The Vincent Schofield Wickham Collection
Scope and Contents
This collection contains the personal papers of Vincent Schofield Wickham (1894-1968), an artist, teacher, poet, and inventor who graduated from the Massachusetts Normal Art School in 1917. Materials were created over a 70 year period, between 1911 and 1981 [Bulk 1917-1968.] Collection items pertain to Wickham’s personal and professional life in New York and New England. The majority of materials relate to Wickham’s education and work at the Massachusetts Normal Art School (now the Massachusetts College of Art and Design), his professional career at the New York Times, and his commissioned work as a distinguished sculptor of commemorative plaques, portrait medallions, and busts. Throughout his professional career, Wickham worked in a variety of mediums, including sculpture, graphic design, illustration, and watercolor. This collection contains items created in each of these mediums, as well as photographs, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and other documents related to Wickham’s work. Smaller materials are housed in archival folders and larger items can be found in an oversized collection. Due to the eclectic nature of these materials, this collection has been arranged into four series based on the major periods of Wickham’s life, as well as a fifth series of miscellaneous material. The first four series are grouped according to where Wickham was living and working at various times in his life. Most records within each series were produced during Wickham’s time of inhabitance, although some records may have been created later but are pertinent to the works and events of the given series. Series 1, “Massachusetts Normal Art School Period, 1911-1981 [Bulk 1914-1917]”, covers Wickham’s early education and first commissioned projects. Series II, “Worcester Period c.1918-c.1932 [Bulk 1919-1923]”, covers Wickham’s work at Crompton & Knowles Loom Works, continued commissioned work, and other projects conducted in and around Worcester during this time. Series III, “New York Period, 1924-1959 [Bulk 1924-1940]”, predominantly relates to Wickham’s thirty-two year tenure as an editorial artist the New York Times and his major commissioned sculptures in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Also included in this series are items related to Wickham’s orthodontic invention, watercolor exhibits, and teaching career as well as his family, recreational travels and art colony visits, and personal poetry. Series IV, the “New Hampshire Period, c.1958-1968”, relates to Wickham’s retirement in New London, New Hampshire, including his final commissioned projects before his death in 1968. Series V, “Miscellaneous, c.1918-c.1960”, includes miscellaneous documents and oversized materials related to a variety of events in Wickham’s personal and professional life. Information about Vincent Schofield Wickham and his papers was primarily derived from collection contents. Outside sources are noted in footnotes when appropriate.
Conditions Governing Access
his collection is open for research. Restricted Fragile Material may only be consulted with permission of the archivist. Preservation photocopies for reference use have been substituted in the main files.
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Language of Materials
Donated by Sally Wickham Mollomo and Paul Mollomo Jr.
Vincent Schofield Wickham (1894-1968) was an artist, teacher, poet, and inventor. He served as an editorial artist for the New York Times from 1924 to 1956 and received notable sculptural commissions throughout his lifetime. He worked in a variety of mediums and artistic fields, including sculpture, graphic design, watercolor, and illustration. Wickham was born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1894. He graduated from St. John’s High School in 1913 and began attending the Massachusetts Normal Art School the same year (now Massachusetts College of Art and Design.) While in college, he studied under sculptor Cyrus E. Dallin and was awarded several local commissions, beginning his long career in sculpture modeling. In 1916 he took a leave of absence to apprentice with renowned Worcester sculptor Andrew O’Connor, assisting him with a statue of Abraham Lincoln for the Illinois State Capitol and the Spanish War Memorial for the city of Worcester, Massachusetts. He returned to school later that fall and graduated in 1917 with a degree in Modeling and Sculpture. Following graduation from MNAS, Wickham worked briefly with Boston sculptor Richard Recchia before moving to Burgess & Curtis Co., a Massachusetts based airplane manufacturer that provided planes for the U.S. and England during World War I. In March of 1918 he began serving as an inspector for the Ordnance Department where he was charged with inspecting first and final assembly of 155 millimeter gun