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Guide to the Addison M. Metcalf Collection of Gertrude Steiniana
D.Mss.0014  
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Collection Details
 
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Series Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Addison M. Metcalf Collection of Gertrude Steiniana,
    Dates: Circa 1890-1987 (bulk, 1929-1959).
    Collection number: D.Mss.0014
    Creator: Metcalf, Addison M., (Addison McCrea Metcalf), 1914-1983
    Extent: 30 linear feet (74 boxes + 4 map-case folders).
    Repository: Scripps College. Ella Strong Denison Library.Claremont, CA 91711
    Abstract: Manuscripts, typescripts, correspondence, photographs, programs, brochures, catalogs, posters, flyers, scripts, musical scores, printed materials, artwork, sound recordings, ephemera, memorabilia, and other materials documenting the life and work of Gertrude Stein, her reception by contemporaries, and the influence of her legacy in the first three decades after her death, collected by Addison M. Metcalf between 1945 and 1959. The materials include manuscript and typescript letters from and to Stein; typescripts of several of her works, some corrected in Stein's hand or that of Alice B. Toklas; typescripts and galley proofs of published biographies, critical studies, and memoirs; and typescripts of unpublished dissertations and fictional representations of Stein. The collection also contains programs, posters, photographs, scripts, costume and set designs, and other materials relating to the performance of Stein’s works; music scores set to texts by Stein; catalogs, brochures, and other materials relating to exhibitions of Stein's manuscripts and published works, and to museum and gallery exhibitions of artwork formerly owned by Stein and her siblings, and of artists collected, supported, and championed by her; contemporary and later copy prints of photographs of Stein from 1905 onwards, including many by Carl Van Vechten; complete original copies of almost all periodical issues in which Stein's work appeared during her lifetime; correspondence from people who had known Stein, relating their memories and "impressions” of her; artwork relating to Stein, including several original pieces dating from her lifetime, and several commissioned by Metcalf himself; sound recordings of works by and relating to Stein, performed by herself and others; ephemera and memorabilia, including plates designed by Stein for Van Vechten; and personal and family papers of Addison Metcalf himself.
    Physical location: Please consult repository.
    Language of Material: The materials in the collection are in English and French.

    Administrative Information

    Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to reproduce or to publish must be submitted in writing to Denison Library.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Box #, Folder #, Addison M. Metcalf Collection of Gertrude Steiniana (Collection D.Mss.0014), Denison Library, Scripps College.

    Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Addison M. Metcalf, 1959, with additional gifts and bequest, 1960-1983.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Michael P. Palmer, July 2015.

