Cor de Gavere Papers

M. Carey
The University Library
Special Collections and Archives
University Library
University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, California, 95064
© 2013
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Cor de Gavere Papers

Collection number: MS 471

The University Library

Special Collections and Archives

University of California, Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, California
Processed by:
M. Carey
Date Completed:
December 7, 2013
Encoded by:
M. Carey
© 2013 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Cor de Gavere papers
Dates: 1945-1955
Collection number: MS 471
Creator: Gavere, Cor de
Collection Size: 1 flat

3 oil paintings
Repository: University of California, Santa Cruz. University Library. Special Collections and Archives
Santa Cruz, California 95064
Abstract: A small collection of loose sketches, sketchbooks and oil paintings.
Physical location: Stored in Special Collection & Archives: Advance notice is required for access to the papers.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights for this collection reside with the University of California. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. The publication or use of any work protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use for research or educational purposes requires written permission from the copyright owner. Responsibility for obtaining permissions, and for any use rests exclusively with the user. For more information on copyright or to order a reproduction, please visit

Preferred Citation

Cor de Gavere papers. MS 471. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Santa Cruz Art League.


Cor de Gavere's early life had the aura of a tragic fairy tale. She was born in Java, where her parents were Dutch missionaries; by the time she was six years old, illness had claimed the lives of her brother and both parents. An aunt and uncle in north Holland took in the orphaned girl, and sent her sister off to boarding school.
Childhood was a lonely time for Cor: she was kept for a while in the stern atmosphere of her relatives' home, separated from her sister, and was then sent to boarding school herself, where close friendships were discouraged. Her developing interest in art during these years was frowned upon by her uncle. He prevailed upon her to take a position as an assistant pharmacist, although she continued to draw and paint whenever possible.
In 1907, at the age of 30, Cor made the decision to study art seriously, and she entered the Royal Academy of the Hague. During these years she established a lasting friendship with an elderly woman, Wilhelmina Van Tonnigen, who gave her the motherly encouragement and support that she had missed since early childhood. She subsequently worked for several years in a small Dutch artists' colony, and studied in Paris for three years. During World War I she served as a volunteer nurse in Paris.
After the War, at the age of 43, Cor moved to Seabright with Wilhelmina Von Tonningen, who had come to be near her brother in Santa Cruz. The two women were warmly welcomed by the local Dutch community, and Santa Cruz became Cor's paradise. She worked for many both the Seabright and Garfield Park branch libraries, while establishing herself as a serious and prolific painter. She was active socially, painted almost daily, and - with Margaret Rogers - was one of the guiding forces of the Santa Cruz Art League for the 1920s to 1940s. Gentle, intelligent, proper, Cor maintained a youthful and positive attitude throughout her life.
Cor died in 1955 while visiting relatives in Holland, having enjoyed in her mature years a satisfying life of close friendships, community involvement, and creative accomplishment.
Biography by Nikki Silva.

Scope and Content of Collection

Small collection of loose sketches, sketchbooks and three oil paintings, "Along the Santa Cruz Coast" & [Farm Scene] and "Just a Hill".

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Gavere, Cor de, 1877-1955--Archives
Rogers, Margaret E. (Margaret Esther)--1872-1961
Santa Cruz (Calif.)--History
Santa Cruz Art League

Container List

Box 1

Loose sketches, sketchbooks ca. 1945-1955

Pkg. 2

ms0471_ptg_001 Along Santa Cruz Coast, ca. 1945-1955


Oil on canvas
Pkg. 3

ms0471_ptg_002 [Farm Scene], ca. 1945-1955


Oil on Canvas
Pkg. 4

ms0471_ptg_003 Just a Hill, ca. 1945-1955


Oil on Canvas