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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.
|Size||16.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 12,000 items)|
|Abstract||North Carolina landscape painter Francis Speight (1896-1989) and his wife, Sarah Blakeslee Speight (1912-2005), landscape and portrait painter. Francis Speight spent many years on the faculty of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and as artist-in-residence at East Carolina University. He was best known for his paintings of Manayunk, a working-class community just outside Philadelphia. The collection includes correspondence, financial and legal materials, clippings, writings, pictures (both sketches and photographs), and other papers relating to the Speights. Subgroup 1 consists of materials that relate primarily to Francis Speight's teaching career, chiefly at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and to his relations with other artists, art organizations, and art dealers. It also includes material relating to the Speights as a couple. Also included are materials relating to Francis Speight's family. Subgroup 2 contains materials primarily relating to Sarah Blakeslee Speight, including correspondence, pictures (chiefly sketches), and other papers. Correspondence is divided between general correspondence and letters exchanged between Sarah and her long-time friend, anti-war and anti-nuclear activist Margaret Goddard Holt (1911-2004) of Massachusetts. Also included is a small amount of material relating to the Blakeslee family. Additions contain materials similar to those received earlier.|
|Creator||Speight, Francis, 1896- .
Speight, Sarah Blakeslee, 1912- .
The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.
Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.
Landscape painter Francis Speight was born 11 September 1896 in Windsor, Bertie County, N.C., the son of Margaret Sharrock Cobb Speight and the Reverend Thomas T. Speight, a Baptist preacher. As a boy, he was an energetic farm worker, but always displayed an aptitude for writing and drawing. In 1915, Speight enrolled at Wake Forest College and began taking art lessons at Meredith College from Ida Poteat.
In 1920, Speight enrolled at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C., and later went on to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he studied under American impressionist Daniel Garber. Speight joined the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts faculty in 1925 and conducted painting and design classes there, either during regular sessions or in summer school programs, until 1979. It was at the Academy that he met Sarah Blakeslee, whom he married in 1936. The Speights had two children, Thomas Blakeslee (Tom) (1939/40?- ) and Elisabeth Sharrock (1943- ).
During the 1920s and 1930s, Francis Speight began painting the hilly, blue collar neighborhoods of Manayunk, Pa. It is for these landscapes, depicting the rolling hills just outside Philadelphia, that he is best known. The Speights moved to North Carolina in 1961, when Francis took up the post of artist-in-residence at East Carolina University. He held this position until 1976.
Francis Speight received many honors during his lifetime, including honorary doctorates from Wake Forest University and Holy Cross College, the Academy Gold Medal of Honor from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the North Carolina Medal of Achievement in the Fine Arts, and the O. Max Gardner Award from the University of North Carolina. He died on 14 November 1989.
Sarah Blakeslee Speight, who was also an artist, was born in Evanston, Ill., on 13 January 1912. As a child, she studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. Later, she studied at the Corcoran School of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Her paintings have been shown in numerous exhibits, and she was honored with several prestigious prizes, including the North Carolina Medal of Achievement in the Fine Arts. While she earned a reputation as an important North Carolina landscape painter, she is perhaps best known for her portraits, especially those of children.
After her husband's death, Sarah Blakeslee Speight continued painting for many years. In 1998, she moved back to Philadelphia to be near her daughter. She died on 12 January 2005.Back to Top
Correspondence, financial and legal materials, clippings, writings, pictures (both sketches and photographs), and other papers of artists Francis Speight and Sarah Blakeslee Speight of Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Subgroup 1 consists of materials that relate primarily to Francis Speight's teaching career, chiefly at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and to his relations with other artists, art organizations, and art dealers. It also includes material relating to the Speights as a couple. Also included are materials relating to Francis Speight's family. Subgroup 2 contains materials primarily relating to Sarah Blakeslee Speight, including correspondence, pictures (chiefly sketches), and other papers. Correspondence is divided between general correspondence and letters exchanged between Sarah and her long-time friend, anti-war and anti-nuclear activist Margaret Goddard Holt of Massachusetts. Also included is a small amount of material relating to the Blakeslee family. Additions contain materials similar to those received earlier. Additions are organized in the same way as, but are not incoporated into, the original deposit, and a few subseries were added.Back to Top
Correspondence relating to Francis Speight or to both Francis Speight and Sarah Blakeslee Speight. Correspondence related only to Sarah Blakeslee Speight is filed in Subgroup 2, Series 8.
