Guide to the Agnes Rindge Claflin Papers, 1910-1963, bulk 1927-1934

Table of Contents

Collection Summary

Repository: Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries
Creator: Claflin, Agnes Rindge, 1900-1977
Title: Agnes Rindge Claflin Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1910-1963
Bulk Dates: 1927-1934
Quantity: 2.5 cubic ft (4 boxes, containing approximately 2,000 items.)
Abstract: The bulk of the Claflin collection is from the years 1927-1934, the period in which she received her graduate degrees and began to teach at Vassar College as an associate professor and later as a full professor. While the collection itself is mainly made up of correspondence, it also contains an eclectic selection of material, including: various drafts of her doctoral thesis, newspaper clippings concerning her career, programs of exhibits, class notes and assorted miscellanea.
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Biographical Note

Agnes Millicent Rindge was born on May 19, 1900 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Upon graduating the Madeira School in 1917, she attended Mount Holyoke College for two years, and in 1921, having being elected to Phi Beta Kappa, received her B.A. magna cum laude from Radcliffe College. In 1923, Rindge joined the faculty of the Vassar Art Department as an instructor. She returned to Radcliffe to do graduate work, receiving her M.A. in 1927 and her Ph.D. in 1928. In the fall of that year, Rindge rejoined the Vassar Art Department as an associate professor. After three years, she was promoted to the rank of full professor. Rindge was director of the Vassar Art Gallery (1943-1962), Chairperson of the Art Department (1943-1965), and Mary Conover Mellon Professor of Art (1961-1965).

Her most extensive written work is SCULPTURE, which was published in 1929. Subsequently, she wrote THE ELDER PIETER BRUEGEL: A SHORT ESSAY (1936), as well as numerous articles for publications such as INTERNATIONAL STUDIO, PARNASSUS, and FORMES.

Over the course of several decades, Rindge lectured at many of this country's foremost institutions of higher learning, including: New York University Institute of Fine Arts, Chicago Art Institute, Wadsworth Athenaeum, Columbia University, Yale School of Fine Art, and at other universities too many to enumerate.

During World War II, Rindge served as Executive Secretary and Consultant in the Art Division of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs (1941-1942), and continued as Consultant in the Program of Cultural Relations with Latin America, where she was concerned with the circulation and exposure of Latin American Art within the United States.

At approximately the same time, she became a member of the Advisory Committee of the Museum of Modern Art (1944), and served as Assistant Executive Vice President of the Museum (1943-44). In connection with a Calder sculpture exhibition held at the Museum of Modern Art, she wrote and narrated a film entitled ALEXANDER CALDER: SCULPTURE AND CONSTRUCTIONS.

Rindge was active in many art organizations, including membership in the Commission on Arts of the American Association of Colleges (1939), Chairperson of the Committee on Fellowships of the College Art Association (1945-1948), member of the Editorial Board of Art in America (1940-1943), as well as President of the American Federation of Arts (1944-1945).

Her associates included Alfred Barr, founder of the Museum of Modern Art, A. Everett Austin, head of the Wadsworth Athenaeum, as well as artists such as Alexander Calder, Eugene Berman and Pavel Tchelitchew.

Rindge was noted for her colorful manner of dress and for having, as one former student and later colleague put it, a "verbal wit and playfulness that so often outran pedestrian minds." Yet Rindge was also known not to accept less than what she felt a person capable of -- "She had expectations, and when they were fulfilled she was encouraging; when they were not, one felt one had placed more than oneself in jeopardy."*

In 1945, Miss Rindge married Philip W. Claflin, a captain in the U.S. Army. Mrs. Claflin was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from Wheaton College in 1962, and a year later received the Graduate Society Medal from Radcliffe College. She died on June 12, 1977, at the age of seventy-seven.

*Quotations from Pamela Askew, Bulletin of the Vassar Art Gallery, Claflin collection, Box 6, Folder 93.

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Scope and Content Note

The bulk of the Claflin collection is from the years 1927-1934, the period in which she received her graduate degrees and began to teach at Vassar College as an associate professor and later as a full professor. While the collection itself is mainly made up of correspondence, it also contains an eclectic selection of material, including: various drafts of her doctoral thesis, newspaper clippings concerning her career, programs of exhibits, class notes and assorted miscellanea.

