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Papers of Streeter Blair

Call Number: RH MS 61


Streeter Blair was born in Cadmus, Kansas and spent most of his life as a teacher, editor, clothier, and antique dealer. The papers relate to his career as an artist during the last fourteen years of his life.


  • 1900 - 1966


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Streeter Blair

Streeter Blair was born in Cadmus, Kansas in 1888. His father was the manager of a Grange store, and Blair spent his early years in this small farming community. The family lived briefly in Kansas City, but later moved to Spring Hill, Kansas, where Blair attended high school. After high school, he went to the University of Kansas where he earned his way by doing odd jobs. After college, Blair taught in Sabetha and then moved on to become principal of Junction City High School. The high school principal position did not afford him the standard of living he wished for himself and his family, so he bought a clothing store, which he later sold to ward off bankruptcy. From Junction City he moved to Kansas City, where he owned and operated an advertising business for over twenty years. After his retirement in 1950 he sold the business and opened an antique shop in Los Angeles, whereupon he began his painting career. Blair sold his first canvas almost immediately, beginning a prolific career as an American "primitive" painter. His paintings depict life in small communities, homesteads of the prairies, Saturday night events, band concerts and other related themes, reflecting his childhood days in Kansas. His works have been exhibited in the United States and Europe. Streeter Blair died in 1967.


3 Linear Feet (6 boxes)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The papers deal with his career as an artist during the last fourteen years of his life. Correspondence includes records of negotiations between art dealers, galleries and museums where his works were exhibited. There are manuscripts of his writings, namely his autobiographical work, As was, or the Cadmus Story, Plus. Most of his writing was done in the last three years of his life. Also included in the collection are exhibition catalogs, brochures, and slides and photographs of his work.

Physical Location

RH MS 61

Physical Location

RH MS-P 61

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Streeter Blair, October 1962; Spring 1965; June 1966.

Additional Information

Nucmc: MS 77-558, Items a-d Photographs, slides.

Guide to the Streeter Blair Collection
Papers of Streeter Blair
Finding aid compiled by pg, November 1975; revised 2004, 2018.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Streeter Blair Papers, RH MS 61, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States