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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid


Norman C. Meier Papers
RG 99.0163
Collection Dates: 1906-1964
12.0 linear ft.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

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Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Acquisition and Processing Information: These materials were transferred to the University Archives from the Department of Psychology.  Collection processed by Earl M. Rogers.  Guide created and posted to the Internet by Denise Anderson, May 2007.

Photographs: Box 6, 13, 15, 18

Norman C. Meier, between 1930 and 1935.

Norman C. Meier, between 1930 and 1935

Scope and Contents

This collection is comprised of correspondence, publications, lectures, travel postcards, articles about and examples of artist's work, a scrapbook of family related material, hand-drawn diagrams, and visual material in the form of photographs, slides, and fragile glass plate negatives. 

Correspondence is arranged alphabetically in boxes 1 through 9, and all correspondence folder titles are listed in the box list, as provided by Dr. Meier.  Correspondence folders also contain course outlines, final exams, articles, lectures, and photographs.  Additional correspondence may be found in boxes 13, 14, and 18.  

The bulk of this material relates to the nearly forty-year career of Norman C. Meier with the University of Iowa Department of Psychology, where he developed tests to measure artistic aptitude, and a device to measure audience response.

Meier's University of Iowa Ph.D. dissertation, "The Use of Aesthetic Judgment in the Measurement of Art Talent," was written in 1926, during a time of development of other aptitude testing at the University of Iowa.  The Iowa Testing Programs: the first fifty years, by Julia J. Peterson, describes the birth of a testing program within the University of Iowa College of Education in 1928.  A related testing program that developed from the Iowa Testing Programs is the widely used American College Testing Program (ACT).

In 2011, the "Meier Art Tests: I. Art Judgment " (1940) and "Meier Art Tests: II. Aestheitic Perception" (1963) and associated manuals, scoring sheets, and keys, were digitized, and the tiff images are saved in L:/sdrc/rescoll/Meier folders. In order to accommodate the reader who requested these tests, Mark F. Meier, Meier's son, transferred any copyrights Meier enjoyed in them to the University of Iowa. Printed copies of these tests are located in Box 14a.

Biographical Note

Norman Charles Meier was born February 22, 1893 in Carrollton, Missouri.  He graduated from Central High School in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1914.  Mr. Meier worked as an apprentice draftsman in Pittsburgh in 1906, advanced to draftsman by 1914, and worked for the U.S. Geological Survey in that capacity in 1917.  Mr. Meier served during World War I at American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) headquarters in Chaumont, France.  He returned from service to work as a draftsman for a Chicago company, while also attending classes, until 1921.

Meier earned his Ph.B. and M.A. at the University of Chicago in 1921 and 1922.  He took his Ph.D. at the University of Iowa in 1926.  Dr. Meier joined the University of Iowa Department of Psychology in 1922 as an assistant.  He was promoted to instructor, then associate, became assistant professor in 1927, then associate professor, and was made full professor in 1954.  He retired in 1964.

Dr. Meier is well known for the tests he designed for assessing artistic aptitude.  These were devised, in part, through his study of 100 artists from eight countries.  His areas of research were psychology of art, and social and political behavior.  Meier's research in the latter field resulted in methods of measuring audience response to theatre and broadcast programs.  He also studied mob behavior and crowd control.  Courses he taught included Social Psychology, Psychology of International Relations, Psychology of Social Control, Public Opinion and Propaganda, and Psychology of Propaganda.  George Gallup was a student of Dr. Meier, who later developed a successful public polling organization.   During the 1950s, Meier lectured in Canada, England, France, and Belgium, as well as many U.S. cities.  Under a Fulbright grant, Dr. Meier was a consultant at the University of Paris in 1956 to 1957, during the establishment of the Laboratory of Esthetics at the Sorbonne.   His work was widely published.

Meier married Clea Mae Grimes, and they had two sons, Mark F. in 1925, and George Edwin in 1930.  Norman C. Meier died November 2, 1967.

