Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Collection Summary

Biographical Sketch of Raoul Josset

Scope and Content of the collection

Restrictions

Index Terms

Administrative Information

References to works by or about Raoul Josset (1899-1957)

Description of Series

Series A : Correspondence

Series A1 : Personal Correspondence

Series A2 : Business Correspondence

Series A3 : Posthumous Correspondence about Josset

Series A4 : Correspondence by Jose Martin (Josset's assistant)

Series B : Personal Papers

Series C : Office Files

Series D : Job Files

Series E Professional Associations

Series F : Clippings

Series G : Printed Material

Series H : Photographs

Series H1 : Personal Photographs

Series H2 : Project Photographs

Series I : Models

University of Texas, Alexander Architectural Archive

Raoul Josset:

An Inventory of his Records and Photographs, 1927-1967



Collection Summary

Creator: Josset, Raoul, 1899-1957
Title: Raoul Josset (1899-1957) Archival records and photographs, Public Art Commissions
Dates: 1927-1967
Abstract: Josset (1899-1957) was a French sculptor who immigrated to the United States in the late 1920s, lived in northern Texas and worked with Dallas architect Donald Nelson. The collection includes correspondence, personal papers, office files, job files, professional association material, newspaper clippings, printed material (together measuring 2.5 linear feet) and 206 photographs document Josset's career as a sculptor from 1927-1967.
Identification: JOS Accession number(s): 1986008, Received as part of the Donald Nelson collection
Quantity: 2.5 linear feet of manuscript material, 206 photographs, 22 negatives
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Alexander Architectural Archive, The University of Texas at Austin.

Biographical Sketch of Raoul Josset

The following paragraphs are excerpts from Raoul Josset's (1899-1957) obituary, written by Jack Sheridan in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. The clipping is undated. Josset died on June 29, 1957 and one would assume that it was printed in a timely manner.

"...Raoul Josset was born in France and received his early training at the Beaux Arts School, the Lycee of Lyons and Paris and studied under the noted Antoine Bourdelle. In his working time in France he created more than 15 memorials between 1920 and 1926. It was then that he turned his eyes to the United States.

In 1933 he executed two 45-foot Indians in grey granite for the pylons of the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge in Vincennes, Ind. There were two major works in Chicago the following year. He then came to Texas where he created the Statues of the Spirit of the Centennial, 16 feet high; the statues of the United States, France and Mexico, all 20 feet in cast stone, made for the Texas Centennial which stand in pride today in State Fair Park.

Much of Josset's finest work can be viewed in Texas. The superb Refugio Memorial to Captain King, standing 30 feet in bronze and granite; the statue at Washington on the Brazos, bronze statue of George Childress, eight feet; the Goliad Memorial, 30 feet in granite; and 20 bronze plaques for Texas counties.

There is a Josset masterwork at Lavaca where the 30-foot statue of Cavalier de la Salle in granite has been hailed as one of his finest.

Thousands of Texans and out-of-state visitors have marveled at the stone bas-relief 75 feet by 7 feet high, representing the Construction of the Temple of Solomon for the Waco Grand Lodge Masonic Temple.

In 1940-1943 he executed a bronze statue of Gen. Lafayette which stands on the Esplanade of the Philadelphia Museum of Fine Arts. This work was commissioned as the result of Josset's winning a national competition. In the competition for the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. Josset often remarked with a rueful smile, "I ran second."

Prizes and distinguished honors come to the little Frenchman who became an American citizen in 1934 and a Texan not so long after that. He was made an Associate Member of the National Academy of Design in 1954, one of the highest honors to be bestowed on an artist in the United States. He was awarded the Rome Prize in 1923; the Prix Paris in 1924-25-26.

Speaking of art in his adopted state Josset once said: `There is so much development to be done in Texas with fine arts. There is money and enthusiasm here and the people know what they want. Instead of grotesque fads in art that are so unfortunately present in much of today's work, Texans seek things with meaning and simple beauty for their homes and their appreciation. They choose with an eye of permanence, thinking in terms of years, generations, maybe forever.'

Those who know his St. Francis are moved by the deep simplicity of the work. The bowed head and the flow of the saint's robe symbolize the soft, gentle nature of St. Francis. There is overall the power of the purity of lines that is at once an invitation and the reception of renewed strength.

`Purity of line is the most important thing,' Josset said. `In all forms of sculpture preceding the Gothic period there were magnificent works, true. They were monumental, proud and solid representations of the individual gods. It was the Gothic who brought the purity of line to their work. It was the Gothic who taught the stone to pray."

