Kenneth Wilson Whitsett papers
Scope and Contents
Papers of Kenneth Wilson Whitsett, a Charlotte historian, artist, and co-founder of Pictorial Engraving Co. Includes nineteenth-century papers of his mother's family, the Caldwell's of Croft in northern Mecklenburg County, North Carolina; of his immediate family in Alamance County; and of his maternal grandmother's family, the Templetons. Also includes World War I correspondence of Whitsett and his brother; photographs of formerly enslaved people on the Rosedale Plantation; Caldwell and Whitsett family photographs; photographs of early twentieth-century Charlotte, North Carolina; and a small amount of material relating to the Pictorial Engraving Co., including an engraving plate.
- 1824 - 1975
- Whitsett, Kenneth Wilson (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.
Biographical / Historical
Kenneth Wilson Whitsett, (1894-1983), f. Lemuel Whittsett and m. Roberta Caldwell, a native Charlottean and World War I veteran, was a renowned artist and engraver. Whitsett attended the Baird School in Charlotte, North Carolina and studied at the Art Institute in Chicago. He worked as an architectural draftsman for Hook & Rogers Architects and as a cartoonist for the Charlotte Observer. After attending the Art Institute, Whitsett worked for the Bureau of Engraving in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was one of Charlotte's first commercial artists. In 1924 he established the Charlotte Engraving Company with Curtis B. Johnson. In 1929, Charlotte Engraving merged with Bierman Engraving, forming the largest engraving plant south of Washington, D.C. In 1934 Kenneth and two of his brothers, Lemuel and Theron, established the Pictorial Engraving Company. He painted murals for the Charlotte City Club and the Orange County Historical Museum in Hillsborough. He was one of the original members of the board of directors for the Mint Museum of Art (1934-1938). By 1944, Kenneth Whitsett had developed both a friendship and client relationship with Harry Golden through the printing of the Carolina Israelite. In 1948, he designed the sets and costumes for the symphonic drama, Shout Freedom! The Pictorial Engraving Company changed its name in 1996 to Pictorial EDGE.
1.5 Linear Feet
Papers of Kenneth Wilson Whitsett, a Charlotte historian, artist, and co-founder of Pictorial Engraving Co. In 1934 Kenneth and two of his brothers, Lemuel and Theron, established the Pictorial Engraving Company. He painted murals for the Charlotte City Club and the Orange County Historical Museum in Hillsborough. He was one of the original members of the board of directors for the Mint Museum of Art (1934-1938).
Series 1, Correspondence, contains correspondence for the Caldwell Family (1851-1929, n.d.), Templeton Family (1837-1869), and Whitsett Family (1848-1976). Series 2, Subject Files, contains miscellaneous non-correspondence material. Series 3, Photographs, contains Caldwell and Whitsett family photographs, including images of formerly enslaved people who lived on the Rosedale Plantation.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gifts of Ms. Holly Whitsett Mceachin, 2000.
Processed by David Rhoton and James Kusik, May 2002.
- Caldwell family
- Charlotte (N.C.) -- Social life and customs
- Pictorial Engraving Company--Photographs
- Rosedale (N.C. : Plantation)--Photographs
- Slaves -- North Carolina -- Mecklenburg County -- Photographs
- Templeton family
- Whitsett family
- Whitsett, Kenneth Wilson
- World War, 1914-1918 -- Personal narratives, American
- Kenneth Wilson Whitsett papers
- Finding Aid Written by David Rhoton and James Kusik
- May 2002
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note