Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Arrangement of the Collection

Restrictions

Access Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Series 1: Photographs, 1944 - circa 1960s, undated

Series 2: Art work: 1938

Southern Methodist University

Evaline Sellors art work and papers

A Guide to the Collection



Overview

Creator: Sellors, Evaline Clarke
Title: Evaline Sellors art work and papers
Dates: 1910 – circa 1960s
Abstract: Evaline Sellors (1903 – 1995) was an artist and teacher active in the Dallas and Fort Worth area mainly from the 1930s through the 1960s. Primarily known as a sculptor, she also worked in ceramics, mosaics, and stained glass. Her work can be found in museums and private collections in the north Texas area. Sellors was instrumental in helping establish the Fort Worth School of Fine Arts; some of her students later became promotors of modern art in the city and were referred to as “The Fort Worth School.” The collection consists of a photography portfolio containing images of her work and photographs of the individuals who presented Sellors with the portfolio. Two pencil drawings by fellow artist and colleague, Octavio Medellin, made when studying the ruins in Chichén Itzá in 1938, are part of the collection.
Extent: 5.209 linear feet (1 archival box, 1 flat archival box, 2 matted works of art on paper)
Language: Material is in English
Repository Jerry Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

Evaline Clarke Sellors was born in Fort Worth, Texas on August 30, 1903. She began taking art classes at age eight with Christina MacLean, artist and former instructor at Fort Worth University, and later enrolled in the prep school for girls at Texas Women’s College Academy (now Texas Wesleyan College) where she studied with Samuel Ziegler, a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. When she was only 17, her work Still Life was accepted into the exhibition The Eleventh Annual Exhibition of Selected Paintings by Texas Artists at the Fort Worth Museum of Art (now the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth). Sellors continued her studies at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts at Washington University from 1921 to 1923. There she first enrolled in an illustration class but changed to a modeling class taught by Victor Holm. Her work was exhibited at the St. Louis Museum of Fine Arts in 1921 (most likely the exhibition Work by Students of the St. Louis School of Fine Arts, March, 1921). She later enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts where she twice won the William Emlen Cresson scholarship (1929 and 1930) to study sculpture in Europe. Her professors at the academy included the sculptors Charles Allan Grafly, Jr. and Albert Laessle. For several years Sellors exhibited her sculpture at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts - 1928 (Bobby), 1929 (Head), 1931 (Mountain Goat), 1932 (William).

The 1930s was a productive period for Sellors. Upon her return to Fort Worth she rapidly established herself as both an artist and art educator. In 1932 she and fellow artists Blanche McVeigh and Sallie Gillespie established the Texas School of Arts (renamed the Fort Worth School of Fine Arts the following year) to provide professional training in the fine arts to adult students. In 1934, her sculpture Lieutenant-Commander Frank Hawks (World War I pilot and flier of experimental aircraft in the 1920s and 1930s) was exhibited at the National Academy of Design in New York City. In the same year, Sellors was hired by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to create a bronze bust of Al Hayne for the monument named after the Fort Worth hero who saved lives in the Texas Spring Palace fire in 1890. During the Texas Centennial in 1936, Sellors’s work E. M. Dagget was on view at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts (Dagget was one of Fort Worth’s pioneering citizens). Two years later, she was hired by the WPA to create relief sculpture for Fort Worth structures including Farrington Field stadium on University Drive. The figures of the two athletes on the face of the stadium include stylized shapes of a football player and a young girl relay track sprinter. Many have speculated that the football player may have been inspired by Samuel Adrian “`Slingin’ Sammy” Baugh, a TCU football star from 1934 – 1936. Sellors did watch films of Sam Baugh but created her bas-relief sculpture as a typical football player rather than a particular person. Among other works created by Sellors for the WPA is the cast stone plaque of a ‘cubistic’ longhorn installed at Fort Worth’s North Side High School.

With the onset of World War II, the Fort Worth School of Fine Arts closed and Sellors began working at North American Aviation, where she was an instructor in the Pattern Department. She did not, however, abandon her craft. In 1943 Sellors joined artists Dorothy Austin, Octavio Medellin, and Allie Tennant to organize the Texas Sculptors Group, which held its first annual exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts in Fair Park.

After the war, Sellors continued with her sculpture, ceramics, mosaics, and stained glass, accepting commissions from private clients as well as public and religious organizations. Her art can be viewed today at various places in Fort Worth: the Colonial Country Club, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Beth-El Congregation, and the memorial to Al Hayne located close to the downtown area. Sellors exhibited her work extensively during the 1940s through the 1980s. In 1948 The Fort Worth Art Association hosted Sellors’s first solo show at the Fort Worth Public Library gallery, and in 1962 the Association hosted a second solo show at the Fort Worth Art Center. Nationally her work was represented in museums and galleries including the National Ceramic Exhibition (Syracuse, New York), Knoedler Gallery (New York), and the Museum of Contemporary Crafts (now the Museum of Arts and Design in New York). Today her work is represented at numerous museums in Texas including the Amon Carter Museum (Fort Worth), Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Witte Museum (San Antonio).

