|Avery Drawings & Archives Collections|
At a Glance
Avery's collection of Spanish children's drawings of the civil war consist of 153 drawings made by children aged 7 to 14 between the years 1936 and 1938. The drawings were willed to the Department of Art History and Archaeology of Columbia University by Martin Vogel, a lawyer, who died on May 20, 1938 at the age of 59. He made several bequests to Columbia University in a will dated March 16, 1938. From the date of this will and of his death, it is likely the drawings he purchased were those exhibited at Lord & Taylor's in February 1938. His name, however, does not appear among the patrons of the exhibition.
In 1977, the late Professor George Collins discovered these drawings upon examination of some large boxes designed to resemble folio books that were kept in the slide library of the Department of Art History. He had them transferred to the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, where they reside.
Using the Collection
Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. A file listing is available for the collection. To request this list and to make an appointment, or for any for further information, please email email@example.com.
Over 850 of these drawings have been identified in a variety of locations. Columbia received the 153 images presented here in 1938 through a bequest and they became part of the collections of the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library in 1977. The majority of the drawings known today (609) have been collected by the University of California at San Diego and form part of the Southworth collection in their Mandeville Special Collections. Harvard University holds another 17, and 15-20 others are in the Philadelphia headquarters of the American Friends Service Committee.
George Collins papers, 1838-1986, (bulk 1949-1986), Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library contains a series of folders containing photocopies, correspondence, notes, newspaper clippings, and exhibition material regarding Avery Library's collection of children's drawings of the Spanish Civil War.
Spanish Child Welfare Association of America records, 1937-1939, Manuscripts and Archives Division, New York Public Library includes correspondence concerns recruiting of members, arrangements for fund-raising exhibitions of drawings and paintings, publication of book about Spanish children's drawings, publicity, and condition of refugee children in Spain.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) children were evacuated from the war zones to colonies in the war-free areas of Spain and in the south of France. Drawings by these children – most between the ages of seven and fourteen – were collected from throughout Spain in a concerted effort by the Spanish Board of Education and the Carnegie Institute of Spain. A large group was assembled by Joseph A. Weissberger in early 1938 and brought to the United States on behalf of the Spanish Child Welfare Association for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC – "Quakers"). They were used by the AFSC as a means to publicize the plight of the children and collect funds for more evacuations and assistance to the already established colonies. Over 850 of these drawings have been identified in a variety of locations. The AFSC published sixty of the drawings in the book And they still draw pictures! (the publication included a prologue by Aldous Huxley). Several printings were sold for $1.00 each for the same fund.