John Ellsworth Weis (1892-1962) Collection (CAA/30)


Title:
John Ellsworth Weis (1892-1962) Collection
Repository:
Cincinnati Art Museum Archives
Creator:
Weis, John Ellsworth , 1892-1962
Dates:
1917-2005
Quantity:
Quantity: 2 cubic feet
Abstract:
A collection of materials relating to Cincinnati artist John E. Weis.
Identification:
CAA/30
Language:
English

Biographical/Historical note

John Ellsworth Weis was born in Clay City, Kentucky, in 1892, but spent his early years in Higginsport, Ohio. He came to the Art Academy of Cincinnati at age 15, and would study under Frank Duveneck, Lewis Meakin, James R. Hopkins, and Herman Wessel. He went on to teach drawing and painting at the Academy beginning in 1918, shortly before he went to fight in the First World War in Europe; on his return, he would teach at the Academy until his retirement in 1957.

Weis' second trip to Europe was as an artist. In the years since the war, he had been busy with portraits, figure painting, still-lifes, landscapes, as well as his teaching commitments. But in 1921 a patron provided funds which Weis shared with fellow artist Frank Myer; this allowed them to travel together to France. The two artists painted in Brittany, and visited the museum and galleries of Paris, as well as exhibiting in the great Salon of Paris.

During the 1920s, Weis' reputation grew swiftly. He considered portrait painting his true vocation and received many commissions, but also painted seascapes, landscapes, flower paintings and still-lifes. His exhibitions were critically and financially successful, and he would spend his summers painting in Taos, Rockport or Maine.

In 1925 he married Sarabelle Gilbert, known as Sallie. She had been one of his students, and would later become a teacher at the College of Applied Arts at the University of Cincinnati. In 1930,the two of them took a trip to southern France, along with another artist, Jake Kunz. They brought back a Siamese cat, Riri, and were dedicated cat lovers from that point.

Into the 1930s and 1940s, Weis would constantly experiment in his work; he did not like to be pigeon-holed and rebelled against things that he could do easily.

Weis was a member of Cincinnati Art Club, as well as President from 1927-1928. He also belonged to the Duveneck Society of Painters and Sculptors, the MacDowell Society of Cincinnati, and Valley of the Moon Society of Painters.

He died on Dec 9, 1962.

Scope and Contents note

A collection of materials relating to Cincinnati artist John E. Weis. The collection consists of materials relating both to his personal life as well as his professional art career.

Conditions Governing Access note

Please see the Cincinnati Art Museum Archives Access Policy.

Art Academy of Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Art Club.
Duveneck, Frank, 1848-1919
Hopkins, James R., 1877-1969
Meakin, Lewis Henry, 1850-1917
Wessel, Herman, 1878-

Preferred Citation note

Cincinnati Art Museum Archives, Cincinnati, OH.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Some of the items amongst this collection were originally part of the CAM Library artist file for Weis. They have been combined with other materials, which originally belonged to the artist, donated by a local collector. Materials that were part of the Library's artist file are noted.

Detailed List of Collection



Personal Papers, 1920-1968, undated




Biographical Information, including details of his painting class at the Art Academy, undated

Scope and Content
This file includes a biography that reads as a tribute from the Cincinnati Art Club, though this is not explicitly stated; this was originally part of Weis' Library artist file. Also included is information on the classes he taught at the Art Academy.

Box 1 / Folder 2
Photographs of Weis and other [family?] photographs, 1930, 1937, 1940, 1943, undated

Quantity: 1 file



Box OVERSIZE
Album of photographs of Weis, his wife, and friends; includes images taken at the Art Academy, on painting trips to Taos Pueblo, the East Coast, and Europe, and showing Weis portrait painting, 1920s-1930s

Quantity: 1 volume




Correspondence, 1963, 1968


Box 1 / Folder 3
Empty envelope for letter sent by Mrs. Walter F. Meyer to Weis (Jan 8, 1963), 1963

Quantity: 1.0 item

Box 1 / Folder 3
Letter from the office of President Lyndon B. Johnson to Sallie Weis thanking her for a book of her husband's poetry (Jan 5, 1968), 1968

Quantity: 1.0 item



Box 1 / Folder 3
Empty envelope for letter sent by Mrs. Walter F. Meyer to Weis (Jan 8, 1963), 1963

Quantity: 1.0 item



Box 1 / Folder 3
Letter from the office of President Lyndon B. Johnson to Sallie Weis thanking her for a book of her husband's poetry (Jan 5, 1968), 1968

Quantity: 1.0 item






Creative Writing, 1964, undated

Box 1 / Folder 4
"Arrival: A Collection of Poems by John E. Weis"; hardcover volume published in a limited edition of 1000 copies, 1964

Quantity: 1 file

Immediate Source of Acquisition note Originally from the CAM Library artist file for Weis.

