Mary and Jay Hambidge photographs
New Search | Return to Search Results

Mary and Jay Hambidge photographs

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA 30305. 404.814.4040. reference@atlantahistorycenter.com
Title: Mary and Jay Hambidge photographs
Dates: 1837-1970, undated
Quantity: 803.0 Items (4 document cases, 4 oversize boxes, 581 photographic prints, 61 negatives, 50 postcards, 18 designs, 14 drawings, 14 book plates, 12 paintings, 9 sketches, 2 photo albums, and 2 maps)
Identification: ahc.VIS01

Biographical/Historical Note

Mary Lee Crovatt (1885-1973) was born the daughter of an affluent family in Brunswick, Georgia with familial ties to Jekyll Island. Mary left home at an early age to attend a finsihing school in Cambridge, Massachussetts, where she was educated in the classics. In her twenties, she lived in New York and had aspirations to become an actress. It was during this period that she supported herself as an artist's model and professional whistler, and met Jay Hambidge (1867-1924), and artist, illustrator, and scholar who pioneered the theory of "dynamic symmetry," a concept that linked the symmetry found in nature to that of art objects.

In 1920, Yale University Press sponsored a trip to Greece for research involving dynamic symmetry and on-site measurements of the Parthenon. While Jay was engaged in his work, Mary, who had accompanied him, became intrigued with the village weavers and the process by which sheep whool was spun and woven into everyday garments. Mary was so taken, in fact, that she remained in Greece to perfect her weaving skills, after Jay had returned home to begin a lecture series to defend the theory of dynamic symmetry.

After Jay's sudden death in 1924, Mary eventually moved back to Georgia and became enamored with Rabun County and the American tradition of handweaving. With the financial backing of Eleanor Steele Reece (formerly Mrs. Hall Clovis), an acquaintance from New York, Mary set out to create a place where crafts and agriculture were practiced based on an expanded view of dynamic symmetry. By the mid 1930s, she established herself on an 800 acre tract of land along Betty's Creek in the Rabun Gap area and recruited local women to spin and weave and men to work the farm. Building on the success of the weaving business, Mary, with the support of Eleanor Steele Reece, opened Rabun Gap Studios at 810 Madison Avenue in New York City in 1937. For twenty years the shop promoted handwoven designs and weavings by the Weavers of Rabun.

In 1944, the Jay Hambidge Art Foundation was officially incorporated. The institution's philosophy was "Agriculture and the Handcrafts are the basis of a creative life." From the late 1940s to the early 1970s, Mary continued to weave and envision new directions for the Foundation. After her death in 1973, Mary Creety Nikas, an interior designer and friend, saw to the continuation of the insitution. The Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences exists today as an artist colony that sponsors residency, workshops, and general intellectual and creative exchange, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a rural historic district.


Scope and Content Note

Through photographic prints, negatives, designs, drawings, paintings, plates, postcards, sketches, photo albums, and maps the collection documents the life of Mary Crovatt Hambidge from her family and childhood in Brunswick, Georgia to the establishment of the Hambidge Center, formerly the Jay Hambidge Art Foundation, and the efforts of Mary and Jay Hambidge to develop and promote the concept of dynamic symmetry, from 1837-1970. See the scope and content note of each series for expanded information.


Arrangement

The collection is arranged in three series: (1) Hambidge Center, circa 1940-1970; (2) Dynamic Symmetry, 1917-1932, undated; and (3) Crovatt-DuBignon-Hambidge-Schlatter families, 1837-1965.


Administrative Information

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the Hambidge Center, 1995, 1996 (ML.1995.74;1996.17)

Description Control

This collection was processed in 2008.


Restrictions

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

This material is protected by copyright law. (Title 17, U.S. Code) Permission for use must be cleared through the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. Licensing agreement may be required.


Related Material

Mary and Jay Hambidge Papers, MSS 962, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.


Container List

 

Series I: Hambidge Center, circa 1940-1970

739.0 Items
This series documents activities, animals, people, and structures of the Hambidge Center as a working farm and arts center, circa 1940-1970. Undated photographs of Mary Hambidge pertain to her day-to-day activities at the Center, while other materials, mainly color charts, designs, and paintings document Hambidge's interest in dye, color theories, sketches, weaving and other artistic endeavors. Images of the Laura Willis Design exhibition showcase textiles created at the Hambidge Center. Included among the images of spinners and weavers are the Weavers of Rabun, who also appear in postcards, the bulk of which are about the Hambidge Center. Actual and proposed changes to the property are documented through photographs of landscapes and structures and site plans.

