The University of Southern Mississippi -- McCain Library and Archives
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Collection Title: D'Olive (Anne Louise) Papers
Collection Number: M269
Dates: ca. 1930-1980
Volume: 2.8 cu. ft.
Anne Louise D'Olive was born on October 5, 1907, the fourth child of Leila and Rudolph D'Olive. As a child, Anne Louise lived in Hattiesburg, Mississippi with her parents, two elder sisters, Agnes and Beulah, and her elder brother, Charles. Her father was a saw filer at a local lumber mill. In 1920 at the age of twenty-one her eldest sister Agnes worked as a bank clerk at the First National Bank. Anne Louise's elder brother, Charles, was born in Suggesville, Alabama and served as a pilot in World War I. He was flight Commander of the 141st Air Squadron, 4th Pursuit Group at Toul Airdrome in France. After the war he left the service and became vice president of the Chamberlain Corporation in Waterloo, Iowa.
Anne attended Hattiesburg High School and graduated in 1924. After graduation she enrolled at the newly renamed Mississippi State Teachers College in Hattiesburg, which had formerly been known as Mississippi Normal College. Here she studied in the new Fine Arts Division under the direction of Mrs. Elizabeth Cunningham, who was to have a great influence on her choice of career. As a senior in 1927 she was a member of the World Affairs Club and was also featured as a campus beauty in the student annual of that year, Neka Camon. In the annual, Anne Louise was described as an "alluring brunette with dark dreamy eyes and a charming smile. She is an excellent student with a fine, noble character."
After receiving a B.S. degree in 1927, D'Olive taught English at the Williamsburg Consolidated School in Collins, Mississippi. In June 1928 she returned to the State Teachers College and worked as an assistant in the Fine Arts Division. Between 1929 and 1930 she engaged in graduate work at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and in 1934 she received a Masters Degree from the Teachers College of Columbia University.
By this time D'Olive had taken over for her mentor, Elizabeth Cunningham, as the head of the Fine Arts Division. She held this position until 1948 when Walter J. Lok became head of the Art Department in the Division of Art and Music under Frank Earl Marsh. D'Olive remained an assistant professor in the Art Department until her retirement in 1966. After she retired she was made Assistant Professor Emeritus of Art in recognition of her thirty-eight years of service to the University.
As a faculty member D'Olive was active in campus life. In 1953 she served as faculty director of the Women's Faculty Club and was involved in the Art and Courtesy Faculty Committees in the fifties. After her retirement D'Olive joined the U.S.M. Retired Faculty Club. She was also an enthusiastic member of the Alumni Association, and participated in the golden reunion of the class of 1927 in 1977.
Beyond the campus D'Olive was heavily involved in the Mississippi art community. From 1938 to 1944 she was chair of the Art Section of the Mississippi Education Association. In 1940 she was instrumental in the founding of the Hattiesburg Art Association, and served as its president from 1940 to 1967. During her presidency she coordinated numerous art exhibits featuring the works of students, as well as that of Hattiesburg, State, and Southern artists. In 1941 she attended the Dixie Art Colony and during she World War II organized art supplies for the recreation of the servicemen stationed at Camp Shelby.
D'Olive was also an active member of the Mississippi Folklore Society. In 1971 she was chairman of the Local Legends Committee, and in 1973 the Society published her poem "Cemetery Cedars," in the Mississippi Folklore Register. A year later D'Olive had another poem, entitled "Bondage," published in The Lyric. She was also a member of the John Rolfe Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Mississippi Historical Society, and she attended the Parkway Heights Methodist Church in Hattiesburg.
Anne Louise D'Olive died on September 4, 1982 after a brief illness. Her funeral was officiated by her nephew, the Rev. R.E. Price. She was also survived by her two sisters, Mrs. R.T. Davis of Hattiesburg and Mrs. R.E. Price of Corinth Mississippi; two nieces, Mrs. M. Alexander of mar del Plata, Argentina, and Mrs. John Mozena of Grosse Point Farms, Michigan. Her elder brother Charles died in July 1974.
This collection consists of a wide variety of materials gathered by Anne Louise D'Olive. These items express D'Olive's personal and professional interests, and the collection has been arranged into 12 series that reflect these areas:
The collection begins with nine of D'Olive's sketchbooks, dating from her 1934 work for a Masters Degree and continuing through the 1970s. The second series covers her long presidency of the Hattiesburg Art Association. It includes two scrapbooks from this organization. The first contains newspaper clippings dating from 1940 to 1950, which have been photocopied for preservation purposes. The second scrapbook spans her entire presidency from 1940 to 1967. It includes a variety of material, such as membership lists; correspondence; newspaper clippings; and promotional literature for exhibits. In addition, there are also exhibit flyers and photographs of works by local artist John Kolb, which she had kept with the scrapbooks.
The third series consists of items gathered by D'Olive while she was a member of the Mississippi Folklore Society. These items are from the late 1960s and 1970s, and include copies of the Mississippi Folklore Register; programs of the society's annual meetings; information on Mississippi folklore and history, including a bibliography; correspondence; and newspaper clippings.
The strength of D'Olive's affiliation with the University is reflected in series 4 through 7. Series 4 consists of personal items, a few of which refer to her family, but the majority relate to faculty members she was associated with. The next series includes student artwork that D'Olive kept, which consists of originals and photographs. Although most are unsigned and undated, it appears that the majority date from the 1930s and 1940s with a few from the 1970s. Series 6 includes various items pertaining to University that D'Olive gathered, such as photographs and Alumni Association material. In addition to these items series 7 consists of programs for, and clippings about, cultural events that were sponsored by the Department of Fine Arts.
D'Olive was clearly an avid hoarder of articles from magazines and newspapers that caught her eye. Series 8 consists of self-help and fashion articles from the 1940s and 1950s. However, those clippings of a miscellaneous nature that can readily be obtained elsewhere, such as biographies of movie stars, were removed from the collection.
D'Olive also gathered articles about Mississippi and Southern artists. Series 9 consists of magazine and newspaper articles, dating from the 1950s through the 1970s, about Mississippi artists and performers. The next series contains articles about notable Southern writers and a program from the Deep South Writers and Artists Conference that she attended in 1967
In addition to articles about local artists, D'Olive also collected flyers and promotional literature for exhibits sponsored by the Mississippi Art Association and the Lauren Rogers Library and Museum of Art in Laurel, Mississippi. These items, along with catalogs and pamphlets for Southern art exhibits and artists, constitute series 11.
The last series brings together the art books that influenced D'Olive. Some volumes were removed from the collection, but those publications that were annotated and clearly well loved were retained.
The Anne Louise D'Olive Papers afford insight into Mississippi art and artists spanning the period from the 1930s through the 1980s. More specifically, they are a valuable resource for research into the Hattiesburg Art Association. In addition, the collection provides information on Mississippi history and folklore, and the Mississippi Folklore Society. For those interested in the history of the University of Southern Mississippi, especially the Fine Arts Department, this collection is useful due to D'Olive's long affiliation with the University. Finally, from a social perspective her papers highlight attitudinal concerns in the 1940s and 1950s, reflected in her collection of articles on self-help and fashion.
Photograph Log: Available.