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Grace Spaulding John papers

Identifier: AAA 9286

Diaries, writings, sketches and drawings, scrapbooks, printed matter and photographs relating to John and her work.

Circa 650 pages of undated sketches and notes from travels on the west coast of Mexico, and 24 combination journals and sketchbooks from her travels throughout Europe, Canada, Cuba, Mexico and the United States. Poetry, descriptions of places and people visited, and statements about her work comprise the major portion of the journal entries.

Biographical data; writings and notes; 3 scrapbooks containing family photographs, printed material and letters; a scrapbook on Ruth Uhler containing letters to John and clippings; photographs of paintings; a list of paintings in her collections; and a card index containing information of exhibitions.


  • 1890-1972


Conditions Governing Access

Microfilm reels 1913-1915 and 2690-2692 available through interlibrary loan.

Conditions Governing Use

Collections are made available for research purposes only. Documents, photographs, art work, microfilm, recordings, and transcripts owned by the Archives of American Art may be protected by copyright, trademark, or a related interest not owned by the Archives. It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to determine whether any such rights exist, and to obtain necessary permission for use.

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6 Microfilm Reels

3,931 Images

Biographical / Historical

Grace Spaulding John (1890-1972) was born in Battle Creek, Michigan. She studied in the St. Louis School of Fine Arts, in the Art Institute of Chicago and in the "Laurelton Hall". Grace was commissioned government funded artwork for public buildings such as "The Pipe of Peace", "Literature", and "The Pioneers" for Houston's Sidney Lanier Middle School. John and a group of women opened the first artist's run Gallery in Houston: "Houston's Artist Gallery" on Main Street. She has several murals in Houston and San Antonio. Her work had two retrospectives in 1988: at The Museum of Art of American West, and at The Rosenberg Library, both in Texas. She had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts Los Angeles, and Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Her work is collected by the Library of Congress, The Smithsonian Institution and many others. Grace is one of the first artists to use plexiglas as a medium; she also worked with painter in crayon , charcoal, paint and ink.

Sources: Grace Spaulding John,, accessed May 21st, 2020.

Wikipedia, Grace Spaulding John,, accessed May 21st, 2020.

John Keightley, Patricia, Texas State Historical Association,, accessed May 21st, 2020.

Wikipedia, Houston Alternative Art,, accessed May 21st, 2020.

Other Finding Aids

AAA online guide at

Acquisition Information

Material on reel 1703 lent for microfilming, 1979; material on reel 3538 donated 1984 all by Gertrude Barnstone. Originals returned to the lender, Patricia John Keightley, after microfilming.

Note: The Grace Spaulding John Papers were microfilmed for the Texas Art Project at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston as part of the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art. Currently the papers can be accessed on microfilm at MFAH. The University of Houston Libraries and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston are digitizing the John papers as part of a collaborative TexTreasures 2020 grant project through the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) with funding from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).When digitization is complete, the John papers will be made available online through UH Libraries and MFAH websites.

Existence and Location of Originals

The Grace Spaulding John papers are held by Rice University's Woodson Research Center,

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas Art Project Microfilm Repository