Rare Book & Manuscript Library

C. J.Bulliet papers, 1899-1952

Summary Information


These papers contain the correspondence, photographs, press releases, programs and manuscripts of Clarence Joseph Bulliet (1883-1952) who was a prominent art and dramatic critic for the Indianapolis Star, Louisville Herald and Chicago Evening Press. The bulk of this collection is comprised of materials from the 1910s and early 1920s, when Bulliet was business manager for the touring company of Shakespearean actor Robert Bruce Mantell. Production photographs, press releases, production diaries and notes and drafts for Robert Mantell's Romance, the biography of Mantell written by Bulliet, are included in this collection. This collection also contains photographs and souvenir programs from other productions; drafts of Bulliet's literary works; printed materials and correspondence with Edward Albee, Julian Eltinge, Genevieve Hamper, Robert B. Mantell and Vera Zorina.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0165
Bib ID 4079653 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Bulliet, C. J (Clarence Joseph), 1883-1952
Title C. J.Bulliet papers, 1899-1952
Physical Description 10 linear feet (19 boxes: 16 document boxes; 1 custom made box; 1 oversize box)
Language(s) English .

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.



This collection is arranged in 5 series.



These records comprise correspondence, manuscript drafts, photographs, press releases, press clippings, printed materials and theatrical programs. Drafts of manuscripts and press releases include handwritten edits. Some photographs and souvenir programs are autographed or include an inscription. Printed materials include books by Clarence J. Bulliet and other authors.

  • Series I: Correspondence, 1909-1951, undated

    Correspondence is divided into catalogued and non-catalogued materials, reflecting the previous arrangement of these materials. Mostly composed of Bulliet's professional correspondence, this series includes letters, notes and telegrams and features correspondence from Edward Albee, John Barrymore, Hamilton Dobbin, Julian Eltinge, Genevieve Hamper, Robert B. Mantell and Vera Zorina. Non-catalogued material is arranged alphabetically by author. Catalogued images can be found in Series V, Visual Materials.

  • Series II: Theatre Productions, 1909-1950

    This series is divided into two subseries-- Robert Mantell's theatre productions and productions by other artists.

  • Series III: Writings, 1898-1935

    Drafts of Bulliet's press releases, articles, poetry, prose and non-fiction are included within this series. The main work represented here is Robert Mantell's Romance, Bulliet's biography of Mantell: this series contains notes, several drafts, press clippings, correspondence and an edition autographed by Mantell. Drafts of some of Bulliet's other non-fiction and creative writings are also included and this series contains drafts of newspaper articles, poems, plays, short stories and literary notebooks, which served as creative scrapbooks for Bulliet.

  • Series IV: Subject Files, 1908-1948

    Bulliet's original arrangement of these subject files is retained for this small series, which includes materials relating to Bulliet's professional and personal life. Personal subject files are primarily clippings and financial documents. Professional subject files include press releases, correspondence and clippings from other projects that Bulliet worked on, including the The Black Stork, The Crisis and the American Negro Music Festival. A small number of printed books and programs that Bulliet kept are included within this series.

  • Series V: Visual Materials, 1884-1946

    The majority of this series is composed of photographs of actors and production photographs from film and theatre, and a collection of theatrical portraits and subject files. Bulliet had an extensive collection of autographed portraits and much of this series has been cross-indexed in the Brander Matthews Dramatic Museum Portrait Collection. The series includes catalogued and non-catalogued materials, and retains the earlier arrangement.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); C. J.Bulliet Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Ownership and Custodial History

Gift of Richard W. Bulliet, 1982-1983, 1984& 1987.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Processed JL-W 09/--/87.

Papers Re-processed Darragh Martin (GSAS 2012) 06/--/2010.

Finding aid Written Darragh Martin (GSAS 2012) 06/--/2010.

Revision Description

2011-02-10 xml document instance created by Carrie Hintz

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Clippings (Information Artifacts) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Diaries Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Engravings (prints) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Notebooks Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Poems Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Press releases Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Proofs (printed matter) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Theater Programs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Bulliet, C. J (Clarence Joseph), 1883-1952 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
De Tréville, Yvonne, 1881-1954 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Derby, George Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Dramatic critics Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Editors Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Horton, Edward Everett Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Klein, Charles, 1867-1915 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Mantell, Robert B (Robert Bruce), 1854-1928 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Mantell, Robert Bruce Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Meyer, Annie Nathan, 1867-1951 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Moholy-Nagy, László, 1895-1946 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Motion pictures Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
O'Hara, Maureen, 1920-2015 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Skinner, Otis, 1858-1942 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Starr, Frances Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Theater Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Walker, Stuart Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Zorina, Vera Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

Though best known as the influential art critic for The Chicago Daily News, Clarence Joseph (C.J.) Bulliet began as a drama critic and served as business manager for Robert Bruce Mantell's touring Shakespeare company between 1912 and 1923. Born in Corydon, Indiana in 1883, Bulliet changed his name from 'Bulleit' after World War I to escape any connection with Germany. After graduating from Indiana University in 1905, Bulliet embarked on a newspaper career, serving as a reporter for The Louisville Herald and The Indianapolis Star, where he worked from 1906-1911.

After reviewing Robert Bruce Mantell's production of Othello, Bulliet wrote the acclaimed Shakespearean star a letter, which sparked a connection that led to Bulliet's appointment as Mantell's business manager and biographer. As business manager between 1912 and 1923, Bulliet arranged the logistics and wrote press releases for Mantell's touring Shakespeare productions which traveled across the United States. When World War I halted the production, Bulliet worked as a press representative for D.W. Griffith's film The Birth of a Nation. Bulliet also worked on Mantell's biography throughout the tour, resulting in the publication of Robert Mantell's Romance in 1918, Bulliet's first published book.

Mantell was a celebrated Shakespearean actor who was especially known for his Lear and Richard III. Born in Scotland in 1854, Mantell veered towards the stage after a tumultuous adolescence and began his career as Francisco in Hamlet. Celebrated Shakespearean actress Madame Modjeska supported Mantell in New York, commenting that his Tybalt was "a stunner, and should not be killed". Mantell shot to fame in Fedora in 1883 and achieved acclaim for roles in Shakespeare and melodrama through the rest of the 19th century, before he became exiled from New York after an acrimonious alimony dispute. His return as Richard III to the Princess Theatre in 1904 was a triumph, with Mantell reputedly supported (according to his legend) by the ghosts of tragedian's past who cheered him from the audience.

After serving as Mantell's manager, Bulliet returned to journalism, writing for he Louisville Herald again from 1920 and moving to Chicago to write for The Chicago Evening Post in 1923, where he served as its editor and drama critic. When the Post was sold and became The Chicago Daily News in 1932, Bulliet was appointed its art critic. Art increasingly usurped Bulliet's interest in drama and Bulliet quickly became the most influential art critic in Chicago, supplementing his journalism with popular publications such as Apples and Madonnas: Emotional Expression in Modern Art (1927) and Paintings, an Introduction to Art (1934). Bulliet died in 1952.