Modern Graphic History Library, Department of Special Collections

Finding aid for the Robert Weaver Collection

Finding aid prepared by
Special Collections Staff.

Summary Information
Title: Robert Weaver Collection.
Creator: Robert Weaver
Inclusive dates: ca. 1950-1980.
Extent: 80.5 cubic feet and oversize items
Call number: mghl00003
Language: English
Repository: Washington University in St. Louis
Modern Graphic History Library
Department of Special Collections
Olin Library
Campus Box 1061
1 Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
(314) 935-5444 or (314) 935-9730
Fax: (314) 935-8320
spec@wumail.wustl.edu
http://library.wustl.edu/units/spec


Access and Use:
Source of Collection:

The collection was donated to University Archives by Robert Weaver's daughter Antonia Weaver Pelaez and by his brothers Daniel Weaver and Fritz Weaver in 2004 and 2007. It was later transferred to the Modern Graphic History Library.

Access Restrictions:

There are no restrictions to access.

Use Restriction:

Some restrictions, please contact Modern Graphic History Library Curator at (314) 935-7741 or spec@wumail.wustl.edu. Users of the collections must read and abide by the Rules for the use of Modern Graphic History Library materials.

Users of the collections who wish to use items from this collection, in whole or in part, in any form of publication (as defined in the form) must sign and submit to the Washington University Department of Special Collections a hard copy of the Notification of intent publish Modern Graphic History Library materials form.

All publication not covered by fair use restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder.

Processing Information:

Processing by Washington University Department Special Collections Staff 2005, October 2007, and 2008. EAD encoded finding aid started in October 2007, completed in August 2008, and updated in May 2012.


Biography

Beginning in the 1950s, Robert Weaver epitomized a socially engaged approach to commercial illustration, drawing the human drama from the immediacy of life. By integrating formal and conceptual currents from fine art practices, he altered the practice’s methodologies thus dramatically expanding its possibilities.

Weaver was born in 1924, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He studied at the Carnegie Institute, the Art Student’s League in New York, and the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Venice. He began his career in New York in 1952 and over the next three decades, his work appeared in Esquire, Fortune, Life, Look, Playboy, Seventeen, Sports Illustrated, and TV Guide, among many other publications. Weaver’s emphasis on expressionistic, bravura paint-handling wed with unstable narrative content moved the goals of illustration away from depicting an expected point of heightened drama, “to violate the sense of natural relationships,” as he put it. His was an art that flaunted subjectivity, a “visual journalism” truer to life than the compositional niceties and slick brushwork of the generation preceding.

With his bold line always dominant, and a focus on the lively urban landscape, Weaver left the process visible, reflecting his commitment to manifesting on the page the changing cultural climate. He stressed the importance of drawing life, from life, guided by a precisely rendered political conscience and incorporating collage elements that literally brought the physical world into his charged psychological space. Crucially, by fragmenting the image area he introduced multiple viewpoints and jagged sequential narrative into a traditionally fixed point of view, representing a cerebral approach to an illustration world in flux.

In addition to his magazine work, Weaver illustrated numerous books and record industry advertising campaigns. He was the recipient of numerous awards from The Society of Illustrators, which elected him into their Hall of Fame in 1985, and the Art Director’s Clubs of New York and Philadelphia. His work was the subject of the posthumous retrospective, “Seeing is Not Believing: The Art of Robert Weaver” at the Norman Rockwell Museum in 1997.

Weaver was a visiting faculty member at Syracuse University and taught at the School of Visual Arts in New York for more than thirty years, co-creating their Illustration as Visual Essay program. His teaching legacy was such that a 1997 issue of Drawing SVA was devoted to his memory, giving his former students the opportunity to reflect on his profound influence as an educator.

Sources: Author Unknown. “Pioneers: Robert Weaver,” Communication Arts, May/June 2000, pp. 106-109 and Walt and Roger Reed. Entry in The Illustrator in America.


