MsC 272

  Manuscript Register


Collection Dates:1933 -- 1972
2 linear ft.

This document describes a collection of materials held by the
Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1420
Phone: 319-335-5921
Fax: 319-335-5900

Addendum: 2005

Posted to Internet: October 2002

Acquisition Note: The papers of Robert B. Tabor were given to the University of Iowa Libraries by his daughter, Ruth Tabor, in 1972.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Photographs: Box 2

Audiovisual materials: Audio 1 7/8/ 3 3/4 i.p.s. tapes

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.

Copyright:  Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on "Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials"

Use of Collections:  The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections.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.

Biographical Note

Robert Byron Tabor (1882 -- 1972) was born in Independence, Iowa, and lived most of his life in the Independence and Oelwein area. He began to paint at the age of 52. He had been a traveling salesman for a Cedar Rapids paint company, when he lost his job during the Great Depression. Desperate for work, he turned to the Public Works of Art Project. One of his first oils painted under the project was chosen as one of the twenty-five best pictures of the 15,000 submitted. The painting, entitled "Vendue," depicted an Iowa farm auction of the depression and hung in Franklin Roosevelt's White House office throughout his presidency. Ironically, it disappeared later, never to be recovered. Mr. Tabor's artwork has been exhibited throughout the country, from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City to the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska.

Scope and Content

The collection includes biographical information along with correspondence from Harold E. Hughes, John C. Culver, and Edward B. Rowan. Several folders relate to the missing painting, "Vendue." Tabor kept diaries from the 1940s until his death in 1972. Finally, there are more than twenty sketchbooks and two scrapbooks.

Box List

Box 1

Biographical material

Correspondence 1933 -- 1971 and undated including correspondence with Richard (Dick) Leet, Marcus Bach, Harold E. Hughes, H. R. Gross, Edward B. Rowan, and Clyde L. Herring

"The Discovery of the Van Allen Radiation Belt"

Edith E. Brown correspondence, 1961

"Four Seasons on an Iowa Farm: The Paintings of Robert Tabor," by Roy R. Behrens. Iowa Heritage Illustrated (Spring, 2000).

Miscellaneous Writings

Box 2

Newspaper clippings

Oelwein Public Library Robert Tabor show materials, 1972


Poetry, stories, and other writings

The search for "Vendue" including correspondence with John C. Culver

Star Pictures

The "Vendue" story

Writings on various subjects

Box 3

Diaries: 1945, 1946, 1953, 1955 (2), 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1965, 1966-1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971 (3), 1972, and miscellaneous undated notebooks

Box 4

Sketchbooks: 24 and one folder with loose sketches

2 scrapbooks

2005 Addendum

Box 5

Fourteen 1 7/8/3 3/4 i.p.s. audio tapes of converstions with Robert Tabor, covering a period of time when he was living in Iowa with his daughter Ruth. Gift of Mary Bopp.



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