1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY
1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY

Marcia Brown Papers

1940-2000

PDF Version

Abstract

A 1940 graduate of the New York State College for Teachers, Brown was a respected children's book writer and illustrator, and a three-time Caldecott Medal winner.

Summary

Creator:
Brown, Marcia
Date Coverage:
1940-2000
Quantity:
82.55 cubic ft. (about 82.55 boxes)  426 (final art) items

Marcia Joan Brown was born on July 13, 1918, in Rochester, New York, one of three daughters of the Reverend Clarence Edward and Adelaide Elizabeth (Zimber) Brown. The family lived in many small towns in upstate New York including Cooperstown and Kingston as her father accepted new ministries. Raised in a family that supported artstic expression, she decided at an early age to become an artist. Because of the scarcity of positions during the depression, Brown enrolled at the New York State College for Teachers to pursue a teaching career for practical reasons. She received her B.A. from the NYSCT in 1940. While in college, Brown maintained her connection to the visual arts by contributing to the college's literary and humor magazines, and by studying painting under Judson Smith at the Woodstock School of Painting in the summers of 1938 and 1939.

After graduation Brown taught English and Drama at Cornwall High School, Cornwall, New York (1940-43), before moving to New York City. Brown studied at the Art Students League (NYC), and studied art at the New School for Social Research (under Yasuo Kuniyoshi and Stuart Davis), painting and literature at the graduate school of Columbia University, and Chinese calligraphy and painting at the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts, Hangzhou, People's Republic of China (1985, 1987). She has taught a number of courses and workshops, including: puppetry at the extra-mural department of the University College of the West Indies, Jamaica (1953); a workshop on picture books at the University of Minnesota-Split Rock Arts Guild Program, Duluth, Minn. (1986); a workshop on Chinese brush painting for the Oriental Brush Artists Guild (1988); and sponsored Chinese landscape painting workshops with Zhuo HeJun (1988-89) of Zheijang Academy.

To support herself while she studied art at night and worked to establish her career as an author and illustrator, Brown worked as a librarian and storyteller in the Central Children's Room in the New York Public Library from 1943 to 1948.

Marcia Brown's career as a published illustrator began in 1937 when she joined the art staff of The State Lion, the NYSCT student humor magazine. The pages of that magazine contain many illustrations by Brown which give a strong indication of her future abilities as an illustrator. Her formal career as a childrens' illustrator/author/ translator began with the publication of The Little Carousel in 1946. That book, which she wrote and illustrated, has been followed by over thirty more during the next forty years. Of these, about twenty were written and illustrated, seven illustrated, and three translated and illustrated by Brown. Marcia Brown has been awarded the Caldecott Medal (the American Library Association's highest award for excellence in childrens' picture-book illustrations), for three of her books: Cinderella, or the Little Glass Slipper (1954); Once a Mouse (1961); and Shadow (1982), and six more of her books are Caldecott Honor Books.

As a result of her work in children's illustrations Brown has become well known for her woodcut prints. Her woodcut prints have been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, the Peridot Gallery, the Hacker Gallery, the Library of Congress, the Carnegie Institute, and the Philadelphia Print Club. Her prints and art works are in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the Mazza Gallery, Findlay, Ohio, the deGrummond Collection, the University of Southern Mississippi, the Kerland Collection of the University of Minnesota, and in many private collections. Brown's Chinese brush paintings were exhibited at the Hammond Museum, North Salem, New York, the Zhejiang Academy, the Asiatic Society in New York City, and the Stamford and Wilton Libraries in Connecticut. Brown was also the author and photographer of a film strip, "The Crystal Cavern" (1974).

Marcia Brown has received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the SUNY Albany Alumni Association (1969), the Distinguished Service to Children's Literature Award from the University of Southern Mississippi(1972), The Regina Medal from the Catholic Library Association for service to children's literature (1977), has been the US nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award for illustration in 1966 and 1975, and has been a life member of the International Institute for Arts and Letters since 1961. Brown is a member of the Authors Guild, the Print Council of America, the Art Students League, the Oriental Brush Artists Guild, and the Sumi-e Society of America.

The Marcia Brown collection provides an incredible look into the workings of a gifted artist and storyteller as well as showing the inner workings of the publishing trade. One can follow all the steps in creating an original piece of literature and art from early notes and sketches through the final artwork and the proof sheets and printing to the promotional material and reviews.

