Main content

Alfred Bendiner papers


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. 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

Alfred Bendiner was born in 1899, the second of five children to Armin and Rachel Hartmann Bendiner, Sephardic Jewish immigrants from Hungary. The Bendiner family lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania relocating to Philadelphia while Alfred was still a young child.

Bendiner attended Philadelphia's Northeast High School, and upon graduation won a scholarship to the School of Industrial Art. His first job was as a cartoonist for the Public Ledger. Bendiner enrolled in the Army in 1918 during World War I. After his military service Bendiner attended the University of Pennsylvania from 1922-1927 and earned a Bachelor of Architecture and Masters degrees. Bendiner studied architecture under architect Paul Philippe Cret (1876-1945), who funded Bendiner's European tour from 1927 to 1928. In 1929 Bendiner opened his own architectural firm where he had small projects, and used his caricature skills to supplement his income.

Bendiner served as the artist for University Museum's expedition to Tepe Gawra and Kafaji, Iraq under archaeologist and University of Pennsylvania professor Ephraim Avigdor Speiser. Upon his return to Philadelphia, Bendiner married Elizabeth Wheatly Sutro. The couple were life-long travel companions.

In 1938 Bendiner began his career making caricatures for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin. His caricatures from concerts and plays of actors, musicians, conductors, comedians, and performers appeared weekly in the Bulletin with his commentary.

Bendiner wrote articles, produced compilations of his drawings, and an autobiography. Bendiner died in 1964.

Source used: Pezzati, Alessandro, "The Reluctant Architect: Alfred Bendiner (1899-1964)": The SAA Archaeological Record, 6(3):41-43.

This collection consists mainly of caricatures drawn by architect, artist, author, and Penn alumnus Alfred Bendiner dating from 1938 to 1955. Images of performers in stage productions, concerts, and operas in Philadelphia were created chiefly for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin. The caricatures are original pencil drawings, ink drawings, or lithographs with some newspaper clippings.

In addition, there is a small amount of correspondence (including greeting cards by artists featuring original artwork), publicity material for Bendiner's work, photographs, proofs and first edition of Bendiner's book, Music to My Eyes, as well as a set of sketches in various forms.

Boxes 1-5, Gift of Elizabeth Bendiner, 1983; Boxes 6-7 purchased from MacManus books, 2010.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Donna Brandolisio
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Collection Inventory

Request to View Materials

Materials can be requested by first logging in to Aeon. Then, click on the ADD button next to any containers you wish to request. When complete, click the Request button.

Request item to view
Adler, Luther, 1943.
Box 1 Folder 1

Clipping with Sylvia Sidney.

Ames, Leon.
Box 1 Folder 2

Pencil drawing with sketch on verso with Karen Morely in Little Darling.

Anderson, Marian, circa 1940.
Box 1 Folder 3

Pencil drawing with conductor Efrem Kurtz.

Armstrong, Louis.
Box 1 Folder 4

Ink drawing.

Barrymore, Ethel, 1940s.
Box 1 Folder 5

Includes lithographs of School for Scandal with Leo Cavillo.

Beal, John.
Box 1 Folder 6

Ink drawing of Liberty Jones with Nancy Coleman.

Bergner, Elisabeth, circa 1943.
Box 1 Folder 7

Ink and Ben Day prep for print with Victor Jory.

Brooks, David.
Box 1 Folder 8

Ink drawing as Turner in Shooting Stars.

Burke, Billie, circa 1944.
Box 1 Folder 9

Photo negative of Mrs. January and Mr. Ex with Frank Craven.

Burke, Marie, circa 1928.
Box 1 Folder 10

Ink drawing of performance in Show Boat.

Butterworth, Charles, 1941.
Box 1 Folder 11

Lithograph of George Washington Slept Here with Mary Wilkes.

Calhern, Louis, 1940-1944.
Box 1 Folder 12

Clippings and lithographs of The Firebrand with Haila Stoddard, A.J. Herbert, and Heinrich Schnitzler, and Jacobowsky and the Colonel with Oskar Karlweiss. See also Folder 72.

Cantor, Eddie, 1941.
Box 1 Folder 13

Lithograph of Banjo Eyes.

Casadesus, Francis.
Box 1 Folder 14

Ink drawing.