carriages in Greendale, Massachusetts. He returned to Worcester in October of 1918 and joined Crompton & Knowles Loom Works, working in their engineering department as a mechanical sketch artist from 1919 to 1923. He also served as art editor of the C & K Loom Pickings magazine and instructed freehand drawing and blueprint readings at the company. In addition to his work at Crompton & Knowles, he was the President of the Art League of Worcester and conducted various commissioned works at his studio at 30 Elm St., now home to the Worcester Historical Society. Around this time, Dr. Alfred P. Rogers, a Boston orthodontist, hired Wickham to teach art to his son. He was later asked to work in Rogers’ laboratory, where Wickham drew from his experience with sculpture, mechanics, and anatomy to invent and patent a “trimmer” for orthodontic models. The device hit the market in 1924 and became popular in orthodontic practices and schools across the country. Wickham began working at the Boston Herald-Traveler in 1923, leaving in 1924 to work for the New York Times where he remained for over thirty years until his retirement in 1956. During his time as Art Director, Wickham focused on illustration and graphic design for newspaper articles, promotion, and staff events. He designed numerous window displays and exhibits for the New York Times, occasionally modeling sculptural pieces for them. His New York Times promotional posters were often exhibited on the sides of newspaper trucks1. Wickham continued to produce commissioned and freelance artwork throughout his time in New York, particularly in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. In 1926 he created a celebratory plaque of Gertrude “Trudy” Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel2. This would be the first of several sculptural homages to American explorers and pioneers: in 1927 Wickham produced “The Young Eagle: A Statue of Lindbergh,” and the following year crafted a miniature model of Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s Antarctic expedition base camp for a New York Times exhibit display. Wickham returned to Byrd as a subject in 1935 when he was commissioned by the American Geographical Society to create a medallion portrait of the explorer. Other notable commissions include a medallion for New York Times and Chattanooga Times publisher and owner Alfred S. Ochs in 1928, as well as a medallion of late President Woodrow Wilson for the Princeton Whig Society in 1929. A copy of the Wilson medallion was sent to Mrs. Woodrow Wilson and the Byrd medallion sent to then President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, both of whom wrote Wickham letters of appreciation. In the 1930’s, Wickham traveled extensively throughout North and South America with his first wife, Dorothy Callan (1908-1948), and also began working in watercolor. In 1937 a series of watercolor portraits and landscapes from Mexico and South America was exhibited at galleries in Worcester, New York City, and Bermuda. He and Callan also visited art colonies around the Northeast and were members of the Greenbrier Hotel’s Old White Art Colony in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Wickham enjoyed writing poetry and had several poems published in various publications, including the New York Times, around this time. Wickham had two children with Callan, Vincent Jr. (1938-2000) and Sally (1943—). His first wife passed away in 1948 and Wickham was later remarried to Vivian Mallett Roberge (1900-1984)3. While in New York, Wickham drew on his diverse expertise to teach a variety of art courses at the Textile Evening High School, which attracted both young artists and New York Times staff members. After retiring from the Times in 1956, he returned to Massachusetts to receive his bachelor of fine arts degree in 1957 from Massachusetts School of Art (formerly Massachusetts Normal Art School, now Massachusetts College of Art and Design) at age 63. Wickham then taught art at Assumption College in Worcester before moving with his family to New London, New Hampshire. Wickham continued to produce art throughout the final years of his life, creating winning designs for the New London town seal as well as the New London Hospital seal in the early 1960’s. He was an active member of the New London community and the town exhibited a collection of his watercolors and sculpture in 1959. He passed away on December 8, 1968 in the New London Hospital, at the age of 74.
he Vincent Schofield Wickham Collection is the physical property of The MassArt Archive. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns.
- Eliza C. Gilmore and Danielle Sangalang
- December 2017; last updated December 2017
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- Script of description
Part of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design Archive Repository