See also additions after May 1991.
The earliest letters are to and from Francis Speight as a child; some of these bear annotations added by Francis at a later date. Letters, 1915-1918, include a few from Francis, a student at Wake Forest College, to his sister Tulie. In the early 1920s, letters show Francis's interest in writing, particularly his dabblings in poetry. By the mid-1920s, however, topics center around art and painting, particularly in letters between Francis and Tulie, who was studying painting in Paris, and between Francis and his life long friends, brothers Cyril and Walter Gardner. There are a few letters from the short time Francis spent as a student at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., but, by the mid-1920s, Francis was firmly committed to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 1925-1926, there are journal-like letters from Francis to Walter Gardner that record Francis's observations on art and travel during an extended European sojourn (see also Series 3). In the late 1920s, many letters document the beginnings of Francis's association with arts organizations (like the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh), galleries (particularly the Museum of Art at Pennsylvania State University), and art dealers (like the Milch Galleries in New York City) as he began to develop his reputation in landscape painting. See also additions after May 1991.
There are many letters from Sarah Blakeslee to Francis Speight before their marriage on 7 November 1936 and, after that event, during frequent periods of separation when Francis was painting on site or engaged in other activities that took him away from home. Letters during this period show Francis's continuing success as an artist; he was involved in many exhibits, and there was both a growing demand for his paintings and increasing recognition of his talent. There is correspondence between Francis and Daniel Garber, who taught both Francis and Sarah; Walter Gardner and his first wife, Emilie, and, beginning around 1958, his second wife, Jane; the Milch Galleries in New York City and other art dealers; and with various people at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. There are also letters relating to Francis's 1937 contract with the Public Buildings Branch of the United States Treasury Department to paint a post office mural in Gastonia, N.C.; his service, 1945-1946, as an art instructor for the War Department in England and in Germany; and his work, from 1947 through 1953, with the Artist Equity Association of New York. Many honors came Francis's way during this period; much correspondence relates to awards, many of which came with considerable cash prizes. There is a small amount of family correspondence, most of it with sister Tulie and brother Jim, who farmed in Bertie County and, in 1957, served in the North Carolina House of Representatives. See also additions after May 1991.
A letter dated 9 February 1961 is the first sign of Francis Speight's interest in returning to North Carolina as artist in residence at East Carolina College (now University) in Greenville. Letters show 1961 as a year of transition for the Speights, who spent most of this time with one foot in Philadelphia and the other in Greenville. The post at East Carolina, originally intended to last for one academic year, was held by Francis Speight until April 1976, when he was named professor emeritus. During this period, Francis continued teaching in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts summer school, painting in the countryside around Philadelphia and Greenville, and selling paintings through galleries and out of his home. Added to the list of Speight correspondents still headed by Walter Gardner were Claiborne Smith, a Philadelphia lawyer and art collector, and W. P. Jacocks of Chapel Hill, with whom Francis discussed his emerging interest in genealogy (see also Series 5) and local history. Letters show that, during this period, Francis became active in local history groups like the Historic Hope Foundation, Inc., and the Bertie County Historical Society. In the mid-1970s, sister Tulie, plagued by increasing ill health, entered a nursing home from which she wrote somewhat disjointed letters to Francis and Sarah until shortly before her death in 1976. Many letters in 1973 and 1974 document the major retrospective of Francis's work that was mounted by the Museum of Art at Pennsylvania State University; the catalog for this exhibit is filed in Series 6.3. Awards and honors also continue during this period, each new honor stimulating a round of congratulatory letters. See also additions after May 1991.
