Frederic Allen Williams

“Taos 1929-Modeling ‘The Sioux Worshipper’ sun dial” – Frederic Allen Williams Lantern Slide Collection at the Harry Ransom Center: series I, sub-series F

Frederic Allen Williams (1898-1955) was a prominent sculptor, lecturer, intellectual, and rodeo rider based in New York City.  Throughout his life he came to know a plethora of influential people.  He counted himself among the friends of members of the Taos Art Society, yet, he was also acquainted with prominent politicians and officials, such as John Collier, a leftist sociologist, and the Commissioner for the Bureau of Indian Affairs under Franklin D. Roosevelt.  In New York, he became known for his talks on Native American art, which he gave in his midtown studio, near the then recently built Museum of Modern Art.  Today his papers are held at the Harry Ransom Center, at The University of Texas at Austin.  (Harry Ransom was another of his many friends.)  The documents digitized on this website can all be found at the Ransom Center.  The entire collection is immense, comprised of over 25,000 prints, 10,000 negatives, 6,000 lantern slides, and a plethora of correspondence and ephemera.   Together, his images offer insight into the active attempt to make Native art available and approachable for broader audiences in the first half of twentieth century.

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