Blanche Payne papers, 1930-1981  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Payne, Blanche, 1897-1972
Title
Blanche Payne papers
Dates
1930-1981 (inclusive)
Quantity
10.29 cubic feet (22 boxes, 1 tube)
Collection Number
1918 (Accession No. 1918-012)
Summary
Papers of a professor of home economics and authority on historic costume
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

These papers are open to all users.

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Blanche Payne was born in 1897 in Thayer, Kansas. She earned a bachelor's degree in home economics from Kansas State Teacher's College in 1916 and a master of arts degree in clothing from Columbia University in 1924. Payne taught high school English and home economics classes in Kiowa, Kansas, and Lewiston, Idaho, before servng as a student nurse at Camp Lewis, Washington in 1918. In 1919 she joined the faculty at Arizona State Teachers College, where she taught classes in textiles and clothing. From 1924 to 1926 Payne taught clothing classes at high schools in New York City, studied draping with French designer Madame Geo, and started her own design business.

Payne joined the University of Washington faculty in 1927, where she taught costume and apparel design in the School of Home Economics. In 1929 she took a leave of absence to study flat pattern at the Mitchell School of Design in New York City, then extended her leave until 1930 to travel through Central Europe and the Balkans surveying folk costume in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Albania, and Yugoslavia. Payne resumed her duties at the University of Washington in 1931 but returned to Yugoslavia in 1936 to 1937 for additional study. Her research focused on the regions of South Serbia (Macedonia), Croatia, Bosnia, North Serbia, and Dalmatia. In addition to exploring museum collections, Payne visited remote villages, markets, and festivals throughout the country to study and photograph peasant costumes. She also augmented her studies by drafting patterns from the clothing she encountered.

Payne's Yugoslav research failed to result in a full-length publication due to the prohibitive costs of publishing and the destruction of some of her color plates during World War II. However, in 1965 Payne published a textbook entitled History of Costume, which described the evolution of fashion from 3000 B.C. to 1900. The book contained detailed descriptions of historical and cultural fashions together with renditions of small-scale garment patterns that she meticulously drafted from various museum collections. In researching her book, Payne spent two years avidly collecting illustrations. Considered a foremost resource in the study of costume history, the text reflected her teaching philosophy that the study of original artifacts is of essential importance in understanding good design.

In addition to her intensive research on clothing and historic costume, Payne supervised work on the Textile and Costume Study Collection housed in the University of Washington School of Home Economics. As part of her studies of non-Western folk dress and embroidery technique, she collected original ethnic costumes along with textile and embroidery examples. She used her Balkan research as a valuable source for studying ethnic dress in its original context and to provide her students with primary source material for the study of modern costume construction and fine craftsmanship.

During the 1960s Payne consulted for the Brooklyn Museum, work that included a research trip to Europe to find costumes from the House of Worth for an exhibition. Payne retired from the University of Washington in 1966 and died in 1972.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Blanche Payne papers consist primarily of materials used in research for her books as well as for instruction. While the collection includes materials that are known to date from 1932-1981, many of the materials are undated. Most of the papers are from the 1940s through the 1960s. The original purpose of much of the material is unclear. For example, extensive notes, photographs, and illustrations that Payne made during visits to museums may have contributed to her History of Costume but were not kept with the manuscript. The typescript of the History of Costume is incomplete.

The bulk of the correspondence in the papers is with museums and organizations from which Payne had requested illustrations of costume and seems to be associated with the History of Costume.

Source material and several copies of the manuscript for Payne's book about Balkan costumes are grouped in the Speeches and Writings series under the book's tentative title, "Some Costumes of Jugoslavia."

The Study Sets series is a group of visual teaching aids that Payne and others in her department assembled as resources for students. They consist of clippings and occasional descriptions of various elements of costume, and were originally kept in binders in the library of the School of Home Economics.

The pattern drafts are scale drawings that Payne made of costumes she saw in various museums. Some depict garments of historical significance, such as the wedding costume of King Frederick V, while others are simply examples of period or ethnic dress. The sources of most of these costumes are marked on the pattern drafts.