Cliburn, Van, 1950s.
Box 1 Folder 15

Ink drawing (sketch) with Eugene Ormandy.

Collier, Constance.
Box 1 Folder 16

Pencil drawing of Our Betters with Natalie Schafer.

Cronyn, Hume, circa 1941.
Box 1 Folder 17

Clipping of Golden Boy with Thomas Gomez.

Curtis String Quartet, circa 1940.
Box 1 Folder 18

Pencil drawing with Max Aronoff, Orlando Cole, Jascha Brodsky and Louis Berman.

DeLuca, Giuseppe.
Box 1 Folder 19

Clipping as Germont Pere in La Traviata.

Don Juan in Hell program, 1952.
Box 1 Folder 20

Ink sketches of Agnes Moorehead, Vincent Price, Cedric Hardwicke, and Charles Boyer.

Draper, Paul, 1940.
Box 1 Folder 21

Pencil drawing of The Little Dog Laughed with Mili Monti and Eric Roberts.

Draper, Ruth.
Box 1 Folder 22

Clipping with Paul Draper.

Eilers, Sally, circa 1945.
Box 1 Folder 23

Ink drawing of Make Yourself at Home with Philip Huston.

Evans, Maurice, 1939-1942.
Box 1 Folder 24

Cippings in Macbeth and pencil drawings/clippings in Hamlet.

Gable, Clark, circa 1940.
Box 1 Folder 25

Pencil drawing of Gable and clipping with Vivien Leigh, Mickey Rooney, Bette Davis, James Stewart and Greta Garbo.

Gaxton, William.
Box 1 Folder 26

Clipping pasted on board of Leave It to Me with Sophie Tucker and Victor Moore.

George White's Scandals, 1939.
Box 1 Folder 27

Ink drawing and pencil with Ben Blue, Billy Rayes, Willie Howard, Eugene Howard, the Knight Sisters, and Ann Miller.

Graham, Martha.
Box 1 Folder 28


Haydon, Julie, 1941-1942.
Box 1 Folder 29

Pencil drawing and clipping of The Time of Your Life with Eddie Dowling and Leo Chalzel, and ink drawing of Hello Out There with Eddie Dowling.

Hayes, Helen.
Box 1 Folder 30


Hepburn, Katharine, circa 1939.
Box 1 Folder 31

Pencil drawing and clipping of The Philadelphia Story with Van Heflin.

Hovey, Ruth, 1940s.
Box 1 Folder 32

Pencil drawing of Hay Fever with Louise Buckley and Kurt Richards.

Hurbi, Jose.
Box 1 Folder 33

Pencil drawing with Amparo Hurbi.

Jackpot, circa 1944.
Box 1 Folder 34


Kaufman, George S., circa 1940.
Box 1 Folder 35

With Moss Hart.

Kipnis, Alexander, 1941.
Box 1 Folder 36

Clipping of Tannhauser with Helen Traubel.

Laughton, Charles, circa 1938.
Box 1 Folder 37

Clipping in the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Laurel, Stan and Hardy, Oliver.
Box 1 Folder 38

Clipping with Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Billy Gilbert and W.C. Fields. See also folder 43.

Lederer, Francis, circa 1939.
Box 1 Folder 39

Pencil drawing of No Time for Comedy with Katerhine Cornell.

Le Gallienne, Eva, 1944 or 1945.
Box 1 Folder 40

Pencil drawings on tracing paper of The Cherry Orchard with Joseph Schildkraut.

Loeb, Philip.
Box 1 Folder 41


Lord, Pauline, 1940.
Box 1 Folder 42

Clipping. See also folder 100.

Marx Brothers, 1940s.
Box 1 Folder 43

Lithograph. See also folder 38.

Moore, Grace, circa 1939.
Box 1 Folder 44

Pencil drawing with John Sebastian.

Muni, Paul.
Box 1 Folder 45

Print and photographic negative of Key Largo.

Mumford, Lewis.
Box 1 Folder 46

Photographic negative.

Pins and Needles.
Box 1 Folder 47

Pencil sketch.

Robeson, Paul, circa 1943.
Box 1 Folder 48

Reverse ink drawing in Othello.

