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Introduction

Scope & Content Note

Subject Terms

Processing Information

Copyright

Restrictions on Access

Preferred Citation

Container List

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Guide to the Robert K. Abbett Collection

James Stewart and Robert K. Abbett Robert K. Abbett Collection, 1975-2006
1.0 cubic feet (2 document boxes)
Location: 0077
Accession #: RC2006.071, RC2007.081

Introduction
This collection of archival materials document the style and work of Robert K. Abbett, contemporary sporting and wildlife artist. His oil portrait of actor James Stewart hangs in the Western Performers Gallery.

Biography
Robert Kennedy Abbett, noted as one of America's contemporary masters of sporting and wildlife art, was born in Hammond, Indiana in 1926 and is a graduate of Purdue University and the University of Missouri.

After attending night and weekend classes at both the Chicago Academy of Fine Art and the American Academy of Art, Bob pursued a career in editorial and advertising art in Chicago, moving to Connecticut in 1953 to be closer to the editorial markets. There he illustrated for The Woman's Home Companion, Argosy, Sports Afield, Reader's Digest and True magazines; worked with several of the west coast motion picture studios and did covers for all of the major paperback publishers. He has exhibited in numerous group shows, including the Prix de West at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City and the Artists of America in Denver. Several books have been written on his work; The Outdoor Paintings of Robert K. Abbett, published by Peacock Press/Bantam Books; Abbett, by Michael McIntosh in 1989 and Wings from Cover by Ed Gray in 1996. He is the author of his latest book, A Season for Painting, published by Collectors Covey in Dallas. Feature articles about him have appeared in Country Gentleman, Sports Afield, Southwest Art, Wildlife Art and Prints Magazine.

Often wearing his writing hat, Bob Abbett has written his column, "From Behind the Easel" for Wildlife Art magazine since 1986 and created the Favorite Covers feature for The Pointing Dog Journal and The Retriever Journal where he is a frequent contributor. He also spends time in Scottsdale, Arizona where at the turn of the century his grandfather taught school on the Diamond S Ranch near Camp Verde. For several years Bob taught a workshop at the Scottsdale Artists School.

Source: AskArt.com Biography

Scope & Content Note  

This collection consists of two manuscript boxes of archival materials. The series of Acorns from Oakdale newsletters written by Abbett gives some insight into his interests and artistic career. In addition to this, a number of articles written by Abbett were published in The Pointing Dog Journal, The Retriever Journal, and Wildlife Art News, among other magazines, which provide instruction into the wildlife art style and technique. The collection also contains copies of print catalogs, tearsheets from magazines, calendars, and advertisements, and greeting cards. The materials accessioned in July of 2006 are related to the process of creating the portrait of James Stewart, which hangs in the Museum. The materials include color and black-and-white photographs, 35mm color slides, and copies of a color photocopied letter from Stewart to Abbett. In 2007, Abbett loaned the Museum his covers for various books and movie posters to be scanned and preserved digitally on CD. The originals were returned to Abbett and the scanned images are saved onto CD and hard drive.

Subject Terms  

Personal Names:
Abbett, Robert K.
Stewart, James, 1908-1997

Subject Headings:
Actors-United States
Art
Hunting dogs in art
Portrait
Wildlife art

Processing Information  

The Robert K. Abbett Collection was accessioned on March 23, 2006 first when the archival materials of calendars, cards, catalogs, covers, magazines, newsletters, photographs, and tearsheets were gifted to the Museum. Additional items relating to James Stewart and the portrait by Abbett were accessioned on July 18, 2006. Both were gifts made by Robert K. Abbett. Materials were processed at that time. Archivist Laura Anne Heller organized and described the items into a guide on September 16, 2009.

Ownership & Literary Rights  

The Robert K. Abbett Collection is the property of the Donald C. & Elizabeth M. Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Literary right, including copyright, belongs to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, with the exception of copyrighted artwork images and published literary works, which are the property of the respective copyright holders. It is the responsibility of the researcher, and his/her publisher, to obtain publishing permission from individuals pictured, relevant copyright holders, and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

Restrictions on Access  

The collection is open for research. It is advisable for researchers to discuss their proposed research with staff prior to visiting the Center.

