UNC Charlotte Special Collections J. Murrey Atkins Library - Special Collections & University Archives

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Kenneth Wilson Whitsett papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS0270

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.

Dates

  • 1824 - 1975

Creator

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.

Extent

1.5 Linear Feet

Language

English

Overview

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).

Arrangement

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.

Related Materials

Richard Casanova Papers, MS0153.

Processing Information

Processed by David Rhoton and James Kusik, May 2002.
Title
Kenneth Wilson Whitsett papers
Status
Completed
Author
Finding Aid Written by David Rhoton and James Kusik
Date
May 2002
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Contact:
Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte 28223 United Stated