Rick Bartow Papers Open for Research

By Jenny Gehringer
PNAA Processing Archivist

Rick Bartow was a prolific Native American artist and blues and rock musician who lived and worked primarily in Newport, Oregon. He was a member of the Mad River Band of Wiyot Indians, an indigenous tribe of northern California, and maintained close ties with the Siletz tribe. The Rick Bartow papers are open for research as part of the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive of the Willamette University Archives and Special Collections. This collection documents Bartow’s life and art career from 1955 to 2016. It contains gallery exhibition fliers, CDs and posters for Bartow’s bands, clothing and glasses, an extensive collection of Bartow’s art supplies and tools, personal correspondence with family, friends, and other artists including D. E. May, Tom Cramer, and John Bevan Ford, photographs, and various books and magazines that represent Bartow’s personal library.

Rick Bartow and son in art studioBartow’s art career began with exhibitions at galleries in Newport, Oregon. In 1985 he was selected for a solo exhibition at Jamison/Thomas Gallery in Portland, Oregon. He exhibited at Jamison’s galleries in Portland and New York until Jamison’s death in 1995. Bartow was then represented by Charles Froelick of Froelick Gallery in Portland, Oregon. Bartow’s work can be found in museum collections throughout the United States including the Brooklyn Museum in Brooklyn, New York; the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts; the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis, Indiana; the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC; the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon; the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona; the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon; and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon. Bartow’s 35-year career as an artist was celebrated through the retrospective exhibition “Things You Know But Cannot Explain,” which traveled through various museums in the United States from 2015 to 2019.

Bartow’s art was often influenced by his traumatic military service experiences during the Vietnam War. He worked in a variety of media and created small and large scale art. His 26-foot tall carving The Cedar Mill Pole was displayed in the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden at the White House in 1997. Bartow’s pair of 20-foot tall cedar sculptures We Were Always Here was commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Dedicated on September 21, 2012, the sculptures are on display on the northwest corner of the museum overlooking the National Mall, across from the Washington Monument.

For more information about this amazing collection, please see the finding aid. The Rick Bartow papers were processed thanks to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant Willamette University received to increase accessibility to the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive.


Additions to the Betty LaDuke Papers

By Jenny Gehringer
PNAA Processing Archivist

LaDuke painting women and birds Additional materials for the Betty LaDuke papers have been processed and are open to researchers. This collection documents Betty LaDuke’s prolific career as a painter from 1950 to 2018. It includes her photography and sketchbooks from various international and domestic travels as well as materials that document her advocacy and representation of cultural traditions and women artists around the world. This collection also contains personal documents concerning her family and friends.

LaDuke has completed several large-scale projects, including multi-panel exhibitions and murals. Her creative process involves developing a series of sketchbooks and taking numerous photographs during her travels which then form the basis for her larger works and exhibitions. Other thematic elements in her work include animals, rituals, and celebrations, which she uses to illustrate similarities among geographically and traditionally disparate cultures.

LaDuke has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and is represented in many public collections, including Willamette University’s Hallie Ford Museum of Art (HFMA). You can discover LaDuke’s work on campus through rotating exhibits at the HFMA and a permanent display at the third-floor of the Putnam University Center.LaDuke painting Pear Harvest

For more information about this amazing collection, please see the finding aid. You may also access additional information and resources concerning LaDuke and her art through the libguide Betty LaDuke: Social Justice Revisited. The Betty LaDuke papers were processed thanks to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant Willamette University received to increase accessibility to the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive.


It’s a Winter Wonderland at the WU Archives

By Jenny Gehringer, Rosie Yanosko, and Stephanie Milne-Lane
Willamette University Archives and Special Collections

‘Tis the Season to share some wintery materials from the Willamette Archives and Special Collections! Our collections include many unique and fun materials that reflect a variety of winter and holiday traditions. The Archives crew have prepared three images to warm your hearts during these chilly days and long nights!

Blue Christmas invitation Holiday parties are a fantastic way to celebrate this chilly season – and an invitation to a Tom Cramer Christmas party is a coveted item! Tom Cramer, a nationally known Oregon artist, is famous not only for his beautiful paintings and wood carvings but also for his epic parties. The Tom Cramer papers include several of his Christmas party invitations, each designed and drawn by Cramer. This collection is part of the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive and is open for research.

Polar bear water Does the arrival of December have you yearning for snow? Or perhaps you’re looking for some winter fashion inspiration? The Chuck Williams Collection, which will be open for research in early 2020, has you covered on both fronts. Williams’ extensive research materials on national parks and environmental issues offer a wealth of images and information to get you through the winter months.