Letters continue between Claiborne Smith and Francis, chiefly relating to art collecting, but also to genealogy and local history. Francis's correspondence with various people at the Museum of Art at Pennsylvania State University also continues, but his long connection with the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts was ended when he declined to teach in the 1980 summer school session. There are a few letters of Margaret Goddard Holt to both Francis and Sarah during this period, and some letters from young relatives of the Speights appear. During this time, sales of Francis's paintings were being handled by the Berry Hill Galleries in New York City. Letters between Francis and Walter Gardner during these years tend to be lengthy reminiscences of shared experiences. See also additions after May 1991.
Undated letters and letter fragments, chiefly to or from Francis Speight. Topics and correspondents are largely the same as in the dated correspondence; only Tulie Speight and Walter Gardner appear to be represented by significant letters in this series. See also additions after May 1991.
Financial materials include a scattering of bills and receipts, tax forms, and earnings statements; legal materials include items relating to several court cases having to do with property settlements involving Francis Speight. See also additions after May 1991.
Prose and poetry of Francis Speight. The prose writings include a history of the Republican Baptist Church, Bertie County, N.C.; a short piece on Francis Speight's long time friend, Walter Gardner; short pieces on Francis Speight's activities at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; and other short pieces on various subjects, both personal and relating to art and artists. Also included are a diary containing short entries made between 1 January and 8 May 1915; a 1924 journal of a hike in the mountains; a European travel journal, 1925-1926 (see also Series 1.1); and a collection of descriptions of Francis Speight's dreams written sporadically by him from 1938 to 1981. Fragments include incomplete versions of writings on many topics. Poetry includes many short poems by Francis Speight, some of which he labelled "nonsense verse" or "rhymes." Included are a few poems written for the Wake Forest Student from 1913 to 1918. See also additions after May 1991.
Chiefly clippings relating to Francis and Sarah Blakeslee Speight and their careers in art and teaching. Also included, however, are clippings collected by the Speights about other artists with whom they were acquainted, about Bertie County, N.C., history, and about other topics that interested them. Many articles include reproductions of Francis Speight's paintings. Also included is a small scrapbook, probably compiled by Francis Speight, containing early clippings about him and other artists. See also additions after May 1991.
Correspondence of Speight family members and genealogical materials collected by Francis Speight. See also additions after May 1991.
Chiefly letters among Speight family members, excluding letters to and from Francis and Sarah Blakeslee Speight. Many letters relate to Tulie Speight, Francis's sister, who was a school teacher and artist. Most letters discuss the activities of family members. There are few letters before 1905 or after 1949, and there are considerable gaps within the chronological run. See also additions after May 1991.
Chiefly notes and photocopies of documents collected by Francis Speight about Speight family members and others from related families. Also included is a small amount of correspondence about Speight family genealogy and a few diplomas and other items relating to Speight family members. See also additions after May 1991.
Certificates and awards primarily of Francis Speight, including a National Institute of Arts and Letters Award (1960), the O. Max Gardner Award (1975), and citations from Speight's Art 26 class at East Carolina University. See also additions after May 1991.
Curricula vita and other biographical items relating to Francis Speight. See also additions after May 1991.
Printed catalogs and flyers for exhibits of Francis Speight's paintings and lists of paintings compiled by Speight for inventory purposes. Included is a full color catalog from the 1974 retrospective of Francis Speight's work at the Museum of Art, Pennsylvania State University. See also additions after May 1991.
Items relating to Francis Speight's activities in jurying art exhibits and rating the work of students, chiefly at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. See also additions after May 1991.
Notes on scraps of paper and in two notebooks, made primarily by Francis Speight. Topics are various and not necessarily intelligible. Notebooks contain remarks on life and art. See also additions after May 1991.
Flyers, class lists, notes, and other materials relating to art classes taught by Francis Speight. See also additions after May 1991.
Francis Speight's World War II ration books and induction orders; the 1954 rules and regulations of the Century Association, Francis Speight's club in New York City; and other items. See also additions after May 1991.
