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W. Stanton Forbes papers

W. Stanton Forbes papers

Descriptive Summary

Title: W. Stanton Forbes papers
Creator: Forbes, W. Stanton
Inclusive Dates: 1905-2010
Language(s): English
Extent: 5.8 Linear Feet (15 document boxes)
Collection Number: ms940
Repository: Hargrett Library

Collection Description

Historical Note

William Stanton Forbes (1912-1989), an Athens native, became interested in art and writing from a young age while studying under his aunt, the artist Lucy May Stanton. He pursued his interest in the arts and humanities by earning a Bachelor's in English from the University of Georgia and a Master's in English from Vanderbilt University. He then traveled to Italy in 1938-1939 to study fresco under Giovanni Colacicchi at the Royal Academies in Rome and Florence. From 1942-1945, he served with the US Army, 602nd Engineers Camouflage Battalion, earning five campaign stars for the European Theatre where his Battalion camouflage painted tanks, constructed road screens, concealed soldiers and vehicles in snow conditions, helped establish headquarters and bivouacs, and, in general, supplied camouflage material for men, equipment, and tactics.From 1950-1953, he studied History of Art and Applied Art at Mexico City College under Justino Fernandez, Lola and German Cueto, and Enrique Climent. He received a Master's Degree in History of Art and Applied Art in 1954.

After a divorce from his first wife Ellen Endicott, he married Jean Reti-Forbes in 1963. In 1975, he wrote "Lucy M. Stanton, Artist," a biography of his aunt. He spent most of his adult life in the North Georgia mountains, writing and creating works of art. He also held annual exhibits of his paintings, prints, sculpture, weaving, pottery and furniture at his home in Athens, GA. He lived with his daughter, Lucy Shevenell, in Massachusetts for several years before then moving to a nearby nursing home where he died on September 12, 1989.

Scope and Content

This collection contains a variety of material related to W. Stanton Forbes, including his correspondence, artwork, and writing, as well as his collection of clippings, diaries, music compositions, official documents, house plans for "Still Waters," photographs, and other printed materials.

The correspondence consists of letters between 1924 and 2007and are primarily from W. Stanton Forbes, Ellen E. Forbes, Lucy and Katherine Forbes, Frances Forbes Heyn, and Jean Reti-Forbes. The collection holds a significant amount of World War II letters between W. Stanton and his first wife, Ellen, covering 1942 to 1945 from W. Stanton's enlistment to his honorable discharge. The other large portion of the collection is the 1960s and 1970s, when W. Stanton wrote his daughters and sister almost every day. The official documents consist mainly of legal documents, exhibition programs, passports, military discharge papers, wills, and memorial service programs of W. Stanton Forbes and his second wife, Jean Reti-Forbes. The writings include W. Stanton Forbes' original music compositions, short stories, poetry, and longer prose including his Mexico City College master thesis, illustrated stories for his grandchildren, and a biography of his aunt artist Lucy Stanton. The newspaper clippings consist of obituaries, articles, and announcements focused on the professional work of W. Stanton Forbes and his loved ones, including his Mexico City College mentors, his relative Lucy Bates, his aunt Lucy M. Stanton, and Jean Reti-Forbes. Also included are four volumes notebooks and diaries filled with the creative and personal writings of W. Stanton Forbes and Jean Reti-Forbes as well as the guestbook from their residence Still Waters. The art series consists of a copper plate, ink prints, watercolors, pencil sketches, and ink drawings including Forbes' tribal artwork, often used in conjunction with texts written by his second wife, Jean Reti-Forbes. The photographs are of W. Stanton Forbes, his exhibitions, his loved ones, and Still Waters.

Organization and Arrangement

Materials are arranged in eight series: 1. Correspondence. 2. Official Documents. 3. Writings. 4. Newspaper Clippings. 5. Notebooks and Diaries. 6. Printed Material. 7. Art. 8. Photographs. With the exception of Correspondence, which has been arranged chronologically, the materials are arranged by record type.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

W. Stanton Forbes papers, ms940, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.

Related Materials and Subjects

Subject Terms

Artists -- Georgia.
Artists' writings.
Exhibition catalogs.
Forbes, W. Stanton -- Correspondence
Forbes, W. Stanton -- Exhibitions
Orozco, José Clemente, 1883-1949 -- Criticism and interpretation
Réti, Jean
Smith, Lillian (Lillian Eugenia), 1897-1966 -- Correspondence
Stanton, Lucy M., 1875-1931
University of Georgia -- Alumni and alumnae