Star trees with lights While the beloved Star Trees on Willamette’s campus brings joy to students, staff, faculty, and Salem citizens all year long, during the holiday season they seem to shine even brighter — both literally and figuratively. Planted in 1942 to commemorate Willamette’s centennial year, the Star Trees (five Sequoiadendron giganteums) twinkle during the month of December when they are strung with lights. This photograph from December 7, 1997, captures the Start Tree Lighting Ceremony festivities. This year the Star Tree Lighting & Holiday Celebration ceremony takes place on Wednesday, December 4th. Be sure to join the fun!


Digital materials available in PNAA finding aids

By Jenny Gehringer
PNAA Processing Archivist

Claudia Cave sketchbook black ink drawing. Collections of artists’ papers from the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive (PNAA) are currently being processed thanks to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant Willamette University received to increase accessibility to this amazing and unique archive. Part of this processing grant includes an initiative to digitize a selection of materials from each collection that represents the artist’s papers and his or her works. Digitization helps preserve inherently unstable media, such as photographic slides, and increases access to the PNAA collections by making portions of these materials available online.

Over the summer, Madolyn Kelm, our fantastic student assistant, digitized a variety of materials from eight PNAA collections including sketchbooks, correspondence, slides, a diary, publications, and photographs. Sara Amato, our Digital Asset Management Librarian, organized and curated the metadata collected by Madolyn into digital exhibitions that are now accessible in the following finding aids: Claudia Cave papers, Nicholsloy Studio collection, Tom Cramer papers, Nelson and Olive Sandgren papers, Judith and Jan Zach papers, Henk Pander papers, Stella Douglas papers, and Tom Hardy papers.

The Willamette University Archives and Special Collections is excited to share the PNAA digitization efforts with all library patrons and researchers. Throughout the fall and spring semesters, students will continue to digitize selected materials from the eight remaining PNAA collections. Don’t forget to check the Archives Blog for updates on our PNAA digitization project!


It’s American Archives Month!

By Jenny Gehringer, Stephanie Milne-Lane, and Rosie Yanosko
Willamette University Archives and Special Collections

October is American Archives Month! The Willamette University (WU) Archives and Special Collections is celebrating by sharing what our archivists are currently working on through our blog and the Mark O. Hatfield Library Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages. We invite you to learn more about our collections and how we provide equitable access to historical documents and materials!

stuffed bearcat sitting at desk The WU Archives and Special Collections collects, preserves, and makes available WU records of enduring value and primary source materials focusing on the Pacific Northwest. We have four main collections categories: University Archives and Records, Political Papers, Personal Papers, and the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive (PNAA). We currently have three archivists on staff who are processing collections and providing reference services for our campus and public communities.

Stephanie Milne-Lane is the Processing Archivist and Records Manager for our Archives. She provides reference services for all collections in our repository, assists University departments concerning records management, provides educational opportunities to students, and processes University, political, and personal records. In addition to her varied responsibilities, she is currently processing the Rex Amos papers, which is part of the PNAA.

Jenny Gehringer is the Processing Archivist for the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive (PNAA). The PNAA is a collaborative project of the WU Archives and Special Collections and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art and includes materials related to the careers of artists who are or were active in Oregon and Washington for most of their careers. Jenny is tasked with processing 16 PNAA collections during her 18-month tenure and is currently assessing and processing the Rick Bartow papers. Her most recently completed collection is the Betty LaDuke papers.

desk with papers on it Rosie Yanosko is the Processing Archivist for the Chuck Williams Collections. Williams was an environmental activist and professional photographer who was of Cascade Chinook descent and a member of the Grand Ronde Tribe. His activist papers are housed here in the WU Archives, while his photographs are housed at the Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center. During her 12-month tenure, which is funded through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Competitive Grant Willamette University received, Rosie is appraising, processing, and developing finding aids for these collections. She is also planning a panel discussion which will highlight Williams’ legacy as an environmental activist.

Please check out our blog and the Mark O. Hatfield Library’s Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages throughout October for more information, photographs, and fun facts!


Additions to the Stella Douglas Papers

By Jenny Gehringer
PNAA Processing Archivist

Researchers can now access additional materials from the Stella Douglas papers. New materials related to Douglas’s career as an art therapist, her work as a social activist, correspondence with artist Helen Blumenstiel, and Douglas family records are processed and integrated with the Stella Douglas papers on Moral Re-Armament. The integrated collection documents Douglas’s personal life and career from 1927 to 1993.