Sketches and photographs, chiefly relating to Francis Speight, but also to Sarah Blakeslee Speight and other artists with whom he was acquainted. Some sketchbooks include works by both Francis and Sarah Blakeslee Speight. (Other sketches by Sarah Blakeslee Speight are filed in Subgroup 2, Series 10.) See also additions after May 1991.
Chiefly pencil sketches in various stages of completion that, for the most part, can be ascribed to Francis Speight. Although identification of the maker of some sketches, on single sheets of paper or bound in small sketchbooks, is tentative, many bear annotations in Francis Speight's hand. Some drawings in the sketchbooks have, however, been marked as the work of Sarah Blakeslee Speight. (For other sketches by Sarah Blakeslee Speight, see Subgroup 2, Series 10 of the original collection and the addition.) Besides pencil sketches, there are some ink drawings and charcoal sketches as well as a few watercolors. Oversize drawings are chiefly charcoal sketches. See also additions after May 1991.
Sketches and other informal art works by friends and co-workers of Francis and Sarah Blakeslee Speight. See also additions after May 1991.
See also additions after May 1991.
Personal and professional correspondence relating to Sarah Blakeslee Speight. Correspondence relating to both Sarah Blakeslee and Francis Speight is filed in Subgroup 1, Series 1.
See also additions after May 1991.
Two sizable groups of letters from Sarah Blakeslee to her parents record travel impressions during separate trips to Europe, 1933 and 1934, on scholarship from the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts. Blakeslee made meticulous observations of the landscapes, people, events, and cultures she encountered. Also included are typed transcripts, apparently prepared by Blakeslee's father, of her letters from each trip. Other major events in her life, such as her marriage to Francis Speight in 1936, exhibitions and awards for her work, and Francis's death in 1989, were noted in letters from friends and family. Many letters from her clients reflect Sarah Speight's steady work as a portrait artist, which continued into the 1990s. See also additions after May 1991.
Correspondence between Sarah Blakeslee Speight and her long-time friend, anti-war and anti-nuclear activist Margaret Goddard Holt. Other than those from the 1930s, most of the letters collected here were written by Holt. The earliest letters show the two friends working out thoughts on art, life, and relationships, first in the midst of European travels and then back in the United States and entering the working world. By the mid-1940s, after each had married, the focus turned almost entirely to family life. Later, in the 1960s, Holt began to concern herself greatly with the arms race and other issues. Over the 1970s and 1980s, her activism intensified and discussion of world affairs became a central part of nearly all of her letters, along with ruminations on the themes of time and aging. See also additions after May 1991.
Correspondence and other items relating to members of the Blakeslee family. Included are notes on Blakeslee family genealogy. The letter that provides the 1836 start date for the entire collection is represented only in the form of a typed transcript. See also additions after May 1991.
Biographical sketch, clippings, lists of paintings, and other items relating to Sarah Blakeslee Speight. See also additions after May 1991.
Sketches, sketchbooks, and photographs, relating to Sarah Blakeslee Speight. (A few other sketches by Sarah Blakeslee Speight are filed in Subgroup 1, series 7.1.) Included are pencil sketches in various stages of completion, some ink drawings and charcoal sketches, and a few watercolors and pastels. The photographs consist of a few images of Sarah Blakeslee Speight and of some of her paintings. Photographs of Francis and Sarah Speight together can be found in Subgroup 1, Series 7.3. See also additions after May 1991.
Correspondence relating either to Francis Speight or to both Francis Speight and Sarah Blakeslee Speight. See also Subgroup 1, Series 1 of the original collection. Correspondence relating only to Sarah Blakeslee Speight is filed in Subgroup 2, Series 8 of both the original collection and the addition. Series 5.2 of the addition contains letters, 1933-1986, pertaining to Francis Speight's genealogy research.
A letter, 1923, from brother Allie gives indications of Francis's early interest in Speight genealogy. Letters, 1922-1933, from Speight's mother and sister, Margaret, share family news and offer congratulations on Francis's increasing fame. Sarah Blakeslee appears as the recipient of several letters, 1933-1935, from Francis, with reference to frequent trips he made to see her in Washington, D.C., and his growing feelings for her. Most often, he was writing from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and included news from the school. However in 1935, Francis for the second time taught a summer class at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and wrote to Sarah expressing some anxiety over his work there. See also Subgroup 1, Series 1.1 of the original collection.
