The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Robert S. Cox Special Collections & University Archives Research Center
CredoResearch digital collections in Credo

Collecting area: Arts & literature

Alspach, Russell K. (Russell King), 1901-

Russell K. Alspach Papers

1950-1978
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 025

Russel K. Alspach earned his PhD in 1932 from the University of Pennsylvania where he taught English from 1924-1942. After four years of service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he spent eighteen years as head of the Department of English at West Point Military Academy before retiring in 1965 with the rank of Brigadier General. A specialist in Irish literature with wide ranging interests running from William Butler Yeats to Percy Bysshe Shelley and William Faulkner, Alspach published prolifically throughout his career. He took a post-retirement appointment at UMass in 1966, but hardly retired, eventually becoming Head of the Department of English, and teaching until his final retirement and death in 1980.

The Alspach Papers consist of professional correspondence, drafts of writing, and reviews written by Russell K. Alspach. The small collection includes grant applications and notes for Alspach’s Yeats Study Series, as well as a 3.75 inch monographic recording of readings and music by unidentified artists. The Department of Special Collections and University Archives is also home to the Alspach Yeats Collection of rare books.

Gift of Russell K. Alspach, 1999

Subjects

University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of EnglishYeats, W. B. (William Butler), 1865-1939

Contributors

Alspach, Russell K. (Russell King), 1901-
Ambellan, Harold

Harold Ambellan Memoir

2005
1 item (75p.)
Call no.: MS 855

A native of Buffalo, N.Y., the expatriot sculptor Harold Ambellan was a participant in the Federal Art Project during the 1930s and a figure in the radical Artists’ Union and Sculptors Guild. After naval service during the Second World War, Ambellan left the United States permanently to escape the hostile climate of the McCarthy-era, going into exile in France. Although a friend of artists such as Pollock, de Kooning, and Rothko, Ambellan’s work was primarily figurative and centered on the human form. His work has been exhibited widely on both sides of the Atlantic. He died at his home in Arles in 2006 at the age of 94.

In 2005, Victoria Diehl sat with her friend, Harold Ambellan, to record his memories of a life in art. Beginning with recollections of his childhood in Buffalo, N.Y., the memoir delves into the impact of the Great Depression, Ambellan’s experiences in the New York art scene of the 1930s and his participation in the leftist Artists’ Union, his Navy service, and his expatriate years in France from the 1950s-2000s. Ambellan’s memoir also includes extended discussion of his views of democracy, patriotism, and art, and his career as a sculptor.

Subjects

Artists--20th centuryDemocracyDepressions, 1929Expatriate artists--FranceNew Deal, 1933-1939Sculptors--20th centuryWorld War, 1939-1945

Contributors

Diehl, VictoriaGuthrie, Woody, 1912-1967

Types of material

MemoirsOral histories
American History Workshop

American History Workshop Records

1980-2016
42 boxes 63 linear feet
Call no.: MS 922

Temporarily stored offsite; contact SCUA to request materials from this collection.

Founded by Richard Rabinowitz in 1980, American History Workshop is a consortium of historians, designers, and filmmakers who promote public understanding of history through innovative exhibition and interpretation. Collaborating with a national roster of clients, the AHW provides consultation and assistance in developing, designing, and installing exhibitions that convey current historical scholarship and pedagogical practice for the public. Their exhibits have explored a wide array of critical themes in American history, including slavery, civil rights, and social justice; Constitutional and political history; immigration; urbanization; and labor history. In recent years, they have expanded their operations to include services such as audience analysis, media production, fund raising assistance, and organizational development.

The records of the American History Workshop document over three decades of work by one of the premier firms in historical exhibition and interpretation. The collection contains detailed records of nearly 600 projects prepared in collaboration with organizations ranging from the New-York Historical Society and Arizona Historical Society to the Smithsonian, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

Gift of Richard Rabinowitz, 2016

Subjects

ExhibitionsPublic history

Contributors

Rabinowitz, RichardSinger, Michael
Americans for the Arts

Americans for the Arts Records

1965-2016
16 24 linear feet
Call no.: MS 953

With roots extending back to 1965, Americans for the Arts is one of the first and most influential arts advocacy organizations in the United States. Founded as the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies (NALAA), the organization has collaborated with arts organizations at the local, state, and federal level; with government agencies; private individuals; and funders to represent and serve local communities and to raise awareness of the value of the arts in American lives. NAFTA plays a key role in sustaining creative communities and generating public and private sector policies, leadership, and resources for the arts and arts education. AFTA assumed its current name in 1996 after the merger of NALAA and the American Council for the Arts.

The records are focused on AFTA’s early years and include minutes of meetings and other organizational records, selected publications, and promotional materials.

Gift of AFTA, 2016-2017

Subjects

Arts--ManagementArts--United StatesCommunity arts projects
Arcadia Players

Arcadia Players Records

1989-2005
18 boxes 27 linear feet
Call no.: MS 451

Since 1989 the Arcadia Players have been performing Baroque music with the aim of providing an authentic experience both for the musicians and the audience by employing instruments and performance practices that draw from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In residence at the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies at UMass Amherst, the ensemble performs an annual series of concerts in several communities throughout western Massachusetts.

The collection consists of brochures, programs, photographs, videorecordings of performances, and financial and administrative records. Together the items provide a behind-the-scenes look at the operations of a small but successful professional ensemble of musicians.

Subjects

Music--17th centuryMusic--18th centuryMusicians--Massachusetts

Contributors

Arcadia Players
Arena, Natalie C.