Collection Scope and Content Note

Scope and Contents Note

This collection includes original artwork in various formats and published material by Robert Weaver mainly dating between the 1950s and the 1970s.

Items are grouped by art medium and material type.

The collection is divided into thirteen series as follows: Series 01: Original Art: graphite on paper, Series 02: Original Art: graphite on board, Series 03: Original Art: collage binders, Series 04: paintings on paper, Series 05: Original Art: paintings on board, Series 06: Original Art: paintings on canvas, Series 07: Original Art: pastels on paper and board, Series 08: Original Art: mixed media, Series 09: Original Art: shadow box collages, Series 10: Published Materials: tearsheets, Series 11: Published Materials: other material types, Series 12: Published Materials: projects, Series 13: Personal Papers.

Subject Terms
Controlled Access Terms
    Subjects
    • Weaver, Robert
    • Magazine illustration--20th century
    Contributors
    • Weaver, Robert
    Contents List
          Title
     
    Series 01: Original Art: graphite on paper [series]:
    Note: (Personal and Commercial works.)   
    Scope: Includes single and double-sided graphite sketches, the majority on sketchbook pages previous removed from spiral sketchpads by Robert Weaver. Two sets of materials organized by Robert Weaver are included in this series: one untitled sketchbook (red marbled paper cover) and one sketchbook titled "Spring Training."


    Box   1  
    Portrait of student in cap and gown
     
    Man with Henry George portrait and "Single Tax" book
     
    Portrait of man
    Box   2  
    "9th Avenue in the 1930's" / "Hoboken N.J. Parade"
    Note: Images on verso and recto.
     
    Storage room with crates / rough sketch
     
    Four men talking / man smoking
    Box   3  
    Man with tank
    Note: Images on verso and recto.
     
    Alley with garbage cans
     
    Portrait of man
    Box   4  
    Two men on street
     
    Hands
     
    Police truck
     
    Police at desk
     
    Police with man
    Box   5  
    African American man seated
     
    Two African American men
     
    Profile of two African American men
     
    Man holding "KKK Wallace for President" sign
    Box   6  
    Men writing at table
     
    "I've Got a Secret" / Man at bar
     
    Police searching African American man
     
    Man in front of barricade reading "Police Line Do Not Cross"
    Box   7  
    Figure at table
     
    Artist drawing portrait
     
    Arcade game
     
    "Lower East Side" / African American man at microphone
    Box   8  
    Vendor selling crabs
     
    CBS Studios
     
    Woman seated
     
    Lower half of two men standing on protest sign in front of police line
    Box   9  
    African American men in line
     
    Man reading book
     
    African American man seated, leaning
     
    Artist at drawing board
    Box   10  
    African American man reading
     
    "Fulton St, Brookyln"
     
    Man with children
     
    Child on swing, seen through fence
    Box   11  
    Man yelling / police truck
     
    African American man in fighting stance
     
    African American man seated
     
    Police searching African American man
     
    Police station, summonses counter
    Box   12  
    1920's automobile
     
    "Arresting officer"
     
    One man in profile, one from behind
     
    Five men in suits
     
    Police
    Box   13  
    "Hoaron High School" boy reading at desk
     
    "Remedial Reading Class" boy at desk
     
    "Birthplace of Babe Ruth, Balt" city street
     
    African American woman holding protest sign
    Box   14  
    Police truck
     
    Director's chair marked "Jackie Cooper"
     
    Children on playground
     
    "SF 66" Guard grabbing African American man by shoulder
    Box   15  
    Men watching circus elephant
     
