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Nathan B. Young Clip-Art Collection [ART CLP 1] Edit

Summary

Identifier
ART CLP 1

Dates

  • Circa 1960-1990 (Creation)

Extents

  • 922.00 Items (Whole)

Agent Links

Notes

  • Abstract

    The Nathan B. Young Clip-Art Collection is one of several collections held by the Saint Louis University Archives related to the life and work of Judge Nathan B. Young, Jr . Judge Young was an incredibly energetic man. Some how, he was a b l e to combine successfully at least five different professional careers into one lifetime--lawyer, historian, writer, musician, and artist--as well as living an active personal life. In whatever he did , Judge Young was careful to maintain some record of his interests, or produce some tangible result from his labors. Judge Young first visited the Saint Louis University Archives in September, 1991, through the intercession o f a third party, Ms. Nikola Baumgarten. Ms. Baumgarten was at that time a doctoral student in American Studies at Harvard University who had been working for three years with materials in the Saint Louis University Archives for her dissertation on private education in Missouri during the 19th century. She had also been in contact with Judge Young for some time, too, gathering information for her dissertation as well as for other research interests. From that first visit, to his death at age 98 in March, 1993, the Archives worked with Judge Young at depositing in the University Archives his incredible life's work . This material was taken from both his home at 5104 Northland Avenue, and from the Nathan B. Young Historic Memorial in the Boatmen's Bank Building, at the corner of Delmar Boulevard and Euclid Avenue in St. Louis. Some of the material was not removed from the Memorial until after his death. The Clip-Art Collection is interesting for many reasons. Possibly most important , however, is that the majority of the items in the collection were created in the last few years of the Judge's life. In fact, he was still creating this "new art", as he called it, less than a month before he died. To produce the clip-art, the Judge would take pictures from magazines, cut them out, glue them to poster board, and then color them with marker, paint, or tape. This type of art activity was easier for him to do as he grew older and less physically able. Yet the clip-art, although artistically rather primitive, still reflects the myriad interests Judge Young held throughout his life. The collection is divided into 22 series:  1. Food and Drink; 2. Greening of America; 3. Colored Photocopies of Nathan B. Young Paintings; 4: Travel, Cities, and Maps; 5. Americana, Civil War, St. Louis History; 6. Exploration, Westward Movement, Indians; 7. Blacks, Racism, Jews; 8. Personal/Biographical Art; 9. Hand Painted Book Covers/Illustrations; 10. Folk Art; 11. Beautiful Women;12. Religious Subjects; 13. Education, Science, and Technology; 14: Newspaper Paste-Ups; 15. Art/Music/Dance/Theatre;16: Musical Score Covers; 17. Signs/Posters; 18. Non-Traditional Nathan B. Young Paintings; 19: Non-Nathan B. Young Paintings; 20. Famous People; 21. Political Cartoons; 22. Large Format Poster Board Clip-Art.

  • Scope and Contents

    The Nathan B. Young Clip-Art Collection provides a unique glimpse into the workings of the incredible mind of Judge Nathan B. Young. The Judge was truly a renaissance man. Among other avocations and hobbies, he was a husband, father, lawyer, judge, author, publisher, historian, musician, and artist! His interests ranged from baseball to opera, from African-American folk legends to Goethe and Schiller.

    The Clip-Art Collection, to a great extent, reflects many of these wide ranging interests held by the Judge. Although a few of the more than 900 items in the collection were done during the 1960s, most of them were created by the Judge during the last 3 to 5 years of his life. Even though they were done so late in his life, they do provide evidence of his interest throughout his life in specific topics.

    Judge Young thought of his clip-art as a new form of art. To produce his clip-art, the Judge would usually search through a magazine, most often National Geographic or Smithsonian, for a picture which had some significance to him. He would cut the picture from the magazine, attach it to some type of poster board, and then highlight the picture with marker, paint, or colored tape. As Judge Young grew older, this type of "cut and paste" work was much easier for him to do than the more detailed acrylic paintings on canvas which he had done during the 1960s and 1970s. Yet it still afforded him the opportunity to call attention to those ideas in which he had an interest.

    Although all of the 22 series in the collection are interesting, there are 3 series which deserve special mention. Although relatively small in number (only 13 items), the "Greening of America" series is important as it reflects Judge Young's hope for America's young people. This "greening" idea is the reason that most of the Judge's paintings and pieces of clip-art are colored with the green border. Judge Young used the border as a visible reminder of the importance of the ideas expressed in The Greening of America book. The largest series (173 items), and possibly the most important to the Judge, is the folk art series. The pictures collected here signify the Judge's interest in the lives of ordinary people. The Judge sincerely believed that it was the work of regular folk that made the difference in the world.

    Finally, another important, and rather large (135 items), group is the musical score covers series. This series contains photocopies of covers of sheet music which the Judge would then color in with marker. Judge Young always had a passion for music of all types, and these score covers provide some evidence of his love for music, and for the kinds of music he found appealing.

Components