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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 5: ScrapbooksAdd to your cart.
Volume 1: Scrapbook IAdd to your cart.

Scrapbook I – Sixty-nine pages containing photographs, postcards, and clippings mainly of Harry’s childhood, and some with Caresse.  There are 296 photographs in this album.

Postcards of ski resorts

Six book pages of birds

Clippings of horses

Clipping of engagement announcement of Katherine Crosby (Harry’s sister)

Clipping and photograph of Caresse and Edith Cummings

Photographs taken on a boat

Photographs of Paris and unknown locations

Photographs of unknown people

Photographs of Harry’s boat

Photographs of Harry as a child

Photographs of St. Mark’s School football players and sporting events

Photographs at beach

Photographs of Le Comte de Civry

Photographs of Harry and Caresse, together and alone

Volume 2: Scrapbook II, ca. 1915-1925Add to your cart.

Scrapbook II – Seventy-one pages containing clippings, photographs, and drawings [ca. 1915-1925].  There are sixty-two photographs in this album.

Watercolor painting

Clippings of pinup girls and women

Clippings of Albrecht Durer prints

Clippings about horses

Christmas drawing by Daniel Girard

Engagement announcement about Katherine Crosby (Harry’s sister)

Marriage announcement for Caresse and Harry

Photographs of horses and races

Photograph of Harry and Caresse in the Seine

Photograph of Harry and his father

Photographs of churches and unknown locations

Portraits of Katherine Crosby

Inscribed photograph from Nicolas Oifan de Ribera, dated 1924

Unidentified photographs

Volume 3: Scrapbook IIIAdd to your cart.

Scrapbook III – Seventy-two pages containing photographs, clippings, and a ‘newspaper’ made by Caresse as a child.  There are approximately 250 war photographs and 160 general photographs in this album.

War photographs

Photographs of Caresse with Harry

Photographs of Caresse and Harry’s trip to the Middle East

Photographs of sporting events

Clippings of paintings, sculptures, and advertisements.

Newspaper made by Caresse titled “Madison Ave. Gazette,” dated March 1902

Volume 4: Scrapbook IVAdd to your cart.

Scrapbook IV – Seventy-seven pages containing photographs, clippings, and ephemera.  There are 452 general photographs and fifty-nine war photographs in this album.

Unidentified portrait photograph

Photographs of Harry Crosby’s family including his mother, sister, and grandmother (Harriet van Renssalaer Crosby)

Sports photographs

Wedding portrait of Alec and Sylvia Steinert

Photograph of Aaron David Weld, a World War I soldier

Clippings about dog races

Clippings of St. Mark’s sports coverage

Clippings of poems

Obituary of Louisa L. Schuyler

Article about Katherine Lane

Society article about the Crosby family’s reaction to Harry’s engagement with Caresse

Article about Harry’s war activity

Wholesale price list for exotic animals


Pedigree for Narcisse Noir

Harry’s Harvard report card

Art inventory

Volume 5: Scrapbook VAdd to your cart.

Scrapbook V – Seventy-one pages containing illustrations, war photographs, ephemera, letters, and clippings.  Approximately two-hundred photographs are in this album.

Approximately seventeen pages with original fashion illustrations from “Tres Parisien” number 6 from 1927, surrounded by war photographs

Photograph of Caresse and Harry on a boat

Correspondence with a book seller in London

Book review of Caresse’s book

Article abut Caresse’s art

Advertisements for Harry Crosby’s “Red Skeletons” and Caresse’s “Painted Shores”

Letter from Lescaret

Note from Frans de Geetre Drawing of Caresse and Harry crucified together

Clippings with photographs of men, one labeled “Grandpa”

Clippings about races

Seven photographs of horseracing

Painting of heart with initials ‘MO’

Collage made of postage stamps

A portrait of Alec Steinert; and a photograph of Steinert and his wife

Photographs, bills, and articles about Walter Berry’s funeral (Harry’s cousin)

Volume 6: Scrapbook VI, ca. April 1925Add to your cart.

