Collection inventory

Finding Aids
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Letterio Calapai Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Calapai, Letterio, 1902-1993
Title: Letterio Calapai Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1932-1989
Quantity: 0.75 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the Italian-American painter, engraver, illustrator, printmaker who worked in New York City and Chicago. Correspondence (1932-1967); exhibition catalogs and invitations (1930s-1977); original artwork (prints and etchings); reproductions of artwork; and printed materials, including articles and newspaper clippings (1933-1968) about Calapai. Predominantly incoming correspondence includes that of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, John Taylor Arms, Artists for Victory, Inc., Aline Bernstein, Boston Public Library, Brooklyn Museum, Charles Burchfield, Lorenz B. Graham, Lou Harrison, Arthur Heintzelman, Codman Hislop, Clayton Hoagland, Charles Hopkinson, A. Hyatt Mayor, Riverside Museum, Max Rudolf, Franz Schoenberner, Society of American Graphic Artists, Benton Spruance, Andrew Stasik, Lynd Ward, Morris Weisenthal, Mabel Wheaton, John Hall Wheelock, Arthur Zaidenberg, and Carl Zigrosser. Exhibition catalogs includes catalogs for two Rockwell Kent exhibits at Calapai's gallery.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
http://scrc.syr.edu

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Letterio Calapai Papers consists of correspondence, artwork, writings, and memorabilia of the Italian-American painter and printmaker (b. 1902). While revealing little of his personal life, the collection, spanning 1932 through 1977, documents Calapai's professional career as an artist and educator in Chicago and in New York City, where he had a studio and gallery for many years.

Predominantly incoming, the Correspondence covers 1932 to 1967 and includes a few of Calapai's outgoing holograph and typescript drafts of both his business and personal letters. Correspondents include artists (John Taylor Arms, Charles Burchfield, Alvin Dunkle, Thomas Fern, Charles Hopkinson, Karl Schrag, Benton Spruance, Lynd Ward); authors (Samuel Hopkins Adams, Aline Bernstein, Lorenz B. Graham, Codman Hislop, Clayton Hoagland, Franz Schoenberner, Mabel Wolfe Wheaton, John Hall Wheelock, Arthur Zaidenberg) curators (A. Hyatt Mayor, Arthur Heintzelman, Carl Zigrosser); and musicians (Lou Harrison, Max Rudolf). Organizational correspondence includes various educational institutions (Albright Art School, East Carolina College, Howard University, New School for Social Research, University of Buffalo); galleries and museums (Albright Art Gallery, George Binet Gallery, Brooklyn Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Norlyst Art Gallery, Riverside Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Ruth White Gallery); libraries (Boston Public Library, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, New York Public Library, Pack Memorial Public Library); and professional and cultural organizations (American Federation of Arts, American Institute of Graphic Arts, Artists for Victory, Inc., Audubon Artists, Inc., Society of American Graphic Artists, Inc.).

Calapai's Artwork is documented in a subject file which includes exhibition catalogs, invitations and other material; original artwork (two etchings, nine prints, and a cancelled copper plate for one of the etchings); a few photographs and reproductions of his work; and printed material relating to the Intaglio Workshop for Advanced Printmaking (New York, N.Y.) and the Workshop Gallery (Glencoe, Ill.), both of which Calapai founded and directed. Exhibition catalogs and invitations for his many one-man and group shows from the 1930s through the 1970s trace Calapai's artistic beginnings as a painter and watercolorist through his work in wood-engraving and subsequent exploration of innovative techniques in printmaking. Other exhibition material includes two catalogs for a Rockwell Kent exhibit at Calapai's gallery and receipts and jury reports for many of the shows in which Calapai participated.

Writings include holograph notes, a letter which was printed in the May 1968 issue of Art Scene, and a note on his philosophy of work. Defining the art of the printmaker, Calapai wrote in 1967: "This process involves the flights of his imagination, the power of his emotions, a striving for meaning and mystery, and the control over his tools."