Estella Jean Douglas was born in Salem, Oregon on January 21, 1927. At age eleven, Douglas was inspired by what she described as “a flood of creative energy” to begin her lifelong calling to be an artist. In 1944 Douglas planned to enter a five-year degree program offered by Reed College with the Portland Art Museum School, but instead joined the Moral Re-Armament (MRA) program. Douglas participated as a full time volunteer in MRA from 1945 to 1957, during which she lived at MRA’s two main headquarters in Los Angeles and Mackinac Island, Michigan. She also lived in London, England and Paris and Caux, France while in the program. Douglas described her experience with MRA as a “multi-cultural learning experience” in which her “global view of life in the world and the nature of humanness took form.” Both during and after her time with MRA, Douglas wrote many personal reflections and letters pertaining to her experience as a participant in MRA and her subsequent reflections on morality, religion, and human nature.

In the 1960s Douglas returned to the United States. She attended the San Francisco Art Institute and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1969. At the same time, Douglas also earned a degree in Educational Psychology from San Francisco State College. Douglas then pursued a Master of Fine Arts in printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute and graduated in 1971. During her time in school in San Francisco, Douglas participated in the anti-war movement, black rights activism, psychedelia, and the neo-feminist movement. After graduation, Douglas was offered a position in the art department of a midwest university, but chose to return to her family home in Portland, Oregon.

From 1971 through 1984, Douglas dedicated her time to the care of sick family members, including her father, mother Ruth, and sister Barbara. During this time Douglas worked various jobs including as a freelance writer and photographer. Articles and photographs by Douglas were published in several magazines and newspapers including the Oregonian. Douglas was also actively engaged in areas of the arts, community volunteerism, and political, social, and environmental activism. Much of her freelance writing focused on topics related to her social activism including protecting the Oregon coastal environment, feminist and aging issues, the nuclear weapons freeze movement, and LGBTQ issues. In 1986 and 1987 Douglas applied to the Master’s in Art Therapy program at Marylhurst College and was admitted in 1987. After graduating she worked for Mental Health Services West in Portland, Oregon. Douglas died in a car accident in 1993 and is buried in Clackamas County, Oregon.

For more information about the Stella Douglas papers and access to this collection, please see the finding aid. This collection was processed thanks to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant Willamette University received to increase accessibility to the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive.


PNAA Digitization Project

By Jenny Gehringer
PNAA Processing Archivist

Collections of artists’ papers from the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive (PNAA) are currently being processed thanks to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant Willamette University received to increase accessibility to this amazing and unique archive. Part of this processing grant includes an initiative to digitize a selection of materials from each collection that represents the artist’s papers and his or her works. This summer, the Willamette University Archives has a fantastic student assistant, Madolyn Kelm, who is digitizing materials selected by Jenny Gehringer, the PNAA processing archivist, and the PNAA Advisory Group, which consists of academic and community members.

Madolyn is currently digitizing material from the Nelson and Olive Sandgren papers. The Nelson and Olive Sandgren papers include financial and personal records, sketchbooks, journals, family ephemera, and documentation related to Nelson Sandgren’s careers as an artist and professor, from 1936 to 2016. His wife, Olive, is responsible for the creation of a large portion of the items in this collection including most of the documentation regarding sabbatical trips and vacations. The materials selected for digitization include 35mm slides from Sandgren’s sabbatical trips and one of Olive’s daily diaries which details the events of Sandgren’s 1959-1960 sabbatical. Digitization of these materials helps to preserve inherently unstable media, such as photographic slides, and to increase access to the PNAA collections by making them available online.

The Willamette University Archives is excited to share the PNAA digitization efforts with all library patrons and researchers. We will post more information about this project as additional materials from the PNAA collections are digitized and made available.


Harry Widman papers

By Jenny Gehringer
PNAA Processing Archivist

Researchers can now access the Harry Widman papers, a recently processed collection from the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive. The Harry Widman papers consist of materials that document Widman’s careers as an artist, professor, administrator, and arts advocate from 1937-2015 including gallery exhibition fliers, correspondence, resumes, artist statements, original art and sketches, interview audio (on cassette tapes) and transcriptions, and meeting minutes and correspondence from boards and committees. The collection also contains Widman’s childhood sketchbooks and books of drawings from throughout his life, book lists, poetry by Widman, correspondence, slides of Widman’s art, photographs of Widman and his art from exhibitions, and photographs from his time in the military.

