Franz R. and Kathryn M. Stenzel Collection of Western American Art Addition
Scope and Contents
The Franz R. and Kathryn M. Stenzel Collection of Western American Art Addition consists of thirty-two works of art, twenty Native American artifacts, and various manuscript items, which decorated the home of Kathryn M. Stenzel until her death in 2007 and which comprise the remainder of the Franz R. and Kathryn M. Stenzel Collection of Western American Art that they donated in 1997. This addition to the collection likewise reflects the Stenzels' interest in visual imagery of the American Northwest of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Included are works by Charles Marion Russell, Cleveland Rockwell, Albert Bierstadt, George Catlin, F. O. C. Darley, Harrison Eastman, William Harnett, Alfred Jacob Miller, E. S. Paxson, Frederic Remington, Severin Roesen, John Mix Stanley, Guy Wiggins, and Theodore Wores. The works are executed in a variety of media: oil paintings, watercolors, pen-and-ink drawings, chromolithographs, and sculpture. The Native American artifacts include clay urns, rattles, masks, carved totems, fishing hooks, a leather drum, a drum stick-rock, a quirt, a spear, a carved seal club, a pre-Columbian pot, a pestle, and a grease dish. The collection also includes Christmas cards designed by Charles Marion Russell as well as letters from him to Charles Joy and Charles Schatzlein.
- Stenzel, Franz
- Bierstadt, Albert, 1830-1902
- Catlin, George, 1796-1872
- Darley, Felix Octavius Carr, 1822-1888
- Eastman, Harrison, approximately 1823-
- Harnett, William Michael, 1848-1892
- Miller, Alfred Jacob, 1810-1874
- Paxson, E. S., 1852-1919
- Remington, Frederic, 1861-1909
- Rockwell, Cleveland, 1837-1907
- Roesen, Severin, approximately 1815-approximately 1872
- Russell, Charles M. (Charles Marion), 1864-1926
- Stanley, John Mix, 1814-1872
- Stenzel, Kathryn M. (Kathryn Mathison)
- Wiggins, Guy C. (Guy Carleton), 1883-1962
- Wores, Theodore, 1858-1939
Conditions Governing Access
The sculpture and artifacts in the collection are closed to research pending evaluation of the objects' cultural context and use.
Conditions Governing Use
The Franz R. and Kathryn M. Stenzel Collection of Western American Art Addition is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Bequest of Kathryn M. Stenzel, 2007.
The collection is largely organized by format or media.
17 Linear Feet ((12 boxes) + 13 art storage items, 1 object storage item, 2 broadsides)
Language of Materials
The Franz R. and Kathryn M. Stenzel Collection of Western American Art Addition consists of thirty-two works of art, twenty Native American artifacts, and various prints and manuscript items, which decorated the home of Kathryn M. Stenzel until her death in 2006 and which comprise the remainder of the art collection that was donated in 1997.
Franz Robert Stenzel (1906-1998)
Dr. Franz Stenzel, a Portland, Oregon physician and one of the foremost authorities on early art of the Pacific Northwest, was born March 8, 1906 in Aberdeen, Washington. Two years later his family moved to Portland, where he would spend most of his life. He graduated from Bates College in 1933, and attended Harvard Medical School, studying internal medicine and specializing in cardiology. After working for nine years in Boston, he returned to Portland in 1946, where he entered private practice and was on the staff of Good Samaratin Hospital until his retirement in 1970. He also served as an instructor in cardiology at the University of Oregon Medical School, and became President of the Oregon Society of Internal Medicine.
Dr. Stenzel married Kathryn Marie Mathison in 1951 and the couple began collecting art of the American Northwest in 1955 after Dr. Stenzel was given a painting by a patient. While amassing a collection that eventually included approximately 2500 works of art, Dr. Stenzel became an authority on the early pictorial art of the Northwest, specializing in the period between 1800 and 1950. Research done while investigating sources for their collection evolved into a projected book on artists born before 1900 who worked in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, southern British Columbia, and southern Alberta. Though this book was never published, research for this book contributed to his studies of two prominent Northwest artists: Cleveland Rockwell, Scientist and Artist, 1837-1907 (Portland, Or.: Oregon Historical Society, 1972) and James Madison Alden, Yankee Artist of the Pacific Coast, 1854-1860 (Fort Worth: Amon Carter Museum, 1975).
As an expert in his field, Dr. Stenzel was often called upon to give lectures and advice. He also wrote the text of several exhibition catalogues. Another offshoot of Dr. Stenzel's collecting was an interest in art restoration, a skill he taught himself. He constructed a conservation studio in his basement, which may be seen in an April 13, 1959 Life magazine article.
Works from the Stenzels' collection were exhibited many times, including major exhibits at the Amon Carter Museum, the Cheney Cowles Memorial Museum in Spokane, the Montana Historical Society, the Museum of Art at the University of Oregon, Eugene, and the Portland Art Museum. In 1973, four Stenzel pieces were the only privately owned art included in the first art exhibit by the United States Information Agency shown in former communist countries since World War II. Over the years, the Stenzels donated pieces of their collection to the C.M. Russell Gallery, the Montana Historical Society, the Oregon Historical Society, the Alaska State University in College, Alaska. In addition, the Stenzels offered 206 works of art for sale at a Sotheby's sale in Los Angeles June 24, 1980.
Dr. Stenzel died March 29, 1998 in Portland, Oregon at age 92, after a long illness. Mrs. Stenzel passed away in 2006.
The collection was processed and described in 2007. As part of processing, the watercolors and drawings were removed from their frames, matted, and rehoused in acid-free boxes; and the prints and manuscript items were removed from their frames and rehoused in acid-free folders and boxes. Descriptive information for each item is drawn largely from the appraisal provided by the Kathryn Stenzel Trust.
- Drawings (visual works)
- Indians of North America -- Northwest, Pacific
- Indians of North America -- Washington (State)
- Northwest, Pacific -- Pictorial works
- Oil paintings (visual works)
- Pioneers -- Washington (State)
- Sculpture (visual works)
- Stenzel, Franz
- Stenzel, Kathryn M. (Kathryn Mathison)
- Watercolors (paintings)
- West (U.S.) -- Pictorial works
- Guide to the Franz R. and Kathryn M. Stenzel Collection of Western American Art Addition
- by Jennifer Meehan
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.