W. Stanton Forbes papers

W. Stanton Forbes papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Library
Creator: Forbes, W. Stanton
Title: W. Stanton Forbes papers
Dates: 1905-2010
Quantity: 5.8 Linear feet (15 document boxes)
Coll. Number: ms940

Biographical/Historical Note

William Stanton Forbes (1912-1989), an Athens native, became interested in art and writing from a young age while studying under his aunt, the artist Lucy May Stanton. He pursued his interest in the arts and humanities by earning a Bachelor's in English from the University of Georgia and a Master's in English from Vanderbilt University. He then traveled to Italy in 1938-1939 to study fresco under Giovanni Colacicchi at the Royal Academies in Rome and Florence. From 1942-1945, he served with the US Army, 602nd Engineers Camouflage Battalion, earning five campaign stars for the European Theatre where his Battalion camouflage painted tanks, constructed road screens, concealed soldiers and vehicles in snow conditions, helped establish headquarters and bivouacs, and, in general, supplied camouflage material for men, equipment, and tactics.From 1950-1953, he studied History of Art and Applied Art at Mexico City College under Justino Fernandez, Lola and German Cueto, and Enrique Climent. He received a Master's Degree in History of Art and Applied Art in 1954.

After a divorce from his first wife Ellen Endicott, he married Jean Reti-Forbes in 1963. In 1975, he wrote "Lucy M. Stanton, Artist," a biography of his aunt. He spent most of his adult life in the North Georgia mountains, writing and creating works of art. He also held annual exhibits of his paintings, prints, sculpture, weaving, pottery and furniture at his home in Athens, GA. He lived with his daughter, Lucy Shevenell, in Massachusetts for several years before then moving to a nearby nursing home where he died on September 12, 1989.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains a variety of material related to W. Stanton Forbes, including his correspondence, artwork, and writing, as well as his collection of clippings, diaries, music compositions, official documents, house plans for "Still Waters," photographs, and other printed materials.

The correspondence consists of letters between 1924 and 2007and are primarily from W. Stanton Forbes, Ellen E. Forbes, Lucy and Katherine Forbes, Frances Forbes Heyn, and Jean Reti-Forbes. The collection holds a significant amount of World War II letters between W. Stanton and his first wife, Ellen, covering 1942 to 1945 from W. Stanton's enlistment to his honorable discharge. The other large portion of the collection is the 1960s and 1970s, when W. Stanton wrote his daughters and sister almost every day. The official documents consist mainly of legal documents, exhibition programs, passports, military discharge papers, wills, and memorial service programs of W. Stanton Forbes and his second wife, Jean Reti-Forbes. The writings include W. Stanton Forbes' original music compositions, short stories, poetry, and longer prose including his Mexico City College master thesis, illustrated stories for his grandchildren, and a biography of his aunt artist Lucy Stanton. The newspaper clippings consist of obituaries, articles, and announcements focused on the professional work of W. Stanton Forbes and his loved ones, including his Mexico City College mentors, his relative Lucy Bates, his aunt Lucy M. Stanton, and Jean Reti-Forbes. Also included are four volumes notebooks and diaries filled with the creative and personal writings of W. Stanton Forbes and Jean Reti-Forbes as well as the guestbook from their residence Still Waters. The art series consists of a copper plate, ink prints, watercolors, pencil sketches, and ink drawings including Forbes' tribal artwork, often used in conjunction with texts written by his second wife, Jean Reti-Forbes. The photographs are of W. Stanton Forbes, his exhibitions, his loved ones, and Still Waters.


Materials are arranged in eight series: 1. Correspondence. 2. Official Documents. 3. Writings. 4. Newspaper Clippings. 5. Notebooks and Diaries. 6. Printed Material. 7. Art. 8. Photographs. With the exception of Correspondence, which has been arranged chronologically, the materials are arranged by record type.