Throughout her career Sellors taught art classes in both Dallas and Fort Worth, mainly sculpture and ceramics, at the Craft Guild of Dallas, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts School, Dallas Public Evening School, Crozier Technical High School (Dallas), Fort Worth Art Association, Fort Worth Art Center School, and the Fort Worth Children’s Museum. Between 1933 – 1941, Sellors commuted from Fort Worth to Dallas to teach her classes - first on the ‘Interurban’ rail line and then on the bus. In 1946, she was hired by the Fort Worth Art Association to teach clay modeling to elementary students and two years later she began offering ceramic classes to adults. In 1954, the association established a museum art school where Sellors continued to teach until the school was closed in the early 1970s. In 1971, the Craft Guild of Dallas honored Sellors by making her a life-time honorary member for “her long and outstanding contributions to the Guild and to the advancement of the crafts in the Dallas – Fort Worth area.”

Until 1948, Sellors kept a studio in the family home located in east Fort Worth. After the death of her parents, she moved her studio into the garage of her west Fort Worth home until her eyesight began to fail and she could no longer work. She died May 17, 1995.

Sources:

Art Centers, Museums and Special Collections

Jerry Bywaters Collection on Art of the Southwest, Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University (Evaline Sellors archival file)

Old Jail Art Center, Robert E. Nail, Jr. Archives, Albany, Texas, Guide to the Evaline Sellors Papers - http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/ojac/00003/ojac-00003.html

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Washington University Libraries, Special Collections, St. Louis, Missouri

Newspaper articles

Kennedy, Bud. “Farrington Field brings its own masterpieces to Cultural District,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, August 28, 2010.

“Pottery Teacher Honored at Craft Guild Meeting,” Dallas Morning News, May 21, 1971, section A, page 18.

Oral Histories

Earline Baker, Interview with Evaline Sellors, Tarrant County Archives, Fort Worth, Texas, March 1978.

Thesis

Resa C. Oglesby, “History of the Fort Worth Art Association” (Thesis, Texas State College for Women, 1950).

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Evaline Sellors art work and papers collection consists of a photography portfolio, photographs, and art work. The focus of the collection is the photography portfolio that was presented to her by friends and colleagues and contains images of Sellors’s work through the 1960s.

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Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into two series:
Series 1: Photographs
  • Subseries 1: Portfolio, circa 1960s
  • Subseries 2: Photographs, 1944 – circa 1940s-1960s
Series 2: Art work, 1938

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Restrictions

Access to Collection:

Collection is open for research use. Appointment with curatorial staff at Hamon Library is required.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the staff of Jerry Bywaters Special Collections.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

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Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
People
Sellors, Evaline.
Medellin, Octavio, 1907 or 1908-1999.
Subjects
Women artists – Texas – Fort Worth.
Sculpture – Texas – Fort Worth.
Document types
Photographs.
Works of art.

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Related Materials

Collections

Evaline C. Sellors papers, 1915-1980, Archives of American Art: http://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/evaline-c-sellors-papers-10552

Evaline C. Sellors papers, 1915-1980, Archives, Manuscripts, Photographs Catalog, Smithsonian Institution Research Information System: http://siris-archives.si.edu/ipac20/ipac.jsp?uri=full=3100001~!214026!0

Esther Webb Houseman art work and papers, Bywaters Special Collections, Southern Methodist University: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/smu/00102/smu-00102.html

Evaline Sellors papers, The Old Jail Art Center, Albany, Texas: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/ojac/00003/ojac-00003.html

Fort Worth Public Art Collection: http://www.fwpublicart.org/nu_site/page.php/id/collection

Octavio Medellin art work and papers, Bywaters Special Collections, Southern Methodist University: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/smu/00272/smu-00272.html

SMU Digital Collections

Texas Artists: Paintings, Sculpture, and Works on Paper digital collections, Southern Methodist University: http://digitalcollections.smu.edu/all/cul/tar/

Octavio Medellin digital collection, Bywaters Special Collections: http://digitalcollections.smu.edu/all/cul/med/

Published Works

One book, The McWhirter Sketch Book, was removed from the collection and catalogued. It can be found in the SMU online catalog using the search string, “Part of the Evaline Sellors Collection.”

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred Citation: Evaline Sellors art work and papers, Jerry Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University

Acquisition Information

Gifts, Lydia S. Hughes, 1995, and Josephine Keller, 1995.

Processing Information

Evaline Sellors art work and papers were donated in two parts in 1995. The contents of each gift were divided into separate archival files for photographs and housed in archival boxes. The works of art on paper were conserved and matted into archival mats and stored in archival museum cases. The photography portfolio is housed in a flat archival box.

Finding aid written by

Ellen Buie Niewyk, 2016.

