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Finding aid for the Theora Hamblett Collection


Access Restriction

 Open for research. Audio and visual materials in this collection are stored at an off-site facility. Researchers interested in using a/v materials from this collection must contact Archives and Special Collections at least two business days in advance of their planned visit.

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Summary Information

University of Mississippi Libraries
Hamblett, Theora, 1895-1977
Theora Hamblett Collection
Date [inclusive]
6.0 boxes + 1 scrapbook
J.D. Williams Library & Library Annex
Collection of printed, audio and visual materials related to the career of Mississippi artist Theora Hamblett.

Prefered Citation

Theora Hamblett Collection, Archives and Special Collections, J.D. Williams Library, The University of Mississippi

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Biographical Note

Theora Hamblett was born in Paris, Mississippi in 1895 and moved to Oxford, Mississippi in 1930. In her fifties, after a career as a school teacher, Hamblett began her painting career. Her work is often associated with the primitive or naïve school, since she had little formal training. According to her Last Will and Testament, there are four categories of paintings: visions, dreams, old home memories, and children’s games and other paintings and drawings.

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Scope and Content Note

This multi-media collection includes announcements of art exhibitions, invitations to art exhibitions, correspondence, photographs, slides, video, film, 5 tape recordings of interviews, and an oversize scrapbook including clippings and a few letters.

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This collection is primarily arranged according to format.

Series 3 & 4 (boxes 2-6) have been removed to Collection Photographs

  1. Series I. Printed Materials
  2. Series II. Scrapbook
  3. Series III. Visual Materials
  4. Series IV. Audio-visual Materials

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Mississippi Libraries

Access Restrictions

The Theora Hamblett Collection is open for research. Audio and visual materials in this collection are stored at an off-site facility. Researchers interested in using a/v materials from this collection must contact Archives and Special Collections at least two business days in advance of their planned visit.

Copyright Restrictions

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use", that user may be liable for copyright infringement.


No further additions are expected to this collection at this time.

Acquisition Information

Original materials in this collection donated by Theora Hamblett, 1976.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Archives & Special Collections staff. Collection reprocessed by Pamela Williamson, January 2010. Finding aid encoded by Jason Kovari, 8 January 2010.

Alternative Formats

A Conversation With Theora Hamblett, available on U-Matic tape in the Audio-Visual Materials series (67.1), is also available in Special Collections on DVD. Call number: ND237.H3 A78 2004.

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Related Materials

Resources at the University of Mississippi

Small Manuscripts 78-11, Folder 5. Roberta H. Phay "Miss Theora Hamblett, Primitive Artist of Oxford, Mississippi"

Separated Material

All audio and visual materials from this collection have been removed to cold storage for preservation, currently housed in Collection Photographs.

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Controlled Access Headings


  • color prints (photographs)
  • color slides
  • correspondence
  • printed ephemera
  • scrapbooks
  • sound recordings
  • video recordings

Personal Name(s)