The collection is divided into 14 separate sections: autobiographical and biographical material, including directory entries, articles about Brown, interviews and photographs; certificates and citations; correspondence, both personal and business, as well as selected subjects with a separate section for correspondence by book project; writings, lectures, speeches and chalk talks, including writings and speeches related to specific awards (Caldecott, Regina Medal, Laura Ingalls Wilder Award) and dummies and loose sketches for chalk talks; speeches, writings and lectures by others; subject files for individuals (Anne Carroll Moore, Jean Charlot, Beatrix Potter, Hans Christian Andersen), bibliographies, conference and workshop material and miscellaneous memorabilia; projects by Brown which includes a separate listing for every book (published and unpublished) and filmstrip that she worked on and created as well as miscellaneous projects and artwork, such as sketches, drawings, wood cuts, wood block prints, sketchbooks, and writings that are unrelated to any specific project; projects by others which includes material bought or given to Brown; reviews, clippings and promotional material; audiovisual material by Brown; audiovisual material by others; the Helen Masten papers; duplicate material; and finally, a bibliography of all books donated by Marcia Brown as part of her collection and as part of the Helen Masten papers.

Each separate listing in the finding aid refers to an individual folder. Material listed in the finding aid can be found by going to the box number listed either at the top of each category or by each individual folder. A box list was created to be used in conjunction with the finding aid listing the folders contained in each box. The finding aid then provides a description of the contents of the folders. This collection was processed with the researcher in mind, as we hope that the Marcia Brown Collection will be used and appreciated by many students of children's literature, art, illustration, publishing and other schools of learning for many years to come as well as by interested museums and businesses. By using the series descriptions, the finding guide and the box list the researcher should be able to find most items of interest to him or her.

The collection is organized into 15 topical file series.

All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by Marcia Brown in 1987, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001.1987-2001

Processed by: Alison Oswald, Deborah Canzano, Kevin Glick in 2001.

Collection record created by: Kevin Glick

Published: 2001 May

HTML finding aid created, 2001 May

Coverted to EAD with link to HTML container list, 2016 October

Archival materials can be view in-person during business hours in our reading room, located on the top floor of the Science Library on the Uptown Campus.

We can also deliver digital scans for remote research for a fee.

Access to this record group is unrestricted.

Copyright Statement

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Marcia Brown Papers, 1940-2000. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Brown Papers).