Acknowledgements, awards and memberships, publicity, reviews and comments on Calapai's work, as well as materials relating to his education, foundation grant applications, teaching assignments, and appearances in print constitute Memorabilia. Printed material includes articles about (1948-1966) and newspaper clippings (1933-1968).

A selected index to correspondence is provided at the end of this finding aid.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Alphabetical by type or topic. Correspondence is arranged chronologically.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

The Syracuse University art collection contains a number of Calapai pieces. For more information see SU Art Galleries (http://suart.syr.edu) or call 315-443-4097.

Special Collections Research Center's Rare Books Collection has a number of books illustrated by Calapai, including a collection of Aesop's Fables (1973), Lorenz Graham's How God fix Jonah (1946) and Tales of Momolu (1946), Look homeward, angel (portfolio, 2003), and Mohawk by Codman Hislop (1948). For a complete listing, please refer to the Classic Catalog , and search on "Calapai, Letterio" in the Author field.

See also the Robert Smith Collection relating to Letterio Calapai.

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Subject Headings

Persons

Arms, John Taylor, 1887-1953.
Bernstein, Aline, 1881-1955.
Burchfield, Charles, 1893-1967.
Calapai, Letterio, 1902-1993.
Graham, Lorenz B.
Harrison, Lou, 1917-2003.
Heintzelman, Arthur William, 1891-1965.
Hislop, Codman.
Hoagland, Clayton.
Hopkinson, Charles, 1869-1962.
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971.
Mayor, A. Hyatt (Alpheus Hyatt), 1901-1980.
Rudolf, Max, 1902-1995.
Schoenberner, Franz, 1892-1970.
Spruance, Benton, 1904-1967.
Stasik, Andrew.
Ward, Lynd, 1905-1985.
Weisenthal, Morris.
Wheaton, Mabel Wolfe.
Wheelock, John Hall, 1886-1978.
Zaidenberg, Arthur, 1908-1990.
Zigrosser, Carl, 1891-1975.

Corporate Bodies

American Institute of Graphic Arts.
Artists for Victory, Inc.
Boston Public Library.
Brooklyn Museum.
Riverside Museum (New York, N.Y.)
Society of American Graphic Artists.

Subjects

Art, American -- 20th century.
Engravers -- United States.
Etchers -- United States.
Illustrators -- United States.
Italian Americans.
Painters -- United States.
Printmakers -- United States.
Wood-engravers -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Articles.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Correspondence.
Exhibition catalogs.

Occupations

Artists.
Engravers.
Etchers.
Illustrators.
Painters.
Printmakers.
Wood-engravers.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Letterio Calapai Papers,
Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library

Acquisition Information

Gift of Letterio Calapai, 1968, 1977.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: KM
Date: Dec 1992
Revision history: 20 Sep 2006 - converted to EAD (AMCon); 10 Jan 2007 - integrated additions (MRR); 15 Sep 2015 - added link to related material (MRC); 5 Dec 2016 - rehoused, box 1-2 and index updated (MS)

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Inventory

Biographical material
Box 1 Biographical material
Correspondence
See also Selected Index to Correspondence at end of this inventory.
Box 1 Correspondence 1932-1967, undated (8 folders)
Subject file: artwork
Box 1 Exhibition catalogs, invitations 1930s-1980s (2 folders)
Box 1 Exhibition catalogs, Rockwell Kent 1971, 1974
Box 1 Exhibition receipts and jury reports
Original art
Box 1 Copper plate - Cancelled copper plate for "Smiling Girl"
Box 1 Etchings - Out of the Woods, Smiling Girl (2 items)
Box 1 Prints - Memento, Northern Lights, Man and the Universe, Jeweled City, Untitled (dove) (5 items)
Box 1 Prints - The Angel, Four Gospels illustr., Pro-Musica, smiling Girl, Thomas Wolfe Collection (bookplate for St. Mary's College) (4 items)
Box 1 Photographs, reproductions of work
Box 1 Intaglio Workshop for Advanced Printmaking (New York, N.Y.)
Box 1 Workshop Gallery (Glencoe, Ill.)
Writings
Box 2 Miscellaneous - holograph notes, printed material
Memorabilia
Box 2 Acknowledgement of gift, Brandeis University
Box 2 Awards, memberships
Box 2 Education-related, Brooklyn College
Box 2 Financial
Box 2 Foundation grant application materials - photostats of letters
Printed material
Box 2 Articles about 1948-1966
Box 2 Clippings 1933-1968, undated
Box 2 Publicity
Box 2 Reviews (excerpts), comments on Calapai's illustrations
Box 2 Teaching-related 1946-1965