[D. Anderson; 05/2007]

Related Materials

Photographs, Norman Meier conducting tests, in oversize drawer B7

Folder, "Meier, Norman C.," in Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG 01.15.03)

Records of the Department of Psychology (RG06.30)

Papers of Edward Charles Mabie (RG 99.0188) (Theatre Arts)

Box Contents List

Box 1


---. Acknowledgements for vol. III

---. AAUP faculty salaries study

---. Aesthetic Perception Test, 1962

---. American artists, contact information, 1955

---. American Institute of Public Opinion, 1935-1951

------."Accuracy of Modern Polling Techniques in Making Election Forecasts" by George Gallup, director of AIPO

------."The New Science of Public Opinion measurement" by Norman C. Meier


---. American Philosophical Society, 1956

---. American Psychological Association [APA]

---. APA, Penn State, 1950

---. APA resolution, 1949

---. APA Chicago meeting, 1951

---. American Psychologist

---. American Society for Aesthetics

---. Applied Psychology

---. "Art for Every Child"; Harmony selector color wheel


---. Art Institute of Chicago

---. Art Judgment Test, new norms for

---. Art Judgment, tests administered, 1940

---. Artists


---. Audience Research (see also Young & Rubicam, Inc. in folder Y)

---. Baker, J. Ella, 1934-1935, principal of Phillips School, Des Moines

---. Bausch & Lomb

---. Benton, Thomas Hart, friend of Grant Wood

---. Bowen, Howard R., UI President, 1966

---. Berminghaus sketches

---. Best to poorest students

Box 2

Correspondence, cont.

---. Bosin, F. Blackbear, of Great Plains Studio

---. Boyd Printing Co.

---. Browne, Schuyler & Beveridge law firm

---. Brighouse, Dr. Gilbert

---. Bureau of Audience Research

---. Clarification of policy on status of the Bureau of Audience Research

---. California, University of, summer session, 1940

---. Cannon, Charles B., of Rust-oleum company

---. Cannon, R-T


---. Carnegie Corporation

---. Children's mural

---. Collective thinking project

---. Conference papers, duplicates

---. Copyright permissions for pictures

---. Courses

---. Cowles, Gardner, of Des Moines Register

---. Christensen, Erwin O., of American Federation of Arts

---. Creative processes in artists


---. Crossley, Archibald M., of Milwaukee Advertising Club

---. Daniels, Jack, survey

---. Davis, Harvey H., executive dean, S.U.I. Division of Research and Teaching

---. Department of Defense, draft of report, 1951

---. Development of The Artistic Nature of the Child, autobiography

---. Duncan vs. Dell law case

---. Duncan vs. Dell, and Yo-Yo

Box 3

Correspondence, cont.

---. Du Pont advertising department

---. Dryce, Tom, New Mexico artist

---. Letters from art judges

---. Education through radio [2 folders]

---. Elementary Psychology project method

---. Former students

---. Walter D. Fuller Company, registry

---. Fulbright papers

---. Gallup, George H.

---. Gallup Poll

---. Gallup, congressional investigation


---. General Motors vs. Cadillac Marine & Boat Company

---. General Psychology

---. "Genetic Studies in Artistic Capacity" course

---. Graduate school, Creative Art

---. Grimes-Meier, Clea, regarding her mother's property

---. Hallmark Cards, Inc.

---. Hancher, Virgil M., President, University of Iowa, 1952-1961

---. Hayden, Estelle, director of art, Iowa Board of Education

---. Heredity vs. environment


---. "History and Appreciation of the Fine Arts"

---. Henry Holt and Company, publishers

Box 4

Correspondence, cont.

---. Howe, Oscar, head of Department of Art, Vermillion, South Dakota

---. Inter-society Color Council, National Bureau of Standards

---. Iowa Academy of Science

---. Iowa Poll [two folders]

---. Iowa Poll letters

---. Iowa Poll advance proofs

---. Iowa Poll letters from Henry J. Kroeger [two folders]

---. Iowa Poll reports


------. 1945

------. 1946

Box 5

Correspondence, cont.


