GEORGE E. NEW PAPERS
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE/SCOPE AND CONTENT
Papers of a Milwaukee artist known for his etchings of architectural structures, portraits of prominent Milwaukeeans, and commercial art for Miller Brewing Company. New also lectured at Mount Mary College and Marquette University. Included are scattered correspondence, original prints, etching plates, and newspaper clippings documenting the artist's life and work in Milwaukee.
Gift of Fred Keller, 2001.
George Edward New was a talented and very productive etcher and portrait painter whose early life is shrouded in mystery. He supplied the information used in biographies on his date and place of birth, schooling, service in World War 1, and archeological expeditions. New’s papers lack documentation to verify his claims. Even his last name has been called into question.
There is ample evidence, however, of New’s rapid rise to prominence after he settled in Milwaukee in the early 1930s. Mount Mary College awarded him an honorary degree in 1937, and he regularly lectured there and at Marquette University, which bestowed its Pere Marquette award on him in 1957. Miller Brewing Company utilized his prints in a national advertising campaign in the 1940s. His portrait of General Billy Mitchel appeared on the cover of the latter’s biography (1943). New is best remembered today for his detailed etchings of churches, college and university campuses, and government buildings. His work is represented in the collections of the Library of Congress and Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art.
George New died on 14 February 1963, six years after suffering a paralyzing stroke.
Scope and Content
Series 1, Biographical Information Files, 1922-1992, includes information on New's honors and awards, speaking engagements, and military service.
Series 2, Correspondence, 1942-1965, 1974, 1992, undated, contains scattered personal correspondence and letters concerning New received after his death.
Series 5, Artwork, 1924-1991, includes original etchings and reproductions, framed prints of his etchings of Marquette University buildings, information on exhibitions, and art inventory lists.
Series 6, Etching Plates, ca. 1936-ca. 1950, undated, contains the plates from which New produced his prints. Most are of places, but there are also portraits of individuals, notably Marie Curie, General Douglas MacArthur, and General Billy Mitchell.
Series 7, Memorabilia, 1948-1955, contains New's American Legion medals, cray-pas (drawing stick), etching tools, and steel etching plate.