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Selected index to correspondence

  • Adams, Samuel Hopkins : 1946 Sept. 26
  • Albright Art Gallery : 1945 Dec. 10; 1950 Mar. 28
  • Albright Art School : 1949 Aug. 4; 1949 Aug. 17; 1949 Aug. 20 (outgoing); 1949 Sept. 15; 1954 Feb. 25; undated
  • American Federation of Arts : 1960 Oct. 5; 1961 July 3; 1963 Apr. 5; 1965 Jan. 8; 1965 Jan. 10 (outgoing)
  • American Institute of Graphic Arts : 1944 July 13; 1946 Nov. 12; 1947 Dec. 31
  • Arms, John Taylor : 1947 Jan. 16; 1947 Mar. 5; 1948 Nov. 5 (to Arthur Heintzelman); 1950 Feb. 8; 1950 Feb. 13; 1950 Mar. 30; 1951 Jan. 23; 1951 Apr. 16 (outgoing of Delia Calapai); 1951 Apr. 23 (to Delia Calapai); 1951 May 23; 1952 Nov. 20; undated
  • Art News : 1945 Oct. 6
  • Artists for Victory, Inc. : 1943 Sept. 23; 1943 Sept. 29; 1943 Oct. 4; 1944 Jan. 4; 1945 Oct. 9
  • Assocaited Artists of North Carolina : 1965 Jan. 18; 1965 Mar. 10; 1965 Mar. 21
  • Atelier 17 : 1950 May 2
  • Audubon Artists, Inc. : 1961 Apr. 30; 1964 Dec. 15; 1967 Jan. 10; undated
  • Bernstein, Aline : 1947 Jan. 12; 1947 Jan. 27; 1947 Sept. 26
  • Bookbuilders Workshop : 1947 Nov. 28; 1947 Dec. 4
  • Boston Public Library : 1948 May 10; 1948 May 26; 1950 Nov. 13; 1957 Sept. 3; 1957 Oct. 3; 1961 Mar. 10; 1962 June 5
  • Brooklyn College : 1955 Mar. 7; 1956 Nov. 5; 1956 Dec. 18; 1957 Apr. 1; 1957 May 1; 1957 June 18; 1957 Oct. 15; 1958 Jan. 16; 1958 Feb. 17; 1959 Mar. 30; 1959 Apr. 7
  • Brooklyn Museum : 1945 June 7; 1946 Mar. 29; 1946 June 15; 1946 June 17; 1947 Jan. 17; 1952 Aug. 18
  • Buffalo and Erie County Public Library : 1964 Sept. 29; 1964 Oct. 3 (outgoing); 1964 Oct. 28
  • Burchfield, Charles : 1943 Oct. 7; 1944 Oct. 11; 1953 Jan. 1
  • Carnegie Institute : 1944 June 29; 1944 July 3; 1944 Oct. 18; 1944 Dec. 4; 1945 Dec. 3; 1950 Aug. 7; 1950 Aug. 11; 1950 Oct. 31
  • Charles Scribner's Sons : 1945 Dec. 12; 1948 Sept. 21; 1949 Jan. 25
  • Delson, Elizabeth : 1961 Apr. 24
  • Dunkle, Alvin : 1961 Apr. 21 (outgoing); 1961 Apr. 28; 1961 June 7 (outgoing); 1961 June 15
  • East Carolina College : 1961 Apr. 10; 1961 Apr. 19 (outgoing); 1962 Jan. 13; 1962 Oct. 26; 1962 Oct. 30 (outgoing); 1965 Feb. 1; 1965 Feb. 18 (outgoing)
  • Eichenberg, Fritz : 1944 July 13; 1963 Jan. 7
  • Elliott, Philip C. : see Albright Art School
  • Fern, Thomas : 1963 Oct. 17; undated