Natalie C. Arena Photograph Collection

1956-1961
1 box 1 linear feet
Call no.: PH 087
Depiction of Joanne Fortune in her dorm room, photo by Nancy Arena
Joanne Fortune in her dorm room, photo by Nancy Arena

Raised in Short Hills, New Jersey, Natalie “Nancy” Arena’s early education included the Lexington School for the Deaf in New York and the Bruce Street School in Newark, N.J. In 1956, her father transferred her to the Clarke School for the Deaf because of the school’s emphasis on speech and use of the English language. She stayed at Clarke until she graduated with honors in 1961. After Clarke, Arena went to Millburn High in Millburn, N.J., where she was integrated with hearing students. Arena had a long career in data processing and translated the love of sewing she learned at Clarke into a life-long hobby of quilting.

The Natalie C. Arena Photograph Collection consists of photographs taken by Arena of her friends, teachers, and Clarke School outings and activities. Her photographs show the life of a student at the Clarke School during the late-50s and early-60s. Subjects include dorm rooms, camping trips, gym activities, and class trips.

Subjects

Clarke School for the DeafDeaf--Education

Types of material

Photographs
Artists-Research-Technology, Inc.

Artists-Research-Technology, Inc., Collection

1977-2013
2 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 832
Depiction of John Roy, Three Cows
John Roy, Three Cows

Artists-Research-Technology, Inc., was a collaboration of printmakers based in western Massachusetts, that in the late 1970s, began using mechanized offset lithography as an alternative to more traditional lithographic techniques in the production of limited-edition fine art prints. On the commercial press of Hamilton I. Newell, the artists avoided merely adapting artistic processes to offset, placing innovative demands on themselves to explore the intersections of technology and fine art. An extensive body of prints by the key participants (Ron Michaud, Hanlyn Davies, Oriole Feshbach, Hiroshi Murata, John Roy, Dale Schlaeppi, and Larry Spaid) were exhibited nationally and internationally.

The ART collection consists of photographs and original prints by the key members of the ART collaborative, along with phootgraphs, scans, correspondence, minutes of meetings, publicity, a videotape, and other material relating to the project.

Subjects

Art and technologyLithographyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Art, Architecture, and Art History

Contributors

Davies, HanlynFeshbach, Oriole FarbMichaud, RonaldMurata, Hiroshi, 1941-Roy, JohnSchläppi, Dale

Types of material

LithographsPhotographs
Artwork

Artwork Collection

ca.1645-2003
ca.100 items
Call no.: MS 597
Depiction of Ernst Toller, portrait by Lydia Gibson Minor
Ernst Toller, portrait by Lydia Gibson Minor

Over the years, SCUA has become home to both two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of art pertaining to three of its key thematic collecting areas: the University of Massachusetts Amherst, New England, and social change.

The Artwork Collection is comprised of miscellaneous works visual art, realia, and decorative arts, relating primarily to figures in UMass or to leftist or proletarian artists. Among the artists represented are Michael Russo, Cook Glassgold, Lydia Gibson Minor, Laura Wheeler Waring, Daniel Chester French, and Laurence Bradshaw. For reference purposes, we have cross-listed paintings belonging to other SCUA collections.

Subjects

Portraits

Types of material

Oil paintingsPrints (Visual works)Sculpture (Visual works)
Ashcraft, Barr G.

Barr G. Ashcraft Photograph Collection

1972-1975
2 boxes, ca.125 items
Call no.: PH 007
Depiction of Vietnamese soldiers, ca.1973
Vietnamese soldiers, ca.1973

A graduate of the Northfield Mount Hermon School, Wake Forest University, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst (MA, 1966), Barr Gallop Ashcraft (1940-2005) lived what he called a “gypsy” life in the late 1960s, traveling through the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and eventually settling on a career in photojournalism. As a stringer for news organizations and magazines, he covered the war in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos from 1972 to 1975, taking other assignments throughout Asia for magazines ranging from Life to National Geographic, Newsweek, and Time. For several years, he lived in Japan, working as a teacher, but returned to Amherst to join his father in the building trade. He remained in Amherst, lecturing occasionally on his experiences as a war correspondent, until his death at his home in Shutesbury in 2005.

The Ashcraft Photograph Collection represents a small fraction of the images he took as a freelance photographer in Southeast Asia during the early 1970s. In both black and white and color prints, the collection provides stark and often graphic evidence of the destruction of the war in Vietnam, emphasizing its latter years and the period of Vietnamization, but also includes documentary work on Cambodia. The remainder of Ashcraft’s 22,000 negatives and accompanying notes were destroyed in a house fire in 1995.

Subjects

Cambodia--PhotographsPhotojournalistsVietnam War, 1961-1975Vietnam--Photographs

Contributors

Ashcraft, Barr G

Types of material

Photographs
Association of American Cultures

Association of American Cultures Collection

1985-2010
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1070

The Association of American Cultures (TAAC) was founded in 1985, following the success of the first Open Dialogue conference in which cultural workers from an array of arts disciplines gathered to discuss issues confronting arts organizations and artists in communities of color. As a national arts service agency, TAAC advocates for racial equity in the arts and arts organizations and provides support for those concerned with the preservation of their culturally specific identities through the arts.

The TAAC collection consists primarily of materials distributed to participants at several of the Open Dialogues conferences, along with a handful of promotional materials. A videotape in the collection is one of several produced by TAAC in the 1980s on aspects of cultural diversity in the American arts.

Gift of Mayumi Tsutakawa, Jan. 2016 (2016-008).

Subjects

Arts--ManagementOpen Dialogue

Types of material

Videocassettes