Sara and Athos Menaboni collection

Sara and Athos Menaboni collection

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Creator: Menaboni, Athos, 1895-1990
Creator: Menaboni, Sara
Title: Sara and Athos Menaboni collection
Dates: 1929-1990
Quantity: 7.0 Linear feet (9 boxes and 1 framed item)
Coll. Number: ms3134

Biographical/Historical Note

"Athos Rodolfo Giorgio Alessandro Menaboni was born October 20, 1895 in Livorno, Italy, the son of a ship's chandler... At the age of nine, Menaboni began studying painting under private teachers. He later attended the Royal Academy of Art in Florence. During his time of learning in Italy he studied under Ugo Manarisi, Charles Doudelet, and Pietro Gori... Athos Menaboni came to the United States around 1920, settling in New York where he took a job painting artificial candles... During his early days in Atlanta, Menaboni was living in a boarding house in downtown Atlanta. It was here that he met Sara Arnold of Rome, Georgia, niece of the owners of the boardinghouse. They were married within a year. In 1937 they bought a farm in the Atlanta area... In 1940 Sara Menaboni sent thirty-six of his paintings to New York which resulted in a Menaboni showing. His paintings hung in the American Museum of Natural History, Kennedy Galleries, and in nation-wide exhibits by the Audubon Society. It was from a showing in the Kennedy Galleries that Menaboni began his long association with Robert W. Woodruff. A Coca-Cola executive saw his work, discovered the artist lived in Atlanta, and commissioned a painting of doves in a pinetree. From 1941 to 1984, the covers of Woodruff's Christmas cards contained Menaboni bird prints of birds found at the Woodruff's south Georgia plantation, Ichauway. Menaboni's work was published in 1950 in a book entitled Menaboni's Birds. The paintings were by Menaboni with the texts written by his wife, Sara. It was voted one of "Fifty Best Books of the Year" for 1950. This book was revised by Menaboni using the original texts and thirty-two new full-color reproductions of his work. The revised book was published in 1984. Menaboni, often hailed as a second Audubon, is referred to as a scientific ornithological painter because of his methods of painting live subjects. He has painted over 150 different kinds of birds, mostly those seen in the southeast region... Athos Menaboni suffered a stroke in May 1990 and died July 18, 1990 of complications." -- "Athos Menaboni collection, 1940-1985." Emory MARBL. (Retrieved October 6, 2009)

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of personal papers of Sara and Athos Menaboni. Included are correspondence, journals (both financial and Sara's personal), photographs and photograph albums, home movies, exhibition programs, promotional fliers, Menaboni azalea prints and copies of other prints, books, calling cards, and the memorial service program for Athos Menaboni. Correspondents include "Tommy" Arnold, Congressman James C. Davis, and Wayne Short (on Audubon Society letterhead) as well as many others from all walks of life.


Arranged by record type.

Index Terms

Advertising fliers.
Amateur films.
Arnold, Tommy -- Correspondence
Birds in art.
Davis, James C., (James Curran), 1895-1981 -- Correspondence
Fliers (printed matter).
Flowers in art.
Home movies.
Journals (accounts).
Menaboni, Athos, 1895-1990 -- Photographs
Menaboni, Sara -- Photographs
Photograph albums.
Prints (visual works)
Short, Wayne -- Correspondence
Visiting cards.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Sara and Athos Menaboni collection, MS 3134. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.


Conditions Governing Access note

Though the collection is open for research, the audiovisual recordings do not have reference copies; however, reference copies are available upon request. Audiovisual research requests are dependent upon the format and condition of the recordings.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

2Adams, Lee, 1947-1948
3Aeck, Richard Leon
4Arnold family
5Arnold, Tommy "T"
6Arnold, Tommy "T"
7Arnold, Tommy "T"
8Arnold, Tommy "T"
9Audubon Society
12Calloway, Cason J
13Coca Cola Bottling Co.
2Davis, James C.
3Davison-Paxton Co.
5Erdman, Robert Park
7Faulkner, Guy
9George, Walter F
11Hulen, Rubey M.
15Keady, G. J.
16The Keyes Co.
17Kennedy & Co.
20Magazine publishers
21Montag Brothers & misc business papers
23Olin Industries
25Progressive Farmer
2Reynolds, Laurel
4Rinehart & Co.
5Robert C. Vose Galleries
9Underwood, Marvin
11Wanamaker, Muriel
12Westlake, F. Eliot
13Wilson Orinthological Club
14Woodruff, Bob & Nell
15X, Y, Z
16Unknown, misc
17Empty envelopes
2Certificates, personal items
3Material removed from unlabelled notebook re: Sallie Bass Arnold


