decided that the written notes were of primary importance. The fourth box of photographs and art work is restricted; it contains items from the Bauer, Decker, Strongin, and Lewis-Sophia correspondence.

Container Container Contents
194-195 Photographs
196 Art work
197 Photographs and drawings from the Bauer, Decker, and Strongin correspondence
Last update: Friday, 31-Jan-2003 21:22:08 EST
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