This much for the greatness of the artist and his accomplishments. What of the man himself? Josset was a small man, his hair curly and his face somewhat like that of a mischievous cherub. As he talked in his rapid French accent, his hands constantly engaged in the interplay of punctuation. He was a man proud of his work, not vain and boastful, but sure and dedicated. He loved to tell stories of his amours. His laugh was infectious and his delight in a good audience knew no bounds. In a way, he was like a kind of Don Camillo, saintly in a manner with a dash of Gallic earthiness to spice the world around him.

The last time I saw Raoul Josset was during an after-opera gathering in a home in Dallas in May. There were only a few guests present in a large room. At the end of the room was a slightly raised platform on which stood a grand piano. Someone was playing the piano that night and Raoul, already a sick man, was persuaded to get up on the little stage and sing a French song. That he did. He sang and danced a little step as he sang. The song was "Madelon."

I'll never hear "Madelon" again so long as I live that the image of a great artist and a good, warm friend will not be comfortingly vivid and live at my side.

Life has many trials and vexations and a few honest privileges. It has been an honor personally to have known Raoul Josset as a friend; Texas has been privileged to receive the fruits of his artistry to hold for all time in heritage."

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Scope and Content of the collection

Correspondence, personal papers, office files, job files, professional association material, newspaper clippings, printed material (together measuring 2.5 linear feet), 206 photographs, 22 negatives, and 3 models document the career of sculptor, Raoul Josset (1899-1957). The record group covers the period from 1927 to 1967. Information about Josset's sculpture, including correspondence, job files and the photographs constitute the bulk of the material.

Correspondence both personal and business recounts Josset's struggle to promote the art of sculpture in his adopted country.

Job files consist of client correspondence, receipts, sketches and newspaper clippings. These files illustrate the creative process of the sculptures Josset produced.

The photograph series contains a few portraits of Raoul Josset but the majority of the images show his sculptural works including some of his more important commissions such as sculptures and memorials for the Texas Centennial, a bas relief for the Masonic Grand Lodge Temple in Waco and the statue of General Lafayette in Philadelphia. Models include a Hockey Player and two busts of Edgar A. Poe.

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Access is by appointment only to any serious scholar. Rolled materials must be flattened before viewing. A three day advance notice is required to flatten rolled materials. Portions of this collection are not processed and may not be accessible.

Restrictions on Use

Permission for publication is given on behalf of the University of Texas as the owner of the collection and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder which must be obtained by the researcher. For more information please see the Alexander Architectural Archive's Use Policy.

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Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the University of Texas Online Catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Persons:
Josset, Raoul, 1899-1957--Archives.
Subjects:
Texas Centennial (1936: Dallas, Tex.)--Sculpture.
Memorials--Texas.
Sculpture--Texas.
Goliad Memorial (Texas)
LaGrange Memorial (Texas)
Refugio Memorial to Captain King (Texas)
Construction of the Temple of Solomon (Waco, Tex.)--Bas-relief.
Public sculpture--Texas.
Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier marquis de, 1757-1834--Statues--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia.
Document types:
Photoprints.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Raoul Josset (1899-1957) Archival records and photographs, 1927-1967, Public Art Commissions, the Alexander Architectural Archive, the General Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin

Processing Information

Nancy Sparrow, April 1993.

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Other Finding Aids

Unpublished inventory in Archive.

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References to works by or about Raoul Josset (1899-1957)

Commission of Control for Texas Centennial Celebration. Monuments Commemorating the Centenary of Texas Independence. Austin: Steck Company Publishers, 1939.

Crocker, Elisabeth. "Dallas Will Have New Josset Work." Dallas Journal (March 2, 1938): p. 7.

Dillon, Dennis. Dallas Architecture 1936-1986. Dallas: Texas Monthly Press, 1985.

[Obituary]. Dallas Morning News (June 30, 1957): p. 1.

Sheridan, Jack. "Sculptor Executes Work of St. Francis of Assisi." Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (January 30, 1955): p. 7.

Sheridan, Jack. "Texas Mourns Tragic Loss of Raoul Josset, Sculptor." Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (July 21, 1957): p. 15.

Smith, Priscilla. "The Texas Centennial Itself is an Embodiment of Fine Art." Art Digest (June 1, 1936): p. 26.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

 

Series A : Correspondence

Series Abstract
The Correspondence series contains sub series for personal correspondence, business correspondence, posthumous correspondence, and correspondence with Josset's assistant Jose Martin. Both personal and business correspondence recounts Josset's struggle to promote the art of sculpture in his adopted country. Files are arranged in chronological order.

