Augustana Art Association records

MSS 202
10 linear inches


Johnson, Alma, 1885-1959
Jasper, A. Ben
Cervin, Dora




There are no restrictions on the use of this collection

Access points:

Augustana College (Rock Island, Ill.). Augustana Art Association.
Johnson, Alma, 1885-1959
Jasper, A. Ben
Cervin, Dora

Finding aid prepared by:

Emily Hughes Dominick, 2007


Augustana College Special Collections
Thomas Tredway Library
639 38th Street
Rock Island, Illinois 61201

Acquisition Information
Historical Note
Scope and Content
System of Arrangement
Box List
Related Collections


The papers were apparently assembled in the scrapbooks by Alma Johnson and other officers of the Association, and probably came into the Archives some time after Johnson retired from the college art department in July 1953. The papers arrived in the Archives at some time prior February 1959. Additional papers were received from A. Ben Jasper, January 10, 1975.



The Augustana Art Association was founded October 26, 1927, at an evening meeting of art enthusiasts in the home of Dr. G. A. Andreen, then president of Augustana College. The founders included Andreen, his wife, and Alma Johnson, an instructor in the art department. The group's purpose, as stated in its constitution, was "to promote art education and aesthetic appreciation by means of exhibits and lectures, and to collect works of art for the beautification of Augustana and for a permanent art collection." The Association consisted primarily of Augustana College faculty and staff but was open to anyone willing to pay dues. At its peak, the group had upwards of 200 members.

The Augustana Art Association can be credited with initiating the Augustana College art collection as well as raising awareness of art on the campus and in the community. The group's major activities included mounting exhibitions, bringing in lecturers, and procuring works of art to add to the Augustana College collection. One of the initial projects of the Association was placing works of art in buildings on campus. The group also maintained a rental library of art reproductions.

In May 1959, due to decreasing interest, the election of officers and Executive Board for the Association was ended, and the leadership of the group fell to the appointment of Board members by the head of the art department. This action put the Association under the de facto control of the College art department, which apparently saw the group's activities as insignificant. By 1966, the group had vanished completely, with no mention of its existence in college publications.



The collection contains articles on the Association's nature, exhibits, and activities. It also contains membership lists, a guest register, minutes, financial records, correspondence, lists of information, and a card file of works of art around the campus.



This collection has been arranged into six series: Administration, Correspondence, Scrapbooks, Exhibitions, Catalog, and Miscellaneous.

The Administration (1927-1960 and undated) series includes lists of members and a register of attendance at exhibits; copies of the proposed constitution and the final approved draft; a binder of minutes of the Executive Committee and regular annual business meeting which included reports, correspondence with President Bergendoff, financial records, and programs; and financial reports, invoices, and license agreements.

The Correspondence (1932-1960) series contains a group of correspondence which was not part of the scrapbooks. A good deal of this material from 1948-1953 deals with Mr. Hedman of the Swedish Club of Chicago, regarding the Club-sponsored exhibits. Another group concerns Arvid Nyholm, artist of an oil painting given to Augustana by Carl R. Chindblom.

The Scrapbooks (1927-1959 and undated) are a major portion of the collection. They include the clippings on all aspects of the Association's activities, biographical notes on artists who exhibited for the Association, correspondence relating to exhibits and lectures, copies of meeting-notices mailed to members, lists of newly-elected Association officers, and other materials which give a running commentary on the activity of the Association.

The Exhibitions (1945-1959 and undated) series contains materials on exhibits, notices sent to members, and possibilities for exhibits. There is information about an exhibition of water color paintings by Prince Eugen of Sweden who was the first member of the royal family to make painting his profession. There are clippings, correspondence, and exhibition catalogs related to this exhibit. Also included in this series are exhibition catalogs of art exhibits sponsored by the Swedish Club of Chicago.

The Catalog (1940-1965 and undated) series includes lists of works of art owned by the association in 1940 and in 1953, a list of Scandinavian artists in America, and a card index of works of art on campus compiled by Mrs. O. Z. Cervin around 1965.

The Miscellaneous (1953-1954 and undated) series consists of labels used by the Augustana Art Association, an information plaque for a work of art, and a booklet about collecting art, and a 12-page booklet that provides a brief overview and history of the Augustana Art Association that was compiled by Ruth Carlson, Alma Johnson, and Loma McDermott in 1953, the 25th anniversary of the Association.



Box 1
            Membership lists, 1927-1959
            Constitution, undated
            Minutes, 1927-1959
            Reports, 1938-1950
            Financial records, 1955-1960

            1932-1960 [2 folders]

            1927-1947 [2 folders]

Box 2
      Scrapbooks (continued)
            1950-1953 [2 folders]
            Loose clippings from scrapbooks, 1948-1959 and undated

            Programs and invitations to Swedish-American art exhibits, 1945-1957
            Exhibition and paintings in watercolor by Prince Eugen of Sweden, 1954
            Guest register, 1947
            Exhibition lists and announcements, 1955-1959 and undated

            Lists of art works and artists, 1940, 1953 and undated
            Lists of works by location on campus, undated
            Card file of art listed with the Augustana Art Association, circa 1965

            Miscellaneous, 1953-1954 and undated



Augustana Department of Art records, MSS 271

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