  • Hamblett, Theora, 1895-1977


  • Artists -- Mississippi

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Collection Inventory

Box 1: Printed Materials 

1.1 Biographical Sketch 

1.2 Brief Biological Sketch 

1.3 Art exhibition Morris Gallery 

1.4 45th Annual National Exhibition of Oil Paintings 

1.5 Art exhibition Fine Arts Center Univ. of MS., 11 November 1955    (4 items)

1.6 Art exhibition 5th Memphis Biennial Exhibition 

1.7 Cotton Birmingham Museum of Art 

1.8 Art exhibition 2nd Mid-South Exhibition, March 1957 

1.9 Art exhibition Spring Festival of fine Arts, April 1957    (2 items)

1.10 Art exhibition Lauren Rogers Library and Museum of Art    (2 items)

1.11 Art Museum 4th Annual Painting of the Year 

1.12 Art Exhibition Betty Parsons Gallery 

1.13 Art Exhibition Paris Arts Festival 

1.14 Art Exhibition 4th Annual Exhibition 

1.15 Art Exhibition Open House at Miss Hamblett’s, Oxford’s First Pilgrimage    (2 items)

1.16 Art Exhibition American Primitive Painting 

1.17 Art Exhibition Morris Gallery, New York 

1.18 Art Exhibition Mary Chilton Galleries, 12-25 September 1965 

1.19 Rockford Fifty States of Art Exhibition, October 1965 

1.20 Rockford Fifty States of Art Exhibition, 15 October 1965 

1.21 International Naïve Art, 13 December 1966-January 1967 

1.22 Deep South Collection Brooks Memorial, 6-22 October 1967 

1.23 Ms. Art Assoc. Newsletter, July 1968 

1.24 Margaret Reed Crosby Memorial Library, 2-30 June 1969 

1.25 Betty Parsons Gallery, 15 September-4 October 1969 

1.26 Art Exhibition Fine Arts Center Univ. of Ms., 19 March-14 April 1972    (2 items)

1.27 Art Exhibition Wright Art Center, 5-30 November 1972 

1.28 Art Exhibition Hattiesburg Public Library, 6-19 February 1973    (2 items)

1.29 Art Exhibition Alabama Union Gallery, 1-15 December 

1.30 Art Exhibition Allison Art Gallery, 2-30 March 

1.31 Art Exhibition Bryant Galleries, 6 March 

1.32 Art Exhibition Cecil Clark Davis Gallery, 4 August-5 September 

1.33 McCartys Galleries, 16 July-5 August 

1.34 Art Exhibition The Mary Buie Museum, 9 July-30 July 

1.35 Art Exhibition Meridian Museum of Art 

1.36 Art Exhibition St. Mary’s Episcopal School, 3 March 

1.37 Famous Artists Magazines 

1.38 Preliminary Catalog Permanent Collection, October 1962 

1.39 Brochure “The Art of Theora Hamblett”, 13 March 1967    (3 items)

1.40 University of Mississippi Newsletter, 20 March 1968 

1.41 Mississippi Art Association inc., Newsletter 

1.42 Christmas Card University Press of Mississippi, [1974] 

1.43 Brochure Spring Books University of Mississipppi, [1975] 

1.44 Order Form Theora Hamblett Paintings, [1975] 

1.45 Photocopy of Photograph with holographic legend 

1.46 Postcard of painting of Paris Methodist Church 

1.47 Letter from Ralph M. Hudson to Theora Hamblett, 19 June 1956 

1.48 Letter from Ralph M. Hudson to Theora Hamblett, 3 August 1956 

1.49 Letter from Ralph M. Hudson to Theora Hamblett, 4 March 1957 

1.50 Letter from Arthur I. Harris to Painting of the Year Entrant, 24 April 1958 

1.51 Invitation to Theora Hamblett, 2 May 1958 

1.52 Letter from J. Greer George to Theodora[sic] Hamblett, 20 February 1961 

1.53 Holographic receipt J.G. George, 6 March 1961 

1.54 Letter from Henry Lee Willet to Theora Hamblett, 29 January 1962 

1.55 Letter from Roy A. Boe to Theora Hamblett, 18 May 1962 

1.56 Letter from Ralph M. Hudson to Theora Hamblett, 19 October 1962 

1.57 Letter from Ralph Hudson to Theora Hamblett, 25 October 1962 

1.58 Letter from Ralph Hudson to Theora Hamblett, 26 October 1962 

1.59 Letter from J.D. Williams to Theora Hamblett, 25 February 1963 

1.60 Invitation, 25 May [1964] 

1.61 Letter from Eleanor Harkins to Mrs. Hamblett, 28 May 1964 

1.62 Letter from Mrs. Charles Ullman to Miss Hamblett, [19 March 1965] 

1.63 Letter from William H. Langewisch to Theora Hamblett, 29 July 1965 

1.64 Invitations Rockford Art Association , 29 September 1965 

1.65 Letter from Catherine Eatman to Theora Hamblett, 7 June 1966 

1.66 Invitation Univ. Extension Univ. of MS, 13 March [1967] 

1.67 Post Card Museum of Modern Art, NY, April 1967 

1.68 Letter from Carol V. Harford to Miss Hamblett, 29 July 1968 

1.69 Letter from Thomas J. Henry to Theora Hamblett, 18 April 1969 

1.70 Letter from Konrad J. Kuchel to Theora Hamblett, 20 November 1969 

1.71 Letter from Stefan Munsing to Theora Hamblett, 16 February 1971 

1.72 Letter from Joyce Taylor to Theora Hamblett, 7 October 1971 

1.73 Joyce Taylor to Mrs. John R. Rayburn, 27 April 1973 

1.74 Letter from Porter L. Fortune, Jr. to Theora Hamblett, 4 March 1974 

1.75 Letter from Porter L. Fortune to Theora Hamblett, 11 March 1974 

1.76 Letter from Llewellyn Thompson to Theora Hamblett, 14 March 1974 

1.77 Invitation Univ. of MS Foundation, 27 April 1975 

1.78 Postcard. Mrs. Charles Ullman to Miss Hamblett 

1.79 Announcement and Invitation, 2 April 1995 

1.80 Pamphlet The Art of Theora Hamblett 

1.81 The Art of Theora Hamblett Final Script 16mm –Sound-Color    (15 pages)

1.82 Typed Transcription Tape No.1    (11 pages)

1.83 Typed Transcription Tape No.2    (9 pages)

1.84 Typed Transcription Tape No.3    (9 pages)

1.85 Typed Transcription Tape No.4    (6 pages)

1.86 Typed Transcription Tape No.5    (8 pages)

1.87 Theora Hamblett’s Notes retaped interviews    (4 pages)

1.88 Correspondence between Ed Meek and Barney McKee concerning the return of color transparencies used in the Hamblett book, 28 July 1975 


