Special Collections and Archives

Algesa O'Sickey papers

Special Collections and Archives

Algesa O'Sickey papers

Algesa O'Sickey papers, 1946-1995

Finding Aid

Prepared by Maggie Castellani, February 15,1994; Revised August 2010
Two boxes,11th floor

Biographical Note

In 1992, Cleveland artist, Algesa O'Sickey, donated a series of 40 watercolors to the Kent State University Department of Special Collections. The watercolor paintings are depictions of O'Sickey's costume designs made for the 1977 production of "Taming of the Shrew" for the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival (GLSF).

The designs follow two basic color schemes: earth tones (orange, browns, greens) for the prologue, and bright tones for the five acts of the play. The director's idea for the costumes was more towards a commedia dell'arte style, thus keeping with the Paduan style and the boisterous behavior of the play's characters. Ms. O'Sickey approached her designs with her own ideas of potraying the active characters: costumes that are free and loose conveying the "richness of color, texture and juxtaposition of patterns", and a faded, patched and wrinkled look due to the characters constantly packing their cloths and traveling.

This was Ms. O'Sickey's first endeavor with costume design. Up to this point, the artist had been involved in other areas which included puppeteering, fashion illustration, interior design, softsculpting, and had acted as a gallery director. Also up to this point, her work had been seen at the Ross Widen Gallery, The Play house Gallery, Lake Erie College, Canton Art Institute, Butler Institute of American Art and Hiram College, among others, along with being a frequent May show exhibitor.

Other items in the collection are: garment specifications written on xeroxed copies of the watercolor paintings; fabric swatches; a journal which states character settings, design ideas and fabric specifications; correspondence; notes on various design ideas and scheduled meetings; items from a GLSF Gallery Exhibit that displayed the watercolor painings; and, newspaper articles which are mainly reviews of the show.

The works on paper have been rehoused in acid-free mats and the fabric swatches placed in acid-free envelopes. These are arranged in alphabetical order according to the character's name. There is also a stack of swatches housed in an acid-free flip -top box.

For more information on the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival (GLSF), as well as the papers of Arthur Lithgow, GLSF founder and first artistic director. Both these collections are part of the American theater holdings of the department

In 1994, Algesa O'Sickey donated memorabilia from the era of the Ten-Thirty Gallery, once located at 1515 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, where she was the director from 1946-1949/50. The gallery was originated in 1944 by artist Wray Manning to assist his Cleveland colleagues and to boost morale for the artists and art on the area. The gallery was then managed by Manning's two daughters, Nancy and Mary. In 1946, the gallery was coined a civic non-profit institution (all along it had never been a money-making adventure) and Mrs. O'Sickey took over as director. Not only did the gallery exist as a central outlet for the exhibition and sales of young, unknown (and established) artist's work , but it existed also for the sake of the community.

Artists and art-minded volunteers came together to incorporate their talents and skills at the gallery in order for the community to have exposure to contemporary art as a "more intimate, integral part of daily living." Per O'Sickey, "Through its day-after-day efforts, the gallery has helped to take art out of the lorgnette class, bringing to the average person an increasing awareness of good art, encouraging him to think of a painting as something not merely to view on a museum wall, but to buy and enjoy daily in his home."

The gallery offered exhibitions, lectures and demonstrations, a social arena for artists and the public, an education program offering classes, an annual art festival, and sales of art publications(e.g., cards). The gallery closed in the early 1950's due to lack of funding as decided by it's board of directors.

The following items can be found in regards to the Ten-Thirty Gallery: membership and progress reports (f.1-4); exhibition announcements and catalogues (f.5-23); photographs of various artists (including the O'Sickeys) and those involved in the gallery's activities (f.24-38); newspaper clippings (f.39-48); and, art festival posters and related materials by Joseph O'Sickey (f.49-53).

One of the noted artists that was often highlighted at the gallery was Ohio-born artist William Sommer. He was highly respected and well known in the area and the gallery was very generous in their efforts to support the artist. There are exhibition catalogues of various shows of the artist ranging from the Ten-Thirty Gallery to the Cleveland Museum of Art. Also included are photographs and newspaper articles depicting the artist's work.

The remaining folders, 54-74, pertain to various artists befriended by the O'Sickeys--Leonard Baskin; Alex Katz (Blossom Kent Program); R.B. Kitaj (Blossom Kent Program); Roy Lichtenstein (Ten-Thirty Gallery); Otto Piene (Blossom Kent Program); Wayne Thiebaud (Blossom Kent Program); and Joseph Fiore ( Ten-Thirty Gallery). Included in these folders are mainly correspondence and photographs.

