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Elizabeth Fuller Chapman papers and films

 Collection
Call Number: YCAL MSS 442

Scope and Contents

The Elizabeth Fuller Chapman papers and films document the friendships between Elizabeth Fuller Chapman and several writers and artists, most notably Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein and Thornton Wilder. Papers include correspondence dating from circa 1932-1976, theater programs, clippings on Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, and notes and transcripts of an interview with Chapman for the documentary, Gertrude Stein: When You See, Remember Me. The films consist of three reels of black and white 16mm motion picture film, which are duplicates made in 1982 of the original 16mm footage that is not part of the collection.

One film, titled "Winter Parties," contains footage of parties at Chapman's home in Chicago between 1934 and 1935, and includes a scene from a 1934 holiday party with Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, and Thornton Wilder. The other two films, titled "Lectures," were made by Chapman during trips to Paris between 1934 and 1938, and were used during Chapman's lectures. Scenes feature notable artists, writers, dancers, philosophers, and gallerists, including: Pedro Pruna, Constantin Brancusi, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Pablo Picasso, Colette, Thornton Wilder, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Marcel Duchamp, Igor Stravinsky, Nikolas Nicolas, Francis Poulenc, Salvador Dali, Gala Dali, André Derain, Chick Austin, Christian Berard, Leonide Massine, Bernard Faÿ, Mary Garden, Louis Marcoussis, and Edouard Vuillard.

Dates

  • 1932 - 1976

Creator

Language

English

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Box 2 (films): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies are available. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Elizabeth Fuller Chapman Papers 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

Gift of Elizabeth Fuller Chapman, 1957 and Gilbert W. Chapman, 1982.

Arrangement

Organized into three series: I. Correspondence, 1932-1976. II. Other Papers, 1934-1969. III. Films, 1934-1938.

Associated Materials

Printed material received with the collection was removed for separate cataloging and can be accessed by searching the library's online catalog.

Extent

0.88 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.chapman

Overview

The papers and films document the friendships between Elizabeth Fuller Chapman (1893-1980) and several writers and artists, most notably Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein and Thornton Wilder. Letters in Box 1 date from 1932-1976. Printed material in Box 1 includes theater programs, clippings on Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, and interview notes and transcripts from the filming of the 1970 documentary by Perry Miller Adato, "Gertrude Stein: When You See, Remember Me." The films in Box 2 are three reels of black and white 16mm motion picture film, duplicates made in 1982 of the original 16mm footage. One film, titled "Winter Parties," contains footage of parties at Chapman's home in Chicago between 1934 and 1935, and includes a scene from a 1934 holiday party with Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, and Thornton Wilder. The other two films, titled "Lectures," were made by Chapman during trips to Paris between 1934 and 1938. The films were used during Chapman's lectures. Scenes feature notable artists, writers, dancers, philosophers, and gallerists, including: Pedro Pruna, Constantin Brancusi, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Pablo Picasso, Colette, Thornton Wilder, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Marcel Duchamp, Igor Stravinsky, Nicolas Nabokov, Francis Poulenc, Salvador and Gala Dali, André Derain, Chick Austin, Christian Berard, Leonide Massine, Bernard Faÿ, Mary Garden, Louis Marcoussis, and Edouard Vuillard.

Elizabeth Fuller Chapman

Elizabeth Fuller Chapman, was an American socialite and patron of the arts. Born Elizabeth Fuller in 1893 in Evanston, Illinois to Dr. Charles Gordon and Isabella Fuller, she had one sister, Dorothy. From a young age she was known as "Bobsy." Elizabeth was educated in Paris at the Villa Dupont, a boarding school for American girls. She received an education in art and literature and remained in Paris until she was 20 years old. She continued her studies at the Art Institute of Chicago. After graduating in 1914, Elizabeth became active in several local women's organizations, acted and danced in local productions, and made regular appearances in Chicago's society pages. In 1916, Elizabeth married Charles Goodspeed ("Barney" to friends). Goodspeed was a trustee of the University of Chicago, among other arts organizations, and was active in his father's Ohio steel company. The couple maintained a high profile in the city, hosted popular parties at the Lincoln Park apartment, and traveled often.

In 1934, Elizabeth invited Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas to Chicago, an invitation that spawned Stein's strong relationship with Chicago. Stein and Toklas stayed at the Goodspeeds' apartment during their stays and it was at one of their parties that Stein was introduced to Thornton Wilder. The two remained friends until Stein's death. Throughout the 1930s, Elizabeth made trips to Paris, where she spent time with notable artists, writers, dancers, philosophers, and gallerists. An amateur film maker, Elizabeth sometimes filmed her visits to Paris and her parties in Chicago. She served as President of the Arts Club of Chicago from 1932 to 1940 and was responsible for inviting important cultural figures to Chicago for lectures and exhibitions. WWII forced an end to Elizabeth's visits to Paris but she remained in touch with Stein and Toklas until their deaths in 1946 and 1967, respectively.

In 1946, Barney Goodspeed fell ill and was hospitalized. After months of hospitalization, he and Elizabeth traveled to Castle Hot Springs, Arizona, hoping that the desert would help him recover but he died in February of 1947. In 1950, Elizabeth married Gilbert Whipple Chapman, a wealthy New York industrialist and future head of the New York Public Library, and moved to Manhattan and Long Island. Elizabeth continued her life of art patronage and involvement in art organizations in New York, including with the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and the Museum of Modern Art. In December 1979, Gilbert Chapman died. Elizabeth died nine months later of a heart attack, at the age of 87.

Processing Information

This collection includes materials previously identified by the following call number: Za Chapman.
Title
Guide to the Elizabeth Fuller Chapman Papers and Films
Author
by Molly Wheeler
Date
2009
Language of description
Finding aid written in English

Revision Statements

  • 2010-02-10: Transformed with yale.addEadidUrl.xsl. Adds @url with handle for finding aid. Overwrites @url if already present.

Repository Details

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977