7.1 Oxford Eagle: Oxford Primitive Shows Paintings at University , 17 November 1955 

7.2 The Commercial Appeal: Paintings Given to Gallery: Hamblett Show Ranks High, 4 December 1955    (2 items)

7.3 Oxford Eagle: Miss Hamblett's Painting Draws Large Attendance, Undated 

7.4a The Commercial Appeal: Gallery Has Fifth Biennial, 4 December 1955 

7.4b First Baptist Church Messenger, 2 May 1963 

7.4c The Baptist Record, 16 May 196[?] 

7.5a The Commercial Appeal: Oxford Talent To Be Exhibited in 3-Week Show, 4 April 1957 

7.5b Canadian, California Water Colors Go On Display At Brooks Today, 7 April 1957 

7.5c Excellent Exhibit Of Religious Art Opens At Brooks Gallery April 28, 14 April 1957 

7.6a New York Herald: Theora Hamblett, 20 April 1963 

7.6b The Christian Science Monitor: Miss Hamblett's Paintings, 27 June 1962 

7.7 Oxford Eagle: Former Oxonians open new exhibit of pottery in Jackson art gallery, 24 September 1964 

7.8 The Clarion Ledger: Mississippi Artist, Long Frustrated, Now Recognized, 11 November 1962 

7.9a Oxford Eagle: Local Artist Plans For Exhibition, 8 November 1962 

7.9b The Mississippian: Oxford vs. Vermont for Grandma Moses, 7 November 1962 

7.10a Oxford Primitive Shows Paintings At University , Undated    (3 items)

7.10b New Yorker Gives Gallery Large Portrait, 27 November 1955 

7.11 Oxford Eagle: Grandma Moses hits the jackpot, 14 February 1963 

7.12 The Bolivar Commercial: Artist Guest At Pen Women's Meet, 7 May 1964 

7.13a The Commercial Appeal: Miss Hamblett Exhibits Work in Brussels, 18 January 1959 

7.13b Oxford Eagle: Theora Hamblett's Home Filled With Resident's Own Paintings, 15 January 1959 

7.14 Innocent Art of Theora Hamblett Now On Exhibition At Book Shelf, 11 September 1960 

7.15a Clarion Ledger: Oxford Woman Paints, New York Beats Path to Door, 27 December 1959 

7.15b Oxford Eagle: Local Artist Has Show At Museum, 8 September 1960 

7.15c First Baptist Church Messenger: Miss Theora Hamblett, 15 September 1960 

7.16a The Commercial Appeal: Quintard House Hamblett Show Reflects Strong Personal Vision, 23 November 1958 

7.16b New York Times: No Let-Up Found in Art Display, 11 May 

7.16c New York Times: Art: Kabak's Triangle, 15 May 1954 

7.17a The Commercial Appeal: MSU Art Expansion is Continued; Adds Teacher, Degree and Space, 27 July 1958 

7.17b Memphis Press-Scimitar: Miss Hamblett's Art To Be On Display, 20 November 1958 

7.18 The Commercial Appeal: Oxford Artist Has A Unique Vision That's Highly Personal and Pleasing, 6 October 1957 

7.19a Oxford Eagle: Cedar Oaks receives gift and words of appreciation, 8 January 1965 

7.19b The Commercial Appeal: Paul Flowers', 4 April 1964 

7.20a The Mississippian: Chancellor's address, 29 June 1962 

7.20b Oxford's primitive artist plans big campus exhibition, Nov. 11, Undated 

7.21 The Christian Science Monitor: Arts Center in Liverpool Setting- Modern Italian Paintings in U.S. Art Exhibition Notes, 7 June 1958 

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Box 8: Scrapbook 

Scrapbook    (OVRS. 19x21-1/2")

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Visual Materials 

General note

Materials housed in Collection Photographs

Color Separations 

64.1a Working Time 

64.1b Saturdays' Chores 

64.1c Horseback 

Color Transparencies 

64.2 Paint of Stiff Starch    (3 3/4" x4 3/4" - 2 items)

64.3a Either Theora Hamblett, her studio, or people at one of her receptions    (2"x2" - 20 items)