Control

Location

VIS 1.01VIS 1.01Mary Hambidge, photographs, undated, 24.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.02VIS 1.02Mary Hambidge, photographs, undated, 43.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.03VIS 1.03Mary Hambidge, photographs, undated, 29.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.04VIS 1.04Farmers, photographs, undated, 49.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.05VIS 1.05Friends, photographs, undated, 37.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.06VIS 1.06Spinners and Weavers, photographs, undated, 33.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.07VIS 1.07Spinners and Weavers, photographs, undated, 21.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.08VIS 1.08Unidentified men and women, photographs, undated, 68.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.09VIS 1.09Structures, house, studio, photographs, undated, 50.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.10VIS 1.10Structures, house, studio, photographs, undated, 24.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.11VIS 1.11Stuctures, mill, photographs, undated, 21.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.12VIS 1.12Domestic animals, photographs, undated, 19.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.13VIS 1.13Landscape, photographs, undated, 95.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.14VIS 1.14Livestock, photographs, undated, 50.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.15VIS 1.15Laura Willis Designs Exhibit, photographs, undated, 12.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.16VIS 1.16Negatives, undated, 61.0 Negatives

Control

Location

VIS 1.17VIS 1.17Color charts, undated, 23.0 Items

Control

Location

VIS 1.18VIS 1.18Designs, undated, 5.0 Items

Control

Location

VIS 1.19VIS OS Box 45Designs, undated, 8.0 Items

Control

Location

VIS 1.20VIS OS Box 45Designs, undated, 5.0 Items

Control

Location

VIS 1.21VIS 1.21Paintings, undated, 12.0 Items

Control

Location

VIS 1.22VIS OS Box 45Plans, undated, 14.0 Architectural drawings

Control

Location

VIS 1.23VIS 1.23Postcards, undated, 50.0 Items

Control

Location

VIS 1.24VIS 1.24Sketches, undated, 9.0 Items
 

Series II: Dynamic Symmetry, 1917-1932, undated

(4 document cases and 4 oversize boxes)
This series includes visual materials used in writings by Jay and Mary Hambidge about dynamic symmetry. The bulk of the materials appears in publications authored by Jay Hambidge or was part of his research to develop the idea of dynamic symmetry. VIS 1.25 through VIS 1.39, arranged alphabetically by publication title, contain plates, sketches, and diagrams included in a small monthly magazine published for Jay Hambidge by Yale University Press, The Diagonal, and in numerous books, among them Dynamic Symmetry in Composition, The Elements of Dynamic Symmetry, The Parthenon and Other Greek Temples, and Practical Applications of Dynamic Symmetry. The remaining folders in Series II are arranged alphabetically by subject title and include images used in various publications. By and large, these photographic prints are of Greek and Roman antiquities and are accompanied by or include Jay Hambidge's hand-written computations and marginalia.

Control

Location

VIS 1.25VIS 1.25 The Diagonal (January February, March), 1920

Control

Location

VIS 1.26VIS 1.26 The Diagonal (April, May, June), 1920

Control

Location

VIS 1.27VIS 1.27 The Diagonal (July, August, September), 1920

Control

Location

VIS 1.28VIS 1.28 The Diagonal (October, November, December), 1920

Control

Location

VIS 1.29VIS 1.29 Dynamic Symmetry in Composition, 1923

Control

Location

VIS 1.30VIS 1.30 Dynamic Symmetry of Man, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.31VIS 1.31 The Elements of Dynamic Symmetry, 1926

Control

Location

VIS 1.32VIS 1.32 The Parthenon and Other Greek Temples, 1924

Control

Location

VIS 1.33VIS 1.33 Practical Applications of Dynamic Symmetry, 1932

Control

Location

VIS 1.34VIS 1.34 Practical Applications of Dynamic Symmetry, 1932

Control

Location

VIS 1.35VIS 1.35 Practical Applications of Dynamic Symmetry, 1932

Control

Location

VIS 1.36VIS 1.36Various publication materials, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.37VIS OS Box 60"Dynamic Symmetry," plates, 1917-1919

Control

Location

VIS 1.38VIS OS Box 60"Dynamic Symmetry," plates, 1917-1919

Control

Location

VIS 1.39VIS OS Box 60"Dynamic Symmetry" portfolio envelopes, samples, 1917-1919

Control

Location

VIS 1.40VIS 1.40Babylonian art, photographic prints, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.41VIS OS Box 60Coins, photographic prints, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.42VIS 1.42Egyptian art, photographic prints, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.43VIS 1.43Geometric studies, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.44VIS 1.44Geometric studies, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.45VIS 1.45Geometric studies, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.46VIS OS Box 46Geometric studies, loose, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.47VIS OS Box 60Geometric studies, oversize, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.48VIS 1.48Geometric studies, urns and vases, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.49VIS OS Box 41Greek architectural elements, loose, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.50VIS 1.50Greek architecture, photographic prints, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.51VIS OS Box 60Greek art, photographic prints, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.52VIS 1.52Greek art, photographic prints, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.53VIS 1.53Greek art, photographic prints, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.54VIS 1.54Greek art, photographic prints, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.55VIS 1.55Greek art, photographic prints, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.56VIS 1.56Greek art, photographic prints, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.57VIS 1.57Greek art, photographic prints, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.58VIS OS Box 42Greek urns and vases, loose, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.59VIS 1.59Italian architecture, photographic prints, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.60VIS OS Box 60Miscellaneous art and architecture, photographic prints, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.61VIS 1.61Miscellaneous art and architecture, photographic prints, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.62VIS 1.62Miscellaneous art and architecture, photographic prints, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.63VIS 1.63Roman art, photographic prints, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.64VIS 1.64Roman art, photographic prints, undated

