Held at: James A. Michener Art Museum Archives [Contact Us]138 South Pine Street, Doylestown, PA, 18901
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the James A. Michener Art Museum Archives. 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
Born in 1924, Robert Whitley is a third-generation craftsman known for his wood sculpture and furniture designs. His studio is in Solebury Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. His pieces can be found throughout prestigious art institutions in the United States and the Hermitage in Russia.
A master craftsman of national reputation, Robert Whitley's commissions include a chess set presented by President Richard Nixon to the Soviet Union, now in the collection of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia; a recreation of President John F. Kennedy's Oval Office desk for the Kennedy Memorial Library in Boston; and the restoration of several important pieces at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where he served as master conservator. His contemporary furniture designs have earned Whitley numerous national awards and his work is in the collections of such prestigious institutions as the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Whitley's Throne Bench is located in the lobby of the James A. Michener Art Museum; it was chosen by a panel of judges from amongst fifty submissions from artists in the Mid-Atlantic region. He was also commissioned to create a conference table and matching chairs for the Penn Color Seminar Room at the Museum.
Equally well versed in contemporary and antique furniture designs, Whitley inherited from his father and grandfather his skill at cabinetry, his knowledge of woods and joinery, and a family formula for oil finishing that is a trademark of his art.
Artdaily.org. "Robert Whitley: Beauty, Function, and Grace at Michener Art Museum." March 16, 2008. Accessed September 13, 2016. http://artdaily.com/news/23567/Robert-Whitley--Beauty--Function--and-Grace-at-Michener-Art-Museum#.V9g5QlQrLIV.
Robert Whitley papers, 1955-2002, consist of 1 scrapbook, 3 books, 24 other published materials (magazines, catalogs, and calendars relating to Whitley), 10 folders of newspaper clippings (folders 3 and 4 relate to the Kennedy Desk, Throne Chair and Bench), 20 photographs, and 2 drawings. Additionally, there is one miscellaneous folder (number 11) containing 5 posters.
The collection is arranged into four groupings: Scrapbook Books Ephemera Photographs
A more detailed finding aid, biographical note, or inventory for this collection may be available on-site or on the Michener Archives finding aid page: http://www.michenerartmuseum.org/collections-research/archives/finding-aids/.
Gifted to the James A. Michener Art Museum Archives by Robert Whitley on June 23, 2006.
Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2014-2016 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.
In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact James A. Michener Art Museum Archives directly for more information.
- Decorative arts
- Furniture design
- Furniture finishing
- Furniture making
- Wood sculpture
- James A. Michener Art Museum Archives
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Sarah Leu and Anastasia Matijkiw through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories using information provided by the James A. Michener Art Museum Archives
- This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- Access Restrictions
Contact James A. Michener Art Museum Archives for information about accessing this collection.