Related Collections in this Repository

Related materials available in the following collections of this repository: W. Stanton Forbes collection, ms2081 ; Helen Forbes Ross papers, ms640 ; Walter T. Forbes papers, ms39 ; Jean Reti-Forbes papers, ms912 ; Lucy M. Stanton papers, ms392 ; Lucy M. Stanton collections, ms846 and ms3486; Lillian Smith papers, ms1283 and 1283a.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing



The majority of correspondence consists of letters between W. Stanton Forbes and his family. He assigned nicknames for his wife, sister, sister-in-law, and children, using these in the greeting of each letter (i.e. U. Bunny is Lucy, Kitty Poo is Katherine, My Darling Sweetie / Miss Mousey / Punkin is Ellen, Fanny is Frances, Partner is his sister-in-law, etc) throughout his entire life.


The early letters are to and from his mother and sister. He starts writing Ellen as well in 1938. During this time, Forbes went to Italy in 1938 to study fresco under Giovanni Colacicchi, and most of the letters are from Italy.
13Miscellaneous, 1942-1945

World War II - Ellen E. Forbes

The World War II letters are almost entirely to and from Ellen E. Forbes, who he married in 1940, after he enlisted in the military. Correspondence covers from his training in 1942 to his honorable discharge in 1945. Forbes usually discusses his time in the army and responds to Ellen's comments about her current activities in Georgia. Notably, the two often manipulate words subtracting letters or adding extra ones, making their correspondence difficult to understand at times.
141942 June - July
151943 August
161942 September
171942 October
181942 November - December
19-101942, undated
211943 February - June
221943 July - December
241944 January - March
251944 April
261944 May - June
271944 July - August
281944 September - December
311945 January - March
321945 April - July
331945 August - September
34Julius Rosenwald Fund, 1945
35Other friends and family members, 1942-1945

Mexico City College

The Mexico City College letters are to and from Ellen, his mother and her father Harra, and Mexican acquaintances. Ellen and their children eventually join him in Mexico. The family stays there for several years, writing Forbes' mother most of all. The children write a few letters in this period with crayon drawings. After 1953, however, the family returns to the United States; Ellen and their children returned to Georgia, while Forbes left to work in California out of dissatisfaction with his life. In this time period, around 1954, most letters are between Ellen and Forbes and show the rocky decline in their marriage. By the late 1950s, he no longer wrote Ellen, going through with a divorce, and turned his attention to his two daughters.
37Ellen E. Forbes, 1950s

Frances Forbes Heyn and family

The letters to his sister, Frances Forbes Heyn, detail Forbes' personal and professional life in the 1960s and 1970s. Also included are letters to Forbes' mother and letters to and from his brother, Walter Stanton Forbes. In 1962, he started courting Jean Reti-Forbes and married her in 1963.
Includes Ellen Endicott Forbes' obituary biography and W. Stanton Forbes' mother's memorial service program.
441967-1969, undated


The letters to his daughters, Lucy and Katherine, also follow his personal and professional life, as well as theirs. most of the letters in this collection are to Lucy. From 1963 to Jean's death in 1972, he often includes both his and her signatures, even though he's usually the only writer. After her death, he continued writing Lucy with great intensity, until he moved in with her in 1975. The letters in the very late 1970s are not or from his daughters for the most part.
Includes Jean Reti and W. Stanton Forbes' wedding invitation to Lucy.
511968 January - April
521968 May - August
531968 September - December
541969 January - May
551969 June - December
561970 January - April
571970 May - December
581971 January - May
591971 June - December
611972 January - April
621972 May - December
Includes Memorial Service program for Jean Reti-Forbes.
631973 January - April
641973 May - September
651973 October - December
661974 January - April
671974 May - December
681975 January - December
691976 February - November
711977-1979, undated
7A1-2Katherine, 1968-1972
7A3Walter Forbes, 1966-1972
7A4Family , 1961-1968
72Jean Reti-Forbes, 1963-1969
The Jean Reti Forbes letters are mostly directed to Lucy from Jean and often signed W. Stanton as well. The correspondence is small and scattered through several years.