    Biographies

    1. Gertrude Stein.
    Gertrude Stein was born in Alleghany, Pennsylvania, on 3 February 1874, the youngest of five children of Daniel Stein, a wealthy businessman, and his wife Amelia Keyser. The family spent the year 1877/1878 in Vienna and Paris, and upon returning settled in Oakland, California. Her mother died in 1888, and her father in 1891, at which time the eldest son, Michael, took over the family business affairs, and Gertrude and her sister went to live with the family of David Bacharach (who had married their maternal aunt) in Baltimore. Stein attended Radcliffe College from 1893 to 1897, where she was mentored by William James, under whose guidance she and another student, Leon Mendez Solomons, studied and published a paper on normal motor automatism. At James's urging, Stein entered Johns Hopkins Medical School, although she professed no interest in medical theory or practice. Confronting a male-dominated culture and realizing she could not conform to the role expected of females, she failed several classes and left after two years, without taking a degree. In 1902, she followed her brother, Leo, to Europe; they settled in Paris the following year. Between 1904 and 1914, at their shared household at 27 rue de Fleurus, the Steins assembled a collection of modern art--in particular, Renoir, Cézanne, Matisse, and Picasso--that for its size and quality was considered the most important of its time. Gertrude also hosted a salon attended by many of the most important artistic and literary figures of the day. Leo and Gertrude dissolved their household, splitting their collection, in 1914, under acrimonious circumstances. Gertrude retained the Picassos, most of the Matisse, and all but one of the Cézanne; the bulk of this collection was dispersed over the years, and at Stein's death consisted primarily of works by Picasso, Juan Gris, and Sir Francis Rose.
    Stein first began writing in 1903, beginning Q.E.D. (Quod Erat Demonstrandum), an account of her ill-starred relationship with Mabel Haynes, Grace Lounsbury, and May Bookstaver (not published until 1950), and a first version of the novel The Making of Americans (finished in 1911, published in 1925), a fictionalized account of her own family. Stein met Alice B. Toklas, her life partner, in 1907; they took up residence together in 1910. Her first published book, Three Lives, appeared in 1909, as did her short essays on Picasso and Matisse, the first English-language texts to be published on these artists. Tender Buttons was published in 1914. Stein and Toklas were absent from Paris during much of World War I. Stein acquired a car in 1917, and she and Toklas used it as a truck to carry supplied for the American Fund for French Wounded, supplying hospitals in Perpignan and Nîmes. They returned to Paris in 1919, where many of the French members of Stein's salon dispersed, to be replaced by young American expatriates. In 1922, Stein first met Ernest Hemingway, and the phrase most associated with her, "rose is a rose is a rose", first appeared in print, in Geography and Plays. In 1926, Stein's lecture on her own writing style, "Composition as Explanation", was published by Leonard and Virginia Woolf's Hogarth Press. In 1927, Stein first met the composer Virgil Thomson, and began work on the libretto for their opera, Four Saints in Three Acts; Toklas also cut Stein's hair in the short, masculine style that was her signature look the rest of her life. In 1928, Stein wrote How to Write, reflections on language, grammar, sentences, and grammar. The following year, Stein and Toklas rented the house in Bilignin (Ain) that became their summer residence. In 1932 Stein wrote The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, her first accessible book; it was published the following year and became a bestseller, making Stein an international star. Four Saints in Three Acts premiered in 1934, directed by John Houseman, with choreography by Frederick Ashton. From October 1934 to May 1935, Stein toured the United States to popular acclaim, although confounding some critics. In 1936, Stein lectured at Oxford and Cambridge, and met with Lord Gerald Berners, who set her "They Must Be Wedded to Their Wife" as a ballet, The Wedding Banquet. The ballet was first performed the following year, and became part of the standard repertory of Sadler's Wells Ballet (later the Royal Ballet) for the next 20 years. Also In 1937, the lease on 27 rue de Fleurus ran out. In 1938, Stein and Toklas moved to 5, rue Christine, and Stein wrote the play Dr. Faustus Lights the Light s, and her only children's book, The World Is Round .