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Access

This collection is open for research according to the regulations of the Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Library without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to quote (publish) from unpublished or previously published material must be obtained as described in the regulations of the Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Library.

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Subject Headings

Organizations:

  • Vassar College--Faculty.

Subjects:

  • Art -- Study and teaching.
  • Women college teachers.
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Encoding Information

Encoded by Laura Finkel, January 2009.

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Preferred Citation

Agnes Claflin Rindge Papers, Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries.

Processing Information

Processed by Jonathan S. Lubliner, 1983.

Updated by Laura Streett in 2016.

Acquisition Information

Some materials were transfered from the Vassar College Art Department at an unknown date.

Correspondence between A. Everett Austin, Jr., et al. and Claflin, gift of the Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, CT, 1991.

The class notes, postcards, and photos in boxes 3 and 4 were donated by Christina Houghtaling, VC 1974, in October 2015. Ms. Houghtaling resued the material from a dumpster on or near campus some time after Claflin's death.

The source of the rest of the collection is unknown.

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Series List

Series I. Personal material (Box 1)

  • This series includes correspondence with parents, letters to relatives and childhood friends, as well as information on her wedding and the death of her mother, Miriam Rindge.

Series II. Professional material (Box 1)

  • This category relates to all of Claflin's professional activities outside the scope of Vassar College. These were considerable; hence, they have received their own grouping.

Series III. Harvard University (Box 1)

  • This series includes Claflin's correspondence with Harvard professors and personnel as well as class notes and several versions of her published doctoral thesis, Sculpture.

Series IV. Vassar College (Box 1-2)

  • This series contains correspondence with faculty, alumnae and students and official faculty memorandums among other things.

Series V. Financial papers (Box 2)

  • The three boxes of this series contain personal bills, letters concerning salary, canceled checks and bank statements.

Series VI. General material (Boxes 2-4)

  • This series is, for the most part, a "catch all" category; many of Claflin's friends were also her colleagues and vice versa -- many items which could not realistically fit into the aforementioned groups were placed here. Much in the way of personal and professional correspondence that did not meet the guidelines of the overall scheme have been arranged alphabetically in the General Material series. Also included:Index cards with photographs, organized by subject, and miscellaneous post cards and photographs of actors (M2016-001).
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Container List

PERSONAL MATERIAL

General
  • Folder 1 - Greeting cards, invitations, Christmas cards (24 items)
  • Folder 2 - Letters from childhood friends, 1910-1912 (27 items)
  • Folder 3 - Letters from childhood friends, 1925-1935 (12 items)
  • Folder 4 - Letters from Sally H. Dunn, childhood friend (4 items)
  • Folder 5 - Death of Miriam Rindge, mother (4 letters, 1 newspaper clipping)
  • Folder 6 - Wedding of Agnes and Philip Claflin (1 invitation, 4 newspaper clippings)
Correspondence with relatives
  • Folder 7 - Correspondence with relatives (14 items)
  • Folder 8 - Correspondence with Ruth Harter, aunt (8 letters, 4 poems)
  • Folder 9 - Letters from Miriam Rindge to Ruth Harter (3 letters)
Travel
  • Folder 10 - European travel arrangements, 1932 (4 items)
  • Folder 11 - Maps, schedules, ship information (3 maps, 1 log abstract, 1 train schedule)
Personal Miscellanea
  • Folder 12 - Miscellaneous items (30 items including poems, limericks, and newspaper clippings)
Letters from parents
  • Folder 13 - Harry Rindge, 1911, 1928-1929 (14 letters)
  • Folder 14 - Harry Rindge, 1930-1932 (25 letters)
  • Folder 15 - Miriam Rindge, 1928 (13 letters)
  • Folder 16 - Miriam Rindge, 1929-1932 (6 letters)
  • Folder 17 - Miriam Rindge, n.d. (16 letters)
  • Folder 18 - Miriam Rindge, n.d. (10 letters)
  • Folder 19 - Miriam Rindge, n.d. (15 letters)
  • Folder 20 - Miriam Rindge, n.d. (9 letters)
  • Folder 21 - Miriam Rindge, n.d. (10 letters)
  • Folder 22 - Miriam Rindge, n.d. (9 letters)
  • Folder 23 - Miriam Rindge, n.d. (4 letters)
  • Folder 24 - Miriam Rindge, n.d. (9 letters)
  • Folder 25 - Miriam Rindge, n.d. (10 letters)
  • Folder 26 - Miriam Rindge, n.d. (7 letters)