    African American boy in fighting stance
     
    Two workers sawing wood
     
    Voting
    Box   16  
    Construction worker on street
     
    Man in workshop with tools
     
    "Music teacher" African American man with music lessons on chalkboard
     
    African American man holding "Think!" sign
     
    Man painting house
    Box   17  
    Man in wheelchair
    Box   18  
    Spring training sketchbook pages
    Note: Some images on verso and recto.
    Box   19  
    Spring training sketchbook pages
    Note: Some images on verso and recto.
    Box   20  
    Spring training sketchbook pages
    Note: Some images on verso and recto.
    Box   21  
    Spring training sketchbook pages and original binder
    Note: Some images on verso and recto.
    Box   22  
    Spring training sketchbook pages
    Note: Some images on verso and recto.
    Box   23  
    Spring training sketchbook pages
    Note: Some images on verso and recto.
    Box   24  
    Spring training sketchbook pages
    Note: Some images on verso and recto.
    Box   25  
    Spring training sketchbook pages
    Note: Some images on verso and recto.
    Box   26  
    Spring training sketchbook pages
    Note: Some images on verso and recto.
    Box   27  
    Spring training sketchbook pages and original sketchbook
    Note: Some images on verso and recto.
    Drawer   17/15  
    Woman seated
     
    Series 02: Original Art: graphite on board [series]:
    Box   1  
    Man seated
     
    Profile of man seated
     
    African American man with glasses
     
    Children in lot with garbage
     
    Man seated with eyes closed
    Box   2  
    African American boy climbing fence
     
    Two men in front of ship
     
    Men playing cards
     
    African American boy seated and car
     
    African American man and woman watching TV
    Box   3  
    Children in lot with garbage
     
    "Youth Employment Service"
     
    Men on New York city street
     
    Sketches of shoe shine cases and doll heads
    box-folder    
    Series 03: Original Art: collage binders [series]:
    Note: (Personal work.)   
    Scope: Arranged by size, then alphabetically within each size category.


    Box   1  
    No title given.
    Box   2  
    ?
    Box   3  
    Antique, Articulated Paper To
    Box   4  
    Daily Times
    Box   5  
    Females 3
    Box   6  
    I Venezia Act 1
    Box   7  
    The Kite
    Box   8  
    Mutascope
    Box   9  
    Venezia 1849, A Boustrophedon
    Box   10  
    4 x 3 II
    Box   11  
    Human Countenance a Mirror
    Box   12  
    Le Grand Tour
    Box   13  
    Paper View Ltd
    Box   14  
    Saints and Preserved
    Box   15  
    Stay Out: This Means
    Box   16  
    This Was Your Life
    Box   17  
    Trans
    Box   18  
    Auto De Fay
    Box   19  
    Circumstantial Evidence
    Box   20  
    Dissolving Views
    Box   21  
    Fountains of Unreason
    Box   22  
    Mystery, Magic and Fun
    Box   23  
    Nonsequences
    Box   24  
    See Variable Collages
    Box   25  
    Timeframes
     
    Series 04: Original Art: paintings on paper [series]:   
    Scope: This series includes various types of paint material. Some have small amounts of mixed media.


    Drawer   18/13  
    Portrait of Tolstoy
    Drawer   above Drawer 16  
    Audience members seated
    Note: Item framed.
    Box   1  
    Woman reading
     
    Street scence
     
    Bull with flowers
    Box   2  
    Window with banner
     
    Hospital room scene
    box-folder    
    Series 05: Original Art: paintings on board [series]:   
    Scope: This series includes various types of paint materials. Some have small amounts of mixed media.


    Drawer   18/1  
    Street scene with violence, multiple frames
     
    "No No," Headless figures in suits, seen through fence
    Drawer   18/2  
    Girl crying / angel statue with blood splatter
     
    Street scene with collapsed man
    Drawer   18/3  
    Headless Jesus statue with three small images of houses
     
    Four hunters and wolf
    Drawer   18/4  
    Man in hat and overcoat, walking
     
    Early twentieth-century dentist office
    Drawer   18/5  
    Cubist abstract
    Drawer   18/7  
    Men in suits
     
    Two images of man's face, obscured
    Drawer   18/8  
    Close up of face
    Note: Slightly warped.
     
    "Life Mask," death mask, blankets
    Note: Slightly warped.
    Drawer   18/9  
    Man on bench, stretched perspective
    Note: This piece is on a very heavy one-inch board.
    Drawer   18/10  
    Man in suit, reading newspaper
    Note: Item framed.
     
