unc logo

Collection Number: 05295

Collection Title: J. Eugene Grigsby Papers, 1940-1983

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size 6.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 4,800 items)
Abstract Jefferson Eugene Grigsby Jr., African American artist and art educator, was born in Greensboro, N.C., on 17 October 1918. Grigsby attended Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C., then Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga., graduating with a degree in art in 1938. During this time, he studied under the painter Hale Woodruff. From 1938 to 1939, he studied at the American Artists School in New York, where he met prominent African American artists including Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden. In 1940, Grigsby received a master's degree from Ohio State University, and in 1963, he received a doctorate in art education from New York University. From 1946 to 1966, Grigsby served as head of the art department at Phoenix Union High School in Phoenix, Ariz., and from 1966 to 1988, he was professor of art at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz. In 1943, Grigsby married Rosalyn Thomasena Marshall, with whom he had two sons. In 1958, he was one of six artists selected to represent the United States at the Brussels Universal and International Exposition, and in 1988, he was designated National Art Educator of the Year by the National Art Education Association. The collection contains papers, chiefly correspondence and related materials, pertaining to the life and work of J. Eugene Grigsby. Correspondence (which includes copies of some letters written by Grigsby) is generally of a professional nature, with some personal correspondence interspersed. It largely documents Grigsby's career from when he lived in New York City to when he worked at Arizona State University. Letters are from artists, art professionals, and others; they discuss Grigsby's work as an arts educator and artist; art shows he curated; his involvement with art activism groups such as COBA (Consortium of Black Organizations and Others for the Arts), which he founded in 1983; and other topics. There are also materials relating to Grigsby's masters and doctoral work, finances, and high school art shows, as well as playbills, scripts, invitations, and other items.
Creator Grigsby, J. Eugene (Jefferson Eugene), 1918-
Language English
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
Box 5 is CLOSED to research until 2035.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the J. Eugene Grigsby Papers #5295, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from J. Eugene Grigsby Jr. of Phoenix, Ariz., in October 2004 (Acc. 100496).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Jefferson Eugene Grigsby Jr., African American artist and art educator, was born in Greensboro, N.C., on 17 October 1918. Upon completion of high school in Charlotte, N.C., Grigsby attended Johnson C. Smith University, also in Charlotte. After one year, he transferred to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga., and graduated with a degree in art in 1938. During this time, he studied under the painter Hale Woodruff. From 1938 to 1939, he studied at the American Artists School in New York, where he met prominent African American artists including Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden. In 1940, Grigsby received a master's degree from Ohio State University, and in 1963, he received a doctorate in art education from New York University. From 1946 to 1966, Grigsby served as head of the art department at Phoenix Union High School in Phoenix, Ariz., and from 1966 to 1988, he was professor of art at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz.

Grigsby married Rosalyn Thomasena Marshall ("Tommie") in 1943. The couple had two sons. In 1958, he was one of six artists selected to represent the United States at the Brussels Universal and International Exposition, and in 1988 he was designated National Art Educator of the Year from the National Art Education Association.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection contains papers, chiefly correspondence and related materials, pertaining to the life and work of artist and arts educator J. Eugene Grigsby Jr. Correspondence (which includes copies of some letters written by Grigsby) is generally of a professional nature, with some personal correspondence interspersed. It largely documents Grigsby's career from when he lived in New York City, where he met prominent African American artists, including Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden, to when he worked at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz. Letters are from artists, art professionals, and others; they discuss Grigsby's work as an arts educator and artist; art shows he curated; his involvement with art activism groups such as COBA (Consortium of Black Organizations and Others for the Arts), which he founded in 1983; and other topics. There are also materials relating to Grigsby's masters and doctoral work, finances, and high school art shows, as well as playbills, scripts, invitations, and other items.

Back to Top

Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Papers, 1940s-1983.

Back to Top

Processing Information

Processed by: Margaret Dickson, July 2007

Encoded by: Margaret Dickson, July 2007

Back to Top