PROFESSIONAL MATERIAL

  • Folder 27 - College Art Association American Institute for Persian Art and Archaeology (15 items)
  • Folder 28 - Committee on Medieval and Renaissance Studies of the Archaeological Institute of America (12 items)
  • Folder 29 - Advisory Committee for Scholarship Grants in the Fine Arts of the Carnegie Corporation (12 items)
  • Folder 30 - National Soap Sculpture Committee (13 items)
  • Folder 31 - Lectures given (7 items)
  • Folder 32 - Announcements, gallery and exhibit openings (14 items)
  • Folder 33 - Miscellaneous professional correspondence: Abbot – McMahon (37 items)
  • Folder 34 - Miscellaneous professional correspondence: Pope – Richard (12 items)
  • Folder 35 - Newspaper clippings on Claflin's career, 1929-1963 (20 clippings)
  • Folder 36 - Miscellaneous professional material(includes guide to Warburg Institute of London, listing Guggenheim Fellowships for 1933, copy of Art in America (10 items)

HARVARD UNIVERSITY

Ph.D. Thesis
  • Folder 37 - Outlines of work (4 items)
  • Folder 38 - Preface, Bibliography, Summary (2 items)
  • Folder 39 - Introduction, "The Nature and Function of Sculpture" pp. xv - 12, Sculpture
  • Folder 40 - "Requirements of Sculpture as an Art Form" pp.15 - 32 , Sculpture
  • Folder 41 - "The Origin and Purpose of Sculpture" pp. 33 - 50, Sculpture
  • Folder 42 - "Analysis of Grand Periods of Sculpture"(Romanesque) pp. 53 - 82, Sculpture
  • Folder 43 - "Analysis . . ." (incomplete 2nd version) pp. 56 - 82, Sculpture
  • Folder 44 - "Further Analysis of Grand Periods of Sculpture"(incomplete) pp. 83 - 96, Sculpture
  • Folder 45 - "Realism" pp. 99 - 139, Sculpture
  • Folder 46 - "Realism" (incomplete 2nd version) pp. 99 - 117, Sculpture
  • Folder 47 - "The Contemporary Creed" pp. 143 - 184, Sculpture
  • Folder 48 - "The Contemporary Creed" (incomplete 2nd version) pp. 155 - 184, Sculpture
  • Folder 49 - Sculpture, Various loose pages
  • Folder 50 - Footnotes, edited material
  • Folder 51 - Rough notes
Letters of Reference
  • Folder 52 - Letters of introduction from Dr. Paul Sachs, B - K (9 letters)
  • Folder 53 - Letters of introduction from Dr. Paul Sachs, L - W (8 letters)
  • Folder 54 - Professional cards of introduction from Dr. Paul Sachs (41 cards)
Harvard Correspondence
  • Folder 55 - C-M (19 items)
  • Folder 56 - P-S (24 items)
Miscellanea
  • Folder 57 - Harvard Co-op date book, 1927
  • Folder 57 - Report Card, 1926-1927
  • Folder 57 - Application for Radcliffe commencement, 1932
  • Folder 57 - Ballot for Radcliffe alumnae election
  • Folder 57 - Program of Radcliffe graduation
Class Notes
  • Folder 58 - Ancient Art
  • Folder 59 - Ancient Painting
  • Folder 60 - Dutch Painting in the 17th Century
  • Folder 61 - Economic Theory
  • Folder 62 - Fine Arts 9a, vol. I
  • Folder 63 - Fine Arts 9a, vol. II
  • Folder 64 - Fine Arts 9a, vol. III
  • Folder 65 - French notes on Medieval Art
  • Folder 66 - French Painting
  • Folder 67 - [Greco-Roman Art I]
  • Folder 68 - [Greco-roman Art II]
  • Folder 69 - Hellenistic and Greco-Roman Sculpture
  • Folder 70 - Intellectual History of Medieval Europe
  • Folder 71 - Medieval Manuscripts
  • Folder 72 - Medieval Sculpture
  • Folder 73 - Modes of Painting Oriental Art Miscellanea
  • Folder 74 - Monastic Art I
  • Folder 74a - Monastic Art II
  • Folder 74b - Renaissance History I
  • Folder 74c - Renaissance History II
  • Folder 74d - Roman Painting
  • Folder 74e - Romanesque Architecture
  • Folder 74f - Romanesque Historical Survey
  • Folder 74g - Romanesque Sculpture I
  • Folder 74h - Romanesque Sculpture II
  • Folder 74i - Spanish Painting
  • Folder 74j - Technical Aspects of Art
  • Folder 74k - [Unidentified, written in French]
  • Folder 74l - Miscellaneous
  • Folder 74m - Syllabus for Art Outline B
  • Folder 74n - Syllabus for Fine Arts Ic
  • Folder 74o - [Reproduction of Art Slides I]
  • Folder 74p - [Reproduction of Art Slides II]