Control

Location

VIS 1.65VIS 1.65Roman art, photographic prints, undated
 

Series III: Crovatt-DuBignon-Hambidge-Schlatter families, 1867-1965

(1 ambrotype, 14 book plates, 5 daguerreotypes, 2 maps, and 2 photo albums)
This series documents the Crovatt-DuBignon-Schlatter families, though much of the genealogy of how the families relate is unknown. Photographs of family members include Josephine DuBignon, Alfred J. Crovatt, Alfred H. Crovatt, and Mary Lee Schlatter, while those of Mary Hambidge's childhood friends include Frances Carter and Kate Vannah. Also visually documented are Mary and Jay's early relationship. The series alos contains maps of Brunswick and Jekyll Island, Georgia.

Control

Location

VIS 1.66VIS OS Box 49Ambrotype, unidentified woman, circa 1860, 1.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.67VIS OS Box 49Daguerreotype, unidentified child, circa 1860, 1.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.68VIS OS Box 49Daguerreotype, unidentified couple, circa 1860, 1.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.69VIS OS Box 49Daguerreotype, unidentified man, circa 1860, 1.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.70VIS OS Box 49Daguerreotype, unidentified man and boy, circa 1860, 1.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.71VIS OS Box 49Daguerreotype, unidentified woman, circa 1860, 1.0 Images

Control

Location

Control

Location

VIS 1.73FF 322VIS 1.73FF 322Map, "Plan of the Old Town of Brunswick as laid out by George R. Baldwin, Esq. C.E., in 1837 - scale 200 feet", undated, 1.0 Items

Control

Location

VIS 1.72FF 322Map, Brunswick and surrounding areas, undated, 1.0 Items

Control

Location

VIS 1.73FF 322Map, "Plan of the Old Town of Brunswick as laid out by George R. Baldwin, Esq. C.E., in 1837 - scale 200 feet", undated, 1.0 Items

Control

Location

VIS 1.74VIS OS Box 43Photo album, Carolina Military Institute, 1874, 1.0 Items

Control

Location

VIS 1.75VIS OS Box 45Photo album, Crovatt family, unidentified, undated, 1.0 Items

Control

Location

VIS 1.76VIS 1.76Photograph, Mme. Suzanne Berthor, undated, 1.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.77VIS 1.77Photographs, Brunswick, Georgia, circa 1900, 2.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.78VIS 1.78Photograph, Frances Carter, 1912, 1.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.79VIS 1.79Photographs and book plates, Alfred J. Crovatt, undated, 16.0 Items (2 images and 14 book plates)

Control

Location

VIS 1.80VIS 1.80Photographs, Alfred H. Crovatt, undated, 13.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.81VIS 1.81Photograph, Crovatt family, 1919, 1.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.82VIS 1.82Photographs, Crovatt family, Mammy, undated, 5.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.83VIS 1.83Photographs, Crovatt family, Montgomery, Alabama, 1965, 1.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.84VIS 1.84Photographs, Crovatt family, pets, undated, 14.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.85VIS 1.85Photographs, Crovatt family, unidentified, undated, 41.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.86VIS 1.86Photographs, Crovatt family, unidentified, undated, 3.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.87VIS 1.87Photographs, Crovatt family, unidentified, undated, 6.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.88VIS 1.88Photographs, Cuba, undated, 11.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.89VIS 1.89Photograph, Josephine DuBignon, 1900, 1.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.90VIS 1.90Photographs, Jay Hambidge, undated, 22.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.91VIS 1.91Photographs, Mary Crovatt Hambidge, undated, 14.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.92VIS 1.92Photographs, Mary Crovatt Hambidge, undated, 58.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.93VIS 1.93Photographs, Mary Crovatt Hambidge, undated, 16.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.94VIS OS Box 45Photographs, Mary and Jay Hambidge, oversize, undated, 7.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.95VIS 1.95Photographs, Otranto, South Carolina, undated, 5.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.96VIS 1.96Photographs, Rheims, France, 1920, 3.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.97VIS 1.97Photograph, Mary Lee Schlatter, 1876, 1.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.98VIS 1.98Photograph, Kate Vannah, undated, 1.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.99VIS 1.99Photograph, Harry Westmoreland, 1873, 1.0 Images

Control

Location

VIS 1.100VIS OS Box 43Photographs sealed in glass, Jay Hambidge, undated, 2.0 Images