Women's Guild of Arts records, 1902-1949 and undated 0.2 Linear Feet — 88 items
Collection comprises primarily 81 letters from 29 members of the Women's Guild of Arts between 1902 and 1949. There are 7 additional documents, including draft resolutions, certificates, lists, and notes. Three letters predate the founding of the organization in 1907. The primary topic of the letters is the crisis within the Guild regarding its women-only status, an argument regarding how restrictive the Guild should be. Pamela Colman Smith wrote to May Morris (22 January 1913) that the reason she joined the Guild was that it made a point of asking its members not to exhibit at women-only shows, as it lowered the standard of work and that the Guild was never intended to be a purely woman's affair. Other letters on the subject come from Evelyn de Morgan, Feodora Gleichen, and Ethel Sandell. Gleichen's letter was circulated to members, and the collection contains a list of those who agreed with her; several letters are marked up to indicate a position on the matter. There is also a draft resolution welcoming any move to widen the scope of the Guild "such as stimulating and interesting lectures not only from our own members but from men and women outside....It is with this in view that we supported the resolution passed at the recent Annual Meeting, inviting as Honorary Associates a few people with whose work we are in sympathy..." (22 January 1913). Other topics in the letters include the role of the president, exhibitions, lectures, and the work of the organization, along with the William Morris Centenary Commemoration in 1934.