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Margueritte Kimball Papers

Identifier: 1991-03

Collection Scope

SERIES I: Personal (1942; 1964-1965; 1996) contains certificates and applications.

SERIES II: Correspondence (1941-1994; n.d.) contains many letters to and from CAA students, alumni, and faculty members from 1941-1994.

SERIES III: Original Artwork (n.d.) contains correspondence in the form of original drawings, sketches, etc., from Kimball's Cranbrook associates – many of these are in the form of Christmas cards.

SERIES IV: CAA Alumni Exhibition Catalogs (n.d.) is a collection of former students' exhibition catalogs, spanning the decades of the 1940s through the 1970s.

SERIES V: Photographs (n.d.) are related mainly to the 1940s and 1950s. About half of these are located in her scrapbook pages, which were left intact due to the unique identification adjacent to the photographs. Many of the photos were taken by Cranbrook's staff photographer, Harvey Croze, and therefore are not unique to our photographic holdings. The rest of the photographs in this collection can be found in the Photograph Special File (Envelopes 1-14).

SERIES VI: Realia (1974; n.d.) primarily contains small art and artifacts created by fellow students and faculty of CAA though none of them are identified.

SERIES VII: Oversized (n.d.) contains materials related to Lily Swann Saarinen, a sculptor and Eero Saarinen’s first wife. The folders consist of large mounted photographs of art and the publication “Who Am I?” by Lily Swann Saarinen. Also here are a unique set of photographs from an Eero Saarinen and Associates party held at the Saarinen residence on Vaughan Road.


  • Majority of material found in circa 1941-1996; undated



Access to the collection is unrestricted.


Permission to use collection materials must be requested in writing.


Margueritte Eleanor Kimball was born on October 19, 1906, in Clinton, Massachusetts, and was raised there and in Nashua, New Hampshire. After the 1926 death of her father, a railroad worker, the family moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts where Margueritte’s mother ran a dressmaking business. Margueritte graduated in 1926 from Bryant & Stratton Commercial College in Boston and worked for several years as an accountant in Cambridge. After her mother remarried in 1940, she was freed from many responsibilities related to family caregiving, and Margueritte pursued art school, attending life drawing workshops at the Copley Society Studio in Boston. Margueritte traveled to the Detroit area in 1941 to visit a relative, and while there visited Cranbrook for the first time. While standing under the peristyle of the newly constructed Cranbrook Academy of Art Museum, she sensed “this place was meant for her.” She was introduced to painting instructor Wallace Mitchell, who examined a few of Margueritte's drawings, and she was accepted as a student at the Academy. She began attending classes in the summer of 1942 and, at the same time began her career at the Academy, acting as its financial secretary for the next twenty-six years. Known by many in the Cranbrook community, Margueritte became close with the students and faculty at the Academy and documented her years at Cranbrook with hundreds of photographs and many folders of correspondence. Through the years she remained in close contact with several of the Academy's graduates, collecting materials from their most recent endeavors and art exhibitions. After her retirement in 1968, Margueritte returned to the Boston area, continued to dabble in work as an artist, and subsequently was featured in several exhibitions. She continued to keep in close contact with Cranbrook and was always well aware of the happenings at the Academy. Although Margueritte never graduated from the Academy, she did receive an honorary degree from the school late in her life. Margueritte passed away September 1, 1995 at the age of 89.


4.1 Linear Feet ((4 MS, 2 OS), 14 folders)

Language of Materials



Margueritte Eleanor Kimball was born on October 19, 1906, in Clinton, Massachusetts. In 1942 Kimball joined the Cranbrook Academy of Art as a student and immediately began serving as the Academy's financial secretary. A beloved and respected member of the Cranbrook community, Kimball used her position to interact with and collect various materials relating to the Academy's faculty and students. Kimball retired in 1968, nevertheless spending her remaining years in Boston as an exhibiting artist. Kimball never graduated from the Academy; however, in later years she was awarded an honorary degree. The collection reflects Kimball's membership in the Academy, as well as her relationship with the Cranbrook community. Included are correspondence between Kimball, CAA students, alumni, and faculty members including Carl and Olga Milles, Zoltan Sepeshy, and former Cranbrook president Roy Slade. Also included are correspondence in the form of original drawings, sketches, etc. from Cranbrook associates; original artwork; student exhibition catalogs; photographs; other artwork and artifacts; and oversized materials mostly pertaining to Lily Swann Saarinen, a sculptor, and Eero Saarinen’s first wife.


This collection is organized into seven series: Personal (Box 1), Correspondence (Box 1), Original Artwork (Boxes 1-2), CAA Alumni Exhibition Catalogs (Boxes 2-3), Photographs (Boxes 3-4), Realia (Box 5), and Oversized (Box 6). The correspondence series is arranged chronologically and then alphabetically, the oversized series is arranged by subject.


Gift of Marguerite Kimball in 1990 and 1994; additions in 1996 by the Estate of Margueritte Kimball. Subsequent materials were transferred from Cranbrook Art Museum in 2003.

Related Materials

Cranbrook Academy of Art Administration Records(1981-09); Carl Milles Papers (1989-13); Wallace MacMahon Mitchell Papers (1990-21); Oral history with Margueritte Kimball, 1992.

Processing History

Initial processing by Hubert Beudert and Ryan Wieber, 1996. Final processing and finding aid updated by Candi Wilson, 2008.

Guide to the Margueritte Kimball Papers
Original finding aid prepared by Hubert Beudert and Ryan Wieber.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
Resource record created by Nichole L. Manlove.

Revision Statements

  • 2008: Finding aid revised by Candi Wilson.

Repository Details

Part of the Cranbrook Archives, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research Repository