Kenneth Callahan papers, 1950-1978  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Callahan, Kenneth, 1905-1986
Kenneth Callahan papers
1950-1978 (inclusive)
.56 cubic feet plus 1 sound tape reel (40 min.) and 3 transcripts (2 boxes)
Collection Number
Tape-recorded interview of Washington artist concerning his artistic philosophy and other papers related to him
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Spokane-born painter Kenneth Callahan was one of the leading artists of the Pacific Northwest school. As a young painter he was exhibited in the First Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Art at the Whitney Museum in New York. He subsequently was recognized in a breakthrough 1953 Life magazine article as one of the "Mystic Painters of the Northwest." He spent years working as a curator at the Seattle Art Museum, and when he was fired in 1952 (he had been using the museum as a studio, which a new curator found reprehensible), he continued painting and selling paintings from his studio on the south fork of the Stillaguamish River, near Granite Falls in Snohomish County.

Source: "Callahan, Kenneth (1905-1986), Painter" HistoryLink, 14 Feb 2003,

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Interviews, transcripts, correspondence, exhibit notices, photographs, and clippings from the life of Washington State artist Kenneth Callahan.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Copyrights retained by creator. Contact Special Collections for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Accession No. 2638-001: Kenneth Callahan interview, 1962Return to Top

1 sound tape reel (40 min.) plus 1 transcript (12 p.)

Scope and Content: Tape recorded interview by Curt Green on 25 Jan 1962, in conjunction with KING-FM series "Conversation with an artist" conducted by Jim Wilke.

Interview concerns Mr. Callahan's artistic philosophy.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Received ½5/1962.

Accession No. 2638-002: Kenneth Callahan transcripts, circa 1971Return to Top

2 transcripts

Scope and Content: Two transcripts from taped conversations with Kenneth Callahan.

Callahan discusses his life and career, his painting, his philosophy, and some of his associates. Time period discussed covers 1910-1971.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Donated by M. Johnson, 1973.

Accession No. 2638-003: Kenneth Callahan papers, 1950-1978Return to Top

.56 cubic foot (2 boxes)

Scope and Content: Biographical features, interview fragment, correspondence, exhibit notices, photographs, clippings. Includes dozens of black and white photographs, also a typewritten draft of a writing based on an interview edited by Michael Johnson, "Kenneth Callahan: Universal Voyager". Includes transcript of panel discussion with Callahan, Viola Patterson and George Tsutakawa, conducted by Gervais Reed.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights retained. Contact repository for details.

Acquisition Info: Received 1/1/1983.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder Accession
1/1 2638-003
Biographical Features
1/2 2638-003
General Correspondence
1/3 2638-003
Correspondence of Henry Gallery re Callahan
1/4 2638-003
Financial Records
1/5 2638-003
Transcripts of Interviews
Scope and Content: Partial transcript of taped interview with Kenneth Callahan, Viola Patterson, and George Tsutakawa, autumn 1971. Gervaise Reed, interviewer. Transcript of sides 3 and 4 of a panel discussion with Kenneth Callahan, Viola Patterson, and George Tsutakawa, date not known. Sides 1 and 2 are missing.
1971; undated
1/6-7 2638-003
Gallery Notices
1/8-10 2638-003
Exhibition Catalogs
1/11 2638-003
Card File, owners of Callahan paintings
1/12 2638-003
Lists- owners of Callahan paintings, bibliography of articles about Callahan
1947-1968, 1972-1973
1/13 2638-003
Writings by Callahan
1/14-15 2638-003
Writings about Callahan
Scope and Content: Includes typewritten draft of a writing based on/edited from an interview, "Kenneth Callahan: Universal Voyager," by Michael R. Johnson.
2/1 2638-003
2/2-8 2638-003
Scope and Content: 8x10 black and white portrait of Callahan by David Ziegler. 8x10 photographs of artworks. 4x5 photographs of art, collected by Beth Callahan. Miscellaneous photographs.
2/9 2638-003
2/10-11 2638-003
2/12 2638-003
2/13-14 2638-003
Subject Series
Scope and Content: Master class at Port Townsend taught by Callahan. Visual conceptions for Seattle Repertory Theatre production of "Macbeth"

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Artists--Washington (State)
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)
  • Personal Names :
  • Callahan, Kenneth, 1905-1986--Archives
  • Camfferman, Margaret
  • Camfferman, Peter
  • Graves, Morris, 1910-2001
  • Johnson, Michael R
  • Tobey, Mark
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Patterson, Viola, 1898-1984 (creator)
    • Reed, Gervais (creator)
    • Tsutakawa, George (creator)
    • Corporate Names :
    • Henry Art Gallery (creator)