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Grace Mott Johnson papers

Call Number: YCAL MSS 622
Scope and Contents

The Grace Mott Johnson Papers are comprised of correspondence, writings, photographs, and personal papers, which document the personal and professional life of the American artist Grace Mott Johnson. The papers also include material pertaining to Grace Mott Johnson's ancestors, including her father Alfred Van Cleve Johnson and grandfather Ebenezer Alfred Johnson.

Johnson’s artistic life is reflected in the Correspondence, Writings, Other Papers, and Printed Material series. The Correspondence series includes a small amount of correspondence pertaining to Johnson’s artistic career, such as correspondence with sculptors Jo Davidson and Clarence Oliver La Grone and with art galleries, societies, and art suppliers. The Writings series contains an early notebook (1895) with poems and songs as well as several unidentified manuscripts dating from 1928 to 1950. The Other Papers series includes photographs of Johnson’s artwork as well as snapshots of animals at circuses and on farms, which Johnson used as the basis of her sculptural work. Undated snapshots also capture Johnson’s experience at the New York Art Students League. Catalogues and exhibition notices of Johnson's shows can be found in the Printed Materials series.

Correspondents reflect Grace Mott Johnson’s involvement in civil rights, and include prominent N.A.A.C.P. leaders such as Charles H. Houston, Walter White, and Roy Wilkins, as well as Elmer Carter (editor of Opportunity). Further correspondence regarding Johnson’s civil rights work can be found in the Other Papers series.

The papers also shed light into the history of the Johnson and Van Cleve families. The most prominent correspondents in the papers are Johnson’s family members, such as her son Alfred Dasburg, husband Andrew Dasburg, and the Johnson and Van Cleve families. The Johnson and Van Cleve family papers contain financial records and documents regarding genealogy. Portraits of Johnson and Van Cleve family members are located in the Other Papers series. Printed Material similarly pertains to activities of the Johnson and Van Cleve families.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Grace Mott Johnson 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 the Estate of Alfred V. Dasburg, 1981.


Organized into four series: I. Correspondence, 1840-1977. II. Writings, 1895-1940. III. Other Papers, 1802-1979. IV. Printed Material, 1829-1957.

Associated Materials

Ebenezer Alfred Johnson Family Papers (MS 1246). Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library.

13.77 Linear Feet (35 boxes)
Related Names
Johnson, Grace Mott, 1882-1967
Language of Materials