Later years

The correspondence from Others and the Postmortem section is a handful of letters, all of which regard W. Stanton Forbes in some way. A number deal with his passing, which occurred in 1989. The letters from 2007 regard his family approving an online biography for Forbes.
73Others, 1980-1989
74After death, 1990, 1997, 2007

Official Documents

81Birth certificate for W. Stanton Forbes
81Copyright Registration for Forbes' works
81Death certificate for W. Stanton Forbes
81Death certificate for Jean Reti-Forbes
81Will of Jean Reti-Forbes, 1972
81Funeral Service Purchase Agreement for W. Stanton Forbes, 1990
81Southern Books Competition's handlist of award winning books in 1973 - includes To Dwell in Sound
8Exhibit brochures and invitations for Forbes' work
82Mexico City College commencement program, 1954
82Land tract sale by W. Stanton Forbes, 1948
83Marriage certificate between W. Stanton Forbes and Jean Reti-Forbes, 1963
83Biographical obituary for W. Stanton Forbes
83Biographical obituary for Jean Reti-Forbes
83Memorial service program for W. Stanton Forbes, 1990
83Jean Reti-Forbes memorial service program
83"Monday Evening Concerts" at Tallulah Falls School brochures with biography of Forbes, 1990
83Internal Medicine Assessment of W. Stanton Forbes, 1981
84Mexico City College scholastic record
84Table card, invitation, and hotel reservation for Frances Heyn to National Portrait Gallery Tenth Anniversary, 1978
84Jeannette Rankin in Georgia by Ted C. Harris, edited by Phinizy Spalding, 1974
Includes signature of Phinizy Spalding on cover.
84Traveler's Rest or Jarrett Manor brochure by Georgia Historical Commission
84Northwestern University on the air, Of Men and Books, guest starring Lillian Smith, 1944
84Southern Living article on Lucy M. Stanton, 1978
84Atlanta Art Association pamphlet, 1962 December
84Mexico City College exhibit catalogue for Forbes' work
84Western Maryland College Christmas Vesper Service program, 1966
84College Entrance Examination Board exam (blank), 1942
84Padstow Hobby Horse brochure with songs and accounts
84"Music at Georgia", the newsletter of UGA's Music Department , 1969
84Online biography of Giovanni Colacicchi, 2007
84Article clipping about Navajo Indian sand-painting
84Resolution of Coastal Area Planning and Development Commission of gratitude to Anthony A. Alaimo
84W. Stanton Forbes article, "Excavations Throw New Light on Early American Indians," in Unesco Features
85W. Stanton Forbes' passports, 1954, 1966, 1973
85The First Six Years of University of Georgia Basketball (1905-1906 to 1910-1911) compiled by H. Sellers Rogers
85Banquet for Basketball "Old-Timers" program, 1956
85University of Georgia Athletic Association resolution about UGA's first basketball coach, Walter T. Forbes
85World War II era English theater programs , 1942
85Military discharge papers for W. Stanton Forbes
85602 Engineer Camouflage Battalion reunion programs - one with handwritten notes about Forbes' war experiences
85602nd Engineers Roster
85College yearbook photograph of W. Stanton Forbes as a sophomore
86-7House Plans for Still Waters
88Letters Testamentary issued on the estate of Lucy Bates (three copies), 1969
88Letters Testamentary issued on the estate of Jean Reti-Forbes, 1972
88Unsigned will of Jean Reti-Forbes
88Certificate of copyright registration for Jean Reti-Forbes' "Child of the Prairie", 1979
89Piano Recital poster for Jean Reti-Forbes in Germany
89Brochure for Jean Reti-Forbes, "Lecture-Recitals, Concerts, Piano Workshops", approximately 1963
89Brochure for Jean Reti, approximately 1961
89"Jean Reti-Forbes recital at Emmanuel College", 1967
89The Clayton Music and Literary Club - "Poetry and Music: A Journey into the Past" , 1981
89Additional Notes on Jean Reti-Forbes from Stanton Forbes
810Catalog of 1953 exhibition and drawing, "Reindeer Christmas"