Index Terms

Artists' writings.
Drawings (visual works)
Exhibition catalogs.
Forbes, W. Stanton -- Correspondence
Forbes, W. Stanton -- Exhibitions
Forbes, W. Stanton--Exhibitions.
Orozco, José Clemente, 1883-1949 -- Criticism and interpretation
Réti, Jean
Smith, Lillian Eugenia, 1897-1966 -- Correspondence
Stanton, Lucy M., 1875-1931
University of Georgia. -- Alumni and alumnae

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

W. Stanton Forbes papers, ms940, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.

Related Material

Related materials available in the following collections of this repository: W. Stanton Forbes collection, ms2081 ; Helen Forbes Ross papers, ms640 ; Walter T. Forbes papers, ms39 ; Jean Reti-Forbes papers, ms912 ; Lucy M. Stanton papers, ms392 ; Lucy M. Stanton collections, ms846 and ms3486; Lillian Smith papers, ms1283 and 1283a.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing


Series 1: Correspondence

The majority of correspondence consists of letters between W. Stanton Forbes and his family. He assigned nicknames for his wife, sister, sister-in-law, and children, using these in the greeting of each letter (i.e. U. Bunny is Lucy, Kitty Poo is Katherine, My Darling Sweetie / Miss Mousey / Punkin is Ellen, Fanny is Frances, Partner is his sister-in-law, etc) throughout his entire life.

Subseries 1.1: Early

The early letters are to and from his mother and sister. He starts writing Ellen as well in 1938. During this time, Forbes went to Italy in 1938 to study fresco under Giovanni Colacicchi, and most of the letters are from Italy.
3Miscellaneous, 1942-1945

Subseries 1.2: World War II - Ellen E. Forbes, 1942-1945

The World War II letters are almost entirely to and from Ellen E. Forbes, who he married in 1940, after he enlisted in the military. Correspondence covers from his training in 1942 to his honorable discharge in 1945. Forbes usually discusses his time in the army and responds to Ellen's comments about her current activities in Georgia. Notably, the two often manipulate words subtracting letters or adding extra ones, making their correspondence difficult to understand at times.
141942 June - July
51943 August
61942 September
71942 October
81942 November - December
9-101942, undated
211943 February - June
21943 July - December
41944 January - March
51944 April
61944 May - June
71944 July - August
81944 September - December
311945 January - March
21945 April - July
31945 August - September
4Julius Rosenwald Fund, 1945
5Other friends and family members, 1942-1945

Subseries 1.3: Mexico City College, 1950-1953

The Mexico City College letters are to and from Ellen, his mother and her father Harra, and Mexican acquaintances. Ellen and their children eventually join him in Mexico. The family stays there for several years, writing Forbes' mother most of all. The children write a few letters in this period with crayon drawings. After 1953, however, the family returns to the United States; Ellen and their children returned to Georgia, while Forbes left to work in California out of dissatisfaction with his life. In this time period, around 1954, most letters are between Ellen and Forbes and show the rocky decline in their marriage. By the late 1950s, he no longer wrote Ellen, going through with a divorce, and turned his attention to his two daughters.
7Ellen E. Forbes, 1950s

Subseries 1.4: Frances Forbes Heyn and family, 1960-1969

The letters to his sister, Frances Forbes Heyn, detail Forbes' personal and professional life in the 1960s and 1970s. Also included are letters to Forbes' mother and letters to and from his brother, Walter Stanton Forbes. In 1962, he started courting Jean Reti-Forbes and married her in 1963.
Includes Ellen Endicott Forbes' obituary biography and W. Stanton Forbes' mother's memorial service program.
41967-1969, undated

Subseries 1.5: Lucy, 1960-1979

The letters to his daughters, Lucy and Katherine, also follow his personal and professional life, as well as theirs. most of the letters in this collection are to Lucy. From 1963 to Jean's death in 1972, he often includes both his and her signatures, even though he's usually the only writer. After her death, he continued writing Lucy with great intensity, until he moved in with her in 1975. The letters in the very late 1970s are not or from his daughters for the most part.
Includes Jean Reti and W. Stanton Forbes' wedding invitation to Lucy.
511968 January - April
21968 May - August
31968 September - December
41969 January - May
51969 June - December
61970 January - April
71970 May - December
81971 January - May
91971 June - December
611972 January - April
21972 May - December
Includes Memorial Service program for Jean Reti-Forbes.
31973 January - April
41973 May - September
51973 October - December
61974 January - April
71974 May - December
81975 January - December
91976 February - November
711977-1979, undated
7A1-2Katherine, 1968-1972
3Walter Forbes, 1966-1972
4Family, 1961-1968
72Jean Reti-Forbes, 1963-1969
The Jean Reti Forbes letters are mostly directed to Lucy from Jean and often signed W. Stanton as well. The correspondence is small and scattered through several years.

Subseries 1.6: Later years

The correspondence from Others and the Postmortem section is a handful of letters, all of which regard W. Stanton Forbes in some way. A number deal with his passing, which occurred in 1989. The letters from 2007 regard his family approving an online biography for Forbes.
73Others, 1980-1989
4After death, 1990, 1997, 2007

Series 2: Official Documents

81Birth certificate for W. Stanton Forbes
1Copyright Registration for Forbes' works
1Death certificate for W. Stanton Forbes
1Death certificate for Jean Reti-Forbes
1Will of Jean Reti-Forbes, 1972
1Funeral Service Purchase Agreement for W. Stanton Forbes, 1990
1Southern Books Competition's handlist of award winning books in 1973 - includes To Dwell in Sound
Exhibit brochures and invitations for Forbes' work
2Mexico City College commencement program, 1954
2Land tract sale by W. Stanton Forbes, 1948
3Marriage certificate between W. Stanton Forbes and Jean Reti-Forbes, 1963
3Biographical obituary for W. Stanton Forbes
3Biographical obituary for Jean Reti-Forbes
3Memorial service program for W. Stanton Forbes, 1990
3Jean Reti-Forbes memorial service program
3"Monday Evening Concerts" at Tallulah Falls School brochures with biography of Forbes, 1990
3Internal Medicine Assessment of W. Stanton Forbes, 1981
4Mexico City College scholastic record
4Table card, invitation, and hotel reservation for Frances Heyn to National Portrait Gallery Tenth Anniversary, 1978
4 Jeannette Rankin in Georgia by Ted C. Harris, edited by Phinizy Spalding, 1974
Includes signature of Phinizy Spalding on cover.
4Traveler's Rest or Jarrett Manor brochure by Georgia Historical Commission
4Northwestern University on the air, Of Men and Books, guest starring Lillian Smith, 1944
4Southern Living article on Lucy M. Stanton, 1978
4Atlanta Art Association pamphlet, 1962 December
4Mexico City College exhibit catalogue for Forbes' work
4Western Maryland College Christmas Vesper Service program, 1966
4College Entrance Examination Board exam (blank), 1942
4Padstow Hobby Horse brochure with songs and accounts
4"Music at Georgia", the newsletter of UGA's Music Department, 1969
4Online biography of Giovanni Colacicchi, 2007
4Article clipping about Navajo Indian sand-painting
4Resolution of Coastal Area Planning and Development Commission of gratitude to Anthony A. Alaimo
4W. Stanton Forbes article, "Excavations Throw New Light on Early American Indians," in Unesco Features
5W. Stanton Forbes' passports, 1954, 1966, 1973
5 The First Six Years of University of Georgia Basketball (1905-1906 to 1910-1911) compiled by H. Sellers Rogers
5Banquet for Basketball "Old-Timers" program, 1956
5University of Georgia Athletic Association resolution about UGA's first basketball coach, Walter T. Forbes
5World War II era English theater programs, 1942
5Military discharge papers for W. Stanton Forbes
5602 Engineer Camouflage Battalion reunion programs - one with handwritten notes about Forbes' war experiences
5602nd Engineers Roster
5College yearbook photograph of W. Stanton Forbes as a sophomore
6-7House Plans for Still Waters
8Letters Testamentary issued on the estate of Lucy Bates (three copies), 1969
8Letters Testamentary issued on the estate of Jean Reti-Forbes, 1972
8Unsigned will of Jean Reti-Forbes
Certificate of copyright registration for Jean Reti-Forbes' "Child of the Prairie", 1979
9Piano Recital poster for Jean Reti-Forbes in Germany
9Brochure for Jean Reti-Forbes, "Lecture-Recitals, Concerts, Piano Workshops", approximately 1963
9Brochure for Jean Reti, approximately 1961
9"Jean Reti-Forbes recital at Emmanuel College", 1967
9The Clayton Music and Literary Club - "Poetry and Music: A Journey into the Past", 1981
9Additional Notes on Jean Reti-Forbes from Stanton Forbes
10Catalog of 1953 exhibition and drawing, "Reindeer Christmas"

Series 3: Writings, 1960

91W. Stanton Forbes' original music
2"Art in the New Dental School Building at Augusta, Ga."
2"Art" at The Atlanta Art Association Galleries, 1962
2"The Hunt of Conjur Bear" for his daughters, 1957
2"Fire Side Sages" Chapter I
Nonfiction biography.
2Lyrics for "Forgotten Swords"
2"Forgotten Swords", 1960
3"The Garden of Delight"
3Golden Anniversary at Tallulah Falls
Nonfiction biography.
3"Growing up in Cobbham", 1974
Nonfiction biography.
3"Improving Readiness," about his father, Walter, 1981
Nonfiction biography.
4Draft of "Lucy M. Stanton: Artist"
4"Lucy Stanton: Eye of the South" book description
4Finished portions of "Lucy M. Stanton: Artist"
4ATypescript of "Lucy M. Stanton: Artist"
5Ballet: "A Masque from the Attack Trunk: Forgotten/Remembered Swords" notes, 1960
5"A Masque from the Attack Trunk: Remembered Swords", 1961
5Short notes, poems, and sonnets
5"Mountain Crafts for the Young", 1974
6"Name Your Own Ghosts or Remembered Swords"
6"Ghosts" and related notes
6"Our Sabine Farm"
Nonfiction biography.
7"The Revival of Arts and Crafts At the Tallulah Falls Mountain School in Ga."
7"Round Wedding Round", 1981
7Sonnets to Jean Reti (three copies), 1972
7"Tricked by the Ghosts of Venice"
7"Where God and A Good Time Are Friends"
Nonfiction biography.
7"Y Camp History"
Nonfiction biography.
8"Culture of the Noble Savage of Georgia" (in English, Spanish, and French)
In Spanish, French, and English.
9"Orozco's Adam and Eve," in Arizona Quarterly, Winter 1954
101"Patterns of Geometric Expression in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Mexico" - book draft
2"Pre-Columbian Influences in Colonial Architecture and Other Arts" - book draft
Includes many photographs from 1950s Mexico.

Series 4: Newspaper clippings

111"Going a-Maying" by Christina Hole in Radio Times, 1945
1"Currier and Ives Panorama Shows Journalism of an Era" by W. Stanton Forbes
1"Athenian's New Centennial Book on Display Here" - a book review of his "Attic Trunk" work, 1961
1"Musical Duo Listens to Silence" by Ione Dellinger - about Jean Reti-Forbes and W. Stanton Forbes, 1965
1"Artist Honored" about W. Stanton Forbes, 1962
1"History of Georgia Basketball: Peach Rim to Plushness" about Walter T. Forbes, 1964
1"Tribute to Rabun's Miss Lillian Smith", 1966
1"Abit Nix Tells of Y Experience" about Walter T. Forbes
1"Stanton Forbes exhibit will open", 1969
1"W. Stanton Forbes Book Published", 1975
2"W. Stanton Forbes; renowned artist/musician still at work in his Tallulah Falls studio", 1978
2"Sipping Champagne Under the Portraits for the Gallery's Birthday", 1978
3"Water color portraits on ivory", 1980
3"Mary Lillian Fortson and W. Stanton Forbes perform in concert", 1981
3"Forbes Has Confidence in Future; Opens 2 New Businesses as Proof" about Walter T. Forbes, 1982
3"Two firms carry on development with eye on government spending" about Walter T. Forbes, 1982
3"Mealtime at Summer Camp" with Walter T. Forbes, 1987
3W. Stanton Forbes obituary (from several papers), 1989
3"TFS concert dedicated to W.S. Forbes", 1990
3"Michael Radyk Conservation with Light, Shadow and Stanton Forbes", 2010
3"Helen Escobedo obituary", 2010
4"An Artist Builds A HoneyMoon Castle", approximately 1939
4"Athens Y Camp 87th Season To Include Three Sessions", approximately 1985
4"Death Takes Miss Bates", approximately 1969
4"Dr. Carey Stanton", approximately 1985
4"Faces" about Portrait Gallery, undated
4"Forbes' paintings on display at library", 1980
4"Forbes' 'Monologue' Is Placed on Sale", 1954
4"Foxfire Editor's chief concern is 'the kids'"
4"Fulton Hill art center co-founder dies at 71" about W. Stanton's sister, Lynn Forbes Garber, approximately 1986
4"Georgian Famous for Miniatures" about Lucy Stanton, undated
4"Georgian left mark in small way" about Lucy Stanton, undated
4"House That Is a Woman's" about W. Stanton Forbes' Tallulah Falls house, 1949
4"Lion Lifted by Pranksters; Local Artist Consulted On How To Keep Lions Home" about W. Stanton Forbes' lion sculpture, undated
4"Local Artist's Woodcuts Seen in Magazine", undated
4"Lucy M. Stanton Portrait of Georgia Author Recently Given to National Portrait Gallery", 1972
4"News about Mrs. W.T. Forbes, Sr.", undated
4"Mrs. Forbes Dies in Va; Rites Today" about W. Stanton Forbes' mother, undated
4"Portraits by W. Stanton Forbes" advertisement
4"Stanton Forbes' Work Is Exhibited in Mexico", approximately 1954
5"Stanton Forbes Weds Mme. Reti"
5Mrs. Forbes, Noted Pianist, Scholar, Dies
5"Featured Pianist" about Jean Reti Forbes, 1962
5"Mrs. Reti-Forbes Is Visiting Artist", 1967
5"Acclaimed pianist Jean Reti-Forbes will perform Thursday Night"
5"Music Critic Discussed" about Jean Reti Forbes
5Newspaper clipping about Jean Reti-Forbes' To Dwell in Sound