  • George Binet Gallery : 1946 Nov. 20; 1947 Jan. 31; 1947 Feb. 26; 1947 Aug. 27; 1948 Nov. 1
  • Graham, Lorenz B. : 1946 Oct. 24
  • Harrison, Lou : 1946 Nov. 17 (outgoing); 1946 Nov. 20
  • Heintzelman, Arthur and Katherine : 1948 May 10; 1948 May 26; 1950 Nov. 13; 1957 Sept. 3; 1957 Oct. 3; 1961 Mar. 10; 1965 Feb. 14; 1965 May 31
  • Hislop, Codman : 1946 July 18; 1946 Aug. 8; 1946 Oct. 1; 1947 Sept. 11
  • Hoagland, Clayton : 1946 June 10; 1946 Nov. 25; 1946 Dec. 18; 1947 Jan. 30; 1947 Mar. 26; 1947 July 21; 1964 Oct. 14; 1964 Oct. 20 (outgoing)
  • Hopkinson, Charles : 1932 Feb. 2; 1932 Mar. 1; 1932 Apr. 9; 1932 June 26; 1932 Dec. 4; 1935 May 3; 1935 May 5; 1943 Dec. 15; undated (4)
  • Hornyansky, Nicholas : 1954 Dec.; 1958 Jan. 24
  • Howard University : 1961 Apr. 11; 1961 Apr. 24 (outgoing)
  • International Print Society : 1944 Aug. 23; 1944 Aug. 30
  • Jeliffe, Belinda : undated
  • Katz, Leo : 1947 Jan. 18; 1950 Mar. 18
  • Kup, Karl : see New York Public Library
  • Library of Congress : 1960 Nov. 25
  • Long Beach State College : 1964 Feb. 20
  • Lust, E. : see Norlyst Art Gallery
  • Master Institute of United Arts : see Riverside Museum
  • Mayor, A. Hyatt : 1946 Sept. 26; 1947 Dec. 24; 1948 Oct. 25; 1950 Oct. 13; 1954 Mar. 9; 1961 Mar. 4 (outgoing); 1961 Mar. 6; 1961 Oct. 19 (outgoing)
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art : 1945 Apr. 5 (to Clayton Hoagland); 1946 Sept. 26; 1946 Oct. 3; 1948 Oct. 25; 1954 Mar. 9
  • Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute : 1951 Jan. 16
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston : 1946 Apr. 12; 1946 May 8
  • National Academy of Design : 1946 Dec. 3
  • National Association of Women Artists, Inc. : 1965 Mar. 6; 1965 Apr. 28
  • Nelson, Robert A. : 1964 Mar. 4
  • New School for Social Research : 1956 Sept. 17; 1956 Dec. 18 (outgoing); 1957 Jan. 11
  • New York Public Library : 1946 Oct. 31; 1948 Jan. 13; 1957 Jan. 20 (outgoing); 1957 Feb. 1
  • Norlyst Art Gallery : 1944 Apr. 5; 1944 Oct. 19; 1944 Oct. 30; 1944 Nov. 10; 1944 Nov. 24; 1944 Nov. 27; 1945 Feb. 1
  • Otis Art Institute of Los Angeles County : 1961 Nov. 3; 1962 Oct. 19
  • Pack Memorial Public Library : 1962 Feb. 13; 1962 Feb. 19; 1962 Feb. 26
  • Pennsylvania State University : 1956 Dec. 11; 1956 Dec. 20 (outgoing); 1957 Jan. 3
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art : see Zigrosser, Carl