VASSAR COLLEGE

Correspondence with Alumnae
  • Folder 74q - Adelaide (last name unknown) (7 letters, 5 photographs)
  • Folder 75 - Alter (18 items, including 5 newspaper clippings)
  • Folder 76 - Berstein - Kelly (18 letters)
  • Folder 77 - Kohn (17 letters)
  • Folder 78 - Louchheim - Miller (12 letters)
  • Folder 79 - Rombauer - Wilson (33 letters (1 unidentified))
Faculty Correspondence
  • Folder 80 - Leila Barber (16 items)
  • Folder 81 - Borden - Gould (13 items)
  • Folder 82 - MacCracken, President Henry Noble (13 items)
  • Folder 83 - Lamson - Tonks (14 items)
Student Correspondence
  • Folder 84 - Correspondence with VC students (13 letters)
  • Folder 85 - Letters of Recommendation for VC students — general (16 letters)
  • Folder 86 - Letters of Recommendation for VC students — to Vassar Committee on Fellowships (7 letters)
Newspaper Clippings
  • Folder 87 - Art department and Claflin (5 clippings)
Lectures
  • Folder 88 - Speakers at Vassar (13 items)
  • Folder 89 - Lectures given at Vassar Clubs (8 items)
Memorandums
  • Folder 90 - Faculty memorandums (12 memorandums)
Retirement
  • Folder 91 - Publicity plans of Vassar News Office (12 items)
  • Folder 92 - Claflin exhibition (9 clippings & programs)
Death
  • Folder 93 - Vassar press release, Bulletin of Art Gallery in memory of Claflin (4 items, 2 obituaries)
  • Folder 94 - Program of exhibition in Claflin's memory (2 items)
Miscellanea
  • Folder 95 - Miscellaneous items (20 items, letters, poems and slide info.)