    Vendor at baseball game
    Note: Item framed.
    Drawer   18/11  
    "Upper West Side," apartment buildings
    Note: Item framed.
    Box   1  
    Reflection of bride and groom
     
    Body in cathedral
     
    Horse, obscured
     
    Girl in front of bulldozer
     
    Worker at construction site
    Box   2  
    House fire
     
    People seated; photos depicting several scenes between man and woman
     
    Transmitter[?]
    Box   3  
    Factory work
     
    Factory work
     
    Abstract
     
    Factory work
    Box   4  
    "In Excavating and Destruction"
     
    Dive bar with billboard
    Box   5  
    3 images: African-American boy running, studying, ordering food at a restaurant
     
    Men in the street
     
    Five boys, heads bowed
     
    Portrait of nineteenth-century man
     
    Calendar[?] abstract
    Box   6  
    Gang fight
     
    African American man with gate, building
     
    Portrait of Rudi Hoagland
    Box   7  
    Three African American men walking down street
     
    Children's artwork
     
    Pool hall
     
    Pool hall
    Box   8  
    Boy on bunk bed
     
    Boys on bunk bed
     
    "Elect Fitzgerald" poster
     
    Boy in tree
    Box   9  
    Faceless man
     
    Man's eyes, close up
     
    Boy on playground
     
    Boy on playground
    box-folder    
    Series 06: Original Art: paintings on canvas [series]:   
    Scope: This series includes various types of paint materials. Some have small amounts of mixed media.


    Drawer   17/3  
    Abstract
    Note: Item framed.
    Drawer   17/14  
    Trapeeze artists
    Note: Item framed.
    Drawer   18/7  
    Three images: Man's face, man's body, man reclining
    Drawer   18/12  
    St. Valentine's Day Massacre
     
    Performer balancing ball on finger, umbrella silhouette in background
    Drawer   above Drawer 16  
    Picasso image, early modern man, clock, etc. (24 in. x 50 in.)
    Note: Item framed
    Drawer   above Drawer 16  
    Variety Photo Plays sign, man in hopsital bed, Dodgers pennant. (24 in. x 50 in.)
    Drawer   above Drawer 16  
    Globe Hotel sign, fish, umbrella, etc. (25 in. x 51 in.)
    box-folder    
    Series 07: Original Art: pastels on paper and board [series]:
    Note: (Predominantly commercial work.)   
    Scope: This series includes both color and black and white pastels on board and on paper. Subjects include artwork for annual reports.


    Box   1  
    Portraits of business men for annual report
    Box   2  
    Portraits of business men for annual report
    Box   3  
    Portraits of business men for annual report
    Box   4  
    Portraits of couples for annual report
    Box   5  
    Group and individual portraits for annual report
    Box   6  
    Individual portraits
    Box   7  
    Mobil Annual Report
    Box   8  
    Mobil Annual Report
    Box   9  
    Portrait of man
    Box   10  
    4 scenes: boy on bus, men in boardroom, man in electric chair, etc.
    Box   11  
    Mobil Annual Report
    box-folder    
    Series 08: Original Art: mixed media [series]:   
    Scope: This series includes items with pastel, paint, graphite, and / or other art materials on board and paper.


    Drawer   17/8  
    Priests in courtyard with Mary statue
    Note: Slightly warped.
     
    Man with chart, face obscured by image of ship
    Drawer   17/9  
    Man in wheelchair, in apartment
    Drawer   17/10  
    Building collage
    Note: New York Magazine cover, August 8, 1974
     
    Collage of woman
    Drawer   17/11  
    Barn and tree against blue sky
    Drawer   17/12  
    Man in suit with skeleton face
    Drawer   17/12  
    19th century man's face in pieces, man and woman in background
    Drawer   17/13  
    Various objects floating in front of door: apple, Coke bottle, da Vinci artwork, etc.
    Drawer   17/13  
    Joseph McCarthy
    Drawer   17/14  
    "1783: The Unseen Eye is Watching You"
     