Throughout most of 1936, plans and uncertainties surrounding their upcoming wedding were a recurring topic in Francis Speight's letters to fiancee Sarah Blakeslee. Later, several work-related separations early in the marriage, including Sarah's Works Progress Administration commission for a post office mural in Strasburg, Va., 1937-1938, and Francis's service as an art teacher for the United States military at Shrivenham Academy in England, 1945, are reflected in letters from this period. To view both sides of the correspondence, see also Subgroup 1, Series 1.2 of the original collection.
Also included are messages from family in North Carolina updating Francis on his mother's health and brother Jim Speight's 1941 letter offering Francis help in securing an extra job to alleviate money troubles. Later, frequent letters, 1958-1960, from Tom Speight to his parents tell of his adjustment to life at Antioch College.
Letters from the early 1960s continue to reflect work-enforced separations for the Speights, including time spent by Francis teaching in Philadelphia after the couple had relocated to Greenville, N.C. Much of the correspondence in this section passed between the Speights and their daughter Elisabeth while she attended college, first at Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Va., and then at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Sarah wrote to Elisabeth extensively during this period, offering direction and encouragement. The Speight children also wrote their parents while traveling in Europe, Elisabeth in 1965-1966 and 1974-1975, and Tom in 1966-1967. On the art front, a letter, 1962, shows Francis puzzled at the relatively low patronage of his wife's work versus that of his own, while in other letters he expressed disappointment at his lack of time and initiative to paint. See also Subgroup 1, Series 1.3 of the original collection.
Tom Speight's wife, artist Willie Marlowe, appears as a frequent correspondent of this time period, regularly updating Francis and Sarah Speight on the couple's life in Buffalo, N.Y. Many letters pertain to sales and exhibitions of Francis and Sarah's paintings. However, a 1982 letter from a New York City gallery declines an offer of Francis's work, citing a current lack of interest in his style. A number of letters reference Francis's exhibition, 1986, at Taggart, Jorgensen, and Putnam Gallery in Washington, D.C. Several letters, 1983-1989, from Francis to Walter Gardner show Speight in failing health, wondering about death and the possible manifestations of an afterlife. Recollections of his childhood and adult life are interwoven with examinations of his Christian faith and expressions of appreciation for Sarah's care. See also Subgroup 1, Series 1.4 of the original collection.
Undated letters and cards, chiefly to or from Francis Speight. Topics and correspondents are largely the same as in the dated correspondence, including letters from the Speight children while traveling Europe, and letters to and from Walter Gardner. See also Subgroup 1, Series 1.5 of the original collection.
Items include receipts and bills, 1926, incurred by Francis Speight while traveling in Europe; appraisals and receipts for items donated by the Speights to the Chagrin Falls (Ohio) Historical Society and the Woodmere Art Museum; a draft of a contract for the 1986 Francis Speight exhibition at Washington, D.C.'s Taggart, Jorgensen, and Putnam Gallery; and a copy of Francis Speight's will, finalized in January 1989. See also Subgroup 1, Series 2 of the original collection.
Writings consist chiefly of an early short story written in a composition book; paragraph-style rhymes printed by the Raleigh, N.C., News and Observer, 1920-1921; scattered reminiscences of Speight's childhood and early years at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; and journal-like accounts from the 1980s of sleepless nights and subsequent thoughts of death and eternity. Also included are two loose short stories, possibly written for high school assignments; a Christmas poem; and a tribute to Speight's former art teacher, Ida Poteat, penned shortly after her death, 1940. See also Subgroup 1, Series 3 of the original collection.
