The Papers of Onya La Tour document the personal and professional life and associations of the art collector, dealer, and museum founder from Brown County, Indiana. The archival collection came to the Indianapolis Museum of Art when her personal collection of art was transferred to the museum. The collection has been divided into six series which are described below.
Series 1: Diaries and Address Books, 1924-1972, n.d. includes Onya la Tour's personal diaries covering the years 1924 through 1972. Most of the diaries contain newspaper clippings, photographs, memorabilia, and ephemera inserted near the appropriate date pages. There is one folder of loose diary pages (1934-1937). The series also includes three address books (1936-1937, ca. 1970, and n.d.) with contact information for personal and professional acquaintances. The series is made up of 37 bound volumes and four archival folders, arranged primarily by date.
Series 2: Correspondence, 1933-1976, n.d. contains letters sent to and from Onya La Tour. Many of the individuals that Onya corresponded with were artists or had connections to the art community. Letters are both typed and handwritten, and many include drawings or have accompanying photographs and/or newspaper clippings. This series is arranged alphabetically by last name of the correspondent, and chronologically by date within each folder. Loose photographs have been separated from the manuscript material and stored in a Photo Box.
Correspondents include Rifka Angel, Maurice Becker, David Burliuk, Stuart Davis, Katherine Dreier, John D. Graham, Helen West Heller, Roy Hirshburg, Joseph Konzal, Larry Lebduska, Guy and Genoi Pettit McCoy, Emanuel Romano; Robert Morris, Ann Goldthwaite and other artists.
Series 3: Photographs, 1925-1970, n.d. includes black & white and color print photographs in a variety of sizes. The series contains many photos of Onya La Tour alone and with artists, friends, and family. There are also portraits of other individuals, primarily artists. Color and black & photographs of artwork are also included in this series. Folder 32 contains photographs of unidentified individuals. This series is arranged alphabeticall by the subject.
Series 4: Memorabilia, 1917-1976, n.d. contains memorabilia that Onya La Tour collected throughout her life. The series has been separated into two subseries: General and Publications.
Subseries a: General includes a binder of creative writing written by multiple individuals, two small booklets with illustrations by A. Franz Brasz, scrapbooks and gallery guestbooks, biographical information on various artists, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and organization membership booklets. This subseries also include an ink drawing by J. Crespo and a print by "Dirk," and is arranged chronologically by date.
Subseries b: Publications contains a selections of art journals, magazines, and books arranged chronologically by publication date.
Series 5: Exhibition and Gallery Ephemera, 1913-1978, n.d. includes ephemeral material created for galleries and specific exhibitions of art. The majority of the catalogs and brochures represent galleries and exhibitions in New York City, but there are also some from Indiana and outside of the United States. Onya's handwritten notes are in the margins of multiple catalogs and brochures. This series is arranged chronologically by date.
Series 6: Onya La Tour Collection Historical Files, 1971-1978, n.d. contains material related to the Onya La Tour Collection of art donated to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 1972. Correspondence, receipts, inventories, reference material and research notes document the works of art that were gifted to the IMA and the artists of the collection artwork. The series also contained two cassette tapes of oral interviews with Onya La Tour, which were collected by the IMA in the process of transferring her collection. These tapes have been transfered onto physical compact discs and digital audio files for preservation. This series is arranged chronologically by date.
Series 1: Diaries and Address Books, 1924-1972, n.d.
Series 2: Correspondence, 1933-1976, n.d.
Series 3: Photographs, 1925-1970, n.d.
Series 4: Memorabilia, 1917-1976, n.d.
Series 5: Exhibition and Gallery Ephemera, 1913-1978, n.d.
Series 6: Onya La Tour Collection Historical Files, 1971-1978, n.d.