    Silhouette of 18th century man
     
    Abstract
    Drawer   17/15  
    "Hi-Ya-Ka-Wa"
     
    Multiple images: man shouting, police officer, John Wayne, soldier, etc.
    Drawer   above Drawer 10  
    Mixed media (28.5 in. x 36.5 in.)
    Note: Item framed. Blocks pieced together.
    Range   M02-R24-16  
    Mixed media on canvas and wood with hardware
    Note: Layered work with physical proportions similar to items in Series 9.
    Box   1  
    Silhouette of artist at easel
     
    People sitting on porch
    Box   2  
    Airplanes
    Box   3  
    Harry Truman in uniform / White House
     
    Letter folded, woman, figure reading
     
    Cartoon image of man smiling
     
    Cartoon image of man smiling
    Box   4  
    Rioters / Uncle Sam / downtown of city
     
    Ryan's Bar / bridge
     
    Woman / person drawing window shade
     
    Dancers
    Box   5  
    People on the phone, a bag of money
     
    Black and gray abstract
    Box   6  
    Four images of man in hospital bed
     
    Six full-length portraits of men and women
     
    Man's face, obscured by paper figures
     
    Man repairing machine
    Box   7  
    Eyes of a statue / skeleton in uniform
     
    Circus poster on chair
     
    Red and blue abstract
     
    Man's reflection in car
    Box   8  
    African American men shooting guns in front of funeral home
     
    Room interior in red, figures seen through window
     
    Room interior in gray, figures seen through window
     
    African-American man yelling, running through woods
     
    Police throwing / man bent over
    Box   9  
    Target practice / cadaver
     
    Man with hands folded, theater
     
    Room interior, headless man, artist painting portrait
     
    Three anatomical men in suits
    Box   10  
    Two men and boy, small image of man behind bars
     
    Winston Churchill
     
    Two men in flood water
     
    Newspaper image of older couple against blue sky
    Box   11  
    Men around table / woman swimming nude
     
    Color portrait of two men, faces obscured
     
    Black and white portrait of two men, faces obscured
     
    African American children looking at African art in museum
    Box   12  
    Hitler, protestors, media
     
    Stalin and Hitler
     
    Bust of judge
     
    Man with map of Europe, London in background
     
    Collage of soldier
    Drawer   17/1-7  
    Series 09: Original Art: shadow box collages [series]:
    Note: Personal work.   
    Scope: This series contains three-dimensional works of art created with a variety of mixed media. Inquire with archives staff for printed guide to this series.


    Drawer   17/1-2; 4-6  
    Shadow box collages
    box-folder    
    Series 10: Published Materials: tearsheets [series]:   
    Scope: Boxes 1-2 consist of tearsheets of Weaver's work from various publications. Boxes 3-5 consist of whole issues.


    Box   1  
    America: An Illustrated Diary of Its Most Exciting Years
    Folder   2  
    Audience
    Folder   3  
    Chemical & Engineering News
    Folder   4  
    Christian Science Monitor
    Folder   5  
    Cosmopolitan
    Folder   6  
    Dial
    Folder   7  
    Esquire
    Folder   8  
    Fortune
    Folder   9  
    Good Life
    Folder   10  
    GQ
    Folder   11  
    Graphis
    Folder   12  
    Intellectual Digest
    Folder   13  
    Ladies' Home Journal
    Folder   14  
    Life
    Folder   15  
    Look
    Folder   16  
    McCall's
    Folder   17  
    Mother Jones
    Folder   18  
    My House Is Your House
    Folder   19  
    Newsweek
    Box   2  
    News York Magazine
    Folder   2  
    New York News Magazine
    Folder   3  
    New York Times
    Folder   4  
    New York Times advertisements
    Folder   5  
    New York Times Magazine
    Folder   6  
    New York Times Weekly Background Student Report
    Folder   7  
    New York: The World Journal Tribune
    Folder   8  
    Playboy
    Folder   9  
    Show
    Folder   10  
    Sports Illustrated
    Folder   11  
    Tennessee Gas
    Folder   12  
    This Week
    Folder   13  
    TIME
    Folder   14  
    TRUE
    Folder   15  
    TV Guide
    Folder   16  
    Unidentified tear sheets
    Folder   17  
    Venture: The Traveler's World
    Folder   18  
    World Journal Tribune Book Week
    Box   3  
    Audience
    Folder   2  
    Drawing SVA
    Folder   3  
    Esquire
    Box   4  
    Graphis
    Folder   2  
    Life
    Folder   3  
    Line
    Folder   4  
    Newsweek
    Folder   5  
    New York Magazine
    Folder   6  
    New York News Magazine
    Box   5  
    New York Times Magazine
    Folder   2  
    Pizzazz
    Box   5  
    Print
    Folder   4  
    Stanford Medical Magazine
    Folder   5  
    Sports Illustrated
    Folder   6  
    Smith Kline & French Laboratories
    Box   6  
    Binder of tearsheets
    Note: Brown binder with tearsheets assembled by Robert Weaver.
     