Scope and Content

Many details of the scope and contents of the collection are included with the historical notes. The collection consists of two series; one related to the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival, and the other to the Ten-Thirty Gallery. All the photographs and artwork in the collection have been well preserved, although the watercolors have some evidence of adhesive marks. A few watercolors have been scanned and digitized for this webpage. The works were chosen for their representation of the most elaborate costumes, as well as the colorful rendering.

Description of Series

Box 1: Series 1

Folder -- Contents

  1. Adultress-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  2. Adultress-watercolor
  3. Baptista-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  4. Baptista-watercolor
  5. Bianca-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  6. Bianca-watercolor
  7. Bianca,Wedding Dress-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  8. Bianca,wedding Dress-watercolor
  9. Biondello-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  10. Biondello-watercolor
  11. Boy-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  12. Boy-watercolor
  13. Curtis-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  14. Curtis-watercolor
  15. Gremio-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  16. Gremio-watercolor
  17. Grumio-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  18. Grumio-watercolor
  19. Haberdasher-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  20. Haberdasher-watercolor
  21. Haberdasher-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  22. Haberdasher-watercolor
  23. Hortensio-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  24. Hortensio-watercolor
  25. Hostess-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  26. Hostess-watercolors
  27. Huntsman-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  28. Huntsman-watercolor
  29. Katherine-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  30. Katherine-watercolor
  31. Katherine,wedding-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  32. Katherine,wedding-watercolor
  33. Katherine,wedding dress-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  34. Katherine,wedding dress-watercolor
  35. Katherine,bedraggled-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  36. Katherine,bedraggled-watercolor
  37. Little Girl-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  38. Little Girl-watercolor
  39. A Lord-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  40. A Lord-watercolor
  41. Lucentio as Teacher-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  42. Lucentio as Teacher-watercolor
  43. Maidservants-watercolor
  44. Musicians-watercolor
  45. Nicholas & Peter-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  46. Nicholas & Peter-watercolor
  47. Officer-watercolor
  48. Page-watercolor
  49. Pagent-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  50. Pagent-watercolor
  51. Petruchio-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  52. Petruchio-watercolor
  53. Petruchio, Bedraggled-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  54. Petruchio, Bedraggled-watercolor
  55. Petruchio's House Servants-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  56. Petruchio's House Servants-watercolor
  57. Players-watercolor
  58. Players-watercolor
  59. Sly-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  60. Sly-watercolor
  61. Sly in Robe-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  62. Sly in Robe-watercolor
  63. Tailor-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  64. Tailor-watercolor
  65. Tranio as Lucentio-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  66. Tranio as Lucentio-watercolor
  67. Vincencio-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  68. Vincencio-watercolor
  69. Widow-Garment Specs./fabric swatches
  70. Widow-watercolor
  71. Miscellaneous watercolor
  72. Journal
  73. Correspondence
  74. Notes/Schedules
  75. GLSF Gallery Exhibit
  76. Newspaper articles
  77. Fabric swatches-in tan flip-top box