Preferred Citation  

Robert K. Abbett Collection, Box ##, Folder ##, Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Container List  

Box 01/ Folder 01: Acorns From Oakdale, 1988-1991. Notices by Robert K. Abbett from Scottsdale, AZ.
Issue 4, n.d. [2 copies]
April 1988, Issue 6. [5 copies]
Spring 1990, Issue 9.[6 copies]
Spring 1991, Issue 10. [5 copies]
Departure notice, n.d. [7 copies]
Box 01/ Folder 02: Greeting Cards, Advertising Cards, 1978-1988
Afternoon Adventure. Second release in the ‘Reminiscing Series’ by Robert K. Abbett. Published by Wild Wings Inc., 1988. [3 items]
Dare and Dash – Gordon Setters. By Robert K. Abbett. Published by Wild Wings, Inc., 1988. [8 items]
Unidentified card of painting of children playing in autumn leaves beside a white house.
Advertising cards of painting of cat in front of doorway in Autumn. Wild Wings Collection. [8 items]
Greeting card. “January Thaw” by Robert K. Abbett. [4 items]
Greeting card. “Wild Turkeys at Red Rock Ranch” by Robert K. Abbett. 1990. [3 items]
Greeting card. “Navajo Buddies” by Robert K. Abbett. 1980. [2 items]
Greeting card. “Frank” by Robert K. Abbett. 1984. Inscribed.
Greeting card. “Dare” by Robert K. Abbett. 1982.
Greeting card. An untitled painting of a quail by Robert K. Abbett. 1980. Published by Leanin’ Tree, Inc., Boulder, Colorado.
Greeting card. “Late Summer – Beaverkill” by Robert K. Abbett. 1978. Published by Barton-Cotton, Inc.
Greeting card. Untitled painting of two quail. No date. Published by American Artists Group, N.Y.
Box 01/ Folder 03: Catalogs, 1983-2004
Sportsman’s Edge, Ltd. 1983 Print Catalog.
The Wildlife Original Collection, 1985-1986. Wild Wings.
Select Gifts and Sporting Prints, Spring 1987. Wild Wings.
The Oakdale Collection, Robert K. Abbett. 1991. The May Gallery, Ltd. [3 copies]
Wild Wings Print Collection, Spring 2004.
Box 01/ Folder 04: Magazine Covers, 1984-2005
Cheyenne Frontier Days, 1985 [3 copies]
Collectors Mart: The Magazine of Art Collectors, Sept/Oct 1985
Colorado Cowboy, January 1984, Vol. 4, No.1
Sporting Classics, November/December 1985
Waterfowl Festival, Easton, Maryland. November 8, 9, & 10, 1985
Gray’s Sporting Journal, Summer 1986, Vol. 11, No. 2
The 1988 Shot Show: Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show and Conference. Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, January 18-20, 1988. Sponsored by National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Wildlife Art News: The National Magazine of Wildlife Art. September/October 1988. [2 copies]
Browning: Hunting & Shooting. 1989.
Coonhound Bloodlines. September 1992, Vol. 19, No. 9. [2 copies]
Hunting Retriever: The Official Publication of the Hunting Retriever Club, Inc. December-January 1993, Vol. 9, No. 3. [2 copies]
Wild Wings Collection. Original Paintings & Limited Edition Prints, 1993-1994.
The Pointing Dog Journal, First Anniversary Issue. January/February 1994, Vol. 2, No. 1.
The Pointing Dog Journal, Third Anniversary Issue. January/February 1996, Vol.4, No. 1.
Waterfowl Art: Journal of the Ward Museum, Salisbury, Maryland. Winter 1996.
The Pointing Dog Journal, Fourth Anniversary Issue. January/February 1997, Vol. 5, No. 1.
Field Trial Magazine. Spring 1997, Vol. 1, No 2.
The Pointing Dog Journal, March/April 2002, Vol. 10, No. 2.
The Retriever Journal, March/April 2002, Vol. 7, No. 3.
The Retriever Journal, May/June 2002, Vol. 7, No. 5.
The Pointing Dog Journal, September/October 2005, Vol. 13, No. 5.
The Retriever Journal, October/November 2005, Vol. 11, No. 1.
Fly Fishing Small Streams by John Gierach. Published by Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (book cover)
Box 01/ Folder 05: Magazine Issues, 1984-1988
Colorado Cowboy, January 1984. Vol. 4, No. 1. [2 items]
Horse & Rider, December 1985. [1 item]
The Artist’s Magazine, December 1987. [3 items]
Catasus: Journal of the Society of Animal Artists, Spring 1988. [2 items]
Box 01/ Folder 06: Magazine Issues, 1991-2006
American Hunter, January 1991.
