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Clare Booth Luce, half-length portrait

Visual Materials from the Papers of Clare Boothe Luce


Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 20540-4730

Collection digitized? Generally, no. Some individual images for which copy photography has been requested have been digitized and cataloged online.

The visual materials from the papers of Clare Boothe Luce (1903-87), author, editor, playwright, journalist, congresswoman, and diplomat include more than 3,700 items, chiefly photographic prints. The images were transferred to the Prints and Photographs Division from the Library of Congress Manuscript Division, which acquired the papers beginning in 1956.

The photographs relate to Luce's varied careers and her personal life. Many images document official activities and travels she undertook during her service as U.S. Ambassador to Italy (1953-1956). Others document Luce's careers as a photojournalist, congresswoman, actress and playwright, including posters advertising Luce's plays The Women, Margin for Error, and Kiss the Boys Goodbye. Some photographs show her involvement in Republican Party politics. Aspects of Luce's personal life are revealed in portraits of Luce as a child and young adult; images of her family, including first husband George Brokaw, second husband Henry Robinson Luce, and daughter Ann Brokaw; scenes from family vacations; images of prominent friends and acquaintances; and photographs documenting her art collection. An online catalog record summarizing this body of visual materials is available.

The photographs are organized into three groups summarized below; catalog records for each group are available online. Some individual images from these groups for which copy photography has been requested can also be found in the online catalog. The posters and panoramic photo from Luce's papers are stored and described separately. An unpublished finding aid providing a more detailed overview of the collection and listing folder categories within each LOT is available in the Prints & Photographs Division Reading Room.

LOT 11236 (64 albums) [retrieve LOT (group) record]

Clare Boothe American Day at the 33rd Fiera di Milano

Albums are organized by subject into three categories reflecting Luce's career and personal life as follows:.

  • LOT 11236-1 - Luce as U.S. Ambassador to Italy
    Images show Luce on official trips throughout Italy; attending public events and ceremonies; at public speaking engagements; meeting with public officials; posing with government officials and prominent U.S. and other international figures. Includes view books or commemorative albums presented to Luce as keepsakes of visits she made to cities or other places as ambassador. Also includes aerial photographs of Rome, Lake Maggiore, Anzio, and Naples; some images of Henry Luce in Italy. [retrieve any items cataloged online]

  • Women gathered around table in scene from The Women, a play by Clare Boothe Luce
    LOT 11236-2 - Stage and television productions written by Luce
    Includes photographs of actors performing in stage and television productions written by Luce (The Women, Kiss the Boys Goodbye, and Margin for Error); also, portraits of the actors. [retrieve any items cataloged online]
  • LOT 11236-3 - Personal & family photographs
    Includes some portraits of Henry Luce's family, including his father Henry W. Luce and his grandfather Rensselaer William Luce; the wedding of Henry Luce III and Patricia Potter; a commemorative album documenting construction and launching of the ship S.S. Leonidas, Richmond, Calif.; a scrapbook of newspaper clippings; portraits of Clare Boothe Luce, politicians, and other personal and business acquaintances; the Luce plantation ("Mepkin") in South Carolina. [retrieve any items cataloged online]

Clare Boothe Luce, half-length portrait, facing front, 1906

LOT 13260 (1,338 photographic prints) - Portraits of Clare Boothe Luce and photographs depicting her personal and professional life [retrieve LOT (group) record]

Includes portraits of Luce from early childhood through adulthood and portraits of her family; Luce with family members, including first husband George Brokaw, second husband Henry Luce, and daughter Ann Brokaw. Also includes Luce at parties and award ceremonies; socializing with friends, dignitaries, government officials, and associates; participating in political and other professional activities, including speaking at college commencements and at the 1944 GOP convention; working in the Far East and in Egypt as a Life magazine correspondent; touring World War II battle zones as a member of the House Military Affairs Committee, 1944-45; working as U.S. Ambassador to Italy. Also views from family and personal vacations in the United States and overseas; formal large format portraits of Luce; photographs of Luce's art collection; some photos of Luce acting in the play, Candida; portraits of Luce's friends and associates. The LOT also includes six fish prints (artist unknown). Organized roughly by subject into 32 folder categories. [retrieve any items cataloged online]

LOT 13261 (135 photographic prints) - Views of Italy, primarily in the cities of Pesaro, Urbino, and San Marino [retrieve LOT (group) record]

Photographs show buildings, events, and sites in Fano, Pesaro, San Leo, Urbino, and the city of San Marino. Includes festivals and carnivals; views of the Palazzo Ducale in Urbino; the Pallazo dei Principi; and the convent of Fonte Avellana in Serra Sant' Abbondio. Also views of Furlo Pass.
[retrieve any items cataloged online]

Related Holdings in the Library of Congress

Library of Congress, Manuscript Division
101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington DC 20540-4683

The voluminous papers of Clare Booth Luce are described in a catalog record. They are also summarized, with biographical information, notes about collection strengths, and representative examples, in the Congressional Collections - Women Members section of American Women: A Gateway to Library of Congress Resources for the Study of Women's History and Culture in the United States (American Memory).

Prepared by: Jeffrey Bridgers, Automated Reference Specialist. Last updated: Sept. 2003.

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  October 22, 2010
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