44Diary - Mexico by Sara Menaboni, 1956
5Diary - Italy by Sara Menaboni, 1964
6Diary - Italy by Sara Menaboni, 1973
7Address Lists
8Menaboni Accounting Journal
1944-56 (29 pages)
showing records of art sold Some of the people who purchased paintings during this period include Mrs Lafayette Butler. Quaker State, Montag Brothers Stationery, Kennedy & Company, Rich's. Inc., Mrs Norris, Mrs. Adams, Coca-Cola, (Tenn), Peay Wilson, Mary Mobley, New York Graphic, Progressive Famer, Everglade Hotel, Rinchart, Mrs Cox, Davison-Paxon, Robert Woodruff, Citizens & Southern Bank, Cason Callaway, Newberry's, Keady, Thomasville Exhibitions, Stephan Lion, Inc., Coca-Cola, (West Point), and Sports Illustrated
re: "tax matters" which lists personal and business expenses

Photographs and Film

1Photographs removed from labelled "Blue Heron" and "Sports Illustrated"
hm-menab-0001Film, Mexico II, 1950 ( (16mm) ) (Eleven (11))
including those taken on trips to Mexico. Barbados, Nassau, and England Seven are not identified.
hm-menab-0002Film, Boston and Garrison in Barbados, 1951 ( 8mm )
hm-menab-0003Film, Barbados [?], Nassau [?], 1952 ( 8mm )
hm-menab-0004Film, Nassau and Zoo, 1952 ( 8mm )
hm-menab-0005Film, Barbados, 1952-1953 ( 8mm )
hm-menab-0006Film, [Home and friends], 1953-1954 ( 8mm )
hm-menab-0007Film, England, 1955 ( 8mm )
7Printed Materials and Xerox copies


81Jekyll Island Birds, 1947 July 13 & 4
82BD Celebration scrapbook, 1949
83scrapbook, 1949
8412"x15" Azalea Prints (Four (4))
each are pencil numbered, (149, 150, 177, 178 of 500) and have the printed signature of Athos Menaboni
91Color portrait of Athos Menaboni (12 x 16) framed
(his later years)
1Books & Booklets
The New Garden Encyclopedia
The Italians - A Full-Length Potrait Featuring Their Manners and Morals
Memory Book, Persons and Occasions of a Long Life, Thomas H. English, 1989
(the inscription "Tom English, Athos made it for me" is written over a drawing of a pine spray) Printed acknowledgment that the pine spray was drawn by Athos Menaboni
Birds of Georgia, 1945
("Author's Copy" label inside front cover) Print of Menaboni's "Great Blue Heron" mounted inside
Native Trees of Georgia, 1940 December
The Greatest Thing in the World, Henry Drummond, 1936
(Inscribed "A Christmas gift of love from Mother to her dear daughter, Sara December 25th, 1936")
Memory Book, Fifty Years of Occasional Verse, Thomas H. English, Atlanta, Ga
(inscribed "Christmas Greetings, 1971, Tom & Rachel English") Printed acknowledgment of pine spray drawing by Athos Menaboni
"Bird Casualties at a Leon County, Florida TV Tower, 1955-1961", by Herbert I. Stoddard, Sr., Bulletin No. 1, Tall Timbers Research Station, Tallahassee, Florida, 1962
Botticelli, Sergio Bettini, 1949
Italian Bouquet - An Epicurean Tour of Italy, Samuel Chamberlain
The World Was My Garden - Travels of a Plant Explorer, David Fairchild
Birds in Your Backyard, Popular Science Series Vol. II, Virginia S Eifert, 1941
(inscribed "For Sara and Athos Manaboni with my very best wishes for success, Virginia S. Eifert May 28, 1945")
Audubon Bird Guide - Eastern Land Birds, Richard H. Pough
Field Guide to Western Birds, Peterson