Canine Images: Fine Art and Furnishings for the Dog Lover, Winter Edition, November 1999.
Sporting Tales: A Celebration of the Sporting Life, January/February 2003.
The Pointing Dog Journal, 10th Anniversary Issue, January/February 2003, Vol. 11, No. 1.
The Pointing Dog Journal, March/April 2006, Vol. 14, No. 2.
Box 01/ Folder 07: Newsletters, 2001, 2005
The Society of Animal Artists News. Volume 15, Number 2; Fall 2005.
The Society of Animal Artists Newsletter. Vol. 11, No. 2; Fall 2001.
Box 01/ Folder 08: Photographs of Robert K. Abbett paintings, n.d.
Takin’ Out the Cholla [12 photos], At the Edge of the Cornfield [1 photo], Unidentified painting of dogs [3 photos] , Unidentified painting of dog [1 photo], Unidentified painting of dog in frame [1 photo]
Box 01/ Folder 09: Tearsheets – Advertisements, 1982-2001
Box 01/ Folder 10: Tearsheets – Magazine Articles & Clippings, 1979-2005
Abbett, Robert K. “Favorite Covers: Stone Wall Brittany.” The Pointing Dog Journal, March/April 2002. [2 items]
Abbett, Robert K. “Favorite Covers: Gray Water.” The Retriever Journal, March/April 2002. [1 item]
Abbett, Robert K. “Favorite Covers: Duke and Mike – Ten Years of Pointing Dogs.” Written for The Pointing Dog Journal, December 3, 2002. (proof) [1 item]
Abbett, Robert K. “Favorite Covers: Big guy – Setter & Grouse.” The Pointing Dog Journal, n.d. [1 item]
Abbett, Robert K. “Favorite Covers: Labrador Retriever – Bo.” The Retriever Journal, n.d. [1 item] (includes table of contents and editorial page from same magazine)
Abbett, Robert K. “Favorite Covers: Hunting the Edges.” The Pointing Dog Journal, September/October 2005. [1 item]
Abbett, Robert K. “Favorite Covers.” The Pointing Dog Journal, n.d. [1 item]
Abbett, Robert K. “Favorite Covers: Cody – Black Lab: Ten Years of Retrievers.” The Retriever Journal, October/November 2005. [1 item]
Abbett, Robert K. “Favorite Covers: Missy.” The Retriever Journal, December/January 1995-96. [1 item]
Abbett, Robert K. “Behind the Easel: The Right Little Boxes.” Wildlife Art News, September/October 1988. Photocopy. [1 item]
Abbett, Robert K. “Behind the Easel: Protecting Your Work With A Copyright.” Wildlife Art News, March/April 1989. [1 item]
Abbett, Robert K. “Behind the Easel: What Is Art?.” Wildlife Art News, January/February 1995. [1 item]
Abbett, Robert K. “The Brush’s Point: The Art of the Commission.” Canine Images, n.d. [3 items]
Abbett, Robert K. “The Brush’s Point: The Ingredients.” Canine Images. n.d. [3 items]
Abbett, Robert K. “A Former Illustrator Looks a Picture-Building.” The Society of Animal Artists, Spring 1988. [3 items, and a partial article]
Coe, Kathryn. “Magic Circle.” Arizona Arts & Travel, March/April 1983. [1 item]
Untitled article. Southwest Art, December 1979. [1 item]
Gray, Ed. “October Song.” Abbett’s paintings illustrate article. Magazine and date not noted. [1 item]
Wechsler, Chuck. “The Abbett Allure.” Wildlife Art News, March/April 1984. [1 item]
“The Epitome of Elsewhere.” Abbett painting illustrates article. [1 item]
“Worthy of the Highest.” The Beta Theta Pi. Winter 1984. [5 items]
Ditmar, Catherine Cushing. “Life, Liberty and Dogs in Art.” Canine Images, n.d. [3 items]
Abbett, Robert K. “Abbett on Abbett.” Magazine not noted. November/December 1985. [1 item]
Davis, Tom. “The Magic Show of Robert Abbett.” Wildlife Art News, September/October 1988. [1 item]
Page 59-60. Sports Afield, December 1987. Highlights four paintings by Robert Abbett. [1 item]
“The Paintings of Robert K. Abbett: A Wedding of Art and Experience.” Magazine and date not noted. [1 item]
Abbett, Robert K. “Take Control of Your Painting.” The Artist’s Magazine, December 1987. [2 items]
“Robert Abbett… Outdoor Artist.” Hunting Retriever, February/March 1992. [1 item]
“Robert K. Abbett: Extraordinary Dog Paintings.” Magazine and date not noted. [1 item]
“Official Art of the 1995 Parada Del Sol.” [2 items]
“The Splendor of Autumn.” Persimmon Hill, Autumn 2002. (cover and article) [1 item]
