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Collection on the Attic Club

Identifier: M/A 0163

Description of Contents

Collection includes exhibition announcements and programs, correspondence (1917-1933), constitution and amendments, history of the organization, programs of annual costume balls, secretary's reports (1913-1923), yearbooks (1912, 1924-1925), scrapbook covering 1911-1928, a pennant, fedora and a painting smock. Also included are photographs in the SCMC photo collection, scattered issues of Atticker (shelved with the SCMC periodicals,) and a metal sign with the symbol of a spider and a web with the words "Attic Club" in the center (filed with the SCMC MPLS Mementos Artifacts).

Types of materials: minutes to meetings, correspondence, invitations, exhibit lists, photos, scrapbooks, clippings, programs materials, heavy cotton “painting smock,” velvet “painters fedora,” blue felt pennant for Attic Club.


  • 1909 - 1944
  • Majority of material found within 1913 - 1923


Access Restrictions

The collection is available for use in Special Collections during the department's open hours.


Organized in 1909 by a group of 13 artists with Theodore Keene (then director of the Minneapolis School of Art) leading the club. The club took its name from its quarters on the top floor of Times building at 114 S. 4th Street (the club later moved to 614 W. Lake St. and other locations). By 1926 there were about 52 members. The club held exhibitions and social parties including costume balls and plays. The club symbol is a huge spider suggestive of an attic.

Among those identified with the mid years of the club are: Albinson, Dewey; Baker, Forbes C.; Bakke, Magnus; Barnarth, Louis; Betlach, Jess W.; Bohnen, Carl; Burnell, Saul; Burton, Samuel Chatwood; Calhoun, Frederick D.; Cassidy, Louise; Chapman, George P.; Clark, Vera; Conaughy, Clarence; Crawford, Isabel; Crawford, Isabella; Dawes, Edwin M.; DeVoe, Margaret; Farnsworth, Edith; Favour, Frank; Foster, Ben; Foster, Fred E.; Fournier, Alexia; Goetsch, Gustav; Grayson, Olive; Hanson, Arthur; Hart, Todd A.; Holzschuh, R. P.; Hudson, Miss Jerry; Kaiser, August; Kane, Kathleen; Keane, Theodore J.; Kelly, Louise; Kelly, Tom; King, E. S.; Knowlton., May F.; Kulberg, Ernest; Larsen, Andreas; Larson, C.; Lawford, Charles H.; Little, Philip; Lovell, Lulu Verharen; McCoy, Arthur; Mero, Lee V.; Merrill, Frank; Methven, Don; Nelson, Homer; Norstad, M.; Nothaft, Fred; Rawson, Carl; Reed, Edith; Rubins, Harry W.; Shirley, Lloyd W.; Skinner, Frank; Slack, Emma; Sooy, Louise, Stanton, E.; Taube, Walter; Tice, David; Vjlacill, Vaclar; Wheeler, William; Wickstrom, Larry; Young, Rowena.

Locations of club as noted in the scrapbook include: 1918 clipping dated March 22 Lake Street Advocate: Attic Club located at Lake Street and Lyndale Ave. Appears to have been at the location of 618 W. Lake Street for about 3 years and moved because of growing membership. In 1919 it is noted that a new exhibit was going to open in the new club room in the Handicraft Building at 10th Street (article/notice dated 10/13/1919). In 1920, they were forced in to a new location because of high rent, moved to the basement of large building at 12th Street and 2nd Ave South. Final permanent quarters were in the Bradstreet Art Gallery’s – in rear of club room.

Barbara DeCosse’s parents were active with the club from early years to the 1940s. Barbara remembers the costume parties held by the club as being quite the events. Her father, Don Methven was a commercial artist who did illustrations, posters, commercial greeting cards, wood cuts, figures, layout, cartoons. His office/studio was located at 520 Washington Ave N., Minneapolis. Olga Johns, last secretary of the Attic Club gave this book to Lee Pierotti Methven, who gave the book to Barbara M.DeCosse asking her to donate it to the Minneapolis Collection.


1.67 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials


Donor Information

Earliest material from unknown donor. Donations in 2003 were from Barbara Methven DeCosse. Accession 2000.99.

Separated Materials Note

Photos in SCMC Photo Collection. Periodical Atticker (September 1929 - July 1930, March 1944) filed with SCMC periodicals. (The periodical Skylight is filed with the M/A collection see folder 11)

Metal sign shelved SCMC MPLS Mementos Artifacts.
Collection on the Attic Club
Ian Stade
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections Repository

Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis MN 55401 U.S.A.