FINANCIAL PAPERS

Grand Rapids Trust Company
  • Folder 96 - Bank Statements and Correspondence, 1 Jan 1928 - 1 July 1928 (4 items)
  • Folder 97 - Bank Statements and Correspondence, 6 June 1928 - 1 Jan 1929 (2 items)
  • Folder 98 - Bank Statements and Correspondence, 6 Dec 1928 - 1 July 1929 (2 items)
  • Folder 99 - Bank Statements and Correspondence, 6 June 1929 - 1 Jan 1929 (3 items)
  • Folder 100 - Bank Statements and Correspondence, 6 Dec 1929 - 28 July 1930 (4 items)
  • Folder 101 - Bank Statements and Correspondence, 7 June 1930 - 4 June 1931, n.d. (8 items)
Personal Bills
  • Folder 102 - Abercrombie & Fitch-Best Co., 1929-1931 (33 items)
  • Folder 103 - Blue Ribbon Dyeing and Cleaning Co. - Franklin & Simon Co., 1928-1931 (42 items)
  • Folder 104 - Hawes Inc. - Luckey, Platt & Co., 1929-1931 (48 items)
  • Folder 105 - Mack and Frey - Radcliffe Alumnae Fund, 1929-1931 (35 items)
  • Folder 106 - Robert Hamilton - Zimmer Brothers, foreign and unidentified bills, (39 items)
Western Reserve University
  • Folder 107 - Job Offer (20 items)
Vassar College
  • Folder 108 - Appointment and Letters Concerning Salary (13 items)
  • Folder 109 - Personal Bills (67 items)
Vassar Bank
  • Folder 110 - Checking statements, canceled checks, Nov-Dec 1928
  • Folder 111 - Checking statements, canceled checks, Jan-Apr 1929
  • Folder 112 - Bankbook, Sept. 1928-June 1929
  • Folder 113 - Bankbook, Oct. 1929-May 1930
  • Folder 114 - Bankbook, May-Dec 1930
  • Folder 115 - Checking statements, canceled checks, Dec. 1930-Mar. 1931
  • Folder 116 - Checking statements, canceled checks, Apr-May1931
  • Folder 117 - Bankbook, Dec. 1930-Oct. 1931
  • Folder 118 - Bankbook, Oct. 1931-Nov. 1932
  • Folder 119 - Bankbook, Nov-Dec 1932
  • Folder 120 - Bankbook, Jan-Dec 1933
  • Folder 121 - Bankbook, Jan-Oct 1934
  • Folder 122 - Checking statements, canceled checks, Aug-Sept 1935
  • Folder 123 - Bankbook, Oct. 1934-May 1936
  • Folder 124 - Bankbook, Oct. 1935-May 1936
  • Folder 125 - Receipts, various bank material
Miscellanea
  • Folder 126 - Miscellaneous materials, including checkbooks, taxation letter, (14 items)

GENERAL MATERIAL

Correspondence
  • Folder 127 - Constance Askew, n.d. (2 letters)
  • Folder 127a - Kirk [Askew], (11 letters)
  • Folder 128 - A - B, (34 letters)
  • Folder 129 - Joseph Brewer, 1926-1932 (15 letters)
  • Folder 130 - Joseph Brewer, 1933-1934, n.d. (13 letters)
  • Folder 131 - Francis Burrage, 1927-1931 (19 letters)
  • Folder 132 - Francis Burrage, n.d. (21 letters)
  • Folder 133 - Nat Choate, 1927-1931 (20 letters)
  • Folder 134 - C - E, (22 letters)
  • Folder 135 - F, (29 letters)
  • Folder 136 - Douglas Gordon, 1928-1930 (19 letters)
  • Folder 137 - Douglas Gordon, 1931-1934 (20 letters)
  • Folder 138 - G - I, (20 letters)
  • Folder 139 - J, (16 letters)
  • Folder 141 - K - M, (43 letters)
  • Folder 142 - W.W. Norton, (11 letters)
  • Folder 143 - Alan Porter, 1933-1934 (5 letters)
  • Folder 144 - Alan Porter, n.d. (6 letters)
  • Folder 145 - Ben Rowland, (12 letters)
  • Folder 146 - O - Sa, (29 letters)
  • Folder 147 - So - T, (24 letters)
  • Folder 148 - Dinsmore Wheeler, 1928-1930 (7 letters)
  • Folder 149 - Dinsmore Wheeler, 1930-1933 (4 letters)
  • Folder 150 - Dinsmore Wheeler, n.d. (10 letters)
  • Folder 151 - W, (17 letters)
  • Folder 152 - Unidentified, (25 items)
Olivet College
  • Folder 153 - Joseph Brewer Address (1 item)
Photographs
  • Folder 154 - Photographs of Claflin (2 photographs)
Wadsworth Atheneum
  • Folder 155 - Photocopies of correspondence from A. Everett Austin, Jr., et al. and Claflin [may not be photocopied or quoted without permission from Wadsworth Atheneum]
Rouault Poster
  • Mapcase - Poster of a Georges Rouault painting given to a friend
M2016-001
  • Box 3 - Miscellaneous post cards and photographs of actors
  • Box 4 - Index cards with photographs, organized by subject
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