Scrapbook VI – One-hundred and thirty-six page postcard album [ca. April 1925]

Postcards depicting:

Art (including tapestries and Rodin sculptures, and art from the Musee de Cluny and British Museum)

Architecture and churches

Building interiors

Knights, armor, swords and shields

War postcards depicting wrecked towns

Nude drawings

Horse races



Volume 7: Scrapbook VIIAdd to your cart.

Scrapbook VII – Fifty-nine pages plus loose objects, containing clippings, drawings, a letter, and some photographs.  Loose objects in the back of the scrapbook are book clippings of photographs.

Articles about Harry’s mother and Joseph C. Grew

Book clippings

Black Sun Press ad

Postcards of Egyptian sculpture

Egyptian postage stamps

Twenty photographs of the circus

Title pages from Harry Crosby’s “Red Skeletons,” “Shadows of the Sun,” “Mad Queen,” and “Transit of Venus”

A letter from Polleen Peabody to Caresse and Harry

A drawing by Caresse (loose, between pages 34 and 35)

A drawing of the sun

Hotel bills

Letter about overdrawn bank account

Drawing by Alastair

Fabric flags

“1452” painted on fabric

Simplon-Orient Express booklet

Volume 8: Scrapbook VIIIAdd to your cart.

Scrapbook VIII – Twelve pages containing clippings and photographs.  There are three photographs in this album.

Drawing of the Black Sun Press logo on “95 Beacon St.” stationery

Poems by Archibald MacLeish and Theo Rutra

Clippings about planes, books, cars, and pictures of people (most are unidentified)

Volume 9: Scrapbook IXAdd to your cart.
Scrapbook IX – Thirteen pages containing newspaper clippings and photographs about horse races.  There are fourteen photographs in this album.
Volume 10: Scrapbook XAdd to your cart.
Scrapbook X – Sixty-seven pages containing photographs of an art collection, including works by Picasso, Redon, and non-western art and artifacts.  There are forty-three photographs in this album.
Volume 11: Scrapbook XIAdd to your cart.
Scrapbook XI – Thirteen pages containing newspaper clippings.  Most are about airplanes and flying records; others are about bizarre news stories.
Volume 12: Scrapbook XII, 1928-1929Add to your cart.

Scrapbook XII – Nineteen pages containing clippings, postcards, and articles related to the sun.

Black Sun drawings, one titled “Portrait of the Sun,” and two ink drawings labeled “200 copies, Aug. 1929 BSP”

Receipts from C. Hows, Hastings in England for books and from Enterprise General de Marbrerie for Harry in 1928

Correspondence with the Saturday Review about books about the sun 1929 article about the sun that bears an inscription to Harry, [possibly from Ernest Hemmingway]

Volume 13: Scrapbooks XIII and XIVAdd to your cart.

Scrapbook XIII [see Box 13] – Small, brown scrapbook with fifty pages containing 172 photographs.  Many show Harry Crosby, Caresse Crosby, and friends at and around Le Moulin du Soliel; others are Harry Crosby's fine art photographs.  There are also twenty-six loose photographs in this album.

Photographs include:

Comte de Civry

World War I photographs

Harry and Caresse Crosby portraits

Photographs at Etretat, including the "Christening of the Caresse" [a canoe], and Caresse and Harry with Tolstoi

Photographs made at Le Moulin

Hart Crane (including riding a donkey)

Constance Crowninshield Coolidge with Harry and Caresse Crosby

Varios animals including donkeys, Narcisse, Cyltoris, Zulu, and Sunstroke [horse]

Harry Crosby in the Middle East

Harry Crosby on a donkey

Harry Crosby's art photographs

Scrapbook XIV [see Box 13] – Red scrapbook with forty-eight pages containing twenty-seven photographs of Harry Crosby's art photographs.  There are also nine loose Crosby art photographs in this album.

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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