Slezak, Walter, 1940.
Box 1 Folder 49

Pencil drawing of Topaze with Donald Weaver. See also folder 114.

Smith, Muriel, circa 1943.
Box 1 Folder 50

Clipping of Carmen Jones with Luther Saxon.

Stewart, James, 1940.
Box 1 Folder 51

Clipping. See also folder 25.

Tozere, Frederic, circa 1940.
Box 1 Folder 52

Pencil drawing of The Bat with Claudia Morgan.

Ulric, Lenore.
Box 1 Folder 53

Pencil drawing with Phyllis Dobson.

Wynn, Ed.
Box 1 Folder 54

Lithograph and clipping of Boys and Girls Together.

Young, Lester.
Box 1 Folder 55

Ink drawing.

Zorina, Vera, 1940-1944.
Box 1 Folder 56

Ink drawing of The Tempest with Canada Lee and clipping of Louisiana Purchase with Victor Moore. See also folder 26.

Box 1 Folder 57
Unidentified Caricatures, 1940s.
Box 1 Folder 58
Miscellaneous Cut and Paste Etchings, undated.
Box 1 Folder 59
Exhibition Brochures, 1981-1989.
Box 1 Folder 60
Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo flyer, circa 1942.
Box 1 Folder 61
Playbill for Photo Finish, 1963.
Box 1 Folder 62
Miscellaneous Note, 1970.
Box 1 Folder 63
Aida, 1940s.
Box 2 Folder 64
Arnell, Amy, 1945.
Box 2 Folder 65

Ink drawing in Early to Bed with Mervyn Nelson and Harold Cromer.

Barrymore, Diana, 1945.
Box 2 Folder 66

Ink drawing of Rebecca with Bramwell Fletcher and Florence Reed. See also folder 78.

Beecher, Janet, circa 1944.
Box 2 Folder 67

Ink drawing of Slightly Scandalous with Boyd Davis, Gene Gary and Jean de Briac.

Beery, Noah, 1945.
Box 2 Folder 68

Ink drawing as Boss Tweed in Up in Central Park.

Blackmer, Sidney, circa 1944.
Box 2 Folder 69

Ink drawing of Chicken Every Sunday with Viola Frayne. See also folder 112.

Brown, Joe E.
Box 2 Folder 70
Brown, Phil, 1944.
Box 2 Folder 71

Ink drawing/mechanical with paste up of The Streets are Guarded with George Matthews and Len Doyle.

Calhern, Louis.
Box 2 Folder 72

Pencil drawing. See also folder 12.

Clark, Bobby, 1946.
Box 2 Folder 73

Ink drawing in The Would Be Gentleman.

Collins, Charles, circa 1938.
Box 2 Folder 74

Pencil drawing with Dorothy Stone.

Coq D'or, 1940s.
Box 2 Folder 75
Corio, Ann, circa 1941.
Box 2 Folder 76

Pencil drawing of White Cargo.

Cossart, Ernest, 1942.
Box 2 Folder 77

Drawing of Angel Street with Byron McGrath and Lynn Phillips.

Daniell, Henry, circa 1946.
Box 2 Folder 78

Ink Drawing of The Winter's Tale with Florence Reed and Luba Malina in Marinka. See also folder 66.

Danilova, Alexandra, 1940s.
Box 2 Folder 79

Ink drawing with Frederic Franklin.

Davis, Owen, circa 1942.
Box 2 Folder 80

Pencil drawing with Lois Hall and Leonard Grimes.

Dietrich, Marlene, 1940s.
Box 2 Folder 81

Pencil drawing with photographer and a boy accepting a coin.

Digges, Dudley, circa 1944.
Box 2 Folder 82

Ink drawing of The Searching Wind with Dennis King. See also folder 104.

Drake, Alfred, circa 1944.
Box 2 Folder 83

Ink drawing of Sing Out Sweet Land with Alma Kaye, and Burl Ives.

Fancy Free, 1940s.
Box 2 Folder 84

Pencil sketch of the "Sailor's Dance."

Flippen, Jay C., 1941.
Box 2 Folder 85

Pencil drawing of Hellzapoppin' with Happy Felton, et al.

Forbes, Ralph, 1943.
Box 2 Folder 86

Pencil drawing/paste up of Private Lives with Ruth Chatterton.

