Alice Morgan Wright papers
Scope and Contents
The Alice Morgan Wright Papers include biographical material, correspondence, writings, postcards, scrapbooks, artwork and photographs of her work as a sculptor; subject files, and memorabilia. Wright's career as a sculptor and her activism are well-documented; personal material is more fragmentary. Topics include art, women's suffrage, women's rights, women companions, birth control, world peace, animal welfare, the International Police Force and the United Nations, and Navajo Indians. Her postcards provide a vivid and interesting account of Wright's travels, especially her years as an art student in Paris. Also included are reminiscences of the Pankhursts and of Wright's confinement in Holloway Gaol where she spent two months after her arrest at a suffrage demonstration in England.
Notable correspondents include Florence E. Allen, Emily Greene Balch, Mary Ellen Chase, Helen Keller, Stella Newsome, Ada Comstock Notestein, Emmeline Pankhurst, Alice Paul, Emmeline Pethink-Lawrence, Adlai S. Stevenson, Elisabeth Telling, Mary E. Woolley, Edith J. Goode (Wright's lifelong partner), and her mother, Emma Morgan Wright.
Dates of Materials
- Creation: 1873-1994
- Wright, Alice Morgan, 1881-1975 (Person)
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright ownership of the Alice Morgan Wright papers is unknown. Copyright to materials created by persons other than Wright may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. Researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.
Biographical / Historical
Alice Morgan Wright, sculptor, suffragist, and animal welfare advocate, the daughter of Henry Romeyn Wright, a prosperous wholesale grocer, and Emma Jane Morgan, was born on October 10, 1881, in Albany, New York. She attended the St. Agnes School in Albany (now the Doane Stuart School) and then graduated from Smith College in 1904.
Wright worked for the Collegiate Equal Suffrage League and began studying sculpture at the Art Student League in New York City. In 1909 the League awarded her both the Gutzon Borglum and the Augustus Saint-Gaudens prizes for her outstanding art work. She went on to study art at the Académie des Beaux-Arts and at the Académie Colarossi in Paris. While in Europe, Wright involved herself in both the British and French suffrage movements. She organized a meeting in Paris at which English suffragist Emmeline Pankhurst spoke in 1910 and arranged for Pankhurst to make an appearance in Albany during her tour of the United States in 1911.
During a suffrage demonstration, Wright was arrested and spent two months in London's Holloway Gaol. During this time she modeled a small bust of Emmeline Pankhurst, her prison-mate, with art supplies she had smuggled into the prison. When she returned to Paris she organized a petition drive demanding the release of jailed British suffragists. By 1913 Wright's art work had won several prizes, and had been exhibited in New York, Paris, and London. After returning home in 1914, she became the recording secretary of the New York State Women's Suffrage Party, and only returned full time to her sculpture after the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment.
Wright's lifelong companion was Edith J. Goode, whom she met at Smith, and together they worked tirelessly for peace and justice. Wright's love of animals increasingly drew her to the cause of animal protection, and although she was heralded as one of the leading young American sculptors, art increasingly took a backseat to her reform activities. By 1945 she was devoting all her time to the cause, founding the National Humane Education Association, and working with various other animal protection organizations. Russell Sage College awarded her an honorary degree in 1947. Wright died in Albany at the age of 93, on April 8, 1975.
8.293 linear feet (16 containers)
Sculptor, Suffragist, Animal welfare advocate. Papers include biographical material, correspondence, writings, postcards, scrapbooks, artwork and photographs of her work as a sculptor; subject files, and memorabilia. Wright's career as a sculptor and her activism are well-documented; personal material is more fragmentary. Topics include art, women's suffrage, women's rights, women companions, birth control, world peace, and animal welfare. Notable correspondents include Florence E. Allen, Emily Greene Balch, Mary Ellen Chase, Helen Keller, Stella Newsome, Ada Comstock Notestein, Emmeline Pankhurst, Alice Paul, Emmeline Pethink-Lawrence, Adlai S. Stevenson, Elisabeth Telling, Mary E. Woolley, Edith J. Goode (Wright's lifelong partner), and her mother, Emma Morgan Wright.
This collection is organized into six series:
- SERIES I. BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS (1873-1990)
- SERIES II. CORRESPONDENCE (1909-78)
- SERIES III. SCRAPBOOKS (1903-75)
- SERIES IV. ARTWORK (1907-78)
- SERIES V. SUBJECT FILES (1912-94)
- SERIES VI. PHOTOGRAPHS (1893-1970s)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Most of Alice Morgan Wright's papers were given to the Sophia Smith Collection by her cousin Elinor Wright Fleming (Mrs. Clark M. Fleming) in 1980. Wright herself had sent small increments earlier. Photographs of Smith College, originally passed on to Ruth Sharp from the estate of Alice Morgan Wright, were sent to President Thomas Mendenhall in 1965 by Ruth and Lauriston Sharp. In 1998 Ann Lee O'Connell Anderson '55 and Albert G. Anderson donated a watercolor painting of an unidentified young woman, done by Wright in 1916. Betsy Fahlman donated additional materials pertaining to Wright's artwork in 1998. Dorcas MacClintock gave biographical materials, including Betsy Fahlman's definitive work on Wright's sculpture, in 2003.
Processed by Indus Chadha, 2007.
- Art Students League (New York, N.Y.) (Organization)
- New York State Woman Suffrage Party (Organization)
- Women's Party (Great Britain) (Organization)
- Pankhurst, Emmeline, 1858-1928 (Person)
- Pethick-Lawrence, Emmeline, 1867- (Person)
- Whitehouse, Vira Boarman, 1875- (Person)
- Fleming, Elinor Wright (Person)
- Anderson, A. G. (Person)
- Wright, Alice Morgan, 1881-1975 (Person)
- Smith College -- Students (Organization)
- Fleming, Elinor Wright (Donor, Person)
Genre / Form
- Address books
- Animal welfare
- Arts -- Study and teaching -- United States
- Female friendship
- Humane education
- Sculptors -- United States
- Suffragists -- Great Britain
- Suffragists -- United States
- Women -- Suffrage -- Great Britain
- Women -- Suffrage -- United States
- Women artists -- United States
- Women sculptors -- United States
- Women's suffrage
- Alice Morgan Wright papers
- Finding Aid
- Indus Chadha
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
- 2017-07-26T17:48:18-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
- 2022-03-03: Integrated description of oversized materials
Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063