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Majel G. Claflin

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  • keith2draw@home.com
    Here is one of Majel s paintings: http://www.nga.gov/cgi-bin/pimage?19747+0+0
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 6, 2001
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      Here is one of Majel's paintings:

      http://www.nga.gov/cgi-bin/pimage?19747+0+0
    • keith2draw@home.com
      When I first came across the National Gallery of Art webpage which contains the listing of Majel G. Claflin art, I wasn t really aware of its significance.
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 9, 2001
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        When I first came across the National Gallery of Art webpage which
        contains the listing of Majel G. Claflin art, I wasn't really aware
        of its significance. Each painting had a reference number relating
        to 'The Index of American Design,' which I just assumed was a
        reference book. In fact we have a book with that title in our library
        at work - but it wasn't what I was looking for at all.

        I've found out more, and here's the scoop:
        The American Index of Design was a major project sponsored by the
        WPA/Federal Art Project, and initiated by Picture Collection head
        Romana Javitz. Hundreds of depression-era artists were hired to
        render 18,000 watercolor reproductions of American decorative arts
        objects from the colonial period through the nineteenth century --
        textiles, pottery, wood carvings, furniture, signage, glassware,
        metalware, etc. Produced between 1935 and 1942, these paintings were
        a way to preserve for posterity images of those works of art, and at
        the same time employ hundreds of artist during lean times.

        Majel was one of the artists hired to do this, and it was probably
        what she was doing when Don and Scotty visited her in Taos in 1936,
        where she was locally known as the "Tempestuous Tin-Smith of Taos."

        I've sent an email to the National Gallery of Art folks, but have't
        heard back from them yet. I've also contacted the Art Institute of
        Chicago, and they say Majel attended the 1913-14 school year and
        majored in Antiques.

        An email has also been sent to the Public Library in Eaton Rapids,
        where her family is from. Hopefully they can answer a few questions,
        or at least give us the number for the local historical society.

        Blanding mentions Majel in 'Joy is an Inside Job' as one of his
        friends who has passed away, so we know she died prior to 1953. Any
        other ideas?

        ~~ Keith

        Here again is an example of her WPA art:
        http://www.nga.gov/cgi-bin/pimage?19747+0+0
      • Bev Leinbach
        ... From: karen Cotter [mailto:doggydan@earthlink.net] Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2001 8:12 PM To: aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re:
        Message 3 of 4 , Aug 9, 2001
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          -----Original Message-----
          From: karen Cotter [mailto:doggydan@...]
          Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2001 8:12 PM
          To: aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [aloha-donblanding] Re: Majel G. Claflin

          Keith, you might drop a line to Kim Frontz, Librarian/Archivist at the
          Arizona Historical Society, 949 E. Second St., Tucson, AZ 85719 as Majel did
          all that art work regarding Santa Rita mission items.

          Keith,

          When we visited Kay Mallek in Tucson, we also visited the Arizona Historical
          Society and Deborah Shelton is the Library Director:
          ahsref@... <mailto:ahsref@...>

          Bev.


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • karen Cotter
          Keith, you might drop a line to Kim Frontz, Librarian/Archivist at the Arizona Historical Society, 949 E. Second St., Tucson, AZ 85719 as Majel did all that
          Message 4 of 4 , Aug 9, 2001
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            Keith, you might drop a line to Kim Frontz, Librarian/Archivist at the
            Arizona Historical Society, 949 E. Second St., Tucson, AZ 85719 as Majel did
            all that art work regarding Santa Rita mission items. There is a Santa
            Rita Hotel in Tucson, (or was) and another Santa Rita Hotel in Calabasas,
            but both the hotel and town now turned to dust. The main mission in Tucson
            is, of course, San Javier del Bac, the "White Dove of the Desert" but I
            suspect there was a Santa Rita mission that was possibly an "asistencia" of
            the main mission. The items she copied, like that chest and the retablas
            and holy statues of which there were no examples, are all mission items to
            my eye.

            Kim was very helpful to me when I was tracking down my dead great great
            grandfather, buried in the tiny graveyard in Calabasas. In his records she
            helped me uncover were references to Santa Rita, a small town near Nogales.

            If there is any record of Majel doing those drawings over a period of time
            there Kim might know some details and if not, probably would know who you
            could contact. She would surely know where those articles are located.

            Karen
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