64.3b Paintings of landscape, including genre scenes    (2"x2" - 168 items)

64.3c Primarily spiritual or allegorical paintings    (2"x2" - 78 items)

64.3d Golden lace motif, primarily spiritual    (2"x2" - 9 items)

64.3e Still life or abstract paintings    (2"x2" - 35 items)

Color Slides 

64.4a Ms. Hamblett    (2x2" - 5 items)

64.4b Paintings of people    (2x2" - 3 items)

64.4c Landscape paintings, including some genre scenes and visions    (2x2" - 26 items)

64.4d Still life or abstract paintings    (2x2" - 10 items)

64.4e Primarily spiritual paintings    (2x2" - 22 items)

64.4d Paintings using a Golden Lace motif, primarily spiritual    (2x2" - 12 items)

64.7 Various works by Ms. Hamblett and/ or others    (2x2" - 60 items)

General note

Slides in Folder 2.7 are in poor condition


64.5a Ms. Hamblett with a painting and some other people    (35mm - b/w - 7 items)

64.5b Paintings    (3-3/4"x4-3/4" - color)

64.6 Various paintings by Theora Hamblett    (color - 7 items)


65.1 Ms. Hamblett in her house    (5x7" - b/w - 3 items)

65.2 Painting, mounted on stiff board    (5x7" - color)

65.3 Painting, mounted on stiff board    (5x7" - color)

65.4 Painting, mounted on stiff board    (5x7" - color)

65.5 Painting, mounted on stiff board    (5x7" - color)

65.6 Painting, mounted on stiff board    (5x7" - color)

65.7 Painting, mounted on stiff board    (5x7" - color)

65.8 Painting, mounted on stiff board    (5x7" - color)

65.9 Painting, mounted on stiff board    (5x7" - color)

65.10 Painting, mounted on stiff board    (5x7" - color)

65.11 Genre painting    (5x7" - b/w)

65.12a Photograph by Ed Meek. Grandmother Cobb's Dream, 1865 (photo dated 1968)    (5x7" - color)

65.12b Photograph by Ed Meek. Heaven's Descent to Earth    (5x7" - color)

65.13 Paintings, some spiritual and some with Ms. Hamblett holding the paintings    (5x7" - color - 18 items)

65.14a Ms. Hamblett painting    (8x10" - b/w - 3 items)

65.14b Close-up of Ms. Hamblett's head    (8x10" - b/w)

65.14c Exhibition photograph    (8x10" - b/w)

65.14d Painting Sing a Song of Sixpence    (8x10 - mounted - color)

65.15a Sketch of the Boix d'Arc tree at Rowan Oak (color) 

65.15b Ms. Hamblett and another woman holding the Boix d'Arc sketch (b/w) 

65.16a Painting    (color - 2 items)

65.16b Ms. Hamblett working on a painting (color) 

16.17a Ms. Hamblett outside her home (b/w) 

65.17b Ms. Hamblett inside her home (b/w) 

65.17c Exhibition of Ms. Hamblett's work (b/w) 

65.18 Ms. Hamblett standing beside Children's Games, 1972    (4-1/2"x3-1/4" - b/w)

66.1 Ms. Hamblett    (10x8" - OVRS-color mounted)

66.2 Landscape Painting    (8x10" - OVRS-color mounted)

66.3 Ms. Hamblett with a landscape painting    (8x10" - OVRS-color mounted)

66.4 Landscape Painting    (8x10" - OVRS-color mounted)

66.5 Ms. Hamblett in front of a wall of her paintings, 1970    (7-3/8x9-7/16" - OVRS-color mounted)

66.6 Walking Meditating in the Woods"    (12x14" - OVRS-color)

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Audio-visual Materials 

General note

Materials housed in Collection Photographs

67.1 A Conversation with Theora Hamblett 

Scope and Contents note

Also available on DVD in Special Collections. Call number: ND237.H3 A78 2004.

67.2 Audio Reel recordings: Grandmother Cobb's Dream, A Dream of Two Wheelbarrowns, A Dream of Blackberries, A Wish, A Vision, A Fulfillment, Serpents with Penned Down Tails, My Last Trip Back Home, Paris Spring, The Effect of Environment on Visions    (5 items)

67.3 12" 16mm color film reel 

67.4 " 16mm canister - film missing 

Audio Reels 

68.1 Miss Theora Hamblett: Visions and Dreams, 21 June 1966 

68.2 Miss Theora Hamblett: Ole Home Place and Schools, 12 July 1966 

68.3 Miss Theora Hamblett, 12 July 1966 

68.4 Miss Theora Hamblett, 22 July 1966 

68.5 Miss Theora Hamblett, 5 October 1966 

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