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John Heliker sketchbooks


Held at: Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections [Contact Us]370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

John Heliker (1909-2000) was born in Yonkers, New York. He first started studying art on his own after dropping out of high school in 1923, and later attended the Art Students League from 1927 to 1929. Heliker taught art for many years, first at the Colorado Springs Art Center and then for 27 years at Columbia University as a Professor of Art. He also taught at his own former school, the Art Students League, and the New York Studio School, of which he was a founding faculty member, as well as in the MFA Painting Program at Parsons School of Design. His works have been exhibited in major survey exhibitions at the Carnegie Institute, the Brooklyn Museum, the Cleveland Museum, the Corcoran Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art, and are held by the Metropolitan Museum, the Walker Art Center, the Philadelphia Museum, the Whitney Museum, and the aforementioned Museum of Modern Art and Brooklyn Museum. Heliker was awarded the Prix de Rome in 1948, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1951, three Ford Foundation Purchase awards, and several awards from the National Academy of Design. His work gained Heliker a retrospective exhibit at the Whitney Museum, as well as a Gold Medal for Merit, a Purchase award, and a grant from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1967. Heliker held Honorary Doctorates from Colby College in Maine and Bard College in New York. He died in Bar Harbor, Maine, in February of 2000.

Sources: Smith, Roberta. "John Heliker, 91, Versatile Painter and Teacher." The New York Times. The New York Times, 28 Feb. 2000. Web. 16 Jun 2014. "Heliker + LaHotan." The Heliker-LaHotan Foundation. The Heliker-LaHotan Foundation, Inc., n.d. Web. 16 Jun 2014.

The John Heliker sketchbooks are divide into two series: Sketchbooks and Exhibits. The sketchbooks series consists of ten sketchbooks of various subjects and media. The majority of the sketchbooks contain charcoal sketches of human and animal subjects as well as still lifes and landscapes, and also contain several watercolor drawings of human figures, still lifes, and landscapes. Five of the sketchbooks are 11"x14", two are 9"x12", and the rest, ranging from smallest to largest, are 5.25"x8", 6.5"x9.5", and 13"x15.75". Though there is no definitive date for this collection, all of the sketchbooks are believed to have been created between the 1970s and the 1990s. The exhibits series contains two pamphlets about exhibits of Heliker's work in 2000 and 2012.

Materials in the collection are arranged in order of the "SB" number assigned to them by the Heliker-LaHotan foundation. SB629 is housed seperately because it is oversize.

The John Heliker sketchbooks were donated to Special Collections, Haverford College in 2014 by the Heliker-LaHotan Foundation.

Processed by Grace Thiele; completed July 2014.

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Grace Thiele
Finding Aid Date
July 2014
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Collection Inventory

Sketchbooks, 1970-1999.
Box 1 (ovs)
Exhibits, 2000-2012.
Box 1 (ovs)

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