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Jennie Smith papers

Jennie Smith papers

Descriptive Summary

Title: Jennie Smith papers
Creator: Smith, Jennie, 1862-1946
Inclusive Dates: 1863-1944
Language(s): English
Extent: 2.7 Linear Feet (2 document boxes, 2 half boxes, 1 oversized box, 2 oversize folders A, 1 oversize folder B)
Collection Number: ms13
Repository: Hargrett Library
Abstract: The collection consists of the personal papers of Jennie Smith from 1863-1944. Includes correspondence (1883-1944), clippings, sketches, printed pictures, engravings, drawings, designs for art contests, pages from Godey's Lady's Book and Frank Leslies Magazine, photographs, notebooks, and a diary of Jennie Smith. Materials pertain to Smith's art career and life in Athens, Georgia. The collection also contains the diary (1863) of John H. Mitchell, a Union soldier, probably from Michigan. Diary mentions prison duty, sickness, and troop movements in Tennessee.

Collection Description

Biographical Sketch

Oneita Virginia Smith (1862-1946) was born in Athens, Georgia, educated at Lucy Cobb Institute, then studied art in Baltimore, New York and Paris where she was a pupil of Carriere. She returned to Athens and was the head of the Department of Art at Lucy Cobb for some 50 years. She was known as 'Miss Jennie' by her friends and students.

Jennie's apartment at Lucy Cobb still remains today and was often shown on the garden tours of the Institute. She was a charter member of the Athens Art Association when it was organized in 1919 and was one of the few honored with 'Life Membership'.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of letters, notebooks, sketches, newspaper clippings, unintentionally humorous obituaries, photographs, engravings, lithographs, watercolors. Miss Jennie appears to have entered design contests for various items and these are represented in the collection. There are many pages removed from Godey's Lady's Book and Frank Leslie's Magazine along with many other examples of costumes. There is a Union diary kept by Joseph H. Mitchell, probably from Michigan. There is a lot of Athens material in the collection, chiefly anecdotal, but the list of teachers in Athens is interesting.

Miss Jennie left other items to the Library when she died - silver, furniture, books, pictures and these were placed in various locations in the department and university.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Jennie Smith papers, ms13, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.

Finding Aid Publication

Finding aid prepared on: 2009 March 18.

General Notes

Donated by Jennie Smith in 1943 and her estate in 1946. Additional materials donated by Hal Heckman in 1964.

Portions of this collection have been digitized and are available online as part of America's Turning Point: Documenting the Civil War Experience in Georgia.

Related Materials and Subjects

Subject Terms

Art schools -- Georgia.
Athens (Ga.)
Georgia -- Social life and customs.
Lucy Cobb Institute (Athens, Ga.)
Mitchell, James H.
Soldiers -- Michigan -- Diaries.
Tennessee -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.
United States. Army
Women art teachers -- Georgia.
Women artists -- Georgia.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

11Biography and Obituaries for Jennie Smith
12Correspondence - unsorted, undated, 1883-1904
Includes correspondence with the Ladies' Home Journal about an art contest among her students; correspondence from Mrs. Beatrice Molesworth, London, during World War I; a letter to Clara Morton, a maid at Lucy Cobb; and many of Smith's own personal pieces of writing.
13Correspondence - unsorted, 1905-1944
Includes Lucy Cobb report card; a Golden Jubilee ribbon; correspondence from C.M. Newton, V.L. Brown, Charles Tucker, H.C. White, and H.R.H. Prince Louis de Bourbon; correspondence from the Packer Manufacturing Company about students' art pieces; a 1909 letter to a father regarding President Taft's visit; correspondence from the Ladies' Home Journal; a piece of V-Mail from Sergeant Jeann Elanigen; and a 1921 letter to Miss Rutherford.
14Postcards (Europe, holiday, The Animals' Trip to the Sea), 1900s-1930s
15Miscellaneous papers - unsorted
Includes recipes; written essays, such as "Drawing for Children" and "Christmas Presents"; an essay with a sketch, "The Recital"; a student-written essay, "Bereaved" about a UGA chemistry professor; two game instructions, "Baseball Bridge: A New Game" and "Artful History: A New Game"; "A Socratic Symposium"; and a small bound postcard scrapbook (postcards are pasted into a 1907-1908 notebook used for elementary English homework).
21Clippings - copies, 1922
Several issues; loose clippings
22Hand-written obituaries, Lilies of the Valley (1909), and a scrapbook containing funeral programs and newspaper obituaries
oddities, some bound
23Printed pictures, engravings, and writings
24Newspaper clippings, sketches, recipes, and "Académie Julian" documents
Some Jennie Smith info
25Sketches and watercolor paintings
26Photographs - all unidentified
27Jennie Smith's list of Athens teachers
28Loose Notebook , 1920s-1930s
Notebook includes personal notes, amusing clippings, stock bonds, playful cards, "Slips Corrected of Tongue and Pen" (1892), and notes about students from the 1920s.
3Two bound books (Gordon Keith and The Under Dog) used as notebooks
3"Cook Book" with loose clippings regarding food and recipes, circa 1930s
31Two Union soldier's diaries (given to Jennie Smith in 1931), 1863
Joseph H. Mitchell written on the front. He may have been from Michigan. He mentions duty at a prison; the towns of Lebanon, Knoxville, Sweet Water; crossing the Tennessee River at Louden; and rebels charging Benjamin Battery and losing 1200, while 400 were taken prisoner and 800 were killed. He mentions Lieutenant Colonel Prat of 23d Michigan Volunteers. In back pocket is a letter from a lady in Plymouth, Michigan, and a deed for cemetery lot in 'Liberty' township.
32Miscellaneous writings
Includes: assorted detailed notes, Citizens and Southern Bank statements, a marriage proposal in a poem, typescript of a letter from Mrs. Mary Barney to General Jackson in 1829; several flora-centered poems, part of a script; and a black notebook with loose clippings and an envelope containing a squirrel tail.
33Leather notebook with loose notes and clippings, 1950s
34Diary of Jennie Smith with numerous loose pages, papers, and clippings, undated
41Crest drawings and designs
42Several pages of costumes from Godey's Lady's Book, Frank Leslie's Lady's Magazine and Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine
43Prints, paintings, drawings
45Watercolors, drawings
5Flat folio
Contains some 93 items including a painting of the Lucy Cobb goats engraving memorial of Howell Cobb by B. B. Euston, Professor of Penmanship, State Agriculture College, Athens - after 1868; two black and white drawings by LCG, Paris 1897 and 1898; eight drawings, watercolors, some for products, by Jennie Smith portfolio of 21 drawings identified as being Paris drawings - mostly nudes, heads.
1ADrawings (5) - pencil and ink
2AColor Paintings (4)
3BDrawings (4) / Painted Portrait (1)