The photographs are mostly reproductions of paintings that Payne selected for their significant examples of costume. Many of these were used or considered for the History of Costume, but some seem to have been teaching aids akin to the study sets. Payne acquired the reproductions from numerous museums worldwide.

Drawings in this collection are mostly tracings or copies of needlework, although some appear to be sketches of specific garments. Similar drawings can be found among her notes, which cover a wide variety of subjects related to costume history. It appears that the photographs, drawings, and notes served a similar function in Payne's research.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The creator's literary rights have been transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Incoming Letters, 1932-1965Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 1/1-20

Outgoing Letters, 1957-1965Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 1/21-25

General Correspondence, 1958-1964Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 1/26

Speeches and WritingsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Balkan Manuscript: ("Some Costumes of Jugoslavia"
undated
Box/Folder
1/27-30
Typescript
Most complete copy.
undated
2/1-5
Carbon Copy
undated
2/6-9
Photocopy
undated
2/10
Typed Copy (Incomplete)
undated
2/11
Table of Contents
undated
2/12
"Matron from the Vicinity of Djakovo"
undated
2/13
Illustrations
undated
box-folder:oversize
21
Illustrations: Pattern Drafts
undated
Box/Folder
2/14
Maps
undated
box-folder:oversize
21
Maps
undated
Box/Folder
2/15
Miscellaneous
undated
Box/Folder
3/1-2
"The Clothing of Seattle Citizens in 1951"
A survey to be enclosed in a time capsule at Alki Point.
1951
History of Costume
Box/Folder
3/3-5
Typescript (Incomplete)
undated
3/6-11
Lists of Illustrations
undated
3/12-4/3
Illustrations: Pattern Drafts
undated
Box/Folder
4/4
"Needlecraft"
1942
4/5
T. & C. Conference Talk: Costumes of Central Europe
1965

Speeches and Writings of OthersReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
4/6
Batik
undated
4/7
Selections from Le Costume Historique by Albert Racinet
undated
4/8
"Textiles, Their Scientific Cleaning and Care," by Francina S. Greene
undated

Study SetsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
4/9
Bridal Costume
1930-1931
Costume History Notebook
undated
Box/Folder
4/10
A: Primitive and Egyptian
undated
4/11
B: Assyria, Persia, Crete, Greece, Rome
undated
4/12
C: Roman, Coptic, 1st to 12th Centuries
undated
4/13-14
D: 13th to15th Centuries
undated
4/15
French Manuscript Reproductions, 15th Century
undated
4/16-5/1
E: 16th to Early 17th Centuries
undated
5/2
F: 17th to Early 18th Centuries
undated
5/3
G: 1760-1805
undated
5/4
H: Peasant Costume
undated
5/5
I: Laces
undated
5/6
J: Interiors, Exteriors, Embroidery
undated
5/7
K: First Half of 19th Century
n. d.
5/8
19th Century Fashion Illustrations
undated
6/1
L: 1850-1915
undated
6/2
M: 1915 and Later
undated
Box/Folder
6/3-4
Costume Illustration Notebook
undated
6/5-7/13
History of Costume
1943
8/1
History of Textiles: Ozalid Prints
undated
8/2
Lace Terms
undated
8/3-4
Setbook of Historical Costume
undated
8/5-7
Special Art Study Sets: Costume
1979
box:oversize
22
Timelines
undated

Pattern Drafts, undatedReturn to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 8/8-9/70

Pattern Drafts, undatedReturn to Top

Container(s): Tube:oversize 23

Pattern Plates, undatedReturn to Top

Container(s): Box-folder:oversize 21-22

Needlework Patterns, undatedReturn to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 9/71-76

PhotographsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Costume History Illustrations
Includes both illustrations used and illustrations considered but not used in Payne's book, The History of Costume, from the Ancient Egyptians to the Twentieth Century. The arrangement corresponds to the structure of the book.
Box/Folder
10/1-2
Introduction: The Origin of Clothing
undated
10/3-11
Chapter 1: Egypt
undated
10/12-15
Chapter 2: Mesopotamia
undated
10/16-18
Chapter 3: The Bronze Age in Denmark
undated
10/19-11/1
Chapter 4: Crete and Greece
undated
11/2-11/9
Chapter 5: Etruscans and Romans
undated
11/10-11/13
Chapter 6: The Byzantine Empire
undated
11/14-15
Chapter 7: Western Europe to the Twelfth Century
undated
11/16
Ancient Jewlery
undated
11/17
Ancient Embroidery
undated
12/1-4
Chapter 8: Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries
undated
12/5-10
Chapter 9: The Fourteenth Century
undated
12/11-20
Chapter 10: Men's Costume of the Fifteenth Century
undated
12/21-13/7
Chapter 11: Women's Costume of the Fifteenth Century
undated
13/8-14/15
Chapter 12: High Renaissance: Men's Costume of the Sixteenth Century
undated
14/16-31
Chapter 13: Women's Costume of the Sixteenth Century
undated
15/1-10
Chapter 14: The Baroque Period: Men's Costume of the Seventeenth Century
undated
15/11-16/5
Chapter 15: Women's Costume of the Seventeenth Century
undated
16/6-16/19
Chapter 16: Eighteenth-Century Fashions for Men
undated
16/20-17/10
Chapter 17: Women's Costume of the Eighteenth Century
undated
17/11-18
Chapter 18: Men's Wear in the Nineteenth Century
undated
17/19-18/11
Chapter 19: Women's Fashions of the Nineteenth Century
undated
18/12-16
Miscellaneous
undated
Box/Folder
18/17
Cooper Union Museum
undated
18/18
Goteborgs Museum
undated
18/19
Nordiska Museet
undated
18/20
Oriental Institute
undated
18/21
Ozalid Prints
undated
18/22-19/6
Miscellaneous
undated
box-folder:oversize
21
Miscellaneous
undated

DrawingsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
19/7
Byzantine Tracings
undated
19/8
Greek Tracings
undated
19/9-10
Miscellaneous
undated
box-folder:oversize
21
Miscellaneous
undated
Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
19/11
Artists
undated
19/12-20/2
Costume
undated
20/3
Costume: 20th Century Fox
undated
20/4-5
Miscellaneous
undated

Subject SeriesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
20/6
Encyclopedia Americana
1959-1962

Datebook/Journal, 1936Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 20/7

Concerns a trip to the Balkan countries to collect doumentation on Balkan costume.

Financial Records, 1936-1963Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 20/8

Linen Samples, 1964Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 20/9

Petticoat Model, 19th century, undatedReturn to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 20/10

Ephemera, 1941-1958, undatedReturn to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 20/11

ClippingsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
box:oversize
21
Balkan Costumes
1981, undated
Box/Folder
20/12-13
Miscellaneous
1928-1958, undated
box:oversize
21
Miscellaneous
1950-1965, undated

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Clothing and dress--History
  • Clothing and dress--Study and teaching (Higher)
  • Costume--Drawings
  • Costume--History
  • Costume--Photographs
  • Ethnic costume--Yugoslavia--History
  • Fashion--History
  • Home economics teachers--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Needlework--Drawings
  • Slavs, Southern--Clothing
  • Teaching--Aids and devices
  • University Archives/Faculty Papers (University of Washington)
  • Women college teachers--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Women historians--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Personal Names :
  • Payne, Blanche, 1897-1972--Archives
  • Corporate Names :
  • University of Washington--Faculty--Archives
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
  • correspondence
  • curricula
  • Diaries
  • drawings
  • ephemera
  • Maps
  • Photographs
  • scale drawings
  • timelines (chronologies)
  • tracings
  • typescripts
  • writings
  • Titles within the Collection :
  • History of costume
  • Other Creators :
    • Corporate Names :
    • University of Washington. University Archives