  • Philbrick, Otis : 1965 Jan. 17 (outgoing)
  • Pratt Graphic Art Center : 1963 Jan. 7; 1963 Jan. 17
  • Print Club (Philadelphia) : 1946 Mar. 26; 1946 Aug. 1; 1960 July 15
  • Print Council : 1959 Sept 29 (outgoing); 1961 Feb. 25 (outgoing)
  • Public Library of the City of Boston : see Boston Public Library
  • Richardson, Martin D. : 1946 Nov. 17
  • Riverside Museum : 1944 Mar. 13; 1944 May 5; 1944 July 12; 1944 Aug. 9; 1960 Apr. 4; 1960 Apr. 19
  • Rudolf, Max : 1946 Oct. 20
  • Ruth White Gallery : 1960 Sept. 9; 1960 Sept. 28; 1961 Nov. 6
  • Schoenberner, Franz : 1946 Aug. 29; 1946 Nov. 17; 1946 Dec. 17; 1947 Jan. 4; 1947 Jan. 17; 1950 Oct. 16
  • Schrag, Karl : 1946 Aug.; 1950 Apr. 12; 1950 Aug. 4; 1950 May 28?; 1950 Oct. 17; 1951 May 10; 1951 June 16
  • Schrag, Paul : 1956 Jan. 15
  • Smithsonian Institution : 1947 Sept. 23; 1947 Oct. 10; 1961 May 3
  • Society of American Etchers, Gravers, Lithographers and Woodcutters Inc. : see Society of American Graphic Artists, Inc.
  • Society of American Etchers, Inc. : see Society of American Graphic Artists, Inc.
  • Society of American Graphic Artists, Inc. : 1947 Mar. 5; 1948 Oct. 12; 1948 Oct. 29; 1951 Jan. 23; 1951 May 23; 1952 Mar. 19; 1956 Jan. 3 (outgoing); 1956 Jan. 6; 1956 Jan. 10 (outgoing); 1956 Mar. 12; 1956 Apr. 25; 1956 May 3; 1956 Nov. 29; 1957 Jan. 4; 1957 Feb. 1; 1961 Jan. 30
  • Spruance, Benton : 1944 Mar. 8
  • Stasik, Andrew : undated
  • Stephens, George Myers : 1947 Oct. 24; 1947 Nov. 7
  • Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute : 1959 Nov. 16
  • Steuben Glass : 1957 July 10; 1957 Aug. 2 (outgoing); 1963 Sept. 6
  • The Southern Packet : 1947 Oct. 24; 1947 Nov. 7
  • University of Buffalo : 1950 June 16; 1952 June 13; 1952 Nov. 26
  • Ward, Lynd : 1956 Jan. 3 (outgoing); 1956 Jan. 6; 1956 Jan. 10 (outgoing); 1956 Mar. 12; 1956 Apr. 25; 1956 May 3; 1956 Nov. 29; 1957 Jan. 4; 1957 Feb. 1
  • Weisenthal, Morris : 1956 Dec. 1; 1956 Dec. 13
  • Wheaton, Mabel Wolfe (sister of Thomas Wolfe) : 1947 Oct. 5; 1947 Oct. 16; [1947] Oct. 18; 1947 Nov. 11; 1947 [Dec.]; 1948 Jan. 28
  • Wheelock, John Hall : 1947 Dec. 24; 1948 Sept. 21; 1949 Jan. 25
  • Zaidenberg, Arthur : 1963 Sept. 20; 1964 May 17
  • Zigrosser, Carl : 1944 July 7; 1944 July 13; 1944 Aug. 3; 1944 Oct. 13; 1944 Oct. 31

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