Contents of Collection

This series includes autobiographical material and items from current biographical directories. Articles about Brown are from August 1962, January 1963, and August 1983. It also includes undated photographs. There are clippings concerning Lt. Col. Helen E. Brown, Anne Carroll Moore (obituary), Roaul Dufy, and Pierre Bonnard. Interview material (1964-82) is included as well as biographical information supplied by the processors.
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Contents
This series includes certificates from the Society of Illustrators, 1962; The Hans Christian Andersen Award, 1966 and 1976; the Arkansas Traveler, 1982; and from the English Speaking Union of the United State-Ambassador of Honor, 1984.
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Contents
This series is divided into a small amount of personal correspondence and a large amount of professional correspondence including selected subjects (Alice Dalgliesh, Bertha Miller, Rith Holl Viguers, Lee Kingman, Lee Anna Deadrick as well as collected letters from librarians, teachers, and school children).The largest amount of correspondence is arranged alphabetically according to specific publishing projects.
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Contents
This series includes handwritten notes, typed pages, proofs and printed pages for lectures and writings. Material related to specific Caldecott Award winners (Cinderella, Once a Mouse, Shadow) as well as material related to the Regina Medal and the Laura Ingalls Wilder award are included, along with lecture notes and cards. Special note should be taken of the art work grouped with the material used in chalk talks, especially the dummies created for Cinderella, Dick Whittington, Henry's Island (Henry Fisherman), Once a Mouse, Puss in Boots, Skipper John's Cook, and Stone Soup.
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Contents
This series includes writings by Alice Dalgleish, Muriel Fuller, Ethel Heins, Selma Lanes, Hannah Miller, Ann Sperber, Roy Toothaker, Mellie Uyldert, Ruth Walter; essays by students; and a speech by Ann Atwood.
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This series includes material specific to one particular individual (Anne Carroll Moore, Jean Charlot, Beatrix Potter, Hans Christian Andersen), place (Hawaii) or subject: technical information including articles of prints and printmaking, samples and notes; bibliographies; conferences and workshops, including announcements and programs; exhibitions catalogs; award announcements; programs for award luncheons and dinners; notable listings where Brown's books are chosen for excellence by different sources including The Horn Book Magazine and The ALA Bulletin.
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Contents
This series is the heart of the collection and showcases the wide use of media and technique that Marcia Brown utilizes. Each one of her books is a separate and unique piece of art with it's own colors, design, and media to distinguish it. The series ranges from 1942 through to 1995 and covers all published children's books that Brown authored, translated, and/or illustrated, in chronological order, including her three Caldecott award winning books Stone Soup, Cinderella, and Shadow. Each project indicates if there is a copy of the book in the University at Albany, SUNY Library (a. call numbers) or if a copy was donated by Brown (*). Page numbers always refer to this edition. Special note should be taken that most donated copies contain hand-done dedications and artwork. Material is then arranged within projects to mirror the publication process: drafts of manuscripts, sketchbooks, sketches, drawings, dummies of book, woodblocks, trial prints, original final artwork, color separations, proof sheets and press sheets. As much as possible, material has been identified by corresponding page number. Several non-published projects are also included as well as non-print projects such as filmstrips and a play for which Ms. Brown did both set and costume designs. At the end of the series are groupings of miscellaneous materials not related to any one project: sketche drawings, sketchbooks, wood and linoleum blocks, and woodblock prints in black and in color.
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Contents
This series includes original art by: Elizabeth Olds; Elizabeth McKinstry; Roger Du Voisin; Susan Suba; Fritz Eichenberg; circa Lovat Fraser; Bill Haynes; Glen Rounds; Merle Bierberg; and large pieces of Japanese origami based on Three Billy Goats Gruff by an unknown artist. There is also printed artwork by Anne Carroll Moore and Fritz Eichenberg as well as a set of Italian stamps. Also included in this series are works by school children sent to Marcia Brown and a sketch and photo of Anne Carroll Moore's "Nicholas" puppet.
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This series includes all newspaper and magazine clippings, reviews, and other promotional material for most of Marcia Brown's published works as well as several of the audiovisual items. Material is arranged alphabetically.
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Contents
This series includes the slide carousels for Connections and The Crystal and the Rose as well as their accompanying speeches on index cards; the filmstrip for The Crystal Cavern and loose slides for Hans Christian Andersen. There are also filmstrips for Shadow, Cinderella, Puss in Boots, Stone Soup, and Three Billy Goats Gruff. Text booklets from Weston Woods are included as well as miscellaneous audio cassettes of interviews, Shadow acceptance speech and text for the "Hans Christian Andersen" filmstrip not produced.
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This series includes a set of boxed filmstrips and cassette tapes from Lyceum Productions and loose set of filmstrips and cassettes also from Lyceum. Artists represented include: Nancy Roberts; Elizabeth Baldwin Hazelton; Ann Atwood; Lyn Lacy; and Gerald McDermott. There is also an audiocassette with the Caldecott acceptance speeches of Leo and Diane Dillon and the Newbery acceptance speech of Mildred D. Taylor.
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This series brings together all materials associated with puppet theaters created by Brown, including scripts, musical scores, puppets, costumes, scenery, props, curtains, lights, and sets. Complete hand puppet theaters exist for Anansi The Spider Man, Dick Wittington and His Sensational Cat, Puss in Boots, and Tom Tit Tot.
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The Helen Masten papers include correspondence, memorabilia, and original artwork by Marcia Brown and others. Correspondents include: Laura Beuet; Margery Bianco; Pamela Bianco; Robert Burch; James Dougherty; Ruth Durand; Roger Du Voisin; Marie Ets; Dorothy Lathrop; Katherine Milhous; Bertha Miller; Anne Carroll Moore; Glen Rounds; Frances Clarke Sayers; and Violette Verdy. There are also listings of general material such as visiting cards, invitations, posters, and photographs and for material directly related to one of Marcia Browns projects. The projects are listed in chronological order. Original artwork by Marcia Brown such as watercolor sketches, cards, monotype from The Steadfast Soldier, a small handmade book is listed under gifts by Marcia Brown. A separate listing is made of giftsoriginal artwork by others and includes cards by Pamela Bianco, drawing by Addison Burbank, card by James Daugherty, card from Glen Rounds, hand colored book signed by Maurice Sendak, and small booklets, artists unknown.
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This series merely lists duplicate items that were not included in the regular collection. These include numerous copies of a two-sided biographical sketch printed by Scribner's; 90 additional wood prints done for Dick Whittington and His Cat, proof sheets from Anansi The Spider Man, and Caldecott dinner favors from Cinderella.
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The final series is a listing of all the books donated by Marcia Brown. This includes her own works as well as books by others with a separate listing of the books donated as part of the Helen Masten papers. Subjects covered include several books on Hawaii, Hans Christian Andersen (books both by and about him) and Children's literature. Books written, translated, and/or illustrated by Marcia Brown which were donated are also indicated within the finding guide under each individual project listing.
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