MsC 549

  Manuscript Register


Collection Dates:1951
.5 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

Posted to Internet: February 2003

Acquisition Note: This collection was donated to the University of Iowa Libraries by Carol Fracassini in 2003.

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.

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 Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on "Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials"

Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections.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

Abbreviations: For an explanation of the abbreviation and dating conventions used in the finding aids, see Abbreviations.

Biographical Note

S. Carl Fracassini received his B.F.A from Denver in 1936 and his M.F.A. at University of Iowa in 1951. He was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Iowa in 1954.

Scope and Content

As then head of the Art Department of Iowa Wesleyan College, in 1951 Fracassini wrote to artists as follows:

"During my associations with other painters for the past twenty years, I have seen repeated evidences of frustrations and uncertainties concerning the functions and goals of artists in our societty. Consequently, I have chosen for the subject of my dissertation, "The Dilemma of the Twentieth Century Artist."

"I would therefore appeciate your personal opinion on such questions as these: Do you believe that the so-called glorification of shapelessness and formlessness in compemporary art is an inevitable reflection of our age? It has been said that in order to create a new art form the works of the past must be denied. Do you share this opinion? Why does elimination of subject matter seem to be indigenous to the period in which we live? Do you consider this approach valid? What do you think the artists as exemplified by some of the members of the Betty Parsons Gallery and Kottz, are contributing toward the development of a lasting art? What in your opinion is the basic common denominator of art throughout the ages? Can art be propagandistic and still be a valid art? What are your personal goals as an artist?"

This collection contains the responses he received. Not every correspondent chose to answer his questions. Many of the letters are handwritten and nearly all are signed. Contributing artists include Joseph Albers, Lyonel Feiniger, George Grosz, Rockwell Kent, and Norman Rockwell.

Related material

S. Carl Fracassini. "The Dilemma of the Twentieth Century American Artist." T1951 F798

Processed by Sheri Kleinwort

Box List

Adams, Kenneth M.

May 14, 1951. ALS 2p.

Albers, Josef

April 26, 1951. TLS 1p.

Arms, John Taylor

May 8, 1951. TLS 1p.

Atherton, John

April 13, 1951. ALS 7p.

Austin, Darrel

April 12, 1951. 1p: letter from Fracassini.

Avery, Milton

April 21, 1951. ALS 2p.

Barnet, Will

May 1, 1951. ALS 2p.


No date on return letter. 4p.

Biddle, George

April 17, 1951. ALS 6p.

Blume, Peter

April 12, 1951. 1p: letter from Fracassini

No date on return letter. ALS 1p.

Bohrod, Aaron

April 23, 1951. ALS 3p.

Booth, Cameron

April 15, 1951. ALS 6p, brochure

Burchfield, Charles

April 17, 1951. 1p: letter from Fracassini

April 22, 1951. ALS 1p.

Conway, Fred

No date on return letter. ALS 6p.

Cowles, Russell

May 17, 1951. ALS 2p.

Crawford, Ralston

April 25, 1951. TLS 1p.

Dasburg, Andrew

April 24, 1951. ALS 2p.

de Diego, Julio

May 26, 1951. TLS 2p.

Di Gioia, Frank

April 24, 1951. ALS 2p.

Dike, Phil

No date on return letter. ALS 2p.

Dodd, Lamar

April 12, 1951. TLS 2p.

July 9, 1951. 1p: correspondence from Mrs. Betty C. Cabin, Mr. Dodd’s secretary


April 28, 1951. TLS 3p.

Feiniger, Lyonel

April 21, 1951.TLS 3p.

Fiene, Ernest

April 19, 1951. TLS 2p.

Fossum, Syd

April 21, 1951. TLS 2p.

Gottlieb, Adolph

April 17, 1951. ALS 2p.

Grant, Jordan

May 29, 1951. ALS 1p.

Graves, Maitland

July 9, 1951. TLS 1p: slightly damaged.

Greene, Balcomb

May 19, 1951. TLS 1p.

Gropper, William

April 25, 1951. TLS 1p.

Grosz, George

May 20, 1951. TLS 1p.

Gughelm, Louis

April 21, 1951. ALS 2p.

Gwathmey, Robert

May 18, 1951. TLS 2p.

Hand, Peter

October 6, 1951. TLS 1p.

Hofman, Hans

May 3, 1951. TLS 1p.

Hopper, Edward

April 24, 1951. TLS 1p.

Kaplan, Joseph

April 22, 1951. TLS 3p.

Kent, Rockwell

April 18, 1951. TLS 2p.

Kirsch, Dwight

May 1, 1951. TLS 2p.

Kroll, Leon

April 28, 1951. TLS 1p.

Lockwood, Ward

May 1, 1951. 1p.

Lucioni, Luigi

April 26, 1951. TLS 1p.

Margo, Boris

April 23, 1951. TLS 3p.

Marsh, Reginald

April 10, 1951. ALS 2p.

Mattern, Karl

May 17, 1951. ALS 3p.

Mommer, Paul

April 25, 1951. TLS 1p.

Osver, Arthur

May 16, 1951. ALS 4p.

Ozenfant, Amdee

May 1951. ALS 1p.

Pach, Malter

May 17, 1951. ALS 2p and envelope

Palmer, William

April 18, 1951. TLS 1p.

Pearson, Ralph M.

May 1, 1951. TLS 1p.

Peirce, Waldo

April 13, 1951. 1p: letter from Fracassini

April 23, 1951. TLS 1p.

Quanchi, Leo

April 23, 1951. TLS 3p.

Quirt, Walter

May 10, 1951. ALS 5p.

Rockwell, Norman

June 19, 1951. TLS 1p.

Roszak, Theodore

May 4, 1951. ALS 1p: written by Mrs. Theodore J. Roszak

Ruvolo, Felix

June 11, 1951. TLS 2p.

Schwartz, William S.

April 25, 1951. ALS 2p.

Shahn, Ben

May 3, 1951. TLS 1p.

Sheeler, Charles

April 26, 1951. ALS 2p.

Smythe, Bill

April 22, 1951. TLS 2p.
Stamos, [Theodore]
April 18, 1951. ALS 4p.

Sternberg, Harry

April 17, 1951. 1p: letter from Fracassini

No date on return letter. 4p: TLS 3p, ALS 1p.

Tschacbasov, Nahum

May 12, 1951. TLS 3p.


Soyer Raphael (?), n.s., n.d., 2 p.

Weber, Hugo

April 8, 1951. 1p: letter from Fracassini originally addressed to Mr. Serge Chermayeff and referred to Mr. Hugo Weber

April 20, 1951. TLS 1p.

Wilson, Sol

May 11, 1951. TLS 2p.

Xceron, Jean

May 3, 1951. TLS 2p.



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