Home Overview Oliver H. Statler Finding Aid Digital Collection Research Access
series description

Series I. Personal

Date: 1881 - 2003 inclusive; 1940 - 1980 bulk
Size: 3.75 linear feet
This series is divided into two subseries - Family and Biography.

statler familySubseries: Family

Consists of letters and memorabilia from Oliver Statlerfs grandparents, parents and other relatives. Among the letters are accounts of Hadley/Thatcher/Statler genealogies. The memorabilia consists primarily of books passed down from grandparents. The subseries also contains old family photos and some childhood photos of Statler. Many of the photos are not identified.

Subseries: Biography

Consists primarily of memorabilia relating to Statler personal life such as birth certificate, passports, degrees, pocket diaries and appointment books, Army and Civil Service records, curriculum vitae, income tax statements, Will, Estate and Trust papers. This series also contains a packet of gV-Mailh (small print made from microfilmed letters) letters that Statler wrote to his parents during World War II.

His extracurricular college activities revolved around the University of Chicago Drama Association. He was often in charge of lightening for play productions and his stage plans are included in the material. There are also playbills and program for the Woodstock Todd Theatre Festival where Orson Wells performed and Statler did production design and lighting.

Also of interest are his small personal pocket diaries, which begin in 1938. He kept them in a small woven basket in chronological order up to 1997. Then it appears that he changed to appointment calendars.

The Civil Service records reflect his whereabouts and duties in Japan during post war reconstruction and includes a Certificate of Achievement Far East 1953. The Guggenheim Fellowship application and Kobe College lecturer appointment reflect his efforts to spend as much time in Japan as possible.

The income tax statements also include correspondence with his accountant. This offers additional information on the sale of art prints, publication sales of his books, travel expenses and charitable contributions.

It appears that Statler was quite fond of photographs. Friends often enclosed photos with letters. To maintain provenance and meaning these were kept with the correspondence as much as possible. He also had a box filled with unmarked photos of himself and friends. These are filed under personal photos. There are also four large matted close-up photos of Statler taken by Harry Hess sometime in the 1960fs. There are photos and a filmstrip of his good friend Gary Roberts. The series also contains a dozen canisters of filmstrips some are identified.

The Estate and Trust papers show that Statler was a staunch alumnus of the University of Chicago. He established a Charitable Remainder Trust to benefit the Department of East Asian Language and Civilization: Japanese Studies Program.

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Series II. Correspondence

Date: 1955 - 2000 inclusive; 1960 - 1988 bulk
Size: 4.5 linear feet
This series is divided into four subseries - Art related, General, Individual and Publishers.

Subseries: Art Related

This subseries is further divided into three sub-subseries - Art Institute of Chicago (folders labeled AIC by Statler), Appraisals, and Miscellaneous.

Art Institute of Chicago consists of correspondence regarding prints on loan, exhibits, gifts and sales. Contains inventory lists and photos of prints. The materials in card boxes 1-5 and flat box ? should also be consulted.

Appraisals consist of formal appraisals in booklet form from International Valuation Consultants, Ltd. regarding prints and ceramic pieces. They include photos. Includes an original handwritten inventory and rough draft of lists with notations by Statler. Also contains a list of 545 modern Japanese prints at AIC.

Miscellaneous (as labeled by Statler in his file drawer under Art Related) folders in alphabetical arrangement regarding various topics pertaining to art. Of particular interest are the lists of art items and family silver pieces offered on consignment sale with Christiefs and Sothebyfs and the disbursements from the sale. The folder labeled gMichener Printsh ( box 6/14) shows that Statler was paid an honorarium by James A. Michener for selecting prints for the Michener Collection at the Honolulu Art Academy. Some photos of Hiroshige and Hokusai prints are included along with gallery catalogs. The College Womenfsf Association of Japan CWAJ (box 6/10) has photos of an exhibit of Statler prints in Japan and has photographs of Statler with the Crown Princess of Japan who attended the exhibit along with newspaper clippings about the event.

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Subseries: General

Consists of both incoming and outgoing letters on various topics. Of interest are the letters that reflect Statler political views. Arranged chronologically by date.

Piles of unsorted papers that were scattered around Statler apartment at the time of his death were sorted and filed by the archivist. (Most of this material was filed in General correspondence Box 8)

Subseries: Individual

Consists of incoming and outgoing letters to specific individuals. Arranged alphabetically by last name with one exception - Statler filed Onchi Koshiro under first name. Of particular interest is the correspondence between James A. Michener and Statler ( box 10). The letters are both personal and business related. Some strong political views are expressed. The correspondence with Harry Hess, photographer, reflects their long time friendship and includes some of his original photo greeting cards that he sent to friends. There is not much correspondence in the folder for Miriam Korn, artist.

Subseries: Publishers

This subseries is particularly rich in information regarding the publication of Statler literary works. It includes contracts and royalty statements along with correspondence with Charles E. Tuttle Company, John Weatherhill, Inc., Pan Books, Random House, William Morrow & Company, Shaka Shobo, Ltd., and the University of Hawaii Press.

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