Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Dr. Carver writes to inquire "if Colored people are allowed to visit the museum..."

    George Washington Carver Autograph Letters (2) Signed, 8.5" x 11", on Tuskegee Institute letterhead.

    The first letter (dated September 3, 1934) is addressed formally: "To the Curator of the Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Ala., Dear Madam: - This is to inquire if Colored people are allowed to visit the museum, if so at what hours? Yours very truly G.W. Carver." Although Carver's work was exclusively in the sciences, his first course of study was in Fine Arts. He remained an avid artist his entire life, and his continued interest prompted this inquiry.

    By 1934 George Washington Carver was already nationally recognized for his agricultural achievements. His research into and promotion of alternative crops to cotton, such as peanuts and sweet potatoes, helped to transform and improve the lives of poor farmers in the south. His use of peanut oil massages to treat infantile paralysis made him a popular speaker, and his treatments were highly sought after. He had met with three U.S. Presidents (Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, and Franklin Roosevelt), received membership to the Royal Society of Arts in England (in 1916), and had spoken before the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives (1921). Despite all of his accomplishments and fame, the racial barrier remained, and this simple letter bears testimony to the careful path Carver learned to maneuver in order to proceed with his work and his life.

    The second letter, 2 pages, dated December 7, 1934 is addressed to the same "Madam". After three months, Carver has become a good friend of the family and the tone of the letter is warm and intimate: "My dear Mrs. Preer: - This is to thank you for the delicious jar of marmalade. The artistic blend of flavors make it stand out quite distinct from any that I have eaten. . . . I thank you also for letting 'Tommy' bring me such a generous supply of water ground meal. My hopes for 'Tommy' is [sic] that he will continue to develop physically and mentally into the fine, ideal Christian gentleman that his father was." Carver remained a close friend until his death in 1943. These letters are being offered for the first time, and come directly from descendants of the original recipient.

    The September 3rd letter is heavily toned with a single paperclip stain at upper left, however the ink remains bold and very legible. The second letter, dated December 7, is gently toned, and near fine.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2010
    8th-9th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,207

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2019 February 16 Americana & Political - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The pre and post sales experience was wonderful and flawless. Heritage has the best in-house operation I have ever seen and their people are not only professional but fun to work with, especially Steve C.

    As for Heritage's online system… Yes the interface is more complex than what we are used to with SAN but what is behind that interface is amazing for sellers and buyers alike. It is real time and for a real serious auction buyer there is nothing better in the auction industry, bar none.
    Ron Cipolla,
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $616,190