Clippings relate chiefly to Francis and Sarah Blakeslee Speight and their careers in art and teaching. Also included are press releases about the Speights and clippings collected by them on other artists with whom they were acquainted, friends such as Margaret Goddard Holt, towns that they had visited and in some cases painted, restoration work on Francis Speight's birthplace, and various other topics. The first of three scrapbooks was used to collect Audubon bird prints; the others feature art prints and assorted clippings. It is unclear whether the scrapbooks were kept individually by one of the Speights or if the books were a joint effort. Scrapbook enclosures are filed separately from the books themselves. See also Subgroup 1, Series 4 of the original collection.
Correspondence, genealogical materials, Speight House information, and other items related to the Speight family.
Three postcards, all of which are related either to Tom or Elisabeth Speight, including one from Margaret Goddard Holt. See also Subgroup 1, Series 5.1 of the original collection.
Chiefly letters, 1933-1986, written to Francis Speight by relatives and others with whom he corresponded in an effort to trace the genealogy of various branches of his family. Also included are notes and photocopies of documents collected by Francis Speight during his research into Speight ancestors and related families. See also Subgroup 1, Series 5.2 of the original collection.
Scattered items related to the Speight family, including materials from art exhibitions featuring work by Tulie Speight and Elisabeth Speight; a children's Latin book written by Tulie Speight with some illustrations by Francis and Sarah Speight; programs for piano recitals, band concerts, art shows, and plays in which Tom and Elisabeth Speight took part; and a 1984 architectural and historical study of Francis Speight's birthplace.
Programs, announcements, and certificates chiefly related to Francis Speight's many honors, including his honorary doctorate from Wake Forest University, 1962, and the dedication of the Francis Speight Auditorium at East Carolina University, 1992. See also Subgroup 1, Series 6.1 of the original collection. For awards and honors pertaining to Sarah Blakeslee Speight, see Subgroup 2, Series 9.2 of the addition.
Curricula vita, membership cards, exhibition catalog text and other biographical items relating to Francis Speight. See also Subgroup 1, Series 6.2 of the original collection.
Printed catalogs and invitations for exhibits of Francis Speight's paintings, both one-man shows and multi-artist exhibitions. Some of the venues represented include the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the National Academy of Design. Also included are inventories compiled by Speight and by galleries in which his work was displayed, and a guest register from a 1987 Designer's Corner Gallery exhibit in Philadelphia. See also Subgroup 1, Series 6.3 of the original collection.
Items indicating Francis Speight's activities in jurying art exhibits and competitions, namely catalogs listing Speight as a judge, and a poster showing him with other faculty members, judging scholarship competition entries at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. See also Subgroup 1, Section 6.4 of the original collection.
Several small notepads used variously by Francis Speight for notations on genealogical information, religious studies, dreams, and other topics; two notebooks apparently used while a student in high school and at Wake Forest College; a 1945 Royal Academy of the Arts exhibition program with handwritten notes by Speight; and other materials. See also Subgroup 1, Series 6.5 of the original collection.
Flyers, mailings, school catalogs, and other materials relating to art classes taught by Francis Speight. See also Subgroup 1, Series 6.6 of the original collection.
Tickets, guides, programs, and other materials gathered during Francis and Sarah Speight's individual travels to Europe, 1930s and undated; Francis's 1923 passport; a copy of a 1983 Unitarian Universalist sermon on the topic of creation; a survey, drawn by Speight, of some Bertie County, N.C., land; and other items. Also present are several volumes, including the 1917 Wake Forest University annual, The Howler, with illustrations by Francis Speight. See also Subgroup 1, Series 6.7 of the original collection.
Sketches and photographs, chiefly relating to Francis Speight, but also to Sarah Blakeslee Speight and other artists with whom the couple was acquainted. Other sketches by Sarah Blakeslee Speight are filed in Subgroup 2, Series 10 of both the original collection and the addition. See also Subgroup 1, Series 7 of the original collection.
Items include a notebook with sketches by both Francis and Sarah Speight and loose pen and pencil sketches, a few of which bear Francis's initials. The unsigned sketches can only be tentatively identified as the work of one of the Speights. See also Subgroup 1, Series 7.1 of the original collection. For other sketches by Sarah Blakeslee Speight, see Subgroup 2, Series 10 of both the original collection and the addition.