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Series A1 : Personal Correspondence

box folder
1 1 Correspondence, undated
2 March 14, 1927-1947
3 1950-1953
4 1954-1955
5 1956- June 19, 1957

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Series A2 : Business Correspondence

box folder
1 6 Correspondence, undated
7 December 16, 1936-1948
8 1942
9 1947-1950
10 1951-1953
11 1954-1956
12 1957-July 8, 1957

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Series A3 : Posthumous Correspondence about Josset

box folder
1 13 Correspondence, undated
14 (includes notes about Josset written by Jose Martin to Donald Nelson) 1957-1967

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Series A4 : Correspondence by Jose Martin (Josset's assistant)

box folder
1 15 Two letters to Donald Nelson concerning the addition of plaques to the Grand Lodge Masonic Temple in Waco, and one watercolor

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Series B : Personal Papers

Series Abstract
The Personal Papers series consists of writings, sketches, official papers, biographical information, and financial documents.
box folder
1 16 Josset's Musings (similar to journal entries)
17 Sketches
18 Naturalization Papers, Marriage License, Will
box folder
5 1 National Academy of Design certificate
box folder
1 19 Biographical Information, including obituaries and a fold-out with reproductions of Josset's sculpture and a description of those works [1 of 2]
20 Biographical Information, including obituaries [2 of 2]
box folder
2 1 Information for Who's Who entry
2 Nutritional Information
3 Income Tax Information 1950, 1952-1954
4 Income Tax Information 1956
5 Bills and receipts [1 of 2]
6 Bills and receipts [2 of 2]

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Series C : Office Files

Series Abstract
The Office Files series includes material that support the running of an architectural office, such as address books, business cards and stationary, exhibition material, and references to companies.
box folder
2 7 Addresses [1 of 2]
8 Addresses [2 of 2]
9 Business cards, stationary
10 Estimates
11 Exhibitions
12 Exhibitions - 3rd International Exhibition of Sculpture (1949)
13 Instructions for plaster casting
14 Labels for Sculptures
15 New York Medallic Art Co.

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Series D : Job Files

Series Abstract
Job files consist of client correspondence, photographs, receipts, sketches and newspaper clippings. These files illustrate the creative process of the sculptures Josset produced.
box folder
3 1 [Unidentified] includes 8×10 photograph
2 Cavelier de la Salle, Lavaca
3 Christ and the Woman at the Well of Samaria
4 Discus Thrower
5 Edgar Allen Poe Head
6 Erastus Deaf Smith Statue, Hereford
7 George Childress, Washington
8 Lafayette, Philadelphia [1 of 2]
9 Lafayette, Philadelphia [2 of 2]
10 LaGrange Memorial
11 Memorial Masonic Grand Lodge Temple, Waco
12 Park Cities Baptist Church, Dallas
13 Rayburn Library, Bonham
14 St. Francis of Assisi (Mrs. W.D. Green)
15 St. Francis of Assisi (Mrs. W.D. Green)
16 St. Francis of Assisi (E.J. Muth)
17 Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children
18 Shot putter
19 Texas Centennial
20 Texas Centennial - Sam Houston statue
21 Ula Girl
22 William D. Green Jr. Memorial Park, Wilson

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Series E Professional Associations

Series Abstract
The Professional Associations series contains documents reflecting associations associated with the arts.
box folder
3 23 American Federation of Arts
24 National Academy of Design
25 National Sculpture Society

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Series F : Clippings

Series Abstract
The Clippings series contains files of clippings dated from 1942 to 1957.
box folder
4 1 Clippings, undated
2 November 1942- August 1957

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Series G : Printed Material

Series Abstract
The Printed Material series contains publications including journals, Congressional Records, the Texas Centennial Central Exposition illumination, and arts supplies lists.
box folder
4 3 Alexander's Sculptural Supply (price list)
4 Art Digest; June 1, 1936
5 [Brochures]
6 Congressional Record
7 European Affairs, no. 11
8 Illumination of Texas Centennial Central Exposition
9 M. Martini: importer of finest Italian sculpting, modeling, and ceramic steel tools (price list)
10 Official Guide: Book of the Fair, [Chicago World's Fair] 1933
11 Painters in Oil - Abbreviated Biographies