    Series 11: Published Materials: other material types [series]:   
    Scope: This series includes exhibit posters, publication proofs, album covers, and other published items featuring Weaver's work.


    Drawer   17/7  
    "When You Risk Becoming an Artist" School of Visual Arts poster (29 in. x 43 in.)
    Note: Item framed, signed by Weaver.
    Drawer   18/6  
    "To Be Good Is not Enough" School of Visual Arts poster (30 in. x 44 in.)
    Note: Item framed, signed by Weaver.
    Drawer   18/14  
    Posters, business materials
     
    Posters, biographical
     
    Posters, oversized
     
    Proofs, oversized
    Box   1  
    Album covers
    Folder   2  
    Album covers
    Folder   3  
    Album proofs
    Box   2  
    Business publications
    Box   3  
    Biographical information
    Folder   2  
    Biographical information
    Folder   3  
    Biographical Information
    Folder   4  
    Illustration: Aspects and Direction
    Folder   5  
    Book jackets
    Folder   6  
    Book jackets
    Folder   7  
    Book jackets
    Folder   8  
    "A Television Notebook," CBS Television Network calendar 1960.
    Note: Includes handwritten notes by Robert Weaver.
    Folder   9  
    Collage of published works
    Box   7  
    Color Photocopy Notebook, "Brief Lives"
    Folder   10  
    Duplicates of originals
    Box   4  
    Entry forms
    Folder   2  
    Entry forms
    Note:
    Folder   3  
    Exhibits
    Folder   4  
    Gift books
    Note: Self-published books.
    Folder   5  
    Gift books
    Note: Self-published books.
    Folder   6  
    Gift books
    Note: Self-published books.
    Box   5  
    Posters
    Folder   2  
    Posters, art prints
    Folder   3  
    Proofs, article
    Folder   4  
    Proofs, mounted
    Folder   5  
    Proofs, mounted
    Folder   6  
    Proofs, mounted
    Folder   7  
    Proofs, single page
    Folder   8  
    Proofs, single page
    Box   6  
    Slides and transparencies
    Folder   2  
    Stationary
    Folder   3  
    A Texas Romance, 1909 (1964).
     
    Series 12: Published Materials: projects [series]:   
    Scope: Items grouped by project, including both original art and published materials.


    Box   1  
    Journey All Alone materials
    Note: Includes original artwork (graphite on paper, graphite on board, and paint on board) and published materials (book covers and proof sheets) for the book illustration project Journey All Alone
     
    Series 13: Personal Papers and works by other artists [series]:   
    Scope: Items grouped by date.


    Box   1  
    Photocopy of a letter from John F. Kennedy March 20, 1959
    Folder   2  
    Letter dated March 21, 1989 from the Society of Illustrators informing Robert Weaver he was elected to the Society of Illustration Hall of Fame along with an invitation to the October 18, 1990 reception where the award was given.
    Folder   3  
    Picture of a man and child. Unidentified artist.