Francescatti, Zino, 1945.
Box 2 Folder 87
Gable, Clark, circa 1940.
Box 2 Folder 88

Lithograph and crayon drawing. See also folder 25.

Garland, Judy, circa 1943.
Box 2 Folder 89

Ink drawing with Andre Kostelanetz.

George, Grace, circa 1942.
Box 2 Folder 90

Pencil drawing of Spring Again with C. Aubrey Smith.

Gilels, Emil, circa 1955.
Box 2 Folder 91

Ink drawing with ink sketch on verso.

Green, Adolph, circa 1945.
Box 2 Folder 92

Ink drawing of On the Town with Nancy Walker and Allyn Ann McLerie.

Havoc, June, 1944.
Box 2 Folder 93

Ink drawing of Sadie Thompson with Hatfield Lansing and James Newill.

Hobbes, Halliwell, 1945.
Box 2 Folder 94

Ink drawing of Ten Little Indians with Estelle Winwood, Nicholas Joy, and J. Pat O'Malley.

Holm, Celeste, 1944.
Box 2 Folder 95

Ink drawing with pasted film of Bloomer Girl with David Brooks (see also folder 8) and Joan McCracken.

Holtz, Lou, 1943.
Box 2 Folder 96

Ink drawing of Holtz and a pencil drawing of Priorities of 1942 with Argentinita, Willie Howard (see also folder 27), and Phil Baker.

Hull, Henry, 1944.
Box 2 Folder 97

Ink drawing of Many Happy Returns with Mary Astor.

Janie, between 1942 and 1944.
Box 2 Folder 98

Ink drawing of four characters from the play.

Johnson, Chic, early 1940s.
Box 2 Folder 99

One pencil drawing and one ink drawing with Ole Olsen.

Jones, Barry, circa 1941.
Box 2 Folder 100

Pencil drawing of The Great Adventure with Pauline Lord (see also folder 42).

Jory, Victor, 1944.
Box 2 Folder 101

Ink drawing of The Perfect Marriage with Miriam Hopkins. See also folder 7.

Katch, Kurt, 1940.
Box 3 Folder 102

Pencil drawing of Margin for Error with Doris Dudley and Sheldon Leonard.

Keith, Robert, circa 1942.
Box 3 Folder 103

Ink drawing of Papa is All with Audra Lindley and Jessie Royce Landis.

King, Dennis, circa 1945.
Box 3 Folder 104

Ink drawing of Dunnigan's Daughter with Glenn Anders and Virginia Gilmore.

King, Edith, circa 1941.
Box 3 Folder 105

Pencil drawing of The Primrose Path with Katerine Locke (see also folder 114).

Kipnis, Alexander, circa 1945.
Box 3 Folder 106

Ink drawing of Boris Gudunov. See also folder 36.

Kreisler, Fritz, 1940s.
Box 3 Folder 107
Landi, Elissa, 1944.
Box 3 Folder 108

Ink drawing of Dark Hammock with Mary Orr and Charles McClelland.

Landis, Carole, 1944.
Box 3 Folder 109

Ink drawing of A Lady of ? with Arthur Maxwell, Sue Ryan and Bobby Morris.

Lane, Rosemary, circa 1942.
Box 3 Folder 110

Pencil drawing and clippings of Best Foot Forward with Gil Stratton.

Leinsdorf, Erich, 1940s.
Box 3 Folder 111

Ink drawing.

Leontovich, Eugenie, circa 1947.
Box 3 Folder 112

Ink drawing of Caviar for the General with Sidney Blackmer (see also folder 69).

Levant, Oscar, 1940s.
Box 3 Folder 113

Ink drawing.

Locke, Katherine, 1941.
Box 3 Folder 114

Pencil drawing and clipping of The Good Fairy with Walter Slezak (see also folder 49). See also folder 105.

Martin, Mary, 1944 or 1945.
Box 3 Folder 115

Ink drawing of One Touch of Venus.

Massine, Leonide, circa 1939.
Box 3 Folder 116

Pencil drawing of Gaité Parisienne.

National Folk Festival (U.S.), 1944.
Box 3 Folder 117

Ink drawing.

Natwick, Mildred, circa 1947.
Box 3 Folder 118

Pencil drawing of Ladies in Retirement.

