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Wickes (Ethel May) Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Processing Information
  • Arrangement
  • General

  • Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library
    Title: Ethel May Wickes papers
    Creator: Wickes, Ethel May, 1872-1940
    Identifier/Call Number: mssWickes
    Physical Description: 2.75 Linear Feet (1 box, 2 oversize folders)
    Date (inclusive): 1917-1978
    Date (bulk): 1937-1940
    Abstract: A collection of professional and personal material related to the California artist Ethel May Wickes.
    Language of Material: Materials are in English.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at the Huntington Library for more information.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Ethel May Wickes papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Purchased from Liliane D. Wells, January 1979. Gift of D. McElwain, November 2005.

    Biographical / Historical

    Ethel May Wickes (1872-1940), earlier known as Ethel Marian Wickes, was an artist known for her watercolor paintings of California wildflowers. Wickes began to paint at the age of seventeen, studying in Paris under several prominent artists, and had her first exhibition the next year at the William Morris Gallery in New York. Early in her career she created a successful genre picture entitled "Goose Shepherd;" it became so popular she continued to paint pictures of geese. In 1914 she began painting California wildflowers, which she tried to render both aesthetically pleasing as well as botanically accurate. She was the president of the California Spring Blossom and Wild Flower Association and her work was displayed in several prominent galleries and universities across the country.

    Scope and Contents

    A collection of 135 items which contains correspondence, business and biographical papers and numerous drawings and paintings from 1917 to 1978. The correspondence is both addressed to, and written by, Wickes and makes up almost half of the total collection. The business and other papers include a great deal of biographical information about Wickes, including lists of her paintings and exhibitions, photographs, a copy of her will and several notes and documents written about her life. The artwork contained in the collection includes twenty-nine pieces by Wickes, which includes pastel drawings and both oil and watercolor paintings, fifteen watercolors by her friend, and fellow artist, Liliane D. Wells, and a drawing by John Hoffman (1920-1937). Correspondents include Bertha Ast, Willis Linn Jepson, Clarence E. Wells and Liliane D. Wells.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Huntington Library Staff, September 1979. In 2021, Gayle Richardson created the finding aid derived from a legacy summary report.


    Arranged alphabetically.


    Former call number: mssWickes papers.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Artists -- California
    Geese in art
    Wild flowers -- California -- Pictorial works
    Women artists -- California
    Biography files -- California
    Drawings (visual works) -- California
    Letters (correspondence) -- United States
    Oil paintings (visual works) -- United States
    Pastels (visual works) -- United States
    Personal papers -- California
    Photographs -- United States
    Watercolors (paintings) -- United States
    Ast, Bertha
    Hoffman, John, active 1928
    Jepson, Willis Linn, 1867-1946
    Wells, Clarence E.
    Wells, Liliane D.