Harry Frederick Widman, Jr. was a prolific painter, writer, teacher, administrator, and arts advocate who created much of his work in Portland, Oregon. He was born on May 18, 1929 in Englewood, New Jersey and died on October 24, 2014 in Portland, Oregon from complications from Alzheimer’s.

Widman received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University in 1951. After graduation he was drafted into the United States Army and stationed in Germany. During his time in the military, Widman visited museums and art exhibitions that included art and artifacts based in historical contexts which peaked his interests in paleontology, archaeology, classical mythology, and non-Western cultures. These interests became prominent sources of inspiration and recurrent themes in his work.

In 1954 Widman enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program at the University of Oregon and studied under influential artists Jack Wilkinson and David McCosh. Widman earned his MFA degree in 1956. He then moved to central Oregon and taught Extension Division courses in Coos Bay, Port Orford, Roseburg, and Grants Pass. In 1960 Widman was offered a temporary position at the Museum Art School (currently known as the Pacific Northwest College of Art) in Portland, Oregon. In 1961 he moved to Portland when his teaching position became permanent.

During his 36 year tenure at the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), Widman was an influential teacher and administrator. He was an active leader in the Faculty Council and helped create the Alumni and Friends Association. He also served as acting dean of the school from 1978 to 1981. While performing multiple administrative duties at the school, Widman played active roles during the transition from the Museum Art School to the Pacific Northwest College of Art and the separation of PNCA from the Portland Museum of Art. Widman retired from teaching in 1996.

Throughout his career, Widman served on multiple boards and committees to advocate for the arts community in Oregon. He helped establish the Oregon Arts Commission from 1965-1968. He was a member of the original Portland Art Commission from 1968 through 1971 and a chair of the commission from 1970 to 1971. He served on the selection committee for “% for Art” for the Justice Services Building in Portland, Oregon, and the Portland Metropolitan Art Commission. He participated as a guest artist and lecturer for several universities and organizations including Portland State University, the Oregon Historical Society, the Cincinnati Academy of Art, and Colgate University. Widman also wrote art exhibition reviews for The Oregonian newspaper.

In addition to his successful careers as a teacher and administrator, Widman maintained a robust art career with nearly 100 exhibitions between 1950 and 2014. Widman often used collage as a way to layer and blend images, shapes, and ideas in order to develop large scale paintings. He collected images from magazines and other printed material that depicted human bodies, indigenous and cultural art and fashion, and various color schemes to use as inspiration for his work. Widman also created the idea of The Magician, The Navigator, and The Oracle: abstract images that represent identities and express purpose and emotions. These abstract images appear in many pieces of his art. His works have been featured in individual and group exhibitions throughout the Pacific Northwest including the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon; Blackfish Gallery in Portland, Oregon; Butters Gallery in Portland, Oregon; Wentz Gallery at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon; the Fountain Gallery in Portland, Oregon; and the Littman Gallery at Portland State University. Widman also co-exhibited with his wife, artist Mardy Widman, at the Golden Gallery in Beaverton, Oregon, in 2013.

For more information about the Harry Widman papers and access to this collection, please see the finding aid. This collection was processed thanks to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant Willamette University received to increase accessibility to the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive.


Mark Sponenburgh papers

By Jenny Gehringer
PNAA Processing Archivist

The Mark Sponenburgh papers have been processed and are open for researchers. This collection contains materials related to Sponenburgh’s careers as an artist, educator, and scholar. Examples of these materials include photographs, drawings, slides of sculpture by Sponenburgh and other artists, correspondence, exhibition fliers and pamphlets, academic journals, newspaper articles, newsletters and honors regarding the Monuments Men, documents concerning the creation of the Hogue-Sponenburgh collection at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, syllabi and notes for courses taught by Sponenburgh, documents concerning the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan, and designs and proposals for public sculptures created by Sponenburgh.

Mark Ritter Sponenburgh was born on June 15, 1918, in Cadillac, Michigan. He studied sculpture at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan from 1939 to 1940 and Wayne University in Detroit, Michigan from 1940 to 1941. In 1942 Sponenburgh enlisted in the United States’ Army. His unit participated in the D-Day landings at Normandy, and advanced through France, Holland, Belgium, and the Rhineland during World War II. In June 1945 Sponenburgh requested to transfer to the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archive (MFAA) division. As a member of the Monuments Men, Sponenburgh assisted in operations to transfer the items to the Munich Central Collecting Point for sorting, cataloguing, and eventual restitution.