---. John Herron School of Art

---. Jahn & Ollier Engraving Company, Chicago, makers of printing plates

---. Johnson Reprint Corporation, New York, publishers

---. Kellett, Kathryn, Minnesota artist

---. Kennedy, Mrs. John F., 1966

---. KCRG radio, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

---. Lampa, Howard, Chicago, trade mark research, 1960s

---. Lampa & Christophersen, Chicago, trade mark research, 1940s-1950s

---. Larvie, Calvin, artist

---. Lecture, "The Crisis in France," June 24, 1958

---. Lectures [two folders]

---. Lockhart, Loren, Missouri artist

---. Lowenfield, Viktor, professor at Pennsylvania State College

---. Lynde, Stan, Montana cartoonist


---. McCloy, William, professor at Drake University and Connecticut College [See also Box 13]

---. MacGowan, Clara, professor at Northwestern University

---. McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York, 1947

Box 6

Correspondence, cont.

---. Student ratings of Norman Meier, n.d. [two folders]

---. Meier's radio presentations, n.d.

---. Meier's speaking engagements, 1938, 1952, 1953

---. Meier Audio Response Recorder, article and correspondence about, and photograph of, 1949, 1950

---. Meier's talks and papers

---. Meier Art Judgment Test mailing list, includes photographs

---. Meier lectures in Louisville, Lexington, and Illinois, n.d.

---. Meier, Norman C.

---. Meier newspaper clippings


---. Meier, Norman C., photographs

---. Meier, Norman C., photographs;Who's Who in America 1944; correspondence

---. Meier, Norman C., 1919 letter to ex-girlfriend Margaret Haggott; future book material

---. Meier, Norman C., unpublished manuscript, "Panty Raids: Craze or symptom?" [two folders]

---. Meier-Seashore scoring sheets

---. Meier-Seashore test records

---. Meier-Seashore test revision

---. Meier, Norman C., papers by

Box 7

Correspondence, cont.

---. Mauldin, William, editor of Chicago Sun-Times

---. Manuscript, "Art and Man"

---. Martin, Henry P., Jr., syndicate manager, The Register and Tribune

---. Martin, Thomas E., Iowa Congressman

---. "Measurement of Public Opinion," lecture, 1936

---. Memorandum from Meier, n.d.

---. Military Psychology; 1940 Berkeley lecture "Public Opinion and the International Situation"

---. Military service, research

---. "Minnesota Poll," a weekly survey publication

---. "The Mob" paper

---. Monograph article, "Reconstructive Imagination"


---. Nashville groups, 1937

---. National Issues, Inc., director Norman C. Meier [two folders]

---. Navy collective thinking project

---. News items, 1939

---. Nixon, Richard M., 1961, 1964

---. Objective study

---. Parking problem, "Evaluation of the Proposal for an East Iowa Avenue Parking Garage," 1958

---. Patrick, Dr. Catharine, 1949

---. Permission to reproduce illustrations

Box 8

Correspondence, cont.

---. "Political Psychology" course

---. Princeton conference, 1946

---. Propaganda; Army Talks, 1944

---. Propaganda lectures

---. Psychological Corporation, New York marketing company, 1933, 1940

---. "Psychology of Advertising" course syllabus and final exam

---. "Psychology of Advertising" course lecture notes

---. "Psychology of Art" and "Psychology of Propaganda," 1941

---. "Psychology of International Relations" course final exam

---. "Public Opinion and Propaganda" lecture notes and correspondence, 1938, 1940

---. "The Measurement of Public Opinion" paper and final exam


---. "Public Opinion and Propaganda" course outline and final exam, 1939; "Measurement of Public Opinion" course outline; "Public Opinion, 1936" article for Saturday Evening Post in 1937

---. Public opinion polls in Mexico, 1949, 1950

---. Public Opinion Quarterly, Princeton publication

---. Public opinion speaking engagements

---. Publication announcements

---. "Can Democracy Think?" paper, 1941 [two folders]

---. "Questions teachers would like answered through art education research," questionnaire, 1937 [two folders]

---. Radio talks, 1932-1940

---. Reagan, Ronald, 1966

---. Redmon, Hayes [assistant to President of the United States], 1965

---. "Public Opinion Polls and the 1940 Campaign"

---. Reprint acknowledgments, 1941

---. Research funds, 1959


---. Reuther, Walter P., president of UAW-CIO, survey, 1955

---. Reviews, 1939, 1944

---. Rogers & Woodson Co., Chicago


------. Pepsodent Co. toothbrush survey, 1944-1947

------. Word association in marketing, 1946-1950

Box 9

Correspondence, cont.