91W. Stanton Forbes' original music
92"Art in the New Dental School Building at Augusta, Ga."
92"Art" at The Atlanta Art Association Galleries, 1962
92"The Hunt of Conjur Bear" for his daughters, 1957
92"Fire Side Sages" Chapter I
Nonfiction biography.
92Lyrics for "Forgotten Swords"
92"Forgotten Swords" , 1960
93"The Garden of Delight"
93Golden Anniversary at Tallulah Falls
Nonfiction biography.
93"Growing up in Cobbham", 1974
Nonfiction biography.
93"Improving Readiness," about his father, Walter, 1981
Nonfiction biography.
94Draft of "Lucy M. Stanton: Artist"
94"Lucy Stanton: Eye of the South" book description
94Finished portions of "Lucy M. Stanton: Artist"
94ATypescript of "Lucy M. Stanton: Artist"
95Ballet: "A Masque from the Attack Trunk: Forgotten/Remembered Swords" notes, 1960
95"A Masque from the Attack Trunk: Remembered Swords", 1961
95Short notes, poems, and sonnets
95"Mountain Crafts for the Young", 1974
96"Name Your Own Ghosts or Remembered Swords"
96"Ghosts" and related notes
96"Our Sabine Farm"
Nonfiction biography.
97"The Revival of Arts and Crafts At the Tallulah Falls Mountain School in Ga."
97"Round Wedding Round", 1981
97Sonnets to Jean Reti (three copies), 1972
97"Tricked by the Ghosts of Venice"
97"Where God and A Good Time Are Friends"
Nonfiction biography.
97"Y Camp History"
Nonfiction biography.
98"Culture of the Noble Savage of Georgia" (in English, Spanish, and French)
In Spanish, French, and English.
99"Orozco's Adam and Eve," in Arizona Quarterly, Winter 1954
101"Patterns of Geometric Expression in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Mexico" - book draft
102"Pre-Columbian Influences in Colonial Architecture and Other Arts" - book draft
Includes many photographs from 1950s Mexico.

Newspaper clippings

111"Going a-Maying" by Christina Hole in Radio Times, 1945
111"Currier and Ives Panorama Shows Journalism of an Era" by W. Stanton Forbes
111"Athenian's New Centennial Book on Display Here" - a book review of his "Attic Trunk" work, 1961
111"Musical Duo Listens to Silence" by Ione Dellinger - about Jean Reti-Forbes and W. Stanton Forbes, 1965
111"Artist Honored" about W. Stanton Forbes, 1962
111"History of Georgia Basketball: Peach Rim to Plushness" about Walter T. Forbes, 1964
111"Tribute to Rabun's Miss Lillian Smith", 1966
111"Abit Nix Tells of Y Experience" about Walter T. Forbes
111"Stanton Forbes exhibit will open", 1969
111"W. Stanton Forbes Book Published", 1975
112"W. Stanton Forbes; renowned artist/musician still at work in his Tallulah Falls studio", 1978
112"Sipping Champagne Under the Portraits for the Gallery's Birthday", 1978
113"Water color portraits on ivory", 1980
113"Mary Lillian Fortson and W. Stanton Forbes perform in concert", 1981
113"Forbes Has Confidence in Future; Opens 2 New Businesses as Proof" about Walter T. Forbes, 1982
113"Two firms carry on development with eye on government spending" about Walter T. Forbes, 1982
113"Mealtime at Summer Camp" with Walter T. Forbes, 1987
113W. Stanton Forbes obituary (from several papers), 1989
113"TFS concert dedicated to W.S. Forbes", 1990
113"Michael Radyk Conservation with Light, Shadow and Stanton Forbes", 2010
113"Helen Escobedo obituary", 2010
114"An Artist Builds A HoneyMoon Castle", approximately 1939
114"Athens Y Camp 87th Season To Include Three Sessions", approximately 1985
114"Death Takes Miss Bates", approximately 1969
114"Dr. Carey Stanton", approximately 1985
114"Faces" about Portrait Gallery, undated
114"Forbes' paintings on display at library", 1980
114"Forbes' 'Monologue' Is Placed on Sale", 1954
114"Foxfire Editor's chief concern is 'the kids'"
114"Fulton Hill art center co-founder dies at 71" about W. Stanton's sister, Lynn Forbes Garber, approximately 1986
114"Georgian Famous for Miniatures" about Lucy Stanton, undated
114"Georgian left mark in small way" about Lucy Stanton, undated
114"House That Is a Woman's" about W. Stanton Forbes' Tallulah Falls house, 1949
114"Lion Lifted by Pranksters; Local Artist Consulted On How To Keep Lions Home" about W. Stanton Forbes' lion sculpture, undated
114"Local Artist's Woodcuts Seen in Magazine", undated
114"Lucy M. Stanton Portrait of Georgia Author Recently Given to National Portrait Gallery", 1972
114"News about Mrs. W.T. Forbes, Sr." , undated
114"Mrs. Forbes Dies in Va; Rites Today" about W. Stanton Forbes' mother, undated
114"Portraits by W. Stanton Forbes" advertisement
114"Stanton Forbes' Work Is Exhibited in Mexico", approximately 1954
115"Stanton Forbes Weds Mme. Reti"
115Mrs. Forbes, Noted Pianist, Scholar, Dies
115"Featured Pianist" about Jean Reti Forbes, 1962
115"Mrs. Reti-Forbes Is Visiting Artist", 1967
115"Acclaimed pianist Jean Reti-Forbes will perform Thursday Night"
115"Music Critic Discussed" about Jean Reti Forbes
115Newspaper clipping about Jean Reti-Forbes' To Dwell in Sound