    Stein and Toklas waited out the war in France, first in Billignin, and after the lease was cancelled in 1943, at Le Colombier, a house in the nearby town of Culoz. Although both Stein and Toklas were Jewish, they were protected by the historian Bernard Faÿ and, most probably, by Stein's status as a famous American. Stein continued to write during the war years, including Paris, France (1939, published in London in 1940), in homage to Paris, the novel Mrs. Reynolds, and The Winner Loses: A Picture of Occupied France . Stein's concern for France led her to sympathize with Marshal Petain, and she attempted an English translation of Petain's Paroles aux français. The American press reported the "liberation" of Stein and Toklas in September 1944, and she became immensely popular with GIs. Shortly afterwards, Stein wrote a play about life in an occupied country, In Savoy: A Play of the Resistance in France , that premiered as Yes Is For a Very Young Man in Pasadena, California, in 1946. In December 1944, Stein and Toklas returned to Paris. Stein's autobiographical Wars I Have Seen, begun in 1941/42, was published in 1945, becoming one of her most successful works. That same year, Stein visited American military bases in Germany, wrote Brewsie and Willie , a portrait of GIs in Europe, and began work on the libretto for her second opera with Virgil Thomson, The Mother of Us All , about the suffragist Susan B. Anthony; she finished the libretto the following year. She died in Neuilly, near Paris, on 27 July 1946, age seventy-two, following surgery for colon cancer; she was bured in Père Lachaise cemetery, Paris, on 22 October. Alice B. Toklas survived Stein by twenty years, dying on 7 March 1967; she is buried at Stein's side.
    2. Addison M. Metcalf.
    Addison McCrea Metcalf was born on 29 April 1914, in New York City, the younger child and only son of Williard L. Metcalf (1858-1925), artist and a founding member of the “Ten American Painters”, and his second wife, Henriette Alice McCrea (1888-1981). His parents separated a few years after his birth. He was raised partly in California, where he attended Webb School of Claremont. He was living in Long Beach, California, in 1935, and later studied in Europe, returning to the United States in August 1939. He attended the University of California at Berkeley for approximately two years, before enlisting in the U.S. army on 16 December 1941 at Hartford, Connecticut. After serving for four and one half years (apparently, with a slight physical deformity, as a baker, although he stated publicly that he was in military intelligence), he settled near his mother in Newtown, Connecticut, where he opened an antique shop, "At the Sign of the Fleur de Lys". In the early 1960s, he moved to New York City, where he worked as a librarian, first at the American Foundation of Religion and Psychiatry, and latterly at the Law Library at Fordham University. He died in New York City on 16 June 1983.
    Metcalf became interested in Gertrude Stein and her works while still a student in California. Encouraged by Ella McKenna Friend Mielziner, the widow of the painter Leo Mielziner and a friend of Stein from the latter's early, formative years in Paris, he began seriously collecting works by, and materials relating to, Stein after he settled in Connecticut in 1945, and by the mid-1950s had built a collection that according to Stein's literary co-executor, Carl Van Vechten, was second only to Stein's official archive at Yale University. In 1955, Metcalf sponsored the publication of Absolutely Bob Brown; or, Bobbed Brown, a previously unpublished portrait by Gertrude Stein . In 1964, he wrote and performed "A Sentimental Journey Through the Works of Gertrude Stein", a one-man show of extracts from Stein's works. He also recorded selections from Stein's works that were issued by Folkways Records as "Mother Goose of Montparnasse" in 1965. Metcalf donated the bulk of his Gertrude Stein collection to Denison Library, Scripps College, in June 1959, adding further donations in following years, with a final bequest at his death. In his will he also bequeathed to the American Academy of Arts and Letters funds to create two biennial awards of $10,000 to honor young writers and artists of great promise, the Willard L. Metcalf Award in Art and the Addison M. Metcalf Award in Literature.