After the end of his military service, Sponenburgh continued his graduate studies at the Ecôle des Beaux Arts in Paris, France. In 1946 he moved to Eugene, Oregon for a faculty position in Architecture and Allied Arts at the University of Oregon. In 1951 Sponenburgh traveled to Egypt as a Fulbright Scholar at the American Research Center in Cairo, where he continued his studies and research in sculpture, carving, and ancient Egyptian sculpture and art. He returned to Eugene in 1953.

In 1957 he was commissioned by the government of Pakistan to establish the National College of Arts in Lahore, where he served as principal (Dean) of the college and a professor. While working in Pakistan, he organized the first national exhibition of regional Swat folk art. In 1961 Sponenburgh returned to Oregon by invitation from fellow MFAA veteran Gordon Gilkey to establish the Art History program at Oregon State University in Corvallis. Sponenburgh taught at Oregon State until 1983, when he retired as Professor Emeritus.

Sponenburgh was a member of many influential and prestigious organizations including the International Association of Egyptologists, the Royal Society of Arts, the Royal Society of Antiquaries, the International Association of Art Historians, the American Research Center in Egypt, and the Oxford Society. In 1990 Sponenburgh and his wife, Janeth Hogue-Sponenburgh, donated their extensive art collection to Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. This collection helped secure the creation of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University in 1998. The Mark and Janeth Sponenburgh Gallery includes over 250 Ancient, European, Middle Eastern, and Asian art works and historical artifacts.

As a lifelong sculptor, Sponenburgh created over 170 pieces of art in stone, wood, and mixed media, which explored human and animal forms and ocean wave patterns. His work can be found in private and public exhibits throughout the United States and abroad including the Detroit Institute of Arts (Madonna), the Portland Art Museum (Torso and Birds in Flight), the Hallie Ford Museum of Art (The Collector), Willamette University (Town and Gown), Oregon State University (bronze bust of Linus Pauling), the University of Oregon, and the United States’ Embassy in Cairo, Egypt.

For more information about the Mark Sponenburgh papers and access to this collection, please see the finding aid. This collection was processed thanks to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant Willamette University received to increase accessibility to the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive.


Henk Pander papers expanded and ready for researchers

By Jenny Gehringer
PNAA Processing Archivist

The Henk Pander papers are now expanded to include an extensive collection of sketchbooks and journals which document Pander’s life and career during the years 1947 to 2014. Drawings within the sketchbooks focus on important events throughout Pander’s life including: living in Amsterdam and Haarlem, Holland; ride-alongs with emergency first responders; World War II studies; the Galileo Project with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); the demolition of the New Carissa tanker; and set designs and posters for various theaters. Many of the sketchbook drawings are portraits and landscapes, which provide insight into Pander’s daily life with his family, friends, and colleagues. The Henk Pander papers also contains correspondence, business papers, notes, artwork, and materials concerning Pander’s commissioned works.

Hendrik Pieter (Henk) Pander was born in Haarlem, Netherlands in 1937. He began painting at the age of 9 and learned early skills and techniques from his father, Jacob (Jaap), who was a painter and illustrator. He studied art at Amsterdam’s Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten between 1956 and 1961. While in Amsterdam, Pander was commissioned to create works for the Dutch Government, the Dutch National Railways, and the City of Amsterdam.

In 1965, Pander immigrated to Portland, Oregon, where he currently resides. While in Portland, Pander was commissioned to paint portraits of Governor Tom McCall and Governor John Kitzhaber, documentary paintings for Project Galileo for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and murals for the Port of Portland, the Portland Center for the Performing Arts, the Oregon State University Memorial Union, and the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

In addition to his successful art career, Pander was co-founder of the Storefront Theatre in Portland, Oregon in 1970, founded the City of Portland’s Visual Chronicle, and served on the Portland Metropolitan Arts Commission and Public Art Advisory Committee. He also designed sets for the Portland Center for the Performing Arts, the Portland Dance Theater, the Oregon Ballet Theater, and the Storefront Theatre.

Pander received many prestigious awards for his amazing work including the Silver Medallion of the Prix de Rome in 1961, the Therese van Duyl-Schwarze Portrait Award in 1964, the first Oregon Arts Commission Master Fellowship in Painting in 1991, the State of Oregon Governor’s Award for the Arts in 2005, and the Regional Arts and Cultural Council Visual Artist Fellowship. His works have been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States and the Netherlands including the Portland Art Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, the New England School of Art and Design, the Vakbondsmuseum, and the Museum Henriette Polk.

For more information about the Henk Pander papers and access to this collection, please see the finding aid. This collection was processed thanks to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant Willamette University received to increase accessibility to the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive.