FINDING AID

AUBURN UNIVERSITY SPECIAL collections & ARCHIVES 


Guide to the William Spratling Papers, RG 102


Date Span: 1910-1991

Size of Collection: 2 cubic ft.

Biographical Sketch: Spratling studied architecture at Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University), 1917-1921. He designed the university seal that, with minor changes, is still in use; he also taught drafting at API. Spratling moved to New Orleans where he taught at Tulane University and shared an apartment with novelist William Faulkner. Soon after, Spratling moved to Taxco, Mexico, reviving that town's silver industry. He authored many articles about architecture as well as a critically-acclaimed book, Little Mexico. In 1962, Auburn University presented him with an honorary doctorate. He died in a 1967 automobile accident.

Scope / Content: Collection contains a great deal of published biographical material about Spratling and information concerning 1947 movie "Silver Bill", correspondence, information about the "Spratling bibliography" project at RBD Library (Auburn University), information about his 1962 honorary doctorate, photographs, Spratling's writings, Mexican visa documents, obituary notices, and a 1991 taped interview with W. Kelly Mosley about Spratling.
 


SERIES 1: MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS

Initial Accession Addition – Received January 12, 1977 Addition – Received February 18, 1977 Addition – Received August 31, 1977 from Professor Maltby Sykes Accession 92-8
Box 2 (Added to Box 2 of 2)
  • Photocopies of 10 photographs, circa 1947
  • Photocopies of 11 documents, legal agreement between Luis Barona and Vitaphone Corporation re: Silver Bill, January 22, 1947.

  • SERIES 2: ARTICLES BY SPRATLING

    Accession 90-29
    Box 1
    1. Article by Spratling - "Architectural Tradition in New Orleans." The Journal of the American Institute of Architects, (August 1925), 279-296.
    2. Articles by Spratling – "Cane River Portraits." Scribner’s Magazine, 83 (April 1928), 411-18.
    3. "Figures in a Mexican Renaissance." Scribner’s Magazine, 85 (January 1929), 14-21.
    4. "Indo-Hispanic Mexico: I." Architecture, 59 (February 1929), 75-80.
    5. "Indo-Hispanic Mexico: II." Architecture, (March 1929), 139-44.
    6. "Mexican Letter." New York Herald Tribune Books, (March 24, 1929), 9.
    7. "Orozco." New York Herald Tribune Books, (March 24, 1929), 11.
    8. "The Expressive Pencil." Pencil Points, (June 1929), 365-372.
    9. "Re-Creating a University." New York Herald Tribune Books, (June 2, 1929), 9.
    10. "The Silver City of the Clouds." Travel, (July 1929), 22-3.
    11. "Mansions of the Conquistadors." Travel, (August 1929), 28-31.
    12. "The Friendly Capital of Rebel Mexico." Travel, (September 1929), 35-6.
    13. "Mexican Letter." New York Herald Tribune Books, (November 10, 1929), 9.
    14. "Diego Rivera." Mexican Folkways, 6 (1930), 162-96.
    15. "Dona Dolores and the Shrine of the Virgin De La Luz" and "St. Michael and the Musician." Mexican Folkways, 6 (1930), 81-2, 87-8.
    16. "Mexican Letter." New York Herald Tribune Books, (January 26, 1930), 9.
    17. "Some New Discoveries in Mexican Clay." International Studio, (February 1931), 22-3.
    18. "Augustin Lorenzo Heroe de los Juegos Carnavalescos." "Mexican Folkways, 8 (January 1933), 35-45.
    19. "The Public Health Center." Architectural Forum, 55 (November 1933), 589-94.
    20. "Foreigners in Taxco." Modern Mexico, (May 1938), 18-19.
    21. "Modern Mexican Silversmithing." Mexican Art and Life, (July 1938), 1-4.
    22. "Flight to the North Star." Flying, (March 1950), 32-3, 51-2.
    23. "Chronicle of a Friendship: William Faulkner in New Orleans." Texas Quarterly, (Spring 1966), 34-40.
    24. "Twenty-five Years of Mexican Silversmithing." 1-7.