Bourjaily, Philip. “Outsmarting Late Season Quail.” Rifle & Shotgun, January/February 1996. Abbett painting illustrates article. [1 item]
Quail Unlimited, November/December 1994. Page with Abbett painting illustrating article. [1 item]
Norman, Geoffrey. “Living in the Good Old Days.” Magazine not noted; April 2000. Abbett painting used to illustrate article. [1 item]
Oil Painting workshop advertisement for Scottsdale Artists School. March 30-April 3, 1987. Photocopy. [1 item]
Oil Painting workshop advertisement for Scottsdale Artists School, newspaper clipping. March 30-April 3, 1987. [1 item]
Oil Painting workshop advertisement for Scottsdale Artists School, newspaper clipping. March 18-22, 1991. [1 item]
Oil Painting workshop advertisement for Scottsdale Artists School, newspaper clipping. April4-8, 1988. [1 item]
Prighter, Ty. “Abbett’s to head east.” The Arizona Republic, 1999. Photocopy. [1 item]
Photographic clipping of Bob Abbett with Bob and Jane Mitchell. Date unknown. [1 item]
Advertisement. The Ruffed Grouse Society, The Drummer, June 1982. 1982 RGS Stamp Print. [1 item]
Wilkinson, Todd. “Sport Illustrated.” Southwest Art, September 2005. Features Bob Abbett. [1 item]
“The Bridge Pool” by Robert K. Abbett. Fold-out spread. Trout Unlimited. Date unknown. [1 item]
8x10, Printer paper, color print of painting of a dog. [1 item]
8x10, Printer paper, color print of painting of two dogs. [1 item]
8x10, Printer paper, b&w photocopy of sketch of dog wearing a collar. [1 item]
8x10, Card stock paper b&w photocopy of sketch of dog. [1 item]
Miscellaneous clippings. [8 clippings] Includes partial copies of article by William Secord, “Marguerite Kirmse, 1885-1954.” Canine Images, n.d.
Box 02/ Folder 01: Tearsheets – Calendars, 1985-1999
Pages from various calendars featuring Robert K. Abbett paintings of hunting dogs. [12 items]
Box 02/ Folder 02: Calendars, 1984-2006
Robert K. Abbett’s Western Calendar, 1984. Published by Hammond Publications, Inc. [4 items]
Year of the Outdoor Dog, Paintings by Robert Abbett. 1988. Calendar published by Alpo Pet Foods, Inc. [1 item]
The Country Dog, Paintings by Robert K. Abbett. 1990. Calendar published by Alpo Pet Foods, Inc. [2 items]
Robert Abbett’s Sporting Dogs, 1999 Calendar. Published by Willow Creek Press. [2 items]
Sporting Classics 2006 Calendar. [1 item]
The 2006 Time to Fish Calendar featuring the paintings of Robert K. Abbett, Phil Scholer, & Lee Stroncek. Published by The Lang Companies. [1 item]
The 1993 Abbett Dog Calendar. Published by Bookmark: A Division of Lang Graphics. [1 item]
Box 02/ Folder 03: Correspondence, James Stewart to Robert K. Abbett, 1975
Enclosed are 3 color photocopies of a typewritten letter from James Stewart to Robert K. Abbett dated October 27, 1975. The letter is signed by James Stewart. [3 copies]
Box 02/ Folder 04: Photographs, James Stewart & Robert K. Abbett, 1975
RC2006.071.01 James Stewart posed. 1975. 8x10 color photograph. Worn condition. [1 photo]
RC2006.071.02 James Stewart & Robert K. Abbett, Stewart talking. 1975. 3.5x5 b&w photograph. [1 photo]
RC2006.071.03 James Stewart & Robert K. Abbett, discussing pose. 1975. 3.5x5 b&w photograph. [1 photo]
RC2006.071.04 James Stewart & Robert K. Abbett, Abbett talking. 1975. 3.5x5 b&w photograph. [1 photo]
Box 02/ Folder 05: Slides, Color, Portrait of James Stewart, 1975
RC2006.071.05-.25 35mm color slides of the portrait painted by Robert K. Abbett of James Stewart. 1975. Includes some photos of pose photographs, preliminary sketches, the painting process. 20 Ektachrome Transparency Kodak slides, 1 Kodachrome Transparency Kodak slide. [21 slides]
CDR 00707-00711: Scanned images of Covers and Movie Posters by Robert K. Abbett
RC2007.081.01-.71 Scanned TIF and JPG images of covers and movie posters by Robert K. Abbett are saved onto compact discs. The originals were loaned for scanning and returned to Abbett. They have not been cataloged and are not currently available on the Image Archive Database. [71 images]
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