---. St. Louis, 1937

---. "Social Psychology" course, 1940, 1941

---. St. Louis public schools, 1936

---. School Arts Magazine, 1935, 1936

---. Schulz, Charles M., includes original "Peanuts" cartoon drawing, 1962

---. Social Science Research Council, New York, forecasts of election outcomes, 1950, 1951

---. Sorbonne, 1955

---. Sorbonne lectures


------. 1955-1956

------. 1956-1957

------. 1958


---. Special ability, papers on

---. Students tested, 1962-1964

---. Studies in the Psychology of Art, comments by reviewers

---. Steinhof, Dr. Eugen Gustav, director of National School of Decorative Art of Vienna, lecture, 1932

---. Survey Research Center, Federal Reserve Bank series on consumer finances, 1947-1949


---. Tests for courses

---. Theatre audience research, 1953

---. Third International Congress of Eugenics, 1932

---. Veterans Special Instruction Program, 1945

---. War psychology, 1941, 1942

---. Washington University, St. Louis, 1963

---. Washington survey; sample Gallup Poll form, 1950

---. Whitford, William G., professor of art education, University of Chicago, 1932-1938

---. World Association for Public Opinion Research, 1948-1952

---. "Your Child Can Appreciate Art" paper

Box 10

Reprints of articles by Meier

Psychology Laboratory notebook, 1922-1927

Box 11

Cuts used in making book illustrations

Printed examples of book illustrations [includes Ding Darling cartoons]

Box 12


Lectures in Paris

Course notes

---. "Psychology of Art"

---. "Psychology of International Relations"

Box 13

Cards received during 1964 illness

Correspondence with UI faculty regarding courses, 1930s and 1940s

Newspaper clippings

Photographs of art


Box 13a

Glass plate negatives of art

Films used in "Creative Imag. Study," 1936, McCloy, William A. [ see McCloy, Box 5]

Box 14


Paris trip; lectures presented at Paris, National Gallery, and Denver

Institute of [Native American] Indian Studies, brochure and occasional paper, 1959

Box 14a

The Meier-Seashore Art Judgment Test (1929): two copies, one marked "Revision."  Meier Arts Tests. I. Art Judgment (1940): three copies, one spiral bound.

----. Examiner's Manual (c.1930); (c1942) three copies. Descriptive pamphlet for Meir-Seashore (3 copies); for Meier Arts Tests (3 copies).

----. Answer sheets, scoring keys, and norms.

Meier Art Tests II. Aesthetic Perception. (1963): three copies.

----. Answer keys, scoring keys, preliminary manuals (1963, 1967).

Box 15

Photographs, slides, negatives, glass plate negatives

Box 16

Speeches and course records

Boxes 17-22

Glass plate negatives

Boxes 23-24

Scrapbook of correspondence and photographs from sons, Mark and George

Family members, newspaper clippings and articles

Meier, Norman C.

---. Death condolence cards

---. Miscellaneous writings

---. Newspaper clippings


---. Miscellaneous, including one of Camp Mills military training camp in Long Island, ca. 1917

---. Washington state, ca. 1961-1967


---. Central High School reunion

---. Class of 1914; Alpha Delta Sigma fraternity membership

---. Recognition from Governor Norman Erbe


---. Paris, 1956-1957

---. Program of the Lido in Paris, 1956

---. Cruise line menus dated 1956 and 1957

---. Travel postcards [two folders]


---. Articles about

---. Examples of their work [includes Grant Wood greeting card]

---. Photographs of their work

Oversize Box 1

Draftsman diagrams hand-drawn by Meier