MSS 36 – Stevens, Kelly Haygood, 1896-1991
Papers of Kelly H. Stevens, 1927-1976
Gallaudet University Archives

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Gallaudet University Archives
Call No.: MSS 36
Title: Papers of Kelly H. Stevens, 1927-1976.
Quantity: 0.5 Linear Feet (1 document box)
Note: This document last updated 2006 January 10.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information:
Processed by: Ulf Hedberg. 1993 August 16.
Processing Note:
Conditions on Use and Access: This collection is open to the public with no restrictions. Photocopies may be made for scholarly research.

Related Material in the Archives


  • Kelly H. Stevens [picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Portraits
  • Photograph album of International Exhibition of Fine and Applied Arts by Deaf Artists [picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Photograph Albums AL 92
  • Photograph album of Robert Werdig [picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Photograph Albums AL 66
  • Photograph album of Kelly Haygood Stevens [picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Photograph Albums AL 25, 46


  • Papers, Kelly Haygood Stevens, 1946-1983. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: SMSS

Vertical Files Kelly H. Stevens. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Biographical

Biographical Sketch

Kelly Haygood Stevens was born in 1896 in a place called Mexia, Texas. He became deaf at age five and attended the Texas School for the Deaf where he began art training. He was admitted to Gallaudet College in 1915 and graduated in 1920 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. During his year at Gallaudet, he continued his art education at the Corcoran Art Gallery. Following graduation he went to the New Jersey School for the Deaf, taught art until 1929, and worked for one and a half years at the Trenton School of Industrial Arts.

During the summer of 1926, he went to Spain and worked under the Spanish Deaf painter, Valentin de Zubiaurre, painting Spanish landscape. After returning to the United States, he became fascinated with Indian life, his love of mystery and color in the landscape, especially his native home, Texas. From 1933 to 1934, he traveled to France and Spain. In France, he focused on painting an area of the Seine; in Spain, he lived in the Basque province and painted peasant people. He returned to teaching art at the Louisiana School for the Deaf in 1936 and continued until 1949. Also, he enrolled at the Louisiana State University, and received his M.A. degree in 1938.

He devoted his life to art, especially in New Mexico and Arizona, where he had long residence with the Indians resulting in a series of paintings of their tribal costumes and dances. Also, he bought an old school house which he spent a lot of time restoring to its original condition; the Texas Historical Society recognized it as a landmark. In 1971, Kelly Stevens was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws by Gallaudet College. He died on November 27, 1991 at the age of 95.

Scope and Content

The Kelly Haygood Stevens Collection of material, related to his art works, consists of approximately 250 items dating from 1927 to 1976. The majority of the papers date from the 1930’s. The bulk of the collection contains art exhibit programs, magazines, and scrapbooks.

In the folder of art exhibit programs, one will find the program for the “International Exhibition of Fine and Applied Arts by Deaf Artists. The exhibition was held in 1934 in New York City where Kelly Stevens’ art works were displayed. Also more information about his art works can be found in the folder of scrapbooks. The news clippings and art exhibit programs, especially from II, III and IV Salon International des Artistes Silencieux, held in 1927 and 1928, is included in the folder of Scrapbooks.

Series Descriptions and Folder Lists

No Series

Box Folder Title of Folder Date
1 1 Art Exhibit Programs 1929‑1934
1 2 Biographies 1930’s
1 3 Correspondence 1934‑1976
1 4 Magazines 1936
1 5 Press Releases ‑ The International Exhibition of Fine and Applied by Deaf Artists 1934
1 6 Scrapbooks 1927‑1935
1 7 Thesis ‑ A Development of the Tempera 1938 Method of Cennino d’Andrea Cennini 1938

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