Pencil, pen, and crayon sketches, small watercolors, and other formats by Tulie Speight, Walter Gardner, the Speights' daughter-in-law, Willie Marlowe, and others. See also Subgroup 1, Series 7.2 of the original collection.
Photographs include images of Francis Speight, 1920s-1980s, both alone and with family (including Sarah Blakeslee Speight), friends, and business associates; photos of Speight family members, 1800s-1980s, not including Francis Speight; and photographs of Francis Speight paintings. Photographs of unidentified paintings likely include works by either Francis Speight or Sarah Blakeslee Speight. There is also an album of tintype images of Speight family members and acquaintances. See also Subgroup 1, Series 7.3 of the original collection.
Personal and professional correspondence relating to Sarah Blakeslee Speight. See also Subgroup 2, Series 8 of the original collection.
Correspondence relating either to Francis Speight or to both Sarah Blakeslee and Francis Speight is filed in Subgroup 1, Series 1 of both the original collection and the additon.
Many of the earlier letters were written to Sarah Blakeslee as she traveled Europe on an art scholarship, 1934, and while she was living in Washington, D.C., 1935-1936, prior to her wedding. There are only a few scattered items from the 1940s through the late 1970s. Most materials come from the 1980s and 1990s, including a number of letters to Walter and Jane Gardner. In the 1980s, Sarah wrote most often of Francis's declining health and their daily routine, along with detailed observations of nature. Letters to the Gardners after Francis's death in 1989 show Sarah occupied with portrait work, trips to see family and friends, and taking in boarders from China. Congratulations marked exhibitions and honors for both Sarah and Francis's work in this time, including Sarah's 1994 North Carolina Medal of Achievement in Fine Arts. See also Subgroup 2, Series 8.1 of the original collection.
The early correspondence between Sarah Blakeslee Speight and Margaret Goddard Holt focuses on the women's domestic lives and, during the 1940s, most particularly on their children's development. While there are only scattered letters from the 1950s through much of the 1970s, the correspondence becomes more substantial from 1978 onward. With Francis's deteriorating health and eventual death and the women's own increasing physical limitations, both begin to dwell on the swift passage of time and to sort out their individual spiritual beliefs. Not limited to personal experiences, such thoughts also feed into their discussion of world affairs, particularly environmental issues, nuclear proliferation, and the 1991 Gulf War. See also Subgroup 2, Series 8.2 of the original collection.
Correspondence, a wedding announcement and enclosed photograph, and other items relating to members of the Blakeslee family.
Biographical sketches, quotes, writings, and literature pertaining to causes and exhibitions in which Sarah Blakeslee Speight was interested; exhibition catalogs and inventories of her own paintings; programs and certificates marking awards and honors she received, including the 1994 North Carolina Medal of Achievement in Fine Arts; a journal and notebook apparently used during one of her visits to Europe, 1933 and 1934; and assorted notes and writings tentatively identified as being in her handwriting.
Sketches and photographs relating to Sarah Blakeslee Speight. A few other sketches by Sarah Blakeslee Speight are filed in Subgroup 1, Series 7.1 of the original collection and the addition.
Photographs consist of images of Sarah Blakeslee Speight, some of her paintings, and various family and friends. Images of Sarah and Francis Speight together can be found in Subgroup 1, Series 7.3 of the original collection and the addition. See also Subgroup 2, Series 10 of the original collection.
Items separated include: Pictures (P-4196), oversize pictures (OP-P-4196), oversize papers (OP-4196.A and OP-4196.B), oversize volumes (V-4196/S-1 to S-3), oversize negatives, and a photograph album (PA-4196).Back to Top
Processed by: Roslyn Holdzkom with assistance from Joy Barfield, Patricia Townsend, Nikki McLean, 1990, 1991, and subsequent additions
Encoded by: Roslyn Holdzkom, April 2004
Additions are organized in the same way as, but are not incorporated into, the original deposit. Some subseries have been added.
Updated in January 2005 by Jessica TyreeBack to Top