    SERIES 3: ARTICLES ABOUT SPRATLING

    Accession 90-29
    Box 2
      1. "Magazine Pays Tribute to Spratling, Natalie Scott." Times Picayune New Orleans States Item, (May 22, 1938).
      2. "Adventure in Craftsmanship." Ford News, (December 1940), 1-2.
      3. "Fiesta at Taxco." Time, (July 7, 1941), 26.
      4. "La Tradicion Platera de Mexico." Nosotros, (July 29, 1944), 51.
      5. McEvoy, J.P. "’Silver Bill,’ Practical Good Neighbor." Reader’s Digest, (September 1945), 19-22.
      6. Barnes, Vivien Ruth. "Alumnus of the Month." Auburn Alumnews, (June 1946), 1-2.
      7. "Industries." Life, (February 24, 1947), 1-2.
      8. Stephenson, William. "Master Silversmith of Mexico." Reader’s Digest, (August 1947), 40-3.
      9. Cerwin, Herbert. "William Spratling and His Mexican ‘Artesanos.’" These Are the Mexicans, (August 24, 1948).
      10. Cherry, Mrs. Victor. "The Man From New Orleans’ Depicts Story of W.P. Spratling, Ex-Opelikan." Opelika Daily News, (October 26, 1948).
      11. "He’s Teaching Eskimos in Mexico." Times Picayune New Orleans States Item Magazine, June 5, 1949), 1-2.
      12. Benjamin, Robert Spiers. "Eskimos Down South. Americas, September 1949), 1-3.
      13. "Jewelry-William Spratling." School Arts, (November 1951), 99.
      14. Day, Michael. "Mexico’s City of Silver." Popular Mechanics, (June 1952), 120-24, 220.
      15. "Mexican Flat Silverware is Striking and Useful." Mexico D.F., (December 7, 1952).
      16. "Silver and Spratling…Synonymous in Mexico." Shield and Diamond, (September 1956), 1-3.
      17. "They Serve Adopted Countries Well." Auburn Alumnews, (December 1962).
      18. "The Man From New Orleans." Business Week, (December 1, 1962), 1-2.
      19. Cargill, Trudy. "Two Honorary Degrees To Be Awarded Friday." Lee County Bulletin News, (December 20, 1962).
      20. Photograph (On Occasion of Receiving Honorary Degree from Auburn). Birmingham News. (December 20, 1962).
      21. Cargill, Trudy. "William Spratling, William Mrazek Have Contributed to Adopted Lands." Montgomery Advertiser, (December 23, 1962).
      22. Clippings (Dinner Engagements and Events on the Occasion of Spratling’s Coming to Auburn to Receive Honorary Degree).
      23. "Mr. Spratling Made His Own Silver Spoon." Mexico D.F., (February 1965).
      24. Richards, J.M. "Taxco." Architectural Review, (March 1965), 229.
      25. "Mexican Art to ‘Take Over’ Museum for Annual Event." Birmingham News, April 10, 1965.
      26. Duncan, Robert David. "William Spratling’s Mexican World." Texas Quarterly, (Spring 1966), 34-40.
      27. Phillips, Howard. "The Many Sides of William Spratling." Mexico D.F., (August 20, 1967), 1-2.
      28. Brucker, Jerry. "Revived by Spratling’s Idea, Taxco Prospers." Mexico D.F., (October 29, 1967.
      29. "National Hero of Mexico Started as Draftsman at Fairfield Works." Fairfield Works Journal, (April 3, 1973), 5.
      30. Jennings, Ralph. "Bill Spratling from Taxco, Mexico, is Nationally Known Grad." Auburn Alumnews, n.d.
      31. Portfolio (Spratling Silver), n.d.
      32. Drawings (Spratling in Auburn), n.d.
      33. Photograph (Spratling’s Silver Shop), n.d.
      34. "Taxco: A Jewel Set in Silver." Safari Magazine, 6 (n.d.), 12.
      35. Verdin, Luis Morena. "This Is Taxco," n.d.

    SERIES 4: BOOK REVIEWS

    Accession 90-29
    Box 2
      1. Little Mexico (Cape and Smith, 1932)
      1. More Human than Divine (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, 1960)
      1. File on Spratling: An Autobiography (Little, 1967)

    SERIES 5: OBITUARY REFERENCES

    Accession 90-29
    Box 2
      1. Obituary Clippings
      1. Spratling, David. "Silver King Bill Spratling is Buried in Mexican Rites," n.d. (David Spratling is Spratling’s brother.)

    SERIES 5:  BOOKS

    Accession 94-78

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