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James D. Tobin Collection

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Tobin Collection Materials

Oversize Materials

Uncatalogued Materials



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James D. Tobin Collection, 1893-1992 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: James D. Tobin Collection, 1893-1992

ID: RBSC/SPX/005

Extent: 14.75 Linear Feet

Arrangement:

Please note that each item in the Tobin collection has a call number beside it.  This number can be used for further information on the materials by using our NIU online library catalog.

Just go to http://www.ulib.niu.edu/ and then click on "Our Online Catalog"

Languages: English, Japanese

Scope and Contents of the Materials

James D. Tobin Collection consists of manuscripts, catalogues, cards, correspondence, price lists, notes, negatives, photographs, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, cassette tapes, journals, and drawings.  His research and collection focused on Japanese print artists from the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa periods (1868-1989), which are the ‘Modern’ Japanese artists and their prints.  Tobin’s correspondence was mostly with other Japanese Art collectors, researchers, and dealers, such as Victor and Elsa Merlo, Sentaro Kondo, Stewart J. Tease, and Helen Merritt.

Collection Historical Note

Much of his biographical information was gleaned from his correspondence to fellow Japanese Art enthusiasts.  In a letter to Stewart J. Teaze (dated Jan 17, 1963), James D. Tobin states that he is 40 years old, making his birth year around 1923.  He attended the University of Chicago, the University of California at Berkley, and the University of Hawaii and later received his B.A. in the arts.  Tobin’s resume states that in 1938 he was working as an apprentice for RCA Corporation in Harrison, New Jersey.  In 1939 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and later became a Foreman of A&R Heat Treating for the Navy in NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii in 1944.  In 1948 he moved from Springfield, Massachusetts to Los Angeles, California in 1949, staying on as a Foreman in each job, but with more responsibilities.  In 1952, he became a Chief Inspector for the Industrial Steel Treating Company in Oakland, California and in 1955 he opened his own corporation, the Beaver Heat Treating Corporation, in Portland, Oregon.

          Along with his jobs, he has worked for the Bishop Museum in Honolulu and the Field Museum in Chicago.  Tobin also had some articles published in the field of metallurgy and wrote chapters for the A.S.M. Metals Handbook.  After years of collecting and researching Japanese Prints, his collection had thousands of pieces by the 1980s.  In 1990, he started liquidating his collection and he gave a portion of it to Helen Merritt (whose collection is in the Regional History Center at NIU).

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Related Materials:

Helen Merritt collection in Regional History Center

Van Zelst Family Collection in Rare Books and Special Collections


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series I: Tobin Collection Materials],
[Series II: Oversize Materials],
[Series III: Uncatalogued Materials],
[All]

Series III: Uncatalogued Materials
Box 1
Folder 1: Brochure on Hiroshige and his prints [by Vickery, Atkins, and Torrey], 1901
Folder 2: The Story of Ghosts and Ghost Paintings through Saigo Rebellion [unamed source] page 27 to page 64, July 17, 1930
Folder 3: Catalogue on an exhibition on modern prints, Apr 21 - May 2, 1951
Item 1: Japanese Creative Woodblock Prints [book|by Koshiro Onchi], 1953
Folder 4: Japanese Prints on the Theatre: Some Notes on Artists of the Meiji Era and Later [typed notes|by Victor Merlo], Aug 1, 1962
Folder 5: Notes on Artists of the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa Era [notes by Victor Merlo], Aug 13, 1962
Folder 6: Original black and white negatives to all woodblock prints illustrated in Merlo and Tobin's book, 'Japanese Woodblock Prints: A History' [photography by Tobin in 1960], 1963
Folder 7: Original black and white negatives to all woodblock prints illustrated in Merlo and Tobin's book, 'Japanese Woodblock Prints: A History' [photography by Tobin in 1960], 1963
Folder 8: Taiso Yoshitoshi [1839-1892]: A Preliminary Study of the Life and Work of a Meiji Ukiyo-e Artist [manuscript|by Thomas Kaasa] page i to page 120, [1964 or 1984]
Folder 9: Symposium on Japanese Prints by the Art Institute of Chicago and miscellaneous notes, Nov 5, 1971
Item 2: Lane and Narazaki on painting [cassette|side 1: Richard Lane, Munishage Narazaki|side 2: Kijosi, Szito in Prague, Interview with Shiko Munakata in 1972], Nov 4, 1971
Item 3: Tape number 3 [cassette|side 1: Waterhouse dating primitives|side 2: Waterhouse continued], Nov 4, 1971
Item 4: Conference Chicago Tape 1 [cassette|side 1: Kiyomasua Kiyonobua Problem discussion|side 2: Juzo Suzuki early theatrical], Nov 5, 1971
Item 5: Research [cassette|side 1: technical discussion|side 2: untitled], Nov 6, 1971
Box 2
Item 1: Discussion of color with painting and prints [cassette|side 1: research Fitznugn, Grove, Stern, Lane, Randall|side 2: Suzuki, Keyes, discussion continued], Nov 6, 1971
Item 2: Tape number 2 [side 1: Suzuki|side 2: Stern lecture], Nov 8, 1971
Item 3: Interview with Shiko Munakata [cassette tape], 1972
Folder 1: Exhibition catalogue [in Japanese], 1973
Folder 2: Correspondence between James D. Tobin and Sentaro Kondo that includes Mori Yoshitoshi stencil prints and lists, Nov 11, 1976
Folder 3: Correspondence between James D. Tobin and Sentaro Kondo with photographs of woodblock prints and their listings, Feb 10, 1978 - Jun 30, 1984
Folder 4: Yoshitoshi and Gendayu [manuscript by Omagari Komamura|translated by Johnny Shibata] page 1 to page 31, no date
Folder 5: Honen and Maboroshi-dayu [four pages], no date
Folder 6: Notes on artist Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, no date
Folder 7: Yoshitoshi Den Biko [commentary on the biography of Yoshitoshi by Kodo Yamanaka|translated by Johnny Shibata] page 1 to page 26, no date
Folder 8: Yoshitoshi Tsukioka [manuscript by Thomas Herbert Kaasa] page i to page 60, no date
Folder 9: Yoshitoshi Tsukioka [manuscript by Thomas Herbert Kaasa|includes plates for mauscript] page 73 to page 106, no date
Folder 10: Merlo and Tobin's print photographs [note included with the photographs], no date
Box 3
Item 1: Kijosi Szito in Prague [cassette tape], no date
Folder 1: Black and white photographs from Tobin and Merlo's book [photos not matched with negatives], no date
Folder 2: Photographs of Chushingura prints [possibly used in Tobin and Merlo's book], no date
Folder 3: Photographs of Chushingura prints [not used in Tobin and Merlo's book], no date

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Tobin Collection Materials],
[Series II: Oversize Materials],
[Series III: Uncatalogued Materials],
[All]


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