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Series H : Photographs

Series Abstract
The Photographs series includes two subgroups: Personal Photographs and Project Photographs. The Personal Photographs subgroup contains a few portraits of Raoul Josset. The majority of the images are found in the Project Photographs subgroup which show his sculptural works including some of his more important commissions such as sculptures and memorials for the Texas Centennial, a bas relief for the Masonic Grand Lodge Temple in Waco and the statue of General Lafayette in Philadelphia. Project photographs are arranged in alphabetical order by project name.
box folder
5 2 [Damaged photographs]

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Series H1 : Personal Photographs

box folder
5 3 Unidentified people and pets
4 Family photographs originally filed with letters from Raymond Josset (brother)
5 Passport Photographs - Raoul Josset

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Series H2 : Project Photographs

box folder
5 6 Unidentified Project Photographs
7 Cameron County Memorial
8 Cavelier de la Salle Memorial, Lavaca
9 Cavelier de la Salle Memorial, Lavaca
10 Cavelier de la Salle Memorial, Lavaca
11 Cavelier de la Salle Memorial, Lavaca
12 Cavelier de la Salle Memorial, Lavaca
13 Cavelier de la Salle Memorial, Lavaca
14 Christ of Jussey, Aisne, France
15 Christ in Church of Roupy, Aisne, France
16 Commemorative Monument [War Memorial Fours, France 1914-1918],
17 Dancing Girl
18 Discus thrower
19 Diving Girl
20 Diving Girl
21 Dog and Deer
22 Excelsior, New York World's Fair
23 George Childress, Washington
24 George Childress, Washington
25 George Childress, Washington
26 George Childress, Washington
27 George Rogers Clark Memorial, Vincennes, Ind.
28 George Rogers Clark Memorial, Vincennes, Ind.
29 George Rogers Clark Memorial, Vincennes, Ind.
30 George Rogers Clark Memorial, Vincennes, Ind.
31 George Rogers Clark Memorial, Vincennes, Ind.
32 Goliad Memorial, Goliad
33 Goliad Memorial, Goliad
34 Goliad Memorial, Goliad
35 Ice Hockey Player "The Goalie"
36 Ice Hockey Player "The Goalie"
37 Ice Hockey Player "The Goalie"
38 Ice Hockey Player "The Goalie"
39 Lafayette, Philadelphia
40 Lafayette (not by Josset)
41 LaGrange Memorial
42 LaGrange Memorial
43 LaGrange Memorial
44 LaGrange Memorial
45 LaGrange Memorial
box folder
6 1 MacKenzie Trail Memorial, Plainview
2 MacKenzie Trail Memorial, Plainview
3 MacKenzie Trail Memorial, Plainview
4 MacKenzie Trail Memorial, Plainview
5 Madonna and Child
6 Madonna and Child
7 Memorial Masonic Grand Lodge Temple, Waco
8 Montague County Memorial
9 Monument of the Dead [War Memorial Aisne, France 1914-1918]
10 Refugio Memorial
11 Refugio Memorial
12 Refugio Memorial
13 Refugio Memorial
14 Refugio Memorial
13 Refugio Memorial
15 Refugio Memorial
16 Refugio Memorial
17 St. Francis of Assisi (Green)
18 St. Francis of Assisi (Muth)
19 Shelby County Plaque
20 Shot putter
21 Shot Putter
22 Shot Putter
23 Sundial
24 Texas Centennial Fair Park - buildings
25 Texas Centennial Fair Park - [Statue of] Sam Houston
26 Texas Centennial Fair Park - [Statue of] France
27 Texas Centennial Fair Park - [Statue of] France
28 Texas Centennial Fair Park - [Statue of] France
29 Texas Centennial Fair Park - [Statue of] Mexico
30 Texas Centennial Fair Park - [Statue of the] Spirit of the Centennial
31 Texas Centennial Fair Park - [Statue of the] Spirit of the Centennial
32 Texas Centennial Fair Park - [Statue of the] Spirit of the Centennial
33 Texas Centennial Fair Park - [Statue of the] Spirit of the Centennial
34 Texas Centennial Fair Park - [Statue of the] Spirit of the Centennial
35 Texas Centennial Fair Park - [Statue of] the United States
36 Texas Centennial Fair Park - [Statue of] the United States
37 Texas Centennial Fair Park - [Statue of] the United States
38 Ula girl
39 Ula girl
40 Ula girl
41 Washington, George (not by Josset). Originally filed with the Lafayette Job File.

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Series I : Models

Series Abstract
The Models series contains two subjects: an ice hockey goalie and Edgar Allen Poe.
Ice Hockey Player "The Goalie"
Two Edgar Allen Poe busts

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