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Louise Crane and Victoria Kent papers

 Collection
Call Number: YCAL MSS 473

Scope and Contents

The Louise Crane and Victoria Kent Papers document the personal and professional lives of Louise Crane, Victoria Kent, and Josephine Boardman Crane, and consist of correspondence, subject files, personal papers, financial documents, clippings, photographs, and slides. The papers provide evidence of the Crane family's philanthropic work and involvement in a number of cultural associations, including the China Institute, Harpsichord Music Society, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Museum of Modern Art. The Papers provide insight into a prominent philanthropic family as well as cultural activities in New York City during the mid- to late twentieth century. Victoria Kent's involvement in politics and cultural affairs is also represented in the Papers. Victoria Kent's correspondence and subject files are a window into the activities of the expatriate Spanish community in the United States following the Spanish Civil War.

Louise Crane lived with and cared for her aging mother -- not only providing company but also serving as a secretary -- and for this reason the papers of Louise and Josephine Boardman Crane are intermingled. The Cranes hosted literary and musical events at their home on Fifth Avenue; these events are captured in their correspondence and subject files (such as "Monday afternoon literary class") that trace guests and topics of conversation. Their home was full of decorative arts and artwork; its decor is recorded in subject files and photographs. The Cranes' friends included a number of authors and artists. Correspondents include: Elizabeth Bishop, Loren MacIver, and Virgil Thomson. The Cranes' financial support for a number of artists and cultural institutions is represented in their financial documents. The papers also include documents pertaining to Cranes family members, such as correspondence and photographs of Josephine Boardman Crane's sister, Mabel Thorp Boardman (1860-1946), who was Secretary of the American National Red Cross.

Victoria Kent's involvement in politics and her work with Louise Crane to publish Ibérica are documented in her correspondence and subject files (which include several copies of the publication). Kent's legal work and interest in prison reform are also represented in various documents. A native of Spain, Kent worked tirelessly on projects relating to her mother country as well as the wellfare of Spaniards displaced by the civil war and World War II, as her files on Comité Popular de Ayuda los Refugiados Españoles and Spanish Refugee Aid demonstrate.

Dates

  • 1809-1998

Creator

Language

English

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Box 39: Restricted fragile material. Reference surrogates have been substituted in the main files. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Conditions Governing Use

The Louise Crane and Victoria Kent 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

Bequest of Louise Crane, 1999.

Arrangement

Organized into three series: I. Louise Crane Papers, 1809-1998. II. Harpsichord Music Society, 1957-1992. III. Victoria Kent Papers, 1936-1988.

Associated Materials

Josephine Boardman Crane Papers (YCAL MSS 292). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

Extent

31.17 Linear Feet ((39 boxes) + 1 roll)

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.cranel

Overview

The Louise Crane and Victoria Kent Papers document the personal and professional lives of Louise Crane, Victoria Kent, and Josephine Boardman Crane, and consist of correspondence, subject files, personal papers, financial documents, clippings, photographs, and slides. The papers provide evidence of the Crane family's philanthropic work and involvement in a number of cultural associations, including the China Institute in America, Harpsichord Music Society, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Museum of Modern Art. Correspondents include Elizabeth Bishop and Loren MacIver. The Papers provide insight into a prominent philanthropic family as well as cultural activities in New York City during the mid- to late twentieth century. Victoria Kent's involvement in politics and cultural affairs is also represented in the Papers. Victoria Kent's correspondence and subject files are a window into the activities of the expatriate Spanish community in the United States following the Spanish Civil War. The papers also relate to Crane and Kent's work to publish the Spanish-language magazine Ibérica as well as their personal relationship.

Louise Crane (1913-1997)

Louise Crane, born on November 11, 1913, was the daughter of Josephine Boardman Crane (1873-1972) and W. Murray Crane (1853-1920). She attended Vassar where she became friends with Elizabeth Bishop and Margaret Miller among others. Crane and Bishop befriended Marianne Moore, who became a mentor and lifelong friend (Crane had power of attorney for Moore at the end of her life). Following her graduation from Vassar, Louise Crane was involved in a number of cultural institutions and programs, including the Harpsichord Music Society and the Museum of Modern Art. Josephine Boardman Crane, with help from Louise, hosted a number of literary salons at their home at 820 Fifth Avenue, New York. The Cranes' apartment was filled with decorative arts and artwork and the Cranes lent and donated a number of pieces to museums. In addition to their home in Manhattan, the Crane family owned homes in Woods Hole, Ma. ("Driftwood"), Dalton, Ma., Redding, Ct., and Fort Myers Beach, Florida. In later years Louise Crane lived with and assisted her aging mother.

Among the circle of writers whom the Cranes befriended were Djuna Barnes, Elizabeth Bishop, Bryher, Loren MacIver, Somerset Maugham, Marianne Moore, Edith and Osbert Sitwell, Virgil Thomson, Glenway Wescott, and Tennessee Williams.

Bishop and Crane traveled extensively together, including trips to Europe, Morocco, and the Atlas Mountains (1935-1936), Florida (1936-1937), and Ireland, France, and Italy (1937). In 1938 they bought a home in Key West, Florida. Crane commuted between New York, where she took care of her mother, and Key West. Crane and Bishop stopped traveling together after 1940.

Crane died in 1997 after suffering from Alzheimer's for a number of years.

Crane's mother, Josephine Boardman Crane, was a prominent philanthropist; she developed the "Dalton Plan," a progressive method of education, which led to the founding of the Dalton School, and was one of the founders of the Museum of Modern Art. A member of the family who owned the Crane Paper Company, in Dalton, Massachusetts, W. Murray Crane entered politics and served as governor of Massachusetts (1900-1902) and as state senator for Massachusetts (1904-1914). Louise Crane was one of the couple's three children; her two brothers were Bruce Crane (who became President of the Crane Paper Company) and Stephen Crane.
Victoria Kent (1892-1987) Victoria Kent was Louise Crane's companion in later years. Kent was a prominent lawyer and politician from Spain. She was born on March 6, 1892 in Málaga. (During her lifetime Kent maintained she was born in 1897, however, organizers of an homage to Kent in Málaga discovered in 1997 that her birth date is in fact 1892.) As a young woman Kent studied law at the University of Madrid and after graduation she became the first female lawyer in Spain. She gained notoriety as a lawyer in 1931 when she was one of the defense lawyers for politicians Fernando de los Rios, Niceto Alcalá-Zamora, Francisco Largo Cabellero, and Álvaro de Albornoz. She served as a congresswoman in the Parliament of the Second Spanish Republic (1931) and as Director General of Prisons (1931-1934) but was forced to flee Spain during the Spanish civil war. Kent lived in exile in France (recounted in her book Cuatro Años en París) and served as the Secretary of the Spanish Embassy (1937-1939). Kent lived for a period in Mexico -- where she taught penal law at the University of Mexico -- and then moved to the United States where she worked as a member of the Secretariat for the United Nations (1950-1952). Crane and Kent published Ibérica, a Spanish language anti-Franco magazine from 1954 to 1974. Following Josephine Boardman Crane's death, Kent and Crane lived together in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and Redding, Connecticut.

Kent died of a heart attack in September 1987.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

The collection received preliminary processing at the time of acquisition. Further organization and description were carried out in 2011.

As a rule, descriptive information found in the Collection Contents section is drawn in large part from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Titles have not been verified against the contents of the folders in all cases. Otherwise, folder titles are supplied by staff during initial processing.

This collection includes materials previously identified by the following call number: Uncat ZA MS 637.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
Title
Guide to the Louise Crane and Victoria Kent Papers
Author
by Beinecke staff
Date
2007-05-16
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