Series 5: Notebooks and Diaries

116Personal and creative writing notebook, approximately 1941-1961
7Diary #1 - 1960s by Jean Reti-Forbes and 1970s by W. Stanton Forbes after her death, 1964-1965, 1972-1977
8Guest Book of Jean Reti Forbes and W. Stanton Forbes, 1961-1984
9Diary #2 - W. Stanton Forbes, 1974-1976
10Miscellaneous Notes from Diaries

Series 6: Printed Material

121"Built upon honor: Ceramic Art of ben Owen and Ben Owen III"
1Invitation for "walking around & through architecture" at Still Waters
2W. Stanton Forbes accomplishments book
2"Galeria de Arte mexicano" by Helen Escobedo, 1966
2"Goldy Locks Continued", 1977
3"Monologue: A Dream Sequence", 1954
4"Scherzo", 1961
4"Sonnets to Jean Reti", 1972

Series 7: Art

131Mezzotint copper plate of Lucy Stanton Forbes by W. Stanton Forbes, 1969
2"Ghosts" prints (titles illegible, numbered)
3Photocopies of "Ghosts" prints and accompanying list
3"Ghosts" prints as blank greeting cards
3Invitation cards to "Watercolors" by W. Stanton Forbes, 1962
3Untitled watercolors and prints
3"Bear Hunt" cover print
3Color copy of "Plantina Stick" print
4Untitled pencil drawings
4Children's pencil and crayon drawings
5Architectural drawings, 1976
5Untitled ink prints
6Photocopies of architectural drawings, 1976
6Photocopies of Still Waters drawings, 1976
7Unidentified stencils
8Watercolors of architectural drawings, 1976
9Notebook of watercolors of fruits and flowers
9Childhood painting by W. Stanton Forbes, 1920
10Notebook of watercolors of "Still Waters" landscapes
11Notebook of watercolors and sketches of people and animals

For Grandchildren

141W. Stanton Forbes' illustrated fairy tale collection
2"Parodies of Classic Children's Books and Animal Stories In Verse for Children Illustrated" by W. Stanton Forbes
3Segments of various stories and poems, approximately 1984
3"Family Stories for Grandchildren", 1984
3"Fire-Side Sages: Chapter V"
Appears to use a literary technique that blurs fiction and nonfiction, sometimes seen in war literature. In this case, W. Stanton Forbes describes close renditions of his experiences at Normandy and other European campaigns during World War II, but he has added in his daughter as a rabbit companion (due to her nickname "U-Bunny").
3"Sonnet 1976 - Still Waters"
4"The Sea", 1985
4"Goldy Locks Continued", 1975
4"Fireside Sages: Chapter I", 1974
Duplicate can be found in Writings series.
4"Sonnets to Jean Reti", 1972
Duplicate can be found in Writings series. Back of story includes W. Stanton Forbes' "Codice to my will" from 1976.
5"Mood and Math: Still Waters", 1977
5"Still Waters: Bees' Wax Candles" and "Still Waters: Lost Wax Process", 1978
5Descriptions of local flowers
6"Parodies of Classic Children's Books"
Restricted pending completion.

Series 8: Photographs

Includes Jean Reti-Forbes.
8W. Stanton Forbes, 1913-1980s
Other family members, such as his mother and sister, are sometimes pictured. Includes World War II photographs and official photographs for galleries and newspapers.
9Exhibitions, approximately 1950s to 1980s
Most are paintings or sculptures. Some are exhibits in galleries. W. Stanton Forbes is sometimes present. None are official photographs.
10Still Waters residence
Photographs sometimes include W. Stanton Forbes and members of his family.
12Two boxes of color slides of W. Stanton Forbes' art
Some of these are duplicates found either in "Exhibitions" or "Still Waters."