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Caresse Crosby photograph collection


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description

Caresse Crosby


Harry Crosby

Oversized Photographs


Caresse Crosby photograph collection, 1890-1969 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

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Collection Overview

Title: Caresse Crosby photograph collection, 1890-1969Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

ID: 2/1/PH 49

Primary Creator: Crosby, Caresse (1891-1970)

Extent: 11.0 Boxes. More info below.

Arrangement: Organized into three series: (1) Caresse Crosby, (2) Friends of Caresse Crosby, and (3) Harry Crosby

Subjects: Crosby, Caresse, 1892-1970., Crosby, Harry, 1898-1929., World War, 1914-1918

Forms of Material: Crosby, Caresse, 1892-1970. - Photographs, Crosby, Harry, 1898-1929. - Photographs

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Caresse Crosby photograph collection comprises photographs in her personal collection at the time of her death and complements the Caresse Crosby papers, MSS 140. The collection includes images of Caresse Crosby throughout her life, her husband Harry Crosby and other family members, notable writers and artists and other friends and acquaintences, homes and travel, artwork and other illustrative material used in her publishing activities, and World War I photographs and other personal images of Harry Crosby. Crosby's connections with the literary and artistic elite beginning in the 1920s were extensive and the collection includes images of Kay Boyle, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Jean Cocteau, Hart Crane, Salvador Dali, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Ezra Pound, Sam Rosenberg, Angelos Sikelianos, and William Sykes among others. The bulk of the photographs are available online at the URL below.

Biographical Note

Caresse Crosby was born Mary Phelps Jacob on April 30, 1891 in New Rochelle, New York, daughter of a prominent New England family. After a brief marriage to Richard Rogers Peabody, she married Harry Crosby in 1922 and soon after moved to France. In April, 1927, they founded a publishing company soon to become The Black Sun Press. The publications included a Hindu Love Book, The Fall of the House of Usher, and letters by Harry's cousin, Henry James, to Walter Berry. Other contributors to the Black Sun Press included D. H. Lawrence, James Joyce, Kay Boyle, Ernest Hemingway, Hart Crane, Rene Crevel, T. S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound among others. Caresse wrote a book of poetry, Crosses of Gold, which they also published. In 1928, Harry met Josephine Noyes Rotch with whom he had an ongoing affair. On December 10, 1929, in an apparent suicide pact, Harry and Josephine were found dead in a hotel room. After Harry Crosby's suicide, Caresse kept the Black Sun Press going. She also established, with Jacques Porel, a side venture, Crosby Continental Editions, that published paperback books by Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner and Dorothy Parker, among others. Ahead of her time, her paperback books did not sell well, and the press closed in 1933. The Black Sun Press, however, continued publishing into the 1950s. In 1936 Caresse and her new husband Selbert Saffold moved to Bowling Green, Virginia where she kept company with Salvador Dali, Henry Miller and Anaïs Nin. By 1941, having divorced Saffold, Caresse moved to Washington D.C., where she opened the city's only modern art gallery. She also started Portfolio: An Intercontinental Quarterly, a magazine that sought to continue her work with young and avant-garde writers and artists. She published six editions before she ran out of funds and sponsors. This was her last major publishing effort. She became politically active and founded the organizations Women Against War and Citizens of the World, which embraced the concept of a "world community" which other activists like Buckminster Fuller also supported. In 1953, Caresse published her autobiography, The Passionate Years. She died in relative obscurity from complications from pneumonia in Rome on January 24, 1970, aged 78.

Subject/Index Terms

Crosby, Caresse, 1892-1970.
Crosby, Harry, 1898-1929.
World War, 1914-1918

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Alternate Extent Statement: 1 oversized; 13 scrapbooks

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Related Materials: Caresse Crosby papers, MSS 140. For more information please see

Preferred Citation: [Item], Caresse Crosby photograph collection, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Other Note: Images from the Caresse Crosby photograph collection are available online at the other URL below.

Other URL:

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Caresse Crosby],
[Series 2: Friends],
[Series 3: Harry Crosby],
[Series 4: Oversized Photographs],
[Series 5: Scrapbooks],

Series 3: Harry CrosbyAdd to your cart.
Box 9Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Portraits: Harry Crosby Alone and With Others., 1924-1929Add to your cart.

Harry in Paris 1924-1925

Group photographs

Official photograph (reproduction)

Harry in the Sun Tower, 1928

Harry in his library, 1928

Harry, Caresse, and Peter and Gretchen Powel in library, 1928

Miscellaneous portraits

Self portrait from 1929

Harry by plane, Oct. 1929

Caresse and Harry's tombstone

Miscellaneous small photographs

Folder 2: Miscellaneous Photographs of People, Places and Things Pertaining to Harry Crosby, 1923-1927Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Harry Crosby Before 1920Add to your cart.
Includes childhood portraits, school pictures, and sports
Folder 4: Photographs of World War I, 1918-1919Add to your cart.

WWI scenes

Portraits of Harry in WWI uniform and with ambulances

St. Mark's School group portrait in army uniform

Portrait proofs in uniform

Bachrach group photo (all wearing Croix de Guerre)

Portrait of Harry with Spaulding, Shepley, Tearing, and Kaiser

Miscellaneous photographs

18 pages of small photographs including snapshots and commercially made images

Box 10Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Photographs as ArtAdd to your cart.
Enlargements from original negatives
Folder 2: Photographs as ArtAdd to your cart.
Enlarged prints of the series outlines in 11/2
Folder 3: Photographs as Art and Photo Clipping Mounted on Painted BoardAdd to your cart.
Enlarged prints of the series outlined in 11/2
Folder 4: Photographs as ArtAdd to your cart.
Enlarged prints of the series outlined in 11/2.
Folder 5: Photographs as ArtAdd to your cart.
Enlarged prints of the series outlined in 11/2
Box 11Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Miscellaneous Small PhotographsAdd to your cart.

Larger than 2/5 x 3.5

Including a small photograph related to Transition #16-17 (Spring - Summer 1929)

Harry Crosby: Head, 1929

Folder 2: Transparency PagesAdd to your cart.

Numbered with "A" as the front side and "B" as the verso, containing smaller photographs by Harry Crosby:

1: Toy horse (A), Horseracing (B) (“various photographs of horseracing scenes, including photograph reproduced in Hound & Horn.)

2: Airplane sequence (A & B)

3: Airplane sequence continued (A & B)

4: Airplane sequence (A); Gasoline pump sequence; four photographs of French railroad signaling devices and wires; two photographs of Le Moulin du Soleil (B)

5: Haystacks and sunflower sequence (A & B)

6: Miscellaneous before 1930 (A & B)

7: “A miscellany” (“many of these Harry had enlarged”) (A&B)

8: “A miscellany” cont’d; March 29, 1929 – The Burning of Red Skeletons, “sculpture from various places” (A); sculpture continued (B)

9: Shipboard sequence (1929?) (A & B)

10: Shipboard sequence continued (A); Two 2-½ x 3-½ in. horse racing photographs, two 2-½ x 3-½ in. “A miscellany” photographs (B)

Folder 3: Photographs as ArtAdd to your cart.
Enlarged prints of the series outlined in 11/2
Folder 4: Photographs as Art - HorseracingAdd to your cart.
Enlarged prints of the series outlined in 11/2
Folder 5: Photographs as Art - Photographs of Toy Horse and AirplaneAdd to your cart.
Enlarged prints of the series outlined in 11/2

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Caresse Crosby],
[Series 2: Friends],
[Series 3: Harry Crosby],
[Series 4: Oversized Photographs],
[Series 5: Scrapbooks],

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