Encoded by

Ada Negraru, 2016.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Photographs, 1944 - circa 1960s, undated

Subseries 1: Photography portfolio, circa 1960s
The photography portfolio contains 53 photographs of Evaline Sellors and her work (one plate is not numbered and no. 29 is missing; the total count should be 54). Title and information listed is taken from the frontispiece in the portfolio (owner information is not included for privacy purposes). Some of the titles listed in the portfolio are italicized. One card that accompanied the photography presentation to Evaline Sellors and signed by her friends is included with the portfolio.
Box Plate
Flat Box 1 1 Evaline
2-3 Ode to a Cotton Picker (terra cotta)
4 Eve (sandstone, 1948)
5 Bird and Eggs (stone and granite, 1959)
6 Winter (limestone, 1947)
7 Alfred Hayne – Hero of Spring Palace Fire
8 E. M Daggett (bronze, 1934)
9 Athletic figure (football player), Farrington Field Stadium
10 Athletic figure (runner), Farrington Field Stadium
11-12 A Song (bronze)
13 Children (terra cotta)
14 Blue Hyacinth (terra cotta, 1940)
15 Phillip Morrison (plaster)
16 Marvin Leonard (bronze)
17 George Beggs (bronze)
18 Edward M. Sellors (plaster)
19 Kate Johnson (bronze, 1960)
20 Sheila Johnson (bronze)
21 Karen Johnson (bronze)
22 Stone rabbit
23 Owl (granite, 1953)
24 Flower pot (terra cotta)
25 Fawns playing (small ceramic)
26 Head (marble relief, 1961)
27 Garden figure (terra cotta)
28 Walking figure (terra cotta, 1936)
29 Small head (terra cotta) – missing
30 Lorelei (terra cotta with glaze)
31 Head (plaster)
32 Girl with bird
33 The Family (terra cotta)
34 Bowl and vase
35 Father and Son (terra cotta, 1956)
36 West Seventh Street (bronze)
37 Sand casting
38 Bear (walnut)
39 Little Red Hen (terra cotta, 1948)
40 Stoneware pot with ash glaze, National Merit Award winner in “South Central Craftsmen, USA, ‘66”
41 Sand casting
42 Brahma (terra cotta, 1962)
43 unidentified – image of an animal (perhaps a brahma bull or water buffalo)
44-53 Fourteen Stations of the Cross, Saint Andrew’s Catholic Church (Fort Worth)
54 unidentified – appears to be another image from Saint Andrew’s Catholic Church
Subseries 2: Photographs, circa 1940s-1960s, undated
The Photographs contain 51 photographs of Evaline Sellors, her family, Octavio Medellin, her sculpture, and students. Many of the photographs were taken at a social event when Sellors was presented the hand-made photography portfolio of her work (Subseries 1).
Box Folder
1 1 1940s – 1950s
Black and white photograph, 1944, Sue (Hughes) Brown, Octavio Medellin, Instructor, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts School.
1 black and white photograph, Octavio Medellin working on his sculpture in his studio in Grand Prairie, Texas, c. 1945 (appears to be the sculpture entitled Genoveva).
3 black and white photographs, circa 1950s, Octavio Medellin with students and Evaline Sellors at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts School.
2 1962, circa 1960s
5 black and white and 2 color photographs of Evaline Sellors with her bust of Octavio Medellin, Octavio Medellin, students, and her sculpture.
3 1966
1 color photograph, Glen Wood Canyon, Oct. 1966, Evaline Sellors and Lydia Hughes (sister).
1 color photograph, Nov. 1966, Hughes patio, Taos, N.M. (additional information about Lydia Hughes: In the 1960s, Lydia Hughes and her husband, Herbert, ran the only frame shop in Taos, N.M.).
4 Circa 1960s (1 of 2)
22 black and white photographs of friends presenting Evaline Sellors the handmade portfolio containing photographs of her and her sculpture and ceramics made through the years. Individuals in the photographs, aside from Sellors, include Bill Bomar, Sue (Hughes) Brown, Sam B. Cantey, III, Betsy Cantey (Mrs. Sam B. Cantey, III), Emily Guthrie Smith, Jim McWhirter, and Bror Utter.
5 Circa 1960 (2 of 2)
6 black and white photographs of made during the presentation of the handmade photography portfolio of Sellors and her sculpture made throughout her career. Individuals in the photographs, including Sellors, are Sue (Hughes) Brown, Mamie Friedman (Mrs. Harry B. Friedman), Jim McWhirter, and Bror Utter.
6 Undated, miscellaneous photographs
9 black and white photos, various images of house construction, pet,friends or family members (unidentified) landscape scene.

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Series 2: Art work: 1938

Art work consists of two pencil drawings made by Sellors’s friend and colleague, Octavio Medellin, when he was studying the ruins at Chichén Itzá (Yucatán) in 1938.
Case
Museum Case A-VII-1 Medellin, Octavio, untitled, (Temple of the Tigers, Chichén Itzá), Pencil Drawing, 1938, ES.95.1
Case
Museum Case A-VII-2 Medellin, Octavio, untitled, (Temple of the Tigers, Chichén Itzá; written on bottom of drawing: detail no. 4 and 5 for carving from the Temple of the Tigers - Yucatán), Pencil Drawing, 1938, ES.95.2

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