Notebooks and Diaries

116Personal and creative writing notebook, approximately 1941-1961
117Diary #1 - 1960s by Jean Reti-Forbes and 1970s by W. Stanton Forbes after her death, 1964-1965, 1972-1977
118Guest Book of Jean Reti Forbes and W. Stanton Forbes, 1961-1984
119Diary #2 - W. Stanton Forbes, 1974-1976
1110Miscellaneous Notes from Diaries

Printed Material

121"Built upon honor: Ceramic Art of ben Owen and Ben Owen III"
121Invitation for "walking around & through architecture" at Still Waters
122W. Stanton Forbes accomplishments book
122"Galeria de Arte mexicano" by Helen Escobedo, 1966
122"Goldy Locks Continued" , 1977
123"Monologue: A Dream Sequence", 1954
124"Scherzo", 1961
124"Sonnets to Jean Reti", 1972


131Mezzotint copper plate of Lucy Stanton Forbes by W. Stanton Forbes, 1969
132"Ghosts" prints (titles illegible, numbered)
133Photocopies of "Ghosts" prints and accompanying list
133"Ghosts" prints as blank greeting cards
133Invitation cards to "Watercolors" by W. Stanton Forbes, 1962
133Untitled watercolors and prints
133"Bear Hunt" cover print
133Color copy of "Plantina Stick" print
134Untitled pencil drawings
134Children's pencil and crayon drawings
135Architectural drawings, 1976
135Untitled ink prints
13a6Photocopies of architectural drawings, 1976
136Photocopies of Still Waters drawings, 1976
137Unidentified stencils
138Watercolors of architectural drawings, 1976
139Notebook of watercolors of fruits and flowers
139Childhood painting by W. Stanton Forbes, 1920
1310Notebook of watercolors of "Still Waters" landscapes
1311Notebook of watercolors and sketches of people and animals

For Grandchildren

131W. Stanton Forbes' illustrated fairy tale collection
132"Parodies of Classic Children's Books and Animal Stories In Verse for Children Illustrated" by W. Stanton Forbes
133Segments of various stories and poems, approximately 1984
133"Family Stories for Grandchildren", 1984
133"Fire-Side Sages: Chapter V"
Appears to use a literary technique that blurs fiction and nonfiction, sometimes seen in war literature. In this case, W. Stanton Forbes describes close renditions of his experiences at Normandy and other European campaigns during World War II, but he has added in his daughter as a rabbit companion (due to her nickname "U-Bunny").
133"Sonnet 1976 - Still Waters"
134"The Sea", 1985
134"Goldy Locks Continued", 1975
134"Fireside Sages: Chapter I", 1974
Duplicate can be found in Writings series.
134"Sonnets to Jean Reti", 1972
Duplicate can be found in Writings series. Back of story includes W. Stanton Forbes' "Codice to my will" from 1976.
135"Mood and Math: Still Waters", 1977
135"Still Waters: Bees' Wax Candles" and "Still Waters: Lost Wax Process", 1978
135Descriptions of local flowers
136"Parodies of Classic Children's Books"
Restricted pending completion.


Includes Jean Reti-Forbes.
138W. Stanton Forbes, 1913-1980s
Other family members, such as his mother and sister, are sometimes pictured. Includes World War II photographs and official photographs for galleries and newspapers.
139Exhibitions , approximately 1950s to 1980s
Most are paintings or sculptures. Some are exhibits in galleries. W. Stanton Forbes is sometimes present. None are official photographs.
1310Still Waters residence
Photographs sometimes include W. Stanton Forbes and members of his family.
12Two boxes of color slides of W. Stanton Forbes' art
Some of these are duplicates found either in "Exhibitions" or "Still Waters."