Box 1 / Folder 6 / Box 1
Typescript copies (with manuscript annotations) of "Arrival", poetry by Weis, undated

Quantity: 2 files

Scope and Content: The materials in Folder 6 were originally contained in a three-ring binder bearing the seal of the University of Cincinnati - see OVERSIZE box.


Box 1 / Folder 7
"Home Sickness Blues"; handwritten poem by Weis, with pencil illustrations, undated

Quantity: 1 file






Funeral Papers, 1962

Box 1 / Folder 8
"Funeral Record"; book containing details of Mr' Weis' funeral arrangement, including some biographical details, as well as lists of mourners and of floral tributes received, 1962

Quantity: 1 file



Box 1 / Folder 9
Funeral "eulogy", including extracts from a poem by Weis; read by Cincinnati Art Club member Ernest Haswell, 1962

Quantity: 1 file



Box 1 / Folder 10
Cards from floral tributes received, 1962

Quantity: 1 file



Box 1 / Folder 11
Condolence cards and letters received by Sallie Weis, 1962

Quantity: 1 file






Miscellaneous, 1920-c.1929, undated

Box 1 / Folder 12
Program for MacDowell Society play in which Mr. Weis performed (Apr 21, 1920), 1920

Quantity: 1 file



Box 1 / Folder 13
Photograph of Martin Fischer, signed "To John and Sallie, because they like it - I don't. Somewhere about 1929, Martin Fischer", c.1929

Quantity: 1.0 item



Box 1 / Folder 13
Print of a self-caricature [?] by Miguel Covarrubias, signed "To Johnnie and Sallie" by Covarrubias [?], undated

Quantity: 1.0 item



Box 1 / Folder 14
"'Rock Bottom: of the Arts"; an essay by Sallie Weis, undated

Quantity: 1 file




Professional Papers, 1917-2005




Exhibition announcements, invitations and catalogs, 1917-2005


Immediate Source of Acquisition note
Some of the exhibition related materials originally came from the CAM Library artist file for Weis; these are stamped as such.




Examples of Artwork, 1928, 1948, undated

Box 1 / Folder 16
1928 calendar, produced by Hughes High School printing class, featuring a reproduction of a painting by Weis, "A House in Rockport", 1928

Quantity: 1 file



Box 1 / Folder 17
Christmas cards designed by Weis, 1948, undated

Quantity: 1 file



Box 1 / Folder 18
Self-portrait sketch by John Weis [?], ink on board (6x5), undated

Quantity: 1 file



Box OVERSIZE
Portfolio of reproductions of portraits by Weis; bound in album bearing the name "John E. Weis", undated

Quantity: 1 volume



Box 2 / Folder 1 / Box OVERSIZE
Photographs of portraits by John E. Weis, undated

Quantity: 2 files



Box 2 / Folder 2
Photographs of landscape, still life and other paintings by John E. Weis, undated

Quantity: 1 file



Box 2 / Folder 3
Photograph of unknown male sitting for portrait [?], undated

Quantity: 1 file






Newspaper Clippings, relating to Weis' careers and works, 1912-1970s, undated


Immediate Source of Acquisition note
Some of the newspaper clippings originally came from the CAM Library artist file for Weis; these are stamped as such.

Box 2 / Folder 4
Clippings, 1912-1929, 1912-1929

Quantity: 1 file



Box 2 / Folder 5
Clippings, 1930s, 1930s

Quantity: 1 file



Box 2 / Folder 6
Clippings, 1940s-1960s, 1940s-1960s

Quantity: 1 file



Box 2 / Folder 7
Clippings, 1970s, 1970s

Quantity: 1 file



Box 2 / Folder 8
Clippings, undated, undated

Quantity: 1 file



Box OVERSIZE
Scrapbook of clippings, 1920s-1930s, 1920s-1930s

Quantity: 1 volume