Box 2: Series 2


  1. Gallery Membership Program
  2. Gallery Progress Report,1946-47
  3. Gallery Progress Report,1947-48
  4. Class Registration & mailer advertisement
  5. Ten-Thirty Gallery Exhibition Announcements/Catalogues, Richard Gosminski/ Eugene Berman; Feb 2-26
  6. Ten-Thirty Gallery Exhibition Announcements/Catalogues, William Sommer/Poem by Hart Crane; Mar 18-Apr 20,1946. (copy 1)
  7. Ten-Thirty Gallery Exhibition Announcements/Catalogues, William Sommer/Poem by Hart Crane; Mar 18-Apr 20,1946. (copy 2)
  8. Ten-Thirty Gallery Exhibition Announcements/Catalogues, Geno Pettit/Guy Maccoy/Serigraphs; Apr22-May 11.
  9. Ten-Thirty Gallery Exhibition Announcements/Catalogues, Anne Eaton Dodge/ Downtown Gallery Group; June 8-July 2 (copy 1)
  10. Ten-Thirty Gallery Exhibition Announcements/Catalogues, Anne Eaton Dodge/ Downtown Gallery Group; June 8-July 2 (copy 2)
  11. Ten-Thirty Gallery Exhibition Announcements/Catalogues, Kenneth Marcus Hugh/Yasuo Kuniyoshi; July 8-30.
  12. Ten-Thirty Gallery Exhibition Announcements/Catalogues, William Sommer/Henry P. Boynton; Sept 8-24.(copy 1)
  13. Ten-Thirty Gallery Exhibition Announcements/Catalogues, William Sommer/Henry P. Boynton; Sept 8-24.(copy 2)
  14. Ten-Thirty Gallery Exhibition Announcements/Catalogues, Paintings & Pottery by Assorted Artists; October Exhibition. (copy 1)
  15. Canton Art Institute presents Ohio Regional Artist Series: Algesa O'Sickey Soft Sculpture: January 14 to March 6, 1977
  16. The Cleveland Museum of Art; The William Sommer Memorial Exhibition; Nov 1- Dec 10, 1950
  17. Kraushaar Galleries, New York City; William Sommer; Jan 8-Feb 3, 1951.
  18. John Carroll University; Cleveland Artists Series;William Sommer: Cleveland's Early Modern Master; 1992
  19. Akron Art Museum Gallery Guide; The Art of William Sommer; Nov 6, 1993-Jan 9, 1994
  20. Line Drawing by William Sommer; 1934. (reproduction).
  21. Wiliam Sommer article, "For A Native Son" by Alice B. Loucheim, New York Times, Nov 5, 1950
  22. The Bulletin of The Cleveland Museum of Art for December 1974.(reference to William Sommer pg. 366)
  23. Wiliam Sommer article, "Portrait of an Artist at Home", by Nancy Payson Holt.
  24. Photographs by Jerry Cooke (one-oversized)
  25. Photographs by Jerry Cooke (two)
  26. Photographs by Jerry Cooke (three)
  27. Photographs by Harry Ittner (three)
  28. Photographs by Harry Ittner (three)
  29. Photographs by George J. Karas (one-oversized)
  30. Photographs by Wallace Kirkland (one-oversized)
  31. Photographs by John Paul Miller (ten)
  32. Photographs by John Paul Miller (one negative and magazine reproduction)
  33. Five photographs of Ten-Thirty Gallery
  34. Photograph of Joseph )'Sickey (oversized)
  35. Five photographs with William Sommer
  36. Photograph of William Sommer and Algesa O'Sickey (oversized)
  37. Photograph of William Sommer (oversized)
  38. Negatives
  39. Newspaper clippings (photocopied) 1943
  40. Newspaper clippings (photocopied) 1946
  41. Newspaper clippings (photocopied) 1947
  42. Newspaper clippings (photocopied) 1948
  43. Newspaper clippings (photocopied) 1949
  44. Newspaper clippings (photocopied) 1950
  45. Newspaper clippings (photocopied) 1952
  46. Newspaper clippings (photocopied) undated
  47. Newspaper clippings (photocopied) enlarged copies
  48. Joseph O'Sickey Impression
  49. Joseph O'Sickey Poster for an art exhibit; Art Festival Sept 20- Oct 2 (oversized copy 1)
  50. Joseph O'Sickey Poster for an art exhibit; Art Festival Sept 20- Oct 2 (oversized copy 2)
  51. Joseph O'Sickey Poster for an art exhibit; Festival of Art-Fashion Show Demonstrations Oct 6*7*8. (oversized, copy 1)
  52. Joseph O'Sickey Poster for an art exhibit; Festival of Art-Fashion Show Demonstrations Oct 6*7*8. (oversized, copy 2)
  53. Correspondence regarding International Poster Annual
  54. Various artists' works
  55. Signed Christmas note from Leonard Baskin
  56. Photograph of Leonard Baskin at O'Sickey studio, Maine
  57. Alex Katz announcement from Sloane/O'Sickey Gallery; "Recent Prints"; June 9-July 8 (1972)
  58. Alex Katz exhibition catalogue featuring works from the collection of Paul J. Schupf
  59. Alex Katz Newspaper clippings
  60. R.B. Kitaj exhibition Catalogue- "Three Sets/In Our Time"; Marlborough New London Gallery
  61. R.B. Kitaj magazine article
  62. Five photographs of Kitaj (kent Blossom Program)
  63. Roy Lichtenstein autographed poster; Mi Chou Gallery
  64. Lichtenstein corrspondence to the O'Sickey's
  65. Otto Peine letter to Algesa
  66. Otto Peine letter to Joseph
  67. Otto Peine photographs from Kent Blossom Program
  68. Otto Peine newspaper article; balloon art
  69. Wayne Thiebaud, four reproductions on cards (two with correspondence to the O'Sickeys)
  70. Wayne Thiebaud, correspondence to the O'Sickeys Feb 1970-Feb 1972
  71. Wayne Thiebaud, Misc. Photographs
  72. Wayne Thiebaud, five photographs at the O'Sickey residence
  73. Wayne Thiebaud, four Photographs with Kent Blossom students
  74. Joseph Fiore, correspondence to the O'Sickey's with Black Mountain College Dossier, 1995