Nolan, Doris, 1943 or 1944.
Box 3 Folder 119

Ink drawing of The Doughgirls with Arleen Whelan, Virginia Field and Arlene Francis.

Penner, Joe, 1940 or 1941.
Box 3 Folder 120

Pencil drawing of Yokel Boy with Cass Daley.

Petri, Egon, 1940s.
Box 3 Folder 121
Pinza, Ezio, 1940s.
Box 3 Folder 122
Pitts, ZaSu, 1940s.
Box 3 Folder 123

One ink drawing and one paper negative.

Rachmaninoff, Sergei, between 1939 and 1942.
Box 3 Folder 124

One pencil drawing and one lithograph.

Rostoff, Dimitri, 1941.
Box 3 Folder 125

Pencil and ink drawing of Graduation Ball with Tatiana Riabouchinska and David Lichine.

Savo, Jimmy, circa 1944.
Box 3 Folder 126

Ink drawing and print negative of What's Up?

Sayão, Bidú, circa 1945.
Box 3 Folder 127

Ink drawing in Madame Butterfly with James Melton.

Scott, Martha, circa 1942-1944.
Box 3 Folder 128

Ink drawing of Soldier's Wife with Myron McCormick, and a pencil drawing and lithograph of The Willow and I with Joanna Roos.

Shakespeare Society of Philadelphia, undated.
Box 3 Folder 129

Ink drawings/portraits of Gouraud, Gordon, Linn, Schloss, Schelling, Biddle and Craven.

Sitwell, Osbert, 1940s.
Box 3 Folder 130

Copy or print of drawing with Edith Sitwell.

Stoddard, Haila, circa 1944.
Box 3 Folder 131

Pencil drawing of Skylark with Otto Hulett. See also folder 12.

Sullavan, Margaret, 1943.
Box 3 Folder 132

Ink drawing and print of Voice of the Turtle with Elliott Nugent and Audrey Christie.

Szell, George, 1940s.
Box 3 Folder 133

Ink drawing.

Tucker, Sophie, 1940s.
Box 3 Folder 134

Pencil drawing with George Jessel.

Walter, Bruno, 1940s.
Box 3 Folder 135

One drawing and one lithograph.

Watson, Lucile, circa 1941.
Box 3 Folder 136

Pencil drawing with tracing papers on Watch on the Rhine with Paul Lukas.

Unidentified Caricatures, 1940s.
Box 3 Folder 137
Box 4 Folder unknown container

Sketches from Lysistrata.

Oversized Group Caricatures.
Box 5 Folder unknown container
Autobiography drafts, 1957-1958.
Box 6 Folder 1
Correspondence - Kostelanetz, Andre, 1943 July 27.
Box 6 Folder 2
Correspondence - Library of Congress, 1942 June 9.
Box 6 Folder 3
Correspondence - Lifschey, Samuel, 1943 April 11.
Box 6 Folder 4
Correspondence - List, Eugene, 1944 April 20.
Box 6 Folder 5
Correspondence - Artist greeting cards, 1932, undated.
Box 6 Folder 6
Correspondence - Artist greeting cards (Rudolph Pott), undated.
Box 6 Folder 7
Exhibition announcement card, 1949.
Box 6 Folder 8
Music to My Eyes proofs, circa 1956.
Box 6 Folder 9 Box 6 Folder 10
Music to My Eyes (1st edition), 1952.
Box 6 Folder 11
Music to My Eyes publicity, circa 1952-1956.
Box 6 Folder 12
Music to My Eyes reproductions, 1952.
Box 7 Folder 1
Philadelphia Museum Bulletin, vol. XXXVII, no. 191, 1941 November.
Box 6 Folder 13
Photographs of Bendiner and unidentified, undated.
Box 6 Folder 14
Sketches - architectural.
Box 7 Folder 3
Sketches - Kindler, Hans (includes photograph), 1947.
Box 6 Folder 15
Sketches - lithograph proofs, undated.
Box 6 Folder 16
Sketches - miscellaneous, undated.
Box 7 Folder 2 Box 6 Folder 17
Sketches - photostats, undated.
Box 6 Folder 18
Sketches - sketchbook, undated.
Box 6 Folder 19

Print, Suggest