    Scope and Contents of Collection

    The Addison M. Metcalf Collection of Gertrude Steiniana consists of manuscripts, typescripts, correspondence, photographs, programs, brochures, catalogs, posters, flyers, scripts, musical scores, printed materials, artwork, sound recordings, ephemera, memorabilia, and other materials collected by Metcalf, primarily between 1945 and 1959, to document the life and work of Gertrude Stein, her reception by contemporaries, and the influence of her legacy in the first three decades after her death. Together with over 450 published volumes, held elsewhere in Denison Library, these materials constitute what Carl Van Vechten, Stein's literary executor, considered in the 1960s to be the greatest contemporary collection of Steiniana outside her official archive at Yale.
    The collection is divided into eleven series.
    Series 1: Manuscripts and typescripts, contains manuscript and typescript letters from and to Stein; typescripts of several of her works, some corrected in her hand or that of Alice B. Toklas; typescripts and galley proofs of published biographies, critical studies, and memoirs; and typescripts of unpublished dissertations and fictional representations of Gertrude Stein.
    Series 2: Performance files, contains programs, posters, photographs, scripts, correspondence, reviews, costume and set designs, and other materials relating to the performance of Gertrude Stein’s works. The wide scope and range of the materials, encompassing professional, college, and local productions, is the result of Metcalf's goal to document every performance of Stein’s works within the United States, and whenever possible, elsewhere, prior to 1960. The materials from the premiere performances of Four Saints in Three Acts , and the materials relating to the Living Theatre's performances of Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights and Ladies' Voices are of particular interest.
    Series 3: Scores and sheet music, contains music scores, primarily by Virgil Thomson and Martin Vernon, set to texts by Gertrude Stein. Many of the scores are in manuscript (photostat) and inscribed by the composer.
    Series 4: Exhibitions contains catalogs, brochures, programs, posters, and other materials relating to exhibitions of Gertrude Stein's manuscripts and published works, and to museum and gallery exhibitions of artwork formerly owned by Gertrude Stein and her siblings, and of artists collected, supported, and championed by Gertrude, in particular Picasso, Matisse, Francis Rose, and Juan Gris.
    Series 5: Photographs, contains contemporary and later copy prints of photographs of Gertrude Stein from 1905 onwards. Many of the images were taken by Carl Van Vechten, and most of these are signed by him. A large number date from the period 1934-1937, and include photographs of Stein at Bilignin and during her United States tour.
    Series 6: Printed materials, contains complete original copies of almost all periodical issues in which Gertrude Stein's work appeared during her lifetime. Additional periodical issues, published during and after Stein's lifetime, contain reviews and discussions of Stein's works, American literature, modern art, and American expatriots in France between the World Wars; many of the articles are signed by the authors. The series also includes clippings of newspaper articles from a scrapbook compiled by Metcalf in the 1950s, relating to Stein, her works, her interest in art, her contemporary reception, and her legacy..
    Series 7: Correspondence, contains Metcalf's correspondence relating to Gertrude Stein and the formation of his collection of Steiniana. The correspondence (the bulk being letters received) consists of routine correspondence from booksellers, galleries, producers, photographers, and newspapers; correspondence from other Stein admirers and collectors; correspondence from scholars, sharing their knowledge and expertise; and, of particular importance, correspondence from people who had known Stein, relating their memories and "impressions” of Stein. The correspondence also sheds light on Metcalf's own personality, his monomania for Gertrude Stein, and his romantic obsessions.
    Series 8: Artwork, consists of artwork, both original and reproduction, relating to Gertrude Stein, collected by Addison Metcalf between approximately 1950 and 1970. Of the original pieces, the charcoal portrait by Peggy Bacon (1935), the watercolors by Stephen Longstreet (1928-1938), and the collage by Pavel Fyodorovitch Tchelitchew (1929), date from Stein's lifetime. The series includes a number of works dating from the years 1963-1966, by Edward Meneeley, Albert Vanderburg, Howard Hussey, and David Prentice, of which some, and possibly all, were commissioned by Metcalf.
    Series 9: Sound recordings and film, consists primarily of sound recordings of works by and relating to Gertrude Stein, performed by herself and others. Of special interest are the recordings of Stein reading from her own works during her 1934-1935 United States tour; performances of several of her works; and a telecast of Pat Bond's one-woman show, Gerty, Gerty, Gerty, Is Back, Back, Back (circa 1979).
    Series 10: Ephemera and memorabilia, contains ephemera and memorabilia relating to Gertrud Stein. The most important items are two plates designed in 1930 by Gertrude Stein for Carl Van Vechten, and executed by a pottery in the neighborhood of Bilignin, and two catalogs of Stein's works from 1930-1931.
    Series 11: Personal and family papers, contains personal and family papers of Addison Metcalf. The most noteworthy materials are found in the James Ringo correspondence file, donated to the collection in the 1980s by Ringo, which contains letters of a personal nature from Metcalf to Ringo, and letters to and from Metcalf's relatives discussing the circumstances of his death. The series also includes a number of items relating to Metcalf's father, the painter Willard L. Metcalf.

    Series Arrangement

    The collection is arranged in the following 11 series:
    • Series 1: Manuscripts and typescripts
    • Series 2: Performance files
    • Series 3: Scores and sheet music
    • Series 4: Exhibitions
    • Series 5: Photographs
    • Series 6: Printed materials
    • Series 7: Addison Metcalf correspondence
    • Series 8: Art works
    • Series 9: Sound recordings and film
    • Series 10: Ephemera and memorabilia
    • Series 11: Addison Metcalf personal and family

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library’s online public access catalog.
    American fiction--20th century
    Americans--France--Paris--Biography
    Art--Collectors and collecting--France--Paris
    Ballet
    Biography
    Correspondence
    Drama
    Opera
    Paris (France)--Intellectual life--20th century
    Photographs
    Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973
    Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946
    Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946--Criticism and interpretation
    Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946--Friends and associates
    Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946--Musical settings
    Toklas, Alice B., 1877-1967
    Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964
    Women and literature--United States--History--20th century
    Women authors, American--20th century