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SC 24

Corita, 1918-1986. Papers of Corita, 1965-1991, undated: A Guide

Harvard Art Museum Archives, Harvard Art Museums, Harvard University
The President and Fellows of Harvard College

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: SC 24
Repository: Harvard Art Museum Archives, Harvard Art Museums, Harvard University
Title: Papers of Corita, 1965-1991, undated: A Guide
Date(s): 1965-1991, n.d.
Quantity: 2 linear feet (1 half file box, oversize materials)
Abstract: Exhibition invitations and photographs of artworks on display by Corita, as well as photographs from a class she taught, and from classes taught by other artists, at Immaculate Heart College in the mid-to-late 1960s. There are also Polaroid prints of Corita, correspondence, and clippings.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

The collection was donated by Steven Mikulka in January 2012. An additional folder of correspondence was donated in August 2014.

Processing Information:

The collection was processed in October 2013 and the folder of addenda processed in August 2014 by Brooke McManus.

Conditions on Access:


Conditions on Use:

Copyright: The donor has transferred any copyright held in these papers to the President and Fellows of Harvard College. Copyright in some papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the Harvard Art Museums Archives before publishing quotations from any material in the collection.
Copying: Papers may be copied in accordance with the Harvard Art Museums Archives' usual procedures.

Related Materials

There are additional papers of Corita Kent at the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.


Serigraphic artist Corita Kent was born on November 20, 1918, in Fort Dodge, Iowa, as Frances Elizabeth Kent. In 1936, she joined the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Los Angeles, taking the name Sister Mary Corita. After graduating from the University of Southern California, where she studied art with Charles and Ray Eames, Corita began teaching art at the Immaculate Heart College (IHC), a Catholic liberal arts women's college in Hollywood, California, run by the Immaculate Heart Sisters of Los Angeles. She left the order in 1968 and moved to Boston to pursue a full-time career as an artist. She received commissions from Boston Gas to design a mural for their 150-foot gas tank, from the Physicians for Social Responsibility to design various peace billboards, and from the United States Postal Service to design the 22-cent "Love" stamp. Corita died on September 18, 1986, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Scope and Content:

The collection contains oversize exhibition invitations for shows featuring Corita's work, as well as photographs of Corita and of classes she taught at Immaculate Heart College taken by Charles Mikulka, the husband of one of her students, Elinor Mikulka, née Palmer Allen. There is also correspondence from Corita to the Mikulkas, and between Elinor and Gonzaga University doctoral student Barbara Loste regarding her dissertation, Life Stories of Artist Corita Kent (1918–1986): Her Spirit, Her Art, the Woman Within. The collection additionally includes a folder of biographical notes on Corita by Elinor Mikulka. The materials are arranged alphabetically by folder title.






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